Dieselboy – 97 Octane

I’ll let D tell you all about the making of his second big mix CD, 97 Octane.

My second CD mix! Way way back in 1997 I was just beginning to make my mark as a DJ on a national scale. Still living in Pittsburgh at the time and working as tech support at a dial-up internet company called Telerama, I was spending all of my free time practicing on my turntables and playing whatever random shows came my way. The year before I had released “Drum And Bass Selection USA” with Moonshine Music in the states in combination with Suburban Base Records out of London (a very big label at the time). For this mix I was essentially given a tracklist of tunes by Dan Donnelly at Suburban Base to use. He went out of his way to try and select music that was brand new / unreleased and also stuff that reflected my musical tastes at the time (which was a combination of techy rollers and jump-up). During this period of my life I was living in a cheap ratty apartment and my humble equipment setup consisted of a pair of Technics 1200s and the lowest of the low budget of “dj mixers” – a Radioshack 32-1100A. Go ahead and google it. It was as zero frills as possible for a mixer compared to what exists today. Two phono inputs and a crossfader. No EQ. No bells. No whistles. Questionable sound quality. Most of the music Dan sent me for the mix was on vinyl. But 4 of the tunes were on dubplate – a record-like format that rapidly decreases in sound quality after only a few plays. I didn’t know the dubplate tunes AT ALL, which meant I had to somehow practice mixing with them while at the same time not ruining their sound quality. It was crazy! I think in the end I had to have Dan send me replacement dubplates because the original ones developed skips in them almost immediately and were unusable. Very very stressful. On top of this, I needed to record the mix to DAT which is a very high quality magnetic tape format that requires a special DAT machine. I had to go buy a one of these components from a local store, and when I got it home I opened the box to discover it full of pieces of wood and drywall – someone had previously bought it, took out the unit, filled the box with garbage and returned it. Even more stress. In the end the mix came out pretty decent given the circumstances. I do realize there is at least one slight offbeat mix somewhere in there. But given the low budget mixer, my lack of familiarity with the tunes and those sensitive dubplates…it could have been much worse. Artwork duties were handled by the always amazing Airline Industries out of DC. Oh one more thing – the track “2:01” by Remarc was accidentally left off of the tracklist in the liner notes. Whoops!

TRACKLIST

D’Cruz – Landspeeder
IQ Collective – Mode One
Simon + Andy C – Night Flight
Dream Team – Switch
Swoosh – Ya Rockin’
Substance – LF-Ant
Joker – Punx
Ill Figure – Style
Remarc – 2:01
Swift – Twisted
Swift – Analogue
Future Forces – Synthesis
Decoder – Twister
MTS – Instigator

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