It all started with a band called Portishead.

Portishead - "Dummy" Well, at least, for me it did.

They weren't considered to be the absolute first to produce "trip-hop" music, but they were the first artists that got me into trip-hop, and by the same token, into downtempo music in general.

Back in 1995, way back when I was doing commercial DJ events, I received a request sheet back from a Tulsa high school, and strangely enough, Portishead was included as something that somebody there wanted to hear.

I had vaguely heard of Portishead, but I wasn't familiar with their music at all.  I talked with Paul over at Mohawk Music and he let me listen to their open store copy of Portishead's 1994 debut album, Dummy.

It was unlike anything I'd ever heard.  It sounded like someone had combined old spy movie music with hip-hop beat patterns - but a lot of effort had been put into it.  It wasn't just thrown together.  Then, there was that voice - Beth Gibbons, whose vocals could convey spectacular degrees of emotion without sounding overwrought or whiny.

It soon became something I played almost all the time... and soon was picked as the soundtrack for many, many late nights playing Doom II (often over my modem in deathmatches with DJ TMJ) while munching on bowl after bowl of pistachios.

To this day, Dummy remains one of my favourite albums ever.

So much more...

Soon after that, I started finding more and more downtempo music that I loved.  Thanks to Mohawk, I soon found out about Tricky's Maxinquaye and Massive Attack's Mezzanine, two other downtempo music "keystones."  My collection grew more and more after that.

The music selection at the Great Gypsy Chillout will be a celebration of many of the ranges of downtempo music:  Trip-hop, of course, but also some of the more electronically-oriented downtempo artists (like Hooverphonic), ambient musicians (like Boards of Canada), some of the more jazz-oriented downtempo (like the Dining Rooms) and lots more.  You can even expect some remixes of some verrrrry old-school tracks.  It's going to be spectacular.

If you're looking for an event at which you'll be familiar with all of the music, this won't be the event for you.  I'll play some well-known downtempo tunes, but I've also been doing some serious digging and investing as of late, tracking down some of the most obscure and incredible tracks I can for this and forthcoming events.

Dude, where's the laptop?

As with all other DJ Badger events, I'm not going to using a laptop for DJing.  I'm one of the few "old-school" DJs in the area who still eschews a laptop for DJ performances.  The music will be played on CDs and real, old-school vinyl, just like nature intended.