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Three observations about deejaying

1. The Chemical Brothers' remix of Kylie's "Slow" gets people dancing every single time.

1a. Ok, who am I kidding, it gets women dancing every time, but that in turn gets the men on the floor. Bush should use that shit for a campaign theme, because it is a uniter, not a divider!

2. No matter what you're playing, or where you're playing, someone will ask you if you have "any 80s music." Even if they are French, pronounce it "muzik," and you are already playing house music that's about as 80s-inflected as possible.

2a. Eg, wasn't she listening when I played the other bootleg of Kylie's "Slow," the one that dropped like manna from the heavens into my hands yesterday, the one with four bars of the synth line from "Save a Prayer" grafted shamelessly into the breakdown? I ain't sayin' where I got that sucker, and don't even know who made it, but it is the record of my month -- microgoth microhouse with tinny little Casio tones, an oddly mournful undertone reminiscent of Lawrence, and jittery drum programming straight outta Robag Wruhme/Wighnomy Bros territory. The flip side swaps out Kylie's vocals for a low male voice (akin to the Geili Kylie mix of "Can't Get You Outta My Head") over the most weirdly rutted tracky underpinning ever -- sort of like Joakim's "Come Into My Kitchen," but not really -- and breaks down the most ridiculous interlude of congas, bells, and handclaps in which a woman intones something about "Pa' comer." Seek and be destroyed.

2b. Back to the 80s thing: I blame cocaine. What else would explain the deluge of parties in SF with names like "Bump," promising electro, new wave, punk rock, disco, rock 'n roll, and never a shred of techno -- and never, ever beatmatched? Is cocaine so disruptive to attention spans that people just can't be bothered with mixed transitions any more? (This is a genuine question -- I wouldn't know.)

3. Carsten Jost's mix of Turner's "After Work" is one of the greatest opening songs ever. It also one of the most gripping end-of-night records there is, a huge swirling undertow of loss and promise.


isn't that kylie bootleg for sale on kompakt's site?

i may be mistaken.

i don't have the time to check.

If anyone has it, I'm sure they will. I hadn't checked. Dammit, and I was hoping it would stay a secret! It's not often that the hottest bootleg of the season arrives in my mailbox unbidden. Hm, now if I could just order all the remaining copies and destroy them.... Well shit, I'd be Depeche Mode, wouldn't I? (cf Brinkmann remix fiasco, if I'm remembering correctly.)

on 2b I think the appropriate question is actually: Is cocaine so disruptive to *DJs* attention spans that thye just can't be bothered with mixed transitions any more?

As for the listeners I think just alcohol will do the trick...

uh oh you used the term microgoth. I knew that one was too good to just disapear

re: 2b. don't blame cocaine, at all. blame the fact that girls have loved or at least habitually requested '80s music for well over a decade now (in my experience, at least). please note: "Madonna" = "80s" in DJ-request parlance. also please note: I'm sure there are men who feel the same way but in my DJ and/or nightclub-employee (or hanging-out-in-the-DJ-booth) experience, it's always ALWAYS been women.

Yeah, girls will request "80s music" (which means Madonna or Michael Jackson usually), and dudes will want you to play Guns N Roses or something like that, even if you are in the middle of a set of the most limp-wristed eurodisco on the planet.

oh come on, you can't argue cocaine isn't a factor. the fact is 80's music only sounds good after a couple lines. Has a girl high on E or lost on mushrooms ever requested an 80's song?

The club is an ecosystem, and there is a complex interplay of factors going on. The sound system, the layout, the dance surface (wood is supreme, always), the security, the dj/performer/jukebox, the drugs, the patrons... But certain elements are relatively stable, and other open to rapid switches. And really the drugs and the djs/performer are the two most flexible factors. And the drugs as an abstract machine have a certain leverage over the performer. The music provider is always engaged in a two way dialogue with the patrons, only the very best can completely lead the audience through the night. Most performers need to be attuned to and react to the crowd. Drugs on the other hand are a one way street. Once they are ingested, they lead. The user have very little control over the effects, except perhaps by ingesting other drugs.

In this sense drugs can become the most potent factor in club. A drunken club has very little to do with and e'd up club, which is different then a mushrooming club, although of course there generally a degree of intermixing of the highs...

in response to Abe's first graf: it wasn't a factor in the mid-'90s, when I was hearing requests for '80s stuff all the time; blanket statments about matters of opinion are best avoided; yes and yes.

Could it possibly be the Ricardo Villalobos remix of Slow that is floating around?

Is there a Villalobos mix of "Slow" out there? That's hot. I doubt this is -- it's not ripply enough for Ricardo. But no I'm gonna have to track that down....

"uh oh you used the term microgoth. I knew that one was too good to just disapear"

Well, duh.

deluge of parties in SF with names like "Bump," promising electro, new wave, punk rock, disco, rock 'n roll, and never a shred of techno -- and never, ever beatmatched? Is cocaine so disruptive to attention spans that people just can't be bothered with mixed transitions any more? (This is

I guess it's probably pretty difficult (impossible, even?) to evenly beatmatch an eclectic mix of genres like that.......

it's possible. hollertronix does all that and more.

Portland seems to have caught SF's "no beatmatching" disease...badly. [CF. Rockist appropriation of dance music.] At the risk of sounding bitter or holier than thou...

I might shluff one or two mixes (heh) after too much wine but I would say generally PDX has sprouted tons of DJs who just let the trains collide. And yeah, where's the techno? this isn't coke/drugs, its rock scene trends that's the cause.

My beatmatching mentor (Brokenwindow, of mashups fame and a chronicler of Portland's long, sad rock vs. techno/disco history) attributes it to a punk rock type attitude, like, dude I can make a song without that "learning-to-play-guitar" crap. The anti-guitarist. We now have the anti-DJ who punkily refuses to mix. The good few of them learn to bail the xfader on a "1" count at least. But unlike in punk rock this isn't having any arty sonic character, or politically viable refusenikism, its just party-squashingly lame-sounding and impractical. I think the "nu-DJs" think they are adopting the party-starter role of the DJ without taking on the various inflated dogmas of the 1990s DJ-as-celebrity. Apparently beatmatching has been discarded in the process. They're missing out on some challenging fun and driving up the price of postpunk 45s ultimately.

what's worse is the trendoid "DJs" then make me feel like I'm "pretentious" or like outdated or something for really hitting the books on my technique...Its just addictively fun to beatmatch!!

Just as no amount of money can buy you taste (i.e. Donald Trump), no amount of irony can buy you talent. On occasion I feel like screaming out in a crowd, "A culture based on irony doesn't evolve!" In fact I think it may have devolved. I sat next to this kid on the bus the other day and he started talking about how he hated Prince and David Bowie because they were so 'trendy' right now. When I pressed him to name a single Bowie song he couldn't come up with one. My theory is that the real reason the 80's thing is so en vogue is because the crowds going out dancing are too young to remember the music from the time, so it's still a novelty. Why the novelty hasn't warn off is besides me. When I was 14-18 I was way into a lot of 70's stuff. I was born in the later 70's, so this music was pretty new to me when I hit 14. My much older siblings could not understand why in the world I would listen to such crap. In any case, good music is good music, and people going out to mainstream music will always like mainstream music (how to correct this....?). I have never understood someone squealing when a Madonna song comes on- maybe it has to do with a "wanting to be mature/nostalgia involving a pepsi commercial" I can't figure out. I would squeal, however, if I heard some old acid track, or say, MC 900 ft. Jesus or something. It all relates to wanting to seem older, mature, and more than anything, ironic.
In terms of cocaine use, the person playing Akufen/Greenskeepers/some techhousething is probably doing equally if not more coke than the person playing the Violent Femmes (again). In my experience the house music scene in SF has gone nuts over cocaine. I guess we'll have to wait till the snowstorm blows over to see what music is still being played.
Last thing- I swear- What about dance hall? I think dance hall is some of the funnest music to dance to and rarely do I hear it matched. As long as it's danceable, I don't really care if it's matched. It's fun to keep it up, and I enjoy beat matching, but as long as you've got some sort of tempo that's what seems to matter. I always wonder, at hip hop stuff, why people don't play all the new, amazing shit out there. They're still playing the same DeLa songs at the Elbo room. Will people wake up? Will their heads explode if they don't hear what they already know? I guess it depends on the crowd.

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