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13 April 2016

9 Years of Disco Deviant

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Celebrating 9 years of Disco Deviant...

It’s almost 9 years to the day that I started throwing parties under the Disco Deviant banner, coincidentally we have 2 parties in April which we can now use to mark the occasion with. The first of which is in our hometown, Brighton on Sat 16th April and the other in Berlin a week later. Andrew Weatherall will be making a welcome return to Patterns, Brighton which means I will once again have the privilege of warming up for one of my heroes.

I am an unashamed fan boy when it comes to all things Weatherall. I first met Andrew at Shave Yer Tongue many moons ago. His sets and style were markedly different and particularly interesting as I was more into guitar bands, emotive, angry songwriters and live music at that point; I only had fairly superficial experience of electronic or warehouse music in early 1990 and imagined it would probably be a passing fad for me. However, Andrew’s remix work around this time crossed over into more familiar territory for me. James, My Bloody Valentine and of course Primal Scream all completely blew me away. Looking back I really studied mixing techniques and programming and would often marvel at Andrew’s seemingly innate ability to work some pretty weird musical combinations onto the dancefloor.
The DJ’s that always did it for me at that point (I was out 4 nights a week) were Andy Weatherall, Carl Cox, Rocky & Diesel and also the immaculate mixing skills (albeit a bit girly) of Sasha.
When I think about this period, it was a really influential and important time for me. I had always been way too lazy to learn an instrument or read music. Piano lessons were wasted on me as a kid, I couldn’t sing well enough to be in a band without it all going a bit flat, quite literally with me as lead singer.
Suddenly I had seen and heard something that I could aspire to myself. Sasha was a classically trained musician and I could hear that in his mixes and programming, but Weatherall just looked and sounded far more punk and despite his fast mounting production credentials, I believed I could probably do something similar if I wanted to. After all lot’s of the DJ’s I heard playing elsewhere were shit and I thought I could do better. These ‘studies’ and their subsequent findings, were carried out primarily from the middle of the party whilst dancing rather than leaning over the booth asking what tracks were or anything gauche like that and then later at the after hours sessions at peoples homes.
One story that sums up my respect for Andrew and for the precision of the craft follows. I was 18 at the time.
I remember hearing a couple of mixes go awry and seeing a record fly past our heads one particularly busy night at Simpsons. The ‘Moody DJ’ moniker was already being bandied about and I wondered if he was just on a different buzz to me. However I later worked out whilst looking at my now ruined white baggy jeans, that the cause was not Andrew simply having an off night or dodgy needles. Sweat had been raining down from the ceiling, onto my jeans as well as the turntables and fucking up his mixes. Here we are 25 years down the line and the story is still be written. Andrew’s never gone soft and he’s not sold out. I think that may be why we love him like we do.
I know 1000’s of you have your own stories and still study what he’s up to and how he’s doing it. Hope to see you next Saturday for another chapter.

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