This essay, a sketch for a longer project, considers the ways in which electronic/dance music connoisseurs respond to new digital technologies that threaten current DJ practices. MP3s and tools such as Final Scratch—a hardware/software package that allows real-time manipulation of digital music files—are dramatically changing the art of DJing, even as opposition to these and other new technologies continues within electronic/dance music (E/DM) communities.

E/DM genres are deeply invested in technology. Indeed, when the broad term “techno” is deployed to describe this music, technology defines them. Thus, resistance to new technologies by some in the E/DM community seems ironic. Our essay explores this irony and attempts to understand other seeming contradictions by looking at the key assumptions that animate narratives told by E/DM connoisseurs. For the most part, these assumptions revolve around particular notions about the...

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