"Going down" from electro
Hey guys, I got a gig tomorrow night and I am aware I tend to have a problem when mixing, and I was hoping for some advice to help me fix it.
First of all I am a pretty mainstream DJ, meaning I mix mostly top 40, old hip hop, old dance music (from the 90s), all time classics and stuff. I love house/electro house way too much (this is what got me into DJing in the first place), and I now know (I learned the hard way ) that most people don't love house and electro as much as I do. Since I wanted to learn how to mix for people and read a crowd, I ended up mixing for general parties (not EDM) made of people aged around 20-30.
Now, I did mix in clubs and my tomorrow gig is also in a club. I tend to like club gigs because it allows me (if the feeling is right and the crowd is ready, of course) to pump some electro.
My problem is: Once I begin mixing electro, the energy is so high that I feel unable to switch to another low-energy genre of music. It seems I must always go up and up, feeling that if I switch to a smoother genre, it will ruin the mood. It's like once I step into electro territory, there's no going back. At the same time, I cannot keep the energy rising forever, as the only kind of music with that kind of energy is electro, and I know people tend to get bored if I keep to electro and leave the dance floor little by little. So then I realize I have to switch genre and do it, but as I felt it kills the mood. I just cannot "get out" of electro smoothly.
Electro/house/maybe even trance are the only genres with which I have this problem. Maybe it's because I like them too much that once I begin mixing them, I get lost in the mix and can't snap out of it, I don't know.
Seriously, do anyone have any idea of what I'm talking about? Or even had some kind of related feeling at some point? How did you deal with it? What did you do?
Reading my post, it feels like a pretty stupid (or weird) question, but really I'm looking for some advice/help.
I do know what you mean and kind of used to struggle a bit with it as well, but the change in tempo is usually very welcomed by the dance floor after the energy is high for a while. Just work on finding tracks and transitions that you can use to drop a much slower song in.
Got any example of one such transition? I know most DJs don't want to share them, since they worked very hard to find them, but I can share one of mine I just remembered while reading your post.
You need a track that is more house than electro though, but I find "Run DMC - It's Like That" mixes well with a house song. It has high energy, good bassline, same tempo and then transitions well into hip hop.
You guys got any more ideas?
it does ruin the mood, but there is a great technique to use:
you build up and build and build up to make that super awesome electro track the peak of that SECTION of your mix. then do a wind down and play a floor clearer that some people will still like(like a nikki minaj "girl" track or something like that). make an announcement like "yo whats up everybody im dj crazy clown and i play here X times a month, if you have any requests holla at me and everybody cool off and grab a drink at the bar! dont forget to tip the bartenders!"
then, it cycles people through the dance floor, sells drinks, and allows you to change up the mood of your set, which needs to be done about once every 30-45 mins(in the top40/request/party format)
its pretty much a win, win, win, win for everyone and its very important people can take breaks and spend money.
^ Pretty much what he said.
My favorite stuff to spin is electro and ghettofunk stuff. However I do a mostly top40 bar. But I have dipped into both of those genres and got people I didn't even know where in the bar dancing. I was able to get about 3 different groups rotating (top40, classics, and etc.) and eventually all 3 of them out, once the liquor has made an affect.
Just mix something in, don't overthink it. There are tons of remixes for stuff like boom boom pow and all the top 40 made by electro dj's/producers. Use these to transition from hard electro to top 40. I like to use stuff like "Last Night" with Snoop Dogg or "Push It" with Yelawolf, Wil.I.Am's "Forever" or Gorilla Zoe's "Twisted." Another one is the "No Hands" remixes which there are a ton of!
Progressive house is your friend here I would think. Something by Tydi or John Dahlback would be up the alley to drop from an electro track. If you're super worried take a slower track, cut everything out before the first breakdown in an audio program. Put 2 phrases of nothing but kick so it matches most songs mix-in time, so you can phrase match. Then add 1-3 phrases of a build up/noise sweep. Then have that reverb/echo into the breakdown of the track you want to mix into. Instant switch if you pick the right song.
Additionally, you can do the same thing except instead of switch to the breakdown of another song just put a kick and bassline(made by you if you want). Less is more, as they say. A big long buildup followed by a 1-2 phrases of an exceptionally bass heavy beat adds a lot of anticipation, removes some of the energy without removing much(if any) of the music flow.
Didn't really know about the 30-45 minutes cycle thing, which is something that could help me a lot. Experimenting transitions and editing tracks to suit my needs also seem like good ideas.
Thanks a lot for all the good advice!
When I want to mix out of house/electro, I'll generally either do a slow brake transition into hip hop though it has to be a really popular song to keep the crowd going. Or I've found some hip hop in the 60-75 BPM, can actually be doubled to beat-match the house. Not every song can do it so you have to play around till you find one that works.