Here’s the debut release:
But smoking grass is so much better than not smoking grass, seriously. ;)
Here’s the debut release:
But smoking grass is so much better than not smoking grass, seriously. ;)
I’m looking forward to my gig this weekend, it’s in a cellar below the HI Hostel at 76 Church St. It’ll be nice to play out and in a new space. I’m filling in for the resident DJ but am going to try and gig there more often, it’s a cool room with a certain ambience that matches my sound. I have a good idea of what I’ll play, it’ll be a pure Timur Mil$chenko set – hip-hop, trip-hop, and loungey house. I have a few new sounds I’ll try and get to but if we don’t make it that’s OK, it’s a small space and the gig is on the Sunday thus I doubt we’ll get too hectic. It’ll be useful if I think of the gig as a weekend after party, people will just want to have a drink and listen to some great sounds, I won’t try to rock their world too much, they won’t want their world rocked anyway. Let’s just spin some great music. The fee to the DJ on this occasion is 10% of the bar which might be OK. My only worry with this gig is the state of my needles – they are little wee nubs and I can’t afford to replace them this week.
I’m also working on promoting an event in the neighborhood. It would be great to sort something out I could walk to. I’m going to approach the venue as the representative of a team of DJ’s. I’d like to work with some of the DJ’s I know, it’s fun to work with and listen to others.
Anyway, the gig starts at 9 pm on March 30, 2014. The venue is located downstairs at 76 Church St, Toronto, ON. It’ll be a fun place to play, I can cross it off as a place I’ve played. Maybe I’ll see you there. :)
Apparently, and I found this particularly interesting during my morning newsy read, NASA have published a survey giving credence to the notion that modern western-European society is on a course that looks as though it’s littered with real challenges, the tandem of any number of which could spell a civilization’s collapse. To be sure, as mentioned in the article, civilizations have come and gone in the past, a recurring cycle. Nonetheless, the article espouses pointedly with words and science something that has been on the minds of the kooks for sometime, and increasingly also on the minds of what ought to be considered rational parties, that is the masses. Here’s the article: (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists.)
The above is certainly worrisome, and I have a hard time casting a tonne of doubt on the article, I don’t reckon the folks at NASA are kooks. (Just hopefully they are missing the critical piece that, in their model, enables society to rescue itself from the brink.) But whether society trudges towards the collapse of modern civilization as we know it, or not, I’ll still want to practice the archaic form of turn-tabling atop my Technic 1200’s. With that in mind, it’s my pleasure to announce that Timur Mil$henko will have his first DJ gig on March 30, (DJ Tim is dead!) As enthused as I am to be playing an open format set of my choice, and as enthused as I am to be playing in a cool small room of Victorian architecture, I am a little bummed that March 30th is a Sunday. However, this is it, paying dues, laboring for love, playing Sundays. But, the end of the weekend aside, it is certainly a unique venue where I should be able to reach a growing fan base that hails from Europe. The Cellar Room (venue name) is beneath an HI, and so – short of being able to go gig in Europe in order to reach my growing following there – maybe Europe can come to me.
March 30, DJ Set @ The Cellar Room, 76 Church St., Toronto, ON.
I have a few ideas as to what I’ll spin, though, as always, I remain flexible and open to appropriate changes as they so often are likely to occur.
Here’s a tape that comprises my entry into the Croatian Soundwave DJ contest, I doubt I’ll be able to play many of these sounds on the 30th, as this tape is intended for a beach club atmosphere. I doubt I’ll be able to get as housey as this tape on the night of the 30th. At the gig, I intend to hit ‘em hard first with some real hip-hop and some real turn-tabling. But, as has happened in the past, intentions might have to go out the window depending on what the audience wants. Though, hip-hop is never wrong, thus, I’ll most likely live there, as I have in the past.
Here’s the link to some of my contest sounds (WP has embedding issues):http://www.mixcloud.com/JUSTICEforFROGS/soundwave-croatia-2014-dj-competition-entry-v-3/
2th’s first show went off without a hitch. Well, not entirely true, but the show went on and there were no major injuries, and I think it seemed alright received. The first goal was accomplished; “put a set together and gig it before Mr. Roy heads back to NYC.” It all came together pretty well, in fact, with just the two of us and a shared vision and goal it was one of the easier projects/sounds to achieve. (Though this also certainly speaks to Mr. Roy’s musical prowess.) However it’s not to say we’re a pair geeks on the street and didn’t have to put work into it; Mr. Roy expressed that he reckons his ‘sinusoidal synthesis’ and music production skills improved, whereas my my deejayism improved vastly. Also, my bar, in terms of expectations of the people around me were raised – playing with a traditional musician is a horse of a different colour compared to typical seletahship; my speed and precision as a DJ greatly increased. It’s a cool sound. I kinda wish I could’ve been in the audience.
Our next goal is a chilli cook off party that we’ll make ourselves, the party that is, but we’ll bring in ringers to compete for the chilli cook off grand prize. It’s all pre-producing at the moment but we reckon 4-4-4 will appear somewhere on the flyer; $4 entry, $4 drinks, $4 Chilli-Cook-Off Voting Card (All-u-can-eat Chilli,) something to that effect. As I said it’s all in pre-production at the moment. Sadly, I can’t keep throwing kick ass parties and not get any help – the sushi party (in real $$$) cost more than $100, (which admittedly isn’t Queen of England cash) but (after my commencement debacle,) I just can’t afford to not try to recoup anything anymore. I love my friends but for real…sadly, there are costs and 2th will need slight help. I’m done with people who don’t help, life’s too short.
Around the chilli will be a few bands and we’d like to get some visuals in the mix too. Also I want to make sure everyone who helps organize and is involved can be given a little scratch for their work. Mr. Roy wants to bring some out of town bands in, they should be given a tank of gas, at least! Or else I don’t really want to attach myself to this live production. 2th are a pair of dick heads, but we’re not haters and we don’t fuck around! Like I said, it’s all in pre-production.
Speaking of which, 2th (with the help of our Asst. Producer Mr. Sivanantharajah) ought to be going into the multi-track space soon, we gotta get some quality recordings for an EPK. In lieu of current recordings up to the level of fidelity we need for our EPK, here is a picture of the band. I think the two modern and traditional players have a pretty cool visual element, hopefully we can build on what’s beginning to burgeon.
I walked across the stage at convocation, they withheld my degree because of library fines, they’re fucking nickel and dimeing their students & clientele. Oh well, I’ll pay it off, they’ll send me my degree. 4 fined library books * $17 each, what’s that? $68. $68 is what they’re holding out for, after I just paid them thousands in tuition, they’re fuckers. And down the line they’ll be sending me alumni magazines and asking me for money. Fuck them, I’ll remind them why I won’t be donating when the time comes, if it comes – I don’t see myself living the dream of the upper-middle class which I was sold anyway.
Tomorrow I leave for a US DJ gig in Maine. That’s it, technically speaking, I’ve achieved the dream that I was shooting for in high school; international DJ. It’s not everything I thought it was going to be. But I can’t wait to go perform anyway. I fly to Boston and then bus to Portland, the party is this Saturday, and I think there is going to be an after-party too. It’ll be great.
My professional goals now are just to keep on mixing and working in music and try to get paid. It’s so bloody hard to make a living with music. But here I am, there’s no turning back now. It’s going to happen.
Ok – well I just wanted to touch base and blog. I’ll be making a mixtape and uploading to Mixcloud tonight, check it out, google: DJ Tim Mills, you’ll find me.
After the US gig, I’m planning a wicked party for the end of the November. Hope to see you there! :)
During the course of this project several points and observations were able to be made and certain lessons emerged from the candidate’s work.
First, and quite notably, the candidate observed that it was easier to induce the participation of the audience via the broadcast portion of the project as compared to the live performance sections of the project, and the student researcher can remark as to a few possible reasons for this. One reason the candidate surmises that the audience was reluctant to labour and compile a playlist during a performance is that the performances took place at tavern-venues, thus, we can assume that that audience had gathered to unwind; they might have been drinking or having relaxing conversation with colleagues and friends whilst listening to the music, as one does at a venue, most likely the audience was doing both. Because of this the focus of the audience’s evening was not on experiencing and considering the possibilities of autonomous media, but rather to relax and unwind. Therefore, to ask for a certain amount of labour in the form of participant content creation during an audience’s leisure time, the student-researcher contends, was to ask too much from a social group who most likely simply wanted to be entertained by the working DJ. But another reason the candidate contends that the broadcast format worked better in terms of harvesting audience participation is that the production of a recorded mix for the purpose of radio play and the performance of a live-DJ-set to PA are much different, insomuch as, during the live sets, the concentration of the DJ must remain on the live mix itself, whereas with producing pre-recorded mixes for radio in a studio starting and stopping of the tracks/mix can occur, and the product of the mix itself can be produced over the course of hours or even days rather than it immediately having to be performed in realtime as is the case with the performance paradigm. This freedom from concentrating strictly on the mix allowed researcher-DJ-producer to connect and communicate on a deeper and more attentive level with the audience. This attentiveness produced greater results in terms of audience participation. The broadcast elements of the project resulted in a more active form of audience participation audiences were much more enthused about submitting content for a radio production. The candidate was met with much less resistance in finding audience participation when the platform was terrestrial radio. The candidate hypothesizes that having control over the airwaves comes across to audience members as more of a novelty and radical form of media production than having a playlist performed in a live space on the audiences behalf which bears a resemblance to the idea of making requests.
However some audience members during the course of the live performances did indeed participate. But these audience-participants, the student noticed, were already content creators themselves. For example, during the course of the ‘Heavy Blooms’ event in Ottawa in May, several audience members were more than willing to provide lots of music to the DJ for transmission over the PA. But it should be mentioned that these audience members also had projects with whom the DJ was sharing the stage with that night. The audience members happy to provide content building blocks, in the form of recorded songs, were performing indie musicians and artists at the event themselves who jumped at the chance to have their own recorded original music played over a public address system. Regardless, what resulted was an autonomous agenda being set by audience members.
Another lesson that arose from the work was the importance of engaging the audience, that is, simply describing what was being asked of the audience in the hopes the audience would participate during the course of the project was not enough. Audiences did not instantly leap at the opportunity at helping create the overall content of the mix projects and thus set the agenda. Rather, participation had to pulled from the audience and strong social connections needed to be made for this to happen. For example
One interesting aspect that did emerge during the project was the actual result of the product itself. The crowd-sourced mix elements changed the DJ’s sound completely. As such the result was something surprising that was unable to be foreseen by the DJ-researcher. The mix could not have been conceived of without the help of the audience. As a result what did emerge was something new to the DJ-producer. For example, mix #1/3 in the broadcast portion of the project resulted in a compiled playlist of songs in the genre of what the compiling audience member called ‘bachelor jazz.’ This was a completely new sound never heard before by the candidate-DJ-producer. A previously unknown part of the culture then was what was brought to the surface. Although this project dealt with songs on a playlist, we can transfer this idea onto social issues that receive salience in the press and news media; we can say that opening the authorship process up to the audience has the capacity to reveal previously unknown contentious issues and social concerns. This realization was a positive revelation of the project.
But one thing that the student-researcher feels the project lacked, though something that would have gone a long way in stimulating participation is an adjoining interactive web page aspect of the project. Besides a research blog, (used mainly for the use of keeping track of the candidate’s developing ideas,) the project lacked a web element. No doubt could a strong interactive web presence have made engaging audiences and cultivating participation easier. Insomuch as there was no web presence there was no central place or hub that the project could be accessed by the audience, ongoing communication therefore lacked and this had a negative result on the project’s overall propensity of participation and crowd-sourced content.
As well as what a strong web presence could do for the project, it would also be interesting to see how the project would change as per the medium. For example, our project relied on audio media in the form of recorded songs, but how might results and project design have changed if the project unfolded in, say, newsprint media, or film, or new media such as apps? It would be interesting to see how the contexts of the work would change if we were to work in a different medium. We were working in the realm of DJ media and asking the audience to participate by suggesting set-lists of songs, but what would happen if we were to work in, say, the realm of film media? Would we have to ask the audience to assert autonomy by writing a script? Would the audience have had to contribute cinematography? How would an audience assert autonomy if it were a different form of media? For example, if we had been working in the news-print world, would we have asked the audience to write entire news stories?
One difficulty the researcher-DJ experienced during the project was that, though we were always focused on and willing to play crowd-sourced content, not every crowd-sourced playlist was appropriate per the venue/platform. The creative control lost to the audience sometimes was troubling because the larger group did not always positively react to the chosen list of songs. This speaks to the differences in tastes among groups of individuals. Commitment to the crowd-sourced playlist took flexibility and versatility away from the producer-DJ, and although the rudiments of the content were sourced from the audience, when things went awry, it was not the audience or group where the buck stopped but, rather, solely on the researcher-DJ. For example, during one of the live performances, crowd-sourced songs were playing however the result was to the dismay of the venue owner, but it was not the larger audience of individuals who were reprimanded by rather the researcher-DJ solely. The candidate would contend that this speaks to the roles of leadership and direction of a producer. The producer is in a privileged position whereby their tastes and sensibilities are trusted. In the project’s commitment to audience autonomy and the participatory crowd-sourced content approach, the researcher-DJ relinquished some of this privilege when at times it might have been best to reserve the right to trust professional instinct and not send certain sounds out of the mixer. The point being made here is that although the crowd sourced the content, the individual producer bore all of any negative response. However, conversely, the researcher-DJ also received praise solely even though the product was a result of a group’s autonomy.
A related and similar complicating factor of the project was that the researcher-DJ was in a position whereby they had to answer to a higher chain of command. For example, venue owners opinions trumped the audiences, this speaks to the control ownership classes have under capitalist paradigms. And the same was true during the broadcast portions of the project; the radio show host, who’s show it was, ultimately had control and final say over the audience’s compiled content appropriateness. Luckily for us, the radio host we were working with was always more than willing to let whatever the audience compiled play out.
But even with all this in mind the candidate would argue that the project was indeed successful in applying Bey’s model of TAZ to media. Audiences, in the form of compiling the content of track lists, were able to assert a sense of autonomy and set the agenda in the media, if only for a finite amount of time. Nonetheless, the project was successful in creating a media-space whereby the individuals in the group could conceive of a radical or different form of media and cultural production, one that initiated from the bottom up where the audience were rendered active objects as opposed to passive media users.
What the MA candidate researcher did was engage his audience and have a member therein compile a list of rudimentary elements of production, that is a list of songs, which were then mixed per the researcher’s/candidate’s/DJ’s technical craft and abilities. Rather than the DJ/Producer undemocratically choosing the songs worthy of attention, the audience member chose the building blocks of the production. The audience member dictated what was important in the elements of the mix.
What arrived was a completely different sounding mix (thus constructed media social reality) that could not have been arrived at without exploiting the audience member’s tastes and sensibilities. The production that ensued was a completely different sound unable to be achieved at without the crowd-sourced elements. However the audience had to be engaged, instructed as to what the researcher/student/MA candidate was asking. This was done by approaching the audience member and requesting, and inasmuch, the paradigm of production was turned around; rather than taking requests, the DJ/MA candidate sent out a request. This is the converse of the usual pattern in DJ media.
The concept is indeed a play on the idea of requests, but rather than the audience member requesting a single song that may or may not get played, (if not, thereby leaving the audience out of the creative production process,) the responsibility of creative elements of the production was given over to the audience. Rather than a single tune, the audience had the responsibility to craft an entire set. Thereafter the professional technical skill sets of the candidate/DJ were used to create an aesthetic mix.
Insomuch that the audience member dictated the entire collection of material, the MA candidate contends that a more participatory and democratic form of production was achieved. The audience was fed back something that they helped produce rather than being spoon-fed and dictated something that was worthy of cultural production. The audience member thus had a say in controlling what elements of culture were needing of attention and salience in the media. In this way the audience was able to place a social relevance on what they wanted. Rather than a top down paradigm of production, a bottom-up paradigm was achieved.
The mix went to air on June 12, 2013 at 10 PM PST at 101.7 FM. The audience member compiled a list of a genre outside of the regular tastes of the producer’s. For a temporary amount of time (the mix was 35 minutes in length) the paradigm of production was switched around and a new or alternative media system was achieved. In this temporary zone of alternative media production a radical paradigm was able to be conceived whereby the agenda, in the form of song, was set by the audience rather than controlled by media gate keepers, that is by the DJ, the producers, the station managers, music programmers, etc. For a fleeting moment there existed a space in the mediascape where the audience received the message which they deemed to be important and worthy of exposure. For a temporary moment the audience set the message.
What emerged from TAZ Mix #1 of the 3 mix series was a social truth, in the form of music, that could not have been viewed without the lens of the audience. And we can transfer this idea to any other part of media content, for example, consider what the news and headlines in the printed media might read if the audience of readers, (as opposed to the body of advertisers,) were telling the news editors what was important and appropriate as news. Perhaps, rather than, say, financial news meant for the few, a shrinking middle class of readers could dictate the salience of different issues in the media. For example, I like the example of GE in the news; rather than the exploits of nuclear weaponry rarely appearing in the media, the audience would have the power to assert which information with regard to arms and the shipments thereof, etc., are important to reach the public for open debate. The MA candidate contends that if the audience possessed the power to set the agendas, the constructed social reality of the news would read much differently.
The constructed reality that emerged from the first of three TAZ DJ mixes, (whereby the audience chooses the playlist in it’s entirety) was one where salience and importance was placed on a different sound and genre. What was broadcast over terrestrial radio airwaves and streamed on iTunes was the temporary salience in the media of content, (the candidate contends here,) unable to be found elsewhere without the direction of an audience and it’s members. What emerged was a space where the audience directed the content. This is a radical way of practicing media. Instead of seeing the audience as passive objects, the production exploited their active capabilities in determining the message and content.