Sunday, June 5, 2011

The DMC – A Brave New Era


DMC is an institution. Since its inception, the DMC world DJ championships has been a turntable focused competition – but that’s finally all changing. DMC recognises that DJing isn’t just about turntables anymore, and Sally McLintock, DMC’s World Events Manager, tells us that when it comes to allowing controllers into the championships, “it’s up to the DJs, we go where they go – we’re open minded”.

“it’s up to the DJs, we go where they go – we’re open minded”
Let’s pull up for a moment though – in order to know where you’re going it’s important to know where you’ve been, so Sally gives us a little bit of information on DMC’s background. “Our founder Tony Prince DJ’d on the world’s largest commercial radio station Radio Luxembourg. In 1982 he started playing mixes which became very popular. The station had around 50 million listeners across Europe.  In February 1983 Tony and his wife Christine launched a club exclusively for DJs and club promoters called Disco Mix Club which eventually became known as DMC.  Members received a monthly magazine newsletter which Tony christened Mixmag and by 1985 DMC launched a DJ Convention where Whitney Houston made her very first live appearance and where the World DJ Championship was born.
We dropped the club DJ baton when we sold Mixmag but we continued to provide them with the world’s only weekly DJ publication DMC Update for many years and last year stopped printing a paper version maintaining the data, news and charts for club DJs online. We’re bringing back The Buzz Chart to radio which is pretty exciting because this is what the DJs need, a central point for the best new tunes around.  There’s too much music around these days so it’s a shortcut for them to easily find the hottest tracks.
“We’re in a year of transition, testing the water for technology”
When DMC began we started off focusing on all DJs including radio and mobiles and even today we still provide the mobile market with commercial monthly mixes and club DJs still look to DMC as a source for very special exclusive music and an outlet for their own talents.”
As for the championship’s popularity: “7000 in Wembley Arena was a pretty good year. 3 times at The Royal Albert Halls (5000 per event).  Membership worldwide was in the lofty 7000’s back in the early 90’s and our magazine Mixmag was selling 150,000 copies monthly when EMAP bought it.  DMC attracts more DJs than ever to the World Championships. We’re in a year of transition, testing the water for technology. In the Online Championship we’ve said ‘anything goes’ so we can see where creativity takes us. It’s not an easy trick being all things to all men but we’ve done the balancing act for 28 years and we know DJs know we care for the industry.”
“It’s not an easy trick being all things to all men but we’ve done the balancing act for 28 years and we know DJs know we care for the industry.”
That transition is a big leap for DMC. At the moment, the DMC World Championships equipment specs are still locked to two turntables and a mixer, but for the first time this year DVS systems are going to be allowed with no restriction on the functions that they offer (team battles have allowed DVS for a couple of years, but only as a straight vinyl emulation). What’s more, the DMC Online Championship, in its inaugural year, has no equipment restrictions and the response to this freedom will shape the future of the live championships, says Sally; “the finals to the Online Championship are in August, so we’ll see then. If half the people in the final are using controllers, then it’s certainly something that we’ll look at for the live events next year.”
We asked: What are the challenges present in making what would be a monumental change in the DMC? “When you have as many DJs as we do, you have a logistical nightmare with the changeover of every set – it’s time consuming, and you don’t want a live event to slow down to a halt, which is why we’re looking at what happens in the Online Championship to see what we should do in future.”
“we’re looking at what happens in the Online Championship to see what we should do in future.”
And the future’s bright. “80,000 visitors watched the first 3 rounds of the Online Championship with a total of 11 rounds to look forward to. DMCworld.tv is going to become much more important to all of us as we take the internet onto mainstream TV, and how great is it even now that a kid can film his two  minute set in Manchester and know it’s being watched by fans in Japan, New York and Australia?
We’ll soon be launching DMC Radio. Update will become an appendage of the radio channel to become DMC Magazine and our new download site which has been fine-tuned to cater to single sales will be launched in April.  The magazine, the radio, the download and DMC TV will all work in tandem and we’re more focused on the well being of the DJ industry than we have ever been.  There’s even plans afoot on the radio channel to run a Radio DJ Competition.”
So there you have it; a quick look into the workings of the world’s biggest and longest running DJ championship, a glimpse into the future, and a bunch of things you (probably) never knew about the size of the DMC empire. Many thanks to Sally for her time spent answering our questions! Head on over to dmcworld.tv to check out classic DMC videos, and dmcdjonline.com to view the online entries so far and find out how you can sign up – There are four rounds still to go, so you’ve got plenty of time to enter your dominating routine! The only question that remains is this: What equipment will you be using to enter?!
Check out DJ Shiftee, a former DMC World Champion, give us an exclusive run down of one of his new digital techniques!