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I had heard tales of the famous Smokin’ Joe Mekhael well before I ever came into direct contact with him. The banter, both positive and negative, spread far and wide. It depicted a bushy haired free spirit who marketed himself in an often overzealous fashion, forcing his sound and his brand into the minds of many around Australia and across the globe. It didn’t take me long to sense a reasonable level of animosity in the air, a certain uneasiness if you must. In all fairness however, any DJ having the confidence to announce himself as ‘the most electrifying man in dance music today’ is likely to step on a few peoples toes. What I was yet to be sure on however was the man himself. Sure, the crazy ass merchandise and perhaps the most robust slogan in Australian EDM was a bit over the top, but what was left when you pushed aside the aesthetics. Who was this guy? What was he doing? How was he doing it?
All these questions came flying back into the picture recently when I caught wind of his latest plot for glory. Turns out Smoking Joe Mekhael was set to break the Guinness World Record for the longest DJ set, a stunt that required him to perform for over 160 hours. I found out about the stunt via an article on In The Mix which was based around asking who the hell he was. Quite comedically, this is the very brand that crowned him the #37 DJ in Australia. Reading the article, I couldn’t help but think ITM were stamping out any small shards of credibility their ridiculous poll had left, blatantly questioning the status of a DJ who not only ranked but did well. Regardless, the article was not the first time Mr Mekhael has been called out on his actions and it won’t be the last. “I know that I’m fighting the good fight and being a positive force for change in the world!” he stated when questioned about the effects of negativity on his everyday life. “Negativity only strengthens my resolve and gives me the opportunity to turn the haters away from the dark side with the power of love” he went on to explain, almost giving me the impression he was quoting an inspirational handout. I couldn’t help but smile, knowing the guy has not simply turned his back on a group of people who put him down, but embraced them.
Perhaps its this very same positivity that will see him threw his epic seven day battle, a fight that will take place at Empire and be broadcast live via Mydjspace Online. Then again, theres a decent chance he’ll have a seizure midway through and be rushed to hospital. When prompted about any potential ‘supplements’ during the course of the record, he stated “If I used stimulants I would eventually come down and I’d run the risk of having a heart attack”, further explaining “I’m a man of intelligence, intensity and integrity and I would never cheat to break a record”. To be honest, I was more bewildered by this than anything else he had said to me thus far, especially given many of his photos depict more energy than Charlie Sheen in Columbia. “I’m going to do the whole thing sober” he concluded, almost as if to shut the book on a topic that wasn’t even of the slightest bother to him. He had me grinning yet again. I’m not sure if it was his almost annoying positivity or if it was the fact that regardless of what he said, he was so far from the arrogant person I expected him to be. In the end, he’s created a brand that people talk about and thats more than 98% of DJ’s in the modern day can say for themselves. Bring on December 16th!
The New York DJ, Peter Tripp, set a world record for sleep deprivation in 1959. He went for 201 hours (8.4 days) without sleep. By day four, he was suffering from hallucinations and paranoia with the visuals soon appearing 3D. Eventually, Peter Tripp became psychotic. He rummaged through draws looking for non-existent money. He accused a technician of trying to harm him. He then claimed he was not Peter Tripp but an imposter. Nothing made sense to him. Sleep Deprivation Handbook.
LOCATION: Empire (32 Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross)
START TIME: December 16th, 2011
END TIME: December 26th, 2011
ENTRY FEE: Not Available
LIVE STREAM: http://www.mydjspace.com