Friday, November 18, 2011

YouTube party democracy


Deep inside, I knew what would happen even as I slaved away into the early hours finishing it off; my mix would not get played in full at a friend’s 40th birthday party in Lille. And that’s what happened. The dream[-on] scenario of the assembled crowd, only 5 per cent of whom I knew, listening in hushed reverence then dancing with almost pathetic gratefulness as each new songs unfolds and then folds uncannily into another curiously surprising, but ultimately welcome number, that didn’t happen.

What went wrong? I deliberately went more populist, keeping the dark shit out and the complex stuff off. Beatless moments were few, confusing passages limited and there’s artists the layperson had actually heard of. But it had nothing to do with any of this. As modern day house party reality advances participation rather than top-down dictation, the role of a select and elite bunch of discaires, in this setting at least, is losing out. Everyone wants to play Bo Selecta and play their fave raves on iTunes. And that’s what happened once the small talk, the early boozing and the bite-sized dips had got people ready to move.

As the party neared dawn and I turned in, I consoled myself with the knowledge that at least three tunes played were in my mix (Fischerspooner, Vampire Weekend, Goldfrapp), so I had been programming well, with set and setting in mind. This was not about content, but format. I had noticed that a gold disc winning friend of theirs (the award is for his tween dance cd-with-magazine project that pays the euros for his serious stuff), another avowed musicman like me, was quite content not to play dj too, though he did quite often sing soul and reggae lyrics in perfect English over anything that came on.

And what a party, a great mix sans frontiers of industrial, 80s new wave, ravey doings, rock shit and a slew of modern digital dance, but there was no getting mired in people’s idiosyncratic tastes or the ever decreasing circles of one specific genre. This was a Schengen House party.

I also knew of course, in those deadening late hours in front of the Mac, that my first ‘final’ edit would not suffice. And sure enough when I heard it back several fixes were necessary; it wouldn’t have even been ready for that party! So when I finished the re-edit and cover art this week, that was when I felt the moment of completion. The gripes never quite go away of course; it’s high time I should use a decent mixing, full-channel programme and my penchant for echo/reverb/delay finales as a means to bridge conventionally unmixable sounds is starting to grate.

But wider pleasure also comes in using the downtime to create a mix such as this, starting with cramming a load of candidates into a playlist, slowly ditching the fat and then consolidating the meat, working out a problematic mix of two tunes one had thought a cinch to conjoin, etc. Now if I could only do something about my lingering amateurism. But, hapless ego to the fore again, I might have to have a few of the dreaded seasonal ‘dinner parties’ soon so I can give it an airing; my house, my music, innit. Just don’t expect to play it at a full-on house party where the rules have changed.

Djekyll intro
The Toes – Chrome Radio Rocks
Gotye – Learnlilgivinanlovin
White Denim – I Can Tell
The Ramones – Pinhead
Vampire Weekend – A-Punk
The Streets – Don’t Mug Yourself
Fun Boy Three – Our Lips Are Sealed
Moderne – Switch On Bach
The Associates – It’s Better This Way
Fischerspooner – Turn On
Joey Negro & The Sunburst Band – Do You Really Love Me?
Maria Minerva – A Little Lonely (edit)
Goldfrapp – Happiness
DJ Gregory – Block Party
Skepta – Duppy (Jamie Duggan Mix)
WBEEZA – Hurricane
Kandy Buddhist excerpt
Jam City – Magic Drops
Untold – Never Went Away
Radiohead – Morning Mr Magpie (Nathan Fake rmx)
Walton – 808 Vybzin
Lone – Explorers
The Horrors – Sea Within A Sea
Lonnie Donegan – Gamblin’ Man
DJ Shadow – What Does Your Soul Look Like?
Magnetophone – Let’s Start Something New

And the actual floorfillers - Neon Judgement - TV Treated

Joe Goddard ft Valentina - Gabriel

and, er, Editors' Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors
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