The Decentralized Dance Party
January 14, 2011 9:39 AM   Subscribe

The Decentralized Dance Party : The DDP is a portable, battery-powered Party System. It consists of hundreds of Party People, carrying boomboxes, and a DJ who wears a backpack, containing a powerful FM transmitter.
posted by GuyZero (34 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sounds similar in some ways to The Headphone Experiment concerts that The Flaming Lips put on 10 years ago or so.

Still, interesting idea. Shame they're not willing to cross the border and dip down here to Spokane for a show while they make their way across Canada.
posted by hippybear at 9:53 AM on January 14, 2011


It's like Improv Everywhere and the dancing brothers from the Wario games had a Canadian baby.
posted by NoraReed at 9:53 AM on January 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fine, cool, but how do I get that guy's yellow suit?
posted by cmoj at 9:56 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


very, very cool. I've been meaning to go busking with my laptop for years...
posted by pucklermuskau at 9:58 AM on January 14, 2011


Argh! Like the "headphone rave" I've had this idea for almost 20 years. Except without the faux 80s hipster nostalgia, and an actual mobile dance DJ - not just some sucker MC with a hipster playlist and a power glove as an iPod remote. A real DJ. I'm still working out how to make a digital DJ controller or interface that can be worn and used standing and walking (or dancing) around.

I want to smash the whole DJ-as-idol idea, a holdover from rock star idolatry and a division between audience and performer by removing the DJ from the stage and getting them back on the dance floor. The idea of a stealth, secret DJ hiding on the dance floor and dancing their ass off with the rest of the crowd is a powerful one. Where's the artist? Where's the music coming from? It's just us, man. We're just dancing.

Anyway, these guys didn't invent this. There have been "pirate" FM transmitters at raves and dance parties for decades now. The original outdoor parties in the UK in the late 80s and early 90s often advertised and put out the call to party over pirate FM radio. I've been to a bunch of parties where people set up FM transmitters to broadcast the soundsystem feed, and I've even been to a bunch of boombox parties.
posted by loquacious at 9:58 AM on January 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Decentralized Dance Party

I'll vote for them.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:59 AM on January 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


reminds me a bit of the parties that improv everywhere used to throw with cds and discmans...
posted by pucklermuskau at 9:59 AM on January 14, 2011


I want to smash the whole DJ-as-idol idea

Obligatory "Because those girls are about the be sucked into a very dangerous cult of "DJ" worship"

Now get off my damn lawn...
posted by mikelieman at 10:03 AM on January 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is the noisy relative of silent discos, first seen in a rare piece of Finnish sci-fi called Ruusujen aika, or A Time of Roses in English. I think they're big in the bay area. The first one I experienced was at Treasure Island. It's surreal.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:03 AM on January 14, 2011


Fuck this shit.
posted by punkfloyd at 10:04 AM on January 14, 2011


Party on ... Wayne

Party on ... Garth
posted by fijiwriter at 10:12 AM on January 14, 2011


I've become very, very, very, very, very, very tired of video narration via "robot voice." Why should I listen to anything anyone who can't manage to rustle up a recording of an actual human being has to say?
posted by nanojath at 10:17 AM on January 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


A Sound System would have been way more awesome.
posted by parmanparman at 10:22 AM on January 14, 2011


Somehow I suspect the FCC would look somewhat askance at these hosers coming down here.
posted by norm at 10:28 AM on January 14, 2011


@Loqacious:

Try this for a starting point:

The Scratchophone
posted by jellywerker at 10:30 AM on January 14, 2011


I'm still working out how to make a digital DJ controller or interface that can be worn and used standing and walking (or dancing) around.

It's easy. In fact, I've done it. You use a macbook with wireless and ableton live connected to the club mixer, and any one of the many osc/midi controllers for the iphone over wireless. I mostly did it so I could go get drinks at the bar and bullshit with friends during my set, if it was early and the dancefloor was empty...
posted by empath at 10:51 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Because those girls are about the be sucked into a very dangerous cult of "DJ" worship"

I opened for Tiesto in 2004. He was kind of a douche to me after my set. But, to be fair to him, I was a terrible opening DJ and played anthem trance before he went on. Some people actually thought I was him. I'll tell you this -- being at the center of that adulation was an unbelievable rush that I will never forget. It's intoxicating to have that amount of control over 3000 people.
posted by empath at 10:56 AM on January 14, 2011


Somehow I suspect the FCC would look somewhat askance at these hosers coming down here.

Not necessarily, norm. It all depends on broadcast power - basically, "HEY, EVERYBODY, IT'S MISTER MICROPHONE!!!".
posted by IAmBroom at 11:00 AM on January 14, 2011


Not that I'm the arbiter, but this ain't art, this is a couple of hipster douchbags enforcing their idea of a good time on random people. And just like Improv Everywhere there's gonna be people who have the same taste in good times who'll love it, but we strangely see nothing on their website about anyone who may have been annoyed. To sum up, if this idea had a face I would punch it.
posted by mikoroshi at 11:05 AM on January 14, 2011


Why do all Canadian parties look the same? I swear to God every Canadian club party I went to in college featured an overabundance of maple leaves. And the Canadian national anthem was always part of an impromptu playlist. And I'll be damned if this doesn't look like the same thing.

Only apparently decentralized.
posted by ChipT at 11:16 AM on January 14, 2011


Not that I'm the arbiter, but this ain't art, this is a couple of hipster douchbags enforcing their idea of a good time on random people.

Um.... they're a couple of DJs who are going to be traveling around throwing dance parties where they don't use a sound system but instead use people's boom boxes for the sound.

I'm certainly that normal noise ordinances will apply to anyone playing the broadcast music in public spaces.

I don't think there is much forcing or enforcing or anything going on. If you don't like to dance, don't tune in on your radio.
posted by hippybear at 11:24 AM on January 14, 2011


I wonder how these events would unfold differently if the DJ was playing deep house or dubstep instead of trance/progressive?
posted by LMGM at 12:14 PM on January 14, 2011


Not that I'm the arbiter, but this ain't art, this is a couple of hipster douchbags enforcing their idea of a good time on random people. And just like Improv Everywhere there's gonna be people who have the same taste in good times who'll love it, but we strangely see nothing on their website about anyone who may have been annoyed. To sum up, if this idea had a face I would punch it.

NO ART IN PARTY DOG.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:35 PM on January 14, 2011


Also, why is it that anybody under 30 having fun these days is automatically labeled a hipster?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:36 PM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


In Berlin, they call this .... Sunday. In the Park.
posted by mannequito at 12:39 PM on January 14, 2011


I've gone to a couple of these and had an awesome time.
posted by metaname at 12:43 PM on January 14, 2011


Also, why is it that anybody under 30 having fun these days is automatically labeled a hipster?

Oh, I don't mind if they're having fun. They can dance on my grave for all I care. I fully support dancing and having fun.

They earned their hipster epithet from me because of the ironic facial hair and hideous sunglasses. I don't care if they're 95 or 25. They look and dress like skeezy 50 year old coke dealers hanging around an adult video shoot in 1986. I don't care how ironic you're trying to be, there's nothing attractive about that time period. But I guess coke has been back unironically for a while, so that might explain the eyewear myopia.

Those kinds of sunglasses, especially paired with Member's Only jackets and Hall and Oates facial wasn't cool even in the 80s. It was and is the epitome of trashy, disposable taste. I really wish people of all ages, (especially under 25) would stop trying to resurrect that corpse to have sex with it. There was so much that was wrong with the 80s. It doesn't need nostalgia. Thanks to a ten year long coke and greed binge its ego is well fluffed and a little overblown, even twenty years later.

How about living in today? Today doesn't actually suck that much. Young people should try it before raiding the rotting caskets of coke casualties for their sunglasses.
posted by loquacious at 1:51 PM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"After over a decade of intensive research, we’ve discovered that wearing costumes pretty much guarantees you Safe Passage. Dressed like a person from another generation or another planet, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll be regarded as a serious threat."

and

"We want to traverse the globe and risk it all, dragging boomboxes through the most treacherous places on earth; meeting crazy new friends, wooing exotic women, inviting death and pumping Party music across the craziest adventure the world has ever witnessed…"

makes this pretty self-limiting. Their decade of intensive research has been carried out, I wager, entirely in Canada. The number of other places where the mere fact of carrying a high powered unlicensed FM transmitter on your back will trigger a humourless, armed response is quite high. Wearing neon and/or sideburns will do your cause no good. Broadcasting "Booty Bass and Jock Jams and Eurodance" is also unlikely to be seen as a mitigating factor. They won't make it to the heavy metal.

I wish them, and the consular employees who will have to sort that mess out, God speed.

(But, if they do make it to the UK, there are a couple of people hereabouts who will be happy to demonstrate the FM capture effect - where a FM radio signal only has to be slightly stronger than another to mask it completely. These people have significantly more powerful portable transmitters than anyone should, and a taste in music that does not encompass Booty Bass, Jock Jams, nor yet Eurodance. Messing with people's heads, however, is very much to their taste.

Party on, dudes.)
posted by Devonian at 2:02 PM on January 14, 2011


@Loqacious:

Try this for a starting point:

The Scratchophone
posted by jellywerker at 6:30 PM on January 14 [+] [!]

This could also be of some use to you.
posted by jonnyploy at 3:28 PM on January 14, 2011


"wears a backpack, containing a powerful FM transmitter"

Depending on how powerful we're talking about, this can be a Darwin Award-worthy idea. (tl;dr: Microwave ovens cook food with a radio transmitter, and putting a powerful transmitter close to your body will cook you, too)
posted by deadmessenger at 4:12 PM on January 14, 2011


There's a pretty big difference between the FM spectrum and microwaves. A bigger worry is the battery getting hot.
posted by GuyZero at 4:36 PM on January 14, 2011


Pfft, been done already.
posted by djgh at 5:15 PM on January 14, 2011


They've even got the same sunglasses!
posted by djgh at 5:16 PM on January 14, 2011


Canadian solar-power charged battery-run sound system!
Screw boomboxes, they can take their soundsystem in a bike trailer, charge it with the sun during the day, and party for hours every evening out in the deep woods. Ottawa represent.
posted by Theta States at 8:57 AM on January 17, 2011


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