Thursday, 21 May 2015

I Cannot Think Of A Title For This Superstar DJ Update

I was back in my favoured warm-up slot on Friday night.  Why is it favoured?

Because I can play my favourite music.

So I started off which some melancholic dub techno, at quite a slow BPM, I think it was around 118bpm.  Far too underground for most people but considering there were about 6 people there, it seemed mood-settingly appropriate.

30 minutes later, despite there being just a couple of dozen people there, one lady kept asking me if I could play something banging, just for her.  Or some jungle.  I deflected her requests but I did relent and progressed smoothly into deep house – the gorgeous sunshine-filled deep house, not the anti-deep house of the charts.

As the second hour of my set commenced, I changed track into playing minimal, but quite twisted minimal – definitely tracks you could dance to.

It was filling up nicely by time midnight approached, and I played increasingly dancefloor-friendly yet still underground tracks, and finished off on this beauty, it still sounds so good.

Musically I think it was the cleverest set I have played live.  There was little planning, as usual I had practiced my first two tracks and little else.  Though there were more slightly-off mixes than I would have preferred, and one mix that just sounded awful.  Every month I say it, I need to practice more.  I spend more time DJing live then practicing.

A wise man one said you can only become an expert at something with 10,000 hours practice.  Maybe I am at 300 hours in total.

The night itself went really well, with two masterful DJ sets that followed me.  And it stayed busy right until the end, people kept dancing.  I am hoping this is a sign that word is spreading of the night as it seemed busier than the rest of the Turtle.

Next up we have the charming Terri headlining on Friday 19th June.  Otherwise known as TAB.  There are a couple of items on the agenda in the coming months that could be very special if they come off, but you won’t hear anything from me until and if they are confirmed.

I will also be recording a house mix too.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Not My Sister's Taste In Music

I spent years trying to convert my sister to the charms of house music when we were growing up.  I even made her a couple of tapes when we were young.

I think she coped with the house music but was particularly put-off by my jungle phase, her walls being adorned with Spice Girls, Westlife and Steps.

Thankfully she made it out of manufactured music but ended up an indie kid – so we pretty much have diametrically opposed music tastes.  I failed in my childhood conversion attempts.

So a few months back, I set myself a task of trying to design a mix that could be influenced by her music tastes but yet still be music I love.

Appropriate tracks were few and far between, but eventually I collected enough track ideas – a lot of male vocals that could have been stripped from indie tracks, with guitar licks, and often deep trance melodies.

Upon the first attempt, I realised that there was a big problem.  Too many of the tracks sounded the same.

So I went back into research mode – this is a mix that was well-planned, unlike some other mixes and all of my live DJ sets that are pretty much off the cuff.

It needed to be well-planned for there really wasn’t a whole load of tracks that would fit the rather tight criteria.

Eventually I found some tech-house which fit the mood, and some more guitary kind of tracks.

The mix isn’t going to win any underground awards.  I doubt I will listen to it more than a few times.  The levels on a couple of the early mixes are slightly off, and on the last mix I clearly lost concentration.  But I didn’t fancy recording the whole mix again.

I have accomplished what I set out to achieve and I think most people will enjoy it.  As always, I would dearly like your thoughts, good or bad.  Feedback and practice are the two ways I will improve.

Next up I will be DJing at the Purple Turtle on Friday 15th May which I am looking forward to having nearly burnt down the place last time.  It was rather busy last time and there were a good few close friends there which is always touching.

Except when I cleared the dancefloor by playing heavy duty techno.  And then again when I started a small fire.