How the Modern DJ Carries his Gear

dj-gearDo you remember those youthful days when we all used to go to discos and dance to the sometimes questionable music of a sometimes questionable DJ? Do you remember the big, bulky speakers and equipment which would have to be lugged into the hall before each and every disco? Well, I hope you enjoyed that trip down memory lane because, well, that lifestyle doesn’t exist anymore. I don’t know when the last time you went to a disco was (hopefully you left that behind in the 80’s) but we DJ’s aren’t into carrying truckloads of equipment from place to place anymore. You see, in the age of the internet and beautifully slim and light laptops, only ‘retro’ DJ’s actually carry equipment around with them.

Out With the Old

So, the real question is, for all those interested, what do we carry instead? Well, everything I need for a gig is on my Apple Mac. It’s somewhat frightening and yet, at the same time, frighteningly brilliant. You see, rather than having to carry hundreds of boxes containing thousands of CD’s from place to place, I now have almost every single song downloaded onto my laptop. Neat, huh? So, rather than telling people that, no I cannot play their requested song because I do not have it in my cluttered CD boxes, all I have to do now is search for the song in question on my laptop and Voila! The latest chart hit is playing over the loudspeaker. It’s especially useful when I’m DJ-ing for a group of people who are too ‘cool’ for regular pop music and won’t stop requesting the latest deep house core hit.

Just Me and My Backpack

But, you all clamour and cry, how do I manage to carry my laptop from place to place? Some of you might label this as a stupid question but, if you have to cycle to most gigs (especially if they’re local) like me, you do not want to have an expensive laptop perched precariously on your bike handles, do you? Well, thankfully, there is an extremely simple solution; a laptop backpack. They’re lightweight and they keep my precious laptop safe from the rain (if you’re a DJ in a rainy place, you must invest in one, if you haven’t already) as well as protecting it, to a certain degree, from nasty bumps and scrapes. You don’t even have to buy an expensive backpack; you could just head down to your local outdoors store and see what backpacks they have to offer. Regular backpacks do the job just fine so, where possible, don’t waste your money on unnecessary equipment.

The world is an ever-changing place so, in twenty years’ time, I will probably be told that my laptop is outdated and that, DJ’s use micro-chips to store their songs on these days. Then again, in twenty years’ time, I’ll probably be a bit long in the tooth to traipse around the country playing at discos and eighteenth birthday parties.

The Easy Croydon Rave: Partying South of London

croydon-raveLondon is known for its busy and bright rave scene — it is, after all, one of the cities in which the whole deal started. Interestingly, in the beginning, these raves were legal, but as they became increasingly associated with drugs and other seedy aspects of the underground culture, they were, for all of their creative flair and energetic dancing, banned under the law. This, of course, never stops anything, and raves continued to be organised and executed all over the country. And this continues today — but, if you keep an eye on the news, you’ll certainly know this.

I am talking, of course, about the recent rave that took place in East Croydon, south of London. The event, which took place at a disused sorting office in the municipality, attracted an estimated 1,300. Partygoers dressed for the occasion, many sporting glow sticks and other such apparel, and spent the night dancing to performances given by DJs playing mostly new songs from their repertoire. The exceptional number of people in attendance is due to the event’s having been advertised widely on Facebook (and possibly on other social networks, as well), primarily by people roughly around the age of 18 years old.

Not all raves are roiling centers of absolute madness, as the media tends to try to convince the population in general, but sometimes, things do go wrong, and that was certainly the case at the disused warehouse. Multiple attendees said the rave was “crazy”, initially in a positive sense, but, later, in reference to panic and violence that broke out for reasons as-yet undetermined. Sixteen people were arrested in relation to the rave, nine during the event itself; the windows of one police van were smashed in; and missiles were thrown at officers who attempted to stop people from getting close to the building.

Multiple injuries have been recorded, and, lamentably, one death, that of 15 year old RIo Andrew, who fell ill at the event. The particular details of the death have not been recorded, but the police are, appropriately, responding to the tragedy by attempting to determine who is responsible for advertising such events in order to curtail their occurrence. Given the information currently available, it does not seem as if Mr Andrew did anything especially irresponsible, and as such, there is a vigorous investigation into the details of his death, so as to ensure that those responsible, if there is indeed a guilty party, will be brought to justice.

The police force cite this event as an example of why parties of this sort must be regulated and registered. If someone falls ill at a sanctioned event, there is much greater probability of their being attended to properly, which may have been enough, in this instance, to save a life. More news is being gathered by those investigating, and will be circulated as soon as it is made available.