Artist, fashion designer, and DJ Virgil Abloh has collaborated with Pioneer DJ to create custom off-white and transparent CDJs and a mixer that will be displayed at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art in an exhibition called “FIGURES OF SPEECH.”
Abloh first teased the equipment on his Instagram in April, then DJed with it shortly after at Coachella. The CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2 are Pioneer DJ’s flagship pieces of gear for professional DJs, and Abloh calls his version the “skeleton” models.
They’re devoid of branding (outside of the screens), and quite literally give an inside look at all the mechanisms, cables, and housings that live underneath the hood. “I aimed to design a see thru and non-labeled rendition of the classic models,” said Abloh, “to inspire a different sound while DJing. And perhaps a new way for music technology and human interaction to equal a different result.”
Although color has been stripped from the molded parts of the CDJs and mixer, all the classic lighting schematics have stayed the same. That means they’re sleekly modern and formalistic when dormant, and release a vibrant rainbow that bleeds through the transparent housing when turned on in the dark.
Pioneer DJ has done limited edition colors for its equipment in the past, like an all-white version of the CDJ-2000NXS2 and an all-gold version of the DDJS-SX2. However, those were all available for the public to purchase in small quantities, while Abloh’s transparent version was made specifically for him and can’t be bought. For now, the only way anyone can even see them in person is to attend Abloh’s upcoming museum exhibition. Pioneer DJ has not mentioned if it plans to sell the transparent CDJs in the future.
If you want to see Abloh’s “skeleton” Pioneer DJ gear up close, his “FIGURES OF SPEECH” show will run from June 10th through September 22nd, 2019 at the Chicago Museum of Modern Art.