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2005

09OCT05

Instead of whatever I might have been tempted to write about my brief but very fine visit to Maine in mid-September, I've decided to devote this posting to something else ... recently a downtempo.com list member asked the group (many of whom DJ for a complete or partial living) for advice about her dream of becoming a downtempo DJ earning between 80-100K per year JUST FROM DJing.  

Everyone who answered gave a thoughtful response but the overall trend was defintely in the "don't give up your day job" category.  Among the exchanges I found especially interesting were those about what the paying venues expect in the way of music and how downtempo so often doesn’t cut it except to drop the occasional tune … it made me think of the early, heady days on TDB and finding the downtempo crowd and feeling like that was the most cutting edge music around and sure to take over the world. Ahhh … no. ‘Fraid not.  Here's a little sampling of the advice (just so you'll understand what a thankless task she was suggesting for herself):

From Beau (RE-UP Magazine)
But with a more seasoned view, you realize that getting and maintaining "big" gigs (i.e. ones at clubs with a dancing and drinking crowd that pay you more than a sushi dinner and a mojito) is to move the crowd-- and downtempo just ain't always going to cut it. that doesn't mean it doesn't have its place in 300+ dancefloor events though. there's nothing more satisfying then rubbing the crowd w/some afrobeat and uptempo bangers and then getting them to "fall into the downbeat funk" as they say and lace them up with some hip-hop and downtempo classics that have stood the test of time. its like you earned their trust and then you can take them anywhere.


From Christina (Citrona Recordings):
It's very hard making a living spinning DT much less being a DJ at all though it does happen to some...We use to host a strict downtempo night and though it was classic in many ways *sigh* it was so hard!! This is just my opinion, but it seems DT music requires a slightly more sophisticate ear I think as it does tend to provoke more mind stimulation vs just body movement....Though I personally love dance music as it moves you in a very pleasing involuntary manner.

From Chauncey (GroovePalace.com radio): 

This has provoked a good discussion, and I wanted to add a few observations of my own.

The economics of a niche audience make it very unlikely, if nearly impossible to make this kind of $ solely working as a downtempo DJ. [For that matter, I know *doctors* who are making < $65K a year in private practice after a decade because of the insurance pay structure]. True, there is a sophisticated audience for this music, and the fans who gravitate to it tend to be more knowledgeable and open-minded about music, meaning they tend to be loyal dedicated followers, not chasing the latest fads. Q-Burns is the hardest working DJ I know, circling the globe all the time, playing to massive and not-so massive crowds day in and day out...huge props to him.  His funky breaks and house style is easily more popular than DT for filling a club so his advice comes straight from the trenches.

Clubs in general have switched to genre-nights, because most cities can't pull the crowds every night with the same format, thus a club will have house night, salsa night, hip-hop night, downtempo night (if you're lucky), reggaeton night, techno night, d&b night, bootyfunk night etc. Based on the the experiences of those running DT events, DT tends to get put on a slower night like a Mon-Thu. This further supresses the audience, and for the numerous reasons laid out by others, the "taste" of the clubs seems to be moving away from strictly DT. It is almost a truedom in our society that the more sophisticated your art/craft/product, the smaller the audience gets (whether that is a result of perceived elitism, price, proletarian tastes, or the paranoid delusions of a bitter cynic is another topic altogether). End result: fewer slots on fewer nights and lower pay because of the competition. The DT audience is just too dispersed to support folks on DJ gigs alone, even in what I would consider to be the US hotbeds for the music (LA, NYC, SF, plus DC, Austin, Orlando, Phoenix, SD, Chicago, Dallas) etc.)  Our European counterparts may have it a little better but probably not all that different except for the number of festivals. We have peeps on this list in all those places who can confirm or deny that info. 

I heartily recommend following your passion with the music but don't discard the notion of a "day job" outright. If money becomes the driving factor, the art part (that you presumeably love) will suffer. You start taking gigs because you *have* to, not because you want to, and the person paying your fee calls the shots. If you have a stable source of income, you can throw yourself into your craft with every other available waking hour if you want to, and most importantly...do what you want to, when you want to, how you want to--the quality doesn't suffer as a result. I think the trick is finding a job that doesn't suck your soul/energy dry. If you can find a related field that lets you double-up or piggyback your efforts( i.e. music+events promotion/marketing, music supervision)...great! 

Having many irons in the fire is good advice in any career where nothing is a sure thing (and the odds are famously low in the music industry). Playing a weekly gig at a swanky restaurant can be a vital source of connections (plus tasty food!). Constantly meeting people and networking puts you in a position to hear about other opportunities, meet people who know people who need music, etc. Production is another avenue that dovetails nicely with DJ-ing. It sounds cliché, but perserverence is most of the battle. If you love doing it, that gives you energy to keep you going when others would get discouraged. Many of the people who "make it" plugged away for years before they became known enough to have their stories and music heard. Just starting out, just be sure you have realistic expectations that the money may or may not happen, your career will move in fits and starts, and there are random paths and diversions that will take you places you could never predict. 

Just do what ya gotta do....

Yeah, I knew you knew we did it for the love ... that hasn't changed.

23JUL05

Music news updates are pretty much being handled on the main page, leaving FLYpaper for more of the intimate news ... and therefore making it the appropriate place to quietly celebrate that I've passed my "probationary period" at the new job and am now a permanent employee, entitled to vacation days and all that good stuff.  It's easy to laugh at or complain about our jobs, but I'll tell you that -- for now, anyway -- I'm happy with this one and glad to have it locked down.

As you know if you've kept up with this page (or if you scroll down for a quick catch-up) last year's news turned out to be all about the storms that hit FLA -- but the aftermath went largely unreported by me here ... it was just too dreary for words.  However, I can summarize and say that, having escaped the worst of what was dished out by Charley, Ivan and the rest of them last year, I got very very serious about not stretching my luck, and I've spent all spring and right up until the present "hardening the shell" (as we've learned to say) ... making the house as storm-resistant as possible ... because it's either that or move.  There's been a roof replacement, a new pool enclosure, storm shutters for the windows and sliding doors ... and the last bit will be the new garage door to be installed this coming week.  All of these elements reflect the hyped-up building code requirements that were instituted after Hurricane Andrew struck the east coast of FLA in 1992 ... meaning they take into account the very real possibility of a structure having to withstand winds of 150mph.  Will it all keep a tornado from blasting the house to bits?  Probably not ... but anything short of that and I have a strong possibility of still being able to live in my home once the storm is past.  Leastways, that's what I'm counting on.  And the time to be finding out is just about here:  Last year's first wild weather hit us on Friday the 13th of August.

Can't leave the page without acknowledging the recent terrorist bombings in London and in Egypt ... I don't actually know anyone in Egypt, but have friends in the UK and in London whose safety is on my mind.  It's hard to imagine how it will ever be done with....  

12JUN05

Whoa!  Long time with no FLYpaper update ... fortunately for me, no one depends on this page for any kind of vital news ;-)   Most of what I have to say just gets plugged into the main page, as you may have noticed ... and, as mentioned there in the latest update, here is the low-down on this year's tag-team activity so far:

The TagTeam From Hell - 2:  I can't tell you how long ago this one actually started up, but with 8-9 participants, the logistics of keeping it going despite everyone's RL commitments frequently became unruly ... and, man, did we take some heat for that among certain folks in the MixMeister community.  But, not to be dissuaded, we reformed early this year (or was it back before Christmas?) and soldiered on.  The results are playing now on the All Mixxed Up show on mmRadio AND! thanks to the skills and dedication of Omlette Brothers, there is also a video showing the complexity of the contributions to this madcap mix adventure ... you really need to see this one!

Absolute Concorde -- A Transatlantic Musical Trip:  On a more manageable scale, B-Crazy from Belgium joined me last fall in starting mostly house/downtempo mix which we wrapped up in early March.  We don't inject a lot of tricks into the mix, but look for an entertaining set of tracks and good flow.  We enjoyed the results of that tag team so much, we are currently working on our second one.  "Concorde" is playing now on the BeatConscious show in mmRadio and will also make it onto the Live365 show this month.  

Cappuccino on the Rocks:  This is the one that has me excited right now ... this has been in the works since March and involves just myself and NeoFlava from Sri Lanka / Singapore working across the time zones, the age zones and the music zones to bring this tag team to completion.  We ended up doing a mad amount of overlays and mashups within the mix, which means a huge amount of post-production duties have been required ... but well worth the effort, really: this one gives me chills in a couple of spots.  Look for the debut on mmRadio during June.

As noted, B-Crazy and I have one in the works, and there's another cooking involving FLA, NY and UK mixers, dubbed 3-Squared, coming later this summer.  Add to this, another venture with The A.o.E., hailing from Brighton, UK ... a kindred spirit music-wise, and I have great expectations for that one, though no doubt it will take some time to produce, given the real life demands on us both.  But so anyhow, when you don't see much in the way of updates to the pages here, at least you'll have some idea what I'm doing with my time ... 

 

2004

 

02OCT04

Well, I began a mix in August that was rudely interrupted by Hurricane Charley and the resultant lock-down of the primary computers for safekkeeping ... you can read more below about the steady stream of storms that followed Charley: four major hits in FLA in just six weeks, a historical record.  Since we've been having a breather for the past week or so -- if not yet the actual end of storm season for the year -- I finally got a chance to return to that interrupted Indie music mix and it looks / sounds good to be uploaded to the BeatConscious stream on mmRadio this weekend.  I'll also add it to the Stream page on this site for a short time ... you'll find it here.  This is the first of some planned sets devoted to independent artists who have sent me links to their music or who I have found while online ... brief reviews and links to their sites are available on the Reviews page.  If you know of music that might be available (your own or one of your friends or favorite musicians), drop me a line and help me add to the world's increasing awareness of the huge amount of musical talent working hard to make their way in the world without the assistance of a major label contract ... let's do some good!

 

19SEP04

Well, buddy, it's been an ugly couple of weeks here ... assuming you haven't been denied internet, TV or newspapers, then you know about the series of catastrophic hurricanes that hit Florida, beginning on Friday the 13th of August.  Whatever you may think about the "entertainment value" of the Weather channel (or if you believe that the constant tracking of storms is all a bunch of hype to make people watch more of the Weather channel) the fact is that the advance notice we got on each storm did a lot to save the lives of those who paid attention.  There were many who decided to tough it out despite the warnings, and those who made it through may not know (or care) whether they have their good luck or the good Lord to thank ... a lot of them only know one thing: they won't stick around for the next one.

When I thought Ivan was going to follow the same track as Charley, right up into Charlotte Harbor, which is basically where I live, I did consider catching a plane to anywhere until it was all over ... it would have been a very difficult decision to make, walking away from everything I own and biting my nails until I knew what the outcome was ... in the event, I wasn't forced to make the choice, because there were no flights available.... And then the storm passed us by and hit the Pensacola area instead ... hit 'em hard.  I understand only too well the job they have ahead of them, putting things back together again.

During my time huddled in my house, waiting to see how it would all play out, I wasn't able to update the BeatConscious radio streams or this web site, but hope to have at least a short run of clear days and computer up-time to bring things up-to-date.  I have uploaded a new Asian Fusion set to the BeatConscious stream on mmRadio and have a few more of those in production; also check out the Reviews page for news of independent music that will be featured in the next mix I plan to air.

Damn, it feels good to feel normal for a change ... here's hoping it lasts.

31JUL04

Practically August, hotter than hot here in FLA, and perfect for staying inside, listening and mixing up new moods for the BeatConscious streams on MixMeister Radio and on Live365.  Since I last logged some notes here in June, I have reworked some early Dub mixes, and all of them are posted to both streams.  And the House stream on mmRadio (Jack2It, as it is called) has added my Halfway House - Last Call set, although -- as the title suggests -- it strays from house into other areas more than once during the mix.

Speaking of the Live365 stream, it finally occurred to me that listeners might appreciate a schedule of the broadcast there, since that's not something that Live365 provides as part of its hosting duties.  You can see what's currently streaming by visiting the BeatConscious on Live365 page.  I will do my level best to keep this current with every change in the schedule.  (Oh my, what am I getting myself into?)

Stay cool......


13JUN04

Well, I've managed to turn that unproductive streak from early this spring right around ... the days are finally becoming more agreeable for listening and for creating new mixes for the BeatConscious stream on mmRadio.  And you will find track-lists on the usual page, and some new CD covers posted as well.  

The first project of the late spring was to revisit the TripHop archives and rework a couple of those early mixes-on-tape using MixMeister.  The two sets currently available online (R U Out There? and La Vie en Noir) turned out exceptionally well ... I may visit this fertile ground again during the summer.

TripHop went well, so the next retrospective urge focused on the Ambient collection.  In fact, I had been promising my friend Afternoons in Stereo that I would work on updated versions of those ambient mixtapes ever since I heard his John Serrie set ... well, a mere two years later and there you have it.  Tranceported: Space - 2004 Rework and The Stars My Destination (Remix of Tranceported: Spaced) are both currently streaming on mmRadio and will soon be uploaded to the BeatConscious show on L365.

And then it was time for something new, which became Don't Imagine, the latest addition to the stream.  Two tracks by Afternoons in Stereo are part of the prize on this funky downtempo / nu-jazz set ... and a fantastic new release from Hird which I learned about thanks to the Lime Sorbet mix sets recently posted on Citrona.net ... what a world of great music!

If you enjoy all this, please say so ... feedback makes it better.


28MAR04

So, you'll be delighted to know MmeFLY is once again gainfully employed ... I was getting perilously close to using BeatConscious to drum up a little short-term loan action.  But seriously, I think I've found a fun job and a consuming one.  Like everyone else, I'm feeling the pinch of higher gas prices; unlike lots of people, I commute nearly 100 miles a day, and wonder if I can possibly make enough (in time) to make that kind of expense worthwhile ... well, we shall see.

On a more immediate subject, the long commute and distractions of learning a new routine have (predictably) cut down on mixing time ... and so regular listeners of the BeatConscious stream on MixMeister Radio will have starved for fresh sounds lately.  Someday I'll balance this better, I expect, but for now your hunger for the new will go largely unabated ... however, do spend some time with the freshest of the lot "Remember the Thrill (when you close your eyes)" because it has much to recommend it in the way of music from independent artists, including my favorite, Afternoons in Stereo.  Two of his recent creations (headed for release on a CD to be entitled "Aural Pleasure") have made it onto this mix and the set is considerably the better for it.  Don't miss this, really.

04JAN04

So ... the new year ticked over without major mishap -- I suppose I mean "without a terrorist attack in the USA" since there certainly were tragedies of various kinds in the usual abundance ... some estimates place the number of dead in the Bam (Iran) earthquake at close to 50,000 people, a huge figure by any reckoning.  

But here at home things were generally quiet and pleasant, as holidays spent with good friends usually are.  If I have a concern, it's that I don't feel I'm using my time between jobs in the most constructive or creative way, but that's something only I can change.  Since it reflects the generally unsettled state of my present situation, I've decided to flow with it for now ... I've turned my attention to appreciating the creative efforts of others for a change, in particular by catching up on my reading.  And, yes, I have recommendations.  Two, in fact:  

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson, another huge novel by the author of The Cryptonomicon, this one is also equal parts good read and brain-stretching collection of facts, history and general knowledge.  I can't imagine not loving this book and I'm delighted to know it's the first volume in a trilogy ... bring it on!  

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen -- Not new this year, but an incredibly rich, complex and inventive take on family relations and the human condition (OK, so what great novel ISN'T about the human condition?)   Although I enjoyed Franzen's debut novel, The 27th City, it ultimately struck me as being cold and needlessly complicated -- really reaching, in the twists of its plot, to be greater than itself.  In marvelous contrast, The Corrections rarely loses touch with the mundane matters of everyday life, and yet the vision and the language are so intense, so completely right, that the thing absolutely glows with spirit and meaning.  No need to stretch to find these truths.

Movies ... well, of course, The Return of the King, final installment of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, was the event of the winter.  

And as for music, it's been a bountiful year, but that hasn't kept me from going back to the treasures of years past, either to remix sets that I felt could have been done better, or to plunder some of the ideas I found there as the basis for new mixes.  Another of this year's pleasures came while working on a series of atmospheric Drum'n'Bass sets, and then a DnB tag team effort with DJ Doigt of Belgium. I keep learning, and hopefully, improving.  You can be the judge of this for yourself, just by checking out the BeatConscious stream on mmRadio.

The tag-end of 2003....

25NOV03

It seems quiet in here, but that's just because I'm outside having fun ... there's still plenty to see, so feel free to investigate in my absence ... mi casa es su casa.

25OCT03

My, how things change ... since last time, I've joined the ranks of the unemployed, bought a new car, and churned out an impressively large (for me) series of mixes for mmRadio -- which, in turn, has evolved to offer separate streams for the various music genres: BeatConscious (all things downtempo), Translucent (trance, of course), The Underground (house music all day and all night), and All Mixxed Up (where the masters of mixology strut their stuff.)  There's even a stream for Guest Mix Picks, so if you are a MixMeister user ready to unleash your skills on the world and get a little feedback from your peers, check out www.mixmeister.com for details on how to get aired on the station.  

In response to the breakout of the various streams on MixMeister radio, I thought it time to revisit older mixes and buff them up a bit for the show.  In a number of cases, that meant seriously expanding or otherwise changing the track line-up, and where I did so, I've posted the RMX track-list on the mmRadio set-lists page.  This is really just a "ready reference", since the broadcast displays the artist and track title for whatever you are hearing.  Oh, and have I mentioned that both lo-fi and hi-fi alternatives are available for each stream?  If you haven't done it yet, now's the time to check out our shows and find the sounds that suit your day and enhance your evening....go to http://radio.beatmixing.com/beatconscious/ and see what I'm talkin' about.

And to the folks who have dropped me an email as the result of visiting the site -- "Hey" back atcha!  It's good to hear from those who have taken a moment to experience my nightlife.

 

2003

25NOV03

It seems quiet in here, but that's just because I'm outside having fun ... there's still plenty to see, so feel free to investigate in my absence ... mi casa es su casa.

25OCT03

My, how things change ... since last time, I've joined the ranks of the unemployed, bought a new car, and churned out an impressively large (for me) series of mixes for mmRadio -- which, in turn, has evolved to offer separate streams for the various music genres: BeatConscious (all things downtempo), Translucent (trance, of course), The Underground (house music all day and all night), and All Mixxed Up (where the masters of mixology strut their stuff.)  There's even a stream for Guest Mix Picks, so if you are a MixMeister user ready to unleash your skills on the world and get a little feedback from your peers, check out www.mixmeister.com for details on how to get aired on the station.  

In response to the breakout of the various streams on MixMeister radio, I thought it time to revisit older mixes and buff them up a bit for the show.  In a number of cases, that meant seriously expanding or otherwise changing the track line-up, and where I did so, I've posted the RMX track-list on the mmRadio set-lists page.  This is really just a "ready reference", since the broadcast displays the artist and track title for whatever you are hearing.  Oh, and have I mentioned that both lo-fi and hi-fi alternatives are available for each stream?  If you haven't done it yet, now's the time to check out our shows and find the sounds that suit your day and enhance your evening....go to http://radio.beatmixing.com/beatconscious/ and see what I'm talkin' about.

And to the folks who have dropped me an email as the result of visiting the site -- "Hey" back atcha!  It's good to hear from those who have taken a moment to experience my nightlife.

12JUL03

Whoa, long time without comments from me ... well, you wouldn't have wanted to hear it (pity my pals over on the MixMeister boards, I haven't given them the same consideration) because it's all been about crashing PCs and seriously boring, costly fix-it maneuvers.  Anyhow, a little light is starting to leak into the room, so maybe I'm set again for the rest of this year ... or maybe the rest of this week, who knows?

In the meantime, I had a short vacation ... I got there, I relaxed, I came home.  And it seemed about that short to me, too.  Hmmm, perhaps I don't do this kind of thing in the best possible way.

Well, so, anyway, I'm back at the console now, back at work, and hoping to get a little of that much-touted "productivity" stuff goin' on around here.  If I do, you'll be the first to know about it -- because you'll see something new in the set-lists for mmRadio.  As it is, the latest addition is just this little gem from June.  But there's good things in the pipeline, so your patience will surely be rewarded.  Speaking of which, it's time for me to get to work ... 

17MAY03

 

 

 

I have to say, I enjoyed my Saturday ... hope yours was good, too.

 

 

 

21APR03

So, it was back to South Beach for me, to see the Thievery Corporation show at BillboardLive -- my first chance at seeing this avatar of downtempo and well worth the separate trip and expense.  Read the review here.  

As noted on the home page, I have a new series streaming on mmRadio currently:  The Money Groove (Parts 1 and 2 are up now, Part 3 is on the way.)  Unusually for my mixes, there's a story to this one:  I have a friend in the financial services sector who has turned into a downtempo head over the past couple of years ... I've given him the nickname DJ Money G, though he doesn't mix (yet) but makes compilations. Every time he and his wife come to FLA for a visit, we catch up on one another's crates and give the gift of music. Last visit, he left me with four CDs of his latest favorites, and I gave him a couple of my recent mmRadio sets.

As I listened to his CDs, I couldn't help but think about how a resequencing and actual mixing of some of the tracks might turn into something really tasty -- hey, I'm only human (a MixMeister-enabled human, that is.) So, I set out to make my own mix, my own flavor, from his selections ... I call it The Money Groove.  So far, I've completed two mixes and I'm working on a third ... you can check out the set-lists here.  This is almost as much fun as a tag-team with my MixMeister buddies ... almost, I say.  But the music is stellar, regardless of the methodology.

 

5APR03

Made it home from South Beach in fairly good shape ... only a mild sore throat to show for it despite my concern about the risk of SARS ... but hey, I have a second chance at the brass ring coming up ... I'm returning this month for the Thievery Corporation show.  Although these guys are my homies, the fact is, that scene didn't really catch fire until after I left in 1990 ... so this will be my first opportunity to catch them live, and I'm thrilled.  As for health concerns, well I'm not above wearing a surgical mask ... I hear the Japanese have started sportin' masks imprinted with Manga characters ... where do I get mine?  (Check the WMC report if you haven't gotten caught up yet.)

There's about to be a sea-change for the Live365 stream ... a recent listener commented on the "muffled" quality of the sound, and of course, how good can it be, encoded at 33kbps?  At the time I started the station, I was on a 56k modem and so was the rest of the world, as far as I knew.  But now it's 2003 and we're moving on to broadband ... yes, I know that doesn't include EVERYBODY ... and it's knowing that fact that's kept me from upgrading the stream all this time.  But it's time, I think:  anyone who is having any kind of enjoyable experience streaming audio (or video) online is doing it over a broadband connection ... maybe at work, maybe at home.  But the fact is, if you're on 56K modem, it's just not all that great sounding, and the buffering is enough to make a strong man weep.  So, I'm going to suggest that either you get broadband, if that's an option for you, or you email me and bug me for a CD (oh man, I'm really asking for it now...) because otherwise, I can't imagine you enjoying the mixes all that much.  Look for the upgrade to happen during this summer....

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by recently and actually used the Contact form to let me know they were here ... it really IS cool to hear from y'all, you know.....

20MAR03

America has gone to war, I've gone to South Beach ... uh, something about that just doesn't seem right, and it's not the part about South Beach, OK?

For quite some time, it didn't look as though this year's WMC was going to profit from my presence, but a couple of friends chimed in and here I am ... and just in time to be doing something other than sitting at home in front of a TV fretting about the future.  So, thanks Christina, thanks Ken, thanks Aaron, and even you, Chad -- though in the end you didn't make it here yourself, the thought that you MIGHT come helped propel me to make my own plans.

Previous years, the weather in late March has been pretty sweet, but today it's way damn hotter than it needs to be ... I suppose that means it'll be great out after sundown, and since that's when the fun begins, I'll take it.  

I came w/ a camera this year, so look for at least a few shots that'll give you the flavor of the place and the parties I get into to ... all of that will be available on the WMC page.  Enjoy!

And now, I suppose, I can't put off any longer checking the TV news reports on Iraq.  Man, I hate this.....

 

16FEB03

Yes, the camping out thing was getting a little old, and the warmer weather (for a day?  for a week?) is most welcome.

Most of time recently has been troubleshooting my computers, trying to get organized and crafting the occasional mix...  Cabin fever activities.  Once the lovely days arrive in force, I believe I'll have to step outside and bask in it.  You may wonder how I could pay any less attention to the FLYport but trust me when I say, it IS possible....  I just count on the fact that you don't depend on FLYpaper for all your news....  If you are looking for something meaningful in your life, you should be demonstrating against a war in Iraq, and thinking about what you would do to protect yourself from the inevitable resumption of terrorist strikes on American soil (and I don't mean duct tape and plastic sheeting....)  

Drop by MixMeister sometime ... we are about to have another makeover, and you may want to get a peep at our "old" look the better to appreciate (or criticise) our new look.  Oh, and there's a contest currently for a new logo -- enter and you may possibly win a license of MixMeister which I believe would certainly be worth the effort (check the forum for complete details.)

I will be freshening up the Live365 stream ... I note a few more listeners have been tuned in recently and I'd like to celebrate that by posting another mix that's been retired from the mmRadio stream ... of course, something must be deleted to make way for the new ... but it's time.

 

14JAN2003

OK, it's a cold winter in Florida this year ... but I'm thinking of it like it was camping out:  I've got the equipment (all those sweaters and coats that I lugged with me when I moved south) which helps make it more of an adventure than a total inconvenience.  Cooking lots of comforting soups and stews ... enjoying indoors stuff like movies and reading ... get to see that beautiful comforter on the bed, the one that's way too heavy to use in normal times.  And now the heat generated by a couple of computers running night and day makes the FLYport the coziest room in the house.  The worst part is covering up the tenderest plants on the intermittent freezing nights ... it's either that, or be prepared to lose them to a hard frost.  Hey, next August, I'll be remembering these days fondly and waiting for the heat relief to come around again.... 


2002

31DEC02

OK, so we're getting on toward closing out this year ... doing all the little catch-up chores that the end of a year suggests we really ought to attend to (you know what I'm talkin' about, right?)  

And we look back, of course: smiling or sighing or shaking our heads in disbelief.  You've got your horror stories, just like I've got mine.  So where did the light shine from, this crazy year?  Well, for me, it mostly came from MixMeister Radio: a clean, well-lighted place if ever there was one, and a comfort to have for my main hang-out.  And so let me take a moment here to offer mad respect to my fellow mmRadio DJs ... they work hard to put excellent music and awesome mixing on the air and it's a pleasure to share their company.  And an extra helping of appreciation to the MixMeister organization for sponsoring the station ... yeah, yeah, I know: it's good marketing.  But hey, why isn't every mixing software maker doing this cool thing, then?  Trust me, MixMeister is special.

Gratitude and love to my friends -- you represent everything that's right with my world.  

Thanks to the people I work for and with, for struggling through another difficult year, and providing me with the opportunity to learn and improve while I provide you with a few of the necessary elements of your business: documentation, website and the occasional marketing materials.  Hope we can keep on keeping on in 2003.

And to the terrorists, assassins and assorted other evil-doers of the world -- thanks for reminding the rest of us that life is precious and freedom is worth fighting for.  It's to the eternal shame of mankind that we can't take all the energy expended and money wasted in opposing one another and use it to improve life on the planet instead.  

Conscious party tonight, people....

 

25DEC02

Just dropping by to wish you a peaceful and satisfying holiday (if you happen to be celebrating this one) ... 

 

01DEC02

No matter how I might be feeling in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, when it actually comes down to it, I see how very much I have to be thankful for ... and I hope it's the same for you.

And, if I may, let me recommend the Steven Soderburgh film "Solaris" ... 

 

25NOV02

Well, two months is a godawful long time to go between posts, but it's been busy (at the actual paying job) and there was also a stretch when the site was off-line due to ownership changes and ineptitude at the hosting company ... which necessitated changing hosts.  I've worked with these guys for a long time (and paid far more for far less than most folks manage) just because, I guess, I'm loyal to a fault, and wanted a local company.  Boy, did that need rethinking.  

Part of the busy nature of the past month has been related to the first birthday celebration for MixMeister Radio.  Travel Fox and I had to gather classic mixes from the past year (based on community votes) and mixes newly-created for the occasion, construct a celebration playlist (all praises due to the Fox) and crank it up for the party.  The party playlist will be aired through the first week in December (more or less) so if you haven't yet heard the 30+ hours that makes up this tribute to our first year of broadcasting, please tune in -- there's a LoFi version for dial-up folks, and a HiFi version for the broadband bunch.  You can also check out the MixMeister Community Forum, where there's information and feedback posted about the mixes ... please add your comments -- and any requests that you may have.

Speaking of requests, one of the mmForum moderators (Monkey Do, Resident DJ of the Translucent show) requested that I take a new look at one of my very early mixes ... back before MixMeister entered my life, I made a number of attempts at mixing using CDs and a Numark 2002X ... as I now appreciate, they were all pretty lame, but hey!  I was learning.  In any event, one of the set-lists from that time is posted here at BeatConscious, on the Trance page, and it caught Monk's eye ... "how about giving that a go using MixMeister" was his suggestion.  Happy to oblige, sez I.  Well, it's turned into quite a project:  first, because we can now broadcast 80 minute sets, I could add a couple of tracks to the mix ... and since I could change it in that way, it seemed fair that I could also delete any tracks that simply didn't work.  And second, because actually mixing the tracks turned out to be challenging, even with the assistance of MixMeister -- I see now how utterly hopeless it was for me to attempt it straight from CD back in the day.  The finished set-list is posted in the usual place, and also on the Trance page, and the set will be added to the Translucent show roster once our birthday celebration is concluded ... if you want to see how a downtempo soul such as MadameFLY mixes prog house, trance and techno, please check it out.

Oh, and while you're looking around, see the new CD cover art that's been posted.

And now I believe I'll see if I can't add a few more ornaments to the site, update the Charts page, blow the dust off the other pages and generally spruce things up for the holiday.  As the year winds down in this freaky scary new world we live in, I guess that makes as much sense as anything else I could do.  

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving this week, you have my best wishes for a satisfying feast in good company.  And if you're just strugglin along without the comfort of a gathering of your family and friends, well I'm thinking about you, too.....

 

28SEP02

So, it happens all the time:  the tavern down the street closes and everyone who used to hang out there needs to move along (hopefully all of us together) to a new spot.  So, too, for thedownbeat crew ... in anticipation of the lights going out Monday night, September 30th, a couple of us scouted around for a new hang-out, and we've settled on the ChilledBeats site.  The proprietor, Albert, has graciously welcomed the displaced dozens to his site and, most significantly, to his forum.  We hope to be a credit to his generosity as time goes on.

And then there was my sorry Charts page, which has been in need of a face-lift for the longest time....  Done, at last.  I suspect you will find the new layout to be far more conducive to finding the material you seek ... namely, what's hot now, what's in my crate of favorites, what's playing in the background when you stop by the house for a visit.  If you feel something is still missing, let me know.

The fine folks at MixMeister took a vote, and a high quality stream was the clear winner among alternatives offered ... actually mmRadio will now offer dual streams, one for the folks still on 56k, and another for the lucky people with broadband.    We hope you will enjoy the vastly improved sound quality now available.

Speaking of mmRadio -- we will be one year old in November:  Our first broadcast streamed out on November 16, 2001.  So, it's clearly time for a celebration, and plans to mark the day include TPS versions of everyone's very first mix to be broadcast.  MixMeister users will recognize TPS as our shorthand for Total Perfection Syndrome ... in this context, that will mean taking those first sets and buffing them up to a very high sparkle.  We invite you to stop by on the day and see what we've got to offer.

And now I'll publish all this good stuff, as soon as Sprint resolves it's current network outages....

 

20SEP02

Hasn't been the best of times ... official word was given by Chad that thedownbeat.org will disappear as of the end of September.  Anyone who has read much of FLYpaper realizes that thedownbeat site was incomparably significant in my musical education and the formation of my tastes over the past couple of years.  Don't think I'm being overly dramatic when I say losing that site will be like losing a loved one....  And believe me, it's not just me that feels this way: bedroombeats and FLAREsound (which shared a server for streaming their shows to you) have become a vital part of many peoples' day ... the world will be a far less pleasant place to work and play without Chad and Jeff to provide the soundtrack for our activities.

So, to the jack-booted thugs of the music industry, let me just say ... you have no idea what a bad move all of your present efforts at CONTROL will turn out to have been.  History will not (as it still may do for Fidel) absolve you.  But you won't notice.  Where your heads are, it's hard to see the light.

I think it might be best to be in a better mood before I try and write any more on THAT topic....

OK, OK, so there's gotta be some good news in this bag somewhere, right?  Try this then:  I recently recommitted to my Live365 broadcast (that's a financial commitment, since we now all contribute to the royalty pot so that RIAA personnel and other music industry executives can drive suitably swank automobiles, or whatever they spend the swag on....)  Didn't want to give up my "founder's" status, once I actually thought about it.  But there was another lure:  L365 now has the technology to support streaming continuous mixes instead of merely individual tracks.  Well, that did make it more appealing ... so MadameFLY's Nightlife stream on L365 is now home to all the mixes that have come off rotation on MixMeister Radio ... I plan to purchase more server space and probably will do the "premium" deal and kill the ads, all so that your listening experience will be more agreeable, my friends .... so show yr appreciation and log a few listening minutes, why doncha?  If you want to vote and kick my stats up a few notches, well that'll just make me love you all the more....

Stay sweet.

 

03AUG02

So, there was that vacation, a week with friends in Maine, ver' nice and relaxing.  While here at home remained the issue of the virus-ravaged-and-then-exploded computer (well, I may be exaggerating a tiny bit with the "exploded" stuff, but I have been introduced to the smell of burning electronic components, and that's no exaggeration....)  A total rebuild was awaiting me ... fortunately, I have clever friends who could handle most of the heavy lifting involved in that operation ... there was a short, emotional side-trip where I got ripped off by a computer components operation  in NYC (name names?  You bet:  Beyond Computers.  Deal with them at your own risk....) but that was eventually settled in my favor by the kindly folks at my credit card company's Dispute Dept., who know a scam when they see one.  OK, so now I have a rebuilt system, about 3X faster than before, programs loaded back on, and it's time to turn once again to BeatConscious.org and play catch up.

This is becoming more important because of the work going on at www.beatmixing.com where the hardy TravelFox is pulling new site elements together to increase the pleasure of your MixMeister Radio experience ... in part, by providing pages for the Resident DJs to communicate with their listeners.  Since my page will naturally have a link to BeatConscious, it seemed like a little tidy-up might be in order here.

Sounds like a lot of sunshine but don't let that fool ya ... the battle being waged against online music appreciation is getting darker day by day.  All of us involved with MixMeister Radio are deeply grateful that the company is willing to go the distance and endure the BS to keep us all on the air, giving you the chance to see and hear what can be done with their excellent software.  But other streaming entities have not been so lucky, and have gone silent.  In addition, the "defenders of law and order" as the RIAA and its minions appear to see themselves, have decided to adopt some of the ugliest hacking tactics available in their "war" against the music fan base ... and they are getting the OK from lawmakers in this country to do their evil worst ... if you don't know what I'm referring to, you really need to Google RIAA and see what comes back in terms of recent news reports.  It's chilling.....  Of course, having opened the door to doing evil, the RIAA was paid back in kind:  a DOS attack shut them down for a while at the end of July.  I wonder if they realize who will win in an all-out hacker's war?   

In the interests of getting new set-lists posted and some other updating done, I'm going to cut the chatter short today ... but I'll be back, just like you knew I would.

 

06-29-02

Vacation time.  There's an update on the page for the Greg Long Vitamin C EP giveaway ... look for the new contest after the 4th.

Safe and sane, y'all....

 

06-19-02

For all the information you need about getting your copy of the Greg Long Vitamin C EP, read more below.  

As for the lengthy quiet stretch here at the FLYport, blame my beta testing activities.  The good people at MixMeister have been hard at work this past year, pulling together an upgrade to MixMeister Pro.  They asked several MM Community members for help in beta testing the release, and I was happy to join the effort.  So, for the past month, I have been devoting all my evening hours to trying out MixMeister Pro 4 and reporting back.  Testing ended this past weekend with the official announcement on www.mixmeister.com of the downloadable demo.  Anyone who has an interest in digital mixing will be delighted with the toolset in this product.  MixMeister is very responsive to suggestions from their users, and a lot of what the software does today originated in requests from us.  (Why is that important?   Oh, I dunno ... does Windows XP do something YOU asked for?)  It will continue to be my playground for the foreseeable future.  

Much good music has passed my way in the first six months of this year.  You'll find a few new set-lists have been added here to reflect new mixes which are being played on MM Radio.  There have been numerous technical distractions, unfortunately, as my main graphics system got swarmed with a virus and a trojan horse, then blew itself up ... well, it's a learning experience:  I'd never seen a melted video card before, and I guess that's worth something.  Fortunately, we're talking about the oldest computer, a fairly leisurely 350mhz, so it's not like it wasn't time to rebuild and upgrade anyway.  But it's time-consuming, as I'm sure many of you know.

So, that's my mea culpa for this FLYpaper report ... I've always got a pretty decent excuse for being tardy with my news and updates.  Hope this one floats, too....  Back atcha after the Independence Day holidays..... Be free.

  

05-10-02

Last week, I mentioned a new mix which included a track by Greg Long.  Greg, a Florida-based artist, has one release ("Balance") on the Instinct label, and has recently started up an indie label going by the name of Citrona Recordings.  Their first release is The Vitamin C EP, and clips of this gem can be heard on the Citrona website.  

By special arrangement with Citrona's resident marketing genius, Christina, I have acquired a limited number of these vinyl delights for BeatConscious visitors.  Yep, ya gotta game a little to get yours, but -- you got game, right?  Click this to find out what you need to do. 

 

05-05-02

A new mix uploaded today to MMRadio, and the set-list has been posted.  Deep delicious grooves from Telefuzz, Greg Long, Quantic and a UFO remix of dZihan And Kamien's Homebass are among the delights.  Speaking of Tru Thoughts artists, Jon Kennedy's website, which was out of commission for a short while, is back up at http://web.ukonline.co.uk/jon.kennedy/ and looking very sleek.  

Summer has arrived here ... and you?

 

04-24-02

It isn't often I get to have conversations with performing artists (my current hometown is no mecca for performers, though it harbors a couple dozen working bands with names like The Boogiemen or BuckNaked and the Exhibitionists ... whoohoo.) So naturally, I was delighted to hear from one of my current favorites, Jon Kennedy.  That communication led me to read the excellent interview with Jon that appears on the Tru Thoughts website (click on Artists, then Jon Kennedy.) Turns out Jonk Energy is coming to the US in late May for a performance in San Francisco. I asked if we could do an interview via email that could be about this visit and anything else that happened to come up in conversation, and Jon kindly consented to the idea. In the event, we've decided to try the weblog format for this interview, and you'll find the results here.... Jon and I will do our best to keep this conversation/blog going throughout the performance date, so he can give you his impressions on this trip to the US, the SF date and other topics. You'll want to check the blog page from time to time and see what's new. I would suggest having Jon's current release, We're Just Waiting For You Now, providing accompaniment ....

As if that weren't enough excitement, I've just set up DSL service for the FLYport. It blazes, my friends, it absolutely blazes. I've chosen DSL over cable for reasons that will be readily apparent to any Comcast customers ... but I had to wait quite a while for the Sprint DSL service to be available in my neighborhood. The one thing about my 56k dial-up connection that I'm going to miss will be the handle of my former ISP: nut-n-but.net -- it might have been a little tedious to always need to be spelling it out for people, but it did make the guys smile when they finally "got it."

In the long time between FLYpaper updates, I have also turned out a mix (see the MixMeister Radio set-lists page for info on the newest gem, Just Like Me, which includes a couple of tracks from Jon Kennedy) and there's another one on the way ... a remix of The Moment, my first really good triphop/downtempo mix refashioned using the MixMeister software. A few of these classic tracks had to be brutally excised in order to meet the 60 minute broadcast limit ... you can compare the old and new set-lists here, and when you tune in to MM Radio in the next week or so, you should be able to hear the finished product, if you stick around for this set.

But what if you're time-challenged, like me? You might not have time to sit through the whole 12+ hour playlist on MM Radio just to hear a particular set. Well, I may have an alternative for you.... With the advent of DSL at the FLYport, there is now the possibility of a direct broadcast from my computer to your computer, giving you the chance to hear any one of my BeatConscious shows which has appeared on MM Radio, at your convenience. Drop me an email letting me know you want to schedule your own personal private webcast and if we can work out an agreeable day and time in our busy schedules, I will play a set just for you. And you thought I'd been ignoring you!

Oh, you may be wondering whatever happened to pictures, etc. from WMC that I anticipated posting on BeatConscious ... well, the truth is that all the people with cameras and recorders ended up choosing to have a good time rather than devote themselves to capturing the events.  A few shots did get published on thedownbeat.org ... here's the link:

http://thedownbeat.org/forum/viewtopic.php?topic=47687&forum=5&13

And here's one shot contributed by Aaron of MixMeister, snapped by Chad Downbeat ... taken at the Pelican Hotel's sidewalk cafe ... clockwise from MadameFLY in front you see Mike, Kevin and Aaron ... 

wmc016.jpg (77198 bytes)

 

03-31-02

Finally got the last of my WMC notes posted for your reading pleasure.  If you didn't make it this year, plan to attend next year if you can ... there's something for every musical taste and the venue couldn't be better suited to the party vibe.  Once the camera buffs from the TDB crowd get their pictures posted, I'll give you the links.  

I have some special emotional connection to this particular spring weekend -- observed by many as Easter weekend, it embodies the concept of renewal even for those who don't accord it any specific religious significance.  Mr. Toad and I have had our own personal ceremony of renewal and have set off in our own separate directions to explore what life has to offer next.  The text for this transition came from Marianne Williamson, who noted that the purpose of relationships is to help us change and grow ... and in this regard, we both agree our time together served us well.  Here's to love and luck in the future.

And now, back to the real world.....

 

03-12-02

There's a plan afoot to provide you with an early look at the WMC festivities -- our downtempo tribe intends to come well-equipped with all manner of cameras and recorders, and we expect to begin posting pictures, interviews and other sound events immediately.  If you have any interest at all in how the other half lives (the lucky ones who get to enjoy this party) then by all means, return to BeatConscious regularly during the conference week (March 23-27) and see what we got for ya ... in addition to what I'm able to post on this site, I will be providing links to the other sites that will have similar offerings, including live DJ streams....  More about this little plan as the week rolls on....

 

03-03-02

I feel like I'm getting handed quite a lot all at once, what with car stuff (I know you've been there before, right?) and sorting out the home front ... but balance is being maintained thru the pleasant anticipation of seeing friends at WMC.  Anticipation must be pretty powerful stuff, 'cause it's keeping me very even despite an otherwise rocky ride at present.

If you poke around the site, you'll find new reviews of contributions from M45, Greg Long and also G, who is about to launch his eponymous website and thus is reclaiming Greg Vickers as his public persona ... read all about this on the Reviews page.

Because I do write reviews from time to time, and because it's not always easy to convey just what makes you take notice of any particular bit of music, I read the Music issue of Granta with interest ... lots of good writing there, as usual, but it was a bit by Philip Pullman entitled "Medtner" that really rocked me ... spend a moment on the Brain Scan page for a short look at this piece.

If you check the Crate, you'll see that my current favorites Projections, Charles Webster, Jon Kennedy and Bonobo are right in front where they can easily be reached.  Also just in, a few Elektrolux releases from Sushi Club, recommended by my friends last month.  And plenty more to consider.... 

Oh, and if you slid past the home page without checking out the links regarding the RIAA's new assault against online music, I urge you to go back immediately and absorb this information -- your listening future may depend on paying attention to this now.  Thanks for taking a moment to do that.

 

02-16-02

Well, whaddya know, we had a little love-in here at the FLYport on Valentines day ... a visit from a couple of friends who I have know for longer than anyone else I'm currently still in touch with ... bless his mom for moving to my general vicinity, since it gives them a reason to get down here on a regular basis.  A particular thrill was comparing notes on our musical tastes these days and finding out we've been listening to a lot of the same stuff -- really, it was like one of those "separated at birth" things where you have the chance to meet your twin and find out all the things you have in common.  I feel like the universe just gave me a kindly pat on the head....

Check out the Links page again sometime ... I've added a few new items.  Especially useful for you should be the opportunity to visit the site of Canadian dance/electronic music purveyors Homebass.  These folks know what they're about and they offer a mind-tickling selection of interesting and essential musics ... if you haven't been able to find my current fave, Kingsburg by Projections, check Homebass and they'll fix you right up.  Great job, Peter!

Now comes a stretch of pre-Winter Music Conference anticipation and preliminaries, just to be sure we make the absolute most out of the 2002 experience....  

 

02-11-02

If you are a regular reader, pardon the recent dip in BeatConscious activities. (Actually, if you are a regular reader, you may want to consider getting out of the house more often ... but suit yourself.) In any event, part of the time has been productively spent, as you will see if you check-out the MM Radio set-lists. A few new gems have been added to usher in the new year.

The rest of the time was spent somewhat less productively as my constant companion and I worked out the whys and wherefores of a separation ... bleh, I know, you don't really need to hear this. Well, inasmuch as I don't run a full-out blog on these pages, and thus don't subject you, gentle reader, to every descriptive jot and tittle of my life's passages, I'm counting on you not to hold it against me if I do mention this rather significant moment in my 20+ year association with Mr. Toad. It seems appropriate to reveal it here, of all places, since my efforts to establish and improve BeatConscious are said to play a role in the passing of that relationship (and you thought I NEVER did anything to this dang site!)   Well, but of course, Mr. Toad and I know differently, at heart -- no story this long is ever so uncomplicated as that.  At any rate, we're seemingly out the other side of that process now, and I doubt you'll see it mentioned again in FLYpaper.... But we (that is, you and I) gotta be on the same page, and now we are.

Thanks to good friends, I am drowning in fine music at present, and may take a short vacation from mixing in order to freshen up my resources (oh yeah, right!)  Check out Charts to see what's been moving my body back and forth across the floor most recently.  The music never fails to lift my spirits, and then there's the prospect of South Beach in March....  I believe I'll be just fine. 

 

01-12-02

New Year, new projects ... and a great deal of new music to listen to.  So, while listening, I'm buffing up the web pages a bit ... nothing Flashie, you understand, just an attempt to add to the knowledge, recommendations and other opinion that may help you sort thru the online musical baggage.

I'd like to direct you, first, to the Charts page ... I've transcribed a list prepared by Brother Soul-Fly of 2001's "Worldwide Winners" in music.  This list is also available, with other commentary, in the Forum section of thedownbeat.org ... but to make your life simple, you can read it here.  I also would like to renew a link to the Essentials page, just because I'd hate for you not to have the chance to look over this line-up of great tracks from years past....

I've added a feature to the reviews of material from my emusic.com subscription -- which is to give a link when any track reviewed was used in a mix, so you can get an idea of how I worked with these little treasures.  So far, I've completed linking the first page.  Admittedly, this is carrying the mix info thing just one step further than may be absolutely necessary, but it was interesting to me to see how much stuff filtered through into my everyday listening, and a fun thing to do while I listen to the super-excellent Jon Kennedy album, We're Just Waiting For You Now (thanks to Chad and Ken, who put me on to this.)

March is fast approaching, and with it, the 2002 Winter Music Conference in Miami.  Now, it was pretty much accepted as a given, after last year's visit left me with a killer flu, that I'd had my last WMC fling -- what could possibly make me want to risk that again?  Ah, but I hadn't reckoned the odds of a convergence of thedownbeat crew, looking to take advantage of the mad amount of talent that will be in that spot during that weekend ... now THAT would be a party!  Well, it's being talked about, and if we pull this together, it'll be mighty fine....  When I know more, I'll pass it on.

Back to the buffing and spiffing....  Hope it adds to the pleasure of your visit.  

 

2001

12-30-01

Well, yes, I did continue the tradition and add a year-end review of my favorite music to the Charts page ... see if there's anything you recognize among the names....  

 

12-22-01

For those of you moving along with me toward the end of this year (this crazy year, this frightening year, this challenging year...) here's hoping you're staying strong, finding comfort in friends and family and generally keeping your mind sharp and your spirits high.  

I've had the MixMeister Radio project to distract me from most of what's been unpleasant to contemplate over the last couple of months ... though thoughts of impending world disaster can never be totally suppressed, they can at least be pushed into the background for long stretches.  

I've had yet another year filled with musical bounty -- I feel pretty lucky to be connected to so many people who know and appreciate the kind of music I love -- the downtempo community, particularly as represented by the crew at www.thedownbeat.org never fails to extend my musical horizons (even if it would be impossible to hear every single track discussed on the TDB forum.)  Plus which, they are a fine and friendly bunch, a pleasure to while away the virtual hours with....

And in the physical world, I'm happy to have my best friends come to stay for a couple of months each winter (happy not to be doing the traveling myself, of course.)  Happy also to still be employed, despite a rotten economy....  Happy too for Mr. Toad, who's also been having a good run at work and at home.  

For this particular moment, at least, it is, in fact, all good.  For you, too, I hope.

 

12-01-01

MixMeister Radio is filling up its schedule as quickly as we all can upload our mixes to the server.  A general broadcast schedule will be published shortly, so you (if you happen to listen in to www.beatmixing.com) will have some idea whose show you're hearing.  I'll be posting my set-lists here, so you can get a clue about some of the music.  Join us, if you can.

As the year winds down, there's bad news for broadband users in the USA who have become accustomed to that nice phat pipe provided by their cable service ... the bankruptcy of excite@home is now threatening the service of thousands of users, home and business, all across the country.  In my town, Comcast is continuing to solicit new business, despite this approaching blackout, angering quite a few who have signed up only to get a "possible disruption of service" notice in the mail on Friday.  Me, I'm still on dial-up here at Nightlife HQ ... my misery will be having some company if a solution (read: buyer) isn't soon found for the excite operations.

Love to stay and chat, but I've got a bit of mixing to do....

 

11-17-01

So, just as Live365 started to grate on all our nerves (yes yes, I know, they gotta pay for those servers and that bandwidth ... I just don't understand why all radio commercials have to sound exactly, nauseatingly the same) so, as I say, just in time, the excellent people of MixMeister step into the breach and sponsor a new internet radio broadcast.  Are these folks awesome, or what?  

True, the broadcasts are only for mixes created using the MixMeister software, but I think it's fair to say this will not cause the listener any diminution of pleasure ... you will hear lovingly prepared sets, of (eventually) every musical variety, flowing 24/7 to your computer in .wma format, playable on the widely-available Windows Media Player.  It's a very exciting moment for those of us who've been involved in the planning and preparation for the last few weeks.  Curious?  Here's your link: MixMeister Radio.

 

11-15-01

Unless things change overnight, November 16th could be a very cool day for music lovers ... more than that I really shouldn't say for now.  But here's a tip:  keep your eye on the MixMeister site.

And now I seriously need to get some work done....

 

11-08-01

Back to normal at work for now, feeling momentarily frisky fiscally, but still waiting for the other shoe to drop....  In the meantime, friends are helping to keep my mind occupied with fresh musical news: bless you, you know who you are.

In the news category, those of you following along so far will find the promised review of file-sharing applications.  I've waded in and I'll tell you what I think -- and a little bit of what I got.

Another update, this time on the Links page ... Yvan of www.basic.ch offered a links exchange which led me to consider how woefully under-represented the category of Live DJ Sets was on the links page ... I counted "none" when I looked.  So, not only will you find Basic has been added, you'll find many others, including both "Live DJs Playing Right Now" type sites, and others which have archives of live performances.  Your chance for the ultimate in home entertainment.

More musical news getting close to full disclosure ....

 

10-27-01

Although it's hard to think about anything other than the present threats to life, health, liberty and reason, the fact is that there is music and the love of it thrives even in the worst conditions.   Exercising our creative abilities as a form of spiritual opposition to destruction may not seem like much, unless you consider that it may keep us sane as well.  And sanity would be a good thing to hang on to now.  

If you have a moment or an hour to fill with music, consider spending it with MadameFLY's stream at Live365: I've uploaded a number of fresh new sets during the past month, fine downtempo vibes that should move you and soothe you (if not totally distract you.)  Continuing gratitude to MixMeister for providing the tools to create these hours of bliss.

Inbetween times, Mr. Toad and I consider our options in the event of an even greater emergency ... regretfully, I suggest you consider doing the same.

OK ... you don't come here for that.  To be entertained or informed, perhaps, but not for survival advice.  Well, so consider this ... that the enormous appeal of the downtempo spectrum of sounds is its marriage of the bestial with the celestial.  That beat with those horns, or whichever.  Care to comment or elaborate on that idea, I'd be happy to hear what you come up with.  

09-29-01

A big shout out to the fine folks at MixMeister ... read the latest software review posted here to find out why.  

Well, the impact of terrorism on the American economy has spread itself in my direction; my employer is cutting salaries and/or cutting work days for most of the staff, hoping to ride out the worst of it and have us all back on the former basis sometime again soon.  In the meantime, I can't say I'll regret working a three-day week and having an extra couple of days to spend on projects at home ... I may not be able to buy as much music (or anything else) as I have been accustomed to, but hey -- I can't keep the economy afloat all by myself.  In the meantime, I'm online, listening to some of that new stuff I can no longer afford via a couple of file-sharing applications.  Look for reviews of Morpheus and Limewire and the whole idea of file sharing ... coming up soon (much sooner than if I still had full-time employment!)

Everybody stay strong, now....

 

9-22-01

In the short time since my last message, America joined the ranks of countries who have confronted their vulnerability to the most shocking kind of terrorism within their borders.  While many in the U.S. had long worried over just such possibilities, I suppose there were some citizens who were confident, prior to Sept. 11, 2001, that we were immune to those concerns; I think its fair to say we're all on the same page now.  We are not, of course (this being America) all on the same page about how to respond.  But we doubtless all agree that a response is required, and only hope our leaders choose the most effective method and degree against the appropriate target.

Thanks to all who have sent their messages of concern and support ... I know it is easy to find disagreeable things about America's actions from time to time throughout our history; I'm glad to realize that -- despite our failings -- people around the world still appreciate that this country represents an ideal of liberty and freedom that is precious to all, and which must not be allowed to fall to terrorism.  

I deeply grieve for the victims of this atrocity, and for any of my fellow men who could so completely misunderstand Divine Love and Justice that they would think the actions of Sept. 11, 2001 could ever be justified.  By their evil, they have separated themselves forever from the Divine Spirit they claim inspires them.

 

08-31-01

Well, it's Friday night and I just got paid, and on Sunday, Mr. Toad and I head off for a week in the mountains ... we're both very ready for a change of scene, I can assure you.  Before I go, I'd like to send a big up to Jennifer at www.emusic.com -- she was responding to a request I made for technical assistance, and she also checked out my review of the emusic subscription service and was able to give me the real low-down on how the "whole album download" process works.  Thanks to Jennifer, my subscription just got a lot more efficient!

If I'm not mistaken, today is the last day for www.thedownbeat.org -- insurmountable issues regarding web hosting have brought yet another fine website to a close.  For many of us who have made the downbeat both a second home and a way of life, this is a pretty sad pass to come to.  We all wished we could have been more help in keeping it alive, but most of us are just your average can-kicking music lovers, and don't have the technical skills that were required to make the necessary changes.  So we're feeling not just sad, but useless to boot.  It's rough.  I join my fellow TDBer, Cyhl, in a moment of silence, observing the last night of TDB.

Now, you go have some fun, OK?

 

08-21-01

Avid readers of FLYpaper (you are out there, right?) must be wondering whatthehell -- well, flit on over to the reviews of my growing collection from the emusic.com subscription service, and you'll understand where I've been.  I'm covering a lot of ground so it's taking a good bit of time.  But, hey, I'm not complaining.  It's a nice introduction to the world of downloadable music (the legit side.)  I should mention, for those who may suspect otherwise, that I have no affiliation with the www.emusic.com website.  They do offer an affiliates program (who doesn't these days?) but I'm not enrolled in it.  If you are encouraged to try your own emusic subscription, the benefit will be entirely between you and emusic.com.  

Coming backatcha shortly with more about the bounty.... stay cool. 

 

07-08-01

It seems I've spent my urge to communicate on my TDB blog, so if you care to keep up, check that link.  Here at home, I've added a link on my links page and thank Chad at the Progressive Sounds site for introducing his site to me ... keep in mind that I welcome the opportunity to post a link to any fiercely dedicated music site, so let me know whatcha got....

Coming up on a short visit to the city of cities ... NYC.  Counting on eating well and, with any luck, perhaps hearing some music as well.  I'll let you know....

 

06-27-01

A month!? A month and not a word ... what possible excuse could there be?  Well, of course, as a resident of the Sunshine State, I occasionally find myself entertaining folks from up north, and that commands my attention while it's going on.  But also, for the last month, I have been deep into a trial subscription of the emusic.com service, busily downloading the best electronic music tracks they have to offer, and listening in every spare moment.  A review with more detail appears on a separate page, but in a nutshell: there's an enormous amount to like on emusic, you just have to spend some time searching it out.  Unlike Napster, this is not a place you'd go to look for some specific new track ... this is more like a musical flea-market, and you never know what treasures will turn up.  

A few new artists have been added to the Reviews page ... if you are a regular on the electronic music pages at www.mp3.com, you may already be familiar with some of these names: Transcenden, Angina P., Sub City.  If not, now's a good chance to get acquainted.

I've recently used a computer program for the first time to assist in making a mix.  MixMeister is just one of the many programs that has appeared to smooth the way for the bedroom DJ.  It's made to work with all those mp3s you download from the internet (or that you rip from your own CD collection) and claims to give you the beat-matching skills that your personal talent has perhaps failed to provide.  Get a sense of what this program has to offer in my review.

'Nuff said?  

 

05-20-01

Spent my weekend constructing a CD for AOTMer Michael Steinmetz's proposed mix project: a bunch of us who hang out at www.artofthemix.org were offered a blank CDR and invited to fill it with our favorite (or as many as would fit) tracks.  Read about the project -- and see my results -- here.

Sunday night culminated in listening to Choko's show, The Downlow on www.1groove.com.  Friendly, complimentary words, and the unique experience of hearing someone else play one of my sets ... it was good.  Hope it was good for everyone else who listened, also.  Naturally, the station's  been bookmarked -- especially since I understand that g. will contribute a set for an upcoming show, and I know from experience it will be worth listening to...  And in that same vein, I'll mention that I've heard a DJ Choko set that made me weak with envy (selections and skills, both), so I suspect that when he's the featured DJ on the Downlow your attention will be generously rewarded.   

There's great music all around you ... be sure and enjoy some today.

05-17-01

Thanks to the truly fine community of www.thedownbeat.org, I not only meet dedicated music heads and learn about stellar releases, new and old, that I would otherwise have missed ... but I also have the opportunity to share some of the musical blends whose creation is the mainstay of my nightlife.  (Yes, music police: we share music.  We even do this without Napster, without Gnutella ... we just outright share: information, recommendations, recordings ... all of it.  There: I've said it and I'm glad.)  So anyhow, as an outgrowth of this generous spirit, I've had a favorite set tapped for broadcast this Sunday at 8PM EST on  http://www.1groove.com -- please join DJ Choko for the show (and perhaps you will find a new favorite streaming radio experience in the bargain.)  As always, if you have nearly 20 hours to kill (or some mad, bad task to complete that needs music in the background to make it bearable) you can always catch my stream on Live365:  click here for more information and the link.

Coming soon -- a handful of new reviews ... I've found some more great music to share with you (whoops, I've said the "S" word again.)

05-03-01

Been working to get two new mixed CDs pulled together and finally got 'em in a condition that satisfied me.  But where to post them?  That's one of the problems with genre-bending  -- makes great sets, but plays hell with my categories.  So my answer was to make it a category of its own, and you'll soon find it added to the Interactive Playlist page... check back soon.  

In the meantime, I've got two new artists on the Reviews page ... more fine music for you to catch up on.  Remember, if you'd like to recommend anyone for Review, just contact me and point me in the right direction.  Thanks to a great tip I got from the Radio Samizdat folks, you'll be seeing another new name on the page shortly.

So, love to stay and chat, but I've really got my work cut out for me....  

04-14-01

Working to pull the new domain contents together.  Why the change from HarmonyResources.com to BeatConscious.org?  Well, primarily because Beat Conscious represents just a little bit better what you can expect to find on this site ... Harmony Resources might have lured in the unsuspecting seeker of barbershop quartet or devotional music.  Beats are about dance culture, funky stuff and also just slightly reminiscent of the non-conformist folks who called themselves the Beat Generation years ago.  And we're not commercial, so it was time to dump the dotcom stuff.

Look around: all the familiar categories are still here, just slightly updated and rearranged.  As always, if you don't find what you're looking for, speak up:  via email to "talkback" *at* BeatConsciousDotOrg will get the message heard.

04-10-01

Still strugglin to surface from this flu ... contemplating some changes to the site and looking for the energy to make them happen.  Look for a few new reviews in the meantime.  In the mea culpa department, I confirmed I had my K's and D's mixed up when writing up the Tuesday evening show at the Surfcomber ... correct attributions are now in place and apologies for any confusion other than my own.

03-31-00

Back from WMC, which you may experience vicariously if you wish, by reading up my short report on the events I was able to attend.  In other news, the limited time download opportunity for various of MadameFLY's sets is at an end.  Hope you took your chance while you had it, and enjoyed what you heard.

Of course, in addition to the memories, I brought home a galloping case of the flu from South Beach, so today, brief is best....

03-17-01

Reviews have been published, artists have been contacted so that any URLs or other factoids can be corrected ... have a look and perhaps you will find pointers to some music that will delight or intrigue you.  Also, the Charts page has had a touch-up ... takes less time to load (goodbye animated gif!) and the HotNow section is à la minute, as the chefs say....

In other news, the April issue of REVOLUTION magazine (Miss Liberty 2001 on the cover) has a music trends section "America 2001" that features "The Rise of Downtempo" among the articles, and mentions www.thedownbeat.org as your source for all things chill.  Additional focus is on new legal restrictions on dance clubs and the alternatives (such as virtual clubbing: let your computer bring online DJs direct to your living room and cut out the public hassle altogether) that ppl will need to explore if local laws succeed in suppressing public dance altogether.  If you enjoy a night out listening to music and you think you have a right to that activity, you need to read this issue.

One week countdown to WMC -- March Madness, indeed!

02-20-01

Look for a new feature in my Nightlife soon ... I'll be adding a Reviews page, with a twist -- I want to concentrate on music/artists I've learned about on the internet because they've posted their music online and invited people to listen to it.  If I have something to say about commercial "name" artists, you'll find it on the Charts page.  What I want to do with Reviews is give some exposure to the folks that don't have a big label behind them (yet) but are going ahead doing their thing regardless ... I like that spirit.  

Til then.... 

02-10-01

Catchin up on my reading ... couldn't help passing this along, because he makes the point sooo succinctly: 

"These people who've criticized this music of the electronic age, the fucking saxophone was a man-made instrument, so fuck you and ... That whole thing with that situation is like, hey, you don't like technology?  Give me your fucking car keys and walk the fuck home.  You know what I'm saying?  Walk the fuck home."

Goldie, as quoted in URB Magazine, Jan/Feb 2001

There are other new additions to the recommendations you'll find on the Brain Scan page ... including a MIXMAG article about the way that music works.

Also, check out Charts for a recap of MadameFLY's nightlife in 2000 ... I decided to name the names and show my love ... I invite you to do the same, via the little form ... lemme know what was hot for you.... 

To anyone who tried to download the 2nd gift set, you may have noticed I was having a mayfly moment ... well, a week actually ... when the link went nowhere.  My apologies, and please try again: it's a really sweet Dub set until mid-month, and then ccccchanges again.

02-04-01

Thanks to g ... not only does he provide some fine musical moments via his mp3s on Vitaminic -- http://stage.vitaminic.com/g3/ -- but he actually looked around MmeFLY's nightlife outpost and made a few trenchant observations about what flows and what doesn't ... so I'm starting to take stock and freshen the place up a bit ... why don't you dip in here and there, see if you think those efforts add up to improvements ... suggest new ones, if you feel the urge.

I'm already excited about the next gift offer that I'm going to post for 14FEB01 ... but in the meantime, this is a rare oppo to actually hear a set that's been hangin' out on the Dub Stylee page for months now ... grab it while it's there!

The next thing to get excited about will be WMC2001.  Here's hopin' it's warmed up by late March -- hate for everyone to actually have to get clothes on for this year's event  =:o)

You'll know more when I do.... 

01-31-01

Have you checked out the offer yet?  If so, then you should know that the offering has changed ... that's right, a new set has been posted for download ... this one's for the dub enthusiasts.  Like the previous post, it'll be up for a couple of weeks.  Still asking for your email addy and a music-related URL as the price of admission ... one benefit of givin up your actual email is that I can let you know when the selection changes ... if you feel this is perilously close to spam, be sure and let me know and I'll delete your info from the file.

Comin' up fast, the Winter Music Conference in South Beach ... hopin' to meet some of the sisterdjs crew and hear a bit of music.  Will you be there?

01-13-01

Over the last couple of months, I've become acquainted with the huge variety of fractal art available for viewing in galleries all over the web ... if there's no place in your life for the "O wow" reaction then read no further, for fractals at their best are truly "O wow"-inducing.  As with any art, if you see enough fractals (and there are evidently hundreds of thousands to be seen) then certain design tropes will begin to be recognizable and even a set of cliches ... but by the same token, there are fractal-makers who are true artists and whose creations are simply breath-taking.  

To see what I mean, I recommend starting at www.fractalus.com which has several galleries available from it's own pages, as well as offering a graphic index to the fractals web ring ... you can see a thumbnail representation of a site's predominant style and jump right to it ... it's a bit like mall-crawling where every shop window shows a different variety of fractals.  I've fallen in love with the works of a number of these artists, including Sylvie Gallet, Jonathon Leavitt on the Skydyes site, Fractal Dimentia's Mark Townsend, Alice Kelly, Kerry Mitchell and the host of Fractalus.com, Damian M. Jones ....  It's a feast for the eyes, and that's no lie.

In a bit of housecleaning news, you'll find that back editions of FLYpaper have been moved to an archive in order to trim up the download time on this page a bit.  If you want them, you'll find them here, or look for the Archive icon.

01-02-01

It's time for something new for you ... click this and know how I spent my holidays....

Oh, and thanks to a recent visitor who hipped me to The Kahvi Collective (www.kahvi.org) -- that's the spirit!  This fine music/arts site has been added to my links page.  

 


2000


12-28-00

As challenges go, this one is proving substantial ... yet another opportunity to restore my files and folders, this time due to a hard drive failure.  In addition, I have donated my oldest PC to charitable causes and am working hard to get the replacement onto the home network.  Working hard and getting nowhere, tho' I suppose it makes me feel a little bit better to read the Microsoft ME/networking forum and know what a huge amount of company I have in this regard.  

So, has MadameFLY's nightlife suffered?  Not terribly, but I have neglected these pages and for that I apologize.  However, there are a number of new downtempo mixes to show that I haven't been completely inert, and I expect to have those streaming on Live365.com shortly.  Word will be up here when that's a reality....

And so, what have you been doing?  And where will you be on 01-01-01?

 

11-17-00

Have I mentioned that I live in Florida?  I suspect you know what a great time everyone's having down here this past couple of weeks.  There's a rumor that the land bridge is going to be destroyed and we're going to be set adrift in the Caribbean along with the other banana republics ... at least, that's what some websites say.

But enough of the national election already.  In MadameFLY's current affairs, the good news is that I've been invited to contribute as a staff member for thedownbeat.org.  You'll have noticed this link on the Make Contact page of links.  Of course, I've moved it to the top of the list in recognition of my new affiliation with the Downbeat crew.  TDB is a great place to learn about and experience the downtempo sound, communicate with those who have long loved it or are just discovering it -- and the site construction is admirable as well (unlike MmeFLY, they are talented professionals and it shows in both the design and the functionality of the site.)  My first entry as a staff member has already been posted, and I expect to report back on a downtempo event that I'm attending tonight in Ybor City (Tampa, FL) -- check us out.

 

10-15-00

Long time, no update, which is the price that web authoring pays to mixing ....  But there's been a bit of cross-rough, since new categories have been added to the Interactive Playlist:  you'll now find Asian Underground (and I've posted all the playlists I've done in that genre -- you can see the CD covers on the Covers page of this website.)  There's also a Dub category now -- I find there's plenty of great dub available for downloading on sites like mp3.com.  

Sets from both new categories are being prepared for streaming on Live365.com -- check the MadameFLY sets from time to time to hear these.

Feel free to suggest a category for the Interactive Playlist at any time.

8-27-00

First there was the storm, the thunder, the lightning ... then there was the reformat of the hard drive.  That's the short version, the only version you could possibly want to know.  

Now I know how the character in the first Dirty Harry movie must've felt when Harry said to him: "You're a good man, lieutenant ... and a good man knows his limitations."  Well, I've discovered mine and they definitely include handling a hard drive reformat and reinstalling Windows ... so I got some help (Thank you, Hector!) and now I'm reinstalling all my other programs, bit by bit (get it?)  Only recently did FrontPage return to the fold, and permit me to add this bad pun, greeting and update.

As noted in June, a Community Events page has been added to the offerings here at HarmonyResources ... be sure to check this page out -- especially if you are in the SW Florida area, looking for a music-related evening out.  

And now, back to work....

6-29-00

Changes, and I like to think, improvements here at FLYcentral.  I believe a community events page is not only fundamental to the website's relevance, but also a way to give back a little something to the world of music, which provides me with so much pleasure.   Please check out Community in the coming weeks to see what's on offer ... and, of course, your contributions and suggestions are welcome.


6-10-00

If you can see the Say Hi form, then all my work has not been in vain.  I'd like to hear from you...


5-20-00

Email from one of the friendly folk I met during WMC reminds me there's notes to be added to that page ... but more importantly, reminds me how it felt to be amongst my kind ... that conversations could be kindled and perhaps friendships made out of no more than a shared interest in music, the recognition of that mad music-loving glint in another's eye....  

Speaking of being amongst your own kind, I've been spending time at Art of the Mix (www.artofthemix.org) -- a website by and for people whose driving wheel is making mixtapes (or mixCDs).  I highly recommend their company.

5-02-00

My life for the past short spell has been very much about finding a new home for HarmonyResources and MadameFLY's Nightlife ... and if you can read this, then I was successful.  Plenty of catching up to do ... be patient.


4-15-00

Yes, I know ... no updates ... blame it on tax time ... or on ISP problems ... or on whatever it is that usually makes you fall behind.  But there will be more ... check back soon.


3-31-00

Back from beautiful Miami Beach and a too-short frolic at the Winter Music Conference.  The opportunities to see, to hear, to meet were so extensive that, without a couple of clones, there was simply no chance to do it justice.  So I just did the best I could ....

One of my goals had been to meet participants in the SisterDJs and to meet the fine folks from RadioValve who have been a part of my musical education over the years ... I got halfway there, meeting E23 and CoreDump as well as two of the Spankollective and trading a bit of music with them ... we also met up at GrooveJet for one of the many many parties about town....  You'll find a link to RadioValve on the Make Contact page of this website -- check 'em out: they're delerious!!!

A bit more detail about the WMC will be available for those curious to get a FLY's eye view of things.  While you look that over, I'll be listening to music I collected there, and visiting the websites I got introduced to there, and I'm sure that will keep me busy for days to come.   

3-23-00

The web is filled with mea culpas ... sometimes in the guise of Under Construction signs ... so here's mine, buried in this FLYpaper update instead of appearing as an animated gif ... the lead tracks to Freestyle 100 Interactive Playlist do not yet have clips posted so that you can hear the ones you're not familiar with ... kinda takes the fun down a notch, I know. I'ma shift the blame to my preparations for WMC which involved gettin' my own self organized as well as tweaking the website and my Live365.com playlist ... these latter two will reprazent me for the time that I'm in South Beach, so it had to be done ... and that meant the clips languished ... as you read this, some tracks may have had downloadable MP3 files associated with them (but that's tricky, 'cause it's the entire cut and that may bring the RIAA's jack-booted thugs down on my neck with all the same force they bring to bear on off-shore CD piracy.) RealAudio clips (the industry-acceptable 30-45 second slice of music) will have to await my return to the socially barren Gulf Coast shores....

In addition to that work, I expect to post a WMC personal highlights report ... although I can't stick around for the entire five days (not unless my fairy godparent comes up w/ a last minute financial rescue plan) I believe there will be enough mad fun to make for good reading and spark interest in next year's event. And, after all, as a clever fellow of my acquaintance once observed: "If you're bored, then you're boring."

 

And another thing I've been thinking about...  My ideal set-up for listening to music (and I believe I'll live to experience it) will be a necklace that's actually "headphones" with at least part of the music transmitted to the body thru the bone structure and the rest emitted from tiny speakers that produce just enough sound to reach the wearer's ears ... sorta like having headphones w/o anything in your ears to obstruct the other environmental noises you need to be aware of in order to work or socialize ... and this necklace will be either a wireless internet device so that I can choose an web broadcaster playing something interesting ... or it'll be playing from a file of MP3s (or the next generation of compressed audio formats) stored in memory that's molded to be simply part of the necklace's decorative appearance. It's Dick Tracy's wristphone for the modern music lover ... and the minaturization necessary to create it probably exists right now, if not the artistic taste to create a necklace you'd want to wear everyday, with every outfit.... but it'll be like your wedding ring, it'll just be understood that you've always got it on.... Then, my dears, there may just be enough hours in the day for me to hear every last little bit of music that might delight me or interest me or make me want to dance....

OK, go rest a bit....

Friday, March 17, 2000:

Hello reader ... thanks for taking a flash second to check out FLYpaper, and pick up on the latest buzz from MadameFLY. I have been laboring mightily to punch this website into shape for you. Whether you visit because you know me, because you linked in from my set on Live365.com, or just because you took a wrong turn several webpages ago and have no idea where the hell you are ... glad to have you drop by, whatever the reason.

Busy busy times for MadameFLY ... in addition to improving my web presence and uploading FLY sets to the cavernous servers of Live365.com (only to lose half of them to technical insufficiencies), I've been in an absolute swivet making plans to attend the Winter Music Conference in Miami over the last weekend in March. Once I realized I could meet some of my favorite cyberpeople in the flesh, there was no question but that I must be there. Sisterdjs, RadioValvers and who knows which future favorite people ... I sense an energyrush coming on ... and I believe MadameFLY's nightlife will be all the richer for it.

About that web presence ... it's been pretty much all hat and no cattle up until now ... but the lads at nut-n-but.net (my ISP) have got my mailbox happening so that our fun feature, the Freestyle 100 Interactive Playlist, can actually come to life. Come on and contribute, trainspotters -- let me know how you'd build that perfect set.

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Pick your preferred musical genre (I think I've got you covered on the choices, but if your favorite is missing, talkback@harmonyresources.com and let me know what style of electronica you'd like to see added.)

bullet

Email me with the artist and title (and mix version) of the track you think makes for the best flow....

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Send me a clip of the track (30 seconds or more is good.) If possible, make it an MP3 attachment. There are plenty of encoders out there -- today, I'm recommending MusicMatch Jukebox -- they offer a free download of a fairly full-featured version of their latest software for ripping from CDs and encoding to MP3 format -- try it out!

One critique of the HarmonyResources website is bound to be: where's the calendar, where's the event listing, where's the community doo-wah? Sadly, my dears, the physical manifestation of HarmonyResources doesn't find itself in a musically active setting ... which is one reason we're a website rather than, say, a nightclub. However, if you are a musician or DJ or music lover in the SW Florida region and you would like your activities publicized on the web, then submit your event information and together we'll create a community resource.

Well, let me hear from you ... I know what they say: everyone's so busy building their own website, they don't have time to look at anyone else's ... is it true? Prove 'em wrong: surf my site (it's small, honest!) and let me know you've dropped by.

 



WMC ARCHIVE - ALL YEARS


Yes, the most recent trip before 2008 was 2003 ... read about those days in this section:


Thursday, 20MAR03

No problem drive across Florida, meaning no wrong turns (whatta pro...)  It took me an hour or so to haul my luggage in, get set up and establish my web access and call all the cellies to let ppl know I made it.  A walk down to the beach, and further down Ocean Drive for some early people watching made me really feel arrived.  Once I get caught up with a fresh posting to BeatConscious, it'll be time for dinner and then a disco nap.  Plans tonight include meeting up w/ pps at Goddess for the OM party, and then on to a (I hope) smaller calmer venue for Kyoto Jazz Massive and a few others.  If all goes well, this year's report will include pics, as I have a digital camera at long last.  Stay tuned...

In the event, Goddess got all my business on this first night.  I caught up with Christina Long (Citrona Records) and DRM (Bastard Jazz) and friends outside the venue, and later that evening Chauncey Canfield (Aubergine3) found me based on a clothing description I hollered into the cellphone after I was deep in the din....  Goddess in those early, less-crowded moments, gave us some good dance moments ... the OM performers weren't scheduled to begin until midnight.  At midnight, the body count inside doubled (easily) and the scene turned from dancing to people watching.  I lasted through the Afro-Mystik set that ended about 2AM -- not bad for a day that began at 5AM -- and then needed an oxygen break.  Although there was still the possibility of walking up to Touch for Kyoto Jazz Massive, in the end I decided to save a little energy for the Friday activities. 

Here are a few of the people/scenes captured inside Goddess (click to enlarge):

C-and-CatGoddess_20.jpg (39417 bytes)

DRM-and-JatGoddess_20.jpg (35038 bytes)

gameboys-are-hip_goddess20.jpg (42504 bytes)

afromystik_goddess20.jpg (55511 bytes)

Christina and Christine

Jugoe and DRM

Fashion note: Gameboys are hip

Afro-mYstik performs

Friday, 21MAR03

The plan for Friday was to have lunch with Aaron and chat about MixMeister and in the late afternoon, then wander down to the southern end of Ocean Drive to Nikki Beach Club for the Astralwerks/Naked event.  And so it was.... 

In some respects, Nikki Beach is a hard place to want to spend an entire afternoon/evening, but it has the advantage of being open-air, meaning very little ill effects from smoke.  once I had committed the time to a couple of fairly lamentable sets, I was determined to stay and hear at least some of the acts I knew I would appreciate: Miguel Migs and Lisa Shaw, Jimpster, Sven van Hees, Royksopp.  I arrived for the DJ Harvey set -- this has been described as retro-house (for the high point he dropped Led Zep's Whole Lotta Love, which left me thinking:  Isn't this where I came in?) and then suffered through the downright terrible, but appropriately named Audio Bullys Sound System: boring beats backing a hectoring MC (my man, if the crowd doesn't respond to your demand to "make some noise" the first five times, you really need to let go of it....)  Finally, a chaise opened up and I got a chance at a comfortable perch for the hour of ... Sven van Hees, I believe (though no one could confirm that for me....)  Eventually, I heard a female vocalist, and moved up to the stage.  Migs, playing mostly from his latest release, opened with vocals by Aya (Sweet Love) whose voice seemed not to be equal to the venue.  After a suitable build-up, Lisa Shaw took the stage.  Beautiful woman, beautiful voice ... she has the fan club she deserves and they welcomed her loudly, singing along to Always.  Despite the notice posted at the entrance to Nikki Beach forbidding filming or recording, Lisa was captured on a dozen digi-cams throughout the audience.  (Oh, and special mention to the predictable moron in the crowd, shouting into his cell phone during her entire set ....)  At the conclusion of the set, Mr. Naked (the label honcho) took the stage and though he was barely audible despite the microphone in his hand, everyone got his point when he introduced his girlfriend and then dropped to one knee in the traditional "will you marry me?" posture.  She said yes, the crowd roared its congratulations ... and then we all turned our attention to Royksopp.  They turned in a noteworthy set, including the addition of a bass player, but were nearly invisible in the fog machines....

migs_21MAR03.jpg (17468 bytes)

lisa_migs_21MAR03.jpg (43485 bytes)

lisa_shaw_21MAR03.jpg (38846 bytes)

royksopp_21MAR03.jpg (16927 bytes)

Miguel Migs

 

Lisa Shaw & Migs

 

Lisa Shaw

 

Royksopp in fog

 

nikkibeachcrowd_21MAR03.jpg (68547 bytes)

aaron_glm.jpg (68964 bytes)

The Nikki Beach Crowd

Representin' for MixMeister...

Saturday, 22MAR03

The last day already?  Damn.  But, in reality, it's getting to be time....  I've just about lost my voice (by Sunday morning, it will be completely gone) and my hotel accommodations have long since lost their charm ....

My plans had been sketched out before I was in contact with Chauncey Canfield (Aubergine3) and his wife Laura.  Once we got in contact, I learned that they had received a late-afternoon email giving a heads-up on a Rhythm & Culture party at the Chesterfield Hotel.  Another chance to mingle with my hometown people sounded inviting, so we agreed to meet there.  I was delighted to see Christine Moritz again (of the Christina and Christine pic from Goddess, above.)  The four of us constituted the party unit for the early part of the night.

Music for the evening was provided by Desmond Williams (whose Delights of the Garden had delighted me last year) and label-mate Nicodemus, who offered a delicious blend of reggae-funk-asian flavored tracks, truly a world mix.  During a break, we taxied up the beach to Rumi, for the Slip and Slide party to see Q-Burns deliver his Abstract Message ... he and Chauncey had a chance to chat and exchange discs, and then he scooted ... we lingered for a while longer while JJ dropped deep house all around us (sparking a conversation about the charms of the big big bottom end during which I quoted to Laura the Tom Middleton comments from his Red Bull essay page, on the beauty that occurs when the resonance of the body's cells vibrate to the resonance of music ... hmmmm, yummy.)

Then back to the Chesterfield to catch Desmond's set ... and find that Christina Long, DRM and other familiar faces had arrived in the meantime.  Desmond demurred at a compliment from Christina, saying that he wasn't playing his usual style because he hadn't come equipped with vinyl, just some CDs ... ah but Desmond, you rocked the house ... just look at the happy party people in the shot below.  You do damn good work for a guy who didn't bring his records.

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Chauncey & Q-Burns

Nicodemus

Desmond Williams

Chesterfield Hotel Party

Chauncey and Laura had a possible in at BED to see Richie Hawtin, so they took off close to midnight ... I stayed and soaked up the Browntempo vibe as Desmond finished out his set and Nicodemus took over the decks again.  When it finally became impossible to speak, I headed back to the hotel and the joys of packing for tomorrow's departure. 

Another fine WMC party, even acknowledging the scaled-down attendance schedule ... I believe there was quality this year instead of quantity, and I'm happy with that ... hope the images have helped make it more real for all y'all that couldn't attend.  Meet me there next year, OK?

 

Here is the news from WMC2002 ... conscious party:

Saturday, March 23rd:

Painless trip to Miami, except for once again missing my exit to Florida’s Turnpike.  Fortunately, America is the land of the second chance and I blundered my way into an alternate route and made it to South Beach earlier than check-in time.  Watched the streetlife freak show for a while and, once settled in to the room, went out for a brief reconnoiter and a look at the ocean.  Friends are staying at the Clay, so I wandered over there to take a look and found myself at the Espanola Way street market … checked out the various vendors, bought myself some trinkets (support the artists, y'all!), saw an independent gallery with some intriguing paintings and took up a position on one of the building’s balconies to, once again, check out the streetlife milling below.  You might think I’d be a tad wistful in this land of 20-somethings, but I gotta tell ya, I’m really relieved not to be caught up in the fashion victim competition I see going on around me.  Some of these outfits look downright painful or at the very least, quite chilly on such a brisk evening.  I’m content just where I am. 

Around midnight, the first of the TDB crowd rang the cell phone, and we met for some dinner and then spent a couple of sweaty hours dancing at RAIN, where Miguel Migs was supplying the house beats.  Rain was GrooveJET the last time I was in town … it’s had quite a facelift, though the general layout remains the same.  It will also be the site for Sunday evening’s Compost party, where we expect to see Kruder & Dorfmeister, Koop, Jazzanova and several others.  More about that later.  Right now, I’m off for a little wander about in the sunshine, fueled by 3.5 hours of fitful sleep (gotta change rooms before this A/C unit drives me mad w/ it’s rattle and hum….)

Sunday, March 24th:

So the trip becomes what it was meant to be, in part: making the cyber-acquaintances flesh.  Tho’ I didn’t yet connect with Leo (who is a coordinator for the Conference), and had fits w/ my ISP hook-up (for publishing these updates), these things did happen as planned:  Lunch with Chad, Mike, Kevin and Bonnie, and Aaron from MixMeister … we didn’t connect w/ Christina of Soft Arts / Citrona Recordings until later, at Rain.  Lunch was at the Pelican Hotel and was excellent (speaking for my own Fresh Tuna Salad.)  We disbanded for the preparations and journey over to Rain … Aaron to settle on a room, me to change clothes, and likewise for Chad … and Mike to the beach.  

@ Rain: Fauna Flash and Jazzanova sets were both real fine, the Jazzanova, to me, notable for the more muscular selections, not exclusively the sort of stuff on their new album, which had not won universal praise.  It was during these two sets that the club began to seriously fill up.  I love this place because part of it is unroofed, allowing fresh air in and smoke out … a nice change from most of the places we will be.

Peter Kruder & Richard Dorfmeister turned in a stand-out set.… Earlier, people were dismayed to find out they would have to choose between K&D and Koop, playing in a secondary room at the same time.  The smart money was on Koop, perhaps just because of the rarity of hearing this guy live…. but I went in the room where he was spinning twice during the evening, and left before too long each time … was it just me, or had his Brazil-sound selections cleared out the room?  Of course, that gave it the charm of being uncrowded, cool and relatively non-smoky….

In the larger room when K&D played, it was jammed tight, a dance floor in name only … certainly, if you moved your feet, you were bound to tread on someone else.  Richard played first, dropping plenty of dub bombs to the delight of the swaying mass on the dance floor … it's a shame that he had to all but beg a film-terrorist to stop shining lights directly in his face (folks, remember:  he needs to be able to see the decks to mix.)  But Peter’s set was really gratifying for me, since I expected him to bring the samba sound as he did last year at Goddess … instead, it was more like tech house with plenty of rare groove dropped in to splendid effect … No one that I asked could identify any of those tracks….  Once Peter started playing, I found Richard was sitting at the dj booth door and since I was walking past, I offered my handshake and thanked him for the very fine set he’d played … I love having the chance to express some gratitude for the music directly to the people who provide it. 

One of our group had to leave mid-show to try and rescue a friend who had left to feed the parking meter couldn’t get back in … the crowd had swelled beyond capacity, making us seem wise to have come so early in the day.… this meant one less person on hand to document the K&D set … so that one passes out of our lives forever.  I’d have been glad to have a transcription of it, so to speak, but will love it thru memory instead.

Afterward, Aaron & I went for food (back to Samba Sushi which was deafening, waaay too loud for recorded restaurant music … I feel like I’m losing my voice just from having tried to have a normal dinner conversation.)  Then he peeled of to see a trance show, and I contemplated, and ultimately passed on, the very conveniently located Sony rooftop party … although I was missing the Afronaught and Dego (of 4hero) appearances, I had to recognize that I’d hit the wall at high speed, and that getting some rest would be the only hope to make all the  WMC events I wanted to see on Monday … two or three shows seem really important to me, and it will take more energy than I’m worth right now to do them all.

 

 

Monday, 032502 

Just musing here:  I think I can identify an element of genre-assigning that isn’t likeable …  by the time a style is ripe enough to invite a genre designation, what that means is that its elements have been identified, quantified, and may therefore be reproduced at will rather than as the result of (creative) passion … so part of what any genre-izing means is that a given style is subject to being plundered to ride a buzz.  Don’t know if this is what puts Soul-Fly off it, but while I sometimes see genre-assigning as an aid to the novice, who wants to be able to “find more like this” – and an aid to the retailer that needs to organize his store – I now see it also as the tip-off to the imminent demise of a style’s freshness and authenticity….

But what about the day, you might ask with greater interest.  OK, after a bit of the beach in the morning (how could I not?  Haven’t put a toe in the Atlantic in more than a year….) walked down to the Kent Hotel for what may turn out to have been the best party of the event.  The Kent has an utterly inviting setting, shaded for most of its area by a grove of potted palms and other trees, with a sunlit performance space closest to the street … and only the hardy ventured there on this exceptionally clear hot Monday afternoon.  The Kent also boasted a hip line up, including the only scheduled appearance at the Conference parties of Zero 7, whose Simple Things release, if you didn’t know it, has been named Babymaker of the Year …. I can think of worse distinctions.  Also on deck(s) were Funky Lowlives, Boozoo Bajou (spinning 45’s, yes indeed) and a couple of names unfamiliar to me, but you may know them: DJ DeLuca and Gerry Lyseight.

And what a sweet, small crowd … truly, this was one of the rare “intimate” parties of the week … you could hear one another speak if you were back in the grove, or you could dance up front.  Perrier was serving up free bottled water, which seemed like hitting the jackpot after days in an environment (like Rain) where you’d been paying $5 (including tip) for 6oz. of Evian from the bar.  I don’t care what anybody else says, Perrier:  I love you guys.

I met Melodic and some of his Rastafarian brothers, who have tracks online (at MP3.com) that I’ll listen to when I’m back home … if they are worthy of your interest, I’ll post the URL.  Additionally I traded biz cards and enthusiasm w/ a couple of warm and friendly New Yorkers, Darren DeGeorge and Dan Rese.  After we established a commonality of taste in PFM’s style of atmospheric drum and bass, these guys gave me their own CDs.  Although I told them I thought it would be a couple of weeks before I could sort thru all the music from the events, the fact is that when I came back to the hotel for my evening’s disco nap, Dan’s atmospheric DnB was the first thing to hit the CD player, and I gotta tell you, I am liking it very much.  It offers just about every trick that makes me like this genre – which I realize I don’t hear nearly often enough, because there isn’t that much out there … too many people are put off of making this stuff, perhaps because it’s not tough enough.  But Dan’s gathered together some lush-minimalism stuff with no hesitation and I find I share his taste.  I hope to be able to hear their newer tracks online as they make ‘em available…

From the Kent (leaving actually before it officially shut down) we went to the other premier event, Naked on the Beach … what a contrast.  Large, anonymous, a bit uptight … I didn’t find out until later, but they prevented Chad from bringing thedownbeat.org flyers in, saying they weren’t allowing promotion (!? What the hell else is this week about, I might ask.)  They were also keeping out food and drink, to encourage sales from the captive audience (tho, strangely enough, I was permitted to bring my water in … my disguise was very effective and, no, I’m not going to publish my method – I want to keep working this strategy as long as I can.)  

I will give high marks to the venue which is everything a visitor could want from a Florida beach club.  But for music that demands a group packed tight together, working out on the dance floor for it’s high moments, Nikki Beach may not have been the best choice … there was plenty of room to wander, and once away from the speakers/dance area, you lost all but the 4/4 thump of the music.  On the other hand, it was maxxing out peoplewise pretty early, so I guess they needed all that space.  Whatever.  The fact was, our group wanted to eat and rest, and we didn’t feel the love enough at this event to want to stay.  I would like to have seen Ben Watt but wasn’t prepared to sacrifice much for the opportunity ….  As it happened, I traded what would have been a fairly empty experience (as someone observed, most of the audience there would have been equally pumped no matter who was playing…) and had a good dinner and the opportunity to talk more with Bonnie, who has lived many years in and around my hometown, DC.  It turns out that in addition to DC, we have many other points of common interest, including having read tons of science fiction …. We were talking just about non-stop (sorry, guys … it was a unique opportunity.)

And as for additional entertainment later?  Still to be decided.  

Tuesday 032602

Well, I sat that one out … when Chad called about 1130 about heading up to Rain, I was fairly deep into my nap … I lay there for about a half-hour wondering whether or not to pull it together and head out (I would have stayed in the neighborhood and gone to Jazzid) but in the end decided to save myself a little energy for tonight.  Hoping to catch a couple of hours of Charles Webster, Jori Hulkonnen and Migs at the Albion Hotel tonight early, and then head over to Goddess for the main event ... the OM Records party.  If I’ve managed to get enough rest so that I can make it til dawn tomorrow, I will be a happy camper indeed. 

This morning I got up about 630 and headed over to the beach for a sunrise.  There was a monumental cloudbank which created a screen for the sun, producing sunrays beaming down into the water and up into heaven … so distinct and bright, very painterly and quite thrilling.  As the sun hit it, the cloudbank continued to swell and expand, so sunrise was extended for an hour….  Now, after a bit of coffee and breakfast, I believe I’ll devote this morning to shopping for some new music … despite the non-discounted prices, this will be the place to find some gems and I shouldn’t miss the opportunity.  Right now, I'm listening to the second CD from the New York guys, this one mixed by Darren DeGeorge also gets very high marks -- how could it not, as he's sampling in a bit of the vocal track from James Hardway's Sleep Tonight, and other favorites.  I'm really glad I met these guys, Darren and Dan -- they're doing good stuff.

Evening: The Albion Hotel party is poolside, so the fact that it's raining, on and off, adds a little bit of "real Florida" to the experience.  DJ Deep turned in a very respectable extended house set to warm up the crowd trickling in. Charles Webster brought good track selections (I particularly paid attention to one with the line about Strong Man Getting Stronger) but it was not a dance-friendly set … he let stuff play out and left people standing.  The surprise was Mauricio Aviles – excellent tracks, mixing and vibe -- I would make it a point to see him again.  I spoke to Jori Hulkonnen (another chance to say "thanks" to someone who made last year such a great year for music) but decided not wait for his set after someone mentioned that his DJing is not nearly as good as his original stuff … anyhow, there was a sense of urgency about getting to the OM party at Goddess and meeting up with the TDB crew, so off we went.

Goddess: It’s great to finally see everyone in one place, including Cyhl who has joined us, fresh from Paris … now this is a party! Playing when I arrived: Funky Lowlives … I have now heard them in a couple of venues and I have to say they have provided consistently the best sets I’ve heard this year. They played in the main room downstairs, while it was still relatively uncrowded. I visited the upstairs (small) room briefly – too much smoke and really terrible sound – Soul-Fly made the observation that this room clearly didn’t have live DJing on a regular basis and neither the sound system which had been set up, nor the acoustics, were any good for serious listening. I didn’t go back to this room even though it was another chance to hear Boozoo Bajou – I was just thankful I heard him at the Kent.

Back in the main space were Ming & FS – they were getting mocked a little because DJ Craze, whose superior skills make them look somewhat second-rate, was in the audience. Their track selection was possibly good for that genre – the crowd was responding well -- but I don’t go out at night to hear Donald Duck sing … and that seems to be a feature of some of the favored vocals in their set. In the end, I really couldn't get too enthusiastic about the vibe even tho’ I bounced around a little to the beats. I was glad when they turned over the stage to Solstice. Gina Rene, beautiful as always, performing her best while trying to communicate with an unresponsive soundman, with Mei-Lwun Yee doing the turntable duties.  This was one of the few sets I saw that had a live performance element, and was a nice counter-balance to all the DJing that predominated in my choice of shows.

I moved upstairs to the balcony area of Goddess, looking for a bit more room to stand …. I couldn’t see the stage from where I was, but I could hear and that’s what counts…. I thought (from Gina's announcement and the posted set list) that I was listening to King Britt … it was a mighty fine set, and I heard, yet again, the 4Hero track, Hold It Down – making it, to these ears, the most played track of the conference. Next up, Afro-Mystik … only their "hit" Infinite Rhythm is really irresistible to me. It seemed to me that their emphasis on drumming was not especially suited to the volume or the acoustics at Goddess, seeming somehow chaotic … or maybe I was just getting tired by then. In truth, I was waiting for the opportunity to hear Mark Farina. At the end of the Afro-Mystik set, the breakdown of drum kits took over an hour, while recorded music played … before too long, people had climbed up and started dancing on the stage. I couldn’t figure out how it would be possible to set up for the next act, and it didn’t seem there would be time to play anything significant before the close of the show at 5AM – when I mentioned this to Soul-Fly, he told me Mark Farina had already played. I was floored, and I'm still trying to puzzle that one out – could it be that I’d heard him and didn’t know it (i.e., between King Britt and Afro-Mystik, in which case the published set list was incorrect – which wouldn’t be a real surprise, I guess.) Anyhow, it was after 4AM by then, and time to run … check out at the hotel is 11AM ... blehhh.

So that was my Winter Music Conference experience for 2002 -- it's still the maddest event I can get to in any given year, and will always rate as a great vacation:  the best food, music, beaches and fun within a thousand miles of my home.  Being able to meet friends there this year improved it just when I thought it couldn't get any better.  Much thanks to everyone who contributed to the vibe.

 

Here is the news from WMC2001 ... delicious madness:

Saturday afternoon, March 24th:  The FLY has landed. Now awaiting the delivery of my cell phone and then off to get some dinner and figure out what show to do … the suggestion was made that perhaps the Bayfront Park thing would be less than stellar conditions and there’s plenty going on right under my nose here on South Beach, so it seems like advice I can take. The top contenders are:

THE 2ND ANNUAL MIAMI MEETS DETROIT BBQ PARTY – this only runs until 9pm leaving time for more – features Juan Atkins among many others.

Later that same night, Crobar is hosting THE CREATIVE BALANCE SESSIONS featuring Sasha & Digweed, Scott Hardkiss, Julius Papp, Marques Wyatt, etc,

Club Space, which is back across the bridge in Miami, has the YOSHITOSHI / RENAISSANCE party with Deep Dish, Eddie Amador, Miguel Migs, etc. I’ve been listening to house lately, and would love to see my hometown’s own Deep Dish … maybe I can hook a ride. I’ve got ‘til 11PM to figure it out.

Sun 10AM: And the winner was …. Crobar. The club is just a block from my hotel, and I wandered down around 1030, stood in the massive line for about half an hour and then got nodded in by the gatekeeper along with some other folks who were getting guest-listed in. I had been told that Crobar was probably the nicest club in Miami, if not in the US, and certainly the architecture and the lighting were plenty impressive … The hologram (Shiva?) that dominated the airspace above the booth was my favorite decorative touch. John Digweed played from about 130 until who knows when … he was still going when I left at 400…. I don’t know who preceded him and hope to find out from a more knowledgeable clubgoer … whoever it was played a very crushing collection of beats … the effect was like a sort of bloodless brain surgery or a full-body massage w/o the touch of hands. But no memorable amen breaks until Digweed took over. Between 130 and 400 there were numerous "can’t help but dance" moments and as required, very peak became a new plateau to peak from again … it was pretty mind-boggling to experience one rev-up after another… you think "where can the guy possibly go from here" and then he obligingly shows you. I’ll agree that Digweed is a master of his art. And the necessity of experiencing his live performance is underscored when I say nothing I’ve heard on any of his CDs comes anywhere close to the effect of this show. The sideshow included plenty of pro and amateur dancers atop the bassbins, lots of glowsticks-on-a-rope being twirled, a Cirque du Soleil performer climbing the cloth from heaven and giving a great acrobatic show. The place was totally mobbed, to the point of dancing impossibility from time to time. When I finally felt liked leaving, the front exit was not available due to the huge crush of people still on the street outside waiting to get it … and there was security confusion over which of the other exits to let people out of; it might easily have become an ugly problem in an emergency. But there was no emergency, I got out at last and walked the block to my hotel w/o incident.

So far in South Beach, I have seen these things:

An impressive number of fashion victims, not all women. (Don’t these people have friends who can stop them?)

A man clothed in a fluorescent orange and lime green thong codpiece, striding down the beach promenade for all the world as tho' he were attractive. (OK guys, I gotta believe you would tell a friend how bad this is … so I have to conclude this guy has no friends.)

One homeless man pushing another man around in a grocery cart.

A few seriously deranged appearing people who’s eyes I did not try to catch.

An abundance of well-cared-for flesh, the perfect antidote to the sadder aspects of South Beach.

 

On Sunday, the possibilities include: Women on Wax (Detroit) at Club N, possibly the evilbase show for a while and then the main event: Club Space for a downtempo menu: Jazzanova, Rainer Truby, MJ Cole, Ian Pooly, Fauna Flash, on and on.

At the Detroit Women on Wax party, I got a chance to see and hear Sister Stroke and DJ Genesis spin a duo set (and was that Charles Feelgood I saw dancing down in front? Nice moves….) of chunky, funky Detroit house … ver’ welcome.

That night, Level -- OK, so maybe it’s a penance, or maybe you just have to hear music you don’t like every once in a while, to keep a sharpened focus on what it is you like about the music that you do like. In that case, no evening of music is ever really a wasted evening. At any rate, the outer room was some pretty strenuous D&B (no atmospherics for this crowd) but inner room where Rabbit in the Moon was scheduled to appear, was less crushing. Started out with local DJ/performer Kevens and his crew … a fairly tuneless do-good vibe (sorry man but there you have it.) Maybe listening to all recorded (and therefore pretty polished) music and then coming up against "live" is always going to put "live" in the least favorable light…. Well, then, a DJ comes on and gives us a passably danceable set. Ahh, but after that interlude came Heckle and Jeckle (Jackal and Hyde) tarted up in black leather gear and accompanied by assorted video images. Music was shite, and so were the videos. All in all, pretty bad. And yet, not as bad as the DJ that followed -- I thought of Prodigy in both cases, but this was, what? Six years later? I dunno, maybe it was just me, but it seemed to go nowhere. So it was up to me to go….

Cab to Club Space, where I caught Ian Pooley giving up a great dance vibe until he moved into the Latin thing that’s gaining time in lots of sets lately … that’s another sound that I’m not 100% enthusiastic about – it can be smooth, or it can bring to mind Spanish-language TV. Basically, when I hear horns, I want to hear a sax, but Latin is all about trumpets… a little goes a long way.

Last up: to the basement where MJ Cole is scheduled to appear. Diesel Boy on the decks in meantime, but bo!!ring, couldn’t last it out. Shared cab back to the beach with an MTV promo girl, venting about the size of the Roni Size attitude … whoops, there goes another hero.

OK, so Monday noon to 7pm is the Directions 420 bit at the Marlin … grab a seat behind the decks, and hear the early line-up which included Barry Ashworth of The Dub Pistols and then Mike Steele traded off with Angry Mexican DJs (if I’ve got that right) who ended up by spinning a mad Prophets of Sound track on the Rulin label to close out the set, and then DJ Prince (Dave Prince) who creates the hugely helpful WMC event list each year … more thanks to you Dave. That show was still going strong when I left.

BTW, a friend has asked how much of what I hear being played I can identify, and the answer is virtually nothing …. On rare occasion, someone will drop in something so mainstream that I’ve heard about it (like Modjo's Lady in the DT set) … but mostly it’s very specialized and/or custom-created vinyl that’s waaay over my head. Occasionally, I get to ask, as I did about the Prophets of Sound number.

Spent an hour or so at the DKNY show which was apparently not well organized … the promised headliner was Electric Skychurch, but I didn’t last that long. Freddy B was on the decks when I got there, and that wasn’t bad, but the next up was some Southern California drum’n’bass and by then it was evident that the musical return on investment would not be worth the shortchange on rest before the bit party. So I outied.

And a good thing, too: the Danny Tenaglia show took everything I had. Stepped into the line about 11PM, got admitted by midnight (Tricky and his crew got in ahead of me … well, what can I say: They rate.) Left at 445, and by then the place was packed too tight to dance … and since the governing imperative of the DT show was to dance, when that became impossible, putting up w/ the misery of being stepped on, spilled on, and menaced by waving cigarettes was just pointless. But, on the way out, I saw the computers running the program that generates the performance visuals (http://www.derivativeinc.com for details about this graphic synthesizer) and that was worth a run-in with one of the Club Space cadets and keepers of the peace. OK, so it’s a shitty job, or at any rate, a thankless task. But considering the over-capacity crowd, trying to make a stand-back zone of even 2 feet near a couch reserved for performers/crew is just not a practical proposition….

What a phenomenal set, tho—no question at all why this was rated a must-see show. Miami’s Alternative papers are full of the obligatory music stories this week, and there’s a lot of consideration of genres and who’s playing what style. Trance is big, but trance is a bad word … it’s gotten too big to be cool, and half the ppl who say that, say they never thought it was cool. Consequently, lots of performers who were originally considered to be playing trance have distanced themselves from the label … apparently DT is one of those … though the word that comes to my mind is Tribal, not trance … Tenaglia calls his style progressive house, which also seems appropriate: certainly there were plenty of soulful house vocals in his compelling blend of dance beats. Paramount, though, is his unmatched skill at navigating you through the peaks and waves of his set. Considering that it will still be going on when I wake up at 10am, I am humbled by the energy it represents.

Oh, and for all those ppl that just couldn’t look hard enough – if you think a 54 year old dancing at a Danny Tenaglia party is the freakiest thing in Miami, you definitely need to get out more….

Tuesday afternoon, I had the good fortune to have my search for food bring me to the Dum Dum Project performance … Asian underground has strong appeal for me and it was excellent to hear some of what’s happening in NYC, where it’s really strong. A gent name of Russell Tyrell of Tampa was talking to them about booking dates in FL – bring it to Tampa, and I’m there, Russell. As Uncle Shredded Wheat, Russell himself is turning out the atmospheric drum’n’bass which seemed to be in such short supply at any of the WMC parties. It was a treat to hear his stuff.

A scheduled Web Convergence event failed to materialize in the afternoon, so now the schedule is down to: early evening with K&D, LTJ Bukem, Julius Papp and others at a poolside event sponsored by Release and crobar, and then tonight’s main attraction, the OM records !K7 event at Goddess.

Surfcomber Pool Party sponsored by Release SF and crobar: A cold front swept thru, rendering the poolside setting a bit of a challenge. Gave up a lounge chair near the pool for a bit of shelter in view of the decks. Before I made my move, Julius Papp was performing, putting out a very sweet house set. I was by the stage when LTJ Bukem and MC Conrad began their set. I think there’s a sizable population that still has a soft spot for LTJ but after about two tracks from Conrad, we’re done. Still, they did have a lot of people dancing out on the sand (decks were facing the beach, not the pool), and they looked like they were having fun themselves.

Next up, Richard Dorfmeister and his set did nothing to diminish my high opinion of the K&D sound. Deeply funky, deeply dubby, madly eclectic and teasingly low-key, everything I want to hear and he didn’t just drop in – he played for nearly two hours. I moved out of my shelter and onto the beach, joining the happy dancers. He eventually handed over the decks to Peter Kruder, who thereupon took us in a samba direction.

Well, I’d kept warm for nearly two hours dancing to Dorfmeister’s set, but I saw that the fire was going to be banked w/ the samba beat, and it was time to get dinner, check in w/ friends and then get on down to Goddess.

Slipped into Goddess along with some other guys who got waved in, well ahead of the stagnating crowd that was there when I arrived about 1130. Easy to see why tales of doormen and club lines dominate a lot of the humor and gossip around here. Me, I got lucky, and that makes it easier to decide to leave later….

Goddess has a funny traffic pattern which involves sending you upstairs where you can peel off into a back room w/ a stage and bar, or you can cross the room and go back down a second set of stairs to the main room with its stage. If you (like me) just stand around upstairs in the middle of the room by the balcony, you can look straight down onto the main room stage, which was the spot from which I watched Ming & FS work a total of 4 decks and 3 scratchable CD players … from which they unleashed, as the saying goes, a torrent of sound. It was an education to watch these two guys work, but the musical charm faded before too long and that’s when I remembered the back room …. Trying to find the performance area, I pushed my way into the farthermost reaches of the room and met a group comprised of !K7 label dudes and their guests, one of whom (Suzanne?) was just too sweet, found me a seat, introduced me to everyone and made me welcome. Immediately to my left, just beyond my seatmates and a bit of bar counter, was the deck setup and playing for us, as I soon learned, was Mark Rae. What a stellar set. I hear about Rae and Christian a lot, but except for some appearances on compilations, I don’t have any of their stuff, so this was a treat for me, to get introduced to this quality sound. Mark Rae has a new fan in the world, f’sure.

Then, who should take over the decks at a little after 200, but Mr. Kruder. This time he started out w/ an utterly huge rare-groove sounding downtempo vocal track, absolutely riveting. Too good to last tho … after about 2-3 tracks, he starts alternating tracks with, it appears, Ian Pooley and damn if we aren’t back to samba-land. Hmmm. At this point, the fact that my oxygen needs aren’t being met and that every bit of smoke in the club seems to have accumulated in our area (which includes about 15 smokers in my immediate airspace) makes it easy to slide out mid-RD set (hey, maybe next year I'll see the whole set, ya never know….)

Wednesday is the final event, and the one I’m most looking forward to: for over a year now, I have been corresponding with a group of women that contribute to the sisterdjs newsgroup, and because they have an event of their own scheduled as part of this year’s conference, I will get a chance to meet them and hear them spin. Their show is at the Club Zanzibar at 10pm.

But wait: maybe not. When I arrive around 1030, it seems they have found inadequate arrangements that may cause the cancellation of the show: how does "no turntables" sound as a problem? In addition, the sound setup apparently also leaves a lot to be desired, and certainly wasn’t properly handled by the Club in anticipation of the show. Fortunately, tho’, the sisters have some handy folks in their entourage and certainly if there’s one city in America this week where you could hope to scare up a couple of turntables on a moment’s notice, it would be Miami. So, by about midnight, the first performers are able to take the stage.

In the front room, it’s the drum’n’bass divas and the set starts off w/ K2 from LA. Lingering sound issues plague her set, but she works thru it and hands the decks over to Freya, who is accompanied by Linzee as MC (the quality of the sound doesn’t make it easy to hear much of Linzee’s contribution, which is a shame since her style is very assured.) Freya’s tracks are very strong and her mixing is tight -- she is a remarkable figure of calm in the midst of the very hard sound she favors. It’s a truly intriguing contrast…. While her set is in progress, there’s also a ferocious downpour sweeping through Miami Beach and considering all the other issues they have faced this evening, it’s amazing that the place didn’t lose power on account of the storm.

During Freya’s set, I hear beats from the backroom and realize that not all the performers will be stepping up to this stage: the front room is reserved for the drum’n’bass portion of the card, and the backroom for the techno/breaks/house/2step performers. But when I head toward the back, I find ppl furiously mopping and bailing a huge amount of water that has accumulated in the area and I decide to go away and let them get on with the cleanup effort. Later, when I return, I understand what’s happened: the back "room" is really just the back alley that’s had a bar and some furniture installed and a canvas "roof" thrown up over it all … so the downpour came right into the area, narrowly missing the decks, but rendering a lot of the furniture unusable.

However, by now it was at least possible to be standing there w/o getting drenched, so I joined the group listening to Ms. E spinning funky breaks and house beats. I realize after not too long that this is where I’ll be spending the rest of the evening, as the danceability quotient is far higher here than for the fairly aggressive d’n’b sound of the front room. And dance we did. Standing back in the darker area near the stage and vocalizing for Ms. E was Audio Angel, and her contributions were so seamlessly woven into the music that it was well into the second track before I realized the vocals were being delivered live and on the spot.

Because of the nature of the room (very small and 1/3 open to the sky) I could see each performer very clearly (I was standing about a foot from the decks) and I didn’t suffer overmuch from the abundant cigarette smoke which had been such a problem the night before at Goddess…. Good, at least I won’t have to leave this performance early! On a purely Florida note, I went to the bar at one point to get water and sit for a moment on one of the dry stools … only to look down and see a palmetto bug (what you call cockroach) about the size of a Mo Bay blunt wandering around looking for a new home (they’ll catch a ride in your clothes if you don’t avoid them.) I stepped away from the bar and didn’t return….

Miss E. handed the decks over to Charlotte the Baroness and once again I was treated to a magical set. I’ve heard her name for a long time and it was quite a treat to finally hear her play: more funky breaks and house, absolutely huge tunes -- another night of the best music I’ll never hear again in my life because I don’t know any of the tracks except one (only because the label was legible, a rarity): Freakin’ 2001 – everything else was a complete mystery to me. Vocals for Charlotte the Baroness were handled by Gina Rene of Soulstice who was absolutely mesmerizing: torchy soul singing that gave a whole other dimension to the recorded music … when it was time to quit, she didn’t want to, and no one wanted her to, either. Too sweet!

The last set I heard was Forest Green’s techno set, which certainly opened my eyes and heart to the danceability of techno, which I had previously considered basically an intellectual proposition…. Not so, as she amply demonstrated. She was heading into the homestretch on her set when I left at 400. Stopped on the way out to give big thanks and respect to Freya and Linzee who had the burden of organizing the show and actually getting it to happen despite the early difficulties: they had every right to be pleased with the outcome, and I added my praise.

And that was that.

 

WMC 2000:

The conference kicked off with registration and the opportunity to meet the many people flooding into the Radisson Deauville, site of this year's WMC.  This conference has a worldwide draw, and I met artists from Germany and website promoters from Japan as well as swarms of American DJs, musicians and media-folk.  There would be poolside activities throughout the week, for those few who did not care to venture into Miami Beach ... this was, after all, also Spring Break and not for the timid.  But how many timid people end up at WMC to begin with, right?  Among the dozens of musical treats available on Saturday was the ULTRA 2000 GLOBAL BEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL, with four stages and an impressively endless roster of artists appearing from noon until nearly midnight ... that seemed to be the place to start sampling the sounds, and that's where I headed....  

Maybe it's just been too long since I've been to such a monstrously large, potentially drug-fueled event, but a $60 entry fee coupled with the security measure of a no re-entry policy for a 12-hour time period really turned me off ... I chose instead to cruise the beach just outside the chainlink fence barrier, so that I could easily go from stage area to stage area, hearing the music nearly as clearly as from inside and with much less interference from crowds and crowd-control persons.  From that vantage point I got less (tho' not much less) information about who was on which stage than I would have had inside ... I know that I heard Hybrid before I left in the late afternoon to get some food.  My goal was to hear Roni Size, and I knew that was likely to be goin' on much later. 

Returning after sundown, I see that the security guys are dropping the chain occasionally to let people in thru the gaps in the fence ... eventually, I'm standing near a chosen group and scoot into the enclosure with them.  Our entry point is right behind a raised platform holding sound gear and a few VIP types, surrounded by light towers and other possible perches, and beyond that, a packed-solid sea of bodies ... it doesn't look as tho' navigating to any other stage area would be easy, perhaps not even possible, so I make up my mind to accept whatever music the gods assign to the stage I can see.  One act is just winding up ... it's Sasha.  A short wait and then next up, amidst profuse apologies for the delay, straight from the airport: Roni Size!  Waay short set, Brown Paper Bag and everything else new ... encouragement to come to the next night's show and bam! they're gone.

The set-up for the next performance takes quite some time, then we have Rabbit in the Moon.  Based on just their recordings, this isn't what I judge as a high point, but after their set I do understand the enthusiasm of their fans -- elaborate visuals and effects cause the music to drop back to more of a soundtrack level of importance and the overall creativity of their show doubtless strikes a deep chord for the average pyschedelicized concert-goer.  Huge bundles of glow-sticks bombard the audience and soon the frontlines are a waving sea of glow.  On that happy note, and with the end of the concert and the beginning of the crowd's exodus coming up fast, I scoot back out through the fence-gap and return to my perch on the veranda of my hotel at 9th & Collins for another stretch of people-watching....