Crate-digging is a proud tradition of DJs, the art of combing through rows and rows of old and often forgotten records in the hopes of finding inspiration through that one sample, that one bass line or string part, that one vocal hook for them to build their next beat around. Swedish house DJ Avicii is no doubt familiar with this practice—it could be the way he came up with the Etta James sample that he constructed his worldwide smash “Levels” around, for all we know—but he has now deemed it woefully inefficient. Why not just have the people bring the samples to you?
The recently announced “Avicii x You” project appears to be the house wunderkind’s attempt to transition to being something like the DJ Khaled of dance music, serving as “curator” or “executive producer” of his next single, rather than merely the “creator” or “producer.” SPIN reports about the new project from the DJ’s press release:
Avicii will act as executive producer, curating sounds like the baseline [sic], effects, melody, rhythm, and vocals. Avicii will then pick his three favorite contributions on a weekly basis and put these samples up for a public vote. Once all the sounds have been selected, Avicii will start producing the track with all the beats, which is to be premiered on February 26, 2013.
Well, not to get too high and mighty about getting other people to make your own music—we wanna say something rockist and reductive like “DIDTHE HIVES EVER CROWDSOURCE ONE OF THEIR ALBUMS??” though we know there’s not too much point to that. But you’d think that with dance producers constantly coming under fire for being too lazy, for being formulaic as a lot of people think they are with their productions, for just “going up there and pressing a button” as a lot of people think they do live…you’d think a leading light like Avicii would be trying a little harder not to become a punchline for EDM laziness.
In any event, we will not be submitting for this contest in the name of free stickers or totebags or what have you. Well, unless Avicii wants to send us a couple review clichés and gossip headlines that we can build our own articles around, anyway. Then we’ll talk.