After my rebirth and outing at the Vortex over the summer, I managed to inveigle myself into doing a DJ slot at the Peckham Springs Record Fair in August. For some reason I was far more nervous than usual. Maybe it was the presence of actual music enthusiasts rather than bar hoppers that had me overly concerned about making any transition sound like shit. Andrew Ashong had his stall set right up in front of me. My friend (and fellow aspiring DJ) Nick came along for moral support which was great of him.
For the first hour I played it pretty safe. By that I mean I was just fading up and down rather than transitioning. But I managed to get in some nice laid back tunes, build a decent tempo and atmosphere, and had traders and customers coming up to me asking me the names of some of the stuff that I had been playing. That was particularly rewarding and it was nice to talk with some people older than myself about their enthusiasm / habit / addiction of buying records too. I played music along the lines of Jan Jelinek, Jennifer Lara, Jean Grae, Dr. Octogon, and even that Papa Blue record which I’ve had for over twenty years, bizarrely assembled by the same producer of the likes of Darude remixes.
For the second hour I tried to chug it into second or third gear with some lower bpm deep house music after some ambience from Strategy and Baltra, attempting not to repeat the exact same set from the Vortex – because y’know, my mob of eager fans thronging the decks would obviously smell a rat – and played mostly records that I had bought at the Fair over the summer. Here’s a link to the set I played for most of the second half of my slot.
I attended the Fair again last Sunday (29/09), and I didn’t contact the organiser to press for another DJ slot as I didn’t have the free time to do it. In some ways that really felt like the closure of the summer for me. The kids are back from their trip abroad and back in school, my personal free time is limited at the weekends depending on what their mother is doing and what activities are on, etc. The weather also seemed to tilt over into autumnal chill this week, compounding the sense of the end.
But I didn’t intend this to be a sour note. It’s been a really nice summer, and the Record Fair at Peckham Springs has been a big part of that. I feel like I’ve re/connected with a music scene that I’ve been adrift from for years, despite continuing to be a consumer during that time. I met people from Ransom Note, Yam, Slowfoot, Shapes of Rhythm, and also other enthusiastic addicts like Lorenzo, Andrew, Alex, Nick, and Tom. Everyone was friendly and open, not that I was expecting otherwise, but it made me feel welcome and put some definition back into my life that is not just about the work/kids/sleep cycle. Tom says he will organise another one in late November or early December so I’m patiently waiting for that to roll around.