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Diary of an insufferable chinstroker

Originally published on Pulse.

Dear diary, 

If there’s one thing we can all agree on it’s that Berlin isn’t what it used to be.

I mean I don’t live there and, being 26, I personally have no experience whatsoever of what it used to be, but Ellen Degeneres knows about Berghain now so I think it’s safe to say the jig is up. And I tend to be a pretty good authority on this stuff.

In fact, I tend to be a pretty good authority on everything. There are a lot of surprisingly misinformed internet users out there who think they like dance music, and I consider it my duty to contradict them on everything at all times.

The trick is to get so egregiously specific that you both lose all sight of the original argument and the unifying power of music falls by the wayside in the face of such obnoxiously hostile music knowledge. It’s not trolling, it’s just truth-telling. DJ Sneak does it all the time.

Dear diary,

So I’m at this club the other night, and I’m pretty sure I’m having fun but sometimes it’s hard to tell with me, so I do what I always do which is pace the floor with my phone raised until I find the optimum shazam vantage (I call it a shazantage) and triple check each result until I’m sure I can ID at least 70% of everything I heard that night. This way I win the internet the following day.

But tonight the shazantage just isn’t coming through for me, so I push forward to the front with the determination that only comes from desperately needing to know if the DJ really is using a legendary Bozak mixer or not.

The rumours are true, and the Bozak is glorious, so I spend the rest of the set with my head craning over the decks at just the right angle to make it clear that I was following the DJ’s every move, which he definitely would have appreciated and respected. It looked like all the original CMA-10 circuits were in place and the mixer had been fitted with ALPS RK27 Blue Velvet pots, carbon resistors and an ultra low noise hi-fi grade power transformer, so the crossover points of the EQ yielded a more natural sound emphasising the artistry of the DJ’s work.

To be honest I’m not always entirely sure what I’m saying.

Dear diary,

Is there a point at which your vinyl collection stops being something you own and becomes something that owns you? #runningoutofshelfspace #truemusicfanproblems

I’ve spent pretty much all my money on dazzlingly rare vinyl. And a bunch of other vinyl. Just vinyl, every purchase must be vinyl; I am literally acquiring as much vinyl as I can possibly afford.

Because I’m the real deal, you know? You can’t buy authenticity.

Look at all this authenticity I bought.

Dear diary,

This may be hard to believe, but I’ve been finding it hard to get a girlfriend. Created a profile on Tinder but put my picture as Larry Levan, which I guess could be confusing. 

I mean how should I know what the ladies want? I listed my all my special skills, which include having a complex discussion about audio files and the respective properties thereof over a fully blasting Pioneer system - which isn't fucking easy mind you - but so far no right-swipes. 

I’m not asking for much. I just want a girl who loves her early acid house, appreciates a fourteen-minute minimal loop and understands that when the Sennheisers go on that’s the end of conversation, alright?

Dear diary,

Thinking of booking a holiday break soon – enjoy a bit of techno tourism, as they say. The key is to stay ahead of the rave-curve of course, but it’s getting bloody tricky.  

Can’t go to Berlin, I’ve made too many enemies from that time I was a bit too drunk at Hoppetosse and told everyone I shared a studio with Ricardo Villalobos but then Ricardo Villalobos showed up and there were some discrepencies in our stories. Plus all anyone ever plays at Pano Bar these days is Prince, yawn.

Can’t go to Ibiza because everyone knows the island hasn’t been the same since [insert literally any random demarcation of the island’s natural progress in the last fifty years].

Can’t go to Croatia because it’s too sunny and will mess with my carefully cultured DJ moontan.

I heard the Romanian minimal scene is a vibe but I just don’t have faith in eastern European sound quality.

Fuck it, I’ll stay at home and stroke my hard on – sorry - hardware. LOL! Shit, OMG I definitely meant hardware!! Damn!

Who am I kidding; I’ll stroke both at once.

Dear diary,

Richie Hawtin just posted a new track online. Jackpot. Time to dissect this motherfucker in the youtube comments section ‘til it’s a shredded pile of saw tooth sound waves and overblown artistic intentions. Because there’s nothing a pretentious music fan loves more than destroying a pretentious artist.

I don’t even need to hear it, I’m just going to make this comment which should cover all bases:

“Jesus, the quality of this is so woeful it may as well not exist. Hawtin is so done.”

Now that's the kind of mixer a man can stroke at night.

Dear diary,

Worst night out last night.

Man, I try to be fair. I do try. I mean who am I to judge whether this guy on the decks is still a real DJ if he uses the sync button? Actually - me. I am exactly the correct person fit to judge. It feels good to acknowledge the truth.

And then there was the crowd! Ugh. I’m standing there minding my own business: middle of the dance floor, arms folded, eyebrow arched, feet planted with the firmness that only comes from true dedication to the listening and judging experience… when some dude cuts across me with a two-step or something? Then some chick nudges me as she twirls around! Like these people were just dancing all over the place, what the fuck?!

You know there’s understanding the music and then there’s understanding the music. I don’t know how any can expect to truly understand the music if they’re careering around like Lee-fucking-Foss at Miami Music Week instead of giving it their full and undivided attention from a stock still position. I mean this is elementary stuff, guys. Next you’ll be telling me you can’t hear the difference between vinyl and CDJs. Seriously, I dare you to tell me that right now.

Dear diary,

I saw an interview with Jeff Mills live today! This is the most exciting day I’ve had since the first time I saw Jeff Mills play that one loop for five hours! After the interview they opened up questions to the crowd and everyone was asking him fluffy-ass questions about how he felt about the current techno scene and what his favourite milkshake flavour was or whatever, so I speared straight in there with the juice that mattered. 

"Excuse me but do you remember that release in 1989 for Underground Resistance under your early moniker The Wizard, which had a really dark timbre and a kind of dystopian aesthetic? It was a time of politically charged self exploration for you, I believe, anyway there’s this really elastic sample on the B-side and I’ve been trying to track down its source and perhaps you can help…”

He didn’t remember exactly what I was referring to but that was OK. I had out techno’d the godfather of techno. And it felt good. 

Dear diary,

Good overnight session on the RA comments section. Definitely time well spent. Yeah definitely. Some absolute neckbeards on a tech house thread thought they were talking about techno but I set them straight. I SET THEM ALL STRAIGHT! MWAHAHAHAHA! Yeah! Straight like a sine wave ISN’T. AHAHAHAHAHA!

I may have spent too long on the internet tonight.