Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 296: Global Soundtracks - World Underground music.

One very important thing as a DJ is keeping up with new music, rediscovering old music, and just generally listening to lots and lots of music - bummer right?

Many of us still fondly remember the late great Jon Peel, who's long running radio 1 show was a fast track to the weird, wonderful and any other superlative world of music. Where Gabba would sit next to Afgan folk like perfect bed fellows.

Global Soundtracks is a project sharing much of the same spirit, hardly surprising being that it is a collaboration presented by Tom Ravenscroft (Jon's son). In their own words Global Soundtracks is:

Experimental sounds from the world's underground music communities, presented by Tom Ravenscroft. The weekly podcast, available to download free every Monday, is your guide to the music that matters, with exclusive live recordings and interviews from around the world.

So lets recap, FREE weekly podcast, world underground music, live recordings and interviews, all presented by one of someone of legendary stock. I am so on this. Oh did I also mention that they actively encourage you send in your music for consideration too...

Point your iPod and Browser here to get the latest episode, stick it on subscribe, sit back and be edutained (see what I did there).

Read more on the web-site here:




Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 295: Electrowars - The Movie

Man I can't believe this. This looks red hot. I got this via the ever faithful site Working DJ. It's a trailer for a film currently in production, specifically about Electro/Blog house.

I love watching those trailers where you get amped, and this is no exception. Looks like a pretty big roll call on the film too with big hitters such as A-track, Chromeo and Steve Aoki among others making appearances.

Not out till next year it seems, but fill yer boots with as much info as I can find on the following:




Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 294: Power of the People - User generated content.

User generated content is no new thing, hell forums have been full of user generated trip since the dawn of the internet.

What is interesting though is looking at new and innovative ways to apply this content. Enter Trent Reznor (aka Nine inch Nails). It was pretty hard to avoid the far reaching influence of Nine inch Nails in the 90's. Broken and Fixed were some of the most exciting records of the time, then of course Downward Spiral.

Still not sure of their influence? Well you know that amazing yet haunting song from Johnny Cash, Hurt? (watch it here) Yup, that's one of Nine inch nails'

In the new millennium Trent has carried on being innovative and outspoken. The latest project is below. Basically at a recent show playing Downward Spiral in it's entirety, the audience was invited to film the show freely. This footage was then edited by the same fans, to produce the final video. Basically user generated at every level.

Yeah I know the Beastie Boys did something similar a while back with their "Awesome I shot that" and excellent that was too, this just took it to a new level with the whole editing thing.

Not entirely DJ/Producer related, but it is a good example of how to be creative and engage with your fans. Noteworthy.




Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 293: Moog Mega give away.

Moog is one of the ultimate names in Synthesisers. Everyone has probably seen one, and almost certainly heard one over the years.

With their iconic sound, and weirdly, iconic brand name (Pronounced to sound like Vogue don't cha know) Moog has done what many brands can only dream of.

Well, the original Moog family are still in the business, and what's more than that they have organised the mother of all Moog related give aways. In time honoured the fashion the give away looks like it'll be taking a lottery come raffle format. Priced at $1 a ticket, here is a list of what you can win:

  • A private look at The Bob Moog Archives in Asheville, North Carolina and lunch with The Bob Moog Foundation Executive Director Michelle Moog-Koussa.

  • A VIP tour of Moog Music Inc. and lunch with Mike Adams, President/CEO of Moog Music Inc.

  • A VIP tour and luncheon at the Museum of Making Music on January 18, 2010 with Moog exhibition advisor Brian Kehew, Moog Foundation Executive Director Michelle Moog-Koussa, Moog Music Inc. President/CEO Mike Adams, Museum Executive Director Carolyn Grant and Curator Tatiana Sizonenko.

  • Moog Little Phatty Synthesizer autographed by George Duke and Moog luminaries (including Brian Kehew, Michelle Moog-Koussa and others). Please note: DRAWING FOR THIS ITEM WILL TAKE PLACE ON APRIL 30, 2010.

  • Two (2) tickets to the George Duke & Anita Baker concert at the Nokia Theatre on November 7, 2009. Please note: ENTRANTS NEED TO BE PRESENT TO WIN!

This one is definitely for the purists, but still a legendary prize.

If you fancy snagging a lil bit of Synth history, then head over to Museum of Making Music website for more info on how to enter.




Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 292: Free Guide to Music Composition.

Prodding around on Ableton is one thing, mashing the keys on your MIDI controller is another. Once in a while you might fluke on something that sounds ok.

At best you can hope for a mildly catch one finger "duh-duh-de-duhhh" style riff. Wouldn't it be nice to half know what you were doing musically. To know why two notes work, while others don't?

Music theory sounds pretty dull right? Much like anything with the word theory in it. Don't fret, it's not all back to school, mangling green fields on the glockenspiel!

This natty little pdf tries to explain musical composition in a way that doesn't make you want to chew your own fingers off. Originally from and very kind of them to make it too.

So print a copy off, or plonk yer Kindle down by the loo, and prepare yourself for musical genius in no-time.

The Ravenspiral Guide (an informal guide to musical composition) Click to view!




Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 291: In the Studio with Jody Wisternoff

Being into dance music in the 90s in Bristol it was pretty much impossible to not know who Jody Wisternoff was. You may simply just know him as "Jody" or DJ Jody... or even as part of Way out West, but either way he was definitely one of the first members of Bristolian post rave royalty.

I even booked him for one of out college parties at Lakota many years ago, a little Bang the DJ factette for you there!

So, Jody, he's been at it for years, knows his onions when it comes to production. Because of that it's great to see him giving some enthusiastic praise about Ableton in this video. Also it's nice to get a glimpse at a real working studio that is responsible for pumping out some chart topping tracks.

Despite years in the game however, can't help but sense a little bit of fidgety nerves in the clip. Audience of a few thousand, no problem, one dude and a camera... different story!




Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 290: How to organise your digital music collection for DJs

Gone are the days when men would spend hours reorganising their record collection.

Are you gonna be plain and sort it alphabetically, or a little more adventurous and arrange the CDs in colour order (the rainbow system) or, the ultimate, high-fidelity style - in chronological order that you bought them.

Yep, sadly this pesky non physical format has taken all the fun out of that game leaving us with just lists sortable at a click of a button.

It still doesn't work that well for DJs though. Faced with just a folder full of files when trying to find the next track to play is a million miles from thumbing through a crate of vinyl. Nothing leaps out at you with mp3s, nothing is instantly recognisable etc.

Fortunately DJs are nerdy types, and where there's a will, there is a way.

Once again, the consistently good DJ Techtools have come up with the goods. This video has some great tips and ideas for DJs looking to better tag and arrange their digital music.