I’ve written several pieces in the past about the incredible importance of DJHistory.com. The influence that it had on generations of DJs and “disco” aficionados. The book that the website spun off from, Last Night A DJ Saved My Life (which has recently been revised and reprinted by the wonderful White Rabbit), personally, got me interested in dance music, and buying dance records, again, after an 8 or 9 year break from constant clubbing. I’m sure that 1000s of people have similar stories. The lists in the back are a vinyl bible.
The site itself was a priceless resource, carrying countless interviews – full transcripts of those that appeared in the book – which in my opinion still stand as definitive documents, the go-to conversations with those DJs and artists. They are articles that I’ve referenced and quoted many, many times. Then there was the forum. For a good while this was a place where people, not all DJs, but every one an absolute music nut, openly, and generously, shared, knowledge, insight, misty-eyed memories, toe-curling tales, and “secret weapons”. As collective we ID`d tracks from tapes by Daniele Baldelli, DJ Harvey, and Jose Padilla. Contributed, and train-spotted, guest mystery mixes of our own. Enthusiasm was encouraged and reciprocated, and the forum very, very quickly became a proper, caring, community.
For younger folks it must have been a mind-bending barrage / mine of information. As an old lag it just completely re-activated me, and from all around the globe, over the years, I made 100s of online friends. Many of whom, equally energised, went on to throw parties, produce records, and start labels. It created the musical / media network that provides the backbone of Ban Ban Ton Ton today. I know that I’ve said this before, but I have a very special debt to DJH, since it provided me with contacts in Tokyo, without which, when I first moved there, I would have been totally lost. With assistance from amigos in the chat-room, within a month I had a regular gig, and all of my connections in Japan were a direct result of this.
So why am I here, waxing lyrical, repeating myself (just for a change)? Well, after emotionally closing their doors in 2015, today sees the relaunch of DJHistory.com – barely recognizable with its brand new, sleek, shiny, state-of-the-art design, but my guess is that now it will prove even more invaluable. It’ll be super interesting to see what it inspires this time.