Posts Tagged ‘Mix’

I am currently “under-employed” and consequently, I am in a state of amusement because I want to be productive. The last time I was in this situation almost seven years ago, I pumped hundreds of poems that I had written into this WordPress blawg because I am a poet. Present tense, I wanted to make the best use of all of this free time, so I spent countless idle hours getting all of my DJ Lurk’s MP3 mixes online, because I am also a DJ. I clearly remember when I dropped poetry as an expression mechanism and graduated to recording sequences of songs because these sonic paintings expressed my headspace much better than writing in spiral-ring notebooks. It’s been a while since I captured the creative expression of my DJ Lurk persona, but it is humbling that I have almost seven straight days of mixes if you play them start-to-finish.

DJLurkLogo

Providing these sounds to the public is a cathartic, selfish action. As a human being that is capable of influencing the world around me, I find it to be of the utmost importance to provide a measurable value: this time, it is DJ Lurk, my army-of-one alter ego that mixes music instead of writing poetry. The technology has caught up to where it is simple to post an MP3 recording that captures a shitload of hard work. I have already spit about how important it is to Press Record and capture your own efforts. This is because you are the product.

Brother-and-Mallory-Battlemat

DJ Lurk’s biggest fans: Brother and Mallory.

There are three types of people: past tense, present tense, and future tense. Everyone can operate within those categories to a certain level of competence, but everyone defaults to their most comfortable worldview. Typically, I am a creature of present tense; however, when I am faced with my own musical selections recorded in the infinitely replicatable format of digital MP3s, they are messages to yourself from the past. No one is a better subject matter expert on this media than I am: what was I thinking? Where is my mind?

It is way too easy to take a shitload of pictures on your iPhone of your children, pets, loved ones, food plates, vistas, and your experiences — it’s now getting worse, turning into videos and Vine loops — and YOU NEVER LOOK AT THEM AGAIN. The social media drive to post unadulterated crap all of the time is horrific. 21st Century humans collect tons of media almost reflexively; it is the art and action of going back through it and framing it with times, dates, tags, and explanations that will make that media worthwhile. Otherwise it is a waste of audience time and QVC will not invite you back as a vendor. You have to manage your own brand.

With my newfound temporary freedom, I have looked back on my output of product, and I am thrilled to build out the DJ Lurk side of this WordPress blawg with all these recorded dreams of being a professional DJ — DJ Lurk, if you will. This is adding hours of product — original content, if you will — to the Virtual Lilypad, and the effort reinforces that elusive immortality sought by the Froggacuda.

At the top of the page, roll over the DJ Lurk item, and explore the madness and mayhem.

It has been a hot minute since I have fired up the ol’ WordPress blawg and wrote myself a letter. This effort has an audience of one: myself, and once you accept that, it gets easier. In this feed- and filter-driven 24 hour news cycle of technology, when you are staring at a blank page, it is asking you to be creative and say something. Say anything. It is much better on a cosmic, spiritual scale to create content than to passively watch the social network feeds go by.

I used to write poetry and stories to capture what I was feeling. This “blog” is full of it; when I was unemployed I kept busy (because ADHD) by pumping tons of those “witless driblets” into this online database called WordPress from a stack of hand-written journals that I subsequently burned in the mountains and the deserts in campfires. They’re all now indexed Internet content and ashes. Ribbit. Fuck you. Enjoy.

Once upon a time I built pages for music I composed, wrote, played, produced, rapped and sang on. Labored over, instead of going to class or doing homework, I caught them on magnetic tape and transferred them to a computer. I figured out how to embed those songs here with a play button. I still have a couple of handwritten cassette tapes I can refer to for source material and memories. That includes a page for M0nster Zer0, a band I was instrumental in–ha, ha–when I was in high school.

I remember making DJ Lurk compilations every year for 15 years, many times multiple disc sets, of my favorite music and giving them out by the dozens for free. Custom, handmade printed paperboard CD case insets, printed on an inkjet, and CD-Stomping labels on them. Those comps keep me grounded, and company, because you should always make your own mix tapes.

I used to record two hour sessions of vinyl-spinning to capture all of my music collection the way that I heard it blending and surfing together. That’s how it was on Pete Tong’s Essential Mix program on Radio One: a two-hour uncensored journey. I made this effort because the Woodweaver gave me a Sony DAT recorder that could do two hours per tape; that was hot tech at the time, and I wanted to use it. There are 12 Essential Mix @ Mordenkainen’s Parlour tracks, labelled with exact dates. They have incredible power to return me to years ago.

More recently, with a MacBook Pro and a shitty pair of USB controllers attached to Traktor, I would record DJing live at the Edgemont Compound, the Isle of Lesbos, Below the Chateau, or at a Dirty Little Mansion. This content has names and maybe rough dates, but I was asked to show up and spin, so I did. I get to wonder who this particular character is, because I can’t believe that I produced that. But it is undeniably The Froggacuda.

So there it is as evidence: a poem, a mixtape, an occasion: captured somehow so that I have to go back and verify that it actually happened for my audience of me. Memories that are fleeting ghosts. Content that is hard and unrelenting to experience again and try to put into perspective in the present tense.

Is this thing still on…?

You Betta Recognize

You Betta Recognize

I used to rock a Kermit the Frogg icon that had some iron-on 80’s T-shirt lettering at the top that simply said “you betta recognize”. No exclamation point or nothing. Kermit has some sort of Muppet hand-gesture going on, and it’s just delightful. Recognition: think about it. I’d like to recognize this phenomenon called Dubstep. It is–apparently–a relatively new and popular type of electronic music that has made its way into commercials and Hot Topic and youth culture in a way that I have not witnessed in a while. Little does the average Dubstep fanatic (or Skrillex-only brostep lover) know that this style of music has been around since the mid-1990’s. Vanity Fair is bemoaning that culture has been stuck in a rut for the last two decades, but I think that they are just not looking hard enough for novelty in this sea of multimedia we all swim in.

Those of you who have been to the Man-Cave known as Mordenkainen’s Parlour in person know that I have a lot of loudspeakers. And I have full control over the effects and equalization that eminates from these units. Kleptus, as I write this, is sanding the Saltillo tiles he laid upstairs at Edgemont as I write. Without playing music, the grinding sounds coming from through my roof sounded way too much like these 60 BPM Hybrid-esque breaks that have rocketed to public consciousness.

I am going to embed the video that I think was the springboard to Dubstep for me. I am a music fanatic; a DJ, even. I still marvel at these Video Disc Jockeys that can real-time juggle slices of video as they are mixing good tracks together–it is beyond me. However, I subscribe to the four elements of hip hop so fundamentally that I apply that litmus test to things I listen to when I detect an entire subculture developing in front of my ears. When I saw the dedication of Marquise Smith to a performance of a single track that he loved so much he believed in it, then you can understand why Dubstep is here to stay. Witness this. Recognize.

This reminds me of Mr Fantastic,  Robert Muraine out of LA who auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance? and was subsequently featured on an Ikea commercial. I really think that the expression of dance actually adds the appropriate video element to an audio element that I already am entranced with. As a DJ, I always ask myself this question: how would I dance to this? It’s a fundamental concept if you are running a dance floor. It’s actually where all good DJ decisions come from. I remember in the phenomenal documentary SCRATCH, Africa Bambaatta would just hand unknown records to his DJ and say “the break is about two thirds from the start”. Boom. Play it. Trust. Recognize.

That is musical teamwork. Think Run DMC or Beastie Boys and how fast they can trade rhymes back and forth. Have you ever witnessed freestyling rappers beyond, say, Eminem in 8 Mile? Switch gears to DJs. Now shift again to (break) dancing. If I can extend you one more time, here is the least represented of the four elements of hip hop: (graffiti) artists. Speak, Mix, Dance, Art. This is how I judge musical culture.

Tyler Rae--PEACE!

Tyler Rae--PEACE!

I am getting older–I turned 40 in 2011–and I am trying not to become calcified as an “old guy”. I shamelessly use my godchildren–Tyler, Taylor, and Bélen–as Soundwave’s “little friends” to get a real idea of what is going on in their lives as a present tense report of what they are facing in this minute in America, and like all the brilliant young minds I have seen lately, are NOT CONCERNED about the future. Because they have not lost faith in their elders yet.

Tyler Rae has a buddy who makes Dubstep music, and frankly, he is pretty damn good; I am encouraging her to use her formidable skills to manage this artist.

Taylor has been crushing it in both his schoolwork and on the basketball court.

Taylor--LAKERS!

Taylor--LAKERS!

Bélen earned $10 from me by selling me a cat scratcher that she proved that my über-kitty Brother would actually use and love–after I stepped her through the process of selling product at outrageous prices and then applying a “family discount”. Kleptus and I then showed her the Marquise Smith video and gave her an impromptu (albeit poorly demonstrated) lesson in dancing to Dubstep in my living room.

My lovely niece Michaela just brought my first “blood” nephew into the world: Breslin Franklin Geddes, who is by all pictures and reports a bundle of joy. I asked when I could start sending video games and Lego kits.

I actually receive quite a bit of passive-aggressive shit that I don’t have kids of my own; hey, I don’t need them–I have plenty of responsibilities to insure these life forms generated by my friends and family grow up happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Belen at Sheep's Canyon

Belen at Sheep's Canyon

What does this have to do with knighting Dubstep a relevant musical phenomenon that is worth paying attention to? There are a couple of reasons, but the most important is that Dubstep is the product of young people. Music is its own language, like math–although I have always been better at music than algebra or speaking Spanish–and as a language, it has dialects, is a creative endeavor, and is constantly morphing. Dance is a physical interpretation of a piece or pieces of music. Playing music, whether a live instrument (and that includes turntables, people), singing, or pre-recorded–hell, even clapping or whistling along–is an act of creation. I grew up doing yardwork with my dad, and when engrossed in a task, he would idly whistle. This is his equivalent of Michael Jordan hanging his tongue out of the side of his mouth when he was contemplating just how to dunk on an outmatched opponent. It made the chores go by faster, and fostered my personal philosophy that everyone has a soundtrack going on in their head-space. Some of us also have a laugh track and a sound effects track as well. I’m so in love with media that this is the best way that I can describe what ADHD is like. All of this is going on in my head, all of the time. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Dubstep accurately represents how gritty, slow motion, and ridiculous the present tense is. DJ Lurk firmly believes that the BPM meter has flipped: we have had enough of trying to communicate music at ever-faster beats-per-minute. 165+ BPM craziness has been around since the drum machine was distributed to the masses in a programmable and affordable unit. For crying out loud, Google “Happy Hardcore” and try to dance to that. It was a mid-1990s staple. But now we have rolled over to the bottom of the BPM spectrum. This is a stroke of genius.

Dubstep is fundamentally SLOW. As in slow down. Look at Marquise Smith: he is interpreting everyday–nay, every MOMENT–life. He ties his shoes. He’s just waiting for a friend or public transport. All the while amusing himself–and us–with an incredible display of interpretive dance. You can WORK to Dubstep. Folding laundry–a task I loathe for some reason–becomes fun when listening to Dubstep. I mentioned (and linked) Robert Muraine before; he’s a street performer from LA. Check out his audition for “So You Think You Can Dance”; spoiler: you betchya!

Muraine is not quite using Dubstep per se, but a parallel style that can sometimes be labelled as “Glitch”. Again, this is not exactly the type of club banger that you regularly hear on your normal 128-136 BPM dance circuit, yet talented dancers thrive when translating strange beat signatures, weird synthetic noises, and general wubwubwub. This stuff is not old people music; it is a blend of new, ever evolving technology with the oldest communication in the world: beats. And I find that there is almost no better way to understand the mindset of today’s youth than to figure out what they are listening to and how they dance to it.

It is possible that technology like samplers and drum machines makes our music lazy; a great 20 minute example of this is the Amen Break, which is the most popularly over-used sample in the history of music. On the other hand, I think that all of this tech allows for more freedom, more creativity, and the awesomeness of remixing and repurposing music. There is a whole movement of people who use loop pedals and effect units to do incredible things with just their voices as the only instrument they are playing, whether it is just straight beatboxing talent like Eklips or the jaw-dropping stylings of Hyperpotamus. Here’s a fan-made video set to Benny Benassi’s track Cinema remixed by the king of brostep, Skrillex, that was brought to my attention by the mighty Woodweaver.

For me, it is really all about dropping heavy-lidded into a sort of trance and almost seeing the composition; your body will then attempt to express this feeling through dance, through singing, through art, and through making your own music. Trust me, I still love the 80’s stuff I grew up on that was new and fresh and edgy, but there is no purpose in becoming trapped in your own set of oldies but goodies just because that is where you are most comfortable–and possibly nostalgic. Today’s youth culture is more vibrant than ever, and it is less frequently older generations that push the boundaries of sound. They used to say that teenagers built the original World Wide Web because they were the only ones with enough disposable time and passion to actually figure out HTML. The same thing goes with music. And art. And dance, and song. Pay attention! Recognize!

QUICK: It is autumn, and it’s time to start organizing the fresh tracks of 2011. This year–number 16–I thought I’d be a little more agile in product and delivery. Here’s to your 2011 Halloween: originally called “2 INSPIRE”, after three tries–and I have never before “retried” an entire mix–it morphed into “The Greatest Trick” in August. Let me know what you think. 375mb direct download from my iDisk.

“the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled…was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And like that…he’s gone!” ~The Usual Suspects

I finally got over my “this is not perfect yet” drive to post this. And yes, I know exactly where the blemishes are on this comp, but if I don’t just get it out there, I’ll stall and bluster and not deliver. Warts and all, here is #15 from DJ Lurk.

Download the files to import to your media player or rip the two CDs to your own media from the Virtual Lilypad Mobile Me: DJ Lurk – FESTIVUS.

TRACKLISTING:

DISC 1: The Airing of Grievances

  1. Linkin Park – Wisdom, Justice, and Love
  2. Chicane – What Am I Doing Here? (Part 1)
  3. BassNectar – Bursting
  4. Lady GaGa – Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) (Piano and Human Beat Box Version)
  5. Keane – Perfect Symmetry (Live at the CherryTree House)
  6. The Killers – Read My Mind (Like Rebel Diamonds Mix)
  7. Electronic – For You
  8. Jackson 5 vs Third Eye Blind – I Want You Back vs Semi-Charmed Life
  9. Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keyes – Empire State of Mind
  10. King Fantastic – Why? Where? What?
  11. Chiddy Bang featuring MGMT – The Opposite of Adults (KIDS)
  12. DJ Steve Porter featuring Katt Williams – Weed Remix
  13. Cee-Lo Green – Fuck You (Le Castle Vania Remix)
  14. Natasha Bedingfield – Frogs and Princes
  15. Lady GaGa – Bad Romance (Chew Fu Remix)
  16. Jay Sean featuring Nicki Minaj – 2012 (It Ain’t the End) (Ultimix)
  17. Far East Movement featuring Cataracs – Like a G6 (Disco Fries Remix)
  18. Make the Girl Dance – Baby, Baby, Baby (Black Block Remix)
  19. Lady GaGa – Boys, Boys, Boys (Manhattan Clique Remix)

DISC 2: The Feats of Strength

  1. Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg – California Gurls (Inner Party System Remix)
  2. Ke$ha – Your Love Is My Drug (C-Rok RokCouture Remix)
  3. Beyoncé – Ego (Ultimix)
  4. Timbaland featuring Katy Perry – If We Ever Meet Again (Chew Fu Ultimix)
  5. Lady GaGa – Alejandro (Afrojack Remix)
  6. Taio Cruz – Dynamite (C-Rok RokCouture RePro V3)
  7. Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are (Smart and Westfunk Ultimix)
  8. Chicane – Poppiholla (The Thrillseekers Remix)
  9. Plumb – Hang On (Ultimix)
  10. Kaskade and Deadmau5 – Move For Me (Remix by FSG)
  11. The Divinyls – I Touch Myself (Love II Infinity Remix)
  12. Depeche Mode – Halo (Austin Leeds and Christian J Main Mix)
  13. Hybrid – Break My Soul
  14. Recoil – Faith Healer (Conspiracy Theory)

As usual, there are a whole bunch of influences to thank for finding these phresh tracks, starting with S.A.T., whom I love dearly, not least for her taste in music old and new. Other contributors include brothers T-Boz, Kleptus, Moonbow, and Jamie & Sioux; Pat and Scot from Stay Classy who do good work every day besides noting dope tracks; DJ Hero from Activision for doing a superb job getting real turntablists to influence the next generation with kickass games — they’ve come a long way from Atari cartridges; my main man C-Rok who crushes shit better than established remixers, the Ultimix family, The CherryTree House for providing that uniquely awesome recording venue, King Fantastic for restoring my faith in that SoCal gangsta shit, Lady GaGa whose preponderance on this comp is easily surpassed by her support of the Little Monsters (of which I am one), my brothers Kyle and Jon who got married in 2010 (FINALLY!), the one-of-a-kind vision and autotune skills of DJ Steve Porter who went on to rock the NBA Finals among other brands, the DJ / Producers that keep it fresh: Chew Fu, Afrojack, Kaskade, Deadmau5, and Pete Tong’s Essential Mix; and last-but-in-no-way-least my version of Charlie’s Angels: Brooke Lee Adams, Gracie Glam, and Kristina Rose.

Of course, the people that make this go are the original artists, whose rights are completely reserved; this is for promotional purposes only. Go buy music! I am always awed by having to decide what to include on the yearly comp and in what order it is supposed to be in so that I can recreate the spray-Pledge-on-the-hardwood-floors-and-dance-in-your-socks feeling that I got listening to these tracks all year long. Make time to share, dance, and relax while you enjoy this latest installment by DJ Lurk. I have big love for you all. PEACE!

That’s a lot of work. I sortof miss doing the fun stuff, like designing the covers and labels I used to do, but that’s even more work. Here’s the list of the main compilations from DJ Lurk in chronological order.

  1. 1996 – DJ Lurk – Excursion on the Version (1 x 90 min cassette, mixed)
  2. 1997 – DJ Lurk – Volume 0 (1 x CD)
  3. 1998 – DJ Lurk – Volume 1 (1 x CD)
  4. 1999 – DJ Lurk – Volume 2 (1 x CD)
  5. 2000 – DJ Lurk – Volume 3 (2 x CD)
  6. 2001 – DJ Lurk – Volume 4 (2 x CD)
  7. 2002 – DJ Lurk – Volume 5 (2 x CD)
  8. 2003 – Deceptikons – ElektroBubbleGum (2 x CD, mixed)
  9. 2004 – Deceptikons – Obey (3 x CD)
  10. 2005 – Deceptikons – Destroy All Monsters (2 x CD)
  11. 2006 – Deceptikons – Universal: Past, Present, Future (3 x CD)
  12. 2007 – Deceptikons – Soundwave’s Old Sk0ol Hip Hop Mix (1 x MP3, mixed)
  13. 2008 – DJ Lurk – Angels + Demons (2 x CD)
  14. 2009 – DJ Lurk – UP and DOWN (2 x CD)
  15. 2010 – DJ Lurk – FESTIVUS: Grievances and Strength (2 x CD)

Doing some last minute audio cleanup on The Airing of Grievances and the Feats of Strength for release later this month. Anyone else out there still have old physical media? Big Love from DJ Lurk.

I have always wanted to record this set…so today I asked myself what is stopping me? Aphrodite is a visionary for being able to take old skool hip hop jams and transform them into this crazy jump-up drum & bass with his signature style. Every time I have broken this stuff out, whether it’s to end a night of partying or battling some sucka DJ, this never fails to blow my mind. At 1 hour and 5 minutes it will handily fit on a CD for bumpin’ in your ride at stoplights.

Opening sample is the legendary beginning of NWA’s Straight Outta Compton:

You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge…

right-click to download

TRACKLISTING:

  1. N.W.A. – Gangsta Gangsta (Aphrodite Mix)
  2. Da Luniz – I Got Five On It (Urban Takeover)
  3. Blackstreet – No Diggity (Aphrodite Mix)
  4. Beastie Boys – Body Movin’ (Movin’ in Kent)
  5. Jungle Brothers – Jungle Brother (True Blue) (Aphrodite Mix)
  6. Natural Born Chillers – Rock the Funky Beats (Aphrodite Mix)
  7. Frou Frou – Breathe In (Aphrodite Remix)
  8. Smoke City – Underwater Love (Aphrodite Mix)
  9. Beastie Boys – Intergalactic (Prisoners of Technology Remix)
  10. A Tribe Called Quest – Once Again (Twista Mix)
  11. Pharcyde – Passing Me By (Aphrodite Mix)
  12. NWA – Dopeman (Prisoners of Technology Club Mix)
  13. Fugees – Ready Or Not (Aphrodite Mix)
  14. Warren G – This DJ (Aphrodite Mix)
  15. Method Man & Redman – How High (Aphrodite Mix)