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Monday, 30 September 2013

The Beauty & The Bullshit of DJing


On Saturday I had my third DJ set in just a month.

I normally come away quite critical of myself, especially due to my usual lack of practice and my uncertainty as to what to play.  I had one hour’s reasonably decent practice on Thursday evening.  And then tried to practice early Saturday evening but just could not focus and quickly became frustrated and worried that I would make an idiot of myself.  Nerves got the better of me and I froze.  Unusually for someone generally quite calm and confident in life.  Thankfully this was only in my bedroom.

I went for a walk and a strawberry cider with friends, and then headed to Zeusmango.  I became my usual calm and confident self and felt at home as soon as the first mix was done.

I didn’t have much of a plan in place, a few tracks in my head.  The garden was pretty quiet upon arrival so I immediately slowed the pace from the previous DJ (128 to 124bpm) and put on some underground house tracks.

I slowly built it up as the crowd built up, playing some increasingly groovy but always underground house, with deeper basslines, and the occasional vocal before sending it twisted, disturbed and rather dark such as the below track.


I then switched to something more hands-in-the-air towards then end – you could call it deep trance.


I do.

I don’t think I had played any of these tracks out, and certainly not heard any other DJ play them out and about.  I had plenty of compliments and for want of a non-chavvy saying, I was proper buzzing after innit.  I think it was my favourite set, unusually I have no self-criticism, one mix was slightly miss-timed (beats in but just didn’t flow nicely) but I was so pleased for myself.  I immediately headed onto the dancefloor to dance the night away.

But what goes up come down.  I rather prophetically joked on Facebook before-hand that this would be my last DJ set of 2013.

I came to pick my stuff up towards the end of the night from the DJ booth, however my rather expensive Sennheiser headphones were missing from my bag.  I have to apportion half of the blame to myself as I should have put my bag in the cloakroom or taken it home straight after and gone back.

They may of course turn up.  It was dark with about 259 people in the DJ booth so I may simply not have seen them.  Or maybe someone picked them up by mistake and will return them.  But I wasn’t born yesterday.

In my fledgling DJ career I so far have earnings of £20, a handful of drinks and one sexual offer that I declined.  But I do not do it for money.  Like most DJs I do it for the passion and the love of music.  I spend 10-20 hours a week looking for new music and truly believe that I have something special and unique to offer in terms of music.

But it certainly should not cost me money.  £160 headphones are not the kind of thing I can replace overnight.  I probably won’t be able to replace them until annual bonus time next March/April (assuming a bonus of course).

So just as I was getting into it and starting to do well, I am enforced to take a 6-month break.  No DJing, no mixing, no new mixes.  You could say I am rather gutted.  I was really starting to love it, especially as more friends were coming each time.

Karma is a bitch though.  Assuming, of course that they were stolen.  Miracles do occur.  I could make a guess at who was the scumbag but I have no proof whatsoever so making such allegations would not be helpful especially as there is more chance I am wrong than right.

Every cloud has a silver lining, especially when the cloud produces rain, and this enforced pause will only make me more determined.  I will not give up and I will not be beaten.

There are options in the meanwhile.  Amazon sell these beauties for £3.96.  I could buy a jack to use my earphones for £0.73.  I could play my tracks on itunes, memorise and write down the exact cue points and hope I press play at exactly the right time every time.  Or I could download some Disclosure tracks and prostitute myself to shit bars that pay DJs danger money for avoiding flying glass bottles.  I do still have a working microphone.

You could say that I am disheartened and angry, as well as a touch miserable.  But I always get where I want in life in the end, normally with a fair amount of difficulty, often due to my own stupidity. 

This is not the end of the story.