Richie Hawtin Ushers in the Twee-J Revolution, a DJ's Twitter Application
Renowned DJ, producer and techno magnate Richie Hawtin has announced his development of a new Twitter application which allows real-time broadcasting of track IDs during a DJ set. As minimal techno's mad scientist of sorts, Hawtin has already spent much of his career pioneering new DJ technologies, including important innovations in MIDI and Final Scratch.
This new Twitter app would basically broadcast 30 second updates of what Hawtin is playing live, allowing anyone following him on the network to see the playlist as it builds up track by track and in real time.
While it was only a matter of time before this type of info age breakthrough came about, it will certainly be viewed ambivalently in the DJ world, because DJs have always been a bit secretive and hermetic about their track selections. In fact, in the old days alot of DJs used to white-out the labels on their vinyl records to keep the competition from eyeballing them at the DJ booth and ripping off their secret weapons.
It's precisely their ability to unearth those obscure gems and drop them unexpectedly that gives DJ's their hype and mystique, and Twitter has a tendency to trivialize. There's also the double-edged sword of the exposure and commercial success this medium will offer unrecognized producers but the higher frequency of illegal file-sharing of digital music. With tracks getting instantaneous recognition and viral exposure online, the pressure to rip them off will also increase.
However, as Mr. Hawtin himself has expounded on a Minus label press release, the potential advantages of this new app are incredibly far-reaching and will ultimately outweigh the cons: "By providing the necessary information to track what is really being played in clubs, the Twitter DJ application would make sure the real artists get paid instead of performance payments simply being carved up between the Madonnas and U2s of the world. If record sales are slowing down and performance is now the key area where artists can achieve financial stability, better solutions need to be found and a workable structure put in place as soon as possible. We hope that our Twitter DJ application is a step forward in the development of these types of systems."
I say it's time we give Bono a run for his money.
Richie Hawtin's next live Twitter broadcast is scheduled during his DJ set at the INOX Festival in Toulouse, France on May 16 from 3 a.m.- 7 a.m. (their time). You can tune in at www.twitter.com/rhawtin.