Tag: Red Bull

June Update 2015

So again its been a hectic few months, it seriously always seems that way but this time even more so than usual.

So lets start with first things first, Redbull Thre3style Korea… Once again Thre3style returns to Korea… and once again it is plagued by your typical bullshit Korean judging style, I’m not going to even pretend to pull punches on this one, while at the end of the day a good DJ won, the lead up to that and who ended up in the finals was really nothing short of atrocious and to me really kills any integrity the competition has in Korea. While I myself am not mad I didn’t get thru (thou I prob have a good case to be angry) out of the 4 DJs who made it thru only 1 def deserved to be there, while another one got thru due to their high vote count, so that is acceptable, however the other 2 DJs should never have made it thru. Ill post more about this later but yeah, thats where I stand on that. Anyways here is the video of my entry so enjoy it!

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/124940692″>DJ Blaze 2015 Thre3style Korea 5min entry</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/akadjblaze”>akadjblaze</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 So after that I did manage to get away on holiday to Hong Kong! Been on my to do list for awhile since being in Asia, mainly because I wanted to check out the infamous sneaker street… yeah its not as good as one would have you believe, in saying that it is still pretty good and managed to pick up some dope kicks!

Hong Kong Kicks

Back from Hong Kong, next up was WDJ Festival, again playing in the DJ Korea tent thou this year was much better than last year and more reminiscent of the first year I DJ’d there. The festival itself thou was rubbish, the DJs were average and I think I head all of them make mistakes, that along side the fact that it was relatively a small crowd, I can’t imagine it happening again next year. But at least I managed to have fun during my set and then MC’n for the DJ after me!

Among this madness was the bombshell that my job was being terminated and that I would need to find a new job… In your typical Korean bullshit way, I was told that there wasn’t enough student numbers (thou they new the numbers at the start of the semester) and that they were cancelling the program, much to everyones annoyance and of course to the detriment of the kids, but its ok, the only thing that matters is money… Such bullshit. Anyways I was luck enough that the company I am still with managed to find me another position, so at least I have a job…

The good news with the new job is that I get a month off in July/Aug… the bad news is I don’t have enough money to do a big trip so will have to try and take a short one week trip, looks like China!

I did almost get a new residency as well in a bar that I would have loved… but that lasted all of one weekend…

I managed to finally get my bow!!! And its a beast! Thou maybe I should have got one that is also sold in Korea… That could come back to bite me in the ass later on.

And finally looks like BeFM is doing the expat DJ comp again… Guess I will try for third time lucky!

 

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.

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– 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

DJ Blaze Set 4: Thre3style 2013 Qualifier

So following up on from 2012, thre3style was again back in Korea for 2013, however this year there was def a lack of quality DJs entering with a few from the previous year not coming back to compete, however there was also some really good DJs entering this year who had some awesome performances, prob better than the previous year so it kind of balanced out (except some DJs really looked out of place up there)

 DJ  Blaze

Anyways here is my set for the year, had a lot of mash ups and genre switches which ended up in a pretty varied set. The performance itself was mostly ok, except for dust screwing up my needle, twice! Ruined my intro, thou no one noticed lol and another time during my set it also almost screwed me up. I was pissed about my intro thou because I had to skip a bit of it and ended up using a safe version I had made (just in case something like this happened, yeah I think things thru that far) But apart from that my set came out nice and got some good reactions from the crowd this time round and just overall had a good time up there

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As for the result, well yet again didnt make it thru, and yet again there might have been some controversy on that matter, one of the comments I did manage to hear about my set was use of pre mixes, which yes some of it was pre mixed while other parts werent, there was a balance between the 2 since somethings live just dont go well and I hate having ‘dead’ space inbetween switching tracks etc which is unavoidable if your only using 2 decks without having some pre mixing going on to keep the flow going, but I had some premixes just the same as all the other DJs there (some had a lot of their sets pre mixed) so while that does make some sense, in the overall scheme of it compared to the other DJs, well yeah, possibly robbed… Also my heat was definately the hardest, I would say 6 out of us 8 should have made it thru and only 2 from the other heat were good enough to make it thru (the second heat was really very average) But again, its hard to know what the judges are thinking, its also hard to know if the foreigner card is in play or not, I would say it is likely it is but cant confirm either way, also I did hold back which maybe I shouldnt have done, it was only a heat so I did enough to make it to the finals (which obviously wasn’t enough) which if I had made it, would be a no holds barred set, but it was not to be.

Thre3style

DJ Blaze Set 1: Redbull Thre3style 2012 Qualifier Round, Club Eden

So I was looking back thru my DJ bio and promo stuff and thought I should re-share some of my older stuff as well as touch up and sort out some of my more recent stuff. So will try and post up a mix from either one of the comps I have been in here over the last few years or some of my other mixes over the next few weeks

 

And we will start with the first DJ comp I entered since coming to Korea, and of course that was Redbull Thre3style back in 2012. It came about at a good time for me, I had just finished my residency at the loft so had a few weeks to throw together and entry set and a few weeks after that to plan out and practice my performance set if I made it thru. But of course being an expat, I wasn’t even sure if I was allowed to enter, but after getting in contact with Redbull they were more than happy to allow me to enter and of course I ended up being one of the 16 qualifiers.

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As you might know, Thre3style is 15mins per DJ and you must use at least 3 different genres of music (thou often this is hardly the case) and is a crowd and skill based competition. In Korea the top 16 were divided up into 2 groups of 8 with the top 4 going thru to the final, and yes I was the only expat to enter and the only one to make it to the top 16 so I was in an interesting position.

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After arriving late and missing sound check on the night, I got to watch a couple of DJs before laying down my set, it went well enough, but honestly it was kinda funny watching the crowd’s reaction to the fact I wasn’t a Korean, I knew this would be the case thou so didn’t plan much crowd interaction or anything instead sticking to music selection, flow and skill. My set went well without a hitch so I was happy with that. To me this wasn’t about winning but about putting my name out there, and that’s exactly what happened, thou I didn’t qualify, there was a lot of people who came up to me afterwards who said they thought I should have got thru, so that was enough for me. During that time I met a lot of local Korean DJs and made some good friends and very important connections as well as showcasing myself as a DJ here.

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I have always been the kind of DJ who has let my playing speak for itself so having this competition to showcase that was a great step up since being here in Korea and allowed me to properly get into the DJ scene here and away from the expat DJ trap which is Itaewon bars and clubs.

I made it to UMF!

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So that happened, I got to play at UMF! Well technically speaking I did, in reality I was playing outside UMF next to the entry gate as people were walking in, so they would all walk past me as I was spinning from the Red Bull event jeep/truck, but hey, least I got to play, happy about that but of course it didn’t go completely smoothly, last min things never do…

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So, UMF, firstly lets talk about that, it is arguably the biggest EDM festival going around the world, and it is relatively consistent, however the line up and quality of most of the headliners… yeah on the main stage this year they were rubbish! Above and Beyond I left because I was so bored, and Steve Angelo was all over the dam place till he finally found some rhythm towards the end of his set, honestly the smaller stages and gate keeper DJs were a hell of a lot better from what I saw but I think by now most people are starting to realize this trend, big name DJs are shit, they are just producers who play their crap while it seems like its the tier of DJs underneath them that are the real crowd pleasers and the ones that really work on their craft

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So as you can see I am not a fan of UMF, the only reason I went was because I got to DJ there, have to give a shout out to Red Bull for hooking it up, being able to hang out and at least say I have been there is definitely something to go down on the winning at life list

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So, as for my set, well playing for a big ass line of people constantly moving past you is an interesting DJ dilemma, people aren’t staying in one place long enough for you to properly engage them but at the same time you are their first impression as they are coming thru the gate into the festival, so trying to not play the same music every 5 minutes yet keep the level at pretty much 100% isn’t the easiest thing. I ended up playing a typical club set but just mostly electro based and did manage to keep people entertained as they were coming thru with people cheering etc, dancing around, snapping photos etc but I think the festival staff in the area were more appreciative of the whole thing instead of hearing just the droning bass coming from the stadium. Friday night was definitely the busiest, people coming from work late to try and catch the last few acts kept the line pretty packed up till 9.30-10, sucks for those people because they missed the majority of the day and best acts. Sat started off good, I got to go around, watch a few acts and relax before jumping into my set, it started off really well… until the speakers blew, one was totally gone, the other I managed to keep using but with reduced sound it killed the impact I was having, which was annoying because I was just starting to get into my groove but ah well, shit happens.

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So, ill briefly go over what happened with the gear. Red Bull got the event truck delivered to them last week, so they had no time to actually go over it and check all the audio settings etc, the default setting I was using was messed up to say the least, everything was wrong and of course the speakers couldn’t handle it at all and nothing was being redlined either, the sub levels were all over the place and the echo feedback was a pain in the ass not to mention the turntables couldn’t be moved so I had to use them long ways instead of battle style which was annoying. No laptop stand and little room for Serato as well, who ever designed it obviously hadn’t thought it thru very well at all, the basics of what could have been an awesome set up are there but just stupid little things, they really should have consulted with a DJ…

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Well that pretty much sums it up, UMF in Seoul 2014… while people might be singing its praises if they were being honest it would be a different story and the headliners just weren’t that great, but personally half a mission accomplished and I got to play so I am happy with that, next time thou I definitely want a stage!!

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