Crate excavations: Str8 dope from 2014

So back in December I noticed this trend of Top 10 lists, ranking and filing the best music away for posterity…  This list is a bit different though, first of all trying to narrow my 2014 crate down to a few favorites was difficult…  I really love a lot of the music I played last year, I grew so much as a DJ and dug up so many great tunes, the thought of having to choose a single one even as my favorite seemed unfair, because my feelings towards music changes so readily….  Instead I decided to go through my collection label by label, release by releases and skim through it for gems.  The releases I chose to select for this list almost all inspired me to buy multiple tracks, and in some cases an entire album, further more I took time to weed out the duds and freebee albums that sometimes seem to clutter up a good music collection.

The releases that are left here represent the wide variety my musical tastes embrace, but don’t nescessarily reflect my overall music buying / selecting habits, as I’ve chosen not to include the oh so many releases on which I only found a single track or perhaps two that inspired me enough to include them in my collection.  Instead this list is about the straight dope, 100% pure cuts because as any true connoisseur knows it’s about the quality, not the quantity.  Now without further au due, enjoy some of this pure grade A 100% good music.

Ragtime Records
Remixed Vol 1 –  The Woohoo Revue 
Phat Electro swing house I played Babushka(Mortisville,) El Torero (audio Prophecy,) and Fat Tuesday (mouldy soul.)
Champagne MachineJenova Collective 
Electroswing is one of my secret loves, Jenova Collective presents a new take, up beat break and house beats, if Lawrence Whelk through a swingers ball Jenova Collective would be the house band. I Played Digital Fandango, Get on Down, It Ain’t Right, It Can Happen To You, and *****Champagne Machine.<—One of my favorite tracks in 2014.

Amoeba Records
Mixtape Vol 1VA
Deep House – Pretty chil, but deep and driving. I played Chica, Guassapjazz, Morocontongo and The After Hour.

Enig’matik Records
Organic Mechanic Part 2 Grouch
Down / mid tempo, beautiful and organic.  I played: Exile*** this chill / lounge track has an insanely phat bass line.

Fragm’ntsVA
Amore Down Tempo, I played: *Flutterby, MetaCognition, Chute, Amendment XVII

Adapted Records –
Multifunktionality & Funky Borderline – Beat Fatigue 
These guys blew the doors off of funky Glitch this year, both of these albums and the second part of Multifunkitionality pretty much killed it for me when playing for the hippie / festy kids. For a second I thought funky glitch was doomed to an endless parade of Opiuo knock offs, but Beat Fatigue may have saved the sub –genre I played most of the tracks on each album at some point.
Fractal Beach Orphic
Definitely the best thing to come out on adapted this year, Orphic kills, this whole album is good, in fact there are only two tracks on the album I don’t recall having played out at some point or another, *Burn that Ego, *Disco Booty, *Getting Weird. 

Addictech Records
Telescopic FuturekLL sMTH
One of my Favorite glitch hop albums all year, kLL sMTH always whips up the best sound scapes with multi rhythmic synths stacked and layered to create rich bassy worlds dripping with psychedelia. I played: Katzenjammer, Oragami Peanut, Telescopic Future, and Transcendent Delusion**

Foundations Recordings
Foundations Gladkill 
I’ve been a Gkill fan since 2010 or early 2011, his trademark “Snugstep” sound has since been a major inspiration for me. If you’re familiar with the Gladkill sound there aren’t a whole lot of surprises here, so it’s not a revolutionary album, but worth picking up anyways. Don’t let the female vocal hooks, or soft sensual synths fool you this shit moves subwoofers just as much as any big dick swinging trap song. I played: Most of the album, ***Accolades is great for transitioning between sexy trap and deep house. 

Symphonic Distribution
Primal Melodies Emog
The sound of Street Ritual was much more too my liking this year, this Emog Album is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. The production is rich and full, it’s unique and original, **The Mystery List ***The After effects

Street Ritual
A Sacred Space
– Spundose
I love this album, it’s a bit diverse in sound, epic use of synths, phat bass, trippy and ethereal. I played many of these tracks but *Mindwebs, Mnemonix, Neural Handshake, Urban Shaman
Merkaba Music –
Liminal SpacesKaminanda
I didn’t play these tracks too many times, but it was worth mentioning the album because it’s pretty dope and well produced and a name your price on Bandcamp, Kaminanda’s sound is what I would call ethno –psydub, bordering on glitch-hop. Definitely on the chiller side of things, but there are still some decent dance tunes here.

 Tipper Music
Forward EscapeTipper
Much more a listening album than a dance album for sure, but this is definitely worth picking up, especially since proceeds help with homie’s heart surgery.

Whomp Music
Love is never EnoughAngus Green
This is the first I’ve heard of Angus Green, but this first album is a pretty good start. Honestly there were elements of the production I was not so fond of, but I love how this guy makes his music. Can’t wait to hear his sound develop.

HopSkotch Records –
Hot Sludge Sunday The Sludge Junkies
This was one of my favorite albums of the spring / summer. The bass in these tracks is so phat; the production work is top notch. I played the shit out of some of these tunes, ***Extra Pedestrial, ***Mothership Disco, ***The Itsies

House Muzik Records
Easy to SayMaqabe
Awesome Deep house, very jazz and up beat, you can’t go wrong with this shit. I played Booty Dance, Night Life, Easy to Say and Jazz Meets Deep.

Swamp Music
The SwampilationVA
Swampy and fat, this is a dark and psychedelic low tempo comp that really rocks I played:* *Bugbites, Ether, ***Gift #1, ****Moose Knuckle, *Haluphonic Megablaster and ***Phase Locking

Gravitas Recordings
Parallels Pt 2Psymbionic
I had never heard of Psymbionic before this album, the Austin based artist really lays it down, the album is essentially sexy trap, reminiscent of Gladkill but still unique. I really liked this one, ***One Thing (so sexy), **Sonder, *Silkscreen (Ill-esha Rnx)

Def Con 22 Sound Track VA
This is a pretty killer comp, with heavy hitters like Mochipet, Opiuo, Elite Force, KRS-One, Mc Frontalot and DJ Spooky this comp is jam packed with good stuff,Indi-electro, trip hop, glitch trap, and even DnB. I played: Drippin’, Parallels, Night City, and Antarctic Rhythms

FreakquencyZebbler Encanti Experience
This Album kinda just blew my mind, one part banging psytrance, and one part slamming trap… It’s wild for sure. What’s even more amazing is their stage show (or at least so it looks from the videos.)
Four40 Records
How We Go DownHostage
2Setp Garage Deep house awesomeness ***How We Go Down, Conscious

Kings CrossFunkystepz
2Setp Garage Deep house awesomeness ***Boyz in Da Hood

Advertisements

Serato DJ, the downfall of Rane.

In 2008 I had been DJing for a little over a year, and as my tastes developed I found that most of the music I wanted to play was not available on vinyl, at the time it seemed clear that I should buy a Serato SL1 and make the move to Digital DJing.  At first I loved Serato, it worked well, I rarely experienced crashes, glitches in the music, or any of the other problems many of my contemporaries were running into with Traktor.  I loved it so much that I printed out stickers to put on my keyboard to help me learn the keyboard commands, downloaded Rapid Evolution(then version 2.) and learned as much as I could about the software, and maximize my creative options as a DJ with it, including the internal mode that allowed me to jam out door events when other DJ’s were unable to keep their records from blowing away in the wind.

The love affair first started to get a bit Rocky in early 2010, at the time I was working a sound crew called “Team Infinity” (now called “Source One“) out of the SF Bay, and for the first time I was able to compare the sound of the original CD’s I ripped my music from with the MP3’s on my computer that I used to DJ on the Funktion-One, and the difference in sound was clear.  Then a Windows user I made the natural choice to switch to .wav files, and that’s where the problems began.

DJing with .wav files is a nightmare.  There is no tagging feature built into the file format, and so keeping one’s music collection well organized with all the key BPM and comments is a burden.  In the past with MP3’s I was able to rip my tracks from the CD’s I bought, or downloads from Beatport and scan them with RE2 and add them to my Serato crate, all pertinent info would populate itself.  With .wav’s the process of adding new music to my DJ collection was extremely time consuming, as I had transfer the information from one program to another file by file by hand, and what was once a process of an hour or so now took up a whole day.  And the effect on my then 40gb hard drive, crate loading times, etc was even worse.  I wanted to switch to .flac format, but at the time Serato didn’t support it.  I would have switched to CDJ’s except for they had the same problem, plus I didn’t have the grand needed to pony up for a pair of CDJ’s to practice on.  Eventually I gave up, sold my SL1, and went on a long term DJ hiatus.

In 2012, while living in India I found that the novelty of an american DJ was something of a advantage and rediscovered my love for the art form. I reclaimed my old DJ name (mor) and vowed to stay in the game when I got back to the States in September of that year.  Back at home I almost bought Traktor, until I realized that the latest Scratch Live update finally gave DJ’s the ability to use flac files.  I promptly went to Guitar Center and ponied up the $500 or so it cost for an SL2 box and my digital love and I were finally reunited!!!!

Everything was going great until this summer, when in August of 2014 I decided that I needed a small an inexpensive controller to take play with when dragging out several thousand dollars of equipment($700 mixer, $500 serato box which I had already had to replaced once due to theft, $1500 laptop, $800 turntables) just wasn’t warranted.  So I went to Guitar Center once more and relinquished yet another $300 for what I was thinking of as a toy, the Pioneer DDJ-SB.

Since I end up doubling as the soundman for most of my gigs(and have to bring my mixer and other gear anyways) I didn’t really have a chance to use it, and a month went by…  By the time I downloaded Serato DJ off the internet and realized that using this controller it only worked for 14 days, after which I would then have to pay another $129 for the software and taking this increasingly expensive “toy” back was no longer an option. So I stuck it in the closet.  What was even more frustrating was to realize that Serato DJ worked just fine with my SL2 box, but that still had no affect on my ability to use the not so cheap controller.

A couple weeks ago I realized that Serato DJ, and Serato DJ Intro are not the same thing.  The entire time I had been assuming that Serato DJ Intro was the same as the trial version of Serato DJ.  It’s not.  It’s like “Serato DJ Light.”  So now I have 3 Serato versions on my computer, Scratch Live(which has always been free for download) Serato DJ, and Serato DJ intro.  Fine what ever. Fuck it, toy software for a toy controller who cares right?  It would all be alright except for one thing…

Today for the first time since installing this “SDJ Light” toy software I decided to fire it up for friends and family at Xmas, the exact sort of setting I bought this piece of junk controller for and guess what..?  Serato DJ Intro does not support .flac files.  Wait, WHAT?!?!?!?!?!

SERATO YOU GREEDY FUCKING WHORE!!!!!  I THOUGHT WE WORKED PAST THIS!!!!  Over the years I’ve been so faithful, sang your praises, and have even convinced at least 3 other DJ’s who were planning to buy Traktor to go with you instead and this is how you show your thanks?  Not only did you decide to water down your software with this toy version bullshit, but even the toy is below par with other toys available on the market and doesn’t include support for an industry standard file format?!?!?!?

This behavior is abhorrent.  Intolerable even!  Serato can even send me an activation code for Serato DJ(which they damn well should considering how much money I’ve spent on their products over the past 6 years) but they won’t regain my respect and recommendation as a DJ unless they promise to address this disgusting oversight.

The worst part about it all is that except for this long standing .flac bullshit(which makes absolutely no sense, .flac is a open source format, it’s not like Serato has to pay extra licensing fees to support the format) I have for the most part been very happy with Serato.  I’ve never experienced a system crash(since switching to mac from windows at least) and I’ve even seen my whole computer lock up due to inadequate system resources, and yet still the audio was flowing out both channels flawlessly…  Claims that can’t be made by users of Traktor or Ableton(when your system locks up, those bitches crash.)  But this whole .flac business insults my integrity.  How can I feel comfortable promoting this brand when it’s practices disgust me?  I hope they get their shit together over at Rane because I’d hate to have to peel all the Rane and Serato stickers off all of my gear and give up on a product I love.

/end rant.
-mor

Robotic Wednesdays: Best Party in Oklahoma.

Have you heard the best sound system in Oklahoma? Last week I finally made it to Oklahoma City to check out Robotic Wednesdays for the first time, and it was pretty impressive, and well worth the $8. Robotic is the first dance party I’ve come to in Oklahoma where everything was done right, like seriously everything.

Let’s start with the sound, first of all there were two dance floors of it, so right off the bat there I had the option to switch rooms when the music on the main stage got a little too “angsty” for me, which tends to happen. The main “Robotic” dance floor sports four corner dance stacks by Funktion-One, I even took a peak inside an amp wrack and low and behold they even have the manufacturer recommended E=mc2 amps, those babies aren’t cheap but sure do they sound pretty. The sound in there is just right, you can feel every molecule in your body vibrate as the subs and infra subs hit, and yet still the mids and highs weren’t hurting my ears. On the “Living Room” side stage it looked like they had QSC powered stuff, and plenty of subs… In fact I probably spent most of the night dancing there.

Behind the decks on the main stage I caught some of Ed Crunk who was slaying it with some of the perfect music to drop on such an epic system, and “KrewX” played pretty fab as well, I really dug his first few tracks especially, the ones before he slipped into the more “banging” or “harder” tracks the kids always seem to be about, the rest of the floor was feeling it though… Blake O. Evan C and Jeff Diamond killed it all night in the Living room though I kept finding myself pulled back in by the super phat house and the occasional two step.

One thing I see done wrong a lot of places that these guys also got right was the lighting, All the equipment was well placed and the over all affect of the lighting (and TV’s with visuals behind the DJ’s) was pretty impacting, meaning that it enhanced the mood while not blinding anybody in the process.

One couldn’t have asked for a better vibe there either, from the guy at the door to the security guards and bar tenders, all the staff were on top of their game, respectful and chill, I didn’t even have to wait in line for more than a minute or so to get a drink. They even had some comfy couches, art hanging and a separate out door smoking section.

Robotic on par with some of SF’s best clubs, and I’m gonna say they put on the best club night in Oklahoma hands down. Even though they haven’t announced any guest DJ’s for the Illuminated Party this week I think I’m gonna go any ways, and they’re even having a “Black and White” New Years Eve Ball. If you like to dance and you haven’t checked out Robotic yet, GO! It’s worth the trip.

Liner Notes: PEGA5U5 Debut album the Flock

Good music Alert!!! (Links at the bottom)

PEAGA5u5 Debut Album

PEAGA5u5 Debut Album

Love good hip hop, a phat groove or a beautiful soundscape? Check out PEGA5U5’s debut album, Flock.”  Some how it manages to blend groovy and goofy, psychedelic and sexy; and warm and wet.  The production work here is rich and beautiful, I would expect nothing less from something Mr. Rogers had his hand in, but it’s truly and evolution in sound.  The Hip-hop lyrics are positive inspirational, and even catchy at times and frequently matched with beautiful wet vocals which sing out to the heart; inviting the head to nod and the toe to tap.

Highlights of the album are #2 “Get Low,” a warm hip-hop infused invitation to the dance floor full of organic percussion, strings, and wood winds, along side a funked out buzzy bass line. #5 “Blue Sol” Ft CelloJoe a majestically sexy trap track that is one part Com Truise, one part Nu Jack Swing, one part cello all blended with a dash of glitch and 808.  Akon would sell his soul to have been on this one, str8 baby making music. and #7 “Gravity” ft Deja Solis My personal favorite, it’s like if you took the spirit of early 2000 progressive house and applied it to a not quite hard hip-hop track with female vocals.  It’s like Freddy Todd on Viagra.

Mr. Rogers hooked it up on an advanced copy (.wav!) with the explicit request that I not share it. I can’t help but share here, because this shit is bomb. I listened to the album back-to-back like 4 times, it was that good. Another cool thing is that the album is Self Released through Band Camp as a “Name your price” Download, or a $12 Limited addition compact disc which comes with online access to downloadable and streamable copies.

Find PEGA5U5 on Bandcamp.com Sound Cloud or Facebook

-mor

(My Liner notes are recorded below)

Continue reading

Our web page is finally coming together!

So I’ve spent the past 5 hours or so figuring out how to use the wordpress platform to create our website!  Wordpress is a little bit different than good old HTML, but the platform promises save a lot of time because of it’s ability to be reformat the entire site without endless coding and recoding on my part.  However I’m missing the flexibility of HTML because it seems more difficult to integrate forms, tables, and other little things which were seemingly much easier to implement in the world of old school HTML.

Done Today:
  • Mobile DJ Service Page
  • Mobile DJ Packages Page
  • Sound Reinforcement Page
  • Sound Equipment List
  • Lighting Page
  • Lighting / Visual Equipment page
Coming Soon:
  • Quote request form pages
  • DJ Bio Pages
  • Event History List
  • Calendar Integration
  • Linking with my artist site / music blog.
  • Gathering testimonials of previous clients and colleagues.
  • Photo Gallery
  • Videos demonstrating lighting techniques.
  • Mobile display formatting.
  • Getting over this headache.

Signing off,
-mor

 

End of the Universe Pre-sales Available Here!

Sorry, cheap presales no longer available.   Tier 2 presales will be available at the Subkulture booth inside center of the universe festival!

When the Center of the Universe ends, another party begins…. Mor than just a party, it’s the “Party at the End of the Universe!”

Featuring on two stages:
@MYCHO PAN COCO – MAL LABEL – San Fran CA –
on Friday
and
Jonny Tsunami – OKC
DJ Ronin- Dallas, TX
Bring Tha Ruckus – KC, MO
On Saturday

With support from local legends:
Josh Skanka Hills
George Priet
Kody Aaron William Klutts
Eric Fehringer (Erixsix)
Jonny Lion
Lance Alan Miller (DJ Creole)
Mike Hall
& last but not least, Mor

Dress up as your favorite space traveler and hitch hike down to “Moriways” the Party at the end of the universe to claim your prize for being a bad ass.

To help entice and inspire you to get lost in the moment we’ve askedChelsea Roudebush to bring out some of her amazing art, and out burningman crew is gonna put together a wicked outdoor chill lounge, complete with psychedelic lighting by Sidewayz 8 that will make you wonder if there’s something in the water supply.

Kate Erlinger and friends will be coming down from KC as well with a trunk full of fire toys… Let’s just say things could get hot. Rawr.

Sidewayz 8 also providing out door sound, and lighting control, no lazers in your face guaranteed.

FIY
*10 mins from downtown * Safe Legal Venue * secure parking *
* Fire performance * 2 stages * byob * Party past dawn *
* Adults only *And Please!!
Leave all weapons, explosives, bad attitudes and drama at home, as well as observe all state federal and local laws. Anyone found to be ruining the vibe will be asked to leave.

What is more than just a party?
We’re the same madness that created the old Groovement Ent. Parties, as well as is responsible for the mor recent After Beats Social Club. We strive to take each event to a new level, and seem to succeed. It doesn’t matter if 30 people or 300 people show up because we’re determined to have a good time.