DJ Disasters: Mekon

When it all goes wrong...
Mekon

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 went badly wrong.

Mekon is an absolute legend. A member of the Industrial scene's electronic wing during the turbulent 80s, the producer was immediately drawn to the groundbreaking sounds of Chicago's House scene.

Working with Psychic TV, he was partly responsible for seminal Acid House album 'Jack The Tab' before focussing on his solo output. Working with a raft of successful artists - Afrika Bambaata, Marc Almond and more - the Mekon name was gifted to the producer by none other than Goldie.

Closely associated with Wall Of Sound, the producer recently unveiled his fourth album 'Piece Of Work'. Despite all this, though, Mekon still has the odd night where everything goes wrong. Such as a fateful date on an early Wall of Sound package tour...

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Sometime in the late 90's I was persuaded (against my better judgment) to go on a Wall of Sound tour of Europe, to promote the label (I was the first artist signed to their label). I didn’t have a record out at the time but the line up consisted of Derek Da Large, Jon Carter and The Propellerheads - all friends, so I thought it would be fun if nothing else. The tour was imaginatively titled The Tour With No Name – which soon came to be retitled The Tour With No Aim. It was to last 3 weeks and started at Cambridge University at some kind of student ball and full of people who weren’t like any students we’d ever met.

We arrived in Cambridge early and decided it was a good idea to got to the pub beforehand so as to prepare for the evening’s entertainment - anyone who knew the Wall Of Sound crew around this time will be familiar with these pre-match antics. We got stuck in in typical fashion. I was scheduled to play at 11pm and was well ‘on my way’ when I realised that I was already 10 minutes late so grabbed my box and headed for the crypt where I was due to play.

I arrived at the booth to find a fast exiting Derek who was keen, as ever, to join in some crazy student behaviour. About 15 minutes into my set I realised it might have been a good idea to go to the toilet first and relieve myself of the many pints of lager that had been consumed in the pub. When I asked where the nearest toilets were I was told that, being as we were in an historical crypt, there were no toilets and the nearest ones were up the stairs and across the courtyard that was mobbed. There was no way I would get away with leaving a record playing and getting back before it ended, so I soldiered on against the odds for an hour or so before realising that I couldn’t hold off any longer.

In desperation I grabbed a pint mug and managed to conceal it and relieve myself undetected. Just as I finished, someone came over to ask for a request, realising that I was possibly talking to a future prime minister I panicked and attempted to place the pint of piss on the shelf below the decks, to my horror I only managed to succeed in pouring the whole lot into my record box! At which point Derek reappeared to find me desperately wiping records with beer mats, I was too embarrassed to tell him what I had just done and tried to coerce him into helping me clean the records explaining that some wasted student had just poured a pint all over them. His assistance didn't last long and he soon made his excuses and left citing the smell in the booth, which I informed him was how all crypts smelt. Strangely, for the rest of the tour no one wanted to share a room with me and my records.

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'Piece Of Work' is out now.

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