3 decades deep – happy birthday DMC

DMC 30 years disco mix club

DMC is many things to many people. For most, it’s just a DJ battle, but for old duffers like myself, it’s a foundation of the modern dance scene and instrumental in shaping the careers and lives of a huge number of people on a global level. And today is a special day for them – happy 30th birthday DMC!

I know DMC as The Disco Mix Club – a Radio Luxembourg radio show broadcast from a boat in the North Sea in the early 80s by the royal ruler himself Tony Prince. It gave me my first access to a stream of funk and soul, as well as that new thing called Hip Hop. I remember hearing Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” on the show and embarrassing friends in the shop they worked at the next day about how “fucking amazing” it was in full unapologetic voice.

Just like anyone else listening on a regular basis, I had a solid collection of tapes. And even though the show was broadcast on 208 shortwave, the quality of the music and the emotions it stirred were undiminished by the lack of fidelity. Sadly, the tapes got destroyed in a flooded cellar, but in a time before the internet, these were the only way to hear mixes and importantly how to learn the craft of DJing.

Of course, DMC in a modern sense is more about the DJ battle than anything else. Granted, many of us have bemoaned much of what has gone on during the battles, but DMC are at least putting them on and promoting turntablism. We can but hope that they capitalise on the solid foundation and start to look at the tools that today’s DJs are using.

It is vitally important to understand where the dance music industry has come from to appreciate what you have now. We stayed in to catch the hottest tunes from the Disco Mix Club, and then we’d head off to the nearest good record shop to empty our wallets into their tills. And as archaic as the process of listening to and shopping for music sounds now, it’s a proper experience that I’m glad to have been part of and hugely grateful to DMC for making it happen. You can’t download memories or real tangible things.

Anyway – to radio show, record label, DJ battle and all round important DJ company – happy 30th birthday DMC. We salute you and owe you a great debt of gratitude. Hopefully we’ll be here to celebrate your 50th and the worx’s 30th!

  • Yes indeed. I’m old enough to have witnessed the birth of DMC too. Tony Prince playing amazing “mashups” of songs put together by Alan Coulthard the hard way (tape splicing). So many DJs wanted to know where they could get the mixes that DMC was born, with mixes sold on cassette (yuk!). Eventually though, they started using vinyl.

    Those Coulthard mixes are what inspired me to get a 1/4″ reel to reel tape deck, digital delay, Akai S900 and so on. I also took part in the very first mixing contest, at Xenon nightclub in London (won by Roger Johnson).
    Claim to fame: My S900 was used by Chad Jackson to remix Rob Base – Turn It Out!!

  • Its a shame they are not doing a live stream of the reunion party,would be nice to see.
    I’m suprised by the lack of comments on this piece guess lots of newer DJ’s are unaware of dmc,which is a shame!

  • Thanks for this piece gizmo. I didn’t realize the DMC had such a storied past.

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