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Just for the Record Part One

Author: Matt Solo aka DJ Promo
Wednesday, 29 March 2006
In June 2006, DJ Promo, who played at famous UK superclub Ministry of Sound and a host of international venues will attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the longest DJ session in history. His mission: to smash the existing record of 84 hours by a full 16 hours, raising the bar to a new total of 100 hours live, continuous mixing. That's four-and-a-half days at the decks, without sleep or, more importantly, illegal stimulants, and all to raise vital funds for charity. This is his story.

Chapter One: In The Beginning

When someone asks what my favourite thing is about DJing, my answer is always the same: playing long sets to an Up For it audience. In the past, I've been limited only by the audience's lack of staying power. But now, I'm about to be let off the leash.

People always ask the same questions when they hear about my attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the longest DJ session marathon. Before I explain the event's evolution and ethos, allow me to answer those questions:

How are you going to stay awake for 100 hours- What (drugs) are you taking-

Firstly, I'll have several months of physical, stamina and endurance training under my belt by the time I make the attempt. And as for what I'll be taking- (the implication being recreational drugs), the answer's simple: nothing, zip, zilch, nada. I'm doing this completely clean, powered purely by a healthy diet, a clean and focused mind, and masses of determination.

Why are you doing this-

I'll explain in greater detail later but, in the meantime, suffice to say because I can and therefore I want to.

Are you insane-

No, I'm not. I'm just bored. Bored of the same old same old. Bored of reading about DJs playing exclusive five-hour sets, as though five hours is some kind of endurance test. Bored of being booked to play one-hour sets, when it takes more than an hour to build up any meaningful momentum.


Now that we've got the obvious questions out of the way, allow me to tell you a little something about myself and how all this came to be.

I'm English, from London originally. But I have been living in Melbourne for just over two years. I started promoting, almost by accident, when I helped some friends throw an end-of-school party in 1986. I was 16 at the time and holding in my hands more money than I've ever seen before. I was hooked, immediately. Making a career of it, however, was to take a little longer.

In 1993, I took a job at a record store in London. There I met artists, labels, record companies, DJs and nightclub owners. By way of logical progression, I started managing a few DJs, dabbling in production and promoting other people's events. The thought of becoming a DJ myself, however, never even entered my head. The DJs I was working with were awesome, how could I possibly compete-

Working at the record store fanned the flames of my second addiction (movies being my first). I kept every promo record I was ever given, even though I never actually played them: I've heard them ad nauseum at work; why would I want to hear them again at home-

In 1996 I quit the shop but, after briefly running a DJ home delivery service (delivering promo records to DJs, not DJs to people's homes), realised I wasn't getting as many promos as before. Like any addict, I had to get my hit. Pulling a fast one would be the easiest way: I would become a self-styled DJ, contact all the record labels I knew and ask them to send me their promos. Genius!

Simultaneously, a venue in the city asked for my help with its promotion. In the second half of 1996, I launched the now-infamous Aural Sex parties -and with them, my alter-ego: DJ Promo.

To be continued...
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