Spirit Of Sacrifice – I Am DJ Competition Winning Mix (18th May 2009)

Some time around the turn of the new year, someone over at the Matt Hardwick forums mentioned the idea of everyone on the board doing their own version of the Essential Mix. It was an idea that aroused some interest, the debate being whether or not to have it on a weekly rota, or as a competition.

Shortly afterwards, coinciding with the release of Matt’s single, “I Am DJ”, the competition was announced. Whilst I’m not always enamoured by the idea of forum mix competitions (the catalyst behind some insanely bitter arguments back in the DJ Source days), the idea of doing my own Essential Mix was irresistible.

The problem, it soon turned out as I began to plan the mix, was how on earth I was going to do everything that I wanted to do. The answer, naturally, was that I couldn’t. But I especially wanted an introduction to the mix that would stand out, and I had so many wonderful tunes that I had used as intros to mixes before, all of which I wanted to use in the mix itself.

Eventually, it struck me that I could use different elements from lots of different tunes to create something entirely new. I set about working out all the ones I wanted to use, burned them to CD, and started playing around with them all on the decks. After about a week of this, it became obvious that although I could definitely do this and make it work, the structure of doing it was too complex and the timings were too crucial – one split second too early or late and suddenly everything would be out of key. Such is the fun of attempting harmonic mixing without any beats to go by 😀

So instead, I thought I could use Cubase, to produce the intro as I would any other tune – it also saved the need for using multiple CDJs, and I could make my timings and volume changes much more precise.

The intro started at 4 minutes, became 6, and eventually 9 before Trailblazer kicked in. I would have made it 20 minutes if there hadn’t have been a deadline, and I’m still a bit haunted by some of the tunes I was unable to use in the end. But what I love about it is that I can tell a story about every single tune in that intro and what it means to me 🙂 To be fair, most tunes in the eventual mix itself I could tell a story about, which is what I wanted to convey really. In the unlikely event I ever did get offered the Essential Mix, it’d most likely only ever be the once – so you might as well make the most of it 😉

Which is also why I redid all three mashups that I’d used on my 100th episode of Back From The Dead – I’d known they all needed a little work, and this competition was the push I needed to get it done. Having my own exclusive mix of Trailblazer done by then too was also handy! I’d made it especially for an epic intro to a set so it seemed like the right thing to do 🙂

Spirit Of Sacrifice – I Am DJ Competition Winning Mix (18th May 2009)

Global Communication – 9 25
Moby – Everything Is Wrong
Future Sound Of London – Her Face Forms In The Summertime
Chicane – Early
Crescendo – Are You Out There
Salt Tank – Eugina (Pacific Diva)
Art Of Trance – Kaleidoscope
Swandive – Exit 101
Jam & Spoon – Two Spys In The House Of Love
Orbital – Halcyon & On & On
Underworld – Juanita/Kiteless/To Dream Of Love
BT – Quark
Hallucinogen – LSD
Union Jack – There Will Be No Armageddon
Fluke – Bullet
Faithless – Salva Mea
Hybrid – Finished Symphony
CMED – In You
CJ Bolland – The Prophet
Magdelayna & RMG – Back To The Stars
Leama vs Madonna – Frozen Waterdrop (MDB’s Forgotten vocal mix)
Defcon Audio – Trailblazer (Lazarus breaks everything mix)
Tearrain – Sleepless Fall
Lange featuring Marcie – Loved Up Angel (XiJaro mashup)
Oceania vs First State – Always Falling (Gomez92 bootshup)
Nick Thompson vs Mike Shiver & Elevation – Hurricane Spice (Lazarus mashup)
Hawk featuring Sasja vs Mark Arbor – Emerald Worlds (Vexilium mashup)
Super8 & Tab vs Aerium & Jes – Suru, Dolphins, and Everything (Lazarus mashup)
Luminary – Amsterdam (Super8 & Tab vs Smith & Pledger remix – Luke Blanc mashup)
Robert Nickson – Spiral (Lazarus edit)
Akesson vs Barack Obama – Sunchaser (Lazarus Spirit Of Sacrifice edit)
Ilya Soloviev – Sunwaves (Static Blue remix)
Summerchannel featuring Fisher – 1000 Miles (George Acosta remix)
Tuomas J – Life Goes On (Lazarus vs James Alexander remix)
The Faithless Green Martian – Industrial Insomnia (Lazarus mashup)
Nev – Battery Man (2008 rework)
Med – In You
Oxid Project – Before You Go (Likuida remix)
Pervading Call Two – On My Mind (Ace da Brain remix)
Oceania – Never Forget (Arctic Moon remix)
Darren Tate – Fall From Grace

Soundcloud link:

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The mix didn’t exactly turn out as planned, as you can see from my crib sheet:

Yes, I'm a geek. Sue me.

Yes, I'm a geek. Sue me.

I realised during the mix that the thought of not having any Ace da Brain or any Dario Lupo (Tragida/Likuida) was scarier than not including Sacrosanct. I also soul-destroyingly passed on using Med’s awesome rework of Another You Another Me. Note the stars against Nyctalopia and Spiral as well – Spiral made the cut (though I edited about 2 and a half minutes from the original first) but Nyctalopia didn’t.

The sheet also gives insight into my colour-coded method of cataloguing my CDs, for anyone interested. I used different coloured pens to write on the CDs what they are, numbering the CDs too. So I memorise tunes by their colours – with vinyl I used to memorise the colours of record sleeves when searching for the one I wanted, with CDs I can search 4-times quicker through my CD wallet by only looking at the CDs of the correct colour ink! The numbering is also a secondary mnemonic for me, though I’ve changed my method this year so it works chronologically instead.

But enough of that, the important thing was that to my ultimate surprise, the mix won the competition! I was stunned and honoured to win, I was outwardly hoping I might make the top 6 if I worked at it, but some of the other mixes entered were truly exceptional. To receive 19 votes from 88 was staggering and I owe every one of them a pint or two! 🙂

This competition is what led to my great honour, a fortnight later, to fulfil my long-standing ambition to play a set at Digital Society. I’m also now of the opinion that it possibly is my favourite of all my mixes to date!

4 Responses to “Spirit Of Sacrifice – I Am DJ Competition Winning Mix (18th May 2009)”

  1. 1 Ash
    November 1, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    How do i download ‘i am dj winning comp mix’

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