Where's The Beef: Biggest Clashes in EDM


Where's The Beef: Biggest Clashes in EDM

The hip hop world is synonymous with beefs, blow ups, shootings, diss tracks and even a bit of bottle throwing. It’s something we’ve come to expect from a genre filled with bravado and dick swinging lyrics. What we don’t get is the recent phenomena of EDM beefs. This was a genre that was born from ‘the summer of love’ in Northern England. It’s a scene that embraced the smiley face as its mascot and has dance floors across the world filled with sweaty bromances. We’re not too sure why there are so many DJs and producers whining all the way to the bank. Maybe it’s just the fact that instead of complaining to their mates they’re airing their grievances via twitter. So without further ado, here is our guide to EDM beefs. Enjoy.


In August 2012, DJ and producer Hardwell released a bootleg pack via facebook to thank his newly acquainted 300,000 new best friends. While most saw this as a lovely gesture Swedish House Mafia’s Axwell and Ingrosso thought otherwise. The dance music moguls took to twitter to slam the Dutch DJ. To put the whole thing in context it’s important to realise that DJ culture lives and breathes on the kind of material Hardwell released, the bootleg has been a DJ tool since the beginning of time (aka the ‘80s). Technically the bootleg is an uncommissioned and unofficial remix of sorts. It existed long before producers were paid to remix other artists, and became in essence another marketing device. It must be said Hardwell acted like a true gentleman. The irony of this whole brouhaha lies in the fact that Hardwell’s international breakthrough was a bootleg of ‘Show Me Love’ by Steve Angello and Laidback Luke who remade the original ‘Show Me Love’ by Robin S from 1993.


In 2008 Ed Banger darlings Justice exploded, the two lads literally flipped the dance music world on its head. Their debut albumwas closely followed by a gargantuan tour famously known for two enormous stacks of Marshal amps and a glowing cross sat atop of a bank of glowing synths. The on-stage hardware was mostly fake aside from a couple of laptops and midi controllers. This was no secret and the Parisian duo was perfectly frank about their show’s set design.

But in late 2008 the internet got its knickers in a real twist after a photo of an unplugged USB controller being fiddled by Gaspard mid set. Blog land was alight with accusations of fake knob twiddling and ‘press play’ live shows. Justice responded in typical French we-don’t-give-a-shit-style with the following statement: “Yeah, shit happens! I remember the story, I couldn’t remember the city but I think it was in Manchester. I didn’t noticed at first, because as you can see I was looking at the computer to launch the next vocal hook and right after I realised that the blue screen went black, so there was no way possible it could work. So I plugged it back in, big deal!” Enough said?



Joel Zimmermann, aka Deadmau5, is an artist who is pretty hard to ignore; an oversized glowing mouse head bobbing away to electro will do that for you. As loud and in your face as his live show might be, it’s his twitter account and opinions that grab the most attention. Lets start with his stab at David Guetta and Skrillex. In an interview with Rolling Stone he slammed Guetta for playing his stadium filling shows with a couple of iPods and a mixer. Zimmerman even heaped shit on his mate Skrillex for cashing half-million dollar checks from playing songs off his laptop. Deadmau5 did point out that he too just presses buttons at his shows, however he claims he presses a lot more buttons.

Guetta’s cause wasn’t helped by video of him playing a live show with what seems like a DJ mixer that was essentially switched off. To which he responded with: “The reason why all faders were down as claimed is because there was a power outage and a moment of silence for a good 10 mins if I remember correctly, could have even been longer. If this happens and the power comes back on you don’t want the music to start playing again where it left off or at a later point in the track abruptly, because that would also create ammo for all those critics and negative people out there. This is a question of editing out the moment of silence out of the video footage, nothing else.”


Next to weigh in on the button pushing saga was A-Trak. The former World DMC Champion penned an informative piece for the Huffington Post titled 'Don’t Push My Buttons'. In his mini-essay alternately titled ‘I’m a real DJ, you’re not,’ the Canadian DJ suggested it didn’t actually matter what equipment DJs use. He seemed more concerned DJs were playing the same predictable set every time they took to the stage coupled with over the top set design leaving little room for spontaneity. He included Deadmau5 in this group of ‘all show no go’ performers.

Next in Deadmau5’s crosshairs was Madonna. Following her appearance at Ultra Music Festival this year where she asked the crowd who had seen ‘Molly’ (which could be taken as a scantily clad drug reference to MDMA), Zimmermann took to twitter to slam Madge. He likened her question about ‘Molly’ to talking about slavery at a blues concert. Madonna apologised profusely via a tweet and claimed she was referencing a song by Cedric Gervais not MDMA. Though Madge says she doesn't support drug use and never has, there is speculation the song she claimed to be referring to is about ecstacy… and her album is called MDNA. Go figure.

Poor old Pauly D didn’t know what hit him. The Jersey Shore native asked his fans on twitter what they thought of his new video for the track, ‘Night Of My Life’. Deadmau5 responded with the honest reply "Well since you asked I didn't really enjoy it. It looked like it cost about $150 to make, and nothing really creative about it." This kicked off a back and forth between the two, which delighted just about everyone on twitter. Who got the last laugh? You’d have to ask them, but we did like this clever pun from the walking hair gel tub: "Maybe He Just Needs Some Cheese To Go With His Whine ... #WheresMyMau5Trap." Classic Pauly. LOL.


We’ve saved the best till last. Everyone’s favourite EDM star Paris Hilton copped an absolute hiding from ex-boyfriend Afrojack for what was clearly the most awkward and confusing pre-recorded DJ set to grace youtube. While the Dutch producer is still assisting Hilton in her quest to become an EDM princess, he couldn’t hide his utter confusion and frustration in a radio interview. “It’s hard work, you know – as a lot of people say, it’s not just pressing play. You have to know how the laptop programs or CDJs work. You have to know what the equaliser is, what the effects are. You can’t just pitch your flanger up and down and wave a flag. Also, it’s pre-recorded - I wasn’t supposed to say any of this, my management’s fucking going to kill me - I saw it and was like, ‘Errgh.’ The reason why I’m saying these things is I’m pissed off, ‘cos no one told me before (it was going to be prerecorded), not even her.” There truly is nothing better than a failed relationship being hung out to dry for everyone to see. Great work.


Swedish House Mafia VS DJ Sneak following 9-minutes of telepathic mixing.

Steve Aoki VS all the mean haters who made fun of his rider requests.

Miming Peter Hook VS Miming New Order.

WORDS: Tim O’Shea
By ANNABANANA, 21 September 2012
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