This months Hangover Sessions article is a reflection on the historical changes of the DJ´s selection process – guided by another one hour DJ mix with some of the latest electro bangers by Aka Tell.
Aka Tell´s Hangover Sessions is a series of monthly dj mixes. For one hour Aka spins the tracks that he loved most, that influenced him or about that he really had to say some words during the last few weeks. Every mix is accompanied by an article on discodemons.net in which he is disclosing thoughts, stories and anecdotes about that mix, the last month and DJing in general.
Aka Tell is a member of the electro house act A.G.Trio. Together with Andy Korg he heads the austrian electro house label Etage Noir Special. He has been active as a DJ for more than 10 years. Aka Tell lives in Vienna, Austria.
[find the whole article and the tracklist after the jump]
Some years ago I was a hunter of rare objects. These objects were called records. A considerable amount of my time was spent in investigating recordstore’s newslists, magazines and radio shows, searching for the next big tune, the rare record that I was able to play first. Once a week I queued up in front of the record store of my choice to get in there when they opened at noon on the day when the new vinyls got delivered. The DJs of my hometown met there – or at least the one´s who were able to do so in the middle of the day. Although the DJs played all different styles they were very much influenced by one person: the guy who did the orders at our shop. About once a month I drove to another town, to investigate which new records they got there. And also travelling to far cities was part of the process some time, just for records. Going, for example, to Berlin to shop at Hardwax (and to do some serious clubbing of course) was an integral part of my life. Other people went to Paris or London to get new clothes, I was shopping records abroad. A DJ was defined not by his skills but also by his collection. To play some tunes, that nobody heard before, was as important as it is today, but at that time it was mainly a logistical problem. When travelling as a DJ (and getting paid for it) became a part of my life, things got simpler. Going to foreign towns and sometimes countries became part of the game, rare promos found their way to me, and even in my hometown the latest records of my style were held back in the shop for me. It was kind of an upward spiral – more success gained better records. But all in all to make your way in the business was not just a question of talent in performing but also a question of talent as a hunter.
Requirements for being a good DJ have drastically changed in the last few years, at least in some parts. Of course, your musical talent and your talent to communicate with an audience still have to be the same. And if you are still playing with vinyls your abillities as a hunter are still required – you even have to be much better than back then.
But what I am talking about is, of course, the huge amount of digital music, that is released every month. I think I had to listen to about 50-100 new releases every week at the recordstore per genre. Nowadays I have more than 20 blogs in my rss feed which release about 50-70 posts a day. And I do check some additional blogs on an irregular basis. I follow new releases on Beatport (using some personal selectors, as it would not be possible to listen to all of them) and get up to 20 promo e-mails a day, which all get my attention. Sometimes I do check Soundcloud and of course I still do read magazines and listen to radio shows or DJ sets. To be honest: this is about the maximum I can handle. A lot of the big players out there have one or some people who do a pre-selection for them and handle their archive. I, for example, got in contact with the folks who do this job for Dada Life and Sharam recently, when I did promo work for my label.
So the key ability for todays DJ is to filter relevant music out of the huge amount that floods the channels every day. Being part of the biz since the old vinyl days I had to learn a completely different approach on this part of my work. A path I know that some of my colleagues chose not to follow. I do not wonder that some rather young people nowadays gain big success within short time, not only as producers but also as great DJs. They are what is called digital natives, and to filter out relevant information out of a big bulk of nonsense is part of their lives from the beginning. It is not impossible to do this for people of any age, not even that difficult, but you have to acknowledge the change.
About the music in this month´s issue: First of all, there is a new A.G.Trio single which will be released in early June. I took the aUtOdiDakT retouch for my dj-mix, but there are plenty of other excellent mixes, as well as, of course, the original version.
It has been quite a while ago since I played a T.Raumschmiere track the last time. He was one of my heros, years ago. I watched his live show in autumn, which is still great. His latest release includes a Dilemn remix which is quite a banger, and perfect for the Hangover Sessions.
Besides the new Djedjotronic track “Bugle”, which is a favorite of mine, there are a lot more great tracks in this mix, just give it a listen.
This month´s article is a closer look at one aspect of an article I wrote about the change from analogue to digital DJing for the catalogue – the “Backlab Zeitung” – for a program our artist collective Backlab is doing for this year’s Linzfest.
TRACKLIST HANGOVER SESSIONS #04
F.o.o.l. – Invasion (Figure Remix)
DivKid – Drop Kick (David Menezes Remix)
Neon Stereo – Surrender
T.Raumschmiere – Entertain Me (Dilemn Remix)
Rotze – Redux (The S Remix)
Bassjackers – Mush, Mush
Mightyfools – World Tour (TJR Remix)
The Subs & Les Petits Pilous – My Body´s Gonna Remember
Djedjotronic – Bugle
DJ Antention – Ivan (Belzebass Remix)
Mord Fustang – Lick The Rainbow
A.G.Trio – Everyone With Us (aUtOdiDakT Retouch)
Monk3ylogic – Bass Effex
DJ Tom – Don´t Stop 2011 (Access Denied Remix)
Keatch & Felix Cartal – Solar
Botnek – Dozer
Fast Foot – Race My Music (Electric Soulside Remix)