The four S’s and 20 years of DJ clutter

My brain in room form

You may have old DJ clutter under a bed or in the back of a wardrobe. I have an attic full of it — two in fact. And it’s time for a complete clutter cleanse. My mind needs to be clear so that the future to take shape.

Up until recently, I was the scruffiest bastard around. It was never quite putting things down and stepping over them for years, but I have often wondered how I didn’t maim myself with power tools when doing DIY.

But I have collected quite a bit of stuff over the years. We’ve all got a junk drawer, but mine is more of a junk attic. There was a brief moment of clarity when I installed the home setup in the the lockable half of the attic space, but all it meant was that everything just got shoved into the other half, effectively turning it into a game of stepping stones and finding the spots of floor without anything casually abandoned on it.

But recently I dipped into James Clear’s “Atomic Habits”, and it’s transformed me from “I think I’ll load the dishwasher in the morning” to being motivated to making sure that the kitchen is clean by 7.30pm.

Sad but true, and it feels great. And now this new mentality is leaching into other areas of my life.

So four piles will take shape:

Save

It’s not all old crap — some of it is actually important to me, beautiful, or just plain useful. But I won’t be keeping things I might find a use for. 

Sell

The stuff that I won’t use gets sold. I might have a swanky art printer, but it doesn’t print money. I plan that it will soon enough, metaphorically at least. In the meantime, there will be an eBay frenzy to keep said art printer running.

Salvage

The last stop before landfill is recycling. I’ll salvage what I can and put them in the right bin because I care about such things. But if all else fails…

Scrap

This is the last resort. There’s not much that can’t fall into the above three categories. Plastic film and polystyrene are still an issue in my region. 

With the DJWORX site properly mothballed, all that remains is to sift through the mountain of tangible stuff that has accumulated. I won’t be at all sad. In fact I’m hoping to rediscover things I thought long gone. It’ll definitely be nice to reminisce from a place of peace.

And at the end of it, I’ll have mentally and physically moved on, ideally with a few quid in my pocket too. And I’ll have two usable rooms rather than a deathtrap/assault course of an attic.

Who knows — I might even raise enough for that Canon EOS R5 I’ve lusted after since launch.

    1. My ideal setup would be a medium format stills camera like a GFX, and a dedicated video camera. But I just don’t earn that kind of money (or any money right now), so a one size fits all is a better approach for me,

      I’m pretty invested in Canon — it’s a brand I trust. And the R5 is hardly a compromise in the whole scheme of things.

      1. Yeah the GFX is a dream camera, im happy with the output from my X-T2 and lenses right now but would love a medium format one day.

        You are correct on the R5 its a high spec machine, and the adapter for your existing glass is definitely a huge sell point.

        1. Curveball — Blackmagic announced the Cinema 6K Pro yesterday.

          With accessories, that’s around £2.5K, which would fix my video shortcomings immediately.

          Unless I get a surprise contract, photography can wait.

          1. They are so good in the video side of things aren’t they. It’s not my forte but I appreciate what they are doing.

  1. Hello Mark.
    I recently discover in my attic few old “scraps” like acid techno vinyls from past century, various CD, old hardware, my first Windows phone etc… ^^
    Like you said , we have the tendencies to accumulate the sentimental stuffs and i a way that’s good to use them again, like the other day with my old Dj4-mx or try to use my prehistoric BST turntable but the belt is dead (i remember why i put this paleolithic thing in a box apart).
    I find 2 gems in this mess, 2 HDD of 120go full of ollllddd electronic music from 2000 to 2004…incredible.
    That crazy how these things bring you flashbacks, from your first public gig, the good moments in b2b with a friend or the chicks you get LOL^^

  2. Would love to see some scans of old Vestax catalogues. Always loves their forward thinking approach – envisaging battle mixers in a cel’s office etc. I used to imagine a different life for myself as a kid paging though catalogues.

  3. I recently moved, and discovered how much dj and music related stuff I have laying around… and i have really hard time getting rid of it.
    It is also quite interesting how all DJs and music intrested people in my surrounding are often collecting a lot of stuff. It can be anything starting from Star Wars figures, vintage synths, to obviously records. Is it some kind of gimmick we all have ?
    Recently laid my hands on old dmc-technics mixer, and now looking forward to find PMC05 to put on my shelf. I think it is something magic with all this stuff.

    1. It’s quite possible that collecting is part of our genetic makeup. A key element of what we do is to collect music.

      I’m also a firm believer that DJing is a deep rooted emotional thing. We make memories when we buy music and play it to a crowd. I can’t let go of vinyl that I know I’ll never play again. And I’d probably be the same with gear if it wasn’t for my former role.

  4. It will be super interesting to see what is catalogued and popped into the “for sale” pile.

    I had a clear out recently and the Stanton all-in-one I had off you a few years back ended up with some lad learning the craft in Barnsley.

    If you find yourself listing something interesting I may have to click “bid” on it.

    1. I wouldn’t hold out much hope of gems coming up. It’s mainly newer stuff that I just won’t use again.

      It’s an interesting position I find myself in. My setup has been pretty transient over the last two decades, with the only permanence being found with the TTX1s and the Rodec Scratchbox (see above pic). That’s my scratch rig and is unlikely to change.

      It’ll be interesting to see what gear comes through The Worxlab and what actually stays because I truly love it. I certainly no longer feel the need to keep things on display for appearances sake because it was sent for free.

      Hell, I might even have to pay for gear like you common peasants. Urgh. I need to wash the mere mortalness off me now.



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