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On the career of an underground DJ and producer, music industry, and professional growth.

advice series  DJing  production  marketing  releases  podcast  gigs  behind the scenes  tools  and more topics

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.

Later Ctrl + ↑

Making of Dark Entity

On April 12, Dark Entity will be released — a new track that we’ve made together with Kirill Enlusion. Not only the result is interesting, but also the path we took. With Kirill’s permission, I am sharing the process of creating the track (and even two!) with dozens of iterations, controversial moments, and behind-the-scenes details.

Overview of the project in Ableton. Not quite a “feng shui” look, but the main thing is the result

It all began when on September 23, 2020, I offered Kirill to make a track together. In the best traditions of producer humour, I asked: “Collab, bro?”, which almost made him choke :-)

And this was the first sketch I sent:

Kirill approved it and really felt the melody. Needless to say, there will be nothing left of it at the end. But that’s for later, and for now, we got to work.

I’m figuring out how this lead would look in a sort of Techno’ish environment and sketch out a basic arrangement:

I listen to it again and realize that it’s too “cheesy”, too melodic. I tell Kirill that I want something darker. He agrees and sends me this new lead:

I approve, he continues:

I like the rhythmic elements, but the vibe as a whole isn’t working. I want it to be darker. So I remove almost everything and make a foundation from scratch:

Kirill likes it. That’s it, we stick with this one as the core. On the next step, Kirill is trying different pads and melodies, and also improving the low end along the way:

As I listen to it, I think it’s too melodic. I would have liked the pads more as a texture rather than a melody.

Kirill builds the intro, adds stabs and  changes pads:

Then he continues and adds a breakdown:

And then he adds Sasha’esq arps, BXR-style snares in the drop and put it all together:

By this time, it was the middle of October. At the same time, I was finishing off my new studio, so I was extremely busy. Then the move, the hustle and bustle, and soon enough it turns out to be Winter already!

On December 11, burning with embarrassment of such delay, I return to the track. I listen carefully to the last version and realize that the stabs, the pads and the lead don’t work for me. I like the breakdown, overall, but to me it misses some emotional character, some big moment.

So I decide to keep the core, but almost completely redone the leads and the pads, and remove a lot of things to give the track more “air” — in particular, at the build-up in the first half of the track. I also extend the breakdown and add some unexpected musical moments. Well, and some more little things.

Comparing before and after:

I have to give Kirill a credit that he didn’t tell me to screw off, but he agreed that this was a step in the right direction, even though I had cut out a lot of his past iterations. Let’s keep working!

In the last Kirill’s iteration there was a second breakdown (↑), which I wanted to diversify in some way.

Trying something crazy:

Kirill: “Crazy lead? Hold my beer!”, and sends his version:

Whoa-whoa! We both agree that this was a bit too much. We’re thinking about a breakdown.

Another week goes by. I say that I have a gig coming up, and soon I’ll be able to test the track on the dance floor, which means we need to speed up and finish it faster. I also suggest speeding up the track itself from 128 to 130 BPM. Kirill supports it.

Meanwhile, I keep iterating on the second breakdown, completely reworking the melody and the timbre:

Kirill likes the sound of the timbre but is bothered by a few notes. Changes them, and it gets really better.

We put all the pieces together, fix some things, and send it off for mastering.

The result:

It remains to test the track on the dance floor:

A fragment of my set at Skazka Rave

Great feedback! We leave the track as is and finish the work on it. Done!

Alternate version

March 2, 2021. Just over a month until the release date. We are waiting for the remixers to send the release to the distributor. All of a sudden, I’m writing to Kirill: “Okay, there might be the fifth track in the release, hold on. I have an idea.”

Kirill: «о_О».

Suddenly I get the idea to make an alternative mix of the original, something like a heads-down stripped b-Side version: with no breakdown, no vocal samples, less melodies.

On heads-down tracks in my DJ collection

And I send a rough draft I sketched out at 1 AM:

And two more variations, just in case:

Kirill approves the idea in general, and out of the three options, he prefers the trance bassline. And immediately develops the timeline of almost the whole track:

The next day I soberly evaluate all the options and realize that everything is not quite right. It needs to be darker, more toned-down, and that trance bassline is too perky.

I propose to make the bassline gallop like in psytrance. Kirill says it won’t work that way. I argue.

In the end, I’m doing the alternate version practically from scratch, with a completely different rhythm, galloping bassline and dark atmosphere:

Snob Kirill is satisfied. Yay, we’re moving on.

Kirill takes the initiative and continues:

I like it on the whole, but in some moments I have doubts:

Me: Why did you remove the toms?
Kirill: They were disrupting the rhythm.


Hmm, there really is something wrong. Changing the pattern:

Me: How about this?
Kirill: Yeah, that’s the best way.

Moving on. After the breakdown, I insert the acid line and trying the lead from the second drop, but with a different timbre:

Kirill, meanwhile, is working on the breakdown in an interesting way:

We put all the pieces together, fix some things, and send it off for mastering.

The result:

Kirill, thanks for the awesome work we did!

The release with both versions and remixes by Cosmithex, Facade and Fuenka will be released on April 12 and is already available for pre-order:

New website

A few weeks ago I wrote that I was looking for a developer to help streamline my site, and now I’m happy to tell you what came out of it.

Looking for a developer

Basically, we made the website from scratch. It’s simple, but there’s important work done and a lot of cool stuff:

The meaning

The main thing, of course, is the meaning. I had a simple task: to tell new people clearly and briefly what I do and to whom I can potentially be useful.

Take, for example, music. How do you show a new person what I make and play? Give a link to releases on Beatport or Spotify, and he won’t know about podcasts, sets, mixes, and playlists. You give a link to Soundcloud, and first of all, you won’t find anything there (I have 318 tracks and mixes there, by the way), secondly, there’s nothing about my playlists in Spotify and thirdly, without a text description, it’s not clear anyway. And now I can just show this page on the site.

Or educational projects. Did you know that I was working on creating a training course for DJs, for example? Or that I was doing a master class, and in principle, I’m open to doing more in a similar format? Probably didn’t know. And that, of course, is my fault, because I didn’t have any proper place where I could talk about it. And now there is.

Uniformity and consistency

I used to have a page about my music on Then I made a page with a story about me in general, in this domain and in a different design. Then at different times, I needed to make several more pages, and they all looked different because each page was actually a mini-site with its own styles and layout. Now it’s all properly uniformed.

Also, at the top and bottom of all the pages now a common menu, and the blog became one of its items. Technically, the blog is a separate world, but now it looks a little friendly with the other pages too.

Two languages

Now all the pages are finally available in both Russian and English. I had two domains before, and, but it wasn’t always obvious, and some pages were only in one language. Now it’s more straightforward.

If you want to change the language, there is a toggle in the footer at the bottom right. It works on the blog, too.

Email notifications

You can now subscribe to the site and be notified by email of my new releases, upcoming gigs, podcast episodes, and course news (when available). You don’t have to subscribe to everything at once (although you can), but only to the stuff you’re interested in.

The best part is that it all works automatically. I had a mailing before, but I didn’t do it regularly because it had to be done manually and complicated. Now it’s self-service, with almost no input from me. Maybe someday I’ll tell you how it works “under the hood” on a separate post because it’s very interesting there, too.

Anyway, come by and visit:

Huge thanks to Ivan Ogorelkov for his help. Ivan is the technical director of the web studio and an experienced specialist. He got to the core, understood the problem and offered a solution himself.

I especially liked one moment. Everything was done, filled, bugs were caught, cleaned up; in fact, everything is ready. I said to Ivan: “Well, shall we roll it out?” And he was like, “You know, everything’s fine, but the top menu in the mobile version works like shit [that menu was done by me — note]. Can I make it right?” Well, he did, and ended up redoing the menu completely, even though I hadn’t even asked him to do that. I love that kind of care and enthusiasm.

Invite Ivan to your projects: @ogorelkov.

 No comments    129   4 mo   My websites and blog

How to grow as a DJ after learning the basics

Beginner, advanced, and expert depending on the learned skills

I took a basic DJ course in my hometown, learned how to mix tracks in several ways (bass switch, Echo, Filter, Loop) and understand in general what you need to do with the mixer to make the music play. But after I uploaded a couple of mixes on SoundCloud I have a question – what’s next?

I understand that I have a 100% very compressed understanding of this industry right now, but it’s not clear where to get new knowledge to improve skills and how to grow. Here I mix music in standard ways, but I feel that it’s just a drop in the ocean. I tried to send my mixes to a couple of places where I would like to perform for the first time in front of an audience, they said they will listen and write back but they didn’t.

I really want to grow, but after the basic course, it feels like a huge ocean of information and I just drown in it. If you can help with advice, I would be very grateful.


Nikita, that’s a very good question, thank you. And it’s great that you’re asking it.

“What’s next” – the answer to this question depends primarily on your goals and ambitions. You mentioned that you would like to perform in front of an audience, so I would assume that’s what you want to do. But even here, there may be variations:

For example, a DJ wants to become a resident at a local club to work there every Thursday. Or a DJ wants to become the best DJ in his town, playing in different venues. Or a DJ wants to travel all over the country giving shows. Or a DJ wants to become famous outside his country so that foreign promoters invite him on international tours.

These are all very different goals with different means to achieve them. Note that neither option is better or worse than the other-it’s just that they are different, and some may like one more than the other.

So I can only give general advice: increase your value. This sounds abstract, so let me explain.

In the DJ circles, people like to argue about the right or wrong mixing techniques, coolness of new equipment, ”true spirit” of vinyl, live vs not live sets, fake or not fake. But the truth is that the technical side of DJing is only one aspect of the profession, and not even the most important one. It’s easy to push the buttons, but it’s a real challenge to become and remain in demand.

Vinyl vs sync button

For example, here are some disciplines and skills in which a DJ can grow:

DJing Education of taste, a constant search for new music, work with DJ collection, knowledge of equipment, understanding of the ”phrases”, learning the advanced techniques and gear, harmonic mixing, MIDI mapping
Work on stage Understanding the types of sets and roles of DJs, programming the set with energy levels, switchover with other DJs, switching, “reading” the crowd
Music production Synthesis, processing, composition, notes, rhythms, arrangement, sampling, layering, mixing, sound design
Marketing Spreading awareness about you as a brand through releases, podcasts, radio stations, blogs, vlogs, conferences, magazines, mailing lists, social networks; working with an audience
Negotiations Building relationships with promoters, labels, designers, photographers, and other people in the industry
Economy Understanding of financial models of clubs, events, labels, streaming services
Management The ability to manage projects and yourself, so as not to get bogged down in routine and not to go crazy

The list is by no means complete and only an example, but the main idea here is this: the more skills you master and the deeper you understand each of them, the higher your value as an artist will be.

I emphasize that even knowing all of this doesn’t guarantee success, because the music industry is much more complicated than the typical career ladder on a  “regular job”. But it will definitely give you a better chance than someone who has never in his life been interested in anything but mixing two tracks with each other.

Learn and develop skills to increase your value

I also want to comment further on this part:

“I tried to send my mixes to a couple of places where I would like to perform for the first time in front of an audience, they said they will listen and write back but they didn’t.”

I can understand the promoters who didn’t answer you. Everyone who has ever hosted an event and invited a DJ has understandable fears: what if this DJ has never seen the equipment and will shamefully play with trainwrecks? What if the DJ we invited to warm-up the event will be blasting Beatport’s top 10 hits? What if he burns the hell out or floods the club’s equipment? What if he doesn’t show up at all?

On warm-up DJs

The fact is that despite the seemingly huge competition, there are very few decent DJs. And even if you are a decent one and able to work well, the promoters don’t know about it. Your task is to help calm their fears and tell them why they can trust you.

On decent DJs

For example, pictures from gigs are one way to show a DJ to potential promoters that he has experience and other people trust him.

Hire photographers

But what if there are no gigs? There are options here, too: wait for promoters to invite you; seek out performance opportunities yourself; organize events on your own, even if it’s a private event for friends. These are all separate big topics, so let me know if you’re interested and I’ll try to talk about it someday next time.

I hope this gives you some sort of vector.

 1 comment    168   4 mo   Advice   Career   DJing

Why you should run a blog

And where to start, what to write about, and why you shouldn’t blog on social networks

I enjoy reading the blogs of many various people: marketers, designers, developers, promoters, entrepreneurs, editors, and specialists in other fields. And I noticed that among this list there are very few representatives of the music industry – not news sites and all sorts of groups with memes and articles ripped off from each other, but blogs of specific people who would share their personal experiences.

And I thought: what if someone wants to start a blog, but does not know how? Or someone doubts why they need a blog when they have Instagram?

I want to contribute to the fact that there are more good blogs (and not only in the music industry), so in this post, I will talk about the benefits of blogging, tell you where to start, and try to dispel some doubts.

There are different kinds of blogs
Let me clarify first that the content and purpose of blogs can be different. I distinguish at least two main types: personal and professional blogs.

A personal blog is when the author talks about daily life, posts family photos and reflects on current events. If the author is not a well-known media personality, such a blog is unlikely to be of interest to anyone except a small number of people he or she knows in person.

A professional blog is when the specialist shares the intricacies of his profession, talks about the projects he has done, the problems and their solutions, new skills and useful observations. Such blogs are interesting to read, even if you are not familiar with the author.

Here I talk about the second type of blogs specifically.

Why blogging

When I talk to someone about starting a blog, I often hear a question along the lines of “Who’s going to read me?”. And it’s a reasonable question: If you don’t already have an audience of your own, you’ll probably be the only visitor of your blog. At least for a while. In addition, the Internet already has almost everything.

However, in my opinion, the main benefit of a blog is not that people read you at all. If you write interestingly and for a long period of time, sooner or later you are certain to get an audience that reads you but that’s a nice consequence, kind of a bonus side-effect and not a reason to start writing.

Here are some good reasons to blog:

To systematize your experience. Knowing and understanding something is not the same thing. When you explain something by writing a blog, you understand it much better. That’s exactly what happened to me with the advice series: it would seem that if I’m advising someone something, I’m probably good at it myself, right? But the truth is that I have become good at some things because I explain them to others. Thanks to the blog, the experience is better learned and solidified.

In the advice series, I share my experiences and answer readers’ questions about music production, DJing, performing, marketing, management, and other aspects of the music industry

To improve your skills: writing, language, discipline. It takes practice to become good at something. Being able to write clearly and present your thoughts in a clear, structured way is no exception. And who writes clearly, thinks clearly. Such skills are worth cultivating.

To spread knowledge about yourself and your business. There is an interesting thing with specialists blogs: when you read the behind-the-scenes details of some profession, you inevitably notice that the author clearly knows his stuff, since he understands and talks about all these subtleties. That is how the reputation of an expert is formed. And such a reputation builds trust and opens up new opportunities.

Marketing by sharing by Jason Fried

To save time so you don’t have to explain the same thing over and over again. Imagine that you’ve written a large, comprehensive post about how you do business. And then in a conversation, someone asks you about thфе topic. And now, instead of telling everything all over again, you can kindly offer the person to read about it on your blog, if he or she is interested. For example, I wrote this very post for this exact reason because I had to explain it several times.

To help people. Most of the time you probably won’t even know it. People tend to react more strongly to things they don’t like than to be thankful for things that help them. Nevertheless, rest assured that the knowledge you share will help others learn something new, come to unusual conclusions, or inspire development in their field. Isn’t that great?

These are definitely not all the reasons for blogging, but they’re good enough to get you started.

Run a blog for yourself to systematize experiences, improve skills, and spread knowledge

What to write about

Let’s say you’ve decided to blog. And then you might be confused: “So what is there to write about?”. The thing is, when you know something, all things seem simple and obvious to you, and you’d be like: “Everybody knows that!”

My advice is to write about what you’re doing, and explain why you’re doing it that way:

For example, an engineer does the mastering of the tracks. How does he do it? What kind of equipment does he use? How is gear better than software plug-ins, and is it better? Does stem mastering really worth it? How to prepare tracks for mastering? How much headroom in volume should a producer leave and why? Is it necessary to do a separate mastering for each streaming platform? Is there really a “volume war” and should producers be worried? Can a DJ play tracks with no mastering? Why do we need mastering at all?

It would seem to be an ordinary routine that an engineer faces every day, but there is so much to tell! And so it is with almost all professions. Talk about it, and the blog will become your best portfolio.

Another thing I advise you to do is to define for yourself some topics or categories. For example, on this blog I write about DJing, performing, music, marketing, productivity, professional growth. You don’t have to think of all of such topics ahead of time, but it may be easier for the authors to start writing by identifying a few similar topics in his or her field.

Where to start

First, you need to decide where you want to write: on a third-party service or on your own standalone blog.

Third-party services are so-called blogging platforms: sites on which you sign up and start a blog. Probably the most popular ones are Tumblr, Blogger, Medium.

A standalone blog is a site that runs on your server and under your control. I strongly recommend this option, and I explain why below.

In order to start your own standalone blog, you need three things:

Domain The address where the blog is available. For example,
Hosting The server where the files are stored.
Engine The program which runs the blog.

For some people, these words may seem very frightening, but in fact, buying a domain name and rent hosting is not more difficult than signing up on Medium or purchase anything online. The installation of the engine is somewhat different, but then it depends on what to choose.

Running and maintaining a blog costs some money: a domain name will cost about $10 per year, and hosting is roughly another $20 per year. The engines are usually free. Here are some popular names: WordPress, Drupal, Aegea.

My blog runs on Aegea. The beauty of this engine is that it has none of the typical “admin panels” with complicated user interfaces. Aegea makes blogging as easy as possible, and it’s a pleasure to write in it. It also has everything you need to make it look and work properly right out of the box: automatic typography, search, tags, drafts, a mobile version, a built-in audio player, comments (you can disable them if you don’t need them), and much, much more. By comparison, on WordPress or Drupal you would need a programmer and a designer to do all that, but with, Aegea, you install it and it just works.

The Aegea website visually demonstrates how the engine works

Why not Instagram

Some readers may wonder, “Why bother when social media is around? Why set up and pay for a standalone blog when you can essentially do the same blog on Instagram? Why do all that when you can just as much systematize your experience, improve your skills, and spread the knowledge on a Facebook page? You can blog on social media, right?”

Can you blog on social media – yes, you can. You can do anything, frankly! But that said, there are fundamental disadvantages to social media that are worth keeping in mind.

Anything is possible, but

In my opinion, here are a few major flaws:

You don’t own the content. Everything you write and post on social networks belongs to corporations, not to you. In practice, this means that your years of work can disappear in a flash because the social network closes down (think of MySpace). Or because the service will become hopelessly outdated and no one is interested in it (look at LiveJournal). Or because moderators will find your post inappropriate to their guidelines and block your profile. Choosing social media as your primary platform for publishing your thoughtful posts is not valuing your time and efforts. And all of this is true for third-party blogging platforms as well, which is why I recommend starting your own standalone blog.

Form affects content. Each social network defines a certain format, and you have to adjust the content to fit it. For example, on Twitter, you cannot publish more than 280 characters in one post. On Instagram, you cannot post just text without a picture. Facebook, as experiments suggest, reduces the reach of link posts, so people get creative and publish a picture and leave the link in the comment below it. Or at some point, the author realizes that if he takes a long break between posts, fewer people like them, and when fewer people like the post, the social network algorithms consider this content uninteresting and don’t show it to the rest of the audience, and eventually the race for engagement begins.

You are not in control. If the social network changes its design tomorrow, and not for the better, there is nothing you can do about it because you are not in control. If a social network starts running ads through every post you share, there’s nothing you can do about it because you are not in control. If a social network removes some of its functionality that you’ve been relying on, as you’ve probably guessed, there’s nothing you can do about it because you are not in control. Can you easily find any of your posts from ten years ago? Or edit it? Or structure it in any meaningful way? No, no, and no, because you have no control over anything on social media.

On social media, you don’t own the content and have no control over anything. Relying on social media means not valuing your time and efforts

There’s nothing like that with your blog, and it’s exactly the opposite. You have full access to all texts, images, and files. You are free to decide whether the design of your blog will change or remain exactly the same twenty years from now. You can add or remove features as you need them. You can organize everything the way you want.

“Wait a minute!”, some probably will argue. “But social media has an entire audience! Instagram has one billion monthly active users, and my blog will have one person. So what, are you suggesting that I should just give up about social media altogether?”

Well, it is naive to think that once you create a new Facebook page, a Telegram channel, or an account on, you will immediately have thousands of readers, because, supposedly, these platforms have millions and billions of users. Winning and nurturing the audience is challenging and takes a lot of time no matter where you do it (and if such a task is even needed; and let me remind you that this is not what really matters in a specialists blog).

Personally, I have a lot of concerns about social media, even beyond the above-mentioned flaws. But even so, I am not yet ready to give them up completely. At the same time, nothing stops you from writing good posts on your blog and then sharing them anywhere, including social networks – I, for example, do just that.

Can we drop social media?

Happy blogging!

 No comments    158   4 mo   Career   Marketing   Social media

Rave Podcast 123

March 2021

Rave Podcast March 2021 edition is now up online on SoundCloud, iTunes, YouTube, Spotify playlist, and Patreon.

You probably won’t hear this music in the clubs nowadays, but I deliberately played some older tunes from the labels like Hooj Choons, Bedrock, Whoop Records to show a new generation of listeners how progressive music used to sound.

Enjoy this beautiful heads-down progression:

00:00 Loquai, Michael & Levan, Stiven Rivic — Origami (Luke Porter Remix) Temporum Music
05:29 Dousk — Winchme (Original Mix) Vapour Recordings
08:36 Monojoke — Orion (Extended Mix) SkyTop
12:14 Dosem — Megacities (Extended Mix) Anjunadeep
14:18 Andretta — Pure (Extended Mix) FSOE UV
18:42 Dark Matter — Under The Influence (Original Mix) Forescape Digital
21:15 Moshic — Peace Can Be Maintain (Original Mix) Contrast Records
23:40 Sasha Carassi — Framing Effect (Original Mix) Octopus Black
28:12 Shmuel Flash — Chilling Moments (Bedrock Vocal Remix) Bedrock Records
32:05 Don Ruijgrok — House Could Be Heavier (Original Mix) Stolen Moments
35:02 Rob Hes, The Southern — Raw Dreams (Drunken Kong Remix) Pursuit
38:42 Lovesky — Drums 4 Better Days (16C+ Remix) Hooj Choons
41:07 Sasha — Cloud Cuckoo (Luke Chable Remix) Not On Label
47:37 Coyu — We Live In A World Full Of Rage (Original Mix) Suara Records
50:23 Halo Varga — Future! (16C+ Remix) Hooj Choons
54:46 Human Movement — Traveller’s Theme (Original Mix) Whoop Records

Looking for a developer

Guys, I need a little help on the web.

Added on March 13: a developer is found. Thanks to everyone who responded!

Look. I have two blogs – in Russian and English. They live on domains and respectively. Formally, this is a blog with multi-language, which depending on the domain shows a different database. The domains have common files because I set up a symlink between them. The blog works fine, there are no questions about it.

In addition to the blog, I have various other static pages. For example, the main page, photos, about Patreon (the list is not complete, there will be more). As you can see, some of them are in Russian, some are in English, and I want them both.

The main problem now is that all these static pages are basically just naked HTML in Bootstrap. Accordingly, they do not know anything about each other or about the other language.

I kind of learned using PHP to determine the domain to which the user went, and thus display different content in Russian or English, respectively, but it turns out pretty crappy (I’m not a programmer). Ideally, I would like a small engine that would be able to intelligently display only the different semantic part, and everything else stored in one place. Kind of like the blog does now (but the blog uses full-fledged DB on MySQL, but in the case of static pages, it seems, this will be redundant).

That is, in fact, the task is to turn separate statics into a more meaningful standardized and templated format so that you can easily add new pages (sections) in two languages. And make it all work with the blog, for example, with some kind of menu on top, so that the styles don’t fall apart anywhere.

If you are ready to help me with this, please write to me on Telegram @dsokolovskiy or on email

 No comments    28   4 mo   My websites and blog

Can we drop social media?

Back in the late 90s and early-mid 00s, there were websites, email, and blogs which you could read either directly on the site or by using RSS. That’s basically how content distribution worked. You’ve put something on the web, and people read it if and when they wanted.

Today, the majority of content seems to be in social media, and no surprise since Facebook alone has almost 3 billion active monthly users. So it seems natural that many of public figures, music producers and DJs included, focus their energy and post everything here.

But, to be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of social media. The fact that the content you work hard is owned and controlled by some companies and algorithms is worrying to say the least. I’m fortunate to have certain skills allowing me to run my own blog where all my content is safe from those corporates, but still there are just too many things I don’t like in social media: from censorship to selling users data. Frankly, to me, social media seems to be less and less ethical to use.

That makes me think whether I should use social media for my public communication at all. I mean, I clearly don’t like doing so, but do I have to? For music producers and DJs, audience is the most valuable asset, any marketer can tell you that. But should we really rely on social media for gathering people, for letting them know about our work?

I wonder what do you guys think about a sort of ”web 1.0” with plain and simple RSS feeds and emails instead of Facebook, Instagram etc? Would you still follow the artists you like in such a way? Or there is no way to get around without social media for artists?

I totally get that other people might have different opinion on that so I’m curious to hear yours.

P.S. Added a few hours later.

Ironically, this post I’ve put on Facebook got more engagement than any of my typical post. I’ll just add a link here for the archiving purpose.

 2 comments    127   4 mo   Question   Social media

Music standards

Every music genre has its own substandard. And it is very important to understand that there are no abstractly “good” and “bad” individual sounds or tracks, but there is a matching or failing to meet the standards.

Listen to these two audio examples:

Which one is better?

The answer is: it depends on what we’re trying to do and what problem we’re trying to solve.

Speaking from the point of the nature of sound, in the second kick the sound is excessively distorted, flattened, clipped and formally unusable. But if a producer has set a goal to release a techno track, then that rough and formally useless kick is potentially more suitable for this purpose, because in some subgenres of techno it is so accepted. In general, we often make the sound objectively worse so that subjectively it seems better to us and meets certain standards.

It is also important to understand that such standards always change over time. The sound design, production techniques, and character of tracks that were relevant ten years ago are hardly the standard today.

Listen to a few examples:

In Techno:

In Progressive House:

In Psytrance:

Notice how the timbres of individual instruments have changed, and how the tracks sound as a whole. Of course, music is produced now for all tastes, including music that sounds like it was ten or twenty years ago. Writing ‘oldschool’ music on purpose is also fine if you understand what the musical standards were at the time and why you need to do it in the first place.

Does this mean that a young producer has to follow certain standards of sound? Not necessarily at all. Anything is possible, including ignoring the standards at all, especially if you just make music for yourself.

Nevertheless, it is very useful to observe the existence and change of these standards, both in order to follow them, if necessary, or vice versa, in order to know what to move away from.

Daniel Lesden & Enlusion

Kirill Smirnov aka Enlusion and I playing at JOOF Showcase in Moscow at Gorod Club, 2019

Enlusion and I have a lot in common, he runs Forescape Digital and I often play releases from his label in my sets, we played at the same events, so it was only a matter of time when we start a collaboration and make a track together. And so we did!

I’m excited to announce that our track will be released later this year, more details and a preview are coming soon.

 No comments    146   5 mo   Collaborations   Dark Entity   Teaser

Best of labels series

On Spotify, I have a special playlist where add all tracks played on Rave Podcast. I also have the ”best of my sets” playlists series with some of the favourite tunes from my Dj collection. And I also have playlists for each subgenre of my Psytrance Guide!

But I decided to go even further and put together playlists of my favourite tracks from important record labels I follow, like, and take inspiration from: JOOF Recordings (who would’ve guessed!), Forescape Digital, FSOE UV, Mistique Music, Iboga Records, Hooj Choons, Platipus Records, Anjunadeep:

Some of my favourite labels

The list is definitely not complete and will grow over time, but even now there’s already quite something to listen to: from oldschool to modern sound, from sensual to dark vibe, from slow-paced progressive groove to the most furious rhythms.

I’ll be glad if you discover something new or just enjoy some nice with these playlists.
Listen and save it to your collections:

 No comments    155   5 mo   my playlists   Spotify
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