The leader of drum ‘n’ bass in the United States is bringing the crowd on the dance floor to sheer ecstasy as he bangs beats into their minds and bodies and they close their eyes, overcome by pleasure and rib-rattling sound.
Dieselboy (aka Damian Higgins) is on the turntables on Platinum Thursday nights at Fluid. His hands move with coordinated grace from record-to-mixer-to-headphone-to-record again, while a seriously concentrated expression remains on his face throughout his hour-long set.
This 29-year-old drum ‘n’ bass master is performing for the people. Dieselboy has both the crowd and music in mind down to the last second of his set.
“I’m thinking in a very technical, clinical way, just tryin’ to make the stuff sound good,” said Dieselboy.
When Dieselboy arrives at a party he has an idea of what records are in his bag and which ones he wants to play, but he often has no idea when or in what order he will play them. He believes that arriving at a party to perform with a pre-determined set of records in a specific order is cheating and forfeits an important responsibility of any DJ.
“You have to vibe off the crowd. For me, granted, I don’t always look at the crowd, but I always have a sense of what’s going on around me,” he said. “If people are just standin’ there, then I try to keep switchin’ up what I’m playing until I can get into a groove that they’re feeling.”
Dieselboy strives to always make his set creative, spontaneous and on point. Oftentimes, he is bangin’ beats behind the turntables with records so new that he might not know what is going to happen next.
“I’m up there laughing to myself, thinkin’ if these people only knew that I have no idea what’s going to happen in the next 30 seconds with these records,” said Dieselboy.
A serious expression constantly remains on Dieselboy’s face throughout his set because he is always concentrating. His decline to show-off his pearly whites could also be a direct result of his personality.
“I’ve always been a really shy person,” he said.
This self-proclaimed alien from “planet of the drums” favors drum ‘n’ bass for its futuristic sound. During the evolution of techno and its resulting splinter into different genres, Dieselboy chose to stay with the style that became drum ‘n’ bass.
“Because there’s an emphasis on percussion, and drum ‘n’ bass stuff sounds so fucking alien! It basically embodies all the qualities that I like for dance music,” he said.
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