Under his persona of The Wizard, Jeff Mills was more than just a sorcerer’s apprentice, as this video from 1983 illustrates.


This footage was shot at Cheeks Nightclub on Detroit’s 8-Mile, at the time when the then-budding DJ was also a part time employee at Omnicom Cable in the city.

As the uploader, CJ Johnson puts it: “Dennis (Jeff’s brother) and I worked at Omnicom Cable in production. Jeff was just taking off at the clubs. 

“Jeff would work part time at the cable co, fixing things on the bench (smarter than the rest) and WJLB [legendary Detroit radio station] at night. […] Dennis and Jeff were always great guys!”

For the record, 1983 was also the year that saw the launch of the Roland TR-909: a piece of kit that would take Mills’ music (and electronica in general) to new levels.

Mills would retire his The Wizard persona in 2013, telling FACT Mag: “For The Wizard, I decided to stop those sets because there just isn’t much interest in mixed genre DJ sets – especially not of that style and technique.

I found that we are not as open to various styles of music in a period of time as we used to be. We like what we like and not much else.”

Thankfully we still have the opportunity, therefore, to turn back the clock and experience the maestro in his eclectic pomp.

[Kudos to CJ Johnson for the YouTube upload]

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