30 YEARS STRONG
30 YEARS STRONG
THE LATEST 1988 2018
AMERICA’S FIRST MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONAL DJs ESTABLISHED 1988 SPRING 2019 ISSUE VOLUME 32 NUMBER 3
New Tax Laws How Did DJs Do? Miami Music Week WMC, Ultra & More INSIDE New Orleans’ BUKU San Diego’s CRSSD Fest
Plus: Native Instruments Controllers Matrix & Futurebound Whipped Cream Audio Interfaces Dr. D: Gospel DJ
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AMERICA’S FIRST MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONAL DJs ESTABLISHED 1988
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VOLUME 32 NUMBER 3
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MIAMI MUSIC WEEK: REVITALIZED & REPACKAGED
WMC ’19: A-Trak & turntablism’s future.
UMF ’19: NGHTMRE & Slander rock it. Tech Talk: Laidback Luke’s WMC tutorial.
Atlantic City, N.J. – Keith Shocklee from the legendary Public Enemy rocks the Peavey party from the ’18 DJ Expo. Be there for this year’s AC show – Aug. 1215 at Harrah’s Resort – and experience 30 seminars, a full exhibit hall and exciting evening events. For the very latest, please visit www.thed jexpo.com.
DJ Expo 2019
on a $200 controller – great!” UMF: This year, Ultra Music Festival debuted at its new home on Virginia Key March 29-31. As was widely reported, fans did experience some extreme challenges when it came to exiting the premises after the first day. But, overall, the fans got plenty of great electronic music for three full days and there were many terrific moments. March 29: Born Dirty delivered an eclectic blend that included hip-hop, house and techno, plus “Badass,” his collab with Anna Lunoe, and latest weapon, “Squeaky.” On the mainstage, Nora En Pure set the tone with infectious tunes like “Diving with Whales” and “Polynesia.” Later, on the live stage, Louis The Child delivered a bubbly set packed with fan favorites like “Fire” and “Love Is Alive.” At the Worldwide stage, Dog Blood (Boys Noize and Skrillex) brought an audio assault where no genre was off limits. Highlights included their remix of Boys Noize’s “Midnight” and new single, “Turn The Lights Off.” March 30: The trio of NGHTMRE and Slander (present Gud Vibrations) rocked main stage with a set of relentless trap tunes and quaking bass bombs. At the Carl Cox Megastructure, Hot Since 82 treated techno fans with Giorgio Roma’s “Jungle Voices” and Darius Syrossian’s “Danzer,” then The Martinez Brothers unleashed a barrage pulsating beats fueled by Mathias Kaden’s “Trust” and Afefe Iku’s “Bodydrummin’.” On the mainstage, trance titan Armin van Buuren dropped big-room bombs like Vigel & Aryue’s booming single “Guangzhou” alongside “Show Me Love,” his recent collaboration with Above & Beyond. However, the night’s main event was the debut of deadmau5’s highly anticipated Cube 3.0 stage production, which saw the DJ/producer drop faves like “Raise Your Weapon” and “Drama Free.” March 31: Whipped Cream kicked off the bass-fueled afternoon with a tough set and was followed by a menacing dubstep attack by Svdden Death. Later, on the mainstage, Oliver Heldens rocked some new tunes, plus fan faves like “Summer Lover” and “Wombass,” his collab with Tiësto. On the Worldwide stage, REZZ unleashed spectacular visuals for closing-night fans with buzzy originals like “Purple Gusher” and “Selector.” For more from Miami Music Week, please see Page 20.
Miami Beach, Fla. – This past March 25-31, Miami Music Week saw the revitalization of one standardbearing event (Winter Music Conference), the repackaging of another (Ultra Music Festival) and the return of parties that always spice up the Miami area – from South Beach to Wynwood and beyond. WMC: Running March 25-28 at the Faena Forum, WMC presented dozens of seminars, a slate of industry mixers, the International Dance Music Awards, and an intimate exhibit hall, which included booths from inMusic (Denon DJ, Akai and Numark), Native Instruments, Pioneer DJ, and IK Multimedia. Highlights were many: On “The House That Acid Built: A Conversation with DJ Pierre and Irvine Welsh,” the Scottish author of “Trainspotting” made the case that the late-’80s acid-house phenomenon helped curtail U.K.-football hooliganism and had an impact on ending the violence in Northern Ireland. “Ulster lost a whole generation of fighters to the acid-house scene,” he said. “They weren’t taking up arms anymore… they were out there dancing.” Laidback Luke offered an outstanding reprise of his A.D.E. tutorial (“The Power of Creative DJing”), and afterward he decamped to the Denon DJ booth where he happily engaged fans and upstart DJs. On “The DIY Handbook: Self-Releasing Music for Independent Artists,” industry attorney Kurosh Nasseri threw down some knowledge: “The biggest mistake among collaborating indie artists is that the conversation about [monetary] splits doesn’t always happen. Who gets what? You need to know – that’s step one. Then step two is getting onboard with a publisher – get in touch with someone who administrates the money for your music.” On “The Future of Turntablism,” top jocks A-Trak and Craze detailed the ups and downs of the scratch world. “Luckily, we’re seeing a new wave of creativity now,” said A-Trak. “The ’90s scene dried out, people got bored with battles and DJs ran out of ideas. It got too nerdy, but it evolved. Of course, the DMC battles were slow to evolve and didn’t allow Serato until 2011. Turntablism had become frozen back then. “It’s better now, but we have to keep that childlike excitement going with open minds – the sonics have changed. This thing was born from experimentation, so we can’t get set in our ways again. If you want to scratch
By Jim Tremayne & Brian Bonavoglia
VOLUME 32 NUMBER 3
Spanning a Generation, Boys Noize Has Built a Sturdy Career That’s Hopscotched Categories & Embraced Collaboration BY BRIAN BONAVOGLIA
18 The Sunshine State From South Beach to Wynwood, Miami Music Week Saw Plenty of DJ Action BY DJ TIMES PHOTOGRAPHERS
22 The Tax Man Speaks
The New Tax Laws Affected Millions of Business Owners & Their Returns. What Happened? DJs Chime In BY MARK BATTERSBY
DEPARTMENTS 9 Feedback
As Always, the Answers to All Your DJ-Related Questions
28 Making Tracks
RME Babyface Pro & CEtrance Mixerface R4
New Technology Showcase
30 Sounding Off
Native Instruments MK3 controllers
32 Mobile Profile
Gospel DJ Chalks Up 40 Years
33 Business Line
5 Keys to Small-Business Success
New Products from Reloop, Presonus & More
MMW 2019 SPRING 2019
Phat Tracks from Tiësto, Paul van Dyk & More
41 Club Play Chart
BUKU Music + Art Project Rocks the Big Easy
26 Hot Shots San Diego’s CRSSD Fest Defies Wet Weather
27 Gear & Swagg Clubs Lights, Media Streaming & More
SAMPLINGS 10 Whipped Cream Bass Mixer
12 In the Studio With… Matrix & Futurebound
Contents Image by @nelgphotography
Special Section: ClubWorld
FROM THE EDITOR
Map Points, Boys Noize & the $28 Beer
The first time I saw Boys Noize spin, it was about 10 years ago during the Monaco International Clubbing Show at an outrageously upscale disco in Monte-Carlo called Jimmy’z. As the German DJ/producer rocked the well-heeled crowd with a barrage of electro bangers, I noticed that I was fresh out of drink tickets. So, looking to buy two Heinekens and having no idea exactly how much they might cost, I eased up to the bar holding a pair of 20-euro notes. I made the transaction with the bartender and I waited for the change. There was none. Computing the exchange rate of the day, I realized that I’d just spent $56 for a couple beers. OK… guess the tip was included. Anyway… since then, I’ve seen Boys Noize tear it up few times at festivals – and, obviously, spent significantly less on adult beverages. Regardless, it’s clear now that the 36-year-old Hamburg native has become one of the electronic scene’s most influential acts. Considering his own productions, collabs and remixes, plus his Boyznoize Records, the man also known as Alex Ridha deserves his place on the cover of this magazine. Our Brian Bonavoglia followed him to New Orleans and Miami, and caught up with him on the record. In Samplings, Lily Moayeri steps into the studio with U.K. drum-n-bass duo Matrix & Futurebound, while Brian Bonavoglia connects with Caroline Cecil, the Canadian bass DJ/producer known as Whipped Cream. On the tech side, Wesley Bryant-King handles a pair of reviews. In Making Tracks, he tests out two studio-oriented audio interfaces – RME’s Babyface Pro and CEtrance’s Mixerface R4. Then for Sounding Off, he tackles the latest MK3 versions of Native Instruments’ Traktor Kontrol S2 and S4 controllers. For his sidebar, Paul Dailey offers some tips for power users of the S4 MK3. For the mobile entertainer, Mark Battersby takes a look at how the new tax laws have impacted small-business owners (like DJ-company operators) this year. We also get three top mobiles to chime in on the topic. In keeping with the small-business theme, Jerry Bazata’s Business Line offers five tips on achieving success in that realm. And in Mobile Profile, 20 years after we initially featured him, we re-visit with Duane Knight, the Brooklyn-based gospel DJ known as Dr. D who’s celebrating 40 years in the business. This month’s issue saw some reporting from far-away map points. As is always the case each March, DJ Times visited South Florida for Miami Music Week, which included a rejuvenated Winter Music Conference, a re-located Ultra Music Festival and a slew of DJ-driven parties. We bring you all the MMW highlights. Additionally, in the ClubWorld section of this issue, Brian Bonavoglia reports from New Orleans’ BUKU Music + Art Project, which saw a mix of pop stars, underground acts and, yes, plenty of DJs. Also, after dancing thru raindrops, Jamie Sloane tells the story of San Diego’s CRSSD festival, which offered a nice balance of house, techno and trance DJ talent. Of course, we also have DJ Expo on the horizon. Set for Aug. 12-15 at Harrah’s in Atlantic City, N.J., the show will feature the DJ industry’s biggest exhibit hall, 30 educational seminar sessions and sponsored evening events, like Bose’s Pizza Party. And if you look across the page to your right, you’ll see some show updates, including our up-to-date seminar and panel sessions. For the latest, please visit thedjexpo.com – we hope to see you in AC this summer! Cheers,
Jim Tremayne Editor, DJ Times
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FEEDBACK AMERICA’S FIRST MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONAL DJs ESTABLISHED 1988
MIAMI MUSIC WEEK ISSUE
VOLUME 32 NUMBER 2
HOW DJS SURVIVE HEALTH CHALLENGES
NAMM SHOW: HOT GEAR PICKS
PLUS: MORGAN PAGE • G JONES • HERCULES DJCONTROL • GROOVE CRUISE • NATIVE INSTRUMENTS KOMPLETE 12 • BOOST YOUR BOTTOM LINE – NOW 048MR19_p001-044.indd 3
3/11/2019 3:43:08 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 email@example.com. 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. DJ Expo ’19: Seminar Updates Atlantic City, N.J. – DJ Expo – pre‑ sented by DJ Times and Testa Commu‑ nications – is set to run August 12-15 at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City. Now in its 30th year, DJ Expo will present its popular slate of DJ-related exhibitions, educational seminars/story-filled key‑ notes, and sponsored evening events. As America’s longest-running and mostsuccessful DJ conference/exhibition, DJ Expo draws more than 5,000 attendees. Just-announced new Expo sessions for the mobile entertainer include: NJDJA presents The Art of the Personal Brand. For its annual session, the New Jersey DJ Association will present recent DJ-industry/social-media sensa‑ tions Nick Spinelli and Rachel Lynch, who will highlight the social-media and marketing strategies that have catapult‑ ed their personal brands to new heights. How the Three R’s Can Improve Your Business. Rob Peters, owner of Rob Peters Entertainment in Franklin, Mass., will explain to DJs how to “Review, Re‑ model & Rehearse” – concepts that apply to improving your performance skills, as well as your marketing. Why People Dance & What DJs Can Do to Maximize Their Experience. The DJ’s No. 1 job is to get people dancing – but people dance for different reasons and understanding them goes a long way towards getting the most out of a crowd. In this in-depth seminar, New Jersey’s Mike Walter will break it down for you. He’ll explain the three main
categories of dancers and why each one gets on the floor. He’ll offer suggestions for getting more people up, ways to make your dancefloor a “judgment-free” zone and strategies that can take your event to a higher level. New Strategies: How to Increase Leads & Sales at Bridal Shows. Are you maximizing your opportunities at bridal shows? Is there anything worse than spending big bucks to advertise at a bridal show, then only getting a handful
of leads? Pittsburgh-area entertainer Eric Wenning will offer insights that actually work at these still-vital gatherings – he’ll reveal five social-media tactics that will change the way you do business. Party Games with Jake. Looking to re‑ ally stand out from other entertainers in your market? Look no further. In this allnew, high-energy session, Atlanta-area mobile Jake Jacobsen will showcase the best and freshest party-starting games that’ll be sure to help you win big busi‑
ness in your market. Be Prepared: How Your DJ Business Can Survive an Economic Downturn. Looking to secure smooth sailing for your DJ business, no matter the eco‑ nomic climate? DJ Times’ Money An‑ swer Man, Jerry Bazata, a banker by day and a 20-year DJ veteran, has your back. The Maine-based Bazata will present planning tools and tips that will prepare you for a potential bear market and a slowing economy.
WHIPPED CREAM: BASS MIXER
Whipped Cream: Figure skater becomes festival fave.
After a big 2018 that saw a string of impressive releases like “LUV” on Big Beat and “Blood” on Deadbeats, Caroline Cecil (aka Whipped Cream) is off to a rollicking start in ’19. The new year has already seen a pair of bass bombs, like her remix of ZHU’s “Desert Woman” and her original production “You Wanted It,” and the festival season’s just starting. Originally making serious waves in late 2017 with her Persistence EP, the Canadian talent’s intricate soundscapes and generally darkened style of production have steadily earned a larger audience. Just as she prepared to rock the Worldwide Stage at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival this past March, DJ Times caught up with Whipped Cream to discuss her career journey. DJ Times: You transitioned from competitive figure skater to DJ/producer – when did you realize music was your true passion? Cecil: Growing up, I always loved music. I would be curating everything, the road-trip playlist, friends’ birthday parties and competition practice at the rink. Then I got into an accident on the ice that made me lose a lot of my jumps and stability. That following summer I went to my first music festival and, for once in my whole life, I had felt truly alive – and when I say that, I mean accepted and whole. When I got home from that festival, I started making music. DJ Times: What’s the attraction? Cecil: Creating music and playing curated music for people is the only way I can fully express myself. I do this for more than just expressing myself, however; I do this in hopes of inspiring other people to follow what makes them feel alive. I do this as whole as possible to inspire people to be good people and not have to hurt anyone to make your dreams happen. I want to leave a good example that we all are one. No one is better than anyone else. DJ Times: It was the festival scene that introduced you to this music. How does it feel to come so far where the roles are reversed, and you are now the one inspiring festival attendees? Cecil: I feel like the luckiest human in the world. I can’t believe I get to experience this and get to feel so many people’s energy. DJ Times: When did music-production start to click for you? Cecil: Probably about two-and-a-half years ago is when I started feeling a bit more stable in myself and my craft. DJ Times: How has your sound has evolved since then? Cecil: Now I can take what I’m thinking in my head and put it down, which is the coolest thing. Essentially, I want to be known for music, just music. I think all sorts of genres have always been inside of me, but I’m now just starting to bring them to life. I’m really excited to show more of my work this following year. The (continued on page 40)
IN THE STUDIO
MATRIX & FUTUREBOUND: MYSTERY MACHINE
Matrix and Futurebound have brought drum-n-bass out of dark and into living rooms across the U.K. The duo – Jamie Quinn (Matrix) and Brendan Collins (Futurebound) – has had four Top-40 hits with its crossover-ready tunes that lend themselves to television appearances and BBC Radio 1 playlists. Stateside, they put together hefty compilations for Bassrush annually and are set to bring “Matrix and Futurebound Present” to a club near you. And now, they’ve just released their second full-length album, Mystery Machine, through their labels Metro and Viper Recordings. No affiliation with the cartoon Scooby Doo vehicle, Mystery Machine comes 12 years after Matrix and Futurebound’s first full-length, the standard bearing Universal Truth. Nonetheless, during that time, the
two have released at least an album’s worth of songs. “ I t ’s a l o t e a s i e r to get your message across and get exposure for one track at a time,” says Matrix. “The way people listen to music with streaming, they don’t necessarily devour a whole album at a time. But it’s still an important thing to do. Initially, we were making tracks individually without a plan, but you get to a point where you have half an album and you finish it as an album.” W h i l e i t m ay n o t have started that way, Mystery Machine works well as a cohesive collection. With various vocalists onboard, the album offers a combination of chart-ready house- and trance-
laced songs, plus some drum-n-bass stormers, all sitting tidily next to each other. The variety includes the hearttugging beseeches of Raphaella on “Human” and the pumping and jumping vibes of “Ear D r u m ,” t h e r i p p i n g “This Time” (featuring James Walsh) and the solid growls of the peak-hour “Tardis.” Any one of the selections on Myster y Machine could find its way into a Matrix and Futurebound DJ set, which revolves around four Pioneer DJ CDJ2000NXS2 media players and a Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2 mixer. “When you’re in the heat of the moment and you haven’t got time to think,” says Matrix, “the Pioneer mixers seem to be laid out in the perfect way. You might be in a dark environ-
ment and can’t see that well, but everything is e x a c t ly w h e re yo u r hands want it to be. It’s the mixer with the least thought process.” Despite living 200 miles apart – Matrix in London, Futurebound in Liverpool – the pair manages a smooth workflow when they get busy with studio work. Operating wholly in the box, they run Cubase, use the trusty Xfer Records Serum and LennarDigital Sylenth1 at the forefront of their VST collections and are big advocates of Universal Audio plug-ins. Futurebound namechecks Pultec Pro Legacy for “nice fullness and the right amount of phatness,” Neve 33609 compres-
sor to add “bite to any sound,” and BX Digital 3 for “getting the center-point of your mix strong and controlling what’s getting sent to the sides.” Adds Futurebound: “I use the BX Digital 3 on individual sounds to get the right amount of mono. Sounds fall along the way a little bit when they go into mono. When you use this plug-in, you can bring a little more center sound back. When you’re on a big system, that’s what you want to be hearing in mono.” Futurebound finds himself in London often and the two work in Matrix’s home studio, where the majority of the vocals on Mystery Machine were recorded. Neumann TLM 103 is the preferred condenser microphone for its bright quality. The vocals come directly into the audio interface with zero processing during the recording. “We’ve sometimes done vocals in studios with super high-end analog gear,” says Matrix.
Hitmakers: (from left) Jamie Quinn & Brendan Collins.
“When we do the final mix, I haven’t liked it as much because vintage valve gear gives it a nice distortion saturation, but when you add in lots of compression in your final processing, it’s too much and too distorted. “ I ’ m c o m p re s s i o n l eve l 1 0 0 ,” h e c o n tinues. “When you’ve got a very full mix on a drum-n-bass record, you need to have your v o c a l s s u p e r- c o m pressed in order for them to sit well in the mix.” Vo c a l e d i t i n g a n d mixing tends to fall to Matrix, as says he finds it “therapeutic.” With tracks that have many layers of vocals, he’ll (continued on page 42)
AUGUST 12-15 2019
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s we all know, longevity in anything is never a given. But in the often-fickle world of electronic-dance music, where sounds and talents might come and go with the slightest fluctuations in taste, it can be a genuine rarity. But that’s not been the case for Boys Noize. The multi-talented German DJ/producer (aka Alex Ridha) has bucked the trend and has given us a generation’s worth of diverse music that maintains relevance, attracts new fans and influences fellow DJ/artists. The 36-year-old German grew up in Hamburg, home of the legendary Reeperbahn entertainment/red-light district, where he played many of his
By Brian Bonavoglia
early gigs. He made his DJ debut at the age of 15, falling in love with house and techno and popping onto the scene under the alias of Kid Alex. Along the way, he provided support for electronic heavyweights like Felix Da Housecat, Boris Dlugosch and DJ Hell. Honing his craft spinning vinyl and quickly becoming a true master behind the decks, Boys Noize would soon venture into the world of production and that would lead to the launch of his label, Boysnoize Records (BNR), in 2005. Similar to his DJ sets, BNR’s catalog is packed with high-octane cuts coming from the realms of acid, techno, electro and breaks, produced by a wide variety of talent like up-and-comers Raito, Djedjotronic, and Cardopusher. Over time, Boyz Noize became known as one of the world’s most prestigious DJ/producers. In addition to a long list remixes for acts ranging from Snoop Dogg to Depeche Mode, he’s delivered a prolific and diverse range of original productions. In 2009, “Waves,” his categorydefying collab with Erol Alkan, took the blogs and clubs by storm, and he’s managed to maintain a career marked by genre-variety – whether he’s dropping electro bombs like 2008’s “& Down” or simmering tech-
no tracks like 2018’s “Distort Me.” So far, he’s released six full-length artist albums, including 2016’s popular Mayday, seven mix albums, plus dozens of EPs and singles. Always open to collaboration, Boys Noize continues to experiment with new sounds with his side projects Handbraekes (with Mr. Oizo), Octave Minds (with Chilly Gonzales) and Dog Blood (with Skrillex). The recent Dog Blood reunion shows at New Orleans’ BUKU Music + Art Project and Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, plus some club appearances, were raucous affairs and, as Boys Noize mentions below, fans should expect to hear some new Dog Blood releases in the near future. Already, Dog Blood is booked for a pair of high-profile dates – May 26 at Tampa’s Sunset Music Festival and Aug. 30 at New York’s Electric Zoo. This past March, DJ Times tagged along to the Dog Blood shows in New Orleans and Miami and, afterwards, caught up with Boys Noize to
talk career – present, past and future. DJ Times: You’ve come quite like long way since the days of Kid Alex. What keeps you going after all these years? Ridha: It all starts with my love for new music. As a DJ, I love to play music that excites me, so it’s got to be fresh. Being open-minded about all types of genres in electronic music is key to me, too. As a producer, it’s almost the same with creating new sounds, trying new ways to create music. DJ Times: How did DJ culture get your attention? Ridha: As a kid, I always wanted to be a little different, dress different, listen to other music or do things in a different way. I have an eight-yearolder brother, and he had all these early house records from Marshall Jefferson, Steve “Silk” Hurley or DJ Pierre, but he was also into all early rap like Public Enemy, Run-D.M.C. or Stetsasonic, and I was always hanging out in his room when he wasn’t there playing music. When I was 13-years old, I started to buy all these records I knew from my childhood – and it really ended up being an addiction [laughs]. DJ Times: How did you transition into spinning? Ridha: I’d had two jobs at the same time to finance my first turntables and mixer and, of course, all the money I spent on records. I would go home and make house or rap mix tapes every week, pass them out to my friends at school, who weren’t into house music at all. For me, the record store I worked out of was some sort of cultural place and I loved being a part of it. DJ Times: Do you remember that first DJ set-up? Ridha: Of course, I bought myself two Reloop turntables and a Reloop mixer before my boss at the record store advanced [me to buy] two Technics SL-1200 MK2 turntables. At that time, in the bars and clubs I was DJing, there were mostly Rodec mixers without any effects and just the basic EQ. DJ Times: What was your original production set-up? Ridha: My laptop with Logic and a bunch of plug-ins, my Roland TR-808, Elektron Machinedrum, Clavia Nord Lead 2 rack synth, my Access Virus, two or three guitar pedals, and an Allen & Health mixer. DJ Times: What were your first DJ gigs like? Ridha: They were at the school where I had to bring my turntables and mixer – or I played at bars in the
Spanning a Generation, Boys Noize Has Built a Sturdy Career That’s Hopscotched Categories & Embraced Collaboration
“I think the States is in some sort of post-EDM trauma.”
red-light district in Hamburg. What I consider my first real DJ gig was when I was 16-years old at this house club called La Cage. It was a real house club and I warmed up for local legend Boris Dlugosch. It also happened to be his birthday, so the whole scene came out and saw me DJing. You know, you play from like 11:00 to 1:30 a.m., or so, playing deep house, disco and stuff. But I had the whole club already going and the party was lit before Boris took over. DJ Times: Sounds like a big night. What impact did that gig have? Ridha: That night changed my life. From that night on, I knew I was going to be a DJ and it’s going to be my life. Then, suddenly, I received a lot of DJ bookings and it even became word in Germany that I was the youngest house DJ ever, so I got a lot more bookings outside of Hamburg, like in Berlin, Cologne or Munich. DJ Times: You have quite the record collection. How often do you go crate-digging? Ridha: I go out buying vinyl as much as I can. I try to do that every one or two weeks, so I don’t miss anything new. Nowadays, there are a lot of releases that are released on vinyl only and, as a DJ, I always want to play a good amount of music that people or other DJs haven’t heard. DJ Times: Do you still play vinyl sets? Ridha: Every now and then. I just did a back-to-back with my friend Erol Alkan in London and we did a straight-vinyl set that was really fun. When I’m playing Berlin, I’ll take some records with me. It just really depends where I play because, nowadays, the clubs aren’t really prepared for that, and they have some dusty, old Technics and everything isn’t set up well. So, if the situation allows it and if it’s not a crazy thing to bring vinyl, then, yeah, I’m down for that. I might even be down to do a [all-vinyl] tour. DJ Times: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed in the scene over the past decade? Ridha: There are a lot of changes – I mean, from technology to the way you listen to music. I think the first big change I noticed was around 2006-07 when suddenly people would look at what I was doing as a DJ, instead of just standing on the floor listening to the music and dancing. DJ Times: The music changed, too… Ridha: Yes, it also came along with the music style I was playing back then, when all these crazy bangers from Justice and Ed Banger – and probably myself – and the stuff we were putting out was sounding fresh. It attracted a lot of people that usually wouldn’t go to a house or techno party and that really changed a lot in the music scene. DJ Times: What was different? Ridha: You’d see kids mosh-pitting and stage-diving. At the same time, technology, in terms of production, just started to hit harder, too. LED screens suddenly came out of nowhere at festivals – that became a thing. More and more producers started to be DJs and a lot of those guys took that to the next level with entertainment. It became kind of auto-control, really. DJ Times: How’s that? Ridha: To me, it’s still kind of bizarre that a DJ now is an entertainer and a performer. I always love being on stage and feel comfortable on big stages, you know? I love putting back the energy from what I’m feeding off the crowd and I’ll sometimes do crazy things on stage, too. But yeah, it just became a
whole new level. Then, obviously again, technology makes it easier for you to be a DJ, which is great. You don’t have to learn how to beat-match, putting two records on the same BPM, mixing them at the right point. Technology makes everything easy for you. Whatever software you use on your computer, it automatically syncs. DJ Times: But easier isn’t always better… Ridha: I’m not saying DJ is not like playing the piano or something and, to me, DJing isn’t about the skills either. It’s more about the selection. I think it’s always interesting to see what technology brings us, but to me, it’s always been important that the No.-1 message was always the music. So, I don’t think it’s necessary to have a big performance or a big visual piece to make the night better for you. DJ Times: How would you say the dance scene in the States today differs from everywhere else? Ridha: I think the States is in some sort of postEDM trauma. [laughs] What I’ve noticed is a lot of producers that were deep into EDM trying to act like they have nothing to do with it anymore – and they make house music, and that’s cool. A lot of EDM producers are now trying to make something cooler, stepping into the world of house music or more of the electronic stuff, steering away from the oversaturated sounds. DJ Times: It was bound to happen. Ridha: Overall, I think that’s a good thing for this scene.You know, a lot of kids grow out of the “chewing-gum, EDM sound” and the pop sound. To me, anyways, it’s always been a different thing than house and techno and the electronic music I know. But it’s actually in a great state at the moment because you’ll see more people being more open-minded to house and techno and to new stuff.
Dog Blood: Boys Noize & Skrillex.
DJ Times: Do you approach your sets differently – in Europe vs. the States? Ridha: When I play my DJ sets, the ones I would play in Europe in the warehouses or whatever clubs, those sets honestly don’t really work in every city here. I do have great feedback in the bigger cities like L.A., New York, Chicago, Miami, but when I go to other cities it’s always like, the sound hasn’t arrived yet, and people are a little confused. [laughs] DJ Times: With your career and Boyznoize Records, what would you say are the keys to longevity? Ridha: I don’t know what the key to success is, honestly. With Boysnoize Records, I’m always interested in hearing tracks that excite me to play them out. It can be a simple house or techno track that sounds fresh in my ears or it’s just something that sounds good production-wise or music-wise. Again, it comes back to me being a DJ that tries to play records that not too many other DJs play and releasing music that is a little different. DJ Times: Seems to have worked out so far. Ridha: I’m glad some of the releases have this timeless element and I guess that’s one of the keys, too, because house, and techno have been around more than 20 years. I never really look at what is
Ridha: He’s been a friend before we started making music. He came to Berlin a few times and visited me. We hang out – we DJed here and there. Then, he just happened to have some time off in Berlin and I was showing him some of my studio gear – he was so fascinated. He’s a very musical person as well, so it just was very organic making the tracks. DJ Times: And you do the Dog Blood project with Skrillex… Ridha: Sonny’s has been a friend. We’ve done a project before and he’s a great example of someone who does things completely different than I do as a producer – and that’s great. He’s so skilled in what he does and it’s fun to bridge those two worlds. DJ Times: You recently did Dog Blood shows at BUKU in New Orleans and Ultra in Miami. Tell us about reconnecting with Skrillex. Ridha: Over the years, we collected a few ideas and we never really finished them. I spend almost every winter in L.A., and I stay there for two or three months. He lives there, so I was just around. We would just hang out and have dinner. It just felt good reconnecting, and making music was just a
natural process. We just had a good vibe again and made a few bangers, so we were like, “Let’s do this!” DJ Times: Walk us through a Dog Blood studio session. Ridha: Wherever I go, I always take my hardware gear with me – one or two drum machines. I travel with a big, modular Eurorack suitcase [laughs] and a few little pads and all of that. So, basically, we do a mix of everything. We record a bunch of sounds, put it in his computer, he messes with it. We just go back and forth and sometimes play five melodies at the same time. We’ve got an EP ready, and it’s gonna come out pretty soon. DJ Times: Speaking of side projects, we saw a Handbraekes comeback last year. Also, have you had the chance to reconnect with Chilly Gonzales for any new Octave Minds music? Ridha: Yes, Chilly and I are working on new music. We’ve done two or three sessions – one in Cologne and one in Berlin. I still have to go through all of that stuff. We’re pretty spiritual with the way we make music and we like when things happen in the moment quite spontaneously. DJ Times: Do you prefer playing festivals or clubs? Ridha: Honestly, I prefer clubs. It’s just a bit more intimate. I can be more experimental and that’s where everything starts for me. A lot of my inspiration and everything I do is based on that [laughs]. I’m playing in clubs my whole life. As much as I love playing festivals, the energy is crazy and sometimes it just blows my mind to see how people are reacting. It’s the club – it’s the dirty club. No lights just music. I’ll play for like four or five hours and everyone’s happy. [laughs] DJ Times: How do your sets differ? Ridha: For festivals, I get to play about 90 minutes, sometimes less. When I’m playing clubs, it’s at least two hours – I usually play two to four hours. Sometimes I do an all-night set. Sometimes I do six hours. It all depends on where and what time. [laughs] In a club, I can totally freestyle. I make a big folder before, like packing a bag of records, and then I decide in the moment what I play. When you only have limited time, you definitely have to make up your mind about what you’re gonna play. What’s the intro? How do you want to end your set? I always leave a free room for each festival set, so I can just decide to do things on the run. Being spontaneous, that’s a very important thing for me. I always play probably a bit more of my own stuff on the festival. DJ Times: What about playing material from your label? Ridha: There’s always a lot of stuff from BNR in the back, mostly fresh stuff. In clubs, I try out new things. It’s always a good amount of BNR in the back. Good amount of my own stuff I’m trying out, but mostly it’s still other people’s music. I do like playing my own music, but I prefer when it’s unreleased. I don’t like to play any of my old stuff ever. DJ Times: When it comes to a studio ses(continued on page 42)
trendy now. I think if you always jump on what’s the next sound or what’s currently going on now, you’re probably always too late, so I’m not really concerned about that. DJ Times: Who are some up-and-coming talents that currently have attention? Ridha: There’s a few guys on BNR… this French kid, Raito, he’s really talented. He’s great because he finds the right mix – it’s like ’90s U.K. rave sound that I love, but combining it with next-level modern production and techno. Then we got Djedjotronic, who’s probably one of my favorite producers in the world. I really love his sound – it’s a mix between electro-techno and EBM with a B. [laughs] Then we got Cardopusher who’s from Venezuela. He has this more industrial, slow, acid sound a lot of people love. DJ Times: With your releases, you’ve always seemed to be open to collaboration. Why do you go that route as a producer? Ridha: To do collabs is a great way to learn more about yourself because I have my ways of creating and, even though I try to put myself in a situation where I’m not that comfortable, it is great to be with another person that does things differently. Mostly, I want to work with people that I feel inspired with as well, and doesn’t really need to be in the same music category. DJ Times: An example? Ridha: I’ve just finished a song with Francis and the Lights and I don’t think he’s ever done an electronic song in his life. [laughs] It’s the same when I used to do more of these indie remixes. It’s always inspiring to work with talented people. It gives me the right energy to go back to my own things and to be more focused. DJ Times: Most recently you’ve hit the studio with Virgil Abloh, Lady Gaga, and Skrillex – what’s it like working with such diverse talents? Ridha: Working with Gaga was really something beautiful because the experience I’ve had before working with popular musicians has always left some sort of bittersweet taste. The music industry’s kind of crazy and, when you work for big people like this, there are a lot of people involved.You rarely meet those talents and you end up doing sessions with writers and other producers and people from the label. So, after I’ve tried this, about 10 years ago, I actually decided to not do it because I felt like I can spend the same amount of time making something that I’ll love doing. When you do this, onspec production writing for big pop people, you just never know what’s going to happen with the music. DJ Times: What was different about this experience? Ridha: Working with her was amazing because we were basically together in the same room and meeting her was beautiful, too. I didn’t expect her to be... that cool. She’s just a great human being, super-down-to-earth and, putting all the talent aside, it was just a beautiful thing on a human level. We got along really well and, from that energy, we wrote. We wrote music, we made music and I think that’s a place where I want to be – the exact right spirit. DJ Times: And Virgil Abloh, someone who’s known more for art and fashion?
The Sunshine State By DJ Times Photographers
Fr o m S o u t h B e a c h t o Wy n w o o d ,
Miami, Fla. – The annual Miami Music Week drew DJs, Conference, Ultra Music Festival and a variety of DJ-
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M i a m i M u s i c We e k S a w P l e n t y o f D J A c t i o n industry types, and fans to South Florida this past March 26-31. With Winter Music driven parties, the week got pretty wild. It all looked like this:
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T H E TA X M A N S P E A KS By Mark Battersby The New Tax Laws Affected Millions of Business Owners & Their Returns. What Happened? DJs Chime In… Is your DJ business designated as an S corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship — aka a “pass-through?” If so, you might be in a losing proposition. You might’ve heard that the Trump Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) lowered to 21-percent the tax rate for incorporated businesses — aka C corporations. But for DJs operating as a pass-through entity, they could face personal tax rates as high as 29.6-percent. Ouch. How? With a pass-through entity, the business’ income and losses are passed on to the owner’s personal tax returns and taxed at their personal tax rate, which may be higher than the new, lower tax rate for incorporated businesses.
The TCJA’s special 20-percent pass-through income deductions for S corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships have allowed many to lower their taxes by shifting from being an employee to an independent contractor – so long as their taxable income is less than $157,500 for a single individual or $315,000 for those filing jointly. Now, the IRS has proposed new rules that will make it harder for moderate-income employees to lower their taxes by becoming an independent contractor while, at the same time, making it easier for many high-income owners of service businesses to shrink their tax bills. Confused? Yeah. Lawmakers denied the 20-percent pass-through income deduction to the high-income owners of a number of service businesses — health, law, accounting, actuarial science, brokerage, financial service, athletics, consultants and performing arts, the latter of which includes DJs, where the principal asset is the “reputation or skill” of its owners. Today, however, the lawmakers’ wider disqualification of DJ businesses has been walked back. According to the IRS, the category only excludes business owners who earn endorsement, licensing or appearance fees based on their reputation or skill. So, for example, a celebrity chef may not deduct any portion of royalties from the sale of kitchen knives that carry his name. But that same celebrity chef could deduct 20-percent of the income from his restaurant chain, even if the primary reason for its profitability is his skill or reputation.
OPTING OUT An unintended consequence of the lowered tax rate for regular corporations is that a majority of DJs and businesses currently operating as pass-through entities are probably paying more in taxes than they would by switching to regular corporate form. Any DJ operation can, of course, choose to revoke their so-called “subchapter S” election by March 15 to have it apply for the whole calendar year. If you decide mid-year it is no longer advantageous to be a S corporation, the election can be made at that point and become effective from that point on. Note: Choosing to terminate your business’ S corporation status means you can’t reapply for S corporation status for five years. Naturally, the question of whether to switch entities can be especially difficult for closely held and family businesses that are often structured as pass-throughs. In the eyes of many experts — or at least until 2026, when the TCJA expires — there is no longer a reason to operate a business as an S corporation or other pass-through entity.2
Bullish in Pa.
“I got back less this year, although I did have more business deductions than I did last year. I also had some pretty major home improvements done last year that were partially deductible, due to my home-office claim. I also have a daughter in college and had some significant deductions there. “Like many others, I did not adjust my withholdings after last tax year. Since I got a decent refund the previous year, I did not want to put myself where I would owe this year. So I left well enough alone, knowing that I would probably get a smaller refund this year. “I really didn’t know what to expect. I don’t expect any major investments [deductions] this year, so I’m thinking about adjusting my withholdings soon, so as to not owe next year.” — Wesley Flint, DJ Wes’ Mobile DJ Service, Olive Branch, Miss.
“Since the tax reform was approved by Congress and signed into law, and getting a good understanding of the changes that would affect me both personally and with my business… I was not shocked to see a reduction in my tax refund for 2018. “Being a full-time salaried employee in the financial-services industry, the effective tax rate applied to my earnings was reduced, increasing my take home pay. This was the clearest indication that the previous tax refund checks would be reduced because my overall tax liability was less. “As a home owner with a monthly mortgage, the cap on itemized expenses for interest expense and real-estate taxes would also have an impact on my tax liability. “I was also careful to document personal charitable contributions, including donations of house items and clothing to non-profits. Knowing both of these were going to affect my refund, I reviewed the tax changes for small-business owners. The ability to now expense more capital expenditures for the business, through the 179-deduction option, was a significant benefit in reducing the tax liability as a sole proprietor. “I kept accurate records on mileage expense and meals associated with my DJ gigs. I was sure to include mileage expense for meetings with prospects and clients, which many DJs often forget to include as part of the business expense. In the end, if I take the increased take-home pay and the tax refund, which was less than previous years, and compared them to prior years in the same manner, I realized no difference as a result of the tax law modifications in 2018.” — Jerry A. Bazata, DJ Jaz, Ogunquit, Maine SPRING 2019
Tale of the Tax Tape
DJ Answer Man’s Take
“My company had a record year, so I owe nearly 10k to the IRS. We also had a record first quarter. “Chester County, Pa., is experiencing a lot of growth and development. The economy is strong, confidence is high. I’m seeing a lot of Tesla, Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Range Rover, even exotic sports cars – there was a Ferrari in the neighborhood today. There are five cranes in Exton, Pa., where I live, and they are adding 1,600 units this year in West Whiteland Township. “People planning weddings are adding uplights and photo booths, monograms, too. Prices for our DJs receiving consistent strong reviews are up with little resistance. More weddings are closer to $1,500 than $1.000 without the upgrades, depending on the details, such as day of week, time of year, number of guests, ceremony included or not. With multiple upgrades, we’re seeing contracts in the $2,500 to $3,500 range. “It’s a good time to be a mobile DJ.” — Paul Evans, Silver Sound DJ Entertainment & Photo Booths, Malvern, Pa.
DJ / CLUBWORLD / Spotlght
THE BIG EASY BUKU Music + Art Project Rocks New Orleans By Brian Bonavoglia New Orleans – This past March 22-23, the Big Easy saw an influx of 35,000 fans to see the 2019 version of BUKU Music + Art Project. Held at Mardi Gras World, BUKU presented some of the biggest names in music – singers like Lana Del Ray and rappers like A$AP Rocky. There were plenty of DJs, of course – Dog Blood, Louis the Child, Claude VonStroke, The Black Madonna, Fisher, Excision, GRiZ, Getter, RL Grime, and G Jones, just to name a few. It all looked like this:
3 1 Young & Beautiful: Lana Del Rey takes applause. 2 Buck Buck: Malik Ninety Five goes bang. 3 Saxy Boy: GRiZ gets into the groove.
4 Hirsute: Peekaboo booms the bass.
5 Losing It: Fisher fires up the BUKU crowd.
6 Lord Flacko: A$AP Rocky hits the stage. 7 Mosh Pit: BUKU fans get wild. 8 Silhouetted: RL Grime cuts a figure. 9 Proper House: The Black Madonna gets going. 10 Some Rap Songs: Earl Sweatshirt takes over.
11 Hometown Hero: Local DJ Klutch gets jumpy. 12 Tear It Up: Manc DJ Mason Maynard.
DJ / CLUBWORLD / Spotlight
DJ / CLUBWORLD / Hot Shots
RAIN BE DAMNED San Diego’s CRSSD Fest Triumphs
At The Palms: Erol Alkan in the darkness.
Wet Stuff: Stephan Bodzin in the rain.
By Jamie Sloane
Maribou State delivers the goods.
Anjunadeep: Luttrell drops a groove.
San Diego – While the rain rarely abated at CRSSD Festival this past March 2-3, the wet stuff certainly didn’t stop 15,000 fans from descending on Waterfront Park for the 9th installment of the popular SD event. Seas of patrons, many decked out in CRSSD’s signature “House x Techno” bombers, swarmed the sold-out festival’s three stages: Ocean View, which presented live acts like Maribou State and Jungle; City Steps, which hosted the deeper shades of techno talent such as Stephan Bodzin and Rebekah; and The Palms, which was a house haven for DJs like Armand Van Helden and Sonny Fodera. Saturday started off strong with British musical duo The 2 Bears, composed of Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and Raf Rundell, who served up an hour of funky house and soul. David August then took the reins at The Palms stage for a set of haunting house selections. Meanwhile at City Steps, Avalon Emerson guided her growing audience into bass-fueled bliss. Nonetheless, the night was ruled by the CRSSD debut of Maceo Plex’s shadowy moniker Maetrik, who dropped driving cuts like Ken Ishii’s “Extra.” Stephan Bodzin closed out the evening with his extensive bespoke equipment live setup, which blared originals like “Powers of Ten” and techno staples like Maceo Plex’s “Conjure Dreams.” Sunday saw the rain finally clear and a live set from Wajatta, a collaborative effort from Reggie Watts and John Tejada, who gave attendees their soulful, live-vocal fix. Jungle rocked the Ocean View stage as the sun set on the band members’ glistening, coordinated outfits. Whethan followed with a set of radioready hits like Disclosure’s “Latch.” Over at The Palms, Sonny Fodera embodied the best of party tech-house, offering crowd-pleasers such as Breach’s “Jack” and MK’s “17.” The Martinez Brothers rounded out the festival with a raucous, two-hour tech-house blowout on the City Steps stage, leaving fans clamoring for one last song before the spring CRSSD festival came to a close.
DJ / CLUBWORLD / GEAR & SWAGG ROLAND AV Streaming Mixer With Roland’s new VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer, content cre‑ ators can produce dynamic, multi-camera vlogcasts, pod‑ casts and live-streamed perfor‑ mances with strong pictures and sound. Compact and portable, the VR-1HD has three HDMI inputs that each accept HD and computer video resolutions up to 1080p, avoiding compatibility issues. HDMIembedded audio from all sources can be mixed with the two studio-quality XLR microphone inputs and analog line input. Also, the VR-1HD is designed with dedicated controls and features that accommodate operation by talent during live broadcasting, a benefit that easily puts talent in their own director’s chair. www.roland.com ADJ Hybrid Moving-Head Light ADJ’s new Vizi CMY 16RX moving-head light builds on the success of the original Vizi Hy‑ brid 16RX with the addition of full CMY color mixing, which gives club-and-festival light‑ ing designers an almost unlimited choice of colors. Offering true hybrid functionality, the new fixture can be used interchangeably as a beam, spot or wash luminaire, providing ultimate flexibility for production companies and rental houses, as well as allowing fewer units to be specified for permanent installa‑ tions and touring shows. The unit harnesses the power of Philips’ 330W Platinum 16R MSD discharge lamp. This extremely effi‑ cient light source offers an output compa‑ rable to a standard 575W discharge lamp, while also boasting a long-life expectancy of 1,500 hours. www.adj.com
FUNKTION-ONE Vero VX Array System Loudspeaker manufacturer Funktion-One has unveiled the Vero VX, a full-range, vertical array system, which promises Vero sound for a wider range of venues and envi‑ ronments due to its more compact footprint. The system includes VX90 full-range vertical array elements, V124 or V221 bass enclosures, amp racks, fly bars, transport dollies, ground stack hardware, cabling and Projection predictive software. The VX90 is a 3-way vertical array element with four new FunktionOne-designed Neodymium drivers in a horizontally symmetric configuration: two reflex loaded, high efficiency 12-inch, mid-bass drivers; one Axhead-loaded wide-bandwidth 8-inch-cone midrange driver; and a single 1-inch compression driver on a proprietary isophase diffraction waveguide. The VX90 measures 1120mm wide and 340mm high, its usable bandwidth is 50Hz to 20kHz and horizontal dispersion is 90°. www.funktion-one.com
Ray-Ban has announced the latest addition to Ray-Ban Studios: a series of limitededition product collaborations with art‑ ists, firmly rooted in the brand’s musical foundations. The latest collab is with es‑ teemed DJ Peggy Gou. Her fashion back‑ ground came into play with this collaboration, which for the first time in Ray-Ban’s history, includes an accessory being sold alongside sunglasses. The gold sunglass chain, com‑ plete with Gou’s initials, complement her two gold-leather tipped frames. Taking form in exclusive campaigns and immersive hubs at music festivals around the world, Ray-Ban Studios takes Ray-Ban’s synergy with music into new dimensions. New York DJ duo the Martinez Brothers were first to take the reins, followed by world-renowned DJ, Nina Kraviz.
RAY-BAN STUDIOS Feel Your Beat with Peggy Gou
MAKING TRACKS STUDIO…HARDWARE…SOFTWARE…
AUDIO INTERFACES FROM RME & CENTRANCE
By Wesley Bryant-King
CEtrance Mixerface R4: Easy mobile recording.
One of the most fundamental components of any studio set-up is the audio interface — the hardware needed to get sound into your studio computer (and DAW) when recording vocals or live instruments, and to get sound back out again to the monitors or headphones you need to hear your work. Unfortunately, there are a dizzying array of options on the market today, and they vary considerably in price, capability — and quality. And when you start factoring in the need to go mobile or tackle applications, like recording your own video, things get complicated. In this piece, I take a look at a couple of different options: RME’s Babyface Pro and the CEtrance Mixerface R4.
RME’s Babyface Pro: High-end capabilities.
CEntrance MixerFace R4
RME Babyface Pro
RME may not be all that well-known in the United States, but this German company has wide array of audio products, including audio interfaces, converters, preamps, and more. The Babyface Pro is a compact, desktop USB audio interface. The unit boasts 12 inputs and 12 outputs, but the raw numbers obscure the reality of how most users will connect the unit… There are two XLR inputs, two XLR outputs, two ¼-inch, balanced inputs, and a headphone output. It provides ADAT and/or S/PDIF connections as well, and it’s in ADAT mode that those extended ins and outs can be configured and used. While many users might benefit from those, I think from a purely practical standpoint, most users are going to see this as a device that has two mono outs for your monitors, and four total mono inputs — or one stereo out, and two stereo ins, if you want to look at it that way — plus headphones. RME has taken a bit of a page from the Apple playbook in building the Babyface Pro by machining it from a block of aluminum. It looks nice, it feels nice, and it simply reeks of quality. The aesthetics beyond the aluminum are also quite nice; there are LED level displays on the top panel, along with various buttons and a rotary encoder that allows you to see and configure various levels (both inputs and outputs). The various connections are on the sides and rear of the unit. Given its size, a “full” configuration with everything connected is a bit unwieldy, with lots of cables sort of running everywhere — one of my few quibbles with the Babyface Pro. One of the nicer parts of the Babyface Pro isn’t the hardware; it’s the so-called TotalMix software. It provides a typical virtual mixer view of the device, and allows you to configure, tailor and control how the device works, and signals are routed. You can dial in effects, EQ, filters, and, of course, the usual gain, pan and other mixer controls. Compared to a lot of the virtual control panels I’ve seen and used for audio interfaces, RME deserves props for providing something that’s flexible, powerful and easy to use. I was hardpressed to come-up with a single use case that wasn’t in some way covered (continued on page 40)
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have a rather unique audio interface that I first got a sneak peek at during Winter NAMM 2018. There, I had the opportunity to meet with the small team from Illinois-based CEntrance, showing-off their new entry in the space, the MixerFace R4. As is often the case, it can take a while to get products from demoing on the NAMM show floor to production and into retail and reviewers’ hands, but I finally had a chance to cozy up to one of these fun little devices. The primary use case for the MixerFace R4 is mobile recording, and that’s evident from the size and a specific design feature: an on-board lithium-polymer battery that promises to power the unit for hours at a time. Just connect it to your iOS device through a Lightning/USB adapter (it also works with many Android devices), power it on, make the connections, load your favorite recording app, and get to it. I found it just as appealing that it operates “plug-and-play” (i.e., no drivers needed) with modern Macs; Windows users will need to download and install an ASIO driver (downloadable from the CEntrance web site). The desktop connectivity provides extra utility for the roughly $350 investment. And if you need yet another use case, the ability to use it with video cameras to record more professional sound might tip the scales even farther; the MixerFace R4’s arrival was well-timed, since as it happens, I was preparing to shoot a video where I needed to connect a conventional dynamic mic to my mid-level DSLR – it fit the bill perfectly. At this price point and in this size a container, you’re not going to get infinite channels, but you do get a pretty useful configuration. On the front you’ll find a pair of Neutrik combo XLR and ¼-inch inputs (channels 1 and 2), along with 1/8-inch TRS balanced outputs that — with the right cables — you can (for example) connect to full-size studio monitors. On the back, you’ll find 1/8-inch stereo aux input (channels 3 and 4), a pre-monitor line out, and a headphone jack. And on the top and back, you’ll find knobs, switches, and USB connections that round out the set-up. CEntrance chose recessed switches for certain functions – the idea being that in a portable setting out in the field, you wouldn’t accidentally bump one of them. That’s all well and good, but I found it a little painful to have to locate a paperclip and bend it open every time I needed to change settings. (A ballpoint pen tip might work, too, but I’m not sure I’d want ink smears on the unit.) It’s the price of this small a package, I suspect. (continued on page 40)
All the Music. One Source. Now in an App. Introducing the BPM Supreme Mobile App – the new app that is redefining the way DJs Discover music. Stream high quality audio, add to your crate, get inspired with Curated Sets, create custom playlists, read the latest industry new, and much more. www.bpmsupreme.com/app
Bose S1 Pro Multi-position PA Sound great anywhere with the ultra-portable Bose S1 Pro Multiposition PA. Designed for musicians, DJs and general PA use, the S1 Pro is the ultimate all-in-one PA, floor monitor and practice amplifier that’s ready to be your go-anywhere Bluetooth® music system. www.professional.bose.com
Peavey Dark Matter™ Series Enclosures Thanks to their advanced DSP-equipped power section, Peavey's high S.P.L. Dark Matter™ enclosures deliver best-in-class performance. Built-in presets ensure that you sound great in any room or performance environment. Match your favorite Dark Matter speaker enclosure with the matching subs for best performance. www.peavey.com/darkmatter
QSC CP Series The CP Series delivers stunning performance in an incredibly compact package making it easy to load, carry, lift and set up for a wide range of DJ applications. www.qsc.com/live-sound/products/loudspeakers/powered-loudspeakers/cp-series/
SOUNDING OFF PLAYBACK…PRO AUDIO…PROCESSING
By Wesley Bryant-King
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS: MK3 CONTROLLERS & MORE
S4 MK3: Improvements aplenty, a joy to use.
Clear back in 2006 when I first started DJing, I made an arbitrary decision in the heat of the moment that lives with me to this day, some 13 years later. That decision? To use Native Instruments’ Traktor as my primarily DJ software. For these pages, I’ve had an opportunity to use and learn pretty much every one of Traktor’s competitors, and I’ve found a lot to like in all of them. But there’s a certain amount of inertia involved in changing tools that are so essential to what you do day-to-day, and one’s choice of DJ software is no different. I have years of notes and ratings and categorizations embedded into the metadata of my music collection in Traktor. I know how the software works, inside and out. And I’ve come to appreciate the Berlin-based company’s attention to detail in the UI and UX of Traktor — spit and polish that I’m tempted to attribute to classic “German engineering.” But whatever the specifics, Traktor fans, like me, have been doing a lot of waiting in recent years; the last major upgrade to the platform was roughly eight years ago. Admittedly, not a whole lot has changed in DJ technology in that timeframe, but it seemed like an extraordinarily long release cycle. Toward the end of 2018, Native Instruments (NI) sent out a press release like none I’ve recently seen; it certainly appeared as if they’d be updating pretty much every piece of software and hardware they produce in a single cycle. That wasn’t quite the case, but there was certainly a lot of meat to the news, including a refresh of the Traktor software — as well as many pieces of the Traktor hardware family — which is the subject of this particular review. After returning from Winter NAMM show this past January, NI kept the news train moving at full speed, announcing (among other things) the imminent release of their new entry-level DJ software, Traktor DJ 2, which will be available for iPad — as well as for Mac and Windows. I’ll provide updates on that as soon as we’re able to get our hands on the software. Traktor Pro 3: Long-time Traktor users may find themselves a little confused about NI’s naming and numbering scheme for Traktor. It’s been called Traktor, Traktor DJ, Traktor Studio, Traktor Final Scratch, Traktor Scratch, and Traktor Pro over the course of its nearly two decades. And the name Traktor joined with the number 3 might be familiar too, since it came out in 2006 and survived as the flagship for a couple of years at that point. But regardless, Traktor Pro 3 is the shiny new version we get after roughly an eight-year gap since the last major release. Whether incrementing the number from “2” to “3” is warranted or not is, I suppose, subject to some argument. While I’m grateful that Traktor has received some attention, the changes aren’t exactly revolutionary. NI boasts of five
major changes in the new version: Redesigned interface. Absent a side-byside screen shot comparison, I’m not sure the average Traktor user could identify anything new here. The product’s legendary design polish remains. Everything you’re used to is right where it used to be. Perhaps a (figurative) new coat of wax has been applied, but I’m hardpressed to see much else, beyond support for Mixer effects. (See below.) Retooled sound engine. To be sure, Traktor sounds great. But it always has. In fact, it’s been another reason I’ve stuck with Traktor all these years; it just works, and I never miss a beat (literally or figuratively). Again, I’m hardpressed to hear a tangible difference. Mixer effects. Historically, one of Traktor’s best features has been its superb, highly controllable effects engine. Admittedly, however, it can be a little tricky to use in the heat of the moment without a ton of practice. To change that, NI has added “mixer effects,” a single knob, per-track way to apply an effect or filter with ease. You can assign any of four to the available slots and enable and tweak them quickly and easily. This is perhaps the most notable (and most usable) improvement in Traktor Pro 3. Reverse mode. Like the name suggests, you can now play a deck backward; it works in conjunction with Traktor’s Flux Mode so things stay perfectly in-sync and on-beat. For DJs who slice and dice and essentially remix on-the-fly, this could be a really cool addition to their toolset. DVS ready. Traktor Pro 3 now works with Traktor’s own timecoded media right out of the box — there’s not a separate version of the product for that.You’ll still need the control media itself — which can be purchased separately from NI, or from dealers. But no special hardware or software is required to make it work, allowing you to easily choose or switch between control approaches. At NAMM 2019, NI showed the next update to Traktor Pro 3, which includes an optional new parallel waveform and beat view that I really appreciate. In summary, and as I already stated, there’s nothing truly revolutionary here. Traktor was a great piece of DJ software before, it’s a great piece of DJ software today. Perhaps incrementing the version number glazes over that eight-year psychological gap since Traktor was last given serious love. Or, perhaps it focuses a light on the fact that the gap was, indeed, purely psychological — and Traktor users had it pretty good all along. Traktor Kontrol S2 & S4 MK3 Controllers: It was way back in 2010 that I looked at the first Traktor Kontrol S4, and early 2012 when I got my hands on the first S2. With the most recent versions now out, NI is on its
NI’S S4 MK3: TIPS FOR POWER USERS
S2 MK3: Ultra-portable, entry-level model.
third generation of each — dubbed “MK3” (following NI’s traditional hardware versioning nomenclature). As NI has tweaked and refreshed its overall brand identity and general look, they’ve applied that “design language” more broadly. That’s arguably what the interface changes in the software are all about, and indeed, what NI has done to the hardware starts to make the older versions look a bit dated. While it’s a fresh look, I have to say that the downside is that NI’s controllers now look more like those of its competitors — and a tad less trailblazing. An example? On the original S2, NI stubbornly used a button labeled, simply, “PLAY” to start and stop playback — one the same size as three others in the same row. The new S2 MK3 goes mainstream; the button is larger, stands paired with the Cue button, and uses the familiar triangle and parallel bars iconography for play and pause. Is it nice it follows an accepted standard? Sure. Does it take sandpaper to some of NI’s quirkiness and uniqueness that was part of its appeal? Yes. The S2 is an affordable (a bit over $300 street price), portable controller that delivers all the basics you need to be effective with Traktor. The RCA and stereo 3.5mm (1/8-inch) master outs make clear the target market for the S2 — as does the focused, reduced feature set. As has been the case all along, the S2 offers no ability to bring in external sound sources; it’s designed solely to control the virtual decks in Traktor, and use the music library on your computer. I don’t know about the S2 MK2, but the differences between the S2 and S2 MK3 are pretty stark. Beyond the changes mentions above, the rotary encoders (platters) are much larger, and less toy-like, and the make cueing and scratching easier and more accurate. NI has removed the dedicated effects-control capabilities to make room, but has added knobs and controls for the aforementioned mixer effects in Traktor Pro 3. A 2x4 multifunction, color-coded pad grid has been added for cueing and sample playback. The S2 MK3 also provides easy access to Traktor’s loop capabilities. The build quality still seems good, but per-
haps, reduced a bit from the original, which felt to me more solid, a bit heavier, with slider controls that were smoother and had a better feel. Some of the niceties have been removed; the headphone jack is now 3.5mm only, and the ¼-inch outputs are gone as well. The S2 remains a joy to use, however. You still get the full version of Traktor Pro, so you still have its full capabilities available; they just might not be mapped to hardware controls. The unit is easily portable, allowing you to go from bedroom to studio to house party to club with ease — and with all the functionality you truly need to make it happen. And given the price point, the Traktor Kontrol S2 seems like a bargain. In my original draft of this review, I speculated where NI was going with the S2 MK3, and indeed, at Winter NAMM 2019, I was proven correct. There’s a USB port on the back of the unit labeled “iOS” and the box has a very obvious “Made for iPad” logo printed on it, so I’m not sure I needed a crystal ball to figure it out; there is indeed a new version of Traktor (as mentioned previously) for iOS (and for Mac and Windows) called Traktor DJ 2. It’ll be bundled with the S2 MK3 when available, and brings to market a full hardware/software DJ solution to the iPad from NI. I’ll report more when I have a chance to try it hands-on later this year. The Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3, as was the case with the first-generation hardware, is the S2’s bigger, nicer, and better-looking sibling. It offers a larger array of hardware controls, and while it, too, adds the multifunction pad grid to the controller like the S2, it offers some extras. Among them is a small color LCD display on each side, along with improved rotary encoders that are motorized, and use a system NI calls “Haptic Drive.” The platters can behave very much like vinyl, including a very authentic-behaving backspin, or be set to function in the more familiar jog mode. When cueing up a track, I really liked how the platters provide haptic feedback at the downbeat of the track. It’s quite subtle, but the tactile feedback was an interesting, and I think useful addition; it works on cue points as well.
While Wes handles the full review here, we also offer a rundown on items that highlight Native Instruments’ S4 MK3 controller. PRO-LEVEL SOUND QUALITY • The MK3 uses much better audio converters vs. MK2 (Cirrus Logic CS5368/CS4385). • MK2 was 24-bit/48kHz, while the MK3 is 24-bit/96kHz IMPROVED MASTER LIMITER • Coupled with superior converters, the master limiter has been reworked. The new limiter is more transparent (neutral) than the old one. • Suggested Clubs Setting: Use the new Transparent Limiter with -3dB headroom, which will allow you to easily compete volume-wise with other DJs playing before or after you. ROTATED CARBON FADERS • High-quality carbon faders mounted “upside down” to reduce particle contamination. STRONGER HEADPHONE AMP • MK2: +2dBu and 99 dB dynamic range - MK3: +5 dBu and 104 dB dynamic range LARGER JOG WHEELS & ON-UNIT DISPLAYS • Responding to user feedback, Native Instruments increased the size of the S4 MK3 by a few inches to accommodate much larger jog wheels and on-display screens. ENHANCED MODERN LAYOUT • From the improved meters and knobs, to the flat-black finish and augmented user offerings, the MK3 is a great-looking unit. – Paul Dailey
(continued on page 40)
MOBILE PROFILE CAREERS…INNOVATIONS…SUCCESS STORIES
NYC GOSPEL DJ CHALKS UP 40 YEARS By Stu Kearns Brooklyn, N.Y. — Gospel DJ Dr. D (aka Duane Knight), first appeared in our pages 20 years ago. This year, he celebrates 40 years in the DJ industry, so we figured it’d be an appropriate opportunity to see how DJing in the gospel community (and beyond) has changed from previous decades. We’ll let the Brooklyn-based Dr. D explain. OK, it’s been 20 years since we last saw you in the magazine. You’re also celebrating 40 years as a gospel DJ. Give us an idea of how the vocation has changed. Let me answer by stating, “That which has not changed has changed.” The DJ has but one purpose and one purpose only: to rock the party! We do this in four ways, or stages, as a DJ: To break. To promote. To remix (live). To produce (in studio) the artists and their music. From Day 1 in 1977 with DJ Kool Herc in the Boogie Down Bronx or in 1979 in the Planet Brooklyn where I came out of those parties in the park, DJs rocked parties by extending the song, not shortening it. Most of us old heads grew up in households that played and enjoyed the full songs, intros, breaks, bridges, outs, and everything in between. Music was made to be listened to and enjoyed – the full song! We then took those great vocals and tracks and extended them while we rocked parties. The 12-inch single was birthed out of what we did. And now? These days, it’s just the opposite. DJs walk into a party with a key folder of music and play the quick intro, cut to the chorus, and maybe a quick run over the bridge. People these days don’t enjoy and savor the music. They take short breaths and quick exhales. In short, they don’t go through the four stages, but just two: To break breaks and to remix (live). Finally, with the easy accessibility to music and the wide acceptability of music genres, gospel DJs stray a little farther from the “Good News” for me. If “gospel” means the “Good News,” then gospel music means that “Good News” is set to music. Back in the day as a trailblazer, I broke not only gospel artists, but gospel genres, too. Radio only played the safe choirs and quartets — that’s why Edwin Hawkins’ “Oh Happy Day” and Thomas Dorsey songs cause such an uproar. The musical foundations over which they sang were not traditional.
The spiritual message remains important. To take it a step further, this is why radio didn’t play other gospel-based songs with non-traditional musical foundations like jazz, rap, calypso, salsa, house, contemporary beats, etc. It was us gospel DJs that spun and broke those genres of the “Good News.” Therefore, the words to the songs we played had to be on-point because of the critique and criticism we endured. I use to spend hours at places like Rock and Soul [DJ-gear and music shop in NYC] listening to stacks of music just to leave with two or three songs that brought the gospel clear and unquestionable. Now with the easy accessibility to music and the wide acceptability of music genres, gospel DJs mix more instrumentals, inspirational, soul, and other beautiful global (continued on page 40)
Dr D: Duane Knight began in Brooklyn in ’79.
SALES… MARKETING…SOLUTIONS… BUSINESS LINE
5 KEYS TO SMALL-BUSINESS SUCCESS By Jerry Bazata
Create an annual budget and manage to the bottom-line. Knowing how much you make is the easy part, keeping track of what you are spending is what often causes a business to fail. For each event you book, gain a clear understanding of the costs associated with delivering your services for the event. It’s not just limited to expenses related to the day of the event, but the costs leading up to securing the event, marketing, fixed costs to running your business, insurance, office operations and future replacement of equipment.
Do what you do best, stick to your core business model. Entrepreneurs are prone to adding other sources of revenue to grow the business and, in most cases, it can be successful. A pitfall to avoid is focusing solely on the revenue, and not assessing the overall impact to the bottom line. Spend time thoroughly investigating what it will cost you in capital to start up this new service, the additional expenses to deliver the service, both from a fixed and variable cost, and what it will erode away from your core business. For example, many mobile DJs quickly spend thousands of dollars investing in photo booths with the ambition of increasing profitability. The decision to invest was predicated on the sales pitch that you will add $10,000 or more to your bottom line. Focusing on the promise of greater revenues caused many to be blinded from the fact they did not account for the costs associated with earning this income. Once many realized they were not making the money promised, the market became flooded with a lower price point, quickly turning it into a commodity. At that point, the business owner is simply trying to recoup the initial investment, and preserve the revenue from the core business.
Being a successful business owner takes planning, review, discipline and foresight to achieve your financial goals. As a commercial lender and business banker, the businesses that I have financed and grew to become successful brands, embedded these five actions as the core of their business model—and you should, too! If you have any questions for Jerry Bazata or Business Line, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discounts, the exception and not the rule. You set the price of your services based upon the budget you’re created at the beginning of the year. If you choose to discount, then you need to review you expenses and adjust them accordingly. Often we are more focused on winning the sale without evaluating the short- and long-term impact to the bottom line. An occasional discount will not have a significant impact, but longterm can erode your profits quickly, resulting in a negative cash position of the business.
Financing that is too good to be true. Small-business owners are primary targets for predatory lenders. Easy access to working capital is often a deal too good to be true, right? Banks and credit cards with loan interest rates should be your primary source for capital. Preapproved loans from non-traditional lenders such as finance companies often result in rates between 20- to 25-percent and higher than average loan fees. If you accept credit cards for payment of services, do not consider accepting a loan in which payment is based upon future credit-card revenues. These loans are short-term in nature and with a fixed pre-determined monthly payment based upon historical credit card transaction volume. It translates into the lender taking up to 65-percent of your merchant receipts on a weekly basis with an effective interest rate exceeding 25-percent. Accurate and timely financial records of your business will ensure that applying for a traditional bank loan or credit card will not be a painstaking process.
Plan for capital expenditures. Save for the future by planning on putting aside 5 to 7 cents of every dollar in revenue, to insure you have working capital for long-term growth. This also can be allocated for unexpected expenses such as unanticipated equipment replacement or short-term cash flow during slow periods of the year. When an unforeseen expense happens, those who did not plan scramble to find cash, often at a high cost, or they ultimately close up shop because, in their own words, “they did not see that coming.”
Each year thousands of entrepreneurs take the leap of faith. You did, remember? Dropping the full-time employment and beginning your DJ business was entwined with the hopes and dreams of obtaining financial success and independence. With all good intentions, these new entrepreneurs begin working on a business model, creating a plan for sales and marketing, purchase assets and dive headfirst into business development. But as a commercial lender for over 30 years, I have seen countless business owners try to take control of their financial futures only to veer off on a path they had not intended— usually because of a lack of capitalization, financial discipline and a realistic understanding of what it takes to be profitable. The success rate of a small business is entirely dependent upon the owner ensuring that they take these five actions to ensure you’re making all the right financial moves.
PreSonus Studio Series
Denon DJ Prime 4
ADJ mydmx GO
Cream of the Crop
On the GO!
American Music & Sound 925 Broadbeck Dr. #220 Newbury Park, CA 91320 (800) 431-2609 www.AmericanMusicAndSound.com
ADJ Products 6122 S. Eastern Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90040 (323) 582-2650 www.americandj.com
Denon DJ 200 Scenic View Drive Cumberland, RI 02864 (401) 658-5766 www.denondj.com
ADJ has introduced the mydmx GO, a tablet-based DMX lighting-control solution. Designed for use by mobile entertainers and venues, ADJ’s mydmx GO combines an app-based control surface with a compact interface that connects wirelessly to an Apple, Android or Amazon Fire tablet and provides a standard 3-pin XLR output for connection to a lighting system. The mydmx GO app requires no programming, but can be used to create synchronized lightshows across any combination of DMX compatible lighting fixtures. The app is supplied pre-programmed with a wide variety of easily customizable effects which can be used on any type of fixture.
PreSonus Audio Electronics 18011 Grand Bay Court Baton Rouge, LA 70809 (225) 216-7887 www.presonus.com
Denon released its Prime 4 four-deck standalone DJ system, which allows users to manipulate 14 on-board, pro-club DJ effects with three quick-access parameter adjustments. The unit features a 10-inch multi-touch/ gesture display, as well as eight performance pads and an independent zone output that lets users send a full playlist of music to a completely separate room or location. A built-in 2.5-inch SATA drive bay is included for storing music onboard. Additional features include four USB inputs, one SD media input and two dedicated XLR outputs for microphones with individual control.
PreSonus has introduced five models as part of its Studio Series USB-C 24-bit, 192 kHz audio interfaces. The Studio 24c, Studio 26c, Studio 68c, Studio 1810c and Studio 1824c all feature MIDI I/O, while all except the Studio 24c include DC-coupled outputs for sending control voltages. All five models come with PreSonus’ Studio One Artist music production software for PC and Mac, plus the Studio Magic Plug-in Suite. USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables also come with each model in the line.
Reloop ELITE is a professional DVS mixer for Serato DJ Pro. The unit comes with two Serato control records with NoiseMap technology, while the full version of Serato DJ Pro, including the DVS Expansion Pack, is provided plug-andplay. ELITE comes fitted with three brand-new Mini Innofader Pro faders and there are 16 extra-large RGB pads for controlling up to 12 performance modes per deck. Additional features include a DUAL 10 In/Out USB 2.0 Audio Interface, stand-alone Tweak FX, three-band isolator EQ and two OLED displays that show real-time information.
Ride the Wave
In The Clear
Head in the Cloud
Tracktion Corporation www.tracktion.com
Loopmasters 1 Regency Mews Silverdale Road Eastbourne, East Sussex BN20 7AB United Kingdom www.loopmasters.com
MAGIX Software GmbH Quedlinburger Strasse 1 10589 Berlin Germany +49 30 293 92 -200 www.magix.net
Tracktion Corporation has launched Waveform 10, its most-advanced digital audio workstation. Waveform 10’s actions panel has been developed for fast workflow and easy, intuitive navigation of commonly used features. The flexible track grouping and track editor window features make editing new or existing groups quick and easy. The UI and UX developments mean track destinations are always clear and accessible. The latest version comes complete with 62 new built-in plug-ins designed with an analog circuit inspired interface. The MIDI improvements provides users increased ability to preview chords and compare different synths.
Dubset has debuted an API that “allows remixers and DJs to clear and distribute their mixes instantly in the software and hardware they use to create,” according to the company. All remixes and mixes submitted via API are able to be run through Dubset’s proprietary MixBANK technology, which identifies and clears all parts of the new work. Once the content clears, the application notifies the user of their content’s status, creating what the company calls “a highspeed onramp to legitimacy” for users.
Loopmasters released the latest update to Loopcloud, the cloud-connected application for browsing, streaming and importing samples, loops and sounds. Loopcloud 4.0 includes a comprehensive Loop Editor that allows users to re-arrange, retime and re-level individual slices of any sample taken from the user’s library or the Loopcloud Store. Users can demo millions of samples from Loopmaster’s catalog of loops and one-shots before importing it into their project, conforming it to the exact same pattern.
SOUND FORGE Audio Studio 13 is the latest version of Magix’s audio editor software. The new version offers up to 32-bit/384kHz high-quality multitrack audio recording and includes six channels of audio processing. Audio Studio 13 comes with a new Event Tool that lets users make cuts to audio files without hard transitions. There’s also a fully-customizable interface, adjustable with four different hues—Dark, Medium, Light and White.
Tracktion Waveform 10
SOUND FORGE Audio Studio 13
CAD Audio GXLD2
Mission Workshop Transit Arkiv
Amped Studio software
Roland Cloud TB-303
Head in the Cloud
The Best I Ever CAD
Amptrack Technologies borgargatan 18 Stockholm N/A 11734 Sweden www.ampedstudio.com
Roland Virtual Sonics 1118 1st Street, Suite 301 Snohomish, WA 98290 www.rolandcloud.com
Mission Workshop 541 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 864-7225 www.missionworkshop. com
CAD Audio 6537 Cochran Road Solon, OH 44139 (440) 349-4900 www.cadaudio.com
Online beat-making software Amped Studio has released a major update with seven new devices and a video tutorial page that features separate videos explaining how use and understand each effect. The latest update includes three effects – BitCrusher, CompressorMini and LimiterMini – and four devices included with a premium subscription – Distortion, Compression, Gate and Expander. The premium subscription also includes access to the sound library and expanded audio options. Amped Studio also offers Pitch to MIDI technology and WAM support for cloud based VSTs.
Roland Cloud added the Roland TB-303 to its suite of software instruments. The virtual version captures the same tone as the original TB-303 Bass Line by utilizing ACB (Analog Circuit Behavior) modeling. The TB-303 can hold up to 64 patterns and 64 patches per bank, with eight variations per pattern. It includes 32 preset patterns and 48 unique sounds. Features include five play modes, a new graphic edit window, and tone knobs for tuning, cutoff frequency, filter resonance, filter envelope, envelope decay and accent.
For DJs on the go, the Mission Workshop Transit Arkiv is a weatherproof laptop briefcase that can be used alone or attached to the company’s Radian, R2, R6 or R8 packs as a complete travel system. The case is compatible with Porteur-style front bicycle racks. Features include removable shoulder and waist-stabilization straps and a fully-padded compartment that is dedicated for laptops. There is an internal file organizer, mesh zip pocket, endcap water bottle pocket and an external zippered pocket for phone, wallet or keys.
The GXLD2 wireless system from CAD Audio is a digital dual-channel wireless system that operates in the 900 MHz band, freeing it from TV and FCC regulatory issues, according to the company. The system, which runs on AA batteries, features a high-contrast LCD display, advanced dipole antenna technology for increased operating distance, and multiple output options that include a balanced XLRM-type discrete output and a ¼-inch unbalanced output. All transmitters are outfitted with on/off and mute functions, as well as low battery indicators.
TRACKS…MIXES…COMPILATIONS “10 DAYS” u Bontan feat. Bengle u Crosstown Rebels Warm and intoxicating, the soulful original swirls and sways with undulating Afro-house rhythms – sleek, dynamic, insistent. On the flip, Osunlade’s lovely “Yoruba Soul Remix” goes deeper with echoes, chants and moments of delicious minimalism. Strong stuff. – Jim Tremayne “BOGUS” u Johan S u Simma Black Low Steppa’s label returns with more dancefloor heat, and this time Johan S brings the goods with a nice, chunky, house mover. With clacking 4/4 beats, nervy key stabs and a tight vocal sample, this one should keep a dancefloor grooving plenty.
– Tommy D Funk “ANIMAL” B/W “WAVES” u Raumakustik u Hot Creations With “Animal,” we get an irresistible tech-house groove that gives way to a dastardly mid-track breakdown – then the groove ramps back up to speed. Sneaky. On Jamie Jones’ re-edit of “Waves,” the groove percolates, tingles and warps – wonderfully disorienting. Two dizzying tracks crafted for maximum late-night action.
– Jim Tremayne
“PEOPLE EVERYWHERE” u Moon Rocket & Re-Tide u Soulfuric This deep, underground number has some hands-in-the-air vibes to go along with its solid groove. Very ‘90s with its big bassline and Italo-piano sprinkled on top. As the title suggests, the “Jazz-N-Groove Prime Time Extended Mix” carries this slap-happy track a little further.
– Tommy D Funk GRAEME PARK PRESENTS LONG LIVE HOUSE VOL 1: 1980s
u Various u Rhino Records
For this unmixed triple-CD, U.K. DJ pioneer and Haçienda resident Park has compiled a terrific collection of tracks from 1985-89. Yes, you get some of the obvious classics, like Rhythm Is Rhythm’s “Nude Photo,” but there’s also some rare and massive underground goodies. Check Cut The Q’s delicious “Who Needs Love Like That” (Groove Remix) and The Beat Club’s robotic “Security” (Midnight Club Mix) and Sha-Lor’s percolating “I’m in Love” (Conservative Version). Splendid stuff.
Paul van Dyk
GUEST REVIEWER: DAVE WAREING (AKA REDSOUL) “KUSK” EP
Intr0beatz Moment Cinetique I’ve been a big fan of Intr0beatz stuff since 2016 with his “Back in The Day” EP on Dave Storm’s Estonian label Cabrio. (Check out the RedSoul tracks “Searchin’” and “Brazilian Dreamz.”) This latest EP follows a similarly deep, yet jackin’ Amdypattern Daniels– perfect for those early-evening or late-night heads-down moments! Top marks here. And don’t sleep on the ultra-groovy/cheeky “Hands On, Handsome.”
– Tommy D Funk
u Tiësto & Dzecko (feat. Lena Leon) u Musical Freedom This buzzy track starts off dramatically with a pumping beat, punctuated by a dirty bassline, and then it offers up an inspirational lyrical message. A monstrous build-up ultimately drops an impressive explosion of audio elements. A festival thumper that’ll leave you with warm fuzzies. – Jennifer Harmon “UNDER MY CONTROL” u Dirty Secretz u Amplified Kicking plenty of ’90s U.K.-house flavor, this floor-stomper really does the business. With its chopped-up vocals, classy piano breakdown and Robin-Slike synth hook, this one will get attention.
– Tommy D Funk “ACCELERATOR” u Paul Van Dyk & Jordan Suckley u Vandit Suckley and van Dyk comprise a pair that can’t go wrong. This taut, pounding track stays true to PvD’s tough, yet uplifting signature hard-trance sound. Somehow, it’s both anthemic and ethereal – a track that would be a great closer for an unforgettable night out.
– Jennifer Harmon “NOW I SEE YOU” u Platzdasch & Dix u Crooks & Villains Dropping some soulful vibes and plenty of garage grooves, this sexy cut’s going to shake some hips on the dancefloor. Slinky and percolating with its deep keys, “Now I See You” delivers plenty of warms charms.
– Tommy D Funk “NIGHT TALKING” u Random Soul u Random Soul Recordings On this new vocal-house stomper from Random Soul, we get disco-flavored samples and a pumping bassline that match up perfectly with the solid 4/4 action. Check the fantastic remix from Mickey Moore & Andy Tee, plus the solid “Club Dub” and “Extended Instrumental.” Raumakustik
– Tommy D Funk
(continued from page 10) evolution of Whipped Cream is just starting. DJ Times: Ableton Live has always been your go-to DAW – why? Cecil: Ableton is great because essentially you really don’t need any external plug-ins if you don’t want them. It comes with everything I need to make a great foundation of sounds with no external anything, which I personally love as I came up as a sampler. Now that I’m making more of my own sounds, it still is my fave one to work in because it’s what I learned on. I will say whatever works for you is what works for you! I don’t think
anyone should do anything just because someone likes it more. If you like it and are making dope records in another DAW… keep ’em rollin’! DJ Times: DJing or production – which came first? Cecil: DJing first and production after, but within a very short amount of time I pretty much got Ableton the same day I started learning to mix. DJing just came faster and, essentially, it helped me learn to become a better producer, for sure. DJ Times: Initially, which producers inspired you? Cecil: Baauer, RL Grime, Hudson
Mohawke, Flume, Skrillex, and Porter Robinson. DJ Times: What was the inspiration behind your single, “LUV,” and your first official music video? Cecil: I wanted to make something different, but bring in some old-school vibes to pay respect to the electronic music that got me into this. The music video was so fun to make. We worked with a boss-ass director named Jenna [Marsh] and she crushed a concept of me being a puppet-master – always wanting to be in control – which kind of represents how I live with my art. DJ Times: What’s been the most
lasting moment of your career so far? Cecil: Being able to impact kids to follow what they love to do is surreal to me. Everything is surreal, man – I could write a novel of how lucky I feel. Just Skrillex and Porter Robinson knowing I exist and liking my music… DJ Times: Started the year with “You Wanted It” and a remix of ZHU’s “Desert Woman.” what else can we expect from you throughout 2019? Cecil: The best music is yet to come, and the visual aspect of my project hasn’t even started. We’re making movies! – Brian Bonavoglia
(continued from page 28) by TotalMix. Without a lab full of diagnostic equipment, it’s tough to evaluate the sound quality of the Babyface Pro by any means other than purely subjective, but on both inputs and outputs, it sounded great and free of glitches. Doing some test recording of vocals yielded solid, clean recordings even at high sample rates, and working some projects in my DAW of choice with the unit provided excellent results. All in all, I really liked the Babyface Pro, and I appreciated the easy-touse front-panel controls. Its roughly $750 street price represents quite an investment for an audio interface with physical I/O capabilities that are as limited in practice as these are. That said, it’s on-par with interfaces in the premium category and represents a great choice for those who have the budget and need high-end capabilities.
CEntrance MixerFace R4
cessful. About my only real functional complaint with the MixerFace R4 is that the channel 3 and 4 inputs are not really separated out, but rather, are mixed with channels 1 and 2 via a knob on the unit. While it does offer some interesting performance capabilities for buskers and the like, it’s best to think of this unit as offering a single pair of physical inputs and a single pair of physical outputs. But given the portability factor, the mobile use cases, and the attractive price point (about $350 street price), I can see the CEntrance MixerFace R4 being pretty appealing to a lot of potential users. I haven’t cozied up to mobile workflows as much as some, but I do tinker with Apple’s GarageBand and Music Memos applications from time to time to sketch out or cap-
ture musical ideas – and paired with the MixerFace R4? Well, the quality certainly is much-improved over other solutions I’ve tried. Finally, it should be noted that as I was putting the wraps on this article, CEntrance released the MixerFace R4R ($449 street price), which adds an on-board, MicroSD cardbased recorder to the unit, allowing for truly standalone recording applications — and making portable digital recorders with their marginal on-board mics seem a little archaic indeed. In any case, the MixerFace R4 is a well-built, convenient and fun little unit that, when not in use for anything else, will do quite nicely for connecting my pro-grade studio monitors to my iMac, MacBook Pro, or other devices outside my dedicated studio set-up.
able, too), ¼-inch booth outs, and hardware inputs on all four channels (two of which have phono preamps) means you can easily hook up anything you want to augment the digital library in Traktor. NI says it’s redesigned the converters and signal-processing chain within the S4 to improve sound quality, and the use of “carbon protect” faders — they are essentially fitted upside-down — help make the faders far less susceptible to dust and grime that inevitably get through the slots in the chassis. Like the S2, the S4 is a joy to use. It feels good, everything is right where you’d expect it or want it to be, and you’ll feel right at home if you’ve used previous S4 controllers — or honestly, any modern DJ controller. The price point (just over $900, street) seems to fit the functionality you get in return. Conclusions: It’s nice to see that Native Instruments hasn’t turned its
back on the DJ market. The innovation shown in Traktor Pro 3, as well as the S2 MK3 and S4 MK3 controllers, may not be revolutionary, but it shows that NI still has a few tricks up its sleeve, and that it still produces
some really well-engineered, welldesigned and reliable products that truly don’t just get the job done — but enable a level of creativity in the DJ booth that’s both empowering and genuinely fun.
(continued from page 28) CEntrance makes a big deal of its proprietary “Jasmine” preamps, and again, without a lab full of diagnostic gear, I can only offer the subjective assessment that they delivered pure, clean audio in my test recordings of both vocals, and electric guitar. About the only issue I had with the unit is getting my monitors connected. Unusual 1/8-inch TRS to XLR cables are not something I happen to keep around. In fact, I’ve never heard of, let alone seen, an 1/8-inch balanced audio jack. But again — this is a small package, you have to make some compromises, and yes, in fact, there are such cables around; you’ll just need to order them up online. In my case, trying to get the functional equivalent with various adapters and cables I do have on hand wasn’t suc-
(continued from page 31) Speaking of the platters, you can use them to easily set the beat grid manually by ear during track playback. It’s useful when the software detection doesn’t get it quite right (which admittedly is fairly rare with Traktor). Those multi-function pads work similarly to the way they do on the S2, but the S4 provides access to a 16-step pattern recorder that lets you leverage Traktor’s sample playback to record a pattern of one-shot samples, dramatically expanding your creative performance capabilities. They — along with onboard knobs — also provide the ability to manipulate tracks that leverage “Stems,” an NIoriginated multitrack format; you can easily mute parts or manipulate parts individually. All of these advanced capabilities are exposed and more easily managed with the small color displays that sit just above the pad grid. The S4 provides many more options for input and output vs. the S2. Full XLR master outs (RCA is avail-
(continued from page 32) music – but, to me, the “Good News” is missing. So, in my opinion, those are the two changes: they’re playing a short list of songs, they’re shortening those songs and adding more inspirational or beautiful-sounding nonGood News songs to their mixes. Gear-wise, what’s in your mobile-DJ system? Mainly, it’s two Bose model F1 812 array loudspeakers with two F1 subwoofers, a Numark NS7III DJ controller/mixer, a Sennheiser wireless microphone system and mostly Chauvet DJ lighting. You’re turning 60 this year.
Could you have imagined you’d still be doing this for 40 years? To be honest, I never focused on me. It was always about focusing on spreading and educating the faithbased body of believers, especially young people, on the different genres of gospel music that was available to them. When you are passionate about something, it never seems like work – especially if you’re helping people, meeting some beautiful, other industry folks, and having fun doing it. But, to answer your question, no – I never would have imagined me DJing for 40 years and traveling all over the U.S., London,
2 Chacal & Srta. Dayana
Apagame La Luz
La Corp. Music
3 Diego Val f. Domino Saints Feeling Real High
4 Luis Fonsi y Ozuna
5 JJ Rodriguez El Puma Jr.
Rumba Pa’ Gozar
Dame Tu Cosita
6 Pitbull feat El Chombo,
8 Prince Royce & M. Anthony Adicto
9 Charlie Cruz
Tu Con El
Tu Va Caer
11 Pabanor feat U4Ria
So Sexy/Tan Sexy
12 Jose Alberto “El Canario”
No Puedo Estar...
13 Papo Kpuccino
Going To Havana
Donde Estavas Anoche
Top Stop Music
Chorro E’ Loco
Todo Tiene Su Fin
14 Ayme Nuviola feat
15 Grupomania feat
Omega & Nejo
16 Domenic Marte 17 Mambo Lebron
Las Piedras Cantas
19 El Gran Combo
Ella Lo Que Quiere Es Combo Combo
20 Ely Holguin
Most Added Tracks 1 Johnny Rivera
2 Marc Anthony
Tu Vida En La Mia
Que Te Lo Crea Tu Madre
4 Romeo & Aventura
5 Orquesta Bailoteo
REPORTING LATIN POOLS n Latinos Unidos Record Pool n Salsamania Latin Record Pool n Lobo/Bass Record Pool n Urban Tropics Music Pool n North East Record Pool n Mixx Hitts Record Pool n Ritmo Camacho Record Pool n Ritmo Internacional Record Pool n DJ Latinos Record Pool n Mass Pool n Record Pool Latino n V.I.P. Chicago Record Pool.
ATTENTION DJ TIMES READERS: DJ Times is currently looking for DJs that are interested in reporting to the DJ National Dance/Crossover chart and the DJ Times National Urban Dance chart. Reporterships are open to Record Pools and individual DJs. For more information contact: Dan Miller, email@example.com
NATIONAL CROSSOVER POOL 1 Ariana Grande 7 Rings Republic 2 Ava Max Sweet But Psycho Atlantic 3 Silk City & Dua Lipa Electricity Columbia 4 Calvin Harris / Rag’N’Bone Man Giant Columbia 5 Ellie Goulding Close To Me Interscope 6 Kelly Clarkson Heat Atlantic 7 Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper Shallow Interscope 8 Mark Ronson F/ Miley Cyrus Nothing Breaks Like A Heart RCA 9 NOTD So Close Island 10 Sam Smith And Normani Dancing With A Stranger Capitol 11 Ariana Grande Break Up With Your Girlfriend Republic 12 Iyes And Ryan Riback This Feeling Radikal 13 Zedd And Katy Perry 365 Interscope 14 Halsey Without Me Capitol 15 Diana Ross The Boss 2019 Motown 16 Christine And The Queens 5 Dollars Capitol 17 Ariana Grande Break Up With Your Girlfriend Republic 18 Netta Bassa Sababa S-Curve 19 Dua Lipa Swan Song Warner Brothers 20 Charlie XCX F/ Troye Sivan 1999 Atlantic 21 Bright Lights F/ Fito Blanko Gringa 333 22 Gesaffelstein/ The Weeknd Lost In The Fire Columbia 23 DJs From Mars Gam Gam Radikal 24 Sam Smith & Normani Dancing With A stranger Capitol 25 CamelPhat & Christoph Breathe Pryda 26 Spanish Fly F/ Aki Starr Voices In My Head Renegade 27 Laroussi Lost Xyion 28 Peter K Dark Beat Addicted To Drums Symposio 29 Cardi B And Bruno Ma Please Me Atlantic 30 Yolanda Be Cool Dance And Chant Robbins 31 Benny Blanco And Calvin Harris I Found You Interscope 32 Jade Starling Fired Up Tazmania 33 Mabel Don’t Call Me Up Capitol 34 Sabrina Carpenter Sue Me Hollywood 35 Zara Larsson Ruin My Life Epic 36 Maggie Rogers Light On Capitol 37 Ava Max So Am I Atlantic 38 Bleona I Don’t Need Your Love Bleona Inc 39 Vali Pluto Grey Popsicle 40 Backstreet Boys Chances RCA
Most Added Tracks 1 Ava Max So Am I 2 DJs From Mars Gam Gam 3 Lizzo Juice 4 Spanish Fly F/ Aki Starr Voices In My Head 5 Jade Starling Fired Up 6 Carly Rae Jepsen Now That I Found You 7 Sam Feldt F/ Kate Ryan Gold 8 Post Malone Wow 9 Grey F/ Leon Want You Back 10 Lee Dagger & Courtney Harrell So Lost Hearted
REPORTING POOLS Gary Canavo Blake Eckelbarger n The Dance Environment n Manny Esparza n Ilan Fong n Howard HK Kessler n Sam Labelle n Dan Mathews n Brian Stephens n Peter K. Productions n Steve Tsepelis n Randy Schlager n Jackie McCloy n Al Chasen n n
Masspool Dj Stickyboots Powered By Spectrio Nexus Radio Kahoots In The Mix With HK Soundworks Klubjumpers / RHYTHM 105.9 FM KRYC Mixxmasters Peter K Pacific Coast DJs Music Manager NA / Soundtrack Your Band New York Music Pool OMAP Washington, DC
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 Looking forSERVICE these titles? QUALIFIED DJS IN THE US. WE CDS AND YouMP3S can hear them and buy them at www.dancekings.com. IN DANCE AND URBAN FORMATS. FEEDBACK Just click on the links in the chart. AND MEMBERSHIP DUES REQUIRED. 770-740-0356 s limited memberships available for qualified DJs in the US. We service CDs and MP3s in ance and urban formats. Feedback and membership dues required. 770-740-0356
Atlantic Radikal Atlantic Renegade* Tazmania* Interscope Spinnin Republic Island Tazmania Saugus,MA Goshen,NJ Chicago,IL Columbus,OH Minneapolis,MN San Francisco,CA Sacramento, CA Lithonia,GA Long Beach,CA Seattle,WA New York,NY
Compiled As March, 2019
NATIONAL LATIN DANCE POOL
1 Daddy Yakee feat Snow
Bermuda and other places doing it. Where do you see yourself in five years? Still spinning? Well, I guess at 60-years of age you can expect to be asked that question. To be honest, as far as DJing, I see myself being more of the elder statesman than spinning, just sharing my experience and knowledge with other rising DJs. That’s how I became the Sunday programmer for the internet radio station, “WFNK All Day.” Spearheaded by DJ Dirtyfiners and DJ Rome in Easton Pa., I joined them and the fourth member of the
Funktion Sound, DJ Dawg, and we pilot an internet radio station that is “DJ-programmed on a radio format.” Together we program, think, hear, and sound differently than the average radio station – terrestrial or internet. Being part of that team has giving me the opportunity to share my knowledge and transition into another phase of DJing… radio programing. You are also a funeral photographer, “helping grieving families celebrate the legacy of their deceased loved one by photographing their home-going services.”
Tell us about that. I know your readers are wondering, “How did we go from DJing to funerals?” [laughs] The truth be told, DJing and photographing funerals are both based on one principle which has been the foundation of my 40 years as an entrepreneur: Seeing a need, filling it, and serving the people. I got into funeral photography because, after I had shot my uncle’s home-going service for my aunt back in 2008, and I presented her with the book I had created from those images, she didn’t remember half
the people in the book being there. So it didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if she couldn’t be the only grieving family in that situation after losing a love one. So I started photographing funeral services and creating book to help grieving families remember all the acts of love and compassion people had shown them at their time of need and to help them in their healing process weeks, months, and years to come. And no, it doesn’t help me get DJ gigs – but it has helped transition me into another level of servitude.
M a t r i x a n d F u t u re b o u n d a re known for their drum-sample library, which they’ve amassed over years from old breakbeats, all the way to a snippet snare they might have sampled from a fellow producer’s latest release. They also combine samples, layering and processing them together, bouncing them as one drum hit. Says Matrix, “It’s a constant evolution of sounds being processed and reprocessed and added together and multiplied.” But it’s not just the sounds that are front and center in Matrix and
Futurebound tracks that catch the ear. The two spend a lot of time making subtle, organic sounds that are littered all over their music. These could come from vocal outtakes or bits played on guitar – or from Matrix’s vintage Sequential Circuits Pro One analog synth, then sampled into Native Instruments Kontakt. “Drum-n-bass has always been about the melting of different influences,” says Matrix. “A template of music you can put any ingredient into, twist it up, give it your own stamp and out the other side. We try and
do as much of that as possible in our production. “When making music, it’s always a struggle to do your own thing,” he continues. “To not worry about what people are going to think of it, how it will perform, and where it will fit in is a daily battle. I personally always try and get in the same mindset I had from Day 1, which is being in a room on your own making music that makes you feel happy about what you’re doing.” – Lily Moayeri n
but it never really works out. I kind of like to make my favorite music without thinking about what it can be. DJ Times: Where do you find inspiration when it comes to production? Ridha: It’s always been the sound that inspires me. It could be my drum machine running through a new pedal or a new module or a new plug-in. I build on sound. Sound is even more important than writing a song or lyrics
or melody even. DJ Times: In the studio, is it important not get bogged down by a single element, be it a kick drum or the hook? Ridha: I never learned sound engineering or proper studio engineering, so my ear always tells me what’s good and what’s not good. A lot of times I’ll make a track, I’ll test it out and that’s one of the realest
moments because the reaction is pure. I just go with the flow and then I mix and arrange and do all of that at the same time. But I try not to be too much about it – “This is the kick drum now” – because I do create my own kick drums and my own sounds. You might call it lazy, but I’m just cool with whatever I recorded [laughs] and too lazy to recreate it or try to find a better sound. n
Matrix & Futurebound
(continued from page 12) “Whose chopper is this?” use the best take as the lead, and “Zed’s.” edit the remaining, which could be as “Who’s Zed?” many as 15, trying to match the timing“Zed’s of thedead, lead. baby, Zed’s dead.” Now for isallreally film buffs there, “Matrix good out at getting you may remember this sequence the vocal to sound natural, and he’s from Quentin Tarantino’s classic ultra-fast,” says Futurebound. “I “Pulp can’t Fiction.” But,itfor our purposes, we restand doing because it’s too fidgety. fer to working this quote an introduction to I like onasbeats. I have prepaone of the biggest names in the world ration sessions, then when I go into a of bass to music. studio write a track, I have beats Zedson Dead didn’t conquer I’veNo, worked before and grab what right away – it took awhile. Like many works. That comes in really handy DJ/producers the top of the when you are at feeling the vibe of EDM congame, theya achieved structing track.” incrementally until they became recognized as genuine
(continued from page 17) sion, do you ever do go into aiming to create a festival weapon or clubready track? Ridha: Good question! Usually, I try to make records that I can play and, when I make music, I try not to do the stuff that I buy or play because there’s no reason in making something that sounds like someone else made it… Sometimes I have a clear idea. I want to do club track or something,
Jamaica Frenzy: Home for House No place for house music, right?
You’d be surprised.
Jamaica, mon… home of reggae.
Jamaica Frenzy Fest, in the next DJ Times
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