Hello! How are you? It's been a long time hasn't it?
If you're an old friend then welcome back. If you're new to DJ Cruze then it's great to see you here.
It's been a long time coming but, after 10 years of saying I was going to do it, I have rebuilt this website.
So why have I been away for so long? Read on...
A brief history of the last 10 years
A lot has happened since I last updated the old site in 2011. My DJing career slowed down a lot due to family commitments. My wife and I had children towards the end of the 2000s and having young children and staying up late and partying don't go together well. And then in 2014, I nearly died. I contracted an infection which caused sepsis. My body started poisoning itself as an overreaction to the infection and I found myself in intensive care fighting for my life. I spent 3 long months in hospital and had to rebuild my life aftwards. It's a long story so read about what happened on my personal website if you're interested and then come back.
The next two years were spent recovering. I had a lot of health issues and had zero energy for DJing or music making. I had to focus on getting better and learning to live after a major health scare. Bringing back DJ Cruze wasn't high on my list of priorities so I let the website and DJ career go. Life carried on and I had to get used to my "new normal" and the problems that sepsis had caused.
Finding love for house music again
My good friend and DJing partner-in-crime, Mark Wyss aka DJ Vuish, continued to have his legendary house parties for his birthday. These are a constant in our lives as he still loves to party! We always got back together to drink too many beers and DJ for as long as we could stay awake. He started to encourage me to DJ again. The first party in 2015 was tough. I was unable to stand for long periods of time so I sat on a stool and mixed some tunes for about an hour. I lacked the stamina to DJ all night like the old days. I still loved it though and it made me start thinking about resurrecting my DJ Cruze alter-ego once I was well enough.
Vuish and I decided to revive our DJ partnership with a back-to-back live stream on YouTube in January 2017. It took a while to organise but we spent 4 fantastic hours spinning house tunes on vinyl and CD. Sadly, copyright issues plagued the mix when we streamed it on YouTube. As many streamers find nowadays we had a copyright claim for the final video. Thanks to the S-Man's publishing company for not allowing "Time 2 Stop (9 to 5 Mix)" be part of the stream! YouTube removed the audio so I ended up with a 4 hour stream of two men dancing to no music. I hadn't recored the audio locally so I couldn't export it to an MP3 mix so I've taken the stream down now. However, it sparked the flame of interest in DJing again.
A few years passed and Mark and thought about another live stream but never managed to find a time to do it.
And then 2020 happened...
The return of DJ Cruze
As we all know, 2020 has been one hell of a year.
Over here in the UK, the Coronavirus pandemic started becoming prevalent around the end of February and the start of March. I started working from home 100% of the time from the 2nd week in March. Most of the UK locked down a week later and the whole family were confined to the house.
Around this time, an old DJ friend from Manchester, Dev Chandramani aka Dev C, started a Facebook group known as Vinyl Posse. Feel free to join it! It is a collection of like-minded ex-DJs and vinyl lovers who got together to discuss old tunes and remixes. Dev started some weekly DJ live streams to get us through lockdown and they were amazing. After a few weeks DJ Vuish got back on his decks and shared his live streams on Twitch. It got me excited about music again so it was time to dig out the vinyl and get on the Technics 1210s again. I spun funky house music for nearly 3.5 hours and thankfully YouTube didn't take the audio down. You can watch it again here:
DJ Cruze was back in the house!
The response from all of my old friends and fans was amazing and I realised that I needed to resurrect the old website and rescue my old mixes and podcasts. This was as much for you as it was for me. So many people reached out and have wanted them over the years that it was time to rebuild the website and allow people to hear the music and mixes that they love. 😍
Over the past few years, I tried to start a redesign of the DJ Cruze website but never got enough momentum going to finish it. The original website was built on Blogger, and then moved to Wordpress in the mid-2000s. At that time my day job was as a software development but I worked in video games and not with web technologies. The website was a mix of technologies that I wasn't working with regularly so I did the best I could. However, over the past 8 years in my new day job, I've built high-scale web applications so I know a bit more about the web now.
I've decided to rebuild the site using a static site generator rather than using Wordpress. For various geeky technical reasons, this will make life much easier for me. A few false starts of the site lay in my digital graveyard with other side projects but I'm now up and running using Eleventy to generate the site. It's all open source so if coding is your thing, check out the repository on GitHub.
I decided not to move all of the old pages to this new website. In the old site, I had lots of old blog posts about my personal life, some DJ charts, DJ dates for old club nights, an article or two, and some reviews of music from 15 years ago. I don't think anyone wants to read that any more. I'd prefer to give you new content. I will move some of the old flyers and try and build up a history page of my old flyers and mixes. As I get older, it'll be good for me to remember the old days too.
I've moved across all of the podcasts, mixes, and some of my own productions. I've got plenty more digital files and a big box of cassette tapes to digitise too. I'll post these on the site as I find them and share them all with you. Each page with audio on it has a player so you can stream the mix or track. There's also a download button to allow you save it to your device and listen to it again later. If you spot any audio files that don't play then give me a shout. The podcast RSS feed will start working again and you'll be able to listen to all of the old shows. My plan is to restart the podcast again too so watch this space.
The site should now display nicely on mobiles and tablets. If you spot anything wrong then let me know and I'll fix it. The site isn't perfect, and I'm not a web designer, but it works much better than it ever has. I'm often about on Twitter so tweet at @djcruze if you want me to fix something.
Let me know if you want anything else on the site and I'll add it to my list!
Take care and stay safe!
DJ Cruze ❤️