I love my subscription updates from YouTube, you never know what joy is going to arrive preshly fressed in your inbox. Today’s instalment included a feature from DJ Woody, the legendary audio visual turntable botherer from t’ wrong side o’ t’ Pennines. Its a black and white mashup of a trumpet player that he scratches up during his outstanding live sets.
Obviously I was going to check it out, but this had me extra hooked… DJ Woody scratching it up, always a winner, plus you know I love a good horn and delight in the electronic patina of vintage black and white uploads. So I hit the play button, and what do you know, turns out it’s a video I’ve used in the past too. Its Rafael Mendez giving virtuoso trumpet lessons, I had great fun with this at the last Video View.
The reason for posting is twofold…. for starters I just want to bask in some reflected glory. To say there is A LOT of material out there on the Tubes would be an understatement of NoTW proportions, so you need a good eye for what will work when it’s played out. The fact that Woody chose the same video as me kinda suggests to me that I must be on the right track. However what we did with the video was where we departed, and I think it’s a good illustration of how my approach differs from pretty much all other audio/visual DJs.
For starters, I’m not a DJ, and certainly not a turntablist. My mixing is more a series of carefully constructed of happenstances conspiring to tell a freaky story than a practised set of beat mixes and scratching. I’m a long player, often leaving videos to play almost entirely, not a wham bam sample man.
Plus, Woody has taken the original video and re-edited it beforehand, using the introduction from Mr Mendez, but then cunningly changing the audio for a new track and scratching that up. Although I can edit stuff like this, I dont. The reason for why? Well it’s just not how I want to do things. Plus unlike so many vj’s out there I do not have time to spend hours in the edit suite and drink endless cups of tea waitings for edits to render. No, I work live and direct using streaming video. It has it’s fair share of downsides, but I still think that there will come a point when mixing videos sucked from the ether, rather than from a hard drive, is as routine as a dj using timecoded vinyl has become today.
I’d genuinely like more people to have a go at mixing like this. You don’t even need much kit, I started by borrowing both a DJ mixer and a video mixer. All you need is a good eye for material and a passion for mashing it up and storytelling. There is so much material out there that it’s a crying shame more people aren’t plundering it for the purposes of live entertainment. Watching one video at a time sat at your desktop is a totally different experience from watching a series of them strung together in a bid to make you laugh, dance or whatever.
Oh, and for the record, mine is an ‘inny’ not sure about Woody’s…