Wake up slowly. Come to. What a strange sentence. Kind of senseless. A senseless sentence. Like abstract expressionism. Like waking up slowly. In a tent. That’s like an apartment. With the sound of the sea and the sun rising out of it. In Ibiza.
This is a good day. In the deep cushion, the soft and mellow, fruitful late summer. This is the analogue hiss and hush I have been dreaming about, sinews tight, shoulders crunching, brow furrowed, like the field I am staring at now, out here on the wooden terrace, of the tent, by the field, by the sea, like a dream, like home, like always, like now.
And it reminds me of those moments in movies when the hero marvels at the depth of the detail in what, it turns out, is a computer simulation of somewhere nice, where he has been put, by somebody, to make him feel safe and warm and good, to, of course, extract some information or other, a name, a code word, whatever.
The water dripping from the awning, a sign of the coming turning of the seasons, autumn dew. The ants running over his foot, tickling slightly, stinging slightly, like tiny ants should. The grain of the wood on the decking, suitably random, a little but not too knotty, and the creak on the third plank to the right, just the correct amount of give, just the right amount of squeak to make it totally above suspicion, to make it feel real.
But unless this is an extremely elaborate ruse, set up by some unknown entity to extract my pin number or facebook login, then this is simply simple, real and beautiful. Like a dream, like home, like now, like always. LIKE.
There’s so much traffic on the road today. The main road. Outside. The window. The grey long winter long thoroughfare from the subs to the centre. Is. Not there. It must be. I am waking up. That sound of traffic is. The sound of the sea. Hitting sand and rocks. Fizz and bubble. Rough and tumble. Constant. Distant. Far away so close. That and the wind in the pine trees.
It’s coming back. Last night was the night of DJing. That’s right. That and vodka limon. Remember vodka limon? The drink of champions. The drink that… (Feel head. Touch. Open eyes). The drink that… Doesn’t give you a hangover.
Last night was the night of DJing. First, a sunset set at Cafe Mambo. The classic. Much earlier and far shorter now that it is September and we are collectively sliding down the steep part of the curve into autumn and inevitable winter. So I panic a little as the drop comes faster than expected. But Nick Drake and my new discovery, Jonathan Wilson, save the day. And the orange drops, behind the island now, out of sight, and the music drops and the applause ripples through the night air, like the sound of doves on the wing, like the clatter of plates in the kitchen as breakfast is prepared. And it turns into something good and beautiful.
Then, suddenly, we are on the move again, round the island to Space to the Sunset area, though it’s already dark now, of course, but that’s what they call it, for another beginning. The build up.
Two hours of disco into house, like I like it. From zero to full. from Hot Toddy, via the all important vodka limon, to Piano House, a new secret weapon, road tested, on another road with no traffic. Sound tested. Crowd tested. That’s a better phrase. Crowd test – tick. Sonics – tick. Metaphorical flying colours, passed with.
And that’s the end of the story really. Nothing spectacular, just a very good night’s work.
The only other thing to talk about perhaps is the past and the future. And maybe a mention of culture and how things get bigger and smaller at the same time.
The thing is. I feel out of date now with my big folder full of CDs when I meet a man, straight off the plane, with a small knapsack, rucksack is too big a word for it. He pulls out his giant (one terabyte) tiny (the size of a very thin bar of chocolate) hard drive, plugs in, and links to the CDJs. It’s so much bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, you see. With this wafer he could play for days, weeks, months actually, if he had the desire and the energy.
My CD bag, at around eight kilograms, seems so bulky, so over, so arcane, with it’s hand written titles and scribbles and underlinings and crossings out. But that’s just a format. The culture stays the same, the ethos, the aesthetic is unchanged. Good music is good music on wax, on a disc, on a drive. No Way Back by Adonis, made in 1986. still sounds amazing, whatever format it is played from. The culture is the culture. It’s the old truisms that turn into cliches and take on a different meaning but still resonate: It’s not how big it is, it’s what you do with it that matters.