To all of our DJ’s…
Music at (NAME WITHELD FOR ECONOMIC REASONS) is very important to us, as we feel the vibe of our venue is dependent on the tunes our hand selected DJ’s are playing. Musically, bad selection = bad business in our eyes. You have all been chosen because we trust your selection, but please play within the parameters set by our staff, i.e. the ones who are here often and know the vibe better than anyone. Obviously, we don’t expect you to play exactly what’s in this short brief, but stick close to it if you wish to continue playing here:
Keep it chilled. We like background beats that have a bit of some psychedelic, thumb-thimble type action with a sprinkle of “Buddhist monk chanting” over the top. Preferably, record some little shits sounds plopping into the toilet (synced, of course) to really give the chants some “bottom end”. Bear in mind, that under no circumstances do we want volume past 2-3 on the mixer (it is a Berringer, and you’d know how great their output is). The music should be so background that punters will be huddled around you and your headphones listening for anything remotely close to a beat so that the vibe by the DJ console promotes “touching”.
Also, make sure you “layer in”, not mix, some Balearic circus vibes (as long as it’s layered and chilled). We kind of have that Cirque De Soleil thing going in the back corner by the Daytona Driving Games so want those punters to feel welcome, too. It’s all about diversity.
Also, I know we mention this each week, but remember that staff love wiping down tables to anything that remotely sounds like 1998-2000 era Deep House from the Drop label, so play that, too. But please, keep it “chill” and “layer”, don’t mix. Some of you have been playing a bit more 2000-2005 era deep house and that’s not what we want…unless it’s funky. I trust you with that one though, because you’re the selectors.
Also, you’ll get a lot of accountants, lawyers and marketers rolling through after work. If they ask for Stevie Nicks, under no circumstances are you to play anything from Fleetwood Mac. We prefer originals, so only songs written while she was boning Jimmy Iovine are acceptable, i.e. the stuff Tom Petty wrote.
If any of that fails, play RNB.
Club Night begins...
So about 7pm (after we’ve hosed down the toilets and kicked all the lawyers out of the stalls), we get a bit of a drop in attendance. This when we trust your selection most of all, so would really like you to play any of the Ministry of Sound Mix CD’s that came out for free with Mixmags back in the day. Start with the Pete Tong 1999 Essential selections (my fav) and then I trust you to select any of the mix CD’s I’ve left for you in the booth in sequential order, with time of night we want them played.
I know, I know...you’re probably thinking CD’s??? Well, we do like to be a bit old school and feel the punters respect the fact that we’ve put the time in to find these mixes from the Mega-CD Wallet from the back of my 95 Commodore sitting behind my Nan’s shed. I personally ripped these CD’s from stuff downloaded off Napster, so it’s what sets our club apart from other clubs. We’re dangerous.
Bear in mind that anything from Sasha and/or Digweed goes down a treat while we transition into a nightclub and these CD’s are full of the songs everyone was loving back well before these club kids were even conceived. Your creativity when pushing play during the blends is quite important, so please make sure this is done with minimal disruption to the flow of the night. But really, we do trust your selection when you play these CD’s (in sequential order)…so I do not think this will even be an issue. Kill it!
So after you’ve played the CD’s I left for you (reminder: in sequential order), it’s really important you try to hold onto whatever punters remain until the “real crowd” arrives, so only play remixes of popular songs circa the naughties. Better yet, if you could just push play on my iPhone which is plugged into Channel 1 and make sure to stay out of the red, that’s perfect. As well, we really need you to look interesting as punters walk in, so please angle your ear (and headphone) at 65 degrees above CDJ so that punters think you’re doing something. As people walk in, choose my “8pm mix” or “Eightpm mix”, as either will get the party started. This is where your selection abilities come to the front. One of these mixes starts about 80 BPMS and the other clocks in about 92 BPMS, so obviously you need to be reading the vibes to know which one to play. I trust you with this though.
Speaking of trust, on the rare occasion I am using my phone, I trust you to play Calvin Harris type funky house with a bit of tribal overtones, but now we want you to “mix” (not “layer”). I prefer at least 16 bars of high hats “layered” (sorry, I mean “mixed”) over 4/4 kick drums during mix transitions starting from 120 BPMs up to (but not over) 125 BPMs. Bear in mind, we need you to nod your head in beat with the music while occasionally chucking the filter on before massive drops. I suggest at least two “filter drops” (as they’re called in the industry) per song but you may want to do 4-6. I don’t want to stifle your creativity though, so we leave this in your capable hands.
Another thing...really pay attention to the dance floor and the bar, too. We want a 60-40 ratio between line up at the bar and dancers. To assist with this (because we are a team), we’ll send 3 of our bartenders on break at this time, which means we’ll easily pack our bar but need you to get that 40% on the dance floor. I cannot be more serious about this.
Literally, walk out and count the punters. You’ll be playing my mix CD’s anyways.
We have a calculator behind the bar, so you can get the percentage right. 60-40, it’s the way to go. If Maths isn’t your thing, we understand. There are plenty of You Tube clips that can show you, so I recommend watching these first (before you arrive). Actually, I’ll send you the links in a second. Don’t forget the red lining, too...
As the venue fills back up, start playing more “upbeat” but not popular “upbeat”. Our expectations are that the DJ can take the punter on a journey so they stay all night. Therefore we need you to not play anything “shit”. Shit music is bad music so refrain from playing disco (too cheesy), pop music (too cheesy), rap (too gangsta and cheesy), funk music (not funky enough), soul music (what even is this), reggae (cheesy), dancehall (absolutely not), Bass music (way too hard), techno (too underground), nu disco (too cheesy), disco edits (too close to cheesy), house music (too popular), hiphop (too cheesy), gabba (this ain’t 1998), drum’n’bass (too underground), country or western (too Shania), jazz (absolutely not) and/or spoken word (unless it’s an intro to one of my mix CD’s).
Of course, being such a pro, if any of that fails…play RNB!
So that’s just a brief description of what makes our venue tick. You are very much welcome to stop in any time so I can draw you my diagram of how to control the vibe in the room (it’s actually tattooed on my back). Regardless, we look forward to your continued support of our little Mecca of musical taste. Again, don’t take this brief as something you need to follow 100%, but stick to at least 98% of it if you wish to continue working with us. Your professionalism is something to be commended.
??? (Venue Manager)
PS A reminder to everyone that pay is $40ph invoiced and our managers do reserve the right to end your set early and just play my mix CD’s if they feel you are not sticking to the vibe. Don’t forget to send your invoice to our accounts department and we’ll get you into the following month’s pay cycle.