October 22, 2014

If You're Thinking of Spinning in: New Zealand

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What’s the scene: Club music died 10 years ago, but Kiwis still get their drink on to house, hip hop, dub step, funk and soul.

So club music died, but Kiwis still get their drink on? Which is it? According to Leon Dahn of NZ Rockshop in Auckland: “We have seen a hip hop music explosion of local artists that started around 2004. This brought a wave of interest in scratch DJing, which has since dwindled significantly since the heavy adoption of DJ CD players from Numark, Stanton, Technics and Pioneer. This started the downward spiral for local vinyl sales and now with the popularity of digital vinyl systems, turntables are often put to the side.”

Clubs I should know about: In Wellington, it’s Sandwiches, in Auckland it’s Ink/Coherent and Be Club, in Dunedin it’s Bath Street. Dahn describes these clubs as “Catering to real music heads, with a flexible booking policy. They will usually involve live musicians playing alongside DJs and electronic artists.”

Gotta get paid: In the NZ, it’s all about the Hillarys: DJ fees vary, of course, but if you’ve developed a Facebook/Myspace following and can draw a few hundred people, you can earn more than $300 in a night–a decent amount of Hillarys (as in, Sir Edmund, above, on their fiver).

What should I know about the Kiwi national character before booking my DJ tour: “It’s a very exciting time right now for DJing,” says Dahn. “With the exponential growth in technology and DJs really exploring the boundaries of creativity, they’re incorporating much more than two turntables and a mixer.”

Tip: Tell the booking agent that you think Sir Edmund Hillary is a God, and that he should be Prime Minister. When the agent informs you that Sir Edmund died two years ago, solemnly tell him that Sir Edmund in his grave would make a better PM than Gordon Brown.

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