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Just for the Record Part Two

Author: Matt Solo aka DJ Promo
Friday, 7 April 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 Two: In At The Deep End

To say the beginning of my DJ career was a baptism of fire would be an understatement. I'd never even mixed two records before and yet there I was, DJing for eight hours every Monday in the heart of London's clubland. You have to learn pretty quickly in such circumstances and the first lesson I learned was that I loved it. I'd start off fairly low key but by the end of the second hour I'd be in complete control. Since that day, I've always preferred to DJ for more than two hours at a time. It takes me a while to find my zone but, when I do, there's no stopping me.

Within my first 12 months as DJ Promo, I'd played all over London - including at Ministry Of Sound, which until that point had only been a pipedream. The international gigs came flooding in, as did the house parties and 12-hour sets. At the same time, I was also holding down five weekly residencies and was often behind the decks more than a dozen times a week.

Then I met Pedro G (Portugal) - and my world hasn't been the same since. Before he burst onto the scene, the action finished with the after party and then you just went back to somebody's place to get wasted. But Pedro and I would go back to his place and carry on mixing. We've always been very competitive and would battle each other every which way: on the decks, over who had the best tracks, who could do the better mix, who could try something beyond the scope of the other person, and so on.

When I was throwing parties in London, we didn't have a different DJ every hour or so as happens here in Australia. We'd have two or three DJs for the entire night, then a lock-in, followed by an after party, then back to someone's place to DJ some more, and then back to basement clubs in the city where we could keep the party going for as long as we wanted. We partied for days at a time. I was being given more than 100 records every week - the only way to keep things fresh when you're playing that often.

Pedro and I often joked about breaking the Guinness World Record back then. The idea was that one of us would do it, then the other one would challenge, then we'd go head-to-head in two booths separated only by a sheet of glass.

When I moved to Australia, the idea dropped off the immediate agenda and it wasn't until I began DJing here that I started thinking about the parties I'd left behind. I tried several times to recreate them in Melbourne - with Disconnected @ Two Floors Up, Pixelfree @ Bunker and The Drum Is God! @ TFU and Brown Alley - but somehow it was never quite the same

To be continued...
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