What it is to Spin House Music… One New York DJ’s Perspective

I can’t actually say what it is for another DJ, but for me… it is some seriously powerful shit! I have been a fan of house music since the late 80s when shit was really sketchy. New York was a late bloomer when it came to House Music. NY seemed to be so wrapped up in Hip Hop that Chicago was spreading House Music and Detroit was spreading Techno Music worldwide without us really being in the know. So we didn’t start to really see any progression here until the early 90s. House was the bastard child of Disco after she had love affairs with both Funk and Soul but she didn’t really know who the father was. Some real ghetto shit, right? I know but doesn’t all really superb music start out in the hood? At least that’s how I saw it. Disco at the time had been abandoned by the mainstream and was cast into the abyss to be forgotten. The “four on the floor” thump had been watered down with cheap electronic sounds instead of 5-20 piece bands.

Every soul, jazz and R&B singer on the planet had jumped onto the bandwagon and made a “disco” track. When Johnny Mathis (and don’t get me wrong, I loves me some Johnny Mathis) makes a disco song, you are headed down a dark path from which there may be no return. I loved my disco music from the 60s and 70s but this crap coming out in the 80s killed me. It lacked a significant amount of soul and originality. Kind of like what modern “Commercial Rap” music is seeing right now. I was first exposed to House Music at; you guessed it, a “House Party” at someone’s crib in Brooklyn, NY circa 1987. Someone had found some not-so-shitty electronic sounds and made them sound really, really good! I can’t even remember the song but I kept my ears open for the sound at every party and it began to increase more and more. There was the Hip Hop, the R&B, the Reggae and then a little House segment. The house segment was always the most intense part. The B-Boys/B-Girls seemed to dig it more than they dug dancing to Hip Hop. It caught on like wildfire on the underground because you know they wouldn’t play it on the radio. You had to be at your crib, a party or a club to get some good house music. In the U.S. the same holds true to date as far as I’m concerned. Occasionally you’ll catch a 2 a.m. dope House Music mix somewhere in the US but rarely is it long enough to suit a house head’s taste. Anyway, in NY I saw House begin to integrate itself into other underground formats and gave rise to the likes of Hip-House, Trance, Jungle, Tech-house and a myriad of other styles with the same 4-bump kick drum root. It was pretty incredible by the early 90s how it became integrated into everything, even the mainstream. The marvelous thing about House Music is that it split into so many sub-genres that it has been able to accommodate the most discriminating underground House head in the ghettos of Brooklyn to the most uppity Ivy League graduate from the suburbs of Minneapolis.

Knowing and having been able to experience all of that history allows me to soak up all of the wonders of spinning some Deep, Soulful and Classic House. Watching the incredible timeless bodies that are well into their 60s and the newbies in their 20s all share the dance floor define what it is for me. Spinning House Music is beyond magical. The only thing I love more than spinning it is dancing to it. Yes, you will find me on the dance floor cutting some serious rug! Watching the looks on people’s faces when they are dancing is amazing. Most of them don’t seem to care about anything else except for the song that is on and the way it makes them feel on that crowded or even a not so crowded dance floor. It is solidarity and unity at the same time. Bodies gyrating, sweat, smiles, frowns when a hard baseline comes on, the way everyone bounces at the same time when the music drops out and just the drums and percussion kick in, the hands clapping, the whistles blowing, the random tambourine that someone brings out… Nothing touches watching this. Nothing can come close to the exhilaration of knowing that you are guiding the joys of these people. Teasing the crowd with lead-ins to a really popular song and feeling the heat in the room swell and then letting them have it at just the right moment…Boom! The release! That is what it is to spin house music. Most people will never know what it feels like. I feel really sorry for them.

-DJ BooshWheelz

http://DJBooshWheelz.com

http://DjBooshWheelz.bandcamp.com

http://soundcloud.com/djbooshwheelz

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