Friday, January 5, 2007
Graceful Grace Jones
As I mentioned before I am trying to become a DJ in my old age. Not a job mind you, nothing big and serious like say DJ AM :). No, I am doing this as a "professional hobbyist".
I am making progress. I have been using the IBM X60 tablet to mix, it is really nice. It works really well. It is intuitive and one of these things I don't think about after 30 seconds.
For those of you that listen to dance music I totally recommend the site "Beatport". It is the main site for a lot of producers and it is fully electronic. No vynil. Downloads are in mp3 (320 kbps) or WAV or MP4. I was turned onto it by Brad, one of the JBoss execs and I haven't disconnected in 3 weeks.
Every modern dance artist puts out their old and new records there. Which is nice. With that kind of volume going on every day, you gotta have patience and time (I got time). You have to sort of dig through piles of crap to find the one gem. You can go straight to some classics, rely on playlists, browse top downloads and all those good shortcuts.
Anyway Beatport is nice in that it is totally legit, you pay $2 a song. It is targeted at professional DJ's so the quality of the music is muy muy bueno. I will publish a playlist when I get around to it, just to get you guys a feel for what is this thing we euros call "House+Techno+Trance". You have no idea.
Anyhoo, part of the formula that I am working on these days and I really want to do is the "mix the 80's and the 07" thingy. Take some smelly trancey track and add some "Michel Jaquesson" with say "wanna get started something" or "thriller" and you got some funky shit going on. I have been doing "Prince's when doves cry" with some cheezy house that would clog your arteries. Another succesful example is Soft Cell's "tainted love" "Baby, baby, where did our love go? hoooo don't you leave me, don't you leave me no more" with a good synth line from Detroit's finest techno, it works and it works well. I am onto something here, people.
I just listened for about 30 minutes to a loop of "Can you feel it (Acapella)" on top of the last 64 bars of "Marscarter III", I just blew myself away :)
So since I got an EXTENSIVE collection of CD music, I have been digitizing my music from the 80's, it is taking time. Most of the records I may keep one song or two out of the all album. For example, i just finished INXS and except for "Original Sin", it is all bad kaka. Shit man, some of these records were just a rip off. One good song and then just fillers. Oh BTW, this is another reason I like beatport, the artists release "albums" but you can buy the songs individually. Which is nice and you don't feel taken advantage of.
Worse some records I just look at them and go "what the hell was I thinking?" Then I throw it on a pile with used clothes that I intend to give away to charity.
But there are exceptions, the LP where I keep more than one or two songs. The reason I decided to blog about this is actually the Grace Jones compilation. Everything in it is good. I realized I had clicked on every song to be ripped from the CD. Nothing was left out.
The compilation is 25 years old. Most of you mofos were barely even born. AND THE STUFF STILL SOUNDS TOTALLY TIGHT. Here is the rundown:
"La vie en rose" is a classic, you have heard it, it sounds so ... I don't know... french.
"I need a man" is just catchy.
"Do or die", nice, still nice.
"Private life", I had forgotten how GOOD this track is.
"Love is the drug" what a COOL classic, what a great sound. "Ain't no big thing, to wait for the bell to ring, ain't no big thing to wait for the bell. Hoooo hooo here I come, love is the drug and I am needing some."
"Libertango" see "la vie en rose".
"Pull up to the bumper", in your long black limousine. What a great track. I remember it better though, too bad it is slower than I remember. See the point is that anything below 110 BPM is just a cow to mix with modern stuff. House will do 120 BPM, Techno 140, Trance 150, Drum and Bass 160. 100 BPM and you go to sleep in a modern club.
"Walking in the rain". I thought that track DEFINED COOL in 1981, well I was all of 12 back then, and it totally impressed me. I have this memory of walking to the school bus with that tune in my head. A friend of my father, Jean Allouis whom I thought was the coolest man alive had given us a tape with walking in the rain. The first time I heard it, I knew it was COOL. I STILL think it is KILLER today and it is 25 years later. It is acapella so I might be able to work with this track in a more modern setting.
"My jamaican guy", he he! just a funky track, nice and tight. Great drums.
"Slave to the rythm", what a beautiful track to close the compilation.
Damn man, I got some gems in my collection. In between this album and the fact that my brain is turning to mush on the "Marscarter vs Can you feel it" 30 minutes loop, I think I may have dropped an emotional tear.
Peace, Love and Timeless Classics.
Go get it! and watch this space for a mix coming soon.