Social Japanese Bar Style Listening Event

I’ve just copied and pasted my rambling’s from another forum.

I’m kind of ‘possibly’ going to document the places I go and the people I meet in the world of ‘Hi Fi’ Sound Systems across the UK. Been a hobbyist and professional in the event production business as well as audio electronics, so the electro audio geekery side is covered. Would really like the personal stories, connections and music to make the total into something engaging.

Just putting this out there. I’d be happy to organise a kind of mobile Japanese bar style listing experience with the big white JBL’s and maybe a single subwoofer. I’m open to any (UK) location assuming there is a support group to assist.

It can be single deck or two, I won’t expand into an excessive of level of Hi Fi snobbery as it sounds clear and lively with a Technics 1200 plus it will cut through bar chatter.

I also am also able to create any visual effect to enhance a venue and again the possibilities are endless for those who want to be creative and put some work in. I’m exclusively non digital for audio and visual, these are just the constraints and freedoms to keep the whole operation as an original concept. Optikinetics projection, 35mm slides, 8mm film, drapery, structures…etc

The above is pretty much what I’m trying to bring to fruition, with a kind of collective spirit, a red tractor mark of quality plus an inclusive and diverse patronage and of course, good music.

I was thinking of trying to start a thread on what is basically throwing a party, rather than a discussion of media marketing and ticket sales etc.

So who’s in on a discussion and collaboration of ideas and actions towards social actual social interaction?


I run a monthly event here in Sydney with 3 friends under the collective banner Got Music Social Club. We’ve been at it for 2 years now and the concept was to allow friends to gather and be able to talk with a soundtrack of the deepest/most interesting current cuts and some long forgotten gems rubbing shoulders over a system whose volume isn’t the driving force in the room. Being of an age now where all night hopped up frugging and gurning is no longer a viable option, it’s been a great success with friends and people who just want a night out to let loose with some drinks, which has surprisingly now attracted some younger folk who probably want a warm up event before heading out to the all nighter.

This year we moved to a new venue which is a below ground bar with a huge velvet lounge running around the wall. We kept the ethos of it being a social gathering rather than a club, but the bpms did creep up in a darker more intimate environment which makes sense when people want to have a dance as well as a chat.

We have a projector and have visuals which I put together for each new month that I nick from various places online and slice up in iMovie. I highly recommend you follow through with your concept of non digital visuals, I just don’t have the means or time to pursue that route, so for me digital is best.

My advice is to keep the night tight/economical, have a good idea of what you want to achieve and if you have guests like we do, brief them accordingly as to what you expect from the music. We have an open book genre policy to a point - we encourage dj’s to dig into their collections and play stuff they would never normally dare drop in a club set, in other words their personal listening selections.

On a more personal note, I’ve been booked next week to play at a new listening bar in Sydney. A few have appeared here over the past year, but I’ve not attended any. How does it work if there is one turntable? Is it just a matter of casually turning the volume down, taking the record off and cueing up the next track with a segment of silence inbetween (silly question perhaps, as how else would you do it). Any advice from people who’ve played these gigs would be appreciated.


I’ve been asked to come back to a new listening bar in San Diego. It’s a really nice set up, acoustic treatment, rotary mixer, two 1200 mk5s, Even with the two decks, everyone I’ve seen there is fading out and gently bringing in the next track. It really helps the room breathe. It’s a pretty experimental space: playing whole sides of ambient or jazz along with lots of Latin American music and hip hop. I’d say the focus is on people having a conversation but it’s not uncommon for some to gyrate to the dancier tracks. Volume monitoring is a must - figuring out the sweet spot is important so that guests aren’t blown away but the music isn’t easily ignored.


Absolutely no idea on the one turntable. Playing one side of an album would not be my goal, I’d be playing long extended 12’s which build and stand on their own. Most definitely with a message and a song as well.

I would fade out on whatever preamp there was to avoid thumps. You can have full stops, commas in the pauses. You can puncturate the pauses with a lighting change, some blown soap bubbles or strip your top off!

The one turntable idea, in my head, was to eliminate the negative ‘DJ’ connotations. I’m not sure if this even is a ‘thing’, it would be difficult for a lot of general people to play sequences of records, cue, level and tone match (seeing that this is rare in 'DJ’s nowadays even)

Please, please do let us all how it turns out.


There is local live music bar which has an ‘open decks’ Saturday afternoon. I have suffered the experience of standing to there on a Saturday afternoon in a very quiet bar playing old pop music that’s still cool (perhaps) to a staff who resent me with a passion. I put a pair of new carts on every time and it sounds very good.

The first time held what few patrons were there for hours, some compliments from the patrons, absolute evils from the bar.

They did a couple of ‘nights’ over the next weeks following on from what I played ‘90s’ etc. So if I play a few hours of Disco (my expert subject) the afro wigs will be out the next week in the evening.

Nobody ever turns up to play records, this is what purgatory looks like by the way…


“Playing one side of an album would not be my goal, I’d be playing long extended 12’s which build and stand on their own. Most definitely with a message and a song as well.”

Sounds like you mean you’d play your disco 12"s? :blush:

I think the concept of letting an album run for an entire side IS very much the experience rather than playing as you would in a traditional DJ set. The focus shifts to the music, not the selector. The space around the music and the order of listening as the artist intended.

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How did the Audiophile bar gig go?

Really well, actually. They use Klipschorns and McIntosh gear so everything sounded insanely good. I kept walking around to check the levels because the decks were right next to one of the Klipschorns. The music was all very present but as my friend noted, no one was having to shout at each other. Didn’t expect “Girl from Ipanema” to kick off the dancing so that was a pleasant surprise. Would have packed for a dancier set!


I’m playing records at the next Letchworth record fair on the 14th of May. I’ll be using the Bozak (CMA 2DL) and some enormous JBL monitors (C50 S8 for the audio nerds) which were once used at Abbey Road (no proof). I bought them from the drummer in the Bootleg Beatles and spent about 1k on them to restore. Not sure if this will be a ‘one deck’ or two. You can play records and network if you want.

PM or such if you are wanting to spin some good from 10-4 ish with a view to buiding a little bar scene.

I can’t think of a name but under ‘The Disco F Sound System’ at present


This sounds great, is it still going? Have so many great memories of Sydney and really need to get back over.

Just a casual bump. 16 sellers in three rooms, some with stuff more on our wavelength.

I’ll be lugging the most weighty speakers known to man and all the Bozak cliche gear to Letchworth.

Myself and my young ‘Cosmo’ will be playing pleasant sounds at a moderate volume.


Nice ! My grandparents lived in baldock and so I spent a lot of time around that way - hit a lot more interesting when I start skateboarding. Have fun!

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Records at a record fair, who knew? Played by a 22 year woman (a better selection than I could stump up). Thia was Kia’s first ever time playing records out. Kevin was an excellent guest playing the soul 7”end of things, he really enjoyed doing it.

All positive, put the graft in, have faith.


Looks great! And who knows that girl may go on to big things and you gave her her first chance to play out! Nice!


I’m hoping the Northampton VU crew also mentor her, Kia has her name down on a flyer for the 21st.

Please all feel free to team up and help bring a special sound out as Kia did today, can’t do this work (the act of performing labour) single handed anymore. Been up since 5am

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I guess this is the place for a bump.

I’m playing a selection of cool pop records and reggae tommorow at Letchworth record fair.
It went down so well I have been invited to all future fairs. Welcome selectors with an ear for the general public taste. It may be a case of not enough DJ’s for these.

There may be about a dozen bins of £2 12’s, there are some strong bits in there if I haven’t dug them all. Seller is sitting on a huge mountain of dance stuff.

Bozak mixer, DBX Boombox, 60’s JBL studio monitors all that stuff.


Going on to the third Letchworth record fair tommorow. I’ll be playing the extended 12 inch mix of The Killing Moon and other things.

There was a mint copy of Warrior Charge and a ton of stuff to treat yourself with from sellers last time.

It is clear and not loud. It will be sounding even better for the next events, a Bryston 4B amp was a gift for my birthday…


Tommorow is #recordfairletchworth again. Not mixing at all, can’t find my headphones. Loft classics played to perplexed record dealers.


I went to the big one at the Royal Horticultural Hall today in London. Always an interesting experience, the usual mix of jaded cynical misanthropic sellers and sharp elbowed buyers. Hardly anyone under 40 and just two women in the three hours I was there. I did find some good records though.


I do observe from the stage the coming and goings at this one, not entirely older men here. It has the potential to be a ‘hip’ and fun one but I have no say in the way it’s promoted.

It’s been a pretty productive exercise overall as I’m now known to these sellers and do get some deals on the rare occasions something good pops up.

Did you fly under the radar on your finds?

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