This Sunday, July 19, 2009, at precisely 4:30pm, I will play a set at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago’s Union Park. I would tell you to come, but Sunday tickets have been sold out for a month.
So my advice is more specific: gather at ‘Balance Stage’, up close and on time! Especially because it’ll be a short “45 minute set – STRICT set length”. (in Band time, 45 minutes is often enough; in DJ time it passes so quickly.) Which means we will have go in deep, together, from the very beginning, at once and completely.
At first I was a bit worried about being the only DJ at a big 3-day festival. I was gonna invite an MC, or a video artist for projections, or a cellist… Then I decided no. I’m just gonna DJ, as I always do, and if I’m not as exciting to watch as, say, every other act at the festival, then that’s that — you should be dancing anyhow. Life in DJlandia evolves via participation (bouncing around, dutty wine, grinding, etc) not spectatorship, in part because the crowd’s energy & responsiveness to certain tunes or moods actually changes what will get played. A feedback loop. A symbiotic relationship.
Put another way: let’s dance!
OR, it’s better to think of DJs a mediums (rather than performers or Artists or whatever). Grabbing the dictionary…
Medium – (1) a substance regarded as the means of transmission of a force or effect (2) a channel or system of communication, information, or entertainment — compare mass medium (3) an individual held to be a channel of communication between the earthly world and a world of spirits (5) a condition or environment in which something may function or flourish.
but mostly, these days, it’s about cumbia. and our homegrown beats. and Kassav’! (Also – where are the cumbia / Mexican music shops in Chicago?)
A week from today I’ll be back home in BROOKLYN, playing the latest installment of New York Tropical. Think hummingbirds.