Laidback Luke invited his friend and collaborator Afrojack to his studio for an honest and informative conversation about pre-recorded sets. In the world of live performances of electronic dance music, the criticism that a DJ merely presses play is leveled at any given artist to deride his technical abilities.
In the video, Luke and Afrojack answer the criticism with candor, revealing that the reality is actually in the middle between pressing play and genuine freestyle—and which medium that is employed is largely dictated by the demands of the performance.
Zedd uses the same set-list every night, and Laidback Luke cites this as a positive, because then Zedd is allowed to demonstrate his creativity through the live aspects of his production, like video, lighting and effects.
Afrojack sometimes uses pre-outlined sets when the situation requires it. For instance, when he plays at major festivals like Tomorrowland and Ultra, he has everything planned out so as to accommodate the production team from the festival itself and to ensure he doesn’t forget to play a track ticket-purchasers have come to hear.
DJ-ing began with actual manipulation of vinyl records which permitted more of a freestyle approach, but the rise of technology is something Afrojack says the art form has grown to embrace but without sacrificing the same spirit of creativity.