Since he was outed as a part-time DJ, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, a.k.a. DJ D-Sol, has restricted his hobby and particular brand of sick beats to safe spaces full of audiences likely to appreciate them: celebrity and 1%-er haunts in Manhattan, Miami and the Caribbean; boomers looking for a fun update on the music of their childhoods; the Hamptons summer set (legally or otherwise). Now, however, he’s hit the big time: a slot alongside Dua Lipa, Doja Cat and Machine Gun Kelly at this summer’s Lollapalooza festival in Chicago.
And if you think that booking might elicit some professional jealousy from, you know, professional DJs, well, of course you’re right.
“Generic McDance,” said Matt Black, one half of electronic music pioneers Coldcut, when introduced to Solomon’s production oeuvre. “As a subscriber to the Giant Vampire Squid view of Goldman Sachs I find Lollapalooza’s booking of him an ironic illitist (sic) gesture in poor taste. There are many good hungry DJs around who could use that spot….”
“I think the real question is why is he getting booked?” said [DJ Prime Cuts]. “I can’t help but think that for every set Solomon plays, an opportunity is being denied for someone else.”
Well, like who?
“My children are paying for the financial crash of 2008 via 12 years of Tory austerity. We are facing the biggest cost of living crisis in years and I can’t help feeling a bit sad that the CEO of Goldman Sachs is out there having a great time DJing while the rest of us suffer. I should be playing instead.”
As the FT’s Bryce Elder realized, he wasn’t going to get an unbiased opinion on D-Sol’s flow if he let the critics know he was talking about the CEO of Goldman Sachs. So he went scientific on it, anonymizing some D-Sol mixes and seeking the opinion of experts like DJ Mag editor-in-chief Carl Loben. And, well, if you’ve bought tickets already, he hopes you really like Green Day.
The first track on the first mix is a remix of the Pink Panther Theme, which should almost signal automatic disqualification from a future professional gig in my book. Without being po-faced about it and acknowledging that DJing can be about context and crowd, the selection of this tune — which has been rinsed in various forms over the years — as an intro doesn’t bode well…. To my mind, being brutal about it, this cheeseball needs to do a few more bar gigs to learn how to build a set better and gain a deeper knowledge of dance music — not just plump for obvious, commercial, accessible tracks…. Without demonstrating a knowledge of more quality and depth in their house music selections, they aren’t going to progress very far in their DJ career and should probably not give up the day job quite yet.
The good news, Carl, is that he’s definitely not quitting his day job. The bad news is that his DJ career is progressing perfectly well enough thanks to that day job. And also the fact that others are, shall we say, somewhat less discerning.
It’s cheerfully competent and inoffensive, VIP room-style vocal house and disco.
I mean, former Mixmag editor Duncan Dick could hardly hit the nail more on the head. And given that he’s joining the likes of Metallica and Dashboard Confessional on the bill that hasn’t been cool since 1994, we’re sure DJ D-Sol will do just fine.
Can David Solomon DJ? An investigation [FT Alphaville]