Thursday, 29 July 2010

KiNK in the studio

Bulgarian producer KiNK shows Panica around his studio and reveals that his upcoming projects include an album for Ovum and an experimental release for Macro.

ENGLISH SUBTITLES AVAILABLE (CLICK THE "CC" BUTTON)



Wednesday, 28 July 2010

This Weekends Activities

Pot Kettle Black with Souled, Jane Fitz, Stu Clark @ The Castle, Friday 30th July.

Line Up

SOULED (Fresh Minute Music) ,
Jane Fitz (PEG Party),
STU CLARK (Wolf Music),
Nathaniel,
Wriggerz

Time: 10:00pm - 05:00am
Venue: The Castle, 44 Commercial Road, Whitechapel, E1 1LN, London
Cost: FREE




Spilt Milk 'Daytime Terrace Party' with Jimpster @ Papermill, Saturday 31st July

Line Up

Jimpster [3hr Set]
Chrissy Maranello
Lee Rands
Tred Benedict

Time: 12 midday - 9pm (Day Party)
Venue: Papermill/ 2-6 Curtain Road, EC2A 3NQ
Cost: £10






Simply Salacious Parties @ Babalou, Saturday 31st July

Line Up

Matthew Bandy
Jose Carretas
Clemy Rilley
Peter Borg

Time: 10pm - 6am last entry 3am
Venue: Babalou/ The Crypt, St Matthews Church. Brixton. SW2 1JF
Cost: £8 in advance / £10 before 12 / £12 after

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Matthew Bandy ft Venus Cruz "Time Me" Soulheaven Records

To listen/purchase:
Matthew Bandy ft Venus Cruz "Time Me"

Back with vengeance Mathew Bandy is back on Soul Heaven Records with "Time Me" this time featuring the amazing vocal talents of Venus Cruz. "Time me" the original features some amazing synth lines and sumptuous keys riding along the wave of electronic baselines and an infectious groove keeping you bumping on the dance floor. The Jack to Jazz mixes with their smooth live bass and sax lines give an all together different feel to the project making this a truly versatile package. Of course it goes without saying Venus Cruz transforms the whole package into a real masterpiece with her stunning Jazz heartfelt vocal.

Track listing:
1. Time Me (original)
2. Time Me (Dub)
3. Time Me (Instrumental)
4. Paris Cesvette presents Jack 2 Jazz Mix
5. Jack 2 Jazz Instrumental
6. Matthew Bandy's Classic Limestone Mix
7. Matthew Bandy's Classic Limestone Instrumental

Published by Concept and Soul Music (ASCAP)

Written by C.Sidwell, V.Cruz, M.Bandy
Produced by Matthew Bandy
Vocals by Venus Cruz
Bass by Casey Sidwell
Drums by Matthew Bandy
Keys by Greg Raymond & Joey Porter
Percussion by Jans Ingber
Mixed by Matthew Bandy


Matthew Bandy's Classic Limestone Mix Produced by Matthew Bandy Keys by Matthew Bandy & Joey Porter Drums by Matthew Bandy Mixed by Matthew Bandy

Paris Cesvette presents Jack 2 Jazz mix Produced by Paris Cesvette Sax Dayve Stewart Bass Slikk Tim Keys Paris Cesvette Mixed by Matthew Bandy

Monday, 26 July 2010

Review of Groove Sanctuary

Well where do I start, groove sanctuary was killer last night..... top DJs, top music, top people and live performances. What more can you ask for when you go out?? not much, especially when the live band is Bah samba.

As I got there the venue was filling up nicely, with patrick forge spinning those jazzy house beats, now i would love to say a certain dj was stand out but quite simply there where so many plus i missed a few, it would be hard to say... PATRICK FORGE, PHIL ASHER, BOPSTAR, FAZE ACTION, MJ COLE, NEIL PIERCE, JOHN OUDO etc......

But for me, the night was centred around seeing Bah Samba live with amazing artists, now I managed to capture most of it on film but all to soon my memory card was full up!!!! (I did however delete some crap in time to film part of the last song)

Anyways check it out for yourselves and if you weren't there make sure you don't miss out again, biggup to Jimbo for organising such a wicked night. Keep em coming mate...







Friday, 23 July 2010

Groove Sanctuary 10th Anniversary this Sunday 25th July

Now firmly established a one of the capitals finest club nights Groove Sanctuary has been pulling in the crowds week after week for a regular dose of bass rumbling deep soulful dance sounds. Groove Sanctuary is one of the few club nights that has attracted such a wide range of dancers over the years earning itself the reputation as thee place to seriously get down and has been dubbed ’A club where the dancers dance’. The hugely successful House Dance UK competition is a testimony to the high regard in which the night is held within the dance & clubbing community.

Over the years some of the worlds most highly respected DJ’s have played at the club and for this party we’ve drafted in a whole host of them to help us celebrate the last 10 years of soulful dance music, including......

PATRICK FORGE, PHIL ASHER, KEVIN BEADLE, BOPSTAR, FAZE ACTION, MJ COLE, NEIL PIERCE, JOHN OUDO, JOSE CARRETAS, OLI LAZARUS, AFRONAUGHT, SEIJI, DAN JORDAN, DOMINIC VERSELL, PHIL LEVENE, plus a very special surprise guest DJ on the night!

Not content with a super star line up of DJ’s they’ve also asked top band BAH SAMBA to play an exclusive live set! BAH SAMBA are one of a few live bands that are able to fuse a mixture of House, Latin & Jazz Funk into a truly energetic live performance. Bah Samba’s debut single was ‘Carnival’, followed by the now classic, ‘Reach Inside’ and numerous singles on Estereo. They have released a number of highly acclaimed albums, including the Latin Lounge Session, ‘Eclectica Volume 1’, ‘Bah Samba 4’ which featured the hits ’Portuguese Love’ & ‘Calma’. In recent times Bah Samba have been performing with Jazz Legend Roy Ayers in concerts and festivals worldwide. In Summer 2009 they released the seasonal delight ‘Live In The Summer’.
The single gained huge support worldwide, reaching No.1 on the Traxsource chart as well as finding a home on many compilations. Then earlier this year they released ‘Don’t Let Them Get you Down’ again with huge DJ support.

And to make sure this will be a night to remember they’ve teamed up with BIG SPIN MUSIC for some exclusive free give aways as part of the release for John Oudo’s forth coming single “Satisfied – ft Nicole Mitchell”.
Out on promo download August 1th 2010 (www.traxsource.com)



DJ’s on the night: Jimbo (resident) plus guests....
PATRICK FORGE, PHIL ASHER, KEVIN BEADLE, BOPSTAR,
FAZE ACTION, MJ COLE, NEIL PIERCE, JOHN OUDO,
JOSE CARRETAS, OLI LAZARUS, AFRONAUGHT, SEIJI,
DAN JORDAN, DOMINIC VERSELL, PHIL LEVENE....

Music: Deep Soulful, Afro House & Disco Boogie
Date: Sunday 25th July 2010
Time: 10:00pm – 03:00am
Price: £10 all night (£5 for members or on the guest list)
Venue: Madame JoJo’s, 8-10 Brewer Street, Soho, London W1 0SE.
Tel: 020 7734 3040
E-mail: info@groovesanctuary.com
Web: www.madamejojos.com, www.groovesanctuary.co

HERE"S THE FOOTAGE FROM LAST TIME I WENT DOWN........ SERIOUS BUSINESS......



Thursday, 22 July 2010

Larry Heard Interview + Karizma Fabric Set

Larry Heard’s legacy is undeniable, helping to shape the house music genre as well as influencing many producers with a wealth of soulful, forward thinking music that sounds as relevant today as it did 25 years ago.

Q. You’ve been producing for over 25 years and yourself and along with a handful of other producers in Chicago were pretty much responsible for shaping the acid and deep house genres. In those early years did you get a sense from how people in Chicago reacted, that your music was going to go on to be so globally recognized and important?

A. I don’t recall even thinking very far ahead at that time. I don’t think any of the people who were around making music and doing releases did. I think everyone was just enjoying people paying attention to what they were doing at the time.

Q. I recall reading somewhere that the early house music producers were trying to emulate disco (and italo) but using drum machines and synths. Who were some of the artists that you were trying to emulate and who are your musical influences past and present?

A. Yes, disco and italo-disco were the styles that were being played at the clubs and on radio at the time, so they served as the blueprints since you wanted what you were doing to fit into the settings where the music was played. I didn’t have any “specific” artists or producers that I was trying to emulate, it was more the “flow” and beat-patterns that were what everyone was learning to fit into the beat-mixed settings.

Q. You’ve produced hundreds of tracks. Are there any particular ones that stand out and have a special meaning for you personally or were key turning points in your musical career?

A. Yes, quite a few but I’d say definitely some of the first few that I did, like “Mystery Of Love”, “Washing Machine” and “Can You Feel It” were my transition from playing drums in bands and my musical ideas being ignored. I guess it wasn’t very customary for drummers to have “music” ideas, just “rhythm” ideas. Then projects like the “Another Side” (Fingers, Inc.-1988) and “On Top Of The World” (The It-1989) albums were an opportunity to stretch out a bit with full-length projects as opposed to singles and ep’s. The two volumes of “Sceneries Not Songs” (Larry Heard-1994/1995) and the “Alien” (Larry Heard-1996) albums were all special and very therapeutic for me personally. The recording process on “Alien” was also unique and hard to explain but it was a challenge for me at the time.

Q. In recent years there has been a resurgence of rawer sounding music with producers like Chicago’s Jamal Moss and Tevo Howard continuing the lineage of the original house sound. What do you think it is that has made your music (and other early Chicago cuts) so enduring?

A. I’m not exactly sure but glad that it has stood the test of time. I have done many musical experiments, but for the most part, I just tried to make good music with good melodies. You know a good song sounds good no matter when you hear it, so they tend to have a timeless quality, if you’re able to get it right.

Q. A lot of your releases have space themed titles. Did you feel like you was making spacey, futuristic music when you first got your hands on equipment? and do you think that some of the charm of making music has been lost on computer based set-ups?

A. At the beginning, of course, I had no clue what I was doing. I was just happy and excited to have my hands on synthesizers after admiring and being curious about them in different bands I was in from the late 70’s through maybe around ‘83. I was just having fun for the most part. The “spacey” titles are actually inspired by the musical pieces themselves. Usually, I listen to tracks to get ideas for titles (and sometimes I’ve let friends hear music and they have come up with titles based on what the music made them think of). As far as computer based set-ups, the set-up doesn’t really do anything until a person sits in front of it and inputs information, so if that person is able to do something interesting and that people enjoy listening to, I don’t think the average person even cares how it was created. I know when I hear some music that I like a lot, I don’t really start to ponder whether it was done on a computer-based set-up or by other means. If it comes up, I guess it’s interesting to know but not something I specifically think about.

Q. Your label, Alleviated Records, has been around for 25 years; you’ve recently been re-issuing some of your harder to find tracks. What’s your stance on the re-issues of house classics? Do you think that some things are better left alone or does file sharing mean that it’s better for artists and labels to release everything?

A. I think it’s pretty much up to the individual labels. There are people out there who still enjoy getting physical records and those that collect them, so if labels and artists are able to do that, then I’m all for it. When you think about it, if anyone is going to make money off of the old records that people still enjoy and want to buy, it may as well be the official artists and labels than some bootlegger that shows up and does it. The patrons also get something that’s from an official source. Usually official releases grow in value over time if it’s a good release - I don’t know if it’s the same with bootleg releases.

Q. What else do you have coming up for Alleviated, any other tracks from the archives being released? And, are there any new projects that you’re working on, a new album hopefully?

A. We’re always throwing ideas around and I try to review the archives and see if anything jumps out at me. I’d like for people who have been following the music to get to check out some of the things that weren’t released. There are no specific details at the moment. We’re just doing it as we get ideas and as we’re able to.

Q. And finally, what keeps you inspired?

A. Usually, it’s “sounds” that inspire me. I always get asked about how I put ideas together but for me the sounds themselves spark the ideas. I just browse through sounds on my synths and keyboards and listen for the ones that grab my attention or are just fun to fool around with and go for it. Listening to music by other people helps a lot too. I’ve been buying since around 1970, so I have a pretty big collection of music. I also try to keep up with as much new music as I can. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like it’s coming so fast that it’s hard to do sometimes, but I try my best.


Karizma @ Fabric

As all my regulars know, I went down to see this one. An boy was it rocking in there.... you dont believe?? have a listen for yourself.........
KARIZMA@ FABRIC by KaytroniK

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

This Weekends Activities

shift presents Future Nature @ East Village, Friday 23rd July.

Line Up

Basement:

Atjazz
Red Rack'em (Hot Coins)
Dave Congreve (Repeat Repeat)
Dave Rose

Lounge:

Killer Whale (live!)
Yam Who
Shorty G
Itchysoul

Time: 9.30pm - 3.30am
Venue: East Village, 89 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2
Cost: £6 before 11pm / £8 after


The Mi Casa Tu Casa 88/10 Summer Shindig @ The Brickhouse, Saturday 24th July.


Line Up
Phil Asher

Ross Allen

Phil Mison

Time: 11pm till 5am
Venue: The Brickhouse, 152c Brick Lane, Shoreditch London E1 6RU.
Cost: 10pounds

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The mau5 is modular + Plastic People reopens with Prosumer

Canadian producer Deadmau5 opens the doors to his studio and gives a tour of his amply sized modular system.



Plastic People reopens with Prosumer

Prosumer will headline Warm's latest party at Plastic People this Friday.

After closing its doors for refurbishment during the summer, the Curtain Road venue will re-launch itself this weekend with a set from Berlin-based house aficionado, Achim Brandenburg. Exactly what work the venue has received is still unclear, although it isn't likely to affect the place's much-lauded sound system and darkened dancing space. Expect plenty of Chicago and Detroit classics to be played on the evening, plus a wide selection of the latest tracks from the Hard Wax shelves, where Achim is one of the main buyers. Although some of Warm's recent headliners have been playing all night, Prosumer will take a back seat to Warm's residents at the beginning of the evening, only to step up for a four-hour set to close out the bash.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Some music fo' your ears...

Larakki new life Alain Ho mental beauty remix by dj yellow / alain ho

WINDOW SEAT (EDIT MIX) by ABICAHSOUL

Non-Expeditious Tracks (2hr Mix) new site @ http://miltonjackson2772.tumblr.com/ by miltonjackson

AFRONAUT / BLU "CHANGE" by afro0

AGENT K - ARMS R DEH NAUTZ L8 NITE ARMZ HOUSE DUB by afro0

Messages From The Stars (Atjazz Remix) by Atjazz

T Bar's belated last party!!!

Soul Clap will headline the T Bar's closing party, which will take place on Saturday 24th July.

The venue opened in 2003 at Shoreditch's Tea Building, becoming quite the institution with London's electronic music contingent due to its casual vibe, free entry policy and cherry-picked line-ups. Its move to Aldgate in the middle of last year ultimately proved to be its downfall, with the introduction of a cover charge on weekends not being enough to make its continuation viable. However sad its departure from London's clubbing circuit may be, there'll certainly be many good memories from its seven years at the forefront of the city's electronic music scene, and the people behind it are organising one last bash to give it the send-off that it deserves.

The Wolf + Lamb crew have made quite a few appearances at the second T Bar incarnation, so it's only fitting that two of their acts are to play the closing event. Boston's Soul Clap will be in town to showcase their sample-heavy house antics, while recent RA podcaster Nicolas Jaar will offer up his delightfully offbeat take on electronic dance music. Eglo co-founder Floating Points will complete the main room line-up at Scrutton Street Warehouse, with the upstairs room set to host Jonny Rock and T Bar's old programming manager, Derren Smart.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

This Weekends Activities

Connoisseurs Of House with Robert Owens @ The White House, Friday 16th July.

Line Up

Robert Owens (Journeys/Compost)
Sy Sez (AphroDisiax)
Peter Borg (Simply Salacious)
Vinyl Vixens & DJ Jolie (Unknown FM)
Steve Feelgood & DJ Solo (Connoisseurs of House)
Percussion by Brother Snare (Ministry of Sound/Hed Kandi)

Time: 7pm - 5am
Venue: The White House, 65 Clapham Park Road, Clapham SW4 7EH
Cost: Free before 9pm, £6 before 11pm, £8 after


Claude Vonstroke, Heidi, Matt Tolfrey @ fabric, Saturday 17th July.

Line Up

ROOM ONE:

Claude VonStroke, Heidi, Matt Tolfrey

ROOM TWO:

DJ Sneak, A Guy Called Gerald (LIVE), J.B.

ROOM THREE:

WOLF + LAMB...

Gadi Mizrani, Lee Curtiss, Carsten Klemann
Time: 11.00pm - 8.00am
Venue: fabric, 77a Charterhouse St, Clerkenwell, EC1M 3HN
Cost: £18/14 (Students/fabricfirst); £8 for all from 4am, £5 from 5am


Lovebox Weekender 2010 - Sunday (Day 3) at Victoria Park, Sunday 18th July.(Random Pick)

Line Up
(in bold are the acts you dont want to miss)
Grace Jones
Hot Chip
Peaches
Hercules & Love Affair
Chromeo
Cut Copy
Hurts
Fenech Soler
Holy Ghost! (Live)
Silver Columns
Brendan Rogers
Derrick Carter
Larry Heard (AKA Mr Fingers)
Underground Rebel Bingo Club
Salvation
Wish
Horse Meat Disco
Trailer Trash
Wet yourself
Jonny Woo
DR Noki

Time: 12 noon - 10.30pm
Venue: Victoria Park, Hackney, London, E9
Cost: 1 day £45 / 2 days £80 / 3 days £99 (all prices + booking fee)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Some Advice From Dennis Ferrer

As I said before Deep House Page are running this Q & A with Dennis Ferrer and I have seen some interesting stuff, im gonna post below a few, so check it out.


CREATIVITY KILLERS

Pain in the ass significant others. When you're working you don't exist to them except in an emergency. Put your foot down...Running to the store for freakin' milk IS NOT AN EMERGENCY!!!

Mobile Phones...look...it's not that important that it cant wait. If the cops ain't at the door then turn the thing off. I can't count the number of times i'm working and someone calls, tells me some bullcrap, and then i'm pissed off and i've forgotten the amazing riff I had. Now some peeps see that as a sign...and I concur..but it still pisses me off!
lol

Alcohol....ugh.

Sleep deprivation: nothing good has ever come out of listening to the record for the 2,000th time on 4hr's of sleep and writing a cheesy synth line....NOTHING.

Big Meals....a case of Itis is definitely not cool when your trying to work....snack here and there so you're not starving.


CREATIVITY HELPERS

Sex: I swear....really...for some reason this works. Not for athletes...but Oh well LOL!

Musical Journeys: anything but house...get your hands on...I've been listening to John Mayer lately ...I know...but look the guy can write. This will expand your musical vocabulary and you tend to draw from it when inspiration hits.

Walking Away: If that record or synth line doesn't come to you in 5 minutes...then walk away. I have a hard drive full of records that will never see the light of day. Just because of this. You don't have to put out everything you do. Just cuz you finish it...doesn't make it a good record worthy of a release. I'm just sayin.....

Balancing Bass Lines w/Kick Drums

big boomy kick? then you have to use a mid rangy bass with the extreme low end rolled off to give that kick space.(subtractive eq is your friend here)


Subby bass? well then vice versa.. use a short kick with plenty attack and watch that decay and extreme low end (subtractive eq is your friend again)

now to find the right sweet spot......

play just the kick and bassline ..reach for your volume knob, hope you have really small speakers, turn the volume all the way down to off...then bring the volume knob one notch up until you can just barely hear the kick. Adjust the bassline while your at this volume until the bassline just barely sits underneath the kick. The idea here is that you should hear the bassline at this volume but it should not by any means overpower the kick. It should sit right. Now you ask why so low?

BECAUSE if it sounds right this freakin' low then guess what? It'll sound phenomenal when it's loud.

This is probably the simplest thing someone will ever tell you..and in reality it seems stupid..especially to people who are watching you work. But trust me...it'll change your game REAL quick in a hurry.

Now that you've done that...there are some instances where the above technique still doesn't work because the bassline falls onto the same time as the kick. This is where sidechaining/multiband comping comes into play.

To make a long story short..what your attempting to do is this. Whenever that kick hits and the bassline falls at the same time..your telling the comp to duck the bassline. Sidechaining will get this done for you. There are a bunch of techniques but my favorite seems to be splitting the bassline into 2 sets of frequencies. One consisting of just the low end and the other the high end. I strap the sidechained comp unto the low end so when the kick hits it'll just bring down the low end of the bassline thereby not affecting the high end. So your mind gets tricked a bit better into not noticing the amplitude dip.

Mixdowns

nowadays mixdowns are a mix as you go affair. Generally as i'm writing i make sure i get the sound i want from the jump. Tweak it and continue writing. The idea is that when you're finished writing the tune all you need is a tweak here or there when you switch to different listening mediums.
Multiple sets of different sized monitors are not a necessity but it's an amazing time honored method of working and checking your mix by having them. I personally use 4 different pair. A pair with 15" drivers, a pair with 9", a pair with 6", and one speaker(for mono checking) with a 3" driver. The idea is that if the mix sounds correct on all those speakers without tweaking...then your mix is dead on. You've basically covered your ass.

I personally love to make sure that the mix is thumping on that 3". If you can make bass come through on that thing then you can be sure that mix is on point. Hint: mix and adjust volumes at the lowest possible volume setting without the monitors being off. Try a kick and a hihat at first. Make sure the hihat volume is all the way off and slowly begin to mix it in. You'll notice immediately when the hi hat is too loud. The idea is to sit it in there just barely below the kick. Once you're done switch to the main monitors and turn the volume up. It should sound right on point. People fight with this because they try for hours while the mix is blazing not noticing that ear fatigue begins to sit in and messes with your perception of sound and high end.

Production Workflow

There's never a set time. Every song i've done has been a different process and has had different timing issues. I've had songs sitting on my drive for 4 years before they finally made sense to release. So I don't really worry to much about time. I wait until it makes sense in our genre to let it go. For example "son of raw" was a loop i had made and never finished for a year. Just sitting there until Jerome Sydenham came over while i had reopened it and bam! 2 days later it was done. Some of the best records ever made were done in 1 - 2 days. Some of the worst 6 months lol!. Creating, finishing and mixing is a feel process. Each step is based on that. It's done when it feels right. Take your time and don't fret. I'd rather take my time and get it right then rush and put out bullcrap.

Mastering


Mastering is best left to the professionals who specialize in it.

Here's the one thing everyone forgets......and one you should make sure never leaves you.

If it has been mixed correctly then there is no need for someone to come in and FIX it!!!

The mastering engineer just makes sure my low end isn't running away and my high end is not piercing. He makes sure I'm within redbook cd spec which is -0.3 db. And if i'm going to vinyl he makes sure that low end isn't rumbling so much as to overtly expand the groove into the next groove when lathing.

Thats it. The end. I'm always suspect of someone who wants to master their own stuff or their friends do it.

LEARN HOW TO PROPERLY MIX A RECORD FIRST!!

I can't emphasize this enough...and mastering isn't an issue.

Now...don't get me wrong...there has been the odd case/rare event of a half deaf mastering engineer doing our record and making it sound like crap when all he had to do was leave it alone. Haven't had an issue since we switched though.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Brief Review of Inspiration Information & Fabric Live

It was lovely to see such a good turn out of the usual faces for Phil's last Inspiration Information gig. Unfortunately I dont have the usual pics and videos as something went terribly wrong with my camera an I could only salvage a few crappy pics!!

But I can assure you that music was bought to you in style by the likes of Phil Asher, Patrick Forge & Craig Smith, some great tunes and true selecta skills with all djs doin there thing to keep the crowd bubbling till the early hours.

Later that evening I mooched on down to fabric to go an see Karizma, who played a great lil set in amongst all the other djs who were made to look stupid!! Karizma killed it on edit duty, playin an abundance of exclusive personal edits, mixed up alongside a selection of what I like to call Baltimore broken. Karizma played a wicked set and as for the rest of them, lets just say they could have done better.....


Apologies on the short post but today is to nice to spend writing indoors :-)

Friday, 9 July 2010

30 Free Plugins for all my Producers

Case in point- this collection of 30 free audio plugins from Airwindows:

All of the following plugins are free. They are for you to use as much as you want, on personal or commercial projects, forever. It’s also important to mention that these are the demos for the pay plugins- they’re built on the same code base, so if they work on your host then so will the pay ones. In many cases the freebies are every bit as good as the commercial ones!


30 free audio plugins

Thursday, 8 July 2010

HOW TOMAKE A LIVING IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

Successful producers are often a mix of musician, publicist, marketing guru and accountant – but you’ll need all these skills if you’re serious about selling your music.

Remember you are a business
As obvious as it might sound, many of us forget that we are in fact self-contained businesses. Over the course of the past ten years the music business has shrunk from a huge money-spinning machine to something of a cottage industry, and many of today’s talents have risen to the top through their own marketing efforts. It’s also worth remembering that most of the industry’s longest surviving stars have always maintained a firm grip on their own business affairs as well. Of course it’s always more fun to spend time in the studio, but it does no harm to study the mechanisms which the industry runs on. Do your research – read up on contracts, deal points, advances, publishing and so on. At the very least you’ll be less likely to fall foul of a dodgy deal. Being proactive with your own marketing and promotion does no harm either – it’s unlikely you’ll be discovered if all you do is sit in your studio and wait for the big guns to come calling.

Keep your fingers in as many pies as possible
In today’s climate it’s getting increasingly difficult to make a living from ‘record’ sales alone. Remember that there are many other ways to maximise your income. Music publishing is a thriving industry, so you’ll need to catalogue your radio plays and public performance income and register with a performing rights society. Look at alternative ways in which you can exploit your tracks – internet radio play, selling music to advertising agencies, writing for video games and TV – even making samples for sample CDs. If you produce dance music, look for DJ or live performance options – perhaps at your own club nights – and look for compilation licensing opportunities (getting your tracks on commercially available mix CDs). All this will keep you ticking over while you wait for that elusive hit.

Negotiation is key
If your music, production and marketing are all strong enough then chances are you’ll soon attract the attentions of a record label. But what do you do when the contracts start arriving? First up, examine them until you can examine them no more. Then pass them on to someone with a keen legal eye (there are plenty of music law firms that specialise in helping newbies, and many that also offer a ‘first half hour for free’ consultation or similar – just call one and ask. In the UK the Musician’s Union also offers a free contract consultancy service). Don’t be scared to negotiate advances and royalty percentages upward. Many companies will have both an opening gambit and closing figure in mind when they approach you and usually a compromise will be reached somewhere in between. At the same time keep a lid on your outgoings by bartering down the prices of services you buy in (mastering costs, studio hire, web design, etc), never forgetting that many of these companies are independent self-employed businesses just like yours.

Keep your costs down – maximise your profits
Once the money starts rolling in what do you do with it? There’s no sense in buying yourself a new car with your first big royalty cheque. The music business is not geared towards long-term prosperity and there is no guarantee that just because you’ve had one success more offers will roll in. That’s why it pays to invest your money wisely and closely scrutinise every purchase you make. Of course, we all want to enjoy the fruits of our labour – who doesn’t? – but investing back into your ‘business’ in the early stages will lead to a much brighter future. There’s a good reason why big blue chip companies always hold their cost cutters and finance heads in highest regard.

Keep abreast of the now
If you’re making music to earn cash then – for better or worse – you’ll need to keep an eye on what is selling in the marketplace. If your product (that is, your music) sounds stagnant and dated, consumers, and label bosses who need to make a living too, won’t be queuing to snap it up. The industry is constantly evolving so ensure you’re on top of what’s current: read magazines and blogs, browse MySpace sites, listen to radio stations, go clubbing and try to buy music regularly. This doesn’t mean trying to sound like everyone else or keeping up with the zeitgeist just for the sake of it – there’s nothing worse than an artist who is constantly trying to keep up with cool – but keeping abreast of current trends will ensure that you don’t get ignored, or left behind, by the masses.

…and five day-to-day rules that will help lead to success…
1. If all else fails don’t be afraid to take a part-time job – You’re not giving up on your dream or selling out to a 9-5 – you’re just making it easier to facilitate your career by bringing in some income to pay the bills or buy equipment.

2. Stay grounded – If fame and fortune does come thick and fast keep your feet on the ground. Everyone prefers to work with a nice guy. There’s an old maxim that says: “All the people you meet on the way up you’ll meet on the way down”. There’s never been a truer word spoken. Leave your ego at the door – of the studio, the record label office, the accountants – and have a positive, friendy attitude and you’ll never be short of people to work with.

3. Don’t fool yourself – When making new tracks, seek the opinions of others as often as you can. Form a circle of the ‘trusted few’ – individuals who you think are qualified to comment on your music and who you can rely on for feedback as and when you need it. Listen to their advice: it’s always hard to take criticism, but if you’re your only fan then you’ll be your only buyer.

4. Keep supply up – In days of old when music publishers signed musicians off the back of an impromptu on-the-spot audition (this actually did used to happen!), they would commission their new investment to write a certain number of songs a week. Not all of these songs would be released of course – they just wanted to make sure that there was plenty of practice going into landing that golden egg of a bestseller. As a producer, making tracks as often as you can means you’ll be improving and maximising your chances of getting the ideal track to shop.

5. Stay motivated – It’s hard to stay focused at times and incredibly easy to lose your way. When you’re working on a track learn to shut out external factors. This not as easy as it sounds, of course – we all have personal lives and commitments – but studio sessions are rarely productive if all our time is spent thinking about things other than music. If you’re getting distrcated turn off the mobile and quit your email. Write down your goals and your motivations and keep them close by. When you’re flagging and wondering why the hell you’re wasting all your time in your bedroom or a windowless studio, look at your list of motivations and take strength from them.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

This Weekends Activities

Inspiration Information w/Craig Smith & Mucho Soul @ East Village, Friday 9th July.

Line Up

Downstairs

Making his debut at Inspiration, One of the Hotest Producer, Dj, Re-Edit specialists in the UK

Playing strictly classics - Disco, Boogie, Soul Jazz & Funk,

Craig Smith - Soul Renegades / 6th Borough Project

Alongside residents

Patrick Forge & Phil Asher

Upstairs

Also Making their Debut at Inspiration Information
purveyors of some amazing Music, Two Soulboy's Known as

Playing a Good Grooves Prototype & Vintage & a lot of Soul

Ket Shah & DJ A.K.A (Mucho Soul)

Time: 9:00 - 03:00
Venue: East Village, 89 Great Eastern Street.
Cost: 5.00 before 10 pm - £8.00 After

mail restless@restlesssoul.co.uk for Concessions / Closes Friday Midday of Event.

Click Here For Early bird Tickets £4



Fabriclive: Numbers and Soul:ution @ fabric, Friday 9th July.

Line Up

ROOM ONE: NUMBERS 7TH BIRTHDAY...

Karizma
Roska
Ramadanman b2b Ben UFO
Jackmaster b2b Spencer
L-Vis 1990 b2b Bok Bok
Hardhouse Banton
Goodhand b2b Nelson

ROOM TWO: SOUL:UTION...

Marcus Intalex
Fabio
Shy FX
Fierce
S.P.Y.
Seba
DJ Lee

ROOM THREE:

Kutz
Ital Tek (Live)
Hyetal
DJ Madd
mlr

Time: 10.00pm - 6.00am
Venue: fabric, 77a Charterhouse St, Clerkenwell, EC1M 3HN
Cost: £15/£11 (Students and fabricfirst members)

Objektivity @ Ministry Of Sound, Saturday 10th July.

Line Up

Box:
Dennis Ferrer
The Martinez Brothers

103: Future Disco
The Juan Maclean DJ Set
Dom Chung
Sean Brosnan

Loft: DJ Academy
Unit 9
Two Faces
Paul Baum
Ollie Williams

Baby Box: Senssual
Coxswain
Victor FL
Dani Junquera
Defbeat

Time: 23:00 - 07:00
Venue: Ministry Of Sound, 103 Gaunt Street, Elephant & Castle, London, SE1 6DP
Cost: £20 Advance/£10 from 4am/Students £10 All Night

Tribe World Cup Final Party @ The Light Bar, Sunday 11th July.

Line Up

SPECIAL GUEST: JOJO FLORES (GOTSOUL, MONTREAL)

FEATURING RESIDENTS: -
ZEPHERIN SAINT
MATT L-S (TRIBE RECORDS)

DEEP PETE (DEEP FREQUENCY RADIO)
Kinetic P (PUSHFM.COM)
SHEYI ON PERCUSSION

Time: 2:00pm - 12:00am
Venue: The Light Bar, 233 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PJ
Cost: £5 early bird tickets from www.ticketweb.co.uk. More on the door

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Serato meets Pioneer

Serato and Pioneer have announced details of a new partnership which will link their respective Scratch Live and CDJ products.

Said to function simply through a "plug-and-play connection," Serato's new integration with Pioneer's CDJ-2000 and CDJ-900 models will grant DJs access to their Scratch Live music library via the decks' standard interface, with the option to flick between software and CDJ mode. Once the CDJs are hooked up with official Rane hardware, features such as crates, album artwork, track overviews and cue/loops point will become accessible via the CDJ's colour screen and hardware controls.

General Manager of Serato Audio Research, Sam Gribben, said of the collaboration: "The tightest integration is achieved with co-engineered hardware and software, and we are very pleased to have worked so closely with Pioneer to make this a reality. For the first time, DJs can enjoy the flexibility of software and a rich hardware display right at their fingertips."

The supporting Serato Scratch Live version 2.1 is scheduled for release in Q3 of 2010 though the Serato site, while the 3.10 firmware for CDJ2000 and CDJ900s—enabling integration with Serato Scratch Live 2.1—will be available as of July 12th via Pioneer DJ. Both will be available as free downloads.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Christian Prommer Artist Tips

Christian Prommer is not one to think within the traditional rubric of what is considered electronic dance music; after all, the Munich-based percussionist and producer is best-known for his Drum Lesson Vol. 1 release, which reworked classic techno and electronic tracks into jazz instrumentals and sent his profile through the roof. Now in the midst of releasing Drumlesson Zwei (!K7), Prommer is as ecstatic about organic, non-electronic music as his own techno productions, though the inspiration for both is still his grounding in Detroit techno and the European synth workouts that gave rise to so many early techno producers' ideas. Here, he takes us through the process of how he uses Apple Logic 9 as a recording tool.

Levels
Keep your levels down. No need for hot channels or loud recordings. All the plugs sound better when driven not so hot. I try to keep the channel fader at -10db. I even put the gain plug as the first plug in the insert and put it at -10db. Within 24bit it is not a big deal, but when you add the channels up to 16 or more, you will hear the difference for sure. Better imaging and big low end. And low end is what we want, right? It worked great on the track "Sueno Latino," which was mixed in the box with Logic.

Sample Replacement
A new feature in Logic 9 is the sample replacement or addition to a drum track. I used this on a few tracks like "Sueno Latino" and "Acid Eiffel." You get the original unquantized hits of a drum track played by an EXS sample—good when the drummer has the right feel but the kick sound is not strong enough. I always put the velocity on a constant level and put the new sample low under an organic one. I really love the EXS preset kicks for this. Sometimes I layer two or three.

Fader Groups
I use fader goups in multi-track recordings to group drum and bass tracks together and give them a general groove treatment. Make a fader group and select your faders, and check the Phase Locked Audio button. Then put the Flex algorhythm on Rhythm and let the program do its math. Then select all the tracks of the group and quantize them with a fixed 16B setting. Lower the Q amount in the extended quantize parameters box to 0%. Start the playback and raise the percentage up to where you change the groove enough to get a locked vibe. Usually, 60% is more than enough. It is a great feature to get long tracks that are out of sync to swing tighter.

Sidechain Compression
An old trick but it still works wonders in a mix, especially when you move the kick that you use to trigger the comp (and that is muted) around an eighth note. I love this feature for all the percussion sounds... congas, shakers, and the like. It provides some room for more radical sound treatment like the distortion, bit-crushing, and filtering of the compressed sounds. I used it a lot on "Groove la Chord" and "Jaguar."

Trust Your Instincts
...and your ears. What looks wrong and bad but sounds inspired and interesting is way better that the other way around. I spent a lot of time getting drums right and fixing stuff to the grid just to go back to the beginning of the recording and fall in love with the "interesting"interpretation of the performance. Sometimes it's good to remember the art aspect of what we do within all the science and technology.
02 CHRISTIAN PROMMER-Groove La Chord by christianprommer

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Basic Soul Unit Interview

Born in Hong Kong but raised and based in Toronto, Basic Soul Unit is Stuart Li, a producer and DJ who’s been honing his craft since 2003. Gaining increasing widespread attention, particularly in Europe, Li is definitely one to watch. His releases have appeared on a plethora of well-respected labels: Ostgut Ton, Philpot, Left Of The Dial, Versatile, Mule Electronic, Mathematics Recordings, and Creme Organization. Sure, we all know that early Chicago and Detroit house and techno helped to shape his sound, but did you know that jazz, soul and Latin do as well? Juno Plus contributors Helen Luu and Steve Phillips caught up with this underrated producer to find out more.

How did you come up with the name Basic Soul Unit? It seems to perfectly describe your sound.

Actually, it was by circumstance. I originally named it Basic Unit until I discovered that there was already an outfit by that name. Then I thought maybe “Basic Soul,” but of course I also found out that was a production alias of Phil Asher. So basically, I combined the two. Luckily, it seems to work with my music.

A lot of your music sounds like something that might be rocking Chicago or Detroit dance floors circa the early 1990s. What were you up to in the ’90s? What would your ’90s self think if he could catch a glimpse of you in 2010?

I was probably at 23 Hop, Victoria St, Oxford St, Claremont, or some other after hours joint in Toronto dancing my ass off to PTS or Mark & Aki spinning house on the ones and twos. My ’90s self would probably not believe that I am still DJing and involved in music today. I mean, I don’t make a living off of it but I am very grateful to have the opportunity to make it a part of my life.



Has Toronto crept into your music at all?

Definitely. Even if the music I listen to might be from elsewhere, it was experienced through the selectors, clubs and parties in the city. It’s been filtered through my experience of Toronto.


Do you have any interesting stories from the ’90s in Toronto that helped shape your music that you’d like to share?

I would say that probably the first time I went to an after hours party (this was probably something like ‘91), it changed my whole perception of what clubbing was. Before that, I was into house but going to the typical commercial club, you hear more mainstream music. At that after hours warehouse party, I heard all the songs I liked (which I had heard on the College radio stations) that you wouldn’t hear at clubs – the deeper stuff, a mix of New York vocal songs, Chicago jacking stuff and Detroit deep house as well. Everyone knew the music and was going nuts; the energy was intense. It was one of the first times I’d been to a night where the focus was the music.

“The first time I went to an after hours party, it changed my whole perception of what clubbing was. Everyone knew the music and was going nuts; the energy was intense. It was one of the first times I’d been to a night where the focus was the music”

In Toronto, you’re also known as Stuart Li, the DJ who throws down funk, soul, jazz, Latin, and other mostly organic genres at the popular Footprints parties. Does this side of you influence any of your production work?

For sure! Not so much in a technical way or a stylistic way, but just to listen to different music, rhythms, sounds, arrangements and open my mind.


With many accomplished remixes and self-productions under your belt, do you approach the two differently?

I guess just by their nature, the two approaches are different. On remixes I try to use mostly sounds from the original material. I then listen through the original and the parts to see what catches my ear. Each situation is different but I try to retain some essence of the original. Is there a melody, or a loop that I can take on a tangent? Or some sound which can be the focus? I tend to chop up the parts and rebuild the song rather than just rearranging it or putting a different beat under the original parts, but at the same time, if you listen to it, you would get where it comes from in the original track. With my own original work, there’s such an open canvas. I don’t usually have the whole track in my mind before I start working. I doodle around with sounds, melodies or samples and if something strikes me, then I try to develop it. So unlike remixes, the exploring and sketching part of the process takes much more time for me.

What current producers would be a thrill for you to remix or have them remix one of your tracks?


There are lots of producers I admire but they may not necessarily be the ones I’d want to remix. I don’t have specific names but I think it would be interesting to remix work that is outside of the realm of my sound – for example, if I was to remix a jazz band or an indie band. As far as someone to remix me, it would be great to have someone like Koze or Oni Ayhun do a remix as they have such an individual sound.



You’ve been getting more and more European gigs. As a veteran Canadian electronic artist/DJ, did you find it difficult to get recognition in Europe without having to move to Berlin like so many other North American producers?

It’s not so hard to get recognition these days with the internet and all. However, being in North America does make it harder to get gigs because of the travel costs unless you can go for weeks at a time. This is a bit tricky for me right now because I became a Dad last year. I can’t move on a long term basis but I’m thinking it might be an idea to move to Europe with my family for a month or two at a time every now and then…


What’s the meanest and nicest thing someone has said about your music or DJing?

Not sure if it is the meanest or the nicest but I give this person props for saying both at the same time! I was DJing once and a girl came up and mentioned she really liked my productions, but suggested that I play more soulful in my set. I was in the middle of playing some harder tracks – I actually recall that I was playing Dettmann when she walked up. I can relate that if you like a certain artist, you might expect a certain sound when checking them out. Even though I would consider most of my music soulful, I also think I have some variety of deep as well as jacking songs. Likewise with my DJing, I like to play a spectrum of music.

“Even though I would consider most of my music soulful, I also think I have some variety of deep as well as jacking songs”

Your new track, “Bedroom Blues” on the Room With a View label is turning lots of heads, especially from fellow producers and DJs. What was the inspiration and process for creating such a track?

Thanks! “Bedroom Blues” and a lot of my other tracks came about as a process of just messing about. Even with the piano line, I just dabbled a bit adding notes here and there until it shaped itself. I’m not the type of producer who has the song and melody already in my head and can go and produce it. As I said earlier, I just kind of mess around until it comes together.

You also recently put out a jackin’ EP on Creme Organization with a distinct old school acid flavour. Are you single-handedly trying to restart an acid revolution to show the young’ns how it’s done?

Nah, I’m no purist, and there are lots of producers out there who could kick my ass when it comes to authentic “jack”: Hieroglyphic Being, JTC, Legowelt, Traxx to name a few. Also been digging an up and comer named Disco Nihilist. I’m not an analogue gear head or even a digital wizard for that matter. I spent my money on records instead of gear during my youth. At my age, because I am working and have a family, it was only the accessibility of digital production that allowed me to try my hand at making music. So in short, no, I’m not trying to show anyone how its done!

You also recently started producing under a new moniker. Who is Herman and what gave rise to him?

Herman came about when Fine Art Recordings contacted me and was interested in a long player. I was already and still am working on an LP for Still Music, so we decided that perhaps we could use a different moniker. Initially, the Herman tracks were intended to be released as Basic Soul Unit, but since they were a bit less four to the floor, I thought this could be a new direction to take with this moniker.

What can we expect from you in the next little while?

The first half of this year was quite busy as far as releases, so things are probably gonna slow down a bit for now. I do have an EP for Mule Electronic coming this summer (with a Fred P, aka Black Jazz Consortium remix) and I’ve also got a couple of remixes coming (one on Trunk Funk from Sweden and the other on a Toronto/Miami label called Sustainable). Beyond that, I am working on the aforementioned long player and hopefully some more Herman stuff. There are some other things that may be in the pipeline but I’ll keep them on the downlow until they’re firm. Right now, it’s just a matter of getting time outside of work and family to work on new material.