by Elliott Adams

How to DJ Right

By Frank Broughton and Bill Brewster

(Grove Press)

Becoming a DJ has always been somewhat of a black science, with no single, authoritative source for information. In the past, developing record-mixing skills has required pestering more experienced DJs, and the long road of trial and error. As in most exclusive, male-dominated subcultures, the fact that it's been so hard to become a DJ has always been a perverse source of pride.

Now, though, some British authors, privy to the basics of the DJ biz, got a book deal. (With turntables outselling guitars at Guitar Center, the market is undoubtedly receptive). The duo that wrote the expansive cornerstone Last Night a DJ Saved my Life, Frank Broughton and Bill Brewster, weigh in with 283 pages that read like a shortcut to DJing.

The book itself is laid out like you'd expect--lots of big fonts, simple diagrams, and quotes from international DJ glitterati looking hardened from long nights of drink tickets and Rizla passing in Ibiza. The content, however, is unrivaled. The authors' own time spent in the blood and guts of the nightclub trenches is evident. They instruct on everything from handling pre-gig jitters (resist the Valium urge), to the PR of dealing with requests, and hand-drawn diagrams of all things technical.

The true litmus test for How to DJ Right is whether it can interest DJs who think they've seen it all and know it all. Every jaded DJ I talked to loves this book, even though they felt like it invalidated many years of their hard work--which, in a way, it has. Of course, it's good that more people now have access to this information--but it should make complacent DJs everywhere quake at the thought of 16-year-olds armed with this book and a Visa.