Badly thought out way to get the bad thoughts out.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Pick N Mix

Lately it seems that all the best mixes I've been hearing have been mixing different styles up like sperm in the guts of a gangbang record breaker. There's Ben UFO's latest show, wot I just posted about yesterday, the boy Bizmarc's excellent funky/techno colliding Gorillacopter mix, Spyro and Maximum cross-breeding grime, garage and funky on Rinse a while ago, and many more examples which I can't be fucked to link right about now.

4 Line Haiku off Dissensus wrote this the other day:

"The growing amount of released funky seems to be leading to a lot of house/techno -> funky -> 2step -> dubstep type DJ sets, which is nothing but good news in my book.

I know for a fact that every single mix I'm doing at the moment goes something like that. Most of Ben UFO's recent radio shows are another (probably better) example.

Obviously this sort of thing has always been perfectly doable, but the combination of sped up funky and slightly pitched down 2step covers that slightly awkward BPM gap so perfectly, it would be rude not to do it"
and it reminded me of what Blackdown wrote in THIS post about Funky almost a year ago. Writing about how DJs in Napa in 2007 were mixing funky with bassline and grime and all-sorts of other things, he remarkled:

"(2000) was a halcyon era, where a tempo plateau around 138bpm saw multiple genres and scenes mixing and interacting, with the old school UK garage guard meeting the upstarts of raw proto-grime, dark 4x4 beats like DJ Narrows being mixed with Zinc-inspired breakbeat garage rollers, housey Todd Edwards-style 4beat mixed into proto-dubstep like El-B, Horsepower and Zed Bias.

Since then the various factions have either diverged or fragmented, occasionally interacting but seldom truly engaging in sustained dialog. Until summer 2007. Seven years on, suddenly it felt like there was another tempo plateau appearing again.."
Having recently been extremely excited to hear this kind of DJing style in practice on various aformentioned radio shows, and having rejuvinated my own interest in mixing somewhat by mixing 'Woman Trouble' with UR's 'Timeline' (and discovering an uncanny fit in the process) and stuff like that, I would have to agree that if this style of DJing came into vogue in clubs as well as the bedrooms of GEEKS (lol) it would really be the kick in the pants that plenty of underground scenes are begging for.

Another DJ who has recently been doing this (in fact who has probably been doing it for fucking ages) is Night Slugs' honcho Alex Bok Bok. He talks about the ethos behind the Night Slugs night in THIS Fact Magazine interview, which also includes a mix which perfectly illustrates the sort of informed eclecticism I'm drooling about. You also need to check out his latest Sub FM show in which he went back to back with Dress 2 Sweat's head honcho (there's a lot of honchos sticking their oars in) Jackmaster. It is fucking superb. The link is HERE and the tracklist is as follows...

01 - ROSKA -
02 - D MALICE - monopoly
03 - ILL BLU - frontline instrumental
04 - APPLE - seigalizer
05 - KERIZMA - broken beats
06 - ROD LEE - let me see what u workin with
07 - DJ ROB 3 - the chase
08 -
09 - CRAZY COUSINZ - Infiltration
10 - FINGERPRINTS - just leave remix
11 - LIL SILVA - funky flex
12 -
13 - D1 - ongie bongie
14 - WIZZBIT - jamhot (DAVINCHE remix)
16 - WILEY -
18 - TUBBY - t-mac
19 - ROSKA - our father
20 - ZOMBY - rumours
21 - GEMMY - back to the future
22 - CRIME MOB - stilettos (pumps)
23 - IKONIKA - please
24 - RUSTIE - bad science
25 - ZOMBY - aquafre5h
26 - D1 - bg
27 - LIL SILVA - seasons
28 - GEENEUS - into the future
29 - IRONSOUL - you liar
30 - DOK - big bang
21 - LAVA UNIT - not interested
22 - RUDE KID - sing for me instrumental
22 - NASTEE BOI - bangorz
23 - L-VIS & BOK BOK - bongo ram refix
24 - MALA - hunter
25 - WITTYBOY - attention
26 - DS1 -
27 - DROP THE LIME - hear me (4x4 mosh dub)
28 - PANTHA - damn thing
29 - MYSTIC MATT - igloo 2008 remix
30 - unknown - ENDZ vs ICE RINK 4x4
31 - KODE9 vs LD - bad
32 - L-VIS 1990 - zahonda
33 - STARKEY - gutter music
34 - MOVES!!! - playaz
35 - ILLMANA - shut yr mout rudeboi
36 - FUZZY LOGIC - twiss
37 - PIDDY PY - giggle riddim
38 - L-VIS 1990 - playing with knives refix
39 - KENTPHONIK - sunday showers

There's obviously still a lot to be said for working within a single genre as a DJ - it allows you to go in deep in a way that playing across the board arguably doesn't. But personally I find that the idea of mixing like this actually makes me feel much more excited and pant-wettingly enthusiastic about being a DJ. For starters, it's obviously a lot more fun mixing together different styles of beats and discovering things that (often against all odds) work together in the blend. But it also seems to me that it makes selection a much more individualistic thing.

If you're a strictly dubstep DJ its hard to bring a selection that isn't going to be pretty much exactly the same as the next guy. With this style of DJing you have so much stuff to choose from that you might very well end up playing a completely distinct set from anyone else... And if that sounds like its coming too much from a DJs perspective, maybe it is. But I reckon a lot of people on dancefloors across the country would be relieved to hear a wider range of styles on a night out (I've got to mention Notts based nights Wigflex and Futureproof here, as both are pushing this kind of eclecticism) and it keeps things interesting/NOT BORING when you never really know what's coming next.
Oh, and here's the flyer for the next Night Slugs at which about four different absolute dons are spinning

Other things I recommend mixing up in 2009: Ketamine/Pills, Mars Bars/Apples, Indie Groups.