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Buggles had it all wrong

MTV famously debuted with a goggle eyed mop top singing about how video had killed the radio star. I bet he never anticipated a radio show made entirely from videos.

I must confess, when I started mixing YouTube videos I didn’t anticipate it either, but yes that just happpened. My new friend @curatingyoutube emailed following our back to back mixtape session asking me to craft a mix for him. The radio show wasn’t the only twist on a common theme, the mix had to be done using gridr.com. I must confess, this made it doubly attractive. Broadcasting to an audience of late night Berliners (did I mention he’s German?) using a new platform was a challenge I couldn’t turn down.

Briefly, a word about gridr. Its a great platform for non-linear mixes of YouTube videos, demonstrated far more artistically that I do in @curatingyoutubes exhibition “Three hours in every second”. Me? I just bludgeoned it into submitting to do the sort of thing I would do live, only without full screen videos. The mix is called Meta wangling in Beta. The ‘wangling’ bit comes from the opening track, the Beta is because I am learning and Meta? Well its all Meta isn’t it?!

I was delighted with some of the responses, particularly from people who had been confused as to what exactly I do when I play live, such as:

abi ytdj comment

PS YTDJ = YouTube Jockey

Whilst it isn’t a perfect portrayal of what I do live it works a treat if you’re just listing to the audio, or interested in watching me work ‘behind the scenes’ without the full screen treatment.

The loneliness of the youtube curator

I have griped before that it’s a lonely business doing something that essentially no one else does. So you can imagine my excitement when I came across a twit by the name of @curatingyoutube.

We’d barely exchanged brief pleasantries before I’d invited him to partner up for an online video mix.

Now it’s worth mentioning that I knew essentially nothing about him, in fact I don’t think I even knew he was a he. Still, I was sold by his handle (wtf does mine sell?!) and a fascinating game of video ping pong ensued. We played on dragontape.com, taking turns to choose a video and tag it onto the previous choice, working within the confines of the mandated 5 second audio fades and abrupt video transitions.

We played until we’d reached what seemed like a sensible conclusion.

I love what we came up with, and knowing a bit more about him now I can understanding his choices. I also loved that there was no background, no context, just a shared love of extracting the best from the tubes.

The result is Video Ping Pong. Can you tell who’s turn is whos?

vid ping pong sshot

We continued to play, only we changed the nature of the game… more of that next.

Yourtubes is coming, honestly…

I know this seems like a repeat posting, but YourTubes is definitely coming back at 8pm on Friday 22nd September (ignore the bit below where it says Saturday 22nd). This time its smack bang in the centre of town, in the swanky surroundings of the White Cloth Gallery no less (ignore the bit below that says it’s at Melbourne Street Studios…. you might guess things have been rehashed significantly from the original plans) right next door to the train station.

What more could you want, a delightful setting, a saturday night soiree with drinks on tap where you and your chums control the viewing. Until you get too tiddly to focus, when I will take the controls.

YOU! are what makes this event unique. YourTubes is the only event in existence (karaoke aside) where you choose what everyone else watches, right up until I can bear it no longer and wrestle controls back from you for to craft an on the fly mix from live streaming video. The evening will kick off with some inspiring/enlightening online presentations, which you can shortlist in advance (on Twittter with the hashtag #YourTubes) which we’ll vote for on the night. After that, any old randomness goes, though if a theme starts to emerge, I’d recommend running with it, bouncing selections from the ones that go before.

There’s good reason why ‘horns’ are cited on the poster (though I didn’t realise it when it was created) Unless I get carried away, this will be the starter for my set…

Suggestions welcome for horn based follow ups.

L’entente cordiale

I can be a bit full of myself from time to time, but really I’m pretty modest about my work. So when the head of the French sister label of Ninja Tune starts emailing compliments about about my blog, it’s fair to say I was a happy ineaux.

The man in question is DJ Oof, psychedelic art collector, curator, film and fashion geek & founder of the Ping Pong label. Years ago I picked up one of his Cinemix dvd’s at a Big Chill Festival, though I don’t recall actually seeing him do it live. This doesn’t actually mean I didn’t see him, as far as I’m concerned festivals are like the old adage about the Sixties ; )

I’ve always had a penchant for his style: great musical choice, and a cheeky humour, often expressed through samples from the French equivalent of Carry On. He’s a one man cinematic kiss of life for neglected footage, whether the French film archives or pioneering 50’s animator Norman Malcolm.

He emailed some kind words, and mentioned that a few of the videos had gone offline. He was clearly expecting me to have a hard drive stashed away somewhere with downloads. So explained that I only played live streaming content from the internet, which meant I was in the lap of the censorious inter-tube gods. His “Respect” answer meant an awful lot to me, as it’s great to be recognised for the verite of my approach.

Anyway, enough basking in the reflected glow, lets take a look at his oeuvre…

Well well… in a moment of pure serendipity I just came across my favourite segment from the aforementioned Cinemix dvd, featuring some Anglo French capers in ‘The Brain’. I’ve been looking for this online for a good 5 years, only to find it whilst writing this blog with only 2 previous views. Like picking the winning numbers in the Euro Millions Lottery!

That one is perhaps not the most cerebral offering, so here is the result of 500 hours plundering the French aeronautical archives set to some Modeselektor minimalism. I’m a sucker for clunky machines and retro switchgear…

And to finish, heres some glitch-hop set to the work of Norman McLaren…

Life Online Gallery launch

Given what I do, I was delighted to be asked to play at the launch of the Life Online Gallery at the National Media Museum. I’ve never had to follow on from Richard Branson before, and not sure I’ll ever have to again!

What started out as a request to play an hours set became a 4 hour marathon as I walked through the door. Thankfully, when your content streams live from the internet, you don’t need to worry about not having enough to play. So I took the audience on a right roller-coaster of a ride through all manner of genres and internet nonsense. As I was playing on a specially erected giant screen in the foyer half the time I didn’t notice that I had several stories of audience looking down from the several floors of balconies above. It was only as folk I’d not seen in the foyer complimented on the set on their way out that I realised.

My favourite mash of the night has to be a 3 way combo of Peter Simon recounting tales of a his Dickensian childhood, whilst staring at Cyriak mutant teddies stomping along to the Tedddy Bears Picnic tune. Bless them, the good folk at the national Media Museum were good enough to call me their resident VJ. I should use that in my PR material!

peter simon

The resurrection of YourTubes

Thats right folks, YourTubes is back. And this time its in that city centre, in the lovely new Melbourne Street Studios, who assure me that their internet connection is GREAT.

You have probably worked out that the intermitant  connection at Seven meant that enjoyable though it was for me to walk to and from a gig, it wasn’t the best venue for a night featuring online videos.

I’m afraid there is a small fee this time round, but the good news is we’ve embraced this technology lark and you can book online.

The night will follow the established format, crowd sourcing sessions featuring snippets of interesting information interspersed with amusing clips of cats falling off cushions, finished off with a live mix from yours truly.

There will be a bar. It starts at 8pm and it will be lots of fun, as well as being the future of entertainment unfolding before your very eyes.

Watch that Sound

Its been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you…. No apologies, but a brief explanation: I got a hectic new job and for a good while my employers were blocking access to YouTube! Can you imagine the distress that caused?! However, rest assured, I have far from given up the on jockeying the Tubes. I’ve been assiduously gathering content at every given opportunity, just never get time to post the results up here due to dayjob pressures.

Whilst mining the ether I have struck a rich seam of electro revivalism, which is I guess a good way of describing the entire canon of av remixes, but in particular I’m taking about funky soul gems given a 21st century polish by one Bobby C Sound. I must confess, his is not a name I’d come across before, hailing as he does from the state of Colorado in the Good Ol’, but I was certianly mightly pleased to make his acquaintance.

Lets begin the introductions with his Soul Food Fight remix. Its got all the elements that get me hot under the collar, great beats, a deep retro vibe sampling Louis Jordan and visuals crafted from an old cartoon. 

If you’re liking that, you’ll love the next offering, this time working much the same vibe and sampling soul legend Ray Charles. Keen readers may recall me banging on about Diplos Gold Digger some time ago, and I think it’s fair to say that Mr Sound is rather familiar with it. But hey, who ever said great art needed to be based on original ideas, certainly not me!

Right then, must crack on. Cant promise that I’ll keep up with the levels of posting seen during the redundancy years, but I can promise that I’m still here, unearthing online audio visual delights for your desktop delectation. Plus I’ll be hitting the big screens again later in the year, so stay tuuuuuuuuuned…

 

Dont miss DJ Woody’s “Turntables in Technicolour”

Legendary turntable bother from the wrong side o’ the Pennines, DJ Woody, is bringing his astounding live AV show “Turntables in Technicolour” to Leeds next Friday 2nd. Do. Not. Miss. This.

Its not often Leeds gets lit up by the greats of the audio visual world, so its definitely worth dropping that xmas shopping and getting yourself along to the funkadelic new Sedgewick Avenue bar on Merrion Street to take in the spectacle. Best of all, it’s free!

What can we say about Woody. Well I’ve said a bit about him before. He’s yet another of those beat juggling scratchmasters who’s made the progression from records to audio visuals. See also DJ Food, DJ Cheeba and DJ Yoda. What makes the progression so common is the heavy use of samples in turntable culture. Its a natural step to go from dropping a vocal sample nicked from Pulp Fiction to dropping the sample in entirety. Although I couldn’t claim to be part of turntable culture myself, I have to doff my cap to it’s influence. In particular its the use of samples that drove me to AV mixing. Listening to mix tapes I would imagine the flickering footage that had disappeared from audio samples. Over time I developed a passion for spicing back together the audio and visual.

The thing that gives Woody has a bit of an edge on his compadres is that he trained as a graphic designer, giving him an intuitive understanding of visuals that isn’t shared by everyone ploughing the same furrow… *ahem* yoda *ahem*

To whet your appetite, lets look at a couple of bits of footage of the B Wooder at work. Here’s a taster of his showcase set from the 2010 DMC championship… 

And here he is serving up choice cuts to soundtrack “Local Legend” by Seek the Northerner, a tale familiar to anyone who grew up within spitting distance of the wrong side of the tracks…

 

… a fearless pioneer… a modern day Jimmy Savile

The sad news about Sir Jim’ll dying reminded me that only the week before I had emailed someone saying “I’m a fearless pioneer, a modern day Jimmy Saville”. You’ve doubtless heard Sir Jim’s claim to have been the first person to put two record decks together and invent DJ’ing. He also claims to be the inventor of the disco, being the first person to organise a dance with records instead of live bands. I feel much the same about YouTube mixing. Before I start waxing lyrical, lets hear what the man himself has to say…

The way talks about replacing bands with records is how I feel about taking internet videos off the desktop and projecting them into entirely different situations. His notion of having a pair of decks to cue up the next track is exactly what I’m doing when I mix videos together. I am that impatient listener in a hurry to get onto the next record/video, it’s hard wired. Show me a video, no matter what the content, and I’m immediately thinking about how it could relate to any of the 5000 odd other videos I’ve seen. Making connections and crafting mixes and mashups on the fly is why one of my sets is an entirely different experience to watching videos one by one without the contextual benefits of pro and epilogue.

Whilst reminiscing on the life of Sir Jim’ll, with the help of the internet ether I came across this tribute crafted from his intro’s. I was particularly looking for the scene where he switches off the ToTP lights at the end of the series, as it would make an ideal set closer. But watching the rest of his segments I was struck that I could craft a set based round his intros. I wouldn’t always stick to playing the band he’s introducing, though half the time you can’t really tell who he is introducing, and the other half I could quite happily play. Canned Heat? Wombles? The Specials? Just yer average ineaux experience…