Saturday, 28 January 2012


Hearing this track:

Just gets me ready for ANY night out... So I was doubly excited when I saw the legend that is Tonka had interviewed him here:

If I could interview like this guy I might even be able to afford a house...

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Ultra Music Festival Competition

As you can see above I've posted my entry to Mixcloud's Ultra music festival, usually a stomping ground for the 'large' names in 'dance' music - put in inverted commas because they are essentially trumped up pop stars...  Anyway I'm determined to not let this competition get run over by entries with fucking Swedish House Mafia tracks and that 'I'm sexy' track, god help anyone if they put a Black Eyed Peas track in their mix!!!!

I've included what I think are big tunes, mixed together at pace on two decks, tried not to let the energy drop without messing around with the tracks themselves - basically going back to what DJs used to do...

Give me a favourite if you like it!  If I win I promise to do my best to shave Skrillex's hair off...

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

When is a mix not a mix?

Odd question isn't it?  Or it would have been 10 years ago when things were so much simpler - take two turntables or early CDJs, press record on the computer or cd recorder and play whatever came to you mind for 80 minutes or so.  With technology moving on so fast now and the lines blurring between producer and disc jockey performances its time to examine the DJ mix again - so when is a performance a mix or something more?

The easy answer to this is a equipment query - a performance using records or CDs on CDJs and recorded live is a mix.  Provided it hasn't been retrospectively touched up using Ableton or any other program it can sit back and enjoy the title of a 'mix'.  An interesting thread on RA came up some time ago claiming that people were using the 'live' and 'physical media' excuses for bad performances - aka trainwrecking.  Using physical media does not give you any excuse for letting the basic skills of beatmatching and blending lax!  It may look more authentic - the frantic hand gestures and panicked face as opposed to the cool click of 'sync' but I know what I'd rather hear...

So what is not a mix?  This might be controversial but I believe any musical performance by a DJ that has NOT been recorded live - the act of stringing a chain of records together and recorded then and there is not a mix.  How can it be?  How can you describe hours and hours slaving over a computer using Ableton to get every blend perfect for a 70/80 minute CD a mix?  Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking the effort put in, I even think its admirable, and yes I have Richie Hawtin's Transitions and its fantastic - I just don't believe it deserves the title of a DJ mix.  I am proposing we separate out the live mix CDs from the performance CDs that often contain multiple tracks layered on top of each other or elements of tracks extracted.

A person should have the right to know if it was recorded in one take live or it took days to put together on a computer, I'd feel kind of cheated if I found out my favourite DJ (who has the talent to do it live) used a computer to put the mix CD together.  Before anyone points out that all the tracks have to be licenced so it can't be a spontaneous performance can I point you towards this:

Mixed live in Sankey's for the 10th Anniversary this was released and is a great live mix from both Greg and Krysko, all tracks were cleared post mix.

So next time you listen to a mix CD just have a think - is this really a mix?  Or is it something else now?  Has the artist recorded it from the bottom of their heart, got in a mood and performed to the best of their abilities.  Or have they sat in front of a computer and clinically segued the tracks to achieve something else...?

Monday, 16 January 2012

My Story - Chris Wood

Thought I'd do a bit of shameless self promotion this week and do this feature myself:

Guilty Pleasure...

Talk Talk - Its my life

Back to the '80s with this one, memories of playing Grand Theft Auto on the PS2, singing along to this new music i'd never heard before.  Catchy as anything and it led me to see a different side to the '80s scene apart from classic house, some may say thats not a good thing as these kinds of tracks sometimes make an appearance during drunken moments!

A warm up track...

Black Joy - Untitled

Got this on an unmixed Jazz In The House compilation a long time ago, a fantastic deep cut that is pure house, some may put it into deep but its got enough oooomf to it to be energetic for the floor.

A peak time track...

Scuba - Feel it

This was the trickiest choice for me - how does one define peak time?  And which genre to choose from, most people will go for the faster energetic tracks but peak time could also mean a Stevie Wonder track... Anyway, sounds old but is from 2011, a pounding track and works everytime.

The no beats track...

Lana Del Ray - Video games

This wasn't a hard choice at all, only heard recently and only recently come out it blew me away, the vocals are stunning.  In the video above she actually stumbles over the first line and is clearly nervous but it adds to the charm.

Well this is a bit odd...

Damian Lazarus - Diamond in the dark

Quirky and a bit fun to play in a middle of a house set and see people think wtf???  I actually wanted to find Vildensky - 3 but it wasn't on Youtube!

Never leaves the box

Hot 8 Brass Band - Sexual healing

One of the most interesting covers i've ever heard, managed to get it into every set i've ever played since hearing it as well!  

Most influenced by...

Kaskade - Its you, its me

Now turned to the darkside Kaskade once produced soulful house, this track opened up Defected's In The House cd (blue cover, think it was number 4 in the series), this was the first 'proper' dance cd I bought and I'm so glad I did!

Would have been proud to make...

Marshall Jefferson - Move your body (House music anthem)

Yes its obvious but this is what set it all off - reputed to have been played at half tempo then speeded up Marshall showed everyone it was possible to create a legend with a few instruments, a drum machine and passion.

Last track of the night...

Jamie Woon - In the night air

It probably won't be night when most people walk out of a club but this is a tantilising end to the night walking into crisp air... 

N.B - I could have chosen at least 5 tracks per category!  This was a tricky task!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

New feature! My Story...

I've decided to add a new feature to the blog that tries to prise people's favourites out of them through a series of cleverly worded questions (alright probably not so clever) and hence we'll learn a bit about their story - geddit??. First up is Roberto, up and coming techno star based in the UK, with releases on a variety of labels including Jamie Anderson's Artform Records. His profile is growing larger by the week with artists such as Steve Rachmad and Samuel L Sessions queuing up to remix his tracks and DJ gigs in Fabric, Public Life and during the Amsterdam Dance Event...

Check out his facebook page here which contains all the links to his work:

His Beatport page is here:


A Guilty pleasure...

Sade - Smooth Operator

A great pop track from the 80's. It walks the fine line between quality and cheese but I love it!

A warm up track...

Stephen Brown - Speak

Great dubby/Detroit sounding tune which has a cool jacking groove to get the floor moving. I have just finished a remix of a new track called 'Chopping Board' by Stephen Brown. He is a great producer so I felt honoured to be able to rework one of his tracks.

A peak time track...

Phase - Subtext

Another great track by the super nice London based producer Phase on Token Recs. I am a big supporter of Phase's music and this track does serious damage on the floor.

The no beats track...

Stephen Brown - Stress Free

Another classic Stephen Brown on Music Man recs. The track has some percussion in it, so it is not strictly beat-less, but I think it is truly beautiful track.

[I'll let him get away with this because its a great track!]

Well this is a bit odd track... (something that made you go wtf?)

Area Forty_One - Raindrop Prelude

I love how weird this track is. It is really different from a lot of other techno out there. Area Forty_One is one to watch!

[Not available on Youtube I'm afraid!]

Never leaves the box...
EQD - Equalized 002 A

Great release by Shed on the EDQ series. I love the analogue sounding production in this track. The track is quite simple but works really well on the dancefloor. I remember Luke Slater dropping it in Room 2 at Fabric back in 2009 and it sounded epic!

Candle lit dinner track...

Roy Ayers - Everybody loves the sunshine

I am a big fan of Roy Ayers and this is one of my favourites by him. Perfect for a romantic night in.

Most influenced by...

Mike Dehnert - Dico B1

This track has had a huge influence on my music. I've lost count the number of times I have played it. I love the grainy production, as well as the groove. This never leaves my box!

Most proud of... (if a producer)

Roberto - Logical Progression

I made this track not long after I met Jamie Anderson when we were playing together in Liverpool a few years ago. I sent it to Jamie and he signed it instantly. This paved the way for me working more closely with Jamie and his Artform label. Even though I had been making and releasing tracks before, this track was one that emulated the more deep dubby/detroit sound I was striving to create. This is what I am more well known for now. After the original came out, remixes of the track by three legendary producers Steve Rachmad, Jerome Krom and Jamie Anderson followed, for which I am really proud.

Last track of the night...

Carl Craig - At Les (Christian Smith Remix)

Simply epic! The mixdown is huge and it sounds really warm. I finished my set in Room 2 at Fabric back in December with this, and it sounded fantastic.


Thanks to Roberto for these excellent choices, I'm going to try and make this a weekly thing so you might see myself filling in the topics next week.