D5 | Shawn O’Sullivan | Avian / L.I.E.S. / The Corner | NY • US

It’s almost trite to say, but I like to approach DJing as an act of storytelling. The narrative unfolds forward in real-time, guiding the listeners and dancers through sonic peaks and valleys, but simultaneously backwards, or perhaps downwards, unearthing historic artifacts, revealing or even forging new connections between sounds and movements separated both temporally and geographically. OK, that doesn’t *almost* sound trite, it DOES sound trite. But it’s also the most straightforward and honest way I can explain the act of making a mix.

This mix itself was also intended to be (relatively) straightforward and honest. It’s simply a selection of records (and digital files) presented in a way that I might normally DJ at a bar or club. It begins with deeper spacey techno, moves into acid, then into some heavier EBM-inflected material, and ends with some prime brutal Slovakian stuff. It was recorded in one take at Bossa Nova Civic Club. I went in with little in the way of a track order, and let spontaneity and tequila be my guides. A DJ that makes no mistakes is doing something wrong, certainly! The material presented spans over 20 years, and quite a few styles, but hopefully coheres in a compelling fashion. It seems a shame to only draw on contemporary material when we have such a rich history of underexplored dance music at our fingertips. That said, the presence of older material should serve to highlight the vitality of our present moment and the enduring versatility of techno.


(photo by Phuong Dan)