House Of Random

Monday, February 27, 2006

Why all my projects are going to be late

Fantastic way to spend the license fee!

I haven’t had this much fun on a coffee break for ages!

Friday, February 24, 2006

New Rage

Today I have "iPod Rage". Following on from road rage, phone rage, air rage and all the other rages I would like to introduce "iPod Rage".

I charged my iPod on Wednesday night, listened to my iPod on the way to work Thursday and then the way home. I woke up this morning and wanted to listen to it but it ran out of battery.

Why? Because Apple insist on having this "instant-on" thing where it is just ready to fly the moment you hit play. Only this means that it constantly spins the hard drive and drains the battery. Couple that with the fact I want to wear my beloved HD200s because they are waaay better than the Apple headphones, but the iPod has a hard time driving them at a reasoanble level (despite 20dB attentuation of ambient noise).

I am prepared to wait for the thing to start up, honestly, a few boot up seconds are fine, as long as I can guaruntee more than 40 minutes listening time in two days. I mean, honestly, my MiniDisc player runs on 1 AA battery and so far has lasted 18 hours and I've listened to it on and off for a week. It will probably last another 18 hours before I have to change it.

So yes, this morning I wanted to smash the little white brick against the floor in a fit of rage. That said, my beautiful white headphones kept my neck warm - how cold was it today?!


This video will make you think and definitely spark your imagination.

Inspiring stuff.

It's entitled "Multi-touch Interaction Experiments" and is a load of cool and mad stuff based on a touch screen. Think Tom Cruise in Minority Report. The bits where the demonstrator uses the screen to manipulate google earth and a synthesiser are very very cool.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


I found my phone in my bed this morning, I think I was hugging it. I wondered if it might have rang and that I may have answered it in my sleep. I checked the call records and it looks like the girlfriend called me after her girls night, an hour or so after I went to bed.I really don't remember - so I asked her if I did answer, and if so was I coherent?

    I did call you, but I had to hang up on you coz you were talking jibberish. I asked if I woke you up and you said "Yes, I have a domain name but I can't find it in the house." Then I repeated the question and you said a bit crossly, "What? What about my domain?" then you mumbled a bit and stopped communicating so I gave up on you and hung up!
I must have been dreaming about and They're my new sites, so keep an eye out for their formal launch soon!

Thursday, February 16, 2006


I recently dug out the MiniDisc I have of the last night of my University career. I Djed the last night and it was so fantastic.

It was the last night we all partied our arse off to, and I took the chance to write down the track listing, and when you talk about classic tunes, then this reads like a true representation of the sounds that made the dancefloors light up at uni:

End of Uni Set

Barthezz - On The Move
Emma Shaplin - Spente Le Stelle
Des Mitchell - Welcome To The Dance
Balearic Bill - Destination Sunshine
Lucid - Crazy
Vanessa Mae - White Bird
Prodigy - Out of Space (Hard House Remix)
Motivation - Para Mi
Tiesto - Sparkles (Airscape Mix)
Orion - See Me Here (Summer Beach Remix)
Lost Witness - Happiness Happening
Veracocha - Carte Blanche
Push - Strange World
Ayla - Ayla (Veracocha Remix)
Madonna - What It Feels Like For A Girl (Above & Beyond Remix)
Chakra - Home (3AM Mix)
Members of Mayday - 10IN01
Cygnus X - Superstring (Rank 1 Remix)

Frankie Goes To Hollywood - The Power of Love (Rob Searle Remix)
Marc et Claude - I Need Your Lovin' (Dark Moon Remix)
Desiderio - Starlight (Ferry Corsten Remix)
Lightforce - Join Me
Ascension - Someone

System F - Cry

Rank 1 - Airwave

-- Awesome!!!

The mixing is terrible, but it doesn't matter. There's something so special about hearing a club night that you know people were at, that they loved. And when you hear a drunken me announce "just remember these were the best days of your life..." before my immortal line, "For anyone who's loved and lost, for anyone that's feeling a little bit emotional right now: I have one last tune to play you. It's by System F. And it's known as 'Cry'"... it's shiver time.

I count it as one of the things I am most thankful for in my life - the chance to Dj my own last night at university, and to have it on minidisc, it's an irreplaceable documentary of the culmination of 3 years of hedonism and discovery, from the second week at Fresher's Fayre when someone asked me if I'd ever thought about being on the radio, and whether I'd like to try, to winning a national student radio award for the happy insanity that was the RaW Dance Selector, to playing the OBs at the summer RAG festival, to DJing alongside Lange, the Quench boys & Yomanda, to inspiring Gareth Emery (international DJ superstar now) to running Clublands, to playing American Football, to standing on a stage in front of 1500 people at The Afterlife, to getting trashed at the Final Fling and dancing on my own in a tux in the middle of a field to only the music in my head, to dropping the needle on the my last tune as a student, pulling down the shutters and locking the Dj booth so security couldn't stop Rank 1's "Airwave" from being played even thought it was gone 3am and were playing unlicenced; to watching the sunrise over campus, lain on the grass outside the Kone with only the last notes of that soaring synth ringing in my ears.... and you know what?

It still rings now.

It still comforts me, and it still drives me. Here's to the shivers, here's to the joy. To the years, the tears, the "I can't possibly move my limbs any faster or with more enthusiasm but by God I'm going to try" moments, to the second where you pull all your emotions into a foetal ball inside of you, crease your face with passion, clench your teeth and grin for all you're worth as you realise note by note that the one tune you wanted to hear, the one breakdown, the one rollercoaster of sonic euphoric magnificence is slowly coming in and that you just contemplate that if you were to die right now, that for this moment: that for this one vital second you know with all certanity what it feels like to be alive, and that no matter what else you might have missed out on, at least you can say that you have lived.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Welcome back to my ears good friend!

I love Trance music. I do, I absolutely love it. It's been such a neglected style of music for so long. Too much polluted by over production, or candy piss-trance the likes of which so burned and hurt my ears and my love for the legacy of the 1998-2001 "Golden Age". But there is still great music out there, it just takes longer to turn up. So last night, after gathering new Trance for a few months I did my first Trance set since 2005. And as I threw the records on, as I really started to get into it, I could barely mix for at each breakdown and drop my hands would launch ever skywards and I would lose control. This friday I'm going to see Ferry Corsten at Turnmills.

I can't wait!

On selecting the style of mix to do last night I asked Teeg his advice. He told me to "Choose Trance". Which made me laugh and reminded me of the opening monologue from Trainspotting. So I made my own...

Choose Trance
Choose an f-ing epic breakdown
Choose lager and glowsticks and stupid flashing lights
Choose a field, fill it with speakers and podiums and huge bloody fairground rides
Choose a dj, choose a bag of 12 inches,
Choose waiting hours in line drinking litres of vodka and coke
Then chugging p!ss from £4 cans to get drunk enough to dance like a lunatic
Choose a snare roll and a stilted vocal about beautiful sunsets and lamentation for the loss of summer love
Choose a mindless waving of arms and legs
Choose Trance

But Dave reminded me of some other classic moments inspired by my pursuit of the music...

Choose Bitter Lemon & Vodka
Choose waking up in a stream
Choose memory loss after 1/2 a crate of lager
Choose abusing middle aged women with goofy teeth
Choose a kg of pasta and 70cl of gin
Choose talking codshit to big name DJs
Choose being the only two people dancing in a festival arena
Choose Dance

Such great times! More please!

For my favourite tunes at the moment, check out Tunes of Note.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Don't even get me started

How to Be a Dance Music DJ Using CDs - WikiHow

I was going to rant about how wrong this is and how pathetic, but the effort I would expend would be better spent and certainly more useful to me, were I to use it to slam my fingers repeatedly in a drawer.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Ministry of Kandi

So, what does Ministry's aquisition of Hed Kandi mean for the future of these labels?

Hopefully good things! HedKandi was in danger of dying too soon, but maybe this will keep it's underground roots pumping and save it from commercial death.

Read more here courtesy of our friends at DJ mag.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


For everyone who is yet to discover this, please take a moment to appreciate its genius.


Pandora is a site that will stream you music based on the songs you love. It's based on work by the music genome project, whose aim is to classify the component elements ("genes") of music. By entering a song, it's genome, it's music "dna" is matched to the database and it streams similar songs with a similar genome to the entered song. You'll love it, trust me. Enter "Fall Out Boy" and it will generate you a radio station of similar songs. You'll discover new artists and be happy forever more.


Friday, February 03, 2006

"Hi! Aren't you the girl from Barely Legal 15?"

I had an experience today that I have had a number of times of the past month or so. I bowl out of the house, all marmite lips and racing to work. Hitting up the tube I sink into a seat and survey fellow travellers. And then I notice a face I recognise. Cue the joyful search in amongst my adled mind for that spark of memory that will tell me why I experience such familiarity. For most of the journey I experience synaptic failure until this faintly familiar face turns to her friend, with mouth gaped and eyebrows raised in wide eyed surprise - their conversation throwing up some no-doubt juicy gossip.

Not until you see your white in their eyes....

She's the spitting image of porn star Aurora Snow.

So now I have determined why I find her so familiar, resembling as she does the star of such inspirational celluloid as "The Whore of The Rings" and "Babewatch 15". I've witnessed such incredible and frankly obscene things from her lookalike that I have to stifle a fugitive giggle, and let pass a pang of guilt. But then the thought occurs - what if she *is* Aurora Snow? Quietly on her way to another shoot in fair old London town. Do porn stars take the tube to take it up the tube?

Do I gently murmur the name and hunt for a chance she might respond? Do I ask outright? That said, would she care to be recognised? Or would she just tell me to F-off? As was pointed out by my girlfriend, she’d probably tell me to F-off “because she gets that a lot"...

Thursday, February 02, 2006



Helps you make sense of those guilty moments.

Take hold.... and ENJOY!

Hooked on the Hoff

The best music video ever.


If you're ever depressed, watch this. You will be happy forever.

Hooga Chakka!

Live Breathe Eat Sleep DJing

Djing from a laptop/ipod - boring? pointless? the future? Where do we stand on the march of new technology?

My point of view: they're all just tools. Give a builder a new, shiny, clever hammer - doesn't mean he's going to build you a better house. I think there's 3 types of DJing. There's Performace or Showcase DJing, where you go to see a technically gifted artist perform new works using decks and technology, there's Party DJing where you just play good tunes and there's Club DJing where you create an experience through music that moves you to the floor.

  • Showcase DJing is all about creating something unique, so use whatever technology you can! But make it interesting and worth listening too and going to see. More like an artist performing, this is the show-style DJing you see from turntablists. Or the DJs who turn up with instruments and sequencers and perform new versions of their own productions, or cut up existing ones. I love watching this stuff, but I don't go clubbing to hear it. And I still think that computers will not replace hardware hear. I mean, you can generate the sound of a guitar in a computer and mess with it royally, but you don't see Foo Fighters rocking out on their laptops.

  • Party DJing: it doesn't matter if you play off two tape recorders, just play good records. Get people dancing, get people singing, crying, reminiscing. Anyone can be a party DJ, and everyone should try. It's about having great taste in music, an anticipation for what people want, what the need, what they didn't even know they wanted. Read the crowd and atmosphere and lift the room. It's tough! So credit where it's due.

  • Club DJing is about taking the party to the dancefloor and creating a symphony. People used to ask me what DJing was about, compared to playing an instrument. And I said that any good tune is made up of great notes and chord sequences. In DJing a great night is made up of great records and musical progressions. It's the same, just using records as the notes. To be a great club DJ use whatever tools you can rely on to get the best from your tunes, and to create passages and movements and an atmosphere. Right now it's CD and vinyl, and a decent mixer that allow a DJ to play records, add some effects, create a loop or two and do some sampling. Sure you can go further, but that just encourages people to apply too much to th records. Someone spent hours and hours making a record for the dancefloor, with similar technology. Let it develop. Sure, I advocate bringing in drum loops or sampled beats from another tune to add extra emphasis, or create new passages, but we've been doing this for years by beat juggling two records. It was a skill that was practised, learned an honed. Not everyone did it, so those who could were delicate and careful with how they applied the effects. Now you can do it with the touch of a button it's too easy and that's not a good thing. Stick to the basucs, learn to be sapring and avoid everything else - you'll end up polluting the music. You have to let the records breathe.
If it's Albeton Live people are using, well now people don't even have to mix! Some say that "frees you to be more creative", but I think that just makes it a studio tool for making mix albums! DJing live and mixing is half the reason DJing is so much fun. If you took the mixing away you might as well just go and dance and leve the computer to do it all for you. And you can bet that night would have no personality. Just because you can endlessly loop the same bar and overlay 10 effects doesn't mean you should.

And how much fun is it to DJ when you have to be careful not to spill your drink on the computer, or drop it, or make sure you are pressing the right keys? Everyone is going on about all of this stuff, but all the DJs I know still love to mix vinyl on a good pair of decks. It's exciting, it's sexy and it looks so amazing, it is something that not everyone can do, and that's what makes DJ alluring. Plus, I'm not so sure that people being able to turn up at a gig with every tune ever made is a good thing. It means that the DJ doesn't think about what to bring, doesn't learn his tunes, doesn't spend those crucial hours carefully selecting the cream of his record box. It means that a DJ has too many tunes that they know intimately, and too much choice. Have you ever made a sandwich with too many ingredients in it? LEss is more. I just urge DJs to stay creative and true to the music, embrace the technology, but not at the expense of the experience, whether that be playing the music or dancing to it. DJs are supposed to have fun too, put the mouse away, press the big green play button or drop the needle, touch your tunes, feel your tunes and rock the house.

Keep playing, keep creating - don't become a robot and lose the interaction.

Words, thoughts, dreams & ideas, dirtySi, London, UK, from the year 2005 onward