DJ Disasters: Hyetal

When it all goes wrong...
Hyetal

Every DJ has one.

A night when everything that can possibly go wrong does - and it does so in spectacular fashion. ClashMusic brings you DJ Disasters, featuring some of the most respected figures in the dance world reminiscing about those moments when it all awry.

Hyetal is a product of his environment. Coming of age in Bristol, the producer and DJ was steeped in a soundsystem culture which not only accepted individuality but encouraged it.

Retaining the bass saturation of dubstep but adding the Technicolor glow of grime and UK funky, Hyetal has built up a sound which is both strikingly modern and completely contagious. His debut album 'Modern Worship' is released on July 3rd, ending a long period of apprenticeship for the producer.

However, sometimes it's good to look back on times when things simply didn't go to plan...

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When I first started getting offers for DJ gigs outside of Bristol I pretty much said yes to everything. The novelty of getting paid (not much) money to do something i really enjoyed and hang out with people in other cities was difficult to turn down at the time.

Weirdly I got offered to play at a few pretty hard dubstep nights in Europe. I naively thought that people might appreciate a bit of diversity in the line-up and i should just go and do my thing. It didn't take long for me to figure out that I had to be a bit selective about the gigs I took on, and I think the one that helped me reach that conclusion was my second show in Holland.

The promoters had good intentions, so I won't bad mouth them or anyone else playing, it was just very miss-matched. It was around 2009 and I was playing a lot of funky, house and grime and throwing in some weirder stuff when I thought I could get away with it.

I was on second on the night. It was a reasonably sized club, and right at the front, around the booth, were 20 or so fairly aggressive-looking Dutch skinhead boys. The first tune I played was Prince's 'The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker', and from then on in they decided they didn't like me. They mainly stood completely still and tried to stare me out.

It didn't get much more threatening than some scowls and a badly aimed plastic cup, although at one point one of them adopted a swear/dance move where he rhythmically brandished his middle fingers at me. It's the only time I've seen that, and I'm still pretty impressed. Overall it was more entertaining than it was insulting. The next DJ came on and a full-on mosh pit broke out. I decided that I should probably be a bit more selective about the nights I played, and that I probably needed an agent.

My first live show in Russia was pretty entertaining, also in a totally different way. It was really good line-up and I was really looking forward to it. I hadn't had much sleep the night before, so managed to sleep through the entire flight there. I thought that was pretty clever at the time until I realised I hadn't managed to get a landing pass. I got to passport control and they wouldn't let me in. They couldn't tell me where to get a pass either, and the woman told me to get out of her queue. It took me an hour to find someone who would talk to me and help me find a landing pass then another hour to get through passport control.

The promoters were panicking as there wasn't much time before the start of my set. I finally got through and they took me straight to the venue. There wasn't anytime to eat anything, but I hadn't eaten for around eight hours at this point. I asked if there was any crisps or anything backstage, and they handed me a carrier bag full of apples and a bottle of vodka.

I probably drank too much of the vodka in the 30 minutes before my set. It seemed to go okay though, and people looked like they were into it. After I finished a girl asked me if it was okay to do an interview; I was quite suggestible at this point, so I went with it. She handed me a microphone with MTV on it, introduced me to the translator, and recorded me a tired, drunken mess for MTV Russia. I kind of hope they broadcasted it, as I imagine it would have been one of the funnier interviews I've done.

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'Modern Worship' is set to be released on July 3rd.

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