77 Sevens

Around the time that 45 Day was being launched, Lee Poynter was busy putting together his own unique 45s project – 77 Sevens. Lee tells us more about how it came together.

The 77 Sevens project has just dropped (what I’m optimistically calling) ‘Volume One’, a 3h mix containing 77×7 inch records, with 11 DJs contributing 7 records each.

It started out as an idea to try and get a group of 45s DJs, who wouldn’t normally do so, to appear back-to-back on a mix. I wanted the result to be a seamless mix that was eclectic and interesting, but cohesive and flowing, as if we were all in the same room – like a ‘live’ DJing situation where you pick up on the vibe that other DJs have laid down and push it forward from there. 

At a time when there was a big scramble amongst DJs to stream sets I wanted to do something that was collaborative and connected DJs from different places, with different styles and had a tangible ‘thing’ at the end of the process.

The name and format was an obvious choice (the convenient numbers,  alliteration, repetition, etc.) but also 7 tunes is enough for each DJ to get into a flow, flex a little and take the listener on a bit of a journey. 77 records makes for a nice long mix too – almost like a 45s night with several DJs on the bill.

This was around the time of the first COVID19 restrictions being put in place (in the UK – March 2020), so like everyone, my gigs were cancelled and I wanted something positive to focus on.

I reached out to a few people I knew who I thought would be up for it, and asked them to invite people that they thought would be interested, before too long there were 11 DJs on the roster. It wouldn’t have been possible without groups like the excellent Forty Five Kings group (on Facebook) and the enthusiasm of the people who were invited.

What was great about the process was; out of the 10 other contributors, I’ve only ever met one or two ‘in real life’ and I think most only knew each other by name or on social media. By happy coincidence all 10 are dope DJs and collectors from around the globe  who totally ‘got’ the concept and have been collaborative, supportive and, not least of all, turned in great mixes.

It was a bit of an experiment and not without a small challenge or two, organising 11 people and their mixes could have been tricky, but each DJ really made the effort to work with each other to make the sections seamlessly blend (providing track lists and rough BPMs for the next person to follow), add to that the fact that everyone would be recording on different set-ups – it was a bit of a learning curve for me and I have to give a shout-out to DJ DSK for help and advice and for some mastering on the final mix.

The mix itself (I would say) has a backbone of Hip Hop, Funk and Soul breaks but veers off into other territory – Chrome opened his set with a folk/break classic, Johnny Scratch brought old school Hip Hop, DSK and myself  flipped acapellas over instrumentals, DJ D dropped some throwback classics and Shan Frenzie put in work with cut-and-paste style turntablism – and that’s not the half of it!

Along with Mr Lob, Oblivieus, Gu, Cursa and Jamez Gant also bringing dope skills to the mix, the result is a journey through many styles and directions. 

Volume One has completely exceeded what I expected and there’s already been enough interest to get a roster together for further mixes, in future I also hope that some of us can share the turntables at a ‘real’ gig when that’s possible.

I’d just like to give another quick shout-out to the DJs on Volume One – DJ DSK, DJ Chrome, Mr Lob, Johnny Scratch, Shan Frenzie, DJ Obliveus, Gu, DJ Cursa, James Gant and DJ D – it wouldn’t have been possible with their enthusiasm and skills – to echo Obliveus’ comment on Mixcloud – ‘so happy to be on a mix with such a dope group of DJ’s who I admire. Thanks to everyone for making this a special one.’ 

A solid evening’s entertainment! Check it out: