Welcome to the new Website & an overview of the Newsletter content
Feel free to get in touch at dj narrative at gmail dot com for any related booking enquires, or if you want to comment or chat about anything related to narrative mixtapes or are creating your own flavour of them.
Welcome to this newly updated blog & redesigned Dj Narrative project site 🙂 I spent some time redeveloping each section to be easier to use, updated the visual side, and worked to better represent a more focused '3D sound'. I've been developing lots of new DJ techniques and narrative approaches to produce a much greater depth of narrative mixtapes for both coming home and going out collections and most importantly, be able to produce them, more consistently, which has in turn produced a course which i hope will help fellow Dj's, and electronic musicians to form their own take on storytelling and narrative within Dj performance and electronic music production.
These newsletters are not the norm in that it's not my intent to use it to promote my latest gig list or things to buy...the sole reason is to produce good quality content that i hope will stay in the car or mp3 player, and i aim for it to be an evolving step up as listening experiences with each one. As the project grows, there are more elements on both the audio and visual side, but the evolution of mixtapes with narrative will be central to the project, and freely available each month through the new underground narratology broadcast and Coming Home & Going Out Collections.
I thought it useful to write an overview of the new content, so here is some of the sections that will be sent out on the last thursday of every month starting after the Autumn Equinox. I always love to hear from anyone about any of the content shared and my aim is that it will evolve with each newsletter
DJ Mixtapes, Collections, & Underground Narratology
Underground Narratology is a monthly broadcast which features the latest Narrative mixtape from the Coming Home Collection, and the latest Dancefloor mixtape from the Going Out Collection.
I like to say the broadcast is now presented in 3D, because the 'Coming Home' mixes are often mixing (Downtempo) - Cinematic Electronica & Trip Hop and (Dope) -Funky Dope Beats, Dubby & Tropical, and the 'Going Out' mixtapes, contain (Dancefloor - Tech) - Techno, Tech House & Playa Tech (or (Dancefloor - Bass) - Bass Music, Funky Breaks & Jungle). From 2017 there is a definite move into a more techno influenced sound but which draws on all a much deeper selection of genres and inspirations, which you can hear in the new mixes.
Newsletter subscribers can download all 50+ mixtapes and CD covers just by logging in, and I've split them up into various collections, with each mixtape containing streamable players, tracklistings, & cover art. The goal is to create mixtapes that will stay in car, mix next level music, and share insightful narratives.
The 'Coming Home' mixtapes are generally much more adventurous, journey based mixtapes, which dynamically build through narrative structures like Joseph Campbell's heroes journey. They juxta-pose samples & acapella's with an obsessively honed music & sample library, and are performed on a Traktor S8 and a 1210, incorporating a wide range of dj techniques and technology to enable the exploration of narrative themes and ideas.
The 'Going Out' mixtapes are much more Dancefloor focused recordings of gigs or practice mixes, using the 4 decks to mix the best underground electronic music often from the most recent dig, with acapellas. From 2017 I'm finding a whole new depth of sound on the Dancefloor side, returning to my roots of fusing the Playa Tech, Techno, & House styles, with my love for broken beats and bass music, finding i can bring narrative sample performances into these mixes. The breaks now also have a different form and tend to be more funky dope style scratching, hence 3D.
Music, Remixes, Halo Recordings & The Archetype E.Ps
I've began collaborating with a storyteller with a beautiful new instrument called a Handpan. We've had 4 gigs already this year and both the spoken audio and the handpan performances feed nicely into the Dj Narrative project.
Via the newsletter i will be sharing produced recordings of our Halo handpan for free use under a creative commons license, alongside downloads of any self released music, remixes, & mashups, and previews of any label releases.
Currently a produced 3 mic edited audio recording of a halo video performance, and at least 1 track, remix or mashup will be available each month for free download. Because of the sound and rareity of the instrument, my hope is that producer's will find use in sampling the recordings, and remixes will be useful for Djs. I've returned to the consistent workflow in the studio so as the music muscle gets flexed consistently again, i hope to share narrative based compositions with listeners via a collection of related ep's alongside the recordings.
I've developed a format for incorporating narrative ideas into electronic music productions, and specifically working on an e.p collection based around the archetypes. One to three new tracks per month is the goal, with each E.p following the 3D format of Downtempo, Dope & Dancefloor.
While my previous productions, have been more based in the various genres of bass and breaks, I've always loved artists that fuse the downtempo and the dancefloor, and have meaning behind their music. The sound i've been buying lends itself much more towards narrative on both sides, and is a new direction for me in the studio.
I have so many influences, but artists like Djrum, Tipper & Cinematic Orchestra who fuse narrative emotion with expressive production techniques, alongside early inspirations of Leftfield and Chemical Brothers, and all manner of Dub, Techno, Playatech and Bass producers that i've been digging which reach into the hundreds all provide countless inspiration
Working towards this more focused 3D sound is also to produce music for an audio visual show, and is much more led by incorporating narrative and live instruments with the electronic productions. Along the way, I hope to be able to share some of the recordings of handpan, piano, djembe, & finger drumming, sample & scratch performances with fellow music makers and DJs, as find they can be useful in both Dj sets and compositions.
Currently in my project list is a remix for a piano composer, a score for a new storytelling piece, a remix for a live hip hop fusion, and a techno remix, so i'm not sure what the frequency of music i can share via the newsletter is at this stage, but I'm looking at sharing the most useful things i learn in my tutorials section of the blog, as a follow on from my Reckorder project idea, and experimenting with what might be sustainable to create and put out to subscribers, like mashups, and recordings that can be used in Dj sets or productions.
The most recent releases (like the latest one for the Roots Project) will also be featured in the newsletters, which will rarely be free downloads, but I can put any fellow Djs or radio hosts in touch with the label that would like a copy for their show or sets.
AV Mixes, Photographs & Community Arts Films
On the visual side i've been learning the art of creating and performing visuals, this spring, in order to explore different way of using various audio visual artforms to better communicate some of the narrative ideas of the coming home mixes. This month I recorded my first visual narrative vj mix for 'The Single Story' mixtape, which was a 1 take attempt, with a section here to view
I've had the opportunity to work with a host of inspiring VJs for the last 15 years or so, and have always been really excited by the narrative potential of the combination of narrative music and visual performances. This 1st one turned out pretty well for a first attempt but I have so much to learn to create the kind of expressive visual narratives that i think will be interesting,a nd feasible.
My aim is to practice & create a short visual narratives for sections of the coming home mixes, alongside av scenes related to my music, and share all the clips that work through the newsletter, as i think a whole mix to watch is really too much time for anyone.
I'm also recording the useful things that i learn, so hopefully there will be some useful tutorials & resources for creating and performing visuals posted on the blog for any Djs that are interested in the idea.
I also have been experimenting with making video clips of my own footage, which i thought might be useful to anyone else who wants to incorporate narrative based visual content in their work, although as the visuals take so much time, i need to see what's feasible as i learn the ropes.
After a few set back I am currently working on our first funding application, with one of the VJ’s I've regularly performed (and promoted) with. The project is all based around narrative and involves a spectrum of different artforms, so if that comes off we will be blogging everything about creating an audio visual framework on the blog, and if it doesn’t I will be exploring it on a much smaller scale.
I also capture and produce photographs and have 250 post produced, alongside a hard drive of footage i’ve been using for Vj clips (along with proper Vj clips). The images make decent downloadable screensavers, and seem to be selling on some microstock sites, so will be putting out 3 per month as free downloads for subscribers, in case anyone can use them in any way. Where relevant there will be narrative quotes with them to feed into the project as a whole.
I do also produce some promo photographs, promo video, and project films for community arts organisations, with those most recent examples all being for Secret City Arts. They won't feature in this newsletter, as it's more work stuff, but i'm always interested in connecting with people who need that side.
Narrative Blogs, Tutorials & a course for Djs
As may be apparent, I'm intrinsically interested in the idea of exploring and fusing electronic music and visual content or performance with narrative, ever since the 1st performances back in 2007, and have learnt and developed a vast amount of research, information and techniques, over the last few years especially, which has, in part, been shaped by the work i've done for Loop Lounge and Native Instruments products, and definitly inspired by all the collaborations with different artists.
As a result of all of trial and error and how the project has grown from mixtapes through to incorporating all sorts of artforms, I have roughly two courses worth of new techniques to share with Dj's & electronic music performers, and so will be writing a regular blog to share and explore all of the research and development i've been doing in my studio, and all the evernotes.
Traktor users especially may be interested in my research, as from my experience the tutorials would all be adding new ideas and techniques to the pool, but Ableton, Turntablism, Serato Sample, and VDMX also feature heavily, and most of the ideas are applicable to other Dj formats like CDJs, or controllerism setups. I also created some new approaches to using stems last year that were supported by Ni & Traktor, and created a few videos and tutorials and collections for loop lounge, which this builds on, but this will be the first time i’ve put out specific narrative composition and performance tutorials.
Ulitimately i would like to use this platform to create a useful or inspiring resource, and will be curating related news and articles related to the different areas of the project using some online tools i bought recently. In the future i'm really hoping to find and connect with other people interested in the various elements of Dj Narrative project, and I would love to curate and share other mixtapes with narrative alongside my own. I'm obviously hugely influenced by AV inspirations like Coldcut and the Light Surgeons, and the history of sample and electronic music culture, with all of advances of Dj and production technology, but it hasnt been as straightforward to find many others, so I hope this project will help share quality content with the community, and but in some way, also give back to the scene which has given me so much. Whereever it leads i sincerely hope you enjoy the mixtapes and maybe find some insight from the sources who supply the narrative.
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