Faithless’s 1998 hit, asserted that God is a DJ – but does DJ’ing require the attainment of divine power? After all, it is simply moving from one state into another.
This is the illogical and paradoxical manoeuvre that a DJ must undertake every time they pull off a mix. But how could it possibly be illogical when ‘mixing’ appears
infinitely within our world, you can find it in life, in the caterpillar’s polka dots that bloom into angry eyes that adorn its wings as a butterfly. In the rain that begins as a feeling in the air that fills with cool moisture, and increases until the heavens open to let down the rain, but soon after the puddles evaporate and fill the air again with cool moisture. Mix in, mix out. Our world is constantly mixing. Within both of these examples, I have been careful make mention of the ‘traces’ – which could be the cool moisture or a 4/4 bassline.
The human mind is designed to handle this everyday mixing we witness, its no wonder that the phenomenon of DJ’ing has arisen and been thrown into such popularity. In nature, we are constantly under the bombardment of our almighty DJ who mixes in elements to our lives, sometimes with almost no regard to us. It can come slowly so that we don’t notice the change, like falling in love or developing brain cancer, or he can slam in elements as quick as he feels (THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!) – all while maintaining the fabric of the set/reality. A house fire or falling in love both change the reality we construct within our minds but in very different ways.
Even time itself is not such a linear experience from the human perspective – each moment bleeds into the next, as I discovered on a camping trip behind the Dandenong mountains where I took a tab of acid and went into psychosis (or had lost my soul, if you had asked me then).
The easiest way that I have come to rationalise and put into words an experience, which can never fully expressed in words, is that my brain perceived an overabundance of traces which led me to believe I had prophetic power allowing me to sense ahead of time that I was either in a quasi-hell where the only demon stirring the pot of lost souls was Boredom or that I was experiencing the final death release of DMT squirting out of my hypothalamus.
There was no change as I stared into the campfire, the burning of the logs was an infinite loop that played out like a repeating GIF, the only ‘progression’ was a deepening regret of the way that I had led my life which eventuated into a complete loss of self, ego death. The left and right hemispherical decks of my brain stopped spinning for a second leaving a stillness. I knew at once, it was a stillness that I would never be able to recapture again.
But the music starts again, as it always does. My friend saw I was clearly going through something and so he played a set off a casette he had burned. The DJ began with the initial song, a nice ambient number Shadow of Blood (1997) by Lena Platonos – who, coincidentally, was born on the same Greek island as the ancient philosopher Zeno of Elea. And then into the second song Don’t Be Cold (1984) by Stupid Set, a left-field Italo disco choice that is both iconic as it is underrated – it was first played in Naples’s Club Caro that had been constructed on the birthplace of famed theologian and saint, Thomas Aquinas. `Here is the paradox at hand: before the DJ can transition from the first song to the second he must reach a halfway point where approximately output of the master channel would be made up of a 50/50 mix between the two songs. Before that halfway state, it would be logical to assume, the DJ would have to reach a 75/25 mix of the first and second song respectively. And before that an 87.5/12.5 mix and so on infinitely. It seems illogical that the mix even began, does it even have a definite point in space and time?
“But that’s impossible!” I hear you cry, “There was a definite point in time and space AND it was sick.”
Let’s assume the mix had a linear progression:
Hypothetically the 50/50 sate would fall upon the end of the 16th bar.
Then the 75/25 state would fall on the 8th bar.
Eventually, as we venture further into the minuscule we find bars are an improper unit of measurement, so we must measure the millimetres that the DJs’ fingers adjust the levels – which would be about 0.7mm.
As we continue even the mere tips of fingers become clumsy gargantuan stubs and unsuitable tools of measurement. Nerve impulses are measured, surely now we can grasp the absolute beginning of this transition which we all heard of a pair of fantastic Funktion 1’s and therefore must be literally and logically sound.
But even the nerve impulses are mere reactions of NaCl molecules finding receptor cells, in tiny motions. We are still trapped by this paradox, that coincidentally was first composed by the ancient philosopher Zeno of Elea, though he composed it as an arrow finding its mark.
And as quick as our nerve impulses are, even quicker than Zeno’s arrow, ultimately there is no way to separate effect from the cause.
We can follow this chain as long as we like, cause and effect, cause and effect, down the DJ’s life:
Why did he become a DJ?
Low self-confidence, poor musical ability?
What caused his parents to procreate?
Are they happy their son does copious amounts of KET on the weekend to impress underage girls?
Did any of their ancestors also wonder why they had been placed on earth, given life, and then given death?
Did they question why anything changes from one state to the other?
Saint Thomas Aquinas would say this of cause and effect
1. There is an efficient cause for everything; nothing can be the efficient cause of itself.
2. It is not possible to regress to infinity in efficient causes.
3. To take away the cause is to take away the effect.
4. If there be no first cause then there will be no others.
Conclusion: Therefore, a First Cause exists (and this is God).
In other words, and to finish off beating this almost dead horse, if we believe we heard the last track of a set then logically we have to believe there was one before that and one before that one. Track Z is only true if Track Y is, and track Y only if track x is. But can this go on forever? No, if there was a sum of 0+0+0… etc, and it continued onto infinitely, it was still equal zero. We need a truth value of 1, that can be passed down the set track by track to form the world as we know it today, the infinity contained in one. Not a loop – like Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence or an endless cycle of reincarnations as in Hinduism – as aesthetically pleasing as that can be is. Everyone knows the Truth is an odd number. The word is singular.