Throughout four decades at the pointy end of electronic music, the Secret DJ has experienced it all, from the first stirrings of the Acid House revolution, fame and adulation as a superstar DJ and producer, losing it all through a combination of bad luck and bad choices, and scraping back into the game once more.
The first book, the at-times hilarious, at others harrowing, The Secret DJ: From Ibiza To the Norfolk Broads tells the brutally honest story of that dizzying rise to fame as a DJ, producer and short-lived pop star – and an even quicker descent into illness and isolation, when eventually the bill became due and it looked like all was lost.
Throughout it all, the Secret DJ never lost their wry sense of humor, dedication to the central mission of championing the real heroes of club culture, or belief in the power of dance music as a force for positive change and unity.
Rising again as a performer, artist, promoter, columnist for dance music bible Mixmag and fearless truth-teller and activist, for many The Secret DJ represents the awkward conscience of a subculture. One that’s grown from a youth movement set on changing the world to a multi-billion pound industry that all too often puts profit ahead of people, spectacle ahead of substance, and cash ahead of creativity.
The Secret DJ returns with the follow-up to their acclaimed debut book. Less a sequel and more a panoramic wide-angle painting of the biggest youth movement in human history, The Secret DJ: Book Two charts the rise of dance music over the last 30 years and its connection to western capitalism and culture.
While never claiming to be instrumental, The Secret DJ was around for every stage of the journey and is a continually wry observer of this unstoppable growth. The Secret DJ’s signature humor and wit are ever-present in this ascent, charting personal ups and downs as well as the buying and selling of the acid house revolution.
Covering topics as wide as drugs, music production, anthropology, the gentrification of the scene, technology, travel, fame, devaluation, inflation, relationships, technique, festivals, rejection, social media, situationism and hyper normalization; almost no aspect of the last four decades go unmentioned in terms of what we know today as Electronic Dance Music.
“No one in publishing would have the balls to touch this book with a bargepole,” says the Secret DJ. “It takes courage to speak up. There’s not much in the way of reward for telling it like it is, not anymore. If you expose an industry, that industry hates you for life with the intensity of the sun. I have nothing but admiration for Velocity Press, they’ve taken a big risk working with me. I appreciate it greatly. It’s good to know there are still people out there willing to stand up.”
The Secret DJ Book Two is available now direct from Velocity Press and all good bookshops
A virtual launch party will be held on Mixcloud Live on 17th December