One Night in Ibiza

DJ Hero invited Dazed Digital out for 24 hours of exclusive gameplay, interviews and parties for the launch of their new game on the Spanish island...

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Last week, Dazed were invited on a luxurious five-star trip to Ibiza for the international launch of the new DJ Hero game, from the makers of Guitar Hero. From exclusive gameplay and interviews with some of the developers, Chris Lee and Dee Dhanjal, we gained some insight into the production of the game and what it will mean to the music and technology industries. With a huge soundtrack of genres from dance to hip hop, rock, and blues, the game allows the player to execute mash-ups of different selections of tracks on specially developed 'turntables'.

Featuring a range of tracks to manipulate from electronic acts like Daft Punk, Justice, Eric Prydz, Benni Benassi to DJ Shadow and Noisia amongst the hit singles from songstresses Kid Sister and M.I.A and 80s classics from the likes of David Bowie and Blondie, within versus modes the game can connect up to a second player on a 'turntable' or a guitar, whilst players can also work in 'collaborative modes' on a split-screen.

Forty-two hours without sleep and counting, we went along the closing night for the end-of-party-season in Ibiza, where the highly enthusiastic David Guetta, European ambassador for the game played a set till 8am following Afrojack similar to what was expected from the DJ Hero soundtrack. Guetta, who came along to the epic trip with a sparkly Kelly Rowland, was adamant that the game was entering the market at a perfect time for him, as it was exactly on a par with where he was at musically and creatively. Guetta being an avid fan of the game despite being a professional DJ, is a true life example of how the game appeals to anyone with an interest in music rather than focusing on any real aspects of 'DJing' per se.

Dazed Digital: What is the ethos behind the game?
Chris Lee: It was to allow people to enjoy music on different levels, as Guitar Hero was obviously focused on guitar-led music but DJs play any genre of music. It gives a party atmosphere and means that people can go beyond just playing their mp3s off iTunes and enjoy music of all genres together in a more interactive way. I think it encourages people to think about music more, which they're missing out on if they're just listening to the finished productions on crappy headphones or whatever.

DD: How did you select the songs/artists?
Dee Dhanjal: We actually produced most of the music in the game, we took so much energy and time into developing those mixes, and taking inspiration from scratch DJs, we really wanted the songs to sound 'sonically fresh'.

DD: What do you think the game offers in terms of comparisons to actually DJing?
Dee Dhanjal: Well it's about allowing the gamer to feel connected, especially with the freestyle elements of applying real-time effects. It's interactive and it's fun, it's just about getting people to think more about music and enjoying it. It's diluting the art form in a way, it's not exactly turntablism but we've taken the time to incorporate the elements of DJing into the game so it's close enough to feel like a DJ without the years and years of learning necessary.

DD: Did you feel a backlash from 'real DJs' about the aspects of the game?
Chris Lee: Not a backlash as such.. of course there were some sceptics, and for those involved in the game, like for example Daft Punk were very clear how they wanted a certain image about how they were represented in the game...

DD: Which DJs do you respect the most?
Dee Dhanjal: I'm a drum & bass fan myself, but I'd say Grandmaster Flash and like Zane Lowe, seeing him live he has so much energy, it's incredible how one man can have even more energy than the entire band on before him, and Andy C...

DJ Hero will be out on the 30th October in the UK and is available for pre-order at DJHero.com
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