10 juni 2017

The Art Of Feeling Music

Hoi iedereen en welkom op mijn blog,

Ik ben Steve Gl@mm en dit is mijn dj-blog. Bedoeling hiervan is uiteraard dat er dj mixen op het blog verschijnen maar ook de nodige info over alles wat met het dj gebeuren te maken heeft. Het is wel enigszins de bedoeling om een verschil te maken met andere dj’s en dit uiteraard in de muziekkeuze, underground met een lekkere groove.

De stijl van mijn keuze en voorkeur gaat in de richting van smooth deep house lounge tot deep house met een goeie dosis tech house en wat techno er doorheen. Het zal vooral lekker dansbaar zijn met een goeie stevige baslijn als rode draad door het genre. Wat ik absoluut wil vermijden is de commerciële housemuziek, die hoor je constant overal en is te doorzichtig en te algemeen. Mijn mening natuurlijk, no hard feelings voor de liefhebbers van dit genre.

Uiteraard zal er af en toe wel eens iets herkenbaar in voorkomen maar zolang het maar af en toe is, is het geoorloofd vind ik. Het is toch wel eerder de bedoeling van de iets mindere gangbare house te draaien, zeg maar het genre waar je lekker met je hoofd begint te knikken op het ritme van de grooves, daarna volgen de voeten en tenslotte ben je niet meer van de dansvloer weg te slaan. Het soort house-muziek dat je even alles doet vergeten, waarvan je alles van je af kan zetten en je kan laten drijven op de beats, pure underground dus.

Ik ben er in ieder geval hard mee bezig om dit alles te kunnen verwezenlijken. Het is een passie die kriebelt en waar ik niet aan kan weerstaan. Ben je zelf dj en heb je tips of een interessant voorstel dan mag je dat altijd doormailen naar steveglamm@gmail.com.

Ik heb ook een Mixcloud profiel aangemaakt waar mijn mixen te beluisteren zijn. Voel je vrij om deze te delen met liefhebbers van het genre, geef gerust comments en likes zoals je zelf wil. Uiteraard staan deze mixen ook hier op mijn blog. Je kan ook terecht op mijn facebook.

Ik ga ook op regelmatige basis muziek posten zodat jullie een idee krijgen van wat ik lekker vind en die je dan uiteraard ook in mijn mixen zal terugvinden. Ook interessante artikels over allerhande wat met het dj-gebeuren te maken heeft kan je terugvinden op mijn blog. Bedoeling is van een overzichtelijk geheel te maken met interessante informatie.

Hopelijk tot snel
Steve Gl@mm

09 juni 2017


Natural Born Techno Grooves

For more Gl@mmertechno you can go to my Mixcloud page

08 juni 2017

07 juni 2017


Groovy Deep/Tech House Dance Music

For more Gl@mmergrooves you can go to my Mixcloud page

06 juni 2017


Catchy Progressive House Beats

For more Gl@mmervibes you can go to my Mixcloud page

05 juni 2017

The Truth About Tech House

As we dive headlong into 2015 ‘deep’ house is still riding high as dance music’s favourite sound – certainly in the UK and in a few places beyond our fair borders to boot. Last year saw the genre’s bubble swell in size, with countless producers contributing to both established underground and increasing commercial scenes. However, in the wake of this fascination a notable trend is emerging which shuns the bouncy basslines and catchy vocals proven popular in recent years and instead enforces that familiar house groove, with a stronger focus on polished percussion and no-nonsense, driving energy. That’s right ladies and gentleman, tech house is back – if indeed it ever went away.
Originally derived from record stores who coined the term tech house when referring to house music’s hybridisation with techno, the genre began taking shape early on in Detroit before growing in popularity during the 90s. According to Vladimir Bogdanov in All Music Guide to Electronica: The Definitive Guide to Electronic Music, tech house was used to describe the sound curated by “mostly European producers who culled many of the rhythms and effects of acid and progressive house yet with a clean, simplistic production style suggestive of Detroit and British techno.”
The End, one of the London’s most notorious nightclubs, was fundamental in the rise of tech house. Its founders Layo Paskin and Mr C were forerunners of the genre, their Saturday night parties at the club usually championing a theme of rolling kick drums, thunderous snares and mechanical sounds.
Although The End may have shut its doors for good back in 2009 it was only a small piece of a much bigger picture. Artists such as Anja Schneider, Re.you, Rodriguez Jr, Shlomi Aber, Marc Scholl, Tom Flynn, Steve Bug and Timo Garcia are all excellent examples of first-rate tech house artists, many of which have all been championing the sound for the best part of a decade. Furthermore, reputable imprints Moon Harbour, Mobilee Records and Leena Music are a few of the platforms which predominately put out quality tech house, of which Matthias Tanzmann’s label Moon Harbour has been doing so since its foundation in 2000.
Another advocate of the tech house scene is DJ and producer Nick Curly, an export of south-west Germany renowned for his seminal tech house imprints 8bit and Cecille Records. Curly also spearheaded the lauded ‘Mannheim sound’ alongside the likes of Marcus Fix, Johnny D and Gorge – a deep and groovy take on house which proved refreshing during the minimal era which was running rife at the time throughout Europe, with imprints such as Kompakt, Cocoon, BPitch Control and Traum Schallplatten leading the way.  
Now, many of those who have been enjoying deep house for the last couple of years are now becoming engrossed in something different. Whereas the more popular forms of house may come across as predictable, with pitched downvocals, garage elements and rumbling basslines becoming the norm in today’s market, tech house opposes these conventions to instead employ something darker and industrial. Similarly, deep house’s inflation in popularity means many producers are beginning to reject it and instead focus on other genres. Much like Skream, who publically disassociated himself from dubstep last year, producers can have a tendency to move away from a sound when it swells and saturates. 
“Things needed to evolve” said the Magnetic Man member in regards to his newfound direction, something many deep house producers may find sympathy with today. Whenever the spotlight is on a particular style of music it inherits fresh and exciting artists who can bring innovation and originality to the scene but also other newcomers who instead capitalise on formulaic production techniques, tainting a genres reputation and in turn diverting listeners away from the artists who have pioneered the sound from the beginning with passion and integrity.
The recent rise of tech house has even spurred on media controversy with Mixmag featuring an article entitled ‘Stop The Tech-House Takeover’. This initiated a wave of responses from readers who took to Twitter to either support or criticise the piece, resulting in a scene-wide debate that in turn lead to a further article in favour of the genre.
With all these precursors of the genres popularisation it is possible that we are on the cusp of a tech house boom? Whatever your take on tech house, this newfound popularity is reflective of the house music’s growing appeal to a wider audience and if this benefits the scene then who are we to complain?
Will Lawes

08 mei 2017

The rise of electronic music in Berlin

Soundtrack of a state of emergency

Techno has made its mark on Berlin for over 20 years and vice-versa. Whether it was Westbam who moved to West Berlin in the mid-80s and played an early form of what would later become known as Techno in his DJ sets, or in places like the legendary Tresor club after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the whole thing took on a dynamic of its own. By the mid-90s E-werk was playing a more populist sound and within the span of only a few years the Love Parade had turned into an event that drew millions and that was broadcast live on television. Nowadays Techno in Berlin still remains part of an experimental subculture while simultaneously bringing tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world to the city. As constantly evolving as the locations in which parties are being thrown, is the ever changing soundtrack of electronic music in the German capital, something which is as creative and as non-stop as ever.

Following 28 years of division, on October 3rd 1990 East and West Germany were reunited and resulted in the sudden emergence of a new space within Berlin in which to venture. Whether it was a former tank depot in the dusty no man’s land in the death strip, a bunker from the 2nd World War, a disused soap factory by the River Spree or a power station opposite the former ministry for aviation of the 3rd Reich – all of these places, which had become outdated by history, suddenly became the backdrop for the Techno scene and Techno just as suddenly became the underground soundtrack of the East-West reunification.

Techno itself had already started in Detroit back in the mid-80s, but the new electronic sound had never really made a home for itself there . A club scene surrounding the music had never really developed.

Berlin at the beginning of the 90s was quite the opposite as the city did not have a long history of electronic music. Unlike Frankfurt which from the 80s onwards had had a network of clubs, producers in place, at the time West Berlin was actually a city of Rock n Roll, albeit an experimental one. In East Berlin on the other hand, it was a highly secretive and dangerous task to be part of any youth culture and the first generation of punks were rigorously persecuted. Young people were accustomed to having to look hard for niches. For example Breakdance, which had a longer lasting effect on subculture in East Germany than in West Germany. This could possibly explain the roots of the East Germany’s love of electronic music. This love of the sound flourished in temporary clubs and parties in empty spaces and abandoned buildings in the city just after 1989. Some for were on just for just one night, others for weeks or even years. In the end it was Berlin, following the fall of the wall, that was able to provide the most fertile ground for a Techno to develop and a creative club scene to take shape.

A short and certainly uncomprehensive summary of the infinite places and protagonists that have left their mark on electronic music in Berlin since then will follow.

The magic of new sounds and undiscovered places

The promise of freedom hidden within the music turned Techno into the soundtrack of the state of emergency that followed the fall of the wall. Suddenly everyone could DJ, produce tracks or start fanzines. At the start, the Techno scene was not concentrated on star figures and even the DJ was just a part of the party and not the focus. Even today the stars of the city are not individuals, rather part of the collective i.e. Berlin’s clubs and it’s club goers. And at the beginning of the 90s there seemed hardly any music genre that could cause to such a disparate mix of people to dance so peacefully together in the way that techno did. Early parties were attended by breakdancers, football hooligans, punks from the former East Berlin and radio junkies, as well as a mass of former West Berliners from the gay scene, the squatter scene, students, artists or even off duty soldiers. They partied in clubs like Walfisch, Planet, UFO or at Tekknozid parties the latter of which was started by Wolle XDB amongst others. Tresor, a club which was situated in the former Wertheim department store building, also made a considerable mark on it’s city and in that in such a way that no other club did in the 90s. Having opened in 1991, Tresor gave rise to the Detroit-Berlin axis and not only took particular care to fortify and maintain it through the label Tresor Records, they even launched a number of DJ and producer careers. From the resident Djs , Tanith, Jonzon, Rok and Terrible are probably the most prominent. In May 2005 Tresor and the building that housed it was finally torn down because an office building was being planned on the same site. Only two years later the club reopened at a different location. Some of the original locker safes from the old club in the Wertheim building were removed and built into the new club, thus serving to preserve the memory of the old Tresor. However the spirit of the old club could never really be restored to it’s prior glory.

The old and the new ‘club mile’ of Berlin

Without doubt the Berlin scene has since then forged links with numerous places of revelry like Bar 25, Ostgut’s follow-up club Berghain or Watergate. Most of them gravitate somewhere along the axis between Alexanderplatz and Revelar Straße. Tobias Rapp, in his critically acclaimed book ‘Lost and Sound’ which was recently also published in English, refers to Berlin’s new ‘club mile’. The ‘club mile’ actually has a predecessor. There was also a time back in the 90s when club culture found itself concentrated in one area i.e. a kilometre stretch along Leipzigerstraße which runs between Friedrichstraße and Potsdamer Platz , itself still a barren wasteland at that time. Due to clubs like Tresor, WMF and E-werk which were located on that stretch, there were less people on the street during the day than at the night.

For those keen on finding out more about the Berlin clubscene from the late 80s till the mid-90s, Der Klang der Familie by Felix Denk and Sven von Thülen is highly recommended and will most probably find a place in the heart of any insatiable raver.

The book is a form of oral history and with the help of a collage of 150 interviews, it sheds light on the period surrounding the beginnings of the Berlin club scene. Even those who feel that there’s little that has not been said about this period will find an abundance of unknown facts, anedotes and cross references linger upon.

The babble of languages

Following what’s statistically been seen as the peak of Techno at the end of the 90s (1.5 million visitors at the 1999 Berlin Love Parade) and despite what some media predicted as the end of electronic music and the comeback of the Rockstar, there has been and continues to be a vibrant culture of House, Techno, Electro, Minimal – and whatever else one wants to name it! In fact in Berlin this music and it’s associated scene became bigger, more diverse and more interesting in the noughties than ever before. Never before have clubs in Berlin been able to draw such large crowds (especially on an international level) in the way that Berghain, Watergate, Weekend and the now extinct Bar 25 have done. Thousands upon thousands have , and continue to come ot Berlin week in and week out to spend the weekend partying endlessly.

When standing in the queue of a club in Berlin and upon hearing the babble of languages that surround you, it becomes apparent that it ‘s not a local but rather an international phenomenon which despite culminating in Berlin, is actually fuelled by clubbers from the all over the world, in particular from the USA but also from northern and southern parts of Europe. Some people stay for a few months or more while others just come for the weekend.

The noughties saw an ever increasing number of artists drawn to the city by relatively cheap rents and a network of labels, clubs, producers and record shops (e.g. the legendary Hard Wax which is run by the just as legendary Mark Ernestus, who together with Moritz von Oswald formed the dub techno duo Basic Channel which is a legend in itself) as well as ample opportunities to perform live. Such is the case with Luciano, Richie Hawtin or Zip, the latter of whom moved to Berlin from Frankfurt with his label Perlon and very much shaped the sound of the city and it’s afterhour culture. The same applies for Ricardo Villalobos who’s tracks „Dexter“ or „Easy Lee“ went on to become signature tracks of the new sound of Berlin.

Autumn 2008 saw the release of director Hannes Stöhr’s film Berlin Calling where Paul Kalkbrenner (meanwhile well on his way to being a superstar) acted in the main role. The film hit the cinema almost 20 years after the first serious attempt of a film about Berlin and it’s Techno culture. Since then there have been numerous documentaries that try to tell the story of Berlin’s clubs. The three most recent examples are Subberlin – The Story of Tresor, Bar 25 – Tage außerhalb der Zeit or Berlinized – Sexy An Eis.

The wild times are over but the spirit remains …

Even in the decade after the noughties, Berlin remains the ultimate mekka for EasyJet-Ravers and there’s nowhere else in Germany that has such a diverse, affordable and extensive kind of partying on offer. In fact there’s nowhere else in the world where there’s always another party waiting and before you know it, just as the last afterhour comes to an end the next weekend has commenced.

However on the relative scale of things the wild times of the 90s in Berlin are over, whereby many clubs (illegal or semi-legal) have become solidly-run small and middle sized businesses. However the spirit does continue to be felt. Each month sees the opening and closing of new locations and each weekend sees an array of illegal open air parties taking place all over the city. But in face of the discussion surrounding gentrification, the planned introduction of new fees which clubs will be forced to pay to the German royalties society (GEMA) and its consequent threat to clubs in 2013, the question is for just how long can this spirit actually remain? The fact that millions of club tourists not only fill the empty cash desks of the city and that the party szene itself has played a huge role in forming an image of Berlin as a creative hub is something that even the Berlin senate has recognized. Thus they are putting pressure on the German royalties society to change their detrimental reform which is planned.

One can hope that Techno will continue to create and develop smaller and larger niches in the city, although that certainly seems to have been easier to do 20 years ago than it is today.

Sascha Uhlig

10 april 2017

Creating Community: Foundations

As a DJ, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re doing what you can to cultivate a great community. It’s what brings people together and it’s how you can grow your profile, help to get more gigs, more people to your gigs and be in control. Traditionally, this would be IRL - flyer drops in record stores, street posters, passing around physical mixtapes, word of mouth etc. While this is still important, it’s hard to ignore the time people spend online in 2015. Facebook alone has over 1.4 billion worldwide users who spend on average 40 mins per day on the platform. Almost 1 in 5 people on earth has a Facebook profile :)
While it continues to grow as a space to engage with potential fans, it’s important to understand the amount of content and noise generated… For example, every 20 minutes on Facebook there are 1 million links shared, 2 million friend requests and 3 million messages sent. How can you cut through this and develop an engaged community and fanbase? Here’s a few key principles to remember when thinking about how you use social media to build your DJ profile.
You could think of social media like sync… :D It’s not going to make you a better DJ or gain more fans by itself. You still have to be a good DJ. Time spent on the internet still isn’t as important as time spent practicing :) If you use it well though, it’s a great help!

Have a purpose other than building likes / follows

Would you prefer a slightly smaller crowd going nuts on the dancefloor or a packed bar with no-one dancing or listening to you?
You need to have a purpose in social media. This is the backbone of any successful social media strategy and needs to be quite specific. You may want to get more likes on your page but how does this relate to real life goals? Building page likes or follows should be a sign of success rather than the outcome you are trying to drive.
Do your fans come to the club to see you play? Do they listen to your radio show? Do they buy your tracks? Do you get bookings for parties? You should define what your goals are so you can spend your time (and money) wisely. If you’re a mobile DJ and your goal is to get more bookings for weddings / birthdays your activity will be very different to a DJ trying to get booked in the club. If you are serious about your DJ business, then defining your purpose will let you measure how successful you are and give you something to aim for.

Create value

After defining your purpose you should think about why someone should follow your page. Would you follow someone just to get invited to events and see gig flyers each week? Creating value for your fans is how you build real support. Try a 50 / 50 split between posting promotional and inspirational content so you're not bombarding people with self promo.
Content doesn’t have to be expensive or hard either! Here are some examples of what you could be creating:
  • Mixtapes! These should be your bread and butter.
  • Sharing mixes from other DJs you like / respect. People love commentary and curation and you want to be an opinion leader!
  • Articles and insights (top 10 bangers, opinion pieces on music/tech/DJ culture, production tips etc.)
  • photos! (past events, studio shots, old flyers for #TBT etc.)
  • Videos (video wrap ups from past events, short performances, studio selfies etc.)
  • DJ Edits, remixes or your own productions.
Quality is more important than quantity, but at the same time regular activity is also important in maintaining an online presence. An easy way to manage the need for regular content while keeping the quality is to bring the same content to life in a few different ways. For example, if you make a new mixtape, you could also have a short video of you making it, you could have a blog post about the mix with an embedded player and you could have the mix itself - that’s three pieces of content for the price of one and will also let you target fans who engage with different media formats (articles, videos, music).
Make sure to keep an eye on what works and what doesn’t so you’re relevant. If you’re a radio DJ and no-one is into your photo of the studio before you play each week, maybe think about changing your tactics. Keep doing what works and adjust what doesn’t until you get it right.


Make sure that social media isn’t your only promotional activity. You should be using every tool you can to build your brand as a DJ. Social media exists to amplify this and help, but it’s not the replacement.
Make sure your social profiles are easy to find. This means choosing a name that people will find (facebook.com/djmickstape rather than facebook.com/djmickstapeworldsgreatestdj), filling out your “about section” on your page and making sure you have clear links and “follow me at…” calls to action from your gig flyers, any online/physical posters and other websites.
You will also want to try and work with any other partners you have to increase your visibility. If you play at a club each week, ask them to share your mixes if you are posting these if they manage their own pages. Ask to do guest mixes for local businesses also and ask other local DJs if they want to make videos with you. Bring your team up with you, it’s way easier!
You might want to start building an email database as well, which will give you another avenue to drive actions such as RSVP for parties, buy tickets, buy new tracks, download mixes etc. with leads acquired on Facebook. You can use services such as Mailchimp to do this which have both free and paid for levels of service.

Talk with your fans not at them.

The best thing about social media for brands and businesses is that it lets you be human. As a DJ you have the advantage of being slightly cooler than corporate enterprises, but you still have to make sure you’re talking with your audience and participating rather than just shouting at them.
Be nice. No-one likes a dickhead. Be respectful of negative opinions (as long as they aren’t offensive) and healthy criticism. Don’t feed trolls, they have a huge appetite. Also be careful about your own opinions...
You should also respond to everyone. Social media is a conversation and making yourself available is a great way to connect with your fans.

Don’t overthink it.

Lastly and maybe ironically after reading this whole article, the best advice is to not overthink it. Usually when you think something is a good idea it is a good idea. If your gut tells you it’s probably not the best idea, it’s probably not. There are a million experts in social media and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the “best practice” and rules. While there are some principles to understand it’s all about just being there and being interesting / entertaining.
Try not to “do social media”, try to be a DJ first and foremost. If you get that right, the rest should fall into place a lot easier.
Sam Stokes

27 maart 2017



The Clone boss might be the shyest and most polite DJ you know, but he is also one of the most versatile and uncompromising selectors working today.
If you are a DJ and you want to educate people, you should have become a teacher. I always find that such nonsense. What makes a great DJ is to share your enthusiasm for tracks that you love, play tunes that you love, to share them with your friends… but not to educate a crowd.


A DJ for me is someone who plays great music and who sets the atmosphere of a night, who is a slave to the location and the event and most of all to the crowd. However, it’s not a submissive role – probably the opposite. I see it as a strange conflicting role. You need to please and entertain the crowd in some way, to make them listen and dance to your music, but in your own way without losing your own style, taste and aesthetics, and do it with creativity, fantasy, a certain character that comes unique with each person.
Each DJ is different, has a different character, so I would never say, like DJ Harvey said, that a DJ must be an entertainer, because that is simply not correct. Each DJ makes his own role fit to his character, his taste and feel for aesthetics and the crowd that he or she wants to play for. And even though, often, the most extrovert and outgoing characters are the most popular DJs, I don’t think they are automatically the best DJs. That stardom and pop star thing became more important in the recent decade, however we shouldn’t mix up popularity with DJ quality or skills. And neither should we do it the other way around. You can play the coolest records all the time, but how much worth are you as a DJ if you clean out the dancefloor gig after gig? It can happen, it does happen, but I don’t see this as skills or an accomplishment, even while playing the best tunes on the planet. However, you also should have the balls to just clean the dancefloor and say fuck it… and try to prove you’re right and stick to your own aesthetics and taste, and sometimes just accept you’re at the wrong location at the wrong moment!
DJing has changed, of course. It has become a business, with business rules. More and more agents and managers know how things work and how they can launch a career. Many DJs are true social media heroes and spend more time on Facebook and Twitter than digging for tunes or recording tracks. However there is also a growing educated and smart crowd, thanks to that same internet, that is open to the new and the different, and who don’t need instant entertainment.
I think reading the room is probably the most difficult and most important thing, unless you just play the same floor fillers every set and just don’t care. But even then, you somehow need to know when to play what tune, and not to ruin certain tunes by playing them at the wrong moment when they have hardly any effectiveness. Certain tunes are so popular they always work, but maybe even more important are the goosebump tracks or the special ones that otherwise would clean out the dance floor when you play them at the wrong moment.
Sorry to sound like an old fart, but I think DJing is easier these days. I wouldn’t say the standard is higher now or back then, but you can easily become a working DJ when you know how to produce some popular tunes and let your manager sort you out with some gigs and just play tunes for one or two hours with the sync button or from your computer with Ableton. That’s something different then playing a full night by yourself – vinyl only, of course – for a mixed crowd, going from disco to pop to house to whatever, pleasing the dancefloor and the club owner.


An all-nighter was a standard thing 20 to 30 years ago – there was usually no line-up announced. Back then I remember the club owner came up to me quite often when I played too much house… too much house wasn’t good for the bar turnover, so he gave me that look that I had to make sure they’d sell some beer. Actually, that stopped at some point around ’91 or ’92 when he found out he could make money by selling pills too [laughs]. From there on, it was house music all night long!
I’d say it’s easier to be considered a good DJ nowadays. Maybe my view is a bit biased, but here’s an example: I’m playing a decent set and building towards the headliner who’s on after me, so I play a last couple of tunes that slow down a bit as I don’t think it’s always nice to end with peak time bangers when the headliner is about to begin. All of a sudden, when I mix in that last tune, the crowd goes wild. I look up, all surprised. That tune wasn’t a hands-in-the-air tune, but it turned out the headliner stepped on the stage, and by just seeing him they all started cheering and shouting. Other problems come along with being famous, I guess.
I never really thought about my own approach to DJing, but I’m a music lover and record collector with a rather introvert character, so I didn’t start DJing to entertain or be in the spotlight, but just because I really loved the music and because I wanted to hear specific tunes and share that. So that’s basically what I still do.
I think I always have a certain goal I want to achieve, like playing certain tracks and making them work, but I guess that’s more or less it. It is actually very intuitive: it’s not that I try to manipulate the crowd, but I just try to make some kind of connection by playing tunes I like and hopefully the room likes them as well. I don’t know. It probably sounds a bit pretentious, but I don’t like to randomly just drop some tunes as I need some direction and something to work towards. I guess that’s also the reason why I often start slowly and feel the vibe and then slowly go towards where I want to go. Sometimes I don’t succeed and there is very little connection and I simply don’t reach my goal. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad night – sometimes the crowd leads me somewhere unexpected, and maybe that’s even nicer.


The definitive, career-long resident DJ who has more skills than many superstars and consistently proves his worth at The Warehouse Project as well as many other clubs and festivals around Europe. Now also a radio jock on KMAH.
In the traditional sense, the resident has a completely different relationship with the crowd than a headliner. Once a good resident has established themselves with a crowd at a particular night, it’s like ordering a favourite dish from a takeaway: you’re happy with it, you know it’ll never let you down, you’re comfortable knowing it’s always there, but the headliner is when you try something different. Sometimes it works, sometimes you’re let down.


If a resident is warming up, it goes without saying that you’re there to initially ease the crowd in and to leave the headliner at a point where they can do what they want, with a crowd that’s primed for it. Then it’s up to them. That’s a more traditional view of a resident and headliner, though – nowadays many nights have residents and guests who are equally matched in terms of reputation and following, and that gives a much more dynamic feel to a night. When nobody is the ‘superstar’ there’s no differential.
For me, the smaller the room, the more reward you get from reading it and then in turn getting it right. It’s the thing of ‘looking into the whites of the eyes’: you can really lock into smaller rooms then gauge from them where you can take it. I think larger crowds are happy to be dictated to, whereas if the environment is more cosy you’re able to take in the general feeling of where they want to be led.
The guiding principles of a DJ should be that of willingness to adapt, by having a wide enough knowledge of their music to be able to do this but still remaining within the music they love. The huge spectrum of new music available within genres nowadays, alongside the back catalogues, means there’s no reason this can’t be done. I mean, how do you even know ‘what crowds want to hear’? they don’t fill in a questionnaire at the door. I think you have to be confident enough to give them credit that they will be open to what you do.
What makes a great DJ is the ability to make it look easy, and I mean truly easy. I completely understand the fact it’s not brain surgery, but in this age where countless tools are at the disposal of people who want to go out and DJ, the medium is often made a focus over the art. A truly great DJ exudes effortlessness when they play, whether that be crossing different genres, properly managing the system they are playing on, knowing its limits or generally understanding the room very quickly. The technical thing for me comes way down the list.
I couldn’t give a shit if a DJ drops a mix every now and again or hardly mixes at all. It’s about creating your own environment for the time you’re on and doing it in a way that works for that time and place.
Kristan Caryl