BeFm Part 1: 2013 Blaze Entry

Track Listing

  1. Guns N’ Roses – Welcome to the Jungle (DLG Bootleg)
  2. 2NE1 – I am the best
  3. Floorfilla – Anthem Remix
  4. Tonic Vs Knifeparty – Bitch Please Vs Internet Friends (BL3ND Mashup)
  5. Bingo Players – Cry (Kids at the Bar Bootleg)
  6. Carl Tricks – Mad Dash (Bingo Players edit)
  7. D-Jastic – Up to no good
  8. MFBTY – Sweet Dream

So I am going to break this into a 5 part series talking about the BeFm comp. Welcome to the first installment going all the way back to 2013…

Reflecting on the past is always a good thing especially if you can spot out your mistakes and learn from them. Also it is good to go back and catalog your previous work as a DJ to either share or use for ideas etc. With this in mind, recently I have been going over a lot of my older stuff and sorting it out. In doing that, it seems like it is time to revisit the BeFm competition after what went on last year and this years event as well.

So first off, looking back and listening to my entry mix and wow, it has been awhile. It is interesting to look back and see how my music style and song selections have changed over the years. Also how I have evolved my sets over the space of the competition as well. My set definitely reflects my club playlists of the time which saw me playing at Bar Fly every weekend. Also coming off the back of Redbull 3style I was ready for a change up and I was looking at doing demo sets at the time with Serato and also using Touch OSC with the iPad. Being an EDM based competition (we were told later that any music was ok… yes I will touch more on that in a later part) this is how my set ended up turning out and overall it wasn’t bad.

My set aside, I need to reflect on the competition and how it started out. We had no idea what to expect going into this, how it would really be judged and how the crowd would react on the beach or if there even would be a crowd. Looking back paints quite the interesting story after recent happenings in the competitions lifespan. While on the surface, the competition looked great with a big crowd turning out and the DJs putting on a show. But behind the scenes, well, things aren’t always so bright.

The competition was meant to be a bridge to help expat DJs to network more with other DJs and open up opportunities for expat DJs within the Korean scene. However  little to no work at all was put into giving the DJs any chance of networking outside of the immediate competition. What was a good idea, was undone by poor planning and not really thinking things through. The fact that they changed the rules multiple times spoke to this.

The only opportunity provided was the winner getting to play a set at one of the big EDM clubs in Busan. At the time I thought nothing on it but looking back, the fact that this spot was up for grabs I know had a big influence on the judges decision since one of the judges was promoting for the club at the time and that there was some politics happening in the back ground there. Funny the things that come to mind later on which paint a clearer picture of things in the past.

So here is what I wrote about the show after it finished (unfortunately I didn’t write an article on it, lucky the following years I did) Part 2 will be coming soon…

So, now thats over, guess I should give a quick run down on the BeFM dj comp

So it was an expat only DJ comp, 7 djs, 7-10mins, must play at least 1 k-pop song and the genre was meant to be electro (however apparently they changed it last min to be open genre… fail lol) DJs would be judged on song selection, flow, technical skill and crowd response (which I think had the biggest weighting) Equipment was CDJ’s and meant to be a pioneer 2000 on one set up and a 800 on the other set up, ended up being a 700 and a 800

So first up, shout out to all the DJs who entered, its not always easy for people to get up on stage like that or to put themselves out there, while personally Im use to it, I could def see some of the other DJs were def nervous so props to them!

So my set, while my intro was kinda cool, I had a feeling no one would get it, and yeah fail haha! but the rest of my set was a mix of up beat electro remixes with some blends, juggles, scratch and just my usually fast paced mixing with a couple of build ups for good measure, basically a technical set with the kind of flow most people know me for, however at the last minute I did change up my ending song since 2 of the DJs before me used it, I already had a back up song since I was thinking of using it anyways and it ended up working just the way I thought it would (pure crowd rocker) however it wasnt really what I was going for with my set, I was more focusing on mixing style rather than just pleasing the crowd (which in hindsight cost me first place however I wanted to stay true to my style and just do me) My set went thru mostly ok, a couple of small errors but nothing major (least I think, wait till i listen to it again and see lol), ended up not using the effects as much as I was planning because spent most of my time on the stage trying to get the crowd involved (more on this in a min) but all in all I was happy ish with it, was annoying it was so short thou, was a huge crowd and didnt really get a chance to enjoy it because it was so short and my set was so fast paced and hectic

So that brings me to the other DJs, listening to their sets I do have to say they all did ok, no one embarrassed themselves or anything, however to be honest the level was really quite standard, only a couple had put together well constructed sets (or at least attempted to) but mostly it was just basic mixing and a few people trying to hype the crowd with the mic (which pretty much explains the winner, his set was solid but nothing special however his track selection was perfect for that crowd and with the added bonus of jumping up and down at the front of the stage was easy to get them going) The crowd only really got enthusiastic when someone was jumping around or using the mic, which for a festival or stage yeah that is to be expected, however for a dj comp… well yeah, the djn side takes a big backseat to the entertaining side which for DJs is quite the dilemma (I know other DJs feel this frustration as well, talent and technical skill arent as appreciated as much as someone who can just ‘entertain’)

I guess to put it into perspective, the night before I was at the thre3style champions tour, now Four Colour Zach was on the decks and he was a monster, killing it up there with his mixes and technical ability, now the VIP section and areas above the main floor must have been where all the DJ’s and music lovers were because they were all losing their minds watching him and appreciating and loving every second of it however the people on the main dance floor where looking at him and going ‘huh?’

I know there is a fine line between entertaining and technical skill and not over doing one or the other, finding the balance between the two is the key to be successful in the mainstream, however it feels like in the Korean market it is lopsided to towards the entertainment side… then again maybe its just Busan lol

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