Friday, 5 August 2011

Jack on Crack & Kilo of Haze

Well I did draft a blog entry at the beginning of the week but it seems I never saved it before rebooting my laptop, so I'll start again.

Warm welcome and Happy Friday to those who tune in to my blog to check out the evolution of GKP Music and my mission to learn how to DJ.

Last weekend I caught up with http://shotty.co.uk over at 4HF Records HQ. The time spent was excessivle fuelled by liquor and herb. I'm not advocating the uses of illicit substances but it's my life and from time to time my decision sways in favour of being intoxicated to some degree.

I arrived on the Friday and checked out some musical projects that shotty had been working on up to that point. We briefly discussed the twists and turns of the evolution of shotty's talent to produce and where he's currently at with regard to what's in development. All I can say is "good things" are on the horizon for this guy. His music is sounding better and better. It's refreshing to still be in the midst of people who have a desire to succeed at that which they put a lot of time and energy into.

The last time I was at 4HF HQ would have been October 2010, which was probably the first time me and shotty set up and DJ'd back2back but we had an audience at his studio - that was good :) [lol]. I must admit, the first time sounded very messy for the most part and I kinda wondered how the second time would compare. More on that!

It wasn't long until we reached a respectable level of altered conciousness before ideas for working on our second co-produced track began to surface. I played two of my mock up drum loop efforts that I had been working on previous, to which I don't think shotty was impressed lol. I quite like DJing Electro House and like the sounds that resonate from such tracks. So from this point we sat infront of Cubase and began building a tune from the bottom up after deciding on taking the House/Electro House route. This is not a genre that shotty usually works with so it was an interesting move.

Starting with the all important drum arrangement, we proceeded to grow a track. I was very keen to create a Michael Jackson remix of a sort, so we developed this track to be a Jackson 5 remix. I won't go into too much details but this track was great to work on. Many of the techniques used are what shotty has learned and nurtured for many many years. This enabled us to complete most of this track, upto around 75%, in one sitting. Apart from moving, resizing, adding and removing a few bits and pieces as well as compleing the vocal synchronisation there was very little to do during the second bout. Respect to shotty on that front, I don't know what it's like to work with professional producers at branded studios but I imagine it to be quite similar.

We reached the 75% mark and put the producing to rest temporarily and then hit the decks. We did an hour or two of back to back, which at first sounded muddy, but we quickly came to an arrangement that removed all the clashing. We agreed to record a back to back set the following evening after finishing the track in production. Cool!

Track finished, 8 red stripe, 1 Magners, and possibly 2 bottles of wine, as well as copious amounts of spliffage later and we were quite proud of the new track. It then came to naming the track! I won't go through the potentials but we settled on Jack On Crack simply because it's Michael Jackson with a hint of the classic Nutcracker. That's it, nothing at all to do with anything else - remember where you read it first lol!!

On shedule we laid down a mix on Saturday evening which turns out to be one of shotty's podcasts featuring guest DJ GKP, me!! It was a good 90 minutes of mixing a tune each. Compared to the pracitice session and our first back to back session a year prior, I think we handled it quite well not to mention the level of substance abuse, namely alcohol, up to this point. The back to back session is up on house-mixes. I thought about adding it to my ustream archive as a podcast but simply haven't gotten round to doing it yet.

Podcast clip featuring Jack on Crack in the mix

I arrived back in Brum on the Sunday after taking a detour via Global Gathering to pick up Charlotte, Emma & India. That was a mission and a half and after drinking a bottle of cider en route and chonging a bit of weed my mind went to another place - No I wasn't driving!. All I need add to that is that I needed to lay down for a few hours once I got back to base :/ shotty's fault, I didn't mean I wanted a keg of Magners! Just the smallest bottle would have been ample after heavily indulging for the past 48 hours and skipping breakfast.

Any way big massive respect!
And to round off this latest entry I'll quickly talk about my latest solo mix upload to house-mixes. It called 'Kilo of Haze' as I certainly felt like I had consumed just that upon starting this mix. I love it. It's my cleanest sounding mix ever! Not to mention it features Jack On Crack as a lead track in poll positioin. I thoroughly enjoyed putting this one together and working very hard on the transitions. I certainly want more of this to shine through in future mixes. I'm very happy because I can still demonstrate to myself how well I am doing in terms of manifesting what I'm learning about DJing. August is the 18th month marker of the beginning of my learning on how to DJ. I'm confident I've been using my time constructively whilst ironing out the many creases along the way.

Oh, and there's a chance I'll be dropping a few tracks at 2Ba:Bu's upcoming house parties; one this month, one next month, and then there's the all important Boxing Night event Mark II which is also in the pipeline. If I can play 3 blinding hour sets for the remainder of the year I'll be ever more chuffed with how much I've developed my ears & eyes for DJing and they would be excellent milestones having been hard at this DJing lark for 2 years come January. I might even then go on to get a real DJ slot someplace - but that's not important yet. There's still much work to be done in my opinion.