Friday, August 27, 2010

Interview: Peter Christianson & Luke McKeehan - MVP

MVP is a brand new collaboration between Peter Christianson from LawnChair Generals and Luke McKeehan from Nordic Trax, and marks the first release on the LCG Music imprint not to come from LawnChair Generals themselves. Individually Peter and Luke are recognised as major players in house music so it was a honour to get the inside track on the new release and a chance to ask the fellas a few questions about all things housey and beyond!

Collectively the pair have decades of experience at the cutting edge of house music – Peter’s music has appeared on the finest labels including Om, Aroma, Amenti, Dust Traxx and of course Nordic Trax, while Luke’s label is one of the most respected in the industry, established in 1997 and going strong ever since thanks to an elite roster including Jay Tripwire, JT Donaldson, Gavin Froome and Morgan Page. He is also Vancouver’s most prominent house music promoter, bringing the world’s biggest names to the city.

Peter and Luke have known each other for years, having worked together on projects including Alexander East’s ‘Believe En Me’, LawnChair Generals’ ‘Around The Block’ album and countless DJ performances. The MVP project and ‘Music’ came about while Luke was touring the east coast of the US and stopped in to Washington DC (where Peter was living at the time) for a show and a few days off. After too many drinks and too many conversations about music and golf they made their way to the studio. They took a simple and free-wheeling approach to the music, make it sound great and make it fun. Luke and Peter say “we really wanted to give the tune a tracky feel with a big pay off, one that sneaks up on you when you least expect it.” Music certainly doesn’t disappoint on that front with its Mr Fingers style bass causing dance floor devastation wherever it has been played so far.

MVP - Music (LCGM009) by LawnChair Generals

Being behind such established labels what do you think the secret of their successes is for all those smaller operators out there?

Peter: I could say hard work, perseverance and a dash of skill but I think those are things all label heads put into their labels. I think the real juice is a combination of luck/timing and staying true. I think that as long as you truly believe in what you're doing, releasing, supporting etc., that success in some form will always follow. It may not be in a monetary form or notoriety but in the long run, if what you are doing is true to who you are, people can see that and will respond to it. Now if you could give me my crystals back and point me towards the closest pyramid I'll be on my way.

Luke: Try not to follow the fashion of dance music, do your own thing, but also stay current with the standard of production.

Who were/are the biggest influences on your DJing/Producing styles?

Peter: Influences constantly change. When I was younger (I won't how long ago that was ;-) it was all about New Order, Happy Mondays anything Factory or 4AD really and the classical music my dad was always playing around the house. As I grew up it changed into early techno, house, rock, pop and just about everything you can imagine. The college years had me ass deep in jazz and scotch.  I've hit a point now where I find it in everything. From the early 90's R&B my girlfriend won't let go to the cutting edge bands that Carlos (Carlos Mendoza LCG) is always emailing me. I seem to find something in all of it all the time. It's like I've got the ADD of inspiration.  Maybe I should go back to the scotch.  

Luke: For deejaying, a few Toronto college radio djs from the 80s and mix tapes from Chicago.

What’s best - vinyl, CD or Digital DJing?

Peter: I love vinyl. It's been a part of my life for all of my life.  From my fathers collection of opera box set to the thousands of titles that literally surround me in the studio. Just looking at them makes me feel at home and smile. DJ'ing to me will always be vinyl. That being said, "time marches on, never ending."  I'd be lying if I said I don't enjoy the fact that I can carry ten times the music in 1/10th the space. That I can re-burn, re-edit and re-cycle the same cut over and over and over. Vinyl is still the most fun mechanically but digital opens up realms artistically that could never be done with vinyl and I'd be remise to not participate in that. Did I successfully not answer the question?

Luke: I play on cdjs and just got a cdj2k for the home studio and love it. I do miss playing vinyl out, but that's more a case of nostalgia. I don't miss breaking my back carrying wax around the world. And the reality is, with the digital formats, you can travel with and play so much more music, so it's expanding people's options, not limiting them.

If you had to play one last club, event, gig, place where would it be and why?

Peter: Hands down Sub Club in Glasgow. Easily the best show I've ever played. Educated, enthusiastic audience, perfect booth, stupendous club owner/promoter and what could be two of the best resident dj's

Luke: Vancouver, free party, for friends & supporters. Because this is the city where my deejaying took off and the label is based, a no brainer really.

You must get to hear a stack of new material every week - which up and coming producers/labels are you looking out for?

Peter:  It's kinda hard to call them up and coming but I'm a huge fan of Pets Recordings.  

Luke: Baker Street is one of the only new-ish labels I find with a sound & identity that is fresh. Typically play and enjoy most of the stuff I get from them. Same goes for Drum Poet Community, which is of course very consistent. Producers: Jay Shepheard, Scope, Pete DaFeet & Neighbour always deliver, but there are so many great producers out there right now, it's hard to choose only a few.

What's in your pockets right now?

Peter: Nothing, totally empty. I function better with nothing in my pockets.  

Luke: wallet, blackberry bold

What is the greatest track ever made?

Peter:  Wow! That's a bold question. I don't know if I have the right personality to answer that. I might say Willie Nelson's, "Always On My Mind" or Cat Steven's, "Wild World" or Emmylou Harris's, "'Til I Gain Control Again" or Joy Division's, "Atmosphere" or, or , or , or, see I suck at this.

Luke: Hate this type of question, but since you ask, I have to go with a classic: George Benson 'On Broadway' does it for me everytime, and has done so since I first heard it when I was a kid.

You’ve just released your collaboration ‘Music’ under the MVP name. Tell us a bit about that and what you think marks the MVP sound out from other artists?

Peter: Luke and I have known each other for years and liked each other for at least two or three of them, so it only made sense that we'd try writing some tunes together. We realized that we had a similar attitude towards music and what we liked and didn't like. Other then the groundbreaking collaboration of a Canadian and an American I'm not sure it is all that different. I can only speak for my self on this one but I just wanted to write a tune that was fun and to the point.

Luke: Well even though I suppose I may be known for the deeper, more musical stuff, I really like percussive tracks that simply work on the dance floor without a lot of fuss. MVP was a way for Peter and I to both not be held to some of the conventions that dominate too much (deep) house, and focus more on a bigger room sound. In the end, either you'll play the track or you won't, no one's going to buy it just b/c it's LCG or NT, and that's somewhat liberating too.

How is being in the studio together, especially as it's a new partnership as opposed to previous collaborations and remixes etc?

Peter: Luke's a blast in the studio, easy going and open to all ideas.  Having known each other for years made it really comfortable to sit down and be creative. Plus he always comes proper with beer.  Working with someone else can be difficult at best sometimes, I've been very lucky in that all the people I've worked with have been a god fit. Carlos (my partner in LCG), Ken ECB Christensen, Luke McKeehan and Fred Everything (I've just finished a new record with Fred) have all been very easy to work with as well as very talented.  

Luke: Very cool. Peter is a great engineer and even though we both use the same software and set up, he's way better at it and thus I could just get out of the way on that tip. As well, even though we've known each other for ages, it was the first time we've worked on music together, so I feel that there was a comfort level there that's not typical of a first collaboration.

As the industry utilises more and more technology to promote itself, how are you finding the challenges of engaging audiences on social networks and the like?

Peter: I suppose technology has made it easier to get your music to the people but at the same time it's made it far more crowded on the road there. I always say that in a work week I loose at very least 40% of my time to non-creative endeavors. Whether it's updating countless sites and profiles, promoting new projects, hunting down contractors or accounting it all takes away from writing music.   

Luke: It's a double-edged sword, you can connect with your supporters directly, which is great. But then wouldn't it better if we were all just working on better music? not having to waste so much time on Facebook and the like. I'm glad Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Wonder had more time to make the music they did, but then kind of like the digital vs vinyl debate, with social media the cat's out of the bag.

Luke - you're a big Arsenal fan, where you going to finish this year? Ha!

Luke: We'll we're due for some silverware, so I have to say top of the table don't I. Next to that as long as we beat Spurs lol...

What would you say was the style/sound of LCG Music?

Peter: LCG Music was created as an outlet for records whose contracts had expired or remixes that never saw the light of day. Carlos and I created it so that we'd be able to digitally release stuff that had run its course on vinyl. For a long time the sound of LCG Music has been that of LCG. It's only been in the releases this year that we've started to introduce new sounds. Remixes from Fred Everything, Giom and Rhythm Plate have begun to create a sound that is unique to the label. MVP's, "Music" is the first release not accredited directly to LCG. As we move forward we'd like to introduce more new sounds from a variety of artists both new and established, letting the LCG Music grow as we do.

What are the goals for the label in the future?

Peter: Really fairly simple. I'd like to see LCG Music contribute to the growth of house music. I want it to be the kind of label that gets artists to push themselves. So when you grab a release by your favorite artist on LCG Music you hear it and say, "Wow, not entirely what i expected, but i love it."

What are you listening to at home these days?

Peter: I have been listening to a crap ton of Japan lately, that David Sylvian, it's like he's in my head.

Check out more from Peter and Luke here:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

DJ's that could save your life: Murray Richardson

It's over 15 years (I think) since I first spoke to the high energy, Spurs loving, deep house devotee that is Murray Richardson. Back then untitledmusic was just a low budget fanzine that got dropped off in some the finest record shops in the land, and Murray had obviously picked one up and got in touch.

I'm not really sure what we blabbed about now, music, clubs, Dj'ing, footie. It was to be another couple of years until I had the pleasure of experiencing Rebel Waltz in the City Cafe, Edinburgh - the energy was there, the tunes were top and a life long friendship cemented (remember me Muzza!?) Ha!

In the years since Murray won Musik Magazine's Bedroom Bedlam, and from there it just went global. Murray has spread his talent with guest spots all over the world, playing in some major cities such as New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Barcelona, Lisbon, Prague, Moscow, Johannesburg, Capetown, Munich, Warsaw, Bogota, Madrid, Paris, Verona, Ibiza, Brussels, Belgrade, Tiblisi, Tokyo, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Malmo, Helsinki, Zagreb, Sydney and Melbourne, to name just a few.

Murray Richardson - Risky Old School Business DJ Mix by BakerStreetRecordings

Now I can prove we know each other cause I got a credit on one of his many releases - which considering Murray loves his deeper house have been an real move towards a more techy style. Originally recording as “H.O.W.Project”. for "Finiflex" records,the first release, "Listen Carefully", marked the start of his collaboration with John Vick [ex–Finitribe].

Murray’s debut solo recording was picked up by Clive Henry and Rocky’s London based label “Low Pressings”, with the track getting a full international release. “We Came In Peace” by “Spacejunk” kick started his solo production career and Murray has gone on to work with some of house music's best labels including "20:20 Vision", "Low Pressings", "Creative", "Nordic Trax", "Magnitude", "Strawberry Blonde", "Deepxperience" and "Sensei" records as well as two of Spain’s most important house labels. “D.Press Industries” and "Deepbass" records. Murray also compiled his first mix compilation cd entitled "House Of ill Repute" which was released on the internationally known “Kickin” records.

His latest release is out now on Baker Street and for me rates as some of his best!

Murray Richardson - Risky Business by BakerStreetRecordings

So, keep your eyes peeled around the world for your chance to catch Murray and Rebel Waltz cohort DJ Stuart Patterson (Faith/London) and check out what's made Murray the DJ he is today!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


So the big day came and Native Instruments unleash the Kontrol S4 to lots of ooohhs and ahhhs - me being one of them and make no mistake on that!

Cue the usual onslaught of anti digital DJ'ing commentary and assumptions that those that have embraced such evils are merely bedroom nerds without an ounce of skill or time served passion for music. Think again!

For me the debate is much of a nothing - okay vinyl is one kind of expression, as is using a CDJ, which is in part digital sound anyway - but it comes down to what can be expressed by the DJ at the end of the day. How many vinyl DJ's use all of the functions on their mixers? I'd guess not all, whereas with aspects such as the beat matching facility on Traktor the user is free to managed a host of effects, sample loops and what not - pushing the NI world closer to the Ableton Live arena of creating music on the hoof. Now surely that's got value?

At $999 USD it's not cheap, but then again it's not over the top I think, and a flight case for a further $189 ain't bad either. It looks sexy, it has more knobs than your average superclub on a Saturday night and those lucky enough to own one this winter are sure to be off the social radar as they get up to speed on the functions available.

Where do I sit on the debating fence? Well, I'm honest enough to know I'll never be the greatest DJ, and old enough to know that too many late and wild night ain't conducive to getting the day job done. Having only switched to Traktor 18 months ago I've still learning how to get the best out of it, what does what and all that. I really only play music for me, sometimes online, sometimes in a bar but more often than not to a select few and it's more about the night than the tunes. There's some that would class me as a microwave DJ, and it's been said, but as one of those time served vinyl lovers who've moved on I enjoy the relaxed nature of DJ'ing with Traktor. Being able to plan the set with a degree of certainty that allows me to enjoy the atmosphere without the stress of controlling every second of the groove! 

I'm off to start saving. But you should check out the full info on Native Instruments' site.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back in the earliest days of untitledmusic, when it came out as an A5 printed fanzine and was distributed by the ever supportive Toko Records fellas there was the odd competition featured on the online site UM had back then. Probably the finest moment of which was Bruno from Naked Music sending in a pile of CD's to give away - yes even Naked Music loved UM! 

Anyway, back then a young fella from the US won and the CD was dispatched - as were about 10 others! Some years later - last year in fact, making it probably around 12 years later that same fella got in touch on Facebook. He being Omaha's Tres Johnson, DJ, Radio Manager, Label Owner and all round creative type. For those of you that don't know him he's the owner of LowerCaseSounds, the label and LowerCaseSounds the community radio station that I broadcast a weekly show on and have done for some time now

For the uninitiated, is a motley crew of volunteers from across the states and some from further afield (like me), DJ'ing live, with video feed (camera permitting in my case). There's something for most dance music tastes whether you like it deep, hip hopping, jackin or techy. 

LowerCaseSounds the label has featured many a fine release, with Will Jax, Pete Le Freq, J Caprice, Tres himself and more having featured to date and some brand new tunes due out very soon. Making the whole thing well worth checking out!

But that's not the point of this post. The real point is that being successful in music isn't just about the tunes, the skills on the decks or whether you've got that promo or this CDR - it's all about the people you meet, chat with, stay in touch with (or not), it's about the wider dance music community and how we fuel the spirit and passion for the music. Without stations like LowerCaseSounds or people like Tres so much wouldn't happen away from the super clubs and big brands.

After 16 years or so of untitledmusic some of those people that were supportive when there was no reason to be are the very same people I can give the support back to. The Murray Richardson's of the world, who allowed untitledmusic to sponsor his Edinburgh Rebel Waltz night for free, giving us both a leg up. Si Brad who in his Toko and Paperecordings guises supported us as much then as he does now. Like Leigh Morgan, Kevin McKay (oh if only he'd bring Glasgow Underground back), like Stevie Sole Middleton, Jim at Soma, Ben Davis, Paul and Alec of Toko fame, Lofty and Dr Bob (the best record shops and tunes ever) and so many more!  

As untitledmusic takes on new directions over the coming year it's these people and some significant recent new friends (Ian, Colin, Michael, Peter, Darran and loads more) that I have to thank for helping to keep the world spinning!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

UM50 - Tracklisitng

Promo's from Adaption, Night Drive, Soma, Urban Torque, Wind Horse, Salted, Farplane, Brain Kat, Eleflight, Noir, Baker Street, Mirabilis, Open Bar, Disport, Aquamarine, Compost of a whole lot more in the mix.


1. DJ J’shon T feat' Marcia Boynton - Together Forever (Main Mix) - Trower Music Group
2. Distant People feat' Tasita D'Mour - You're So Special (D-Reflection Remix) - Adaptation Music
3. Sebastian Davidson - Word & Sounds - Night Drive Music -
4. Tom Pooks - Head Phone (Marco Dassi Dusty Mix) - Affin Records
5. Hatikvah - Introduce Me - Soma Records
6. Chris Fortier - Take The Light (Jay Tripwire Remix) - Musical Missionary
7. Francois DuBois - Tenori (Original Mix) - Urban Torque
8. Vipul Angirish - Ranjhana - Wind Horse Records
9. Jesus Pablo - Magnetism - Celestial Recordings
10. Peeta - Finally My Sense (K.O.T Bootleg) - Unisgned
11. TnT Inc. vs. Alex Dimitri - Jingo (Miguel Migs Salted Remix) - Salted Music
12. Phonic Funk - I Like It - Salted Music
13. K-Bana - Use It (Aki Bergen Remix) - Night Drive Music
14. Felix Baumgartner & Juan Kidd feat' Lisa Millet - Now That You're Gone (Max Martinez Into the Deep Remix)
15. Moshun - Let It GO (Dave Miller Nightwalker Dub) - Brain Kat Recordings
16. Rasmus Faber - Ever After (2010 Remix) - Farplane
17. Roberto Palmero - Love Game (Mike Montano Sweet love Mix) - Eleflight Records
18. Steve Mill - Gemma Calls (Roland Nights Remix) - Urban Torque
19. IO & Sender - Love Trip (Huxley Remix) - Noir Music
20. The Disclosure Project - Bath Time (The Messenger Remix) - Disclosure Project
21. D'Experiment - Mind Or Body (Deep Squad Mix) - D'Experiment Music
22. Cristian Vargas - Rogue State - Baker Street Recordings
23. DJ Pierre feat' Dawn Tallman - The Spirit (Pierre's Hey Hey Vocal Dub) - Afro Acid Digital
24. Pete Le Freq - Morning Son - Unsigned
25. Ran Shani - Classics (Original Mix) - Mirabilis
26. Bruno From Ibiza - Delicia (Jon Silva's Terrace Mix) - Pesto
27. Martin Eyerer & Sasse - Swoosh - Monique Musique
28. Nino Anthony, Lizzie Curious - Thinking Of You (Floorpunk Mix) - Open Bar Music
29. Justin Harris - Ride (Original Mix) - Disport Recordings
30. Groove Department - Mai Thai (Da Funk's New York, New York Remix) - Groove Department
31. Mangelt and Sascha Sonido - Red Planet (Original) - Sickness Records
32. Jeff Bennett - Espizling (Gare & Xandek Remix) - Progrezo Records
33. Jeff Bennett - ReTaken - Kung Fu Dub
34. Krummstoff - Shampoo (Onur Ozman Remix) - Aquamarine Digital
35. Undbeat - Segun Tu (Luca Cazzoni Remix) - Logo Tunisia Records
36. Muallem - Holland Tunnel - Compost Black Label
37. Black Jazz - Code 111 (Apple Jazz Mix) - Black Error Recordings
38. Stray Theories - Forget The Sunrise - Stray Theories

UM50 - Where to from here?

Where does time go? It seems so recently that untitledmusic made a come back and I was trying to figure out what to do with some new fangled software and my first venture onto a social network.

Now UM has reached it's 50th show and it's time to take stock I think, refine a few things, refocus and heading into the future. So what's going to change?

Hearing UM should be easier!
I agree, and so I'll be adding two new shows to the weekly sounds, one with eNation and the other on Dirtyradio. These will be condensed versions of the the current format and will play new tunes and some much loved favourites, keeping it deep of course! The usual LowerCaseSounds lot's not moving either - meaning there's 3 times more reasons to tune in during the week.

The current fortnightly round up of promo's continues - fear not! But I'm going to concentrate on the quality of the tunes a bit more - the one's that I tend not to delete after recording the shows - which might mean the UM shows are a little shorter, but the quality remains!

Why don't you do short mixes anymore?
The UMix series was a nice little idea - one that turned into the highly successful Guest Mix series and that's how I see things going for a while yet. But, wait a mo! If you check out um cohort and good mukka James Drummond's Soundcloud page here then you'll find the first in a series of mini mixes - no set format or style to these, just JD having a mix and keeping it CD friendly!

You're always posting on Facebook!
Hand's up there - in the urgency to get listeners I've been known to get carried away - over the last couple of weeks I've been streamlining things on Facebook - so you'll see less of me there from now on - but the two main fans pages remain; untitledmusic and of course the Deep House page - keeping you up to date on releases and mixes of choice.

You social network whore!
This blog is the first step in broadening UM's appeal, offering content not possible on Facebook, Soundcloud, Mixcloud or the like. Yes, it's my ramblings on stuff, but as it develops there's gonna be some dedicated content from all directions, interviews, technology, fashion even? Something to read whilst you listen!

All of which brings you up to date on where things are going - in the past I'm dabbled with reviews, tracklistings, email drops and all sorts of other things - so if you've got some views on what you'd like to see post them here and you never know what might appear!

Keep the world spinning!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Technology that makes me funny inside!

As a self confessed digital DJ I come in for the odd bit of stick - mainly on how using Traktor isn't proper DJ'ing. The assumption is that anyone using the latest technology can't for the life of them be a 'real DJ'. I usually find myself quickly mentioning years stooped over a pair of Technics 1210's, lugging record bags around, and often reminisce over that sensation of loosing feeling in your shoulder after a long walk from car to club.

And so 18 months ago I decided having moved half way round the world, having sacrificed my decks for money to travel and sold all but the finest of my vinyl it was time to 'get with it!' In the time since I've fumbled around controllers, learnt software from a few other DJ's and especially DJ Tech Tools' Ean Golden, spoken at length to geeky types about soundcards, aggregate devices, jacks, platters, midi maps and a whole new world of gizmo's. And you know what? I like it. Shame on me!

But then it happened, something not felt since the 1210 MK whatever came along - that primal rush of anticipation for the newer, glossier, sexier bit of kit that will no doubt set me back a decade in learning and a fair bit more in the bank balance - Native Instruments sneakily leaked a little clip of what my future will be.

Now, I don't know a great deal about these things, and this is in no way an original post, to be honest I first saw it on DJ Tech Tools, but it gave me such a funny feeling inside - the excitement of something revolutionary, not only a big controller with lots of lights and gadgets, but an updated piece of software.

According to DJ Tech Tools we can make these assumptions from the video:
  • There is a new software on the way with 4 loop players/samplers
  • This will be a 2 deck/4 channel mixing console much like the new Xone DX
  • It  has a built in sound card
  • The outer decks are switchable to control 4 virtual decks.
  • Lots of good LED feedback
  • What looks like 4 cue pads per deck
  • NI is calling it a Traktor System (Hardware and Software combo)
  • Rumors are flying that the software is called the s4
And Ean should know, he's part of the development team for NI!
Funnier still, I went into New Zealand's very own NI dealer/supplier yesterday afternoon, in the hope for some answers - how much? when? what? But sadly they'd never even heard of the controller, seen the video or to be honest looked even remotely as excited as I am! Shame on them!

Friday, August 6, 2010

The weekend starts here

I love weekends, they are the one time of the week I get to do all the things I love doing in concentration! Sleep, drink, eat, play music, talk crap with mates. One day my working week will be just like the weekends, only Monday won't arrive and neither will that ache in my kidneys and the nagging thought that I've said something slightly out of order to someone I really shouldn't have been talking too after that last drink!

So, whatever you're doing this weekend, make it count! I for one will be starting with this superb mix from Giom!

Giom's Summer Mix 2010 by Giom


01. Osaze Feat. Jaidene Veda – Sunday (Jimpster Remix) – House Is The Cure
02. UES – Where Is That Song (Joss Moog Remix) – Exprezoo
03. Shades Of Gray – Concorde Jazz (Ian Pooley Remix) – Dark Energy Recordings
04. Phono & Kemi – Exterminators – Highgrade Recordings
05. Brett Johnson – Temptation & Lies (Deadbeat & Shannon Remix) – Cynosure Recordings
06. Mateo & Matos – Comin Your Way (Large Dub) – Large Music
07. MVP – Music (Doza’s LCG Mix) – LCG Music
08. Surrealism – So Much – Liebe Detail Germany
09. Pezzner – Chiuso Per Ferie – Freerange
10. Audio Soul Project – Call Of Grace (Milton Jackson Remix) – Fresh Meat Records
11. Oxia & Eric Borgo – Plastic Bed – 8Bit
12. Mabaan Soul & Roual Galloway – Make Believe (Motorcitysoul Remix) – BCBtec
13. Solid Groove – Throwing Stones – Dubsided
14. Office Gossip – Var. III – Dark Energy Recordings

Follow Giom:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

DJ's that could save your life: Aki Bergen

Full of new ideas today! "Why not have a series about DJs?" I said, nice idea! And here's the first of them, and I have to admit I might be listening to Aki Bergen far more than is healthy!

Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, born in 1978 Aki Bergen, aka Neuroxyde is the man behind Neurotraxx - a label I'm really into right now - they've just celebrated one year in business with a quality compliation and I've played a fair bit of it on my LowerCaseSounds shows.

For those of you unfamiliar with the name, if you like your house deep, techy and dark then he's right up your street. If you want tunes that make you gurn and thump the air with your fists, then you can do worse! And so it's been for me over the last 6-8 months, Aki's name kept popping up on tracks I was really feeling on a diverse range of labels like Starlight, Nitegrooves, 1Trax, Ready Mix, Open Bar, iRecords, Noir, Kolour, Urban Torque and many more.

You can find more out here:

Trouble brewing

It's always the simple pleasures in life that make it tick along for me. I've always tried to treat people as I'd like to be treated by them - call it "karma" is you like. But, as you get older little things start to wind me up no end, and whilst I'd be the first to admit some of them are so trivial I'll never mention them here one in particular is driving me crazy.

Now I do like a good brew!
In my 'real world job' I spend a lot of time in meetings, a fair amount of the time I've traveled long and far to be there on their request, and all too often the time spent is not yet built into an estimate.

For me the simple courtesy of being offered a cuppa or a glass of water is part and parcel of the whole meeting experience. It gives your guest a chance to settle, prepare their thoughts, have some chat - get into things. I am continually stunned here in NZ how many people just skip straight past it and dive into business - WTF!
Like yesterday, got off a plane, grabbed a hire car, drove to a meeting, found the place, met the folks, sit down... nothing! No tea, no "how was the trip?", no "can I get you a water or something?" - nadda!

And it's not the first time it's happened either - bloody winds me up! So, if, for some reason we get the chance to sit down and chew the fat about things one day, be warned, I expect a cuppa - I'd be offering you one if you were to come to my office!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mike Montano - Deeper Vibes Sessions 001 - July 2010

Deeper Vibes do some awesome shows and having stumbled across this one from Mike Montano I thought what better way to post my first on this new blog. Just short of an hour of deep house to enjoy, and a cracking line up too!

1.Guillaume and the coutu dumonts - Walking the pattern (Original Mix)
2.Martin Buttrich - Back it up (Original Mix)
3.Lewis Boardman - Mist (Chris Lattner Remix)
4.Dolphin Boy - Don't Stop (Andreas Saag's Dolphin Deep Perspective)
5.Dominic martin - Here and now (Original Mix) vs. Andrade - Face de bouc (Original Mix)
6.Aki Bergen - Crazy Puppets (Kevin Yost Remix)
7.Hermanez - Do you (Original Mix)
8.Affkt & Felipe Venegas - Azufaifo
9.Matthias Heilbronn and Joeski - Stuck In a dub
10.Johnny D & Butch - Blues shoes (Butch_mix)
11.Daniel Kampf - Last Frisbee
12.Mike Montano - Bloody Smokers (Acapella tool)

Check out Mike Montano here:

Quality not quantity

Okay, so in the last year without a doubt I've been one of those people that have maxed out on social networking, posting links, pushing the untitledmusic shows, tapping labels, DJ, radio hosts, publishers, producers and listeners on the shoulder and demanding my share of the attention. I'm sorry!

Social networks changed my life
It's taken a while, but as this fourth incarnation of UM steadies itself for the summer here in the Southern Hemisphere I think I've realised where my strengths lie, where the brand is going, how it's shaping and what I need to do to make it better - namely, focus on quality not quantity.

And there in lies the issue for many a DJ, promoter, mix show and whatever it is you're trying to do via social media - there's just so much of it going on how are you ever going to stand out? Over the years in my 'real world job' I've learnt a lot about design and marketing - it's what I tell people how to do everyday - so I've taken a step back and come to these conclusions for the UM brand:

- A recommendation is worth a thousand invites
- Be true to the music you enjoy - playing stuff you're not into shows
- Supporting the industry is more than just posting their links - collaborate or die
- Be consistent with your product - first impressions count
- Anticipate the stuff you're audience wants - stay ahead of the game

You'll probably have loads more to add to that short and simple list, but for me these are the golden rules I'm going to live by for the next 6 months and see if it takes the brand forward at a greater pace - time will tell!