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Debate Rages After LA Nightclub Bans Laptops For DJs


For as long as people have been cutting rugs in da club, questions have been raised about whether DJs are talented contributors to the music scene or just laptop jockeys that are pressing play on their mix. Los Angeles nightclub owner Kenny Summit has thrown his two cents in on the issue, by completely banning laptops at his club, The Cure and The Cause.

In a post on Facebook mentioning the club, Summit detailed his decision, pointing out both a stylistic and logistical preference for DJs who can spin tracks without the use of their laptop.

LA Nightclub Bans laptops

He said “Keep your controller in your crib, dont [sic] come to work with training wheels. LEARN THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE already.” Summit did allow for some exceptions to the rule, specifically, if people were using their laptops to control vinyl “a’la Jazzy Jeff type sh*t”, or if very high-profile headline DJs came to the club.

Speaking with Magnetic Magazine about the logistics of the decision, Summit said “The problem lies with the opening DJs (mostly), many of them show up with a laptop and controller, and that’s all they’ve ever used. That’s a problem. They don’t know what to connect with our Pioneer system; they have no clue what they’re plugging in or what plugs they’re taking out.”

Summit himself doesn’t believe there is a “better” method of DJing, instead saying “I’ve witnessed first hand all the types of transitioning from one record to the next and how it translates to the crowd on those different dancefloors”. He went on to discuss that controlling the crowd is all about music selection.

The decision has opened up a huge debate on Twitter, with purists commenting that “hobbyists” are ruining the scene by picking up DJing through software on their laptop, and many others arguing that the creative opportunities afforded by digital manipulation can’t be taken away.

Brisbane DJ Jaymak told AAA Backstage that he disagrees with Summit’s decision, saying he feels more creative freedom using his laptop.

“I like using a laptop because I have my entire music collection at my finger tips, not just a few thousand songs (which a USB is designed for). If I suddenly think of a song I want to mix in next, I can search it and have it loaded in seconds.”

Jaymak goes on to state that although there is a lot less set up required for the style that Summit is enforcing, there is a lot less creative control.

DJ DizzyDice from The Family Nightclub in Brisbane, is more onboard with The Cure and The Cause’s house policy. He has his material ready to go at a moment’s notice, carrying it around on a USB with him. He is also on board with Summit’s reasoning, stating “I am an AV tech as well, and it would be awesome if laptops were banned, just because some DJs come in and unplug sh*t to plug their laptops in and leave everything unplugged once they’re done with their set.”

Either way the debate rages on between DJs and mixing enthusiasts. What are your thoughts? Comment with how you prefer your club bangers spun, and check out one of our favourite mixes of all time below!

Written by Max Higgins