DJs today get a bad rap. People seem to think that being a DJ nowadays means simply pressing play and letting the music ride.
That’s not always the case though. A lot of DJs around the world still work hard at their craft, and it’s a lot more complicated and nuanced than just pressing play.
There’s maybe no better example of this than Japan’s DJ Kentaro. In a world where it seems most DJs prefer a laptop Kentaro is one of those DJs that still use two turntables (but no microphone) to entertain.
Kentaro is just one of many talented Japanese DJs, but he’s probably the most recognized. He’s won numerous Japanese DJ competitions, put out some of his own albums, and even won the DJ World Championships. (To quote DJ A-Trak, yes, there is such a thing.)
What first caught my eye about Kentaro was one performance at the DJ World Championships where he didn’t actually play a record — he played the label on the record.
With his hands racing over the two decks and the fader, Kentaro’s technical skills and creativity shines through with this incredible performance. Don’t believe me? Alright, check this out:
It’s incredible to me to see how quickly his hands move over the turntables, and how he’s able to keep the beats in sync. It seems like music is becoming more and more digital, but nothing’s more analog than playing a record purely by feel.
Whether or not the majority of today’s DJ actually just press play doesn’t matter as much to me knowing that skilled, creative musicians like DJ Kentaro are out there. I’m content with just watching him at work and asking “how the hell did he do that?”
Header photo from Inaudible Answer