We caught up with some of Durham’s visiting DJs, to prove our nightlife isn’t dead

Because I never want to hear Mr Brightside again


We may as well cut to the chase: when we look at our night-to-night choices for clubbing in this city, they generally turn out to be a little less Durham, and a little more Dull-ham. Granted, Newcastle might not be a million miles away, but even still, I’m ashamed to say that a lot of my time on nights out is spent contemplating whether midnight would be too early for me to disappear and get food.

Sick of everything being the same every week, I set out on a mission to chase down the guests of some of our less frequent events. Over the past year, OPAQUE have been bringing DJs into Durham from all over the place- on Friday, Demuja is flying in from Austria to perform.

I wanted to find out a little more about the touring they do, and more importantly, what they make of Durham compared to some of the other places they’ve gigged.

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Bobby Analog

With over 15 years of experience on the DJ circuit, Bobby Analog is something of a veteran. Having performed at Durham twice, on the Library Terrace for OPAQUE, and then again at Loft, he’s a name that’s beginning to become much more familiar up here.

While he’s based in Belfast, he’s performed all over, but we thought we’d ask him what he loves about DJing, and more specifically, what he thinks dance music brings to Durham.

What is it about DJing/dance music that you love?

I think I’d have to say most of it. I love finding music and researching artists/areas that music comes from and trying to understand how certain musical scenes develop. I'm also a big fan of design and the cultural aspect that music has. DJing, for me, is discovering something and sharing it with a larger group of people.

How did you find the crowd in Durham?

I really enjoyed both the parties I've played in Durham- the first party at the Library was a really good buzz, and the crowd on both occasions were great. I felt very comfortable to play quite openly, something which gives me freedom to really explore what I’m into in that moment in time.

Where else have you played recently?

I played a bunch of fun parties at the end of last year, I think the most surreal experience was playing a boat party on the Red sea in Egypt at Some Weekender. I finished with Joe Smooth – Promised Land as the sun set behind me and everyone there just got it, there was a lot of love in the air.

Is there any advice you’d give to aspiring student DJs?

I guess if you want to work in music, do it because it consumes you and because you feel like you need to do it. Always try and do something that challenges you, cause it's very easy to get put in a box very quickly and it can be difficult to break out.

What do you try to communicate to the audience through your music?

When I'm making tracks sometimes there's a particular feeling I'm trying to get across in the song, sometimes this can be felt in the chord progression I’ve gone for.

There is a lot of nostalgia in the music I make, and I think I am getting better at conveying what has influenced my work. Right now I'm on a bit of a transcendental buzz so I'm making a lot of melodic tracks.

How do you see the relationship between music and the space it’s performed in?

I think for electronic music, intimate spaces are very important. My opinion is that if we keep moving into larger spaces and festival culture, more nightclubs will close, and the music will morph into something which is less about creating a feeling in a room of 200 people, into something that translates to large audiences like EDM. Local clubs are important for shaping new artists and helping them grow weekly, and they effectively offer support as a ground level to getting into performing. Also some music needs walls to work effectively, so the hits have a lot of reverb and swell. This just doesn't translate to an outdoor/big room setting, cause you need to feel the vibrations travelling through your body.

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Raw Silk

Named after one of their favourite 80s boogie groups, Raw Silk comprise best mates Grace and Steph. Having originally met out in Melbourne, they’re now based in London, as residents for Percolate. In October, they came to Durham to perform at The Library Terrace, and we caught up with them to find out what they thought of their time here.

What is it about DJing/dance music that you love?

Just making people dance and have a good time. There’s no better feeling than when a crowd goes wild because of something we have played.

What do you think of the music scene in Durham in general?

I don’t know much about the music scene of Durham, but I couldn’t believe how much it booted off on a Wednesday before midnight! I think OPAQUE have got something really good going on there and it was a pleasure to play for such a fun and receptive crowd.

Is there any advice you’d give to aspiring student DJs?

My advice would be to play as often as you can. Take the gigs anywhere and everywhere at first. Everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone has played to an empty room. It’s the best practice you can get and eventually you’ll be able to be more selective.

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Have you got any exciting gigs coming up?

We’ve got quite an exciting year coming up as RAW SILK. We are playing at Corsica Studios with Prosumer on the 15th Feb, Ghost Notes on the 16th and we are playing as part of Percolates ‘all night long’ series at Four Quarters in Peckham on the 2nd March. Then we’ve got a summer of festivals including Gottwood, Love international, Flow festival in Finland, and more.

Photo credits Crappy Snaps (title image)

Tickets for the next OPAQUE event, on Friday 8th February, featuring Demuja, can be found on Fixr.