Like every DJ, I found myself doing this because I loved music. I still do. But this is nothing to do with music now. When I first started playing records in public, it was like being the only person in control of the jukebox in the busiest, buzziest pub in town. It was great. That was many years ago. Somehow I have ended up providing the music in a gay sex club. Men come here to relieve themselves sexually. That is all they come for. They don’t come for the music – that is a given.
The corners of the bar I play in are dark and I don’t know exactly what happens in them, but I can guess. The woman who takes the money at the door bleaches and disinfects thoroughly when the lights go on at 4am. I’m glad it’s not me picking up the used condoms. Yes, it can be hard choosing songs when the music’s main purpose is to smother the sounds of anonymous union, but it’s not the worst job here.
I deliberately don’t play the tunes I really cherish. It feels insulting to my favourite producers and artists for them to be employed to drown out bodily noises and awkward silences. I mix the beats together because that feels natural to me, but I wonder if anyone will notice if I mess up the mix. No one is dancing. I try not to think about what I am probably soundtracking, and instead think about how it used to be, playing in packed bars and clubs to swirling, laughing people dancing with each other on tables. It was highly sexual then, too, but the music seemed to complement and encourage the unions I often saw form in front of me. It’s like that dreadful Bonnie Tyler song: now there’s only love in the dark.