I’m back home in New Jersey after a whirlwind of appearances, parties, screenings, gigs, and general shenanigans abroad and domestic. For me, it was successful on multiple fronts and I’m looking forward to exploring some of the new partnerships and friendships that were forged through-out.
Guitars Over Guns
Starting in Miami, I visited Citrus Grove Middle School with Kim Cameron and participated in a talk about how sometimes you have to be able to write a song without your normal instruments handy. I got them stomping, and clapping, and shouting “YEAH!” on the eight beat, pumping out a kick and snare from Ableton, a quick bass line, and we were off making a song on the fly. Afterwards, I was able to share some keyboard mentorship with four kids, with a focus on scales and finger placement.
Susan G. Komen’s More Than Pink Walk
Kim and I were joined at Bayfront Park by Sean Gould on guitar and Kenneth Metzker on percussion. The audio technician nerd in me was excited to perform through an audio reinforcement system that was bigger than the last Broadway show I worked on. “Oliver the Octopus” from Kim’s book series, Seaper Powers, came up on stage for the last song and danced with us. I think the biggest lesson I learned was to remember to pack shorts and swimming trunks when traveling to Miami Beach. You’d think this would be a given.
Forwardian Film Festival
The next day, I headed over to Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, to the Forwardian Film Festival where they were screening a movie that I have some music in called, Scumbag. The film was given an Honorable Mention for best feature.
This was my second year attending the annual Amsterdam Dance Event and I was stoked to start off the week with a DJ set at Kashmir Lounge DJ Cafe. The DJ booth was brand new and my set was it’s maiden voyage. It was really satisfying to introduce my Insomnia House remix of Drive With Me (To The Edge of Space) and somewhat relieved to hear it settle nicely into a live DJ set. Kim was supposed to sing over two tracks, but we ended up sacrificing the Extended Dub Mix of Share My Pillow to resolving mic issues. Without skipping a beat mixing the set, we were able to get a working mic to her for Spin Me Ever After.
The chill, laid-back coffeeshop vibe is a really appropriate environment for the type of house and leftfield tracks that tend to populate my DJ sets. Even though I had prepped a setlist, I found myself veering off-script and just going with the flow for a little under an hour. Which, let’s be honest, just isn’t enough time to really take the musical journey. We walked away with an open invitation to return and I’m looking forward to having a “home” to go to whenever I visit Amsterdam.
The rest of our time in Amsterdam was centered around the conference and business meetings. I met with a distributing company that will work in conjunction with my primary distributor, Label-Worx, to enter the Chinese and Korean markets with boots-on-the-ground marketing support in those countries in addition to their major social media platforms.
Both of those markets are experiencing an exciting discovery and avid consumption of electronic music and I’m looking forward to exploring those areas of the world. With this company comes a platform to finally get all the major digital online stores into one dashboard for maintenance and customization. More specific details will come soon.
I also talked to Soundtrust about partnering with them to extend and help manage my royalty collection capabilities in Europe, which is a pretty large market for Halo Askew. It really is a “looking at the global picture” time for me.
While I appreciate the International Music Summit, I find the panels at ADE to be more relevant and interesting. While Pete Tong keeps a wall between speakers and audience in Ibiza, all the moderators and guest speakers are really approachable and friendly at this conference. The only shame was it’d be Murphy’s Law that all the panels you wanted to see were happening at the same time. The ex-CEO of Beatport loved Courtney’s enthusiasm and gifted her a swank ADE scarf and button.
Half the fun of Amsterdam and ADE is hanging with friends. Courtney is my sister-from-another-mister whom I’ve known for forever and a half, and after seeing one of the final shows of Gettin’ The Band Back Together we hatched a plan for her to come on this adventure. Pretty much everything I know about DJing comes from her. Having her along was really the proverbial icing on the cake.
It was kinda mind blowing how many people we ended up running into from our lives in New York and Florida. Got to hang out with Sameer (there’s an epic Basement Jaxx in Central Park story with him to be told). We also met up with long-time friend, Steve Graham, who was spinning at a comfortable sake bar. Business aside, this was a great time to catch up and see a ton of friends I’ve made across the Atlantic; our fearless ambassador to Europe, Mike Lemaich, Carl from Wideboys, DJ Toka, DJ Max, Mila Falls, and Lilly Palmer.
I’ve been engaged with Label-Worx since I was managing No Filtr Ltd and so good to finally meet Connor and James, in person, after working with them for so many years through the interwebs.
I’d have to say, seeing Orbital live at Paradiso was a real highlight. Standing room only. Really nostalgic to hear tracks like Halcyon; a real throwback to my twenties when I was discovering something other than industrial with all the feels.
What would be more appropriate for an electronic music conference? Why, all the gear porn!
Orlando Film Festival
On Sunday, Oct 21, I headed to Orlando to attend the Orlando Film Festival, where our animated music video for Scattered was screened with 350 film presentations and nominated for Best Music Video. It was fun to see it on the big screen and hear the track translate well in a movie theater setting.
I can’t say enough how much I enjoy working, performing, and globe trotting with Kim. She gives me the space to explore and experiment both in the studio and on stage. She lets me fuck up and learn. Here’s to many more!
Well, that’s it for October!