In early spring, a Twitter beef erupted between DJ Sneak, a Chicago house music legend, and Steve Angello, one-third of the DJ supergroup Swedish House Mafia.
Sneak called SHM’s music “fake shit” and said they “do not play house music” — as in, real house music.
On Friday, in front of a huge crowd at Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Angello seemed to respond:
The L.A.-based DJ, whose sound is decidedly melodic and trancey compared to Sneak’s thick, funky, bass-line-driven music, played a track that sampled this phrase: “DJ on two turntables.”
During the Twitter spat the Swedish spinner was accused of playing the same sets on different occasions — essentially just pressing “play.” That didn’t seem to be the case last night on the “Cosmic Meadow” stage.
Sneak, of course, is of the school that believes house comes from the American inner city, a product of Latino and African American grooves that you can hear in diva samples and Latin percussion. What he was saying, essentially, was that we don’t need three guys from Sweden who stand around CD players to teach us about house music.
There’s no right or wrong here, however: Angello’s vision of dance music echoes the early days of rave-house, which featured pulsing pianos and hand-raising build-ups. That’s legit. In fact, Angello’s breakout hit was a redux of just one of those songs, Robin S’ “Show Me Love.”
Swedish House Mafia’s performance style — playing only its own hits, remixes and edits — seems to be a thing: Kaskade, David Guetta and other “DJs” do it because audiences expect it.
Anyway, it seemed to us that Mr. Steve was making a statement, playing tracks that sampled the phrases, “Tear the club up” and “Fuckin’ haters.”
At the end of his set, as he handed the decks over to New York progressive house legend Erick Morillo, Angello introduced him as “the guy who taught me how to DJ in clubs.”
That’s quite a teacher. You want authentic? I’ll match your Puerto Rican DJ (Sneak) with one born in Colombia (Morillo).
Sneak, by the way, wasn’t booked for EDC 2012.