22 June 2011

Isn't it awesome?

S'funny isn't it? A bag of fresh tunes, a car full of petrol, a whole weekend of great bookings to mess about in and an idealistic head filled with dreams and hopes of full dancefloors and smiling faces. An awesome weekend.

black and white cat at The Smack
Had a reasonably prolific DJ week for a change. I forgot about how much energy it takes to pull off a really good two hour set but having spent £118 on new records this week I was determined to get them out there and get my monies worth playing them to as many people as possible. I say as many people as possible but I really mean as many people who would appreciate them as possible. Which does not include, and I apologise here in advance before I say it, Si’s sister’s wedding. I flatly refused to DJ at it after the last 10 weddings I have played at have gone disastrously wrong. So I guess I missed out there.

Oz Top 15 June 2011

1. KRUSE and NUERNBERG feat NATHALIE CLAUDE - Silk City (Fred Everything remixes) - Lazy Days US LZD 021

Martin Bird and Si
2. GIOM - Forgotten Files EP - Black Cherry - US BCR 008
3. Pete DAFEET, That's Life One Dice EP - Ornate Music - ORN 004
4. Chris GRAY - FMlk3 EP - Freebeat - FREABEAT 001
5. Tom MIDDLETON - Cicadas - Lo:Rise - LRISE 001
6. Dennis FERRER - Hey Hey - Objektivity US OBJ 014
7. JR SEATON - Yphsilon - Nocturnes Germany - NOCTURNES 00
8. MODELERS - Marbelle Is Up - Geopark Germany - GEOPARK 007
9. 6TH BOROUGH PROJECT - One Night In The Borough Part 3 - Delusions Of Grandeur - DOG 018
10. DAN D - African Market EP - Geno Germany - GENO 01
11. Ricardo MIRANDA - Floorwax - Hour House Is Your Rush Holland - HHYR 14
12. Lance DESARDI - Only You! - Bang The Box - BTBO 005
13. ALEXXEI N NIG - I'm A Disc Making Jokey EP - Exprezoo Italy - EXPV 007
14. COYOTE - Always - Needwant - NEEDW 013
15. RILLS - Everything Changed EP - 8 Bit Germany - 8BIT 042

I mixed these with my favourite 20 so from January 2011 till June 2011 and chucked in a few of all time favourites of all time because I love them and always think that if I get the chance I’ll definitely dust them off and ensure they get an airing. That’s it. A 50 capacity shoulder bag full. That’s a 50 capacity should bag of records. Remember them? Black discs of pressed plastic that DJ’s mix with their feelings and not a synch button. I'm not having a pop at digital DJ's here. Just gently ribbing the synch button and it's ability to remove beat mixing skills which used to be a hard won target for all vinyl DJ's.

Any fool can spin a few tunes but, as we know, the hard bit comes in the programming of the set and making it flow like it was meant to at the time that you play it. This means taking people with you and  not spanking away furiously to yourself shouting to no-one in particular 'wassamatterwichadon'tyageddit?' This approach just doesn't get you any work these days.

First stop was tVCabbaged at the Smack. We had guest DJ Martin Bird down there and he played a bit of an old school vinyl stormer for the ageing and creaky tVC ma-hoosive who rammed themselves, as they do each and every month, into the tiniest pub in Whitstable to hear that rare and precious commodity, deep house music for deep house lovers. It’s not a cattle market or a fight ring or a place to get arseholed in; there’s no puking up shit drugs or electric blue WKD’s or fighting because someone looked at their bird or spilled their drink nor any of my old Whitstable friends’ teenage kids being little kiddy ravers pissing their pants in wide eyed wonder at how fantastic it is being out in the dark after 10pm.

No, of course, none of that. Well, sometimes a little drunkenness and over friendliness and big old bear hugs can sometimes be a shock especially from the men. Of course the young people who do attend are wonderful, friendly and mature and would never even dream of making an appearance in one of them cop shows on TV that show knickerless pissheads slashing in the gutter whils waiting for a taxi.


Anyway, Oz and Si, not Si and Oz as Si would have it these days, warmed up the night till Martin arrived and then finished the night off after he left. “I heard that Si has taken over tVC", says ‘everyone’ from Big Dave Burner “I live in a caravan me" to our Little Scouse chum. Well, actually, not everyone; just them two. The only evidence of that I have seen is the Si / Oz, Oz / Si thing and even then I’ve ‘put him right’.

Besides Si deserves a lot of credit in the new improved and revitalised tVC Sound System (ahem) that has taken place over the last year or so. Humping kit; yes. DJing; yes. Arranging the odd gig here or there; yes. So it’s all looking rosy. What with Mike SU back in the fold and Ed Millard playing again and new guys Stuart Boldt and Leanne it looks like tVC is rocking and a rolling into the summer.

Martin Bird of course arrived with the fresh controversy of being splashed all over the local rags headlines as he’d been arrested, charged and fined some months before, as it happened, so fuck knows why he was on the front of the local papers for what he did; whisper; he got caught with some drugs on him.

"I was staggering down the road Oz", he told me in an exclusive interview for tvcabbage.net. "I was all over the shop, staggering from one side of the road to the other when a police car passed me. They came back, got out and asked how I was. I said I was OK and was going home. So they left but soon after came back and pulled me, searched me and whisked me off. They found a few drugs on me and I was fined £80 and that was that.”

Standing on the
shoulders of giants
So, even as he played a cracking little set, catch it here on Soundcloud, people were coming into the pub and pointing at him and going ‘there he is; that’s the one on the front page of the paper’. No there weren't Martin. I'm joking.

Yeah, of course that’s all really fine but when’s the review going to start Oz, you might be saying? Where is the meat and two veg of the review? You know, where you wax all inarticulately and up your own arse about how great deep house music is for the soul and how ancient our ties with the drum beat are and togetherness is strength and all that malarkey? Where’s the jokes, you say? (Thanks to that Stuart Lee there for inspiration).

That first bit when you have new tunes and, yeah, you’ve listened to them a bit at home, but you haven’t heard them have you? Not really. Not loud. The first loud hearing is the first hearing isn’t it. Or louding as I call it. So I had my first real hearing down the pub that night not through my shitty stereo at home which isn't a stereo but a wedge monitor with a 200 watt amp powering it. that's not hearing it at all is it?

My second real hearing, the real louding, on a louder sound system was at Jamm when I played at Pendragon – which, I hate to say, though it might be louder that the tVC rig was down the smack it wasn’t as good. No; it fact it was a bit of a pig of a rig and talking, later, to, like, people, who didn’t want to come to Pendragon for a second time with me they explained it was not because of Pendragon, au contraire, it was because of the pig of a rig they have in Jamm. Now, some people I had extended conversations with as to the merit of a 'club' professing to love music, who are quite happy to charge people £10 to get into and are quite happy to charge £4 a pint, but spend no fucking money on keeping their sound system up to speck. What does it all mean?

top DJ
Now on Sunday at the free party the rigs there might have been what some purists scoff at as ‘free party’ rigs but they fucking sounded awesome. They really did. Did you hear that? Awesome. They might have looked like bashed up hodgepodges of different speakers and amps of different makes and colours and all that but they sounded fucking awesome. Their sound engineers really, and here's a word you don't often associate with club owners and their shitty sound systems, cared about the sound and lovingly crafted and tinkered and listened to their rigs. And it was on one of these free party rigs, the Subsdance Sound System rig, at Rebound in Sellindge in Kent, that I, and the lovers of deep, chilled house that I managed to attract to the tent I was playing in, that I finally heard, in all its fucking awesome glory, the power of the records that I had bought and brought out with me that weekend. There was real tops and mid and sub bass and vocals and they were all clear and demarked; separate and crisp and punchy and warm, oh so warm, and of course it was all sounding fucking awesome. The peole danced and smiled and gave me spliffs (one joy of playing outdoors!) and drinks and it was great.

The thing all three of my gigs had in common was that each venue was filled with such a variety of great, original friendly people who really love their music, love dancing, love socialising and loving and, you know, that is what weekends are for are they; why can't they have the very best that these venues can provide and that we know they are capable of providing? We all spend enough bloody money in the places. If it wasn't for the hard, dedicated work that promoters and club owners do, for us, then we'd have nowhere to go and do what we want to do.

So, whether you are a deep house lover or not, a WKD drinker who can’t hold their stomach down or a jealous wanker with anger management issues; you can find a venting venue for you to expose your thang out and about at a club, pub or field near you at the weekend.

Now that’s what I call freedom. And isn't it awesome?