Monday, 15 February 2010

Word association part 1

I have had an idea for a regular feature.  I am going to choose a book or magazine from my flat, go to the page number that corresponds with the date (or part of the date) and write the first sentence that starts on that page.  I will then choose a word from that sentence which stands out and write about what it means to me.

Today: How to (DJ Properly) - The Art and Science of Playing Records by Frank Broughton and Bill Brewster.
Length of book: 288 pages.
Page number chosen: 152 (15/02/2010).

"A low rumbling roar, usually your decks picking up vibrations from the speakers."

Hmmm, quite a dry one to kick things off.  The word that immediately stands out to me is "decks".

I used to DJ myself.  I started when I was about 15, I think to try and gain some cred at my high school.  The in thing seemed to be DJing and I longed to be thought of as one of the trendiest lads in my year, if not the whole damn place.  It wasn't as if I was unpopular.  I was one of the best footballers, and had lots of friends.  The trouble was that I didn't feel cool.  I wasn't invited to many parties by the people who commanded the most respect and attention.  I thought that getting decks would make me one of them.


The music to claim to like back then in my school was drum 'n' bass, or jungle.  Typically, I hardly ever listen to it these days.  I like Bob Dylan now.  One of the cool lads had some decks, as did a couple of others, and I thought that this was a perfect chance to do something relatively unique, which would make girls like me and others want to invite me to "town" on a Saturday afternoon, so I persuaded my Dad to get me some decks for my birthday.

I absolutely fell in love with them.  These were my ones and twos, my Numarks, my ticket to stardom.  Trouble was, I was aiming to be a turntablist and these decks weren't exactly Technics 1210s.  The other main problem was that I wasn't very good.  I decided to switch to breaks and actually discovered I was quite good.  Another major problem then reared its head - it's an expensive hobby if you aren't paid to DJ.  Things were different back in the early 2000s.  These days, young whippersnappers can use MP3 decks... I was committed to vinyl and a wallet-busting habit.  Everywhere I went, I sought out record shops in order to pick up rare white labels and classic funk releases.  I was a vinyl junkie.

So was this making me more popular at 6th Form?  No.  Frustrated and growing ever poorer, I decided to sell my decks but keep my record collection.

It was at university that I finally started to be asked to DJ at parties and in bars, and yet it wasn't quite the same without my decks.  I had some fantastic nights at houseparties spinning a set, but I had started buying records again and the expense kept nagging at me.  I do still have all my records and one day I will probably buy some Technics in order to fulfil one of my dreams of ownership, but for now I can do without them and my vinyl addiction lies dormant.

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