Featured DJ:

FU

My first trips to Soho in London to buy records were daunting experiences. I had a job at Marks & Spencer where I worked after school and on Saturdays we’d be able to pick up our wages in cash. After that, I would get a train to central London to go buy records.

When you entered these stores, you’d feel a flood of anxiety as there were a group of much older and larger guys fighting for the attention of the few staff that would be working in the shop.

These shops were small and there would be 2 to 3 rows of guys in front of you all asking about the latest releases that week and catching up with the people behind the counter. Sometimes, I’d wait for ages in the shop for my chance to get the attention of the staff. Once you’d waited your turn, the pressure really started to mount since you’d now be at the front of the counter with those rows of guys behind you all waiting for their turn.

The guy behind the counter would say, “What you after?”. That’s when the existential crisis would happen. You don’t want to say something stupid but you also don’t really know anything. I just wanted to hear everything in the store because I didn’t really know what I was buying. If you acted too slow, the guys from behind would start heckling you and pushing through to get served.

So, I’d randomly point at some of the releases on the wall behind the counter and, after 20 seconds of playing one of them, they would ask, “You want that then?”. Feeling really pressured, a lot of the time I’d say, “Yes”, even if I didn’t, because I didn’t want to leave the store empty-handed.

Nowadays with digital music, tunes are in abundance - unlimited, really. Back then, though, there was only a limited amount of records: they were a scarce resource and it really was survival of the fittest. Having said that, it was the ideal training ground for aspiring DJs to start developing an ear for tunes and to build a thicker skin. Becoming a DJ was much, much harder then, and mastering the art of the record store hustle was just the first of many obstacles on the way to a career in DJing.

DJ Fu'sRecommendations:

Saturns Return

Goldie

$280.00

Illmatic

Nas

$273.00

Emotions

Mariah Carey

$195.00