When I fist sign up for to participate in Mandala, Amoeba’s in-house DJ series, I plan on spinning a predictable set of traditional tunes that cover my interests. I figure that way, I’ll offend the fewest number of people. But somewhere along the way, I decide, “Fuck it,” and I set out to spin a set of deep, dark progressive house–the kind of stuff that drives Orion, who works in Hip-Hop, crazy. I construct a set that begins in melody descends into darkness and then ascends back into a frenetic hard-driving crescendo. Because who cares whether people like it? It’s what I want to spin.
So I take the Amoeba stage at 8:30, following Paul Jones, whose last track is Isaac Hayes. I get the setup speech from Daniel about sound levels, using the mixer and not worrying about how crappy the music sounds on the stage. Don’t worry, he says, it sounds much better out there. God, I hope so.
Since I’m completely unfamiliar with the mixer I’ve decided to make the first few mixes of the evening more traditional cuts that don’t require any technical manipulation (i.e. beatmatching.)
The Deadbeats – Funky For You
Four Tet – As Serious As Your Life
Klimek & Heil – Casino (from the RUN LOLA RUN soundtrack)
Tyler Bates – Brainscan (from the DAWN OF THE DEAD soundtrack)
Then as I launch into full vinyl mode I realize that the pitch control on one of the turntables has a sizable dead spot, making fine-tuning impossible. My first mix is something of a train wreck. to me, it sounds as if a drum kit is falling down a flight of stairs. I find out later that no one, of course, thinks this but me. I’m able to adjust, however, by kicking up the beats-per-minute. A faster mix, but at least a cleaner one. Still, though I had worked out the setlist in advance, I mis-timed it. It’s going to go on too long. I realize this about halfway through and at the last moment decide to jettison the Rene Amesz track. Here’s the full list, in case anyone cares:
Stel Feat. John Elliot – Finding Time
Pierre Ravan & Safar – Divine Energy (Laurent Wolf mix)
Schmu-el – Don’t Hesitate, Acetate
T-Empo – Fouk
Dean Coleman & Hernan Cattaneo – Behind The Music
John Creamer & Stephane K – I Love You
Rene Amesz – Courischa
James Holden – A Break In The Clouds
Kate Bush vs. Infusion – Running Up That Hill
Timo Maas – Unite
Alex Dolby – Psiko Garden
Sander Kleinenberg – My Lexicon
And there you have it. As soon as I get the audio files sorted out, I’ll be posting the entire mix on this site for anyone who actually wants to listen to it.
Oh, and of all the people I invite to drop by, only one shows up, arriving half an hour early and then leaving before I even come on.