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I used to make "mix tapes".
First, I went for juxtaposition of
different kinds of music, trying to
shock with contrasts.
Very quickly, this seemed like an
easy, cheap trick.
Back then, I also believed in
I started working on smooth transitions, treating the music with
getting different pieces of music to respect, leaving a noticeable
flow together. gap of silence between the
cuts. Very "loose" segues.
I got into the idea of creating
tapes for other people to
listen to, tapes that would I also started playing
provide structure to a party, with simple structures.
or a dinner gathering. e.g. a "then and now"
tape, alternating between
These rarely worked out very well. punk that was ten years
It's exeedingly difficult to old, and punk that was
predict the mood of a crowd of current.
people days in advance, and work
out an appropriate sequence of or a "tricycle"
music. tape, alternating
between the works
Once I was asked to spin of three artists.
records at a party (using
one turntable and someone
else's records). I found it
a very frustrating experience.
Some of the records in the stack
were cool by me (e.g. the
Replacements) and it looked like
a cool crowd at the party, This was heavily dominated by
but it turned out that they the "international" crowd at
wanted to dance to stuff like Stanford. Musical fashions
Michael Jackson. travel slower than fashions in
I have a lot of respect for
dance music DJs. What they do
is not at all easy. They have
to keep an eye on the crowd at
all times, and constantly come
up with compromises between
they're own taste and the people
who are voting with their feet.
College radio DJs (at a place
like KZSU at least) have the
great luxury of self-indulgence.
You're working in almost complete
isolation (yes, some people call
up, but the people who call
radio stations are hardly
representative of the whole audience).
There's little choice but to steer
by your own lights, and hope
that someone out there appreciates
what you're doing.
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