Beautiful sunset @ Lost Creek Country Club

Had a fantastic Saturday night, pool-side set. Beautiful vibes all around. I am at my level best @ this kind of gig.

Actually hanging up the solo electronic/ acoustic spurs for a bit to concentrate on these DJ sets.

Gives me a greater opportunity to share music I love, keeps me so current — searching for new cuts, and I can mix in my own electronic stuff (that fits).
-jd

Playlist

Walking on the Moon – The Police
A classic, ushering in the right feel.

All I Want to Do – UB40
Deep cut from my favorite album of theirs. Such a great groove. Amazing drum machine and bass (machine) too.

Natty Dread – Bob Marley
All time favorite Bob track. So chill.

T’aint What You Do – Fun Boy 3
So weird and great.

Non Stop – Kraftwerk
One of the greats. This is a newer remix. Absolutely love the mood here.

Verona – Lastlings
Nice, close song. I think I heard it in passing on Apple Music.

Rat in Mi Kitchen – UB40
Couldn’t help myself. Had to go back to the well.

Fems Pay Douces – Raphael Toiné
Heard this via Paris’ Le Mellotron. Shows up in a lot of folks sets. How could you not love this guy?

I Fell it Coming – The Weekend/ Daft Punk 
Such a jam. Chorus is repeated a lot. Not sure the kids know what he’s talking about, luckily.

Sentimental Street – Night Ranger
Again, I can not help myself sometimes with the 80’s.

Paradise (live) – Sade
Thee deepest of grooves. Love this whole record too.

Wouldn’t it Be Good – Danny Hutton Hitters
A classic. Good break-the-sounds-up song. A bit cheesy, version-wise.

A Message to You Rudy – The Specials
Perfect pool-side music. Drunken horns on a Saturday after noon are perfection.

Down Under – Men at Work
Always sounds great loud. You wouldn’t think, but it’s true.

Brother’s Cup – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Wasn’t sure about this one. Kept waiting for an errant blue word. Never came!

Matadjem Yinmixan – Tinarwian
I love this song so much. Perfect chill afternoon vibe.

Cruel Summer – Bananarama
Ditto. Love this too. Sounds so wooly and perfectly of its time.

Where Angels Fear to Tread – Disclosure 
Amazing. The whole thing; every facet. Made me a fan of these guys.

Meditate – INXS
Weird, but it worked. Forget how it even got on the playlist.

Oguo – Lakou Mizik & Joseph Ray
I almost misted-up when this started. Such amazing work here combining the rural, very real island life with the modern. Breathtaking. Watch the video. Reminds you what an amazing world we live in.

Secrets – The Weekend
The most modern way to cover songs ever. Genius.

Adventure of a Lifetime – Coldplay
No apologies for loving theses guys. This record changed the course of my life.

Crazy – Gnarls Barkley 
Classic. Everybody loves it. Period.

Bad Dream – Cannons
How cool is this? Love these guys.

Love is Not Enough – Above & Beyond ft. Zoë Johnson
Beautiful remix. And that voice. Wow.

Chameleon – Panu
Happiest song ever? I could listen to it over-and-over-and-over.

Warning Signs – Alan Fitzpatrick & Lawrence Hart
This has been playing in the car a lot. Like a lot.

One More Time – Daft Punk
I can still remember the first time I heard this. Fell right in love.

Sailing – Chicane
Cool idea and execution. Prefect for the Country Club afternoon set. Tailor made.

Beyond Beliefs – Ben Böhmer
The summer song of 2021. For sure.

+[encore]

The Telephone Call – Kraftwerk
Yes! Current favorite Kraftwerk song.

SuperJumper – MadMixMustang
So ridiculous.

The home, manual beat matching set-up.

Saturday I am opening for myself, or as I like to call it, playing myself in.

Here’s the pick-list: https://embed.music.apple.com/us/playlist/21-7-10-dj-crate/pl.u-Z6Wmjtq6KvN

My first steps from zero to hero:

  1. What’s Good? Favorite DJ resource on the Internet (a/k/a Youtube) is Digital DJ Tips. Honerable mention to DJ Tech Tools as well.
  2. Can I stream? No you cannot stream form Apple music or Spotify. You have to to sign up for Tidal, but I am not using streaming this time around.
  3. How to Setlist? Per Digital DJ Tips’ advice, I have twice as much music ready as I need packed neatly into a Serato, in order of BPM, which is probably how I will play it. Organization has been the best digital tip (of many). I’ve watched a ton of Phil’s content on repeat, and his patience is saintly.
  4. What’s your thing? Know what you’re after. I mix like a vinyl DJ, and that’s making the first outing easy: emphasis on vibe and mood, not non-stop dancing. Making this distinction–figuring out the what and how, will save heartache down the road.
  5. What’s been the best? The internet (Youtube) is filled with some really amazing feats of curation an dexterity from DJ’s all over. A lot of great Brazilian action out there right now. As a closeted sp-404 guy, I found LeMellotron in Paris, and their DJ sets are second to none. I love all of their programing.
  6. What about your original music? It’s all affecting the music I’m making now. This week’s track is a prime example.
    https://soundcloud.com/jdtorian/right-demo
  7. This guy

Next post: set building.

Being from Austin, and being more electronic, and being more pop, and living in the the world of Americana and big, floppy hats, and being very authentic, things get weird if you let them. I have some low grade anger towards the middling world of Americana. This is not to say that there is stuff that does not rise above, but there is definitely stuff that does not.

I did sound for a show this weekend, and I just didn’t get it. Seemed like an act. So, how do you check that at the door and get to the essence?

Here’s how I’m going to do it.

The new Set-Up

My gig this week will be the first where I finally drop the guitar as a centerpiece along with the sing-songs and push into the shaky frontier of improvisation and electronic. Mixing this with my 80’s-sounding sing-songs.

Will it work gig #1? I don’t know. Going to try. (I am excited about show 3 or 4.) The starting line-up is drafted, and I am going with what’s pictured above. Have some assumptions about the equipment and its ability to hold up.

The Xone mixer is very old, but it’s also very rock-solid. Interface from Ableton to mixer is a bit sketchy. If it all goes to shite I can just play the guitar and sing, so nothing lost there.

I will say this: on the Monday before a Friday show, I am interested to see how it turns out. It could go 1000’s of different ways. That’s really great and inspiring. Hope it’s inspired!

Hope to see a few of you out Friday!

If you’ve been following along at all, and for personal ego purposes I’ll pretend you have, I’ve been dealing with the problem of how to get a number of back-logged songs recorded and out efficiently and as cleverly as possible.

Had you ever told me there would be problem of too many songs, I would have maybe believed it but could not have envisioned it. Believed it? Yes. Couldn’t have envisioned the path.

Maybe you don’t know how to get-doing it either, in need a spark or a push. This series will be for you.

So, as much for me as it is for anyone else, we’re going to go back and map it all out. And, hopefully, continue to document the process in blog (not video) form.

We’re really going to go into into the why rather than review gear, which seems to be what everything turns in to these days. So this is basically a long, ongoing story. Incredibly boring to some, enlightening to others, and interesting and affirming to a small, specific crowd. Not for everybody, but really for somebody. Smallest possible audience theory at work here!

And speaking of, my why of doing all of this to identify my small, specific crowd. You are out there. I know you are! I want you to listen to the music I make.

The Beginning:
The real spark came with a special purpose combined with some divine timing, which was a random camp reunion lunch of all things. Put simply: I met a former camper who was in a song writing group at the same time I was going deep into Ableton Live 9.

A lucky perfect storm, yes, but I was paying enough attention to life at the time to know it was kind of now or never. Some direction with perfect timing.

You may be thinking to yourself that mid 40’s is well past now-or-never, but I do not think it’s ever too late. If you’ve got it you’ll always have it. Doesn’t mean you can’t lose your way, but if it’s in there, menage to come out, it’ll be there waiting for you. I feel like I have science to back this up.

Series entry #2 is the Why of Ableton over the other DAW’s.

PS:
There has to be some gear! Early, primary tools were from Roland, Moog, M-Audio, Arturia, Ableton Live, Sound On Sound magazine, and a lot-lot of YouTube. [system1, various boutiques, oxygen-25, minituar, Analog Lab]

Here’s a live compilation of especially early mrtorian works.

Using it as bait to tune-up the Bandcamp page, it’s the first step in a move away from larger streaming services. We’ll see how well this strategy does, but with 55k songs added to Spotify in a day (yikes) 2 sold gets us WAY ahead of the game for ’21!

_jd