Monte Donaldson / DJ EEG
1968 - 2000

This elegy by Riz Rollins was published in The Stranger on 10 February 2000

Music is a living entity; fluid and breathing, an ally, a true friend. -Monte Donaldson.

News of Monte Donaldson's passing, hit Seattle clubgoers and friends particularly hard. Donaldson and his fiancée Colleen Whorley were two of the 88 passengers on Flight 261 who perished off the coast of California. In addition to his long-running stint at the Alibi Room (an ambient evening called Sway), Donaldson was preparing to begin an evening at I-Spy, and was set to host another weeknight at Graceland. What was most pleasurable about Monte was that despite a decade of being in the vanguard of a large cadre of DJs responsible for bringing club music from the underground to the forefront of Seattlešs popular music "scene", his disposition remained humble and resolutely pleasant. He was rarely less than gracious as a performer, and inspirational as a friend. Motivated by the love of his gift, Monte often played for free, and insisted that whenever possible his audiences should be admitted for free. He volunteered his talents, sharing them with community and college radio, then pirate radio, then online broadcasting. Along with his friend 00/# he published a bulletin called the Northwest Sleep Guide, with the purpose of writing about music that received little acclaim because it was hard to classify. Many DJs donšt leave much in the way of documentation of their influences on their scene; while some have mix-tapes and CDs that represent their skills, those recordings donšt convey the organic joy that occurs when a DJ and his audience collude. The best DJs operate in an interdependent way with clubgoers, tapping into the collective celebration of their audience, like a shaman. Monte was as deliberate as he was subliminal with his intent to move a crowd. He was well versed in many genres of music (he rattled off a recent infatuation with "cinematic; lounge; organic; intelligent drum and bass; Latin-Afro; house/not house music") wielding melodies and textures with chameleon-like balance. He explained that he had chosen the name E.E.G. for his DJ moniker because it denoted the power music has to alter the psyche. The outpouring of grief from his friends and admirers is fitting proof to the truth of that philosophy.

  • Interview with DJ EEG from Dec 1999 published in The Stranger

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