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Follow me on social media

Facebook is my main news hub where I share upcoming releases, gigs, photos, videos, and blogs. Typically, I post 3–5 times a week.

Telegram and Twitter duplicate what I post on Facebook, with occasional extra content.

On Vkontakte, I write in the Russian language for my fans out of from Russia and CIS.

I also upload vlogs and gigs videos on YouTube and share travel photos, selfies, and studio routine on Instagram.

The Guest Mix @ Singularity Show

I promised there would be a lot of music from me this month, so there you have it.

I recorded a guest mix for Singularity radio show, hosted by a DJ and promoter from Albania — Liku.

There is no dark techno sound that I’m pretty much used to, but instead – rainbow, butterflies lots of melodies, unhurried progression and, suddenly, even a bit of psytrance at the end. Not quite a typical mix from me, but I hope you’ll enjoy it nevertheless.

00:00 Celene, Paul Hamilton — Lost Cultures (Original Mix) Freegrant Music
05:24 Ziger — Lunar Taste (Original) Eat My Hat Music
08:45 ID — ID TBA
14:27 Don Ruijgrok — Ampere (Original Mix) Respekt Recordings
18:01 Gardenstate — Surreal (Bart Skils Extended Mix) Anjunabeats
× Nox Vahn, Marsh — Come Together (Original Mix) Anjunadeep
22:36 Rex Mundi — Echo (Wellenrausch Deep Matter Mix) Afterglow Records
25:53 Ilija Djokovic — Syndrome (Original Mix) Phobiq
× Pleasurekraft — Gospel Of Doubt (Spektre Remix) Kraftek
29:55 ID — ID TBA
34:10 ID — ID TBA
38:43 Skaivox — Spica (Original Mix) JOOF Recordings
40:42 Cosmithex — Nebulous (Original Mix) Forescape Digital
45:09 Duotekk — Zlow (Original Mix) TIP Records
51:24 Sonic Entity — Trust the Process (Original Mix) TesseracTstudio
55:17 Lyktum — Solar Awakening (Original Mix) Iono Music

DJs: hire photographers for your gigs

A few thoughts on the pictures from DJs’ gigs and advice based on my own failure

First of all, the most obvious: photos are a good thing. They’re personal memories that feel good to revisit and share with others. Who doesn’t love pictures!

Now the slightly less obvious: Pictures of DJs’ gigs are your work assets. If a DJ has good pictures from his gigs, it’s easier for promoters to work with him: to run an advertising campaign for the upcoming event, to sell tickets. Also, photos from performances help to remove fears of potential promoters: when you see a DJ behind the club gear in front of live people, you know that at least he has such experience, which means less chance that he will screw up (remember that decent DJs are pretty rare). And, of course, photos are a great content for visual communication for yours blogs and social media.

Read what about social media John Fleming and Ace Ventura

Finally, something that would seem unobvious or even wrong to many at first glance: making sure that a DJ gets photos of the gigs is the DJ’s own job. I’m not talking about how to get those gigs (that’s a big separate topic), but about the photos from them.

It’s the DJ’s job to get pictures of his gigs

When I was young and inexperienced, I used to think something like this: “Since the organizer is doing the event, he most likely hires a photographer. And since there’s going to be a photographer at the event, that means I, as the DJ, will have some great shots from there, especially when I’m an international artist in the lineup. Right?”.

With these thoughts in mind, I flew to my first international gigs in Switzerland in 2014, then to Hungary in 2015, then to Switzerland again in 2017, and soon to Greece. Events in different countries with big lineups of international artists; big clubs and festivals. Guess how many pictures of me are from there? The answer is: zero. None. At least I’ve kept the posters, or else it was like there were none. Wonder how that’s possible?

See all my posts about the shows: posters, photos, mixes and other snippets from the tour

Well, the thing is, when organizers hire photographers, they do this for a very different reason. For the organizer, the main goal of the photos is to make people want to come to their next events. To do that, they usually try to show a good mood, people, vibe, location, deco, and all that that typically catch people’s eyes. And that’s not necessarily DJs at all.

For example, this is what one of such shots can look like:

Shankra Festival, Lostallo, Switzerland, 2017. The photo is cool, but not about me

I ended up having great gigs, but there’s not a single shot of me from there to use as my asset. Don’t be like me.

After realizing it was a complete failure, I’ve since made it a rule to hire photographers myself — not for the entire events, but specifically for my sets.

When you hire a photographer, you can explain to him what angles to shoot and from what not to; he certainly will not be late for your set; you probably won’t have to wait for the photos for weeks; the files will be in high resolution and thus they can be used even for posters, or anywhere. With this approach, I now have several hundred good pictures that I use for promotional needs, social media, podcast covers, and other uses.

I add the best shots in high resolution to a special page for promoters and press

Of course, I’m not the first to think of this. I remember in 2018 noticing that Boris Brejcha is touring the world, yet almost all the photos on his Instagram are signed by only a few photographers. In other words, Brejcha doesn’t rely on local photographers from the organizers (who, of course, are certainly present and take photos of Brejcha anyway), but he flies with his own, trusted guys.

Boris Brejcha on Instagram

Boris Brejcha in Moscow, 2018. Photo: Ruben Schmitz. The pictures like this “sells” well very

At the time, I thought it was a great idea and started doing the same thing. As an artist, I don’t gather stadiums of people like Brejcha, but even if there are only a hundred people on the dance floor, you can still ask the photographer to take at least a few close-up shots of the DJ — shots like that are useful and important too.

Me at a gig at Gorod Club, Moscow, 2018. Photo: Pavel Tzimisce. A nice, working shot even without the stadium of people

All in all, DJs, a word of advice: don’t rely on the luck of the draw, but hire photographers yourself. These investments are worth it.

 No comments    69   6 d   Advice   Career   Gigs   Marketing   Photo

A Train Into Darkness preview

As you probably know from my blog, I use certain tags to organise my DJ collection so I know exactly what to play in my sets and where to find those tracks in my playlists. One of such important thing for me is what I call ”Hands-up” or ”Heads-down” tracks.

How I prepare my DJ sets. Organising playlists by energy levels, vibe, and flow

”Hands-up” is pretty self-explanatory, it’s that kind of tracks with big breakdowns and drops when the crowd literally put their hands up in the air.

”Heads-down”, on the other side, is more hypnotic kind of tracks, sort of B-sides if you will. It’s like when you lock yourself into the groove and you just dance on and on with your eyes closed.

Today, I’d like to share with you a preview of this kind of tracks, the heads-down. Imagine yourself going on a train... a train into darkness:

To be released next month on JOOF Recordings. A longer snippet is available on SoundCloud.

The Guest Mix @ JOOF Radio

It’s been a massive pleasure and honour to make a guest mix for John 00 Fleming’s radio show for the second time: six years ago in Global Trance Grooves (as it called back then), and now in JOOF Radio. I’m also flattered by all the good words John said about me during the show:

Full episode is on SoundCloud, the introduction speech starts at 1:01:31

Daniel Lesden is forward-thinking, he is always looking two steps ahead what’s going on in the world to be different, to push new boundaries. This mix showcases where he is at, where he is going, and it works with synergy with what he’s doing in the studio. What a super-talented artist!

For the guest mix, I selected my recently favourite dark tracks, many of which I have already successfully tested in my sets, as well as my fresh productions, some secret IDs, and mashups which I have recorded live on-the-fly.


00:00 Frank Arvonio — Resurreption (Original Mix) Selected Records
× Facade — Dystopia (Matt Hollidays Hypnotized Remix) JOOF Recordings
03:00 ID — ID Forescape Digital
× Airwave — Gaijin (Original Mix) JOOF Recordings
09:31 Don Ruijgrok — Test (Original Mix) Driving Forces Digital Series
× Allaby — Nothing To Hide (Original Mix) JOOF Mantra
11:16 Donna-Marie — Invisible (Original Mix) Freegrant Music
13:46 Vlokken — Ranura (Eric Sneo Remix) Space Shuttle Recordings
17:25 Chus & Ceballos, Richie Santana — Low Frequencies (Drunken Kong Extended Remix) Stereo Productions
× Rex Mundi — Garden (Gai Barone Remix) Afterglow Records
20:29 Daniel Lesden — Binary Star (Original Mix) JOOF Recordings
25:29 Monococ — Your Soul (Original Mix) Sonusfield
× John 00 Fleming — Finding Ganesha (Original Mix) JOOF Recordings
29:23 Daniel Lesden — A Train Into Darkness (Original Mix) JOOF Recordings
34:08 K-Hate, Roby M Rage — Floating (Original Mix) Dreizehn Schallplatten
× Shaun Mauren — My Dream (Eric Sneo Remix) Naked Lunch
36:37 R3cycle, Sauze — Sick! (Original Mix) Sol Music
40:50 ID — ID JOOF Recordings
42:55 Spektre — Parabolica (Original Club Mix) Toolroom Records
45:24 Alex Opteck — Others (Original Mix) Selected Records
× Eric Prydz — Oddity (Original Mix) Pryda Recordings
47:52 Alex Stein — Had Matter (Original Mix) Terminal M
51:34 ID — ID TBA
57:28 Satinka — The Way Of The Ancients (Original Mix) JOOF Recordings

Rave Podcast 121

January 2021

The last episode of 2020 is already available on Soundcloud, YouTube, in the Spotify playlist, and on Patreon (with direct downloads, higher audio quality, RSS feed, no voice-overs, and more goodies).

This time, it turned out to be a melodic opening, a hypnotic middle and a fierce ending with an oldschool Trance.

00:00 Pig&Dan — Lost Another Angel (Original Mix) Cocoon Recordings
03:48 T99 — Anasthasia (THNK Extended Remix) Armada Music
07:21 Don Ruijgrok, Mike Scolari — Agressor (Original Mix) Black Groove Recordings
10:38 Basil O’Glue — Then Now (Extended Mix) FSOE UV
16:26 Beico — Emergence (Original Mix) Kraftek
20:57 Spektre, Subfractal — Ram Raid (Sasha Carassi Remix) Respekt Recordings
23:58 Relaunch — Cygnus (Original Mix) Bonzai
30:17 Hollen, Uto Karem — Code Black (Original Mix) Agile Recordings
32:46 Alex Stein — Line Of Sight (Original Mix) Terminal M
36:13 Joint Operations Centre — Castlevania (Original Mix) Re Brand
39:23 Ectima — First Dose Of DMT (Tech Mix) TesseracTstudio
43:20 The Delta — The Machines (Vinyl Edit) Nachtstrom Schallplatten
46:38 Alex Moss — Reunion (Kultoff Remix) Ithica Records
49:44 Reaky — Through The Cosmos & Back Again (Original Mix) Pharmacy Music
53:45 Native — Feel The Drums (Flutlicht Remix) Drizzly

Hi from the studio!

This month you’ll hear not only the usual Rave Podcast from me but also two guest mixes. The first one is in a week, I’ll write more details about it soon.

Also, next month my new single will be released which I’ve teased before, so overall expect a lot of good new music heading your way.

Satisfied recording a new mix
 No comments    32   21 d   I am   Studio

Press pictures updated

I have a special page for promoters and social media needs, where I post photos from my gigs in high resolution, and for the past few years, I have used a Dropbox feature called Showcase for this purpose – very convenient. Here’s what it looked like:

And completely by accident, I found out that on January 31 they’re going to remove this feature. If you’re a Showcase user too, you should pay attention to this. They didn’t even send an email notification, damn it!

Anyway, I made up a similar page on my own site, and also made a little housekeeping by removing some older pictures and adding some fresh ones:

See it here:

Acoustic panels mounted

Finally got around to hanging acoustic panels, and it sounds really good. Not perfect yet, but already “heaven” and “earth” compared to what it was. Well, and the eye pleases, too:

And in addition to the panels, from last time the studio has acquired two other important acoustic attributes: thick curtains and a carpet

It’s funny that six years ago, while still living in Israel, I also /blog/all/new-studio-2014/ updated my studio right around New Year’s Eve.

 No comments    27   28 d   Photo   Studio

DJ set from Skazka Rave in December 2020

It was indescribably nice to get back behind the decks after a long break, but it was even nicer to see so many beautiful people. I was, of course, very nervous, but pretty quickly got “into the flow”, and then my DJ instinct was leading me.

The set was sometimes hypnotic, sometimes very melodic. Some of the tracks you probably recognize from my podcasts, and some I played for the first time. One hour, of course, wasn’t enough to fit everything I wanted. Some other time :-)

The recorder recorded directly from the mixer and the sounds from the dance floor “as is”, without any post-processing. Listen to it here:

0:00:00 Don Ruijgrok, Mike Scolari — Amendment (Original Mix) Drowne Records
0:03:44 MicroCheep, Mollo — Massive Dynamics (Original Mix) iDark Records
0:07:15 Pleasurekraft, Thomas Gandey — Panopticon (The Patron Saint of Global Surveillance) Kraftek
0:12:14 Victor Ruiz — Berlin Beauty (Original Mix) Noir Music
0:16:15 Daniel Lesden — Binary Star (Original Mix) JOOF Recordings
0:21:42 KlangKuenstler — Balthazar (Original Mix) Outworld
0:25:46 Jay Lumen — Galactic Rainbow (Original Mix) Drumcode
0:30:41 Spektre — Forerunner (Original Club Mix) Toolroom Records
0:34:52 Daniel Lesden — A Train Into Darkness (Original Mix) JOOF Recordings
0:39:33 Drunken Kong — Peace (Original Mix) Tronic
0:43:50 Alberto Ruiz — Trainspotting (Original Mix) Elevate
0:45:18 Hi-Lo — Kronos (Sian Remix) Octopus Records
0:49:27 Goncalo M — Invoking Justice (Original Mix) Global Techno Movement Records
0:51:53 Miquel — Relativity 1113 (Original Mix) Techburst Records
0:55:48 Bagagee Viphex13 — Crash (Original Mix) Reload Black Label
1:00:12 Don Ruijgrok — Awake (Original Mix) JOOF Recordings
1:01:32 ID — ID TBA
1:07:24 Darmec — Oxygenic (Original Mix) Eclipse Records
1:10:48 Modea — Silence (Original Mix) We Are The Brave
 No comments    35   29 d   DJ sets   Gigs   Russia   Skazka   Tech House   Techno   Trance
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