This is to all my friends and family who have a love for music and a passion for dance: I love you, I see you, let’s keep playing, grooving and shaking until we can groove and shake no longer.
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,Love like you’ll never be hurt,Sing like there’s nobody listening,And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
– William Purkey.
There is something childlike, therapeutic and highly intoxicating about dancing. As a child I went to jazz dance classes every week and loved taking on another persona as my inner 80s dancing queen took hold.
Somewhere along the way I stopped being a child and my taste in music morphed into something new (although upon reflection, I think I may still be that child, only now in an adult body). It was at this time that I became at one with the drum n bass scene in Wellington and my love of dancing evolved from childlike themes to some dance floor slamming, arm flailing, leg running, foot stomping, hip twisting, all body beat down. I could be found most weekends dancing into the early hours of the morning with friends that loved the sound of drums and bass crashing in their ears as much as I did. Two friends in particular, Simon and Anton, were my dancing cronies in these early stages and we were nicknamed the stamina crew: as the last DJ of the evening played their tunes, our feet were still moving.
When anyone mentions drum n bass, a strange phenomenon occurs and I am swiftly taken back to my early twenties when my passion for dancing to drum n bass transformed into DJing. It was then that I met three wonderful, and quite hilarious, guys – John, Gus and Joel who soon became my closest mates. Three of us (along with five others) lived in an apartment above the $2 Shop in Cuba Street, Wellington. This was more akin to a furniture shop than somebody’s home, due to the fifteen or so couches scattered randomly about the place. Every day, without fail, I’d walk down our hallway after a daytime excursion and hear the “boom boom kak” of the latest record echoing through the walls. Upon entering, I’d find Gus or John, or Liam, or Chris or Joel, or Donny furiously mixing or scratching away on one of the three turntables we’d set up in our furniture shop-like home. It was then that the competitive I-can-do-anything streak took hold and I thought to myself “if you can’t beat em, join em”. So I did. I threw caution to the wind and several months later the four of us formed a DJ crew soon to be known as the Facecutters. While the name usually causes people to have a full bodied all-encompassing reaction – like the first time you saw “IT” when you were way too young and your parents had warned you not to, but you did anyway, and had to be dragged from the room because your face had turned a deathly white and you hadn’t taken a breath in several minutes – to us it was special. It was a bond we shared. There is, in fact, a lengthy tale about how the name came about. The short version involved our friend Donny and endless “tough” jokes about face cutting. It was funny at the time, really, it was. Guess you had to be there. Face cutting aside, we spent hours and hours mixing, laughing, drinking and on occasion fighting (mainly me) and for three years we held down a residency at Indigo – our local bar.
While I very rarely listen to drum n bass these days, and haven’t been spotted at a nightclub for several years, I still occasionally get the need for a dose of bass in my life. The other day my drum n bass loving friend Nat – who I spent endless hours with on the dance floor – sent me a DJ Friction tune called “Back to Your Roots”. The effect it had on me was immediate –the (hypothetical) shoes went on, the light went off, the bass went up and I went wild. It’s at times like these, when I feed my inner d’n’b child, that something stirs deep within me. There’s a deep dark core within my somewhat softened exterior that wants me to move and shake like nobody’s business and I feel well and truly alive.
This weeks inspiration – old and new drum n bass:
DJ FRICTION “Back to Your Roots” – this is what got me off the floor and onto my feet.
BLACK SUN EMPIRE “Arrakis”
THE UPBEATS LIVE
LITTLE GIRL BREAKDANCER
JAMES BROWN “Get Up Offa That Thing”