Into another Relm 

More than an interactive iPod, DJ, director and producer Mike Relm creates audiovisual extravaganzas to enthrall the audience


Who: Mike Relm

When: Thursday, Aug. 12, midnight

Where: Garfinkel's

Cost: $40 (Deraylor wristband)

There are people among us here in Whistler who have, shall we say, discerning taste when it comes to music: they want it live, and DJs simply don't do it for them.

Well, DJ-haters, shelve your preconceptions about DJs and come check out Mike Relm; his show will change how you think about the craft.

This long-time turntablist has elevated the station of the humble DJ, marrying audio and visual to create one spectacular show designed to captivate the eyes and ears.

"I never wanted to be in a DJ booth just DJing," Relm explained.

Rather, he wanted to put on a show that would put him above the realm of "interactive iPod."

Relm has been DJing for almost 17 years, drawn into the art form after tuning into the Wake Up Show, a radio program hosted by DJ Sway and King Tech.

"It definitely laid the groundwork for hip hop in general and it was the only show where the... emcees would interact with the DJ and be like, 'Yo bust a scratch right now.' It was a true interaction."

"A lot of DJs would try to scratch and the scratching we were doing was like competition scratching - it was like, 'OK, what can I do that makes me look good and is like complicated enough to get points from the judges?'"

But Relm could tell that the focus wasn't really on the sound they were producing.

"To me, that's the trick - you've gotta make it sound good! You've got to be able to close your eyes and go, 'Wow, this is incredible.'"

As a kid, he simply watched DJs work, enthralled by their ability to mix and use vinyl.

"It didn't hit me as something I could do my entire life, but it hit me as something that fascinated the hell out of me, and it was like, 'Wait, wait, wait! How did this happen and how can I do it?'" he recalled.

"Because I didn't grow up in a time when records were like thriving, so to me, it was like, 'OK, can you do that with cassettes?' Then you try it and you're like, 'Wait, this song is a different pace than this one,' and you're bobbing your head."

He struggled for a while to match the beat using a tape recorder before buying a second-hand turntable setup from a neighbour.

"Once I got them, I never left the house because I'd been thirsting for it for so long - it took like a year to save up for turntables and I was buying records at the same time."

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