18057 posts since MMVI

Claude VonStroke “Bird Brain” Tour Blog week 1

Nov 12 2009

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Today we introduce a guest blogger. He will be doing his tourblog for a while here on Discobelle. So let’s welcome Claude VonStroke / Discobelle

Claude VonStroke Bird Brain Album tour blog…

Blog Intro…

Thinking up a German porn star name and touring the world as a house DJ is probably my greatest hair-brained scheme to date. This tour blog is just another silly idea of mine, but maybe not so silly. I did invent the mountain bike when I was 8 years old. (of course someone else followed through and actually did it.) So, as you would figure, this blog is me talking shit. It’s also cheaper and less embarrassing than visiting a shrink.

Week 1 – Paris – Friday – Rex Club

Track of the Night –
First things first, before you get bored with endless dribble, I’ll always begin with the track of the night, that one special tune that gave the clubbers extra hard nipples. In Paris it was a worthy recipient. This track i’ve been sweating hard for months. Sascha Braemer is 1/2 of Heinrichs and Hirtenfeller who had a sick album out this year on Highgrade called Dark Orbit. The album was so sick i went and found this guy. He lives in Berlin and his debut on dirtybird begins with “Some Sweat.” Its all about the simple but twisted time changes in the breakdown for me.

Paris track of the night: “Some Sweat” – Sascha Braemer (Dirtybird) (mp3 clip, direct link)

Paris Overview –
Paris is a magic city for me. Where else on earth can you get a shower in your hotel room that has a mosaic tile image of two lesbians making out? That and the little silver rubber duck and we’re all good. Also the guys who book me are second to none as far a fun loving party people with a good sense of humor. I always have an incredible time there and usually at the end of the night some epic quest for a fresh pineapple occurs.

Oli (as in Olibusta from mothership Invasion v3) & Patrick (the guy who always has the after-party at his flat) picked me up from the airport and we immediately started chatting about their new label that will have the same name as their blog and his events crew called “Get The Curse.” Oli had already done some of the hardest work which is saving up the seed money and finding a distributor so I wasn’t as discouraging as I usually am to someone who tells me they are starting a label. This was the main theme of the night. And to the distress of Oli’s stunning and gracious girlfriend, we discussed the fine points of “label starting” over dinner. – see the top 5 below***

After dinner we met up with Jesse Rose who was booked to play across town at Social Club at Brodinski’s night. Over some martini’s at the Murano hotel even more label talk quickly ensued about shitty vinyl sales and how to release singles on Beatport, etc. The consensus being that vinyl is totally fucked but that we will both still be pressing it for some reason.

After this, it was straight on to the club where Olibusta was already on the decks. He slowly and deftly grew the crowd from a seedling to a full jungle plant. It’s always really great to play after someone who understands the natural flow of a night. Oli told me to tell the story about how we rode elephants through the streets of Paris but I’m going to stick to the simple fact that it was a great room and a great crowd.

I opened with Maetrik’s “Simplemen” on mothership. This guy is so badass.

Maetrik – Simplemen (Mothership) (mp3 clip, direct link)

My set progressed through some serious jackin shit but then around the halfway point it got a little too techno a little too early and i had to spend some time bringing the room back down to some more funk based house. This was probably just my personal opinion because no one cared and in fact it seemed as if they were almost egging me on to play harder and harder. So of course Monty Luke’s new track on Planet E “Art of War” did some serious damage.

Monty Luke  – Art of War (Planet) (mp3clip, direct link)

I played about 4 hours and Jesse Rose showed up right at the end and we danced around the booth. After that I experienced a first. I actually went home after the set in Paris! It was already 7am and i thought about Manchester coming up the next night and it was one of those moments when going out further just isn’t going to do you any favors. I almost always like to party in Paris but this time i was too burnt for business. I’ll just have to go back soon. Love ya PAri!

Week 1 – Manchester – Saturday – Warehouse Project

Track of the night
Lots of things were working on the 2000+ people in the giant car park warehouse but this one stuck out like a hot chilli. As I’ve said before, Maetrik is a beast of a producer and this is some of his best work ever.

Big ‘n Round (Maetrik Remix) – CVS (Mothership) (mp3 clip, direct link)

Manchester Overview –
I don’t think there is a city i have visited more than Manchester. I seem to get booked here 3 or 4 times a year and i really appreciate a fan base that “gets” what i am doing. The place was full by 11 because it is like a festival gig indoors. The location is a massive car park under Picadilly station. A giant rave with 2000+ in the main room. I was kind of peeved that they put me on at 11:15 but to be fair the 2 guys playing after me were Dubfire and Adam Beyer so it would have been bad programming for me to follow either one. Even so, an hour and a half set at 11:15 ain’t exactly what i’m aiming for when flying all the way from San Fran to England.

The show was still great, and the crowd was well into it. Lots of tracks slayed in this big room like this one from our upcoming new dirtybird 5 year compilation.

Edu K – Dos Gusanos – (Dirtybird) (mp3 clip, direct link)

The front row was especially enthusiastic and i expect there were some people tripping balls cause i watched them run their fingers down the front of their faces like some real drugs were hitting their systems. Here is a funny sign thrown up to me from the from the crowd…an unusual combo to say the least. Loving it in Mexico AND Poland – (and we are in the UK mind you.)

The highlight of the evening for me was actually after i finished. I went back to the other stage and Seth Troxler was on. Wow, what good luck! He was playing smoooth, sexy beats and it was working even on a northern UK crowd (who expect to hear banging stuff all night.) It was nice to see another Michigan boy tearing up the UK. He even got away with playing a Jodeci bootleg!

I didn’t really know Seth that well before other than he is from Michigan. So we had a fun chat for a while about moving from the living in Berlin. But the best part was that he gave me this little gift from his recent rip to Japan. Thanks Seth!

Gear Head Tech Addendum…
Before the gig i met up with two guys who always come out and support me. These two are real tech heads and they were explaining to me how they were setting up a huge wimax network in Manchester that was like 20 times faster than the fastest local internet. They were explaining how AT&T or some giant company was suing the government because they had put so much money behind 3G and now there was this new renegade system that was waaay faster. This was very interesting to me because I feel like this might have happened in San Francisco without anyone even knowing it. About 4 years ago Google announced that they would make the whole of San Fran a free wireless hotspot. There were some other companies as well like “Free the Net” doing this and i could fire up my notebook and get internet in about 60% of the city. Now, i turn on my notebook and none of these free spots are there. So what happened?? Did we just see a conspiracy unfold? I notice AT&T is doing a lot of local advertising and free wifi ain’t really available in San Fran like Google said it would be. Maybe I will investigate further.

****TOP 5 This week the top 5 ties in with my conversation in Paris about the best way to start and indy dance label. This is only a top 5 if you actually want your label to succeed as a business, not if you just want a hobby that sucks all your income and your free time.

  1. Save a bunch of money..yes like more than $10,000. Preferably $20,000. you will need every penny. The rule of thumb is that you should have enough saved to release 4 records without ever getting paid, (because this is probably what will happen anyway.) Where does all this money go? Mastering, Artwork, Pressing, Postage, Promotion, Remix fees, etc.
  2. Have 3 or 4 releases FINISHED before you start the label. You will quickly find that no distributors will even talk to u unless you have at least 2 or 3 releases ready for them to hear (along with your logo and all that.) This also means you should have your core group of producers all worked out, even if no one knows them. Make sure they are REALLY good.
  3. Get a known remixer on your first few records.  Aside from the fact that you will need some really kick ass tunes for anyone to notice you, it really helps if you can get a couple “name” producers involved from the start. they don’t have to be your core artists but they should be some of your personal favorites.
  4. Press vinyl promos and send the records to all of your favorite DJs. You will be surprised how many addresses you can simply find on the web. This is huge because at this point no one does this and you HAVE to open and play a vinyl record if you get it in the post. A lot of people will tell you not to press vinyl but in the beginning you should. It still is the main barrier between being a “real” label and “digital only” label.
  5. Develop your core – not not your abs – but your group or crew. No matter how cool u think u are you WILL need friends and like minded people to help you, to throw parties, to Dj your records, to develop your local scene, etc. Maybe you don’t have any friends like this so start going clubbing and make some if you don’t.