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Into another Relm

More than an interactive iPod, DJ, director and producer Mike Relm creates audiovisual extravaganzas to enthrall the audience

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"Serato Scratch Live, now there's a video plug-in and I'm using that now, because now I can go back to using turntables exclusively with it, and nothing beats the feel of vinyl for scratching," he said.

Last Thursday Relm was hunkered down at his home base in San Francisco, getting ready to head out on the road again. This time his destination was Alaska, though late next week he'll be rolling in Whistler again.

"I think with the Internet it helps bring these different cultures to people. Maybe like 10 years ago, I'm sure it was kind of bleak because, where would you get stuff?

"...Seriously, how did we function without this?"

Relm spends a lot of time on the road, so it's vital that he can work remotely. He travels with laptops, hard drives and MIDI controllers - far less of a burden than the crates of vinyl DJs used to drag around with them from show to show.

"The average DJ does not carry anywhere close to 200 songs. That's nothing! But back in the day, that's all we could bring, so in a way it was a great lesson, because you're able to do a lot with less, and now you can carry 100,000 songs, and you'll never play 99 per cent of them, but I think a lot of people just carry that around with them just to feel better. Like, 'If I ever needed to play this polka track, I totally could!'"