Meet the DJ – Chael

What was the very initial moment that made you wanted to make and play music to the masses?

For me I think it was sparked from an early age. From around the age of 7 I spent a lot of time sat against the wall with a set of headphones on listening to my parents vinyl collection. There was always some excitement in the way you went about selecting a record, pulling it out of its sleeve, looking at the artwork and dropping the needle on it then getting hit by that familiar warm sound. It eventually evolved as I got older and started listening to electronic music, looking back I think I was always on the path to start mixing music myself. It was just a matter of how many cars I had to wash and lawns I had to mow so my parents would buy me my first set of decks.

What was the first record you bought and why?

If we are talking first music ever it was Michael Jackson Off the wall on cassette, that’s probably where the fascination with house music came from as it was a heavily Disco influenced album.

Vinyl wise (when I finally finished washing all those cars and got my first set of decks) it was an original pressing of The Future Sound of London – Papa new guinea – I figured if you are going to start a vinyl collection make sure it’s a memorable record!

When did you realise you were becoming a music junkie?

I was always the guy making mixtapes from the radio for my mates. Always the guy sat in the corner by the stereo at “free house” parties through my teenage years selecting music. Once I started working and had my own money it was all pretty much going on vinyl shopping in Manchester and Birmingham, even when I went on family holidays to Cornwall I would always be on the hunt for a record shop. I’m constantly listening to all kinds of music – everything from metal to ambient through to obscure stuff like electrotech breakbeat and psychedelic tech-funk – yes that’s a thing and its fucking nuts on the production side of things, well worth checking out!

How many records/tunes do you think you have currently?

Rough estimate around 20,000 including digital and CD. Strictly vinyl around 300

Who would you say your main musical influences are? Either a person, style of music, group etc 

At the moment I’m really big on the likes of D-Unity and Dino Maggiorana and that whole style of techno It fuses your typical warehouse techno sound with a tribal / ethnic vibe. Something about this style just really strikes a chord with me…. it certainly gets me tapping my feet!

What was your first live gig?

It was a house and breaks night myself and two mates promoted ourselves in our humble hometown of Macclesfield. I must of been 17, probably DJing for about a year.

How did it go?

Haha terrible! The venue had this raised DJ booth looking out over the whole place. It didn’t have any easy means of access just these massive blocks of wood to get up there and when you were carting a record box that weighed a tonne up there it got a little scary. I remember being so nervous when I first stepped up and looked out over the dance floor that my palms were sweating – I couldn’t get a good grip on the records. The first 20 minutes were frightening but I settled down eventually. We did pull in a decent crowd and made a little bit more than we put in so it was worth it.

What’s your DJ Name?

A lot of people mispronounce it – Chael the h is silent

Give us a little bio of you – hopes, dreams, goals

Well I have been DJing for 20 years now and have gone from playing progressive to nuskool breaks to house to some really niche stuff that people have never heard of before landing on techno which I have been playing for the last 5 – 6 years. I have managed around 20 original tracks and remixes on various labels in the last 3 years. I try to stay humble and enjoy what I do and try to make every set stand out – if people dig it then I’m happy.

You can catch Chael live every Friday from 10pm on Underground Kollektiv Radio