Saturday, 17 December 2011

22 Years Later - My First Recorded Mix

Hello - my first ever recorded DJ mix has been uploaded to Soundcloud for your listening pleasure - or hell.  If you want a copy burning to CD, I will be more than happy to do so for you.

Or to download, try this Megaupload link - I haven't tried it but I assume it works.

The tracklisting is as follows:

1. Ike - The Mojo
2. Steve Bug - Jack Is Back
3. Efdemin - There Will Be Singing (DJ Koze Remix)
4. Green Velvet - Flash (Jamie Jones Remix)
5. Double Oh Oh - The Muffin Tops
6. Dinky - Acid In My Fridge (Visionquest Remix)
7. Seth Troxler - Love Bezerker (Ryan Crosson Remix)
8. Maya Jane Coles - What They Say (Dyed Soundorom Remix)
9. Nina Kraviz - I'm Week
10. Goldfrapp - Ride A White Horse (Serge Santiago Remix)
11. Octave One - I Believe (Sandwell District Remix)
12. Black Box - Ride On Time

And why...

1. Ike - The Mojo - I feel that the track that starts off a mix sets the tone for the rest of the mix, and as I was looking to do a party mix, it had to start off with a bit of a kick.
2. Steve Bug - Jack Is Back - Steve Bug introduced me to minimal, although this track is a mile away from said genre.  It just fit together well.
3. Efdemin - There Will Be Singing (DJ Koze Remix) - I am a huge fan of Koze's work, though they are not the easiest to mix though I think I did respectably.  It takes the tempo down a notch quite nicely and gives it a bit of a dirtier feel.
4. Green Velvet - Flash (Jamie Jones Remix) - A classic track remixed well by star of the moment - Jamie Jones.  I wanted to put in something with his touch to it - HFTP would have been a tad too obvious and this just fits well with the sound of the mix so far.
5. Double Oh Oh - The Muffin Tops - No idea where I discovered this, I though perhaps it was time to take it slightly more twisted, as I knew what I wanted to play next which is a big underground hit and I wanted to play something which is unlikely anyone else would know.  Unless they listen to the tracks on my top tunes blog...erm...maybe I failed then!
6. Dinky - Acid In My Fridge (Visionquest Remix) - I loved the original minimal track so much and when I heard this for the first time, I think on a Cocoon podcast, I was just like...oh my god.
7. Seth Troxler - Love Bezerker (Ryan Crosson Remix) - Seth is a big inspiration to me, though perhaps as much for personality as music, there isn't much production to his name, and again it takes it back into more twisted territory.
8. Maya Jane Coles - What They Say (Dyed Soundorom Remix) - I have said for most of the year that Maya Jane Coles is the most over-rated of the new crop of producers, yet I find myself increasingly playing her tracks.  I might be eating some of my words.  This track set the tone well for what I next wanted to play.
9. Nina Kraviz - I'm Week - There is no doubt about it, I have a crush on Nina Kraviz.  First I heard her music, then I saw what she looked like and then I read an interview where she hated laptops.  Oh, yeah!  And this tune is amazing - so much emotion in it.
10. Goldfrapp - Ride A White Horse (Serge Santiago Remix) - A thought to my musical past now, and my electro days - I was a huge fan of Goldfrapp, they really had a sense of style and the original track had quite a sense of drama - too much for this mix but the disco-influenced Serge Santiago Remix just about works without taking it back up too far.
11. Octave One - I Believe (Sandwell District Remix) - This is the track that I really should not have included but I feel it is a nod to a future likely style of underground music - a deep version of trance.  The reason why I should not have included it is the horrid beat structure - I did my best, not sure what else I could do to get it to work!  I was going to leave it to dreamily drift out and finish but...
12. Black Box - Ride On Time - This was the track that first got me into house music way back in 1989.  I had to include it.  And it has such a good feel to it :-)

DJing Update: Competent But So Much To Learn

I have had two good lessons in DJing over the last 18 hours.

Firstly, my good friend Matt came round for a mix last night, who is a very accomplished DJ, and we went back to back - I learnt various things, but what stands out is that although I know the basics of mixing and can normally beat-match fairly well, there is so much more to it.  Which I kind of knew, but it became very clear watching someone mix in my flat.

I do however seem to think I am very good at the time, with my mixing - I am regularly over-confident in life to the point of delusion at times (it is a good way to be - far better than believing that the world is going to end all the time) and my second lesson came from listening back to the recording of the mix this morning.  I am not that good.  I am not bad but equally I am not good.

Arguably I perhaps should not be so experimental with my music choices and look to change direction so often - I do have a much smoother outcome when I stick to playing music of a particular sub-genre, but that isn't really me at heart.

More importantly is the timing of my mixes and the levels - the gain (knobs which I hadn't thought about fiddling with prior to yesterday).

Anyway, I am making progress.  I will have a mix for public listening at some point soon - as soon as I do one which is reasonably fit for human ears - with no more mistakes than a Nina Kraviz set then you will be the first to be spammed continuously every hour for a month with the appropriate link to listen to it.

I am sure that it won't be long before I am playing fabric - just need to own a record label and persuade someone to release a half-decent deep house track on it, now that I can beat-match.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Project Superstar DJ Launched

OK, after a long period of consideration, a few hours after Cocoon Ibiza at a villa behind a pair of decks with one eye half-open and with 22 years of dance music knowledge and history in my brain, I have decided to take the plunge and learn properly how to DJ.

Redundancy gave me some money to spend so I decided to spend some of it wisely, and not all of it in fabric/Ibiza/Tesco on rose wine.

Like the other 1,269,586 DJs in England, I have dreams.  But no expectations, and no serious aims.

If I get to play out somewhere one day during 2012 (assuming practice does make me any good anyway) and I get 5 people dancing, that would more than satisfy me.  For now.

Whatever I do, I will try to stick to my principles and standards that I set for myself in most walks of life, but the main priority is to have fun with it.

They are CD decks that I have bought - as much as I can imagine vinyl being more satisfying, I could never afford a vinyl collection and have no space for one unless I get rid of my 1,500 cds.

Nor given my strong dislike for Traktor and other similar laptop based shenanigans could I use that, especially given my well-known opinions on it.  I have no issue with someone using Traktor at a house party - but in a club it is a no for me.  A very strong no.

I appreciate that 99.999% of my singles on my PC are downloaded without having paid for them (I buy enough albums - chill out before you fling accusations just because I am not paying for your coke habit, Mr Record Company Manager) and I think that if I ever did make any money from DJing, of which I have no expectations at all, then I would commit to ensuring that some of this money is invested back into the music world as opposed to funding more rose wine for me.  Not all, but certainly a respectable percentage.

I thoroughly believe that downloading music for free is more than acceptable for many reasons that I won't argue here but making money from such would cross my personal beliefs.

Anyway, that is me.  I have done something that I have long threatened to and now the 156 DJ friends on my Facebook profile finally have some real competition.

And just to prove how good I am - the first mix was absolutely spot on.  And that was despite the fact that I had not figured out how to get sound out of my headphones!

I shall keep you up to date with my new career.  Next post due as soon as fabric have booked me for room 3.