Why DJ Shadow was right, and so was Mansion

So just in case you hadn’t heard, DJ Shadow was kicked off the decks at a club in South Beach, Miami called Mansion. One of the promoters walked straight up and told him that his set was “too future” for the crowd. This, after Mansion  did the same thing to Dennis Ferrer earlier this year. The crowd howled and he left. The internets exploded, Mansion apologized and Shadow uploaded the set that he was spinning to Soundcloud, which you can get at here. WARNING: It is NOT a club set.

To be frank, I saw Tiesto at Mansion in 2006 and I can state confidently, the music Shadow was dropping is quintessentially not the style of Mansion. As someone who has thrown a party, it’s hard to not empathize 100% with the promoter who was probably getting a deluge of shit from the VIP for this kinda sound. I would hate to be the guy, but I can’t say that if I was put in the same position, I wouldn’t be doing the same thing.

It’s kind of astonishing when you think about what DJ Shadow was actually able to accomplish with this. This is a club that has been at the epicenter of the VIP/bottle movement like other mega clubs in the UK, Vegas, NYC, LA, and all over the world have taken to heart. Mansion generates a very different spectrum of revenue from its VIP vs. its GA, as opposed to to a space like Terminal 5 or more specifically, underground events. You gotta cater to your biggest chunk first. Which is why the music at certain places always sounds the same. Simply, the VIPs at that place prefer a certain kind of feel. And the set that DJ Shadow spun in no way approached the feel that Mansion is going for. At all. I think there is a place for clubs like Mansion in the different environments dancers go for, but, you gotta keep everyone happy. This is why what DJ Shadow did was so amazing.

He got to spin a set directly for the GA fans at Mansion, with one of the best sound systems in the world, and in one of the great temples of bottle service. A super old school, pure Shadow style set, with genre after genre of music, beat after beat, and samples stirred in deliciously throughout. However, this was not a set that a big room was dancing to, especially in 2012, especially on South Beach. The VIPs probably had a bunch of girls on stilted heels that absolutely could not dance to this. Like, no chance, at all. And they were getting bored, and wanted to go somewhere else, and the guys who got this sick table to see this DJ Shadow his friends told him about, leaves. I’m not saying that I think Mansion & places like it should go away, but I think we need to be mindful of the fact that yea, some people who are spending lots and lots of money may not want to hear Burial or Aphex Twin on a Saturday night. Mansion’s astronomical costs are paid for by said bottle service, and therefore, in that space, and others like it, they call the shots.

I have no idea what actually went down as I was several states away at the time, but the kicker is, it all needed to happen. Not only did a bunch of the dance world get reminded that yes, expensive clubs don’t play underground music, but DJ Shadow got to play a set for his fans, get one back for old school parties, AND get the club to apologize to him. 10/10 would troll again. Good job DJ Shadow, great set, great statement and if this is “too future” I think the future will be pretty fun.

This is Terry Gotham, see you on the dance floor.


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