Here be the remnants of the warm-up set from the Safety Scissors Live & In His Socks shindig on 4th May 2013, recorded @ the Den, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Vancouver is a peculiar place: its geography offers many different kinds of spaces for intervention and occupation. While warehouses dot its ports and industrial outlands, the city itself is surrounded by ocean, forest, and mountains. Logging roads snake up through thickly forested valleys. Waterbars and potholes bar access. Forging on means losing site of urban civilization. In these curious pockets, rave culture thrived. Many of the best raves were held far up these dirt roads, among trees and glacier-fed rivers. Occasionally, curious locals would arrive, drunk and confrontational, in pick-ups and ATVs. The best trick was to seduce them with Colt .45, spiked with a bit of pharmacology designed to endear the mind to new experiences. Conversions happened. People’s lives were changed.
This set was recorded at one such event in July, 1997. A small, but intense affair, a nameless event. I felt I had not yet mastered my skills, which was true: I could not yet replicate in live situations the consistency of mixing I was able to sustain in the studio. Sets were hit or miss; but either way, they were inspired, and a certain kind of raver — one given over to wild abandon, to giving oneself up to the noise — liked what I was doing. Unlike many other DJs of the era, I was fearless — or some would say, ignorant of the dancefloor. It was not that I didn’t care whether my experiments failed or not — I most certainly did care — but I felt that the passion of the mix, its intensity, mattered more than its perfection. I was interested in quarter-beats and chaotic, helicopter mixes; I desired speed and fury, and I rarely, if ever, planned out the order of my records beyond a track or two. These were techniques and strategies which also interested Mills and Hawtin. But I hadn’t yet trained myself to moderate headphone and monitoring volume — it took years to focus upon lower-volume mixing — so my ears fatigued quickly. These were all lessons learned, over time. But what remains is my first duplicated mix, part of a series I called Not-So-Perfect Mixtapes, of which this is volume 2. On the front cover is a clip-art GIF of a red Coleman lantern — a common source of light for backcountry endeavours of acid-fuelled stargazing and ritual dance debauchery.
Recorded live for BURN.FM, on a hot balcony in the old Arab quarter of Barcelona, with a scarcely functioning setup and no monitors… nonetheless, everyone danced and drank absynthe and smoked the gifts of Morocco to dub techno. On the way home, I barely avoided a knife fight, making my way through winding streets in the dark heat. Thanks to Olivier Schulbaum for the fine evening.
Recorded live at Coffee 4 House, July 2001, Vancouver, on the occasion of olo j. milkman’s second-ever showing of work. This mix aimed to demonstrate the underlying connections between rhythm & machinic improvisation, evident since the break of the 20th century with musique concrète, modernist minimalism, and of course, variants of minimal techno, house, and electro… all in a west-side coffeehouse.