I always tell kids looking to start to spin that they need to know their ENDGAME before they even pick a genre or a medium. Do you want to play just at home and house parties? Do you want to play giant stadiums and be a rock star? Do you have any expectation of ever making your financial investments back and are you willing to change what you do to see cash come in? It’s IMPORTANT to know your goal before planning your route, right?
Well, most people are lying to themselves when they say “I just want to play for myself” but the thing is, I was seriously honest when I first started and said I only wanted to hear songs no one was playing any more, play for myself. I did quickly catch the performance bug and have been playing gigs regularly-ish for about three years now (the last of which was all vinyl sets) but I recently admitted something to myself.. although my personal identity is totally tangled up with being a DJ, I simply do not get any joy from playing in front of people. And my endgame has changed just a little and live sets are not the most effective way to achieve my goal.
Even those few times I haven’t been shamefully nervouse, I’ve never had the opportunity to enjoy what other DJ’s seem to enjoy which is the reaction of the crowd. I’m TOO DAMN BUSY to see them, I check on them to make sure I’m not losing them but then it’s back to work. No, not every moment should be overwhelmingly effected nor should every mix be protracted (although I do like to draw most of them out) but a good vinyl dj is usually pretty damn active and I’m not exactly a veteran yet; it’s still work work work to keep it tight and then work work work to punch it up and I swear I have no idea who was there or if they danced when I finish a set. It’s even worse now that I’m working sampling in before mixing I’M TOO BUSY AND TOO NERVOUS TO ENJOY MYSELF. I’ve been told I lack stage presence… DUH I”M WORKING UP HERE, I look like a robot because I don’t have the time or the energy for a single spare movement.
So there I am working hard, to the point where I’m sweaty and usually pretty stinky when I’m done and I am deriving no pleasure from my audience’s pleasure. And there’s the fact I usually am shaking in my boots, working hard to control my breathing, with my hands shaking enough I’ve been forced to use the tone-arm lever for fear of scratching a record when I pick up the needle. Hell I get stage fright practicing at home just thinking about shows. Plus, I’m still “the new kid” so I usually open and all the hours of preparation before a set gets appreciated by all of 10 or 20 people. Well, I’ve been happy with sets (sorta, what DJ is ever REALLY satisfied?) but I’ve never been happy during a set and never felt like I reached enough people with the Sound I Preach.
Thing is, if I had known my true ENDGAME I never would have gone through all that. My endgame is NOT become popular as a DJ. Since the moment I decided “just for myself” wasn’t quite for me, I’ve been trying to reintroduce and revitalize the sounds of house from the 95-05 era. And stupid me thought I had to be a playing-out DJ to do that. NO NO NO NO, Jocelyn, you were all wrong!
When you play a set for an hour, people hear you for an hour. But, I recently realized, when you provide someone with a downloadable set or give or mail them a CD, THEY HAVE IT FOR AS LONG AS THEY WANT IT! They can play it over and over and, really, that’s way better toward my endgame because it’s buying my music extra time during which I’m retraining their ears BACK to the sounds of the analog age. An hour set won’t do that but hearing a CD 10 times might be a start. I don’t want to DJ for you, I want to musically brainwash you.
So, as I’ve said elsewhere on this site, I’m not gigging out any more (turned one down today, so proud of me!). But I’m going to try to release a good, clean, exciting mix every month and get it into as many hands as I can afford to make copies of it for. I’ll mail it out to anyone who wants it if they cover shipping costs, **I’ll even take requests in advance if someone will mail me the record they want to hear in a recorded mix and I like the tune**; why not, you’ll listen to that mix than many more times if it has your special tune on it, right? And anything else I can think of to get these sets, these collages of otherwise dying art, into the car stereos of as many people as possible.
WHY though? Why do I want to change the ear-spectations of UDM fans (underground dance music…. better than “edm” isn’t it?). Well, it’s because I’M FUCKING SELFISH! I want you all to start demanding artists that play vinyl because I want to hear those artists myself. I don’t want to PLAY “Runaway”, I want to DANCE TO IT.
I’m not a DJ.
I’m a raver, I’m a dancer.
I’m a goddamn D4 Challenger! (power to the people!)
So Here Goes Nothing! If you’d like me to mail you any of my current vinyl mixes because you cannot burn from a download yourself please leave your email address in the comments and I’ll get back to you with the shipping cost (just a buck or two I’m sure). You can have any of the following and any future ones I post sent out to you and I hope you love them enough to look for, to demand of local promoters, other vinyl dj’s to bring you that analog sound. But don’t ask for me, I want to be on the floor dancing by the speakers with you.
The mixes below are in the order that I recorded as I was learning (and work hard to continue to do). They are all programed and mixed with very different goals in mind. One was meant to break every “dj rule” I knew and make it sound good, one is my classic anthems straight mix, one is all about the lonnnnnngest mixes I could handle at the time and getting into the next tune as quickly as I could, and one is about the most creative ins and outs that I could manage without doing speaker damage. Give a listen and pick what you like, I’d be happy to supply your addiction because the more vinyl addicts there are, the more suppliers will be dragged out of the woodwork.