Checking I packed my passport 50 times.
Happy New Year. I trust that you’ve all now recovered from the obligatory two day bender starting 2011 as you mean to go on, by stuffing your body with as many drugs as humanly possible and spunking what’s left of the Christmas depleted bank account in one session, thereby rendering yourself poverty-stricken for the whole of January’s bleak promise of absolutely fuck all. Hurrah!
Still, at least the sales start early now so maybe you’d already got yourself those discounted G-Star jeans (a bargain at only £80). Not that this applies to me. Like Blanche DuBois I largely depend on the kindness of strangers, and friends, for a wardrobe mainly from charity shops, hand me downs and gifts. Deciding whether to go for medium (a bit tight) or large (a bit baggy) is, it turns out, virtually impossible with my condition.
Anyway sales, or at least selling out (see that seamless link), have been weighing on my mind as heavily as the post-binge paunch has on my bed over the last few days. Despite the doom-mongering, January actually holds plenty of cheer, and more beer, for the OCDJ as somehow I’ve blagged it to fly off to the other side of the world to play records where the sun shines and the people are buff and beautiful. Hurrah!
This, of course, set off a vein of anxiety even bigger than the one about revealing my alcohol and cheap meat ravaged body (which in turn is just more cheap meat compared to the surgically enhanced physiques that lie ahead) – what the fuck should I play? Having recently visited (un)said continent, I can safely say that this is a place where Armin Van Boring and Skweeedish Scouse Mafia (who are using the Times’ quote ‘Spinal Tap for the acid house generation’ to promote their new film ‘Take One’ without realising its not an actual complement) are king. Here are my hard, fast and erratically beat-matched conclusions.
1. What I normally play
A set of funky and whatever-the-fuck-you-call-it house probably doesn’t have much relevance in Leeds, let alone outside the UK, but since everything is globally intermingled now I reckon I can get away with it – plus I don’t like anything else. When in doubt bust out some rolling tribal drums, a bit of wobbly synth and some rhythmical nonsensical vocals as on ‘Nappy Head’ by Bambounou, one of France’s new school of tropically minded, post-Ed Banger, club producers (he’s French so it’s only a few degrees of separation from playing Guetta right?). That’s my theory but you always need a back-up plan…
2. Play bootlegs
Dodgy because I hate up-dates of classic tracks since (a) they’re normally done in that shitty Beatport big room minimal electro style, therefore instantly sucking out 99% of the original soul and making them sound more dated than the gem that they copy, or (b) even if they’re OK, they’re not as good so what’s the point? Make a decent new tune instead. The jury’s still out on plagiarising elements of commercial tracks for ‘underground’ purposes; it killed breaks in the early noughties but that hasn’t stopped Krafty Kuts making a career of it. Searching for this kind of fodder – and that’s what it is, but with the guilt removed like a half fat pork pie – I came across Zombie Disco Squad’s bootleg of non-other than, yep, Swedish House Mafia. In the approximate words of Whitney, it’s not right, but it’s OK, I’m gonna play it anyway. Plus I actually have a soft spot for the original’s deep, pungent, dairy aroma and I want to pump my fists while standing on the decks like Steve Angello. Rarely, you can actually make another classic out of a re-make of a classic. Observe.
3. Find the cheese you like
I can’t help like lots of pop. That’s the point of it. I just don’t generally buy it. Or play it. Or even listen to it (OK, I do, but then my definition of pop stretches to Toro Y Moi and Javelin who’ve been on fierce headphone rotation). With the on-coming fear of seeing a crowd of 5,000 part like the Red Sea though, I ventured into the generically packaged world of ‘Bargrooves Deluxe’ to discover ‘Its Love’ by Treasure Fingers, who recently signed to Defected, a label doing a fine job of ditching the handbag house and scooping up credible cross-over artists (see also Tensnake and Riva Starr). I’m a sucker for chipmunk garage vocals and back to ’92 piano and breakbeat breakdowns so it’s coming with me. Smell my cheese you mothers…
So there you go, my manifesto from the ministry of the bloody obvious. Given the confessional nature of our times, I thought I’d open up my insecurities to the whole world in the misguided notion that it would in some way help. Abusive comments on a postcard please and I’ll send some choice foreign swear words back from my travels.