If you want to hear a DJ that sounds vaguely like an irritating radio station or an iPod Shuffle, you can head out to Clybourne or C.O. Daniel’s. If you’d like to get acquainted with the experimentation and innovation that define the art of DJing, try stopping by the Highdive.
Beginning Jan. 27, the Highdive will be hosting Chillax, a weekly event bringing together the best local DJs to perform live every Sunday night.
“The Highdive is a cool venue for this night because it’s such an open space,” said Shane Wirkes of Kristov’s Agenda, who plays Chillax Feb. 24. “It allows the audience to relax and not have to be right in front of the stage while still being able to enjoy the atmosphere that the music creates.”
The artistic side of DJing is something often overlooked in the crowded bar scene, and those who have not been in the presence of a truly good DJ may not understand the ins and outs of the process.
“A great DJ knows how to dig up quality music that people may not have heard but ultimately will like because it’s high quality music,” said DJ Mertz, host of this upcoming Sunday’s Chillax. “You also need to understand the flow of a set. The energy a crowd brings can change the flow of a DJ set. If a DJ is mad, sad, happy, excited, sick, exhausted — [that] can all change the flow.”
Chillax will also display the sense of community and camaraderie that exists within an exceptionally tight group of local DJs.
“First and foremost, what has me excited about Chillax is the collaboration,” Mertz said. “I think if Chillax takes off, this town is going to learn about some people that don’t play in bars but are mind-blowingly good DJs.”
DJ Mertz has kind words for those DJing in the coming weeks. He describes Geist as a “world-class drum ‘n bass DJ,” Roro as having an uncanny ear for music and The Infinite Imagination as great producers. Make sure to check out Chillax every Sunday night at the Highdive where you can hang out and soak up some free tunes.

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