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Novel presents DJ EZ
Sat., 12/11/2016, 10:00 pm – Sun., 13/11/2016, 5:00 am AEDT
Even as a young child growing up in Tottenham, North London, EZ knew that he wanted a career in music, computing or electronics. His childhood revolved around many interests, whether it be dismantling a portable radio to study how it operated, experimenting with his science fair kit, learning basic computer code to write programmes or listening to and recording radio shows.
He’d also watch music TV shows like Dance Wicked, Soul Train, Hitman and Her, The Tube and Night Network presented by Tim Westwood. Both the radio and TV shows were a great asset to the expansion of EZ’s musical taste during his learning and developing stages. Although Pop, Hip Hop, Swing and Reggae formed part of his musical diet, DJ EZ soon became inspired by House, Techno, Acid and Electro. Producers and artists, such as Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Mantronix, Joey Beltram, Soul II Soul, Public Enemy and Adamski, quickly became some of his favourites.
During his secondary school years at Northumberland Park School in Tottenham, his best-loved classes were music tuition and computers, otherwise known as CDT- Computer, Design and Technology. His love for music grew to new heights and with a newfound passion for learning, EZ would stay behind after school to teach himself how to play the keyboard and drums. Forming a strong friendship with his music tutor through his eagerness to learn, his teacher allowed him to take music equipment home to practice during the weekends.
At the age of 13, he started listening to the radio and was inspired by DJ’s mixing two records together. Unlike today’s budding young DJ’s that have DJ equipment with the controversial built-in features to aid the synchronisation of mixing, EZ’s bedroom equipment consisted of one portable radio/tape player, an amplifier, and a tape deck. After much experimenting, EZ managed to pull off a few mixes from audio tape to audio tape. Due to lack of pitch control, and after several attempts, he became frustrated at only being able to hold a mix for a short time. With his electronics know-how, he soon discovered a way of slowing down the pitch on the tape player by lightly pushing on part of the inner workings, in particular, the pinch roller. After only a few tries, EZ became very good at locking two songs together, and making longer mixes achievable.
After a while, EZ focused on his parent’s living room Hi-Fi, now referred to as a music player, which he used every day after school without permission. The inclusion of a belt driven turntable with rotary pitch control made things a lot easier. By wiring up the turntable to his portable radio/tape player, he could practice mixing two songs together from the turntable into tracks playing on the tape deck. Having started to hone his skills, EZ recognised that he needed a DJ Name, and came up with Turbomatic 1. If you asked someone today, what is Turbomatic 1, you’re likely to receive an answer describing a high spec vacuum cleaner!
Now a master of the art of mixing two tracks together, and after settling for an unusual DJ name, came his desire to be a Radio DJ. With no previous experience, he would imitate being on a live radio show by playing tracks, introducing them, and saying made-up shouts and requests by talking into the ear section on a pair of headphones. Surprisingly, this genuinely worked, and EZ would record his shows to audio tape for personal playback.
Spending every penny of his pocket money on vinyl at his local choice of store, Street Level Records on Tottenham High Road, EZ recalls his first two purchases being “House Arrest” by Krush and “Megablast” by Bomb the Bass. Back in the day, records were only around £2 for a UK release. As his record collection grew, his DJ hobby progressed from his bedroom, and DJ EZ managed to get DJ sets at school discos, family parties and private events in local community halls. DJ EZ had taken his first step onto the path of his lifelong DJ career.