Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I've been letting this languish, partly because I've been making an effort to spend as little spare time as possible in front of a computer, but also because when I do, I read things like this (courtesy of Wonkette) or this (courtesy their bad selves), which make me want to leave this planet, and all the trouble that's in it.

In an effort to combine both planet and computer leaving urges and having a free Monday with not much writing to be done, a hunch that the surf was probably good and a borrowed hatchback, I drove through the rain down to Bells. The wind swung from NW to SW (bad) during the hour and a half on the road, and I arrived to find big, messy slabs of blown-out ocean unloading on the reef at the bottom of the cliff. The swell was still relatively straight and it looked okay despite all the chop, so I paddled out and joined a handful of locals braving the mid-Winter cold to get a few waves, and spent the next hour getting dragged down said reef by afformentioned large bits of ocean. While any time in the water is time well spent, sometimes; say, when you come to the surface after half a minute underwater having had a thick Bells lip land on your head only for the next three waves in the set break in front of you; you feel all you're doing is paying your dues.

Also though, Tamas and I have been working on a love and the rough mix CD. It's ridiculous how much time we've managed to spend working on this - off and on for three months at least - but unlike previous efforts we've managed during this time, I think we've near enough settled on a tracklisting that reflects pretty much everything we play, and sounds nice into the bargain. If we manage to get it recorded this week, come down to Republika this Saturday and we'll give you a copy. You should come anyway - we're playing with Damian Laird - a proper Melbourne legend who's been a bit quiet of late, so no doubt it'll be worth hearing what he's into these days.

Speaking of techier house DJs, we went by Honkytonks to catch DJ Diz on Saturday night. It's enough to make a chap wonder what it is about your city when so many people you've heard be ace somewhere else come to town and play such uninspired, workmanlike sets. I won't get started on Darshan Jesrani (although I'm more into placing blame for his Melbourne appearances here on the promoters, venues and warm-up DJs than the bloke himself), but I'd caught Diz a couple of times in London and have been keeping up with his productions since, and while there was nothing wrong with what he played on Saturday, it just wasn't particularly interesting or engaging.  I guess I just don't expect a DJ to get less musical and less adventurous as they get older, but a few Chicago house DJs appear to have done just that. Maybe they're just feeling trackier music these days, but when Diz, having essentialy just played bonus beats and tools for about half an hour, finally played a track that sounded different (in this case, one with an interesting bassline and a bit of warmth), it was JT Donaldon's Vanguard Nights, a record I passed on when I heard it because it didn't seem different enough to any of the hundreds of tougher jazzy house records like it.
Maybe I really don't get it, but doesn't every DJ want to play sets where each record is interesting and has life, and soul, and takes the room in a newer direction to the previous one, instead of sets where you take the dancefloor into a dark, linear tunnel with only pots and pans percussion to supply the drive? I guess if you do that then the records that have a bit more life will make a greater impact, but all the music you play should have a bit more life, shouldn't it?


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