DEREK\”TheBandit\’s\” Blog

The Life Of A DJ



Great weekend my side! Hope yours was fantastic!

Friday night was my monthly Hard Trance Set at Evolution. Loved it! My flow was spot on and the crowd were really up for it!

Saturday night play at Stones n Ruimsig for the first time! Wow what a venue and a crowd that really love their trance, it was a pleasure!

Working on the Podcast Xtra, looking at putting it up on 19 May.

My World Of Dance Classix CD should be released on Monday 15 May, I will let you know!



May 8, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Sup El Bandito! Can’t wait for World Of Dance Classix! Any chance you can give us a hint of the tracklist, just to whet our appetite? Sounds like you had a large weekend, did it all go a bit Pete Tong? ūüėČ Can’t wait for you to come to Vaccamatta boet, striking of the days on my calendar!!! Keep bangin’! Later days…

    Comment by Lyle | May 8, 2006 | Reply

  2. Hi derek,

    Wow!!!! to the podcast. Really really hot stuff. Thanx a lot


    Comment by Karmani Pillay | May 8, 2006 | Reply

  3. No offense Derek, but errrr…

    Does moving with the times in terms of not only genre but technique hurt that much that you can’t do that?

    A classix CD? Howells or Seaman doing a CD like that makes sense because they have a history spanning way back to a time when there was music that we don’t even identify as trance these days (Think Digweed’s Global Underground Sydney or his and sasha’s renaissance material, or even when Renaissance started). They also happen to have been playing a way wider but way more innovative track selection during that time.

    I understand I’m not talking on local terms here but hearing what you’re playing and what you have been playing your style hasn’t moved on anywhere near it to warrant a classics CD.

    As for trance, it’s progressed way beyond what you play now, it’s not that hard trying something new.


    Comment by zubair | May 9, 2006 | Reply

  4. Yeah its going to be like the millionth classic dance cd out, I really think its time to move on and go and create a new sound instead of playing the pre packed dance music that everyone is so used to hearing.

    I think the scene needs to grow up a bit, Im tired of hearing the same five fucking DJ’s playing at all the clubs… Dizzy, Speedy, Morgan, DTB (not as much anymore after the demise of your 5fm show) and friends.

    Comment by Christian | May 9, 2006 | Reply

  5. Also, I’ll be honest, I listened to your “What’s HOT in DTB’s Box” Set 1 and 2, and if you’re going to be putting those tracks onto a classics CD you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot thanks to the absolutely crappy quality of much of those tracks on the albums. Added to the bad mixing at the time, there’s not much to show for a classics CD.


    Comment by zubair | May 9, 2006 | Reply

  6. DTB wasnt really known for being progressive or creative, so im not expecting much. He did more or less the same thing over the years and it just expired.. probably why 5fm scrapped him

    Comment by Christian | May 9, 2006 | Reply

  7. true, if people want classics they will listen to the millions of mixes already available. why bother making more of the same thing?

    Comment by anus | May 9, 2006 | Reply

  8. Coz DTB is a South African EDM institution, that’s why he can put out a classics album, because within our national context, he has brought trance to a people who otherwise may not have found the genre. The people like you guys who put down trance now, were the same who danced with the rest of us during the Gatecrasher boom of ’99, who tuned into The World Of Dance on a Saturday night & who liked the scene as much as anyone else. However, a trend has developed of recently, both internationally & locally, to bash trance & those who play it because it simply isn’t fashionable anymore. If you’re a DJ who leans towards a trancier sound, why go more prog? Because, Tiesto is doing it? Evolution is good, but a crowd identifies a DJ by his customary beats, so it would make little sense to change yourself to suit the masses. So give it a break guys, constructive criticism is one thing, but bashing a South African dance treasure is uncalled for

    Comment by Lyle | May 10, 2006 | Reply

  9. Hi,
    Can anyone tell me how will I be able to get my hands on the CD. Derek is there anywhere in the UK that I will be able to buy the CD from. Please let me know as I am SOOOO looking forward to listening to it:-)

    Comment by Karmani Pillay | May 10, 2006 | Reply

  10. Dont get me wrong, I GREW up listening to the bandit, thats how I got into trance music. Im not bashing Trance, I love it… I just feel the bandit needs to get a bit more creative and stop sticking to the same formula that he has used for the past 15 years.

    His world of dance series CD’s dont appeal to me at all as well the other 100 “dance” releases we have coming out in s.a. cause its all the same shit

    Comment by Christian | May 10, 2006 | Reply

  11. Yes I did enjoy trance then, but then realising what trance was then and hearing what happened to it before we did “discover” it, well that changes the image totally doesn’t it?

    As for a crowd identifying a DJ by his customary beats? Did you ever realise that you never do know whether a crowd will like something if you don’t try it? Sure, playing on strengths is what makes something successful. But not veering into new territory on the grounds that it’s not the same sound that a crowd will like when you play? That just doesn’t make sense to me.

    Also, suiting the masses? Is that not what many of our local DJs are doing by playing the same old recycled material over and over? It’s been proven that you can adapt your sound to anything that fits with what you currently play. Take James Holden, do you remember what his sound was like in 2002-2004? And how it changed in 2005 and this year? It’s gotten better and changed at the same time.

    And if I remember correctly, prog doesn’t mean it’s not trance? There were plenty DJs around the time The World of Dance was out playing different types of trance that sounded just as good as what was played “in the scene” back in 98-99. The difference was that we never paid attention to it.

    Comment by zubair | May 10, 2006 | Reply

  12. When a crowd go to see a DJ, they know what they’re paying to dance to, it’s not like radio where you can just turn it off when it’s crap. If the crowd wanted to see Danny Tenaglia or Frankie Knuckles, they would pay to see that, but when your crowd is paying to see PvD, they don’t really expect, dare I say, want to hear soemthing of a very different variety. Sure, you can vary, but there are clearly defined boundaries, and any DJ worth his salt can identify how far he can push this.

    The thing is, while studio production is a personal project, playing out live is very much catering for music lovers & while being experimental does push the buttons at times, the crowd remembers the moments that they hear that trademark sound that defines a good DJ. For example, when PvD drops Karen Overton’s “Your Loving Arms”, he’ll get a small pop from the crowd, as it is an OK song, even if it isn’t a typical PvD tune. But the moment the people will remember the day after is when he dropped “For An Angel”, as it IS his signature tune. Now that makes sense to me.

    As for our local DJ’s, I don’t think we give them enough credit. Sure, Surge ain’t Armin, but he ain’t a bad DJ. The thing is, when you’re not a REALLY big DJ, like Armin, you can’t take certain liberties, like making MAJOR changes to your style. If Francois K played a 20 minute drum loop at Twilo, when it was still around, no one would have batted an eyelid, in fact, they would have went bat shit for it. Now think if one of our local guys tried that, say like Christos or Cleo? I don’t think it would go off that well! So, I think we need to cut our guys some slack, coz they do the business for us every weekend.

    And, um, prog ain’t trance. They are seperate subgenres, although, there is the the prog-trance movement, which is just plain boring. I don’t really support the move towards minimalism in trance, coz as far as I can recall, trance has been about euphoria. And with regards to the ’99 era, the only other subgenre of trance that was really good was the Goa/psy trance movement that John 00 Fleming championed, used to drive crowds wild.

    Anyway, back to DTB, I’m really hopeful about the new release. Whenever a great chapter is closed in life, a retrospect of it is in order, and in my humble opinion, I think that’s what Derek is doing. The World Of Dance represents a golden age of high bpms & driving beats for us all, and in ending it, I’m grateful for this reflection back. Even though the podcasts are the future for us, we will always remember those Saturday nights on the national broadcaster, and they will always hold a soft place in our hearts. So why not just give it a listen & enjoy?

    Comment by Lyle | May 10, 2006 | Reply

  13. –When a crowd go to see a DJ, they know what they‚Äôre paying to dance to, it‚Äôs not like radio where you can just turn it off when it‚Äôs crap. If the crowd wanted to see Danny Tenaglia or Frankie Knuckles, they would pay to see that, but when your crowd is paying to see PvD, they don‚Äôt really expect, dare I say, want to hear soemthing of a very different variety. Sure, you can vary, but there are clearly defined boundaries, and any DJ worth his salt can identify how far he can push this.

    Firstly you’re wrong. You remember when Tiesto was here? Every time he put out tracks that we never heard before he’d lose the crowd. WHY? Well our audience is conditioned into listening to the stuff that made him where he is, not where he’s going. That’s exactly why if we brought in someone like Phil K he’d never a crowd going.

    Meanwhile, if Phil K goes to Australia, the crowd would be blown away not only by what’s being put out in terms of the music being released (the balance series, lostep [phil k and chable’s works]), but also the way he’s bringing in what our Djs are not: variety. I’ve never once heard Phil K play less than 3 genres of music in a set.

    Tell me also, how many of our DJs have gone on world tours and brought back the quality we see in so many other places. All I see are regular names and artists appearing on so many trackslists here.

    Remember what happened with PvD? when I went to see him the best moments were the older tracks he played like the ones you mentioned and say..Way out west – mindcircus. But my problem is this: If a man who’s travelled the world, discovered a thousand artists and put out some of the most amazing sets internationally, and play “for an angel” for us. Well it’s not enough for me and many others who’ve experienced him at a way higher level than what we got here. The same thing happened when Tiesto was here, you want the industry to stay backward? You can carry on doing what’s being done. I may as well leave South Africa.

    Thanks to guys like Surge and DTB the audience has been left backward in terms of knowing what’s out there. Sure it’s awesome hearing “For an Angel”. It brings back memories, but where is it going? Where are tracks like going to take the industry? I ask you this.

    You say any DJ worth is salt can push boundaries. But has DTB or surge done this? Last I heard it was the same music from 2 years ago. I won’t go into Surge’s programming, and mixing, because frankly that’s a different argument altogether.

    I was referring to the blurring of genres, such as the work Sven Vath has been doing to perfect his sound over the last few years. And now he pulled it off.

    Dude, you can’t live in the past. With the internet offering so much more than what we have here, well I’m sorry to say but it’s looking grim in the future for us.

    Comment by zubair | May 10, 2006 | Reply

  14. Genre mixing, on the scale you’re talking, should only be done on two occasions. One, if it’s the Chemical Brothers, two, if it’s a house party. Coz, the movement towards electronic vagueness that is filling Tiesto & many like him’s compilations are exactly what is killing trance.

    We, the people, love to hear a track we’ve never heard before, provided it’s good. That’s the part Tiesto forgot recently. The way he’s going, he’ll be playing at Pacha in two months. Now that’s not evolution, that’s bandwagon jumping, the kind Madonna does every two years – or what some less cynical would call artistic reinvention. The flaw with going so minimal is that you take away so much of the essence of trance, that you’re left with a skeleton of a song. The movement you’re talking about is the one that’s been doing the rounds at the Miami WMC the last two years. All it takes is for one industry bizdick to say “Minimalism is cool” and here we are.

    The industry is backward because people who used to support euphoric epic trance, are now backing prog & house as their genre of choice. And many DJ’s are doing this, but trying to incorporate trance into this has left us with a hybrid bastard child that is neither here nor there, and that is when you look at compilations, they look frightenengly similar, depending on which way it’s swinging. For example, if a DJ supports this way of thinking, you’ll find your Gabriel & Dresden’s, Tiesto’s & what not floating about. However, if a DJ tries to go against the grain, and stick to the genre instead on taking away from it, you’ll find the really good stuff, the Fabio Stein’s, Stuart Patterson’s & so forth.

    Sticking to what’s still good about trance isn’t being backward, it’s being true to what you got into the genre for. For instance, I listen to DTB, Surge, Martin McHale, etc. & I still l now what’s out there, all it takes is a little dedication, and I’m not the only one. SA isn;t being left behind, rather we are filtering a production line of carbon copy bullshit that streams in from around the world, leaving what we love intact.

    I wouldn’t call it living in the past, as you put it. It just so happens that best parts of the past are manifesting itself in our future & we just have to take the time to find it…

    Comment by Lyle | May 10, 2006 | Reply

  15. Wait, what were we initially arguing about? haha.

    I dislike Tiesto to be honest, and I have to disagree with you on what you say that it’s him killing trance. I dont think he should be regarded a “trance DJ” any more. Anyhow what I dislike about him is that he hasn’t done much to put music forward like many of the so-called “top 10” djs we see today. One thing he was clear about, is that he was in it for the success not the music. That much is clear.

    As for the mixing of genres, it’s been done beautifully before. I’ve listened to plenty DJs who have successfully went past what they started on in terms of genre and managed to make a name for themselves based on that. James Zabiela managed to pull that off, so have many obscure names like Lance Cashion, AFK and some bigger names like Steve Lawler.

    As for the minimal movement, there’s no definition for the term “minimalism” these days. Take a look at Jon Lisle, what’s he playing? Anything and everything he find that’s successful. He defines that as minimal. Hawtin? what he plays is regarded as minimal? So is the techno Sven Vath played? Adam beyer’s Fabric CD was defined as minimal, but that way beyond the scope of say, hawtin’s or vath’s style. I think what you’re referring to is the darker / less melodic styles that have come up, which have been referred to as minimal.

    I think it’s unfair saying that the true soul of the music has been taken away and that it’s lost it’s identity. While many of the splinters of trance have struggled to define themselves in the beginning, they have spawned sounds that have went well beyond their beginnings. What about progressive breaks, nu-skool breaks? They all have found themselves over the last few years and diversified further into other sounds, some darker and some more melodic.

    As for you saying that many people have abandoned trance and forsaken it, I think you’re wrong. You give your beginnings credit, but where you move onto matters. You can’t say that trance has been abandoned because you know it’s untrue. Trance has inspired many, many new sounds that have come up.

    You’re also wrong about the other sounds coming up being skeletons of the sounds they initialy were…Listen to some of the defining moments and albums in electronic music, and tell me – was it just trance that also made what we hear what it is today? Leftfield – Leftism, the Northern Exposure series by sasha and digweed, DJ Shadow’s EPs and work with Quannum Crew, Juno Reactor’s Bible of dreams or even The Prodigy’s work on their first few albums? What about Roots Manuva and his work?

    Just how much against the grain did those people go?

    I still think being so dedicated to the narrow genres we grew up on in the past is backward. Just hearing what other people have done away from what we grew up on makes me want to change things even more.

    Sooner or later melodic music will make it’s return, and there’s no doubt about it, but it’s form then will be different to what we heard back in 98 and 99 as well. That’s homage to me.

    Comment by zubair | May 10, 2006 | Reply

  16. The reason club nights, special events, & different tents at dance festivals were created was for specialisation. For this reason, you won’t find Jules spinning at Pacha or Roger Sanchez tearing it up at Gatecrasher. Now this isn’t being narrowminded, this is dedication. And the punters appreciate that, thats why the clubs in Europe & the US are institutions , unlike the fly by night clubs we have here, with a few obvious exceptions of course. You need to cater for the diverse needs of the people, but not in the same night. That’s why you have your genre-based clubs, so someone can get their musical gratification all night, not just for an hour & a half in the set.

    And I’ll restate, that alot of so-called “trance” put out now, is heavily diluted, lost in a sea of nothingness. So much of it has become this tired, quiet generic melange of trance, prog & house elements, that it’s almost difficult to dance. Theirs no hands in the air moments with this current wave of nu-trance. The up-for-it punters want their long, rolling snares, big breakdowns, haunting melodies. Their is still good, driving trance out there, but you deem it backward. I say, I know what I love, and it’s what makes trance, real trance, one of the most successful EDM subgenres today.

    And with regards to people at large abandoning trance, it is happening, everyday. Read the forums, you’ll hear it, people saying what you’re saying, also saying it’s a dead genre, and so forth. There are still many of the trance massive, myself included, who say nay to this. As you say, many are inspired by trance, and create new music. This new music isn’t neccesarily trance, and as such wouldn’t go down well with some. Example, Prince was heavily influenced by James Brown, but Prince is not a soul artist, he’s a pop/funk/electro artist. Now if you brought out Prince midway, during a James Brown performance, I don’t think the ladies will be jumping tin the rafters for it. In the same way, it’s all well & good that you’re making new music, but if it isn’t part of the genre it was inspired by, it shouldn’t be alongside it.

    Melodic music won’t return, coz it’s still here, you just have to look harder for it. Just as it’s easy to find a Hed Kandi CD now, it was easy to find good trance before. Now that’s it on the downlow somewhat, there’s no need to change your taste, just start digging deeper. That’s real dedication.

    Comment by Lyle | May 11, 2006 | Reply

  17. OMG! what long Posts!?! (guys got time) ūüėČ

    Ya, Lyle – dude, plz hook me up wid some phat trax…. I can arrange to meet you where-ever. my addy is: (drop ur num or something?!)

    COOL MAN! ūüėČ

    Keep the Peace!


    Comment by Psychedelic Phreak | May 11, 2006 | Reply

  18. Dont really know who’s complaining about what…ive read some parts here and there…so if i can just give my 5cents

    First of Trance is one of those genere’s that recreates itself every year…Old producers pushing for new boundries and new upcomming producer finding theire own combination of sounds.

    Im Also a big fan of those big melody/buildup and breakdown tracks. The once that used to go around pre 2002. Not that i dislike the way trance is moving or what it sounds like these days. Just plain good uplifting tracks and NO not hard trance or hardstyle…Think Judge Jules “on the day” comes close that.

    Tiesto’s style has changed over the past few years. No doubt he was the best dj in the world between 1999-2002! These days he more like a on/off switch on the day he can perform the most amazing set in the world and on other days he can sound pretty much avg. For anyone who listened to hes set at Queensday…That was one of the best sets ive listen to for ages (full of energy like the stuff hes used to play) so it gives me alteast hope that there still some old tiesto left in him.

    Ive lived in the uk for the last 6yrs…And yeah south africa are getting left behind as far as trance goes…Not that i have any idea what happening that side these days…before it seemed ppl are really keen on theire cheese…Stuff like Shaun Baker – Explode… you’ll neva hear armin, pvd etc. play that!!!

    Hey which Forum do you guys use???
    Im on Armin and TT…only read tranceaddict. and very rarely on Esp.

    Also checking out. Armin, Ferry, Marco V, Sander VD in 2weeks @ HI FI south festival (HEE ha!)

    Comment by kevin | May 11, 2006 | Reply

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