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DJs as Musicians

I've found the debate about whether DJs are musicians to be very 

When I first heard and saw a DJ scratching, I thought all you had to do 
was scratch an LP and rotate it backwards and forwards.  It appeared to be 
easy and many times I thought the DJ was pantomiming to a pre-recorded 

Then I heard a DJ Spooky CD that was recommended on Loopers Delight last 
winter.  I was simply amazed.  It hit me as hard as Side 2 of "Abbey Road" 
by the Beatles, "Birds of Fire" by the Mahavishnu Orchestra, "No 
Pussyfooting" by Fripp and Eno, and "BloodSugarSexMagic" by the Red Hot 
Chilli Peppers.

As a guitarist, I could understand how these records were made and copy 
the guitar, bass and keyboard parts from them.  However, I had no idea how 
DJ Spooky created his CD.  This is my general reaction to most DJs.

It amazes me how they are able to find, sample and collate all of the 
recordings, samples and effects and create a cohesive piece of art.

Could I listen to DJs all day?  No.  But then I couldn't listen to any one 
thing all day.  I like lots of variety in the music that I listen to, and 
I try to approach each new wrinkle in music with an open mind.  There's 
usually something that I can learn from it.

Are DJs musicians in the traditional sense?  I don't know, but perhaps it 
is better to approach them as composers in the sense that the pioneers of 
musique concrete were composers who manipulated tape into complete 

Thank God that the human mind can conceive of and implement new types of 

Mark Kata