When you’ve only got a quarter of an hour to impress the judges, you have to maximize the action in your mix. Letting a track go on for three minutes (until you come to that great drum break in the middle) just isn’t going to cut it. Picking apart Adam Doubleyou’s winning 2013 Canadian finals set provides insight into just how much goes into a competitive DJ performance.
He starts things off with the familiar “aaahoogaaa” chant from the intro of the Breeders’ 90s hit Cannonball, then cuts quickly into the stomping triplet beat from Kanye West’s Black Skinhead. Before the verse actually starts, he scratches and tweaks his way into Guns N’ Roses’ 1987 hard rock anthem Welcome To The Jungle.
But Axl Rose doesn’t get to wail the chorus, as Doubleyou jumps into Mystikal’s James Brown-sampled 2012 comeback single Hit Me. This sets him up perfectly for his next move, where he cuts between New Order’s 80s new wave anthem Blue Monday and James Brown’s I Feel Good, answering the “how does it feel” line from the former with the hook from the latter.
At this point we’re only three minutes in, but it’s time for a tempo and mood change. Doubleyou drops the beat to Chaka Demus & Pliers’s 1993 dancehall reggae hit Murder She Wrote, but he’s layered a personalized reggae vocal over it, promising that he’ll “murder some sound.” That section leads into a fast-paced reworking of the a cappella part of Missy Elliott’s Get Ur Freak On, layered over a barrage of different beats, including Beyoncé’s Crazy In Love, Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze and Biggie Smalls’ Hypnotize.
The last half of the mix delves into more electronic territory, with detours into dubstep, some drum ‘n’ bass and an electro-fied Robin Thicke.
It finally wraps up with an appropriate flourish: the familiar horns of the Hockey Night In Canada theme song.