Last week we received a mysterious package at the Ibiza Voice office. All the way from England. It’s a book by ‘The Secret DJ’ who we have been reading with much amusement in Mixmag over the last year or so. We’ve been fortunate enough to get an advance copy and permission to do the first review of it.
We know a thing or two about DJs here, but the first thing to say is we still have no idea at all who it is. We thought the book would be loaded with clues but there seems to be no more or less than the columns. No spoilers, but we will try to get across the gist of it without giving too much away.
Straight off the bat it is clearly not another book about our scene that is nostalgic. It’s very clearly written by a working DJ about the job. It’s no textbook however. The first section is simply a continuous 24 hours on the road. It reads very authentically and is highly familiar.
By the middle of the book we’ve been to London, Ibiza, New York and across the Alps. It provides more than a few genuine LOLs along the way. The Secret DJ is a good storyteller but the real stars of the show are the ‘Tour Manager’ and various interesting loons met along the way. Many substances are taken and much foolery and idiocy takes place as well as genuine advice and insight into the job for newcomers.
Great electronic music books are in short supply. This one is a must read.
Unlike some of the other ‘Secret’ books (The Secret Barrister and Secret Footballer) it’s not so much a dry expose of the industry but a ‘fear and loathing’ type descent into the evil guts of the biz via an existence of planes, trains and hotels. Far more European than American, it nicely balances a narrative alongside realistic accounts of what to expect at the upper end of the game.
Then it gets dark. Very dark. It’s a bit of shocker really. Say no more but it definitely keeps the pages turning. It’s a fast read. Most of all it rings very true. We were highly sceptical that it was all a true story at the beginning but by the end it is abundantly clear that you literally can’t make this shit up.
The publisher Faber and Faber are highly regarded and one of the few houses still pushing quality music books. With glowing endorsements from Bill Brewster, Roisin Murphy, Arthur Baker and Lord Sabre himself, Andrew Weatherall, The Secret DJ really could not come more highly recommended. It lives up to the hype ultimately. We’d like to see more.
'The Secret DJ' is released on 21st June. You can get it here
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