Mixmasters has been the leading event at jazzyconcepts.com and this was the seventh year that it was held as part of my 11-year celebrations. The team of DJ's this year featured DJ WAYNE BECK (Chennai), DJ SANJAY DUTTA (Kolkata), DJ TEJA (Hyderabad) and DJ JAZZY JOE (Delhi). All four were chosen as they not only had their own styles and genres of music but could also easily complement each other to make it a memorable night. The cities that the tour went to were Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata from 10th - 18th October 2003 with STANTON being the Title Sponsor.
The tour began with Mumbai on the 10th as all the DJ's landed in the morning and checked into the LOTUS SUITES, a hotel next to the international airport with beautiful rooms which also had the venue of the event, Cirkus Cirkus. As the name suggests, it does feature a pot-pourri of events and performances - no elephants or tigers though. We saw a flame thrower, clowns, singers, etc. and who could miss the belly dancers! That aside, the DJ's set up the workshop for STANTON, our title sponsor who was also launching the 'FINAL SCRATCH' all over India with the Mixmasters Tour. Professional DJ's, Sound & Light professionals and Music Producers had been invited by Stanton to attend the workshop at 5pm. Over the next couple of hours, many people turned up to attend the workshop..........prominent among them were DJ Nasha, DJ Freeze, DJ Mike, DJ Sonu, DJ Denzel & DJ Vishal. The workshop not only launched the 'Final Scratch' with live demonstration by Techno-Wiz DJ Teja and a small movie but also showcased other Stanton Products like the Digipak, Turntables, Mixers, CD Players, Cartridges, Slipmats, accessories, etc. It was pack-up time around 8pm and the we all got ready for the night after a light dinner. The crowd started coming in around 10.30 and we started playing around 11:30 as the crowd was all geared up for a night of nonstop action !! Mumbai has always been thought of as the Indian musical epicenter of clubbing in the past decade......but all the DJ's felt that this was not true anymore. Now, it's become more of a masala city with Hindi music ruling the roost in a city where not too many people understand the international scene anymore. But the snobbish attitude has not changed....sad to see such a state of the club scene.
Just after finishing the night, we had breakfast and then it was time to leave for Pune by road. So, two Qualis were booked for all the stuff (the Stanton equipment) and off we went. The 3-hour journey from Mumbai-Pune on the new highway was HEAVEN - you just have to experience it to believe it !! A wonderful drive with a heavenly restaurant in between where we stopped for food & petrol. I have never eaten like that....nearly had everything on the menu...And, still wanted more !!! The scenery on the journey also fully supports my Heaven theory. The good times continued as we checked into THE CENTRAL PARK HOTEL where my dear friend and owner of the hotel, Jai Advani, was present to welcome us. The jolly & friendly man that he is, Sanjay, Wayne & Teja immediately took to him as if they knew him since ages.......but we had to cut it all short as it was time to catch a few winks before the workshop at 5pm. Everyone got together at 3.30 and Jai was all set up to take us to the Venue, IVO's. I wondered what that meant till I met the owner - Ivo! The man was just like the place - Big, Fun and positive. As we set up, we couldn't help notice the Go-Kart track where Ivo's was situated....gave us an idea.....but that's another story. The pune workshop also had interested people walking in with DJ Ayesha, DJ Rufus and even DJ Harsha who came all the way from Hyderabad. Then it was pack-up time for the workshop and time to get ready for the night. I had always heard about the crowd in Pune.......how it was so great and rockin'.......and I had always wondered if it could be better than Mumbai. Well, I was pleasantly surprised on my first visit to the city - PUNE CROWD ROCKS! All the DJ's still agree that Pune was the best crowd that we faced - would love to do it again. Mandira Bedi also turned up in the night and came to the console to request a number - any hindi track...So, we played a remix of mine......also had NDTV taking interviews for their show, Night Out. All in All, the 'Best Club on the Tour'. Read 'Pune Times' Report HERE! Next day, Jai was launching his new Coffee Shop at his hotel with the Mixmasters playing Retro, Soul and Rock Ballads. A wonderful experience as we got to meet the Who's Who of Pune and also mix tracks that we normally wouldn't be able to at the clubs. As all good things must come to an end, so did the Pune tour and we all left with a heavy heart back to Mumbai as our plane tickets to Bangalore were booked from there. Somehow, the ride back was more 'Hell' than 'Heaven' and we reached Mumbai Airport 'All Shook Up'.
As we landed in Bangalore on the 13th morning at THE CLUB, our venue and host, all we wanted to do was SLEEP.....and we did that the whole day. Rising from snooze-land on the 14th, it was time for interviews and to meet our DJ friends in the city. So, we all had a 'boys day out' on the town - shopped.....had pizzas.....met friends.....and E-Mailed. Next day, we were fully rested and Raring to go......especially after a great write-up in Bangalore Times. Even the workshop was very active thanks to the word being spread around......notable DJ's who attended were DJ Ivan, DJ Clement, DJ Ravi and DJ Arun who drove down from Chennai to be there. And, as the workshop was packed up, we all prepared for a Rockin' Night at the most musical city in India. Although the crowd turn-out was less (the local co-ordinator was more interested in getting drunk than calling up people), we played Hip-Hop and House both from Vinyls and the Final Scratch (DJ Teja - the Whizkid mixed on that) till about 4am......then, it was time to pack up and run to the Airport for the 6:20 flight - something we became experts at by the end of the tour.
Landing in Delhi on the 16th morning after a tiring flight, we had to wait another 3 hours in the lobby/coffee shop as BRISTOL HOTEL, our hosts, tried arranging rooms at the last minute....and when the rooms finally got cleared, everyone just crashed as we were all performing for other Jazzy Concepts that night. Next day, everyone rested after a night of action and got together for the workshop at the hotel's club, PEPPER'S. A lot of DJ's turned up for the workshop including DJ Vikram, DJ Tony, DJ Nebiu, DJ Sameer, etc. and a lot of Stanton Digipaks were booked. As we packed up, we realised that this was the best workshop looking at sales bookings for Stanton. And then, it was party time - as crowd started walking in from Delhi & Gurgaon, the DJ's with Resident DJ, Golz started pushing in commercial hits to start the dancefloor. The music also went to Hip-Hop, Retro and House with some local tunes on request before the DJ's again had to run for their 6.20 flight to Kolkata.
After a long ride on the 18th from the airport to the TAJ BENGAL HOTEL, it was good to see that the rooms were ready & waiting - can't beat TAJ at systems. Sanjay made sure we were all comfortable before running home to meet his son after 8 days. And, after a good rest, we all set up the workshop at INCOGNITO, the nightclub. Once again, there was a good turnout of DJ's and a good sale - All Sold Out! As the workshop packed up, we all got ready for a rockin' night - and rocking it was with the hippest people from Kolkata turning up and dancing away to Hip-Hop, House, Retro and Hindi tracks all night long. I can clearly say that Kolkata is emerging as the next Hotspot - watch out! Read Calcutta Times report here. After a satisfying night and with the knowledge that this was the last show of the tour, the Mixmasters had a long and comfortable sleep before a late lunch at Sanjay's home where his family treated us to great food and greater love. Then, it was time for goodbyes as one by one, all the DJ's flew back to their homes with a lot of good memories and a lot of love from all the people they met.
the Mixmasters are looking forward to the second leg of the tour covering
more cities -
VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO - JAI ADVANI, YASHESH, NATIONAL PRINTERS and BOBBY CHAWLA
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