DJ Badger:  The News and the Journal

Entry Two Hundred Eighteen.
Sunday, 2019.02.10, 10:47 AM CST.

I play remixes.  That will not change.
Current Mood:  Instructional.
Current Scent:  Green Irish Tweed by Creed, from a sample.

Happy new year, everyone.

So, I recently had a few issues at an event.  This will address one major issue, and I'll make the following statements right away in case you don't want to read this whole thing.  These are especially important if you've ever considered hiring me for an event, so please take note:

1.  I collect remixes.

2.  I play remixes.

3.  I am picky about the remixes I play.

3.  I don't play remixes of everything.

4.  If you want nothing but plain radio versions, I am not the DJ for you.


It really is that simple.  Playing rare remixes is one of the things that I'm kind of known for.


I'm going to go through each of these in detail so that I'm absolutely clear.


1.  I collect remixes.

In 1988, I started collecting 12" vinyl singles while working with my friend Dave French in his DJ company, Mirage Productions.  (I went into that experience in detail in my last blog post.)  This was my first experience in remix collecting.  I would regularly go to Buttons, Mohawk Music, Starship and Sound Warehouse hunting down more and more dance remixes, usually on vinyl.

In 1989, when I started my first DJ company, I already had a good selection of 12" singles, but I beefed up my music library mainly by buying a stack of about thirty 12" singles - all purchased so that I could play those remixes and separate myself from the normal "here's the same old album/radio version" DJs.

In 1990-1991, I discovered remix services, like Razormaid! and the locally-owned Hot Tracks, who serviced professional DJs by offering compilations of non-commercially-available remixes specifically produced for DJs.

In 1992, I started collecting much harder-to-find (at the time) remix services.  I found a few issues of Metromix locally, and then in the fall of that year I discovered remix distributors who sold remix service issues that I had never even seen locally.  Discotech.  Ultimix.  X-Mix.  Powerhouse.  Clubtrax.  Even DMC, whose issues were mainly produced in the UK, and OzzMixx, which was produced in Australia.

I started buying these things like mad, sometimes dropping hundreds of dollars at a time, flying vinyl and CDs from distributors in New York, Georgia, and even Canada.  If I really liked a song (i.e., "Rhythm Is a Dancer"), or if a song was really useful (i.e., "YMCA"), I would build up several different remixes so that from performance to performance, the versions I would play would change.  I never wanted to get stale or predictable.  I still don't.

Eventually, after posting about remixes online numerous times, I was approached to become a columnist for Karaoke & DJ USA magazine in 1996.  I wrote that nationally-published column until the magazine folded.

To this day, when I like a song, I tend to purchase multiple remixes.  And I use them.


2 .  I play remixes.

Ever since those earliest days of DJing three decades ago, I have been known to not only play remixes, but to hunt down and buy rare and exclusive remixes for my performances.

Why?  Simple - because I want to provide something special.  I want to set myself apart form other DJs with versions that they can't easily acquire, and over the years, I have spent (no exaggeration) thousands upon thousands of dollars purchasing remixes, on vinyl and CD, some of which I've even had flown over from Europe just so that I could have them in my arsenal.

It's an investment that I've made in an effort to extend a more exciting, club-like, special experience to my clients.  I feel that it's my duty as a professional DJ to do that - and again, it's one of the things I'm known for.  Just like you shouldn't walk into Red Robin or Fat Guy's Burger Bar and expect to get nothing but a McDonald's Value Meal, you shouldn't come to a DJ Badger performance and expect a non-stop series of radio versions.

And - this part is really important - there are numerous dance songs of which I don't even own a copy of the original version.

So, if you come up and ask for a song, but then order me to play the original version... you just might be out of luck, and if you're rude about it, I might not play your request at all, especially if I've received dozens of other requests.

And, if I'm playing a song that you've requested (let's say you've impatiently harangued me for "Thriller" three or four times, just as an example), and then instead of dancing to it, you stand around for a while and then come up yet again while the song is playing to ask if I'll play the original version... then guess what?  My reaction is probably going to be one blunt syllable:  "NO."  You really won't want me to extend my reaction past one syllable, I assure you.


3.  I am picky about the remixes I play.

I'm going to be blunt here:  There are a lot of crappy remixes out there.  I'm not a big fan of most of the remixes that are just a single house beat with little chunks of songs repeated; I want all of the lyrics, and I usually want to preserve the very general "integrity" of the song, but with special effects added and maybe some additional instrumentation or an extended intro.

If I'm playing an 80s party or 90s party (for instance, any Awesome Retro DJ Service performance), then I'm not going to reach for remixes that sound like modern high-energy tunes.  If I'm playing a full-range/all-genre party (like most Bravo Pro DJ performances), then the possibilities are a bit more open... but I still don't like a lot of modern remixes of older tracks.  I love being able to break out the remix service issues from the 80s and 90s and play the mixes with the old-school remixing style - tasteful repeat edits, maybe some extra samples, etc.

You won't hear a slew of crappy bootlegged dubstep/techno remixes that some loser has ripped off of YouTube because he doesn't want to pay for his music.  You'll hear genuinely good remixes that have met my personal standards of approval.


4.  I don't play remixes of everything.

I usually don't play a 100% remixed set.  For instance, most slow songs are not remixed.  A lot of classic rock songs have never been remixed.


5.  If you want nothing but plain radio versions, I am not the DJ for you.

I am a longtime professional DJ - not a jukebox.  If you want to hear the exact same radio/album versions for the entirety of the performance, cranked out by a cookie-cutter DJ who doesn't care about creativity, then please - PLEASE - look elsewhere.  Or, just save some money and use your iPod, or perhaps get a boombox and set it to your favorite radio station.  In any case, if you just want non-stop radio/album versions, don't bother asking me to perform, because I am not the DJ for you.

Thanks for your time.  More soon.