DJs and Christmas
Facebook live DJs wearing Santa hats, Traxsource posting top 100s of the year in every possible sub-genre of house music including soulful old-disco deep tech nu-afro house, it can mean only one thing – it must be Christmas again. It’s when Bill Brewster puts his Furtive 50 together and then loads of DJs pretend that they were playing most of them all year when really they’ve actually only had three gigs in the whole of 2017 and resolutely played 125 bpm tech house for all three.
Christmas gives your workmates and family a chance to get you, a DJ, DJ-themed presents, and you may find yourself the lucky recipient of coasters made of old vinyl, clocks made of old vinyl, wav. files made of old vinyl etc. My DJ present list this year is modest, I just want a pair of left-handed headphones, some biometric wearables and maybe an artisan sake company for me to curate.
Before they get to settle down in front of the Game of Thrones Christmas special, DJs will claim that they have to play at loads of extra seasonal parties first. However, DJs don’t actually get to have a works Christmas party like normal people, so miss out on the chance to be drunk-rude to James from accounts who’s had it in for you all year ever since that expenses mix up, God, get over it James, it was a simple mistake, Jeez. Equally, DJ’s also miss out on the opportunity to get woefully drunk with people they barely know whilst wearing reindeer antlers, although this isn’t that different from lots of DJs’ gigs anyway.
Enter the Part-timers
Any working DJ will tell you things can get a little weird this time of year, especially if you DJ in a bar rather than a club. Christmas is when the serious heads-down, genre-snob world of underground dance music and the willfully silly, light-up-Santa-hat world of office parties clash head-on. You’re suddenly going to get loads of people on your dance floor who rarely drink to excess and who only ever dance in public at weddings. The disorienting effects of the loud music, flashing lights and cheap alcohol offers will all contribute to them definitely having to have a conversation with you about the merits of Faithless’s second album (they’ll call it “their sophomore set yeah?”), the reasons why you should own it (“Because you’re a DJ”), and why you should definitely play at least two tracks from it (“As a sophomore set, it’s unparalleled”).
When that conversation happens, remember that these people are paying your wages, such as they are, so if you’ve agreed to accept only 4 drinks tokens for a chance to play your Phil Collins Balearic re-edits that’s your problem, be nice to people. Christmas is the season of goodwill after all and as a DJ, its generally a good idea to at least try in some way to give the people what they want, at least for a bit, before you get to the serious bit when you start to ‘educate and entertain’ them (sorry, just threw up a bit in my mouth). But most club DJs just aren’t going to have Mariah or Slade or Wham – OR ARE THEY? What kind of a DJ are you if you haven’t stuck a 4/4 kick drum under these classic yuletide hits of old in an attempt to make them more palatable to your DJ ears – not a proper modern one, that’s what. I bet the numbers on your socials are rubbish.
If you’ve not butchered and auto-tuned a popular Christmas favourite in Ableton, then you’ll need to head over to the Soulful House section on your preferred dance music online retail store and pick up some traditional Christmas carols and hymns reworked into Soulful House dance floor bangerz: joy to the world motherfuckers, try not to be sick on the night bus home.
We’ll be taking a very brief break from sarcasm and smartassery to drink excessively and practice passive aggression on various relatives, but will return refreshed on the other side with much more of the same. Exclusive stories and articles coming next year include: