Friday, April 25, 2008

The Electronica 80's

Electronic music is strictly an 80’s phenomenon. The push for using electronic sounds in music came from various forms of music meshing together to create a new sound. The hip hop movement influenced the integration of sampling and keyboard drumming to create new music. The alternative music world began to embrace “Depeche Mode and New Order’s” post-punk melodic music……. The rock and roll world also embraced electronic sounds via “Van Halen’s” popular song “Jump”. Then came house music which is now considered “Electronica”. House music was a combination of classic disco and modern mixing. Many of the classic house songs where remakes of songs like “Black Betty” or classic favorites like Stevie Wonder’s “All I Do”. The main tenant of the successful house/electronica beat is the steady bass drum and kick throughtout the song. It must be easy to locate. House music has now morphed into various genres of electric music and because basic dj technology is much cheaper than in years past – anyone can create a quick house beat. But it is not so easy to create a sound that people like. The top ranked global djs are all “Electronica”.  For example, djs like Spirit Catcher and Dub Taylor are well known on the dance, techno club - circuit. A good dj can blend electronica and anything else……. so get ready djs because house music is making a big comeback. Here is a Spirit Catcher tune called “Sweet Deal” we found that is reminiscent of classic house music...... Dp

Monday, April 14, 2008

DJ Technology: Digital Mixers

We at reviewed Rane’s TTM 57SL mixer late last year. Since then we have been busy playing with some of the most innovative and state of the art mixers. One that we frequently use is the 2 & 4 channel Dynamic Mixer with the Integrated KAOSS PAD. From the first glance this mixer might look like any other mixer, but there is a major difference. With the use of the KAOSS PAD your can turn any ordinary gig into a dynamic musical experience. The Integrated KAOSS PAD allows you, the DJ to manipulate audio effects with your fingertips. This mixer has a vast variety of effects, from filters, phasers, delays, reverbs, and many more. With these effects it will take djing to the next level. Most DJs will like KAOSS PAD but nothing and we mean nothing is more important than having an adjustable crossfader that curves for optimal mixing then switching it to cut and scratch for a fierce battle. Whether you’re mixing dual decks, triggering from a laptop or integrating other sound sources, the 2 & 4 channel Dynamic Mixer with the Integrated KAOSS PAD adapts to your style and personal touch. DJ technology has improved considerably in the last few years. Maybe this is why DP says: ”A true dj is an innovator, musician and gadget lover. They are fond of technology in and around their trade.” We brought you two clips this time…..(Next Week we start the electronica series…but we haven’t finished the 80’s yet!!!)

DJ KidRelly aka Kid Come Up


The 80's 101 (cont-d): The Psychedelic Furs

The 80’s are back! More and more people are listening to 80’s music. Various genres of music developed or expanded in the 80’s such as heavy metal, hip hop, electronic based dance music and alternative music. Alternative music came out of the punk music era when artists decided to slow the music down and make it more melodic. Bands such as “The Cure”, “U2”, “New Order” and others began their careers with an early punk rock sound. Later these bands developed their sound and added more harmonies. The cost purchasing a keyboard declined which influenced the music scene as well. (More on this in an upcoming feature article.) From time to time we will feature other bands and musicians from this era. Many of them still exist and are making music for their fans. For example, The Psychedelic Furs were truly an 80’s phenomenon. Their sound was much different than previous acts for using a sax player on their tracks and their lead singer “Richard Butler” had a long -annunciating vocal style. They made popular fame with the song “Pretty in Pink” which later became the title track for the “John Hughes” film and their single “Love My Way” did well on the charts a year later. Check out this PF classic, “Dumb Waiters”. –dp