Thursday, December 20, 2007

NiteVibe "Top 10" San Francisco DJs List

Nitevibe has published their annual "Top10 DJ Dreamteam" list, and it's, um, pretty unremarkable. In fact, the whole list is pretty predictable. Here's the top 10:
  1. Miguel Migs
  2. Mark Farina
  3. David Harness
  4. Kaskade
  5. Bassnectar
  6. Taj
  7. Rooz
  8. Adam Ohana
  9. Icon
  10. Syd Gris
Of the top 10, note that almost all are either house or breakbeat DJs (I'm not familiar with Rooz, Syd Gris is, to his credit, difficult to nail down to one genre, and I'm heard Taj play trance on occasion). Note as well that all are associated with major clubs or regular events. Breaks and house DJs completely dominate the rest of the list, and while there are a fair number of DJs who might be considered as "underground" (I believe that all the Space Cowboys made the cut), most are pretty big names or associated with well-known collectives. And, with the exception of David Harness, all are associated with scenes and events that are predominantly straight.

So what might we gather from this list? This obvious inference is that, the more often you play out, and the bigger your nights, the more likely you are to show up here. I think it's more interesting, however, that the votes seem to have been for genres as much as for specific DJs. To be honest, I doubt that many people made their choices based on their perception of DJ skills, and more on whether a particular DJ plays music that they like - so, smooth deep house tops the list, followed by booty-shaking breaks. No trance, no techno, no ambient, no downtempo. I'd say that this indicates two major currents in San Francisco club music - on the one side, background music for mating rituals between the inhabitants of overpriced condos, and, on the other, get down and shake your ass music for those who make their way out to the playa every August. Everything else - well, that's the sound of the underground.

As for the fact that David Harness is the only DJ on the list associated with a gay night (Fag Fridays), this only confirms something that I've thought for a long time - gay men don't really care about the music they hear in a club, as that's secondary to whether or not there are guys with whom they want to get it on. Of course, there also aren't that many gay DJs who really make an effort to play anything that interesting or unexpected, and of the many gay nights I know of in the City, only Fag Fridays really puts any emphasis on the music as something important and special. Everywhere else it's mostly background music for a pick-up scene. I suspect, too, that David Harness made the cut because he's developed a super-loyal following over the twelve years he's been behind the decks at Fag Fridays - honestly, I voted for him not because I really like the music he plays, but just because I thought the man deserves some respect.

So there you have it, a little encapsulation of the San Francisco club scene brought to you by the Nitevibes "Top10" DJs. My thought is that you should get out and hear all these guys - really, they are all good at what they do - but don't be fooled into thinking that they represent the absolute best that San Francisco has to offer. To find that, you need to do a little more work than just showing up at 1015, Ruby Skye, or Mighty on a weekend night.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

Ridiculous. Turntables came from hip-hop and not a single hip-hop or reggae DJ on here.