I am an Experimental DJ whose recent mixes have showcased the subtle timbres of my community. Like the sounds of enforced etiquette pouring out onto the neighbourhood streets, I have used music to deliver information and conjure stories. My music career is all about promoting the creators of the tracks by championing music that inspires others to start making their own music. The aim is to also seek out the hidden orchestration in the sounds of the everyday.
Why I Am An Experimental DJ
The idea of a DJ plucking disparate sounds and styles and mixing them together is one that has enthused me for years. It is reinterpreting a collection of time-based recordings (media) afresh.
The archaic becomes contemporary.
Now that everything ever recorded is becoming available again, the recombinant possibilities are staggering. It started for me with the invention of the CD format and eventually Digital Culture. I choose to DJ Digitally. Choosing to DJ Digitally means that the world’s wealth of recorded music is available to me – as opposed to rare dubplates that were pressed in 1998.
Plus, I can drop a recording I made that morning of leaves blowing in the breeze.
But, Is Being An Experimental DJ An Art?
William Burroughs, whose cut-up technique is often cited in cross-cultural studies of DJ culture, was fond of quoting Hassan I Sabbah: “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” New Wave, disco, hardcore punk, heavily orchestrated singer-songwriter, Prog rock, lone psych-folk, or jam band. These were discrete categories and opposing forces in 1982 when the quote was first created. Now, they have all converged in artists like Animal Collective, record stores like Other Music, and magazines like The Wire.
DJ culture in the 90s, by replacing eclecticism with the art of the mix, helped make the current pluralistic musical climate possible. From this, I am an experimental DJ: not by method but selection. It is through the choice of tracks that the self-referential, post-everything culture reaches its zenith in an experimental DJ Mix.
This might be a bit high brow to put on a poster. But, if you said “An open minded, open format DJ” people will dig it.
Is Being An Experimental DJ A Time-Based Practice?
Time-based media is something that intrigues me. I quite like field recording in that it divorces the soundscape from the environment and presents it afresh. I suppose that being a DJ is the polar opposite of this thought; I am introducing a soundscape to a situation, and a damn fine one at that.
So, whether it is a mix in the Imaginary Soundscapes series or one of The Gaffa Tapes, hell – even a shot of White Lightning when it lasted, I create a mix that you know is going to be experimental, yet you are not quite sure how it will pan out.
You certainly can’t dance to my slow mixes – they are for winding down at the end of a day or warming up in deep winter; a balm of sorts. I hope they are met with the same intention that they were created. For they were created with love.