Friday, 17 December 2010

Friday's Entry

After being asked by a few people about my bashment/dancehall mixes I decided to do a decent length mix set with some of the reggae riddims I've acquired over the course of time.

I uploaded it to some regular file sharing host that doesn't have a player for streaming. I managed to figure out how I could get one of the facebook apps to compensate for this but I'm still not completely happy as my mix is only playable from a single place which is on my page.

In a sense this is great. It means simply means anyone who wants to listen to the mix has to go to my FB page, but this limits my sharing capabilities and enabling others to drop the link on their walls and have their friends stream from the link.

So, I've gone to twitter and had a look to see who was talking about #Bashment and #Dancehall and then I've tweeted them and pointed them toward my track list and play link. hopefully this will pull some listeners in. I'm a bit sceptical about this method of advertising. It may work, but as I only have one reggae mix set uploaded and accessible from my page I may find that I'll have to add more to keep some people coming back in future. One Bashment mix amongst many many Electronic sets gives off signals lol.

What's done is done!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

3rd Wednesday before 2011 .. Pt2

Today's addition is another lengthy one. I all of a sudden feel that a 1 hour set is too short so and I don't think I'll be uploading any thing in future less than 120minutes. I've learned how to take my time with tracks. In earlier sets I was getting through 30 track an hour and not employing much creativity on a playing track. Now I've begun experimenting and trying to make better use of the tools before me as oppose to constantly changing the record. Transitions between tracks are getting more elongated and more seamless. I'm learning how to use different parts of a track to help me with the transitions too. Figuring out Beat-Matching seemed so long ago even though it is a highly essential skill. Automatically knowing which way to spin the jog-wheel when a track rides out is also something I've recently picked up. This and much more is what is now being used to better my sets.

I've said before, all that I think I am learning about mixing tunes could be a waste of time until I get in front of a crowd and they're all looking at me to keep them hyped. I don't feel nervous any more when I anticipate that a crowd might be in front of me, I'm very relaxed about DJing. I've realised that getting nervous on the decks makes me do things quickly and that's when mistakes can occur. Staying chilled, watching the remaining track time and choosing the appropriate next tracks is essential to being able to really enjoy playing music. I'm begining to think some of my transitions are as good as the tracks themselves, sometimes better. Some transition send a chill down my spine, some make me take the cans off to jump around. My enjoyment of DJing is ever growing.

Today's mix, 'I Broke My Breaks'. I'm sure I've seen this name used for a set before, but I don't care much - It's my time to brandish it and put my mark on it [Is that too big headed?]

3rd Wednesday before 2011 .. Pt1

Yesterday's upload took an extremely long time to upload. Over three hours! I had enough time to watch a movie and catch some zzZZeds before it had finished. So with that said I didn't make a blog entry about Tuesday's upload titled 'Territorial Lockout'. There is no strategy behind the majority of the names I give to these mixes. Usually, within 90 seconds of finishing a set I stand and look out toward the hills and wait for a few words to fall from the sky that describes something about the moment.

After naming I then have a look through google images to see what might be fitting to the mix I just created. One image might make me try another search string until something resonates. I then go to the GIMP/Photoshop and ready myself for some image manipulation. I don't always get the images right away, but the naming seems to always follow the same pattern.

I was very happy with 'Territorial Lockout' and this type of set is what I've been working towards. The mistakes I made we a plenty, but if I was playing a set on a night out at this level then most of that would have been drowned out by the environment. After all, most party goers do not stand, watch the DJ and poke holes at his/her set. Most aim to have a good time and providing the beats are keeping them entertained, their energy levels racing, and their focus on dancing and having a great time, there are welcomed mistakes that can be overlooked. I feel like I'm at that stage where my mistakes will only be bothersome to other DJs.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Long time no Entry ..

So what's been happening since my last entry? Not a lot really to be honest.

I'm 12 days away from having my first gig which is happening on Boxing Day. It's taken a test of will to develop the idea to now being expectant of a full house. The idea of putting on a gig has been bounced around between myself, Mr Lewis and 2Ba:Bu for a few months now. We were hoping shotty would have played a part and featured in our plans but it seems he has opted out. Nonetheless, without any prior knowledge of putting on an event the three of us persevered, obtained a venue free of charge, printed tickets at no immediate cost, hired a sound and lighting rig for a flexible fee and are in the process of rounding up the guests to come and have a Big Bad Boxing Night with us 8til8.

I'm not going to include the names of any additional people right now as our event is going to be pretty much underground with no open-door policy. It fits the category of a 'rave' more so than a Christmas Party, but if you know what a 'Free Party' is and the culture that is woven into it's fabric then you'll have a good idea of what we're in the process of achieving.

Thing haven't been straight forward. Everything has required planning, replanning and then replanning the replanning. We're not being stuck up about the whole thing so we've even invited guests to bring records if they wish to play a set; with our prior knowledge of course. We, as the organisers, do not see it as our party, but "OUR" party. It's for everyone invited so were not going to be the entertainers for the whole 12 hours even though we could quite easily do this between us. This has attracted a few known DJs who are going to come along with their vinyl & friends which helps to fill the venue.

We had it in mind to charge our guests £3.50 entry with the hope of 125 people turning in. This idea was supposed to fun out sound and lighting. We've since scrapped this idea and are making it a ticket only Free Party. If people choose to offer a donation throughout the night for our troubles then they can, but were not going make it a policy to buy a ticket. If it wasn't for our Sound & Lighting Man being so flexible we wouldn't have been able to throw a night at all. Big Thanks to S & P, respectively Venue, Light & Sound.

So that's a brief summary of some of what's been going on musically. Party Planning!

Even though shotty decided recently to stop communicating with me for a few weeks, there is still hope that me and him will be putting on a gig at a night club in Leicestershire around the end of January 2011. It would be nice to start the year as I mean to go on which is putting to use everything I've learned about DJing so far. Ideally I'd like to be involved with putting on a minimum of 10 gigs in the new year, preferably more. So fingers crossed, shotty will stop being Mr sulky pants because operating as a quartet collective the four of us could take our individual interests in music much further than we could if we continue to move solo. The options are still open, I'll know what I'm doing once Boxing Day has been a success and the talk of the town. I've already designed the January event Flyer and sent it to shotty and he says he likes it. Hopefully this will keep the vision alive. It would be ace if he came to the Boxing Day jam and brought his missus but it's up to him really.

Hmm, what else has gone on? I've had the flu for a week and didn't have a mix for a whole week. I was hopeful that my mixing wouldn't have turned shabby due to the time off. I must be out of the beginner DJ phase now because I've come back as strong as ever. I'm currently listening to today's set and it's sounds sick. If I play like this on party night, regardless of what people say, I'll feel very ready to go on and play more than one set. I can't wait for the feedback when I upload it. I expect this will be leading my downloads ranking within 7 days. But there again, Breakbeat is one of those init? lol

I've uploaded 5 mixes since my last blog entry but I won't talk about all of them in any detail. I acquired some more tunes and tried to add some variety to my flow. Having played a lot of my old stock multiple times and in different orders I though it was full time I tried something a little more fresh. I also went though my track collections sifting out the dull sounding tracks and categorising many of my tracks by sound quality. this has helped tremendously with achieving more volume-balanced sets. I came to realise that I was trying to get the software's EQ to over compensate for dull tracks. Now things are sounding much much better, although some of the tracks I like to play have now had to be sidelined due to sound quality issues.

What else can I add? Hmm, not much really. I think I've typed enough. My next entry will accompany today's recording and upload in a couple hours time.