@ Power House

Posted: November 20th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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Finn Johannsen – Can’t Give Up Paul Hunter Mix

Posted: November 13th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Mixes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


Life At The Bottom

Posted: November 2nd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Features | 4 Comments »

I would like to maintain that no music is really rare these days. It is likely just a few clicks away, and if you can afford to purchase it, it is just one click further. Nevertheless there is also a whole market built on DJs that play rare music, or who are reliably making music rare. They are often announced as DJs that dig deeper than others. Now finding music that others DJ do not play is or at least should be more or less an integral part of DJing, and to use it as a sales point seems at least debatable. Then again, a whole lot of DJs do not mind playing the same music as others, and if this special market segment injects some diversity or unpredictability, it should be nothing to complain about. The according DJs might also not opt for rarity status intentionally, often they just play out music they like, and a lot of people like the music as well, and they want to own it, too. And as these DJs are usually well documented, too many wantlists soon exceed the supply, and the music gets expensive. Well, of course a lot of DJs are also intentionally playing rare music to maintain a certain status, and in the process they exhaust the surprise potential of the music because other people learn about the music and subsequently seek access to it. It does not make the music cheaper either. Most of the DJs who trigger such chain reactions are able to do that for certain reasons though. Nearly all of them have the necessary well-developed taste buds, experience and the according deck skills to present all of it. Some are old enough and bought the music when it originally came out, some are younger and just knew where to look later on. Regardless of age all these DJs were probably spending a considerable amount of time learning about music, and they were also not afraid to invest a lot of time finding it. But once you made your name on this special circuit, finding rare music is also getting easier. You establish a network with other likeminded DJs and exchange knowledge, and when you enter a record store or an distribution office, you are likely to be given valuable information about rare music, just because you are who you are. At best, you either play enough gigs to afford any kind of music you want, or you pull enough attention to just being given it for free. Some might not even really possess the music in its original form, maybe they just have the files. You cannot really tell these days, I suppose.

But what do you do if you like the music these DJs play? Of course you can wait until some label reissues rare music you are looking for, which is actually very likely nowadays, but it is still music that was already discovered and played out by people as mentioned above, and you cannot really gain status by showing off with records that others already added to the canon of desirable items, particularly if you do not own the original issues. The other thing is that not every record you would like to have gets reissued, or you just do want to wait for it. Or you belong to the majority of DJs that simply cannot afford to buy such originals, but you still want to establish a reputation as a decksman who finds things. If your budget is limited your chance of finding that box of sealed copies or private pressings in a seedy basement or a rural shack is limited as well, because you just cannot travel to such locations. But also in an actual record store, or online, your chance of finding those for little money is near zero. Everything is connected. It is way easier to learn about records nowadays and then buy them, but it is also easier to check what they are worth. That works the same way for shop and customer, so surprise finds are restricted to stores that really do not care much about technical progress. And these are a rare species, probably nearing extinction.

At some point I decided to play less old rare records, regardless if I bought them for a regular price, found them by chance in a bargain bin, or paid a lot of money. I felt they lost their appeal if too many people in the club already knew how special they were, or if too many other DJs already had similar ideas. So I went the other way and started playing cheap records that everybody else seemed to not know, or had forgotten about. Personally, I am now not digging more than ever, but it feels like it. And I loved the reactions of dancers and fellow DJs who checked Shazam or Discogs only to realize the record that just had everybody screaming was available from plenty of sellers in numerous countries for very little money. For some the tune they wanted the minute before instantly became contaminated, inacceptable, uninteresting. Others discovered they could possibly gather a set of several hours for the price they expected a single tune to be worth.

There are a lot of ways to find those tunes. For example there are a lot of discographies by artists and labels that just have one or a few rare items. But what about the rest? Well, just check. The best way to find cheap alternatives that are as good or even better than that holy grail is to look left, right, and even elsewhere. Follow the credits, look for peculiar track titles or designs, isolate individual sounds, notice who did that dub on B3, and if you like what you hear, check what else they did, under what moniker. In the process you will learn about local scenes, sounds attached to a certain period of time, sellers that have an inventory that might offer things you were not even expecting yet. And then you proceed from there, as wherever you might find something you like, there might be more. If you think this reads really obvious, try it out. It is not as easy as you might think it is, and it requires a whole lot more time and initiative than just going with established decision makers. But it is also a whole lot more rewarding, and personal.

I am well aware that presenting some cheap finds here is a tad contradictory in that aspect. But I just want to prove what you can find, and I just can’t help telling people about certain music anyway, and some might even like it as much as I do. And if they look on their own they might find something that I did not know about, and I want them to tell me. Thus the knowledge is spread and things move forward. I am also aware that some records might get rare and expensive by being featured in this column. But you know what? It does not really matter. There are plenty more fish in the sea. And there is more life at the bottom.

Tyrone Ashley – Looks Like Love Is Here To Stay (Safari, 1977)

A lot of people still disregard Ian Levine. He started out as a collector and DJ in the original rare soul scene of the 70s, he was wealthy, gay and outspoken and he modernized (and split up) the whole movement by adapting more contemporary sounds from US club culture, thereby introducing classic disco and later Hi-NRG to the UK and beyond. He also discovered, managed and produced a lot of hugely successful pop acts, and did not mind to deform the original soul singers and tunes he started out with in the business with weird, cheap sounding updates. I quite like him for all of that, but I particularly like his songwriting and productions in collaboration with Fiachra Trench in the 70s disco era. I doubt he will ever get the respect he deserves, probably he does not even care. But listen to this gem: the right clues from the melodies he spent so much money on as a record collector, a state of the art orchestration and arrangement, and it hits all the right spots on the floor. And there’s plenty more disco ecstasy where this came from. Read the rest of this entry »


Druffalo Hit Squad – Live @ Druffaloma IX, October 21st 2017

Posted: October 30th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Mixes | Tags: , , | No Comments »


@ Druffaloma Disco & Garage House Allnighter

Posted: October 30th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs | Tags: , | No Comments »

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Finn Johannsen – Headcast 01

Posted: October 26th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs, Mixes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


@ Druffaloma IX – The Up/Downstairs Default Soundclash

Posted: October 16th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs | Tags: , | No Comments »

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Live @ Washing Machine – Clé, Terrible and Finn Johannsen, October 2nd 2017

Posted: October 4th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs, Mixes | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »


@ Washing Machine

Posted: September 27th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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DJ Pete & Finn Johannsen – Live At Power House, September 22nd 2017

Posted: September 25th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs, Mixes | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »