The Secluded rave in my head mix

The Secluded rave in my head

My latest mix is a strange one. While sitting on my sofa trying to stay cool in front of multiple fans during some of the hottest days in Manchester. I busted out the pacemaker device and started to mix. I wasn’t really feeling very happy about the heat, hence this is quite a heavy mix which shifts, although only running at 130-ish bpm. I was thinking about redoing it with a different ending but maybe thats for another day.

The cover art is a combination of Artem Bryzgalov and Reynier Carl‘s work put together using my fav photo editing tool PhotoGIMP.

Enjoy the mix, which is another entry in the locked down, mixing out album of mixes.

  1. Anasthasia (Valentine boys rap mix) – T99
  2. Opium (Stan Kolev remix) – Jerome Isma Ae Alastor
  3. Orbion (Max Graham vs Protoculture remix) – Armin Van Buuren
  4. Freedom (Extended mix) – ARTY vs Muvy
  5. Grotesque – RAM & Alex M.O.R.P.H
  6. Floyd (Extended mix) – Jerome Isma Ae Alastor
  7. Reflection (Extended mix) – Ferry Corsten
  8. Metro (US mix) – Oliver Lieb
  9. Time to Burn (12 inch long version) – Storm
  10. The wave 2.0 (Extended mix) – Cosmic Gate
  11. Night in Motion – Cubic 22
  12. Opium – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor

 

Stellar’s freedom mix

Looking into the universe
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Not really had the time to do many mixes in the last few months. I did this one while wondering around the Manchester when the Covid19 lock down was lifted. Its not very long (less than a hour) but its a interesting quick blast through a few newer tunes.

I haven’t yet setup my funkwhale or airsonic instance, so its mixcloud for now. Although I am making cue files along side my nfo files.

Enjoy!

  1. Stella – Jam & Spoon
  2. Natural (extended mix) – KhoMha
  3. The Dark night – KhoMha
  4. Floyd (extended mix)  – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  5. Opium (quivver remix) – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  6. Open up – Leftfield
  7. Follow me (Roger shah Extended deeper translation remix) – Jam Spoon
  8. Running up the hill (Jerome Isma-Ae bootleg) – Placebo
  9. Freedom (extended mix) – ARTY vs Muvy
  10. Tears (protoculture remix) – Dakota

Update

Stellar’s Freedom made it to 78th in the global tech trance chart. Not bad as lots of DJs are now using Mixcloud in lockdown.

78th in the global techtrance chart

Update Monday 10th Aug

Another update to say Stellar’s Freedom is now at 47th in the global tech trance chart. I think its one of the highest rated mixes I have done. Going to need to do another one soon.

stellars freedom 47th in the global techtrance charts

The mayday lockdown night dance

Rave

Taking some hints from my previous live mix, I decided to make some changes and do another mix. This time not live, so its at the perfect volume now. Enjoy the mix which is up to 135bpm with lots of hands in the air trance for your listening pleasure… enjoy!

  1. Gouryella (From the heavens mix) – Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella
  2. Arise – Victor Ruiz & D Nox
  3. Follow me (Jerome Isma-Ae Extended remix) – Jam Spoon
  4. Call the galaxy taxi (Martin Roth Nu Style remix) – Plastic Angel
  5. Stellar – Driftwood
  6. Floyd (extended mix) – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  7. Borealis – Dj Eco
  8. Breathe (Blake Jarrell remix) – Anna Nalick
  9. Freedom (extended mix) – ARTY vs Muvy
  10. Grotesque – RAM & Alex M.O.R.P.H
  11. Soundbar (extended mix) – Giuseppe Ottaviani
  12. Numb the pain – Will Atkinson
  13. Everythings been written – 8 Wonders
  14. Tears (protoculture remix) – Dakota
  15. Hello (Jerome Isma-Ae remix) – Above & Beyond
  16. The Legacy 2.0 (Alphazone remix) – Funabashi pres. Saltwater
  17. Valhalla (tonerush remix) – OneBeat

A better way to listen to mixes online?

Funkwhale audio logo

For a while I have been thinking about leaving Mixcloud. Its nothing personal, I think its a great service for djs but its clear their business model is starting to interfere with the listening experience.

I had a thought about what Mixcloud do for me and decided these are the key things.

  1. Hosting the full mix with limited rights problems (unless you do something like play a track from the same author twice)
  2. The community of people and djs in one place
  3. Ability to see the actual tracks within the mix

With this in mind, I thought I’d see what else was out there as I’m lucky enough to be sitting on a large enough internet connection to host my own mixes and become a node on a larger decentralised network. If it was build like the fediverse, that could solve the community side too? After looking around for alternatives I found a new upstart called funkwhale. You may have seen I mention it recently in a previous blog.

Maybe 1 and 2 could be solved but what about 3?

The last part of the puzzle seemed to be the track problem, as you want seamless playback but get an idea of what you are listening to. Mixcloud does this via metadata, which you can create via a slider over the audio waveform. Some DJ systems create this for you like the Pacemaker for example but that metadata is lost in translation I found. If only there was a standard way to define areas of a mix without slicing the audio mix up?

For example, here is a ambient mix I liked recently.

Its by Tonepoet and even they have gone through the effort of adding this metadata to their personal site complete with timings. I do a similar thing but without the timings (which I really should have added since I had them all and entered them into Mixcloud manually.

I looked a number of things including a bunch of playlist formats including pls, m3u and xspf. Even looked at smil and asx to see if they would help, but their problem was player support. The issue seemed to be they all treated their smallest objects as physical files rather than subsets of files. I did buy into xspf thought it was close with this extension.

The extension element allows non-XSPF XML to be included in XSPF documents. The purpose is to allow nested XML, which the meta and link elements do not. xspf:playlist elements MAY contain zero or more extension elements.

<playlist version="1" xmlns="http://xspf.org/ns/0/" xmlns:cl="http://example.com">
  <extension application="http://example.com">
    <cl:clip start="25000" end="34500"/>
  </extension>
  <trackList />
</playlist>

Close but not quite right and player support for extensions was going to be low. This is when I rethought the problem with something like .nfo files and found .cue files. Here is an example…

REM GENRE Electronica
REM DATE 1998
PERFORMER "Faithless"
TITLE "Live in Berlin"
FILE "Faithless - Live in Berlin.mp3" MP3
  TRACK 01 AUDIO
    TITLE "Reverence"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 00:00:00
  TRACK 02 AUDIO
    TITLE "She's My Baby"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 06:42:00
  TRACK 03 AUDIO
    TITLE "Take the Long Way Home"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 10:54:00
  TRACK 04 AUDIO
    TITLE "Insomnia"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 17:04:00
  TRACK 05 AUDIO
    TITLE "Bring the Family Back"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 25:44:00
  TRACK 06 AUDIO
    TITLE "Salva Mea"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 30:50:00
  TRACK 07 AUDIO
    TITLE "Dirty Old Man"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 38:24:00
  TRACK 08 AUDIO
    TITLE "God Is a DJ"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 42:35:00

Perfect, so I took one of mixes, Quiver in the underground and turned the .nfo file into a .cue file.

REM GENRE Tech Trance
REM DATE 2019
PERFORMER "Digital Italic"
TITLE "Quiver in the underground mix"
FILE "Quiver in the underground mix.mp3" MP3
TRACK 01 AUDIO
TITLE "Activator, I know you can (That kid chris mix)"
PERFORMER "Whatever girl"
INDEX 01 00:00:00
TRACK 02 AUDIO
TITLE "Air traffic (Erik De Koning remix)"
PERFORMER "Three drives"
INDEX 01 02:07:00
TRACK 03 AUDIO
TITLE "Chinook"
PERFORMER "Markus Schulz pres. Dakota"
INDEX 01 07:25:00
TRACK 04 AUDIO
TITLE "Opium (Quivver remix)"
PERFORMER "Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor"
INDEX 01 10:32:00
TRACK 05 AUDIO
TITLE "Surveillance"
PERFORMER "Jordon Suckley & Kutski"
INDEX 01 15:24:00
TRACK 06 AUDIO
TITLE "Nitric (Division one remix)"
PERFORMER "Hybrid system"
INDEX 01 19:02:00
TRACK 07 AUDIO
TITLE "Circa-Forever (Galen Behr & Organ Nilsen remix)"
PERFORMER "Rapid eye"
INDEX 01 23:55:00
TRACK 08 AUDIO
TITLE "Opulence"
PERFORMER "Simon Patterson"
INDEX 01 30:05:00
TRACK 09 AUDIO
TITLE "J'ai envie de toi (Protoculture remix)"
PERFORMER "Armin Van Buuren presents Gaia"
INDEX 01 35:10:00
TRACK 10 AUDIO
TITLE "Z.I.T.A (M.I.K.E's progressiva mix)"
PERFORMER "Hiver & Hammer with Funabashi"
INDEX 01 39:30:00
TRACK 11 AUDIO
TITLE "Kubrick (Extended mix)"
PERFORMER "Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor"
INDEX 01 42:01:00

Tried it out on a number of media player and they all worked except Plex.

There is a very good chance if I was to run my own funkwhale node/server I could set it to index .cue files and playback the mix in a seamless way like Mixcloud? Theres only one way to find out really… Get Funkwhale installed!

On a side note I am slightly kicking myself now because I entered all that metadata into mixcloud but never stored it myself. I’m going to need to go through 90 of my own mixes and convert my .nfo files into .cue files.

I have the SQLite Database for my pacemaker device with the actual real timings but I need to identify which mix is which one (another thing I should have done, as changed the names of the mix depending on many things). I also hoped mixcloud’s developers guide would come to the rescue but it looks like maybe a GDPR request is my only option if I want the metadata for my mixes?

Chemical Brothers: My first concert?

IMG_20191122_222710

Thinking back, I don’t think I have ever been to a concert for popular music with a single group; I was explaining to my partner the other day while walking to the Manchester Arena.

IMG_20191122_220529

I have been to many raves, club nights, festivals but not really a concert unless it was classical music or something like a opera. I might be wrong because I saw Portishead in Ashton Court, Bristol a long time ago but I think it was alongside other arenas.

Chemical brothers may have been my first music concert, and it was very cool. Although others disagree.

IMG_20191122_211154

I was interesting to see how the music and visuals were custom set for the chemical brothers. I imagine this is what something like Armin only is like. But to be fair Gareth Emery’s Lazerface looks amazing for this exact reason.

The importance of human values research

The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band - Brian Eno
The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band

I saw this quote and thought it was perfect fuel/fodder for why the human values research is so massively important.

Only 10,000 copies can be seen as poor sales (attention metric) but the impact on music culture (human values) was huge.

The Helsinki drop out mix

Somewhat as a forerunner to the peace of mind in Brussels mix. The Helsinki drop out mix is also a bit slower but a lot more punchy with harder tunes.

Recorded while sat in the city centre of Helsinki, watching people go by. Enjoy!

  1. Tenshi (Magdelayna’s Resurrection mix) – Gouryella
  2. Empty Cities, Dead Ghost (Chronosapien remix) – Fictitious Riceboy
  3. Big Sky (Agnelli & Nelson remix) – John O’Callaghan feat Audrey Gallagher
  4. Circles – Robert Nickson
  5. Everythings been written – 8 Wonders
  6. Hello (Jerome Isma-Ae remix) – Above & Beyond
  7. Kubrick (Extended mix) – Jerome Isma-Ae Alastor
  8. Out of the Blue (5am mix) – System F
  9. The Wave 2.0 (Extended mix) – Cosmic Gate
  10. Crayons (Leama and Moor remix) – Starkid
  11. Torrent – Dave 202
  12. The Game (Extended mix) – Fatum

The Peace of mind in Brussels mix

Recorded in Brussels while taking the Eurostar, while thinking about mental awareness week at work. Nicely relaxing with a slight edge.

Enjoy…

  1. Empty Cities, Dead Ghost (Chronosapien remix) – Fictitious Riceboy
  2. Big Sky (Agnelli & Nelson remix) – John O’Callaghan feat Audrey Gallagher
  3. Bulgarian (Signum remix) – Travel
  4. Drifting away (Lange sunset dub) – Lange feat. Syke
  5. Casino Fire – Matias Faint
  6. Tears (Protoculture remix)- Markus Schulz pres. Dakota
  7. Crayons (Leama and Moor remix) – Starkid
  8. Sister Sister – Sister Bliss
  9. Floyd – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  10. Key of life (Marlo remix) – Ohmna feat. Nurlaila
  11. Made of love (Extended mix) – Ferry Corsten feat. Betsie Larkin
  12. Peace of mind (Myon & Shane 54 summer of love mix) – Above & Beyond feat. Zoe
  13. Peace – Yves Deruyter
  14. Indigo – 4×4

The three cities of Belgium mix

The Atomium in Brussels

After a long weekend in Belgium, of course I got some time with the pacemaker device. I themed the mix after the 3 cities we visited. All recorded with the Pacemaker device during a delayed flight back.

Enjoy!

  1. Brussels
    1. Anomaly (CJ Art’s Underwater tales remix) – Gordey Tsukanov
    2. Daemoni Miserere – Dr. Clarke
    3. Rheinkraft (extended mix) – Oliver Klein
    4. Innocente (Mr Sam remix) – Delerium
    5. Z.I.T.A (Markus Schossow remix) – Hiver & Hammer with Funabashi
  2. Antwerp
    1. Eclipse – Neo
    2. Delores – Indecent Noise
    3. Anahera (Extended mix) – Ferry Corseten pres Gouryella
    4. The Dark Knight – KhoMha
    5. Be with me – Coast 2 coast feat Amanda Jami
    6. Deadline (Armin’s rising star mix) – Dutch Force
  3. Ghent
    1. Grotesque (Alex MORPH and RAM mix) – RAM
    2. End transmission – ReDrive & Patrick Blanes
    3. Shelter (Photographer remix) – Dash Berlin feat. Roxanne Emery
    4. Adagio for Strings (Matt Silver and Tony Burt mix) – William Orbit

 

Updated….

95th in the global tech trance chart

Changes to the experience of mixcloud for free listeners

Rain clouds
Stormy rain clouds are coming?

As you may have noticed I use Mixcloud for uploading my DJ/Pacemaker device mixes. It works quite well because they upload the whole track with a few restrictions and you can listen to the lot anytime. I use to upload them to soundcloud but that didn’t work out too well.

Mixcloud has been pretty good to me but recently I noticed some changes coming into effect.

Some changes are coming to Mixcloud’s free playback experience. As a valued creator of the Mixcloud community, I’d like to personally notify you in advance about why we’re doing this.

We need to make some changes in order to keep running a legal platform in line with our licensing agreements, and a platform that is truly sustainable for the long term. Please read this open letter from myself and my co-founders to understand why and how these changes contribute to building a fair and sustainable streaming model that supports artists. I’ve summarized this for you below:

What’s changing?

Free listeners will only be able to seek forwards while listening to a show.

Free listeners will be able to listen to the same show maximum 3 times in a rolling two-week window.

Free listeners will not be able to listen to shows that feature more than 4 tracks by the same artist or more than 3 tracks from an album.

There more but its clear the pressure is on. Its nothing personal about mixcloud, they have to make money and its pretty fair. But I can’t help but  wondering about dataportability, because although I’m less concerned as I have all the mixes complete with track-listings and mix art on my machines backed up (The only thing I would like is the tags and some of the timings which I may not have directly).

I’m  wondering where I would go if I did move on?

The copyright filter would kill uploading to youtube and archive.org. I wonder if theres a decent alternative which is part of the dweb? The closest I can see is peertube, but its focused on video. To be fair I have enough bandwidth to host my own mixes on a instance of peertube…. Maybe something for a rainy weekend?

Maverick women and the Moon

Moon 50 Festival

Its finally came, the moon50festival to mark our relationship with the moon and the 50 years since we visited the moon for the very first time. I have been involved with the festival from a far and Livia added me as a digital advisor to the festival a while ago. Out of the whole host of different events was the big one, Maverick women and the moon, advertised as A night of talks and performances with a keynote by Margaret Atwood.

The journey for me and my partner to get there was quite trip, but we managed to get to Greenwich University about 5mins before the start.

It was packed full of people which was fantastic to see on a hot evening of a sold out event in London. The best way to describe the evening was eclectic with everything from comedy to opera. The programming was spot on and kept the energy up through-out the whole evening.

Moon 50 Festival

To start with was someone I had not seen in decades. Helen Lederer’s moon monologues: Menzies, Menopause and Mayhem.

She was very funny and was great starter for the evening to come. Along her comedy piece she touched on many subjects including gender diversity in the showbiz world and the effect of the lunar cycle on women.

Next was a talk about how Chinese culture think about the moon by Angela Chan and how does these works of science fiction persist in a global climate? Really interesting thought-provoking stuff.

Moon 50 Festival

This was followed by a screening of a short film called Moxn (pronounced Moon) and Q&A. A beautifully shot video exploring gender and ethnic diversity wrapped up in a poem. Something for the Encounters short film festival I certainly think.

There was a welcomed break giving us enough time to go get some proper hot food, as our trip from Manchester was pretty non-stop and didn’t include a sit down meal. Remembering Greenwich from over 10 years ago, we settled into Noodle time for a meal and discussion about the evening so far.

Moon 50 Festival

When we got back there was the main billing/keynote for the evening. Margaret Atwood on the Moon and Magic. The atmosphere was thick with anticipation and Margaret now in her golden years didn’t let disappoint. She was funny, poignant and just magical. It was a absolute pleasure sitting in the 2nd row watching her talk. She was fantastic and received a bit of standing clap at the end. There was a Q&A which followed afterwards but over stretched its time but in her answers, you could tell how super switched on Margaret was and how deeply she thought about the world. She reminded me of Janet Murray who wrote Hamlet on the Holodeck, who happened to see last year at ICIDS in Dublin.

Moon 50 Festival

After Margaret, some music in the form of a Opera to seal the amazing evening. The only shame was people leaving in between rather than staying for closing. But regardless the Opera finished the moon festival event off in fine style.

The event mainly run, created and hosting women was great and well worth travelling from Manchester for. So happy to see all the people at the event and if things work out as well with the other events, I expect next year there will be another moon festival regardless of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

Excellent night and well worth attending and experiencing!

Massive thanks to the organisers and everyone behind this event and all the events under the Moon Festival. It was great!

The Skopje Jetstream mix

Another strange mix of trance from across the spectrum of trance. Recorded from Skopje (SKP) to Berlin (SXF) recently, I tried to pick a few different tunes but also double down on the obvious as I do currently love that tune. Sound levels are not idea along with some of the mixes but a good mix generally.

I have another mix from Skopje to come but that might take some time to upload. Till then sitback, ensure your seat belts are fasten and enjoy the smooth Skopje jetstream.

  1. Love (Vocal mix) – DJ Eco Feat Lira Yin
  2. Solarcoaster (Protoculture remix) – Solarstone
  3. The Obvious – Muhamed Sherief & WAAJII
  4. The Situation (Liquid life remix) – A Situation
  5. Please save me (push remix) – Sunscream Vs Push
  6. Tears (Protoculture remix) – Markus Schulz presents Dakota
  7. Perpertual Motion – Protoculure
  8. Take me away in the night (purple haze remix) – 4 Strings
  9. Torrent – Dave 202
  10. Winter Falls – Calgar C
  11. Time of Our lives (Paul Van Dyk club mix) – Paul Van Dyk
  12. Underlying feeling (Adam K & Soha Club mix) – Sylvia Tosun
  13. The Obvious – Muhamed Sherief & WAAJII
  14. Barcelona (Gene Xander remix) – Addictive Glance
  15. In and Out of Love – Armin Van Buuren feat Sharon den Adel
  16. Humming the lights – Armin van Buuren presents Gaia

The Skopje sunset mix

Another series of trips means another series of new mixes on my pacemaker device. This one was done one evening in Skopje, Macedonia. Slightly cut short by having to get somewhere for dinner but its a different kind of mix with a number of ones I’ve played over the years.

  1. Empty Street – Late night Alumni
  2. Columbia – Paul Van Dyk
  3. Ephemeral – Nakhiya
  4. Cream – Blank & Jones
  5. Humming the lights – Armin Van Buuren pres Gaia
  6. The Dark Knight – Khomha
  7. Nailed (James Dymond remix) – Paul Webster
  8. Emotional Life (Elite Electronic Remix) – Armos
  9. Nardo (Jorn Van Deynhoven Mix) – Jorn Van Deynhoven & Manuel Le Saux
  10. Going Home (Jorn Van Deynhoven mix) – Cosmic Gate & Emma Hewitt

Enjoy!

A thunderstorm in Barcelona mix

On the first night of the holiday in Barcelona, we were hit by something of a biblical thunderstorm. It was super humid, so its hardly surprising.

There is a video but it was so rainy you can’t really see much, so got the Pacemaker out and started mixing late at night. The mix was much longer but I had to cut it back due to some very dodgy mixing as I likely started to fall a sleep.

Enjoy the mix

  1. Nightmare (Original Sinister strings) – Brainbug
  2. Opium – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  3. Strike – Signum
  4. Prosac – Dj Tomcraft
  5. Delores – Indecent Noise
  6. Intruder – Armin vs MIKE
  7. The Oblivious – Muhamed Sherief & WAAJII
  8. Mass Noise 2015 (Stephen Kirkwood & Mark Friel remix) – Fred Baker & Seb B
  9. Helsinki Scorching – Super8 vs DJ Tab
  10. Opulence – Simon Patterson
  11. Whites of her eyes – Simon Patterson
  12. We are one (Instrumental mix) – Dave 202
  13. Seven Cities (V-Ones living cities remix) – Solar Stone
  14. Labyrinth (Paul Keyen remix) – Lee Cassells
  15. Perfect Wave – Peter Martin presents Anthanasia
  16. Brush Stokes – Simon Patterson
  17. Love Stimulation (Oliver Lieb Club mix) – Paul Van Dyk
  18. Surveillance – Jordan Suckley