Saturday, 4 January 2014

December DJing - For Want Of A More Imaginative Title

I had two DJ sets over the Christmas period, two “extended” sets too (extended on the basis that 1 hour seems to be the norm nowadays, sadly), both at Zeusmango, both in the garden.

First up was for Luna, second for Digital Detox Presents Lifted.

A small handful of friendly supporters turned up for each – not as many as I had hoped for but not the easiest time of year to persuade people to come out as there are so many competing options.

I was in playful mood for the first.  My first chance to play a two-hour set, I started with my more recently preferred stripped back underground house before digging out the surprises – a tech-house edit of the Pink Panther Theme, the uber-cool and little-known Catz’n’Dogz edit of Da Funk by Daft Punk and my threatened Christmas tune – Silent Night by Nathan Fake.  That track wasn’t particularly well-received and cleared half the crowd.  Bah Humbug.  Though maybe they just simultaneously finished their cigarettes.

The second night was around -2’C and Zeusmango didn’t bother putting the heaters on.  Apparently they didn’t work, or they would blow the fuse so there would be no music, or they didn’t know how to use them, or they would cause another Icelandic volcano, yadda yadda I was not born yesterday.  This of course meant people came out for 5 minutes and went back inside as it was way too cold.  Impossible to create and hold a crowd.  I was as amused as I was warm.  And miraculously they worked later on when the club was busier.

So it didn’t especially matter what I played and I banged out some much tougher house music for a while because I felt like it, at least until I needed a piss when I changed to minimal.  Interestingly the occasional garden crowd seemed to stick around and wiggle their backsides more when I played some 15-minute weird minimal tracks/remixes by the likes of Rhadoo and Ricardo Villalobos.  A pleasant surprise.

I was playing for myself really.  Then again, I always do to one extent or another.

I had fun and did well given the circumstances – early sets, empty gardens and cold weather but it is time that I had more of a test with more of a crowd and a later set.  Even a midnight or 1am set would be nice.

I have no intention of DJing again until March unless anything exceptionally exciting is offered.  I am having two months off all night-time activities (bar my birthday celebrations) to recharge the batteries, practice more (if any of my fellow DJ readers fancy a mix let me know), repay my overdraft and semi-detox.  Along with working on a DJ website (with the obligatory black and white moody fucker I will stab you if you ask me to play something DJ picture) and getting some very James-like business cards done so I can try to build some kind of following with the very nice people I meet when I am out.

Zeusmango is gradually improving and I see myself spending quite a bit more time there in 2014, hopefully with a fair few DJ sets.  I met some very nice people the last two Saturdays – everyone I spoke to seemed to appreciate what I was playing and it is no surprise to me that the Reading crowd at Zeusmango is musically-educated and appreciative of more underground sounds – dumb down to them at your peril.

Thank you to all those that have supported me during 2013 – DJing is so much more enjoyable when I have friends around and if you can find time to support me now and again in 2014 I would much appreciate it.