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08.02.2019 | Words by: Luc Mastenbroek

I'm not sure what's the last time I saw a vibeman DJ. The vibeman is a recurring character in Avalon Emerson's long-read tutorial through her working methods (excellently written down by Elissa Stolman), referring to the myth of the storytelling DJ legend: a guy who can just rely on his experience, status, persona and inspiration. Avalon, she explains, is not a vibeman, she relies on things more concrete: buying new music, preparing, testing, archiving.

When I stumbled upon Objekt's art of DJing two years ago, I remember being surprised a long interview only about DJing could be a fun read. Later episodes with Jane Fitz, Eris Drew (what a vibe last Sunday!) and Vladimir Ivkovic proved again that a conversation about a DJ's technique can open up a world of more substantial ideas that transcend xone vs rotary or "DJing shouldn't be easy" debates. What I've learned from looking over many DJ's shoulders for the past three years: some sync, some improvise, some plan it out, some mix dusty vinyl with hi-end wavs, some bring an effect box, some play the same transition every time, some always push it to something new - it doesn't say anything. The only thing I've witnessed that does help is being on time and being at least a bit sober, which works best for most jobs.

Another thing I liked about Avalon's art of DJing is her emphasis on buying music, which she recently formalized in the buy music club. It's a platform that's positive about the dynamics of DJ culture, showing that DJs are an exception in these streaming days because they still buy music, but it also shows that there's far not enough focus on the people that write and produce the music you hear in a club. In a highly professionalized scene, where so many bookers, PR people, agents, investors, organizers and brands can make money off, it's crazy there's no real business model for musicians - except touring the world, which is not for everyone. The debate that unfolds here under Barker's (one of the best live club musicians around!) tweet is a good starting point when thinking about possible solutions, a process where we as a club should also think about our responsibility.

Anyway, Avalon is playing De School again in March with Job Jobse, a night that feels like a tradition but it's actually a first. Furthermore, there'll be many regulars playing next month that don't need a lot of additional context I think. Time for debuts: Stallion's Stud plays the basement during the first night of the month, Identified Patient's band together with Red Light Radio's Hugo - their release on Olf's Artificial Dance is a HIT. On Elias Mazian's night with Jayda G (new album on the way!) there's a first for Fafi Abdel Nour, resident of OOST, best club of the North. During the weekender (from now every first weekend of the month until June) Violet and Valentino Mora come over for the first time, Violet on Sunday afternoon in Het Muzieklokaal and Valentino Mora opening the basement on Sunday night before the devious one.

On Sunday March 9 Oceanic plays the basement again, with Minor Science and Nkisi, the Congolose born, Belgian raised, London based artist that just released an excellent and power-powerful LP on Lee Gamble's UIQ label. There's a beautiful interview with her in the Swiss magazine zweikommasieben (that opens with a conversation between upsammy and Mathis Neuhaus, who did the great interview series for us around last year's curated exhibition by Children of the Light for our blog), in which she explains where her artist name comes from and what Nkisi are: "They're specific sculptures which were used for rituals in the Kingdom of Kongo, which was a pre-colonial civilization. They're ritual objects. What’s really beautiful about them is that there is this idea that the Nkisi are able to look into our world and allow us to look into the underworld. The statues would be with the people who had the skills to use them, a kind of shaman. I guess all these Nkisi are in the museum for a reason; they were taken away from somewhere when the culture was de-rooted - it doesn't exist anymore." For more it's worth looking for the paper magazine, that also includes interview with Lorenzo Senni, Vladimir Ivkovic and Eartheater.

After moving the date a few times we finally get to invite Alex Zhang Huntai, together with our friends from Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ and Subbacultcha on Thursday March 21 at our concert venue s105. Speaking of which, Subbacultcha also invites MS Nina to Garage Noord next month while Muziekgebouw hosts a concert by Eli Keszler and Eliza McCarthy (who recently put out a magical album with Mica Levi), also free for Subba members. And not yet next month but a few weeks later: Minimal Music Festival at Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ with Lea Bertucci, Kate NV, Etienne Jaumet, Sapphire Slow, Mohammed Reza Mortavazi, Terry Riley, Rabih Beaini and Donato Dozzy LIVE IN CONCERT. We'll also do something, but more news on that soon.

Find the full program for March here. Tickets are now for sale. 
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