Ten Questions With Terry Gotham: Steve James

(I was really lucky to be given this opportunity. The DJs are getting younger and younger, with the talent continuing to skyrocket. A friend hooked me up with this shooting star coming out of PA. A progressive gem, this kid has tunes that are going to find ways into your ears at festivals soon enough. Just like Seven Lions, you heard it here first. Check out my conversation with Steve James below.)

1. What are your friends listening to these days? What is it like being a DJ in high school?
Haha, starting off strong! It’s definitely an interesting dynamic, that’s for sure. My area is fairly dominated by top 40 music, plus some country and hip hop. My friends are well aware of what I do, and a lot of them have grown to appreciate EDM – and have been super supportive – but in the end I don’t think too many are listening to much dance music outside of Steve James, truthfully. Being a DJ in high school has certainly been interesting though. I actually DJ’d my high school’s homecoming dance before I was old enough to attend. I did last year’s as well (with my homemade booth!), and the seniors loved it, but most of the underclassman didn’t appreciate all the EDM. I actually was unanimously voted out of this coming years, haha! No requests + no country + no hip hop will do that for you around here, I suppose.

2. What kind of music theory & piano training have you had? Are you planning on studying music/production after you graduate High School?
My musical background is primarily in piano. I’ve taken lessons for as long as I can remember from a close family friend. I still see him often, and even though he’s 100% classically trained, he’s grown to enjoy a lot of the stuff I show him – especially music by artists like Zedd, who use such complex writing. He’s even helped me several times by rounding out a chord progression or livening up something with some more suspensions or accidentals. I dabbled in viola for 4 years as well, but I feel like almost everything I draw from was part of my classical piano training. As for my plans with school, that’s something I’m not really concerned with yet. I started school late, so I’m a 16-year-old going into sophomore year of high school – the oldest of 120-some kids in my class. I’ll be 18 before I finish junior year. With the résumé I’m building and keeping my grades up, I know there will be options, but in a perfect world I won’t need further education if I keep working hard the next 2-3 years.

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Mix Of The Weekend: Dreamstep by Jaya Prime

This week, we’re moving into the bassy space, with a gorgeous mix from years ago by Jaya Prime. Just in case you’ve never gotten into this, you need to put it into your face. Dotted with samples from Inception, the mix is ethereal, heavy & at times pounding when it comes to the blend of dubstep, future garage & metal. Any mix that has Burial, Sarah McLachlan remixes & Bassnectar is one you need to hear. Get into the heavy and enjoy.

Infected Mushroom’s Erez Doesn’t Need Ableton. He Makes Tracks In DOS.

I’m not sure how to describe the insanity of what you’re seeing, especially if you’re under the age of 20. This is a digital audio workstation, in a non-Windows/OSX environment. Yup kids, this is what they used to look like. Apparently Infected Mushroom posted this file (that works with a program called “Impulse Tracker,” that is probably older than you are) to their site a few years ago. Someone grabbed it, held it, and tossed it into their version of a DOS emulator and the running program. Audio/video capture have allowed us the magic of audio time travel, allowing us to hear what Erez & his friend Jorg sounded like decades ago. It’s a competent, if somewhat overdone Synthy Psy-infused tune that wouldn’t be out of place today. If you’re into this sort of thing, check out this surprisingly excellent cover of deadmau5’s  Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff by OxygenStar. Next time some hipster producer starts talking shit, ask him if he’s produced using this shit. Then smile and nod.

The Original Demo Of “Lisa, It’s Your Birthday.” Sung By The Actual Michael Jackson

If you were alive in the 90’s, you remember that episode of The Simpsons that had the fake/crazy guy who called himself Michael Jackson. Many people know that MJ actually did the voice for the character, but that he wasn’t allowed to do the song for the show. Contractual obligations ensured that he couldn’t create a separate piece of creative work for the owners of The Simpsons. However, what most people don’t know, is that he provided a demo for what the song needed to sound like. And there it is for you. Happy birthday Lisa.

Midnight Music: Rameses B – Transcend [Elvish Drum & Bass]

Rameses B is one of the most talented producer I’ve ever seen actually succeed at IndieGogo. The Galaxy of Dreams 2 compilation by Liquicity is incredible, and there’s a tremendous amount of sick new Drum & Bass that I’ll be covering in the coming days & weeks. But tonight, sit back, relax and vibe on one of the most delicious liquid tracks you’ve ever heard. He builds sonic worlds and then invites you to lay on the grass. This is some excellent stuff, so don’t sleep on it or the compilation it’s on.