Dreaming of the Beat
A house on Indian street vibrates with a deep bass and shakes with the sway of a dancing crowd late Saturday night. Temperatures rise as the crowd jumps to the beat and chants, “Lucid Dreamz!”
Behind an illuminated laptop, with headphones around his neck stands DJ Lucid Dreamz. Music blasts from the speakers.
Western senior Jace Feldmeier has established the name, “Lucid Dreamz,” as the city’s new up-and-coming DJ.
Having no prior experience DJing, Feldmeier is adapting to the new lifestyle slowly but surely, he said.
In the past eight months Feldmeier has played about eight shows. Usually he gets a week in advance, but for his latest show on Friday, April 10, he got two months to prepare, he said. A spring kickoff was something he and his friends wanted to do for a while.
When it comes to maintaining the crowd, Feldmeier said it can be a challenge.
“It is tough because a lot of people don’t really understand what goes on with DJing,” Feldmeier said. “They think you just press pause on one song and play the next, but it is based off beats per minute or ‘BPM.’”
In other words, if a requested song is 50 beats per minute off then it is incredibly difficult to try to mix the song in his set, he said.
Feldmeier said one of his craziest memories from an event he DJed was when he saw a girl on crutches dancing to his music. “I guess if you can get a girl dancing with a broken leg then you must be doing something right,” he said with laughter.
The commitment and cost of DJing is an element many people underestimate about the hobby, he said. His gear alone costing over $1,000.
Feldmeier said he hopes after graduating from Western in fall 2015 he will be able to continue his Djing. He has plans to take winter and spring of 2016 off to start producing his own music and making his own beats, he said.
“Hopefully around that time I’ll have enough experience that I’m pretty decent and maybe start being able to play at some clubs and local bars,” he said.
The Western Front followed Feldmeier throughout the day before his show:
Feldmeier wakes up, watches ESPN Sports Center, and “has some oatmeal for breakfast,” he said with a chuckle.
Feldmeier goes to play pickup basketball games at the Wade King Student Recreation Center.
After coming home from the Rec Center, he checks SoundCloud.
“I check SoundCloud to see if any new good songs came out today or yesterday to see if I want to add any to my set,” Feldmeier said.
Feldmeier begins compiling a list of songs he wants to add to his set for the night. He chooses to make an electronic dance music (EDM) mix for his first set of the evening and a rap/throwback mix for his second set.
“A big thing is actually knowing your music,” Feldmeier said.
After hours of preparation behind his computer screen, Feldmeier packs up his gear and heads over to the event location on Indian Street to hook up his speakers and equipment.
“I have mass amounts of plug-ins and cables I have to run everywhere, and lights to plug in as well,” Feldmeier said. “It takes quite a bit to set up everything.”
After setting up the stage and equipment with the help of a few friends, Feldmeier completes a sound check to make sure everything is ready. The sound check takes longer than normal, putting them behind schedule.
Feldmeier goes home, takes a quick shower, eats a PB&J sandwich and gathers his roommates before going to Indian street.
It’s time for the night to officially begin. Feldmeier leaves with his roommates and friends visiting from Olympia to the event location.
“Lucid Dreamz” arrives at the party and everyone in the room immediately gets ecstatic. He places his laptop on the table, pulls up the DJ software, puts on his headphones and cranks the music.
The music starts playing, with the intro consisting of an emergency alert sound to get the crowd pumped up. The vibe skyrocketed.
The music connection is suddenly cut, causing a blank sound from the speakers. Feldmeier moves frantically trying to figure out why this happened as the crowd yells angrily.
Everyone in the room starts chanting “Lucid Dreamz.”
“It’s the worst feeling when people want music and you can’t give it to them,” Feldmeier said.
Feldmeier resolves the issue, realizing the people standing on stage were stepping on a cord, pulling it out of the wall. The music begins again, and the crowd is thrilled, screaming and chanting the lyrics while jumping up and down to the beat.
Feldmeier begins playing older 20th century throwback songs such as “Get Low” by the Ying Yang Twins and “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani. The people jumping are causing the floor to move and the room to shake.
Though the crowd seems to be having a great time, Feldmeier’s first set comes to an end. He quickly clears his equipment off the stage, making room for the second act to come on.
The crowd chants, “We want Lucid Dreamz,” as he exits the stage.
The energy in the room was extremely high, the crowd eager for Feldmeier’s second set.
“Lucid Dreamz is by far the best DJ in Bellingham,” Western student Sara Fontenot said.
Due to a noise complaint, the event ends early, which means no second set for Lucid Dreamz. However, he is happy the first set went so well.
“Regardless of a couple technical difficulties, I am thrilled on how the night turned out,” Feldmeier said. “The crowd was pumped up, and that’s all that matters.”