The only experience I had as a youngster was rather a random one. As a budding young musician, I used to have to go, every Christmas, to the local posh hotel, where in the midst of Christmas Parties, Weddings and Events, we would play some carols, and, as the youngest I was sent out at the end with a box to collect with. These things were hard to judge, so we’d pretty much always have to wait around till an appropriate gap in the proceedings. Therefore I learnt much of the wedding/party favourites of the time. The McCoys ‘Hang on Sloopy’, Amen Corner’s ‘Bend me, shape me’, Boney M’s ‘Brown Girl in the Ring’, The Fantastics ‘ Something old, Something new’, and of course The Nolans – ‘I’m in the mood for dancing’ (plus the use of the word ‘Romancing’, which seems so out of date now) were absolute musts.
Imagine my surprise at my first school disco. No talking? None of those absolute musts? Songs that were playing on the radio? And then more surprises, my first time in a night club, seeing Graham Park, Mike Pickering and the like. Then stumbling across DJ Plus One of the Scratch Perverts, and seeing the skill and creativity that goes into DJ-ing.
Over at the Relentless Garage in Highbury on 12th July is the DMC UK DJ finals. Over the 29 years since its inception, DMC has been central to the philosophy that DJ’s can match musicians and other artists for creativity, being in total control of two decks and a mixer. It’s grown as well, with competitions in 25 countries, culminating in a world DJ final slot, which acts as a prize (amongst others – including a Rane 62 mixer) for the winner, which takes place on the 5th October.
It’s not easy to become a DMC World Champion, with DJs from around the world expected to use techniques such as scratching & cutting to create things to impress the knowledgeable DMC fans. Winners over the years including the superstar likes of the Scratch Perverts, A-Trak, Q Bert, Craze and Mixmaster Mike (Beastie Boys), fame and respect could well accompany the bountiful prizes on offer.
As an extra bonue, the first ever DMC Online Champion, Germany’s DJ Unkut, will be performing, as will UK legends Rodney P and Skitz. Get yourself down there and watch some undeniably brilliant talent get busy on the decks. Not quite like those absolute musts the Hotel DJ used to play, although maybe ‘I’m in the mood for dancing’ might be appropriate. ‘Romancing’, not quite so sure.
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