A few years ago, Channel 4 in the UK ran a series of late night programs where VIP DJs turned up and performed DJ sets right into your living room — a live Boiler Room is the best way to describe it, but without the annoying people stood behind the DJ. At the time I pondered the idea that DJs could play live at any event from anywhere in the world. But it seems that “in the world” has now been extended a little. Behold the first DJ set performed live from space.
Let’s just let that sink in for a second… the crowd is dancing to a DJ set from space. Not just streamed via Facebook Live from another country. The crowd definitely gets it. You can feel the moment in the video.
The gear setup is modest – just an iPad running algoriddim’s djay for iOS. I’m sure that had this concept been put out to tender, all manner of ridiculous contraptions would have been devised. Although the Pioneer International Space Station would’ve made for some interesting social media promotion.
To be honest, I found some of the social comments disappointing but not surprising. DJs do defend their craft to ridiculous levels at times. But dismissing this because it’s not using turntables or CDJs is silly. Gravity or lack thereof is at play here. Turntables would float, as would the tonearm. A record weight designed to keep the vinyl on the platter would float too. It’s just too floaty.
Also, space stations are not exactly known for spacious real estate. They’re tubes connected to other tubes, and a specially made DJ booth wouldn’t factor highly in priorities. It would be an awkward conversation between astronauts and mission control — “you can have a Humpter, or you can have food”.
It raises some interesting questions about reading the crowd, and the reliability and latency of Spotify streaming. But let’s not over analyse the event.
It’s worth pointing out that the DJ by his own admission isn’t really a skilled DJ. But he is an astronaut on a space station, which is a tad more impressive. But it’s worth listening to his message of bringing people together with music. God knows we need a lot more togetherness these days.
While we DJs can and will judge and mock the performance, take your DJ blinkers off for a moment and put yourself in the crowd. They’re experiencing the first DJ performance from outer space. And they all look very happy to be dancing to it too. And where was your gig this weekend? Not anywhere as impressive as the international space station is a safe bet.
WHAT TUNES WOULD YOU PLAY?