Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hello Central Give Me Dr. Jazz

I'm just back from DJ-ing at The Snowball. Besides this being a super great event for new years, it is also an event where you can apply your DJ skills. Many people still think that DJ-ing is just appending a couple of good songs. But there are so many things to watch out for, like speed or style. Both can be used and sometimes have to be used to move things or respond things going on. This article will be talking about some moments during sets or complete sets, where the style was not a choice but an instrument to playing the dancefloor.



The first set I played Wednesday night from 1 to 2 am. The floor wasn't exactly crowded and the level of the dancers was a good intermediate-advanced in average. You could feel that the energy was low, which made sense - many people spent the day traveling to get to Stockholm. So an obvious choice was the tempo range, that would have to stay under 44 bars per minute. What was less obvious was the choice of music style-wise. Every song has it's own energy and low energy songs would've despite good tempo killed the dancefloor immediately and people would've gone sleeping. So the only real possibility was to play a set with music with a strong walking bass, mainly big band swing. Suffice to say - the dancefloor was equally full when I left my set.

Another fun set was on Friday from 4 to 5 am. The big difference to Wednesday was that the energy had found it's high during a fantabulous band battle between Gordon Webster's Band and Gentlemen & Gansters from Göteborg. This left people with lots of inspiration and and the wish to dance, but little energy. There was no need of external energy infusion, which would have probably been more exhausting than helping. Easy going music in a more New Orleans-style and also 20s-sound kept them swinging till the end.

The biggest challenge that I faced was after the second band battle at this years Snowball. Gordon played against the Stockholm Swing Allstars and the energy in the main ballroom was boiling when they finished. I was on directly after and playing no-matter-what-but-still-good song would've made a huge crowd leave the ballroom, despite most people actually wanting to dance since the end of the band battle was more watching and standing than actual dancing. So required was a song that wasn't too fast so many people could dance to it, it would have to be high energy to not have a too big of a contrast. I decided to play Jump Through The Window by Roy Eldridge. Additionally to fulfilling the just stated requirements, the most important part was that it is a widely known song, thanks to the ILHC 2009 Routine by Skye and Frida, which would make people have a really easy time to dance to it, and still being able to ride the flow of energy received from band battle. It worked perfectly :)

If you enjoyed my music at snowball and want me to be there again next year, mention me in the snowball feedback survey!

Swingly yours,

Dr. Jazz