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AMERICA’S FIRST MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONAL DJs ESTABLISHED 1988 2021 GAMING ISSUE

VOLUME 34 NUMBER 2

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AMERICA’S FIRST MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONAL DJs ESTABLISHED 1988 2021 GAMING ISSUE

VOLUME 34 NUMBER 2

DJs & Gamin g: THE NEW NEXUS

’21?

WILL DJ BUSINESS RETURN IN

MULTI-OP LEADERSHIP TIPS, PT. 2 PLUS: AC Slater * BLOND:ISH * Prospa Pioneer DJ DJM-S11 * KRK S12.4

ALL IN THE GAME


NOTABLES…MILESTONES NEWS

THE NEW NEXUS: DJS & THE GAMING WORLD

By Brian Bonavoglia Electronic music and video games have gone hand-in-hand since gaming began in the 1970s, with the relationship only getting stronger with time. But these days, it’s reached an especially close bond – and DJs are helping to lead the way. For the past half-decade, both industries have continued to grow. DJ-driven EDM has maintained its hold on the youth culture, while video-streaming/ competitive gaming has become a hobby that can be monetized. (The gaming industry now reaches a reported 2.5 billion players and generates $150 billion in annual revenue.) But it wasn’t until 2020 that the two worlds completely collided. With the pandemic causing the world to shut down, everyone was forced to stay home. It was devastating news for the DJ community, but the world of gaming grew stronger. So where did this nexus begin? The Seeds: Since 2011, the Amazon-owned Twitch.tv has been the go-to platform for videogame live-streaming, and it quickly exploded in popularity with the emergence of esports. Easy to use for both streamers and viewers, Twitch would soon make expansions into non-gaming content, becoming an all-in-one streaming platform. When COVID halted live events, DJs flocked to Twitch, using the platform to deliver live-stream sets and offer studio sessions, while using Twitch’s live-chat features to interact with fans at a personal level unlike ever before. With no gigs on tap for DJs, it became a dramatically useful branding tool. Jauz (aka Sam Vogel, 27) is one headlining DJ/producer who has used Twitch to his benefit, especially during lockdown. By live-streaming both his gaming and his “day-to-day life in the studio,” he says, he’s able to stay connected to fans in a unique way. “It almost feels like I’ve started to develop a new fanbase through streaming,” says the L.A.-based Jauz. “It’s kids who may not have always gone to shows, but listen to the music and were already super-involved in the Twitch/live-streaming communities, who used this opportunity to become more involved with the artists they care about.” There was a time when playing video games was merely a hobby for global DJs on their days off, layovers, and long flights. But now they’re showcasing their skills to fans and, in some cases, even playing alongside them. Those DJs who weren’t into gaming took advantage of the live chat, with the stream hosting virtual hangouts with fans or Twitch users who may have just stumbled across their channel. Says Bentley Montes, 31, of the L.A.-based EDM duo Pixel Terror: “Streaming games, as well as just being involved in the overarching streaming world – we spend most of our time doing music-production streams – has opened doors to new kinds of followers and developed personal relationships with our fans that we never would have thought possible.” Adds English bass DJ/producer Protostar (ala Alex Mallows, 27), a longtime Twitch streamer: “This year, I have spent most of my stream time within Virtual Reality and it has been amazing to be able to connect with fans that way in a game, especially when it is mainly just about hanging out and connecting.”

In addition to helping DJs build their brands and showcase their personalities, Twitch allows them to monetize their Twitch presence by having fans subscribe to their channels. For a $4.99 monthly fee, the user gets access to unique content from the DJ’s channel. Twitch channels that reach certain benchmarks on the platform can achieve “affiliate” status and “partner” status, which allows them to cash in. “Streaming/gaming has always been a huge part of my life,” says Canadian trap act CRAY (aka Cheney Ray, 27), whose Twitch channel has nearly 60,000 followers. “But with the absence of shows, it’s been super-special to still be able to connect to my fans on a daily basis – and have fun. I think gaming and music have always been closely related and I think we should live-stream all the shows we can, even after the pandemic.” Music in Gaming: Tracks getting signed to film, TV, ads, or video games is nothing new. But with gaming seeing billions of players yearly with a youngertrending demo, it is now considered a resource similar to radio play for artists to get in front of new fans. Accordingly, Canadian EDM label Monstercat looks to change the relationship between gaming and electronic-music forever by delivering the freshest beats into the ears of the next generation of music fans. After launching in 2011, Monstercat has become an industry powerhouse to the point that it pumps out six releases a week. With no genre being off-limits across its three brands (Uncaged, Instinct, and Silk), the label has made its presence felt throughout the video-game world, providing soundtrack albums for Beat Saber and free-to-play games like Fortnite and Rocket League. “Music has always been synonymous with gaming, through the soundtracking of epic gaming moments, game reveals, and organic interactions between gamers and artists,” says Gavin Johnson, Monstercat’s Head of Gaming. “At Monstercat, we look to integrate our artists into every facet of gaming through long-term partnerships with innovative brands and creators. As players continue to utilize games as tools for music discovery, artists are accessing new fanbases they wouldn’t otherwise be connecting with around the world.  “During our current campaign with Kaskade, we’ve released his four-track ‘Reset’ EP in partnership with Epic Games over a multi-month period, with in-game music and item drops in both Rocket League and Fortnite, which has culminated in a concert in Party Royale [Fortnite’s in-game party]. This project has resulted in millions of streams across music platforms, from soundtracking the experience of millions of players.” So, what does the future hold for this evolving nexus of DJ-driven electronic music and the gaming world? For now, the DJs are bullish. Says Jauz: “It’s been really cool to see things like Fortnite’s concert they’ve been putting on, Rocket League featuring tons of awesome dance music ingame. I think we’re just at the tip of the iceberg here. I know from personal experience that video-game culture and electronic music are inextricably tied to one another – so, in my mind, the future is pretty limitless.”

Jauz: Live-streams offer studio insights.

Gaming Chief: Monstercat’s Gavin Johnson.

CRAY: Loves Twitch’s live-chat.

Protostar: VR-friendly streamer.

GAMING ISSUE

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FEATURES

14 All in the Game VOLUME 34 NUMBER 2

Long an EDM Superstar, Kaskade Has Found New Ways – Some by Necessity, Others by Design – to Embrace a Younger Audience BY BRIAN BONAVOGLIA

18 Growing Up

In DJ Companies, True Leadership Creates Growth Environments' BY TRAVIS WACKERLY

20 Bass in Your Face

Seven Years In, AC Slater’s Night Bass Brand Keeps Banging BY BRIAN BONAVOGLIA

Samplings 10 Prospa

Blast from the Past

12 In the Studio With… BLOND:ISH

Departments 9 Feedback

Update on DJ Expo 2021 in Atlantic City, N.J.

22 Sounding Off

Pioneer DJ DJM-S11 Mixer

24 Making Tracks KRK S12.4 Studio Sub

26 Mobile Profile

Penn DJ Sees Light at End of Tunnel

27 Business Line 28 Gear

New Products from Reloop, JBL Pro & More

32 Grooves

Phat Tracks from Ultra Naté, Todd Edwards & More

33 Club Play Chart

The Hottest Records, As Reported by Our Top U.S. Record Pools

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Cover & Contents Images By Mark Owens

Will Business See a Post-Pandemic Boom?


FROM THE EDITOR

editor-in-chief Jim Tremayne jtremayne@testa.com

All in the Game

Anyone who’s reading this magazine will know that the global pandemic has devastated many sectors of the DJ industry. But the video-gaming industry? Not so much. In fact, with everyone stuck at home, it’s thrived. And just what do the two have to do with each other? These days, more than you might think. In order to get in front of fans confined at home, gigless DJs are live-streaming more than ever before. And one of the top platforms for such activity is Twitch.tv, a place where gamers have congregated since 2011 – think video-game live-streaming and broadcasts of esports competitions. So naturally, by visiting Twitch so often, plenty of gamers are coming across more and more DJs doing their thing (on a platform just made for live-streaming) and becoming fans, especially enjoying the platform’s interactive features to personally connect with the on-air talent. But that’s not all… DJ/producers are getting more ingrained in the actual games that fans are enjoying, as their music is getting licensed into the games…. which brings us to Kaskade (aka Ryan Raddon), one of America’s favorite DJ/producers. As the pandemic impacted his ability to maintain (or grow) his fanbase, the L.A.-based talent pivoted into new opportunities like live-streaming and, via the Monstercat label, having his music appear in favorite online games like Fortnite and Rocket League. Our Brian Bonavoglia connects with the popular DJ and further explores the DJ/gaming nexus in our News section. (And don’t forget to check out DJ Times’ new Twitch channel, which features interviews with DJs the world over.) In another feature, Brian sits down with AC Slater, the DJ/producer who runs the popular Night Bass brand, and he gives us a dozen fave tracks from his imprint. In Sampling, I caught up with Vivie-Ann Bakos (aka BLOND:ISH), a talented DJ/producer who has also led the way for ecological reform in the music industry and beyond. Also, I interviewed Prospa (aka Gosha Smith & Harvey Blumler), a pair of Leeds lads whose breakbeat tracks match ’90s electronica-era sounds with more modern U.K. bass – it’s quite a tasty stew. On the tech side, Michigan-based scribe Erik Miller handles all the heavy lifting. For Making Tracks, he took KRK’s beastly S12.4 sub into his studio and, for Sounding Off, he got busy with Pioneer DJ’s hot, new battle mixer, the DJM-S11. In the mobile world, Oklahoma DJ/scribe Travis Wackerly delivers Part 2 of his leadership series for multi-op DJ companies – in this one, he explains how true leadership creates growth environments for employees. In Mobile Profile, we highlighted veteran Pennsylvania jock John Horne of Jam Machine Productions, who estimates that, through nearly 40 years of service, he’s worked over 2,100 gigs. For Business Line, longtime Iowa DJ/scribe Jeff Stiles surveyed a global group of mobiles, who weighed in on how they envisioned the DJ-business climate for the rest of 2021. And mark your calendars for August 9-12. It’ll be on those dates that DJ Times will present DJ Expo 2021. Set for the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. – and prepared to offer overall safety – the DJ industry’s longest-running show will produce an exhibit hall full of the latest DJrelated technologies, dozens of educational seminars, panels and keynotes, plus sponsored evening events that’ll help the DJ world re-congregate. For the latest info – including prices, packages and hotel rates – please visit www.thedjexpo.com. In closing, I’d like to acknowledge the recent passing of a close friend of the magazine, Harris from MetroMix – he was 68. If you’ve ever attended a DJ Expo, you might have met the unassuming Harris – one name only, just like Cher, Madonna or Prince – who was often with his business partner John Hohman, a longtime Pittsburgh DJ/producer/mix-show host. But if you noticed him at all, what you might’ve remembered was that, unlike most of the DJ Expo attendees, he was probably the only one not talking about himself. He was probably actually listening, something at which he excelled – to a degree that few will ever know. He was a talented advisor, a valued confidante and a genuine friend – pretty sure I’ve never met anyone like him, and I’d say it’s impossible that I ever will. I know I speak for everyone in the DJ Times/DJ Expo family who got to know Harris, rest in peace – you’re always our hero. Cheers,

DJTIMES.COM

• GAMING ISSUE

assistant editor Brian Bonavoglia bbonavoglia@testa.com chart coordinator Dan Miller dmiller@testa.com contributors Wesley Bryant-King Chris Caruso Amanda Chavez Shawn Christopher Paul Dailey Reed Dailey Chris Davis DJ Deets Tony Fernandez Tommy D Funk Jennifer Harmon Ryan Hayes Greg Hollmann Josh Kerman Michelle Loeb Erik Miller Lily Moayeri Jordan St Jacques Jeff Stiles Ashley Teffer Danny Turner Phil Turnipseed Travis Wackerly Curtis Zack President/Publisher Vincent P. Testa FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE AND TO ORDER SUBSCRIPTIONS, CALL 800-937-7678 VISIT OUR WEBSITE www.djtimes.com

DJ Times Sound & Communications The Music & Sound Retailer Sound & Communications ClubWorld Blue Book America’s Best DJ The DJ Expo IT/AV Report Convention TV News VTTV Studios

art director Janice Pupelis jpupelis@testa.com production manager Steve Thorakos sthorakos@testa.com digital art director Fred Gumm fgumm@testa.com @ social media coordinator Amanda Mullen amullen@testa.com traffic manager art production assistant Jeannemarie Graziano jgra@ziano@testa.com Circulation circulation@testa.com Classifieds classifiedsales@testa.com operations manager Robin Hazan rhazan@testa.com Editorial and Sales Office: DJ Times, 25 Willowdale Avenue, Port Washington, New York, USA 11050-3779. (516) 767-2500 • FAX (Editorial): (516) 944-8372 • FAX (Sales/all other business): (516) 767-9335 • DJTIMES@TESTA. COM Editorial contributions should be addressed to The Editor, DJ Times, 25 Willowdale Avenue, Port Washington, NY, USA, 110503779. Unsolicited manuscripts will be treated with care an d should be accompanied by return postage. DJ Times (ISSN 1045-9693) is published monthly except for February, July, September and December for $19.40 (US), $39.99 (Canada), and $59.99 (all other countries), by DJ Publishing, Inc., 25 Willowdale Ave., Port Washington, NY 11050-3779. Periodicals Postage Paid at Port Washington, NY, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to DJ Times, PO BOX 1767, LOWELL MA 01853-1767 Design and contents are copyright © 2021 by DJ Publishing, Inc., and must not be reproduced in any manner except by permission of the publisher. Websites: www.djtimes.com and www.testa.com Gaming Issue 2021

visit our website: www.djtimes.com

Jim Tremayne Editor, DJ Times 8

editor-at-large Brian O’Connor boconnor@testa.com

director of integrated advertising Paul Bozikis pbozikis@testa.com

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2021


FEEDBACK The Latest DJ Debuts

AMERICA’S FIRST MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONAL DJs ESTABLISHED 1988 VOLUME 34 NUMBER 1

djtimes.com

T E C H N O M A S T E R ’ S PA N D E M I C P I V O T

BELIEVE IN MUSIC 2021 ISSUE

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6 Marketing Tactics for ’21 Leadership Tips for Multi-Ops Plus: DJ Godfather * DJ Spen * The Magician Bose L1 Pro * IK Multimedia ARC System 3 RANE TWELVE & SEVENTY-TWO 2/3/2021 5:28:08 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 djtimes@testa.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. DJX – Back to The Boardwalk If 2021 is about fresh, new starts, then DJ Times has something for you with its long-running trade show/exhibi‑ tion, DJ Expo. As DJ Times and its publisher, Testa Communications, prepare to take the 2021 version of the show to an ex‑ citing, new venue, the show will be re-branded with a new logo – DJX. Set for Aug. 9-12 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City in Atlantic City, N.J., the 2021 Expo will present the industry’s first real trade-show since the pandemic impacted our industry and offer the DJ world an opportunity to re-congregate and refresh itself. Now in its 32nd year, DJ Expo will re‑ tain its vital mission of presenting an exhibit hall full of the latest technolo‑ gies, seminar sessions offering inspi‑ rational ideas, and sponsored events brimming with networking opportuni‑ ties – but the 2021 Expo will mark the start of a new era. This year will begin the pivot with new floor plans, imagery, ideas, energy, product drops and collabs that will bring us forward into the future. “As the DJ industry evolves, we have to evolve with it,” says DJ Times Edi‑ tor Jim Tremayne. “That’s true for all our platforms and especially so with our new moves with the show. So, a re-branding was in order for us to move forward.” New Sessions: With much to roll out in the coming months, DJ Expo will just

now offer a glimpse of what is to come from the education-rich slate of semi‑ nars that will discuss the most vital issues to mobile, club and studio jocks. After delivering a well-received semi‑ nar at the 2019 DJ Expo, DJ Staci “The Track Star” Nichols will return to the ’21 show with a pair of tutorials. In ad‑ dition to playing over 500 weddings in her career, the Cancun, Mexico-based event DJ has also hit the jackpot by scoring big parties with big brands as diverse as Lamborghini and Ree‑ bok. So, how did she land those gigs? Through a robust and active socialmedia profile, that’s how – and she

wants to show you how to step up your game, as well. So, at DJ Expo, she’ll present the following sessions: The Mobile DJ’s Blogging Bible: How I Get 400 Visitors a Day to My Website. In this session, Nichols will tackle tag and category structure, anchor links, image titles and alt tags, SEO, and post‑ ing/sharing blogposts. She’ll also show Expo attendees how to turn all this blogging info into an easily replicated, auto-pilot system using templates and a virtual assistant. Vital tips on creating engagement with your audience. E-Mail Lead-Reply Strategy: What to Say & When to Say It.

For this session, Nichols will explain: how to set up an auto responder for Knot/Wedding Wire leads – respond‑ ing in under five minutes is key, ac‑ cording to research; how to start a conversation, including an opening question that begins a back-and-forth, but doesn’t get stuck on price; how to use subtle, but effective ways to move toward closing; how to use researchbased strategies to keep your emails fun (instead of desperate); and how to spruce up your online testimonials. Better business for professional DJs. For the very latest on DJ Expo, please visit thedjexpo.com.


SAMPLING

Remember breakbeats? While the youthful fellows from Prospa might not recall those halcyon days of rave, they still do plenty to honor its genres. Indeed, the Leeds-bred/London-based lads – Gosha Smith and Harvey Blumler, both 22 – offer quite a blast from the past. Just check their latest EP, “Rave Science, Vol. 1,” which imagines some of the more thrilling moments of ’90s “electronica” acts like The Chemical Brothers, while still dropping punchy elements of U.K. bass. Cuts like “Sira,” an anthemic collab with Sweden’s DJ Seinfeld, and “Burns No More,” a bracing techno ride over whopping breaks, highlight the package. We recently connected with the duo during their LonProspa: (from left) Gosha Smith & Harvey Blumler. don lockdown. DJ Times: How have you spent the past year? Harvey Blumler: Making music, as we always do; however, we were living away from each other, which had its positives and negatives. The positive side of it was that they’ve been we didn’t have any shows to play; therefore, we had way more time to be able to waiting for. experiment with new technology and reinvent part of our sound.The list of negatives DJ Times: is endless. For example, we couldn’t switch between each other’s rooms when we What’s in your stuwanted to work on something in precise detail – and we missed the shows! dio? Gosha Smith: Yes, we lost the whole summer and we had a special event lined Blumler : Roland up in Ibiza, which really meant everything to us – 2020 was looking to be a year JX-3P, Roland Kiwi-3P, Euthat really stepped up our live game. We had not just DJ sets planned, but also live rorack Modular with countperformances with synthesizers, drum parts, modular synths and the rest. We also less modules, two acoustic lost extremely important income-producing work, which put a massive stress on guitars, a Fender Strat, a gueverything. zheng, a bouzouki, a Minimoog, Blumler: Streams and radio play are the only viable source of income at the moand a Roland drum pad.  ment. We were really planning to try and get into making music for media and film, DJ Times: And online? but, as there are barely any operational workplaces, we weren’t able to get anything. Blumler : We have been running DJ Times: How have things changed over time? Rave Science Virtual Warehouse, a live, Smith: Everything has changed. I feel like the lack of gigs can really affect how virtual-reality rave, based in a crazy, dystoyou make your music, as we take a lot of that inspiration from the live side straight pian, abandoned bunker where you can literinto our production. With the lack of shows, we have had the opportunity to ally move your screen around to our own Proexplore new creative ventures within us, as musicians, and it has really benefited spa world – and everyone who wishes they were the progression of our sound. Incorporating acoustic instruments and structured at a rave can connect all at once. We really did this songwriting has been fun.  for all of the people needing an escape and for those DJ Times: What has this downtime taught you? who haven’t been able to properly party for a long time. Smith: We are constantly learning and evolving on an ever-growing path that DJ Times: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve is music. I think we would both agree that, when it comes to creativity, we have realized during this time? to step outside of our comfort zone. For example, there may be something in the Smith: We’ve found that socially distanced raves could actrack that we’re not particularly used to and don’t like because it’s not something tually happen and be successful, in the fact that many were manwe have done before or we may believe that it doesn’t fit our aesthetic. Yet, we aged very well. Of course, we had a few planned before tighter have experimented with this mindset and proven to ourselves that when listening restrictions came into place. to the finished result, we loved it more than we could’ve ever imagined.  DJ Times: Any advice on staying sane through this situation? DJ Times: What’s 2021 looking like? Smith: Keeping in touch with your friends is very important, as well Smith: We released our “Rave Science, Vol. 1” EP, which we are really excited as doing exercise, and also not putting too much pressure on yourself and about.This year is the time to showcase a side of our sound that we believe people your career. The world has been an uneasy place with this pandemic, so we haven’t heard enough of.This is the club sound. Ironically, we are probably not going hope people are looking after themselves. to have many club shows this year, if any at all. But we’ve been sitting on this music – Jim Tremayne so, so long, and we are absolutely dying to get it out there and give people what

PROSPA: BLAST FROM THE PAST

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IN THE STUDIO WITH...

BLOND:ISH: ECO ACTIVIST For much of 2020, the pandemic did a number on the DJ and music industries. With no live gigs after March, most DJ/producers hit the studio in earnest and many began live-streaming thru a variety of platforms. But Vivie-Ann Bakos (aka BLOND:ISH) had bigger visions. Yes, the Canadian DJ/producer got busy making music and sustaining her brand via socials. She’s created lots of tunes, including her latest single, electro-popleaning “Waves,” which features Grace Tither, on Spinnin’ Deep. And she’s been offering loads of content on her labelbranded ABRACADABRA TV channel on Twitch. But that content hasn’t just been all about her latest tracks; it’s taken on a larger purpose – to help ecological sustainability within the music industry and beyond. We recently caught up with the Miami-based electronic talent/eco activist. DJ Times: How have you fared through the pandemic? Bakos: My partner in business and life, Liana Hillison, and I were fortunate enough to be in this incredible house in Miami with its own club for us to create and produce from. We were locked down from March to June in 2020, but since then, we’ve had more freedom. I spent most of my time being a curious kid again, getting creative on how to work with my passion for music in different ways and asking myself the question, “How do we bring value to our community in these times?” I went really deep into that. DJ Times: What have you learned? Bakos: Most of my income was tied to touring, which ended up being a huge lesson. I have taken the time to find new ways to diversify my income around my passion. It was such a fun exploration because there are so many worlds for your music to live in. We have the physical reality, streaming world, gaming world, sustainability world, app world, NFT world – it’s endless!  DJ Times: How have you pivoted? Bakos: ABRACADABRA, our female-powered collective, focused on bridging the worlds of music and art with wellness and eco-activism, has been producing unique single-use, plastic-free events IRL, in places like Tulum, Mykonos, and at Tomorrowland, since 2017. But last March, as music venues and festivals were forced to shut down due to COVID-19, we quickly adapted by launching ABRACADABRA TV on Twitch. The channel is for the music-obsessed, the self-love-seeking, and those who believe the future of entertainment is educational, eco-friendly, and ever-evolving. We serve up over 60-plus hours of music and self-love programming live every week. The channel has brought in over 55,000 followers and 40 million views in less than a year. DJ Times: Sounds like you’ve been plenty busy. Bakos: Another major thing for me was doubling down on all things Bye Bye Plastic, my organization that aims to remove single-use plastic from the music industry by 2025. We’re working on a new program that prepares artists to lead with more purpose and many are already signing our Eco-Rider pledge.  DJ Times: How ’bout the music you’ve made during this time? Bakos: My record label has released two new compilations, Human Nature by Day and Human Nature by Night, sharing all the unreleased material that I’ve gathered from incredible artists like Ameme and Hyenah. Additionally, we’re evolving to hopefully one day only playing plastic-free parties – check the #PlasticFreeParty pledge online – and we have started accepting payments in crypto. DJ Times: In the studio, what’s your set-up? Bakos: UAD Apollo Quad combined with Nord Lead and [Moog] Sub 37,TB-303, Dave Smith Prophet – you can never have too many synths – and [Spectrasonics] Omnisphere. I would love to make and play with some plant synthesizers this spring, too. UAD’s EMT 250 Reverb, the Korg SDD-3000 [digital delay] and the UAD K-Stereo also get used a lot along with the Millennia EQ. Currently, my favorite plug-ins include the Smoothe2 by Oeksound… and literally all the iZotope plugs are dope, especially the Neutron, Ozone, and Nectar – also the RX8 is a (continued on page 34)

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Evolved: Vivie-Ann Bakos aka BLOND:ISH.


MAINSTAGE

SSIR IVAN’S 18-SONG DOUBLE ALBUM “LIFE” OUT NOW This 18-song double-album is a celebration of Sir Ivan’s 20 years as a recording artist. Collectively, it is an electronic dance music experience that pays homage to the spirit of the 60s - Peace, Love and Acceptance. In Sir Ivan’s words, “the greatest collection of peace songs ever released as dance music”. https://ffm.to/sir-ivan-life

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ll in the Game LONG AN EDM SUPERSTAR, KASKADE HAS FOUND NEW WAYS – SOME BY NECESSITY, OTHERS BY DESIGN – TO EMBRACE A YOUNGER AUDIENCE

BY BRIAN BONAVOGLIA PHOTOS BY MARK OWENS As we’ve seen, the global pandemic has been an equalopportunity emergency for all DJs. It didn’t matter if you were a world-renowned talent, an aspiring headliner or a busy mobile – nearly every DJ was stuck at home with almost all live gigs halted. Accordingly, DJs of all stripes have had to find various ways to survive. Even the big-name talents have had to make a pivot. At first blush, a hitmaking DJ/producer like Kaskade – aka Ryan Raddon, 50 – could undoubtedly use the time off to be at home with his family. After all, the global jock has been on the road almost constantly for two decades now. But he, too, had to adjust to the “new normal,” as lockdown weeks turned to months. It suddenly went from a welcomed staycation to a career-on-pause. And what a career it’s been. With his musical roots connected to the Chicago house-music scene, Raddon worked his way up the industry ladder, recording and performing A&R duties for San Francisco’s Om Records at the turn of the century, before signing with Ultra Records and eventually developing his own imprint, Arkade. Ten artist albums, seven mix-compilations and five EPs later – not to mention scads of hit singles like 2004’s “Steppin’ Out,” 2008’s “I Remember” (with deadmau5) and, more recently, 2019’s “Go Slow” (with Gorgon City and Roméo) – Kaskade became one of America’s favorite electronic-music talents. But, all his accomplishments aside, Kaskade was now in uncharted territory – with no club or festival dates on the horizon. How would he maintain, or even grow, his already substantial fanbase? Step 1 was hopping into the live-streaming space. Getting busy in early 2020, he delivered sets from the comfort of his own home and from unique spots like the skywalk at the Grand Canyon. Additionally, he made appearances at a handful of virtual festivals like Proximity/Brownies & Lemonade’s Digital Mirage and SiriusXM’s Virtual DisDance. It’s interesting to note that, for the past decade, livestreaming had been prominently geared to the video-game

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community. However, during recent times, it’s become newfound territory for DJs looking to continue to perform and the perfect platform to interact with younger fans on a more intimate level. On platforms like Twitch.tv, EDM meets the gaming community. And speaking of gaming… Kaskade made his debut on the powerhouse label Monstercat with his newest releases from the “Reset” EP being featured on the Rocket League soundtrack, in addition to Fortnite’s in-vehicle radio station, Radio Yonder. Kaskade was now getting airtime in two of the biggest video games out there, each averaging millions of players daily. Call that a big Step 2. So, in a matter of months, Kaskade had made his presence felt online with live-stream sets and infiltrated the videogaming community, getting his music in front of a whole new, global audience. But even that wasn’t the whole story… Kaskade also played quite a few socially distanced, drive-in events, including a SoCal New Year’s Eve party, which has become an annual rite for him. We recently caught up with Kaskade from his home in Los Angeles to discuss his time in transition throughout the pandemic, his working with Monstercat, the live-streaming and gaming opportunities, the drive-in shows, and much more. DJ Times: Since the early ’90s, club culture has been a major part of your life. But these days, packed dancefloors are considered a serious health risk. As a DJ vet, what are your thoughts on the situation? Kaskade: It’s uncontrollable and unknowable. I can’t let myself spiral into what’s been lost because that would be a full-time occupation. Instead, I’m looking forward to how we can rebuild something better. The audience isn’t lost – they’re just locked down, same as me. When it’s safe, we will be back together. Careers have been stalled, and maybe some have been ended because of this. Under the best of circumstances, we still have no control, only will and grit. Those things persevere, and when we come back out, trust we will all come out swinging. DJ Times: From enjoying a vigorous tour schedule to see-


...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... “I wanted to make sure each song [on the ...................................................................................... ‘Reset’ EP] expressed a different ...................................................................................... mood [for ...................................................................................... Rocket League]. Playing any video game ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... is an exercise in whiplash. You go from ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... feeling top-tier to wanting to throw your ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... controller at the television.” ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... GAMING ISSUE | 2021 • DJTIMES.COM 15 ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ......................................................................................


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...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... “If I’ve learned anything ...................................................................................... over the past year, it’s not to ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... expect anything.” ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ............................................................................. ...................................................................................... ............................................................................. ...................................................................................... ............................................................................. ...................................................................................... ............................................................................. ...................................................................................... ............................................................................. ............................................................................. ............................................................................. ............................................................................. ............................................................................. ............................................................................. ............................................................................. ............................................................................. ............................................................................. ............................................................................. ............................................................................. .............................................................................


...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ing the entire world being put on pause, how did you handle the earliest part of lockdown? ...................................................................................... Kaskade: I remember having early conversations with my team about taking the “next few weeks” off and regrouping ...................................................................................... with a revised tour plan after that. It’s bittersweet, in retrospect, like looking at an innocent dumb puppy. Like, “Aww, that’s ...................................................................................... cute – we thought it would be a few weeks.” I was honestly a little grateful for the forced time off, something I’m not the ...................................................................................... best at carving out for myself. ...................................................................................... DJ Times: I’m sure it was great to have some quality family time after always being on the road. How has “daddy duty” ...................................................................................... treated you during the pandemic? ...................................................................................... Kaskade: I’ve documented my inability to learn how to fold a fitted sheet. Advancements have been slow, but the increased ...................................................................................... day-to-day interaction with my family has been amazing. I wouldn’t have chosen these circumstances, but I also am grateful ...................................................................................... that I’ve been able to experience this time with the people I love the most.  ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... DJ Times: Specifically, how has it been to have three daughters at home while juggling lockdown restrictions, homeschool-

.......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........

ing, explaining COVID and all the other current events that have unfolded over the past year? Kaskade: Two of them are teenagers, the other one is younger, but actually might be wiser than the rest of us, combined. Either she’s an old soul or Roblox has really shaped the youth to be smarter than their parents. Let’s be very clear: Trying to enforce new strict regulations with teenagers is never going to be an easy ask and then, on top of that, trying to have conversations around the instability of the rest of the events that we’ve all been living through has heightened anxiety and stress in everyone’s homes. But the conversations are happening, which is a win. I take wins where I can get them. It hasn’t been easy, but the best things that have ever happened in my life are the things that have been the hardest to get through. I believe we’ll get to the other side of this closer and more sympathetic to each other. DJ Times: All DJs have taken an enormous financial hit since last March and have been left with plenty of free time. Did you learn anything during downtime or pick up any new hobbies? Kaskade: I’ve learned all about – and now only use – cryptocurrency and will only accept GameStop stock as payment for anything. OK, that’s a joke – I actually prefer Tesla options [laughs]. I’ve also started surfing a lot more and have made plans to organize my vinyl collection, but that might take more motivation than I have currently. DJ Times: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this time of weirdness? Kaskade: I’m surprised that I used to go without sleep for days while touring. I’ve definitely been making up for those lost blurry weekends by getting a better routine for sleep and can’t believe how it affects me in almost every aspect of life. I just feel better. Sleep is important. Tell a friend.   DJ Times: Any advice on getting through this situation gracefully? Kaskade: Step away from the computer and go outside. DJ Times: Has this pandemic experience served as an inspirational period when it comes to production, or have you become unmotivated/exhausted? Everyone seems to be on an emotional rollercoaster these days, especially creatively.  Kaskade: The answer is yes to everything. I’ve been inspired and I’ve been depleted. It depends on the day, the hour, the minute. I do know we’re all experiencing this universal fatigue and none of us are living our personal best 100-percent of the time. But again, this is where we’re at and it’s important to not get stuck under it. DJ Times: Do you have any encouraging words for DJ/producers beginning to or have lost faith in a career due to the pandemic? Kaskade: I wish I had solutions or some quote that would help everyone. All I know is that art perseveres – it always does. During great times, we get amazing art. During extreme stress, insane art is produced. It’s during times that we become bored or complacent that art suffers. So if you are feeling some extreme way, keep creating. It may or may not be a way to make a living, but it will always improve your mental health, which is the best type of success.  DJ Times: You’ve done a number of live-streams and drive-in shows throughout the pandemic. How do you feel about these new performance alternatives? Kaskade: I feel a few things. First, it’s reminiscent of when I was at the beginning of my career and I was playing in – and couldn’t fill – a parking lot outside of the main festival. Safety comes first and, with that, there are less people and what could be considered lower energy. With that being said, we are all starving for this interaction and it feels a hundred times more fulfilling than the largest, most-epic festival right now. Just seeing people together, but safely distanced, restores my hope and gives me that hit of what I need to remember why we’re all here and what we’re going to get back to. DJ Times: You even delivered a live-stream set from the Grand Canyon. How were you able to make that one happen? Kaskade: That show came together really quickly and with a lot of work behind the scenes from my team. The location and opportunity kind of came together in a perfect storm and I had to agree to pull the trigger without knowing 100-percent how we would pull it off. It was one of the most exhilarating performances of my career, though, and who would have ever guessed I would say that, playing to a live audience of zero? DJ Times: Your drive-in shows sold out almost instantly. How was it going from a sea of people to a parking lot filled with cars and cheers turned to honks? Did it take a while to get used to?  Kaskade: Absolutely. As I mentioned before, it’s a different vibe, and on night one I had to change what I was expecting. But I still was able to see the look in people’s eyes that light up at a certain part of a song, and certain songs hit exactly the same way. It was different, but not worse or better. I’m down to have new experiences, and this was definitely new. DJ Times: While we are still ways away, how do you envision clubs and festivals will adapt or evolve once it is safe for large social gatherings to take place again? Kaskade: It’s just so difficult to say. I do think we are all more mindful of the way we interact with each other. I think (continued on page 34)

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In Part 1 of my leadership series (which I began in the previous issue), I talked about the importance of connecting with your DJs in a way that makes them want to follow you. Now, I want to address how to keep great people on your team. The answer might not be so obvious. I’ll never forget how I left my day job before becoming a full-time musician/ DJ. I was already doing well with my part-time DJ business, so it was time to leave my full-time day job and seek only a part-time day job. I went to a retail store just down the road from my house and took a job doing exactly what I wanted. After working there for three months, I walked into the break room and saw security-camera still shots of several employees hanging on the walls. As I got a little closer, I read the handwritten notes on each of these pictures. I couldn’t believe it! It was about as close to public shaming as you could get in a work environment. Each handwritten note attached to these pictures would say something like, “John, leaning over the counter is a no-no.” Or, “Vanessa, this photo shows you handed the change back all at once instead of counting the money back into their hands.” I did something I never expected to do that day. I walked around the break room and took down every picture without approval from the management team that posted them. That day, I quit. There was no motivation for anyone to grow — both as a person and as a professional in this environment. If this is what this company was trying to do, their strategy was a complete failure. As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one who resigned. Employees were turning in their notice every week. Leaders create Growth Environments. People want to feel like they are on a winning team. They want to feel like they are making a contribution to that winning team. They want to feel respected. When it’s time to make a correc-

GROWING tion to their behavior or performance, a good DJ will want to grow as you make those corrections. It’s rather unlike the result of the strategy of my day job that I mentioned above. So how do you create an environment where your DJs are not only going to want to stay loyal to you, but also grow with you? Here are a few thoughts: Coaching. Immediate feedback is certainly valuable and you should do it on occasion; but if immediate feedback is all you do, you could be in danger of not allowing your DJs to grow on their own. Here’s what I mean: When you go into coaching mode (not to be confused with mentoring/giving advice), you set this person up to succeed using his or her own thoughts and ideas. Coaching is being in the “present” with someone – getting on their level and going on a journey with them. For example, one of our new DJs didn’t have a ton of energy in his grandentrance delivery. I could have corrected him, but instead I found the right coaching questions to ask and more importantly, the right time to ask them. While we were hanging out during the couple’s private last dance, I said, “You did great tonight. Were there any areas where you could have done better?” His answer: “My energy.” Coaching allows those you are teaching to think. You should never go into coaching mode without your DJ knowing that you’re in coaching mode. Coaching would not be effective and could be frustrating for both parties if only one of you is present. Be careful to not ask questions that intentionally lead them to a certain answer that you want. That doesn’t allow them to get to their own answers. Here are some questions that I have found to be effective: “What’s the first step you’ll take to improve your [fill in the blank]?”

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PU

In DJ Companies, True Leadership Creates Growth Environments

“What obstacles will you need to overcome on the way?” And, “What else?” So consider learning some basic coaching questions and you’ll find your DJs growing on their own. Over time, they’ll start to ask themselves those types of questions when they face obstacles. Evaluate who you want on the bus. This one has been a difficult one for me, and I learned the hard way. When you have someone on the team who doesn’t belong, this can frustrate the ones on your team who do belong. If you, as the boss, tolerate a low-performance DJ who has no desire to grow, it can bring the morale down for everybody. I had a DJ on our team that didn’t belong. I knew it, but I kept him on anyway. Two of my very valuable team members expressed their frustration with this DJ once he ended up quitting. I apologized to them that I didn’t do something about it before it came to him quitting. Shortcuts, rule-breaking, a big ego and a no-growth attitude are all red flags that he didn’t belong on our team. If he didn’t quit and I tolerated him too much longer, I could have ended up losing those who did belong because I kept someone who didn’t belong. Keep your DJs wanting to grow by keeping people who are inspired to grow, and consider taking measures to remove those from your team who aren’t on-board with this before they influence your superstars to not only stop growing, but frustrate your superstars – and potentially cause those superstars to quit. Add Value to people. My favorite leadership expert, John Maxwell, says: “You add value to people when you value them.” When your DJs feel valued, you make them better. When you help make them better and they can tell that you value them, it will spark an excitement for them to grow. The growth environment of your company is a reflection of you, the leader. A good leader will create the type of environment where coaching is welcomed, strong leadership action is taken towards those who don’t belong and people are being valued. Your DJs probably won’t find that kind of growth culture in very many places and, therefore, why would they want to go anywhere else? They’ll feel respected, they’ll know you care and they will respect you as the leader. In Part 3, the final entry to this leadership series, I’ll share another important leadership quality that has a direct connection with keeping good people on your team. Stay tuned…

BY TRAVIS WACKERLY

Travis Wackerly is a speaker and coach for the John Maxwell Team and is the owner/operator of FCM Entertainment, a multi-op, fusion-based wedding company, out of Norman, Okla. He’s been a musician and entertainer for the past 20 years. n

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Bangin’ the Bass: Brand boss AC Slater.

BASS IN YOUR FACE Seven Years In, AC Slater’s Night Bass Brand Keeps Banging By Brian Bonavoglia Earning longevity in the world of electronic dance music is certainly no easy task, but to get stronger with age? That is just something you rarely see. However, it seems like AC Slater and his Night Bass brand has cracked the code. After running with Brooklyn’s pioneering Trouble & Bass crew from 2006 to 2015, Slater has grown Night Bass from a monthly party into a record label and global brand that has developed a community of producers and music lovers who share a passion for bone-rattling basslines. Giving the genres of U.K. Garage, Grime, and House some serious shine here in the States, the Night Bass label has injected the scene with a new wave of club-ready, bassheavy dance music. While the gigs were halted due to the pandemic, Night Bass kept cranking out the tunes on a weekly basis throughout 2020 and 2021. Additionally, it expanded its reach with live-streams on Twitch TV and YouTube. Fans also had access to the brand’s Night Bass Energy Podcast, which offers on its website interviews top DJ/producers like 12th Planet and Gorgon City. As the L.A.-based label was celebrating its seventh anniversary, we recently caught up with Night Bass chief AC Slater (aka 41-year-old Aaron Clevenger), who discussed the evolution of the brand and offered a list of a dozen personal-favorite tracks released on the imprint. DJ Times: From your earliest vision of Night Bass, did you ever imagine it would blossom into the brand/community it has become today? AC Slater: Part of my vision for Night Bass was to create a tight-knit community of music fans. This is something I grew up with in the late 1990s, going to raves. That vibe was definitely missing from the dance-music scene when Night Bass started in 2014 during the peak of EDM. I did not know what was going to happen, but it’s worked out really well so far and there is such an incredibly close and supportive community of Night Bass fans around the 20

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world. I absolutely love to see it! DJ Times: What has been the key to success and longevity? AC Slater: I make sure the music we release on the label is consistently high quality, as well as try to slowly evolve our sound over time to keep it moving forward. I also love to support newer artists and give them a platform, which keeps things fresh and exciting. We have a compilation series called Freshmen where we release artists who have never released on Night Bass before. When it comes to events, I love to expand things just a little bit every year to offer something new and exciting. DJ Times: How would you say the sounds of U.K. Garage, Grime and House have evolved over the past seven years? AC Slater: U.K. Garage and House are genres that will always be around. They’ve stood the test of time and have been through many stages of evolution over the decades. I don’t necessarily consider Night Bass releases all house or all garage, but more of a blend of many different styles under one umbrella. That’s what Night Bass means to me – it’s simply a term that covers all of the styles of music I like. I do think many of the artists on Night Bass have really pushed the needle on many genres across the board to help drive that evolution. This is a huge goal of mine. I have a short attention span, so I’m always looking for the next thing. DJ Times: When it comes to label releases, what do you look for in a production for it to get final Night Bass stamp of approval and get signed? AC Slater: This is a constant topic of conversation between myself and younger artists and fans. I love this conversation. The most important thing to me is originality. I want to hear something that is distinctly you. This is such a difficult thing to find. It’s easy to sound like someone you like, but to learn from that and develop your own style after that is so important to become a stand out artist.You can’t just make some weird sounds for the sake of trying to be original. It’s got to really work and scream who you are. Other than that, an artist needs to have a clear desire to be successful, work hard, and a true love for the music that they are making. If you came to get rich quick or become a famous celebrity DJ, you probably aren’t going to work out on Night Bass. DJ Times: In the studio, what’s your set-up? AC Slater: I use Ableton Live on a 2015 Macbook Pro with an UAD Apollo Duo pair of Adam A7X monitors. I have a few analog synths and a small modular set up that I use quite a bit on most tracks. Inside the computer, the bulk of my sounds come from [Xfer Records] Serum and [Native Instruments] MASSIVE. DJ Times: What’s your creation process in the studio? AC Slater: It’s so easy to get distracted with label stuff, emails, streaming and so many other things, so usually when I’m working on music I turn off my phone, disable notifications on my computer and try to really dive in and focus. I’m not the type of person who can just throw on the creative switch – I need to really settle into the mindset and it can be difficult to do at times. I usually start with an idea in mind and attempt to reach that point, but it often ends up going somewhere new. If I don’t have an idea, I’ll mess around and make some fresh synth patches and cool sounds to spark some inspiration. If that doesn’t work, I’ll dig through some samples for a possible source of inspiration. You just need that spark, that glimmer of a song in the distance to try and get, too. DJ Times: How do you manage to keep things fresh when it comes to your curated events? AC Slater: Again, it comes around to bringing fresh talent into markets where they’ve never been. If there is a Night Bass fanbase in a city or area, I know they’ve heard our releases. So I can bring a more unknown artist from say the U.K. or something and fans will get excited about it because they’re aware of the artist through our channels. Other than that, just keep moving to unique venues each time, curating cool festival stages with interesting and diverse line-ups, and trying new things outside the box. DJ Times: For someone who is just jumping onto the Night Bass wagon, how would you best describe the culture you’ve created? AC Slater: Night Bass is a tight-knit, supportive, open-minded community of fans and artists around the world from all walks of life who find a common connection through their love of music. Most of the artists on Night Bass are friends/family. It’s all very closely tied together, even with the distance between us. The music brings it all together. Everyone is welcome! n  

Night Bass Faves: AC’s Dirty Dozen

AC Slater & Chris Lorenzo: “Fly Kicks” (Wax Motif Remix) [2017]. “This remix by Wax Motif from 2017 just keeps living on and on! The original was track one on our first ever Night Bass Records release.Waxy absolutely smashed this remix out of the park and it is one of the biggest Night Bass anthems to date.” Phlegmatic Dogs: “Weegle” EP [2016]. “The Dogs just came in and flipped the whole bass-house world upside down. Their unique style of basshouse with drum-n-bass production values and style stood out among a sea of new artists in this sub-genre. This is their first EP on the label.” AC Slater: Outsiders LP [2017]. “This album release is near and dear to my heart for many reasons. It is my first artist album I’ve ever done, capturing the idea and feeling of coming into the music industry and building our own sub-scene from the ground up. It is the first artist album we released on Night Bass at the time.” MPH: “Nova” [2021]. “Part of the next generation of Night Bass heavyweight artists. This tune hits you right in the feels. It’s so unique and addictive. Then entire EP is phenomenal, but the song ‘Nova’ really sticks out within the Night Bass catalog.” Flava D: “Spicy Noodles” EP [2018]. “The first Night Bass EP from the very prolific Flava D. One of my favorite DJs and all-round awesome person. I was so happy to have her be a part of the label and family. These three tracks capture her sound so well.” AC Slater & Taiki Nulight feat. Dell Harris: “Night Bass Thing” [2018]. “Something about this track just stands out. It always worked for me in my sets and got people moving. It’s a favorite among shufflers on Instagram. Plus, it’s always fun to work with two good friends on a song!” Sinden & Lo’99 feat. Capo Lee: “Natural High” [2018]. “This is literally one of my favorite tracks ever released on Night Bass. I think it was too far ahead of its time. I still play it in my sets three years after its release. Capo Lee’s vocals and uplifting lyrics are fucking sick and the instrumental is a relentless blend of house, techno and grime.” GRiZ: “Could U” [2020]. “I couldn’t believe we got a GRiZ track for Night Bass. But I swear, it was meant to be. True story: I heard him playing a house set on Friendship [cruise-ship music festival] early in the morning, while I was trying to sleep. My wife and I couldn’t stop listening. The next day his team sent over this tune for me to consider for a Night Bass release. It’s a super-unique take on the Night Bass sound with a huge helping of funk thrown in. This one just always works in the club.” Phlegmatic Dogs: “Keepmastik” [2017]. “This is an absolute anthem from the Dogs. So simple, but one of the most banging tracks you can play in a set at peak time. I’ve heard so many DJs play this in so many different cities around the world.” Stranger feat. Waka Flocka Flame: “House Party” (AC Slater Remix) [2015]. “Stranger smashed it with this original tune and having Waka Flocka on Night Bass was really cool. I was dying to remix it, so I went for it, and this remix has been a part of almost all of my sets since I made it and it still holds up today.” Kry Wolf: “Temper” [2016]. “Another one of my all-time favorite Night Bass tracks. It’s such a unique mix of breaks and bass. It is so different than anything else Kry Wolf ever did. I couldn’t believe it when they sent it over – so dark and vibey! I will still play this on occasion today.” Nostalgix feat. Way: “Mind Tricks” [2019]. “This is one of those tunes that gets a loud cheer every single time that first drop comes in with the bassline and no drums. It’s incredible. Nostalgix burst on the label with this one from ‘Night Bass Freshman, Vol 3.’ She’s since graduated, dropping two EPs and countless collabs and remixes on Night Bass.” GAMING GAMINGISSUE ISSUE | | 2021 2021 • • DJTIMES.COM DJTIMES.COM 2121


SOUNDING OFF PLAYBACK…PRO AUDIO…PROCESSING

DJM-S11: PIONEER DJ’S BATTLE MIXER By Erik V. Miller

With the release of Pioneer DJ’s 2-channel/4-deck battle mixer, the DJM-S11, the DJ community was given a great hybrid unit that sits between the analog and digital camps. The S11 pairs perfectly with Serato DJ Pro and rekordbox use, and brings so many features that it just begs for you to bust out the turntables, a crate of records and get to mixing. Coming in at a little over 11 pounds, this scratch mixer is easy to transport and even easier to set up. With the included two-USB hub on the back, you can easily plug in your Pioneer CDJs, Rane Twelves, or any other device to control your music and start playing extremely quickly. There are a handful of new features that make this mixer different from its predecessors, and I think a few of these are game-changers that make creative DJing-on-the-fly that much easier, while inspiring you to do even more with the new hardware. For all of my Serato DJ friends, this will be the one for you… Let’s start by highlighting the most obvious new addition – the fantastic 4.3-inch, customizable, touch display. After plugging it into Serato and dropping in a few tracks, I found that you can see the majority of everything you would ever need while mixing or loading new tracks on just the LCD screen of the mixer itself. Crucially, with the unit’s browsing knobs and load/instant doubles buttons on the left and right of the screen, you can do so much without even glancing at the computer. The track names (in whatever crate or folder you are browsing) are up on the mixer’s screen and you can scroll until you find the one that you need. It shows the key, BPM, track names, and more, so you can get all the necessary information. Digging deeper, you find the Touch MIDI feature, and that is a special one to be talked about. You get access to four pages of presets that you can trigger on the fly to change things up during your performances, and these presets can be custom MIDI-mapped, giving you full control to cater to whatever needs you have at

“The Touch FX are just fantastic because you get to tailor and personalize every included effect you use in real-time.”

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DJM-S11: Scratch mixer with 4-deck control.

that time. You could create settings for battling, mash-ups, club nights, etc., and change those with just a few taps – it’s a fantastic feature that brings you even closer to, ultimately, not having to look at a computer screen the whole time you’re playing. Now, the Touch FX are just fantastic because you get to tailor and personalize every included effect you use in real-time and do it straight away on the screen without much fuss. You can even control two effects at once to make special sounds that are dialed in just for that moment. There are 22 built-in effects that range from your echo and reverb to 15 Beat FX (that come from the DJM-S9), and also seven new effects that are really interesting. Outside of the included ones, you get six assignable


“This mixer boasts an improved Magvel Fader Pro magnetic crossfader that slides truly smoothly and offers great accuracy.”

buttons that can control whatever Serato or rekordbox effects that you have assigned in the software and also on the mixer. You can create combos with all of these that make for really fun and unheard-of transitions, cuts, and scratch routines that not a lot of other mixers offer. One new feature that really stands out to me is the control of Decks 3 and 4 from within the mixer – something that you don’t see with other mixers. You can enable Deck Move and simply take a track on Deck 1 and move it to 4 or a track on Deck 2 and move it to 3 without an interruption in sound. What this can do for you is free up Decks 1 and 2, so you can start mashing up those other decks with different songs, loading your scratch samples (which you can also access with the ease of a button on the mixer), a cappellas, or other tracks to build anything you would like in the moment. It brings the ability to actually scratch two tracks at once, which is really fantastic and fun to do. The Deck Move is a slick feature that offers enormous control, giving you more customization and more ability to be creative on the fly. The DJM-S11 also works in rekordbox in many of the same ways. In my opinion, the software tends to be stronger in the music-management part than the performance part. Thus, I will not go into any more detail on that. But I will say if you are a rekordbox fan and that is what you use, then this unit is worth checking out. Why? Because, not only does it fully hardware-unlock Serato, it also fully hardware-unlocks rekordbox for both regular and DVS functions. Being a rekordbox and Serato mixer, it is one of the best devices I’ve used with the software. Now, onto the most important parts of any battle mixer: the crossfader and its controls. This mixer boasts an improved Magvel Fader Pro magnetic crossfader that slides truly smoothly and offers great accuracy. In comparison to the S9’s fader, it is a definite improvement – it makes cuts even stronger because Pioneer DJ boosted the rigidity of the knob-mounting axis in the vertical direction by 30-percent. This helps to keep the fader’s accuracy going strong hours into a set with a lot of scratching, no matter how rough you can get on the fader. It just adds a lot of stability to the base of the fader. Pioneer DJ even added a tougher coating around the crossfader top, so that there would be less fading of the paint there with excessive use. You have the ability to dial in the feel of the fader just the way that you like it, with the included knobs on the front of the mixer to get it exactly where you need it to be. These controls were on the DJM-S9, so nothing too new here, but it’s still impressive – tried-and-true support to get the sound and feel that all battle/ scratch DJs would want. To get into more detail, you have a Feeling Adjust knob that is centric to dialing in what you would like the crossfader to feel like, per its name. You can go from light to heavy and anywhere in between. You have a knob to adjust the curve of the crossfader itself, along with the curves of both Channel 1 and Channel 2. This really creates some cool ways that the crossfader can function and can make for some interesting cuts and scratch combos. I am very pleased with the way that Pioneer DJ updated the crossfader and thrilled at how great this product has turned out because of it. There are a few other additions and changes that were made to this mixer,

S11 pairs with Serato DJ Pro or rekordbox.

some a little obvious, and others not so much. One that stands out would be how large the pads are in comparison to the DJM-S9. These pads feel so nice and are so responsive to the touch, plus the lights are vibrant and catch your attention. I mentioned it earlier, but the ability to access Serato’s Scratch Bank so quickly is absolutely fantastic, especially for our scratch DJs who would use that function the most. One feature that is paramount for any mixer that I would own is to have a USB hub on the back, something I spoke about prior. But this isn’t a feature that I find in many mixers, unfortunately. This mixer, luckily, has that and it works perfectly. No need for those annoying non-built-in USB hubs and taking over all of your USB ports – we all know those are precious. With two USB ins on the back also, you can connect two Serato-ready computers and mix from both, or easily switch between the two with the selector knob that is on both the upper left and right for each channel. It’s a strong addition, and something that is perfect for playing with some friends or doing a B2B set. One last feature I would like to highlight is the Smooth Echo. It’s a small button on the bottom left of the mixer, but it creates an echo every single time that you move any fader on the mixer or any knob/button assigned in the settings.You can adjust the way it functions on the screen with timing and such, and that makes for fun sounds to mix with your scratching – it creates cool combos you may not have heard otherwise. I am really a big fan of this addition and I think it’s something fun to use to get creative with. So overall, I truly think Pioneer DJ’s DJM-S11 is an impressive contender in the scratch/battle-mixer arena, and just might become a staple for those DJs moving forward. It costs $1,999 for the regular edition and $2,099 for the special edition, which has a distinct style to its body that is influenced by Pioneer DJ’s classic DJM-909 – it came out in 2004 and still has many fans. The DJM-S11, with all of its upgrades, offers advantages for all DJs, but it sure shines the most for the scratch/battle community. If you are seeking a well-detailed, solid-built, strong mixer with an even stronger crossfader, then look no further than this one. With all of the functionality, digitality and solid analog abilities, you won’t be disappointed when you take this beauty for a spin. But more so, you’ll be impressed and inspired to take your creativity to the next level. GAMING ISSUE

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MAKING TRACKS STUDIO…HARDWARE…SOFTWARE…

By Erik V. Miller From the jump, KRK’s S12.4 powered, studio subwoofer gets your attention. Weighing in at a hefty 62.5 pounds, the unit stands 16.375-inches tall, and stretches 23.875-inches wide. It’s a beastly box – but, as you’ll soon find out, the S12.4 is a standout offering from KRK. Being a brand known for its heavy bass, it makes sense that KRK would produce such a subwoofer. But it may be a surprise just how clean the bass on this sub would be coming out of the gate. Armed with many features, a solid design, all the inputs and outputs you could desire, plus so much more, the S12.4 is certainly a product that should make some bestof lists in this product category. With a list price of $949 (and a less-expensive street price), it is cheaper than most other 12-inch studio subwoofers on the market, minus a few outliers that do share similar features and builds. Coming out with 220 watts and a frequency response that goes all the way down to 26Hz and up to 97Hz, the S12.4 has more than enough power than you would need for its size. One of the key features is the 12-inch Kevlar woofer. And for good reason, because the beauty of a Kevlar woofer is that the sound quality and the representation of the sound is more consistent than you’ll find with other materials. Also, you see that the material is much more durable than paper cones. With that being said, I’ve found that the woofer depicts a very strong and full sound. It’s not overpowering at a low volume, but it still makes you feel the bass as strong as it should right in front of you. Even with changing the crossover settings to go all the way down to 50Hz and up to 80Hz, you can hear and feel a great sound and strong bass – and that’s the case at a low volume. If you push the volume any farther than halfway, you’ll find it extremely loud, much more so than would be needed in most studio environments. Now, let’s dig into some of the other features packed in

Big Output: The S12.4 delivers 220 watts.

KRK S12.4: SUPER STUDIO SUB this thing. One that I am fond of is the optional footswitch (not included) that you can plug in and toggle the subwoofer on and off at any given moment so that you can hear what you’re playing with or without the sub. It’s very helpful to see the A and B of what you’re producing/playing, so you can make changes needed and, for example, see how the low end is affected. Another feature worth mentioning is the front-firing bass port, the kind that you are seeing more frequently on newer studio monitors and subs. It’s a much better design, in my opinion, because, honestly, what benefit do you receive from your bass pushing out the back of your speaker into a wall, for example? I think this feature helps the sound a lot, but it’s also part of the next feature I would like to talk about. 24

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The speaker itself is built inside an extremely sturdy MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) enclosure that separates itself from the front-firing bass port to ensure it’s completely isolated and limits any kind of rattle or vibration issues. The reason that MDF is the correct way to go, in my opinion, is because, with this being made out of wood, you gain an ability to dampen sound and vibrations that other materials would not be so good at doing (i.e., aluminum, plastic, etc.). Now, on the back you will find your usual inputs/outputs (XLR, ¼-inch, RCA, and TRS), a ground-lift switch to eliminate any ground loops/unwanted buzz, a polarity switch (which is a fantastic option to have in certain situations), a standby switch, and, finally, an input-sensitivity switch to help tailor this sub to your monitors in conjunction with the other options on the |

2021

A Beastly Unit: Powered & feature-filled.

back. With all of that, I can see that this isn’t just your basic studio subwoofer. It’s much more, and it brings some fantastic features and a solid sound – a great product. Overall, the KRK S12.4 boasts a good score sheet for producers, mixing/mastering engineers, and others seeking a full-featured studio subwoofer that delivers an extremely strong (and sometimes loud) sound. It may not be the flattest sound, but the overall bass is very clean and I think KRK has done a good job with all of the other aspects of the product. Personally, I think if you used something like Sonarworks Reference 4 software to calibrate this sub and reign it in a bit with your studio monitors, you’d have a fantastic system for any production-related mixing and mastering environments. Just a bit of fine-tuning.

One point to mention again is the sheer size and weight of this thing. It’s 62.5 pounds, so take note – it’s a chore to move. If that’s an issue, or if you’re looking for a smaller, active sub, KRK does offer the S8.4 – a 26.5-pound, 8-inch unit – and the S10.4 – a 35-pound, 10-inch unit. (KRK also goes bigger with the 12sHO, a 109-pound, 12-inch, “highperformance” unit.) The S8.4 and the S10.4 may be a lot more manageable, but they also offer smaller wattage and use different materials inside, among other differences. Bottom Line: If you are seeking a powered, studio subwoofer, I would certainly put KRK’s S12.4 on your list for consideration. KRK has made quality products for many years and the S12.4 Powered Studio Subwoofer is another winner – in fact, it’s a whopper.


MAINSTAGE

WE WANT TO HELP YOU GET HEARD, GET BOOKED & GET PAID. The new Skrachy platform offers DJs an all-in-one management platform to monetize their business, with tools geared just for them. Skrachy invites DJs to join & sign up for the Skrachy Featured DJ Contest for a chance to win up to $3K and become the first featured DJ. www.skrachy.com

CONTINUING TO SET THE STANDARD FOR DJ TURNTABLES Building off of the legacy of the Technics SL-1200 from the 1970’s, the Technics SL-1200MK7 is made for the new DJ generation. The new model inherits the traditional design of the previous series and maintains the same operating ease, reliability and durability, while adding a coreless direct drive motor and other sound-enhancing technologies. www.technics.com

HERCULES DG400BB LAPTOP STAND The Laptop is the hub of the modern DJ rig. You’ve spent considerable time and money finding the right one for you, so now the question is: What do you put it on? The Hercules DG400BB laptop stand is a heavy duty steel stand that goes beyond the usual “U” shaped stand and can hold up to 22 pounds. The DG400BB provides a level of safety, stability and adjustability far beyond most others. www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwRtpVLThAY


MOBILE PROFILE CAREERS…INNOVATIONS…SUCCESS STORIES

By Stu Kearns Huntingdon, Pa. — In 1982, while still in high school, John Horne began DJing. Nearly 40 years, 2,100 DJ gigs, and 1,000 trivia bookings later, he’s still here, running Jam Machine Productions in the greater Philadelphia area. We picked his brain as follows: You’ve been DJing a long time. What are the positive changes you’ve seen in the industry? What are the negatives? When I started DJing in 1982 while in high school, the industry was in its infancy. I started with spinning vinyl and homemade lighting equipment. I had fellow DJs that were my mentors and learned from them, but there was no real networking or education like there are today. I bought DJ books and it evolved from that. Then, in the early ’90s, I attended a DJ Expo and discovered product lines like American DJ and Chauvet. So, for me, it took me a long time to discover products and education. Today, of course, information is instantaneous. The Internet, You Tube and the DJ Expos have greatly helped all DJs improve their technique, skills and knowledge. And the technology has improved… The advent of computers, the microchip and LEDs have made possible more spectacular sound-and-light shows than I could have possibly imagined. But in the same respect, the opposite can also be a negative, as more bedroom/laptop DJs have access to the same technology, but not the experience and can cause undercutting and can create a glut in some markets. Some of these DJs were not raised like we were, and learned from others and from their own mistakes. We learned the music and how to mix and read the crowd, plus know how the equipment works and know about back-ups. Unfortunately, some are not patient enough to do this. In this day and age, some want it all now and don’t want to learn the business. I love the newer DJs, who do want to learn to be professional and use the knowledge for the betterment of the industry. That is the future of DJing. In normal, non-pandemic times, what are your biggest challenges as a business owner? Maintaining good business relationships, knowing there are some give and takes and not being full of yourself is a constant challenge. Not being stagnant and complacent is another. You have to evolve and change and better yourself, if you want to survive in the business world. Also, being involved in the community is another must. Over the years, I have been involved with several charities and community events that are important to both me and the area. Pandemic-wise, we’re seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. What’s your experience been like in your market? The pandemic in Pennsylvania has been a devastating blow to businesses in the state. We have lost many mom-and-pop shops and they are the backbone of the economy. The entertainment 26

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business was a related hard-hit industry, as many of us rely on those small businesses to sustain us as well, along with the public events that are standard in the warmer months. My last show was March 14 and the shutdown order came down on the following Monday. The cancellations were enormous. I had 40 shows canceled through the end of May and my summer contract with a local resort was also canceled. I did a total of six shows during the summer – compared to another 42 that was on the schedule. DJ shows were a no-go at any venue, so all I had left was a trivia show and all I had was four venues that were still running. As of today, I am up to six regular monthly out of eight. I lost two permanently and two are still not having any entertainment. How did you spend your off-time? Besides still having my essential day-time job that greatly expanded due to fellow employees not wanting to work, or quit, I used my time to update and expand my trivia-show game sets and, thanks to Promo Only’s pandemic sale, I finally expanded my music video library. So when I do start DJing again, that will be a main fixture. Before, I only used video for specific shows, now I can do everyday ones as well – plus I use them in my trivia shows as well. And with the stimulus checks, I did take the chance to upgrade, repair and purchase some new equipment for both shows. Now, I am ready to perform again!

Vet: John Horne has spun more than 2,000 gigs.

What gear to you take to shows? An HP laptop computer, an American Audio VMS4.1 MIDI controller, QSC K12 speakers and a QSC CP8 speaker. I have a Samson AirLine Micro Earset mic system, a Gemini handheld wireless mic system and an Alto Stealth wireless system. For lighting, I use Chauvet pieces like Freedom Sticks, Hemisphere 5.1, Circus, COLORrail IRC and COLORband PiX Mini. I also use American DJ products like Sunray Tri LED, Inno Pocket Spots, H20 LED, and Galaxian Laser. Support products include Dragon Frontboard facades, plus cases from Odyssey, Arriba and Gator. How much longer do you anticipate DJing? Have you thought about a plan to retire? My original plan was 2022 – that would be my 40th anniversary. The pandemic forced me to look at things from a different point of view. I wanted to just continue doing trivia shows, but sitting around the house made me realize that can be just boring. Right now, as long as I can still have fun doing it and it’s not just a job, I will continue. How has DJing enriched your life? Appreciation for various types of music. When I was younger, I never would have listened to the stuff I have to know today. In fact, I have become a connoisseur of music and have a massive library. I have all the main Joel Whitburn research books and I have read them all and enjoy the knowledge I have amassed. I also love to share my knowledge whenever possible to whoever wants to learn.


BUSINESS LINE

SALES… MARKETING…SOLUTIONS…

By Jeff Stilles Recent developments with vaccine distribution indicate that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for many in the DJ business. As the vaccines began to roll out aplenty, we asked mobile DJs if they’re beginning to see it reflected in their bookings. Shawn Roberts, Groove Entertainment, Sioux Falls, S.D.: “I’m 85-percent booked from spring through fall, and I’m now starting to take 2022 bookings.” Andrew DeLessio, Twilite Events, NYC: “Things are opening up a little at a time, but the phone is still quiet. Same for my friends in the area.” DJ Jason Escalona, Miami, Fla.: “We’ve received four calls for proms, two for weddings, and then a private-school dance. Budgets are a killer, though. If it’s not COVID, it’s the cash.” John Hubela, City Disc Jockeys, NYC: “For me, the city that never sleeps has yet to wake up.” Shawn Michael Shipper, Party Express DJs, Blandon, Pa.: “No light in sight.” Keith Smith, Keith Smith Productions, Knoxville, Tenn.: “We’re almost totally booked out the rest of this year and booking 2022 like crazy.” Lee Grube, A-1 DJ Entertainment, Las Vegas, Nev.: “As of now, our governor won’t allow gatherings for private events past 10 people of the same household yet – ugh.” Geoff Sockol, Electric Entertainment, Washington, D.C.: “In the D.C. area, we’ve had an uptick in leads and bookings just in the last two weeks.” Kurtus Nichols, K-Sound Entertainment, Crooksville, Ohio: “We’re seeing an amazing light at the end of the tunnel since turning into 2021. We’re approaching a hundred weddings booked.” Andy Schutt, Midwest Sound DJ Entertainment, Rosewood, Minn.: “We’re fully booked, with 73 weddings already scheduled from May through November.” James Glick, Ambient Noise Entertainment, Columbia City, Ind.: “Indiana just passed a bill that should make venues more comfortable with events. It prevents lawsuits against the venue and the event hosts, as long as the recommendations are being followed by the event staff.” Vito Malo, DJ4U, Dunedin, New Zealand: “It’s humbling to see where the rest of the world is at compared to us here.” DJ Brian Adams, Somerset, N.J.: “Many halls are doing postponed weddings that are really scaled-down. There seems to be an interest in services, but no one’s really pulling the trigger— and many of the dates that are being searched for are late 2021, 2022 or 2023. Private events are non-existent, at least in south Jersey. Events that I normally do are cancelled again for this year. And attendance numbers are not adding up for events to be successful.” Charles Carlos Feliciano, East Coast Productions, Mililani Town, Hawaii: “Our place is still shut down, and we may be moving to Tier 3, if the cases continue their downward trend. I do have several gigs, but haven’t done a wedding in a while. Destination weddings here are basically non-existent due to testing – and perhaps quarantine mandates the state still has in effect.” Andrew Lindley, Supreme DJs & Entertainment, Barrie, Ont., Canada: “Bookings are very good. Whether I can do them or not, who even knows?” Ramu Al-Mahdi, Ramu & The Crew, Providence, R.I.: “People are getting comfortable again, slowly. Gyms are getting more crowded and inquiries are up.” Nikos Rakis, Rakis Productions, Brockton, Mass.: “All my clients are starting not to care what the government wants us to do. People are moving forward and are not concerned about rules anymore. Everyone has opted for an outdoor – inside a tent – wedding, though, and masks are optional. Inquiries are way up, and I feel like people are making decisions way quicker – they’re nervous about their dates being taken.” Will Redden, Red DJ Service, Highland Heights, Ky.: “Ten gigs booked, with five to 10 others waiting to confirm – gigs like schools, etc. But this isn’t my day job.” DJ Jennifer Rupprecht, Saginaw, Mich.: “I have a couple weddings that were rescheduled from 2020. Karaoke and bar gigs are not happening yet. Restaurants and bars working at 25-percent capacity, and don’t want to advertise music to draw more attention to themselves. Sad times. I miss our crowds.” Corey Rusch, Rusch Entertainment, Freeland, Mich.: “Ninety-percent of our 2020 events moved to the same weekend in 2021. Currently, those dates are starting to cancel/postpone again for the third or fourth time. Really haven’t been able to take new events this year. Our industry is pretty decimated in Michigan, compared to other states, and there’s not much light at the end of the tunnel.” Patrick Sims, Premier Entertainment, Atlanta, Ga.: “Clubs and restaurants are booking, but the weddings have fallen off.” Ron Kronebusch, Knight Music Productions, Ottawa, Ont., Canada: “It’s the same as it was in 2020 and it’s not getting any better due to the variants now. It’s different kinds now in Canada, so it’s going to be a long haul again this year.” DJ Grant Davis, Toledo, Ohio: “It’s not slowing down here one bit, honestly. Several cancelled high school dances in 2020, but that’s the only hit we’ve taken. Our average is 30 weddings a year.” Ron Champion, Champion Sound Productions, Marlton, N.J.: “No light at the end of the tunnel. Our governor just added another 30 days of restrictions.” Josh Staley, Josh Staley Productions, New Albany, Ohio: “It’s going crazy here in Ohio.” Bob Albrecht, Fantasy Productions, Hackettstown, N.J.: “We have a small multi-op and we’re losing many of the early weddings in the first few months. I personally have 15 weddings in June, but we’ll see how many happen.” Powell Jamie, Always Entertainment,Toronto, Ont., Canada: “Here in Ontario, we’ll not see any bookings until at least September at the earliest. Hopefully, the year will not be a complete write-off like last year. It’s a sad thing. I’ve been in the business for almost 50 years and I’ve never seen anything like this. I have hundreds of dancers that I’ve known over the years just waiting to get back onto the dancefloor.” Tyler Jones, Indiglo Rush, Barrie, Ont., Canada: “I’ve got no bookings yet. I still have weddings from 2020 to do, though, and they haven’t confirmed a new date yet. I’ve tried offering micro-wedding packages at heavily discounted rates just to try and drum up some business, but still nothing.” Daniel Bush, Rolling Thunder DJ Entertainment, Seneca Falls, N.Y.: “I have 10 weddings in New York, and I’ve been slowly booking one or two more every week this month.” Thomas Krechel, Party On Tour, Ayl, Germany: “No events at all for almost a year now over here in Germany. My next bookings are for weddings in July and August.” Jim Hargrove, Varsity DJs & Photo Booths, Grand Rapids, Mich.: “We’re getting very busy, starting in June. We’re a three-unit multi-op, and we’re totally booked up for September and October. Just this week we’re starting to get more inquiries. We’re still not sure if or when there’ll be a problem in Michigan. All options are booking very strong.”

WILL YOUR BUSINESS SEE A POSTPANDEMIC BOOM?

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GEAR AUDIO…LIGHTING…STUFF

BUDDY COMEDY American Music & Sound 925 Broadbeck Dr. #220 Newbury Park, CA 91320 (800) 431-2609 www.AmericanMusicAndSound.com Distributed by American Music & Sound, Reloop Buddy is a 2-channel DJ controller for iOS, iPadOS, Android, Mac and PC. There are eight RGB color-coded performance pads for each deck, as well as high and low EQs, high-resolution pitch faders, and a headphone cue section with cue, mix and volume controls. Reloop Buddy comes with eight performance modes – hot cue, auto loop, touch FX, sampler, slicer, bounce loop, Neural Mix and looper. The unit also sports a built-in slot for smartphones and new generation tablets up to 12.9 inches.

RAISE THE WOOFER Harman International 400 Atlantic Street Stamford, CT 06901 (203) 328-3500 www.harman.com The JBL IRX115S is a powered subwoofer that features a 15-inch woofer with a three-inch voice-coil. Part of the company’s IRX series, the unit offers selectable 80 Hz, 100 Hz and 120 Hz crossover points, as well as low-frequency coverage down to 35 Hz. It comes housed in a lightweight MDF enclosure that weighs 65.3 pounds and features a tight-gauge, reinforced honeycomb bevel pattern, reinforced grille, ergonomic handles and a built-in standard pole mount.

COMMON SENSAPHONICS ASI Audio x Sensaphonics 23307 Commerce Park Beachwood, OH 44122 (833) 274-2244 www.ASIaudio.com

MR. CLEAN VocoPro 1728 Curtiss Court La Verne, CA 91750 (800) 678-5348 www.vocopro.com

ASI Audio x Sensaphonics released an upgraded version of its 3DME Music Enhancement system, which consists of a bodypack mixer/controller and Active Ambient earphones. The upgrade adds Bluetooth connectivity for the included ASI Audio App, allowing users to set up and control the system’s 7-band stereo EQ and limiter threshold via any current iOS or Android device. The system also comes with universal-fit Active Ambient in-ear monitors with an embedded binaural miking system.

The Germinator UV Microphone Sanitizer from VocoPro uses UV light to clean germs and smells off of wireless and wired microphone capsules in a process that takes two minutes. The unit comes with a rechargeable USB power supply that provides 35 hours of standby time. It automatically turns on when a microphone is inserted and its easy-to-read display shows when the microphone is fully sanitized. The Germinator UV Microphone Sanitizer sanitizes up to 300 times with a single charge.

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AUDIO…LIGHTING…STUFF

GEAR

SOLID STATE OF AFFAIRS SSL/Group One Ltd 70 Sea Lane Farmingdale, NY 11735 (631) 396-0184 www.g1limited.com The Solid State Logic UF8, distributed Stateside by Group One Ltd, is a controller that is designed for music creation, production and mixing, post-production and webcasting. Expandable to a 32-channel control surface with integration for all major DAW platforms, the unit features a high-resolution color display. Additional features include 100mm touch-sensitive faders, eight endless rotary encoders, an intelligent multipurpose channel encoder and Mouse Scroll Emulation, which lets users control any plug-in parameter by hovering over it with the mouse. SSL Native Vocalstrip 2 and Drumstrip plug-ins are also included.

STORMY WEATHER Blizzard Lighting N16 W23390 Stoneridge Dr. Suite E Waukesha, WI 53188 (414) 395-8365 www.blizzardlighting.com Blizzard Lighting’s Mikrokassette is part of the company’s new Mixtape Series line of lighting effects. Mikrokassette features five ultra-bright 10W RGBW LEDs that project vibrant colors over large areas. The unit offers RGBW color mixing, both with or without DMX. Additional features include speed-controllable jump and fade programs, and both auto and sound active modes. It can be controlled by using its fourbutton control panel, 4- or 8-channel DMX, or by its included IR remote control.

PLUG-IN ALONG G-Sonique Digital instruments www.g-sonique.com EDM/BIGROOM Ammunition is plug-in multi-instrument/rompler from G-Sonique that was created for EDM, dance, trance, big-room and house music producers. The plug-in comes with more than 139 multi-octave and multi-layer instruments and sounds, most of which were processed with analog hardware, according to the company. Features include LFO modulation and an amplitude envelope with attack, decay, sustain and release knobs. The plug-in, which is available for Windows and Mac, also offers a multi-sample hard drive diskstreaming and memory reading mode, which saves RAM capacity.

KRK POP Gibson Pro Audio 309 Plus Park Boulevard Nashville, TN 37217 (800) 444-2766 www.gibson.com The new KRK Studio Subwoofers series includes 8-, 10-, and 12inch models—the S8.4, S10.4 and S12.4, respectively. These Class D power amplifiers come in redesigned cabinets that the company says offer a more compact profile “for improved placement flexibility.” Models in the line come with XLR, 1/4-inch TRS and RCA inputs and outputs. Features include polarity and input sensitivity controls, a four-position crossover frequency selection switch and an exclusive bypass control feature.

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JUST SAY S Renkus-Heinz 19201 Cook Street Foothill Ranch, CA 92610 (949) 588-9997 www.renkus-heinz.com The SX/SA28 from Renkus-Heinz is the latest in the company’s S Series Subwoofer line. Available in both passive (SX28) and powered (SA28) models, the subwoofer is designed to extend low frequency response to below 45 Hz and increase system headroom. The models come in a compact plywood cabinet that can be painted black or white. A pair of long-excursion high-efficiency 200 mm drive units are mounted in the cabinets.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO BOOM Gator Cases 5112 W. Linebaugh Ave Tampa, FL 33624 (813) 221-4191 www.gatorcases.com Gator released its new professional desktop broadcast/podcast microphone boom stand, the GFWMICBCBM4000. The fully-adjustable stand is designed to produce minimal sound when being moved. It features a spring-loaded arm and is able to rotate a full 360 degrees. An LED light ring is included to let users know when there is a live mic. Additional features include a fully removable 10-foot XLR cable and a 3-inch extension adapter to further distance the mic from the boom end.

COLUMN BEFORE THE STORM

SYNTH WHEN Korg 316 South Service Road Melville, N 11747 (631) 390-6500 www.korg.com Korg’s ARP 2600 M is a modular version of the company’s ARP 2600 FS Semi-Modular Synthesizer. The new model comes in a more compact and portable format that is 60 percent of the original’s size. It features a Spring Reverb that has been re-engineered and adapted to the new size body, as well as improved attack and release time ratios, and improved, smoother sliders. It also comes with a pair of built-in monitor speakers that turn off automatically when headphones are used. The ARP 2600 M comes with a KORG microKEY2-37, as well as a dedicated carry case that features custom casters with special anti-shock damping technology. 30

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Electro-Voice 130 Perinton Pkwy Fairport, NY 14450 (800) 289-0096 www.electrovoice.com The EVOLVE 50M column loudspeaker system from Electro-Voice feature’s the company’s QuickSmart Link digital audio and control technology, which lets users connect two of the units via network cable. It features a 12-inch subwoofer that is housed in a 15mm wood enclosure with a high-efficiency laminar-flow vent design, and a Class-D amplifier that provides up to 1,000 watts of power. Eight lightweight 3.5-inch neodymium drivers are also included, as well as 30 presets, including chorus, delay, flange and reverb, via two FX channels.


AUDIO…LIGHTING…STUFF

GEAR

FACE TO INTERFACE TASCAM 1834 Gage Road Montebello, CA 90640 (323) 726-0303 www.tascam.com TASCAM has released three models in its line of US-HR Series High Resolution USB Audio Interfaces. The US-1x2HR, the US-2x2HR and the US-4x4HR each feature 24-bit/192kHz audio performance, ultralow latency and Ultra-HDDA mic preamplifiers with +48V phantom power. They support OBS streaming software and come with a Loopback function with stereo/mono switch support for both PC and Mac. The units ship with a software bundle that includes Steinberg’s Cubase LE/Cubasis LE 3, IK Multimedia’s SampleTank 4 SE and a free, three-month subscription to Auto-Tune Unlimited.

BASS INSTINCT Eplex7 DSP www.eplex7.com The Eplex7 Hitech Bass HBS1 is an advanced physical and digital modeling bassline synthesizer. It comes with 32 fine-tuned presets for a variety of genres, including hi-tech, darkpsy, fullon psytrance, techno, progressive, minimal, goa, darkprog and psycore. The unit utilizes the HBS1 Algorithm, which consists of a bass generator for creating bass or sub-bass part of bassline by special technique, as well as a pick/transient generator for creating the percussive/transient mid and high frequency part of bassline.

ALL IN A LINE-ARRAY PK Sound 2634 45th Ave SE Bay 133 Calgary, AB T2B 3MI (866) 357-3164 www.pksound.ca

PIX OF THE LITTER Chauvet 5200 NW 108th Ave. Sunrise, FL 33351 (800) 762-1084 www.chauvetlighting.com The SlimPAR Pro Pix from Chauvet is a hex-color (RGBAW +UV) wash light that creates video effects with pixel control of the RGB LEDs. The unit comes in a roadready die-cast aluminum housing and sports an RGB outer ring, which can be independently controlled. SlimPAR Pro Pix offers flicker-free video operation and features D-Fi USB compatibility for wireless master/ slave or DMX control, as well as on board powerCON-compatible power input/output connections for power linking.

PK Sound, makers of club and festival sound systems, has released Trinity Install, an installation-focused iteration of Trinity, its flagship large-format line-array element. The system, in discreet all-black enclosures, offers impressive SPL and clarity that can be precisely controlled with variable coverage in both the vertical and horizontal planes. Horn-loaded 12-inch transducers manage low-frequency response. The mid-frequency band is supported by four 6.5-inch midrange transducers affixed to the patented Coherent Midrange Integrator. Two dual-diaphragm highfrequency transducers, coupled directly to an integrated planar waveguide, significantly reduce distortion across the high-frequency band. A 6,000-watt Class D amplifier maximizes headroom while maintaining clear audio and big output.

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TRACKS…MIXES…COMPILATIONS

“BEEN A LONG TIME” (2021 REMIX) u The Fog u Full Intention Originally released in 1993, this all-time house classic gets a modern makeover. Full Intention’s Michael Gray and Jon Pearn stay relatively true to their previous remix of the track, but give it a well-placed nip and tuck in all the right places. Still a compelling, winning track.

– Curtis Zack “THE CHANT” u Todd Edwards u Undisputed Music Joyful, piano-driven, vocal-house music at its best – what else would you expect from the legendary producer? The buoyant rhythms and hooky tribal refrains meld perfectly with the ecstatic piano runs making for one tasty track. – Jim Tremayne “PULP FUSION” u The Groove Orchestra u Soulful Evolution After the success of “Can You Feel the Groove,” its debut release, The Groove Orchestra (aka Corrado Alunni) returns with another heavy, thumping disco cut. With a great bassline, tantalizing guitars and slick disco synths, the track’s elements blend together for a real standout track.

– Curtis Zack Ultra Naté

“GONNA MOVE ON UP” u Din Jay & Angie Brown u Duffnote More vocal-house goodness from the Duffnote stable here, as long-time collaborator Angie Brown teams up with Din Jay (aka Italian DJ/producer Dino Montanaro). The original is a big, piano number, while Richard Earnshaw’s remix cranks the proceedings up a notch with a dubbed-out monster. Solid. – Curtis Zack “THE VOLUME” EP u Nicole Moudaber feat. Alan T u MOOD Deep and dark, grinding and groovy, “The Volume” locks into a hypnotic rhythm and features freaky incantations from Miami-scene stalwart Alan T – fairly irresistible. The B-side’s driving techno track, “The Music Is Mine,” ramps up the pace, but delivers more bewildering vibes. A tough two-tracker.

– Jim Tremayne “STRUT CHO PHUNKY STUFF (SHO’ NUFF)” u Mike Dunn u Glitterbox Full Intention

Idd Aziz

Chicago legend Dunn returns to Glitterbox for another super-funky house track, this one boasting boisterous horns, a rollicking rhythm and sassy vocals. Only one mix here, but that’s all that’s required to fire up the dancefloor.

– Curtis Zack “DO IT RIGHT NOW” u Mannix feat. Lee Wilson u Dafia The first release on the label sees producer Mannix team up with American vocalist Wilson for a vocal-house offering that should do well in its original format. Uplifting vocals and a thumping, disco-house rhythm does all the work. Add to that a soulful remix from Phonik D and you have a winner. – Curtis Zack

Todd Edwards

Nitefreak

“LOVE’S GOT ME HIGH” u Sara Simms feat. Desiire u Intangible Records On this rework of Terrence Parker’s 1995 deep-house favorite, Simms’ grooving production goes breezier than the original, while still offering a bumping bassline that delivers a tight, housey undertow. And for vocal-house lovers, Desiire’s husky, pleading approach carries the day. – Jim Tremayne

GUEST REVIEWER: DJ DOVE “HINDE”

u Nitefreak & Idd Aziz u Deep Root Tribe Records

“PARTY GIRL (TURN ME LOOSE)” (REMIXES)

With this quality release from these two exceptional talents – South Africa’s Nitefreak and Kenya’s Aziz –we have Afro-house at its finest. “Hinde” has everything – all the building energy, sharp production, and direct spirituality that a great genre tune should contain. Much support on this amazing work.

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u Ultra Naté u King Street Sounds Originally released back in 1995, this tough, driving house hit gets revived for 2021, courtesy of a pair of stout remixes from Sinner & James and Paul Adams. The former heads down the M1 route with a version that could easily have been on the original release. – Curtis Zack DJ Dove


NOW! Listen the DJ Times National Dance/Crossover Chart on SPOTIFY! LISTEN NOW!

Compiled As March 24, 2021

TRACKS…MIXES…COMPILATIONS

C LU B P L AY C H A R T

NATIONAL CROSSOVER POOL CHART

1 Dua Lipa F/Madonna & Missy Elliott Levitating Warner 2 Silk Sonic Leave The Door Open Atlantic 3 Joel Corry & David Guetta F/ Raye Bed Big Beat 4 Tiesto The Business Atlantic 5 Allegra Do What I Want Radikal 6 Ava Max My Head And My Heart Atlantic 7 Travis Scott & Hvme Goosebumps Epic 8 Silk City F/Ellie Goulding New Love Columbia 9 Billie Eilish Therefore I Am Interscope 10 Cardi B Up Atlantic 11 Tate Mcrae You Broke Me First RCA 12 Lodato & Bright Sparks Good Thing Spinnin’ 13 Jax Jones & Au/Ra I Miss U Interscope 14 Harry Styles Golden Columbia 15 Atb X Topic X A7s Your Love (9 Pm) Capitol 16 Saweetie & Doja Cat Best Friend Warner 17 24goldn F/Iann Dior Mood Columbia 18 Miley Cyrus F/Dua Lipa Prisoner RCA 19 Sam Smith Diamonds Capitol 20 Ariana Grande 34+35 Republic 21 Machine Gun Kelly X Blackbear My Ex’s Best Friend Stranger 22 Rita Ora X David Guetta Big Warner 23 Meduza F/ Dermot Kennedy Paradise Republic 24 Clean Bandit F/ Ian Dio Higher Atlantic 25 The Weeknd Save Your Tears Republic 26 Bebe Rexha Sacrifice Warner 27 Ventresca Craving The Star Groomer 28 Kygo & Donna Summer Hot Stuff RCA 29 Sunshine Fat Joe F/ Khaled, Amorphous Empire 30 Dua Lipa We’re Good Warner 31 Ritt Momney Put Your Records On Columbia 32 Olivia Rodrigo Drivers License Interscope 33 Joe Killington ft. Lovely Laura     Painkiller Notting Hill Music 34 Benny Benassi & Jeremih Lovelife Ultra 35 Anabel Englund X Mk Underwater Ultra 36 Mcfadden And Whitehead Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now Sony Legacy 37 Marshmello & Imanbek F/Usher Too Much RCA 38 Daya Bad Girl Sandlot 39 The Archies Sugar, Sugar Cleopatra Records 40 Ani Living For Today Ahm Music

Most Added Tracks 1 Harry Styles 2 Steve Aoki & Frank Walker 3 Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez 4 Purple Disco Machine 5 The Kid Laroi 6 Black Eyed Peas F/ Shakira 7 Dua Lipa 8 Masked Wolf 9 Young Bombs & Darius Rucker 10 Maroon 5 f. M.T.S.

Golden Imagine Dakiti Fireworks Without You Girl Like Me We’re Good Astronaut In The Ocean Wrong Side Of Love Beautiful Mistakes

NATIONAL LATIN DANCE POOL CHART

1 Jencarlos Canela feat Pitbull 2 DoseRock 3 Chrissy I-eece 4 Karol G 5 Gilberto Santa Rosa ft Pirulo 6 Alsikiatra 7 Karol G, Anuel Aa, J Balvin 8 Marlow Rosado y Frankie Negron 9 Charlie Aponte 10 Artik 11 La Banda Gorda 12 Lunay 13 Toño Rosario 14 Manny Cruz y Miriam Cruz 15 Luis Fonsi feat Raw Alejandro 16 Alejandra feat Daniel Santacruz 17 Maelo Ruiz 18 Richie Ray 19 Carlos Garcia 20 Judy Torres

Cosita Linda Friky Friky Se Acabo Bichota Que Se Sepa Hablador Location Depende de Ti Brazos Abiertos Chica Bonita (Remix) No Toy En Eso Sin Ropa Vuelve A Mi Yo Quisiera Ser Vacio Amor Entre Tres Injusta La Reyna Abeja Te Pasa Algo Loca

Mr 305 Soundcheck Chu-bano Ent. Universal B2B Music Alsikiatra Universal J&N CA Warner LOMG Star Island Mayimba Music OMG Universal J&N MR RR Music MDR Park East Music

Most Added Tracks 1 Alexio DJ, Tony Velarde, Nestor Pacheco 2 Charlie Maldonado Se Vive Una Vez 3 Antony Nova Savage Love 4 Flex No Se Cuando 5 Pou Ploblematica

Rumbero Ya Llego NP CM CE PC LOMG

REPORTING LATIN POOLS n n n n n n

Latinos Unidos Record Pool Salsamania Latin Record Pool Lobo/Bass Record Pool North East Record Pool Mixx Hitts Record Pool Ritmo Camacho Record Pool

n n n n n n

Ritmo Internacional Record pool DJ Latinos Record Pool MassPool Record Pool Latino Latin Beat Chicago Record Pool All In Music 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, dmiller@testa.com

Columbia Ultra Orchard 0 Republic Columbia Epic Warner Elektra Astralwerks/Capitol Interscope

REPORTERS n n n n n n n n n n n n

Gary Canavo Blake Eckelbarger The Dance Environment Manny Esparza Howard HK Kessler Brian Stephens Peter K. Productions Kidd Leow Randy Schlager Alan Chasen Miss Joy Dan Mathews

Masspool Dj Stickyboots Powered By Spectrio Nexus Radio In The Mix With HK Mixxmasters Peter K Vindictive Vendetta Soundtrack Your Band OMAP TAO Group KRYC-FM

Saugus,MA Syndicated Los Angeles, CA Chicago,IL Minneapolis,MN Lithonia,GA Syndicated Tampa, FL Seattle, WA Washington, DC Las Vegas, NV Sacramento, CA GAMING ISSUE

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BLOND:ISH

(continued from page 12) game changer. DJ Times: What’s your creation process in the studio? Bakos: It’s pretty simple: I’m incredibly inspired by my travels, so I’m constantly recording voice notes of any sounds I hear along the way that could be translated into music, like the sound of birds and the white foam of the ocean. The world is my greatest source of inspiration.  DJ Times: What’s your typical DJ

set-up? Bakos: When performing live, I like to use four Pioneer DJ CDJ3000s and the Pioneer DJ DJM-V10 mixer. It allows me to play loops and music, and adds a lot of knobs and effect options to play around with, routing on the V10 – so much more fun that way. DJ Times: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this pandemic period?  Bakos: That we, as a human spe-

cies, need to rethink the new normal! There’s no way we can just go back to our old ways, or we have failed as a species. All of our systems are changing, so that’s why I’m doing everything in my power to bring this awareness to the music industry and set things up now for a brighter future. With the Bye Bye Plastic team, we are rethinking how and what actions are needed to kick sustainable music culture into high gear! With Liana and ABRACADABRA, we are re-thinking

music festivals and how we can make self-love and mental health part of them. I’ve also been re-thinking how I want to show up as an artist. I want to share my energy and tap into that space of constant growth. When I’m performing, I would like to invite everyone in attendance to also explore that space, and become masters of their own reality – let’s evolve together! – Jim Tremayne

for me. DJ Times: Monstercat has been tapped into Rocket League for quite some time now. How do you view these types of collaborations that introduce electronic-dance music to a younger, gamer demographic?  Kaskade: I love it! Having a great soundtrack is a huge perk of these kind of collaborations. Monstercat is so good at curating music that goes along with the visual experience.  DJ Times: In addition to being featured in Rocket League, you got plenty of air time in Rocket League Radio’s takeover of Fortnite’s in-vehicle radio station, Radio Yonder. Will Kaskade be popping up in the gaming world more often going forward? Kaskade: I think that’s a safe bet. DJ Times: Your Monstercat debut EP, “Reset,” showcases your versatility as a producer. It’s really perfect for a gaming experience. How did the selection process play out when putting this one together?  Kaskade: I wanted to make sure each song expressed a different mood. Playing any video game is an exercise in whiplash. You go from feeling top-tier to wanting to throw

your controller at the television. So while it’s impossible to synch up a song to fit what is happening to the player, I wanted to at least try and hit some different moods with each track. DJ Times: What was your vision for “Miles to Go,” your recent single? It seems like a pretty relevant song to what’s going on in the world today. Kaskade: There have been way too many world-altering, life-changing events in the past year to ignore. It doesn’t even matter what your beliefs are or what lens you’re viewing them through – your life has been changed. To ignore that as an artist is clownish. Musicians, writers, artists, we’re here to reflect back to the world what is happening at any given time. I’m not trying to tell anyone how to feel or what their experience is, but I am here to provoke a feeling. What that ends up being for any individual is very personal. “Miles to Go” is me reaching out to everyone, regardless of who they voted for, if they’re wearing a mask, if they’ve been cancelled or if they are on the moral high ground. It’s an impossible world right now and we’ve all got

work to do. That’s powerful. That’s one experience that transcends everything. DJ Times: What’s in your studio these days? Any new pieces you’ve added during quarantine? Kaskade: I just purchased an Akai MPC Live II. I have not had an MPC in my studio in over 20 years and I thought it would be fun to go back to the basics and mess around on an MPC. I have only had it for a week, but I am loving it. DJ Times: You managed to keep the tradition alive with a New Year’s Eve drive-in show, which was followed up by your first big release with the “Reset” EP. What can the world expect frpm Kaskade throughout the rest of 2021? Kaskade: If I’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s not to expect anything. I have plans and then alternate plans, if those can’t happen, then alternate plans if the alternate plans can’t happen. The only safe bet is that I will continue to make and release music. Outside of that, ask your Magic 8-Ball and that answer will probably be the most reliable n one you can get.

Kaskade

(continued from page 17)

that will hold over. I understand that people want to get “back to normal,” but I think we have had a re-wiring and that there will be adjustments. Hopefully, better safety protocols with health and hygiene, which, let’s face it, was never a strong suit in nightlife. I’m guessing we’ll get back shoulder-to-shoulder, but maybe not so much on top of each other. DJ Times: One of the industries that has thrived during the pandemic has been gaming, and you are now part of the Rocket League soundtrack. How did this all come together? And are you a gamer yourself? Kaskade: I’ve always been a fan of Rocket League and Monstercat, so when they approached me about this project, I figured I could put the folding sheets, taking out the trash and surfing on hold long enough to dig into it with them. I’m absolutely a gamer, but old-school. I grew up on a strict diet of Pac-Man, Galaga and Tempest. The new games are so insanely good – the graphics just absolutely blow my mind. I really enjoy playing them, but going back to the retro games always feels best

Solomun’s Diynamic Thoughts

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Where I can take you all “Home.”

Solomun, Next Issue of DJ Times

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We can gather again in a place…

Tatiana Chausovsky

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I’m dreaming of a time when…


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