All DJs have their own way of building their set. Some pick records entirely on the spur of the moment and trust their instincts, others write down a precise list on a piece of paper and never stray from it; the set is a kitchen where the DJ is the Chef. It doesn't matter how it’s done, as long as it's done properly and enjoyed by everyone, that's what matters the most.
I think I'm combining these two methods when building my set, except that instead of a meal, I'm talking about a story. A story that crosses styles, countries, atmospheres, and that I tell in a different way every night. With, however, a method that I respect.
Between the new stuff I get from the labels, the stuff that friends and fans send me, and what I dig myself, I have enough to make a different set from A to Z, every night! However, before these treats can delight the dancefloor, each of them has to go through a quite precise process.
The first step is to digitalize my tracks in high quality. I can play several dates in a week, so carrying boxes of records to places that are sometimes far apart is out of the question. The WAV format has become my best friend. With it, I can edit some tracks, cut parts or lengthen others. Sometimes, an interminable intro is not necessary, while a furious break needs to repeat itself a bit longer.
Then, the second step consists in classifying the tracks by genre and origin. A real library is thus created where each title has its own place. Accessible (almost) without searching. I know all too well the experience of getting lost in one's own collection, trying to read the spines, pulling out a record halfway from its shelf only to put it back in it immediately. No, that's not the one... where did I put that other one then?...
From these folders I then draw the titles which will be part of the third stage: the selection for the DJ set. Nothing is set in stone, tracks come and go on a regular basis. I have year-round squatters as well as residents passing through for a few weeks. Or days. It is from there that I begin to elaborate the story that I will be telling for three or four hours.
The beginning of the set is always the same. Welcoming the dancers gently. Letting them take their marks with a musical aperitif of tracks at 80/90 BPM, something that many DJs don’t do or no longer do.
The end is always the same. Parting with the dancers gently. Letting them go down peacefully. Their evening with me is over, but it is perhaps another one, more intimate, that will be starting for them.
In between these two moments, it’s all about the story itself, with its cumbia, reggae, hip hop, lusophone music, funk, soul-jazz twists... A rich story which tells itself in the mood of the moment and back on the dance floor. Depending on the general atmosphere, the rise in musical power can start after an hour and thirty minutes of preliminaries, or it can happen only after 45 minutes. The climax is reached with the Afro-house part, a furious passage that makes overexcited music from Zimbabwe and punk music from South Africa confront each other along a total experimentation with tracks so disturbing that they put the dancers' legs out of sync. This represents a moment of rupture in the narrative, its only purpose being to help reconnect with the dance floor as soon as it is over and to re-launch the story with even greater interest.
Those who have already come to see my DJ set know this: each of my stories is unique.
I hope you’ll enjoy the one I’m telling you in this third volume.