TF Archives

'If god Was a Mobile DJ.... #4' - Scott Ruddock

Author: Scott Ruddock
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Scott Ruddock shares the tips, tales and secrets accumulated over 10 years in the industry

Sasha & Digweed played in Melbourne recently and frustratingly my university studies prevented me from going. To add to the agony, my friends who attended narrated back to me a tale of musical splendor which stretched out over six hours. 'Bugger!' I thought. 'Now I wish I had gone'. But it also got me thinking that the weekly private events I play at contain striking similarities to the job Sasha & Digweed migrate annually to our shores for.

Before you scoff and dismiss my idea as some bizarre hypothesis that preludes a self-fulfilling prophecy, I want to make it clear that when I mention the sets played by the son of God and his sidekick Moses (if you see Digweed's hairstyle these days you'd understand the biblical analogy), I refer to their extended sets of four hours or more. After all, I am dubious to acknowledge that a two hour peak time boogie bonanza containing floor filling anthems represents the capacity of any DJ. With this is mind, what do we both share in common-

The answer to this is that the gigs are lengthy. Just like a triathlon is to an athlete, you have to make time to get ready, prepare yourself for the dance floor onslaught and deliver the music the way you see fit. While I don't profess to be an iron man of the club world, I claim the time allows you one significant freedom; to program the night the way you want. This is important because you get to walk into a room cold and create your vibe from scratch. Taking drunken idiots and ABBA requests out of the equation, the success of a night falls more or less squarely on your DJ muscles. Timing becomes everything.

This is what Sasha and Digweed do so well. They know how to program a night and when to peak marathon stages of their sets. Sure it helps that they have produced quality dance music for over 10 years, play to crowds that often are over 2000 in size and frolic amongst attendees who are 'loved up'. But don't let this distract you from the fact that they are, in essence, trying to make you dance. What sets some DJs apart from others is their ability to decipher when their crowd is ready to step it up a notch or when they are exhausted from an aural assault.

I remember playing my weekly eight hour Friday night residency a few years ago. Walking in with my four crates of black plastic and two CD cases, I began at 5pm and didn't stop until at least 1am. Apart from discovering the benefits of Sustagen Gold and bananas which got me through the night, learning to sustain a pace equal to that of Aerobics Oz Style for several hours became a skill in itself. It also taught me the value of patience behind a mixer. Just because you are ready to "go sick" doesn't mean your crowd will be too. I also remember a five hour gig for a Latin dance association a few months back where I was instructed to keep tempo at 125 beats per minute. Ironically, enough the gig ended half way through when one of the dancers collapsed with a heart palpitation. So much for pre-season conditioning.

Scott Ruddock has been DJing at both clubs and privately for the last 10 years. Melbourne based, he can be contacted at for bookings, Mega-mixes and minor miracles.