DJ Disasters: Louisahhh!!! And Maelstrom

When it all goes wrong...

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.

Louisahhh!!! is one of the foremost voices in French techno, an LA native who was seduced by Gallic culture. With her deep, propulsive style the producer has been able to find a niche within the country's electronic scene, so often dominated by house.

New EP 'Friction' is out now, with the producer trading blows alongside Maelstrom. A full collaboration, the dark, often sensual sounds are matched with a metallic, percussive sensibility which drags out an itchy, contagious groove.

Released on Bromance, it's another seismic EP from two distinct talents. Due to dominate clubs this Spring, the twin talents have built sets to entertain all tastes.

However there are times when it doesn't quite go to plan…

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My favourite country to play in has long been Mexico, despite the unfortunate circumstances surrounding one gig in Tijuana. When I was still doing my own booking in 2010, I accepted a date with a promoter I had never worked with before and went down to Tijuana for the first gig. I should have been wary when I got there as the guy who booked me was impossible to get ahold of regarding transport from hotel to venue in a notoriously dangerous city. However, I was feeling particularly scrappy and found my own way. Anyway, after making it to the venue unscathed and playing a fun set to a typically awesome Mexican crowd, I looked for the promoter to settle up financially and the guy was again, nowhere to be found. Unreachable by phone, text or email, the man had disappeared without a trace – and without paying me.

Furious and anxious, I thought on my feet. I grabbed a CDJ and told the parties responsible for equipment that they could have the machine back when I got paid, and marched back to the hotel alone. Looking back on it, this was probably an incredibly stupid thing to do considering it was late at night in Tijuana and I was a 25-year old girl in nightlife attire, carrying a $1500 worth of electronics. Nevertheless, I made it back to my room safely. The following morning, after still no communication from the promoter, I headed back to the USA, crossing the border on foot, CDJ in tow.

When I regale this story, I tell it like I’m some sort of badass who takes equipment as collateral from shady promoters, SO DON’T MESS WITH ME. I’M TOUGH. The reality is that after I got back to Los Angeles that evening, I cried in the shower because I was so freaked out. The following week I had to ship the CDJ back (it was a rental, the company threatened to sue), and I still haven’t been paid. Total DJ Disaster.

My other favorite DJ Disaster was actually one of the best clubbing experiences I’ve ever had. Shockingly (not at all), it also took place in Mexico. Long story short, the festival I was supposed to play (as the duo Staccato, with DJ Gina Turner) got shut down by the cops and instead of calling it quits, the party moved from a giant outdoor venue into a tiny brothel (literally, a brothel). There were prostitutes acting as bartenders, and alcohol ran out almost immediately but no one seemed to care. There were people stacked on people, hanging from the ceiling, crowd surfing, sweat on the walls. It was electric and insane, entirely redeeming Mexico as the best place in the world for techno.


During one of my tours, I was booked to play in a city at the same time when a rugby World Cup event was happening. The city was surreal and beautiful, the promoters were lovely and friendly people, who took me to a quick tour of the area, then we ended up having dinner in a series of different restaurants to taste the variety of the local food.

After a quick nap and a taxi drive, we arrived in the 'club area' of the city, which was busy with what seemed to be thousands of rugby fans from all over the world. It took us probably 40mn to reach the club, only a couple of streets away, navigating through an ocean of drunk sport enthusiasts, puking everywhere, shouting, chanting, most of them shirtless or having lost their shoes in the process. You could almost feel the testosterone floating in the air around us.

Happy and relieved to still be alive, we entered the club, situated in the basement of a building in a pedestrian street. Again, everything seemed perfect : the sound was great, the booth was comfortable, with a nice LED screen behind it. But it was empty. Nobody was here. I started to realise that the rugby enthusiasts had scared away the techno fans, who preferred to stay home, or to party elsewhere by fear of sharing a dancefloors with a pack or sweaty, shirtless, and drunk rugby fans.

After a warm up set played for the walls by a nonetheless talented local DJ, I got behind the decks, resigned to play for the promoters and a dozen people who had managed to find their way to the club, and started playing. But progressively, the club started becoming more and more crowded, not with young people in love with techno, but with rugby fans, most of them completely drunk. Some started dancing, but others realised something was wrong. The music wasn't the kind of sound they were used to. It was nonsense to them, as if someone was shouting at them in Mandarin, or in code. After 10 or 15 minutes, they started waving their phones at me, asking for requests. But of course, I had no Aerosmith or Van Halen, or any of the rugby hymns they wanted to hear, and even if I had, I'd never play any of these tracks.

In that type of situation, you can try your best, but there's no way you will change them. All they want is some song they can sing along to. Unfortunately it gets me in a mood where I sort of want to punish them all for not listening, so without it being even a conscious decision, I ended up playing the hardest industrial techno tracks I had in my bag : my favourite Perc, Randomer, or Truss tracks at 140bpm. Lucky for me, the booth was out of reach from the crowd, and the security team was doing a great job. These guys had paid the entry fee, and maybe a bottle or two, so they had to stick around for a while. I completely cleared the dance floor, and in the end it was a total disaster, but at least, some of these rugby fanatics will have experienced what 'noise' means once in their lifetime.

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'Friction' is out now on Bromance.

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