DJ is Eugene’s favourite role, but not his main job. His style is a London mix of film soundtracks, funk and feel-good grooves, a playful, freewheeling collection of party tunes, that has led him to play at Ost Klub, Arena, Elektro Gönner, Alte Post, Donaukanal, Rathausplatz, Club U, Lusthaus, Brunnenpassage on Yppenplatz, on the beach at Eisenbahnerbad, outside WU, at Oliver Hangl's SilentDisco on Wientalterrasse & Blumenwohnstrasse Markgraf-Rüdiger-Strasse, lakeside in Aspern, Meidlingermarkt, Funkhaus, Anaconda, RoterGürtelBogen, Brotfabrik-Expedithalle, Urban Future after-party in Messe, Hotels…-Kempinski, -magdas and -Ruby Marie, Vienna Design Week, Streetlife Festival on The Ring, on UK radio station LSR, plus so many house parties, weddings, pools, parks, gallery launches. Ideally open air. He has spun records alongside Kristian Davidek, John Megill, Jeschka Oszilat and other players on the Wiener scene.
So the message is, if you are organising an event or party, and want the music to be curated creatively, give Eugene a call, and he will deliver clever music to back up your concept.
Recent experiments have included:
- To make the After-show party at Urban Future Global conference into something special, Eugene asked delegates for a song about their home town. And once he played it, waiting 30 seconds before typing on a big screen the name of the city. Those present tried to guess the origins of the tunes they heard, before it was announced. It made the event more interactive and colourful, and allowed all present to actually represent their home city. The event included music from 35 different countries, and cities as diverse as Shanghai, Oslo, Bamako and Medellin.
- Why not mix up the music of different communities who live around Vienna? We bring grey public spaces alive, & give a Grätzl something to talk about. For Music Safari, dj Eugene plays open air, in daytime, with music reflecting all the people who live nearby. After visiting a local school for research, he entertains a neighbourhood with Turkish, Bosnian, Chechen, Roma, African, Bollywood or Austrian tunes. Anyone can ask for a special song they’d like to hear. Residents start to dance, & are surprised to hear ‘their’ music played by a Brit, & alongside other styles. It allows local children to lead the dancing, showing each other the right steps & moves. It helps validate their culture, & shows that those tunes don’t just belong at private house parties or weddings, but also out on the streets of Wien. In UK, lots of music from ethnic-minority groups feeds into mainstream pop music, but that rarely happens here. We see from Heinz Fassmann's Schulschlusskonzert 2021 how out of touch educational leaders are with the songs children want to listen to (DJ Ötzi, Tina Naderer, etc). Safari is a lovely-sounding Swahili word meaning journey. Oe1 chose it as one of their projects for Reparatur der Zukunft. Andre Heller's progressive political group ACT.NOW made a promotional film about the concept, narrated by fellow Brit dj Stuart Freeman (FM4):
Here is a short film about the early days of the project, in 2012, in Meidling:
- The Baustellenfest at magdas Hotel (before the building had electricity), where dj Eugene played music from all the countries whose residents had recently arrived in Vienna as refugees.
- At the Feature Night party series in Elektro Goenner, the boys from nameit positive media played songs and audio on a theme each month, for example ecology, Autumn or 1970s films.
- With dj storytelling, Eugene takes the dancers and party people on a journey of discovery, mixing styles and ideas, keeping the music visible all night, sometimes eccentric and always full of Felliniesque drama.
- For the opening of #kommraus - Forum Öffentlicher Raum on Vienna public space, Eugene plays only music from or about Vienna. The soundtrack to the city. In funky and experimental Brunnenpassage, from 21-23:00 on 16 May 2019, and free.
- For Roland and Duy's wedding, in a Waldviertel castle, Eugene mixed up music from the 2 boys' backgrounds (Roli is Viennese, and Duy Vietnamese). This was Euge's first gay wedding as dj, and definitely his most spectacular.
- To mark Brexit Night (Fri 31 January 2020), Eugene played the best of Brit music - from The xx to Radiohead, Led Zeppelin to The Streets and Kate Bush, in a pub next to Hundertwasserhaus, to recognise this sad day of UK disengagement from 47 years of EU integration. Every time somebody started to dance, Eugene asked them to sit down, since this was no kind of celebration. The event was reported on by ZiB2, APA, Oe1 Leporello, Radio Orange, Puls4, FM4 morningshow, MeinBezirk, etc.
- At Streetlife Festival, where Babenbergerstrasse in
central Vienna is closed to traffic and opened up to people, Eugene has
for seven years played a soundtrack of walking songs to mark European
Mobility Week. There are hundreds of tunes on this theme, since walking
is a metaphor for courage and independence: You'll never walk alone,
Walk on the wild side, Radetzky Marsch, Walk on By, Walking on the Moon,
Ramble On (Led Zeppelin, Euge's favourite).
- ACT.NOW conference wanted a spectacular event to show how to overcome divisions and the new populist hate-speak online, and so Eugene chose songs from cities all along the refugee route of 2015, from Karachi to Stockholm, and every single person danced there.
- Nightlife is under enormous pressure in 2021, not just from Corona and changing lifestyles of young people (see the notes to our Midnight Tour for more details on the new night-time economy), but also because residents complain much more now about noisy clubs nearby. So there is no better solution than a silent disco in public space. Silent Discos - organised in Wien by Oliver Hangl of Guerilla Walks fame (the boy is a legend!) - work through 200 headphones, with a choice of two different DJs on 2 channels. Eugene was invited to play on the spectacular Wientalterrasse (1050) and also on Meidlinger Markt and the Blumenwohnstrasse Markgraf-Rüdiger-Strasse (1150). At a time of reduced work for DJs, with all clubs closed for Corona, Eugene was honoured to be one of those selected to play and get paid at these free events. And there is a certain theatre in having competition to see see which DJ is more popular (you can tell from the dancing who is listening to which DJ). It always seems be a hot night for these silent discos. A silent disco is somehow a very Vienna concept. The dancers look crazy to passersby, but we just don't care.
Trying something new every time - that’s why it’s called dj storytelling. So what is that? It’s a flexible concept which means the music is not in the background, but something people can talk about all night, including ideas and diversity, but always involving the crucial element: funky beats to jump around to. Cinematic colours and booty-shaking slammers. And to reflect more worldwide sounds, which keep people thinking and exploring and surprised.
For those sceptical of the political or transformative power of music and dancing, remember how clubs are one of the great levellers, where a wide mix of people come together to party. Disco music was a revolutionary force, providing a colourful new platform for gay people, black people and women to be centre-stage. Please read this article to learn this article to learn more.
Upcoming parties with dj Eugene in Spring/Summer 2020: