Archive for November, 2010

Sounds Up In The ‘Cloud’….

Friday, November 26th, 2010

FINALLY got one of my mixes up online at Mixcloud.

Will hope to put more stuff up there covering stuff from my (mispelt) youth through to classics from the great West Midlands jewel called STUMP JUICE.

Here’s the link; enjoy

MJB @ The NEC, November 3, Wifey & Me

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Mary J Blige:

  • Queen of Hip Hop Soul
  • Survivor
  • Diva
  • Amazon
  • Owner of a stunning array of wigs, weaves & hairpeices (if you don’t believe me, you’ve obviously not seen any of her videos!)

The lady possessing the finest thighs in music strode into town to give it some.
It was our first time at the new(ish)-ly renovated LG Arena – clearly money went into extending the building, although the arena itself is still essentially a large shed.
Despite the cash spent on the refurb, my wife was singularly unimpressed, not least with the DJ stationed in the atrium. I was quite nonplussed with it – he seemed okay, neither here nor there.

We got to our seats during the last track of one of the support acts (some shouty MC or something). Again, The Missus – unimpressed.
Next up – Gyptian.

(I found a Youtube link to a video  from Wego Entertainmanent)
Skinnier & younger than his voice seems to suggest. As with most JA artistes, he performed with an easy confidence & cocky charm. It was a great performance, although marred by the tech bods ‘overcooking’ the PA sound. This was something dogging the all the support acts (ironically, as I play clubs but struggle with loud music).

Last of the support was Lemarr. He put on a fairly well polished set & like Gyptian got the crowd going, despite his vocals getting swamped at times by the PA.

Mary J then finally arrived. All wannabe divas-in-waiting & X-Factor hopefuls should go & see her in action: only 1 costume change plus a semi-acoustic set in a 2 hour trek through her extensive back catalogue. She didn’t so much take to the stage as instantly command the entire auditorium with an incredibly tight backing band. I was even allowed by The Wife to marvel (albeit briefly) at how Ms B poured herself into a sequinned catsuit.
There was no need for superfluous frills. This included the eye candy in the form of 2 male dancers, appearing for 2 songs & their sole purpose seemed to be striding on stage, pose for a few bars, hold their crotches before striding off. I do however accept there were loads of women (and more than a few men) who would disagree with me. Mary J DID look good in the cat suit, so fair’s fair I suppose.
In contrast to the ear-shredding sound mix of the support acts, the sound was good for the main event.

(another Wego Ent video link)
The only fly in the ointment was during one of the ballads. She clearly brings raw emotion to her songs, many of them deeply autobiographical, but the emotion displayed during the closing adlib seemed forced. That said, given the life experiences she’s endured, it’s a minor point, especially given the length of her stage time.

All in all a great show, terrific value for money. We’d already seen her once before, so let’s see if we can go 3 for 3…………………..

Great Up North – Krook Kid

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

A dub step/grime guy from Sheffield, I came across his demo at BPM & was very impressed.

He’s been getting a name for himself in his area & on the basis of what I’ve heard, rightly so.

Here’s his Facebook page:

And an interview with Knowledge mag.

Keep it short? Sweet!!

Monday, November 15th, 2010

6 words. Apparently the length of Hemmingway’s shortest short story. The same number Facebook ask you to use to describe yourself.

As you may have noticed, being concise is not exactly a skill of mine. That said, I do believe in the adage ‘Brevity is the soul of wit’, so they say, but in truth (unlike this post), it lies at the heart of so many social interactions,. for example:

Business

How much?

What’s the catch?

You’re fired!

Relationships

Got a headache?

I won’t see/call/text/sleep with you

Let’s get married

How much?

Sexual Politics

No means NO!!

DON’T TOUCH ME!!

Respect me

PLEASE/call/text/sleep with me *

(*Mostly said by blokes – but we just don’t admit it, ESPECIALLY down the pub with our mates!)

How much?

Family Life

Ask your mum

Ask your dad

No tatoos

Go back and change!

NO!!

How much?

Therefore I gave it a bit of thought & came up with the following:

DJ, down not out – still funky

(Nope, too cheesy). Tried again.

My next attempt, a minor variation

Broken

Unbowed

Back to BURN!!

(No, no, no……)

Was I going for a more honest summation, or the start of desparation with the next one

Okay

Asleep, mostly

Awake occasionally

Not what you’d call inspiring, but oddly, I’d struck on something. One more attempt:

Love music

Food, yummy

Awake

Mostly

Job done, I looked at earlier efforts (as well as some I’ve not included here, trust me you’d be chewing your leg off if I’d put them all in!), particularly those placing emphasis on music & DJing.

I’d been trying too hard and yet, there HAD to be a way of encapsulating my personality, history & passion with music.

After many more mental permutations, I finally got it. I even got it down to just 2 words:

Music

Me

Job done – maybe I should have this on a Facebook page……………..

Update:

Speaking of which, is it me, or does Jessie Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zukerberg in the film ‘The Social Network’ suggest ‘Mr Facebook’ has some form of Aspergers or high functioning form autism? Just a thought..

BPM 2010, Pt 2

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

As promised, some more pictures for you

The DJ at American Audio. Curiously, wearing a Union Jack jacket, Either doing his thing for Anglo American relations or at the wrong fancy dress party......................

Parm Panesar (at Denon, obviously). This bloke has stamina - he seemed to be on the decks from the moment I got into the place 'til I left - quite a long set...

A couple of So Solid freestyling, ahead of their set at the BPM Arena

A couple of So Solid freestyling, ahead of their set at the BPM Arena

I have got some video, but have had a few issues getting it up here, but have found a better quality version of some of what happened at Reloop,  made by the guys themselves:

Also found footage of the NI Traktor S4 controller (Mmmm……)

Anyway, I sat in on Tony Andrew’s ‘The Importance of Quality Audio’ talk (Thanks for the heads up on that one, Looby).

Tony Andrews seminar at BPM 2010

Tony Andrews seminar at BPM 2010. A man with a passionate belief & has made me look again at how I record my work.

Whilst not the most dynamic of presentations, he is clearly a man passionate about his subject, making genuine, salient points about quality audio in the digital domain.
Initially, the start of the talk was somewhat ‘esoteric’ (at one point I though I was going to get my head shaved & get married off to a pineapple), but once past that the essential thrust of the seminar was of importance to anyone caring about what they listen to & that is:

  • We are so used to consuming everything for the sake of convenience, particularly regarding music that quality is trailing a VERY poor second.
  • We spend more time choosing our digital music players than the quality of the content that goes on them.
  • This is having a trickle-down effect on every aspect of music (radio, live work, recording, etc).
  • Compressed audio formats (such as mp3), were designed to suit the needs of an much older Internet (lower bandwith, slower PCs) & lower spec machines with considerably less storage than that  now available.
  • While computers & the internet has evolved, many of these formats haven’t & are constrained by the limitations they had in the inception.
    (he summed it up nicely – do I want 10,000 lower quality mp3s on my Ipod or 1000 good quality ones?)

In my day job (I work in education) – we have a generation who already are unfamiliar with CDs, & in many case, you put on a CD quality track, they can’t cope because there’s too much audio information.

Didn’t get to see the DJ Mag tech Awards this year, but did get to run into DJ Mag’s Tech Editor,Mick Wilson – surprisingly, he remembered me from last time (odd that, as no restraining orders were involved. Maybe it’s a sign of my continued growth as a human being).

Attended ‘Produce>Promote..’ panel

Produce' promote... Q&A session with (from left): Mark Jones Guenter Loibl, Sally McKlintock & Rebecca Saforia)

with Mark Jones (Co-founder of BPM), Guenter Liobl, CEO of Rebeat, Sally McClintock of DMC, Rebecca Saforia (Trance DJ & composer of this year’s (first) BPM Anthem).
Interesting & informative. Got passed over in the Q&A (maybe try to be more assertive), but did get a chance to chat afterwards with Mark (nice man, suitably adult hair), Rebecca (warm & chatty).

The main points they seemed to put across were:

  • Think globally (always remember the home market, but the Net give you a potential audience of billions)
  • Don’t give up – persistence & patience pay off.  (That said, if something isn’t working, leave it, try another track, avenue or tactic).
  • Network, network, network – not just using the Internet. Actually going up to people & talking to them can open up opportunities.

I got to speak to Guenter later on. I’m not sure if he understood what I was trying to say (that said, I know I’m often given to rather long, rambling dialogues, so it’s understandable), To his credit, he was patient, & encouraging. A gentleman by any other name.

Dodgy celeb lookalike alert – ‘Ulrika Jonsson’ (or some rather low-rent approximation) wandering through the BPM Arena during the prize draws. Which I didn’t win. Again. Roll on next year…………………………………..