I mentioned in my trance set from July, that I had recorded two trance sets; and was deciding which one I preferred. The full’on classic trance set won out but I wanted to share the alternative one too. It pretty raw and short but I quite like it, especially since I love out of the blue by system F so much that it was played twice!
Remix culture, sometimes read-write culture, is a society that allows and encourages derivative works by combining or editing existing materials to produce a new product. A remix culture would be, by default, permissive of efforts to improve upon, change, integrate, or otherwise remix the work of copyright holder
My personal thoughts are, DJ culture was new exciting and things were moving and changing all the time. We had vinyl, record players and mixers. But people were innovating and doing new things on top of that. Then the technology changed from spinning discs (Vinyl, CDs heck even Minidisc if you must) to Solid State/Digital. There was a lot of push back and there still is… But you can’t stop the future.
However we adopted the digital methods to do exactly the same thing. You can see this in the vast amount of digital dj tools, 2 decks and a mixer. Skeuomorphism hell! And it needs to die! Because a good 20 years after the first Mp3 dj software (virtual turntables by Carrot innovations). The interface, method and general approch is exactly the same.
That’s more than half my life time! That has to be some kind of a joke!
Ok under the hood things have changed but not far enough and wheres the distruptive changes? The DJ world still seems to be stressing out about auto BPM? Its happened get over it. For a whole culture built on innovation and creativity, it seems highly ironic?
But this was just scratching the surface of a much larger problem with DJ/Remix culture. I put together some slides which horrible to read back through as they are 5 years old, but its been super useful when talking to people and companies about what DJ hackday could be about. It was due an update and thankfully I can finally tick this off my list.
The 1% rule is a rule of thumb pertaining to participation in an internet community, stating that only 1% of the users of a website actively create new content, while the other 99% of the participants only lurk. Variants include the 1-9-90 rule (sometimes 90–9–1 principle or the 89:10:1 ratio), which states that in a collaborative website such as a wiki, 90% of the participants of a community only view content, 9% of the participants edit content, and 1% of the participants actively create new content.
In the case of DJ hackday; out of 100 people…
90 will be consumer (lurkers/watchers)
1% will be makers (creators)
9% will be remixers (editors)
Music hackday cators for the 1% and of course moving remixers and consumers into makers. DJ hackday is moving consumers and makers into remixers. Its a very viable area with plenty of people doing interesting great things already. Everyone we have spoke over the last 5 years have gotten the concept and really want to see it become a real things now.
Capitalising on the recent interest in the Get Down on Netflix, which sums up a bit of why DJ/Remix culture is important. I created some simple teaser posters. Expect a proper poster in near future but right now, its about getting the word out. And we’re really targetting those who never thought of themselves as DJs or participating in remix culture. People like you!
As the year counts down towards Winter, I’ll be looking for people to help and other companies to join the DJ Hack. We already have some great names (tbc) and starting to sort out venues for the night events. Of course we already have the MMU Shed for the main hack which is a great space for a hackday. The actual hack dates are Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th January, with a social event on the Friday 13th January and post hackday party on Sunday evening somewhere we can try out some of the hacks.
If you are interested in helping out on the day, know a great venue, like to support in some way, set a challenge or want to come help organise it. Get in touch…
Feel free to ping myself a tweet or drop a message via email, my contact form, comment, etc… I’m quite easy to get hold of.
This one I have been listening to on and off for the last few weeks on my phone as I wonder around Manchester. Lots of new tunes and a less hectic pace of about 135bpm, but plenty of hands in the air moments and smooth mixing.
I also added chapter marks to give you can idea of what was influencing my tune selections.
Perpetual Motion – Protoculture
Hold that sucker down (Jerome Isma-Ae’s 10 year anniversary mix) – Jerome Isma-Ae
Running up the hill – (Jerome Isma-Ae bootleg) – Placebo
Humming the lights – Armin van Buuren pres. Gaia
Shelter (Photographer remix) – Dash Berlin feat. Roxanne Emery
Hello (Jerome Isma-Ae Remix) – Above & Beyond
Whites Of Her Eyes – Simon Patterson
Stellar – Driftmoon
Brush Strokes – Simon Patterson
Imagineer (Alex M.O.R.P.H remix) – Lange
Seven Cities (V-One’s Living Cities remix) – Solar Stone
The speed and progress of digital djing has been reasonable but frankly it could be better. Yes its the perfect setup for a DJ Hackday, but regardless. I was talking to somebody about the Pacemaker device and started to reminisce about Digital Djing. Now I know I’m going to sound like grandad but I think its interesting to remember where we came from.
I was saying I remember VTT (Virtual TurnTables) which from my memory was the first commercially available Dj software I was aware of. I had a copy and installed it on my 200 MMX desktop computer. It ran ok but frankly it was super basic, no auto BPM, very laggy pitch control and the cross-fader slow to react.
However I have to say it did support multiple sound cards and configurations which would make it actually usable in a real DJ environment. It would play Mp3’s, Wav’s and Aiff’s. Unlimited playback (which on a 200MMX is about 2 songs max). Special effects, very basic sampling and looping.
The Mozilla festival session went well and one of the outcomes was the 8 track format. We went on and started to pull together resources under 8trk.org. The basic idea is to standardise the way stem’s are created and swapped.
I had the pleasure to play the Mozilla Festival again in October. It was meant to be 2 djs but only myself showed up. Here’s a good hour of dance music for you’re lovely ears to take in. Recorded live using the Pacemaker device’s build in recorder (now I’m using the old firmware). I did a longer mix but the Karaoke took over and to be fair I was pretty much messing around by that point.
Enjoy! And blog post about Mozfest is coming soon.
There’s been a research project I have been thinking about quite a bit. It involves something of a passion of mine and maybe many others. It combines a couple of thoughts, I have actually blogged a few times.
Part of the thinking was around making the DJ experience physical again, as pressing buttons behind a laptop screen makes you look like your doing your email, not banging out a epic set. Physical without needing tons of controllers and moving away from 2 decks and a mixer.
There are parallels with Djing/Mixing and making a playlist. A lot of thinking goes into the tune selection. But like mixes, the platform allows you to be more creative than simply play one tune after another. You may choose to play part of a tune, start a tune after the introduction. You may choose to speed up or slow down a tune. The mixtape is a narrative, a narrative your giving to another person. To think about a pls, m3u or xspif is almost an insult.
Physically sharing things
I have spoken at length about the way we are physical beings and tend to prefer physical things. Whats interesting about physical things is the emotional attachment which comes with them. I even said it myself before…
Physical artifacts are much easier to lend to people and much more likely to be taken seriously by friends currently.
Like it or not, there is something about sharing which is instantly more engaging. I think it might have something to do with the way our brains are wired. Something some people take advantage of (wish I could find the exact effect/scam, where someone gives you a small token gift and you in exchange tend to open your pocket to bigger amounts)…
There have been many attempts to give digital things a physical footprint but its always felt forced. What if you could take the best parts of digital and give them a physical footprint?
What would that look like, what would it be able to do which you can’t do right now in both mediums?
‘Mix tapes’ were a thing of love, a physical object which people would share with significant others and friends around them. They were naturally a social object and highly representative of a person’s identity. The knowledge of effort involved by the giver in selecting the songs and having to sit through each one was also part of the symbolism for the receiver. Objects can be generated and shaped from and by the media you “teach” them or existing objects you play (embed) media into. Thus the modern mix tape could become a linked series of small objects like lucky charms which are physically shareable in a form representing the tracks they contain.
This is based on the idea that physical items often mean more to us as physical beings and adds a level of exclusivity and personalisation to the sharing process. Considering transplatform engagement and the ability to engage users and viewers in co-creating media it is suggested that this may present as a new modality for user co-creation and curation.
You can read more about the project including a real nice piece about slow digital by Lancaster Uni. It will be great once the project is finished.
Interestingly Nathan Langley is working with others on a startup idea called Desert.fm.
Our industry is full of stories and there is many outlets for them. Blogs, publications, podcasts all giving interviews giving designers and developers a platform to share their sources of inspiration and to tell their story. We found music was usually an afterthought or a sideline, for our idea Desert fm we want to bring music to the fore, in view to create the ultimate inspiring playlist that everyone can access to discover new music and be enthralled by.
Ultimately Nathan would like a playlist from me with a few lines on why each track means something to me in an autobiographical sense.
This could be anything. For example, one track was around when you were you at school, sketching and doodling ideas for a new transformer! Or when you first learning code in the dead of night you had a special artist you would go to to get in the zone. Or just a song you are digging at the moment. This can be as long or as short as you want it.
Seven Days And One Week – BBE – Clubbing in Ibiza in 1998, it was heavily played everywhere and although I got bored of it at the time, it still reminds me of the early days of Trance.
Please Save Me (Push Remix) – Push vs Sunscreem – This was known as the Monster track by friends and the girlfriend I was dating at the time. It was killer track and made for some great nights out at the Bristol, Ritzy
Oblivion (Head In The Clouds) – Manix – One of the tunes I danced to in the early days of clubbing in a underground rave.
It’s My Turn (Extended Mix) – Angelic – Driving home from Bristol on the A4 road with my old Aprilla SR125 scooter listening to Judge Jules on the Essential mix. It was perfectly timed for hitting west London.
Time to get ill – 4 Hero – I spent some time in Cheltenham once during school at a special event to do with the rotary club. There was a small funfair and I spent a lot of time on a ride which played Time to get ill again and again. Great time!
Music Reach (1,2,3,4) – Prodigy – This song blew my mind when I first heard it on the Prodigy Experience album, which I borrowed from friend/best man Ross. I wanted more music like it.
Passion (Do You Want it Right Now) – Get Decor – This song sums up clubbing in the old Bristol Mecca discotheque. Its the song which comes to mind when thinking about that period of time.
Rhythm is a Dancer – Snap! – Remember listening to my next door neighbor playing this on 12inch vinyl and being blown away by the introduction. It sounded so alive, then hearing it in a club the week afterwards
The Legacy (Club Mix) – Push – When I heard this tune at the Bristol Ritzy, it blew my mind. I seeked out this tune for a good few months, as I had to own it.
Let me show you – Camisra – When I first heard this in a club, it brought me out chills all over. Love it and its a classic.
There is something quite special about Playlists and its amazing the stories which come out of the wood work when picking music. Imagine what would happen if you could pick any media. This is what we’ll be exploring/researching in Tangible playlists.
Can’t wait to share more details on the project soon…
This is a special mix… It was requested by Oli Wood the approachable geek, as he wanted something for his new car which he would be picking up from North Wales somewhere and driving back to Newcastle. I created a mix straight away but wasn’t happy with the overall tune selection, so created another one the night after. This is that mix. Enjoy it Oli, and make sure you have it nice and loud!
Sinister – Airbase
Smack – Simon Patterson
Sister sister – Sister Bliss
Peace – Yves Deruyter
Take me away (into the night) – 4 Strings
Megalodon – Dash Berlin
GamesMaster (matt darey 2003 mix) – Lost Tribe
Time (sean tyas remix) – Paul Webster feat. Angelic Amanda
Time for another one of my mixes, done with the Pacemaker Device rather than the Pacemaker App. Still loving the device and this mix is a slower mix at 135bpm over the usual 140. A few brand new tunes mixed with some older classics. Nice beat friendly mix with plenty to keep you going on those long drives in the mountains.
Tracklist is below…
Breathe (Blake Jarrell Remix) by Anna Nalick
Take me away into the night (purple haze remix) by 4 strings
Humming the lights (radio edit) by Armin van Buuren, Gaia
Stella – Ferry Corsten vs Markus Schulz
The Evil ID – Max Graham
The Spring – Ernesto and Alex Fisher
Orbion (Max Graham vs Protoculture Remix) – Armin Van Buuren
3rd Earth (heatbeat remix) – Solarstone vs Scott Bond
Megalodon – Dash Berlin
Attention – John 00 Fleming Vs Christopher Lawrence
The Storm – Eco
Sundown (Sneijder remix) – Thomas Bronzwaer
Rainmaker – Des mcmahon
Shadow World – Thomas Bronzwaer
Big Sky (Signum vs RAM Remix) – John O’Callaghan feat. Audrey Gallagher
Those crazy pacemaker guys Jonas, Olof and Willem released a ipad app (one of the worst kept secrets to be honest) but they did some great things to make the whole thing much more simple and usable for the people who just want to play. Those guys have always been excellent at interface design, conveying complexity in quite a unique way. One of the reasons why I love the pacemaker device.
Si Lumb was the first to break it to me on Twitter via The Verge. The interface is different from the Pacemaker app which came on the Blackberry. But the massive difference is the Spotify access. Direct access to mix and screw around with any track on Spotify in real time? Thats almost worth buying a ipad for… Don’t worry I’ll be asking the guys when the Android version is coming. But to be fair I have (well my sister has it but its mine) a blackberry playbook for the sole reason of mixing, so why not a ipad too…?
What got me slightly choked up is the commitment to #mixeverything and ultimately the democratisation of mixing and djing. Yes its not virtualdj or Tracktor but its something you can easily pull out at a party and get people dancing.
It all reminds me of my slide (number 17) from the Dj Hackday presentation… New rules, new blood, new ideas… I want my first born (male or female) to want to be a DJ not some pop idiot.
I remember the arguments about dedicated cameras vs camera phones. The best camera you have is the one in your pocket or even your hand at the time. Is this true of djing too? Yes if I had my records and decks, but you don’t… And with the app you can pull up virtually most songs, even those stupid request songs.
I’d still like to know how they are doing the twin output, I assume its using the audio out and the HDMI/Lightning port? If not I’m expecting it will change soon.
Secondly those crazy guys released a new firmware update for the Pacemaker device. Seems not many of the usual suspects know much about this, so I’ll be one of the first to give it a run. Which is great because I’ve been playing with the pacemaker device again. My next mix is going to be something special… But now I want to run home and get the firmware updated.
The Surface remix project isn’t a DJ platform but rather a remix platform. Yes you could do a little mixing on it but realistically it for making music. The thing which got me interested was the interface. From what I understand about the Microsoft surface is that the keyboard is clicked on, but what if you could click other types of inputs in? It would certainly beat the problem of touching glass.
Will this extended beyond the one smart modified smartcover? I doubt it, Microsoft are well known for wanting to control everything but then again what they did with the Xbox Kinect was good news, although I’ve not seen anything like this recently. If it was a open source project with open and published hardware and software specs, I would be a lot more interested.
I’ll keep an eye on it but I don’t hold out hope for anything ground breaking…