Thursday, 21 January 2016


I could not be arsed to DJ on Friday.  Strange isn’t it?  Something I’d dreamed about for years, if not close to 20 years, many years assuming it was something out of my grasp, out of my abilities, way away from my total lack of confidence when I was younger.

And I have my dream in my hands yet on Friday afternoon I was simply wishing to go home and go to bed.

I think part of it might have been that nobody was coming to support me – originally it was a birthday plan but I quietly dropped that idea when the lack of interest became clear.  Plus I was doing the first hour and the last 30 minutes which are the quietest times so I wasn’t especially excited about them.

Nevertheless, I trooped on with a sneaky suspicion that I would have fun.

I arrived a little early, to find that the vinyl decks were not set up for our headliner as requested in advance.  The manager of the Turtle wasn’t amused, but thankfully set about re-arranging the whole set-up for us.  I just hoped we would make it busy enough for it to be worthwhile for him.

So my set started 30 minutes late and I started it playing minimal.  I had considered a deep house warm-up.  I’d actually practised one, but the night before when downloading tracks, I changed my mind and decided to play what I love most.

I started with a more hypnotic tip, playing the likes of Cristi Con’s Bird In Space:

As I had a couple of gangster-girl foot-shufflers, I had the genius idea of playing Seuil’s gangsta-minimal track, Al Capote:

I finished on a recent favourite by Riccardo (not Villalobos) – Lapiuta:

Everything had gone well.  All the mixes were in, I think maybe one was marginally mis-timed, the crowd were sticking, the crowd were dancing, and I handed over to Sam & Stuart, who were followed by Saphe, our headliners.

All played really good sets – and seemed to figure out after one or two early interesting selections, what the crowd likes down there.  In fact, I’d say it was the closest to having a whole night where all the music flowed, with the crowd enjoying the night as a whole, as opposed to one or two sets, and where all the DJ sets made sense together.

I managed to get rather messed-up and wasn’t sure of my surroundings at one point, so ended up having a pint of water to rescue me back into reality as I realised that I was supposed to be closing.

I didn’t particularly want to take over, more because I was enjoying the music that our headliner was playing, but I still wanted to play.  Though I had a feeling that I couldn’t.

In went my CD, I cue’d the track up and yes I mixed it in fine.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Until I realised that it was the same track I’d finished my earlier set with.  Oops.

The rest of the set went without note, I had little sense what was happening and rather blurred vision, so I ended up playing tracks that sounded right – I couldn’t read the labels so I had no idea what I was actually playing.

And I went home happy.  It had been a really good night, very busy for most of it, lots of good music – easily one of my favourite nights that I’ve DJ’d at.

Next month is my detox DJ set.  Eeek.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

A Vast Improvement

I don’t really get nervous before DJing but I did have two small butterflies before my last set.

Firstly I had put pressure on myself to improve from the last diabolical set.  Secondly I realised that it was that special Friday of doom – the one where it is full of absolute tossers behaving like absolute tossers.

I have practiced more in recent months prior to DJing – living in Bracknell means I do occasionally still have the energy in the evening after work to get behind the decks for an hour or two.  Normally with a glass of wine.  This month I practiced more than prior to any other DJ set – probably a good 10 hours.  It might not sound a lot but it has helped.

I had just 2 CDs worth of new tracks that I really wanted to play – a lot of bass-heavy but fairly minimal stuff.  And I also knew my previously-burnt CDs somewhat more.

We got down to the Turtle quite early and I ended up sticking the music on around 930pm, I was just going to have a beer first but they had some absolute gash over the speakers that I simply had to disembowel.

I’m loving the hypnotic grooves from Romania at the moment, so I started on those lines.  When there are few people there, I can do what I like – I don’t need to worry about having a beat for people to dance to, or a bassline for them to feel.  I can simply play 15 minute long minimal tracks whilst I find my groove.

There was one quick panic about one of the decks not working – until we realised the cross-fader was on.  Ooops.  And I did royally fuck up one mix – but one in 2.5 hours is pretty good going in my view.  I don’t always get enough time to cue up tracks perfectly as I’m there to have a good time and talk to my friends too.

I slowly progressed matters such as with this beauty from Roustam:

As the crowd built, slower than usual, I turned up the bass levels and turned up the darkness, including this new monster from Loco Dice:

I realised that I was sending things a bit too dark – I like to test people but it needed some light too.  I tended towards house music to finish – and I finished far too soon for my liking which is a sign that I am enjoying myself.  I could have quite happily carried on.

I did later on start hanging around the decks on the off-chance that Martin was bored of DJing…yeah like a DJ would just voluntarily give up some of their set.  Doh.  I just wanted to play some house music!

Bizarrely it was probably the quietest night we’ve had since the summer.  Which thinking about it makes sense – a lot of our audience are students and foreigners – many of which would have left for Christmas holidays or been about to.  On the plus side, there was a good splattering of amigos, plus some of the regulars who turn up every month.

Next up is my birthday set which I hope that you can all attend.  And my good friend Samantha’s birthday set too.

A bit of an odd one this as I’m playing the first hour, and the last hour.