It seems like the world can't shut up about Twitter lately. The micro-blogging network has exploded to over 25 million users already, what with celebrities like Oprah joining along with their mindless minion hordes. But beyond providing us with the irritating mundanities of our friends' day to day lives, it now appears that Twitter is on its way to revolutionizing the world of DJing and the music industry as we know it.
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
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
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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
I say it's time we give Bono a run for his money.
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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.