donderdag 21 februari 2008

Back in full force

Yes yes yes, after a long period of absence, caused by exams, a thesis, and some other stuff, we're back! And we've got some things to tell, so just hang on.

First of all, exams are done, so I hope I passed the last exams at uni for my lifetime (except for the one that's still due in June). So far I already know two results: 13/20 and 14/20, which isn't spectacular, but from what I've heard from others isn't bad at all as well. I guess the profs just don't like giving high grades, even though we're in our last year... Bastards... ;o)

Secondly, I got some visits from some of my Norwegian friends. During December Saikat and Yulia passed through Brussels on their trip around Europe, so I went out there as well, and we had some fun. I couldn't resist letting them in to some Belgian beer ;o) And only this week Joe passed through Brussels, for a field trip with the students he's chaperoneing (?) in this UK-based castle. Needless to say I went as well, again the introduction to Belgian beer, but also waffles, chocolate, and French fries (which are a Belgian invention actually). It was great times, can't wait till the pictures arrive :D

Next is some party time with my Belgian friends: tonight big party in the Vooruit, a party hall back here in Ghent, hosted by my student club, which will be great, no doubt about it. Can't hardly wait to shake those legs, it's been too long, I'm already getting in the mood!

Last but not least, a little word about music. I've been spinning some times lately, have been asked for a new mix, but I'll have to clean up my hard drive first before I can record one. It's in the pipeline though, I'll post one eventually. For now I'll leave you with a song that's one of my favourites at the moment: Jurgen Paape & Boy Schaufler - We Love. Enjoy!

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maandag 3 december 2007

Right from the beginning

Last Saturday was Kazouday, and all of you probably still remember I wasn't too happy about a certain lineup... Well, let me start with a positive note: Squadra Bossa feat Buscemi was great! Absolutely fan-f*cking-tastic! If you ever have a chance to see them, go! You wont' regret it!

Another positive thing, the group before Buscemi, some kind of coverband called The Bastards, I only heard the last few songs of them, but from what I heard they were pretty good as well. I arrived rather late because of work I still needed to finish for my thesis, that's why I missed most of them, too bad.

So far for the good news. On to the dj's. Between The Bastards and Buscemi there was about an hour that needed to be filled. I saw a dj duo standing behind the decks, that same duo was also presenting the whole show that evening. Too bad I nearly never had seen them before on a Kazou event. That's one assumption come true. I still gave them some credit, for two reasons: the previous Kazou event I was dj-ing one of them came up to me, and we had some chit-chat about dj gear, he was claiming to have a setup at home as well, and because one of my friends claimed they were good. After about three or four songs I heard enough.

After Buscemi there was some more party planned, but it didn't start before the new dj's were announced. Four dj's, for a party that only had to last about two more hours, that's what was announced to my disbelief. That's half an hour for every dj. To give you some kind of comparison: when I'm spinning at home and I'm really feeling it, one and a half hour goes by in a jiffy. So half an hour means nothing, really.

First dj starts. I know the guy, he spinned at parties in the other part of Kazou (yeah, there's 2 parts of it actually). From what I heard, he knows how to beatmatch, not really tight, but more than enough to make a transition. His set has a defined flow, he has the crowd going, so to be honest I could whine, but it wouldn't be much justified.

Half an hour goes by, this guy stops his set, I see the same two come on stage as between The Bastards and Buscemi, but they got reinforced by a third one. So actually, it only were two dj's, but one of them was made up by a trio, and took as much time as three dj's would have. Kinda selfish methinks. But I'm just getting started. The first transition, completely utterly trainwrecked. For those of you that don't know the meaning of trainwreck, do this: make sure you can play two songs at the same time, let's say open Itunes and Windows Media Player. Pick a different song for each player. Start one of them, let it play, and when it's nearly finished, let's say 20 seconds left, start the other one. Now you're hearing a nice trainwreck. I think you get the picture.

To sum things up, more than half of their transitions were just fadermixes, fade one song out and another in, anyone can do this. The few attempts at beatmatching sometimes worked, but other times didn't work at all. For technique, they would fail a test miserably. But most of you probably know that good technique isn't everything a dj needs, a dj also, and even more so needs good track choice.

I can be very short about this: there was no flow going in the set, it seemed they were just randomly picking songs that would work the crowd well. I heard several songs come by a second time, and sometimes even a third time. They were a trio, and to me it seemed like they had only prepared one and a half to two hours for the whole evening, if they even prepared at all... I know I can fill two hours without any problem and without repeating any song played by me or a previous dj. If I put some more preparation in it I could lengthen this time for sure. Apparently they couldn't, or they didn't bother. Luckily for them, the crowd didn't seem to bother that much, but still, they announced themselves with a lot of show, and to me it was only dissappointing...

I was prepared to give them a chance, but not like this...

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donderdag 29 november 2007

All is well that ends well

Today, I feel a little bit better about the USB-thing. After a whole day of trying to recover the things that were on my USB-stick, nearly everything that needed to be recovered is back again. And to top it all, the portable apps are working!

I found this website called They provide you with a basic start menu like interface, and a lot of apps that are made specifically to be run from portable devices like a USB-stick. If you're a lot on the road and don't have administrator rights on every pc you use, you might want to check this out.

So far I've installed a synch app, audacity, firefox, thunderbird, GIMP and soulseek. Takes up less than 100Mb, and I'm good to go. I didn't get to test much of it today, but tomorrow I'm planning to spend a lot of time in my thesis local, so I'll be able to give it a thorough testing. I was only looking for a portable synch app, so I could easily manage my thesis data, but then I couldn't resist the temptation of taking my mail and internet configuration everywhere with me.

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dinsdag 27 november 2007

Just one of those days

Today is one of those days things are going wrong. It started this morning, after my meeting with my thesis promotor. After each meeting I have to type out what was discusse on the meeting, so I went to my thesispc, started typing the report, finished and saved on my USB stick.

Because I've got a new stick since this weekend, 4Gb large, I thought I could as well put some synchronisation software on it, so I didn't have a hassle everytime I went from my laptop to my thesispc and vice versa. Downloaded some other portable apps as well, like Firefox and Thunderbird, installed everything, and then tried to start it up.

I opened explorer, and instead of my regular file system, I saw this:

Great. Everything seems gone.

After talking to Alfredo I got a bit wiser. It seems that Windows corrupted my root folder. Not much to do about it. This is getting even better now.

So far I tried 5 different data recovery programs, it seems as if some data might be recoverable, but I'll have to get a non limited app first, so tomorrow I'll be able to tell if I could save anything. Besides that, I could still try to load it up in Ubuntu, that's something I'll try tomorrow as well. Too bad I don't have enough disk space left to make an image of it before I just plainly format it and check for errors...

If any of you still have any ideas, just let me know, I'd be very happy!

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zondag 11 november 2007

KG Sessions 10.11.2007

Finally! A new post! A new mix! Finally my laptop didn't freeze while recording my mix. And it turns out to be a rather nice mix too, which should be worth the download. After all, I keep them small so it wouldn't be that much of a problem.

First of all, the tracklist.

01. Octave feat Ann Saunderson - Black Water (String Vocal)
02. DJ Rolando - Jaguar (Original Mix)
03. Rune - Calabria (Original)
04. Bolz Bolz - Take A Walk (Neo Romantic Dima Remix)
05. FPU - Ocean Drive (Tiga's White Linnen Vox)
06. Carnival - Not Over Yet (Carl Fath Remix)
07. Madonna - Sorry (Album Version)
08. Buscemi - Sahib Balkan
09. Infernal- From Paris To Berlin (Extended Version)
10. The Subs - Kiss My Trance
11. Dave Swayze - Last Flight To Paris
12. Delerium - Silence (DJ Tiesto's In Search Of Sunrise Remix)
13. Rank1 - Airwave (Rank1 vs Dutch Force Remix)
14. Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
I do know there's a little flaw in the end somewhere, it's up to you if you can find it out. Please get it and let me know what you think about it. I appreciate every comment.

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dinsdag 30 oktober 2007

For the love of music

I mentioned it in a previous post, but I'm a dj. And right now one hell of an angry one. I mean, how is it possible? How is it possible that for the previous one not even a second one could be found untill I joined, and now there's already too many of them? Or should I say, so-called them?

Hm, I feel that most of you cannot follow my thoughts, so let me explain in full. I'm member of Kazou, which most of you probably don't know. It means that every summer for the last 6 year I've been going on holidays with children mostly aged around 15, as one of their leaders. During the year, when there are no holidays, once in a while there's an activity for leaders only (and mind you, there's a lot of them). Naturally, there's a party sometimes as well, roughly 2 times a year.

This year is different however. This year they decided there would be a 'coming back party' for the children as well, on the first of December. And this is where things went wrong. They went wrong in ways you cannot imagine (or maybe you already can, after the intro).

I've been dj-ing their last 3 or 4 parties, during which I noticed the interest of other people to dj was diminishing. Really. None of them did it for the right reason, but me. I did it for the love of music, and to give the people a good time. Obviously, I also was the only one who succeeded in doing this, but that's a different story. The last party really was the big eye-opener for me. One week before the party there was only 1 dj (which shouldn't be that much of a problem if it were a decent one, which, unfortunately, it wasn't), so I volunteered as well. Turns out the guy had made like 12 premade mixes of about 15 to 20 minutes, which he was mixing together. No need to tell it didn't work. It got worse when he didn't want to stop until he played all of his mixes, after about 3.5 hour or so. It's pretty obvious I didn't have to do much anymore, most people had already left by the time I took place behind the decks. I prepared 1.5 to 2h, played 20min. So right now I know that if I ever volunteer again (which is not likely), I have to ask for decent gear and who's dj-ing as well. That's not worth it in my humble opinion, especially since I won't be a member of Kazou for much longer anymore.

Back to Kazouday, as they called the 'coming-back party'. About 10 days ago I sent an email to volunteer to dj. It's stronger than myself, I just have to get out there behind the decks and play music and give people a good time. You can imagine how I felt when I received this email back.

Hi Koen,

Thanks for the enthusiasm, but I've got to let you down, we already have enough dj volunteers.

For those of you that can't imagine how I reacted, it was something like this.


How can it be that for a party 6 weeks ago nobody wanted to dj, and now everybody wants to? I can see only 1 reasonable explanation. Kazouday is for a lot of people, over 1000 at least, regular parties are for 50 to 100 people. So my best guess is they all do it for the fame, for being recognized, for being able to say "I'm a dj on Kazouday, have you seen me?". I doubt even one of them does it for the love of music, I doubt even one of them can beatmatch, I doubt even one of them won't use a laptop. Sure, it won't be that bad, how hard is picking a song, lining it up in Traktor or VirtualDJ and pressing play? Even my 10 year old niece could do that, but it doesn't make you a dj, it only makes you a wannabe, someone who can play songs.

I could go on and on and on about this, but I guess you're already pretty bored with my ranting. It's just not fair, but then again, life's not fair either. Before you go, I've got 2 more things to say. One, I'm done with dj-ing for Kazou, if they can find enough volunteers now they can find them again for the next party without me. Two, for those who live in Belgium, I want to come out a little more now that my mixing is getting decent, so if you're looking for a dj, contact me and we'll see if it works out. I've been trying to get a mix online, but my laptop freezes everytime I want to record one, so perhaps in the near future. Now go in peace.

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zondag 28 oktober 2007

The techie inside of me

I guess most of you will already have noticed, but I've made a few changes in the appearance of this blog. For those of you who didn't notice, let me tell you what I've changed.

I removed the standard blogger navbar on top, since I didn't like it being on top, and the blue didn't go well with the black. I also edited the styles so that every post now has it's own drop cap to start with.

The most challenging change was to show only a fraction of each post on the main page. Blogger doesn't offer this feature, so I had to go look for other solutions, which I luckily found. Now it's more like it should have been right from the start as far as I'm concerned. And before I forget, use Firefox! It looks a lot better in Firefox than in Internet Exploder.

For those of you that want to rant, next post probably will be a lot better written, and less neutral in style. I just wanted to sum up those changes, so that you all could comment about it, in the comment section right underneath this post. So go ahead, I know you have an opinion and I know you're just dying to let it out. You can do it! Read more