this week my son brought home a letter from school about extra curicular music lessons. we, of course, were over the moon at this oppurtunity. although it isnt cheap, being as we are a music loving family, we jumped at the chance to invest in his future. he has chosen to learn to play the drums. although my daughter isnt old enough to take part yet, she expressed a wish to learn to play keyboards. this is great also, as i am looking to buy a keyboard at the moment to expand the sound, and to add my own basslines etc to future tracks. to know that your kids love the same things you do is a great inspiration.
in my last post i was explaining the features available for free from Hydrogen and Wavepad. well, a while back, when i first moved back into my yard (after all the grief me and me kids went through), someone donated us a P.C., i also started building up the sound via eBay. at the time i didn’t fully comprehend the versatility of ‘virtual’ equipment/ freeware i.e. Virtual DJ, Hydrogen, CDex, Audacity, Wavepad, etc. although i do use the ‘real’ equipment all the time.
i also purchased a couple of cd’s- not music, but what you might call ‘stock sounds’. one is a effects cd, with 2200 different fx, while the other is an ‘Analogue modular’ cd.
to be honest, i bought the ‘Analogue Modular’ thinking it was something else (my own misinterpretation!). but, as i have increased my uderstanding of hydrogen, etc., i have realised that there isn’t any harm in exploring how i might conbine this cd with hydrogen. the fx cd will easily be incorperated into hydrogen- i will just download the fx to my harddrive and import them to hydrogen via ‘new instrument’ as needed.
i have also been sorting through some of my cupboards and i came across a folder which i used to keep all my old flyers from when i used to go ‘Raving’ every week. i thought it might be a good idea to scan them into me PC for uploading into my MSN ‘Skydrive’. i can remember the first rave i went to was “Snapper Club” at the ‘Hummingbird Nightclub’ in Birmingham city centre U.K., way back in 1989. at the time i was heavily into punk rock, but previous to that, since the age of about 13, i had been into electronic (?) music – these being early hip-hop, via the Street sounds Electro compilation albums, then House music, via the Chicago Jack Beat and House sound of Chicago compilations, then more avant garde electronic music i.e. Throbbing Gristle, Test Dept., 23 Skidoo, Renegade Soundwave, Meat Beat Manifesto, Tackhead, etc. and then punk rock. so, as you can see, i had house music ‘form’. anyroad, there i was 15 and at the hummingbird in me tartan trousers and me biker leather, hair dyed black and spicked up. after about 10 minutes of dancing and seeing all the other young people at this brand new style of event – ‘raving’ hadn’t even been thought of at this time, it was still called an acid house party – i realised that i was at the begining of a brand new scene. and what a scene it was. i have to say that to this day i would say that the hummingbird was the best venue for raving i ever went to and i eventually went all over the country. i danced my way round the UK.
the layout of the club was thus: there was a massive main room that had a very large balcony area that overlooked the dancefloor all the way round, there was two bars and a food area with seeting and at the front of the main room, the stage. either side of the stage were two huge stacks of speakers that reached up to the cieling! the bass bins at the bottom of the stacks were that large that we used to sit INSIDE them. 3 people to a speaker! 4 speakers wide. these
things were massive. aswell as the main room there were two back rooms that were both large enough to house a 3-4 hundred person event.
i remember one sunday (maybe 1994) evening, we arrived at the venue and the event was being held in one of the back rooms (this was done on a sunday due to less numbers- the main event being on a friday). anyroad, the main DJ’s booked for that evening didnt turn up, so the management decided that they would open up the partition to the large main hall. what a fantastic discision- because as we 100 or so ravers looked out over the balconey to the capacity packed main room, who should come on stage, but CHAKA DEMUS!! the security said as we had paid less than the other customers we had to stay on the balconey until after Chaka Demus had finished, but we didn’t mind cos after him there was a SOUNDCLASH event. it’s well known that ravers have always been big fans of reggae, so we had a fantastic night. i remember the slightly astonished look of the reggae fans as this group of ravers started giving it nuff noise via whistles and horns- but believe me when i say they welcomed us with open arms.
i could wax lirical for a long time about the rave scene, how it was destroyed in Britian and how they have applied the same technique ‘they’ used on the rave movement to the ‘free’ festival scene (as in there arn’t any free festivals anymore.) Raving was a big part of my life and to see go the way it went added insult to injury (handbag fashionista binge drinkers dance pop)
below is a selection of me flyers: