Grimes update: technical team describes failure, aftermovie

Grimes update: technical team describes failure, aftermovie


This story has been updated with information from the technical teams involved. An earlier version pointed to evidence that seemed to square with impressions from some viewers that the technical failures were staged. (Which, to be fair – would be a really interesting approach, to say the least!) That information was never definitive. Now we have what seems to be a definitive account from the technical team, so – case closed.

Let’s also put this up top: this means definitively, this was user error, not an issue with rekordbox/CDJ reliability. And actually, resolving that is significant given the number of people who use this tech and the (kind of weird) amount of attention this story got. (Now, whether rekordbox’s design makes that sort of user error easier is a separate issue.)

And yes, I will also acknowledge – I understand the frustration that big-name, huge-budget artists aren’t delivering on the actual performance. (That question of authenticity and the industry around it was exactly what brought down Milli Vinilli, so my comparison there isn’t haphazard.)

First, the (debunked) staged theory

Yes, a number of expert witnesses had presumed that, perhaps taking a page out of pro wrestling, Grimes may have staged her “technical difficulties” at Coachella as a kind of performance art. It would be unprecedented, if Grimes Milli Vanilli’ed herself. (Self-Vanilli?) – a Vince McMahon of EDM, because nothing is true and everything is possible.

Subscribers to this theory pointed to similar issues occurring earlier – in such a way that led them to believe this was a routine. It also seemed suspect that Grimes was so visibly performative about the errors and apologies and had a mic handy for an instrumental DJ set.

ENDO (who has advised one Paris Hilton on DJing), personally wondered if this was the case and passed along others who thought so. He and I were both confused by the reference to “300 bpm” – the maximum bpm you can set for rekordbox auto analysis is 255.

Based on testimony from Grimes’ technical team, though, I’m going to call this theory totally debunked / mythbusted. That said, I kind of hope someone takes this kind of approach in the future, in this age of Vince McMahon.

What actually happened

So, it turns out my initial theory (along with many others) – that this was due to an incorrect analysis setting in rekordbox – is almost certainly what actually happened. Via X, from the team that produced the music:

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