Another Professional Project (Professional Project)

So Dungeon Dancehall is all over now, I thought why not include some work I was originaly doing outside of the unit for part of my professional project.

This one is a little different, It still involves music but this time I am producing it which is very exciting! It came about with Pegg asking me if I could make some sounds for his top secret video game. I said “yes”.

Although I would say I’m very new to music production, I find the process fun and very relaxing, almost like meditation. I get in a zone and stay in it for a couple of hours, it’s great.

I’d been hesitant befor this to show people any of my previous attempts at making music as it makes me feel awkward, but I’d say I’ve become more confident now.

I’ve produced everything for this project so far on my Ipad on an £20.00 app called Korg Gadget.

The App is a collection of synthesisers & drum machines and lets you create loops from them.

The video below explores the app in detail and one of the presenters also looks like Liam Birtles.

 

Obviously because Pegg’s game is a top secret government project I can’t release much information about it, however there are some early tunes that I have uploaded to youtube and have permission to show.

Here is an early track I made which Pegg seemed to like.

Although I’m a bass music kid, I really enjoy listening to ambient music as well. I’d say my influences range Marconi union, Brian Eno, Aphex Twin & to an extent Burial.

 

I’m actually really greatfull that I was given the chance to produce this soundtrack. Since I started making music for Pegg the process has kind of consumed me. I’ve also made two grime tracks that I’m happy with considering I’m so new to this.

They are below.

Obviously these are really different to the style of music that I’m creating for Peggs game. I’s say I enjoy producing these grime tunes more than the ambient stuff.

As far as these tunes are concerned, I’m influenced by early Wiley productions and tunes by Spooky.

 

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Burger King (Professional Project)

On the 15th of April as well as a live SU promo I will also be performing and promoting at Chris Pegg’s Brilliant Burger Bonanza which is being held in the arts bar. It’s going to be a good opportunity to try and flog some more tickets to people from the 3rd year and maybe some other people outside the course.

THE BURGER KING

THE BURGER KING

As well as mixing Luke will be providing some visuals. It will hopefully show a bit more about what we are about.

SU promotion, the day I played Skeng at AUB. (Professional Project)

Yesterday was our 1st live promotion at university. We set up at around 12:15 and promoted until 2:00pm. It was fairly successful and we sold 12 tickets during this time. That brings us to 22 tickets sold in total. More importantly that brings us to 66 dolla’ in my Dungeon Dancehall Santa Claus Money Box. We’ve also been asked to reserve a few more tickets for people who could not make it into uni whilst we were promoting.

"I make it in a studio not In A garage"

“I make it in a studio not In A garage”

Shout out to Jay for helping us spread the word yesterday as well. Before yesterday I was a little skeptical about how effective the SU promotions could be. Even though not everyone who passed bought a ticket or took a flyer, some went out of there way to approach us and ask for one which is very nice.
The previous SU promotion was know where near as successful, partly because we didn’t have any tickets to sell but also due to the fact we hadn’t made any other contacts at that time. This time we had a cool guy called Luke (not chapman) help us hand out some flyers and talk to some people, we are planning to book him for a future night during May. Another problem with the last SU promo for our event in November was partly my fault. I recognise that the music we push appeals to somewhat of a niche market. I was more conscious of this last time in my track selection and avoided dropping tunes that talked about crack cocaine and people getting “shot in the face like dart Ina’ board” this time I thought screw it, this is what we’re about let’s make people realise what we like. We got some looks and one guy nearly cried because he thought the music was “horrible” however it proved successful. We turned some heads and got some people dancing on the benches outside. We also got some cool comments from people passing who wanted flyers. All in all a success and we our next SU promo is on the 15th, a day before the event.

The Dungeon Sound its Origins, Conventions and Evolution. (Professional Project)

As the Dungeon Sound is a fairly niche style of music I thought I’d explain a little bit about its routes, pioneers and how it has evolved from where it started.

Dungeon is a sub genre of Dubstep, a form of electronic music that originates from Croydon in London. Early dubstep was a more instrumental form of U.K. Garage, Grime & Jungle music. Early tracks were experimental and the sound was a breath of fresh air in the underground community.

The track above is one of the earliest examples of Dubstep and its producers Skream & Benga are widely credited as some of the genre’s key figures.

Dubstep was a very underground form of music. The record shop Big Apple Records acted as a hub for the sound, ran by DJ Hatcha people from around London would come to Big Apple to get exclusive vinyl releases.

The sound began to grow out of London and also took to the airwaves via Rinse F.M. a pirate radio station that was founded by DJ Slimzee. Rinse was a small local operation which broadcasted the sound in and around the Croydon area. It established itself as the station for dubstep and grime music in London and had an ever growing roster of DJ’s and shows.

Rinse's Logo.

Rinse’s Logo.

As more and more people began to produce new tracks within the genre, different styles emerged, some were reggae style tracks characteristicly including sharp reverberating snare drums to add an atmosphere of space in the music. Others focussed more on the characteristic wobble  of sub bass lines. An example of which is shown below.

 

With new subgenres being created and becoming more popular Dubstep was becoming a larger more diverse style of music. One of the more underground styles emmerging was known as the Dungeon sound.

Above is an example of an early Dungeon track, this style focusses on a much darker, menacing atmosphere and a more minimal sounds. Characterised by the use of gritty film samples and deep sub basslines. DJ Youngsta is a pioneer of the sound and is credited with popularising it within the dubstep commuinity.

Once banned from Rinse F.M. for frequently smoking cannabis in the studio during his sets, Younsgta was aloud back on the roster and has continued to expand his audiences knowledge of the Dungeon sound that he loves.

Once banned from Rinse F.M. for frequently smoking cannabis in the studio during his sets, Younsgta was aloud back on the roster and has continued to expand his audiences knowledge of the Dungeon sound that he loves.

 

Youngsta’s shows introduced a wealth of talent to peoples ears and the genre now has a host of well known DJ’s & producers. Names such as J:Kenzo, Kryptic Minds, Pinch & Biome are now respected and exciting figures in the community.

 

So why is the Dungeon sound so popular? Part of the reason is a sense of community and values shared by it’s fans. Dubstep was founded on a culture revolving around dark rooms and big sound systems, Clubbers experiencing the massage of a heavy bassline while under the effects of Ketamine, Ecstasy or Cannabis. This feeling of chemical intoxication is definately reflected through the artists production techniques. The drum patterns they create skip around and reverberate around a room creating the atmosphere of floating through a large open space.

Croydub, a night that encompasses the Bass culture loved by fans of Dubstep.

Croydub, a night that encompasses the Bass culture loved by fans of Dubstep.

Now that i’ve talked a bit about the history of the Dungeon sound, I’d like to talk a little about My own DJ sets.

I’m lucky to have a large slection of music at my disposal to play during my sets although it has taken me a lot of time and money to build this collection. When starting a set I don’t have a premade plan of what tracks I am going to play. When this scene has been part of your lifestlye for as long as it has been in mine you naturally know what tunes mix in well with eachother and which don’t. In my head I have five classifications that i apply to my tracks.

1. Openers- these tracks are 0ften mellow and allow a listener to get used to the beat structure of the music I play.

2.Building- these are tracks which I feel naturally build into more of a vibe or narrative that I want to put across to the people listening. These building tracks usually take up to 75% of my total set and try to tell a story through sound.

3. Bridges- These are tracks that I will play when I want to switch up the atmosphere of my sets, they allow me to explore a different mood or subgenre too add some diversity and variation to the music.

4.Tear Out’s- These tracks are ones I mix with the intention of getting a big reaction to. These tunes will constantly change depending on the audience I am mixing to and what they will class as a ‘gully riddim’. If the reaction from the audience is great then I will occasionally rewind the track, bring it back to the begining and play it again.

5.Closers- These are tracks I select usually during the last half an hour of my set and can either have more of a chilled sound to them to gradually bring an end to the narrtaive or they can be tear out tracks so that the set ends on a real high. Once again it all depends on what the crowd are feeling on the day.

With my 5 track classifications at my disposal I am able to maintain a consistent flow through my music I think of them almost like chapters in a book.

Recently I have been working on developing my style of mixing to make my sets more dynamic and varied. A big part of this for me is watching DJ’s sets on websites like youtube.

The video above is a set by DJ EZ. I think EZ is one of the most talented DJ’s I’ve ever seen and has recently been a big inspiration to me. After watching his videos it’s made me really think about how I can be more creative in my mix. I started using more complex techniques like rapidly flicking between to beatmatched tracks using crossfaders to essenatily remix a track live.

I’ve also began to use the loop function in different ways. By setting the loop length to less than half a bar you can achieve some really nice stuttering effects which are good to incorporate into your set. EZ has also made me rethink how sampling can be used in creative way, adding little snippets of other tracks into a mix and then dropping into something totally different.

Start the video below at 6 minuites in and it will give you a good idea of the techniques EZ uses.