Ibiza Report 2012 DJs & Debauchery
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MOOGFEST 2012: ANOTHER TASTE OF ANALOG HEAVEN
Squarepusher: Blinding eyes, melting minds.
a close-up view of Moog’s product assembly and then we sat in on a recording session from hip-hop MC/ producer El-P and his band, as they dropped a stinging version of “Drones Over BKLYN” in the Moog studio. “This really is like getting to step inside Willy Wonka’s factory,” said El-P of his Moog experience. “It’s always something special to come down here for this event and visit this place.” Heading out to the venues, we were overrun with musical options. While there were plenty of honorable mentions—including Gza at The Orange Peel, The Magnetic Fields at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, and Nas, Primus 3D, Santigold and Richie Hawtin at the ExploreAsheville.com Arena—here are our picks from the weekend: S q u a re p u s h e r a t T h o m a s Wolfe Auditorium. Wearing a Daft Punk-like helmet rigged with LED lights and playing in a booth
and against a backdrop both similarly outfitted, Mr. Tom Jenkinson simply blasted the intimate theater. His nervy broken-beat tracks like “Dark Steering” melted minds, while more melodic offerings like the skittering “Stadium Ice” soothed them. What was perhaps most surprising was that the entire hall—loaded with relative youngsters—was so up for it. Rewind a couple years before America’s current fascination with dubstep, and it’s hard to imagine these kids digging something as challenging as Squarepusher. But fast-forward a few years from now and you may hear tales of this show. Of course, it’ll sound as odd as a ’60s fratboy recalling, “Oh, yeah—I saw Captain Beefheart.” Carl Craig at The Orange Peel. Though initially beset with sound and
Carl Craig: Techno at The Orange Peel. Arena Grooves: Richie Hawtin gets rolling.
By Jim Tremayne &Phil Moffa
Asheville, N.C . — Celebrating electronic-music instruments, the wide range of sounds made with them, and the legacy of synth pioneer Robert Moog, Moogfest 2012 once again distinguished itself as one of America’s most vital musical gatherings. Running this past Oct. 26-27 in Asheville, N.C., Moogfest presented 36 artists in five different area venues. Additionally, the event presented three engaging seminars at the Diana Wortham Theatre, featuring pioneering practitioners like Morton Subotnick and Nine Inch Nails’ Alessandro Cortini. Synth-nerd heaven, to be sure. The artist lineup—featuring deeply respected DJs, electronic-leaning bands and avant-gardists alike—was as varied as you’ll ever see. Accordingly, the venues sounded great and were well-equipped for the steady stream of festival-goers. Costumed for the pre-Halloween weekend, most Moogfesters let their freak flag fly. Editor Jim Tremayne was there with DJ Times contributor Phil Moffa, himself an admitted analog freak who runs Manhattan’s Butcha Sound Studios. It went like this: On Friday, we hit Moog factory in downtown Asheville. We caught an introductory press conference featuring reps from Moog Music, AC Entertainment and Google, including the guys who made supercool Robert Moog birthday doodle. Then, we were given a factory tour. Once inside, we got
monitor issues at a venue generally known for rock music, Craig finally hit his groove with rolling beats on tunes like his pumping mix for Tom Trago’s “Use Me Again” and, of course, Rhythim Is Rhythim’s evergreen “Strings of Life.” (Full Disclosure: This event was co-presented by DJ Times.) Orbital at ExploreAshville. com Arena. As great as it was to see the Brothers Hartnoll playing again in front of a crowd of crazies, it was even better to see these fans go nuts for the rave-classic “Chime,” a track made before many of them were even born.
Exultant: ADE 2012
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A m s t e rd a m , H o l l a n d — Dutch DJ Sander van Doorn exults at Escape, one of Amsterdam Dance Event’s 75 evening venues. Held this past Oct. 17-21, ADE attracted the global dance-music industry’s major players for networking—and a little latenight action. (Stay tuned: Our January issue will bring you ADE in pictures.)
VOLUME 25 NUMBER 12
DEPARTMENTS 7 Feedback
Amid Genre Interlopers, Rusko Keeps Flying the Flag for Proper Dubstep BY JUSTIN HAMPTON
28 Mobile Profile
24 Making Tracks
DJ TIMES 4
Jersey’s Jack Bermeo, Expo Champ
30 Business Line
New Products from American DJ, Cerwin-Vega & More
Phat Tracks from DJ Dan, Bassnectar & More
40 DJ Times Marketplace
Shop Here for All Your DJ-Related Supplies
41 Club Play Chart
Our Visit to the Global Dance-Music Mecca Found DJs at Their Best, Plus Plenty of Other Pleasures BY CHRIS DAVIS
The Hottest Records, As Reported by Our Top U.S. Record Pools
SAMPLINGS 8 Layo & Bushwacka!
Rising & Falling
10 In the Studio With… Zedd
Cover Photo By Frank Maddox
Changing Your Business—Via DJ Expo
20 Ibiza-ness As Usual
DJ-Tech Turntables & Technics Headphones
Contents Photo By Keenan Turner
Creating an Attractive DJ-Company Name Remains No Less Tricky in the Internet Age BY JEFF STILES
Audio Raiders’ Sasha Soundlab
26 Sounding Off
18 What’s In a Name?
As Always, the Answers to All Your DJ-Related Questions
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FROM THE EDITOR
Battered, But Back in the Swing Just as we returned to NYC from Moogfest in Asheville, N.C., this past Oct. 28, the super-storm Sandy hit us full-force. Obviously, it wreaked plenty of havoc, especially here on Long Island, as it knocked out power at the DJ Times office. A few days later, we got whomped by another storm, producing more misery… and creating some new publishing schedules. We’re happy to be up and running again. But for the moment (and more importantly), we’d like to draw attention to those still in need. So, for those inclined, we encourage you to contribute to the American Red Cross: redcross.org/hurricane-sandy. Any token of generosity will be greatly appreciated. Back in the “toy department,” we return to the world of dubstep and meet with one of its main practitioners, Rusko. Our West Coast correspondent Justin Hampton connects with the U.K.bred/L.A.-based DJ/producer, who discusses the genre’s rapid outgrowth and his place within that new reality. This issue also brings Part 2 of Chris Davis’ Summer European Trek. Last month, our new Digital Media Manager took you to Belgium’s Sensation and its crazy-deep DJ lineup and massive stage productions. This month, we have his Ibiza report, in which he offers his diary from the legendary Spanish party island. He dishes on the summer season at Pacha, Space, Amnesia, Ushuaïa and Café Del Mar, where he caught sets from Carl Cox, François K, Richie Hawtin and Markus Schulz (aka America’s Best DJ 2012), among others. Sure beats covering city-council meetings– right, Chris? Still on the musical tip, our Sampling section profiles a youthful sensation (Zedd by Lina Abascal) and a veteran music-making duo (Layo & Bushwacka! by Lily Moayeri). Additionally, as mentioned, I took a trip to North Carolina for Moogfest with Phil Moffa, our analog freak and owner of Manhattan’s Butch Sound Studios. While DJ Times proudly served as media sponsor for the event, we also dove deeply into Moogfest’s two evenings of events, including amazing performances from Squarepusher, Carl Craig and more. Check out this month’s News page for sights and sounds. (Next month, we’ll bring you a few looks from Holland’s Amsterdam Dance Event.) On the mobile front, we profile Jack Bermeo, DJ Expo’s two-time “DJ of the Year” winner, who tells us how the title has helped his marketability. In Business Line, we offer 35 ways to positively change your DJ company—via DJ Expo. Additionally, Jeff Stiles surveys the mobile nation and explains how creating an attractive DJ-company name has changed since the pre-internet days, when The Yellow Pages ruled the marketing landscape. And in gear-land, Boston jock Paul Dailey got a gift in the mail—a turntable! So in this month’s Sounding Off column, we go back to the old school as Dailey reviews DJ-Tech’s SL-1300MK6 turntable, while Chris Davis takes on a pair of Technics headphone re-issues. Also, our New Englandbased DJ/producer Josh Harris handles Sasha Soundlab, Audio Raiders’ unique collection of sounds and software instruments. It took a while, but here we are—December 2012. Enjoy.
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DJ Expo ’12 10/16/2012 3:52:19 PM
This is Feedback, a monthly feature that fields questions from you, our readers, and funnels them out to in‑ dustry professionals. If you have any questions about DJing – marketing, mixing, equipment or insurance, any at all – drop us a letter at DJ Times, 25 Willowdale Ave, Port Washington, NY 11050, fax us at (516) 944‑8372 or e‑mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we do use your question, you’ll receive a free DJ Times T‑shirt. And remember, the only dumb question is the ques‑ tion that is not asked. TRADE SHOW REPORT This past Nov. 15-17, DJ Times vis‑ ited Minneapolis for DJ Conclave 3.0, an intimate, but useful gathering of mobile entertainers from the Upper Midwest. Of the many engaging speakers on the bill—area mobiles like Dean Carl‑ son and Jason Jones, school-dance experts like San Diego’s Ken Day and wedding-vendor consultants like Rick Brewer among them—we were very much taken by the simple advice of area mobile/actor Bill Hermann of The Entertainment Experience, who broke it down for the followers: “I’ve been asked to make one spe‑ cific point at this show and I’ll make one because, as an acting coach once told me, ‘If you’re not in a show, be in a class; if you’re not in a class, be in a show.’ Remember, you’re always learning, perfecting your craft in front of people or gathering use‑ ful information behind the scenes that will help you become a better performer. “So my bit of information for to‑ day is this: Remember, that you are always onstage. Don’t let your guard down because the audience always sees you that way—onstage. It’s im‑ portant that you remember that you are no longer beyond judgment when you’re onstage, and that fact was never better driven home to mobile DJs than on that YouTube clip of the ‘booby DJ,’ the guy who wacked his girl’s boobs onstage to the drum breakdown of Phil Collins’ ‘In the
Air Tonight.’ Everyone remembers that moment because that DJ forgot something very basic—that he was still onstage. “So it’s important that you impart an upbeat, positive vibe when you’re working a show. How do you do that? That’s simple—just smile! Even if you’re looking for music, smile. In your interactions with the crowd,
smile. I know that when I get serious, for example, I look angry. So what do I do? I smile. “We don’t want to be the ‘booby DJ,’ someone who made our industry look terrible. So, if you’re like me and you want to make a positive change to the industry, remember that you’re always onstage. And smile!”
The week of their new album’s launch party, Layo Paskin and Mathew Benjamin—aka Layo & Bushwacka!—are in great spirits, but on seemingly two different planets. Paskin is writing a script and working on opening a restaurant with his sister, Zoe. Benjamin is getting accustomed to his newly set up home studio and branding his Just Be solo persona. Yet both are still focused on what they have created with Rising & Falling (Olmeto Records). “We went into the studio for about six/seven weeks and wrote sketches of tracks,” says Paskin. “We would work anything from four hours to six hours on a track, writing all the lines that were coming to us in terms of inspiration at that moment. When we began to slow down and struggle, we put it away. We left them for a couple of months and then did a ‘yes, no, maybe’ and began to craft and craft, going back and forth.” Adds Benjamin: “Do we really want to write, mix, arrange, record all these pieces and then at the end of it decide we’re not going to use them? It felt more productive to do it in three stages. Stage one: sketching. Stage two: arranging. Stage three: mixing.” Recorded at Benjamin’s recently dismantled Plank Studios in West London, Rising & Falling revolves around Logic a n d nu m e ro u s v i rtual synthesizers. The main draw is the ability to keep using new sounds without having to spend piles of money on new synths. The album’s stark minimalism focuses on the tech side of house on tracks like “Raw Defined” and it gets soulful on cuts like “Can’t Hurt You.” Since the duo’s separation from XL Recordings and the dissolving of End Recordings, L&B’s main musical output has been dancefloor singles funneled through Olmeto. With Rising & Falling, they give themselves leeway from the dancefloor, yet still rely on it to inform the tracks. “The dancefloor influenced the record a lot,” says Benjamin.
RISING & FALLING: LAYO & BUSHWACKA!
L&B: (from left) Matthew Benjamin & Layo Paskin.
“Because we wrote in stages, what we thought we might do with something, we edited as time went on. There was a period where we were headed in a more Minus-type direction and then we decided to keep more of our own warmth and feeling.” Their DJ sets take on different forms. If they only have a couple of hours between them, they keep it to CDs or a USB stick, using Pioneer’s CDJ 2000 units and the rekordbox musicmanagement software. If they are doing an all-night set, where they each have a minimum of four hours, things get elaborate with Native Instruments Traktor, controllers, effects units, as well as CDs, USB sticks, and laptops. “If it’s a short set, you’re not going to get that in-depth into the music—you’re going to be more straightforward to try and make an instant impact,” says Paskin, a co-owner of the late, legendary London club The End. “If it’s a longer set, I’m going to want to be looping, doing more effects, and mixing older and newer tracks. I want the scope that Traktor can give me.” Adds Benjamin: “I DJed at Fabric recently and played 90-percent vinyl, 60-percent of that was new and the rest was stuff I dug out of my house. Three years ago, my set up was quite complex—two laptops, Traktor, two controllers running four channels, second laptop running Native Instruments Maschine and Ableton Live. I regressed the set-up back to basics because I felt like we were losing life to the sound of the set because everything was synced and easy. When we had shorter sets, it was just too robotic. Also, I got frustrated with being the technician, as well as being the performer. “A DJ booth with great monitors,” he continues, “with turntables that work, enough space for me to set things up how I want them, and a great technician on hand so I can get my music to the people on the dancefloor with ease—and it doesn’t become about a cable being pulled out or a drink thrown all over the mixer—then I’m happy.” – Lily Moayeri
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IN THE STUDIO WITH
ZEDD: GOING FOR CLARITY
Like much of L.A., Anton Zaslavski gets a lot of his work done from behind a computer, while blissfully sipping a soy iced chai latte from Starbucks. But these days, things are moving a little faster for the Russianborn/German-bred producer (aka Zedd). From remixing Skrillex to traveling with him across the country in a tour bus, from remixing Lady Gaga to opening for her throughout Asia, Zedd’s career is suddenly on a steep trajectory. And it didn’t hurt that Gaga offered a tweet to her 30 million followers supporting her Universal Music label mate this past summer, vaulting Zedd’s “Spectrum” EP up the charts and sweetly setting up the release of Clarity, his dazzling followup full-length. Frequently mentioned alongside a list of fellow young producers associated with Skrillex's OWSLA label (including Porter Robinson and Nick Thayer), the 23-year-old Zedd has also raised his profile by joining lineups of major festivals, like New York’s Electric Zoo and Las Vegas’ Electric Daisy Carnival. But with roots deeply in rock music and tastes that include radio-pop, Zedd stands out from many of his MacBook-loving colleagues. “I don't want to say that you need to be a musician or play instruments in order to make a great electronic song,” says the classically trained pianist and former metal drummer, “but you will never make something musically extraordinary if you don't—it's just completely impossible.” His experience playing instruments has caused him to focus on live performance, differentiating strongly between musical content and sound. "My approach has never been, and never will be, to have the best-sounding song,” he asserts. “It will be to have the most emotional melody, the most interesting chord progression. If you break my music down and write it down on a piece of paper, that's where I wanna win.” Producing on Cubase, using UAD2 and a few Wave plug-ins, Zedd is most at home making music from the "Zedd1 Studio," nestled inside LA’s Interscope Records building. It’s a work environment, he says, that has the best sound quality he’s ever experienced. When such suitable arrangements aren't possible, Zedd creates a home studio using just a
laptop and some USB speakers. “Since I'm always on tour, I can't really have too much hardware and I think nowadays you absolutely don't need it at all," he explains. Not a fan of producing on the go, the constant traveler has been forced to adapt and admits to performing "edits, changes, and tweaks," in hotels. For live situations, Zedd’s musical background and diversity have helped him appeal to any crowd. On his recent Gaga tour, Zedd crafted his sets to be "easier and more accessible" for her fan base. The track list included edits and mash-ups of Z e dd o r i g i n a l s w i t h pop tracks the crowd was likely familiar with, something that came naturally to this selfproclaimed "radio kinda guy." Despite being Interscope's golden child of electronic music, Zedd claims to be fairly new to the genre . After spending years in bands, Zedd says he had "no clue" about electronic mu s i c , w i t h a l a u g h . (That changed when he discovered Justice.) The genre’s rise to the top within the last year remains a mystery to him. "I don't really know why it happened,” he says, “but I'm happy it did." Obviously, he cites his mentor Skrillex as one of the core producers who brought the genre to the forefront of American mainstream, a n d h e ’ l l a l w ay s b e prominent in Zedd's career. "You can be a hater or a lover,” he says of Skrillex, “but this song [‘Scar y Monsters and Nice Sprites’] inspired me so much. It literally
EDM Wunderkind: Zedd has toured with Skrillex & Lady Gaga.
showed me that the ceiling can be raised quite a bit." However, in his view, EDM still has some challenges. For producers, Zedd believes the biggest struggle is cultivating a signature sound, while not always sounding the same. "Someone comes up with something new and cool and everyone copies it for two months," he groans. "The reason most electronic songs have the same four chords is not that those chords are more beautiful than others. If you don't play instruments, you stop and think it sounds good, but it's always the same notes if you're just clicking up and down. You want people to hear 10 seconds of your song and know it’s yours, but at the same time you don't want them to say, 'Ouch! He's doing the same thing all the time.’” His advice for new producers? "Don't think that five hours will be enough to make an amazing remix,” he says. “Spend five days, and work 15 hours a day. And if necessary, do this for a straight year until you get there. No one will just give you something—you have to earn it." – Lina Abascal
AMID GENRE INTERLOPERS, RUSKO KEEPS FLYING THE FLAG FOR PROPER DUBSTEP
BY JUSTIN HAMPTON
Los Angeles—At first glance, Rusko doesn’t seem like any sort of threat to business as usual. Fresh out of an inaugural meeting for his newly formed recording label, Rusko Recordings, the DJ/producer also known as Chris Mercer sports the tousled sandy brown mullet, unshaven face and jeansand-tee profile of a guy who just rolled out of bed. And his perspective on the challenges awaiting him as a newly independent artist breaking away from his previous label—in his case, Diplo’s tastemaking Mad Decent—extols the liberation rather than expresses the defiance such a career move usually indicates. “This time I’ve taken it back a bit more organic just making tracks as they come,” he says in between cigarettes, referring to the free online release of “Kapow!,” his latest EP. “I kind of wanted to take it a little more old-school and underground. Things got a little too label-focused and deadline-focused. I kind of wanted to get it back to DIY.” Scratching the surface to see what’s inspired Rusko over the years, it becomes apparent that creative independence, whether it be from a label or the unquestioned customs of an insular music underground and the pop world alike, has
always been the name of his game, whether he knew it or not. Starting out as a reggae-loving music-engineering student at Leeds College Of Music making tracks on the side, Rusko had fate shine on him after seeing Digital Mystikz don/dubstep pioneer Mala perform at a local club night called Sub Dub, and he recognized that his own bass-heavy productions just might work for this brandnew audience. Rusko saw initial support from the Sub Dub-aligned sound system crew Iration Steppas, whose testimony to music’s endless progression is sampled on the opening track to Songs, Rusko’s final LP for Mad Decent. But it wasn’t until Rusko moved to London and teamed up with Caspa for the fledgling dubstep label Dub Police that he struck paydirt. While still aggressive and bombastic, early hits like “Jahova” and “Cockney Thug” eschewed the moody dystopian vistas of dubstep’s foundational tracks for a jauntier, energetic vibe which signaled a new approach to the nascent sound. The result at the time incurred the wrath of dubstep’s self-appointed gatekeepers, but it also helped provide the basis for dubstep’s now-undeniable global reach. Rusko maintains an unapologetic focus on crafting fun-loving, accessible music—still he clearly intends to do this on his own terms. Speaking out with unusual candor on his conflicts with both the mainstream pop music world and the spate of aging GenX nu-metal acts currently jumping on the post-Korn dubcore basswagon, Rusko reveals himself to be an artist completely disinterested in compromising on the core vision that brought him to this point. And while timing and luck may have played a large part in the initial surge that made Rusko a star, he possesses a sure-handed grip on the skills and strategies that can maintain his stature over the long haul. Before taking off on the wilds of Australia’s festival season, the U.K.-born/L.A.-based Rusko was kind enough to share those lessons with DJ Times, and showed us that despite his outside appearance, he clearly doesn’t need to Wake The Fuck Up. So rise and shine. DJ Times: This year alone, you released Songs and the Cypress Hill collaboration and now this EP. Now that the brakes are off, how much music can people expect to hear from you?
how much is expected over a year. It’s gonna look a lot this year I guess, like a four-track EP and a full album and a five-track with Cypress. But by the end of the year, I’ll have the next four-track EP ready to go. DJ Times: Wasn’t always like that, right? Rusko: The first few years I released a lot of singles—the stuff with Dub Police and stuff with other labels—and then, when I started doing the album thing, it was more go on tour for three or four months and come back home and spend a couple of months in the studio making a record. But this time I’ve
“I kind of wanted to take it a little more old-school and underground.”
taken it back a bit more organic just making tracks on the fly as they come. With the last record, I didn’t give any tracks to any DJs. I wanted the release date to be the day all the tracks come out. DJ Times: You didn’t play them out yourself? Rusko: I didn’t play them a lot because I wanted it to be all secret on the day of release. It was a cool way of doing things and cool for the fans, just rather than a lot of dance-music records that come out when the album comes out—you’ve already heard half the tracks because all the DJs in the scene have been playing them. So I wanted to go against that and have a whole brand new record, like all in one go. It was a different way of doing things and I kind of wanted to take it kind of a
Photos By Frank Maddox
Rusko: I don’t know. I finished Songs in November and it came out in March and I finished the Cypress Hill EP [“CypressXRusko”] in January and it came out in June. So pretty much the bulk of those records were made in 2011 and released in 2012. This year I haven’t been making that much, but it’s all about the timing of it really, being able to make it and get it out there quick. I don’t know
DJ TIMES 14
little more old school and underground, do the DIY release and email it out to the DJs and share the track on AIM and just doing it more organically. DJ Times: What can people expect from you on this tour? Rusko: Production-wise, we’ve got some cryogenic smoke cannons and confetti cannons stage-wise, but musically, I’ve just bought a MIDI guitar, entire MIDI guitar, which is basically a full keyboard, but with actual guitar strings on it. It’s really, really, really hard to learn. I thought it would be, “Oh, I can play guitar. I can play keyboard—presto!” I thought it would be cool, but it’s actually proven to be hard. It’s my flippin’ rockstar fantasy, you know? One leg on the monitor on the front, one knee on the floor, riffing on the guitar. DJ Times: You started out playing the bass at your shows. Tell me about those early performances. Why did that go out the door? Rusko: I used to play bass and I was doing more of a live setup sort of a thing. But I was DJing as well, and I found that when I played the bass, I played the track more in its entirety. DJ Times: Squarepusher started out that way, too. Rusko: Of course! Squarepusher’s my favorite artist ever, so that was obviously a big influence. But really, the reason I stopped doing it was a question of pace. My DJ sets, it’s kind of like two in a minute at least. It’s kind of like bang, bang, bang. But when I’m performing with the bass, it would be me playing a song for three or four minute sometimes to do the whole, to make it a whole performance.You can’t really match the pace of a DJ set and doing the live setup at the same time back in the day. DJ Times: What was it like? Rusko: I was used to doing the DJ thing and people are just going crazy, and it’s like pow, pow, hitting them with the next ones and they’re all dancing. But when you’re standing up there doing instruments, people automatically sort of stand
and stare. So, that was kind of an unusual reaction after being used to the instant intensity of a DJ set. But I did it for Glastonbury in the UK with that set-up, which was perfect. What I should have done was chosen the times when I did the live show with the bass rather than just do it for a whole year or so like I did. In a club environment, it’s gotta be a DJ set for that intensity. DJ Times: What’s the gear you prefer to work on live? Rusko: These days, I just use two CDJs and a mic—super, super simple. I can’t use CDJ-2000s, though. DJ Times: You have a mixer? Rusko: Yeah, a DJM-900. It’s all Pioneer, but I can’t use the CDJ-2000s, because around the jogwheel in the middle, the actual hole around the side isn’t sealed like it was on a 1000. So I get 30 minutes into my set with the sweat dripping down my arm—it drips into the wheel and it locks, and the CDJs just stop. On the last tour I went through three or four before I had to go to a secondhand place, because Pioneer couldn’t even get a hold of the 1000 themselves. Mark 2 is coming out at the end of the year and I actually took one apart and took all the photos on my iPhone, so I’m hoping I’ve pestered them enough that they’ve done something enough to fix them because they are really cool. DJ Times: I’d like to talk about low-end strategies. You don’t do bass the way your peers do bass. You’re one of the people who really introduced midrange into the game. Is that for melodic purposes? Rusko: In the old days, we would go to maybe Manchester and the turnout would be 150 to 200 people. We would be playing in way smaller clubs in the U.K. than we would in London or anywhere else and quite often, the sound systems just didn’t respond to a pure sub-bassline. You can only hear maybe three out of the seven notes in the bassline because all the rest of them are too low for the speakers. A lot of it was in the early days just making sure that it would cut through on even the not-so-good sound systems. DJ Times: Things have changed, though. Rusko: Now obviously, I’m very, very lucky to be playing places that have great sound systems, and it’s all the way there. What most people do with their basslines is have a sub track—just pure subwave underneath a midrange—so they have a midrange bass on one synth and the sub coming from another synth and they put them together. I’d say 99-percent of the people I’ve worked with do it that way, whereas I have them all going through the one channel and have the one synth. When I make the midrange bass, I’ll put the sub-oscillator underneath it on the same synth so the one synth is doing the sub and the mid at the same time. And rather than separating them and bringing the midrange out, I’ll just turn it up so it’s in the red, so it’s actually distorting on the channel and then EQ the top end out from there. DJ Times: Sounds messy. Rusko: It’s probably a less clean way of doing it, but it kind of does get a different sound. A lot of people have the solid bass that hits you in the chest, the solid sinewave bass, mixed with the drums, so it’s like really beefy and solid and then turn the midrange synth up, turn the volume on the midrange synth up, so it really cuts out without changing the bottom end or anything. But if you just put it all through once so the midrange is quieter and then turn the whole thing up, the bass is modulating exactly the same as the midrange. It sounds a bit complicated. DJ Times: It sounds like you’re trying to simplify it. Rusko: But basically just kind of distorting the one channel and a lot of people use Massive as their VST to make the basslines. With a lot of Massive basslines that I hear and see, people put distortion or gain on the synth itself. But you can get the same effect on a midrange synth just by peaking the channel, just by turning the synth down itself and by having the channel in your DAW just turned up so it’s literally distorting. So you get natural distortion, like a natural gain just so it sounds like it’s being pushed. DJ Times: What’s your studio set-up? Have you changed anything from when I last saw it? Rusko: I’ve bought a few ’80s synthesizers. I bought an original Roland SH-101, which is really cool. I use that for loads of my effects. All of my dub effects and the sort of laser sample stuff and any of the 8-bit sounds in my tracks come from Roland 101. A lot of those dub lasers and dub effects get used again and again and again. I never run the outboard synth with the sequencer. I have never sent MIDI from my sequencer to the outboard synths to record it back in. I usually use it as audio tools and kind of sit there without any music and kind of play in and record in what I’m doing on the synths.
DJ Times: Why not use an emulator? Rusko: Yeah, I do, but I use them as the starting point of tracks. When I get to the studio at lunchtime or whatever, I’m not really focused on what I’m gonna do. I can just sit and make a folder of cool space sound effects or cool bass sounds or whatever. I’ll kind of use them to build up libraries of sounds that you can’t really have anywhere else—but really it’s more an inspiration thing for me. That’s why I like the ‘80s synths. I obviously love the sounds and the original FM sounds of some of those synths, but really for me I like them because they have loads more knobs to play with. I just get a bit more into it when it’s literal hands-on hardware. Sometimes they don’t even end up in the final track, but they’re just a good starting point. DJ Times: Where do you get your vintage gear? Rusko: Well, the good thing about living in LA is that it’s great for buying vintage gear. Everybody here wants to be a super-producer and has been for 20 years or 30 years or whatever. It’s kind of depressing to see, really. If you look on Craigslist, every day, there’s studio liquidation. Every day, there’s another failed producer selling everything in his studio, just a whole list. You look at it like, “Ohhhh, it kind of sucks for you, but I’m gonna buy your synth for $300.” [laughs] DJ Times: What’s on your computer? Rusko: I’ve been using Sony ACID from Version 3. I’m using Version 7 now. I still use that for absolutely everything, all the way from creation straight through to mixing. I have a Manley SLAM!—an outboard mastering compressor. So I’ll finish the track in ACID with no compression, no master bus compression, no individual track compression and I’ll basically bounce it down totally dry within my sequencer and then run it through my outboard limiting compressor. It’s one of the smallest things in my studio, but one of the heaviest. DJ Times: Let’s talk about the breakdown you did for Britney Spears [on “Hold It Against Me.”] Tell me about that bassline. Obviously, it’s going to be heavily scrutinized. How did you make that? Rusko: I actually did a lot of tracks from that record. I did some and then Switch did a bunch as well, and everything got pretty much scrapped. The people at the label changed, lots of politics and everything, and it got scrapped
and that [breakdown] was like a mixture of a lot of different things, if you know what I mean. It was like everything that we’d carefully done got kind of distilled into one sort of bastardized version that someone else made. It definitely put a sour taste in my mouth when it comes to the pop world. I’ve kind of been focused less on doing stuff like that recently because of things like that. DJ Times: Now you’re your own boss. Obviously, that’s no accident. Rusko: Really, a lot of stuff gets watered down and bastardized. For me, version one is always the best version. When it’s fresh in your brain and you’re excited and you make it, and when you work with a major label, the version that everyone hears is usually version 25. Everyone along the way, every publisher, every A&R man wants to have their 10 cents, even just to say that they said something. DJ Times: Give me an example. Rusko: There’s even been times when they’ve said, “Maybe you should change the hi-hats,” and what I will do is not actually make any changes whatsoever, just rename the file at a later date on it, version two, send it back and they have no idea. [Laughs] They have no idea, so for me, it’s disheartening. DJ Times: You’ve got a lot of people showing up at the dubstep doorstep, like the Borgore track [“Decisions”] with Miley Cyrus. Rusko: That’s the other thing. Do they actually want me to do a remix because they like my style and sound? Or do they want the dubstep name attached to it because dubstep is quote-unquote cool? More than 50-percent of the time, that’s the case. I was approached by Linkin Park and I said to them, “If you want to do the heavy-metal dubstep thing, go talk to the guys who do that. If you want to, listen to my last album, listen to the nice vocals and the nice chords and happy vibes and ask yourself, ‘Do you really want me to be the one that does the work?’” And fair enough, they went with someone else, but I said, I’m not going to make a Korn record. What’s the name of their record again? DJ Times: The Path of Totality. Rusko: Right, that’s absolutely the opposite of the stuff that I do and it’s absolutely not what I’m going to do. I’ve had to be a bit wary of that. I’m not picking on Korn. It’s a good example of dubstep straying a little too far from (continued on page 42)
What’s In a Name? Creating an Attractive DJ-Company Name Remains No LessTricky in the Internet Age
BY JEFF STILES
Like a number of first-time mobile DJs throughout the world, Ken Knotts of Anaheim, Calif., chose his company name based simply on what might garner this newbie the most attention. Of course, that was back in the late-1970s, long before the advent of cell phones and computers and the Internet and dot-coms—back when good-oldfashioned phone books reigned supreme. “I named my company All Occasion Entertainment,” recalls Knotts, “because I wanted alphabetical top placement in the Yellow Pages—back when it was relevant—as well as among all other advertising venues that had a list of vendors. So, I came up with a name for my business that started with the letter A. “I also wanted a name that was descriptive of what I did. Of course, All Occasion Entertainment was later amended to All Occasion DJ Entertainment, because I had people asking if my company did all kinds of other things connected to the entertainment industry.” We polled DJ owners from throughout the United States, querying them about how they came up with their business names. Was it personalized to point out a unique specialty or to reflect a personal attribute? And based on experience, what are some of the pitfalls to avoid when branding our companies? Scott Wright, a DJ consultant and owner of Lifeline Audio Video Technologies in Platteville, Wis., says choosing a name for a business is one of the most important decisions to be made when forming a company of any kind. “It's the face of your company,” says Wright. “It's what people will hopefully remember you by. The name should reflect a positive image and match the type of jobs you want now and in the future.” Wright says he remembers a consultation he had with a young man a few years back, during which Wright asked what he intended to use for a DJ name. “He proudly announced, ‘Skull & Crossbones Productions,’ and even proudly showed me his logo—which you can imagine looked like it would have been a great CD cover for a hard-rock band,” recalls Wright. “He mentioned during
our discussion that he would have a gig every Friday night at a biker bar that he frequents—after he gets all his equipment and knows how to work it. “He also mentioned that eventually he wants to increase his skills and make the 'big bucks' and do weddings.” Wright said he encouraged this young entrepreneur to rethink his company name, because although his chosen name matched his current environment and clientele, it quite obviously would not match well with most brides. “He thought about it and changed his name to a much more conservative name,” he reports, “and today he’s a successful wedding DJ making those big bucks on the weekends.” Another common mistake many people make in choosing a company name, Wright says, is they choose their initials or even the first letters of their wife and kids. “The problem here is that this type of name can be hard to remember,” he explains. “STKP Productions or KRW DJ Service are names that are
simply too hard for clients to recall. “A name should also be able to fit easily on a business card and in a logo. Names with eight to 10 words in them don't fit well within a logo in a business-size ad in a bridal magazine.” Of course, sometimes choosing initials in a company name can indeed work, especially if the number of letters is limited and easy to remember. When he was in his sophomore year of high school, Michael J. Mahoney of South Portland, Maine, says he began attending a new school where not many classmates remembered his name. “Then, one day in history class, about a month into the first semester, the biggest class clown in school—who had built his reputation there the year before—came into class late and said, 'Hey, M&M, where are we at and what did I miss?' “I didn't think anything of it—I showed him where we were, and that was it. But the next class we had together and every class thereafter,
card and in a logo.”
should also be able “toAfitname easily on a business
he would heartily and boisterously exclaim, 'Hey, M&M, what's shakin’?’ From then on, I became known as M&M.” Fast-forward two years, when Mahoney entered college and began working at the campus radio station as “DJ M&M.” (It was 1994, before Eminem became popular.) Mahoney decided to start a DJ service and didn't want to be known as just another “blah-blah productions,” so M&M Entertainment was born. Sometimes a business name can to be randomly inspired by something as simple as a television show. Ray Martinez of Goodyear, Ariz., who has been working as a mobile jock since 1974, says he was once watching an episode of “I Love Lucy,” and remembers the announcer at the end of the show stating, “This has been a Desilu Production”—short for Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, the two stars of the comedy show. “Immediately, I thought of Ray Martinez Productions; then I shortened it to Ray Mar Productions,” he recalls. “As a matter of fact, I've said in the past that I was Ray Mar before there was a J-Lo. “In regards to branding, I believe people should come up with a logo that people will recognize. Make it unique, and make it yours. Don't steal or copy others, and dare to be different. For example, way too many DJs' business cards all look alike and they use generic backgrounds.” Sometimes it's best to keep things personalized and simple, and that's been the case for New York City's Carl Williams of DJ Carl Entertainment. “It was a name I developed because I wanted to brand myself,” says Williams. “I wanted the name to communicate what I did and to communicate my name for marketing purposes. It's actually been so effective that many people don't know what my last name is and most people only call me DJ Carl—which is great.” While many of us have hatched seemingly ingenious catch-names that snag gig inquiries on a regular basis, DJ Carl says there are some simple rules to follow when deciding on a memorable name. “I think some companies have done an injustice with long URL company names for their websites,” he says. “URLs are effective with a primary keyword within it, but when they're long people don't remember those URLs. You want people to remember your name so they can share that name with friends. “Several years ago, the local ‘Drive Time Car Sales’ was called 'Ugly Ducklings.' Naming a car-sales company 'ugly' was a very poor marketing decision because people thought they were buying under-performing vehicles. I believe that when you brand your company, you should communicate what you do in a simple and positive way.” Then again, sometimes—especially during the Internet age—the best of plans can fail when it comes to choosing a DJ name. At least, so admits Mike Stevens of Carlstadt, N.J., who began his DJ career when his daughter Leslie was in grade school. “The alliteration of words made it easy to remember and say,” recalls the now-retired owner of Daddy & Daughter DJs. “The challenges of our name was that I was able to register daddyanddaughter.com, but could not use it with our primary audience or much email. “I had to also register dnddj.com and pass that out at events, though having a five-letter domain made it great.We used to take pictures of every event and make them available online for free to all party goers.” The only problem was that many people would type the words “Daddy” and “Daughter” in the search bar and not the address bar. Unfortunately, potential customers were taken to unwanted sites, the kind that might be blocked by nanny filters. “Lesson learned,” Stevens adds with a sigh. “Even when you got the most easy-to-say name, check it out on how others will find you before using it everywhere!” n
Our Visit to the Global Dance-Music Mecca Found DJs at Their Best & Plenty of Other Pleasures
BY CHRIS DAVIS
This past July, several of us from DJ Times had the pleasure of spending a week in Ibiza, exploring what the indisputable dance music mecca had to offer clubbers in its 2012 season. As of late, bloggers and reporters alike have been trying to herald Las Vegas as the “New Ibiza,” but we can safely adjust that notion. Certainly,Vegas remains a major tourist destination that’s embraced DJ-driven dance music like no other North American city. But, for the time being at least, nothing can substitute for the tranquil scenery and neverending supply of tan, beautiful people that Ibiza has to offer by day, or the breadth of dance music revelry that visitors and residents experience by night. While summer 2012 was a bit slower in attendance than past seasons—spiraling Spanish and Greek economies are most likely to blame—this year’s iteration remained unrivaled, with the added bonus of more dancefloor room to get your freak on. The summer season and the early stages of proper beach warmth in Ibiza begin in May of each year, with beautifully sunny days and perfect temperatures. Progressing through June and September, rainfall is delightfully scarce, and in August and September temperatures can reach over 85. The warm water—usually between 70 and 80—draws sunbathers like flies to honey. Oh, and did we mention that these Spanish beaches are topless-friendly? Our flight arrived on a breezy Wednesday afternoon—a welcome break from the roasting that Italy had just put us through. We had a taste of what was to come walking through the airport, but nothing would compare to what we were about to witness. As the taxi took us inland from the airport in Sant Jordi, we were greeted by billboard after billboard advertising the various weekly club nights, attractions, and destinations on the island. Subliminal, F*** Me I’m Famous, Paradise, XXLERATOR, Channel Zoo, People of the Night, Vagabundos, Colors, Supalova, Judgement Sundays, Be, Cream, Ibiza Calling, Cocoon, Ovum, We Love, Pornographic, SupermartXé, Eden, DC10, Ibiza Rocks, Sankeys, Es Paradis, Playa d’en Bossa… the list goes on and on. The veritable onslaught of advertisements instantly brought us to the realization that DJs own this island. After an unexpected hotel upgrade due to capacity issues, and with just enough time to stow our bags in Ibiza Town, Ibiza’s largest city, we made our way down the coast to Ushuaïa Beach Hotel to catch “Swedish House Mafia Wednesdays.” Unlike a typical nightclub, Ushuaïa is a posh hotel that features DJs performing from 5 p.m. to midnight in its central area, which is half pool, half dancefloor, and is enclosed by villas that you probably can’t afford. In stark contrast to Vegas, and quite bizarrely, Ushuaïa and other Ibiza hotels will almost never let you in the pools during their pool parties, though Ushuaïa did supply a kiddie pool of sorts—for the most inebriated to play in. From July 4 through August 29, Sebastian Ingrosso, Steve Angello, and Axwell took turns helming the party, with the full trio gracing Ushuaïa with their presence once a month. This week’s edition of Swedish House Mafia’s Wednesday residency featured Ingrosso repping his Refune label with openers Otto Knows and Alesso. Ushuaïa’s décor for the night was magenta, representing Ingrosso’s “dot.” If you’re not familiar with SHM’s marketing campaigns, they have been using a variety of objects grouped in trios. Ushuaïa’s promo materials consisted of cyan, yellow, and magenta dots, each representing a different SHM member. Stage production was top-notch, with scantily clad dancers, acrobats aplenty, and trios of massive fireballs dancing into the air at peak moments. Occasionally, during the set revelers were even treated to an epic low-flyover by a jet arriving or departing the island. Vroom. Over the course of the night we heard all seven SHM singles and remixes released up to that point—Eric Prydz’s remix of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus,” Bingo Players’ “L’Amour,” Pendulum’s “The Island,” among others. It was quite a festival headliner-style set, and a few weeks later we heard a suspiciously similar closing pyrotechnics-synced segment from the full trio at Tomorrowland. Ingrosso—amidst chants for “one last
song!”—fittingly concluded with his and Alesso’s summer hit, “Calling (Lose My Mind).” On Thursday, we dove deep into Ibiza’s techno underbelly. After a long relationship with Sven Väth and the Cocoon family, Richie Hawtin presented his first solo Ibiza residency at Space Ibiza—located right across the street from Ushuaïa—in the form of ENTER. Running July 5 through September 20, ENTER. was based on four principles: music, Sake, technology, and experience. ENTER.Music showcased an expansive lineup curated by Hawtin in the ENTER.Sake and ENTER.Air (Space’s rooftop terrace) rooms, and his collaboration with Space to fill the main room (dubbed ENTER.Kehakuma). ENTER.Sake was the official club pre-party, beginning at an early 10 p.m. This particular Thursday showcased the sounds of Hito and the one and only François K, with Hawtin serving up free Sake and conversation to anyone interested. Our favorite cocktail of the entire week, “The Minus,” was available during ENTER.Sake, and was so good that it begs to be recounted: First, the mixologists filled a tall glass with large ice cubes, added two circular slices of orange, and one lime. They then added mixer, ginger, and inserted a miniature hookah tip into the drink, lighting a vanilla scented tobacco, and covered the top of the glass, letting the smoke infuse with the drink for approximately one minute. They then released the cover and immediately added hot Sake. Yum. But enough about drinks; where’s the technology aspect, you ask? Well, Hawtin served that up in the form of ENTER.Interakt, a musical art installation that patrons could interact with via the “Smudge”
iPhone app, created by Liine. Each individual Smudge device began with a black dot on a white background—the minimalist theme used throughout the ENTER. experience. The shape of your Smudge determined what type of sound and light would be triggered within the installation, and the app continues to work outside Space as a collaborative or standalone sequencer. Following ENTER.Sake and ENTER.Interakt, we bounced around for the rest of the night, buzzing to Edu Imbernon’s hefty bass, catching our breath with Alva & Byetone up top for ENTER.Air, and thoroughly enjoying Paco Osuna’s poised warm-up of the main room. After a whirlwind minimal techno set from Richie ending at 7:40 a.m.—Curtiss Lee’s “Freaks” was a sought-after ID from the set for months afterward—we followed the ENTER.EXIT signs, and fled like vampires to our coffins to recover for the next day’s debauchery. After a short drive toward the center of the island, we found ourselves at Amnesia Ibiza for Marco Carola’s “Music ON” concept, this occasion featuring Martin Buttrich (live), Audiofly, Pirupa, Mar-T, and Marc Antona (live). Amnesia, famous for often hosting the Cocoon, Together, and Cream parties, sports a massive terrace area and confusingly smaller “main room,” where Martin, Audiofly, and Mar-T performed. Friday highlights included Pirupa’s tribal beats, what were arguably Ibiza’s most beautiful dancers in the main room, and cheeky Audiofly wearing a shirt with his own face on it. Adding fuel to the ever-present digital DJing debate, Buttrich had an embarrassing laptop snafu that nearly ended his set
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several times. Pirupa and Carola each destroyed the terrace with their own brand of tech-house, techno, and deep house; keeping energy levels high late into the night and early next morning. The once pitch-black ceiling turned into striped bars of sunlight around 6:15am, and it was Music OFF somewhere around 7:30. Saturday night kicked off with a mouth-watering dinner at Café Mambo, located in the western city of San Antonio. We were joined by the Defected label crew, hosting their “Defected In The House” event at Pacha Ibiza later that night. Café Mambo has an arrangement with Pacha where that night’s headlining DJ will play an evening set at Café Mambo. Accordingly, we were treated to the funky sounds of Defected label-chief Simon Dunmore while we ate, and then it was off to Pacha for a second course. Young gun Tucillo was up first, turning on the deep-house burners ever so tastefully as he simmered the club in preparation for bossman Dunmore. His biggest moment may have been when he played the Huxley remix of Pirupa’s “Party Non Stop,” and Dennis Ferrer picked up right where he left off, handling the club with unadulterated ease. If you want to see a veteran DJ do his job, well, you need to see Dennis Ferrer. Solomun closed the night out with what was, based on music alone, my favorite set of the week. Spinning deep house that took us down into Marianas Trench, he forever etched into our brains Kolombo’s “My Own Business,” his remix of Kraak & Smaak’s “Let’s Go Back,” and his vocal remix of
Noir & Haze’s “Around.” Following a temporary coma, Sunday’s festivities began with an Ibiza staple: drinking sangria while enjoying a bayfront sunset at Café del Mar, next door to Café Mambo. Everyone gathers round, cheers erupt as the sun sets between the two neighboring islands, and at that moment the smooth bossa nova soundtrack transforms into pre-club beats. If you ever find yourself in Ibiza, this is an unforgettable experience. Post-sunset, we made our way back across the island to Ushuaïa once again, this time for Avicii’s Sunday residency. The night’s guest openers included Oliver Ingrosso (Sebastian’s cousin), Joachim Garraud, and Dada Life. This one felt a lot like SHM Wednesdays, with a similar crowd and vibe. Sweden’s Dada Life made the place go bananas—or BNNS, as they’re so fond of shouting—with their patented brand of electro-house. Shirtless men were everywhere, and oddly enough, there were more guys on each other’s shoulders than women. OK… Headliner Avicii surprised us from time to time by deviating from his usual melodic prog-house in favor of a smidgen of tech-house. Later, he even delved into heavier electrohouse with tinges of dubstep—tracks in the vein of Cazzette, the second major act from Avicii's manager, Ash Pournori. Shortly before midnight, surprising no one, Avicii dropped “Levels,” and the melody never left the crowd’s brains, their drunken chanting continuing well into the night after Avicii wrapped up. Monday afternoon marked yet another glorious Ibiza tradition—boat parties! While there are many to choose from—Pukka Up appears to be the dominant force on the island—we decided to go with the relative newcomer Driftwood Ibiza, which bills itself as “Ibiza’s only trance and progressive boat party.” Making its White Isle debut in 2011, Driftwood returned with 14 pre-“A State of Trance” boat parties, though ironically, the majority of the music seemed to be Anjunabeats/Anjunadeep releases—so much so that it felt like a sponsored bash. After our short, blissful romp through the Mediterranean Sea, we set out for Armin van Buuren’s “A State of Trance” residency at Privilege Ibiza, crowned world’s largest nightclub by the Guinness Book of World Records. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013, and boasting a whopping 10,000-person capacity, the club features three main spaces, 14 bars, a massive domed outer room, several terraces, and a modified aircraft hangar main room, complete with a central swimming pool. Unfortunately, we found ourselves
at one of the only nights of the season that our ASOT main-man Armin was not performing—he was home celebrating his daughter’s birthday. Filling the void was Markus Schulz (America’s Best DJ 2012), Dash Berlin, Cosmic Gate, TyDi, and Jochen Miller. Complementing the massive club and heavyweight lineup was production of equally stellar value. I’d wager that Privilege has Ibiza’s biggest LED screen, plus fireballs that rival Ushuaïa’s and enough bass and air cannons to knock over your drinks. And yes, that actually happened to us. As many of Armin’s singles and accompanying high-budget videos were displayed during the Dash Berlin and Markus Schulz sets, I wondered if they had been required to play certain tracks to make up for the big man’s absent musical footprint. Armin or
not, this still was ASOT, after all—and it was pretty wild. Early on in Markus’ set, a man wearing a glowing suit began to ride a lit-up bicycle across a previously unnoticed wire. With one massive front wheel and one tiny back wheel, the bike’s rubber tires would spin the tubeshaped platform as he rode around. He went forward, he went backward, and then they turned on the massive sparklers, showering the club and pool below with 360-degrees of sparks. Had Markus not been doing his usual slaying, I might have thought the show was over and gone home right then! Standout tracks from each DJ’s set included Markus’ use of Porter Robinson’s “Language” with a mystery vocal laid atop of it, Dash Berlin’s “Dash-up” of Deadmau5’s (continued on page 42)
2000W TruSource™ Technology DL2 Integrated Digital Mixer
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MAKING TRACKS STUDIO…HARDWARE…SOFTWARE…
SASHA SOUNDLAB: POWERFUL TOOL By Josh Harris
I’m always intrigued when a marquee DJ/producer lends his name to a sound library that the general public can dive into for its own productions. We typically see this with sample libraries that consist of construction kits, loops and single shots. It’s not quite as common for an EDM producer to partner up with a company to create a specialized batch of sounds, which are available as a sound library for a specific software synth. Such is the case, however, with Sasha Soundlab. Most readers should be familiar with the legendary Welsh DJ/producer Sasha (aka Alexander Coe). From his time
as a pioneering resident at Manchester’s Haçienda club to his seminal stint at New York’s Twilo with booth partner John Digweed, Sasha gained notice as a DJ’s DJ. And when you throw in a heavy discography of original productions and remixes, Sasha’s resume remains as impressive as anyone in our industry. However, I doubt that most of you have heard of Audio Raiders. Based in Los Angeles, Audio Raid-
ers was founded by Kevin Bazell, a well-known DJ/producer and sound designer. His original music has been released on various labels such as Bedrock, Audio Therapy and Perfecto. He also consults for Germany’s Native Instruments, which happens to be the same company that makes Kontakt, the software engine that drives Sasha’s Soundlab. Soundlab comes with over 4,000 sounds, 220 custom instruments and 100 loops and grooves. For those of you who don’t have the latest version of the Kontakt sampler, you can download the Kontakt Player free from the Native Instruments website. So, with a career that is 25-years deep, Sasha has quite a bit to draw from, which is what makes this collection so special. This is not a library that focuses on the hot synth sounds of the moment; instead, it takes you through a sonic retrospective, from Sasha’s point of view. Some of the samples have been processed through tube pre-amps and guitar stomp boxes, and some of the samples come from classic drum machines, but are tweaked a bit for maximum impact. There are 20 analog basses, 100 Loop Instruments, 26 vintage synths, 11 FX banks, 69 drum and percussion banks, and seven chord and stab
Soundlab: Loaded with useful vintage sounds.
banks. In addition to the sounds themselves, users have the ability to customize filters, velocity and envelopes. The real-time multi-effects provide a great outlet for additional sound shaping.
They are mapped out over an octave, so they can be played in any key. For all of you analog drum machine fans out
“THE OUTBOARD GEAR USED TO PROCESS THE SOUNDS IN SOUNDLAB IS GEAR THAT MANY OF US WILL NEVER OWN.” As I scrolled through the bass and vintage synth banks, I was struck by the uniqueness of this collection—I simply don’t have another sample library that sounds like Soundlab. Using an old analog synth in a track is one thing, but the processing of that synth is another. For me, this is where Soundlab really hits a home run. Some of the outboard gear that is used to process the sounds in Soundlab is gear that many of us will never own. Vintage analog gear does not come cheap, and to have that external processing as part of the sound palette is such a bonus. My favorite sound bank is the collection of Loop Instruments—users get drum loops, percussion loops, vibey rhythmic beds and musical phrases.
there, you’ll be happy to know that you get a classic step sequencer included with the drum and percussion banks. After I spent a few hours with Soundlab, I came away feeling very inspired to work on some tracks. I tip my hat to Sasha and Kevin Bazell for coming together and offering an extremely useful collection of sounds that will surely find a home with dance and nondance producers alike. As I’m writing this review, Sasha Soundlab is available on the Audio Raiders website (sasha-soundlab.com) for $99, and is available for both the Mac and PC platforms. Well done, fellas! If you have any questions for Josh Harris or Making Tracks, please send them to email@example.com.
SOUNDING OFF PLAYBACK…PRO AUDIO…PROCESSING
BACK TO THE OLD SCHOOL...
A Turntable! DJ-Tech’s feature-rich SL-1300MK6.
By Paul Dailey & Chris Davis
This month, we take a trip to the old school, as Paul Dailey takes on DJ-Tech’s SL-1300MK6 turntable and Chris Davis gives Technics’ RP-DH1250 headphones a listen. DJ Tech Turntables For decades, DJ manufacturers tried to compete with Panasonic’s mighty Technics SL-1200 turntable. As time went on and advancements in technology progressed, many of these competitors developed products with features that far outpaced the legendary unit. But the reliability and performance of the original “tank” was burned into DJs’ collective minds, keeping Technics on top of the heap until Panasonic discontinued the line in 2010, citing the market’s transition to digital and the company’s inability to secure analog parts. (Today, however, DJs can find various 1200 models on re-seller sites for prices that routinely surpass $1,000 each.) But even with more DJs turning to controllers, there remains a demand for turntables—both for DJ performance and as a means to play and record decades of vinyl. And while lots of companies continue to produce turntables (Numark, Gemini, Stanton, Vestax, etc.), there will always be room for a company that is content to develop solid, advanced products and sell them at reasonable price points. Enter DJ-Tech and its latest entry into the DJ turntable market—the SL-1300MK6. Featuring a strong direct-drive motor, 33/45/78 playback speeds, 10-/20-/50-percent pitch resolution, reverse play, removable target light, dual start/stop buttons (for battle DJs), and USB functionality, the unit is a great choice for live sets, but also an ideal candidate for archiving your vinyl collection. The Arrival: Out of the box, my tester was solidly built and sturdy, with a gorgeous high gloss paint job (in screaming orange) and a thick rubber base, which was clearly built to dampen sound and reduce vibration in all but the worst DJ booths. DJ-Tech also included detachable power and audio cables (with internal grounding, eliminating the need for a ground wire), a USB cable with Audacity (software for audio recording) and Magic Audio Cleaning (to remove clicks and pops in the ar-
Sturdy Cans: Technics’ re-issued headphones.
chiving process), slipmat, and a head shell (cartridge not included). Set-Up & Use: I equipped my DJ Tech SL-1300MK6 with an Ortofon Nightclub cartridge and, after balancing the tone arm and counterweight, the results were impressive. During cueing and further scratch sessions, the needle stuck as well as any S tonearm table I have tested, and every button, knob and slider felt rock-solid and well put together. Transitioning from track to track, the motor was steady and solid, with very little wow and flutter. Using vinyl and Traktor control vinyl, the results were equally flawless. Issues: There are a few minor points of contention that I have with the SL-1300MK6. First, I am not a fan of the power-button position, which was placed in an awkward location near the tonearm assembly. This makes turntable power downs infinitely trickier, as it would be very easy in a dark DJ booth to hit the tone arm when trying to accomplish this simplest of DJ tricks. Another issue I have is with the lack of adjustable start/ stop controls. Most modern turntables give you the ability to adjust the braking speed, from very short, to a rolling stop.The SL-1300MK6 omits this feature completely, which is a clear oversight, to my mind. Bottom Line: Those two relatively minor points aside, the DJ Tech SL-1300MK6 is a great addition to the lineup of available DJ-oriented turntables in the marketplace. It’s a great deck with enough features to appeal to young jocks just starting out, but also to true professionals looking for a reasonably priced ($499 MAP) alternative to the ghastly prices that Technics are being sold for on re-seller websites. It is an attractive turntable that is loaded with features, including a rock-solid motor and the kind of functionality that DJs want. Add in a USB port and recording software to help you archive your collection and you have a turntable that is worth of you attention and consideration. Technics Headphones To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the launch of the late, legendary Technics SL-1200 turntable, Panasonic has re-released its Technics pro DJ headphones. While the new Technics RP-DH1250 and RP-DJ1205 headphone models have been blessed with upgraded internal parts, they have no cosmetic differences, and (curiously) still bear the previous old RP-DH1200 and RP-DJ1200 product numbers. The packaging highlights this discrepancy, with its photo of the headphones alongside a conflicting model number, so no need to return the headphones thinking you have the wrong model. Panasonic sent us a pair of the RP-DH1250s, and here
are our thoughts after spending a few weeks with them. Inside the Box: It appears Panasonic is going after both the DJ market as well as the casual listener, considering these cans now include a cord with remote, microphone, volume, and play/ pause functions designed to control Apple’s wide range of iDevices. We tested the new cord with several Android-based cell phones and had mixed results; generally the only function that worked was the play/pause button. Also found inside the box is a standard coiled cable featuring a 24K goldplated L-type stereo plug adaptor that unscrews to become a 3.4mm headphone plug. The cables can be easily removed from the headphones, though the twist-and-pull locking mechanism will ensure the cord stays put during your heaviest head-banging. A sizeable soft carrying case is included to keep your new purchase safe from scratches and dirt in your DJ bag, though a hard case would have been nice. I have never understood why so few headphone manufacturers include hard cases with their premium headphone models. Appearance & Durability: The headphones have a mirror-like shiny face and raised dots around the outer rim, paying homage to the platter of the Technics SL-1200 turntable. Whether or not the shine is for you will be up to your personal style, though you should note that it collects fingerprints quite easily. They sport a wide, padded black headband emblazoned with “Technics” in a dark purple font. The build quality is somewhat thicker and heavier than others on the market, so you can be sure these will take a beating. Usability: An integrated swivel mechanism allows for free-style or single side monitoring, and the foldable headphone design is pretty standard. The aforementioned headphone cords can be swapped out depending on your length, coil preferences, and your listening environment. Sound Quality & Isolation: A 3,500 mW power handling capacity and 5Hz ¬- 30kHz frequency response ensure that the RP-DH1250s will be heard over the loudest booth monitors. While I lack the proper equipment to do a proper spectral analysis of the frequency response, it is safe to say that the headphones have a solid low end, decent midrange, and are slightly muted on the top end. I would not recommend using these for studio monitoring, as they lack a flat EQ, though they are great for DJing and causal listening. The firm grip on your head ensures for excellent isolation, though you will still get some sound bleeding in from a loud booth. Comfort: The stiff upper head-
band and clamping effect that the headphones create can become a bit fatiguing after extended periods of time, and with a relatively small head, I can imagine the effect is exaggerated on more big-headed folk. The good news is that you can be sure they will stay on your head. After a few weeks of usage this feeling seemed to subside a bit, so you may need to break them in a bit before they fit your head properly. Additionally, the soft, black-padded earpieces were not as thick as I would have liked, causing the ear to actually rest against the thinly fabric-bound
plastic drivers, and shortening the time that I could comfortably wear the headphones. Conclusions: While I’d mention its weight and comfort as issues, I’d also point to its durability and sound quality as distinct positives. The Panasonic Technics headphones are now available on Panasonic.com and in select retail stores for prices of $269.99 (RPDH1250) and $229.99 (RP-DJ1205). I f y o u h a v e a n y q u e s t i o n s fo r Sounding Off, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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MOBILE PROFILE CAREERS…INNOVATIONS…SUCCESS STORIES
MEET DJ EXPO’S TWO-TIME CHAMP
JACK BERMEO’S EXPO TITLES HAVE FUELED COMPANY GROWTH
By Stu Burke
Belleville, N.J—Like many DJs, Jack Bermeo sharpened his mixing skills in clubs and at friend’s parties, occasionally going out with other mobile DJs and performing at showcases. “Those events,” says Bermeo, “helped transform me into a professional performer.” As his company, LJ Productions, began to grow, his DJ mentor, Jorge Vincentty, exited the business and gave Bermeo all of his clients. “He knew a lot of guys in the business, but said that I was the only one who could treat his clients the way he did,” says Bermeo. “That was in 2001 and we still have many of those clients today.” In 2009, Vincentty decided to return to DJing, and came on board with Jack full time. “We knew that the business was bound to grow,” says Bermeo. “But neither of us would have expected it to explode the way it did. The chemistry and long history we have helped propel us to the level we are at as entertainers and as a company.” And the level of which Bermeo speaks is a company 18 members strong, booking an assortment of weddings, parties, corporates and mitzvahs. “We’ve trained a lot of our guys in-house,” says Bermeo when asked how he maintains a consistent product. “Before we send out a veteran performer, who is just starting out with our company, they must work with us as an assistant to get a feel for how we do things. Also, many times, we will send out Jorge to look in on events that our guys are hosting to make sure they are performing well and that the client is happy. “We have training seminars once a month where our company will come to the office and we will go over different topics, troubleshoot different scenarios and run games. Although we have a lot of people on our team, they all have their specific roles. Not all of them are MCs; some guys are strictly our tech guys and run the multiple big shows we can have going on during a given weekend. We tell each of our performers, techs, and
DJs, what we expect of them and how they are to be at the venue.” One outgrowth of this attention to product is a referral network that has diminished the importance of bridal fairs and other lead-generating exercises. “Most of our referrals come from the very events we have performed at,” Bermeo says. “Our clients love to say that they had LJ Productions at their party and want to share the experience with their friends. The referrals we get from venues have come without our solicitation. We don’t ever go to a location and ask to be on their preferred vendors list. We have waited until they have seen our show and ask us to be a part of the list. By just doing your job and not worrying about getting on the vendor’s list, you show the venue respect. Countless guys come up to managers asking to get them these lists—with or without a little financial influence—and frankly, they
are sick of hearing it. “Do your job, and the banquet halls will come to you. Also, we are referred from a few facilities that do not even have us on their official vendors list, but we get the calls saying that so and so from this place or that place gave me your information. That is an even bigger boost because we know that there was nothing but respect that led to that referral.” One of LJ Productions’ biggest referral sources, Trump Golf & Country Club in Bedminster, N.J., approached Bermeo after the banquet manager of Trump saw him perform a communion at a VFW Hall. “Some guys think this kind of gig would be a simple party, but I performed as if though it was a multi-thousand dollar Mitzvah,” Bermeo says. “By doing so, I actually have booked several multi-thousand dollar mitzvahs through that referral source. Just goes to show that you never know whose looking at your
performance.” But ask Bermeo what adds fuel to his reputation and he’ll tell you that it’s going home a winner in the “DJ of the Year” competition at the DJ Expo—twice. “With winning, there is certainly a greater degree of pressure because you are now the embodiment of the profession,” he admits. “When clients want to see what the best of an industry is, you better be ready to show it. The workload has certainly increased around the office and the phone is most certainly ringing a little more than before. What hasn’t changed is my ability to stay grounded. I’ve stressed to everyone in the business, and especially my team, that we are professionals like anyone else and there is no place for ego. “I also feel the honor allows me a platform to show others outside of the industry that any negative stereotypes of DJs should be thrown out the window. I didn’t win the award because I did the best Electric Slide, had the brightest vest on, or was the most obnoxious person on the mic. I won it because of the dedication I had to improving my routine to make sure it was something my colleagues can learn from and be entertained with. It’s what we all do as professional entertainers—constantly strive to be better.” We asked Bermeo where he sees his company’s growth five years in the future. “I hope to add to our team,” he says. “Don’t get me wrong: Our guys have helped build this company and they will continue to grow. We will continue to stay on top of the changing trends from music to production, even on how the office is run. We hope to take LJ Productions to a national level by exposing our brand and style of entertainment to a broader market. We have even considered approaches that take our company beyond our international borders. Overall, we want to show everyone what we do for a living, which is brings joy to thousands.”
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BUSINESS LINE SALES…MARKETING…SOLUTIONS…
35 WAYS TO CHANGE YOUR BUSINESS—VIA DJ EXPO
By Gregg Hollmann
Today’s DJ business owner operates in a fast-paced and changing world. One of the best ways to stay sharp is to attend the seminars at DJ Expo, presented by DJ Times each August in Atlantic City, N.J. To that end, I attended as many seminars as possible, not only collecting “nuggets” of information, but also searching for a breakthrough idea capable of catapulting my business to the next level. Hopefully, you’ll find something in these seminar takeaways to take your business to the same place. Steve Moody’s All-Star MC Secrets Revealed: A great opening speech by the MC is critical: it sets the tone for the event, it establishes likeability early on, and makes it easier to be forgiven by guests later. One interesting idea is to construct an “elegant pep rally”—congratulating guests on being among the chosen few at the reception, and asking if they are as excited as you are to be celebrating with the bride and groom. Use personal stories to establish that you are “much more than a DJ.” Another topic regarding bridal party introductions was how to “make grand entrances grand.” Video footage from actual weddings demonstrated the difference between “announcements” and a personalized “grand entrance.” In the first video clip used to illustrate “announcements,” an MC accurately and energetically announced a bridal party into the room. For a “grand entrance,” names were announced and the MC also provided an interesting fact or humorous story about each bridal party member. The benefits of doing a grand entrance in this fashion are: 1) it establishes audience connection; 2) it excites the audience; and 3) it puts guests “in the mood.” Another takeaway bucked tradition: have the bride’s parents sit on the groom’s side of the aisle. Seated this way, a parent can observe their child’s facial expressions during the ceremony. A fun “What’s in Your Wallet?” game was next. Using it to pick the next table to visit the buffet, the MC calls for an item (e.g., “a picture of Ben Franklin”); the first person from a table to produce the item gets to eat. Get Down to Business with Joe Molineaux: This fast-paced seminar helped attendees set business goals. Writing a business plan is a worthwhile exercise as it provides a road map for the future and makes it easier to be approved for a loan. Seek out advice from well-regarded peers or business experts. Take advantage of the wealth of information on the website (www.sba.gov). Perfect your 30-second “elevator speech” used to describe your services upon an initial meeting; and in sales, “treat people like people, not prospects.” Know Your Video—The Future of Mobile Entertainment: Key tips include: (1) steady your shots—use a tripod and don’t be dancing around while filming; (2) lighting is important, either get a small LED light for the camera, or take advantage of bright dancefloor lighting effects like washes; (3) Keep your videos mysterious by avoiding generic effects and text used in popular software packages; and (4) for transitions, use clean cuts or dissolves. The camera on the iPhone4S compares very favorably to the Canon 5D. Ideas for Growth—Making a Multi-Op Work: Some takeaways
from Mike Walter’s seminar: (1) Price is important, but clients will pay more if they perceive you as unique; (2) As an MC, your choice of words can make all the difference in the emotional impact delivered (“Change your words, change your world”); (3) As a business owner with a staff, stay humble and share the spotlight with others; and (4) Be accountable for results and don’t blame others. The Top 10 Things DJs Should Know About Copyright Law: Coe Ramsey told us that DJs who perform recorded music in events to the public (such as restaurants and bowling centers) should be aware that venue or the DJ must have an ASCAP or BMI license. Also, the trade in illegal hard copies on websites like Craigslist and eBay is being monitored by the music industry, with these illegal drives being seized. Weddings 2013—Creating Memorable Moments: The boldest idea from Mark Brenneisen was an alternative to the “dollar dance”: a fundraising contest between the bride and groom coordinated by the DJ. Of course, guests will want the bride to win and will bid enthusiastically on her behalf. This contest can quickly raise between $300 and $1,100 per event. These cashed-up brides a n d g ro o m s a re more likely to tip their DJ! Another technique: open a wedding reception with a dance set and packed dancefloor for the grand entrance of the bride and groom. Finally, another “signature moment” possibility is recording the Best Man’s toast, and later in the night, overdubbing these words on top of a slow dance. Solutions from the Sales Coach: Among the tips dispensed by Carolyn Herfurth were “stop convincing and start having conversations,” profile and cater to your perfect customer (“perfect peep”), replace lame stock questions with well-crafted questions, and “own your price.” How to Get On (And Stay On) Preferred Vendors Lists: Excellent tips here from Joe Bunn to help your company gain referrals from banquet halls and wedding vendors, a powerful marketing strategy with a relatively low out-of-pocket cost. (1) Keep a database of contacts and systematically update it after each gig; (2) Send out email newsletters on a periodic basis to your contact list using a program like MailChimp, Constant Contact or Ace of Sales; (3) Blog about your wedding events, providing links to the other vendors who worked with you (“people love to read about themselves”); (4) “Conquer Bridal Shows” meaning that at a bridal show, you should strive to meet and network with not only brides, but with the other exhibitors; and (5) Join industry groups populated by banquet, restaurant, and event professionals such as NACE and ISES. Closing Tip: The Expo seminars confirmed that we are in a technologically advanced world that’s moving faster than ever. Numerous presenters spoke about DJs needing to be where their customers are. For wedding DJs, that means Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, wedding portals and review sites. Gregg Hollmann is the owner of Ambient DJ Service in East Windsor, N.J.
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Get Your Freqs On
Bunson and Tweaker
American DJ 6122 S. Eastern Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90040 (800) 322-6337 www.americandj.com
Mixware LLC 7421 Laurel Canyon Blvd. Unit 14 North Hollywood, CA 91605 (786) 362-5757 www.electrixpro.com
The Freq 5 and Freq 16 are two-in-one effects from American DJ that combine a white LED strobe, which pulsates at up to 1,200 flashes per minute, with a five- and 16-zone chase effect, respectively. The former can be operated in one-, two-, five- and seven-channel DMX modes, while the latter features one-, two-, 16-, or 18-DMX-channel operation. Both LED strobe bars come with sound-active built-in programs and feature 0-100-percent dimming.
The Tweaker performance controller from Electrix features a twochannel DJ-mixer-style interface, complete with a 32-button grid, velocity sensitive pads, and push encoders with LED rings. The Tweaker—which can be used as a stand-alone controller or as an add-on to any setup—is USB-class-compliant with both Mac and PC. The Tweaker ships with Traktor LE 2 and it is designed to work with Traktor Pro 2, Ableton Live and Serato Scratch Live.
Sweet P-Series Cerwin-Vega 772 S. Military Trail Deerfield Beach, FL 33442 (954) 949-9600 www.cerwinvega.com
Sony Creative Software 1617 Sherman Ave Madison, WI 53704 (800) 577-6642 www.sonycreativesoftware.com Vegas Pro 12 adds dozens of feature enhancements, performance improvements and workflow innovations to Sony’s Vegas editing program. Among them are the Color Match plug-in that matches color characteristics from one clip to another; and Expanded Edit mode for fine-tuning the timing of a project using an interactive “A-B roll” paradigm; and Effects Masking for obscuring a face or logo. Vegas Pro 12 is available with or without DVD Architect and Dolby Encoder software.
Cerwin-Vega’s P-Series family of professional PA systems includes two active speakers, the P1500X and the P1800SX. The P1500X is a two-way, bi-amped, full-range bass-reflex speaker that comes equipped with a 15-inch woofer and high-frequency compression driver, powered by a custom Class-D amp. Features include enhanced EQ, VEGA BASS boost and a built-in mixer with I/O connections. The P1800SX is a powered subwoofer that features an 18-inch woofer with a custom 2000W Class-D amp. Housed in a hardwood cabinet, the unit features THRU and MIX output options for system expandability.
A Little Bit of Solo Loop Loft-y Goals The Loop Loft, LLC 640 S 50th Street Suite 2201 West Des Moines, IA 50266 (347) 645-4433 www.thelooploft.com
Set the COLORbar High Chauvet 5200 NW 108th Ave. Sunrise, FL 33351 (800) 762-1084 www.chauvetlighting.com Chauvet’s COLORbar SMD light fixture uses 648 tri-colored SMD LEDs to project chase effects and large-area washes. The unit creates effects in static colors, as well as color mixing, thanks to built-in automatic and sound-activated programs. It comes with three- and five-pin DMX connections for installation, as well as a locking IEC plug that secures the power cord in place. COLORbar SMD works with ShowXpress to create dynamic chases, animations and strobe effects using a matrix of multiple units.
The Loop Loft released Eric Harland: Looped, Vol. 1, a royaltyfree collection of loops and samples offered in all major audio formats, as well as MIDI loops. Grammy-nominated drummer Harland recorded the collection over the course of six months, creating jazz-fusion syncopation, backbeat funk, odd meters and other beats. Eric Harland: Looped, Vol. 1 is designed to work with any DAW on the market, including Pro Tools, GarageBand, Reason, Ableton Live and Logic.
Focusrite Novation 840 Apollo Street, Ste 312 El Segundo, CA 90245 (310) 322-5500 www.focusrite.com The iTrack Solo is a two-channel, dual-input interface from Focusrite that is designed forthe iOS platform. It is fully compatible with Mac and PC computers, as well as iPads. iTrack Solo records instruments like guitar, bass and keyboards, as well as vocals, at up to 24-bit/96kHz digital performance. It’s housed in a unibody aluminum chas sis and comes equipped with a low-distortion, low-noise Focusrite microphone preamp. Rear panel phono connectors are included to give users line level outputs to an audio system for playback.
Pioneer Electronics 1925 E. Dominguez Street Long Beach, CA 90810 (310) 952-2000 www.pioneerdjusa.com The DDJ-WeGO DJ controller from Pioneer is available in five body colors—white, black, red, green and violet—and comes bundled with Virtual DJ Limited Edition DJ software. The controller works with PC and Mac and has the ability to support other DJ software including Algoriddim “djay.” The DDJ-WeGO has a built-in sound card, built-in audio port, and a jog wheel with LED backlights that help visualize the various pulse controls.
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Pantone 102c K90 K60 K70
Turn Ibiza Round
iPad on the Back Of 2 Minds Guillemot Corporation BP 2 56204 La Gacilly Cedex France +33 (0) 2 99 08 08 80 www.hercules.com Hercules’ DJConsole RMX 2 controller comes equipped with a high-resolution 96 kHz/24 bit audio interface that works with both PC and Mac computers. Housed in a metal casing, the unit includes five faders and 10 rotary potentiometers in 14-bit MIDI mode; pressure-sensitive jog wheels; a balanced microphone output; two stereo connectors; two balanced XLR outputs; two RCA outputs and four RCA inputs. It also comes with two sets of four backlit, velocity-sensitive pads to control loops, effects, samples and cue points.
IK Multimedia 1153 Sawgrass Corporate Pkwy Sunrise FL, 33323 (954) 846-9101 www.ikmultimedia.com IK Multimedia’s DJ Rig for iPad is now available from the App Store. The program takes the virtual equivalent of a full dual-deck hardware rig—two turntables or CD players, a DJ mixer, a DJ multieffects unit, a phrase sampler and more—and puts it on the user’s iPad. Each deck routed through the audio output jack on the iPad Users get 18 BPMsynced DJ effects, including delay, flanger, compressor, wah, and phaser. DJ Rig for iPad also features an “on-the-fly” sampler with nine assignable pads.
Prime Loops Unit 2a, Tavern Quay Business Centre SE16 7TX United Kingdom +44 (0) 207 237 7666 www.primeloops.com Ibiza Dance Anthems sound library from Prime Loops inc l u d e s m o re t h a n 1 1 0 2 4 bit trance synth hooks, dance basslines, club drum loops and one-shot that help DJs recreate the Ibiza vibe. The contents of the pack are divided into five complete construction kits. The royalty-free set is available in a variety of formats, including WAV, Rex2 Loops and Apple Loops. It’s available for download from the Prime Loops website.
Rub for Cover
JBL Cases 18922 N. Dale Mabry Hwy Lutz, FL 33548 (813) 995-6030 www.jblbags.com JBL Cases’ line of PRX400 series covers is the only official protective cover for the JBL PRX speakers, including the PRX412M, PRX415M, PRX425, and PRX418S speakers. The speakers are protected from scratches, dings and dents by five millimeters of thick foam padding. The cases are made of black tear-resistant nylon and feature a printed JBL logo. They also come with “convenient handle access points,” according to the company, which let users reposition the speaker cabinet without removing the cover.
GROOVES TRACKS…MIXES…COMPILATIONS UNTIL NOW [DELUXE EDITION] u Swedish House Mafia u Virgin
Swedish House Mafia
– Chris Davis
TOOLROOM KNIGHTS u Stefano Noferini u Toolroom Records Leading off with Technasia’s rollicking and sassy “Heart of Flesh,” Noferini’s mix lays down hip-shaking beats the whole way through. Other highlights: Winx vs. Nic Fanciulli’s “Don’t Laugh” (2012 Remix), Noferini’s “Afterhours” and Donald Trumpet’s “Orkestrated.”
– Jim Tremayne RED MEAT u Zenbi u Stereo Productions The 2 Bears
D.C. native Christopher Porter (aka Zenbi) hits us with a bass-filled tech-house bouncer. He rightfully proclaims, "If this don't make your booty shake, then your booty must be dead." Indeed. – Chris Davis
WANKELMOODS, VOL. 1
u Wankelmut u Poesie Musik This deft mix of minimal moments, bright hooks and ecstatic pounders makes for an intoxicating brew. Of course, we get Wankelmut’s hit mix of Asaf Avidan &The Mojos’ ethereal “One Day/Reckoning Song,” but also check Black Light Smoke’s irresistible “Lovework (DJ T. Remix)” and Adam Port’s nervy “Black Noise.” – Jim Tremayne DISKO FUNK ODYSSEY
On this 23-track set, you get festival-highlight originals, unreleased cuts, remixes, collabs, group faves and solo efforts, making this a must-have for any EDM fan. Faves? The euphoric Steve Angello & Third Party’s “Lights,” their blend of “Heart Is King/ Save The World” (Knife Party Remix) and their closing mix of “Save The World/Punk” (Arty Rock-nRolla Mix).
u DJ Dan u Guesthouse Music Dan expertly weaves old disco samples with house and techno production to create a sound that’s both classic and funky fresh. Check the bounce of “The Edge,” the proper disco homage of “Love Is Stronger,” lead singles “Fist Pump Broken” and “Disko Dancing,” and the stomping “Nasty Night Out.” – Chris Davis
Each month in this space, DJ Times digs through the virtual crates to give you a quick sample of the plethora of extraordinary tracks available exclusively on legal download— care of our favorite next-generation “record” stores (e.g. Beatport, iTunes, etc). “Play” (Original Mix) by Pidoo [Warm Walls]: Thick with a punchy and full bass, crackly percussion and syncopated toms. The vocal chops add a subtle but memorable memory and the organ-style chords add sheen. A perfect tech-house groove with a straightforward, yet effective break. Found at beatport.com.Found at beatport.com. “Audio 15” (Marseille Remix) by Proxy [Dim Mak]: Reminiscent of the ’80s industrial sounds of Front 242 with a modern techno foundation, Proxy comes hard with an unnerving arpeggiated bassline and filtered acid synths divided by a brooding drop in the middle. Available free at soundcloud.com/dimmakrecords. “Let Me Go” (Original Mix) by Deep Future [Gruuv]: A modern interpretation of deep house, this one builds from a bouncy rhythm and filtered chord progression in the Detroit-techno vain. Luscious round bass fills it up and the soulful vocals are the cherry on top. Found at beatport.com. – Robert LaFrance
2 BEARS, 1 LOVE
u The 2 Bears u ITH (Defected In The House) Here, The 2 Bears’ goal of an organic, lasting mix— something with character-building imperfections instead of pitch-perfect composition—is craftily executed. Faves include Mike Dunn’s Main Vocal Mix of “Na Na Na (I Walks With God),” Paperclip People’s “Throw,” Zed Bias’ “Boomerang,” Mosca’s remix of Four Tet’s “Sing,” and Ashley Beedle’s “Run The Track.” – Chris Davis JOURNEY u Mario Basanov u Needwant Basanov leads us on a pilgrimage to a deeply funky world of chilled-out, frosty beats on his debut full-length. Weaving refined house with expressively catchy pop hooks, his careful use of powerful vocalists keeps the vision as strong as it is enigmatic. Standouts include “Closer,” “Something About,” “Like A Child,” “Say What Ya Want,” and “Slip Away.” – Chris Davis
MONSTA EP u MONSTA u OWSLA On this EP of radio-friendly, poppy bass-music tunes, we get three vocal-hook-laden, uplifting subsonic originals, as well as remixes from Dillon Francis, Alvin Risk, and Skrillex with Nero. Check both the original and pounding Alvin Risk remix of “Messiah.” – Chris Davis
u Bassnectar u Amorphous Music The ’Nectar is back with another devious concoction of brain-rattling bass. The title track and remix of Zion I’s “Human” aim to satisfy your hip-hop thirst, and the uptempo bass of “Breathless” will get that adrenaline pumping. For that classic Bassnectar roar, check “Ego Killer” (Bassnectar & Timeline Remix) followed by the soothing, subdued BPMs of “Hologram.” – Chris Davis
HOUSE MASTERS: DERRICK CARTER
u Derrick Carter u Defected On this fresh house comp, Carter opts for lesserknown releases, instead of his many commercial successes. Drawing from old, dusty DAT tapes and longforgotten hard-drives, no fewer than 15 unreleased tracks make the cut, and winners like “Hallelujah” (DC Private Edit), “Richi” (DC's Full Phat Edition), and “Boiling Point” (BHQ Private Stock) help realize this booty-shaking vision. – Chris Davis
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Compiled As Of November 15, 2012
National Crossover Pool Chart 1 Swedish House Mafia F/ John Martin Don't You Worry Child 2 David Guetta F/ Sia She Wolf (Falling To Pieces) 3 Nicki Minaj Pound The Alarm 4 Steve Aoki Vs Duran Duran Hungry Like The Wolf 5 Rita Ora R.I.P. 6 Pink Blow Me (One Last Kiss) 7 Kimberley Locke Finally Free 8 Christina Aguilera Your Body 9 September Hands Up 10 Nire AllDai Hella Bad 11 Frankie All Right 12 Emeli Sande Daddy 13 Kristine W. Everything That I Got 14 Florence And The Machine Spectrum(Say My Name) 15 Kelly Clarkson Dark Side 16 Noah New York Is Dead 17 Mariah Carey F/Rick Ross & Meek Mil Triumphant (Get 'Em) 18 5KiTzZ0 Breaking Up With Molly 19 Madonna Turn Up The Radio 20 Markus Schulz F/ Seri Love Rain Down 21 Robbie Rivera F/ Wynter Gordon In The Morning 22 France Joli Hallelujah 23 Krewella Alive 24 Pet Shop Boys Winner 25 Adam Lambert Never Close Our Eyes 26 Scissor Sisters Let's Have A Kiki 27 Diamond Rings I'm Just Me 28 Jenna Drey Summer Night In Seattle 29 Connor Maynard Vegas Girl 30 Eric Turner Vs Avicci Dancing In My Head 31 30 Seconds To Mars Night Of The Hunter 32 Rihanna Diamonds 33 Gloria Gaynor All The Man That I Need 34 Usher Numb 35 Stacey Jackson I Am A Woman 36 Korr-A Fiyakraka 37 Taryn Manning F/ Sultan + Ned Shepa Send Me Your Love 38 Audio Playground F/ Snoop Dog Emergency 39 Bimbo Jones F/ Ida Corr See You Later 40 Bonzer Sunset
National Urban Pool Chart
Capitol Capitol Universal Republic Trident Gum Columbia Universal I Am RCA Robbins Capitol Dauman Capitol Fly Again Universal Republic RCA Noah Island/Def Jam Illuma Interscope Armada Black Hole 469 France Joli Columbia/Sony Astralwerks RCA Casablanca Astralwerks Audio 1 Capitol Capitol Capitol Island/Def Jam Promark RCA 3B1G Dauman Citrusonic Canwes Robbins Exclusive
1 Brandy F/ Chris Brown Put It Down RCA 2 Kanye West F/ Big Sean&Pusha T&2Cha Mercy Def Jam 3 Mariah Carey F/Rick Ross & Meek Mil Triumphant (Get 'Em) Island/Def Jam 4 Juicy J F/Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz Bandz A Make Her Dance Columbia 5 Dj Khaled F/Kanye West & Rick Ross I Wish You Would Cash Money 6 Trey Songz Dive In Atlantic 7 French Montana F/R. Ross,Lil'Wayne& Pop That Interscope 8 Alicia Keys Girl On Fire RCA 9 Future Turn On The Lights Epic 10 2 Chainz F/ Kanye West Birthday Song Island/Def Jam 11 Leah LaBelle Sexify Epic 12 Lupe Fiasco Around My Way Atlantic 13 Kendrick Lamar Swimming Pools Interscope 14 Rick Ross F/ Drake & Wale Diced Pineapples Island/Def Jam 15 Ludacris Jingalin Island/Def Jam 16 Young Jeezy Way To Gone Island/Def Jam 17 Chris Brown Don't Judge Me RCA 18 Ne-Yo Lazy Love Island/Def Jam 19 Usher Dive RCA 20 Marcus Canty F/ Wale In & Out Epic 21 Kendrick Lamar F/ Dr. Dre The Recipe Interscope 22 Ca$h Out Big Booty Epic 23 Chief Keef F/ Lil' Reese I Don't Like Interscope 24 Kelly Rowland F/ Lil' Wayne Ice Universal Republic 25 R. Kelly Feelin' Single RCA 26 Kanye West, Jay-Z, Big Sean Clique Island/Def Jam 27 Akon F/ French Montana Hurt Somebody Universal Republic 28 Miguel Adorn RCA 29 Frank Ocean Thinkn Bout You Island/Def Jam 30 50 Cent F/ Dr. Dre & Alicia Keys New Day Interscope 31 Rick Ross F/ Usher Raymond Touch'N You Island/Def Jam 32 Whitney Houston & Jordin Sparks Celebrate RCA 33 T.I. Go Get It Atlantic 34 Trey Songz F/ TI 2 Reasons Atlantic 35 Daley F/ Marsha Ambrosius Alone Together Universal Republic 36 K'La F/ Nas Blame Island/Def Jam 37 Curren$y F/ Big K.R.I.T. Jet Life Warner Brothers 38 Nas Daughters Island/Def Jam 39 Mykko Montanta F/ K-Camp Do It Universal Republic 40 Usher Numb RCA
Most Added Tracks 1 Frankie 2 Markus Schulz F/ Seri 3 Christina Aguilera 4 Audio Playground F/ Snoop Dog 5 Eric Turner Vs Avicc 6 Korr-A 7 Rihanna 8 Carol Hahn 9 Alicia Keys 10 Stacey Jackson
All Right Love Rain Down Your Body Emergency Dancing In My Head Fiyakraka Diamonds Where Is The Passion Girl On Fire I Am A Woman
Most Added Tracks Dauman Armada RCA Canwes Capitol Dauman Island/Def Jam Beagle Boy RCA 3B1G
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Lil Wayne F/ Detail Meek Mill F/ Kirko B The Weekend Rihanna Tex James F/ B.O.B & T.I. F/ Lil Wayne 2 Chains Ca$h Out F/ Wale Young Jeezy Brandy
No Worries Young & Gettin' It Wicked Games Diamonds Smart Girl Ball I'm Different Hold Up Get Right Wildest Dreams
Universal Republic Warner Brothers Universal Republic Island/Def Jam Columbia Atlantic Island/Def Jam Epic Island/Def Jam RCA
Reporting Pools ✦ Flamingo - Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Julio ✦ Masspool - Saugus, MA; Gary Canavo ✦ ✦ Pittsburgh DJ - Pittsburgh, PA; Jim Kolich ✦ Soundworks - San Francisco, CA; Sam Labelle ✦ Dixie Dance Kings - Alpharetta, GA; Dan Miller ✦ ✦ Pacific Coast - Long Beach, CA; Steve Tsepelis ✦
Looking for these titles? You can hear them and buy them at www.dancekings.com. Just click on the links in the chart. DDK has limited memberships available for qualified DJs in the US. We service CDs and MP3s in dance and urban formats. Feedback and membership dues required. 770-740-0356
(continued from page 16)
what it’s originally about. DJ Times: Most people in America don’t understand the influence and impact that the whole West Indian community has on EDM culture from the U.K. When it crossed over here, it became more about hip hop and heavy metal. The dub in dubstep got lost. Do you find with the new audience that there is hostility to the roots of this music, or are kids catching on? Rusko: I think a little bit, they’re catching on. I tried a little bit on the last record to throw in a lot of reggae influences and ragga influences having Protoje on. He’s one of my favorite Jamaican singers ever, supercool, and Alborosie as well, who’s like an Italian-Jamaican singer on the
track “Love No More.” So I tried to kind of fuse it together, but I do notice in my sets, the tracks which have that dubwise vibe don’t always go off that great when I play a U.S. college show compared to, say, Fabric [in London]. DJ Times: Why do you think that’s the case? Rusko: People don’t associate raving and taking Molly and wearing fairy wings and bikinis with reggae in America. Reggae is not rave music in the U.S. But in the U.K., it’s always been there. There’s always been allnight dub sound systems in the fields with people dancing all night and taking E's. The rave culture in the U.K. is a direct descendent of sound system culture and reggae culture. Even
the raves themselves now in 2012, there’s still a big reggae element to those outdoor festivals, be it a stage or the whole thing. And that doesn’t really happen in the States. DJ Times: I guess Diplo and the Snoop Lion project might be helpful. Rusko: I hope so. I mean, I’m always pushing it. DJ Times: Where do you feel the edge in dubstep production now is— things that aren’t being explored? Rusko: For the last year at least, [my inbox] has been people making the same song again and again. I downloaded a couple of those dubstep bass preset packs, because I couldn’t figure out how someone from Germany was sending me these tunes and someone from Austin, Tex-
as, was sending me tunes and they had exactly the same bass sounds. I was thinking after a few months of hearing the same bass sounds and the same drum sounds again and again and again, “Where are all these coming from?” It’s almost been made very paint-by-numbers. You just kind of download this and download this and download this, put it all together and hey, presto, you can sound like everybody else. I think things are getting a little softer now, which I like. Things kind of got as hard as they could get, this push to be distorted and aggressive and hard-sounding. It’s already gone as far as it can go with that. And I think now there’s a little bit of a shift the other way, to people being a bit more melodic with it. n
standard “Sunset Terrace,” featuring superb funky disco to warm up the night. Josh Wink commanded the “Covered Terrace,” amongst family and friends who were taking photos behind him for most of the set. Wink had one of the wildest crowds we saw all week, judging by the ecstatic British women screaming and dance-kicking to his bouncy, jazzy beats. One particularly saucy bird even climbed up on a subwoofer and did the unforgivable, requesting that Wink play her song! Continuing the feral-youth antics, a pushy crowd held forth in the rammed main room, where Space had removed all traces of Hawtin’s minimalist ENTER. dots. In their place was a laser-drenched disco-ball heaven, complemented by Marco Bailey’s smooth techno. Coming on at a
surprisingly early 3:45 was the boss, Carl Cox! We got a nice peek of Cox’s setup, sporting Pioneer’s fresh RMX-1000, several CDJs, and an Allen & Heath mixer, which we noted Ibiza clubs seemed partial to. About an hour later, Kryoman the robot appeared, showering the crowd with sparks and cooling fog. If you’re unfamiliar with Kryoman, he is a massive special effects-laden robot that is a staple at Cox’s Ibiza residency, and he or his “clones” can often be found at dance music events and festivals. Taking us on long, drawn-out peaks and valleys during his marathon set, Cox would crush the room with now-infamous tracks like Pirupa’s “Party Non Stop,” then lull us with lowering BPMs, and just as quickly smash our brains once again. The
blinding lights and late-night balloon drop made for a disorienting daze, even more so than Cox’s thumping techno. We left Space on Ibiza’s infamous disco bus, landed at our hotel back, and clutched onto a few hours of sleep before our daily (unsolicited) morning wakeup by the hotel maids. On this occasion, however, we were thankful—it was time to head to the airport for our flight to Barcelona! No matter where you are on the White Isle, the club is always just a step away—and the airport is no different. We spent our afternoon reflecting on the week’s experiences in David and Cathy Guetta’s “F*** Me I’m Famous” Ibiza airport lounge, which sports a DJ booth, restaurant, and bar. Of course. Ibiza, we hope to see you again next season. n
(continued from page 23)
“Sometimes Things Get, Whatever” with Armin’s “Not Giving Up On Love,” and Tydi dropping Gareth Emery’s “Concrete Angel.” Unfortunately, Ibiza was catching up with us, and we had to retire before Jochen Miller’s early morning performance. Our final day was bittersweet. For one thing, we were exhausted out of our minds from doing Ibiza proper six days a row, and two; it was almost time to leave! The consolation: Carl Cox Presents “Revolution Recruits” was happening that Tuesday night at Space Ibiza. It’s incredible how these clubs can transform from night to night, with staff often coming in precisely as the previous event ends to clean up and give the room a facelift for the next one. As we arrived, we found that Space had transformed Hawtin’s ENTER.Interakt room back into the
Eric Prydz Airs It All Out
Some call it “fear of flying.” I have a well-known phobia.
I call it “fear of crashing.” Eric Prydz, Next Month in DJ Times
KEITH SHOCKLEE As a founding member of Public Enemy Keith Shocklee has been defining and defying musical genres for over 30 years. “The future is the past! We’re taking new music to the streets in New York… it’s how we did it before Public Enemy and it’s happening again today - very organic and powerful.” Keith and his mobile DJ’s, Power5, trust their PRX600 speakers to deliver devastating grooves night after night. “PRX’s bang hard! We record on JBL LSR4300 monitors and when we perform live our PRX’s sound identical, just ten times louder. And, at 3:00 am after the smoke clears, their lightweight is heaven. JBL is the bomb!”
Photos by: James DeMaria
Learn more at jblpro.com/prx600 Check out Keith at keithshocklee.com
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