Children in the midnight city mix

Robert Miles: Dreamland (Experimental)

Its sad to hear Robert Miles died a while ago. Children was one of the most famous trance tunes ever and I remember many nights dancing to Children.

Most people know the story behind Children; but if not…

Children is one of the most iconic tracks in the history of dance music.

It launched a new genre – “dream house” – and although that did not last long, the more melancholy, cerebral sound opened the door for trance music, which would come to dominate clubs in the late 1990s, going fully mainstream into the new millennium.

That sound was a very deliberate choice by Miles, whose real name was Roberto Concina.

Although Children was initially written in response to images of the child victims of the Balkans war as Yugoslavia tore itself apart, the track then took on a different life – and a different motivation. Miles wanted to make it big to help save the lives of clubbers.

So on a journey back from TOA Berlin, I decided to pick up one of my old and favourate mixes. Adding the old classic Children from 1995 (used the Tint remix) and nearly ending with a modern classic Ferry Corsten’s Anahera; which was the biggest trance tune of 2015.

20+ years of trance, incredible to think about.

Here’s the tracklisting and mix for your listening pleasure.

  1. Children (Tilts Courtyard Mix) – Robert Miles
  2. Shadow World (Original Mix) – Thomas Bronzwaer
  3. Resound (Original Mix) – Thomas Bronzwaer
  4. Intuition (Martin Roth Remix) – Marninx Pres. Ecco
  5. Amino Acids – Tau-Rine
  6. Body of conflict (Cosmic Gate Club mix) – Cosmic Gate
  7. The Evil ID – Max Graham
  8. The Labyrinth (Part One) – Moogwai
  9. Summer Melodies (Frequence Remix) – Frequence
  10. The Pride in Your Eyes (Martin Roth Remix) – Tillmann Uhrmacher
  11. Mass Noise 2015 – Fred Baker & Seb B
  12. We Are One (Instrumental Mix) – Dave 202
  13. Anahera (extended mix) – Ferry Corsten
  14. Grotesque (Alex MORPH and RAM mix) – RAM

Enjoy!

The 2015 impossible wall of trance mix

Blue Sky with a dark blue on top

A long time ago (6 years ago) I did a mix called the impossible wall of trance mix. It was a good mix but was plagued by mix problems, which I couldn’t understand.

I have no idea what happened in the first 2 mixes. Honestly the mixes were dead on, I was playing it loud out of my amp and if it was that off trust me I would have heard it. Anyway, rather that try and fix it, I’ve left it in because the whole set is a excellent one. There seems to be a bug with the pacemaker or something because after those two mixes everything pans out perfect. Anyway let the mix do the talking, just remember to skip the first two mixes.

Now I understand a little more what could be going on thanks to me playing with the pacemaker beta firmwares. I rolled back my pacemaker firmware to the last known official version and lost some features including the beat aware looping (shame!) but now can record exactly what I hear.

Because of this, I redid the impossible wall of trance which one of the first mixes where I identified the problem/bug. As its a new mix, I threw some old tunes out and replaced them with new stuff. The bulk of the mix is still there however. I did have a better ending but I had to cut it short, as we were landing and things needed to be put away.

So anyway I present the 2015 impossible wall of trance, recorded on my flight back from Tokyo while on the Airbus A380.

  1. Big Sky (agnelli & nelson remix) – John O’Callaghan feat Audrey Gallagher
  2. So High (Martin Roth remix) – Starchaser feat LO FI Sugar
  3. Language (Santiago Nino Dub Tech Mix) – Hammer and Bennett
  4. Brush strokes – Simon Patterson
  5. Beautiful Thing (photon project remix) – Andain
  6. Grooveline (matt darey) – Blockster
  7. Shadow World – Thomas Bronzwaer
  8. Smack – Simon Patterson
  9. Humming The Lights (Full Version) – Armin van Buuren presents Gaia
  10. 1999 (gouryella mix) – Binary Finary
  11. Beautiful Thing (photon project remix) – Andain
  12. Running up the hill (jerome isma-ae bootleg) – Placebo
  13. Intution (Martin Roth remix) – Marninx Pres Ecco
  14. As the Amazon Rush Comes (Carl B remix) – Motorcycle vs Midway
  15. Rush Hour (no intro edit) – Armin Van Buuren
  16. The Evil ID – Max Graham
  17. The Expedition (Indecent Noise Remix) – Armin van Buuren and Markus Schulz
  18. Lizard (Solis & Sean Truby’s Ibiza Mix) – Mauro Picotto
  19. Headliner – Jornvan Deynhoven
  20. Ehren Stowers – Ascent
  21. Ecstasy – Eddie Makabi feat. Einat

The 2015 impossible wall of trance mix by Cubicgarden on Mixcloud

Live pacemaker mix from Mozfest2014

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.

The Mozfest 2014 party live mix by Cubicgarden on Mixcloud

#mixeverything, democratising mixing for everyone?

The all new pacemaker app for ipad

DEMOCRATIZING DJING WAS SOMETHING WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN STRIVING FOR.

Two things happened to today…

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.

Escaping the interstellar fall mix

Escaping the interstellar fall mix by Cubicgarden on Mixcloud

Been a while since I have uploaded a decent mix, but don’t worry I have been messing with the pacemaker quite a bit on long journeys. I felt this one was good enough for public consumption, hence the upload to mixcloud. Most of the tunes are brand new and theres a slightly feel of break dance to this with the addition of Knife Party which I can’t get enough of. Also absolutely love Mogusa’s Laserbeams! Of course, Max Graham’s Evil ID and the excellent remix of Southern Sun are great stuff. Its a long one but well worth playing loud, where ever your listening.

  1. Tokyo (beatman and ludmilla remix) – Paul Oakenfold
  2. Laser beams – Mogusa
  3. Boom – Marlo
  4. The Expedition (Indecent Noise Remix) – Armin van Buuren and Markus Schulz
  5. Fools for life (club mix) – Dash Berlin feat Chris Madin
  6. Trespass (Antillas Dankann Club Mix) – Andy Moor feat Sue McLaren
  7. Megalodon – Dash Berlin
  8. Ecstasy – Eddie Makabi feat Einat
  9. The Evil ID – Max Graham
  10. UFO – Shogun
  11. LRAD – Knife Party
  12. Ten (original club mix) – Sander van Doorn Mark Knight and Underworld
  13. The Storm – Eco
  14. Thunder – W&W
  15. EDM death machine – Knife Party
  16. Stellar (TV Noise remix) – Danny’s Groove
  17. LA (Juventa Remix) – Super 8 Tab
  18. Communication (Tomas Heredia remix) – Armin Van Buuren
  19. New york city – Alex M.O.R.P.H
  20. Headliner – Jornvan Deynhoven
  21. Cannonball – Showtek and Justin Prime
  22. Southern Sun (Moe Aly Remix) – Paul Oakenfold
  23. Gauntlet – DNS Project
  24. Deep impact – Will Atkinson

The high streets of altrincham 8am mix

The highstreets of altrincham 8am mix by Cubicgarden on Mixcloud

Its been a long time since I have created a mix and published it the web. So I finally got something I was mainly happy with and decided to publish it. As the name suggests, it was created during an early morning trip to Altrincham. I needed something quite loud and pretty fast to keep me from falling a sleep.

Mix playlist is fully of old and new tunes fused together for impact (photo credit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/raver_mikey)

  1. Nuclear Device (dave joy remix) – Dave 202
  2. Unexpectation (dengavs manus mix) – Vengeance
  3. UFO – Shogun
  4. Sand Theme (Chris Schwezer mix) – Aly & Fila vs Bjorn Akesson
  5. 3rd Earth (heartbeat remix) – Solarstone vs Scott Bond
  6. A new dawn (virtual vault remix) – Steve Forte Rio
  7. We are One (Instrumental mix) – Dave 202
  8. Headliner – Jornvan Deynhoven
  9. The Expedition (indecent noise remix) – Armin van Buuren and Markus Schulz
  10. Ecstasy – Eddie Makabi feat Einat
  11. Seven Cities (V-One’s living cities remix) Solar Stone

 

 

Upgrading the Pacemaker’s hard drive

2013-05-04%2011.16.39

Been doing some of the odd jobs I’ve been meaning to do.

One such task was finally buying the right SSD from Amazon and replacing the old Pacemaker hard drive.

I was looking at the pacemaker forum where someone posted how they replaced their original hard drive with a Solid State Drive (SSD). So after much time I decided to buy the Kingspec 1.8inch drive from Amazon. Its only 64gig big but to be honest with the old drive I was only using 32gig anyway.

For those thinking about doing the same theres a number of things to bear in mind… You need a ZIF 40-pin SSD/PATA Solid State Disk (MLC type). Zif is the connection and its a ribbon connection like you see on motherboards.

Everything was pretty straight forward till it came to putting in the new drive.

Oh crap I ripped the ribbon!

As the forum post wrote…

DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID AND RELEASE THE ZIF RIBBON FROM THE ACTUAL PMD MAINBOARD ITSELF! IT WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER IF YOU LEAVE IT IN PLACE AND ATTACH THE NEW HARD DRIVE TO IT!

Well somehow I started to rip the ZIF ribbon when moving the drive about and so I was forced to use the longer version which came with the SSD. That extra length is a real pain as you have to fold it without breaking it when putting the device back together.

PATA ribbon in the way

Carefully I put the whole thing back together and as the post says, it came on and complained the device needs a firmware update. After doing that and loading all the music back on to the device from the pacemaker app I was back in action again.

To date everything has worked and the battery life is much better than with the hard drive. Things seems a little more punchy too, so menu updates, etc are a tiny bit quicker (but it was already pretty quick). Can’t wait to put in the new battery and boost that up too.

Hard drive restored

As you can see in the photo, I’m planning on replacing the battery at some point. The battery seems easier but will need some soldering as the one I got has no connector. From the forums it looks like the battery is a 3.7V 1600mAh lithium battery Polymer while the one I got from ebay is a 3.7V 1000mAh lithium Battery Rechargeable Polymer Li-Po. The hope is that my pacemaker battery which back in 2007 lasted on average about 5hours but only last 30-40mins now will jump to about 3-4hours with 1000mAh.

The history of the pacemaker

pacemaker_sonar_june_2007_04

I just noticed the other day Pacemakerdevice.org added a history page. Although most of it is on wikipedia.

In January 2005 Jonas Norberg saw a gap in the market for a handheld portable DJ device that would do away with a DJ’s need to lug around boxes of vinyl or cases of CDs, and the idea for the Pacemaker Device (PMD) (PMD) was conceived. In 2006 Jonas, Daniel Wallner and two friends Martin Renck and Ola Sars founded the Tonium company and developed the hardware which became known as the Pacemaker DJ device and the accompanying Editor software for music library management.

The team rapidly expanded from just a few people to more than 30 employees and Pacemaker was launched with a bang at the Miami Winter Music Conference in March 2008 in March 2008 receiving wide coverage in New York Times, Wired Magazine, Monocle, The Guardian and many more. The Pacemaker Device also received several of the most prestigious innovation and design awards including the Red Dot Design Best of the Best and no less than three CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards. The Pacemaker was released to the DJing public, supported by the on-line Pacemaker.net community website for Pacemaker users. Sales of the Pacemaker device are thought to be in the region of 50,000 units.

In 2008, Tonium had become a fairly large large company and Jonas handed over to a new CEO. One of the first visible changes was that Pacemaker.net turned into LetsMix.com, and all support interaction was moved to a third party “Get Satisfaction” site. Unfortunately for us that meant losing all the posts from Pacemaker.net and the Pacemaker community that had been built up was lost overnight. Let’s Mix ultimately became an on-line mix sharing site for DJs creating mixes by any means and not just Pacemakers.

In July 2010 Fazz, a Pacemaker user, created the Pacemaker User’s forum as means of rebuilding the Pacemaker community that was lost. Although this free forum was not without problems, it has built a membership of nearly 1000 members in just over 2 years. Most of the posts here were technical queries from users and the administrators Fazz, Sox, Regis & Migzy were only too happy to provide an answer if they had one.

A number of our members such as DJ Pip, Doogyrev & Ubergeek were not only keen Pacemaker DJs, but also coders and tinkerers and so the hacking of the Pacemaker began. Pip found access to an unreleased version of firmware 16219 on the Tonium website, and methods of manually installing it were also found. It included new beat-lock functionality, but unfortunately the device would sometimes stop working as it hadn’t been finished.

In June 2011, Tonium decided that Let’s Mix was no longer financially viable, and the company filed for bankruptcy. As the owners of the rights to the Pacemaker, this meant that the Pacemaker would no longer be in production from that time on. A sad time for all Pacemaker fans.

Although the Pacemaker was no longer being manufactured, there were (and probably are) still units available for purchase (both new and second-hand), and the Pacemaker Users forum continued to grow. On Thursday 12th January 2012, Jonas announced on the Pacemaker User’s forum that he, the inventor of Pacemaker, had just purchased back the rights to the Pacemaker software from the liquidators. Not only that, but he had plans in the pipeline that would help ensure that the Pacemaker lived on – in one way or another – and he was fully behind what we at the Pacemaker Users forum were about.

Also interesting reading the patent filing. No wonder I’m buying another one and getting my current one upgraded with a SSD and new battery.