A lot can happen in a week.
Last Friday, whilst my wife and I were having afternoon tea at Ruben's in Victoria, my phone chirpred it's merry little sms chirp and there was a simple message from my friend Grant at Agency X saying "Would you like to do warmup for (Max Cooper's) Emergence? Has to stay not banging". Naturally I jumped at the chance - this is Max Cooper's new AV one man show in a prime venue in London, under the auspicious gaze of LWE - a superb event promoter making deep impressions in the night club scene with uber hot DJs and dance music acts and as part of their London Electronic Arts Festival . "Sure, I'd love to" I replied. I was already getting excited.
I'd not been really thinking about DJing; I lost my Concrete residency last year and had turned my hand to doing weddings which is a completely different mindset to this - still fun, still rewarding, but you are playing what the couple and the audience want to hear - this would be different: I could play what I wanted within reason, I understood what a Warm Up slot means and there was the helpful remit of "Has to stay not banging".
Has to stay not banging. Not banging. HAS TO STAY.
Hmmm. The words echoed around my dusty and cavernous brain, like a Deep House looping vocal hook. Why would Grant say this? He knows that I'm not really that up for the banging tunes, why would he feel he needed to stress this? After a few more texts back and forth it made sense, because Max's set would start ambient and to give it the best opportunity to grow from that point you don't want the act before to be slamming out BIG TUNES building up the audience's expectation to think that whatever follows would be EVEN BIGGER. Fair enough. This was the remit and it was a remit I was happy with. I had two hours to play with and so I set myself to quietly build for an hour and a half and then half an hour to break it down.
So... why am I telling you all of this? Well... here's the thing: This set isn't two hours long; its 2 hours 20 minutes long. That might not mean anything to you but it might go to help you understand why, from 1h 35 the mix descends into an ambient wash out for 20 minutes and then starts to pick up again at 1hr 55... which might correspond to the moment I got told that Max wouldn't be starting at 9:00 but at 9:20.
This isn't a criticism nor a whinge. Far from it. At most it's an explanation of the flow of the set you're about to listen to, and more of a reminder to me (and to anyone else who cares to listen) not to plan too rigidly, not to be too prescriptive and to remind oneself that no matter what you think the plan is, it's not.
Hope you enjoy it
BvDub - Strength Underworld - M.E. Speedy J - DeOrbit Trentemøller - Always Something Better Pye Corner Audio - Electronic Rhythm Number 3 Deft - One Eye Open Opal Tapes - Coffee Aphex Twin - Xtal Deft - Vapid pt1 Fybe One - Harmonic Curve Luke Hess - Evidence Everywhere Vermont - Dynamik (Prins Thomas Version 1) Eagles for Hands - Glass Hands (Slow it Down Remix) Jamie XX - Far/Nearer The Slow Revolt - Farther Deft - A Little Kiss Shadow Child - Border Town (Synkro rmx) LostLojic/Innex - Last Goodbye Datassette - Cagney XOR Lacey (Pt 2) Echaskech - Form Function (Epic Washout mix) Mountains - Choral Synkro - Memories of Love Synkro - Why Don’t You Taso & Wolfbitch - Tria Seba - Painted Sky (DFRNT remix) Taso - Exi The Village Orchestra - Lo Pencil (The Village Orchestra remix)
I forgot to say: thanks to the numerous people who took time out to let me know how much they enjoyed my set - I know you don't have to do that, and it really makes a huge difference to my well being. Thank you, you're lovely, you are.
Also - thanks to the staff at Oval Spaces, LWE and LEAF for all the help (high 5 to Soundman Josh) as well as Hugs eternal for Grant at Agency X and of course Max for letting me do this.