Tag: BeFM

Autumn is Here

Time for another update

It has been awhile since I have updated my page, had more than a few things going on recently, some good while some bad. I did say this would be a year to get some work done and while I have mostly managed to stay on track, something’s have had to take a backseat. Luckily the things that have taken a back seat aren’t as crucial to achieve my goals as I look towards the next few years, in saying that, they are still things that I need to get back into my life.

Chilling with the bro DJ Angelo after taking out the win

Continue reading “Autumn is Here”

Making a Winning DJ Set

The Process behind the scenes

Well I got it, finally closed out a second win in the BeFm Expat DJ Contest, that really is a mouthful. It was good to get the win but it was a long time coming and should really have been mine a lot early but it is what it is. And in the end I ended up getting quite a lot of prize money from the contest as well as good photos and video footage over the years so all in all, it was worth it along with the fact that it was always a good excuse to go to Busan.

With that in mind, I might as well take a closer look at my set and break it apart since not only did my set come out really well, it also worked really well and there are aspects of it that I will def use pretty often as I do go forward with my DJn (however much longer that will ultimately last however) This will also be a bit of a breakdown of how I like to structure my DJ sets and the thought process that goes behind it. Might prove useful to some people and interesting to know for others. Continue reading “Making a Winning DJ Set”

BeFm Part 2: 2014 Is this really a DJ competition?

Set List:

  1. David Guetta & Kaz James – Blast Off
  2. Skrillex & The Doors – Breaking a Sweat
  3. Steve Aoki Feat Rivers Cuomo – Earthquake People (remix)
  4. Zedd – Spectrum
  5. 2NE1 – Come Back Home
  6. Bottle Popping Transition Mix
  7. Calvin Haris Ft Tinie Tempah – Drinking from the bottle
  8. Linkin Park – What I’ve Done (Remix)
  9. Lil Jon – Turn Down For What (Transition Remix)
  10. CL – Solo

Before going into the competition as a whole, I’ll firstly go over my entry set. This was a fun little mix, my usual inclusion of rock based EDM remixes but this time adding in a couple of transitions to show a wider range of music variety. I especially like the Spectrum/Come Back Home mash up I ended up doing. I didn’t really showcase too many skills in this mix thou. I was more focused on just getting it out of the way so I could concentrate on other things. But overall it was a step up on my years previous mix and had some nice transitions and remixes working together. Continue reading “BeFm Part 2: 2014 Is this really a DJ competition?”

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…

Continue reading “BeFm Part 1: 2013 Blaze Entry”

2016 Review

The extended version

Seriously 2016 will go down in the history books as the year the world went from semi messed up to straight bat shit crazy and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it! Yes bring on those doom and gloom prophecies, that shit is fun to imagine and as long as I get my zombie apocalypse or alien invasion, I’ll be happy!

But on a more serious note personally 2016 for me was like any other year, a series of ups and downs, travel, DJn and just doing me. However even the good and bad extremes of this year were def more pronounced than previous years.

Continue reading “2016 Review”

Once again, Winning is Fun!

Gwangalli

So, that was a long weekend! As Im sitting on the train heading back up to Seoul after a week in Busan, it allows me a bit of time to reflect over the week that was. Firstly, I love Busan, I would love to live there if the Seoul DJ scene wasn’t so good. The weather while I was there was almost perfect, had plenty of time to relax, catch up with friends and oh yeah, compete! So in case you missed it, on Saturday was the 3rd BeFm DJ comp, after coming second the previous 2 years, this year I finally managed to get that elusive first place that I had narrowly missed out on the years before. Now while the victory did have a small hollow point for me, overall it still felt pretty good and a relief that I managed to clinch first this year. Going into the competition as a pretty strong favourite wasn’t exactly a fun feeling for me, I’ve always preferred the underdog status and have been pretty used to that in the years now since Ive been in Korea, so knowing coming into this comp that I should win was def a bit of added pressure that didn’t really allow me to relax as much as I normally would before such a comp.

BeFm Stage

Anyways this year was a good group of DJs, we mostly knew each other already so at least before the comp it was easy enough to hang out, joke with each other while hanging around on a hot ass day in Busan. The weather was seriously great thou esp. compared to last year! However we were still waiting and waiting for Pinnacle to show up, which he finally did, just as he was due on stage! Poor bastard, gets on stage and then has a huge equipment fail, yeah that really rounded off his night, so the order got bumped and he got relegated to performing last.

Gwangalli

So, quickly thru the DJs.

First up was ColdChillin, I remember his set from the first year where he managed to get 3rd place, this year again he came again with a nice set, struggled to get the crowd into it (an on-going theme all night) but still managed to set a nice medium ish bar.

Next was myself, after making a bit of a meal of my intro… (stupid CDJs, again, another on-going theme all night) I settled into my set well enough, I sold my soul and played Coco… which ended up being a total flop (fml so that pissed me off) but that was where my set abandoned being too technical and went straight to crowd service which worked exactly how I expected it to. With the exception of that stupid coco song, everything went exactly how I planned

akadjblaze BeFm

After me was the Chinese entrant, DJasce, again he played a nice set with some good tracks and good transitions, but once again struggled to get the crowd into it, for his first outing thou Im sure he will learn from it

Next was Idub, another Seoul DJ and also his first year in the comp, again had some good tracks and nice set, managed to get the crowd a bit at times but again struggled to really keep them but did enough with his set to come in 2nd place

Next another top DJ, in his second year competiting, Kiredmik was up and came with a pretty intense set, something like 28 tracks in 9mins, dude playing like the world was about to end! However that kind of play style was quickly lost on the crowd and the medley style of set fell a bit flat and just never gave himself a chance to impress on the crowd

DJ Rell back again was up and again had some nice tracks and had a set a bit more crowd orientated and managed to pick up a few cheers along the way but once again nothing sustained and failed to maintain it throughout but had a couple of good moments up there which was enough to get him 3rd

And finally Pinnacle got back up this time with little technical difficulties aside got to try and bust out his set. He started out with the Next Episode juggle routine made famous by Jazzy Jeff, while I applaud the effort, it is a difficult routine to pull off and he struggled to make it work leaving the crowd standing there just gawking. The rest of his set didn’t bode much better either and in the end you could tell he just wanted the hell out of there

And so that was it, I was only partly paying attention to everyones sets but the overall theme of the night was poor track selection and an inability to get in the crowds face and really control them from start to finish. Oh and shitty CDJs… seriously, one of these years can we get the proper and reliable equipment, just once?

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Anyways, after the winners announcement I was called to play a set on stage.. yeah all the preparation! But still I was in the ‘I don’t give a fuck’ stage of mind, just happy that I won so jumped on, played a heap of bangers, had more fun with the crowd, trolled them a little bit cause I now could! Got the other DJs up on stage with me, took a mean selfie that Rell missed out on and overall just rocked out, should prob have planned a set before hand but it didn’t matter in the end.

akadjblaze befm

After the comp we all went, had a mean feed, then basked in free drinks at a club down the road before heading to another club where a couple of us were playing. Overall it was a dam good night!

BeFm Stage

So that is pretty much it, a great week away of chilling and DJn by the beach, catching up with friends, eating some good food and enjoying life! Here is a copy of my final set, its a rough version I just used so I could practice it in my head.

Also waiting on a copy of my interview with Chad on Nightrider on Busan eFM on Monday night. It was nice to finally get in the studio with him and hang out. As for next year, will I enter again… Well we shall see, I was thinking after this year I would like to make way for some other DJs to enter and try their luck but at the same time, the prize money and the chance to come back to Busan again is a pretty good incentive!

3rd time lucky?

Yup, so once again I decided to enter BeFm again (Busan FM expat DJ competition) This year it’s on a Saturday night so should be more fun than last years Sunday night (thou it was still stupidly busy) Still waiting on the line-up but will add the poster later on. I will be heading down to Busan a few days before to hang out and staying around for a few days later. Should be a blast! Anyways here is my entry set (my final set will be nothing like this, once again it will be a festival style set)

2014 Review

So, since the FB year in Review this time round completely sucked balls and since I have my own webpage, I feel it’s only natural that I post up my review here 🙂

It’s 2015 already, that came by quickly… In this day and age time really does seem to just fly by, with so much going on in our lives it makes sense So before getting into this year properly, time to reflect on 2014 which was another good year for me and have managed to solidify myself in the DJ scene more and towards the end of the year started working on connections to further myself in 2015. Its all about that ground work! Had plenty of little achievements in 2014 but the main highlights for me were

– 2nd Place BeFM (again)

DJ Blaze, BeFM 2013, Busan

– DJn for Redbull at UMF

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– Looking after my health, dropping 10kg and getting my fitness buzz back on

New Bike

13 weeks

High 1

– Globe Trotting (Bali, Tokyo, Taipei, Shanghai, Boracay)

Travel Time

Bali

Boracay

Kuta Beach

Pandas

Shanghai

Sunset

Taipei

Tokyo Shopping

– Meeting Jazzy Jeff!

Jazzy Jeff

– Starting a sport I have always wanted to do (Archery, new bow on its way!)

Archery

– Some crazy parties and nights out (stock standard as a DJ)

Bar Fly

– Learning how to record and produce as well as hooking up with some new MC’s

JC & Blaze

– A pretty good year playing touch

 Is Stylez

Tocuh

So those are my highlights for the year, not bad but still need to keep building on them, had a couple of failed and missed opportunities last year but that’s just the way it goes. The failed ones are ones I chose to pull out of, the missed ones, well will be looking at changing those this year, so without further ado, my goals for 2015, these are the end goals, things I hope to achieve by the end of the year, there will be plenty of short term goals in-between, but these are what I ultimately want to achieve this year

– Travel to at least 2 countries this year (possibly more, depends if I can do a tour again this year)

– DJ at UMF and WDF again

– DJ on a big stage at a festival this year

– DJ a main set at one of the big clubs

– Gain a new residency

– Drop to 80-82kg

– Release a mixtape (Major Flavours style) using local artists

– Release a track of my own creation

– Perform a DJ/MC set of my own design (details will come later)

– Learn/Try a new sport (there is a couple I want to try again or pick up properly)

At the end of 2015, I will endeavor to revisit this list and see how much of it I can tick off! I might also add a few more goals to this list, but as of now, this is where my sights are set! Let’s go!

Review: June, July & August

Ok so it has been a busy last few months, 3 trips overseas, various gigs as well as my usual ones so here is a quick recap of what I have been doing these last few months

June

12 weeks, Jager, DJ Blaze

Well June was a interesting month, I got to do some pretty cool things and also finished my 12 week challenge, 10kg lighter and back up to maybe 75% on the touch field

One Piece, DJ Blaze, Luffy, Law

– Spent my birthday and long weekend running around Japan buying as much stuff as I could! Harajuku for clothes and Akihabara for my anime obsession

DJ Blaze, Redbull, UMF Korea DJ Blaze, Redbull, UMF Korea

– Next weekend was UMF which I got to jam out in the redbull party jeep, pretty cool that I got to go to UMF, wasn’t the greatest of festivals but it is def one of the biggest in Korea and around the world… just a shame the line up was mud

DJ Blaze, Venue, Old Skool Hip Hop

– Spun at venue, nothing but old skool and a bit of a MJ tribute. Also it was a great crowd for early on so made the night even better

Well that was June, short but eventful.

July

July proved to be less busy, was back at venue again but the night ended up being a dud unfortunately. The main thing for July was taking on a new residence at King Club, however that ended up being short lived. Scroll to the bottom for that story…

DJ Blaze, DJ Comp, Busan

– I spent most of the time working on my BeFM set.

101, Taipei, DJ Blaze Kicks, DJ Blaze, Taipei

– I did take a trip to Taipei which was a lot of fun

DJ Blaze, JC, DJ and MC

– Met with Blossom Day which was a kick start to working with JC

DJ Blaze, Venue, TBT

– TBT at Venue with Pinnacle and Rich Ben, pitty it was a dud of a night

And that was July

August was a good month

DJ Blaze, BeFM 2013, Busan

– 2nd Place at BeFM with a trip down to Busan, rocking it out on Gwangali

Blaze, WDJ Festival, JC, DJ Korea

– Went to WDJ Festival with DJ Korea, jamming in the tent again, but to less fanfare than last year

Bar Fly Crew

– Started to do some proper work with JC, exciting times ahead working with her, but did have a fun night out at Bar Fly

DJ Blaze, Logic Pro

– Started on some other projects including learning to produce music

And some other random things I got up to in August…

Marine Ford

Went to the One Piece expo in Seoul, it was cool, mostly based around the Marine Ford Arc which was of course total epicness! (Full review in another post)

Baseball In Korea

Went to my first Baseball game in Korea

And that was August, simple but fun, Sept is halfway done but it is also turning out to be another great month, it’s already coming into Autumn and the end of the year is rapidly approaching… again…

DJ Blaze, Hi-C, King Club

So here goes with the King Club story

My hours at bar fly changed to the late shift, so it opened up a time for me to play somewhere else, I was going to look at a second residency after summer since I am usually busy during summer but King Club offered so I thought why not, they are under new ownership and have a new direction that wanted to go in so at first I was excited about working there, because honestly I never liked the place at all or the people that use to frequent it but the hope that it would change and the possibility of the place had me in… But as I began working there it was quickly apparent that any change was going to be slow if at all. The American soldiers still frequented the place, and they bring their own brand of bullshit with them (for the 4 weeks I was there, there was at least 1 fight each weekend…) as well as wanting to hear all the new shit that you can’t dance too. The music they (the boss etc) wanted me to play wasn’t the kind of music the crowd they want to attract want to hear (I even had the bouncer? stop me at the door and start going on about some shit with the music, I just gave him the yeah whatever, like I’m going to listen to you look and walked on by, I listen to the crowd and the boss, not you) and it was just becoming apparent that the direction they wanted to go in was pretty blurry. Also at Bar Fly, the boss asked me to switch back to my old time, so since they come first, had to talk to king club and see if could switch up the schedule, the problem is all of the DJs there have a second residency that is more important to them than king club so none of them can change, which was fine with me, I was the late comer to the party and also working there was really starting to become an annoyance rather than fun, not to say I didn’t have some fun there thou! The place has a lot of potential, always has, and has some good people working there but as is always the way, direction needs to be decisive, not blurry… and changing styles up between the military and Korean/expat scene… seriously there is a reason why I hate Itaewon and even more so hate those young American soldiers and all their bullshit. I avoid the place like the plague

BeFM Expat DJ Comp 2014

Well that hapened! And now that I am over it, I can start to get to work on my next projects but I guess I should do a recap of the event first, this is trying to run it off while its still kinda in my head, but I am sleep deprived… so bear with me… hope I didn’t forget too much…

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Well I arrived in Busan on Sat afternoon, and the weather, straight tropical storm blowing thru, rubbish!! Had a lot of the DJs worried abut the next day since obviously DJ equipment and rain don’t play well together. Anyways Sunday the weather somehow magically decided to hold off and play ball so we were treated to a night rain free! Also note, the photos I borrowed from someone, Im sure better ones will appear soon

Sound check was a crack up, all the other DJs are fun loving easy going guys so we enjoyed joking around and trying to keep our energy levels up as most of us had travelled and were runnning of little to no sleep which is pretty standard for the hard working DJ. After sound check we all parted ways for awhile before coming back together before the start of the evenings prcedings which saw Hanmin kick off the night with Krispy Crunch banging out a fusion of EDM and Hip Hop and finishing off with Hanmins smash hit Bsa Sae. Now with that out of the way, it was time for the 7 DJs to hit the stage and see who will come out on top.

First up was Paul Antoni, I have met him a couple of times and he is a nice dude, has some good tracks that he has produced, I have never heard him play before thou but I know he is a trance based DJ so was interested to see how he would handle a competition like this. He started off with a nice intro then proceded into his set which was nice, but as expected he struggled to really engage the crowd with his style. I did love his end throwback track thou

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Next on the decks was last years winner DJ Ferry, a very good producer who has done a lot of dope K pop edm remixes but not what I would call a DJ (he reminds a lot of the top tier DJs, he is like a producer who plays his own music) anyways he started off with a mash up and then proceded into his set playing a lot of his own remixes but his set felt pre recorded, he did however dominate the crowd

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Third on the decks having to follow up a good act was DJ Sir, I saw his entry video which was… ok… but he did do a nice little tone play at the end which I liked. Unfortunately he didnt drop any during his set, he tried to get the crowd on his side but came up a little short, painfully obvious when he transitioned into ‘this is how we do it’ he had obviosuly planned a bit of call and response but Koreans just dont know that song… which is a shame cause I love it. He hit the mark a couple of times with a few tracks but just couldnt keep it the whole way thru

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4th up was Ecky Thump!, coming from a land down under, otherwise known as the west Island of New Zealand haha! He went into his routine without too much fanfare and proceded to do a nice solid mix of newer tracks, spending most of his set keeping his mixing tight with the occsiaonal crowd shout out, but he was keeping busy most of the time, since I was up next I didnt pay huge attention to details of his set but it sounded solid, not hugely crowd pleasing thou, propbably going over their heads with the music selection a litte but I enjoyed it

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5th up was me… So kinda hard to talk about my set from an outside perspective but here is my take. Managed to start off ok then quickly progressed into some crowd bangers to get them going, then dropped it down and actually rapped on stage with the mic to Jay Z PSA, then it was just a mix of crowd calling with popular tracks, a couple of scratch breaks while jumping inbetween mixing and the mic was keeping me really busy, scratching wasnt as tight as I would have liked it and almost screwed up a mix but kept it inline, the 2pm and DJ Doc tracks were crowd killers, all I could see was people waving their hands, and then crooked at the end I had everyone screaming. I had a lot of fun on stage and managed to shake my normal competition seriousness away towards the end and just had fun with it like a normal set, so yeah, shit was mean as! Thou thanks Chad for the awkward question hahaha but all good, that just cracked me up!

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6th on the deck having to follow up me was one of the DJs who I was keeping an eye out for because he has skills similar to me and also a mate of mine, Kiredmik, unfortunately he got off to a bad start not realising one of his channels was on thru mode, but he recovered well and got stuck into his set. He went down the play as many bangers as I can in 9mins route, which in theory wasnt a bad option, but track selection and lack of time to work the crowd or to let some tracks develop hurt his set and didnt really get a chance to show off any of his skills

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Finally was DJ Rell, last is often the best time to jump on, if your set is right for it, Rell like a few others were at the disadvantage of not really knowing what to expect, and while being a good DJ in his own right, competition DJn and festival DJn is a lot different to normal club DJn, while he got up there and did his thing, he def fell into his comfort zone I think by playing a club style set, he was def enjoying himself up there and played some cool jams but not the kind to get the crowd really going

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And that was that, San E graced the stage with DJ Pandol to a very enthusiastic crowd, and they were a great crowd, they were there wanting to be entertained and they showed the DJs a lot of love, but they did have to be directed and lead most of the time which made it hard on a few of the DJs. As I said before, competition DJn is very different from club DJn, the calibre of expat DJs in Korea is very broad, there are a lot who claim to be DJs but are really just music players and then there are some who are the genuine article, then there is the level where everyone else is floating around, not ready for the big leagues but good enough to be out there in the scene. The other problem is Korean DJs are pretty good, not quite world class good, but the top DJs here are a big jump apart from most expats. Thre3style is an example, out of the DJs who entered in BeFM the last 2 years, I am the only one to have entered and done well, 1 other could have made it and 1 other might have made it depending how many of the good korean DJs decided to enter (there is only a handful of expat DJs in Korea who I think could legitimately enter and compete but if every good DJ in Korea entered, I would say only 1 or 2 might have a chance). So, basically what I am saying is while its great that there is a forum for expat DJs to shine, the calibre of the DJs is lacking (for this type of DJn) which is not surprising when you really think about it however I digress… (and this isnt a dig at expat DJs, just trying to point out some of the reality, most of us are over here teaching so its not like we are all DJn full time etc there are obvious issues we face, not to say Koreans dont have their own issues, it just is what it is)

So in the end, the results looked like this

3rd Place – Ecy Thump

2nd Place – DJ Blaze

1st Place – DJ Ferry

The competition overall was really well run, the hosts were great (except Chad, he sucks lol love you bro) and the crowd and venue were simply awesome… however, the result… while I should be happy with second, Im really not, nothing against Ferry who came first, he did his thing, so props to him and to all the others as well. My anger and frustration goes towards the result which means the poor judges, both friends of mine too, Im confused how a set like his won compared to my set which while showman ship was pretty much similar, I showed more variation in skill and technique. Thou my guess is he has the producer card, the fact that a lot of his tracks were his… but then that begs the question, is this a DJ competition? Do you need to actually show some DJ skills for a DJ competition or not (I had this same problem with last years result as well) Now without talking to the judges and getting reasons behind their decisions all I can do is speculate, which in reality doesnt help anyone and just makes me out to be a sore loser, Im an annoyed loser, ill admit that, Im competitive so of course I want to win, but I dont hold anything against the winner or the judges but this is an issue that I think needs highlighted, at what point does producer credits and showman ship outshine skill and technique. This question however as we all know can be directed at the world of DJn in general… which is sad to say but true. The other problem with a DJ competition is the winner is determined by opinion, its not like a race where there is a clear winner, each person has their own opinion and it may differ to others, its human nature and cant be avoided, but it makes the judges job a lot harder, as I said they are both friends and I have a lot of respect for them, so Im not having a go at them, but would love to sit down with them at some stage and understand how they saw things. But at the end of the day the result is in and there is nothing that can be done about it, just hope at some stage I can get to understand it. (and its not easy being a judge!)

Here is my set, its not what I did on the night but close to it, this was one of my practices that I decided to record

But hey, I did have a lot of fun, met some awesome people and got to rock the shit out of a beach full of party people and walked away 800$ in hand, not a bad days work really 🙂

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