Recap of Burning Man

Burning Man was tremendous as usual. The cowboy saloon (complete with a bull's skull adornment) was a welcome addition. Beware what you're drinking in our bar though (see below). Simon, Chip and Andrew were superstar chefs and of course I can't thank enough everybody who helps make the Mog and the sound work. It was a pleasure and I consider it an honor to a Space Cowboy.

Getting to DJ on the Garage Mahal car is always a treat and while I never did get to DJ at the Deep End when it was around I did get a good spot at Distrikt (sorry for those who showed up at my original 11am slot) which brought a welcome return of the day party to the 9pm section of the map to go along with Pink Mammoth. Thanks to all who were a part of those camps. I consider those to be my home away from home on the playa and I'm always appreciative of the hospitality.

I got to play a couple of times on the Garage Mahal art car along with the aforementioned Distrikt set. That along with the Space Cowboy gigs had me feeling very content. I'm not going to lie, I like playing for big crowds, but more important to me is the vibe and energy of whatever gig I'm playing and many of my best experiences have been with smaller crowds. All 3 camps had different size crowds and each was awesome in their own way. One of the beautiful things about Burning Man.

The Hoe Down was a new experience. I started out my set playing for about 30 people in a complete white out. All I could see outside the Mog were dark lumps where the speaker stacks were and disembodied glow sticks on the dance floor. Knowing that everybody that was there really had to work for it given the visibility and lack of landmarks put a perspective on the night that I had been missing before. I realized whether it was 30 or 300 or 600 people those who made it out to the Temple wanted to rock out. They were ready. And it hit me. It was a party. It was on. No half assing it. So I got down to business and laid out a long set of driving techno and booty shaking breaks and had a blast doing it.

Around 11:30 the dust eased up and people started arriving en masse. The wind eventually died down almost completely and we had a consistently full dance floor all night up through sunrise. It was my favorite Hoe Down so far. A great capper to my Burning Man.

Along the way I had some great conversations with DJs I respect. Ali B has been a big inspiration in the past year and I got to pass along my appreciation in person as well as DJ before him on Garage Mahal. Can't beat that. Andrew, whom you might know as Myagi, proved to be someone you would want in your camp. Not only is he an all around good guy and rockstar producer and DJ but he is also not to be fucked with in the kitchen either. Respect. Nick Thayer, Lee Burridge, Scumfrog, Elite Force and Dylan Rhymes all provided quality Burning Man moments.

I missed Sharon to death and had a few moments where I felt ready to head home early but in the end I managed through the difficult parts and felt myself feeling once again that maybe I won't be able to skip next year after all.

Check out my video slideshow of my pics & video I took on the playa below.

cowboy saloon moonshine

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You Must Listen To This V.01

My first DJ job, in a sense, was putting together 4-6 hour mix-tapes for parties at Washington State U. at the house I lived at with 3 other friends. We'd haul in a few or more kegs, jam our house full of people and rock it out until the cops made us stop. The more things change the more they stay the same huh? I was still a year away from my first DJ job spinning vinyl but that didn't stop me from wanting to share my extensive music collection with other people.

That is and always has been my primary reason for wanting to DJ. An intense desire to share the music I love with other people. I'm hoping you all will appreciate and give a listen to some music that perhaps you've never been exposed to before. Something that you won't hear in the clubs.

First up is one of my all time favorite producers Bent comprised of Englishmen Nail Tolliday and Simon Mills. Two fiendishly clever producers with a penchant for injecting their music with a sense of humor (more evident on their first album Programmed to Love), a polished sound and lush textures. The music varies anywhere between lush, dreamy downtempo to songs you wouldn't be surprised hearing on pop radio to jittery, guitar fused vocal tracks.

Intercept! is the duo's 4th full album release and it's quite obvious they know what they're doing. Quality production abounds. Bent never stays in one place for too long both within an album and from one album to the next.

Bent employed former Simian lead singer (now Simian Mobile Disco) Simon Lord who injects a consistency to the famously varied Bent sound on Intercept!. Though Bent previously hired almost exclusively female singers in their previous releases they show a deft touch in retaining their trademark quirky lush sound that I didn't think possible with a male singer.

Standout tracks here include:
To Be Loved with it's anthemic second half and repeated lyric "All I need is to be loved by you."
Stay Out All Night a lullaby about people afraid of the dark who sent children to bed and stay out all night. Yeah it doesn't make sense but it doesn't need to.
As Seen From Space soothes the soul with soft piano and angelic choir (I featured this one on My Definition of Chill Vol. I).
The Handbrake is a beautiful jingly pop ballad which if I had my way would the sort of song pop-radio stations would be playing.
After All The Love ends with another ballad complete with crickets chirping, harmonica, whistling and soaring string section.

I'm trying out Lala to stream the album. You might have to sign up via their site to listen. I'm working on finding the easiest solution to post music here. Email if you have any issues.