Here in UK the winter and dark nights are drawing in so I thought it was a good time to add some spark and remind us music producers of great things to enjoy this winter and keep the inspiration flowing. Take some time away from the DAW, explore and come back with some great ideas for exciting new electronic music…
1) Amsterdam Dance Event – Oct 17 – 22nd 2012
Producing great electronic music is essential, but as explained in the book ‘Complete Music Producer’ it is also vital to get out in to the world and mix with producers who can inspire you, and share similar tastes. Forums and the like can be great but nothing beats sharing a cappuccino or tequila in person. Winter is always full of great music conferences wherever in the world you live. Right now probably one of the most cutting-edge and informative is ADE. Starting about 7 years ago, the programme is always full of interesting seminars about latest happening, how technology helps music, and keynote speakers sharing their wisdom. Danny Tenaglia is one such name this year. Our very own Dark Room Robot is speaking on panels too, drop him a line revealing your favorite way to drink coffee if you fancy a chat.The ‘Music and bits‘ programme focused on what is happening to music online and the tools, business opportunities is a great idea and one certainly worth visiting. Then there are the parties, every evening packed with a who’s who of the electronic dance world (EDM for you American readers). Find out more here
2) Dark nights and mornings mean all night clubbing doesn’t feel so bad
Yep you know the feeling, when you leave a club spangled at 7am into the bright sun and people jollying around in everyday life. It can make the down feel just a tad worse. Fear not, while winter may rob us of been woken by the sun they also make all night sessions just that little bit more respectable! Rave on…
3) Extended studio time
Let’s be honest, as much as we all love making electronic music, sitting in a dark studio tweaking repetitive loops during the summer months blows goats – big time! Festivals, pool parties, road-trips and general bourbon fuelled evening mischief are all far more attractive.
As your mates slumber in front of the TV it’s much easier to get down to hard focused music production time. When you have decided that producing electronic music is your prime objective winter months are your friend. A get motivating tool is to set a tall chart running, and strike a line for each hour of music making you do each day. Set a target, say 15 hours a week. Then see how well you can achieve this and how much progress you make in that time. My focus is on learning piano and targeting an hour a day. Getting 30 minutes play when I first wake before work, then more in the evening. Often I can get in 2 hours, by just making myself more productive cause I’m keen to get playing more piano…
4) January Sales
Austerity is still biting so they say, well if you can hold off buying that new gear until January, chances are you can grab a fine discount deal. The stores always slash a good 20 – 50% off items in the post-Christmas sales. Last year they bizarrely even stared before Christmas itself. If you have a basic studio setup trust me whatever the equipment is, you can wait. Instead of spending hours learning the new gear or deciding what to buy. Set a practice regime and set a goal of improving one of your weak musical areas. In 3 months those dodgy basslines and be flowing, melodies lifting you up, and arrangements pulling the listener along.
The Music Production Show London will take place at the home of Arsenal Football Club, The Emirates Stadium’s Royal Oak. The show happens over the weekend of 23rd & 24th of November 2012 with opening times between 10.00 – 17.00 each day. Featuring exhibits form all the major gear manufacturers it’s an ideal opportunity to try out new kit and see what will be landing next year. There will be similar event around the world for international readers to check out too. A few choice words into Google or a flick through your local magazines will show what happening.
6) Warehouse Project – on now till New year
Now in it’s x year, Manchester’s legendary musical circus the Warehouse Project arrives to brighten every north of England students life for 12 weeks of shows featuring the crème of electronic music world. This year aside from the headliners they have a wealth of residencies from major players, headliners in their own right. Electronic artists like Four Tet, Jacques Green, Maceo Plex, Justin Robertson, Pearson sound and more. The Boiler Room will be broadcasting events too. Aside from the great music the nights website has some grat feature interviews with the likes of Claude Vonstroke, Maya Jane Coles etc. For more info click here
7) Bugged out weekender 18 – 20th January 2013
January is always a quiet month, DJ’s actually holiday, and just about everyone’s skint. The bright lads at Bugged Out though had a cunning plan, starting several years back they realised a mini festival just when people get paid again and after a few weeks of monk like seclusion would be a winner. Winner it is indeed. A line up full to the brim and lit to pop of electronic music luminaries spread over a weekend in a Butling Bognor Regis camp.
Winter invariably means plenty of chance to have a good old read. Every year I plan to read 7 – 10 interesting books, and normally they all get read in winter. This isn’t a book but DJ/ Producer and Journalist Jonty Skrufff run probably the most interesting weekly blast of dance world going. Harking back to the elist days of old, this is a weekly digest of the funniest, quirkiest, and coolest stories flying around or yet to break in clubland. Click here to sign up and ensure your winter weeks have plenty of laughter!
9) UK Christmas Number 1
Is anywhere else in the world so bothered about the number one song on Christmas day? Maybe a question I will ask on next weeks travels. For the uninitiated at this time of year we Brits get awash with sentimental crap and a love for cheesy songs. Songs that you can sing after 10 pints, 2 bottles of wine and fig roll whilst having your arm around a co-work colleague you normally hate, but with whom you now feel completely at one. Search Cliff Richard and Christmas number one to find out more! It all got a bit shit for a while with Mr high pants Simon Cowell subjecting the sheeple to mass X-Factor bollox. Thankfully some kind folk ran a Facebook campaign to get RATM ‘F**K you won’t do what you tell me’ to the top and hey ho competition is back.
So remember that cheesy two finger piano riff you made a while back, well dust it off, add some vocals about Christmas cheer, a cute girl in a santa outfit and you may well be in for a UK number one. The KLF wrote a book about producing them too.
Joking aside Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas’ is just about the biggest selling track of the last decade!!
10) Sloe Gin
Not exactly music you may say. Well I dare anyone to spend a few hours slowly sipping a Sloe Gin from a hip flask in their music studio and not create better music productions! It tasts damned fine and the timing is just right to pick them now in October and brew your own…
Got some great ideas on how to keep the inspiration flowing or just fine musical adventures to sample this winter? drop them in the comments below and share the love with fellow readers… Cheers