Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 86: CD Business

Today I finally got round to getting the CDs sorted. Whilst I bought some earlier this month, I decided that rather than just make do with plain old CDRs in sleeves, I would go that little bit further and get them properly printed up with my custom design (on the disk itself) for the pro look.

I had been looking at a few places, but they all worked out being way too expensive for small runs, plus you needed to record the CDs with them too, and it all became a bit too much.

CD goings on.

The place I found however seems just right. They'll print em up for me as blanks, which is great, cos it means I can add different mixes to them as I go along, rather than have to do 50 of one mix. That way they might be quite old by the time I get them out, this way I can keep em fresh.

I have a stack of Jiffy bags, and some addresses ready to go, so hopefully when they are done next week, I can start in earnest on the direct promo side of things.

I will do some CDRs up too, keep a few in my bag etc for those 'you never know' moments, or for dropping about in town.

I'll up a photo once they are done to show what they look like.




Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 85: Whatever happened to Breaks?

On the metro coming back from home I was in a rare situation where I didn't have any new/unlistened to music on my iPod, so, seeing as I insist on carrying around 50Gb of music with me, I decided to delve in to the archives.

I opted for a cheeky little mix by Freq Nasty, and this got me thinking... whatever happened to Breaks?

For a few years, not very long ago, Breaks probably occupied 90% plus of my musical horizon. Now I barely see mention of it. I mean this could just be because I'm not looking.

So I googled Freq Nasty, up comes his myspace, couple of gigs in Hawaii, but not as crammed as you might expect for a DJ of his calibre. I also found his official homepage, not updated since 2007 :(

Ok, so Aquasky... these guys were all over the scene last time I checked in... hmmm their home page seems to have a media player, with the latest podcast. Sadly, just sits there not playing anything.

It's like everyone got off the Breaks bus all at the same time.

Beer, the perfect side to any order of Breaks.

Ok, so I checked Beatport, and Aquasky did a remix that came out last November, and Freq Nasty even has something going on this Year, DUB STEP! Maybe that's what happened. Dub Step rumbled round the corner and stole every one's ideas...

So from here on, I am pledging a full on Breaks come back. And to kick it off, the March Minimix will be Breaks-tastic.

It really does feel like everyone started sleeping with Dub Step behind Breaks' back... so Breaks shuffled off in a huff all 16-beaty, and unloved.

Come back Breaks... please forgive us!




Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 84: All you ever wanted to know about DJing with Ableton (and a little bit more).

'Whaaaaaaaaat' I hear you say. Abletons not Djing... blah blah blah.

OK, this is a hot potato in DJing circles I guess. I obviously have my own views on it. Seriously though, in this case, I really can see both sides of the story, to the point where it seems insane that people can't see it my way (I get that a lot, but this time I reeeally mean it :)

Back in the 70s/80s DJing was a pioneering art form. Two records, beat matched? WTF!!! Then it went mental with all the scratch hip hop DJs etc. Then Acid house and rave bought its tricks to the table, making beat matching a fine art and pushing things even further.

Then it seemed like Vinyl would rule for ever, never would technology achieve what you could do with Vinyl. Seems laughable now really as clearly Vinyl is seriously licking it's wounds right now.

Anyways, the point is... at what point did DJs go from pioneers, to beardy retro ass holes. Seriously, nothing more annoying than scouring some forum to see some bile spouting from some 17 year old knob end who probably doesn't even DJ whinging that if you use software you're a fraud etc.

Don't get me wrong, I think ALL DJs should have to be able to beat match. It's essential. And it is a fine pleasure to create a wonderful blend using just your hands and ears. Very satisfying indeed.

Two things tho:

Once you see what you can achieve with an Ableton DJ set up, you might want to rethink your stance.

Anyone who has tried DJing with Ableton will know right now that it actually DOESN'T do it all for you. At best, it tries. But almost always gets it wrong, or slightly off. So you still have to correct it anyway. So really you still need to know how to beat match, what a bar is, what a phrase is, and what kills are, and why you might want them.

Some vinyl boys don't even know that.

To sum up... and this is what I don't understand that other people can't see as being so obvious... why are they exclusive? Isn't the best thing to use them both... combine them. Explore the possibilities, mash everything up.

Make a session, remix on the fly, jam for a section, then drop back in to the mix. NOW who's the daddy. Not you you beardy nostalgia junky still trying to blend that outtro with that intro...

Anyway, here is everything you could possibly ever want to know about DJing in Ableton live




Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 83: Zelda, 8-bit format

First of all, I was thinking, I haven't really pimped this months Phase 3 mix that much so far... so


Ok, that's righted that wrong.

The next wrong that needs righting is the lack of video made from Japanese tv adverts for songs by Boy 8-bit. What's that? There's one right below this sentence? Wicked Awesome!




Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 82: Overly Social.

Today is a predictable rant about social networks. It probably wont be anything you haven't heard about them already... or maybe it will who knows.

I'm neither a lover nor a hater, but the experiences a friend of mine seems to be having with them, and the growing number of sites I have registered with inspired me to have a mild rant.

The friend in question is constantly registering and un registering himself, in some weird yet exciting cycle of unconvincedness (if that be a word) can I, or can't I be bothered, am I, or am I not missing the party. etc.

I however am having the opposite problem. Since launching Bang the DJ I have joined: myspace, imeem,youtube,qik,soundcloud, updated my twitter, dj download,mixupload and obviously registered here.

All in the name of getting social.

i.e. whoring for promotion. The problem is they all have their own nuances, way of doing things, and minimum level of effort required to derive any value out of them. Oh I forgot, I also happen to work for a social network too!

Last night I registered with imeem. I didn't really want to, but I read somewhere it was a good place to expose/listen to music. So laboriously off I went, same old process, same picture uploaded, same questions asked (same hilariously wacky answers).

Two years ago this would have been super exciting, and I'd have been burrowing deep in to the inner workings of the site to maximise how exciting it was. Now I just upload a pic, a tune and leave it... like a stepchild, under the stairs.

Myspace was the first one I joined, it was also the first one I ditched. It's now probably one of the ones I use the most once again.

It's not overly complicated, it's got loads of users, and music/artists. And weirdly I like all the manic gif's and over populated slide shows etc. It's part of myspace now, all that - giving it a really strong identity. Unlike say Vox... I don't know if I can handle any more tho, please can we agree, thats it... no more.

oh actually one more... I've just discovered that as I have an AIM account, I already have a bebo account without realising!

Already there is a shade for every taste myspace into imeem into facebook, the difference is so gradual as to be unnoticeable.

No more captchas no more applications, personality tests, friend requests from indian freelancers. Please.

That said, don't forget to add me...




Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 81: New Skool retro.

We love the New Skool retro vibe here at BTDJ towers (see how long it is before that name catches on, you heard it here first).

What could be more New Skool Retro, than a touch screen midi controller that looks like an Etch-a-Sketch.




Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 80: Sweet Cut


Some of you may remember I talked a while back about writing a series of posts following the progress of a remix I was going to work on. Well typically all that went out the window, and I have started two whole different songs since then.

What seems to happen is this, I start something, get all over excited about it, then read a bit more from the Dance Music Manual, start meddling with a new idea, then get all distracted and enthusiastic about that, repeat...

So this brings me on to today's distraction. After yesterdays experiments with 'Analog' I started forming the fundamentals of a track from it. Then I dabbled with some acappellas I had lying around.

The more I listened to it, the more I got in to it... and, well, to cut a long story short I somehow seem to have created the nearest thing yet to an actual proper tune!

My sound card is a bit shit, and I've not reached the chapter about mixing down yet, so it's still brash and unpolished... but I'm quite impressed with it, even if I do say so myself.

I actually have one or two friends that work in Studios, so might pull a favour to see if I can get it properly mixed and levelled, you know for a laff.

In the meantime, have a listen and see what you think:

Sweet Cut - Bang the DJ