Hint Of Jasmine : A DJs “Life List”

Given the opportunity to discuss electronic music and what it is to me, the topics that surface in my mind most often are “Do I attempt to connect to what’s going on in the present time?” which I currently fail to do, or, “Perhaps I should discuss the thirteen years that I’ve spent taking it all in listening, learning, and constantly being reminded that evolution is alive and well, when it comes to this genre.”

The list presented below is in no particular order, by any means. As much as I’d like it to be sequential or reminiscent of a timeline of sorts, the fact of the matter is I’m relying solely on memory and how far back it reaches. As a DJ, I find it difficult to exaggerate or bullshit anyone when it comes to music. If you ask me what the most influential tracks of my journey have been, I’m not one to name a few “bangers” and tell you that they got the place jumping when I played them.

I won’t discuss Tiesto’s “In Search Of Sunrise” mix of Delerium’s “Silence.” I will not sit here and say “(insert genre here) changed my life”, as several of them actually did, and neither one of us has the sixteen straight days it would take for me to explain why. I’ve spent a little over a decade collecting and playing this music, observing changes and tweaks, watching as producers redefined ‘innovation’ and really made these sounds their own.

What I’m going to reference here is a small collection of various tracks that I’ve heard since I was about thirteen, that acted as my personal catalysts and muses.

1. Praga Khan – “Injected With A Poison” – MNO Power Mix
This was the first taste of Electronic music that I’d ever had. It’s the beginning track on a very memorable album called “Rave ‘Til Dawn.” What a way to start things off. I didn’t even know what was happening, but I know that I liked it, and wanted to know anything and everything about why this was even going on in my stereo. Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up listening to Praga Khan.

2. Trauma – “You’ll Know”
Youtube decided to call it DJ Micro’s track, but in actuality this was on a mix by DJ Micro called “Tech Mix version 2.0”, which I was simply not ready for. My brother came into my room one night with a Walkman and a cheap pair of headphones and told me I needed to hear it. I dismissed him at first, as I was doing homework and listening to Korn. I decided to humor him and listen. The rest is pretty much history. This entire mix became my life, at that time. I remember thinking to myself that this was so heavy, and energetic. It made me want to move, and do things. I don’t actually think he ever got that CD back from me.

3. Beam And Yanou – “The Sound Of Love”
This was on another CD my brother made the fatal mistake of letting me “borrow.” Mind you, I did not yet know anything about Trance, or how much of an impact it would have later on in my young life. Trance would end up being the reason that I chose to buy Technics turntables and a two-channel mixer, instead of a car. This particular gem was on a compilation album made for The Roxy, by DJ Mark D. (And, yes, I did spend most of my teenage years waking up in the middle of the night to put a new cassette tape in to record Mark D’s Roxy mixes.)

4. Qattara – “Come With Me”
I was about 15-16, when this was introduced to me. I remember this frame of time quite vividly, as I was just starting to go to the ‘rave nights’ at #’s nightclub in Houston every Saturday night. I remember buying these huge pink Caffeine pants and a tiny tee-shirt with purple clouds all over it, and asking my obviously advanced group of raver friends if I was dressing right. I was trying to find that “perfect raver boyfriend (or girlfriend) that completely understood how lovely this music was” and I actually did, for a second there. The boy I had decided to call mine made me a cassette mix full of Trance, and this was the second track. If anything, I still adore him for introducing me to this. It remains one of the most magic and memorable tracks in my history.

5. Aurora – “Ordinary World” – Condor Remix
Who doesn’t like a good Duran Duran remix? There’s a point in which everything in this track breaks down and a piano piece ensues, which to this day remains the most gorgeous break in a track that I’ve heard. I was going through a pretty hard time when I first heard this. I owe most of my sanity to that piano break.

6. Blank & Jones – “Perfect Silence” – E-Craig’s 212 Remix
Fast-forward to about three years later when I acquired my turntables. I started practicing as a DJ because I loved Trance and nothing else really mattered to me, at that point. I never got the chance to play this track out live, and I have wanted to for as long as I can remember. It’s so steady and I’d like to see people react to it. I also want to point out the enormous respect I have for Blank & Jones. These two have Trance compilations, Jazz and Deep House compilations, and even dual-CD sets with Chillout and Chill House mixes. I’ve followed these guys closely. It’s worth it to do so.

7. Pendulum – “Hold Your Color”
How I really want to say that my intro to Drum And Bass was “Watercolour”, by the same artist. It wasnt, and that’s okay. This track is as important, if not more important, to me. I decided to get on a DnB radio show online one day, just to try and figure it out. This happened to be playing. For the next couple of weeks my girlfriend at the time became very sick of DnB radio playing constantly in the apartment. I’d never heard anything that made me feel that alive before. I wanted to say Trance did, but I think it was around this point in my life that we all started figuring out what I’d probably commit to pretty heavily.

8. Hybrid – “If I Survive”
Anyone who knows anything about me knows exactly what the little tattoo on my right arm means. Hybrid remains my favorite electronic act of all time. I can’t begin to name how many different avenues of sound they’ve visited, how many different ways they have shaped their albums to be nothing less than spectacular. I could stay on this subject for days, which is why I’ll just leave this one right here. I discovered this gem in the intro to “Kinetica” on Playstation 2. I will never thank the game developers enough for that. After a few moments of gameplay, I hopped on a bus to the nearest Soundwaves and picked up two Hybrid CDs without question- and it’s the best decision I’ve made since I’ve been alive. I’ll even leave the official game intro here, for reference and nostalgia.

9. Noisecontrollers – “Astral”
Oftentimes, I find myself forgetting that for a good while there I was alive because of Hard Dance. Try as I may, I can’t deny that this was the genre that connected me to so many people, for so long. Even now, though I exist as a DJ only active through Techno and DnB, I can’t help but be taken back to a time when we were all together in one room, celebrating how amazing these few years really were. I won’t ever value any memory as much as I value that of the “Hard Series” parties that I threw with my home company, KAOS Entertainment. This was probably the last time that I ever truly felt alive, playing live for any crowd. This was always a favorite of mine, to play.

10. Seba – “Keep Me Waiting”
Seba has become my everything, when it comes to Liquid DnB. I found myself using alot of his tracks to practice spinning the genre when I decided it was time. When I got booked for my very first time at Frenzi, I remember stressing so hard and calling upon every DnB DJ I knew, to help me feel at ease for the show. It may or may not have worked, but this track acted as a relaxer regardless.

11. Pryda – “Liam”
I won’t ever forget the first time I heard this track. BBC Radio had a brand new show playing, and this was the opener. I was falling out of touch at this point, convinced that I wouldn’t again hear anything that could make me want to play so badly and share this sound with anyone. That’s about the time that this track started playing. I stopped everything I was doing and just sat down and listened, my head dropped in my hands. Eric Prydz is a master of his craft, and I blame this song for the reawakening I experienced. Finally, I wanted to spin again.

12. Devil Maurini – “Bad Rabbit Girl” – MinimalFlex Remix
I never saw myself playing Techno, and I will never be able to tell you why it’s now my default genre. I like dark sounds. I like very simple, yet effective electronic music. Minimal Techno has a very specific energy, and it houses a very niche crowd. I don’t know everything there is to know about it, but I know that it’s what I want to hear, and I know that it’s what I want to play. Perhaps that’s where I’m gonna stay. Perhaps things might change. But until then, I leave you with my personal favorite.

About Jasmine Rose

Jasmine is a Houston-based writer and spoken-word poet, and one of the latest additions to The Department Of Dance. Jasmine has been DJing since 2008, affiliated with various (now defunct) collectives in the past, and currently playing independently. Her choice genres include Minimal Techno, Liquid DnB, and Melodic Trance.

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