Clubland mix master Erick Morillo is livid that big-name DJs insult audiences by mixing on computers during live shows, and he wishes someone would pull the plug on them.
Morillo, who will perform at his new club LiFE’s Aug. 23 opening at the SLS Las Vegas hotel, told us, “A lot of these guys aren’t even making their own hit records. It is what it is. This industry has become what it has become, (especially) if you look across the board, not just at dance music.”
Morillo compares fake DJs — whom he declined to call out by name — to pop stars who lip-sync on stage. “Back in the early 1990s everybody would take the p— out of people who didn’t mix and it’d be a train wreck,” says Morillo, who earned his chops in the pre-bottle service Manhattan club scene.
“I couldn’t believe people were getting away with it — it was like murder,” he said. “When computers came online and people found out people weren’t mixing there was uproar, and outed,” he recalled. “But now that hasn’t happened. People don’t seem to care.”
Morillo calls fellow DJs like David Guetta, Avicii and Calvin Harris “pop stars,” and would like to see them work a little harder. “You go and look at a Calvin show, where he plays all his own records. He is just standing up there kind of doing nothing,” said Morillo. “It would be great if he put a bit little more oomph into it.”
All told, Morillo says it’s a good thing DJs are as high profile in the U.S. as they were in Europe 30 years ago, when he was being blown away by British mix masters. “Looking at it now, the DJ truly is a rock star,” he said. “In the U.K., the were superstars back in the late ’80s. Only now, much later, are DJs viewed as big celebrities.”
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