Anyone who knows me knows that I’m an 80′s nut. I have been djing an 80′s night since I was 19ish in some form or fashion. I’ve always been mesmerized by the synth and a lot of mixes over the years have had some form of 80′s mix or “80′s inspired” composition. I recently rediscovered an artist who I passed over years back. I have a man crush on the music of this French house producer named LIFELIKE aka Laurent Heinrich. He has worked with Kris Menace, A-Trak and even Chromeo, just to name a few but I’m more in to his underground remixes and original works.
I’m so into this guys sound right now that I can’t seem to grab up enough music like it. It seems a lot of people are doing something similar like retro wave, future disco, or synth pop but a few of his tracks hit like wave of excitement coming over you. It’s the perfect blend between upbeat pop, hypnotic arpeggiated rhythm and the right mix of synth with a house/techno beat. Music like this is what reminds me of how I felt as a teen in the 80′s and how the sound of the synth inspired me… it’s that good. Here is a little taste of one I like, placed to a mash of video snippets from an 80′s movie fav – MAD MAX. Enjoy!
HEATWAVE by LifeLike
Something about this song… its synth pop lead, maybe the subtle hint of depression, who knows. It calls to me. Strange. It’s like MYLO meets Bravery with a dash of LCD Soundsystem. I’ve been playing a trentemoller mix on my Thursdays at Mollie’s for a few weeks now and I keep coming back to it when I daze off during the day sometimes. I’m loving it, it calls to me.
I have recently acquired a Pioneer DDJ-SR for a weekly I now do at Mollie Faontine’s for chill/lounge. It’s compact enough for me to sit at the bar and dj while entertaining others with conversation. It has all the features of a DJ setup with only a few slight exceptions which honestly are more of a habit to see or use and really aren’t show stoppers. I was having a discussion with a dj cohort of mine and we came to the conclusion that possibly the reluctance to switch to a prime time controller setup is mostly being too self-conscious of what others think. Are my DJ friends and comrades going to think less of me for using it? With 25 years behind me, what do I have left to prove? NOTHING. Anyone who cares already knows my background, knows what I can do and what my skills are, matter of fact…. I really shouldn’t care what anyone thinks anyway.
Way back when, I said to myself that I would make the switch from wax to CDJs when I can do with them what’s possible on vinyl. When I felt confident that was possible, I made the switch and it made sense too. Being one of the first few working djs in Memphis to use Final Scratch, I was able to dj with an enormous amount of music at my fingertips that would have required hours of load in and load out to my weekly gigs and not to mention the amount of stress on my shoulders and back. Vinyl is way too heavy and way too limited from a selection standpoint. It’s too expensive for a weekly purchasing budget and from a “lifespan of play” perspective, just not practical when compared to the benefits of digital format/media. Fast forward 10 years later and I’m still using CDJs… until now. Digital hardware is the next step in evolution and it is loathed by many circles of the “vinyl purist” as well as other pro DJs who already use the digital format (CDJs). Why? Maybe the art form, the artistic expression, the art…. blah blah. I guess it all depends on what’s best for YOU.
I still love my wax (vinyl) and I still use my good old CDJ 800′s (which are almost obsolete by todays standard version) for most gigs. While we are on the subject of old gear, what’s up with the prices of dj equipment these days? Simply from a cost perspective, it seems you have to be crapping out gold bricks just to afford a CDJ (cdj 2000 – $1800 if you find it on sale) and of course you have to have 2 of them. Let’s not even speak of a mixer… might as well sell your first born (Pioneer DJM 900 – $1999 – and that’s the basic model). All these things are needed to maintain the appearance that you are doing something deserving of artist praise or better yet, have skills that are deemed worthy of any respectable dj stature. There the caveat is again… the approval of others.
When low cost and convenience provides me with everything I need, why still lug around the heavy stuff? If I don’t care what people think and can still rock it just a well, hell even add some functionality to the mix all while making things easier on me, why wouldn’t I consider using this for my prime time sets, especially of the gigs are just my dj friends and me? Wouldn’t the crowd appreciate the fact I’m giving them more? Isn’t that what’s really important for the true DJs out there or even the older PROs that are trying to show how it’s done? The focus, in my opinion, should be more about what’s being delivered and less about how. This has been a lesson not easily learned by a “seasoned” dj as myself.
MAN! I’m lovin’ this site and this particular article is another good one that needs to be shared. It’s a long one but worth the read. If you are passionate about what you do as a dj then take a few and dig in.
Click here for the full article @ passionatedj.com
You have to ruthlessly love your craft, and respect it. It’s about creating momentum. It’s about commitment. It’s about putting your heart into it. Waiting for a “big break” is for the weak. How about falling in love with the journey instead of the destination?
What are YOU doing to ensure that you’re doing your craft justice?
I’m always trying to find inspiration and motivation in a world of mass dj culture and technology overload. Hell, I myself am apart of that world. I’m a IT guy who is a DJ for crying out loud. Yet, as I grow older, I tend to feel a little more nostalgic regarding the art of djing and it’s history. Now before all my dj comrades read this and bust my balls because I no longer buy vinyl, let me say that buying the wall of records I have in my studio and the countless other purchases, trades, warped and or destroyed wax over the years added with the 2 decades plus I’ve been doing this have earned me the right to be nostalgic without being a vinyl purist hipster in a world of CDJs and controllers.
That being said, if you know me, I’ve had my share of resistance for technology and I’m now a much more tolerant dj when it comes to controllers and iphone/ipad apps that come out daily from which you can dj. I still think however that the time spent to learn the craft and art of djing is worth doing. You learn from experience. There is no software or controller that can earn it for you. The journey must be made and when you reach a moment, and trust me you will, where the technology fails you, what will you have to fall back on? It’s these moments that separate the bedroom djs from the veterans. Here are some links that I find just as inspirational as they are educational.
Every year seems to go by faster than the last. This year is no exception. It even feels like Xmas is about to come and go without a drop of holiday cheer. All I see lately are adverts for this or that, buy this, this and more of this and while you are at it, give a hoot too! I say “slow down.” Let’s take some time and smell the ginger bread for Santa sake. …and what’s with this 50 degree crap. Can a guy get a white Christmas for once in a millennium? The best holiday memories are the ones where the family is snuggled (no snuggie needed) up in front of a fire with some ugly sweaters, stop motion Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and some loaded eggnog. Come on people, we can do this. A little snow, some blinky lights and maybe a few “pine” scented candles and this might just feel like a holiday.
*maybe if I put up my Christmas tree it would help, You think?
The food fest holiday approachith! I hope you all have a wonderful turkey day. Try not to over indulge and enjoy yourself. When the holiday is over, it’s time to get back to techno time. Get that family time in now because once we get the poultry out of the way, it’s get down time! Guaranteed!
Had a great time Saturday with my best bud and dj partner Brian Analog. Most of the gang was there to celebrate with us and we had a blast. There were a few that didn’t make it but hopefully they were there in spirit. We def had a good time. Some more so than others, *cough *cough but what can you expect, we throw down so there were going to be casualties expected. Thanks again to all of our supporters of the 3 and half year run we had with it. Let me answer the question most asked on Saturday: This is the LAST “Our House” ever. If Brian and I decide to start something official again, it will be something else, somewhere else. As I like to say, Move forward!
Hope you all have enjoyed OUR HOUSE – after much debate, we have decided to bring our seminal house music event at Mollie’s to an end on our last date in November. Brian and I want to take a break and regroup. This will end the OUR HOUSE series and it’s over 3 1/2 year run (first event poster – click to see) but rest assured, not the end of the FIST & LOG duo. Come dance with us one last time as we make the LAST CALL for OUR HOUSE.