Not really having much time to play with, I’m always ready to jump into a mix with little or no preparation. This approach is perennially slapdash, but comes with great rewards, as well as frustrations. I’ve always liked to be spontaneous when I play, but when the results are recorded the errors stand out. In a lot of cases they’re never as bad as they seem. However, slight miscues or jumps in tempo can time stretch across what seem like minutes, rather than the seconds they are. I haven’t played out for a long time, but will always remember the extemporaneous evolution of such a set with fondness. Like most reasonable people, I was always able to find the correct record telepathically. Having said that, although selection skills are always Important, a modicum of skill is just as critical. The more technically adept isn’t always the most entertaining, but a minimum of beat matching prowess is very important. “I’d rather hear good tracks badly mixed than crap tracks well mixed” is often said, but I think we’d just all rather hear good tracks well mixed, wouldn’t we? Alas, I cannot lay claim to being exemplary in that department. Maybe I should start touching my efforts up. I have the technology, but have never gone over a mix and edited it after it was completed. I have the old-fashioned notion that everything should be done live in one take. Of course I’ve screwed up the beginnings of many, but as long as I’m not too far in I’ll go back and start again. There’s little you can do if this happens far along the line though, so steps have to be taken to minimize the pain. My mixer isn’t the most expressive, so it’s not possible to eliminate whole sonic areas. This can be a problem if you don’t know the records you are playing well. Having said that, the element of surprise is always exciting, and I think that a DJs 6th sense comes into its own when using intuition and occasionally riding one’s luck. Anyway, you can hear the results of my efforts on my Mixcloud page, which is linked to on the right. From the next mix, my Soundcloud is going to be under new quality control. Another thing I must do is revive my Modyfier ‘Process’ mix, which wasn’t a mix at all, but a selection of influences. The Soundcloud algorithms removed it without warning a few years ago.