Tag: mobile dj

The DJ Set on the Mastermix Issue Series

Mastermix Label Manager Richard Lee explains how we encourage and welcome input from our fellow DJs

Mastermix has always prided itself on being a service run by DJs for DJs. The interaction we have with our members is unsurpassed and when we launched a new mix feature called The DJ Set, that asked for even more DJ input, we were literally swamped with suggestions.


What Are DJ Edits?

Mastermix DJ Dave Evans gives you the low down on the idea behind DJ Edits, the latest range to hit the Mastermix catalogue.

It seems that everything is getting smaller nowadays; Wagon Wheels, the amount of money left in your account at the end of month, DJ equipment (although I don’t miss the days of lugging around a pair of turntables and several crates of records) and even audience attention spans.

In this digital age people can flick from one song to another very quickly and, as a result, have shortened the amount of time before they get bored of a track being played by a DJ. This has an impact on the dancefloor as the crowd can potentially lose interest in songs and generally don’t want to hear 4 minutes of a single track anymore.


DJ Beats: Summer Playlists

Mastermix have created a range of Summer collections including 4 albums compiled from the hugely-popular DJ Beats range. Each track is a proven floorfiller with added intro & outro beats making mixing even easier and allowing DJs to create unique & innovative Summer playlists.


Top Ten Reggaeton Floorfillers for Mobile DJs

Reggaeton is a style of music featuring Latin & Caribbean vibes with a strong Hip Hop influence. This genre of music has been around since the 90s when it became huge in countries including Puerto Rico, Cuba & Columbia. Its popularity continued to grow across Latin American countries before exploding globally.

Here’s a quick reference of the top Reggaeton tracks for a mobile DJ to play, that will guarantee to fill the dancefloor!


A Mobile DJ’s Guide to Reggaeton

Mastermix Label Manager Richard Lee gives the lowdown on the music genre that is Reggaeton

I’m asked on a regular basis by DJs to help them with certain styles of music and one that has been mentioned quite a lot recently is Reggaeton. Now I’m no expert…far from it…but I have taken the time to research this music style and found that I knew more tracks & artists than I first thought. It’s allowed me to create a range of mixes & collections both for Mastermix & for personal use on my DJ events.


The Ultimate Guide to an 80s Theme Night

Mastermix Label Manager Richard Lee presents the ultimate guide to programming the music selection for an 80s theme night!

Introduction

If I had to pick one theme night that I really enjoy programming music for above all others it would have to be the 80s! It’s my most loved decade and includes many of my favourite songs of all time. It’s was such a wonderful era for music with so many tracks standing the test of time to this day. Whilst other theme nights fall in & out of favour, 80s music continues to grow in popularity and with it the 80s theme night.


10 Mobile DJ 80s Floorfillers

Do you need a burst of inspiration for a few 80s floorfillers to drop into tonight’s set? Here’s some suggestions from Mastermix Label Manager Richard Lee

Wham! – I’m Your Man

This 1985 UK number one is a guaranteed floorfiller. It’s a brilliant pop track that appeals to everyone! An almost perfect pop track from start to finish!

Erasure – A Little Respect

When an act has such a large & impressive back catalogue it’s often difficult to pick one track but this one stands out head & shoulders and is always well-received when played.

Spandau Ballet – Gold

This 1983 gem is a perfect Main Party or End Of Night track and is always accompanied by a sing-a-long among the audience. The steady intro builds before kicking in to the upbeat section and complete audience euphoria.

Madness – It Must Be Love

So many great tracks to choose from but it is this 1981 classic that is included in our Top 10. A unique band who’s appeal has spanned over 40 years and shows no sign of letting up anytime soon!

Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax

The essential 80s song! If one track defined the decade it’s this one! It is simply perfect in every way!

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Proclaimers – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

From the opening guitar riff, through the verse to the chorus…it has everything! Stick it on and let the audience do the rest!

Bryan Adams – Summer Of 69

Turn the volume up a little higher to maximize on the intro to this pop rock classic that failed to hit the UK Top 40 but has become one of the decades most loved tracks!

Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen

The best selling record of 1982 has, unfairly, been tagged as a novelty track by many DJs but this one is a must-play for any 80s set. Unique, innovative and that chorus…not to mention the slow section that builds back up to the crescendo…boom!

Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam

Often overlooked as an 80s track but this 1989 classic always hits the spot and allows other 80s dance hits to follow including ‘Ride On Time’ & ‘The Only Way Is Up’.

Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)

That one song that ensures a full dancefloor…usually dancing around a large pile of handbags! It’s the ultimate 80s pop floorfiller!

More inspiration of floorfillers can be found in our Top Tens of classic 90s Dance and Soul and Motown tracks!


Top Ten Mobile DJ 90s Dance Floorfillers

Mastermix DJ Dave Evans takes us on a trip down memory lane into the world of 90s Dance…

Ah. The 90’s, The end of the Soviet Bloc, Dolly the sheep, New Labour rising to power, heartbreak at Euro 96 (Football’s still coming home, it’s just taking the long way round), Trainspotting and much much more.

But what about the music? Acid house was still around at the start but the emergence of Jungle, Speed Garage and Drum n Bass spread the world of dance music into faster BPMs. Britpop exploded onto the scene with the likes of Oasis and Blur but the biggest hit of the 90’s was the emergence of “Girl Power” with the Spice Girls spending 800 weeks (or so it seemed) at number 1 with their debut single “Wannabe”. Across the pond groups like N’Sync, New Kids On The Block and the Backstreet Boys dominated the mid 90’s before Britney and Christina shook off the shackles of the Mickey Mouse club and burst onto the scene at the end of the decade.

But what records do you still play from the 90’s that are certain dance anthems which people still love to jump onto the floor to. In no order, any of these would get a good reaction if you were asked to play some 90s Dance!

Come on admit it, just reading the title already has you doing the intro in your head. Infectious beat. Some partisans would say DJs Take Control is the better track but you can play this anywhere and someone will try to shuffle to it. This should have been Number 1 instead of Deeply Dippy.

Get this one out of the way early. When Robin Stone first released this track (Montego Mix, big hints of Jocelyn Brown to it) in 1990 there was no indication that it would become one of the most successful and remixed dance records of all time. Whether you go for the classic Stonebridge mix or one of the 100’s of remixes of it, you can find a version for virtually any genre. One that will never die.

  • N-Trance – Set You Free

Hands in the air! While it may not have had the commercial success of Baby D – Let Me Be Your Fantasy, this rave anthem has certainly outlived its rival on the dancefloor. With its uplifting vocal intro and big beats, this track is a sure-fire winner for the dancefloor.

Yes, not Dreamer. For me this is the better record, its more tighter and compact to use plus it has a better outro point if you don’t wish to use the entire track. Dreamer is an anthem but lingers a bit too long for me. A good alternative to have from the same group.

Released in 1990, this is my joint single of the decade along with Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy. Its everything a dance record should be, great vibe, funky beats, sing-a-long vocals, Bootsy Collins and it makes you smile. What more could you want from a dance song.

For me, this and the next track sum up the mid 90’s dance scene. The Balearic scene was really blowing up commercially and this track captures more of the fluid side of the dance floor. Instead of being an “hands up” (see the next track) belter, The Nightcrawlers gently ease you onto the floor without you knowing it and will not let you go till its finished………….

Whereas in comparison, The Original comes screeching out of the speakers within the first 5 seconds, hits the strings and picks you up by the hands throwing you onto the floor. A true house record with an almost gospel chorus to it. This records still sounds fresh even 24 years after it was first released (I now feel old).

Taking away the “are they a pop or dance band” debate (they had Hacienda’s Mick Pickering, they are a dance group), M People made some brilliant records. Elegant Slumming contained some cultured tracks and none more than Moving On Up. Heather Small’s vocal is instantly recognisable and the horns are crisp. This may be one more for the over 30s than the teen market nowadays but it is a certain 90s dance floorfiller for those who know it.

I have one DJ bucket list item; To play Insomnia at St Pauls Cathedral in the dark with a laser show. But for a dance anthem, this record is a bit of an oddity, the first minute you can’t really use as it has no beat. The main verse is quite slow but…….
THAT DROP
Nothing else needs saying.

Is this a 90s dance record or cheese? Depends how you look at it. Up and Down was a dance record and in Europe the Vengaboys are treated as a dance group so it goes in the list. Don’t believe me that it’s a dance tune? Put it on, watch your audience and tell me after that it isn’t.

It’s hard to pick out 10 from a decade where there was so many great dance records but hopefully this list is a sure fire quick win crib list.

Now where are my glow sticks, I’ve got a Vengabus to catch to get to an S Club Party…

The 100 Collection: 90s – BRAND NEW

This premium collection contains the biggest hits of a chosen genre in one DJ friendly package. Each collection features a Warm Up, Main Party & End Of Night section that includes the right balance of songs for the perfect night.

Where possible in this article, I’ve linked to the DJ Beats version of the track, so you can get creative with your mixing!

90s Dance DJ Beats

For the full set of 90s Dance DJ Beats, check out the Collection!

50 classic 90s Dance tunes with added 8 bar intro and outro beats, for a bargain price!

The collection includes tracks from Adamski, Brainbug, Da Hool, Chad Jackson, JX, Nightcrawlers, Run DMC, Strike, Wamdue Project and loads more.

90 Dance 12″ Versions

Indulge yourself in some classic extended 90s tracks with Classic Cuts 111!

The 12″ versions of 19 of the biggest hits of the decade, including Fat Boy Slim, Happy Mondays, Shamen, Soup Dragons and Electronic!


Hands Free…

Mastermix Producer Jules Little shares his most cringeworthy DJ experience…

2002 or 2003, DJing in a packed, VERY well known venue on Broad Street, Birmingham’s “Golden Mile”. It’s Saturday night, the venue is at capacity (1300), one in, one out, party in full session. Now the downside of having a full night is that you don’t get the time to talk to your guests much when they ask for tunes, and not wanting them to feel ignored I hired a student to help me across the night, take requests, play music whilst I crossed to stage etc. His name was Nugget, total party guy, perfect! It is wise to point out for the purpose of this story that I wore a head mic as “get your hands-on the air” carries more sway when you have the ability to do it yourself!

This particular night the whole place was bouncing, I felt like the conductor of a large orchestra of people, magnificent.

Nugget approaches me. “Jules, can you read this?” as hands me a filled in request slip. I look at it, nothing apparent to me. I turn it upside down, still nothing. I flip it over, totally indecipherable.

“Who gave you this?” I asked him still struggling to comprehend the scrawl that emblazoned the paper before me.

“That lady over there!” says Nugget as he points to the lady waiting patiently at the bottom of the 3 steps that lead to the raised DJ booth.

As I don’t drink when I am working generally, I have always found it amusing when people ask me for records trying to sound sober when they are anything but. Writing when drunk however, that is just art! I approach the lady to ask her what it says.

I however had neglected to turn off my head mic….

Especially important as you know that to talk to somebody in a noisy environment requires you getting very close to each other, mouth to ear almost…

“Hiya!” I approached her cheerily. “I’m sorry I can’t read this. In fact, I would go as far as to say the in all of my years DJing, it’s probably the worst handwriting I’ve ever seen. You must be having a great time & downing a few!”

(Remember that head mic, still switched on…. And now, a breakdown in a track)

“In fact, I’d say REALLY DRUNK! (Remember that mic). What have you had?”

Then it happened. Mid track breakdown with microphone on & 1300 people within earshot of the powerful sound system.

“I’ve had a stroke!!!”

You know that moment when your stomach hits your feet? I do!

A huge gasp went throughout the venue, then a huge cheer! The lady then realised it was on the microphone too. She took it in good spirits, Jack Daniels from memory, I paid for her drinks all night!

True Story.

 We reached out to our fellow DJs on Facebook to ask them for their funniest and most embarrassing tales from the DJ booth… here are just a few!

10 Great Cover Versions

Mastermix Label Manager Richard Lee has compiled his favourite mobile DJ cover versions!

  • Yazz & the Plastic Population – The Only Way Is Up: Yes…this really is a cover version! The original was recorded in 1980 by soul singer Otis Clay but failed to chart in the UK. In 1988 producers Jonathon More & Matt Black (better known as Coldcut) recorded their version featuring Yazz, who had previously appeared on their hit ‘Doctorin’ The House’, and it topped the UK charts for 5 weeks. Ironically the track knocked Glenn Medeiros off number one with his cover of ‘Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You’ (George Benson) and was replaced at the top of the charts by Phil Collins with his version of ‘A Groovy Kind Of Love’ (The Mindbenders)! It is a party classic that continues to fill dancefloors when played and remains one of my favourite 80s tunes.
  • Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse – Valerie: In fairness to The Zutons their original recording isn’t that bad but compare it to this version and there is no competition. Musician & producer, Mark Ronson, beefed up the track, increased the tempo and added the remarkable vocal talents of Amy Winehouse to create a floorfilling anthem that always seem to hit the spot!
  • Ike & Tina Turner – Proud Mary: This version is like a firework. Light the touch-paper and stand back. Slow burner to start but when it goes…wow! Originally penned in 1969 by John Fogerty and released by Creedance Clearwater Revival it has become a mobile DJ essential. On occasion I have reserved this as a bonus track to play after the final song of the night. Create a false ending, let your audience shout for more…then unleash this gem! A truly outstanding version of a brilliant song.
  • The Beatles – Twist & Shout: Written in 1961 and originally recorded by the Top Notes it is the version by the Isley Brothers that saw it become a global hit. In 1963 the Beatles recorded it for their first album ‘Please Please Me’ and it’s their interpretation that comes out on top for me. It has all the hallmarks of the Merseybeat style that became synonymous with the ‘Fab Four’. Gritty sound with immense passion…pure rock & roll.
  • Soft Cell – Tainted Love: Northern Soul fans will probably have something to say about this choice but the biggest selling single of 1981 is arguably one of the greatest cover versions of all time. Gloria Jones did an amazing job with the original recording that is a must-play for soul fans but Soft Cell’s cover gives it a good run for its money. There can’t be many events where this track isn’t played and you get another cover version if you decide to play the 12” version which mixes seamlessly into ‘Where Did Our Love Go’.
  • Run DMC feat. Aerosmith – Walk This Way: The opening drumbeats to this track are iconic and have been the backbone to many remixes & mixes over the years and as soon as you play this the audience engage and react with great approval. The fusion of rap & rock is perfect and take the original Aerosmith version to new heights by using a drum machine and turntable to reflect the music trends of 1986. It has everything needed to make it a brilliant cover version and a crowd pleaser.
  • Los Lobos – La Bamba: This is another classic example of a straight cover that is better than the original. In 1987 the biographical movie ‘La Bamba’ was released and told the story of singer Ritchie Valens. He recorded his version of the song in 1958 before he was tragically killed in a plane crash that was also to take the life of rock & roll legend Buddy Holly & radio DJ – The Big Bopper. The movie soundtrack featured several Valens tracks but it was this one that hit the number one spot and remains the preferred version by many DJs when playing “a bit of rock & roll”.
  • The Communards feat. Sarah-Jane Morris – Don’t Leave Me This Way : Selecting the right track to cover is essential and there can be no arguing that the Communards got it spot on with this Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes classic. The original is awesome, the Thelma Houston cover is brilliant but the Communards version is the one that stood out and continues to do so to this day. The vocals of Somerville & Morris work perfectly and there can’t be many better crescendos than the final part of this classic cover version when Jimmy Somerville delivers the awesome “Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh Baby!” before the last chorus kicks in and the crowd go wild…boom!!!
  • West End feat. Sybil – The Love I Lost : The early 90s saw a plethora of cover versions with this one standing head & shoulders above many of the others. Originally a hit for Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes in 1974 this version featured the driving vocals of Sybil and the creative production skills of West End…better known as Mike Stock & Pete Waterman. Silky smooth production ensured this track was a hit in 1993 and is still a favourite amongst many DJs today.
  • Madness – It Must Be Love: I make no excuses for selecting a track by my favourite as my number one. Hits including ‘Baggy Trousers’, ‘One Step Beyond’ & ‘My Girl’ had ensured that the group were amongst the biggest music acts in the UK.

In 1981 the group released a cover of a track written & recorded 10 years earlier by Labi Siffri. It reached number 4 in the UK and has become one of, if not the, most-loved of all songs by the Nutty Boys. The opening piano notes have become instantly recognisable, everyone knows the words and let’s be honest who doesn’t love a bit of Madness?