Japanese

No matter that this set went online 8 months ago, it’s still one of the highlights of the year and more than deserves a delayed shout here. This was Hedonistik Ritual’s first set after induction into the FINRG crew, and I wonder if that was the inspiration for the fantastic stuff going on here.

It’s probably one of the most carefully constructed sets I’ve heard for a long time, with some excellent pacing and impressive extended atmospheres. Just take a listen to those opening three tracks, managing to tightrope walk between the melodies and harsher sounds, anchored all the way by some piano. That’s followed up by a smooth move into Substanced, with HR’s own Exorcist changing key but echoing the style of Redemption with its own intro. Then it’s straight into another superb transition with Antiproton Decelerator; this is really classy mixing.

The rest of the set keeps the standard high, adding more piano to tie things together, and doing some fine work to shift the styles around as far as Taste the Funk. Zinzya is a lovely choice of track to get back into tradtional FINRG synth territory, leading into yet another well mixed section that finishes with the best use of Tigris I’ve ever heard.

That Hedonistik has managed to put together such a coherent set and still work in his newer productions is really next-level, putting this a step above both a live PA and the efforts of most non-producing DJs. The kind of melodic set I like best, this one’s a masterclass and one of FINRG’s strongest uploads all year.

1. Polaritia – Fear the Fire
2. Transcend & Cyrax – Quell
3. Kokomochi – Artemis
4. Substanced- Redemption
5. Hedonistik Ritual- Exorcist
6. Hyphen- Antiproton Decelerator
7. Hedonistik Ritual- Enjoy
8. Visionary – Taste the Funk(Cube::Hard Remix)
9. Hedonistik Ritual- Desecration
10. Hedonistik Ritual- Free the World
11. Hyphen – Zinzya
12. Hedonistik Ritual- Destination
13. Alek Szahala – Tigris

Not much to add to the title, but an extra apology for the delay as I know some have been waiting for the store page to wake up again. I’ve restocked on packaging and will be able to send out any orders pretty soon after they arrive – it’ll be the same setup as last time, with me aiming to send any out within 3 days. If it ends up being longer for whatever reason then I’ll drop you a message via email to let you know. There’s no tracking on the deliveries, but if you’ve placed an order and would like to know exactly when I sent it out, chase me up via email and I’ll be happy to check.

The store page can be found here.

With barely 120 SoundCloud listens so far, Melancholia’s rather special Lucky Lotus set remains slept on by too many. Whether a post on the dusty pages of TYFTH will make much difference is doubtful, but either way I’d like to pay proper tribute to one of the finest sets I’ve heard for years.

Although I’ve been familiar with Melancholia’s sample-heavy mixing style for quite a while, this time around the tracklist couldn’t get much closer to the TYFTH ideal. Add in to that some pretty inspiring mixing, and you’ll understand why I was so excited about this one.

Self Extortion is obviously a good start (with bonus points for some great work on the intro), and one that gets even better thanks to an impressive harmonic mix into Aurora. That super smooth Sylph into Byrgius transition is a standout, while the way Eternity Has Passed mixes in next, underneath Byrgius’ filters, is a sign of Melancholia’s technical flexibility. A combination that could have sounded very messy is instead nicely aggressive, with some voice samples papering over any of the gaps that are left.

You’ll notice a lot of trademark sample usage here and there, including some fantastic use of the Self Extortion vocals. Others are less effective to my ears – Aryx’s melancholy breakdowns are probably vocal-less for reason, after all, but on the whole they’re both well selected and well timed. There’s generally a nice line being walked between the po-faced samples you often hear in Finnish tracks and the nudge-and-a-wink semi-comedy style of some UK freeform (‘At ease, listen up!’ is one of my favourites here).

Hearing Eternity Has Passed at 175ish makes me realise how much I like it, and it’s probably somewhere in my top 5 Betwixt tunes when played at this speed. It’s a reminder of how, when Betwixt was really feeling the inspiration, even Nomic or Alek would struggle to match him. What I’d give to hear a modern freeform bootleg or two.

The samples appear again as the set moves into Axiomatic System, giving some listening landmarks that are so effective that I might do some experimenting of my own in this style. As for Lost Soul, I’ve surely lamented before that there are an awful lot of tracks that have some fantastic moments but never quite live up to the atmosphere I’m expecting. Here Melancholia’s solution is to combine an effective snippet of the track with the ever-reliable Iron Squid. Ephexis’ Destination Entheogen remix is right up there with their best, and here makes for a surprising but effective finale. With the shortened use of Axiomatic System I’d prefer DE to be given more time – as the first four tracks had longer play it would help greatly with the flow of the second half of the set. That’s tricky to balance in a 22-minute mix though, and a minor weak spot in a massively impressive piece of work.

I’m biased thanks to the track selection, but this would still be a must-listen thanks to the technical quality on show. If you’ve been feeling a bit stuck in a mixing rut then this could well give you some new ideas, and those non-DJs who stick to listening will probably end up making this their TYFTH-style go-to for a long while.

01. Betwixt & Between – Self Extortion
02. Aryx – Aurora
03. Aryx – Sylph
04. Aryx & Alek Száhala – Byrgius
05. Betwixt & Between – Eternity Has Passed
06. Lost Soul – Axiomatic System
07. Alek Száhala – Iron Squid
08. Alias A.K.A. & Johan Floss – Destination Entheogen (Ephexis Remix)

The final Lucky Lotus online event has begun, and fittingly it’s the biggest so far with another very strong lineup.

Despite the lack of fanfare here you might even have noticed my name on the flyer once again – I’m very happy to be appearing with Shimotsukei for another back to back set. The timing wasn’t ideal (TYFTH hasn’t been in hibernation for nothing), but we’ve somehow come up with one of our best sets so far, running for a almost-silly 2 hours and 20 minutes. Hang in there for the whole thing if you can – it’s thanks to Shimo’s efforts that this all came together so well, while I tried to do my bit with more variety than I’m usually known for. It’ll be broadcast at 11:12-ish pm JST on Saturday, with both of us likely to be in the chat.

There’s a lot to look out for over the other days of the festival too – I’ll copy the full timetable below, but check the Facebook event page for full info. First glance highlights for those of a TYFTH persuasion might be Byproduct, Lab 4, Lv.4, Orphic, and Solvynt, with a lot of non-freeform names to make time for, too.

 

Timetable is in EST (-4 GMT)
Thursday
4:00 Vermillionaire
4:54 Slax
5:40 DJ Buttbaby
6:13 Debisco
6:58 mizu
7:42 Power2All
8:14 DJ D-Tor
8:49 Daniel Seven
9:49 DJ Neon
10:48 hyleo
11:30 W.T Snacks
12:29 CHZK
13:12 D-Luc-D
14:01 Komrad Zerokusu aka Neodash Zerox
15:00 Velatix
15:51 Furystomper
16:36 Drop Team Epic
17:36 E*Tank
18:09 Tamerax
19:05 DJ COSMiXXX
20:03 Audio X
20:47 Jampers&nd
21:48 Galaxy Kid
22:47 SecretC
23:16 diSKo Matic
00:08 END

Friday
6:00 撲殺少女工房 (Bokusatsu Shoujo Koubou)
6:44 Nadesicore
7:32 Tomatoism
8:16 12_1
9:00 Jadeabella
10:03 sabi
10:33 Solvynt
11:19 Coakira
12:04 Byproduct
13:00 DJ Amaya
13:59 DJ Stretchmark
14:44 rainy☆
15:39 Adinga
16:11 Fracus & Darwin
17:10 r_CREαт:FθсвеT
18:20 DJ Genki
19:20 DJ Speedycake
20:20 Nakura
21:20 STuwu
22:19 KyuubiRaver
22:50 Alaguan
23:50 END

Saturday
5:00 Chibby
5:30 Tomoyu
6:13 かたぎり
7:11 TamolarM
7:56 S3RL
9:12 Plasmadancer vs Shimotsukei
11:33 Noizenecio
12:18 Xavi BCN
13:17 quad (luvtrax)
14:17 Jennifer Walton
14:45 Lolistyle Gabbers
15:33 Jimni Cricket
16:32 Aki
17:32 TakeBakaShit feat. MC Otaking
18:36 DJ Melancholia
18:58 JAKAZiD
20:03 DJ4X
20:35 FlapJack
21:35 DJ Archari
22:05 Zovi
22:25 The D
22:56 Ranzor
23:34 END

Sunday
6:00 Capchii
6:59 Nishimura
7:45 Abitan
8:45 h11ky
9:17 LV.4
10:17 XIO
11:16 Lab4
12:16 Foxyun
13:21 DJ Liet
14:21 Ori Uplift
15:22 LOLIPO
15:46 DJ Reflection
16:14 4nzu
16:45 DJ Jo
17:29 DJ Akatsuki
18:15 Goreshit
19:00 DJ Virus
19:45 Archefluxx
20:30 Rob VanWest
21:31 -AUS-
22:15 Gabberbone
22:45 DJ Tenshin
23:18 Chia
23:49 Makobeats
00:08 END

Monday
6:00 DJ Taku
6:29 Raul Ivalo
7:28 YUKIYANAGI
7:58 Liteblue
8:29 Takuya Angel
9:33 android52
10:19 96-glass
11:04 MaidenV
11:39 CheezyP
12:39 MesoPhunk
13:24 Round Wave Crusher
14:23 Riku Namako
14:53 ViolonC
15:53 Illumize
16:40 hiero.
17:30 Kishuni
18:00 Sephi Hakubi
19:00 Orphic
20:01 Vau Boy
20:47 Noc.V
21:32 rainyrhy
22:32 WK9
23:02 Kuro
23:48 pea_txt
00:49 AFTER PARTY BEGINS

Slightly belated thanks here to everyone who listened to last weekend’s stream. As I mentioned on Mastodon, it was a nice feeling (and quite an achievement by recent standards) to announce and then plan a set at fairly short notice. More gratifying, though, was seeing some TYFTH regulars in the chatroom, ready and waiting even before the set started. It made my evening, and even if the streams don’t pick up a larger audience I would be more than happy to play for our little group as often as I can manage.

This time it was Alek-only, and to up the challenge (and interest) there were some relatively underplayed tracks in the list. Overall I was very happy with how it went, especially as a few sequences turned out well enough that they’ll probably find their way into the eventual Alek tribute mix. I’m thinking especially of that Ziggurat – Fuji – The Hater section, which feels like a pretty effective way to switch things up from melodic to aggressive. The overall progression was also good, and it bodes well for the ‘real’ set (whenever that’ll be) that I ended up cutting a few other new transitions to keep things as close to an hour as possible.

Tracklist

01. Alek Szahala – Balag Lamara
02. Alek Szahala – Maruuk
03. Alek Szahala – Voices of Babylon
04. Alek Szahala – Unholy Word
05. Alek Szahala – Tlaloc
06. Alek Szahala – Mageslayer
07. Alek Szahala – Dryad Machine
08. Alek Szahala – Ziggurat
09. Alek Szahala – Fuji
10. Alek Szahala – The Hater
11. Alek Szahala – Ngarnuuk
12. Alek Szahala – Vengeance
13. Alek Szahala – Icy Clouds
14. Aszagarnak – Shinnae

 

Happy New Year! I’m now settled back in at TYFTH Towers, fighting off jetlag after yesterday returning from Sweden. Although the Top 3 roundup was conspicuous by its absence again, I’m hoping that 2019 can start in fine style with the return of the TYFTH twitch stream.

There are a number of personal plans afoot for me in 2019, but as much as possible TYFTH will also be able pick up the pace a little. Whatever’s going on away from this place I’ve no intention of giving up on freeform for a long while yet (if ever, let’s be honest). You’ll notice that a couple of reuploaded videos on the TYFTH YouTube went online yesterday – they were supposed to coincide with the big Thoughts on Mixing post, and they’ll be followed by a few more from the archives while I rummage through more old hard drives.

The first stream of the year will include some newer tracks if I can manage it, but after a long mixing break it’s safe to expect a few old, darker favourites. This one will be recorded for YouTube, so although it would be great as always to see everyone there’ll be a chance to catch it there, a little later.

This shows how out of the loop I’ve been, but V.P.N is a worthy track to end the year on. Released in October on Ominous Digital, this collaboration between Yuuhei Morita and Neoform is a very, very welcome revival of freeform’s more aggressive side, with no endless, trancy breakdowns to be found anywhere.

The intro and melodic sections show all the signs of Morita’s influence, while the nastier sections really benefit from Neoform letting rip with the hardcore influences over some very solid freeform filters. It’s refreshing to hear a track that remembers how brutal freeform can be, as well as how important it is to keep the pace up in tracks like this, even into the breakdown. No fizzling out of the atmosphere with an interminable break here, just the occasional return of the melodies and the lovely use of different kicks to control the track’s pace.

Easily one of my tracks of the year, it’s available digitally here and here.

Giving the tracklists their own post is also a chance to say a big thanks to everyone who stopped by to listen! My thinking at first was to make it an almost-test stream, and so that’s why there was no promotion other than here and Mastodon. In the end though, with a small but awesome group of listeners, I had a great time and was more than happy to do a ‘for those who know’ longer stream.

It was quite the rush to get things set up in time yesterday, which inevitably meant I would forget something important. As the stream ended I realised what it was – for some reason I hadn’t set the stream to record. Massive apologies for that, but it does probably mean that I’ll be double checking from now on, and also that I can reuse the occasional transition from yesterday without too many worries.

Look out for more sets in the future then, albeit with the promo/rare stuff set postponed slightly so I can record the next stream. It was nice to see that even yesterday’s set had a few unheard tracks here and there, so I hope the tracklists are useful.

[Goa Trance]
01. E-Mantra – Dansul Ielelor
02. E-Mantra – Ravenmocker
03. Proxeeus – Something Lurks on Yuggoth
04. Alienapia & Khetzal – Endless Glade
05. Mindsphere – Divine Intervention

[NRG]
01. Alchemiist – Dead Silence
02. Risa – Air Str1ke
03. NooNoo & Anna K – Sleep is for the Week (Alchemiist remix)
04. Lab4 – Blackstar
05. Hase – Attacker
06. Pure Underground – Amb (Tyranoid vs Michael Strongstream remix)
07. Alek Szahala – Alanamra
08. Alek Szahala – Starfall
09. Betwixt & Between – 7th world

Keeping that consistent streaming streak going, it’s almost time for the second TYFTH Live. Mastodon watchers will have seen some live indecision from me today, as I really haven’t been in the mood for NRG this week and finally decided to call it earlier this afternoon. Typically, all it took was one more practice with some unusual tracks to get some inspiration going though, so we’re back to original scheme of two relatively shorter sets.

The first will be some goa trance, likely to be heavy on the E-Mantra but a little more melodic than I’ve played in the past. After that will be some NRG, and I’ll likely be keeping things fairly simple while I get back into the swing of mixing publicly and precariously balancing computers here and there. The simpler mixing (in both sets, to a degree) will mean I’ll be more able to check the chat, so this could be a nice chance for a catch up, too.

You can find the TYFTH twitch channel here, and when the time comes I’ll temporarily embed the feed at the top of this post.

Believe it or not, this post is in response to a few requests I had, many years ago, to talk a little about how I put my sets together. Back then I felt I had a lot to work on, and either way wasn’t really confident enough to articulate what I’d learned so far. Although there’s still plenty to improve, the combination of more regularly hitting what I feel is the ‘TYFTH style’ and the collected notes made during a decade of mixing mean that now might be the right time to give an explanation a try.

With as many mixing styles as there are DJs, it should really go without saying (despite the occasional imperative mood) that I’m in no way prescribing this as the way to put a freeform set together. Taking set construction so seriously has always been massively rewarding for me though, so the hope is that this will be an interesting look behind the scenes for those who enjoy TYFTH’s mixes.

These thoughts (they’re far too meandering to be called a guide) are roughly divided into three sections, covering the main steps in my mixing process. Particularly important points are noted along the way, and to help with the explanations a few PD sets (or even transitions within them) are used as examples, as well as occasional mentions of non-freeform sets that have inspired me over the years.

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