DJ_Dave is Coding the New Creative Landscape

After an unfortunate spell of bad, more often than not, a wave of good follows. With this in mind, I haphazardly predicted that 2021 would be a renaissance of sorts. Even now as we plunge into 2022, the creative landscape still feels as if it is stuck in a victim complex-fueled remission. Kendrick agreed with me: “Motherfuck that album, fuck that single. Burn that hard drive.” Of course, if you know where to look, there are the exceptions…

In one specific case, she goes by the cheeky moniker: DJ_Dave

When I was a kid, I used to flip through the Guinness Book of World Records trying to figure out who I could one up or what freakish talent I could pioneer. At 11 years old, I was just three spoons away from tying the record for most spoons hung from one’s face. While there was quite literally no room for another spoon to droop from my adolescent visage, I didn’t give up hope. The clinks and clanks of spoons hitting the floor must have driven my mother mad, but in an internet-less state, there was no tangible proof that I was far off. Nor was there access to a reel of my competitors or data on anyone else’s progress– so I fought on.

All this to say, DJ_Dave has a metaphorical fuck-ton of spoons impossibly hanging from her face. Perhaps the most in her lane?

It is hard to tell quite where she stands, because not too many artists are live coding their music and DJ sets. She explains to me that she is not the first to produce or DJ music with live coding. She doesn’t necessarily even consider herself a pioneer. With that said, I- a music freak- had never even heard of “ALGO-rave” culture before I came across her page. In just one year’s time, she refined an incredible skillset which allowed her to launch an incredible brand that resulted in incredible music that lead her to… play at Elon and Grimes’ Met Gala afterparty?!

DJ_Dave is in demand. Again, this is an entirely new scene and well, she’s really doing it. Even though she tells me that there are slip ups in most every set and it can take her 30 plus times to lay something down perfectly in her software of preference, Sonic Pi, people still are inclined to ask: “What’s the gimmick? Where’s the glue? This isn’t live…” For most, new or different equals scary. In the case of DJ_Dave, she finds comfort in uncharted territory.

Somewhere, there’s an 11 year old on a YouTube spiral that leads them to a “Humans Are Crazy 2021” montage. Their excitement dwindles 5 minutes in, “It would be impossible to do what these people do. In this social landscape?! In this economy? With my follower count?” As they try to conjure up something unthought and entirely original to stake their claim in, I pray DJ_Dave pops up in their recommended videos and the algorithm introduces them to the algorave.

DJ_Dave explains to me that there is a subset of consumers that simply cannot see code as a creative process. In our cute little dystopia on the brink of becoming a metaverse, I scoff at anyone foolish enough to be blind to the clear time at hand. I’d be shocked to find anyone with the experience or an ear worthy of the title “critic” who would disagree. And beyond that, her tracks such as “Still Miss U” are beautiful and directly challenge the homogenous Electronic landscape.

It’s a special thing to sit in conversation with someone you know will undoubtedly have an influence on popular culture at large. Whether she’ll admit it or not, I have a sneaking suspicion that she already has.