The Secret DJ returns with the follow-up to their acclaimed debut book. Less a sequel and more a panoramic wide-angle painting of the biggest youth movement in human history, The Secret DJ: Book Two charts the rise of dance music over the last 30 years and its connection to western capitalism and culture.
While never claiming to be instrumental, The Secret DJ was around for every stage of the journey and is a continually wry observer of this unstoppable growth. The Secret DJ’s signature humour and wit are ever-present in this ascent, charting personal ups and downs as well as the buying and selling of the acid house revolution.
Covering topics as wide as drugs, music production, anthropology, the gentrification of the scene, technology, travel, fame, devaluation, inflation, relationships, technique, festivals, rejection, social media, situationism and hypernormalisation; almost no aspect of the last four decades go unmentioned in terms of what we know today as Electronic Dance Music.
“No one in publishing would have the balls to touch this book with a bargepole,” says the Secret DJ. “It takes courage to speak up. There’s not much in the way of reward for telling it like it is, not any more. If you expose an industry, that industry hates you for life with the intensity of the sun. I have nothing but admiration for Velocity Press, they’ve taken a big risk working with me. I appreciate it greatly. It’s good to know there are still people out there willing to stand up.”
“I loved The Secret DJ – some all-too-familiar characters mixed with the highs and lows of what this industry can throw at you. Excited and intrigued to read the second instalment… how much more extreme can it get?!”
“I never read books about electronic music, why would I? But I guess The Secret DJ is more an anarchist handbook for shattered dreamers than a manual on how to make it big on the scene. Can’t wait for his new adventures.”
“We all have war stories, us jobbing night-lifers. From having sets ended by soldiers with automatic weapons in Juarez to coming-round in Glasgow city centre suddenly best pals with a gangster who’s most affectionate nickname was ‘Wolf’. I’ve bagged a couple over the years. And yours are undoubtedly more vivid, funnier or more ludicrous than mine. The Secret DJ’s are better still.”
“I loved book one, waiting to live the DJ life vicariously again thru book two!”
“The Secret DJ’s first book managed to do something very different to the existing dance music memoirs (and I should know as I have read them all). It functioned not only as a hilarious jaunt through the insanity of the glory years of dance music – i.e. when there was still money in music – but as a harrowing portrayal of the emotionally, physically and mentally taxing straits an international DJ will find themselves in. Anyone with even a passing curiosity about ‘the industry’ should read it and await its follow up, especially if they have any frankly dangerous notions of joining up professionally, which I cannot in all good conscience recommend.”
Manu Ekanayake (music and culture journalist)