Clubs: Mixing it with the best of them

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Being a DJ is arguably the coolest way to spend your Saturday nights. The spin culture is so alluring that scores of sportsmen and celebrities have turned their hands to mixing records.

Footballers David James and Daniel Dichio have played in some of the UK's top clubs, while Nigel Benn and Boy George have turned DJing into a career move.

Unfortunately, not all celebrity spinners win the respect of the clubbing crowd. Kathy Lloyd's recent attempt to challenge the likes of Sasha and Cox ended in a public cat-fight, while Frank Bruno's DJing record failed to pack a punch.

On 30 and 31 May, Manchester's G-MEX Centre will be transformed into a haven for DJ wisdom and club lifestyle. DJ Culture 98 promises to be the physical embodiment of everything you wanted to know about DJing but never got to ask.

The pros make it look easy, but don't be afraid to admit that, despite spending pounds 700 on a pair of Technics, your finest mixing is still confined to the kitchen. If you're ready to unleash your talents on an unsuspecting public, the event will offer advice on how promote your own club.

The huge former Victorian train station looks set to be transformed. There will be a record market for all white-label junkies, while the fashion, lifestyle and home-studio equipment sections (Technics, Pioneer, Gemini and Roland will all be parading their latest DJ hardware) will give everybody the chance to try out the latest fads and spend wads of loot.

Aspiring DJs can pit their mixing skills against other spinners, old- skool style. If your moves are good enough, you'll receive a slot on Galaxy Radio and a trip to Mix Move in Paris. It doesn't matter what music you mix, there's a category for everyone (call Suzy Parish on 0171-370 8299).

While the amateurs battle it out, the pro DJs will try to set a world record for a non-stop live mix. One DJ will hand on to the next as long as the mix keeps going (any professionals DJs wishing to take part should fax their details to 0171-720 7255 to book a slot).

If the chance to win international fame and fortune is too daunting, then you can watch how the professionals do it instead. Fresh from a bangin' set at Creamfields, the excellent Roger Sanchez (above) will be in attendance with support from Mr C, Cutmaster Swift, Tuff Jam and Allister Whitehead.

Most of you will have heard these DJs perform already, now you'll get the chance to find out how they mix, sample and put their sounds together. "The most unusual sound sample I've used is the sound of water drips in an empty cavern," says Mr C. "I've always wanted to sample the sound of a juggernaut clanking over a bumpy road.

"If you work in multi-media, you have to use everything available to maximise the output of the music."

If you prefer UK underground garage, then DJ Tuff Jam could be the spinner for you: "The most unusual sound I've ever sampled is broken glass, but we're always trying new angles with our music."

G-MEX Centre, Manchester, 30 & 31 May. Enquiries: 0161-834 2700; box office: 0171-385 8687 11am- 6pm, pounds 5