Sunday, 27 November 2005

Anyone for some Japanese noise music?

Wired News has published an article entitled iPods Top Jukeboxes, DJs which deals with the emerging trend of people taking their music with them to clubs and social spots and sharing it with others. Not only have DJs for some time now started playing from electronic playlists on laptops, but some of them let people hook their iPods into the sound system and play their favourite songs to those in the room. It all sounds excellent... as long as the music playing is my music ;-)

The principle is not new, of course. I remember the good ol' days of 1980s East Rand garage parties where the person hosting the party would borrow tapes (of the BASF-90 kind preferably) from everyone beforehand. Then the kid appointed DJ would stand with earphones and try and find the damn start to track no. 4 on the double tape deck by doing that Play-Ffwd screechy thing, while the other tape was playing the song of the moment. Every now and again a tape would get eaten, meaning all play was temporarily shifted to one side of the tape deck and possibly a turntable, or (if the owner didn't remove the little plastic bit) the tape would end up with a 5 second recording of "maar wat gaan nou aan? waar's die musiek!?" in the middle of the Danger Zone chorus.

I wasn't popular if I ever went close to the tapedeck at these places. The only song I owned that the birthday girls and boys would play was Fight for your Right by Beastie Boys (in fact it was one of the standard requested tapes, which is why I got invited). For the rest of the evening my good friend and I had to sit outside with a portable tapedeck if we wanted to listen to The Cure or Sisters or Mercy or Fields of the Nephilim. Sad, really.

That's why this new thing is so exciting. I haven't seen it done in Cape Town yet. All I have to do is take along my iPod and buy the DJ a beer and maybe they'll go for it. It's also something I've often thought of at the gym when the dreadful exercise music filters through my earphones - where can I plug my iPod in so that people can really work out? Nothing's as good as Boredoms at making you feel you better pedal boy, 'cause there's something right behind you. I'm not evil enough to suggest Merzbow, though, I still want to share... It's just that I've seen the whites of people's eyes when I start getting excited about new music. So the best solution would be:
  • A locked venue with no emergency exits;
  • One iPod (mine);
  • A good sound system;
  • A full backup of my iPod at home;
  • Insurance;
  • Probably lots of alcohol.
Welcome to my playlist.

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