Or you can divert expectations by dropping out most of the instruments right before the chorus, creating the illusion that we’re about to hear an explosive chorus, only to find a mellow one instead. When done right, this is a technique that can lead to some unpredictably climactic aural experiences, but it’s less formulaic compared to the other methods, and therefore it takes practice to get it right.

Growing up in Ibiza, I was fortunate enough to learn from the best. I would sneak into clubs at a very early age and spend the whole day (and sometimes night) next to the DJ booth, absorbing everything. I’d remember every track the DJ would play, the order they would play it in, when they would mix it, and then observe the crowd’s reaction. I did this for years and then started experimenting myself. Any DJ that tells you they always play an amazing set… is lying. As a DJ, you make plenty of terrible music decisions, but it’s exactly that which gives you the skills to be better, more confident, and, ultimately, a great selector.

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