Are laptops the new turntables?
While some underground DJs abandoned the wheels of steel a few years ago, the big names in electronic music have continued to entertain dancers the old-fashioned way. Until now.
BT, one of the innovators of trance who went on to produce 'NSYNC's "Pop," is planning to debut a live set early next year that will feature only two laptops and Oxygen 8 keyboards, which work as an interface with computers.
"It's much more like remixing live than it is like DJing," BT explained at his home studio recently. "I'll have some other people's tracks and my tracks and a capellas from different sh--. And on headphones, as if I were cueing up a record, I'll load some software synths and I'll play an acid line or bassline that fits with the record that I'm playing. And instead of beatmixing in another record, I'll beatmix in a bunch of lines, then fade that track out and drop a breakbeat of my own. So there'll be a track playing that didn't exist before I stepped up to the decks. It's some really intense sh--."
BT, who was also one of the first electronic music stars to sing and perform with a band, has been experimenting with his new form of DJing during some of his standard sets.
"I took the Beatles' 'Day Tripper' and put it on top of beats from [Kraftwerk's] Trans-Europe Express and then on top of a Dylan Rhymes track, all in real time, though," he said of a recent gig. "On turntables, you can only go to plus eight or 10 [beats per minute] in either direction. With this I can take something that's 60 BPM and make it 130. And it works amazing."
Fans who aren't able to catch BT's shows will likely be able to see the DJ in action on a DVD he hopes to release next year. Since he will have at least 20 tracks left over from the recording sessions for his new album (see "BT Secretive About 'NSYNC Payback On Upcoming Album"), BT plans to include unreleased music on the DVD, along with live footage and behind-the-scenes material he shot himself.
"I run around with my little eight-millimeter camera all the time and I've filmed some beautiful stuff," BT said.
For the DVD, BT may also mix some of his songs in 5.1 surround sound. "It gives you a lot more room to work with," he noted. "And I'm the guy who can use it."
BT tour dates, according to Nettwerk:
- 12/21 - Orlando, FL @ Icon
- 12/31 - Villa Park, IL @ Odeum Expo
- 1/24 - San Diego, CA @ Montage