The second half of my set from the Lookout on February 15th. 129 bpm.
Spring Progressive 2013
A selection of some of the most recent prog tracks of the year. 128 bpm.
If I Lose Myself (Alesso vs. OneRepublic Extended Mix) - Alesso, OneRepublic
The One feat. Shena (Original Mix) - David Puentez
Givin The World To You (Thomas Gold Remix) - Josh Jackson
Way to Paradise feat. Lucas Marmitt (Original Mix) - Disco Killah, Frennzy
Don’t You Worry Child feat. John Martin (Tom Staar & Kryder Remix) - Swedish House Mafia
Learn To Love Again (Cutmore Extended Mix) - Lawson
Ace (Original Mix) - Boris Way
Stars feat. Jonny Rose (Original Mix) - Vicetone
As Your Friend feat. Chris Brown (Leroy Styles & Afrojack Extended Mix) - Afrojack
This Is What It Feels Like feat. Trevor Guthrie (W&W Remix) - Armin van Buuren
Persia (Original Mix) - Martin Volt, Quentin State
Together We Are (Original Mix) - Arty, Chris James
ONE 2013 Preview (December 2012 Robcast)
A preview of my T-Dance set at ONE, BOOM Wilton Manors, January 1, 2013. Vocal and Progressive House. 128 bpm. ONE is produced by HOUSE-XL.
Dark Side (Ean Sugarman & Timofey Mix) - Kelly Clarkson
One & Only (7th Heaven Club Remix) - Cherry Cherry Boom Boom
Catch My Breath (Cosmic Dawn & Andy Reese Club Remix) - Kelly Clarkson
Try (Cosmic Dawn Remix) - Pink
Amazing (Matt Consola & LFB Swishcraft Club Mix) - Mars and Vans feat. Adam Turner
Sight of You (Rudedog Remix) - Tulisa
This Sound (Extended Club Mix) - All The Glitters
In My Mind (BURN Mashup) - The Wanted vs. Ivan Gough & Fenixpawl, Axwell
I Love It (Wayne G + LFB Club Remix - Explicit) - Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX
Rock This Party (Extended Mix) - Taylor Jones
Real Life (Mauro Mozart Festival Remix) - Allan Natal feat. Patricia Camin
Our Love (B-Sensual vs. Notend Remix) - Stereo Palma feat. Craig David
Dance Again (Toy Armada En El Sol Remix) - Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull
Without You (Joe Gauthreaux Epic Rework) - David Guetta feat. Usher
Don’t You Worry Child (Extended Mix) - Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin
Celebrate! (Noisefactory Remix) - Richie Luna
I’m extremely excited to announce my first out-of-town gig and first gig of 2013: ONE, produced by House-XL. 14 hours of non-stop house music at BOOM Wilton Manors, Florida on January 1st. I’ll be performing with established pros John LePage (SF), Bill Hallquist (Miami), Chris Padilla (NYC) and Ricky Sinz (Chicago). Am I nervous?
Just a bit.
Autumn Trance 2012
I fell in love with Trance back in the mid 90’s before I even knew what it was called. Outside of night clubs, it was nearly all I listened to for the next decade.
Autumn Trance is intended as a bit of a flight, beginning with some banging beats and heart-felt vocals that will sweep you off your feet only to carry you across a melodic landscape of the latest progressive, uplifting and classic trance and gently return you to earth happy and perhaps a bit more relaxed. I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I did!
This podcast is dedicated to the memory of Neil Lewis, who was aware of my love of Trance and introduced me to Seven Cities by Solar Stone, one of my all time faves (and featured in this set). 135 bpm.
Orgy 90's Upstairs Live Part 2
DJ Rob Conner
The second half of my set at “Orgy 90’s Condom Party” by guspresents.com. Although it was a late night set, it ended up being more T-Dance-ish because of the tracks from the 90’s that I included and people seemed to appreciate the lighter vibe. 2 hours and 20 minutes of male and female vocal house and during the last hour, trance.
130 - 132 bpm.
Orgy 90's Upstairs Live Part 1
DJ Rob Conner
The first half of my set at “Orgy 90’s Condom Party” by guspresents.com. Although it was a late night set, it ended up being more T-Dance-ish because of the tracks from the 90’s that I included and people seemed to appreciate the lighter vibe. 2 hours and 20 minutes of male and female vocal house with a generous helping of tribal and progressive beats. DANCE! :-)
128 - 130 bpm.
I occasionally check out this website to keep current on DJ gear: http://djworx.com/
Tonight I read an intro on the latest from Pioneer:
Which made me wonder if software will put DJs out of business. Not only can this product sync up beats, it can mix tracks. Scary stuff. And then I thought this:
It’s an interesting time to get into DJing. Just like in countless other occupations and activities, automation is rendering some long-required skills partially or wholly irrelevant. When I learned the basics of DJing late last year, most of my lessons were taught with Serato Scratch Live. Whether controlling Serato with my tutor’s turntables or the CDJs at the club near his studio, his MacBook Pro was almost always there. It was only at the end that we put the computer away and spent a few hours using just the CDs I had burned and brought with me.
I confess. Serato makes it really easy to access and browse my music library. Cue points can be set in advance. The high-resolution waveform shows when the next drop-out is coming, which is handy when playing an unfamiliar track.
Anyway, this is what I was taught to use, so this is what I am comfortable with. Give me Serato, a Pioneer mixer and two CDJs and I’m a happy DJ.
The night before my first gig, I was hanging out in a Castro bar with two friends, Jim and Brian. I think I had two drinks. When asked, I said I didn’t want anymore and needed to head home, which elicited at least one scowl.
"I have to beatmatch for three hours tomorrow," I said. "I need to be at 100%."
"You’re beatmatching?" Brian asked.
"What else would I do?" I said.
He began to reply, but was cut short by Jim’s hand over his mouth.
Two realizations hit me at once. One, there was obviously something that could automate beatmatching. Two, this something was at least somewhat frowned upon.
A quick internet search revealed one possibility: Traktor. The same internet search also revealed that beatmatching software was extremely controversial. DJing with a computer was looked upon with disdain by many, including non-DJs, oddly enough. I suddenly felt guilty using my laptop, even though Serato Scratch does not beatmatch.
My experience with beatmatching software is limited to Mixmeister, which I played around with early this year. It is popular with spinning and aerobics instructors and other people who want to create their own mix sets. It really can’t beatmatch worth a crap. Probably one out of ten times it creates a train wreck. Even I can beatmatch more reliably. I don’t know if Traktor is more accurate or not, but either way I’d rather not trust it to a computer.
But apparently a lot of people *do* let the computer beatmatch for them, which brings me back to my first sentence: it’s an interesting time to get into DJing. Part of the reason is that it seems like everyone and their mother wants to be a DJ now.
Twenty years ago, there were far fewer DJ’s. For one thing, beatmatching was more difficult. You had to calculate the BPM yourself (now the CDJ or software does it for you) or be skilled enough to beatmatch without it. There were no pretty waveforms to provide a visual heads-up of what’s coming next. You had to carry around crates of vinyl. You had to *buy* crates of vinyl. You had to hang out in record stores and search for the next hot release. In short, there were much higher barriers to entry - it required more time, more skill and more money.
Those barriers are pretty much gone. Software can beatmatch for you. mp3s and wav files are weightless, cheap (or even free if you pirate) and you can browse Beatport, the iTunes Store, and Juno Records from anywhere. If you can afford a laptop and DJ software you can call yourself a DJ, whether you are actually “jockeying” discs or not.
My guess is that this is the root of the negative opinions toward the “digital DJ.” Traditional DJs spent months or years perfecting their skills. They likely spent years amassing their library of records. You knew these people loved what they did because it required serious practice and effort. I admit that even as a relative newbie I find myself irritated when I see that so-and-so adult actor or go-go dancer is suddenly DJing at a club I would like to play. I wonder, is he *really* DJing or is he a human jukebox? Does it matter? Is there a difference anymore?
Things change. The internet killed the traditional record store, book store and travel agency. Photoshop turned everyone into a graphic artist. Advanced cameras turned everyone into a photographer. And beatmatching software can make anyone a DJ. Instantly. So, that gorgeous guy who touched a mixer for the first time a week ago and can’t beatmatch on his own might now be competing with you for gigs. This is the reality. We have to accept it and deal with it, cuz we ain’t gonna change it.
Having said that, technology doesn’t mean they will be any good. Knowing a bit of Photoshop doesn’t make me a good graphic artist. I think my album art and banners are decent, but I’m not educated or talented enough to *be* a graphic artist. My fancy camera doesn’t mean I can compose a photograph worth a crap. It can focus and adjust the f-stop and shutter speed automatically, but it doesn’t make me artistic. Similarly, giving someone Traktor and several megabytes of mp3s won’t make them a good DJ. Even after learning to skillfully mix tracks and select songs with compatible keys, after understanding musical structure and phrasing, we have to worry about “energy” and “the journey.”
I thoroughly understand these concepts as they relate to a DJ set, but implementing them is still a challenge. Talent would help, of course, but I can’t say whether I have any or not. What I can say with certainty is that as I become more familiar with my music, it does get easier. I don’t know if it ever becomes effortless. I’ll have to get back to you on that after a few hundred hours of experience. Or a few thousand.
So yes, DJs are a dime a dozen now. With many of the barriers to entry gone, we have to focus on something else. And that is something that can’t be faked or replaced with technology: