Yo, Symbiosis was off the hook. What a great festival! The vibe carried all the way through the four days and the line-up of music was wicked. With three stages, if you didnt care for what you were hearing in front of you one of the other stages definitely had the goods. We arrived late at night on Thursday after traversing the treacherous road. Loaded with dome poles, our van had a saggy belly and Chris thought the best technique would be to skip the van along the fucked up surface as fast as possible to avoid high centering. Rally racing the Mark 3 pleasure van up a road that makes Pikes Peak look like a freshly paved parking lot was a good bit of nervous fun. Determined to have the dome up for the sun rise we worked until whenever. Or maybe we did it in the morning. At this point, night and day are only a semantic quarl. The next three days I counted down to my set. Hanging out and making new friends. You never know who you are going to meet and the family vibe is comforting. Its also funny because our crew is just a little off. As though none of us really buys into the prevalent ideologies. The running joke was trying to sell PCP to hippies. The looks on their faces were classic. “Itll make you angry at the world and no one will be able to stop you”
The word was that the festival had sold out. Max capacity was 3000 people. Awesome. My set was at 2:30 in the morning, right after Mozaic and right before Little John. Perfect. I love those guys. I felt like I was surrounded by my real peers. People worthy of looking towards in the Dj world. The Forest stage was decorated like a Ministry set with bones and feathers and hubcaps and stuff. It made me think of the commentary on Team America DVD talking about cheese graters used as lamp shades on the set. It was epic but still understates the impact. The photos help. This was my second chance to play on Christian’s Turbosound system. Again this system is destined to be legendary. I would hype this system as though it was the most popular Dj on the West coast. Because it is the wickedest earth thumping Bangalord shell I have ever encountered. Yet its forgiving and its teeth are not too sharp. Its like an old wise Bantha. It knows what our ears need and what the DJ wants. And when the bass hits its like ninjas dropped from the trees and kicked you in the chest.
I played as intensely as ever running through the cuts that would honor the gravity of this system. Armored in an Aaron Amaro designed shirt and a Forest Sterns custom helmet I was safe to summon the Bangalord. And by the third track I did. I love Djing. There are times when it makes me cry. I love losing myself in the music and bringing people along for the ride. My evolution on this planet is intertwined with Djing. I feel so fortunate to have found a path that moves me towards my goal of becoming the best human I can be. Although I didnt make the music I am playing I recognize that humanity is unified and I really appreciate the opportunity to take my place in that unity. Its an honor to play other peoples tracks. It makes me feel less alone. I am also finding that a single similar interest often leads to a multitude of similar interests shared with the producers of the music I play. Production for me is about contributing back to the people who have given me so much. Before I knew it Little John was on stage getting ready for his set and two hours had gone by. See you next time around. D
First of all, Thank you to everyone that came out to support. You guys rock and you were smart to leave ASAP. To everyone that didn’t make it, Thank You too. You didn’t miss a thing and the precious moments of your life that were not wasted are worth more than the beers at the bar.
So I showed up at very literally the gayest place on earth. The Cafe is apparently the holy mecca of gaydom. Which should have been cool. It should have been a spot that had some sense of its history. Some shred of respect for itself, a dash of reverence, even some of the famous gay pride. But really it was just the same old bad acting in the same old badly decorated porno set. Which could have been cool. This was not. All of the excitement I had built up was immediately released upon setting foot in the door. People pretending to have fun and like each other for the sake of hooking up. Boring normal and cliche. The DJ was playing Kelly Clarkson and I was ready to leave 30 seconds later. I filled out half of the entry form and then passed it to my friends to finish since this contest was already clearly over.
The guy who laughed at me when I asked if there was any more bass in the system came up and said,”What do you play, vinyl?” Yes “Then you’re up first. “Are you sure?, Okay then” I head up into the the booth which is enclosed in bullet proof glass and see maybe the oldest mixer in the history of Djing. A Rane Rotory 8 channel. “Is this what I’m mixing on?”, I ask. Yup, Are you serious? Insert speech about the history of this mixer. Which if he were honest he would have said, “Well its been to burning man 8 times and it actually came from the Apollo 1 moon mission, you know the one that exploded and spread debris all over the atmosphere leaving this mixer to fall to earth. It landed right here in 67′ and we’ve had it ever since.” Where is the volume meter? Oh thats broken. Does sound come out of the monitors? Just the right one. Did you mom make these slip mats out of used maxi pads? WTF. Yeah I was nervous. There was no way to know how anything sounded on the floor from the booth because the whole setup in the booth came from the thrift store.
I cue up, he announces my name and I drop the most pissed noise track I own. Starting at the break with sweet bleeps and a bass that sounds like a sledgehammer on a garbage can on the ones, it builds in intensity until the fucking gates of hell open up and swallow the dancefloor in an electromagnetic pulse of rolling doom. I start banging on the bulletproof glass so hard my hand hurts and the guy who announced me steps back afraid it was going to break. This shit was lame and the sound was my weapon. I look out on the dancefloor and just see the gapping mouths of the most confused lesbian sorority girls I have ever seen. I line up the next track and drop. It was beatmatched but I shanked the mix in just to release some of the tension while keeping people confused. And on it went. It was a rough take off but about 15 minutes in I had the mixer dialed and could have gone all night.
The people who were feeling it were really feeling it. But at 10pm people were a bit too sober to let go. Im sure the horrendous sound coming from the soundsystem didn’t help. It was one of those grating metallic, sharp, piercing, shit launching sound systems that made you want to leave regardless of what was being played on it just to escape its aural barrage. Do people really not care? DO PEOPLE REALLY NOT CARE? Or are they just unaware. (notice how I didn’t use “stupid”) EAW cabinets up top with no bass down low. There was a shitton of distortion in the signal probably from the mixer that was older than Jesus or maybe the whole thing was being clipped by the limiter because there was no way to measure how much sound was going out to the dancefloor. Anyway, it sucked, my ears still hurt. The conclusion, start my own club. That actually respects the DJ and the soundsystem and the audience. ATTN: bar owners there is more to life than selling drinks you jaded fucks.
So needless to say I ended with the MSTRKRFT remix of D.A.N.C.E. and it still wasn’t Madonna so I got exactly 19 people, those who came with me to cheer. All due respect to the DJs that came after me you guys mixed great. That said. That was realistically the worst music I have ever heard. The guy after me, who was nice enough brought 4 of those Lethal Weapon compilations. The cheeziest club banger mashup crap in the world. It SUCKED. If you are reading this. I probably would have gotten along with you but please please PLEASE never play those records again. Have some respect for yourself and the craft of Djing. It was like someone took a crap or a dump on the mixer. Thats when all my friends left. The dancefloor packed in with douchbags singing along to greatest hits of their childhood slammed into a bubbling cauldron of shitty bass chorused by mainstream rap. The final guy had 20 years of experience………….Uh Okay, If I havent made it somewhere with Djing in 5 years I am going to reevaluate my life’s direction. 20 years,? come on guy. Your mixing was great but there have been new tracks released in that time. Ill send you a list.
Overall I learned a lot as usual.
1 If you are gay have some respect for yourself and say “Fuck The Cafe”
2 My audience is probably not in the clubs
3 I have a better soundsystem than most clubs
4 I Still don’t know where my place in the world is
5 Repetition of mediation leads to familiarity and is a product of industrialization (banal repetition). The producers ARE the product repeated over and over. The cycle is a giant inside joke.
6 Does obscurity with integrity lead to homelessness? Or is the only way to get somewhere to suck a bunch of cock and sell out?
7 I’m bored with the industrialized process of life. Infrastructure is only good when its transparent. when it encroaches on our lives its tyranny.