A-Trak Reacts to Possibility of Expanded of Laptop Ban on Flights

A-Trak performs at the 2016 We The Future Festival in Puerto Rico. (Photo credit: Steve Garfinkel)

Expanding the ban on electronic devices in airplane cabins to more countries could force A-Trak to change the way he DJs, the Fool’s Gold chief wrote in a op-ed for Mass Appeal.

“If I had to check in a laptop, which my entire DJ profession resides on, the risk of that bag being delayed or lost is high enough that it would probably force me to rethink the whole way that I DJ,” A-Trak said. “There are obviously different set-ups for DJing. There are DJs with just a flash drive or [an] SD card. I could fit that in my pocket, and I wouldn’t need my laptop as much for that.”

A-Trak’s article was in response to a recent meeting between US and European officials to discuss expanding an existing ban to European countries.

In March, the US and UK banned devices in cabins for flights from a number of Middle East countries. The ban was based on intelligence that the Islamic State was developing a bomb that could be hidden in electronics.

US and European officials have since decided to forgo a ban for European flights, but A-Trak’s commentary is still insightful.

“There was a point about three years ago where I decided to start using CDJs for some of my shows,” A-Trak wrote. “I still [use a laptop] with Serato as far as the song selection, but as far as the hardware equipment, I started using CDJs more because I had to accept and realize that there were certain conditions and certain venues where it became so cumbersome to be the only guy asking for turntables. It’s a handful of us still asking for turntables; it’s me and DJ Snake and Craze and Jazzy Jeff. That’s it.”

A-Trak added that he, like many DJs, has a backup plan in case there’s a problem with his laptop.

“I can just plug in an SD card and play a set. Maybe it’s not quite as technically fancy as what I’ll do with my preferred set-up, but I can play. At least I can give people a show.”

Yet, despite his ability and willingness to adapt, A-Trak recognized that ditching his laptop all together would be difficult.

“I spent years and years and years and years already converting my turntablist meets party-rocking style from vinyl to Serato. To have to rethink that to yet another technology, essentially, that would represent a lot of work.”

Updated on May 22, 2017 at 6:02 p.m. PDT

Related: US and UK Ban Laptops and Other Devices in Cabins From Some Flights