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Alex Whalen


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Washington DC, United States (1991 – present)

New Year’s Eve, 1991
A flyer found. A map point located. A warehouse discovered. A threshold crossed. One night. One moment. For me, nothing would ever be the same again.

What is it about electronic music that captures us so? Why is it that, once found, it grabs hold and refuses to let go? And why is it that nearly all of us can name the exact moment when it made everything change.

For Alex Whalen, December 31, 1991 is that moment. Before, the path of his life had been headed one way. After, well…

In the beginning, he was nothing more than a dedicated punter, one of the East Coast faithful, traveling hundreds of miles each weekend in pursuit of the perfect beat. Thursdays at Baltimore’s legendary Fever. Fridays at Washington DC’s immortal Buzz. Saturdays at one-off’s with names like Catastrophic, Storm, Ultraworld, or Primary. They were all in the right place at the right time - the birth of a scene, a music, a movement.

Along with the flyers he collected the music. Guerrilla. FSOL. Limbo. Cosmic Baby. Stress. Leftfield. Platipus. The soundtrack of the weekend became the soundtrack of his life. At first, it was enough to let others arrange it, but then…

This was the era of the mixtape, a time before the Pro Tools perfect, studio session solid CD. Sets were played, recorded, and traded, passed hand to hand among the faithful, with no DJ too big or small to be worth a listen.

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