Pop My Cherry (13 June, 2008, Hacienda)

I know I should’ve updated earlier about the popping of my DJ cherry last weekend, but somehow it really took a lot out of me, and in the days afterwards I just needed a break from having to concentrate so hard on music! (This is where Super Mario Galaxy, my apparently untiring Rome addiction, and midweek karaoke stepped in, hence blog silence.)

Anyway, it went better and worse than I’d hoped. Let’s do “worse” first – my equipment fears turned out well-founded, because I found myself really struggling to beat-match on the CDJs at the venue, and the cross-fader didn’t work. This basically means that I wasn’t able to transition smoothly between tracks by adjusting the beat of the incoming track to match the beat of the outgoing track, and I couldn’t scratch. I’d been prepared for this so I just did chop-mixing (abrupt but well-timed transitions) instead. It wasn’t too disappointing, really, because even if I wasn’t able to do the transitions I planned this time, all the work I put into thinking about them was still a very worthwhile exercise, and it leaves me with a useful set “template” I can still work with as I get better at this, and hopefully pull off properly in future.

The “better” is that I got some nice comments from people who were neither my friends nor married to me, I got a great opportunity to give this a first try in a public but very forgiving setting, and I even got 4 free drinks from the bar and a little cash! I’m really grateful to Cherry for giving me this chance, and I’m hoping that if/when I get a second shot, I’ll have progressed sufficiently to be able to show that I’ve left my smoothie criminal days far behind.

Here’s the tracklist, for anyone who’s interested. It’s not intended to fill a dancefloor, because Hacienda at 11 pm isn’t quite that sort of a setting. When I was coming up with it, I was thinking about how we used to sit in Cargo waiting for Xen night’s main acts to start, drinking and gorging ourselves on heavenly hot sloppy ketchup-and-mayo fries, and how although I was mostly engaged in the conversation and it was a little too early for dancing, the music being played was always good enough to steal some of my attention away. It’s a rather modest level to aim for in a DJ tracklist, maybe, but it seemed appropriate for the context and my skill level. I’ll save dancefloor bangers for when I can actually beat-match without screwing up!

  1. Apparat – Holdon
  2. Brian Eno & David Byrne – Regiment
  3. Talib Kweli – Listen
  4. TTC – Leguman
  5. One Self – Trying To Speak
  6. The Kleptones – Jazz
  7. Clipse – Chinese New Year
  8. Ice Cube – What They Hittin’ Foe
  9. RJD2 – F.H.H.
  10. Nine – Lyin’ King
  11. Marco Polo feat. Kardinal Offishall – War
  12. Spank Rock – Coke And Wet
  13. Gangstagrass – Going Down
  14. Notorious B.I.G. (Ratatat remix) – Party And Bullshit
  15. Muddy Waters – Tom Cat
  16. DJ Kentaro – Heard Yer Bird Moved In
  17. Sway – Hype Boys
  18. Prince – Gett Off


  1. I know I am thoroughly point-missing here but I have no basis for saying anything music-related, so I’ll beg your indulgence –

    – is Super Mario Galaxy not PHENOMENAL?? Of late I have been addicted also to Mario Kart Wii, which is fiendishly, fiendishly replayable. Purchase at your peril.

  2. 90% of DJing is choosing a good selection of tracks. It’s nice when they’re just getting a nice mellow groove going instead of bludgeoning you over the head with hyped up party tracks in an attempt to fill the dance floor as quickly as possible.

  3. I agree with previous commentor James – choice of tracks is the way forward, unless you’re some crazy psycho scratching-mixing whacked out megaDJ with a full powerup bar and lots of special skills you’ve collected as a result of passing previous rounds. I would take the fact that I know none of those tracks and less than half of those artists as being a very positive thing for your choices.

  4. Kelly: OMG am really chuffed you took the trouble to put that together! Hope you’ve been digging the tracks, though of course it’s not quite the same as hearing how I’d mix them. (At the moment I lack the skills/equipment to translate what I hear in my head to, like, actual sound, but I know I can do it, in time!) Here are links to some of the tracks that couldn’t be found on Youtube:

    Track 2 – Regiment (Brian Eno and David Byrne)

    Track 6 – Jazz (The Kleptones). I linked to the page for the whole mashup album instead of the specific mp3 because I absolutely love the album. Highly recommended for anyone who likes Queen, not sure how much it’ll appeal to people who don’t though.

    Track 13 – Goin Down (Gangstagrass). Again, the whole mashup album is worth checking out for anyone who likes bluegrass and/or hip-hop.


    James: Yup, the slightly mellower feel is definitely what I was going for this time, though I’m also pretty fond of ass’n’titty songs.

    Benny: Glad you approve! Lyin’ King’s one of my favourite tracks on the whole list. I am not able to express in words how shiok I find the ten seconds culminating in the “aaaaaah!” (using the timings on the Youtube link in Kelly’s playlist as reference, 0.35 – 0.45).

    Matt: Well, obscurity alone doesn’t count for anything in track selection and there are DJs out there who can play top 40 stuff and still amaze you with their creativity. (Pojmasta’s Scummer mix, at the bottom of this page, for example.) From my list, my guess is you’d like the Kleptones track (try the whole mashup album, actually) and the Muddy Waters best. Try those! :)

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