W/E “Brownswood Love” Mix

Backhouse & Brownswood – “Brownswood Love.” Not a set of Accountants or Solicitors and their trendy start-up enterprise but a DJ Mix. My weekend was a write-off. Pretty much wasted the whole of it working. Still, there were a few good points.

I managed to argue with Gravity Forms into allowing me to¬†install their plugin on a client’s build – looking very nice, now – more on that in the future.

The highlight of the weekend occurred today. A good friend, Matt, has a Giggle of daughters and the eldest one, S. asked me to answer some questions. It is for her school project in Music. The emphasis is on Emotions and Music – how they tie in together.

The questions were smartly orientated and emailed to me from Dubai. S. should be able to read the answers over her breakfast in the morning. On the whole, it is a wholesome feeling that I got from this. She is a lovely young lady and I hope she smashes the project.

I hope to post the interview over on my arty site, www.andybackhouse.com. But I need to seek S’s permission first.

Other than that, I have been listening to a few DJ mixes on my headphones and it inspired me to have a crack at something different. What do you make to this:

 

 

When I first became aware of Mixcloud I was really into my Wonky Hip-Hop (music by the likes of Suff Daddy, early J-Zen and Wonky Logic). It was reflected in the earlier mixes I posted on the site – I had good feedback from them and I hope you don’t mind my trip down memory lane.

The music in this mix is exclusively from Brownswood Records and a what I listened to years ago. The tracks have aged very well.

It was nice to listen to music for the pleasure of listening to music again. That is what the interview with S. let me think – she is just finding her feet, musically, and has the whole adventure ahead of her.

Hell, she can already DJ better than I can.

It was great to stick on some music that I was not looking for inspiration from (dub) or listening to with a view of putting it on my radio show. I was listening with fresh ears. Thanks, S. Here is the playlist –

Artist / Track

Quasimoto / Come On Feet
Matthew Herbert / The Audience
Sa-Ra / Rosebuds
Carrie Cleveland / Make Love to Me
Darkstar / Aidy’s Girl Is a Computer
Tall Black Guy / Water No Enemy
Electric Wire Hustle / They Don’t Want
Ron Basejam / Into My Life
Grooveman Spot / Happy (feat. Kissy Asplund)
Nick Rosen / Ancestral Echoes
YU / Fine
Oumou Sangaré / Iyo Djeli
Keaver & Brause / Awake

DJing @ Henshaws

I was invited to take part in Beats On The Beach at Henshaws on Saturday. The main act was one of the best DJs I have had the pleasure of hearing – Rory Hoy. I was going to get my arse handed to me. I was quite nervous but held out until the end.

When I got there, with Scooby & K-Lo, we were waiting on Allan retrieving a cable. Not to worry, he is a good lad and I am sure he had everything under wraps. What really did worry me was that nobody knew I was DJing – I had been booked by the events staff. The events staff were playing football at that time.

Rory was a true gentleman. He said I could play my set – he was very accommodating. I rinsed it in a badman style / there were too many errors to count it as ‘good.’

Fuelled by failing equipment and drinking Babyfaced Assassin on an empty stomach in the sun, I then went and bought a Kontrol S4 Mk II on the internet from a  shop in Leeds. It should arrive in a couple of days and I am quite excited by it Рdespite the exorbitant price tag.

The S4 Mk II is a four-channel mixer for Traktor that allows me to control the software and play things through it live. This is going to be a lot of fun but I will need a few more paid gigs to earn the cash spent on it. Still, we have the sound system courtesy of Allan and we just need the venue Рit could prove a right laugh!

Here is a picture of the Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk II –

It has everything I need to DJ Dub (and more). It even has a Dub Freeze for mixing up breaks on the fly – this, along with the F1 I have from previous engagements, will enable smooth transitions.

However, I am quite kicking myself for my performance today. Am I overcompensating for inadequate DJ performance by splashing the cash on the project? No, I saw the limitation of my existing hardware today and it was an ugly sight.

The bright sunlight of Knaresborough was making it impossible to DJ from the Z1 Kontrol – this caused a lapse in DJ prowess and I completely messed up a mix into a Desmond Decker track.

Still, I was complimented on my set and it made the afternoon all the more enjoyable. It was great to hang out with my mates and selected children (some of them of drinking age). They safely arrived at K-Town Airport and will be returning to Dubai in the not too distant future. Hopefully, we have had a bit more drink to drink and Funs to be had.

Did someone¬†say “Dub Freeze?” Here is a better video explaining it than I could write up about:

May Day Dub Mix

 

My May Day Bank Holiday Dub Mix. I had fun making it – it is a good blend of tracks. Actually, it is almost the exact same mix of tracks as my latest radio show as Guerrilla Dub System. However, I fluffed the links in a few if the segments and was not too happy with the over all quality of the recording.

However, this DJ mix is mint!

 

Congratulations California Mix

Congratulations California Mix:: been busy – The Ashes are on again. It is the best thing to listen to when I am having a sleepless night – it is 06:55 and the township of Harrogate is asleep. Root has just got his half-century, we are 194-3 and the crowd have turned out for Funs. I have marked the legalisation of recreational cannabis in California below.

I have put my time tonight to good use and I went up to Creao Studio. I recorded a DJ Mix whilst up there – I am very happy with how it has worked out. I did the mastering (I am the man behind www.mastering.wtf) and it sounds sweet. Compression was key to it and a gentle maximising of the dynamics ensured normalisation.

 

 

Creao Studio has become a home from home for me – it is run by my good friend, Allan. I pay my subs and get to use the studio whatever I need to do in there. The studio is just at the top of my road –

 

 

But why am I practising my DJ’ing when I am closer to forty than I am thirty? Well, I have been invited to take part in a regular night in town. The idea is for me to play a few roots tunes. I have a new-ish set-up in that I have finally put to work my TRAKTOR F1 Kontrol. I am using it as a soundboard to help with the mixing between tracks that do not necessarily sit well together – now then, it could be argued that I should plan my sets better but I DJ Dub – so whoops, bleeps, horns and sirens are necessary.

I will try and report back on DJ Development (whoever he is) when I get the chance – but above you will be able to hear my mastered mix and below you will see the poster I did for the night.

 

Poster For Retro Bar, Harrogate

Hommage au Fromage #1

Below, you can listen to a mix I have completed.

I stayed up to listen to England get defeated in the Third Test Of The Ashes – seems we did not retain The Ashes this year – ho hum.

Still, the past few days have been a lot of fun – not much sleep has been had but there has been a lot of cricket and a lot of learning – I am now a member of The Audio Engineering Society and I am keen to make a go of being a Mastering Engineer – all the training is in place and I just need the client base.

Scoob took me out for a pint yesterday: good lad.

 

Sunday Of Muchness

I never really shook myself out of the last dip in health – I seem to have a bad sleep pattern. Still – that is all that is really affecting me; I have learned to live with the rest of my Malaria-Type symptoms. That in itself is quite a biggy.

I woke up at 11:58pm on Sunday evening.

That in itself should be cause for alarm – but I just have to ride it out with the rest of the summer time wamminess.

I did manage to record an excellent radio show the other day – On Sunday, at around 5am I was busy whispering in to my microphone and recorded another edition of The Parish News. Here it is:

Much of a sameness in the above – I tried to speak between the tracks but made a bit of a menace of myself with the pronunciation of an Ethiopian track. Still – all fun and games.

I also had my first contact for a new venture.

I have recently started a service that offers cheap mastering for DJ mixes. Mastering.WTF is the name of it and it can be found on www.mastering.wtf – a fun thing that should help keep my ear to current trends in DJ Mixing.

The site is one I built – a simple HTML build using The Personal Page template by Weightshift. The contact I received was by Matt da Conga – a local DJ and very close friend.

Matt did a hyper-eclectic mix of music for our mutual friend Helen A to play French Horn all over at a charity gig for British Heart Foundation. Hopefully I will be able to get some tickets to that … both parties seem to love the mastering I did for the mix. I will post a link to the mix in the comments section below as soon as I have word that Matt has uploaded it. This is what Helen had to say about it –

A Quick Mix

 

Above, you have the opportunity to listen to a wee mix I did. Quite proud of it too I am.

The neccessary tools were in the right place and I had a bit of free time.

Hope you like it.

In other news, it has been a day of work: but I did secure tickets for me and Mrs. Backhouse to see The Wailers in Leeds in March – they will be performing their Legend album in it’s entirety. Can’t wait – I never dreamed I would get to see The Wailers.

Bob Marley & The Wailers are pretty much most people access route to reggae. In my own personal journey, I found them by borrowing my mate Tom’s CD. We used to listen to the compilation whilst we got the pre-drinks in.

But that was half a life-time ago in the East Riding …

Ska Mix #1

This mix seems to be doing quite well.

Some of the radio stations I work with have reposted the mix on their sites so I have had quite a few listens.

I will post the mix up here and the, below, write up the tracklist. The mix has been broadcast on Show #28 and seemed to go down quite well. The mix was originally a response to the death of Prince Buster – however, it turned in to a celebration of Ska.

 

Tracklist –

Track / Artist

Don’t Throw Stones / Prince Buster
El Bang Bang / Jackie Mittoo
Loving Reggae (aka My Love and I) / The Maytones
Reggae From The Ghetto / John Holt
Mattie Rag (A.K.A. Ol’ Matilda / Lord Tanamo
Don’t Bring Me Your Dreams / Ewan McDermott & The Vibrators
Honky Tonk Ska / Granville Williams
Train To Skaville / The Ethiopians
007 (Shanty Town) / Desmond Dekker
Want Me Cook / Own & Leon Silveras
Congo War / Lord Brynner