Monday, March 14, 2005

Chaos and Panic by the DJ Turntables

I'm slowly returning back from the Twilight Zone of my flu, hoping to function normally by the end of the week. I still get the sweats, coughs and some green slime, but swallowing doesn't hurt any more, and it seems I have by now recovered from the worst. As a personal health tip, I've noticed eating very spicy foods helps when you're having a cold: for the last days I've been having chicken with Indian rice and Tikka Masala sauce.

Well, having to DJ when you're sick is always a drag, but I've got a principle that if I have promised beforehand to do a gig, I will also keep my promise if I can only stay on my two feet, my mind and body are focused enough for the job, and my condition doesn't exactly require staying tightly in bed or a medical treatment at hospital.

It wasn't easy, though, on Saturday when I was due to play a gig at a club taking place at Laterna, an atmospheric venue slightly reminiscing old pre-Revolution Russian style. The club was called Hehku ("The Glow"), and it was arranged in conjunction with Tampere International Short Film Festival, which is a large event held here every March.

I played two mini-sets: one early in the night for the nearly-empty floor, then another later on when there were a bit more crowd. But alas! People didn't get exactly warmed-up to my old-school electro; obviously I should have played "harder" ravey and trancey sound, as it was obvious when the crowd got only warmed-up when I spinned 'Area 5' by Sem with its synth loops a bit more reminiscing of trance. Then I got this drunken guy insisting me to spew out smoke out of smoke machine to the dance floor, and I nearly panicked trying to find the right button, while simultaneously trying to get the next record to play, and some girl also at the same time asking me to put on more bass... dealing with some exhausting punters with their irritating requests, whines and whatever is always hard and stressing for me even when I'm in a better physical condition, since I'm not technically such a virtuoso DJ, and I've got to use all my concentration on just keeping my set together. Just then I don't need any extra shit from people! In situations like this my aggressive, animal-pushed-into-a-corner panic/flight/attack reaction unfortunately takes over, and I swear to God that I just would have liked to kick the shit out of that guy. But fortunately my civilization-trained impulse control usually keeps me from committing massacres in situations like this, and I just tried to yell to the guy with my croaking flu voice that he should get the lightning man in his hands to help with that confounding smoke machine, since I'm just a DJ... well, another DJ gig for me feeling fucked-up amidst total chaos.

Later, I found out that I in fact knew the guy in question. Well, basically a nice person, but usually when I meet him at some club, he's drunk and fucked up beyond all recognition, trying to explain me something totally incomprehensible in his drunken slur. And whenever you happen meet people like this sober, they're usually very faint and feeble, as if apologizing for every inch of their existence, far from their previous manic and intoxicated incarnations. This total change in personality has always made me wonder about people like these: are some people's normal every-day personalities so totally repressed that they require this manic inebriation to release them out of their mental cells...? As if in the story of Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll. Well, I guess I'm repressed too, but I think I've learned to handle my dark side a bit better by now...