Just a short post this time, but I had to give a shout for this video I spotted over the weekend, just because it's cemented my appreciation of Rusko in general.

Whether its the ridiculous haircut, outrageously tight shorts, fantastic tracks or the headless-chicken-dance-moves he's got goin on I think the whole thing is bloody brilliant.

You can tell the crowd get revved up from his energy, thats the way it should be... can't be dealing with DJs who only get excited when the crowd are.. The mix out of Breathe is class as well, considering he hardly looks like he's concentrating on anything.

(its especially fantastic if you watch it with no sound the first time)

Well done sir.




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Andy C, by far the best known drum and bass dj and aaalways winning the DnB mixing awards left right and centre. So how is it done?!

Right I have previously been fortunate enough to stand in a DJ booth alongside Andy C for a 90min set he played in Cardiff (I was sound engineering at University at the time so I abused my knowing-the-crew-privileges...) and I think I've got the theory sussed.

Essentially the man knows his tunes bloody well. he knows exactly where to start a track so that the drops come in at the same time without even hardly looking at the record. now i know this might sound REALLY OBVIOUS. but he will literally put the needle half a centimetre into the record, push it off IMMEDIATELY and within 15 seconds you got both tunes rolling into the one big climax. not only that, he will then leave it for the rest of the track! without touching anything! (usually) thats some seriously swift beat matching.... anyone who's tried fast and furious DnB mixing will know how hard this is. craziness.



Another thing, the main cutting from one track to another is all up faders and occasional touches of EQ. BUT a huge amount of the chopping and changing between tunes (when both are rolling) is on the rotary filters, (most famously found on the Allen & Heath Xone:92) commonly set to half way between mild and wild. just to give that cool ssshhhhhh sound but also wipe the bass when required...

In terms of set construction it usually goes - big jump up intro (after the obligatory ten minutes lateness, plus another five minutes rearranging the dj booth to suit him.... nightmares...) continuing to further big jump up for another ten or fifteen, always with the odd classic dropped in underneath a new track, im talkin.... 'share the fall' by roni size, 'renegade snares' by omni trio or 'all that jazz' by dj fresh. Often around two thirds of the way into a set it is calmed down some, with some liquid numbers, and not so much bangin between tunes, this will then pick up towards the end, obviously with the last double drop to finish, usually involving some immensely hot off the press promo-of-a-promo-of-a-promo from TC, sub focus or somebody else on Ram Records, (again, anything with a monster intro).

So that's my brief summary... Always find myself uber impressed at how easy he makes it look but then if you're gonna be doing something solidly for around 25 years then why not i guess... i'm impressed his ears still work anyway.



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ahhh yes a bit of that liquid drum n bass, the 'smooth grooves' of an otherwise mental genre, always good if you want something a lil easier on the ears.

Synonyms for this genre of music as follows:
  • wine-bar drum and bass
  • summertime drum n bass
  • laid back drum n bass
  • handbag drum n bass
like it or loathe it, you can't deny the impact that liquid drum n bass has had on a scene predominantly reserved for brockin out high-energy clubbing! folks of note - calibre, high contrast, ltj bukem (of course) to name but a few...

Here are a few tracks to get you started!

Calibre & High Contrast - The Other Side
LTJ Bukem - Atlantis (I Need You)
Calibre & High Contrast - Mr Majestik
DJ Marky - Moments of Lust
Pendulum - Sounds of Life



NB - I'll continue to add to this list as tracks occur to me!


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I've spoken about this youtube video very briefly before, but on close examination, it gives away a lot about Skreams DJing style.

a) there's no laptop involved whatsoever (respect).
b) its sharp turns of the EQ on the 4 bars when both tunes are up
c) its big pushes on the up faders to do the mixing
d) cross fader typically used for maintenance - channel cutting etc, up faders do all the hard work
e) spin backs getting a reprise!

Also - loving the fearlessness of just throwing in a tune and mixing it on the fly - nuff time for that! plus the relentless chugging of Heineken in between mixes.... gotta factor that one into the equation with any spare second! big time dubstep mix anyway this one. not the slow kick off into the big tunes, love that, rolls slowly into it while he's gettin settled. fair play - on top of his game.



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Right first album shout - think this album is getting on a bit now but i've only just discovered it's brilliance.

To give you a bit of background - the Dub Pistols came about in the 90s, hailing from London in the thick of the big beat scene, riding the popularity of this style of music in that era. The genre slowly phased out but Dub Pistols have marched on without being affected - this in part owing to their insanely catchy tracks, universal appeal and energetic live performances.

Particularly a festival favourite for me. You know that time on a Saturday afternoon at a festival where you're feeling like death from overdoing it on the Thursday & Friday night, imagine rocking up to a middle-sized tent to see a load of breakbeat/reggae with some cheerful entertaining hip hoppers and female vocals to knock your heels to. Perfect.

This article particularly points at their most recent album - Rum & Coke, which they are touring right now. They keep pumping out the happy tunes, fit for a summer time listen in the garden or perfect for sticking on in the motor. Definitely a recommendation for this crew.

Here's a link to Back to Daylight and I'm in love - the album opener and my personal favourite (in that order), I stongly suggest you sneak a listen...

Dub Pistols - Back to Daylight
Dub Pistols - I'm in Love

PS - bit slow on the updating at the moment - working on a reggae-influenced-dubstep mix, pretty bloody niche i know but some people might like it!


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im going to say no.

Theres a snobbery amongst certain musical folk towards garage. You don't see it represented at your boho-festivals like the big chill, glastonbury, bestival... that kind of thing. where are DJ EZ and Karl 'Tuff Enuff' Brown when the festivals be'gwarn?? somewhere else clearly.

Some have even gone so far as to say that it is most commonly followed by chavs, or those with low musical integrity, and lumped it into not-to-be-taken-seriously categories alongside happy hardcore, toycore, breakcore, (anything else ending in 'core').

But I BEG to differ. As many of you will know, dubstep revellers (particularly those who like jump-up dubstep, not the trendy kensington crowd that Burial brought in with his mercury music prize nomination) frequently have a soft spot for the drum n bass..... AND those who have a soft spot for drum and bass (in my experience) have graduated from listening to radio happy garage music into their newly acquired 'heavier' drum and bass ways. This means, like it or not, a LOT of people will have been through a phase of listening to the occasional garage tune, some will have heard certain tracks on the radio and liked them but never admitted to liking them....

Anyway without further ado, here are some of those classic tunes, some you might remember (without knowing why you remember them) others you will and others you will not know at all.... see what you think....

Future Underground Nation - It's The Way
Double 99 - RIP Groove
187 Lockdown - Gunman
K-Ci & Jo Jo - Tell Me It's Real
DJ Deekline - I Don't Smoke
Y Tribe - Enough is Enough
Lovestation - Teardrops



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This is a personal favourite - tunes like this never deserve to be shoved together in one go, its like people who do "[some genre] with Vocals" mix tapes - variety is the spice of life son! get some damn instrumentals in there you big girls blouse!

Anyway, that aside, a tune with a good piano riff, be it floaty and classical, or sharp and ol'skool style, always goes down well. So i've decided to cobble together a few under one roof... see what u think. Still lookin for a relevant dubstep remix - i'll get on it!! - except that Nero/Fresh remix I posted the other day has piano in it but what kind of twat shouts the same tune in adjacent posts?! damn sure. anyway here's the link again.... errr.... DJ Fresh - Hypercaine (Nero Remix)


Ol'Skool

Liquid - Sweet Harmony
Ratpack - Searchin for my Rizla
Bizarre Inc - Playing with knives
Prodigy - Your Love

House

Groove Armada - Easy
Praised Cats - Shined On Me

Drum n Bass

Calibre - Hypnotize
Craggz & Parallel Forces - Love Insane
DJ Marky - Misto Quente VIP
Renegade - Terrorist
Eric Prydz - Pjanoo (High Contrast Remix)




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Right then, remixes are the subject matter for today. Came across a couple of cracking remixes last night and it has inspired me to share some of the preferred! whether it be a dubstep remix, drum and bass remix, techno remix or a house remix.

A good remix is not to be trifled with, something that catches the excitement of the original track, then takes it to a new level and leads the crowd into an even greater frenzy - aaarhg that feeling when you drop in a big remix as a DJ that you just know is gonna go down like crazy, when nobody expects it, and you know whats coming.... and it all pays off. aaaargh i wanna have a mix just thinking about it.

right well enough of that, here are some that spring to mind - ill probably add to this list as more occur to me throughout the day!

Dubstep

DJ Fresh - Hypercaine (Nero Remix)
Dizzee Rascall - Bonkers (Doorly Dubstep Remix)
La Roux - I'm not your toy (Nero Remix)
Stereo MCs - Black Gold (Marlow Remix)

Breaks


Fischerspooner - Emerge (Dave Clarke Remix)
Goose - Bring it on (Stanton Warriors Remix) Let this one play through!
Manu Chao - King of the Bongo (Cut & Run Remix)

Drum n Bass

Steve Angello & Laidback Luke vs Robin S - Show Me Love (Blame Remix)

Roni Size - Dirty Beats (Roni Size Street Remix)
(might as well just write a complete list of every remix high contrast has ever done?)




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Riiiiggghhhht on.

If you've read the title to this article you're probably thinking of some spineless bastard like 'cascada' or some other chart topping fly-by-night-funky-handbag-house vocalist who somewhere along the line has 'teamed up' with the blonde guy from mccfly to make an acoustic 'b-side' to one of their tracks..... well, hopefully you aren't.

Ed Solo & Skool of Thought, got absolutely mad skills across a number of genres, big players in DnB, Breaks, and increasingly dubstep. Check out the acoustic version of their album track 'We Play The Music'.

Like you acoustic versions of dance tracks make me cringe, but this is absolutely a killer and it needs to be listened to!

Ed Solo & Skool of Thought feat. Darrison - We play the music (acoustic)



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This is a small article tribute to Carl Cox.

I won't make a habit of doing this, just sometimes i see a video that immediately makes me want to have a mix (kind of like what happens when Wimbledon is on - everyone is inexplicably compelled to play tennis)

Oh and bloody hell look at the club he's playing at - I thought it was 'FabriC London' when i saw the title of the video, but fuck me it's definitely not, this club looks bloody awesome!! anyone who can tell me where it is would be the stuff of heroes.




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Cheers for the holler Rich!

High Rankin - the tale of clarence baskerville





the first bassline intro! sounds maaassive over a big sound system


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Just a short post this time.

It took me a long time to realise the valour of reggae tunes that aren't bob marley and aren't.... you know.... like Aswad. or something.

Its amazing how many sound clips/tunes are taken from ol skool reggae tracks, particularly with Jungle, Dubstep, Drum n Bass....

Have a look and see what you think.... check the playlist below! one love y'all!

[Tunes included in the YouTube playlist are...]

Barrington Levy - Here I Come

Tanya Stephens - It's a Pity

Nextmen - Piece of the pie

Junior Kelly - Love So Nice

Chuck Fender - Gash Dem

Michael Rose - Stepping Outta Babylon



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The idea has been suggested to write a brief account of what its like to DJ at a festival. So here goes.

(very) recently i was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to DJ at Leeds Festival (cheers big rob) at very short notice. Whilst at home this threw me into rampant mixing throughout the evening and a prim-selection of all my finest tunes to be sure of putting on a good show, i was looking at an audience of anywhere up to a 1000 revellers, with little or no local support, the pressure was on.

I was due in Leeds on the Saturday, me and the other half had a rough night on Friday - two very close friends leaving the country for the best part of year - fun and frivolity was rampant, we were suffering big time on Saturday - not a good start.

After a lot of pacing around, checking and double checking, tearing out my traktor scratch from the home DJ set up, cups of tea and showering we were good to go, at 2pm, approximately 3hrs behind schedule but no huge crisis, 3 and a half hour drive on the cards, but its all good - we had our recently created mp3 CDs, bags of crisps and bottles of coke to keep us entertained.

Journey up there was fine (I have a very patient girlfriend), on arrival we queued with the bands to get in the artist entrance. Now if ever you have seen a collection of passengers that look like band members, this is it. Always getting out of whatever transport they were in to smoke, drink, or generally stroll up and down, look wistful, push their long hair behind their ears (male or female) and look disillusioned with life, let alone the fact that they were stuck in a queue - and amidst this crowd of artistic musical genius, there we were - me and my girlfriend. If only they had known I was a "DJ", surely I would have been immediately strung up at this guitar-based gathering.

So we're in, a blag here about 'needing to transport my DJing equipment' and a blag there about 'our car pass is in the oxfam campsite' and we're in, not just in, but actually driving my fiesta through the fuckin festival site. OK now i feel like a lord. So we park up, walk the insanely short distance to get our wristbands signed off - get our photo passes, and we're into the 'crew campsite'. Set up tent, pull out chair, cider in hand, its about half 7 in the evening, ive already eaten, im with my girlfriend and two of our good mates who are also DJing. So far so good!

Its a strange atmosphere, and when i realise why, it only pleases me further (though it is a pleasure ridden with guilt). Everyone else in this campsite is doing one 8hr shift EVERY DAY to get where they are. We are doing 2hrs DJing, and we get all the same perks. I feel sooooo bad but bloody hell that has cheered me up even further - I feel like a cheat....

Right so now its about 10pm, we've been to have a look at a few bands (not really my cuppa tea but might as well while we're here), and indulged in several different ways. I'm starting my set anywhere from 12-half12 and finishing at two. Getting edgy now - drinking faster, not finishing my food, hands always busy, talking without listening, girlfriend understanding.

Get in the venue (through the back..... awesome) to see the band on before me, they sound pretty tight, they won a competition or something, though im not sure i like their name "the amateurs", they seem to rev up the crowd with a load of catchy covers n whatnot. Encouraging to see the audience getting involved and increasing in size - then another stroke of luck, it starts hammering with rain. evvvvverrryyyyonne in the tent! there's drunken-northern-late-teens-early-twenties-festival-goers clambering all over each other to get inside, the sheer concentration of fantastic northern accents and party people is doing nothingi to help my being excitable.

So this is it - band off - ipod on to provide filler while the decks are set up centre stage, traktor scratch ready to go, im drunk and smashed. crowd waiting to see whats gonna happen.

I open with boyz noise remix of banquet by bloc party (listen to it here) I started it at exactly 1min 2 seconds in - to try and grab a hold of the northern-band-loving-sing-a-long-crew, and ffuuuccckkk me did it pay off. everyone went bloody ape shit. i dont claim to be amazing or anything, but that choice of opener was one of my finest DJing moments.


The rest is roughly history, the post previous to this was me mixing higher state of consciousness into smack my bitch up, there was a good twenty minute portion of dubstep - i particularly enjoyed playing jahova by rusko - still my favourite dubstep tune of all time - but the crowd received the caspa remix of deadmau5 the best from the dubstep. Had to finish on DnB just to satisfy my and my girlfriends preferred clubbing music (of the moment). Went from MIA -paper planes into 'if we ever' (overplayed now but its easy to mix and a rock festival crowd arent too judgmental for such things!). Given its an epic event, i finished on loaded by primal scream, not your average crowd pleaser, but its an epic flowing tune of happiness without the hecticness, i feel like it suited a festival saturday night.

Now i could write for ages beyond that. the music finished in the tent, an extremely satisfying (and strangely embarassing) round of applause/accolade, and we were off, wrapped up traktor and my control vinyl into the record box, straight back stage and back to the crew campsite for more drinks and all such things. Awake with the mrs and our two good mates till God knows what hour, think we turned in about 8am.... just in time for the shift change of the Oxfam workers..... :D


DJ Freehand


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Just a short article this time - our very own DJ Freehand mixing higher state of consciousness into smack my bitch up at Leeds Festival this year! Enjoy!



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Continuing the theme of Rusko. Another small gem from the chap.

There has been some debate about the valour of his latest tracks, and his addition to the Diplo label, and whether he is leaving his 'roots'.

Personally I'd say that if he's enjoying what he's doing, then fair play to him. If people feel hard done by that they liked his real hard edgy dubstep before and now he has a wider appeal then it's only because they miss the original style! Someone like Rusko has to keep continually moving style and you're never going to keep everyone happy.

Though someone did mention that maybe he could have a crack at a couple more tunes with Caspa, I would LOVE to see that.

Anyway thats besides the point. These videos were uploaded by Rusko in December last year, when a lot of people consider him to be at the top of his game. They offer a fairly unique insight into the world of dubstep production for those who don't know a huge amount about it (apologies to those who do! - this is reasonably new to me as purely a DJ).

Have a butcher's if this is the sort of thing that floats your boat!













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