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Mixed in Berlin, August 2019
(90:00, 206 MB, 320 KBPS MP3)
- Head High – Set Me Free (Power House)
- DJ Different – Fast Forward to the Outer Rim (Lobster Theremin)
- Special Request – Lockjaw (Houndstooth)
- Manor House Boyz – Full Resonance (Super Rhythm Trax)
- Dawl – Bad Trip (Libertine)
- Posthuman – King Rat (X-Kalay)
- Zero B – Lock Up (Jerome Hill Remix) (Food Music)
- Chrissy – Hold On Tight (Chiwax)
- Skin On Skin – Multiply (Steel City Dance Discs)
- Boylan – Shimmy (Oil Gang)
- Syer Barz – Mushrooms (Lit City Trax)
- East Man – Twilight (Hi Tek Sounds)
- TMSV – Modification (Perfect)
- D Bridge – Digital Dread (Sentry)
- Om Unit – Preshah (Tectonic)
- Solid Blake – Warp Room (Seilscheibenpfeiler)
- Nite Fleit – Borderline (Planet Euphorique)
- Ersatz Olfolks – Stella (Mechatronica)
- R.O.P. – Stop The Music (Eden-Hardcore Records)
- Innercore – Feel So (Innercore Project)
- Pete Cannon – Dynamite (Kniteforce)
- Puffin’ Billy – Mickey 303 (Meditator Music)
- Tim Reaper – Dead & Buried (Parallax)
- Tim Reaper – Globex Corp Vol. 5 (Side B2) (7th Storey Projects)
- DJ Dlux – Interference (Existence is Resistance)
- Dillinja – Luscious Nights (Deep Jungle)
- Tom & Jerry – Maximum Style (DJ Stretch Dubplate Remix) (AKO Arcade)
- Abyss – Bad Boy (Kniteforce)
- Skitty – Bad It Up (Foundation X)
- Champa B – Dread Conquer (Scientific Wax Limited)
And to celebrate, here we are with the tenth edition of Get It. Considering I only started this series less than a year ago, that was quite quick!
To mark the moment appropriately, I wanted to put together an especially ambitious mix, one that creatively combines the previous nine volumes into one mix. Up to now, each mix was a 15 track mix of one particular style (all vinyl, of course), so for this one I decided to put them all in one mix, with 30 tracks in 10 styles, covering all nine of the styles from the previous mixes with a bonus style (acid) thrown in for good measure.
So, in order that means we have:
- 3 x Breaks – Get Broken
- 3 x Acid – Bonus section!
- 3 x Rugged House / Techno – Get Rugged
- 3 x Grime – Get Mucky
- 3 x Dubstep – Get Below
- 3 x Electro – Get Robotic
- 3 x Breakbeat Hardcore – Get Euphoric
- 3 x Jungle Techno – Get Dark
- 3 x Previously Unreleased Jungle – Get Lost, Then Found
- 3 x New Skool Ragga Jungle – Get Ruff Tuff Dangerous
This is quite the mixture, huh?
To achieve this over the exact 90 minutes of the mix means starting at a little over 130 bpm and ending at around 175 bpm, an increase of over 40 bpm. I know it’s one of the hoariest of dj cliches, but surely this counts as an authentic ‘musical journey’!
How did I put this together?
I started by defining for myself what the order of the sections would be. Then for each section I pulled out a stack of relevant records and then narrowed it down to about 10-15 that I thought could work either with the previous section or with the following one. The goal was to pick the kinds of tunes that would ensure that the transition points between genres would make sense and (hopefully!) not be too jarring.
Obviously if you click randomly around the audio file, it’s musically all over the place and might sound weird … but the goal was that when you listen to it from start to finish, the individual transitions between genres that occur every three tracks make sense, so that you can go be listening to meditative dubstep and then ten minutes later to piano-centric breakbeat hardcore and it’s not a jarring experience, because the joins are well thought-through and carry you the listener along effortlessly.
That was my goal, anyways!
One of the challenges of actually doing this mix was having to constantly recalibrate my mixing – one thing I’ve noticed over time, as I discussed in the essay that accompanied Get It 006: Get Mucky, is that different styles of electronic music are best mixed in different ways. Sometimes it makes sense to move in and out quickly, sometimes you are better off hanging out in the mix for a long time, and sometimes it’s better to keep it relatively smooth, while at other points you should be chopping it up.
In the specific case of this mix, that meant a continuous process of adjustment as I moved through some very different genres. Overall I am very happy with the result, even though there are a few bits that are not 100% perfect – I decided it was best to take them in my stride and move on.
To change the topic somewhat, I have to say that I am quite proud to have hit 250,000 listens on Soundcloud, and so this mix is a celebration of that achievement, and, hopefully, something of an encapsulation of the Sonicrampage ethos. Like let’s get real here, I am no big name. I’ve played quite a few gigs over the years, but I’m still effectively a bedroom dj. Which is fine by me! I have never really been interested in the kind of grind involved in becoming a quote-unquote ‘big’ dj (also, to be perfectly frank, I freely concede that I may not be good enough anyways to be a big name dj). Plus, social media really makes clear that the modern professional dj’s life kind of blows – lots of travel time and really unsociable hours.
Also, I have always been more adventurous than most dj’s, in the sense that I play and have played such a wide range of electronic music.
How many dj’s who play old hard trance also play modern grime? Not too many I think!
For better or worse, I do. And so I think that might be something that confuses people – it’s not like I’m just doing one thing that you can easily follow, or a few things that sort of make sense together (like playing old skool and modern dnb). But for me it’s totally natural – the Sonicrampage project has always been about giving me a creative outlet, as seen through the various themed mixes I’ve done over the years, as well as about sharing music I love.
Another goal of the Sonicrampage project has been to capture something very particular that I’ve always loved – the chopped-up excitement of live rave mixing, as captured on pirate radio, rave tape packs and, of course, live in the rave, but without shitty mc’s or poor audio quality. I’ve always been a bit perplexed by the standard ‘official mix’ format, where dj’s who I know can tear down the place with a crossfader frenzy put their names to mixes featuring a bloodless and polite segue every few minutes. Those kinds of mixes are certainly ‘clean’ and ‘professional’ sounding, but they’re also missing a certain spark. Where is the risk-taking? Where is the seat-of-the-pants excitement when an unexpected mix starts happening? Hell, where are the mistakes?
Overall I think my mixing is pretty decent, but it’s certainly true that I’ve never released a whole mix that I would argue was ‘perfect’ from start-to-finish – there are always at least some errors or some bits I don’t love, but (within reason!) I can live with them. When I was younger I often struggled with this, as it’s hard to mix vinyl and take risks and nail every single mix exactly as you want to – I really found it hard to let go. Sometimes I would record mixes over and over and over – sometimes up to six or seven times! As I have gotten older, and especially since I became a father, I have decided that this is just not a rational approach. At some point you have to draw the line and move on – for example, I recorded this mix twice, and that’s only because the first time I hit record without noticing that I hadn’t plugged in the audio in cable to my laptop.
Vinyl is also obviously a key part of this personal commitment to capturing the original rave mixing ethos on my mixes – vinyl is physical and tactile and you are connecting records using slight adjustments to a mechanical framework instead of digitally locking them. Now, I don’t have anything against digital dj’s – to be honest, it’s completely practical in the cold light of day. So my sticking to vinyl is a strictly personal thing, my own choice. I work in data analysis so in my working life I am clicking away at a computer all day; I like what I do, but it’s nice to have a hobby that’s not just more click-click-clicking. I’ve tried digital mixing, but never really found the joy in it (I can’t even remember the last time I turned on my cd decks!)
Milestones like this are always a good point at which to stop and reflect, so to finish off I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has listened to and enjoyed the mixes. Looking forward to doing many more in the years to come!