shadi megallaa – process part 178
Let me begin by saying that I can’t believe the mix is finally done! There I said it. Now let me start from the very beginning. Even though it would be “cooler” to say that I was very pleased when Modyfier asked me to submit something for the Process Series, that’s not how it worked. I’ve been following the blog for sometime and think its absolutely brilliant. So I contacted Rayna and told her that I’d love to be involved. Luckily for me she was already familiar with my work. That being said, I contemplated for a long time whether I should submit a track or a mix. Every track of mine has some crazy story behind it it but I thought since I’ve been DJing a lot more these days that I would submit a mix. The main reason I chose to do a mix was because I kept being asked to make a demo for local promoters in Dubai because tha0t’s the closest place to where I live (Abu Dhabi) that has something that resembles an electronic music scene. I could go into that in more detail but I’m here to talk about the process.
I wanted to finish the mix before my recent trip to Toronto & New York but I never got around to it as I had to finish up some productions. Two days after I got back I had to get ready for our monthly Boogie Box party that I throw in Abu Dhabi with my partner Hassan Alwan. It started looking like it would be difficult to pull this off but I was determined as it was something I was very excited about (still am). I could have done an uber slick mix in Ableton but I felt that it would be too polished. I didn’t want to be spoiling people and having them dissapointed when they show up to my gig and come to the shocking realization that I am human! I thought the old school method was the best way to go. Another big part of that was due to my falling deeply in love with vinyl again. Not that I ever stopped loving the black beauty, but just missed the crackle of a record. DJing with Serato has started to become a pain in my skinny ass lately! Looking at text just doesn’t seem to be the same as going through some records.
Now since I have a fulltime job it was proving to be very difficult to get the whole mix recorded in one go. Also because it can be quite chaotic around my house sometimes. Like when my sister decides to call every 3.3645 minutes. I might be exagerating a bit.. well.. no I’m not. I started out picking some records and off I went. I compiled the tracks as I went along. I recorded each mix separately simply because I felt like I had so much music at my disposal to just do it all in one go & not have the flow of the mix suffer. What I had to do to keep the mix feeling natural considering I “cheated” a little was to just record the first take of every mix I record. I really wanted to play some of the records I had along with the digital music off Serato but that was a little bit of an issue when it came to the levels. Maybe I shouldn’t point your attention to that because you simply might not notice it, but since I’m an honest guy. I have confessed. That is the only thing that makes me cringe a little when I listen back to the mix now. Don’t get me wrong. I am very happy that it’s done because at one point in time I was about ready to raise the white flag. I stayed focused and marched on like a brave soldier.
I also recently bought a Boss D-7 Delay pedal. It’s normally used for guitars but you can also use it as an effects unit when you’re DJing. Which brings me to the setup I used for the mix. I made the mix on 2 Technics SL 1210s & my Rotary Allen & Heath Xone 92. Early on, I did want to use the delay pedal on the mix but later decided not to because I don’t feel that I’ve mastered it 100% yet. I also didn’t want to get too carried away because its very easy to do that on that thing. So much fun! I was positive that I had to play Silverlining – Pearl Divers track on the mix because I had been looking for that record since 1998 and finally managed to snatch me a copy from Discogs! The amount of excitement I got when I got that record in the mail was unreal. It reminded me of why I do this in the first place. Downloading a track from Beatport is like ordering McDonalds except it won’t make you feel physically ill afterwards. Ordering a record is like dining at a fine restaurant where you actually have to wait but you will be treated to a highly orgasmic meal. I’m getting carried away here. Back to the point. All the tracks featured on the mix are ones that I have been playing a lot lately, except for Asad Rizvi’s smiling at the sun. Simply because I haven’t ripped the record, but that’s why I played the record. Which takes me back to my falling in love with vinyl again. That seems to be the theme here. Another very special record that I had forgotten about untill I found the record is Gus Gus – Believe (16B mix). That tune was one that reminds of when I first started to get into electronic music. I had heard it on Sasha & Digweed’s very early Northern Exposure discs.
The mix was done over 2 days simply because I was busy. I had played the night before with Hassan for a Charity event to reaise money for kids in Kenya to get an education. The organisers managed to raise 40,000 Dirhams! Just thinking to myself right now, WOW how many records could I get with that much money!!! I’m bad I know. That was a joke, i’m very happy to help these kids and to have been a part of that event. The reason I mentioned the event is because while Hassan & I were driving to return the speakers I was listening to Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home album. We were exhausted and didn’t say much to each other until Bob Dylan’s ‘115th Dream’ came on. It starts off with Bob Dylan playing alone & since the rest of the band missed the cue they all burst into laughter. I remember Hassan & I finding it very amusing. We got such a kick out of it. He then proceeds to say take two and they all get it right on. I didn’t have an intro but I usually like to do that on my mixes so I thought with all the different takes I’ve been doing it made perfect sense to start the mix with it.
Now, I’m sorry if I have bored you but I just realized that I enjoy to write. The problem is that I write the way I speak. If I write the way I speak it would mean that I speak the way I write but I don’t. Wouldn’t it be odd if someone went around saying things like yours truly & please find attached. Anywho.. I hope you all enjoy the mix & spread the love.