It’s time to go to My Church.
Though, I’ve been to this place in many different settings, it’s almost always the same. The patrons, whether paying or not are different. The acoustics, the lighting, the size of the room may be different. The gear that I may be using at the time may be different. But the place… The place is always the same.
On this day, the heat and humidity have forced me to head to My Church while wearing nothing but a white tank top, a pair of gray shorts and a pair of black fuzzy slippers. No air conditioning for me at this point in time; I’m going to get too warm for it to matter much, any way. As I walk down the last seven steps to My Church, I can feel a familiar fullness begin to enter my chest. It won’t be long now.
I lace my fingers together before stretching my arms out ahead of myself; the resulting popping of my knuckles and elbows feels really nice, despite the fact that the sound generally makes anyone within earshot cringe. Limbering up my fingers is also part of this process; I’ll be using them fairly frequently for the duration of this event.
The table is stationed right where I left it; my destination sitting atop it as I casually walk around to the other side. I flip a switch then grin as blue, red and green lights begin to glow softly. It only takes a moment to slide my headphones over my ears, making sure that they fit snugly. A press of the key lock on both CD players, followed by a quick adjustment of the pitch slide for each and my entry to My Church is nearly complete.
The thing about entering My Church is that I can almost literally enter it anywhere, gear or no gear. You see, it’s not so much a physical location as it is a state of being. If I’m able to let my mind wander, if the day gets rough enough and I need it badly enough, My Church can be ANYWHERE.
Thumb drives in place and at the ready, I quickly cycle through the folders contained on the left then the right, looking for two particular songs to start me out: the Juniorverse Remix of Beautiful Day by Hypertrophy and God Is A DJ by Faithless. There’s a specific reason that I have chosen these two songs to go with my sound check and to start out my set: they’re essentially my personal anthems. They help set the mood that I’m going for in terms of the state of mind I want to attain and they’re just good songs overall.
A 15-second clip of each lets me know that both CD players are working properly. Now, it’s go-time.
Sidebar: What people who aren’t DJs don’t generally tend to pay attention to is how they can be led on a journey by a DJ. Now, I’m not talking about your radio variety DJs who have to play the same five songs fifteen times during their sets while they’re on the air. While that has its place, I’m talking more the sort of journey that comes with catching a DJ at a club, a bar, a wedding reception or some other sort of venue or event.
You see, My Church is attainable only through getting back Behind The Board, firing up those players and letting my mood and the music meld into one entity. Once my mood and the music meld into one entity and I feel that entity radiate from my chest throughout every limb, every digit of my body, THEN I find that I’ve arrived in My Church. There’s a sense of peace that permeates as I bob my head to the beats. Nirvana is achieved when my body responds to the music. There’s an energy that fills every cell, escapes from every pore in the form of sweat as I exorcise the demons that have plagued me.
Depending on the mood, those demons are released through tears. Sometimes, they’re eradicated through belting out particular meaningful lyrics. Others, they are exiled through images fashioned from memories of dances gone by.
Some sets may be dominated by Motown: The Jackson 5, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, The Supremes and others guiding me, haunting me with memories of my childhood. Others may be assaulted by the likes of Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, KMFDM, Sepultura and Sevendust because I’m filled to near explosion with aggression. Others may take me back to the years I spent initially gaining my appreciation for spinning, characterized by Mark Morrison’s Return of the Mack, LL Cool J’s Doin’ It, Tupac’s So Many Tears, Coolio’s Gangster’s Paradise, Kool Moe D’s Let’s Go and Notorious BIG’s One More Chance. When I feel like taking things a bit differently, Inner Circle, Bob Marley, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Terror Fabulous and Toots & The Maytals elicit a rhythm, a beat that I think is under-appreciated by the majority.
Regardless, I usually spend a couple of hours in My Church once I go there. When I come out, I feel like everything is going to be alright.
God Is A DJ, indeed.