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The Coltrane Doctrine

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John Coltrane and Einstein shared interests in mathematical principles. In response to the Coltrane doctrine, Thelonious Monk replied: “All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

Read this and more in this week’s newsletter

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Classic footage of Jeff Mills DJing in Detroit (1983).

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RA: Playing Favourites: Gilles Peterson – Interview

Gilles Peterson on playing what he wants without hubris.

I’m not into just throwing stuff in just to shock people, either. I like to have a flow and to be able to build something beautiful with my music, in a way. I think there is an art. It’s not just about chucking it out there and being eclectic and cool. I don’t agree with that theory. I think that it’s about having finesse and refinement about how you create a DJ set. I can find a connection between Lonnie Liston Smith’s live version of “Welcome To My New World” and DJ Rashad cutting up some old Roy Ayers bits. It’s all joining the dots, basically.

His mixes are indeed little pieces of art.

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Monochromatic DJ set
Monochromatic DJ set

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More/Less Control

Some of us like to play DJ; others like to leave Pandora on and let it DJ for them.

Some people prefer to play the role of the assistant while others bask in the moment of leadership.

Some people like to sit passenger; others like to drive.

Some people want absolute control and some people want to sit back and take less responsibility.

Happiness comes down to discovering the sweet spot in between: we prefer the confidence of control but sometimes letting go can be more peaceful.

Toggling between leadership and relegation depends on the situation. Stand up when it matters and let go when the occasion requires more listening.

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Soundtrack to life.
Soundtrack to life.

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DJ New Ideas

DJs take used parts and mix and mash them up into something new.

DJs have a vast knowledge for music and can adapt to any audience. I have a friend that plays weddings and DJs raves, hip hop parties, and Latin parties, sometimes in the same day.

Creation comes from being a DJ first. Once you develop a good ear, you can graduate to build upon your own ideas. This is where the production or work comes in.

The best music producers also collect. The best writers read a lot. The best athletes mix and match skills and moves that made other players great.

Your best work is built upon the foundation of others before you, as you copy them to create your own unique style.

What type of DJ are you? Remember that DJing includes creating your own original work too.

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Deft – Loqux & Past

DJ Kicks compilations are a testament to clever and educated DJs.

Maya Jane Cowles is one of them.