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23 July, 2013

My top 5 DJs (that I haven't seen yet)

I've had this in my 'Creating Things' folder on Evernote for quite some time:

Over six months, I've been meaning to write this

And I've been quite lazy on this topic.

At first, I couldn't think of five DJs that I hadn't seen. I knew I'd seen a lot of acts (particularly in Sydney) and rather arrogantly thought that at the ripe-old age of 30 that I'd ticked them all of our bucket list.  But I wasn't thinking hard enough. And I just realised my big reveal is already buggered by including the names in that above screengrab. But there are other reasons for writing this article too.

For example, I delayed writing this list as it changed over the course of time. There were some late-comers that I got to see in the first half of this year, or artists I remembered seeing and then forgot about, so you could say the fluid nature of the list put me off.

But I'm not seeing that many gigs. 

So after half a year of deliberation, I'm quite excited to share this list with you. Because I'm a good fellow and like Soundcloud, I'm also going to link to a favourite set from each of these artists. Well, because I'm a good fellow and the cross-pollination will see my blog traffic go through the roof.

That's in the 100s people. Seriously, even my YouTube Channel fares better than this blog

So without further ado here's my top 5 DJs that I haven't seen.

1. Adam Beyer
One of the first guys I really started to warm to beyond what I was told to listen to by the likes of Ministry of Sound Annuals and Wild CDs. The man is a genius and I regularly listen to his Drumcode radio show on my phone. Switching effortlessly between deep house, tech house, and techno, Adam really takes you for a ride and specalises in long sets.

I still haven't got a chance to see him over all this time as the amount of times he's been in AU is quite limited. There was a time he played outside of Melbourne at Kryal Castle in 2007, but I couldn't justify the trip there at that stage of my life. And I regret it to this day.

I've chosen the set below as it's one of his long ones and has a similar range to what I really enjoy. I also remember listening to it at a friend's BBQ and we all couldn't stop moving, seriously - when Alan Fitzpatrick's Skeksis is dropped you will love your shit. I'm actually jealous of you.
2. Henry Saiz
Going in another direction is this guy. Much deeper, more progressive, and an extremely talented producer. I narrowly missed him in Sydney last year as I was at Subsonic Music Festival and it clashed, and have never lived it down. Especially when a friend who wasn't at the festival said he played some of the form of his life and she attended all three gigs he played in Sydney: boat party, garden party, and after-party - respect.

The set I've chosen doesn't start off well. You might actually wonder what the hell is going on. But trust us on this one - it gets goooood. It's also a set from a boat-party on Brisbane, which I mentioned in a musical capacity, a couple of weeks ago. It would have been some boat.

3. Pan-Pot
I've always been aware of these guys, but haven't found their productions to be mind-blowing and always settled for listening to them if they're on.

Wow - what a year they are having. These guys are cane-ing it on every level. The sets have some of the highest energy for the range they have without tiring us. I seriously dig. The duo are also good at uploading their best sets on Soundcloud - so I encourage you to check out more than what I've posted here.

I've never seen them as I'm not even sure they've come to Australia? I missed them in Barcelona last year which was unfortunate and here I am still hoping I'll get a chance some day. In the interim, give this set below a go - and try not to dance.

4. Gabriel Ananda
Another newcomer to the list after flying under the radar for some time. Everyone's heard Doppelwhipper, but I wasn't convinced I was missing out until coming across his Soulful Techno series.

I'll definitely be catching him next time he's around and in town (or I'll travel). He also just released a great new track this week called Let it in and let it out. Which you should totally do while unwinding to this mellow mix within the list.

5. Joris Voorn
This guy is at the height of his powers as a DJ and producer. It's a travesty I have not seen him.

There's no excuse as I know I've been in Melbourne as the same time as him. And even at the same party (in Barcelona - we left before he started).

I chose this set because I listen to it whenever I need a pick-me-up at work. Short, sustained, and relentless.

Have you got some fave electronic music producers or DJs you haven't seen yet?
Let us know in the comments and thanks for reading!

21 July, 2013

A reminder: When sticking to your guns pays off

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 
-excerpt from Citizenship In A Republic, Theodore Roosevelt  
I like this quote.
It gives me solace when I'm expending my energy on things I believe in.

In spite of this, I still remember virtually every negative comment that was thrown at me during the writing of, and after the delivery my book.

This is common. A very accomplished writer at the Emerging Writer's Festival I attended, someone who had written half a dozen books and for all intents and purposes was a success, said you don't remember the positive reviews. She said you can get 49 great ones and for some reason your head will still cling to that negative one.

I read a very good book over the weekend after seeing it recommended in this G+ discussion. The book was called Quitter and the recommendation was made after seeing a question around:

"I'm quitting my job to chase my dreams!"

The book had some resoundingly good advice, highlighting the importance of seeing the good in what you do, while still actively pursuing what you love and taking steps to ensure that happens. There were two things in particular I'd like to call out.

The first was on time. You don't get to your dreams by watching television. I'm calling it out because it matches the words emblazoned on the poster on the back of my door. Words I live by.

Cheers, Holstee Manifesto

The second was on dreams.

I'm paraphrasing the writer's reference from another book here, but here's what happens when you ask a group of first-grader's "how many artists are in the room?"

They will all put their hand up.
You ask the same question to a group of third-graders and a third put their hand up.
By the time they are twelve you are lucky to get one or two hands.

Group mentality and society condition us not to pursue our dreams.

Which brings us back to negative comments about my dream. It was to write a book. And that's what I've done but like I said those comments can stick sometimes. And that's unfortunate.

Then I remember the man in the arena, who does actually strive to do the deeds, who doesn't heed the words of a critic, and that's pretty inspiring. I also remember all the positive feedback I received for my book, and how I put myself out there and was able to share a story that had been hanging over my head for so long.

Another thing happened recently.

An interstate trip down near Sorrento, with some my old buddies. The book came up and I got some kind words, and I remarked on how it's an extremely humbling experience getting such feedback from your peers on something so intensely personal. The crime, I remarked, was that there's no way you can assemble all that feedback in one place for when things might be a little more gloomy.

I sat on that thought for a while.

As I hinted at yesterday, things are a bit challenging at the moment, and perhaps things seem a bit gloomier than usual.

To combat it I've been keeping busy. I updated my consultancy site, plotted an outline for an upcoming workshop, read aforementioned book, leaned on my network, and decided to address that crime I mentioned earlier.

There is a way you can assemble most of the feedback from a book in one place.

It's called hustle, and I'm a big fan. I grabbed my old phone, extracted all the SMS to my Gmail, combed through email, downloaded my Facebook, and collected every piece of feedback I could find on Being Bi-Bi and mentions of "the book".

I then assembled it all on a digital cork-board, below is the result.

Sticking to your guns pays off. And as insidious as negativity is, there's always a way to cobble together a collection of reminders of why you do what you do, and why you'll keep persevering.

 photo Feedback2_zps633fc210.png

20 July, 2013

Why I'm proud of my run this morning

I'm proud of my run this morning.

The view when I finished

I had a bottle of wine with a friend last night, but that's not why I'm proud. I ran one of my better times, and that's some cause to be proud, but it's not what I'm getting at either.

The music I listened to was fantastic too. I had an Ida Engberg set freshly downloaded and as I ran, the music really helped me along. A rejigged house classic came on from Jon Cutler, and the famous lyrics shouted:
If you were to find this temple
Do you have the knowledge to enter the temple
Do yaaa want it
And if you had it would ya flaunt it
Well its yours
I'm in that temple-discovery period at the moment.

Normally when things are going on with my career I batten down the hatches, and go silent for a while (certainly on my blog at least). Well some hard questions are being asked at the moment and I'm not certain of all the answers to those questions.

I'm perturbed, a little unsure of myself, and finding things challenging. There are a few ways things can pan out at the moment and I'm rapidly approaching a crossroads. Some of these paths are obvious, some I'm going to have to work bloody hard for, and some are what I think to be wrong.

I'm also excited, restless, and relishing the challenge. Things are shaking up in my life and as I just ticked over at 30 years of age, it's a great opportunity to take stock of things and determine what it is I really want to do with the skills I have. And if I don't have those skills now is an excellent time to start acquiring them.

I love my sister, I was talking to her the other day about a particularly stressful life situation and she basically shouted down the phone at me something along the lines of:
You're playing it to safe, you need to get out of your comfort zone and do something that's scary
I took her advice and pulled the trigger. My stomach churned. I thought what the hell am I doing? And I giggled while I sat on my bed and grinned from ear-to-ear.

It's around then that I remembered the famous quote:
Do one thing every day that scares you
It's not hard, but it's harder than what most of us are doing now. I've been striving to do that more and more. I have my safe days, but slowly over time I think I'm getting better at pushing myself just the right amount to get where I want to be.

So here I am at my temple. I really want it. And if I get it I'm not sure if I'll flaunt it.

But when I'm running and having one of those state-of-my-life moments, when there's a million things on my mind and I instinctively wake up before dark and run over eight kilometres in under forty minutes.

Then - when I'm having one of those moments - I'm going to relish every second of it. Because shit's going down, and I chose to get out of my bed and go for a run.

That's why I'm proud of my run this morning.


If you haven't read it, or haven't discovered The Oatmeal yet, I highly recommend reading his comic on running, it's funny, articulate, and does a much better job of explaining why we enjoy running.

17 July, 2013

Crowdfunding a Gig - What if Daft Punk Were Playing at Your House?

It was 2009.

The Inthemix forums were vibrant, and there was a rag-tag crew of Brisbane ITMers who consistently missed out on international gigs to the likes of Melbourne and Sydney. But what they lacked in numbers they made up for with passion. And by adopting a collective approach to securing talent for a dedicated few, occasionally they were able to secure DJs way beyond the city's typical capabilities.

This culminated with a thread for some 100 dedicated fans at a private party in Brisbane at the start of 2010. The group pooled their funds, and were able to get trance DJ Richard Durand fresh from his set to a crowd of 30,000 punters at a Sensation party in Melbourne to play on a rooftop.

The event was something special, with the man himself stating:

“I came here not knowing what to expect. I was told I was playing to a party of 100 people and I thought what the f#ck. This 100 people is way better than 30,000. Love you.”

Photo credit:

What the posse up in Brisbane had managed to do was crowdfund a gig. This was before sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or the Australian site Pozible even existed.

In my mind, the tactics they employed for drumming up support for such an event played to the things that made the dance music community great, a collective that were there for the music.

A lot has happened since then.

Inthemix has exploded in popularity. The US has started to realise that dance music is something awesome. And the forums and once vibrant Inthemix community has died.

But I still remember that gig from afar, and remember being jealous that the likes of such an event couldn't happen in Sydney or Melbourne.

But maybe I'm wrong?

The site Pozible has just started a competition to crowdfund a live music event. And at the back of my mind is the fact that there's some potential here.

What's stopping you from crowdfunding a Daft Punk concert?

Probably all those dollar bills yo

Would 1 million Australians pay a small amount to see them? Probably not. But I know that a community as engaged as the dance music scene would find a way to fund such a venture. Just like they did in Brisbane.

I'm kicking around the idea I've getting involved with this competition and flexing some Crowdfund Coach muscle. I'm meeting with some friends next week and thinking of illustrating just how powerful the crowdfunding concept can go.

Are you with me?
Get in touch with your thoughts or comment below.