Thursday, 29 November 2012

Why Am I The Favourite DJ Of Only One Person????? Hello...


And I mean that in a camp, sarcastic kind of tone.

I'm sat here wondering what position I will come in in the Resident Advisor DJ poll this year, having yet again failed to finish about Jimmy Saville in the DJ Mag poll (though that one is a bag of shit and we all know that), and I had a glance at my DJ page on Resident Advisor to find that I only have one fan.

ONE solitary fan.

Only one person has me as one of their favourite DJs.

Maybe this means I will sneak into the top 100 as a total surprise, but maybe not.  How many years do I have to wait?  I've been DJing for over a year now.

Ricardo Villalobos is a favourite of 12959 RA users.
Sven Vath is a favourite of 6803 RA users.
Even Swedish House Mafia are a favourite of 653 RA users.

For fuck's sake - Skrillex has 332 more people that rate him as a favourite than I have.

Surely I am better and more popular than Skrillex?  I have a real name for a start.

Go on, show me some love.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Unexpected Update

Us prospective superstar DJs live an uncertain life between the realms of excitement and delusion.

I have actually been putting the hours in the last couple of weeks to practice, and I was looking forward to a good night out on Friday when the call came "Do you want to play for the first 45 minutes?".

I thought for about 30 seconds.

"Hell yes" was answer.

So instead of preparing for a night out, I had to quickly think about which of the zillions of tracks I have, I should play.

I only played maybe half a dozen tracks, but it all seemed to go well, and I actually got people dancing!  OK two of them were my friends, but there were other people dancing too.

I started with:

And finished with:

It was a really enjoyable 45 minutes, my first taste of CDJ2000's - wow they are superb.  Sub89 does have a really good set up.  I was perhaps a little overwhelmed with two Martin Audio monitor booth speakers at first as I am rather not used to that but all was good.

And the night I played for, Listed, was run by good people with really good taste in music, so I hope they have more nights in Reading at Sub89.

Anyway, back to my teleport, I need a beer.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Superstar DJ Career Update

So thanks to getting off my own backside, putting in the hard work of organising and running a night I have now had my second and third DJ sets in a public setting.

I played for an hour 4-5pm and then 8-9pm, and also a couple of tunes in the last hour but I had lost my brain by then and couldn’t concentrate properly...I was a little overwhelmed!

I would love to give you a list of tracks that I played but I cannot remember half of them because it was a case of pick them, play them and move onto the next one.  I didn’t have much of a plan.  However, I do remember playing the following, in no particular order:

My top tunes are always listed here.  I might take a pen and paper next time so I can answer those "what did you play questions".

There is another DJ set in the pipeline which is in Basingstoke on 21st July, in the evening and apparently I am allowed to play whatever I like.  Ho, ho ho.  Minimal mixed with Whigfield, here we come.

The next Free House Project is Saturday 1st September – though it would be nice to find somewhere else in Reading to play before then...not too subtle a hint.

Oh and here are the DJ stats of my career so far that I am sure you are dying to know:

Rihanna Request Count: Zero
Decent Request Count: One (I would have played it but I was going down a different route in my head and not enough time)
Blow Job Offer Count: Zero
Champagne Bottles Given To DJ: Zero
Grams of Cocaine Offered To DJ: Zero

Not quite superstar yet...

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Death To Vocals (A Love Story) - My Third Recorded Mix

This is actually my third mix of project Superstar DJ, despite it being released 4th.

You know I like to do things differently.  Perhaps too differently this time though.

The other thing about it is that I tried to make it a concept mix, so not only just trying to pick music that flows but also that told a story – in this case a love story.  Whether it works or not I will leave up to you to judge – it worked brilliantly when I was in the right mood but in the cold light of day I think I may have ruined it with my "extra touches".

Before you ask - the love story is just a love story.  It isn't based on my life or anyone else I know.

I do not think this is my best, other DJs tell me you get more self-critical as you go on, and I think perhaps I am trying to run before I can walk, so for my next mix I am going to try to go back to basics, stick to one genre or two.  And keep the microphone switched off - oh well you have to try things don't you?

The tracklisting is as follows:

1. Azari & Iii - Into The Night (Nicolas Jaar Remix)
2. No Regular Play - Lookin'
3. Tanner Ross - 4u (Deniz Kurtel Remix)
4. Nine Kraviz - You Take
5. Noir - Around (Solomun Remix)
6. Luca C & Brigante - Different Morals (Clockwork Remix)
7. David K - Somewhere In My Head (Deetron Remix)
8. Pillow Talk - The Come Back
9. Duke - So In Love With You (Gummihz Edit)
10. Whodini - Friends
11. Human League - Don't You Want Me (Extended Mix)
12. Steffi - Sadness
13. My Favourite Robot - Wakinda Park (Art Department Edit)

And why - 

1. Azari & Iii - Into The Night (Nicolas Jaar Remix) - This is a brilliant track to warm up with, it comes in too parts and it builds up a romantic story.
2. No Regular Play - Lookin' - A super next track to build up the mix more and hopefully get people warmed up to the idea of dancing, and also it seems to tell a story of being stood up.
3. Tanner Ross - 4u (Deniz Kurtel Remix) - This is a bhttp://www.mixcloud.com/jamesthemonkeh/death-to-vocals-a-love-story/it more mellow and also a slightly sad track, with the girl saying sorry in a way.
4. Nine Kraviz - You Take - A James Winfield mix is not a James Winfield mix without a bit of Nina Kraviz and she develops the story by advising that she is poison for the other person's love.
5. Noir - Around (Solomun Remix) - This is such a massive track, and such a fantastic track - and with an increasingly bitter guy thinking "what goes around comes around"
6. Luca C & Brigante - Different Morals (Clockwork Remix) - A bit more of a relaxed laid back vibe with a guy who is coming to the conclusion that they have different morals and cannot be together.
7. David K - Somewhere In My Head (Deetron Remix) - I slowed down this track quite a bit, quite an angry vocal with the increasingly annoyed and jilted guy who just wants to get out of his head.
8. Pillow Talk - The Come Back - I love this song, it comes in too parts, one slow and cute, the other rnb (yes sorry!).  And yes, he wants her back.
9. Duke - So In Love With You (Gummihz Edit) - A cracking remix of an old track - minimal mixing, it didn't really need it given the direction I am going in.  Needs no explanation as to its place in the story.
10. Whodini - Friends - Hip-hop.  Yes, a track about the value of friends, and it seems like this guy might need them.
11. Human League - Don't You Want Me (Extended Mix) - Classic 80's electro track, and the guy still cannot get over her.
12. Steffi - Sadness - A very sad house track to almost finish the mix (and a crap mix into it, oops).
13. My Favourite Robot - Wakinda Park (Art Department Edit) - Time for a walk in the park.  This track goes on for quite a time and is just perfect melancholy.

As always I would love your thoughts even if they are negative.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Radio Bang Bang

I don’t have a massive amount to update you on with regards to my superstar DJ project at the moment, I keep really wanting to do a new mix but for one reason or another, I am just not getting around to it.

Mostly working, travelling to work, designing and organising the Free House Project, and the joyful beaurocracy of life are all getting in the way.  That and needing to find a DJ-friendly but also a much, much cheaper place to live.

However I do have a snippet of good news for you because my good friend Muzzy, also known as Sebastien Klone, runs a weekly radio show on Hoxton FM, on Tuesday evening.  He has requested that I do a one-hour mix for one of his shows, which would be an hour, so now I need to get working on it.

Pressure is on as I would like to get it done asap – I cannot put it off forever.  Especially as it might be an extra little snippet of promotion for FHP.

I will endeavour to make it my most special yet, to warm you up for the Free House Project.  I have so many tracks to put in there!

Much love x

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A Party Announcement!

Edit - now Saturday 23rd June.

After careful consideration, I realised that the world cannot cope with two such major events on the same weekend - and let's face it, if I still have pretensions of getting in there with the royal family, then I cannot be seen to attempt to upstage Her Majesty on her big weekend.

Apologies if you had already booked hotel rooms with champagne lounges, etc but I am sure they will all still be available on Saturday 23rd June.  And I have been assured that there will be good house music around in Reading that Bank Holiday weekend too.


So just 5 days after my superstar dj launch, I have a venue booked for my first ever house music party.

4th June.  Bank holiday Monday, and the queen gave us Tuesday off too especially for the launch party.

It will be free entry.

I'll release more details when I have some more DJs of the house variety booked.  And a name for the party.  And a flyer.  And a website.  And I guess a new blog!

I will of course be playing.

Any suggestions for DJs very welcomed as I do want to look outside my usual circle as well as inside.

It is very much going to be a house party event.  Approximately 78.3% house music.

Apologies for the lack of info so far but I am way too excited to keep it quiet! x

Sunday, 15 April 2012

First Ever DJ Set

I didn't have to wait long for my next opportunity of a debut set.

Friday night between and 8 and 9pm at the Blagrave Arms in Reading town centre - not a pub usually associated with any form of dance music to my mind, and not a pub that really ever has anybody in it whenever I walk past, for one reason or another.

But it had a handful of people in for my debut, which is probably perfect, I am too accustomed to bedroom DJing on my industry standard decks and mixer so playing out on a different set of equipment, not too different but different all the same was a little bit of a challenge and challenge is good.

I guess playing at 8pm on a Friday is never going to be the ideal time - too late for much of the post-work crowd, too early for most of the night-out crowd but it was perfect for me to test myself - and the promoter, Tim Sharpe, could not have been any more welcoming or encouraging.

I played house music, as you would expect, I managed to bring it down from a starting rate of 126bpm to 121bpm - my kind of speed!  I even had a dancer or two, and a couple of compliments, a couple of friends asking me the name of the tune I played.

I did make a few errors.  As I said I was used to my equipment, not somebody else's, and I knocked the master volume up too much once, but even better than that, at one point when I was trying to mix the next tune in, I could sense something wasn't right, I could feel people looking at me and in their eyes 'sort it out' and Tim kindly pointed out that I had knocked the loop button, oops.

But for a first set, I think I did well and most importantly I enjoyed it.

I have definitely taken my first step, and a good one it was.

And now I am just looking forward to my next opportunity.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Definitely My DJing Debut! Friday 13th April in Reading 8pm to 9pm

So, at the second time of asking, I should be making my DJing debut on a Friday.

This time at The Blagrave Arms in the centre of Reading, just around the corner from the Oakford.

I'll be playing for Tim Sharpe, a long-standing underground house/techno promoter in Reading, and damn good DJ.

I am not aware of house music ever having being played at this venue, so another good reason to come down - if like me you want to see more good quality house/techno in the centre of Reading instead of bland chain-bar pop-dance that is boringly ubiquitous.

I'll be playing between 8pm and 9pm, a nice little warm-up, perfect for my debut.

I would love to see a few friendly faces there - just think, this is your opportunity for when I am as famous and revered a superstar DJ as Paris Hilton, to say - "I was there".

Friday 13th April 2012 - 8pm to 9pm.

Yes - Friday 13th.  Why the hell not?

Friday, 6 April 2012

Nobody Said It Would Be Plain Sailing

I should have seen it coming when I went to the Iraqi computer shop to print my cd track-listings this afternoon only to find it closed.  Yes, if it were run by English or Spanish or Lithuanians, I can understand, and I know there are a few Christians in Iraq, or at least there were before Tony & Guy bush scared them away - at the very least, some of the slightly anti-western propaganda displayed in my local internet cafe suggested to me that of course they would be open on "Good Friday" - Muslims, after all, don't celebrate Easter do they?

Forgive me if I am wrong, I am not really sure about what religions do what and when - I have a vague idea, normally notified to me by way of presents, chocolate or fireworks.

I probably would have been better off trying to play a set of Nina Kraviz's slutty filthy house music in a mosque than Basingstoke Town Centre.

I was always aware that my music, despite how much I feel it has poked it's face above the underground in recent months and years, was never going to fit in with a clone town like Basingstoke which seems to have less personality than a pen lid.  However, I was supposed to be playing in the garden, so nobody would take any notice as they would be too busy on with their fags, and hence, nobody would take offence.

It was probably karma that bit me.  I was on the way to Basingstoke, and I was on "The Slug"

Yes I know, to my readers in most parts of the north, this kind of train would be a luxury, but I think it is ugly, and hence I told the ticket inspector that his train was ugly.

I had expected him to go along with me in bonhomie but instead he asked me for a comparison - I said of course, the South West trains are so much smoother, and slicker looking, and he turned around to me, probably not celebrating Easter though I guess I should have learnt my lesson by now about judging people's ethnicity, etc by skin colour as he turned around and said that it doesn't matter if it is ugly or not, because it is British engineering, and British workers made these trains - and British workers didn't make the nicer, smoother, more comfortable trains that I previously mentioned.

I was a little stumped, though more overly shocked at his passionate defence of my flippant comment, and I did make my comeback and explained it in terms of the relevance to tax-payers - why accept shit trains just because they are British?  I started to explain the theory of comparative advantage, and he did reluctantly accept that the "HTC645's are a much sexier train".  I may have got the HTC645 bit a bit wrong as I was clearly well out of my depth and he had to go deal with drunk cyclist hiding a dog in his bag on the train.

Anyway, so the garden where I was supposed to be playing had had it's soundsystem removed and I spent two hours listening to why my music would be so unacceptable and I snapped and realised that if I am going to do this DJ thing - I need to do it right.  I need to do it my way.

I am not doing any old DJ sets for the sake of it.

I fear that I may be coming across as a bit of a diva however I am not wanting to put the venue or the promoter's short-comings in public, so lets just say that everything was absolutely not right for a beginner to have a crack at DJing - had I persisted, it probably would have set me back in terms of enthusiasm, desire and confidence so best not to waste my time and effort any longer and come home with my debut still to be determined when it will be...and it will come.

And it would be much better if my debut was in Reading.  The town I know, and the town that I think I still just about love...in comparison to elsewhere.

The slug certainly got me back to Reading at a good speed.

Reliability shat on creativity.  The show will go on.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

James Winfield Debut DJ Set Upcoming...

It's been a while since I have posted on my Superstar DJ blog, 16th February to be exact so about 6 weeks ago if I can still add up.

But I do now have something to show you:

Yes - you read correctly at the bottom, that is my name!

I've felt ready to test the DJing water for a while, wondering where I would get my first opportunity, and I am delighted that I am getting to play my debut for a very good friend, Paul Jay, someone who is not only a very good friend but is also a very good promoter and DJ too, who has put on some excellent parties in Reading that I used to frequent a few years ago - along with regular parties in Cardiff, and nowadays Basingstoke - amongst other places.

In the end, all I had to do was ask.

And I will be alongside two other very good friends - I couldn't really ask for any more.

So this week is all about that little bit extra effort in tune-searching, burning some more CDs and spending a decent amount of time behind the decks.

Don't ask me what I am going to play yet - I have some ideas but it just depends on what I am feeling, and what the people in the garden like and react to...what they hopefully dance to.  I won't be planning it, I will just have a few tunes in mind and apart from the handful that I really want to play, I will just go with the flow of the night.

Roll on Friday - a Very Good Friday indeed :-)

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Minus 10 Point 2 - My Fourth Recorded DJ Mix

This mix didn't really have a particular objective like my previous two released mixes (and the one unreleased one which I need to re-do so it can have a very special surprise on).

I simply had a craving to get a good chunk of the fantastic new tunes I have discovered into a mix - I started off with a pool of 25 tracks and a vague direction.

I wasn't overly in love with it on my first listen back but I am growing to love it.

I hope you do too.

Oh the name is quite uninspired - it was simply the lowest temperature last weekend in Reading when it was damn cold.  Maybe this will warm you up?

James x

1. Solomun - Something We All Adore - I am becoming a huge fan of Solomun and I really want to go see him DJing at some point in 2012.  I love this track and it shows the intention of my mix.
2. Ruede Hagelstein & The Noblettes - A Priori (Noir Remix) - This just took the mix up a gear in my opinion, more lovely basslines.
3. Metrika - You Owe Me A Feeling - More emotive slow house.
4. Jamie Jones - Rockbat - I've slowed this down considerably and it chugs along bleeping merrily - nice not to have any vocals in it!  And he gave it away free - another good reason to use it!
5. My Favourite Robot - Forest Fires - This just seemed to work perfectly, I am a big fan of My Favourite Robot and this is more emotive kind of deep vocal house, first discovered on the Visionquest fabric CD.
6. Storm Queen - It Goes On (Dub) - This makes total sense as the next track - I discovered this on the Art Department Essential Mix which is excellent.
7. Laura Jones - Love In Me (Eats Everything's Loving You Re-Work) - I was wondering what to play before my next tune and thought about playing the original which I love but it has been around for a while now and this remix by an artist that I am most definitely keeping my eye on for 2012 seemed to take it in the direction I wanted.
8. Aardvarck - That Pig (Unreleased Extended Mix) - There wasn't really any way for me to mix this well but I wanted to play it so in it went, a better DJ would have been able to do it with effects and loops etc - I'm not at that stage yet.  This really takes the mix up a notch or five in a garage style.  Just try telling me you don't love those 90's garage synth stabs!
9. Idjut Boys - Droid - I was struggling to think of something that would work and didn't have much time so I dug out this dub disco track from a few years back - I knew where I wanted to go but had to slow it down quite a lot.
10. Doctor's Cat - Feel The Drive - Another one that wasn't really going to mix easily - I discovered this on an old Secretsundaze mix cd and it is cool as.  DISCO!
11. Metronomy - She Wants (Javi Redondo & Carreno Is Lb Re-Edit) - This track is such a tease, I fell in love with it despite a rotten hangover.  I was going to end with it...but...
12. Art Department & Seth Troxler - Living The Life (Aba Therapy Version) - I was going to put this track much earlier in the mix but I thought it finished off things well, I love the plinking sounds.

And that is that.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Does It Ever Change? My Second Recorded Mix

I used to be "well-known" locally for shouting the word "minimal" at funky house DJs in local bars and clubs, circa 2006/07.

My plan failed.  But I am not completely ready to give up trying to show the beauty of minimal to the unconverted - though this being me, it isn't just minimal.

Available to listen on Mixcloud (it is better than Soundcloud!), or to download from Megaupload.

The tracklisting is as follows:

1. Ellen Allien - My Tree (Ripperton Backlash Remix)
2. Ricardo Villalobos & Los Updates - I Miss You So Much
3. Masomenos - Coco
4. Cassius - The Sound Of Violence (Franco Cinelli Remix)
5. Nina Kraviz - I'm Gonna Get You (Melon's X-Rated Version)
6. Butch - Rawhide
7. Melon - Money (Sascha Dive's 15 Minute Melodrama Mix)
8. Luciano - Back To Front
9. Talk Talk - It's My Life

And why:

1. Ellen Allien - My Tree (Ripperton Backlash Remix) - The track I was going to put first was just too boring to start with, even for what I am trying to achieve, and I randomly pressed play on this track, and I was like, hmm, that works as a first track.
2. Ricardo Villalobos & Los Updates - I Miss You So Much - Ricardo is my favourite producer, ever.  End of.  And my second favourite DJ - my previous mix was too up-tempo to include something by him.
3. Masomenos - Coco - This continues the minimal plodding for a whole longer - until it produces a surprise! I'll say no more about it.
4. Cassius - The Sound Of Violence (Franco Cinelli Remix) - This is totally different to what has gone before, in my eyes, a bit more housey sounding with beautiful and recognisable vocals.  Goosebump potential.
5. Nina Kraviz - I'm Gonna Get You (Melon's X-Rated Version) - The only artist to appear on both of my mixes so far, I just love Nina's vocals and this remix strips it back perfectly, ready for the next track.
6. Butch - Rawhide - Not the easiest track to mix as it starts up pretty sharpish, and not minimal by any stretch of the imagination but I just had to play it - it is a bit of a head-fuck if you are a little gone with the wind - I love things like this!
7. Melon - Money (Sascha Dive's 15 Minute Melodrama Mix) - Too much excitement recently so I have put on a really long boring song.  But I think it has real depth and beauty to it.
8. Luciano - Back To Front - Luciano was one of those who first got me into minimal - years before he decided to compete with SHM and play Whitney Houston (I did consider putting the minimal remix of Whitney Houston in instead but I thought it a bit too silly).  Anyway, a few years old but a bit of a 15 minute minimal classic.  Honest!
9. Talk Talk - It's My Life - I played this to my friend, Sam, in Ibiza back in September.  She said something like "What is this shit?".  It's my shit.  It's My Life.  And I am doing it my way.  And I love my life.  I hope you love your life.  And I hope you love this song.  You might recognise it.  And you might now never ever listen to a mix of mine again!

I think my next mix is going to be much more house-orientated.