I had an interesting month in August. I visited Cyprus for a couple of weeks for a wedding among other social obligations. I went through my collection of old CDs – music, and software (games to be specific). I tried to install the original Fifa International Football Game on my computer – in part to satisfy my inner teenagers yearn to waste some time. But I quickly realized what a process it can be to install a game designed for computers in the 90s on a modern laptop. It just won’t work. That got me thinking. What is the shelf life of a digital library?
I love the organic visceral nature of the record, a piece of plastic that can bring forth such wondrous sound. It’s all pretty weird when you think about it, some sort of wonderful sonic voodoo. It’s a historical document of another time, another place, another me and a very interesting stop off traveling the road map of the records shelf-life. Personally, I find that producers who release their music exclusively on vinyl are more in touch with the underground. In the digital age, there is no shortage of house and techno for the DJ who is a bit casual or just starting out, but I find the generic formula of build-ups and breakdowns, which makes up a significant majority of these releases, a bit of a turn-off.
Playing at CTRLROOM is a huge pleasure for me. It is refreshing to find a format that challenges the elitist gate-keepers who are keeping out talent in an effort to maintain the status quo. Being unique and expressing yourself is not enough to move forward. CTRLROOM has opened doors for me and others, as well as allowing a growing audience to explore music outside of Toronto’s rather narrow norms. After all, the best audience for the passionate DJ has always been a small, tightly knit group of supportive cohorts.
You know, some people are constantly down on their luck. I just came back from a street festival. The second I got there, it started pouring rain. The second I left, it stopped; clear skies as far as the eye can see. Funny thing is this streak of “fortune” has been following me for my entire life. I once was booked at a club which closed its doors the night before I was scheduled to play. Sigh. To keep things consistent, it makes sense the 13th show at CTRL ROOM was delayed a bit due to a minor issue.
I bet you didn’t know this but I’ve played digital sets and nothing sounds as good as a record coming through a sound system. Nothing! Music is a feeling and when you play vinyl, you’re relying on your senses far more intuitively to capture the audience in your narrative. When you’re not interfacing with an LCD display, you become literate in this specific music and that knowledge stays with you. This is a much more human experience. Just the physical nature of putting on a record requires you to move your body. I might break my back to put a show together for you, but I hope it was as pleasing for the 2000+ viewers tuning in this past Tuesday as it was for me mixing for you.