Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby underated » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:13 pm

Roman wrote:Instead of mixing reggae tunes - why don't you enjoy them instead? A selecta enjoys tunes he plays while a typical dance music dj doesn't. Big, serious and respected sound systems never do that so why shoudld we?



sure i understand what your saying & many people agree with your thinking , music though has no rules or boundaries .
The audience has expectations though & thats good, If you go to hear the big sounds in the UK, you know what to expect & are usually never let down, that does not mean though everyone wants to follow that respected tradition.
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby Roman » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:45 pm

underated: I am not saying everyone must follow the tradition. I just think reggae usually sounds rubbish when people mix it the same way as they mix dance music. In order to mix two tunes into one you (well at least in 99 % of all cases) need to pich one of them and I love to hear reggae tunes at their original speed, not pitched. At least as close to the original speed/tempo as possible - no "Donald Duck" voices for me, please.

Dance music (especially instrumental stuff) usually doesn't start sounding deformed and fuсkеd up when you pitch it but reggae does. I am not saying I am against creativity - I am just saying that so called transitions that are typical for dance music DJs doesn't make reggae and dub sound any good. I used to try to do "transitions" while selecting reggae many times and I always failed.

P.S: I know how to do "transitions" - I used to do it back in the 1990s but with jungle, drum & bass, hip hop, trip hop etc.
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby Rootsitup » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:39 pm

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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby Blindman » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:55 pm

Ringo wrote:A lot of people forget about the necessity of a little space in music, got to let it breathe, and the audience too. A good selector won't always hammer one tune straight after the last every time, that one deck original style still works, building the anticipation for what they're going to play next,


I couldn´t agree more! I really appreciate the space between two tunes in a dance, and the "silence" when the selector puts the needle on the beginning of the vinyl and the only thing you hear is the crackles before the tune starts. I think you can compare those kind of gaps between the tunes with the feeling you get when riding a roller coaster and you sit on the top just before it goes down! WOAH! :D
Last edited by Blindman on Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby brennan » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:19 pm

I really appreciate all replies and opinions! I prefer a tune being allowed to play out to completion but was on the fence about how to handle it when playing out. There is only one or two other DJ's in my area that play JA tunes so all I hear are DJ's mixing which had me on the fence. But I'm going to stick with how I've been doing it which is play to completion but occasionally mix if its a nice next cut.

The idea of cutting bass is a brilliant one, hadnt thought of that.
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby Mick Sleeper » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:51 pm

The idea of cutting bass is a brilliant one, hadnt thought of that.

And don't forget to also boost the bass from time to time! 8)
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby brennan » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:55 pm

Mick Sleeper wrote:
The idea of cutting bass is a brilliant one, hadnt thought of that.

And don't forget to also boost the bass from time to time! 8)

:)
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby soul rebel » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:47 pm

I know some selectors, mainly ones in the "revive" scene, like to play records from beginning to end. As a "modern" selector on an "all-round" sound this practice drives me crazy. Of course it depends on what part of the dance we are talking about, but if it's primetime and you're dropping big tunes, tunes that everyone knows, and have heard a million times before, please don't play the whole thing... I'd rather rewind the first 20-30 seconds of Dennis Brown's Revolution 2 or 3 times, than just let the tune go to the end. Alternatively, you can cut it out a the right point, let the crowd sing it, and BOOM drop in the next tune. Work with speeches, effects, etc. There are so many ways to go, which keep the dance flowing, moving, and EXCITING.

And when some of you say don't mix, I hope you mean don't beatmix. But if you drop in the next tune in the same tempo, it helps keep the momentum of the dance.
Then, occasionally, you can make some space, make a little speech, and go again.
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby brigadierjc » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:31 am

Controversial! :D
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby Living Bate » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:32 am

i think the main difference here is between just playing some tunes out in a club or representing a sound.....

if you are just a DJ in a club then all people want is a fairly seemless blend of tunes to keep the vibes rolling....

but if you are a sound then maybe people will be more appreciative of the gaps, the rewinds....the versions....etc.....especially if you have someone on the mic and a siren.....
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby mikus » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:30 pm

Roman wrote:A selecta enjoys tunes he plays while a typical dance music dj doesn't.

Yeah this is one of the key things that i enjoy about going to hear people play, and also for myself playing at home. No headphones to distract you, no beatmatching to worry about, just playing tunes, enjoying them, expressing that with fx and eq, and taking full pleasure in a tune as it plays...and not having to worry about "seamless" transitions - in fact the worst mistake you can make is not letting the last tune finish properly.
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby Apostle » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:48 pm

I was in a DJ combo for a few years with a very skilled fellow DJ. We played everything from funk and afobreat over hiphop and reggae to raggajungle and dubstep. To a lot of members of this board it will certainly sound as blasphemy, but we played at some of the early dubstep nights in Belgium and tried to mix reggae and dubstep. Actually this worked quite well around 2005-2006, I was only playing the heavy UK steppers and a lot of early dubstep uses reggae samples, so the vibes were similar. Plus there was much more space in dubstep tracks around that time, not like the horrible hyperkinetic ear bombardment you hear in 95% of nowaday's releases. Obviously, our combo stopped working after a few years because the vibes went too apart. My fellow DJ gained very sofisticated mixing skills while I was still a very poor beatmixer. At the last gig we did together, it must have seemed like I was a totally miscasted warmup program.

Even though I have only sunk deeper into roots music since then, I don't think reggae shouldn't be mixed. It just doesn't work like jungle or house, where it adds to the vibe if you mix the second tune in and you can tease the audience with it. It's hard to beatmix with reggae, even dancehall dj's basically play tunes on the same riddim quickly after each other but they don't really mix. But I don't see it any problem with bringing in the dub while the vocal is still playing for example, that way you keep the vibe going. And reggae is a great combo with funk and hiphop, can make for some wicked combinations if you're a good DJ.

In the end it depends on the skills of the DJ. I remember my fellow DJ did some wicked combos with Culture Freeman-The Fittest and Chazbo - Jah Lightning. Or he took the bare riddim of Shanti Ites' Children of the Most High and dropped Vibronics' Mama Africa on it. People really loved that.
It never hurts if a reggae DJ has some mixing skills and plays some other genres in between his set. It might show a more hiphop-funk-d'n'b audience how much great reggae tunes there are and how well you can swing to the music. IMHO the DJ who gets the people dancing is winning from the soundman that is playing dubplate after dubplate while nobody's feeling it. And I don't envy the man who can only get his feet moving in a soundsystem dance and feels horrible everywhere else.

But what I do agree with is that the strictly reggae-soundsystem-dance is not the place to mix tunes. Back in 2005 I hoped that we could blend the dubstep and the reggae crowd, but it didn't work. From what I heard it happens more in the UK. The different genres are too far apart and they follow a totally different practice. As Jah Voice told me once in an interview: it might give off a bad element and create chaos in the dance when you mix the roots music.
Last edited by Apostle on Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby Living Bate » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:59 pm

mikus wrote:
Roman wrote:A selecta enjoys tunes he plays while a typical dance music dj doesn't.

Yeah this is one of the key things that i enjoy about going to hear people play, and also for myself playing at home. No headphones to distract you, no beatmatching to worry about, just playing tunes, enjoying them, expressing that with fx and eq, and taking full pleasure in a tune as it plays...and not having to worry about "seamless" transitions - in fact the worst mistake you can make is not letting the last tune finish properly.


if someone is playing tunes like Revolution by DEB......i'll probably nod off if I have to hear the whole tune.....
Last edited by Living Bate on Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby Apostle » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:08 pm

soul rebel wrote:I know some selectors, mainly ones in the "revive" scene, like to play records from beginning to end. As a "modern" selector on an "all-round" sound this practice drives me crazy. Of course it depends on what part of the dance we are talking about, but if it's primetime and you're dropping big tunes, tunes that everyone knows, and have heard a million times before, please don't play the whole thing... I'd rather rewind the first 20-30 seconds of Dennis Brown's Revolution 2 or 3 times, than just let the tune go to the end. Alternatively, you can cut it out a the right point, let the crowd sing it, and BOOM drop in the next tune. Work with speeches, effects, etc. There are so many ways to go, which keep the dance flowing, moving, and EXCITING.

And when some of you say don't mix, I hope you mean don't beatmix. But if you drop in the next tune in the same tempo, it helps keep the momentum of the dance.
Then, occasionally, you can make some space, make a little speech, and go again.


I agree with Living Bate that the whole purpose of playing is just totally different in a club or a dance, but I also follow Soul Rebel up here. A selector/soundman also needs to feel when he needs to go to the next one so he doesn't lose the crowd. Even though I love dub, one version after the vocal is enough for me, playing three versions in a row is almost always just plain boring.
I saw Dubkasm do a DJ set in Antwerp once that brought together the best of both worlds for me: no beatmixing or transitions but Stryda chatting in between tunes, keeping contact with the audience and Digistep heating things up with sax and effects. Best example that the deeper experience of the music you have in the dance doesn't exclude some tempo in the tunes and switches to keep things moving...
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby dan i dubdub » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:27 pm

Apostle wrote:IMHO the DJ who gets the people dancing is winning from the soundman that is playing dubplate after dubplate while nobody's feeling it. And I don't envy the man who can only get his feet moving in a soundsystem dance and feels horrible everywhere else.

But what I do agree with is that the strictly reggae-soundsystem-dance is not the place to mix tunes. Back in 2005 I hoped that we could blend the dubstep and the reggae crowd, but it didn't work. From what I heard it happens more in the UK. The different genres are too far apart and they follow a totally different practice. As Jah Voice told me once in an interview: it might give off a bad element and create chaos in the dance when you mix the roots music.


It all depends on knowing what will be most appropriate for your crowd. Different settings demand different kinds of tunes. I have long been a fan of what I call phuture dub, not really dubstep, but music with a pace and riddim inspired by reggae and often featuring reggae artists(there has been dub inspired dance music for well over 20 years), but I don't often play it out much these days as I mostly play at roots events and I understand where Jah Voice is coming from. Phuture dub tends to go down better at parties or festivals.

Another thing that struck me on this theme is that most dance djs spend a lot of time inside their headphones rather than present in the dance. Reggae sound systems hardly ever use headphones and instead they are hearing everything the crowd hears and can tweak the sound accordingly.
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