DJ’s. We’re a funny breed, spending hours crate digging looking for hidden gems, endless hunting to find those overlooked B sides and failed commercial releases that didn’t see the light of day; someone else’s trash is another person’s treasure as they say. We dedicate our lives to collecting music, each row of vinyl, pile of CD’s and racks of hard drives will tell a story, these snapshots of history become embedded in our blood creating walking human encyclopaedias. We’re geeks, specialists in our trade.
A person that has an interesting story to tell will silence a room. Everyone’s attention is focused and stimulated as they get drawn deeper into the mystery that’s laid out before them. The anticipation. The shock. The unexpected twist. The unknown ending. A good DJ with knowledge, tools and skill can unfold that exact same experience via the power of his music, and his music alone without the aide of big production or pyrotechnics. This is by far his most powerful asset.
This art form/craft takes years to learn, as with the chap that silenced the room with his words, the DJ must capture the audience. Find the right moment to suck them in then hold their attention. All of the human senses are locked into the musical journey, if the story gets boring or predictable you’ll lose that connection and people will leave. It’s a two way connection of the DJ keeping in synergy with the audience, working and thinking hard or where to take that story, it’s a mentally exhausting job from behind the decks.
The term ‘Open to close’ seems to be thrown around as a marketing tool these days, maybe a new fad that people are jumping on to get extra gigs and be seen as ‘cool’. To traditional DJ’s out there, playing all night is nothing new and been part of their journey of how they acquired their craft. It takes years of playing these gigs, collecting music and knowledge to adhere this skill of playing all night. It doesn’t stop there. DJ’s have always played a key roll in changing musical history rebelling against mainstream trends and introducing music into the underground clubs around the world. Take a look back in history, DJ’s introduced Northern soul, Disco, House, Techno and more into clubs. I thrive off being part of this world, I love pushing new musical boundaries and sharing my finds with a likewise crowd.
I never sat comfortably in the new festival/club world of producer DJ’s where a DJ career was born off the back of a couple of hit records having no DJ experience behind them. I see their world being different to ours. They are performing a concert of their hit records using DJ tools, this makes complete sense as it’s logistically easier to tour the world. A 90 minutes set is perfect for the fans wanting to see their heroes in the flesh performing the songs they know. I love seeing this too.
For me, I don’t get my hit playing sets like this. I want to play those tracks I’ve spent days searching for and share with the dance floor. I want to push boundaries experimenting with new music. I want to be using my skill as DJ to silence the crowd with the power of my music. I want to take them on that musical journey. I want to play with them and twist their minds. I enjoy surprising people who categorise me in a certain genre when I break those rules and take them through a broad range of musical genres.
My JOOF Editions concept was born to give me this platform to enable me to perform those passionate DJ’s sets, with these shows selling out around the world, it seems it’s something that you too are enjoying. I’m at my happiest, my best playing extended open-to-close sets though today I’m getting nervous using that term. Maybe we need a new word for this JOOF Experience?
We’re embarking on some key tour dates to support my JOOF Editions mix compilation and most will be open-to-close or extended sets. Alongside the traveling, these shows mentally drain me, so we’ve chosen key cities that know and understand me musically. These will be at venues with the right environment, vibe and sound systems to enable us all to have this wonderful experience. I know it will be frustrating for some that are forced to take road trips, but from the reactions of the fans from last year, they fully understand and get it and will be doing the same journeys again this year. They understand this would have never been possible in their home cities.