Optimo’s JD Twitch Shares A Mix From 1991—Get Housed

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So, here is a genuine 1991 mix recorded in that year when Twitch was co-resident at Pure in Edinburgh (which ran from 1990 - 2000) when he was known simply as Twitch rather than JD Twitch (the JD was added many years later to stop people billing him as DJ Twitch, which he loathed).

From JD Twitch on SoundCloud:

Circa 1991

20 years later...

In recent times there has been a lot of looking back to the early 1990s in house music which made me curious about what my DJ sets actually sounded like back then. As its 20 years on I thought it might be fun to put one up as an Optimo podcast, but sadly I had no recordings of that time as I had long given away or lost any tapes I had from then (everything was on cheap C90 cassette tapes in those days). Then, last week a local producer sent me his album to peruse and mentioned that he had a couple of mix tapes of mine, both from 1991.

So, here is a genuine 1991 mix recorded in that year when I was co-resident at Pure in Edinburgh (which ran from 1990 - 2000) when I was known simply as Twitch rather than JD Twitch (the JD was added many years later to stop people billing me as DJ Twitch, which I loathed).

Although I started djing in 1987, I didnt start mixing records together until 1990 and couldnt afford turntables until the end of that year, so initially when I was djing at Pure I was literally learning on the job. Thankfully the euphoria of those times coupled with the fact it was all so new and exciting to so many meant that I got away with it as audiences were a lot more forgiving than they are today. Requests were fairly rare and usually a lot more oblique, often along the lines of Can you play some E music? Heckling or shouting come on!, harder!, techno! was non existent. It wasnt a better time, just different, but audiences in general were a bit politer and more patient.

This mix is two sides of two different C90 cassettes stuck together. The first half is from late 1991. It has a lot of that E music people were asking for on it. The mixing ranges from pretty good to the odd ouch moment but overall is not bad for a beginner. The second half is from earlier in 1991 and the mixing is a lot more, uh, freeform and gets through a high number of tracks in a short time. I think this section may have been recorded live at Pure although I cant be sure as despite running for ten years we only ever made a tiny number of live recordings. There are a couple of massively cheesy and seriously dated rave anthems on here and a couple of tracks I have absolutely no recollection of ever having heard in my life, but there is also a lot of music that I still play to this day and indeed have never stopped playing since, and some, such as MKs Burning, Mike Perras and CLS that are enduring classics. To use the parlance of back in the day, the mix gets a little mental towards the end. The tape begins with a live recording of a bit of chat from the Ragga Twins live at Pure in early 1991 and ends with a particularly twisted take on David Lynchs Lady In The Radiator Song followed by a blast of Throbbing Gristle. Sometimes Id drop in things like that at Pure which maybe helps explain why a few regulars ended up with mental health issues! Pure had a reputation for being a techno club and in the early days a temple to all things rave but it was always a lot more than that (as well as those things too of course) as this podcast demonstrates. Despite the sound (and mixing) limitations I think its an interesting document of what was going on in my world 20 years ago.

The audio fidelity of this podcast is not high, particularly in the second half. The original cassette tape was probably copied multiple times as it was passed around from person to person. Richard Chisolm who excavated the tapes has done some remastering to improve the sound but old multi generation tapes rarely sound good and it was probably quite lo fi to begin with. It was mixed live using a cheap mixer through a cheap amp. Back then the vast majority of dj mixers were very basic - no eq, no gain and no gizmos whatsoever; just a volume fader, a crossfader and phono / line switches which I used to flick to cut tracks in and out. The mix is 85 minutes long and is a 192kbps mp3 (118mb). -JD Twitch

Thanks to Richard aka Restless Native whose own Soundcloud is here—Restless Native.

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