Category Archives: 2012

NYE 2012

New Years Eve 2012 was spent at Peaches Bar in North West London. If you haven’t been to this bar then it offers a mix of music on the weekend and various social activities during the week. In addition, you can also enjoy the Indian food on offer.

I made my way up to North London around 3pm to Vishal’s. Vishal is DJ Dreypa, who I booked to perform with me. DJ MJ was DJn with us too. Dreypa has been now DJn for a long time and at heart is a turntablist like myself. It’s very freshing to see him in the studio scratching. So most of the afternoon was spend scratching!

We decided to get to Peaches for 8pm so we could get some food down us. The worst possible choice in my opinion is fast food, as more often then not DJs end up eating fast food after a gig, so double dose of chicken and chips was a real possibility.

Upon arrival, fortunately DJ MJ had already set-up the Technics turntables, as there is no way our performance is maximised using CDJs. He also installed the Pioneer DJM500 mixer. It is an industry standard mixer however to run Serato you must bring your ‘Serato Box’. So what are the differences? Well the Rane mixer allows for instant laptop contol from selecting tracks to track mark triggers. But I have always welcomed the challenges that come with DJn, I believe it will make you a better DJ if you are presented with the worst possible DJ set-ups, from jumping needles to ‘hill type’ cross fader curves preventing you from scratching easily! This is where you need to understand free hand scratching, besides the fader is a ‘stop start’ action.

We managed to set-up the Serato box and got the turntables running! If you understand the Serato ‘challenge’ of changing laptops between DJs then it’s worse with the box unless it’s powered…but there is a way – and probably for another post!

We started off by playing 70s Raregrooves, into the 90s and then right up to date, building up the tempo to midnight. Peaches was filling up fast and I was told they were sold out which was good news.

Dreypa managed to play an alternative mix of Ragga for just under an hour which worked extremely well. Eventually we were playing house which lead nicely to the midnight track I had chosen ‘The bongo song” – Safro Duo. I had timed this track perfectly as I was using the website ‘time.is’ and had track marked the record 1 minute from midnight. This is where Serato really helped, otherwise you would have to subtract the length of the track from the drop you wanted from midnight, maths is not for me Dreypa!

Safro Duo went down very well and the party continued. The crowd enjoyed the mix of music and we kept them on the floor until MJ took over at 2am.

DJ DreypaDJ DreypaDJ MJDJ MJDJ Redcap

MJ is a real old skool DJ, his experience can be clearly seen from his tight mixing ability and knowing the music inside out.
We stayed at Peaches until 3am and decided to get some food, which was chips! What we had for dinner! :)

Also posted in Gigs

Copthorne with Mystique

Mystique is an Events company I have been working with since I first got into DJn. Bhavesh, the founder and main man behind the successful company is a humble and very creative person. Probably one of the most creative people I know. I truly believe he has changed the Wedding Decor market significantly due to his individuality, passion and commitment to this industry. I think I will do a seperate blog on him soon! :)

In September I found myself booked to DJ for Bhav’ and what a wonderful event and venue I got to work at, the Copthorne in Sussex. The venue was decorated solely by Mystique.

The Mystique team have a whole host of ‘themes’ they can use to decorate the any given venue, however if you can’t find exactly what you need but can imagine it, I am confident Bhav’ will be able to build it ! :)

You can see some of their work below.

The picture below shows Mystique’s logo: 

The below gallery shows pictures of The Copthorne Hotel draped with star cloth and white draping hanging from the center of the ceiling.

White draping installationMystique DJ boothCopthorne main roommood lightingmood lightingDj booth side shotmood lightingmood lighting

Also posted in Gigs

Soho record shopping

After celebrating my birthday with my cousins on the Friday night, downing plenty of Sambuca, I woke up early on Saturday to a phone call from Ronak, also known as DJ AK. He suggested for me to meet him in London to go record shopping! Hung over and not hesitating as I have so much love for vinyl, I said yes and dragged my long time friend David with me.

Soho has a number of records shops, including the infamous BM Soho, Sisterray and the long standing Reckless records. There are still quite a few vinyl shops in Soho, I will list their websites at the bottom of the post. Over the years a number of stores have gone into ‘administration’, such as my favourite hiphop shop that used to reside in Lexington Street – Wyld Pitch Records. A lot of my hiphop is from this shop. RIP !

The photo below was taken in Reckless Records of my iPhone, I had no strength to bring the 60D into town. In the picture you can also see Miles Davis on the shelf which I only noticed from looking at the picture!

Vinyl has been on the decline in recent years, especially after around 2003 when CD burners became available at cheaper prices. So piracy was on the increase contributing to the reduction of genuine purchases of both CDs and vinyl. I have tried to explain to many people (not only DJs) the effective of you copying some-one else’s music for free. It’s simple, the artist will not get paid and eventually not release music as they need a return for the next release, we haven’t even considered them surviving off sales. Another point is also raised here, if you complain that ‘crap’ music is being released or even not enough music is being released, then consider the fact that a lot of artists are not receiving enough money off music sales in order to pursue a musical career.

Below is another picture off the iPhone. Not a good picture ! :) But who cares, we captured the moment.

Around the middle of the double o’s,  iTunes was launched and more people were downloading songs from the internet directly, at 0.79p a single compared to a CD single you can see the attraction, unless of course you prefer the physical media like some of us. There are advantages with this, such as your music now reaches a world wide audience and piracy is controlled to an extent.

I guess it’s personal choice whether you prefer the physical vinyl like myself or a virtual file. To be fair, the teenagers getting into DJn do not know what a vinyl is so in their favour we vinyl enthusiasts cannot expect them to buy vinyl, however we can influence them! I couldn’t imagine driving a car without a steering wheel….or flying planes on auto-pilot ! Well that actually happens.

After walking around Soho from Music Exchange to Reckless to BM Soho to Phonica we went to a great burger joint. Byronhamburgers! A must for the burger fans like myself.

 

Martial Arts Show 2012

The highlight for May was heading up to Birmingham for the annual Martial Arts Show held at the NEC.
Neil, had asked me to run a commentary over the Wing Chun demonstration our school ‘Central Wing Chun’ was performing. Neil Parris is a close friend of mine and teaches Wing Chun Kung Fu.

It was an early start for me, 8am, early if you had been DJn the night before and got in at 4am!

Neil picked me up and we headed to Birmingham with his students. The drive was 2.5hrs and weather was good.
Arriving at the show you will see plenty of different Martial Arts on offer.

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Also posted in Gigs

22nd Feb 2012

 

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Also posted in Australia, Flying

Singapore

On my return from Melbourne I had a two night stop over in Singapore. And once again it was mega warm!
I was staying at the Furama Hotel which is around 30minutes from Changi Airport.

After checking in and having dinner it was already 10pm. I asked the hotel staff whether it was safe to take a wonder somewhere, anywhere as I was keen to explore the city. They said nothing ever happens in Singapore as Singapore’s laws are so strict. The lady told me to stroll down towards some area full of restaurants and bars, so I did and came across this colourful bridge which connects you from one of the main roads to the small area full of shops and restaurants:

The next morning I was up early and got a cab somewhere near Sim Lim Square. This mini shopping mall (with seven floors) is re-knowned for the electronics it has to offer. On my list things to get for my Canon 60D, I wanted a few lenses and managed to purchase the ‘nifty’ fifty and a zoom lense for a great price.

Next stop was McDonalds for lunch ! Then a cab to the Marina Bay Sands shopping centre.

Here you will find various designer shops and a very nice parade where you can have drinks. I decided to have a pot of tea whilst waited for the rain to come down as it was thundering. Then again it was thundering all day and the rain refused to come down.

Across the road from the shopping centre were the famous Marina Bay towers. There is a cost to visit the top, but it’s so worth the fee as the views you get of the Singapore skyline are incredible.

This is view once at the top:

I managed to get several shots of the Singapore skyline. I found the location of these towers is ideal to capture many parts of Singapore from the beach to the working city to the residential areas, as seen below in the gallery.

The Bay areaIMG_2141.jpgIMG_2145.jpgSeaCity viewIMG_2159.jpgStadium

Flying to Bendigo

Continuing my hour building in Australia, I decided to fly to Bendigo Airport through controlled airspace to gain some experience of being told what to do. I took VH-TXD, which is a Piper Archer, slightly faster then the Warrior but not as quick as an Arrow. The Archer has very poor climb-out performance but is very efficient in the cruise.

It  was a sunny Friday and the overall weather was good for flying, however having light winds can reduce visibility greatly. Good visibility is in excess of 10Km. The weather in February in Australia usually boasts high pressure systems. It’s just Melbourne that can experience 4 seasons in a day, so it’s important to read the weather very carefully.

The picture below is somewhere northwest Melbourne. The small features such as the stadium are sometimes highlighted on a map and can help a great deal with navigation.

 

Bendigo is situated to the northwest of Melbourne in Victoria.

I have posted the picture below, of sweet chilli crisps, not because they are so tasty but because it demonstrates high pressure trying to escape at 7500ft.

Flying small planes can be tricky at times when your solo. Even though there was two of us on this flight I managed to loose maps at the back. This plane I would say is luxurious, offering leather seats for a training aircraft is not something you find that often. My seat even had a fury cover, very comfortable!

Below is a picture of a wind sock. It inflates into the direction of the wind and allows the pilot to determine which runway is the appropriate runway to land on. If the wind sock is flying into the south that would suggest the wind is blowing from the north and the preference would therefore be to land into the northerly runway. If there is one available! It may well become a crosswind landing! The sock on the ground looks very big, from the air it can look fairly small and you must know where on the aerodrome the sock is sitting. Of course you wouldn’t need to check all this if the airport had a tower to pass you relevant airport information.

Upon landing at Bendigo, as I have done during my initial training way back in 2008, there is nothing to do. Except get sun burnt. I’m sure the town offers something.

A picture of the tail of VH-TXD.

Inside TXD, which also has TCAS! I have never ever come across a trainer that incorporates a Traffic Collision Avoidance System, very cool and very useful around busy airspace.

Me on the starboard wing of TXD. 

 

Also posted in Australia, Flying