Research Essay of a DJ Mix Recording

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The aim of this essay is to analyse a specific live mix recording and use it as a reference guide to supplement the DJ performance assignment. The research will focus on a specific recording of electronic dance music genre known as Trance (a repetitive, rhythmic music with complex harmonic components producing trance like states, which originated in Germany in the early 1990‘s), and will try to study the progression and coherency behind it (A. Becker-Blease, 2008) (Diakopolous, Vallis, Hochenbaum, Murphy, Kapur 2009) (mbyL, 2012). In addition, other performance related techniques and act-supporting elements will be objectively and critically reviewed. This should help the performer to gain deeper knowledge on how to build an appealing DJ mix. Moreover, it will help to gain more self-confidence and improve mixing skills and techniques during the preparation stage.

To begin with, the essay will briefly introduce a selected DJ mix recording, it‘s artist and music style. Markus Schulz is an award winning Trance, House and Progressive music genre DJ and producer, who over the last 10 years has become one of the most influential names in the electronic dance music community (Stark, 2013) (Armada Music, 2012). In 2005 he launched his own record label Coldharbour Recordings, which meant to represent “that lovely dark, deep and moody sound“ of Trance genre music (Armada Music, n.d.). In 2013 he was invited to play a set in Armin van Buuren‘s (number one DJ 2008-2010 picked by the DJ Magazine) A State of Trance 600th radio show episode in Sao Paulo (Armada Music, 2013) (DJ MAG, n.d.). The performance was held in front of thousands of people and Schulz was set to play in the middle of the artist line-up. Now, his set from Sao Paulo city wil...

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...tative will apply the discussed techniques to his own performance. Furthermore, it will be defined how the representative will attempt to push the performance boundaries even further. A similar set progression to Schulz‘s will followed, but the energy will build up sooner the duration is limited to thirty minutes. The first 10 minutes will focus on the progressive side of Trance music and will be gradually building up. The middle of the set will introduce a more melodic, vocal type of music, whereas the peak of the set will be emphasised by a faster and ‘classic‘ type of Trance music. Mainly, the performance will focus on beatmatching and cohesiveness. Nevertheless, great consideration will be devoted to apply various effects more frequently. For that purpose, music will be played from both digital (Laptop combined with Ableton sotware) and hardware (CDJ‘s) domains.

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