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memories in the middle of the night
swing
amw
A couple weeks ago one of the central figures in the Brisbane rave scene died - DJ Edwin. He wasn't some world-famous export like tyDi, or even a national hero like BeXta, but a solid local fixture that everyone knew and loved. He worked at pretty much the only record store in town that sold electronic music, organized a bunch of raves in the early 90s and was a daily resident at The Beat through the 90s and Rockafellas in the 00s. I remember heading out to The Beat regularly in the late 90s and early 00s, and i'd always stay for his closing set. Everyone would woop and holler when he came on, and at the end of the night we'd all shake his hand or pat him on the back. He was a gentleman and a professional, always showing up with a smile and a true appreciation for the dancers. I am still a regular clubber going on almost 20 years now, so i know how rare his day-in, day-out positive attitude is amongst working DJs. A true legend.

Edwin died young, perhaps young enough that most of us still have clear memories of him. The Facebook group that was formed has 1200+ members and so much love and respect i can't even. I choke up reading some of the messages, realizing just how many people's lives he's touched. There are ravers posting from the true old school of the late 1980s who remember him from his gothy new wavey days when he first discovered acid house and started throwing parties. There are ravers posting who went to their first gig at Rocka's in the mid-2000s and credit him for getting them into their present-day DJing and producing careers. The nice thing is that there is no "it was so much better in my day" elitism like you often hear when people reminisce over the last 30 years of electronic music in other forums. Edwin was great because he transcended that. He never became an "oldskool" DJ, he always played whatever the hardcorest, most party-rocking music was for the latest generation of kids. And that makes him a bigger legend in my books than any of the globe-trotting superstar DJs.

It's 4am Saturday morning. Last night (Thursday) i went to my kneipe, then to a lackluster after-work party at some commercial nightclub in town (first club i've been to in Berlin where there was a dedicated smoking room, a bathroom attendant and a bouncer who found my sneakers and hoodie sketchy enough to give me the third degree), then to a local techno bar to wash out my ears from all the R&B and pop. I was insanely hungover at work Friday, and when i got home i ordered in and promptly passed out, totally missing the chance to see Chris and Mira playing their welcome-back-from-South-America party at Mezcalería Lupita. But it's okay, because The Beat was holding an Edwin memorial night, and on Facebook there is a stream of photos and videos and posts from ex-ravers of all ages gushing about how great it was to be back in the old stomping grounds with all the old crew. Honestly, if i had been anywhere in Australia i would've flown to Brisbane for the night to be a part of it.

Unlike a lot of the old crew, i am not grown up with a family and kids reminiscing over the best times of my life - in fact, a lot of those years were really hard for me, and God knows i am a lot happier these days (and i party a lot harder too). But going to The Beat back then was my one escape, the one place i could forget about being a trannie or being crazy or being in love with someone on the other side of the world. It was the place i could go where i was surrounded by gays and ravers and other freaks like me dancing all our worries away. I would have had a much harder time without that escape, without being able to rely on Edwin to be there every night of the week, smiling and manning the strobe and belting out hardcore till 5am.

So long, and thanks for all the tunes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DJ_Edwin
https://www.facebook.com/groups/294648810690796/

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