I've done my share of traveling and international sets as well. One of the highlights of my career was a 2:30AM set at God's Kitchen in the UK. I went on at the last minute as a favor to a friend who was originally supposed to go up...no preparation, no planning, I just began playing tracks. The reason that I enjoy the Soap Bubble so much is because of the innocence of the crowd. They haven't become jaded like so many clubbers have is the last several years. Their energy and feelings when you hit a bomb track is genuine. There's nothing like it in the world!
However, one of the craziest times I have had at a set though, was when I opened for Tortured Soul two years ago, right here in Chicago. Those guys are freaking awesome and very humble artists who have a deep and intense love of the music. It was my pleasure to share the stage with them and I would like to do so again in the future.
Don't kick sand in the USA's face regarding DJs. The US has plenty of excellent quality DJs. If this isn't true, then why is it that American DJs can still go over to Europe or Asia and command top dollar for a performance? Besides...the art form known as mixing was born in the US, and the current international club scene was created here as well...need I mention the Paradise Garage, The Music Box, The Warehouse, or David Mancuso's famous Loft Parties?
Finally, don't sell the USA short on the club scene. The venues are not as hot as they used to be, but the biggest problem with that is current legislation (The Illicit Drug Anti-proliferation Act, the newly propsed Clean-Up Act III, etc...) is starting to target dance clubs, especially those that specialize in electronic music genres. Once this gets dealt with, our club scene will flourish again. Still, there are some quality sets still going on in the US...hell, there are some kick butt parties going on right here in Chicago.
Sha Liu, taking nothing away from my good friend, was not the only DJ who crossed genres that night. Sugerman and I both spanned several different genres in our sets. I went between club, disco, house, hip hop, and Chicago house in my set. Sugerman mixed between club remixes, trance, and progressive house.
And again...Jon popped his cherry at this set (excuse the euphemism) and all things considered, did one hell of a job, and while I respect your opinion, I will not allow anyone to take that away from him.
Uhhh...you are sort of right. What Greg Ayres did was an on-the spot re-edit, not a remix. The difference being that a remix is done by taking the component parts of the song and reorganizing them...something that can only be done by having access to the song's master reels, or at least having access to an acapella version of the song. A re-edit is done by taking the existing song in it's finished form and inserting loops, frequency cuts, and other audio effects. There are not a lot of DJs who can do an on-the spot re-edit of a track, especially live in front of a crowd...give credit where credit is due, Lololee.
Oh yeah...the version of "Come On Down (the theme from The Price Is Right)" that Greg played is a remix. I have the original from the show, the original remix done by Leonard "Remix" Rroy back in 1985, the Crystal Waters vocal remake, and the latest remix.
I won't disagree with you with that. However, you misinterpreted my comment. The problem that I mentioned in my last post was that the vast majority of the crowd did not recognize the classic tracks that I played.
"House Nation" is normally an explosive track when dropped, no matter where or when. Anythng by Frankie Goes To Hollywood is considered clubhouse gold when played. "C-Lime Woman" by the People Movers is a legendary underground hit, as is "The Big Black" by Bizzarre. And yes, if I had played these tracks at any other set, I would have filled the floor. In fact, the next week I did a set at another venue and played the same tracks...the club's security had to start limiting people from getting on the dance floor.
However, at ACen I got the biggest pop during my set this year when I played the "Michael's Milkshake" mashup with Kelis, Michael Jackson, and Notorious B.I.G., which was something that everybody knew.
Last year, the big pop came when I played "Bang Bang" by the Audio Bullys vs. Nancy Sinatra...again, a track that everybody knew.
The issue here was that I felt at the time, that because of my personal tastes in music, I'm not the best fit for the ACen audience. That opinion has changed, after some introspection and a swift kick in the tail by my wife. Jams are jams and the audience kept jumping and enjoyed the music, even though they did not know every song that I played. They trusted me to take them on a journey and they enjoyed the trip.
I am broadening the horizions of my ACen audience. I am not just a DJ, but a teacher...showing them places that they may not have ever thought of visiting, and learning that there is life beyond trance and techno. Just because I did not play any trance anthems or "Sandstorm." did not make me any less relevant for the party...and that was the lesson that I learned from that night.
The following is a Technical correction based on knowledge. What Lololee is referring to is what is known as "New York Style" blending. NY DJs will ride a blend for at least 30 seconds. The classic or "Levan" blend (so named for NY DJ Larry Levan) is held for two to four measures, which is what most DJs will do. The Chicago "Hot Mix" is a blend that is held for no more than two measures and was made famous by the Chicago Hot Mix Five. And last but not least there is the notorious "Slam" blend, where another track is quickly dropped in as the previous track reaches the peak of its buildup and is as quickly dropped out. If done correctly, it can easily take a set to a dramatic cresendo...however, few DJs use it correctly....
Lololee, you are very wrong to hold a DJ to a standard based on your own personal preferences and call it fact or law. You yourself have said that you are not a DJ, but yet you get on this thread and state facts about proper mixing technique. It's one thing to express your opinion about how a set sounded to you. It is another to start stating facts and trying to quote technical matters, when you are not a practicing DJ, yourself. Then you added the "closing your eyes" comment, which was just more insulting to every DJ who has ever played in front of a crowd, including those jocks whose names you have praised in this thread.
And on that point, Sasha, John Digweed, Carl Cox, Tiesto, and the other DJs who you mentioned will completely agree with me...especially, considering that I have met many of these same people and more.
I've already said how I felt about Sha's set. As for Grifty McGrift...I enjoyed his set totally. He played some very cool tracks and was the only DJ who actually played Soulful House. However, I can tell you why Grifty did not make the finals, and I hope that you are reading this, Grifty.
Grifty did little or no "tricking" and he did not show any actual energy during his set. He was very laid back and relaxed during his set. Considering the energy that InSilico, Sha Liu, NameLoc, and DJ 77 generated, his more than admirable skill and technique just did not carry the day. It happens. Also, if you looked at the thread about the DJ contest, two of the things that the contestants were being judged on was showmanship and how well they moved the crowd.
In light of the last category; musically, Grifty made the same mistake that I made one year at ACen...he did not play to his audience, who unfortunately, are not as schooled in other genres of dance music, as you or I are. I did a straight Disco set and cleared the floor. I opened with "Let No Man Put Asunder" by First Choice and ended with "Thousand Finger Man" by Candido. I had one jerk walk up to me and say "Could you please play something a little faster, and something that everybody knows?" The only reason that I can get away with Disco now is that I've schooled my audience at ACen.
Grifty...I would like to see you enter again next year...IMHO, you put one one hell of a set, and I'd like to see more house represented...as well as some hip hop.
I disagree. However, I believe that you genuinely thought that you were being constructive with your comments. The reason that you got jumped on in this thread was not what you said, but how you said it. Take this comment for example:
How is anyone supposed to interpret that as being constructive or even civil? That comment smacked of being very snide and sarcastic, something that Jon Sugerman did not deserve from anybody, especially you.
All that I have ever asked is that somebody who wants to post about the parties, do so with some civility and have some constructive commentary. Sarcasm and snide commentary does not endear you to the people you are trying to convince, Lololee. Which behavior, by the way is what defines hating.
Not to be rude, but if you are that disgusted with our performances, then why are you still a member of this forum? It's one thing to have a critical opinion of a given set and to discuss it in an informative and courteous manner, but you were downright insulting about expressing it. Another forum member, Nannan did a critique of several mixes that she heard and did it professionally and with more than a measure of courtesy. The only time that she did not was during a situation where she was attacked and so she responded in kind. The issue was closed and that was that.
Lololee, I genuinely believe that you are the clubbing afficiando that you say you are...and like a significant number of them, you express yourself in a condensending, sarcastic, and jaded manner and again, I'm sorry that you have lost the sense of joy and wonder that just being in a party with a lot of energy and dancing all night probably used to bring you. If you ever discover it again, and just learn to enjoy the music as it is, then come on back and party with us, okay?
As for everybody else, thanks again for your support and on behalf of the Main Programming staff, IRT, the promoters, the in-party vendors, PLID, the DJs, the VJs, and everybody else involved with the set, thank you for coming and having a good time with us.
Now, I'm done with this.
What have you done for the music? What have I done for the music? What have we done for the music?"