Saturday, 21 February 2009

electric vindaloo - 07/03/09

i'm really pleased to have been invited back up to my second hometown, Aberystwyth, to play another set at the corking Electric Vindaloo in a couple of weeks...

the promoter, Joab, has been running the night for around four or five years now, hosting parties at various locations around Aber and getting some top names to visit the isolated little bit of coast in the process. it's really good to see the night running regularly again after a short lull, and just as satisfying to see it back in its spiritual home, the Bay Basement.

last time i played there (December, i believe) it was a brilliant night - the Aber crowd love their hiphop, and always go nuts for some beaty, bass-heavy, funk-laden tunes...hence why i get so much of a kick out of heading back to help the party along!

it also gives me the chance to catch up with some old mates and playing records alongside the likes of Eddy Scissorhands, Duska, Ether and co is a right laugh. not to mention a good chance to nosey up on what tunes are doing it in our respective boxes at the moment.

check the price, too - £3 - absolute bargain. if you're in the area or fancy a weekend by the sea with a bit of a rave-up, do come and join us...


Tuesday, 17 February 2009

purple radio launches blog

fair play to them Purple Radio boys - they've only gone and launched their very own shiny new blog! not content with broadcasting music, living music, breathing music and discussing music on the forum...they're now embarking on taking it public in a proper written-word format. nice.

expect plenty of reviews, album props, special track mentions, not to mention up-to-date news on the events being run at various locations around the UK. plus you might even be able to snag yourself the odd free MP3 as a result of visiting it on a regular basis. i didn't tell you that though, right?!

i'll be contributing with my own witterings at some point soon, and rejoining the glorious Purple fold in April after having a few months off, but in the meantime go and check it out:

nuff props to Marcus for setting it all up and kicking everyone into contributing.



my new toy

for the last month or so i've been pratting about with my new toy: an Akai MPD24.

for a while i've wanted to mess about with loops, beats and basically attempt to produce some of my own tunes, and always had an eye on buying something from Akai's now-legendary MPC range of sampler/sequencer units. however, after much consideration i decided that the outlay cost on an MPC was just a bit too much to try and deal with at this point, so i opted for the next best thing: a MIDI controller with the basic interface elements that the MPCs boast.

i'll be honest: i've got next to no production experience/knowledge, so this has been a massively steep learning curve to embark on. for now, i've got the MPD24 running in sync with FL Studio 8, as this seemed to offer much of the same "working method" as you'd find with an MPC.

it's been a mixture of success and failure in varying degrees thus far. i've worked out how to use Edison (a module within FL Studio) to chop my samples, and then load them into the FPC (FL's equivalent of an MPC), and then assign the MPD to the various samples within the software. that's all well and good, but latency is proving to be a real issue thus far - i'm not sure if it's my soundcard (Creative 24-bit external) or just the fact that the unit's running through a USB connection rather than dedicated MIDI, but it's proving almost impossible to overdub into sequences live.

although a lot of my friends are currently blasting out beats on MPCs, i've not been able to get much help from them as this is a different kettle of fish...none of them are familiar with the FL Studio setup. thus it's been a long, lonely and frustrating few weeks of reading help guides, watching YouTube tutorials (a mass of them, quality varying as ever) and hammering my poor old desk in frustration.

as soon as i've got any beats worth writing home (or online) about, i'll stick some download links up and you can slate them as you see fit. just give me three years or so. haha.

likewise, if anyone out there's got any tips for using the MPD24 with FL Studio, or could maybe help out with my latency woes, please holler at me and i'll be eternally grateful.

in the meantime, look after yourselves.


Tuesday, 10 February 2009

still alive!

sorry i haven't posted anything up in so long. things have been proper hectic and my head's been everywhere...trying to take on the world and win again...must.stop.doing.that.

so, what's gone down since i last posted? well, 2008 went (bye bye) and 2009 came (hello). i had an awesome christmas with my family, so relaxed this year - and such a pleasure to spend some quality time with them all, especially my young cousins Karl and Thomas, who really do help to keep the magic of the festive season alive. i guess christmas is all about the kids, eh? here they are "helping Nan unwrap her presents"...

the start of 2009 has been tough. january is always a slog, but this one felt particularly vile. job insecurity and a muggy head haven't helped, and i had to lay low on any further radio DJing for a bit because it just didn't seem to be bringing me much fun anymore. i suppose instead of feeling refreshed by the onset of a new year, it's just served to wear me out.

do we set too much ambition for ourselves in these modern times? that's what i've been asking more and more, lately.

on a more positive note - seeing Obama being inaugurated was wonderful. not that i was there in person, but i was one of the billions of people who watched live, clutching a post-work cup of tea and harbouring a hope for genuine change that i'm sure you all hold, too. he seems like a cool guy, and i just hope he doesn't try to take on too much too early. or that he doesn't buckle under the pressure of the system like so many US presidents in the past. tough to break free from those corporate backslaps and big-money nudges, Barack...i hope you can. i really do.

more locally, and despite my shying away from radio DJing at present, i had a great time last week DJing with my mate Neil Raygun at Clwb Ifor Bach, in Cardiff.

Clwb is an institution and the top floor is a cracking room which boasts possibly the best soundsystem i've ever played on. loads of our mates came out for the night and it gave me a lot of pleasure to see the hiphop hits (in particular) being well-appreciated by a decent, dance-prone crowd. thanks to everyone who came down to support the event, and huge thanks to Ben Potter and all the staff at Clwb for having us there for the night and treating us so well. i'm hoping we'll be doing the same there again soon, so i'll be sure to keep you posted if we do.

gonna make this shit a lot more regular in 2009. and though i don't like making promises, that's a promise. hahaha. be sure to nudge me if you stumble across this and i haven't posted in a week or two. sometimes i just need a kick.

don't we all?