spinning round and round since 1998

Ever thought about how to do your bit for charity using your mad DJ skillz? Neither did I, but that’s what Dance Aid is all about. Set up by two DJ’s, Wayne Eldridge and Mete Alpsakarya in 2006, the charity aims to help under-privilaged children in London by putting on exclusive club events and celebrity nights.

danceaid

Phil from digitaldjtips.com doing his part...

So when I was invited by Phil from digitaldjtips.com to the event at Ministry of Sound on 27 May, I was quite surprised to have a form and a badge shoved in my face. I was going to take part in the attempt to break the Guinness Book world record for “the most DJs to consecutively mix one record each”. The last record was set by BBC Radio 1 Xtra back in June 2010. We needed 83 to beat. We had 100. No pressure, guys! Even the MoS cleaners got involved!

dance aid

Me, holding the official certificate

Well, in one fell swoop, I managed to cross two items off my bucket list: breaking a world record and DJing the main room at Ministry. The only thing going through my head as I stepped up for my turn was “please don’t let me be the guy that messes up!”

I didn’t… and neither did the other 99 people taking part.

So, thanks to Dance Aid for setting up an event like this for a good cause and thanks to casino.com and Digital DJ Tips for inviting us along! It was a blast!

Some deep hypnotic Techno for you. This track just keeps you confused all the way through. Is it Techno? Is it Progressive? This isn’t a well known track, but one that should be.

Classic find on ye olde DJTechTools forums! Member Earl Panda linked to a page with loads of DJ trading cards.

You can see all the scans on the original blog post.

Thanks to djtechtools.com and onlyndetroit.com for this find!

This will always be a signature track for the upstairs room at Sankeys, Manchester. Such a great bassline that kicks in and changes the pace. Blurs the line between Techno and Progressive House! Now time to put my shades on so the massive strobe light doesn’t blind me!

February 2011 mix. My first mix using new Kontrol X1s. A bit rough around the edges but some good tunes!

February 2011 – Spring Clean by Truce on Mixcloud

001. HEFTY – No Escape (Original Mix)
002. Mario Miranda, Daniele Petronelli and Audiocut – Aqua Marcia (Ricky Stone and Mikael Jonasson Remix)
003. Moenster – This Is For You (Robag Wruhmes Chukka Boot Rekksmoe Remix)
004. Marco Resmann – This Song feat Soucie Six (Original Mix)
005. Kane Roth – Souspicious Mind (Monoloc Remix)
006. Edit Select & Alex Smoke – The Retainer (Original Mix)
007. Alan Fitzpatrick – A Small Decline (Mark Broom Dubbed Mix)
008. Emptyset – Altogether Lost feat Cornelius Harris (Original Mix)
009. Kaiserdisco – Aguja (F.Sonik Remix)
010. Booka Shade – Regenerate (Pysh Remix)
011. Masomenos – 9 Balloons (Original Mix)
012. Amyn – Moonbird (Original Mix)
013. Tony Rohr – Sweat On My Tabla (Original Mix)
014. Paul Kalkbrenner – Sky And Sand feat Fritz Kalkbrenner (Original Mix)

Here’s a mix I threw together featuring my favourite Progressive House tracks from 2010. This is hopefully the first of many this year. It’s my new year’s resolution!

January 2011 – New Year’s Resolutions Progressive Mix 2010 by Truce on Mixcloud

001. Charlie May – Midnight (Nhar Remix)
002. Guy J and Roy Brizman – Avant Garde (Original Mix)
003. King Unique – 2000000 Suns (Original Mix)
004. Andre Sobota – Unreal (Tomy DeClerque Remix)
005. The Temper Trap – Science Of Fear (Michael Woods Remix)
006. J Alexander – Endless (Kenny Larkin Remix)
007. Slam – Variance (Adam Beyer and Jesper Dahlback Remix) / Joe Fisher – Tombola (Original Mix)
008. R.E.Z. – First Circuit (SQL Remix)
009. Massive Attack – Paradise Circus (feat. Hope Sandoval) (Gui Boratto Remix)
010. Glenn Morrison – Symptoms Of A Stranger feat Cathy Burton (Henry Saiz Remix)
011. Dankann – Helia (club mix)

So, it’s that time of year again where you re-examine your life and make promises to yourself which you probably won’t keep. After reading this article by my esteemed colleague, Phil from digitaldjtips.com, it got me thinking about how to do more with my hobby/passion. So here’s a rundown of some of my thoughts on 2011.

  • Record and upload a mix a monthMixcloud is a most non-heinous website for uploading and listening to mixes. The site is very easy to use and unlike Soundcloud, you can upload as many mixes as you want, they just can’t be downloaded. Every month, so much great new music lands on my hard drive that never really gets a look in. Let’s get that shown off!

Mixcloud: good for DJs

  • DJ out more – Sort of related to the above, I love DJing, but I’ve never been bothered about doing it as a job. Doing parties and small events is much more personal and you don’t have to deal with customers and bothersome bar owners. The excitement as you start your first track is a rush I will never get bored off.

In my element?

  • Devote more time to new music – So much great stuff out there! The web makes it easy to listen to mixes!
  • Buy some Technics 1210s – The DJs Life Towers is currently a postage-sized overpriced flat in South West London. As such, my setup had to be streamlined and the excess equipment packed away. A wedding and bigger ambitions on the horizon means that moving is inevitable and more space to use. I’m looking forward to building some proper studio space without hundreds of wires littering the room.

Like this, but bigger. And real.

  • Finish producing a track – I learned a lot about Ableton Live and production in 2010. It’s time to put this stuff to use.
  • Own a hardware synthesiser – even if it’s just this Korg.
  • Do more with this place! This website doesn’t get enough love. I’ll do more, promise!

Over to you! Have you got any new year’s resolutions? Did you manage to keep any you made for 2010?

A funny thing happened to me the other day. I received an email from a friend last Thursday with the subject line “potential gig”, asking if I could take part in a competition the following Tuesday. The email continued: “The set is only 15 minutes long and the theme is mash up – so you have to mash at least three genres in a mini set.”

So far so good…

Curiosity got the better of me so I tried to find out a bit more. Turns out the event was the Red Bull Thre3style competition. 15 minutes, three styles, two turntables and a mixer.

I don’t even own a pair of turntables.

Luckily after making some more enquiries I was told that:

  • YES, I was allowed to use Traktor Scratch,
  • NO, I couldn’t use a MIDI controller,
  • YES, I could go on early.

I can honestly say that I don’t remember ever being as stressed as the days leading up to the event. With such a short time to prepare, I was panicking. Nothing in my set was coming together, and I scrapped my entire set and started again at least twice. But you know what? Once I arrived at the venue and saw the stage, my nerves disappeared. Even though I had maybe three or four tunes in my playlist, the moment I put the needle on the record, I knew I was ready.

That night, I learnt an important lesson: there is such a thing as too much preparation. Trust your skills and talent.

Native Instruments have finally revealed their latest bit of DJ kit which was teased a couple weeks ago. The new package is a combination of MIDI hardware mixer and software, very much in the vein of Serato’s ITCH packages.

Some musings of my own as well as from other respected sites:

  • The system is effectively two MIDI channels and two analogue channels, with the samplers using wet/dry control. This means it is stuck with two virtual decks and two sample banks along with turntables or CD decks.
  • Ean from DJTechTools had a hand in designing the system, meaning controllerism is at the heart of this mixer.
  • The audio interface uses the guts of the Audio 4 DJ, meaning rock solid performance and great sound quality.
  • The hardware use HID for control. This allows for much higher resolution, meaning smoother jog wheels and filters.
  • The software features will eventually feed down into the original Traktor [Scratch] Pro software, giving current owners the chance to use Samplers and some of the new streamlined interface tweaks.
  • This thing is true Plug n Play meaning no messing about with settings. SIMPLES!

There has recently been a slew of new 4-deck controllers from some of the biggest hitters in the industry. Allen & Heath launched the DX/ITCH package at BPM 2009, Denon have just announced the DN-MC6000,  American Audio have the VMS4 and I’m sure there are other just around the corner from the likes of Vestax, Reloop and Numark.

Pricing and availability

The Traktor Kontrol S4 system will be available this winter for a suggested retail price of $999 / 899 EUR or around £750. The case will be available at the same time for $189 / 169 EUR or around £140.

Now check it out in action!

Here are some other blogs covering the system:

Native Instruments just announced on various social channels a new video with Dubfire demonstrating some new software/hardware.

Upcoming new Traktor system roadtested by Dubfire in this video:

EDIT: Skratchworx has a fair write up about the hardware.

To quote:

  • Large form factor like the Torq Xponent and Amercian Audio VMS4
  • 4 channels
  • 4 hot cues
  • Transport controls below the jogs
  • Sample player – looks like 4 slots per deck (or maybe 2 decks plus 2 sample banks?) with play, volume and maybe F for filter (should silence the haters at last)
  • 4″ Jogwheel with a big ass Traktor logoSome sort of status bar showing different lights – on air, samples, deck a/c and deck b/d indicators, keylock and master
  • Loop controls to crunch or expand the loop with what looks like an numerical readout
  • Built in track navigation and loading
  • Big filter on each channel
  • Lots of lights for ease of use in the dark
  • I can’t make out effects controls, but seeing as this controller largely mimics the interface of Traktor, I expect these controls are across the top
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