June 27, 2016  

The Rise of the DJ Collectives: Five of the Best

A change is coming. Catalysed by the increasingly blurry distinctions between production and performance, finessed by social media savvy and – it could be argued – inspired by the underground crews seen in genres like hip-hop and grime, DJ collectives are now a powerful force within music in 2016. With an emphasis on group identity rather than individual stars, these groups are re-injecting fun, a sense of community and a dose of DIY into a dance music culture that was, after all, founded on these very principles. There’s no mainstream target audience and no requirement to get those first few key EPs out, just bars and living rooms everywhere with a handful of people jamming on the decks. But there’s more to a collective than having fun; by forming an alliance with a collective, or creating their own, new artists and/or DJs are in a better position to build networks and increase visibility – all on their own terms.

If you’re starting out, why not learn from the best on one of Point Blank’s DJ courses. What’s more, the unique creative environment means you’ll be collaborating and networking with likeminded individuals – what better starting foundation for the next big collective? Until then, here’s some of the best out there right now.

Elrow

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Surely the most famous of the lot and arguably the outfit that brought the trend to the media’s attention. Barcelona-based Elrow is a rotating party that’s represented internationally but is perhaps best known for its Ibiza and – more recently, London and Croatia parties. A curious beast, Elrow started out as a collective of DJs with an emphasis on deeply daft nights with inflatables, glitter and other dancefloor perks a world away from the usual booth frowns and dancefloor nods). The group have branched out somewhat since then – and now hire serious line-ups, not to mention releasing on their namesake record label.

Abode

Abode760xBrit-based Abode push a tech house sound, but swap black t shirts and shuffling for a deeply house party-esque vibe. The outfit have recently moved to Sankeys Ibiza for the summer where, building on the same principles as Elrow, they’ve started slowly but surely injecting headliners into their superclub residency – but their followers and own marketing show retain an emphasis on the founding members and their own journeys.

Regression Sessions

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Another UK name and a newer one at that. Regression Sessions started out aimed squarely at students: think all the fancy dress, cheap shots and general buzz of your favourite uni night yet combined with a no-nonsense, house, techno and bass-heavy agenda. Now the night looks poised to take things up a notch, moving out of the student sphere and into more London centric parties and their affiliate crowds. Interestingly, Regression sessions appear more intent on growing their own residents into ‘names’ on their own account. So they’re not booking major headliners, they’re planning on creating them instead…

Sister

You could write an entire article on the rise of female DJ collectives rallying against the bro-heavy nature of many local music communities (see a brilliant article on the situation here, and our own here). Amongst the best of the bunch are Sister. It’s not a party or a label but a virtual platform with members from NYC, London, Paris, Mexico City, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Berlin and elsewhere. The group make use of private forums and emails to communicate and the popular podcast mixes are electronic, but broad in genre.

Radar Radio

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Is it a radio station or an artist collective? Radar Radio has managed to take the eclectic elements of NTS and the brand-before-band vibe of RinseFM (the management of both had a helping hand in Radar’s foundation). It’s ostensibly a London based radio station, but with ever more club and pop-up takeovers, an in-house media team and a real emphasis on finding and actively training their own talent, Radar Radio is as much a collective as a radio platform. What’s more, the founder, Ollie Ashley, studied Radio Production (part of the Radio Broadcasting Diploma) right here at Point Blank!

If you’re feeling inspired, why not find out more about our DJ courses in London here, or, alternatively, you can speak to a course advisor or give us a call on 0207 729 4884. If you’re calling from outside of the UK, call +44 20 7729 4884.

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