They can make or break a modern DJ. In a global society where we are all hyper connected via the Internet, their finite nature largely favours artistic storytelling over simply hammering away at the heavy and the hard.
More than just a mixtape, or a live recording - a podcast is an entirely unique beast in itself. It lends itself to a totally different style of DJing, and one that should be cherished more openly in it’s own right. As skillful as it is to set a club on fire with bomb records, it takes another more thoughtful and measured ability when it comes to collecting music and curating a selection that can be truly transportative.
Never more so than over the last 18 months throughout the COVID pandemic, where coming together to dance has been almost universally prohibited. It allows DJs and their fans alike to escape and connect with the music they love. Listened to often in sobriety: at work, on the move, running, on the bus, or in the car, they have a certain kinetic energy that requires a deft touch. And in the same way a good film can drag you into a scene and setting, and suspend your disbelief for 90 minutes, so can the best podcasts. It is that escapism that makes them so very special.
Everyone has their favourites. Moments that are seared into the brain like lightning: at afterparties or on holidays when a certain track has perfectly captured the atmosphere, the deep mysterious gems that have eluded you for years, or the old favourites that you come back to time and again that remind you of happy times, and inspire us all to search that little bit harder. A good podcast can be so good it makes you want to throw all your records in the bin, in the best possible way as they create a new benchmark to aspire to or explore territory previously uncharted.
There is much to be said of the way Youtube, Spotify and digital media in general have changed music consumption, and as a result buying and digging for music in turn. But Soundcloud (for all its flaws) has continued to be a beacon of creativity for unsigned, underground, unknown and often under-appreciated artists that are not necessarily getting booked in your local nightclub week in week out, and are showcasing their abilities and projecting their musical personality far and wide. It is not an exaggeration to suggest, when done right, it can catapult a DJ into a tier above, and reach tens of thousands of new and hungry listeners.
LEGRAM is delighted to announce it has launched its own series with episode #1 coming direct from our very own Oscar Conway after his stellar debut on the GhostCast. Full of vibrant robotic sounds and deep funked up breaks, it’s a dynamic and refreshing hour of perfectly picked records, mixed in his flawless smooth style. Meandering through tasteful, deep and contemplative excursions of house-adjacent sounds before closing out proceedings with a life-affirming stunner of an ambient/IDM track to complete the journey. This sensitive attention to mood and feeling, tones and textures, the overall trajectory of the mix and the picture that it paints, is exactly what separates the men from the boys, and what makes the art of the Podcast something truly worth treasuring.
And for the cream of the crop, we asked Ethan McNamara to give us a rundown of the some of his favourites over the last few years, with some rather well known, and some that deserve much more attention: