9 August 2011

a loop of exquisite beats and melody that is repetitious

"The sands are numb'red that makes up my life" - William Shakespeare, King Henry the Sixth, Part III

So it was with a fortuity and a self-reflexive spin that one finds oneself in the joyful, open air once again, awaiting a sunrise of epic proportions,  spinning as a disc making jokey (sic) amidst the unabashed torrent of purveyors of the auto sync.

Traditionally, most of a DJs time was spent matching up the speed
of his records and keeping them in time. Take that component
out of the picture and an old school DJ not familiar with the potential
of digital might feel there will be nothing left for him to do.
For me, that evening, unable and unwilling, to bring my reluctant digital grin of the sumptuously smug terrorism of laptop libido to the fore because sand has such small grains that can seek and search and land in tiny crevices and destroy mechanical machinations meticulously. Beware those small, loose particles of worn or disintegrated rock, finer than a granule and coarser than silt. Damage to vinyl grooves was torturous enough but the laptop stayed in the house; enquired and unrequited.

It was not one of them parties where none of the participants are too drunk or too busy pursuing their own sexual agendas with each other to notice the granular nature of time slipping away. It was rather a party of subtly with a richly sympathetic assemblage of souls predestined to produce a party that was touching, funny, desperately melancholic and one that had an exaggerated spiritual dimension that came to its mysterious and satisfying fruition at the very end as the sun rose on a joyous new day and one, alas, had to walk away and leave the beloved and heartfelt connection to ones decks of joy in order to attend to an appointment, believe me, at a large boot fair somewhere in fairest Whitstable town. Such self imposed dysfunctional strategies tax the mind somewhat and produce random connections that can really bring smiles of joy to the soul of the sleep deprived seeking new stimulation.

One does indeed sometimes wish, especially when one needs to leave a diegetic space, for a loop of exquisite beats and melody that is repetitious, never ending and always changing. This cannot be provided, of course, by vinyl’s concentric circle of decreasing length and increasing speed and, alas, finite intuitiveness. The end comes with vinyl and will always be predicted but the loop is an infinite of discursive possibilities destined to be repeated in an infinite fractal upward.

For one, that night, sync, the old school sync, the vinyl beat matching sync of old folk and purists, meant a constant interplay between mind and ear and eye and love; a decreasing circle of Zen; towards perfection. A move towards a moment forever tried, forever tested, forever sought but only ever achieved by those who experience the succinct interplay between the calm mind and body and the movement and moment of beatific purity. Flow comes from this; control of the environment by you yourself. Peace is achieved, the dance floor balanced.

It is not, nay, a push of a digital on screen button then a forgotten default moment, but a cumulative and intense feeling from the heart of every DJ who ever mattered and contributed to the whole history of Djing and, please, never, ever, belittle or show prejudice to the vinyl DJ for his or her art for that shows disrespect of the highest order and a lack of knowledge and appreciation of our rich history of pioneers and contributors to our ever expanding scene.




To Sync or not to Sync
Felix the HouseCat commented that many pro DJ's
felt that the sync function was cheating.

 

Nay, nay and thrice nay to the digital detractors who lay waste and throw stones at the original technological Gods and masters of vinyl. These detractors, basing evidence on the sneer and the snark only are hiding behind the comfortable, expensive, barrier of emerging new tech. Who, despite, autosync, beat grids and instant start cannot for the will of Apollo, drop a tune in on to the required beat at the required time no matter how much the dance floor prays, and are, to the bemused detraction of the musical purist constantly mis-syncing and mashing the flow on off beats without any due regard or respect to the form or function of our glorious art. With a formidable lack of knowledge of conjoining or appreciation of timing and the joy that this can produce to the ears of the aficionados of the beat, the mathematicians of the mind and soul, they plough on regardless, despite not contributing to the dance economy by actually buying tunes and supporting producers and artists who struggle then die through the strangulation of lack of funds. An unpleasant and unnecessary death by torrent indeed.

Pleasantness to the ear and feet can be produced through any medium of expression providing the perpetrator knows what the perfect beat sounds like. One does not need a vinyl record or CD or laptop to know this. It is a hard thought out, hard won accolade.

My party centered, as per, on a crisis of mind with many facets. My miserable, neurotic turnings played through a poker face. There seemed no single, miraculous note of human fellowship and love that could redeem this malaise bar my cheerfully unrepentant old sensualists with a candid appreciation of the deeper things in life.

The party has a wonderful ease and flow: its relatively brief running time is crowded with incident and plot, and yet each scene, each incident, each gesture unfurls in a winningly unhurried way. There is calm tenderness and even a kind of nobility in appreciating each glorious moment. I do apologise to my dear friend Stoney for sitting on one of his flight cases to DJ and somewhat bending the hinge.

It was a party whose gentleness and humanity left me sighing with assent. But, alas, as the sun rose, and the heat began to warm the bones once more, my time with the free free party people, who I do love ever so dearly, with an undue sentimentality that is never overtly justified or explained fully or openly, was over and the world beckoned once more.

"She had more sand in her than any girl I ever see; in my opinion she was just full of sand" (Mark Twain)

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