mr. zilla goes to town

Wednesday, September 17, 2003


Of the new toys in the last month or so, two of them (the USB Gigaport AG and Traktor Studio software) turn the laptop into a two channel live mixing deck - tricked up with configurable filters and crossfader, looping on the fly, pitch control, EQ with kills, all very handy stuff. Just like having turntables, only crunchy! I took it along to a friend's BBQ in Silver Spring on Saturday to mess about with, interface with G's iPod, and provide some ambience. Kruder and Dorfmeister and Ninja Tunes got a good workout, as did I - mixing the ninja grooves into each other was often not so straightforward.

Being car-free in the US I still had the whole setup with me by the time we got to the third party of the day, out in Arlington (10 miles west of DC) around 1am. Half a dozen people and bottles of wine at J's place in Dupont Circle doesn't count... and the second DC Quiet Party, despite the attention from a spanish-language TV network, almost didn't count. This was an "Old School" theme party, hosted by the head honcho of one of DC's street press mags, which apparently means many kegs of beer, post-interns in pigtails, school uniforms, guys in college football jumpers, and (what else?) togas.

Now for what looked like a well-greased party machine of a couple of hundred people, I was surprised to find there was no up-and-coming local lad behind some decks in lounge room. Another leap across the cultural divide I guess. Still when a group of cute-young-thing French students and a UK-schooled Nigerian bloke started complaining that there was nothing to dance to, well call me Virgil Tracy but that sounded like a call to International Rescue...

All in all a bit of an adrenaline raising introduction to playing a room. Especially since I've only had a version of the software with the all important keyboard shortcuts activated for four days. Lessons learned #1: find more floorfillers and organise better the ones you've got! The Traktor library window is a little clumsy and small when trying to find stuff in a hurry. This raised the ire of one britney-luvin' over-imbibed cheerleader, who exchanged with over the merits of eurodance trash versus top40 trash. (Lesson learned #2: you can't please all the punters all of the time).

On the other side of the ledger the host was pretty happy and I ended up dragged back out to a club in Dupont Circle around 4am... and from there I'll draw the veil on the rest of the evening. Nonetheless the wages of spin are that a good night out turns into something a little more crazy fun and different.


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