The LGBT roots of dance; Bloc update and U2 Charity single

U2Resident Advisor, my favourite clubbing website re-launched last week, and it’s headline article was An alternate history of sexuality in club culture. It’s a long piece, but well worth the read. It retells the history of dance music as we would know it, highlighting the role LGBT people have had in the development of the music and scene and how, in the US EDM scene (but not only there) as in the wider world in places like Russia and India, we appear to be going backwards in breaking down the barriers between people of difference sexuality. Highly recommended!

Anybody who is still interested, Parker Andrews issued an update on the administration of Base Logic Productions, those responsible for the cancelled Bloc festival last year. That’s here. Happy hunting.

Oh it’s all very serious this week! U2 have done a deal with Bank of America that for 24 hours after their new single is played at the Superbowl, it will be available as a free download and for every download, the Bank will donate $1 to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Now it’s easy to be cynical about U2 (net worth $838m as of April 2012) giving away a song, but let’s not look at this in isolation. (RED), the charity founded by U2 has so far raised more than $240m and so I say download that single! You don’t even have to listen to it.

Finally, it seems I may be able to get a four deck controller, with RGB pads for even cheaper than the Reloop Terminal Mix 8 I mentioned last week. Gemini announced at NAMM the Slate 4 DJ Controller. It’s smaller than the Reloop (and much smaller than the Pioneer alternatives) and only 25mm thick. Function-wise, as put it “near identical words for each controller”. No price as yet but it’s bound to be dead cheap. The only thing is- do I want to buy Gemini? That’s really admitting that I’m a bedroom DJ now, isn’t it?

So the world is still interested in physical controllers. I can see why. I have played long sets on Traktor DJ using just my iPad and had an absolute ball, but it was a bit hit-and-miss and I had to lean heavily on old tunes I know well. The reason for this is that,  like most digital DJs, I carry too many tunes with me to a party and keep track of what they all are with comments in the metadata of each tune, the very least of which is the key. I play a lot of slow-burn tracks and so really need something to trigger my memory beyond the name of the track and artist. Many like me make notes in the comments like “builder” or “wubwubwub” or maybe the words of the vocal sample. None of these things are accessible in any all-in-one solutions as yet and it’s ironic that the people who need the most help to remember, the amateurs who will be DJing less often are the ones least likely to be using a laptop where you can see all this information. The professionals, on the other hand, know their tunes inside out because they play every day so don’t need crib sheets but they aren’t about to start relying on iPads any time soon.

You’re saying I need to practice more? I need to practice more.

Read more:;;;

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Bleeps and basslines please!
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