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questions; meet answers

What is Initialsession™?

A private demo mix compilations spanning across a range of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and Lounge genres; these will be set for to be hosted by Mixcloud®. It is in my best interest to produce a private demo tape with set compositions that are the best of "both worlds" - in this case - Casual VS. Performance Criteria Listening. Soon to be hosted for open listening & review at Mixcloud® by December 2013.

I would like to make a private reservation. How do I receive a copy?

At the time of writing, InitialSession™;compilations are to be available only for open listening & review via my Mixcloud® page. Regretfully, my strategy of accepting creative "private reservations" hand-printed copies in the past have proved to be futile to generate any interest from the public. 

How many titles / volumes are you submitting online to Mixcloud®?

At the time of writing and planning I am hoping to arrange a total of no more than seven volumes. For any change, this will be notified in writing.

Why are you not able to perform mixes for other mainstream genres such as
Pop, R&B, Hip/Hop, Dubstep, DnB / Jungle, Breaks, Hardstyle, Hard House / Euro House, Psy Trance, Goa Trance, etc?

For one simple reason - you will not find one DJ / set composer who is consistently, technically and aesthetically flawless across any genre, or perhaps ANY given musical genre; inside OR outside the EDM family - whether aesthetically (harmonically) and/or technically (mixing skills, turntablism / beatmatching).

Just like all things relative to life - no one is perfect enough to accommodate or attract both needs and wants of absolutely everyone, as what this question implies. Flaws are there to be acknowledged, respected & understood as limitations of what it truly is to be an individual. 

Just like not all graphic designers are perfectly comfortable in doing heavyweight task/s that are more suited to a developer or a programmer; despite increasing pressure & expectation/s - whether it be for websites, software development and so on; without ever sacrificing any part of their intangible asset/s; creative or otherwise.

ARE THESE MADE FOR COMMERCIAL / PROFITABLE USE?

Absolutely not. At the very least at the time of writing these compilations are purely designed as an open evaluatory set of submissions in which the possible listeners would be kindly asked to post any feedbacks/ either through comment/s on my Blog;or via my email (andrewid.aw@gmail.com).

ARE YOU AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE HIRING / MOBILE BUSINESS?

Not at this time. All inherent activity listed under DJ/set composer section in this web site are entirely used as hobbyst purpose at this time. Any change of circumstances will be notified on the web in writing.

WHAT IS CASUAL VS. PERFORMANCE CRITERIA LISTENING?

This is the easy answer to describe the difference of the two purposes : one is fast, and the other is careful. InitialSession™ is born as an idea of designing a promotional medium that carries the best of both worlds - producing a series of promos that can rest comfortably on a chaise lounge or on a director's studio mixing desk.

Throughout all my years of listening to commercial compilations and viewing the trends and expectations of what self-made mixtapes are - I have begun to discover the distinct difference between what is a compilation and a mixtape. A mixtape is more often perceived as an absolute technical showcase of a DJ whose sole purpose is to showcase the most concise, technical manner of creativity - most likely be in the realm of scratching, tight-mixing abilities, and/or exhibiting turntablism skills between songs that he / she has chosen. In other words, it is an immediate one page portfolio of one's creativity. Where as a mixed compilation is something I find; or generally more perceived - as a gift designed in a more humble, timely manner. In other words -  a showcase that is not often supported by how much songs can you throw into a mashup in just  15 or even 10 minutes; but more importantly - a journey of sonics that that is carefully planned, practised and lengthened for a desired purpose or a set atmosphere. 

There are of course, advantages & disadvantages of the two promotional mediums.; most likely relating to time constraint & aesthetic differences. A mixtape (made for performance-criteria-listening) is more likely to contain just enough set of work/s to demonstrate mashups of tight mixing. And these are often likely to be heard in just a very short amount of time. An ongoing trend and important expectation here is the constant use and expression of energy of that the DJ /  composer has arranged into the composition layout. On the other hand - a mixedtape compilation is what I certainly believe an 'opportunistic' version of a mixtape - in that aesthetic freedom and creativity in writing a 'journey' is always possible. Here depending upon the atmosphere a DJ / composer initially intended (whether it be slow & intimate Deep Soulful House or a completely all out Dutch / dirty Electro House) - there is going to be, at some extent - a period of emphasis and de-emphasis of a storyline. The closest descriptive words or 'events' to these would be a warming-up/introduction, climax, resolution, and cooling-down'. I believe it is at completely at the DJ / set composer's will to extend any part of these events as what is best for the journey itself.

Hence, it is in my most humble belief - not as a scratch or turntablist DJ - but to promote the latter in terms of delivering a 'story' or an 'atmosphere' via a series of set definitions that I use in my practise sessions. Some are reworked off from the original set ideas, some are planned brand new from scratch. These volumes are all prepared offline with the aid of computer mixing not only within an industry favour of beatmatched presentation, but also with the critical ability (with the exception perhaps of being able to afford the most expensive of all digital players with this feature) to eliminate any small redundant sections of that journey to ensure that every storyline is not too 'longwinded'.

COMPUTERISED MIXTAPES - Is that not damaging the core, traditional values of DJing?

Of course - it is entirely normal for one to be very argumentative in seeing that producing a mixtape entirely by the computer is more easier than ever; and thus - this is considered wrong and by all means abusive to the core philosophy of DJ'ing. Now I for for one entirely do not disagree with this; for I am one too - am against the use of computers & laptops as a live aid to my technical mixing whenever I practise. However, I solely use computers / laptops as nothing more than categorising my set composition ideas next to producing all of my InitialSession™ private demo tapes.  To be honest, all it requires tools wise is a text editor, and basic inventory management skills. 

Are you by all means an artist or a producer?

No. Me as an aesthetic producer or musician status has not been currently planned at this stage.

HOW LONG IS PER InitialSession™ demo compilations? 

On average, I am aiming to produce my demo tapes with a capped limit of one hour.  Essentially speaking each and every set storyline compositions in each InitialSessions are essentially my actual performance set composition libraries, some sections are unchanged and preserved as they are,  some are actually re-worked and condensed by removing supporting titles; while a few are planned and written brand new from scratch.

Why is your InitialSession™ demo compilations longer or shorter than what is considered standard?

By average, there is likely more than one genre to be covered in each InitialSession. And by average - there is likely to be more than one branching genres contained in any given songs I've selected in each Initialsession™. And by average - and it is more likely - that it is simply impossible to list just very few songs that instantly, thoroughly and faithfully explores & demonstrates all the aesthetic EXTENT & possibilities of ANY given genre. 

If the last statement is physically tested, statistically researched and is found true - then at least 90% of all mixtapes self-produced today are essentially same sounding one after another.

Contrary to popular beliefs; not all songs within EDM (Electronic Dance Music) or Lounge genres can be easily condensed into just a handful of phrases. It is not within my best intention to produce an evaluatory mixtape solely constructed for Performance Criteria Listening.   

Furthermore, I would like to add one more reason as to why these compilations do run longer; and that is to respect all bounds of different ethnic & cultural implications. It is simply incourteous for anyone to condense any segments or phrases within vocals; especially when they are in a different language.

DO YOU USE SERATO®, ABLETON® OR ANY OTHER COMPUTER AIDED SOFTWARE IN THE MAKING OF THESE PROMOS?

No. Besides from using Mixmeister® to arrange my offline private & personal compilations I do not use any digitised forms of tools as an aid to my mix; whether it be in tight track-to-track set composing or for as aesthetic production tools.  

DO YOU USE MIXED IN KEY® AT ALL AS AN AID TO YOUR MIX?

Yes.  The ONLY avenue and need for me to use my laptop is purely for collecting, and organising set composition ideas with Mixed in Key®.  Given that there are dozens, if not, hundreds of songs exposed in one's collective library I find it highly doubtful for anyone to be able to efficiently organise an exemplary set of composition ideas by memory alone completely without the aid of Mixed In Key®; yet alone accurately memorising the exact key of a song (in midst of dozens, if not hundreds) last heard 10 or 15 years ago. 

Mixed In Key; while it completes my need in terms of collecting and organising my database of libraries - it is often not the be-all and the-end-all solution to solve a compositional problem. All mixsets have at least one or more compositional problems that needs to be solved not just by identifying and matching the musical key/s alone, but also highly dependent upon other characteristics such as beat structures, rythmic qualities (Linears VS. Progressives), song context, lyrical context, atmosphere intent/s, overall journey dynamics & intent, cultural/ethnic identities, and the list goes on. These; from my personal belief & opinion - can NEVER be assisted by the qualities of an automated computational platform no matter HOW sophisticated.  

Just like understanding the ever elusive grid systems for all designers. I'd like to borrow the quote from historically reknowned designer Josef Muller Brockmann:

“The grid system is an aid, not a guarantee. It permits a number of possible uses and each designer can look for a solution appropriate to his personal style. But one must learn how to use the grid; it is an art that requires practice.”

Josef Muller Brockmann

I'D LIKE TO LEAVE A FEEDBACK How do I do so?

Absolutely! You may post your comments directly on my Mixcloud® profile / uploaded mixes or simply email me through initialsession@yahoo.com / andrewid.aw@gmail.com along with your thoughts. I welcome all feedbacks.