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Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:27 pm
by oblique strategies
I have always played pretty much whatever I want, & my audience loves it! They love being surprised, but also appreciate that the songs actually flow & that the musical juxtapositions have relevance & significance. I love seeing that look of anticipation -what's he going to play next? Just as much as I love it when they are completely lost in the music. I also love getting them really worked up! :P

I have always been eclectic, but appropriate. I don't just drop things at random or for cheap effect, but look for meaningful transitions from similar things, & for unique contrasts. Sometimes I can spend long hours working up a very precise set, other times I just wing it. Sometimes a little of both.

Naturally this is all within the context of the situation (early, late, big crowd, small gathering, what music is playing before & after me, etc.). I like all time slots: opening sets where I can play unexpected songs & build up the energy, mid sets where I can seriously rock things out, & chill room & after hours party sets where I can just stretch out & explore. All in all, I just enjoy sharing the music that I love. And I have a wide range to choose from.

This is probably because I began DJing by playing vintage Reggae, & I spent a lot of time dancing in Goth clubs. Neither of these stylees play the exact same tempo & rhythm structures all night long, & songs are emphasized over 'tracks'. OK, reggae can be quite similar in it's rhythm requirements, but I'm playing Reggae from the late 60's to the early 80's, plus Rocksteady, Dub, & a bit o' Ska. That's around 20 years of musical variation! So, once again, eclectic within a set of guiding parameters.

Personally, I can get bored with the sameness of just hearing one style of music, even if I might like that music in small doses; & get really bored with full nights of the exact same music where you couldn't tell one DJ from another if your life depended on it! But I do know that for many people this is exactly what they want, so groovy: to each their own.

Ultimately I think it is worth taking risks to achieve unique effects. I like the freedom.

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:28 pm
by SimonPHC
the tunes I choose are the result of a complicated subconscious procedure. Know music history, forget about it, rediscover it, buy vinyl, put them in the bag, pull them out again, burn cd's, go on beatport, refill your vinyl crate, take those cd folders with you, arrive, drink a few beers, try to grasp the vibe, try and enjoy it, choose seven tracks as your opening track, when you actually have to start choose a wrong one, start playing with a beatmix that even your grandmother would be embarrassed about, and two or three hours later leave a packed dance floor with shouting sweating punters...

if it was really good I tend to stay to long afterwards, again it's subconscious...

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:35 pm
by oblique strategies
SimonPHC wrote:try to grasp the vibe
Vital

SimonPHC wrote:it's subconscious...
Also vital. Free your ass, & your mind will follow.

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:37 pm
by SimonPHC
oblique strategies wrote:Free your ass, & your mind will follow.
That's why I have say 20 tracks in my cd folder always that I can't seriously take into a club, but in the end, in the mix I end up playing at least two of these "no go" tracks, especially in the summer.

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:44 pm
by weeddigger
I get more stuck in a feeling rather than a genre. But I might have a bit of A.D.D./bi -polar personality that will change things up for me at any given time.

...

Then again, I sometimes like to say, I'm going to play nothing but brand x the first 30 minutes, then work my way into something more Y-ish, go back to x, mess around with Y some more, and maybe at the end of it all, I'll finish on brand Z...

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:18 am
by compositeone
I pretty much only play drum and bass in a set. I do play accross the full scope of jungle though and it is a genre where the sub-genres do have very different sounds.

Its interesting that people who play different genres talk about a vibe they like to stay in, but using different styles of music. I'm almost the exact opposite where I stick to the one genre but really like to mix up the vibe within that.

I think I always got locked into 1 genre as being a vinyl DJ I can't really afford to be dipping into loads of different genres. Also I come from a back ground of putting on events with mixed musical styles so I was always doing the "drum and bass bit".

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:27 am
by UKRuss
I think a lot of pro DJs have to nail their flags to one mast so the potential audience know what they're going to hear.

Go to see Sasha and he plays DNB all night it might not have been what you were after.

For amatuers I guess its different, and as long as you're rocking the place who cares what you're playing.

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:13 pm
by oblique strategies
UKRuss wrote:I think a lot of pro DJs have to nail their flags to one mast so the potential audience know what they're going to hear.

Go to see Sasha and he plays DNB all night it might not have been what you were after.
I think it is like this for a number of crafts: if you pigeon hole yourself you are easier to market. Same for musicians, film makers, writers, etc. The person becomes synonymous with the audience's expectations.

I always knew that I stood less of a chance at getting booked for tons of gigs, at the peak hours, for the big bucks because I didn't want to hitch my wagon to just one star. My love of variety is too strong.

That said, I have enjoyed a margin of success, & have had some wonderfully supportive fans & colleagues. They love the range of music just like I do, & book me for that very reason. :wink:

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:24 pm
by UKRuss
You're right there it's all about the marketing.

Kind of positive to hear you stick to your guns on variety and still get success, thats reassuring to hear in such a commercially driven world.

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:29 pm
by SimonPHC
UKRuss wrote:I think a lot of pro DJs have to nail their flags to one mast so the potential audience know what they're going to hear.
Or you could be Erol Alkan, 2ManyDJs, The Glimmers or The Idjut Boys and be known for your extreme scope in music.

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:57 pm
by oblique strategies
SimonPHC wrote:
UKRuss wrote:I think a lot of pro DJs have to nail their flags to one mast so the potential audience know what they're going to hear.
Or you could be Erol Alkan, 2ManyDJs, The Glimmers or The Idjut Boys and be known for your extreme scope in music.
I'll have to look into these DJs. I always felt that there was room for eclectic DJs in the world. There are just too many people who like a little joy ride now & again outside the usual city limits!

Back to marketing, I guess it just has to be made to seem cool. But cool as in underground -that's where everything cool really starts anyway!

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:13 pm
by UKRuss
SimonPHC wrote:
UKRuss wrote:I think a lot of pro DJs have to nail their flags to one mast so the potential audience know what they're going to hear.
Or you could be Erol Alkan, 2ManyDJs, The Glimmers or The Idjut Boys and be known for your extreme scope in music.
Are any of these guys UK based? just asking becasue i have noticed that the euro scene seems a lot more tolerant of variety than the Uk scene.

I know those guys now play big nights in the UK, but i just wonder where they started out?

UK nights are generally very genre oriented, the flyers always describing in detail what kind of music you are going to hear.

so and so is doing house in the main room, Mr X is in the basement with his mnml sounds while on the patio Miss Y throws down her eclectic urban beats.

etc.etc. :D

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:34 pm
by SimonPHC
Both Erol Alkan & The Idjut Boys are from London.

oh and Optimo, from Glasgow...

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:41 pm
by UKRuss
SimonPHC wrote:Both Erol Alkan & The Idjut Boys are from London.

oh and Optimo, from Glasgow...
Good to hear.

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:51 pm
by Silverfish
As DJs, shouldn't we have one rule?

If it makes people dance, play it.

That is, of course, an over-simplified statement, but I would think the point still stands. I'm young enough I haven't really fallen into a subgenre that I stick to, nor would I want to. I listen to soooo much music, and so many types of music, and I think it would really suck to limit myself.

Perhaps this is when two or three monikers would help a person out.