By Bill Rah
Jordan Alexander Wyness aka Van Damn is the 31-year-old MC we never asked for but always needed. The All Good Dundee chief is a veteran of Scottish club culture as he has been spinning tracks since he was 15.
During the lockdown he has delivered hilarious drunken live streams. Berating fans begging for tune requests live and direct. The Dundee Don is at the forefront of electronic music culture in the city. His tracks have been featured on BBC RADIO 1 Introducing by Jaguar. He is rising the ranks and might be the funniest DJ in Scotland.
In order to understand how he arrived to where he is today, we must look backwards. He reminisced on his childhood sharing fond memories. His mother was into proper old school retro 80s classics. His aunts on the other hand were a lot more invested in partying. “They were heavy into going to all the rumbas and illegal raves.”
There was one occasion when his aunts were babysitting him during a fried affair. “I’ve got photos of me being dropped off by my mum to an afters they were hosting.” Van Damn was raised in the den. Although he noted “Nothing bad or anything, but it was mental.” Family is important to him. During the lockdown he has went back to the basics by helping his mother run her cafe in Arbroath.
Jordan is a single father and holds a close bond with his son. However, at first, he was frightened by the prospect of parenthood. “When I got told I was going to be a dad, I total shat myself.” At the time he was 24 in Aberdeen living the life and doing what he wanted.
However, the reality check of fatherhood helped him realize how important family is. He candidly reflected as he overcame the absence of his father. “I never really knew my biological dad, I never met him before growing up. I just wanted to fill the gap that he left.” Thats exactly what he did by being a good father and supporting his son.
Now in order to support a family you need to put bread on the table. Now how do you do that. Well DJ’ing can pay the bills. How does one learn in the early 2000s. At 17 Van Damn burned tunes onto CDs and played at The Reading Rooms. Considering the circumstances it was impressive. “Only had 1 CDJ and a mixer. I was mixing tunes from garageband onto CDs.”
Jordan remarked one of his mother’s friends had decks, but he wasn’t allowed to touch them. However, nothing would stop Van Damn from crafting his art and refining his skill. He got his hands on a controller. Then discovered a set of technics in the basement of his work.
“They weren’t in great condition, a bit cracked. I told them they were fucked and they just gave them to me, they’re the ones I still use today! Turns out they were completely fine, the guy cleaning them said he found nails inside. They’re total workhorses, still work today.”
In high school Van Damn was a baller helping lead the Arbroath Musketeers alongside his teammates. “Dundee were shite we used to pump them all the time.” His team were going up against Glasgow, Edinburgh and others.
He then went on an exchange program to play basketball in the United States. “Took my little controller across with me and played a couple wee parties” Frat parties with Van Damn spinning tunes sounds wonderful.
“Lived in Maddison, near Cleveland, Ohio. I visited Cleveland, DC, even played a gig in Detroit, well Ann Arbor just outside it’s but I can still say I played it.” He has had an interesting life and he remains humble in his journey as a DJ.
Jordan has build up his brand All Good Dundee by throwing some of the best parties outside of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Alongside his close friend Scott both started gravitating towards DJ’ing. “We wanted to do something together because we had a good following of people in Arbroath and Dundee.”
“I was getting gigs but I never had my own thing. I tried to do a couple of club nights myself, but it just never felt right. I didn’t put my all into it. We banged heads together and came up with the name. Tried to put on a couple of nights but it was hard because we were fucking skint.”
They were able to secure Jackmaster for a gig where he brought Denis Sulta. That party propelled his brand and gave them the funds to function. However unfortunately shortly after Scott passed away in a car crash. Before Scott passed away him and Jordan made a list of dream bookings. Within 5 years Van Damn ticked them off the list. Paying homage to his friend in a unique manner.
Despite the loss Van Damn remains resilient. Transforming All Good into Dundee’s top collective with high profile bookings. “We’re lucky that we’ve got really good relations with DJs like Jack, Hammer and Jasper. For me their fees could be much higher because they attract massive amount of ticket sales without charging us as highly as they could. They do us a favor.”
This camaraderie between artists helps the industry function. The collective All Good is made up of Ethan Bell, Nairn Spink and Head Booker Scott Forrest. Van Damn remarked how lucky he is to have them alongside him. “They usually warm up for me and are so good at building up a room when I get on, I can usually play whatever I want.”
Expect a banging house vibe all the way though Van Damns sets. Regarding his weekly live streams on twitch it was his answer to the lockdown. He felt All Good needed an outlet however he didn’t want to make mixes as they didn’t feel personal enough.
“The weekend before the lockdown I just had a complete stomper in my house. I put the cameras up and everyone was in the studio and yeah it was a total nonsense.” Van Damn started to MC during lockdown live streams. “Oh mate its just cause I’m pished. All I’m doing is getting total pished and doing stupid shite.” Well keep up your pish big man.