Vlad Nanca on Fri, 4 Apr 2003 11:36:17 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-ro] The DJ Democracy - recomnadat de ascultatorii de elita

The DJ Democracy
@Ramirez, Montague & Associates
Str. 11 Iunie 51
Vineri 4

Eh up! (as they say in the north of England...)

Well, Friday is fast approaching, and that means only
one thing... your second installment of The DJ
DEMOCRACY. Last time was such a jolly old time that I
took the liberty of attaching a (small) picture of the
fun what was had by all...

For those of you who don't know the rules by now, the
idea is simple. First time DJs take to the decks to
give us all 15 minutes of aural pleasure. Thats it -
no mixing, no superstar DJs, and definitely no egos.

The line-up for Friday is almost completed - we've
been literally inundated with requests - and if you're
one of the lucky few, then we'll be contacting you
very soon. Please do drop us a line however, if you'd
like to receive your 15 minutes of DJ fame. If you
don't get to DJ this time, fear not, since you can be
sure we'll give you priority at the next event.

I've also dug out a frighteningly interesting article
by Norman Cook on the DJ Democracy in the UK (the
night over there is called 'Stick it on.') Strange. I
always thought the man was a functional illiterate...

Tom Wilson

Te-ai saturat de aceeasi muzica noapte de noapte?
Te-ai saturat de aceiasi Dji si de discurile lor?
Te-ai saturat sa platesti sume exorbitante pentru a-i
vedea pe “superstar DJs”? Va incepe THE DJ DEMOCRACY -
noul concept in materie de clubbing care in momentul
de fata face furori in Anglia, locul unde a fost
creat. Ideea este simpla: membrii publicului isi
primesc cele 15 minute de faima. Nu exista nici un fel
de regulament muzical, si nici un tip de muzica nu
este exclus. Exista insa o interdictie: nu va fi admis
nici un profesionist. Orice incercare de a mixa este
descurajata. Singura dificultate consta in a alege
muzica pentru cele (numai) 15 minute. Ceea ce conteaza
este mai curand participarea decat aptitudinile
speciale. Pentru fiecare noapte se va intocmai o lista
de aproximativ 30 de Dji, jumatate fete si jumatate
baieti. No superstar DJs. No egos. Join the DJ

Vrei sa te inscrii si tu? Daca nu ai mai fost Dj
niciodata, atunci esti chiar cel\cea pe care il\o
cautam. Grabeste-te, pentru ca locurile sunt limitate.
Contacteaza-ne la
sau la
events@ramirez.ro / tomwils0n@yahoo.co.uk


For the October 21st-27th edition of "The Big Issue", Norman Cook was asked to be guest editor. He accepted and his first article was a review of Stick It On, the night that started in his home town of Brighton and has now arrived in Bucharest. See below for the article in full and find out why Fat Boy Slim is plugging idea of DJ Democracy…



Fed up of DJ idolatry? The Stick It On crew throw the decks open to all-comers, bringing the music back to the masses by letting the massed bring the music to them. Norman Cook hears about the disco democracy…

There has been much talk recently about crisis in Superclubland. This much seems to be true: superclubs are struggling, downsizing and dying like flies at the moment. Does this, as some people think, mean the death of clubland as a whole? I think not. All that has happened is that clubbers have become disenfranchised with bland, corporate clubbing and are looking for new thrills, going back underground, seeking out more intimate and innovative playgrounds… Enter the cult of Stick It On.

Started in Brighton (where else?) in August 2000 by Rob Drysdale, James French and Karim Bouzidi, Stick It On boots the complacency of superstar DJs and superclubs so fairly and squarely up the arse that it would leave more that a bruise. The basic idea is this: 12 non-DJs or amateur DJs play their favourite records for 15 minutes each. The running order is arrived at by a draw so everyone has the same crack of the whip. The emphasis is on originality, a naïve love of music and a devil-may-care house-party spirit where mistakes are encouraged and mixing, while not forbidden, is actively discouraged. If you play an inspired track, the "Choon!" signs come out. If you blow it and the decks are silent, the crowd smiles benevolently and shouts "Stick It On!".

Trust me, it works. Although I am forbidden near the decks due to my professional status, I have witnessed moments of drama, pathos, utter abandon, not to mention downright comedy at these celebrations of the lunatics taking over the asylum. My own wife, who has never DJ’ed before in her life, treated us to a stirring set, climaxing with the first public play, three months ahead of release, of X-Press 2 and David Byrne’s Lazy.

Stick It On works on the principle of two great quotes, "Everybody can be famous for 15 minutes" and "Everybody has one good novel (DJ set) in them". The split of DJs is about 50/50 between girls and boys, which is refreshing and democracy is rife (everyone respects the 15 minute rule). Only two professional DJs have ever done it and they both promised to play badly! One reason it works is that so far Stick It On has grown by word of mouth, no posters and no flyers. This has kept the crowd dominated by the older clubbing contingent. It hasn’t been hijacked by students and nurses, so even though there are moments of pure slapstick (spontaneous line dancing to Neil Diamonds Sweet Caroline?!?) the music tends to be classics from every genre. (The two most overplayed tunes are Donna Summer’s State of Independence and Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy).

It makes business sense too. If you have 12 DJ’s who need support, that means you have 12 promoters. The Hanbury Arms, the club’s original Brighton home, is a glorious Victorian folly that holds about 150 people. If each DJ brings 10 friends for moral support then… well, you can do the maths. For over two years now, the place has been rammed to the gills. The Stick It On team believe that intimacy and an "all back to mine" vibe are crucial to the success of the club. They say 300-400 is the largest venue they would like to have it in, but that doesn’t mean they can’t expand in other ways…

From its maiden musical voyage in August 2000 at the Hanbury Arms, an estimated 1,200 budding jocks have stuck it on in Brighton alone. In addition, the club has run once a month for the last year at Catch in Shoreditch, east London, and has also been resident at the nearby Medicine Bar. Much mayhem has also occurred at The Beat Bar in Portobello Road and the last two Notting Hill Carnivals. Perhaps its natural habitat was this year’s two Big Chill festivals where they finally came home.

Perhaps the club’s greatest moment was last New Years Eve, when 70 (non) DJs played a staggering one record each. To facilitate the smooth transition of tuneage, all the participants had their number in the line-up pinned to their backs with the message "Please get me to the decks", which were set up in a boxing ring (haven’t I heard that idea before?) and only one Dj missed their slot.

Another variation on the theme is Pro-Celebrity Stick It On (all in the name of charidee!). A certain Zoe Ball, Mark Williams from the Fast Show and Steve Coogan all participated at the Escape Club in Brighton, and last week The Cuban Brothers hosted a bash at the CC Club in London, which featured Keith Allen, Sean Hughes, A Dominic Mohan/3am Girls soundclash and Gary Beedle from EastEnders on the ones and twos.

But sod all this "it could only have happened in Brighton" shit, Stick It On is going national! Next month, the club is starting up at 10 universities around the country, from Stirling to Bristol, from Southampton to Liverpool. This new craze could sweep the nation.

The idea of mixing All Back To Mine with the Generation Game is not the sole property of veteran clubbers or students. It is an evolving wild card, giving music back to the people, blurring the boundaries between performer and audience. Whether it purges us of overpaid superstar DJs (and I include myself firmly on that list) or perhaps just provides some much-needed light relief from corporate clubbing, either scenario has got to be a blessing.

So how do you get involved? For getting involved is the name of the game. Easy as pie, you log on to the web site www.stickiton.co.uk. This explains the concept more fully and gives you an application form. You provide your contact details, an estimated set list (to sort the wheat from the chaff) and an appropriate DJ name and get yourself a gig. The waiting list is about a month.

I might sound evangelical, but with the current hype that clubs are dying, I look at those that are thriving – The Big Chill, It’s On, Sunday Best – I feel all are doing something different without resorting to school-disco tactics. As Rob says, "If you took a stranger to Stick It On blindfolded, they’d say "What great music…Shite mixing though!"


In the mix: The Punters who became DJ’s

Simon Penwarden: DJ Discharge

"I couldn’t give a toss what I play. I don’t even know. I might play Glory Glory Man Utd to piss people off. Nah, I’ll just play deep house that will make people smile. Clubs are normally so heavy, so serious. This is a good, chatty night out."

Lisa Stone: Miss Understood

"I like it cause it’s so eclectic. In normal clubs you know what to expect. Here, it’s spontaneous and always wicked. There’s no tune I’d be scared to play. I think it one person enjoys a song for the first time, then that’s cool, you can introduce people to new stuff"

DJ Gracie

"Normally the DJ booth is so untouchable, but they give everybody the opportunity to have a go and have 15 minutes of fame. There’s a great variety of music played here, and the crowd are fantastic. I’d like to play Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back In Town. My Mum keeps throwing records away. I have to tell her not to, cause I want them all!"



Vlad Nanca

Bd Regina Elisabeta 69, Apartamentul 2, Sector 5, Bucuresti ROMANIA
Tel +40723240434 / Fax +40213121311

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