It’s that time. Almost.
Having made the decision to stop doing DJWORX by the end of the year, I more or less have, simply ahead of time. I can’t think of anything else I want to do with it now.
But it’s not the end of my journey. Not by a long way. But I’m definitely on a different track. And that’s what I want to talk about next.
THE COMPLETE WORX
All great stories can be broken down in three acts. The first act or setup is where the characters are introduced, and the basic plot defined. This was SKRATCHWORX.
The second act is the confrontation, where the protagonist has to deal with obstacles and crises of one sort or other. This has most definitely been DJWORX.
But that’s history now.
It’s today, and we’re at the start of the third and final act, or resolution as it’s known. This is where the protagonist navigates the twists and turns of life and heads towards a happy ending. Well, that’s the plan anyway.
The final part of the WORX trilogy is unwritten but has a name. And its name is THE WORXLAB.
THE WORXLAB YOU SAY?
Yes. It’s the road less travelled, and the leap from metaphorical boring motorway grind to offroad satnav-free adventure. It’s time to build something again.
The Worxlab has always been the varying bricks and mortar locations for my assorted DJ shenanigans. But more than anything, it’s the chaotic space in my head. It’s incredibly messy. It needs a good clear out.
So The Worxlab site will essentially be me sifting through all the crap and making something from it all.
Good news — I’ll still be writing. Not news or reviews you understand, but definitely a melting pot of verbiage from random short thoughts all the way up to long-form profundity. There will be regular ramblings of all kinds.
I’ll also be asking questions of you too. Lots of questions.
TWO PATHS — ONE DESTINATION
There is a bigger picture and two distinct needs that I want to fulfil by closing DJWORX and setting off on a new road.
Almost since the start of SKRATCHWORX, a recurring theme rapidly emerged, one that has repeated itself with just about every new product launch.
Upon opening the box, or playing for a short time, I almost always mutter “if only they’d shown this to me sooner”. The whole DJWORX team in fact usually has something valuable to say upon sight of embargoed PR.
As the media, my assigned place is only at the end of the long and expensive product cycle, to judge and deliver a trusted opinion on their products, with the hope that anything that falls short can be fixed next time.
But next time is too late. And with the slowdown in new DJ gear, the next times are fewer than ever.
So I’m removing my editor’s hat, and myself from the end of the process, and plan to make myself available right from the start and at any point where my skill set and knowledge may come in useful.
But I can’t do any of that running a media outlet. Now you understand. The line has to be drawn under my press career.
Be it offering some opinion of a napkin scribble, or carrying out a DJWORX level private appraisal of production samples with all kinds of creative stops in-between, it taps directly into that “I wish they’d shown me earlier” vibe.
Now they can. If they want to that is. But that’s a pitch that’s relevant to just a handful of industry people. I’ll leave that for another time and place.
Ultimately I’m here, holding out a multi-skilled hand to help. In fact, we all are. Not for glory – but to fulfil the original skratchworx mission of helping the industry make better DJ gear.
I keep thinking about Margaret Mead’s famous quote:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
That’s us. All of us. And that’s why I’ll be asking lots of questions of you. And that’s the first point of existence of The Worxlab.
I did call this “to create” at first, but that’s not accurate. I’ve been creating for two decades, but it’s all been in the digital realm. Rarely have my words and images made it outside of a screen.
And this underlines the fragility of my entirely digital output.
I want to make my work more permanent.
I want it to survive a server crash, internet outage, or a power cut.
I want it to exist in analogue form, to be tangible.
I want to make things you can hang on your wall, or put on a shelf.
I want to make real things.
I don’t want my legacy to be data on a drive.
The idea started a few years ago. I hankered to flex my dormant draughtsman’s muscles, and set about doing a technical illustration of the classic Gemini Jazzy Jeff edition PMX2200 mixer that stared at me across The Worxlab every day.
And then the idea fermented, snowballed, and now involves limited run prints, books, and so much more. I’ve repurposed the Worxlab, invested in an art printer to prototype the idea, and have shown my working out to trusted friends.
And they love it. And importantly so do I. Passionately. It’s all I want to do right now. And given the number of companies granting official permission to use their IP, I think they’re much happier to have me draw their stuff than review it.
So that’s definitely happening in 2021.
I focus on the future, and that’s The Worxlab. There will be a final article on the last day (27th December), but then I push onwards on my new path.
To get the ball rolling, you can always follow The Worxlab on Instagram.
- DJWORX will no longer be updated after 27th December.
- I will no longer be part of the media or press.
- The Worxlab will be the last part of my journey. I’ll still write, but not news or reviews.
- Having burned the editor’s hat instead of bridges, I’ll be looking to do some good work with the industry rather judging it on your behalf when it’s too late.
- My creativity will take tangible form via a small but growing range of limited edition prints of classic DJ gear, and more.
So no need for long goodbyes. Because it’s not the end. We’ve still got a long way to go together.
It’s just that this time, I’m holding the map the right way up, and know exactly where I want to go.