Through the Lens of Cancel Culture With DJ Cancel

cancel culture meaning
Author : Chelsi Sherrell
August 17, 2022

Through the Lens of Cancel Culture With DJ Cancel

The unique blend of his insanely creative mind, incredible mindset and years of experience is what characterizes Belgium-based DJ & producer Cancel. Complexity, intensity and pure excellence are just a mere three qualities that define his distinctive style. Already at the beginning of his musical journey back in 2005, he was instantly attracted to the niche of hardcore and became and still is a key figure in the industrial hardcore scene.

Inspired by this era, Cancel displays powerful performances and refined productions that demonstrate a whole new level of quality which will leave a huge impact on the existing techno scene.

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Hi Cancel, welcome to 6AM. We’re excited to get to know more about your album and you as an artist. Tell us what’s been keeping you busy lately?

Hey 6AM, Thank you for the invitation & the opportunity. Lately it has been quite busy with my debut album which is coming out on the 2nd of September on Broken Strain. As I have taken the job on myself to also create the visualization of this project I must say it was very time consuming.

Besides that I spend most of my time working on music in my studio & see what is suitable to release in the future. This year will be very promising for me musically as I have next to my album another EP, some remixes, and a VA track already scheduled. It are existing times at this point.

Pre-order ‘Culture’ Album

Let’s talk about what drew you into electronic music. You became instantly attracted to the hardcore/industrial scene. What was it about these genre styles that resonated with you? 

As a youngster back in 2003, I was going to a lot of underground events where I got inspired by the freedom the artists had to play & create whatever they wanted. In that period, I was intrigued by these hard hitting distorted kickdrums & its dark atmospheres. The peers called it “Hardtek” & “Doomcore” at that time.

What resonated for me the most was the difficulty to create & play such tracks. Back then there were no tutorials, sample packs, masterclasses or social media (except for MySpace), you had to be self made. You became respected for the sound & quality you created.

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“I was going to a lot of underground events where I got inspired by the freedom the artists had to play & create whatever they wanted. Back then there were no tutorials, sample packs, masterclasses or social media (except for MySpace), you had to be self made. You became respected for the sound & quality you created.”

Cancel became drawn to the liberation and creativity that the techno scene brings.

cancel culture meaning

Speaking of music, your latest album is centered around the ostracized phenomena of “Cancel Culture.” What initially sparked this interest? 

The interest sparked when I saw lots of media attention to this phenomenon. I had never heard about this term before and when saying it out loud, I had an epiphany and decided to call my album “Culture” and work around this theme and take you on an emotional journey.

“I had never heard about this term before and when saying it out loud, I had an epiphany and decided to call my album “Culture” and work around this theme.”

This album demonstrates the brutality and loneliness that cancel culture brings.

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Can you tell us the creative process of how you wanted the theme of “Cancel Culture” to be emulated throughout the album? 

With this album, I wanted to express the process of being healed, becoming full circle again with yourself. The track list describes the stages of your journey to reach that point. It was important for me that every track title got translated into sound. In general, the album has a dark, aggressive vibe with some spoken messages inside the tracks to point out some feelings you can struggle with. To understand this process myself, I had to self-reflect on how I experienced my struggles in real life. Also, I could also choose to make an album full of bangers without no meaning to satisfy my peers.

“I wanted to express the process of being healed, becoming full circle again with yourself. The track list describes the stages of your journey to reach that point. In general, the album has a dark, aggressive vibe with some spoken messages inside the tracks to point out some feelings you can struggle with.”

Pain may always appear in chapters of our life, but so does healing and self-reflection.

cancel culture meaning

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But, I wanted to hold true to the idea of an album as a platform to transmit a thematic message. In this case, a window into my raging mind that reflects to the experiencer in a manner that could leave a mark. This entire project was written during COVID lockdown when actually all culture got “cancelled” around the world. Which gives the title extra meaning.

“I wanted to hold true to the idea of an album as a platform to transmit a thematic message. This entire project was written during COVID lockdown when actually all culture got “cancelled” around the world.

Blending cancel culture and COVID cancelling culture is the symbolic irony that was approached for this album.

Cancel Culture can honestly be a debilitating experience for anyone, and it’s great that you wanted your album to be the sole focus of the social pressure. Do you see yourself tackling on any other similar projects around social pressure, bullying, manipulation…etc.? 

At this point I’m not thinking about other subjects or another album yet. It has to strike me & be natural to create.

Anything else you’d like to share? 

Always be humble & respectful to each other. Hereby, I want to thank everyone that gave me opportunities, support & listened to my music so far!

Connect with Cancel: SoundCloudFacebookBeatportInstagram