The Hidden Horror: Delving Into My Record Bag’s Neglected Corners

Jolly hard work, DJ-ing, let me tell you. Back-breaking too, especially when you’re still lugging vinyl about long after your peers have embraced the joys of laptops, USB sticks, or just getting someone else to mix it for them. You need to keep your strength up if you’re going to sustain a full eight hours of being continually asked if you’ve got any Rhianna or whether you’d mind playing a song off someone’s iPod because it’s their birthday and they’re the only one dancing.

BadApple1

Photos by Victoria Forbes

So what could be better than to take a nice juicy apple from the fruit bowl when you’re heading out the door? Perhaps cramming it into an empty pocket of your well-stuffed and spine-creakingly heavy record bag to serve as a mid-session pick-me-up? A nice Braeburn, perhaps? Delicious and full of vitamins!

Bad Apple 2

Of course there’s always a risk that you might just forget about that apple, owing to the demands placed on your attention by the ageing hipster demanding to know if you have any ‘good’ music or the drunk woman who keeps asking for something ‘happier’ when you’re rocking the Prince Buster. There’s always a chance that your apple will merely end up residing uneaten and neglected in that very same pocket of your record bag. That pocket that you don’t really use for anything else and therefore see no reason to check all that often – perhaps only once every couple of years…

Bad Apple 3

While we’re on the subject, I’d just like to point out that I’m still available for bookings and can be contacted through the usual channels. But for my next booking I think I’ll insist on taking carrots. As well as providing the improved night-vision so useful in darkened clubs, they’re also said to aid the memory. Though I can’t remember where I heard that…

Bad Apple 4

Oh, and thanks to Victoria Forbes for the horrifically beautiful photos!

Advertisements

Wheel And Listen Again, Selectors – Global Beats DJ Special On BBC World Service

BBC_World_Service

Rather a treat for lovers of banging tunes from The World Service this week, as the latest instalment of it’s on-going Global Beats series is now available for your listening pleasure – and this time I’m pleased to say it was my hands on the faders. In this edition, DJs from Denmark, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Spain, Lebanon and Kyrgyzstan share their stories, clubbing tips and their current favourite floor-fillers, with quite a few surprises along the way. First broadcast last Sunday, those who missed out have some 28 days at the time of writing to listen again.

edu

DJ Edu striking the classic ‘Devious Masterplan’ pose

The programme is presented by 1Xtra’s DJ Edu, hastily juggling his voiceover duties around his current job of travelling all over Africa sampling some of it’s finest nightclubs and actually getting paid to do it, which sounds like a fantastic job, though I’m informed is actually quite tiring. It was produced by Catherine Fellows and mixed and edited by myself in a marathon, 15-hour, caffeine-fuelled, deadline-thrashing super-session. In fact, far from travelling to Africa, swanning around in nightclubs or hobnobbing with our global selection of tastemakers, Catherine and I barely got to leave the studio or see daylight for about three days, except to fill up on coffee and crisps. I realise that it is possible to shave a few hours off these sessions by just doing basic fades in and out of the music, but as you’ve probably worked out long ago, that really isn’t how I roll.

Anyway, we we’re both very pleased with the resulting programme, which we’ve tried to make sound as close to  a DJ set as possible, with all the music punching through nice and loud and neatly slotting together – with perhaps the honourable exception of the bouncy techno from Bishkek, which is in a class all of its own. I certainly picked up on a few fantastic tracks that I otherwise would most likely have never discovered and am at this moment seriously considering emigrating to either   Copenhagen or Bangkok; torn as I am between the strident electro of the former and the vintage Thai funk of the latter.

It would hardly be necessary at this point for me to launch into some sort of rapture about the glories of music bringing people together, but I will say that it’s a truly great thing that even in these straightened times there is still room for this kind of cultural feast on the World Service. Where else am I going to find out what they dance to in the clubs of Kyrgyzstan? Long may it continue.

You can listen to the programme here and check out lots more from Global Beats series here. I’ve also included two of my personal favourite tracks below. Fill your Global Boots, as it were!