DJ Disasters: Sleepy Time Ghost

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.

The world of dub isn't immune from the perils of the DJ Disaster. Sleepy Time Ghost is a member of Unit 137, a loose knit collective of new artists addicted to furthering echo chamber exploration.

Rapidly becoming a vital force in bass culture, Unit 137 have released a string of new riddims and re-workings fit to wreck up any dance they come across.

That said, it doesn't always go to plan…

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I’m booked for this event at Goldsmiths. Come the day, it’s beating down with rain and it turns out that the gigs outdoors in an empty courtyard and the stage is a wooden 4×4 with a rag of blue tarpaulin. In my head I’m slightly vexed thinking, ‘Great, outdoors in the pissing rain, what’s next?’

Almost as soon as I internally utter those words, it turns out there’s no CDJ’s setup – just an empty table. The sound man tells me that they thought I was bringing everything. Did they read my tech spec? Shame no one told me…At this point I’m starting to stress, about to start my set with no kit, no feeling in my hands or feet and beginning to panic about hypothermia. Then the sound guy suddenly turns up breathless, to say he’s sorted it, just in time.

Man what a relief, just when I thought it was all over, this guy has come through! I head to the stage and what comes into focus, instead of Pioneer CDJ 1000's, is… a DVD player.

Seeing me on stage the crowd start to appear and quickly develop. I am torn by pride of my fans and fear of my impending doom as I never want to disappoint. So, I drop my first tune, if Channel One Sound System can rock a crowd with one deck and an MC perhaps I can play my set from a DVD player. Well that was until I see there is only a skip button, no volume or any other controls.

After the first three songs, with awkward silences between track transitions, I decided I had been embarrassed enough! I let the 3rd track play out as I came off stage, and told the sound engineer that I couldn't work with the setup, wanting to be paid as quick as I could so I could grab a beer with the monies and drown my sorrows…they handed me a cheque which I could only cash in the next day….b*llocks!

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Led by Sleepy Time Ghost, Unit 137 are taking over Room 3 at ​Brixton Academy on January 25th.

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