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‘What will you play tonight’?

As I step up to the DJ booth I feel that exact same feeling I did over 30 years ago when I played my first gig, a sense of excitement that I’m going to share with many people the music that I have spent days hunting for in music shops along with the countless hours of late nights preparing, mixing, organising my playlist and making notes. This is the moment my whole week has been building to, it’s going to happen now and that kid inside me is bursting to be unleashed because the rewards of seeing hundreds of smiling faces, tears and euphoria (that I’m in control off) is an experience I can’t put in words.

27 March 2017 Blog  News Read more

So, you want to join this lethal industry as a producer or DJ?

My heart is divided when I see the challenges the next generation are faced with trying to make a career in the music industry. On one hand it’s harder than ever in the current climate to make a decent living in this saturated market, then on the other hand many only have themselves to blame failing due to not researching what they are getting themselves into.

15 November 2016 Blog Read more

Trance, two very different parallel worlds.

After a slight lull in Blogs, I’m listening to your recent requests of where to focus my pen. A regular question I get asked, what is Trance? What should it really sound like?

13 October 2016 Blog Read more

Social media for an unsocial person.

I’m the first to admit that I’m a very private person and always been uncomfortable with social media regardless if it’s for personal life or my career. The last decade this world has changed, take a look around and you’ll see most people with their heads down looking at a screen in their hand, this is the new world that I’m being forced to become a part off and being quite an unsocial hermit of a studio/music geek this has been quite a challenging transition.

12 October 2016 Blog Read more

Set times.

Set times once used to be a crafted thing of beauty,  a form of unity created by a group of passionate artists and promoters working closely together in order to produce the perfect musical experience. It was that very musical experience that gained the trust of the attendees and bought them back week after week.
Recently a set time has become a badge of honour, a trophy of status, a show of power, a chest puffed announcement to the world they are performing a headline set. An army of managers now dictate to the promoter when and for how long their act plays to ensure they become the main attraction so that they walk away being ’man of the match’ taking the glory for the evenings entreatment. It’s career building.
It’s a hard pill to swallow for the next generation of DJ’s getting pushed to the side at festivals and big events, they get 60 minutes to play while the big guy gets 3. It’s an even harder pill for the promoter to swallow when the manager won’t listen to his pleas that the set time they are dictating won’t work in his territory. The musical curve is shattered and disjointed throughout the evening. The big guy finishes playing then leaves. So does the rest of the dancefloor. The promoter used to be like a conductor of an orchestra ensuring all the parts of the band flowed, now they’re a school teacher fighting off the spoiled brats parents.
The evening’s programming must have a story, a magical journey. There used to be a gentleman’s agreement while on the stage, the DJ before would bring the energy to the correct level for the next to take over. A discrete conversation would be had once the next act arrived letting them know the tracks you already played and asking what BPM/vibe they would like things to be left for them, instead you’re often faced with a musical situation that’s a long way off where you fit and have to reset things. Yes it effects the vibe on the dance floor.
There is light at the end of this tunnel, there’s a new generation of events and festivals that are gaining traction, again that unity is getting reignited and it’s wonderful to see people like; Boomtown, Bedrock,  Jeff Ryan (Dreamstate), John O’Callaghan (Subculture), Javier Bussola (BAT), Oz (Ozmozis), Solarstone (Pure Trance), Noisily, Luminosity, JOOF Editions,  and more getting hands on personally communicating with the artists to ensure they produce the best shows possible. Passion once again takes prime place.

29 June 2016 Blog  News Read more

JOOF Recordings – 18 years.

18 years ago my good friend Russell Coultart (who owned Transient & Automatic records), suggested I start my own record label due to the amount of unsigned new music that I was uncovering while crate digging in record shops. From his experience running two very successful labels, he quickly identified myself being the recipe of what makes a great A&R boss and put me forward for the job asking me to take this lead role whilst he provided the business infrastructure. Handshake was done and we became partners. From that day I took the stance to support and provide a platform to uncover new emerging talent and showcase those producers that are making forward thinking music. Still today 18 years later, that ethos has stayed in tact. Though we have many, many well established producers wanting to come onboard, I don’t want JOOF recordings to be a commercial label, the day that happens we lose our musical freedom. We simply identify producers with something unique, daring to be different for us to showcase to the world.
Over the last couple of years we accumulated so many producers that main JOOF was at full capacity having releases almost every week, this certainly wasn’t a place we wanted to be in, being like a factory churning so much music out. We originally had no genre rules but had to address this problem to take the strain off JOOF. As you all know, we did a slight rebrand launching two sub labels, JOOF Mantra now takes care of all things in the Psy world, whilst JOOF Aura heads in a deep progressive direction whilst JOOF continues to concentrate on Trance. The results after just six months are phenomenal and we can’t thank you enough for the support.
Running a label can also take it’s toll and at one point ten years ago I nearly closed down JOOF. Russell closed his labels as he moved to another area in the music industry, this was at the time where vinyl sales had significantly decreased, download sales had just started along with torrent sites hitting those digital sales hard. Suddenly the income for all artists and labels in the industry were hit hard, we could no longer employ the team of staff we had in the office and some serious thinking to be done as it was impossible for me to work full time on this along with my DJ/producer career. You all have to thank my long term friend Marnik from Bonzai, if it wasn’t for him JOOF would no longer exist. It was one of those fate moments, Marnik called me at the time when I was struggling, being a close friend I opened up to him with my dilemma. Marnik has always been one of the most forward thinking guys in this music industry I’ve known and for the next two hours I fuelled off his excitement has he predicted the future of the digital age that was heading our way. As always he was right. I’m so glad he reached out on that day, I accepted his helping hand and JOOF instantly became a label partner within Bonzai labels and distribution group.
Alongside the Bonzai team; Marnik, Fly, Katja along with Gary, Daniel, Glen, Darren and Selma this month we celebrate JOOF Recordings 18th birthday.  We won’t make a big fuss, we’ll save that for 20 years, but we’ve made a little album full of remixes of JOOF favourite from over the years.
We also must thank all the producers that make the foundation of JOOF records, and of course you the fans as without we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Happy Birthday to my baby I’ve dedicated 18 years of my life too.

16 June 2016 Blog Read more

Sound Control

I often come across fellow DJ’s and producers that passionately chat about how they need high quality files to play out in clubs, then proceed to rattle on about bit rates, killahurtz and frequencies. In the studio I’m the same, I care about sound, buy high end equipment in order for me to create the very best music possible with the sound quality being at the top of my list. An age old internal joke between musicians, we spend all this care, attention and thousands of pounds spent on studio equipment that gets lost when it reaches the end user that listens to the music on a pair of iPhone headphones. I see similarities between this and equipment in some clubs.

13 June 2016 Blog Read more

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