The rest of the title should have been “but then come back after a bunch of years.” It’s been a bunch of years, six or so, which is longer than most events stay in business. Shit, that’s longer than some clubs last. Nightclub timescales are somewhere between those of CPU performance and the maple/pumpkin spice flavor trend cycle.
Should I be worried that so much has changed that I can’t relate to the clubgoers anymore? Nobody dies if I mess up, but if doing something matters to me I certainly want to do it well.
Thankfully, goth kids hate change! New England, for the unacquainted, has a particularly progressive goth scene, which seems like an oxymoron. Even so, the Boston kids (who were willing to let jokers like me play Anthony Rother and Boards of Canada back in the day, along side all the industrial and gothy stuff) like a good helping of the familiar and the old school. Nothing wrong with that, not at all. Other G/I scene DJs I’ve met from elsewhere in the US had much less room to maneuver. Some wouldn’t want it any other way, which is also fine. There are definitely those who stay current, those who take chances and those who make a point to stick to the genres that are associated with these scenes, my point is that they have a harder time branching out at home, while New England welcomes it. Sort of. At least the complaints are generally creative and delivered without a lot of fuss, sometimes with a single finger. They’ll dance to it if it measures up. Big forever hugs, you cantankerous and elegant, black clad, champions.
So, this is encouraging. Even though I’m out of the loop, I can still get a sense for what kinds of things are being played and I recognize a lot of it. Some I didn’t, but I checked it out and now I think I get it. I’m not saying that I now have my finger on the pulse of the bleeding edge of the new hotness, or anything, but I have some data and some experience.
The real trick will be trying to sell my style to a good number of people who have no idea, really, who I am and could probably not give the ass of a single rat anyway. Will I curb my sense of humor? Unlikely! No doubt at least one track will be evidence that even something I’m taking seriously isn’t really so serious. Will that oddball track I made work (that nobody else was playing, for some presumably good reasons) years ago still do the trick? My plan is to take my measure of the mood of the room when I’m in it and trust my judgment. If I’m wrong, so be it. What are they going to do? Fire me? Ha! I think it’s going to be fine though.
Here’s a fun thing that happened while I was away: my mixing got better. Seriously, I can mix (that means beat matching, key matching and properly aligning the tracks I’m playing, for you muggles) better than the day I retired. Either that or I’m so out of it I’m fooling myself. Let’s go with the first one. I attribute it to all those hours listing to stuff in my car or whatever, tapping along, mixing in my imagination. Well, once I tried it for real, it’s was a breeze. Granted, this is not in a club under pressure, but I’ve got a lot of experience with practice and I noticed a difference.
So, back to it. No matter what happens, I can say I did my best to be ready for it.