If you close your eyes and visualize the image of a DJ, you might see someone like Bob Sinclair or David Guetta or the dear departed Avicii at fashionable parties, playing summery and sexy hits all along.
If you are a bit more music conscious, your mind might produce the image of Fatboy Slim, the first DJ who made rock a genre suitable for dance halls.
Nevertheless, DJing is still an art often associated with hip-hop, rap, dance or house music.
Its development goes back to the post World War II era when the gramophone slowly got substituted by more advanced types of sound equipment. Bands were no longer essential to parties: a few discs, the right device and a person who would change records with the right timing (a disc ‘jokey’) were all young people needed to have some fun.
DJing went through a sort of golden era in the Fifties when sound systems developed in the suburbs of Kingston, in Jamaica. Throughout the Sixties and the Seventies, ‘professional’ DJs started
emerging in the United States too, especially on the East Coast and in New York City, together with the rise of new nightclubs and the very first discotheques.
The hip-hop and rap culture started developing in the ghettos of the Big Apple, especially in the Bronx and gave an important contribution to the growing of DJing, with the introduction of new
mixing techniques and the physical manipulation of the discs used, which altered the sound to something original and unheard.
The rise of the techno and the house music scenes represented another golden opportunity for emerging DJs throughout the Eighties and the Nineties.
Although most of the people still associate DJing to the world of house music or hip-hop, the early 2000s represented the rise of new DJs who were pioneers in the fields of metal and dark music.
Goodbye sexy hits, tales of the mean streets of the Bronx or Jamaican roots: a new wave of dark musicians brought to the scene a raw, creepy sound that, for the first time, wasn’t made of distorted guitars.
A blend of metal, dubstep, industrial, this new genre keeps growing fast, with the rise of interesting and provocative exponents.
Zardonic: the dark side of Venezuela
One of the first musicians who experimented with new dark sounds to soon become an influential DJ was Federico Agreda, a.k.a. Zardonic.
Federico started his career at a very young age as the keyboardist of black metal project Gorepriest. When he switched to DJing and production, wearing his famous mask and becoming Zardonic, he didn’t leave his metal roots behind: they became an important ingredient of his blend of dubstep, industrial, drum and bass. Federico’s blend of Metal and EDM is one of the strongest
crossovers in the two genres ever.
Zardonic is probably the most influential DJ of his kind: dark atmospheres and distorted sounds blended with drum and bass beats are his pioneering formula towards a new genre. Zardonic has
been listed as one of the top 100 DJ’s and found a way to inflict the planet with his brand of EDM, Electronic Damnce Metal!
Dr. Luna from Luna 13: the dark side of California
When Californian duo Luna 13 firstly emerged (Lilith Bathory and Dr. Luna), only a few years ago, nobody believed that local music venues could host their dark and brutal shows. It took a lot of hard work to gain the deserved attention, but they are now finally getting in the spotlight.
Dr. Luna is the mind behind their brilliant mixture of EDM and Black Metal they cal it Black/Bass/Metal, working as on-stage DJ and producer and he is one of the few that mixes pre-recorded while adding live bass and blazing death metal drums.Their bond to metal is no secret:Luna 13 is the first EDM project to win Metal awards and Luna 13 was the first EDM project to open for Death Metal bands and play EDM festivals at the same time. With an innovative project and a clear identity, they show no sign of hesitation on their path towards success. Not only is Luna 13 one of the darkest electro projects out there, their driving Black Metal/EDM makes them one of the most menacing projects on the planet. Check out their single “Upside Down” to have a feeling
of what I’m talking about!
Delta 9: the dark side of Chicago
A terrifying exponent of this new wave of DJs is Chicago musician Delta 9.His music is a punch in the listener’s face. There is no better way of describing this horrifying blend of industrial, dubstep and metal that seems to resonate from hell (“Welcome To Hell” is one of his tracks which perfectly incarnates all of the features described above). Delta 9 has been around since the 90’s and laid down the tag #terrorcore for the first time and I believe he still sits at the top of that genre for a reason. His work in dark electro is epic!
Delta 9 is one of the most enduring DJs of his kind, bringing to stages pure doses of terror since the early Nineties. With his long-running career, during which he toured all around the United States and Europe, he demonstrates that this hybrid genre has a huge following, that crosses borders and generations.
Not for weak stomachs
DJing seems to be one of the most versatile techniques in the music industry, being able to range from mainstream pop to hardcore metal.
Its versatility makes it a very interesting mean to experiment with new styles and genres.
Amidst the big offer, the many different sounds and grooves, one thing is certain: the acts described above are not for weak stomachs, but they deserve to be checked out if you are after an innovative, bold sound that goes beyond mainstream fashions.