Tuesday, July 29, 2008

WhoDat is…?

DJ WhoDat's house for her Netmusique.com radio show: Turning Point Wednesdays 8pm-10pm+

Hip Hop artists there also: Diva, female vocalist, poet; Alex, DJ; and other man was a producer (I can't remember his name?!)


This was the perfect night to come over and hang out during WhoDat's radio show. It was the first time I had come over during the show, and I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know if there would be a lot of people there, or if it would be just me, if there would be food or not, if it would be a big party, or what!? After scrambling around at home trying to eat, spend some time with my family, try and get the baby to sleep…(with NO LUCK! Thanks honey!) I finally got to WhoDat's place right on time. The three hip hop artists were there already. She had just met Alex, the DJ, recently and invited him to come over and hang out during her show, then he brought some records and two other people! Terri was so excited. She had the TV on as her audience since she usually does the show alone, Diva eventually muted it. She had her equipment connected to her laptop and then set up the connection to broadcast her show over netmusique.com. Before getting connected, she cued up her record, then connected to broadcast, then got on the mic to introduce the show after a few minutes. She mentioned getting rejected by Red Bull Music Academy. Right then I realized I forgot my camera, again!!! WhoDat handed me hers and asked me to take pictures. After playing a few tracks, she lowered the volume a bit again and started talking on the mic, introducing who was there with her. Then she started to speak on the air to people who were chatting with her on the netmusique website. She wasn't reading their comments out loud, just talking back to them on the air – sending this one sided conversation out around the globe. That was pretty cool! Someone else who was chatting got rejected by Red Bull too, so she was consoling him, told him not to drink too much Red Bull. Then she turned the volume up again and started typing back to some of the listeners. She put on a Jazzanova track that she pointed out to me. It was hot! A few moments later, Alex came over to check out who it was, said he liked Jazzanova. WhoDat said that when she got it from the store she didn't even have to open it to know it was good. Then she put it on to listen to it and let out a yell and said that she was about to have an orgasm from it. Dude. It was pretty sweet music. Later she put on a DJ Dez track and pointed that out for me. I don't really know who he is, but it was good music. Alex commented on how he likes house records because they are so long. As a hip hop DJ, the records are short, he said, and he is just so busy the whole time. It was really interesting to get to hear two different types of DJs share ideas and knowledge.

Alex started to dance and WhoDat started imitating a person dancing with the speaker – like someone spending the entire night in a club next to the speaker acting like it was a "Chick" or something. She and Alex were just making fun of that, and wondering why someone would actually want to do that. WhoDat invited Alex to get on the decks and announced on the mic that he was coming on. Meanwhile, the hip hop producer who was there whose name I cannot remember was spending his night playing around with WhoDat's equipment. Before he found the headphones, he was making some noise on her drum machine during the show. It was pretty distracting, but then he got it together. The rest of the night, he was kind of lost in making music. He would periodically get up and walk over to her record shelves, put some back where they went, take some more and head on back to play around some more. He was really serious and focused. Again, it was cool to see musicians interacting and sharing knowledge coming from different types of performance and music making. He told her that she needed some drums. Meaning that she needed an Akai MPC sampler, or some other type of sampler/drum machine with better bass/drum capabilities. They talked about using Audacity or Pro-Tools and WhoDat told him about her aversion to making music with computers. They talked some more and I think she maybe started to see his point about computers and producing a little bit.

WhoDat commented on one of Alex's records saying that she liked it a lot. He said she could have it, and later, while she was talking with the producer, he slipped it into her crate that she had set up for her show. The interaction between the four artists was really nice, and really genuine. It was such a great night. I had a conversation with Diva about Detroit, how much I like it, museums, family. She was talking about hip hop in Detroit, and other music too. About the river walk downtown.

WhoDat cleaned her records when she put them on, just the dusty ones, but with a felt/velour record cleaner. It was interesting to watch a DJ do a show out of her house with her "house shoes" on (ha ha House music, House Shoes), and her record cleaner, and even though she had some records separated in a crate near her tables, she didn't really plan her set and could have taken records out from her entire collection if she wanted to. After Alex finished and just after I left, WhoDat was going to get back on the turntables and play for a few more hours. It was 10:30 by that point and I had to get home to my babies. But she said that the next DJ in London does not start his show for a few more hours, so she was just going to keep playing for as long as she could.

I was talking to WhoDat about going to Corktown Tavern and The Works a few Saturdays ago. She said that she read my blog. We talked about various types of equipment for use in DJ performance (live in a club). Felton using Final Scratch – from what WhoDat described, the two records he was using were digitally programmed to communicate through the turntables with his laptop. So he didn't need to flip or change records at all. He was controlling things in that way. I guess he told WhoDat recently that she will soon tire out of carrying a big bag of records around and will switch to Final Scratch. She won't. Many DJs in Detroit are really attached to using vinyl, it is an important aspect of the music, the sound, the heritage. Rick Wilhite said at a conference I organized at Indiana University in 2006 on Detroit techno and house, how can you go wrong with something made from oil and diamonds – vinyl.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.