This week saw the launch of my latest and most challenging performance video yet, showcasing the Reloop Jockey 3 midi mixer – used in combination with Traktor Scratch Pro 2. Believe me, the past 2 months have been the most mentally and physically draining of my life (juggling between composing, producing, practicing, filming, editing, designing, launching my website, setting up my merchandise, not to mention staying on top of gigs and music!), but I’m happy to say that I survived and the finished showcase video has left me feeling reasonably proud (and extremely relieved!). It’s always a great feeling to finally step away from a project you’ve been obsessing over for weeks, and then share it with others. (Big up to Studio JK:AK for the awesome Spielberg-esque production work and for putting up with my demanding editing regime!)
8 weeks ago, I had no idea where to start. Believe it or not, creating routines is not something that comes very easily or naturally to me at all. It’s actually an exhausting process that calls upon every ounce of my thought, creativity, and commitment. I never like to cover the same ground twice so whenever I get asked to create a new one, my heart always sinks a little at the thought of the workload ahead! I nearly declined Reloop’s offer this time when a brand new Jockey 3 arrived in the post for me a few days before the BPM show in October. Being a turntable -based DJ for over 10 years, midi controllers don’t immediately appeal to me and I’d already stepped out of my comfort zone in a big way for their last showcase video demonstrating the Reloop Contour. It was this routine in fact that made me learn more about Traktor and to discover controllerism for the first time. (By the way – I had nothing to do with the production or editing of this video :/).
Although I didn’t quite have a routine ready for my exhibition at BPM this year, the 3 days I spent tinkering with the Jockey 3 sparked some fresh ideas and I accepted the challenge as another opportunity to grow new skills. Thankfully, Reloop understand that turntables will always be my main instrument and I was still able to perform the way I wanted to, despite the Jockey 3 being the star of the show.
The new features of Traktor 2 opens up a world of possibilities. Being someone who thinks in a “vinyl on a turntable” kind of way, this was seriously overwhelming so I spent quite a few days away from the equipment first of all to get into a “controllerism” mindset by planning the composition parts just in my head! As I’m not the kind of person to take the easy route, I wanted to find a way of using all of these new-found tools alongside the turntables to build and perform a live track, layer by layer, from scratch. The greatest challenge was to maintain a clean sound and musical harmony despite there being so many elements in the track, and of course, I strived to make the turntables an integral part of the routine, for my own satisfaction. Its also been a goal of mine for years to incorporate beatboxing seamlessly and cohesively into a turntablism routine so when I discovered the new loop recorder function in Traktor 2, I knew the time had finally come!
Out of necessity, the finished product certainly did push my craft into new directions – maybe areas I wouldn’t necessarily have explored otherwise or may explore much further in future, but I hope you can all still appreciate it as being a “DJ Angelo” routine – perhaps revealing the darker side of my persona? 😀 Don’t worry…..I won’t be turning my back on turntablism any time soon… 😉
Thank you all for your continued support.
Peace and progress…