How middle-aged DJs keep up
Sometimes bad news seems to come in waves. Just last summer, a rather unfortunate piece of information for anyone born before the 80s began to make its way around the internet. A study carried out by Currys PC World suggested that individuals 37 or older may want to think twice about their nights out of clubbing. Essentially, 37 was deemed the new “tragic.”
Older than 37? Well, apparently, those individuals are too old to go out for a night of clubbing.
While it later appeared that the study failed to ask its participants directly about wanting to listen to actual music in a club or similar setting, it did relay some truth about the nature of aging. Simply being that the group at hand preferred a night in with Netflix over a night out on the town. While this news speaks to a large amount of society, just beneath the surface lies another breed of middle-aged DJs.
A new piece from The Guardian explores how a class of middle-aged DJs stands apart. These summer of love, acid house veterans refuse to hang up their headphones, and rather, they’re embracing a life of late nights fueled by nothing stronger than caffeine.
Luke Cowdrey is just one of many of these forces. As the promoter of long-running queer night Homoelectric, which he tells The Guardian is “a genuine alternative to the commercial stranglehold,” Cowdrey’s bouncing in the DJ booth. “At 51, you definitely feel it,” he says, but if you want to hear club music in its natural environment, you need to hang out in nightclubs. Even if in middle age, you do it drug-free. I’ve played in Berlin at 7am on Sudafed, Red Bull, and coffee. I found a new buzz doing that. I go to full-on druggy places 100% straight and feel comfortable. I find that energy exciting.”
Cowdrey is not alone.
A significant number of acid house veterans refuse to allow the passage of time to shutter their time behind the decks. They’re feeding into instituted disciplines, and while they’re all doing so in their own unique ways, many are flourishing in old age, defying the odds, and instituting a new norm along the way.
Colin McBean, originally half of 90s techno duo, the Advent, is now 56 years old, and he’s enjoying his second coming in the musical afterlife as the bass-heavy Mr G. Though, contrary to Cowdrey’s methods, McBean cites yoga as his main catalyst in continuing his musical career all these years later.
The host of BBC 6 Music’s weekend breakfast show, Mary Anne Hobbs, explains that as an adolescent her abstaining from taking mind-altering substance has contributed to her discipline as an adult. Discipline came naturally to Hobbs. Though she explains that ultimately as one ages and touring requires more and more, there’s no other choice.
“At that age, you have to live like a monk – 100% sober,” she tells The Guardian. “Especially the American tours, where you’re flying out of different time zones every day.”
For Berlin DJ and producer Anja Schneider, it’s even more important that’s she dedicated to her craft.
As a mother and woman in her late 40s, Schneider sees DJing as a blessing and incredible creative outlet but cites that the priority shift is a lot to handle for many. “Time is limited. Priorities shift. I now prefer to spend Sunday with my son instead of going to Panorama Bar,” she tells The Guardian.
So it seems that whether one’s a worldwide touring DJ or regular clubber, they should party on, and so long as they keep their outside lives in order, what’s the harm done?
Via: The Guardian
Photo Credit: Wayne Fox/ The Guardian