Monday, August 11, 2008

08.11.08: The Unexpected Annex Move

DJ's from here to kingdom come will understand this statement. DO NOT MOVE MY RECORDS. (please). However when your landlord is doing you a favor by removing all the mold ridden carpeting in the basement... yea you just sort of have to roll with it.

9am Sunday morning, half awake and really not in the mood for this sort of action. Mind you I did have help Amelia my better half was totting records up from the basement and placing them in piles all over the dinning room. Now normally my OCD would not mind this so much... ok thats a down right lie. Even while I was moving them from point A to point B I was mentally triping out. I have a show in one weeks time, I have not started my record pull for the show, and now my basement recording studio looks like a dusty war zone.

While the contractors hammered and clanged around in my basement I kicked on NPR and started to organize my collection. Roughly speaking its around 2,000 records. 3 quarters of that number is dedicated to dance music and roughly 3 quarters of that is Jungle / Drum & Bass.

As the dust tarnishes my fingers, memories of tunes, events and past relationships come back to me. This is not a High Fidelity moment, I'm not about to start organizing my records by past lovers... I've done that before its a royal pain to find records you need in a pinch. Instead I'm recalling the dimly lite record stores, the thrift store finds and the many vinyl donations I've received over the years. One such donation really defined my Junglist career.

It was 2000, the rough climatic downfall of rave culture in the USA. I was a newly reborn Jungle head making the switch from Hard Disco House to Ragga Jungle...(I may explain that later). At the time my crate consisted of about 12 classic tracks all acquired from Juno, Satellite Records, & the now defunked Planet X. It was a good set but slow going because only Juno actually carried a decent Jungle selection.

One fall afternoon, Karen B., Nick Pierce and I were visiting Douglas Black & Bettsy B. in Columbus Ohio. Setting the scene Karen B is good friend of Douglas, and at that time my long time girlfriend & Nick Pierce was a one time DJ partner with Douglas was my partner in DJ crime. Upon our arrival we were ushered up stairs to stash our bags and start getting ready for the evening activities.

Small talk with people I admired was never my strong point. Douglas Black was to Athens, Ohio is like Scott Henery is to DC... a flipping local legend. Mind you he was not local to Ohio but the impact he left on the party scene in Ohio made him an honerary local. (laughing) Needless to say he intimaded me for a long time, that and he was like a big brother to Karen so I sort of had the decks stacked against me. Eventually over the evening I got over my timidness and started to ask about Jungle tracks and producers I needed to be on the look out for.

Douglas Black who used to go by the DJ name Morphious was an old jungle head. Infact when I think back to it, he was a large part of my exposure to Jungle when I was living in the Mid West. Douglas with that winning smile started pulling tracks for me to listen to, then more or less left me with an open set of decks and his jungle collection.

He had so many classic rolling jungle tracks: 6 million ways to die, Pink Panther, Let me clear my throat, Jungle Brothers, The Hitman... and loads of other classic tracks. It was my own mini heaven. I was franticly taking down notes of tracks, Albums, Labels. Eventually it was time to roll out for the evening activities. We all had a blast that evening, Douglas was spinning at Dragon Fly and I always enjoyed his Deep House sets.

However, it was the next day after as we all lounged about that Douglas suprised me. He said he was selling a bounch of his vinly and if there were any Jungle tracks I wanted I should go up and take them before he sold them off. Now I don't think he expected me to snag as many as I did but I high talled it up and took about a create full of vinly. Thinking back on it now it was totally oppertunist, and a little shitty of me. But ever since then I've always have tryied to book him whenever I was running DJ nights and have always sung his praises... I may never be fully paid up with him but his Karma levels must be through the roof for letting me get away with that.

Thats how I got my base foundation level of records as a Junglist. Now flipping through them all they make me smile. Rememberance of those days, hours spent standing curb side handing out flyers, praticing in small dank apartments, and hours upon hours spent with the Headroom Crew.

Five hours later I sat back and surveyed my rows of well organized records. There is something like the proud feeling of a mother hen looking over her chicks.

Amelia comes back from her job and finds me out front taking in the afternoon sun. "How was your afternoon?" She enquirers. "Fantastic" I said with a smile

No comments: