Saturday, May 9, 2009

Day 128: Trade Secrets #1 DJ Donna Summer interview and Exclusive mp3

Bangers, for those cave dwellers, DJ Donna Summer is a Berlin based DJ, producer, boundary shunning all round nice guy. He runs two labels, the excellent Nightshifters (Home to Hostage and AC Slater among others) and Cock Rock Disco, which is, well... words just can't describe, so check it for yourself.

His sounds range from Breakcore, Happy Hardcore, Rave , Sample-pop to whatever else you might image, but always focusing on fun times.

I asked the good man if he wouldn't mind doing a quick interview, and giving us his spin on how to make it as a DJ. Not only that but he was kind enough to regale us with a mix, AND an EXCLUSIVE copy of Nightshifters' next release, in full 320 before it's even out.


Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into DJing and the whole scene?

I've been a professional musician for a long time. It only comes as natural that people ask you to do Dj gigs. After screwing a few up, you get a bit more serious, and then when you get serious you want to do better gigs and before you know it you call yourself a DJ at cocktail parties.

What for you were the key moments/things that got you from bedroom DJ to professional/full timer?

Being involved in a community. Throwing parties, helping with parties, playing for free, just being involved in general.

Do you think that it's easier, or harder now to make it as a DJ/Producer?

It's neither really. It just takes hard work and the drive to do it.

Top 5 tips for anyone looking to get in to DJ/producing?

tip 1-3: be passionate about music, any sort of music.
tip 4: spend some time to figure out out to mix and perform your sets professionally
tip 5: always try to have fun at every show, all the time, forever

Top 5 things NOT to do?

1-5: Don't be a dick

What do you think is more important, raw talent, or 'getting to know' people/making the right contacts?

They are both important, but I think having passion and ideas is really key to getting ahead.

Your style spans more than one genre, do you think the same rules apply to all scenes, or are some easier to get on in (ie smaller more niche scenes)?

Yeah, smaller scenes are easier to break into mainly because it's easier to meet people. But big scenes are basically the same- they are just a bunch of small scene's put together. If you want to get involved then just show up and start to meet people. It's pretty easy really.

Do you think the current scene is sustainable with the number of guys coming through, competition for gigs, current state of record sales etc?

Sure, why not? Every club always wants new fresh talent, and music moves quickly.

What would you have done differently, if anything, if you were to do it all again?

Not a damn thing.

With Nightshifters is the anything you particularly look for in a track?

I look for originality and I look for that special something which makes a track fall just slightly between genres. I really believe in the power of openness in music

With your own production is there a particular approach you take (melody, then beats etc) do you have ideas in your head, or just what comes out at the time?

I think having an idea in advance is always good. Of course these change as you work on the track, but having some notion of what you want to do is always great.

Berlin has a great Techno and Electronic heritage, how has this played a part in DJ Donna Summer being where? who he is now?

Berlin's great! It's an incredibly cheap city that is super-open for anything! I'm always inspired by the shows I go too! So many cool people here and it's always fun to meet new folks as they pass through or come here to live.

Favorite piece of studio kit?

I only have a laptop, nothing else! HA! I use Ableton for most stuff, Logic to mix things down, and occasionally I even use my iphone to make sounds too!

Plans for the future, new projects etc?

Well, I'm really super busy in general, as I run 2 labels- Nightshifters and also an experimental label called Cock Rock Disco, so that keeps me quite busy in addition to performing and trying to make music. But in addition I'm also developing new iPhone applications. You'll hear all about it SOON! haha!

Our new releases are:
May 12- Rob Threezy - The Change Up
June 18 - Rampage - War
July- Udatchi and Jubilee - Paypur

and on Cock Rock Disco:
Nero's Day At Disneyland - From Rotting Fantasylands- out now!

And just to leave us all jealous... what is the best thing about being a DJ?

The ability to travel the world and get paid for it! I've been to 4 continents and more countries than I can count. I wake up and feel lucky every single day!

And now the goodies:

DJ Donna Summer - Night Mix

EXCLUSIVE full quality pre-release mp3:

Rob Threezy - The Change up

Nightshifters on Beatport

DJ Donna Summer Myspace




Friday, May 8, 2009

Day 127: Naked Flow...

Ye olde regulars will remember a post or two about 8bit mad heads Meneo. Well now they're good friends with Bang the DJ, and as they are in town tomorrow at Flow, we thought we'd head down and raise a glass together.

The genre melting goons, are not only musically insane, they are hackware geeks too. Expect nintendo controllers, keyboard guitars, and oh, yeah nudity.

Pretty much all you need right there huh.

Here's a little taster for you:

See you at the front!




Thursday, May 7, 2009

Day 126: How to make a Shepards pie

After yesterdays Shepards tone, what better than some lovely Shepards Pie.

25g/1oz dripping
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tnsp olive oil
450g/1lb minced lamb
1 tbsp plain flour
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp anchovy essence
1 small tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
225ml/7 ½ fl oz chicken, beef or lamb stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the mash
700g/1½lb potatoes
55ml/2fl oz milk
75g/3oz butter
1 free-range egg yolk


Oh yeah, that and the second part to the video I kinda forgot to post...




Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Day 125: How to create a shepard tone in Ableton

Is this something you frequently find your self wondering? 'Just how DO I make a Shepard ton...' well worry not, for watch the below (from the top bloke Tom Cosm) et voila...




Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day 124: Bah

Disappointed to say the least today. After yesterdays great news, the high was short lived as it was cruelly whipped out of my hands, just as fast.

Turns out they got the date wrong, and it's this Thursday. Now I know I'm probably less than 100 miles from the blessed Island of Ibiza... but sadly that distance is entirely water. Not like I can pop over in the car.

Dammit and bugger.

Really bugger.




Monday, May 4, 2009

Day 123: Summer Breeze

Well as I mentioned a few days back, there hasn't actually been much by the way of activity on the BTDJ front recently, and this needs addressing fast.

However it's not all been wasted time it seems, as I've only gone and got the chance to win a residency in Ibiza. Yes really.

I had been scouting out what was going on, on the white Isle when I discovered a new DnB and Dubstep night launching over there called Prang. They have a section on their web-site for a competition... so I stuck in a mix, and I've been invited tot he first heat!

Gotta be worth a pop that. Especially as it's something different, no-one has ever really pulled of continuous DnB over there, and these guys look like they are determined to change that, and it happens to be one of the longest running styles of music I love, so all good.

I've got some pretty mad ideas too to try and stand out, so we'll see how it goes, and I'll try and post some practise runs up here, just got to book the ferry over now...




Sunday, May 3, 2009

Day 121 & 122: Fail

Blog fail.

For the life of me I just couldn't connect to the interwebs on Saturday. Not for lack of trying. I battled with wifi in the busiest McDonalds ever, but had expired by the time I got anywhere near to connecting.

No internet here either...

I also tried to locate this fabled press area at the festival, but no joy. I could see wifi arounf, but just no connection possible. And the four of us didn't have enough credit to bother with a mobile connection. I even put a call in to the olds (at 5 to mid-night) to see if they could post on my behalf. More fail

Ho hum... not to worry, onwards and upwards. The festival was great tho, and some cracking sets. I even flung a CD at Boys Noize, so hey, you never know. Will tryt and stick some photos/vids up later.