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nitram

first three records to start a set

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First record you can plan for. Got to be a party starter. Previous record was an ‘ender’ so you know to pick the tempo up. You have to stamp your mark on this first spin so make it count. Maybe a classic rarity. All depends on the venue, the crowd and of course, the timing of the slot in the DJ sequence. Have a longlist of possibilities in mind but they need to be proven floorfillers.

Second record...you’ve got 2 minutes 20 seconds to shuffle through a few, pick one, tee it up, check out the dancefloor action, maybe crank it up a bit further and segue into the next track or mumble a few words and give the dancers a breather. No time to overthink things as autopilot takes over - be cool, take it one record at a time.

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8 hours ago, DaveNPete said:

Surely a decent DJ plays records that reflect the tail end of the previous set in terms of tempo etc, whilst providing a bridge to your own set and also singalling what you're going to do musically. Follow Your Heart? Yeh that'd be a good one : ) The first three mentioned (Karmen, Santos, Gallo) would simply have me feeling dejected that I was going to hear yet another unimaginative 'me too' set. 

Couldn't have put it better myself though I can't comment on the Karmen, Santos, Gallo, as they're not my field. The question in the thread title makes answering it widespread, as it doesn't state whether you would be opening the function, and/or the order in which you'd be positioned. Neither does it raise the issue of filling a half empty (or worse) floor, or whether the function was a Northern soul gig or not. Here's my take on it from a number of angles and assuming it's not a Northern-only function.

I've rarely been in the position of following on from someone as the majority of the functions I've DJ'ed have been as the sole DJ for 4 to 5.5 hour sets throughout, granted many of those have been mainstream functions, which would include weddings and birthdays if running a mobile. When you've covered multiple functions there is one fact that is unquestionable, DJ'ing at specialist music functions where the crowd are attending already with dancing as their main aim, is easy. Now compare that with playing at functions where only a small percentage of the crowd might have been anywhere near a dance floor for years and don't feel relaxed about it, that's when selection criteria is really put to the test especially when the age group could be across 3 generations. It's a challenge at every appearance which doesn't exist at a specialist function, so if that's only where you guys and girls play at you have no excuse for not putting on a good show.

So let's assume the question was only based on a soul funk jazz fusion function. If I were playing in the second spot of three different DJ's, for two hours, the first thing I would do would be to ask the DJ playing after me at peak time what he'd planned to play so that I wouldn't steal the show from him or play too many tracks from the same periods he planned to play. Likewise I would have checked what the first DJ played to avoid duplication. For me, variety is very important.

The Early Sessions: The last weekly residency I had opened with an hour and a half of soul and jazz fusion always to a designated time of 22.00 from whence everything was dance floor targeted. In those early sessions I opened with what has been my signature tune for years, The Yellowjackets - Matinee Idol. Next up I'm opting for Mr Fingers - What About This Love Remix, this is such a beautiful piece of music which I've played early at possibly the majority of functions I've DJ'ed at since it's release. Keeping to the same theme as Larry Heard's offering, I'm going with The Producers - Love Is Amazing, undated but Discogs states 1968, can anyone confirm please? More to follow in another posting.

 

 

 

Edited by Martin S

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Assuming it's not to a crowd you know...

First 3 can test the water.

A bit like the Blues Brothers singing gimme some loving and getting bombarded with bottles from the country and western crowd before moving to stand by your man and getting applauded!

Heard one DJ recently start off with a self confessed' curve ball' to test the mood.

If you want to get asked back again....fill the floor and use the never fail formula ...

Oh...sorry...i can't find the bit of paper it was written on:(

Good luck.

Ed

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39 minutes ago, Kegsy said:

3 full on 150mph stompers, then when the floor is empty for the rest of the set, you can hide behind the excuse everybody was too knackered to dance. 😉

Sadly, I've actually witnessed that.

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18 minutes ago, MGM 1251 said:

Great choice  with The Sophistcates Len...always loved that one....

Funny story attached to that play - I thought it a tad 'risky', so I spliced it in straight after Terry Callier (No talking on the mike between) I was too scared to look at the reaction, so I turned round to my record box and whispered to Simon Ingham....."Si, Si, are they dancing?" :huh: He cracked up....."Yes they are Len" :D

Of course they were - It was Bury. Get yaselves down there this year to their Boxing Day All-nighter, it's always a 'cracker' (Pun intended) :wink:

Len :thumbsup:

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HA HA BRILLIANT.......

...yes,I would have thought it a bit risky too...lovely record tho...

id have thought the other side would have been more of an all nighter spin “I Can’t Stand It”

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4 minutes ago, MGM 1251 said:

id have thought the other side would have been more of an all nighter spin “I Can’t Stand It”

How dare you! :D

That is also a good side - Many times I've bought records, which follow a comment from the seller......"Len, people normally buy that for the other side"....... :D

Len :thumbsup:

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3 minutes ago, LEN said:

How dare you! :D

That is also a good side - Many times I've bought records, which follow a comment from the seller......"Len, people normally buy that for the other side"....... :D

Len :thumbsup:

HaHaHa...Hey,I bought it for the “Icsi”side...and found “I need you”on t’uther....yipeee...

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If you get to know the venue, and type of folks who frequent it, the other dj's who have guested, the promoters, maybe you can plan your first 3. Following someone on is always tricky. Just got to do one of 2 things in the end.

1/ go with the flow, or 2/ do your own thing and make an impact. Whoooosh!!

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53 minutes ago, Rob Moss said:

JJ BARNES Lucille

 

Tony Hester Keep a hold on me

 

SHARON MCMAHAN I have no choice

 

Much as I love it, I have to say that programming 'I have no choice' in the first three would totally destroy the dancefloor and mood and simply does not work with the other two - though it has to be the perfect ender.
Dx

Edited by DaveNPete

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10 minutes ago, LEN said:

You can completely plan a set if you so wish, as long as you are capable of making changes that work if needs be (Which is usually inevitable)

Whatever works for you :wink:

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

Surely some planning is required otherwise what records do you take with you?

 

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14 minutes ago, luxury soul said:

Surely some planning is required otherwise what records do you take with you?

I have yet to complete quite a lengthy posting I started writing earlier, as I wanted to make sure the thread didn't go too far off topic first of all. However I will mention the following now as it's something that some people may not have considered. I plan meticulously as a large percentage of what I play is mixed, but I actually take enough records for two entire sets in case for any reason another DJ can't make it through bad weather, mechanical, traffic, etc. We're just off the M25 here so you always have to keep an open mind. When the Heathrow widening was taking place in the early 2000's it was always touch and go if my co DJ would make it early enough after a days work from which he couldn't leave any earlier on a Friday evening.

Edited by Martin S

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21 minutes ago, DaveNPete said:

Much as I love it, I have to say that programming 'I have no choice' in the first three would totally destroy the dancefloor and mood and simply does not work with the other two - though it has to be the perfect ender.
Dx

I've started a set with 'Teddy Randazzo - You Don't Need A Heart' before - It didn't totally destroy the dance floor and mood (Much to my disappointment) :D

(Referring to another tune usually seen as an 'ender') :wink:

Len :thumbsup:

'Teddy Randazzo - You Don't Need A Heart'

 

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19 minutes ago, luxury soul said:

Surely some planning is required otherwise what records do you take with you?

And you only have as long as a record lasts to choose your next one, so a bit of thinking time beforehand can be very beneficial.

It is part of the fun racing through your record box to choose something though - Always happens regardless of how much planning is done.

Again - Whatever works for you :wink:

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

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If you're doing the first spot pick 3 records that fit in with the venue /"soulies" i. e. Oldies, crossover, modern etc. If you're not doing the first spot you need to evaluate all that has been played before you and from this in your experience will I'm sure pick three sounds that will blow the roof off!             All the best Fred 

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Intruders-Check Yourself . .Outsiders- Lonely man...Capitols-I feel alright....Also started with Jackie lee-Oh my Darling and totally cleared the  floor.

 

Edited by Daz64

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39 minutes ago, Daz64 said:

Intruders-Check Yourself . .Outsiders- Lonely man...Capitols-I feel alright....Also started with Jackie lee-Oh my Darling and totally cleared the  floor.

 

Intruders a good call, enjoying a lot of popularity currently.

Believe it or not I've seen Bobby Garrett ICGA clear a packed floor, couldn't believe my eyes!

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For what its worth this is my approach (I only get asked to do a handful each year) which starts some days before the event, if i am doing 2 sets then a box of about 90 records and box of about 50 records, 1 set then box of 90.  Go through the collection & fill the boxes based upon;

What is the event advertised as, previous experience of the event, knowledge of attendees preferences, what the promoter wants from/expects you, what time(s) are you on (8pm at an alldayer is not the same as 8pm at a soulnite), what are the other dj's likely to play, what have i played there before (if applicable). If new event to me then find out as much as i can.

{If i dont know how well the setup is likely to be leave any valuable 'styrene' at home}

Next step is to section all records into similar 'style' within the box using cardboard spacers. e..g so if record works then the one behind should work and flow nicely.

Have a bit of an idea of some of the options i 'may' play.

On the day do as others have already said i.e. observe the previous sets, dancers reactions etc.. non dancers reactions as well. Note down any records played that i have in my box and move to back of box to not play.

Usually make a decision on first record (& 2nd record) when dj is playing 2nd to last and has last one queued up. After that it is real time decision making which either goes well or not !!

 

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1 hour ago, bbrich said:

Unfortunately I think if you are doing the first spot it probably doesnt matter what your first 3 records are at all because in my recent experience there is hardly anyone there yet and those that are, are queuing at the bar. 

The first three records of the first spot are for fine tuning the sound, although the acoustics may change as the venue fills.

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4 minutes ago, Steve S 60 said:
4 minutes ago, Steve S 60 said:

first three records of the first spot are for fine tuning the sound, although the acoustics may change as the venue fills

Shouldn't the organisers do that before the first spot?

 

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19 hours ago, luxury soul said:

I would opt for 3 LP only tracks:

Tempests - Someday 

Magnificent Men - Keep On Climbing 

Hesitations - That’s What Love Is

 You could play the 7"  Magnificent Men - From The 7" Capitol Box Set ? ( Unless You Think " Box Set's Not Legal ) ??  . 

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Just now, bbrich said:

 

They should, but I've arrived at venues early doors where they're still messing about with all the sound settings.  That may be because the first DJ doesn't like how it's been set up.  I've witnessed DJs still tweaking with the sound well into the night.  Age probably has a lot to do with it.

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3 hours ago, DaveNPete said:

Much as I love it, I have to say that programming 'I have no choice' in the first three would totally destroy the dancefloor and mood and simply does not work with the other two - though it has to be the perfect ender.
Dx

I Think " Rob Moss " Would Like Your Set ??  , Hope Your'e Fit Enough To Attend Some Xmas Soul Events PETE ( Gail & Dave in HYDE ) Have A Fun One DAVE .

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1 hour ago, Steve S 60 said:

The first three records of the first spot are for fine tuning the sound, although the acoustics may change as the venue fills.

Acoustics change a lot over the course of the night. Winsford was a classic example. Record bar at the back was divided off from the main hall with massive curtains which when closed absorbed so much sound it was mad, plus when the venue filled up, again massive sound absorption.  Hence the need for a sound engineer.  Plus ban the DJ,s from messing around with the controls on the mixer decks, that makes a big difference 

Steve 

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19 minutes ago, Winsford Soul said:

Acoustics change a lot over the course of the night. Winsford was a classic example. Record bar at the back was divided off from the main hall with massive curtains which when closed absorbed so much sound it was mad, plus when the venue filled up, again massive sound absorption.  Hence the need for a sound engineer.  Plus ban the DJ,s from messing around with the controls on the mixer decks, that makes a big difference 

Steve 

I've noticed one or two DJ's seem to keep tweaking up the bass to the point where there's buzzing and feedback or the records jump due to the pulsing. It seems to be as the venue fills though after a couple of hours so there's more background noise and more bodies to absorb the reverberation. 

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