Follow me on social media

Facebook is my main news hub where I share upcoming releases, gigs, photos, videos, and blogs. Typically, I post 3–5 times a week.

Telegram and Twitter duplicate what I post on Facebook, with occasional extra content.

On Vkontakte, I write in the Russian language for my fans out of from Russia and CIS.

I also upload vlogs and gigs videos on YouTube and share travel photos, selfies, and studio routine on Instagram.

22 posts tagged

I am

Personal opinion, strong principles, and more odd things about myself.

Brand resources

Promoters, bloggers, designers! Sometimes you use Daniel Lesden artist logo and pictures for flyers, posters, cover artworks, social media banners, and other promotional and press needs.

To make sure you have everything you need, I’ve made a small but handy website with all brand resources.

There you’ll find high-resolution lifestyle and press pictures, official logo in various formats, videos, and more assets for your graphic design and press needs. And I’m going to keep this site up to date, so you will always have all necessary files, at one place.

Welcome: daniellesden.com/brand

Nov 14   I am   Marketing

How to get in touch

Sometimes people send me messages but I accidentally find them half a year later simply because I don’t use messaging on all social platforms. I want you to know that I don’t read direct messages on Twitter, Instagram, and SoundCloud. I also don’t use Skype or WhatsApp neither.

I do reply on Facebook, though, but it takes some time to get through tons of spam there and sometimes messages end up hidden in some folders without notifying me about it.

However, I would love to hear from you, so here I’ve written the best ways how you can get in touch to make sure that I will actually read your message:

General contact
Remixes, collaborations, press requests, promos, and all kind of general subjects please address to mail@daniellesden.com or @dsokolovskiy in Telegram. Telegram is the only one fast and reliable instant messenger, I definitely recommend checking it out if you haven’t tried it yet.

Booking
If you would like to book me with a Live or a DJ set to your festival or a club event, please send a booking request to my manager at Digital Om Productions, Nishan: digitalombombay@hotmail.com. He’ll provide you with all necessary information and guide you through the process.

Advice
If you would like to send a question for the advice series, please submit the form at daniellesden.com/advice/ask. Sorry for bureaucracy, but this way I won’t miss it for sure.

Demo
If you would like to submit a demo for JOOF Recordings, please send it over to daniel@joof.co.uk.

Nov 9   I am

Why I no longer upload my live sets

Playing at Shankra Festival, Switzerland, 2017

I used to upload my recorded live sets and some people ask a pretty fair question: why I no longer do this? Well, there are two reasons behind this decision: unreleased music and experiencing the moment.

Unreleased music

Being a music producer and a DJ, I always have quite many unreleased tracks in stock both from myself and the fellow producers that send me their promos. And despite the fact it’s much safer to play favourites and well-tested tracks, I love to play unreleases as it gives a unique musical experience for the people on the dance floor.

But these perks come with a cost and responsibility.

Since I get these tracks before the actual release date, I feel the importance of keeping them safe. This is especially true for the albums which take much longer to produce and release. For example, the tracks that have been released as a part of my second album “2000 Years Ahead” in January 2017 was actually made in early 2016, almost a year before the official date. If I’d upload a set full of such tracks a year before the release, it would be no point to actually releasing it.

Experiencing the moment

Every time I play on a gig, I’m trying to create a special musical journey for that particular event, a special moment that works right here, right now. For example, last time in London I kicked things off with a Techno groove and finished the set with a 145 BPM Psychedelic, both are quite beyond what you’d normally call a ‘Daniel Lesden style’ but it worked magically on that event.

The problem is when you listen to such sets at home, instead of getting goosebumps you basically just sit confused and ask why the hell it’s a Techno track now playing? Or why there were no breakdowns for the last ten minutes? Or why he’s made a mashup of this track? From the home listening perspective, it’s just a yet another set, not much different from a monthly radio show episode.

So, this is why I don’t upload my sets anymore. I keep recording them, though, so I could listen back and analyse it: see where the mixing wasn’t perfect, where the effects probably weren’t necessary, etcetera. And it’s a great way to improve your skills, by the way, I’d suggest to give it a try even if you consider yourself an experienced DJ.

Let me know what do you think about it?

Nov 7   I am   Live sets

Just make a new track!

I haven’t released any new track since my second album is out and I feel shame for that.

Partly because I felt emotionally drained after working on the album for the entire year, partly because of some very unpleasant events happened to me earlier this year (which I won’t talk about here), and partly because I was too busy and overwhelmed with my job and other projects.

With all of that, I seem to forget about the most important thing to do as a music producer — to actually make music. I’m still trying to find a balance between career and life. Sometimes it works, sometimes... well, not really. Yes, I’m not perfect.

So, I write this for two reasons.

First, I want to make a public promise: you’ll hear more music from me and I won’t let such a big gap between releases happen again.

And second, I want this to be a reminder for myself: stop infinitely tweak sounds, stop starting new projects whilst have some unfinished ones, stop spreading your time and energy on something that isn’t so important.

Or let me simplify it with this shorter sentence:

Get your shit together and just make a new track!

Sep 7   I am

I don’t give Skype lessons, and here’s why

Some people asking if I give one-on-one Skype lessons on Psytrance production. I suppose I’ll be asked this question over again, so let me put my answer here to make everyone’s life easier.

A shot from “Prometheus” of David learning new information

In short, the answer is “no” — I don’t give Skype lessons. I’m sorry. But I guess this statement might cause even more questions, so I would like to give a little explanation and tell about the motivation behind my decision.

I was always surprised that there was no place a young music producer could ask a question and get an answer from someone who knows the industry. Typically, producers don’t share their secrets not to mention that most of them simply out of reach. Some forum boards with helpful communities are still out there, but most of them are abandoned due to all traffic is driven away to social media.

That’s how I launched the “Advice” section with a sole mission — to help aspiring producers like myself.

I never intended to be a full-time tutor, I’m an acting music producer first with a lot of other things to do. Practically, it means I have to choose wisely whether should I spend the bits of available time on a Skype lesson or the “Advice” blog because I can’t afford myself doing both.

And if you look at this question of choice from the mission’s perspective I set myself — to help other producers — the answer is obvious. Writing a blog which thousands will read is much more efficient than spending the same time talking with just one person.

But to push this mission even further, I would like to make such system that will be scalable and independent of my availability. This is why I’m thinking to make a full educational course.

As you can see I have quite bold plans on education but there is simply no room for personal teaching. At least for now.

2017   Educational course   I am

What I do

A brief introduction for new followers, in simple words

Playing at Shankra Festival. Switzerland, 2017 Playing at Comfort 13 Club. Tel Aviv, 2014 Studio setup, 2016

It’s kind of funny that I have a fancy press release with “official” biography and all, but none of the press mentions, nor my social media pages explain what I really do in a simple way. Perhaps, some people subscribe to my blog by RSS not knowing about the radio show I host, or some others have no idea what I’m doing in the first place?

I would like to take a moment to put together everything I do and briefly introduce myself. And since this blog is a bit more personal space than any of my other pages on the web, I thought it’s a perfect place do this here.

So, here’s what I do:

Music

I’m a professional electronic music producer since 2012 and a passionate music lover for the whole life. The music I make can be tagged as Psytrance and Progressive, although it’s not quite fit the boundaries of one particular genre. So far I made two full-length studio albums and dozens of singles released on various record labels which considered as one of the most credible labels in the underground Trance scene. Here are a few previews to give you an idea how it sound like:

Radio show

To spread the music and keep myself in a good shape as a DJ, I host a monthly radio show called Rave Podcast. It’s broadcasted on Digitally Imported radio every first Tuesday of a month and showcases underground music and featuring guest artists from all over the world.

Touring

Touring worldwide and playing at the festivals and clubs around the world is what I do and one my ultimate career goals. I’m open for new potential gigs, Digital Om Production now handles my bookings.

Education

Education has become a big part of my life since I started the “Advice” series where every week I answer the questions people send me on music production, marketing, music industry, and other aspects of the music career. Now I’m on a mission of creating an educational course for music producers to help them succeed in the music industry.

Blog

At some point, this very blog has also become one of my projects I care about. It’s a platform allowing me to speak with the audience on a much personal level, share the knowledge and my career’s progression over time. If you here for the first time, I’d suggest exploring my Behind the scenes posts first.

Vlog

Video blog (vlog for short) is a new project that naturally evolved from my written blog and advice series. Here, I give some production and career advice based on my experience along with taking you to my gigs and adventures around the globe. Watch it on my YouTube channel or Facebook page videos.

Psytrance Guide

Psytrance Guide is a small side-project made for fun out of my love to the Psy scene. It’s a guide to the variety of Psytrance subgenres that made for education and entertainment.

A&R

I work as an A&R Manager at JOOF Recordings as well. I listen to incoming demos, communicate with the artists and help the label to keep things organised.

Feel free to get in touch whether it’s a collaboration offer, a booking request, a demo for the label, or you just want to say hello. I read every single message and typically reply within a week.

2017   I am

Telegram me

You probably know what I think of instant messengers: I hate Facebook chat, WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, and all that crap. But oddly enough, I find myself enjoying using Telegram, even for business. 

Instant messengers vs. email for business communication

Telegram is fast, reliable, and has a great desktop and mobile apps. No ads, no Facebook-style-hiding-messages, no distraction. Plus public channels, flexible notifications, quick file transfers, instant cloud sync, and more. It is the best messaging tool.

If you’re using some messaging app, I recommend switching to Telegram. You can find me there as @dsokolovskiy, feel free to get in touch.

Update

I’ve also created a public channel to share my music updates, news, and blogs. If you prefer to read Telegram channels instead of Facebook and other media, welcome here: @daniellesden.

2016   I am   Telegram

Don’t do shit

What principles do you use in your work?

Daniel 

In pretty much everything I do, I’m trying to use a principle that sounds very simple: don’t do shit.

Don’t do shit
Less is more
Vinyl vs. sync button

The definition of “shit” is very subjective, but basically, it means having a sort of inner quality control system that doesn’t allow you make a half-assed product.

I often heard a popular argument in the conversations like this, people say: “why should I do more if the outcome is the same?”. Indeed, why? Well, to me the answer is clear: because I can.

Never agree on “okay” result because this way you won’t get anything new out of it, you won’t learn. Pushing yourself to the limits is the only way to grow.

You’ve made a track but it doesn’t quite feel good to you? Well, it’s good you have that feeling because you are probably right. Now go ahead and tweak it, or make a new one from scratch, until you sure this is the best you can do. Because you can.

Same goes with design, copywriting, development, management, even the way you compose an email or help your spouse with the housekeeping. This principle applies to every aspect, both in career and personal life.

2016   Advice   I am   Personal development

Psytrance and a vegan pasta bolognese

Thoughts about some music we hear under the ‘Psytrance’ tag today

cover black

In the last few months we’ve seen pretty strange tracks occupying the top spots at Beatport’s Top-100 Psytrance chart: some Big room House, Pop EDM Vocals, Uplifting, Hardstyle — well, pretty much everything but Psytrance!

And it makes me think about how I should react on this, because frankly, I’m not quite sure. I have two different views on this.

“It doesn’t feel right”

One part of me hates when things aren’t in place or named in a wrong way.

For example, I love pasta bolognese and I don’t have anything against vegans, but I get absolutely mad when I see yet another recipe of a “vegan pasta bolognese”. What the hell is this? Meat is the essential part of this classic meat-based sauce recipe, if you took it out it won’t be a pasta bolognese anymore. That vegan version can be same delicious or even better, but please just don’t call it a bolognese then!

So when I hear the tracks like this under the ‘Psytrance’ tag, it makes me feel the same as I would see a vegan pasta bolognese:

It seems they think that having that “kick-bass” pattern is what makes it Psytrance, but it doesn’t. When I see this one spotting at #1 Psytrance chart, it just doesn’t feel right to me from the listener’s perspective.

“Music evolves whether we like it or not”

Nevertheless, some other part of me tells me this: if you ask anyone who pioneered Psytrance back in the early 90s starting in the form of Goa Trance, they will probably tell that all modern Psytrance aka “Psy-Prog” is shit. Maybe for them modern Psytrance is not “Psytrance” anymore, same as now we see those “Psy or Die” songs and thinking it’s not a Psytrance too?

Future Ducks of London – Why Psytrance has Become Shit

While we trying to use the same tags and genres to describe music, music evolves and going far beyond the original words that used to describe it. It already happened with House, Techno, and Trance music, now it’s Psytrance’s turn.

Maybe all those genres and tags just don’t work anymore, so a better solution would be simply ignoring it?

Funny enough, when I think of my own music I can’t fit into Psytrance genre alone too. Enuma Elish has almost Uplifting-like breakdown which is not typical for Psytrance as we hear today; Surreal more belongs to classic Trance or even Techno. In fact, I never sit in the borders of a single genre.

Getting out of comfort zone

Bottom line

Let’s ignore all those labels, charts, tags that Beatport and some other industry companies trying to put on music. Love the artists and tracks, not genres. Love the music, not a tag on it.

2016   I am   Music industry   Psy scene

“Still fresh!”

Or why you shouldn’t treat music as a consumable

cover black

I see many producers post their tracks saying “Still fresh!” or “Grab your copy while it’s hot!”. I know exactly what they mean, but still, it sounds kinda creepy to me and I want to explain why.

As an A&R, I often see producers that want to release their music ASAP, otherwise, it becomes “old”. Although I totally share excitement about each and every release and looking forward to it being released, I’d like to clarify one thing.

Producers, if you submit a demo expecting it being released within a month “because oh no it’s getting old”, then you either have a lack of understanding how a record label works, either have a wrong marketing strategy. Or both. Yes, planning ahead and creating a proper release strategy is something that you should do (or your manager, if you have one).

What record labels do. A story from the first-hand experience

As a result of such “release-more-and-asap” mindset, we accustom new generation of listeners to treat with music as a «consumable», something that you should use quickly while it’s fresh and then just move to trash bin.

Look at the discography of some greatest artists like John 00 Fleming, Astrix, Protoculture and Beat Bizarre just to name a few, they crafted their albums for years. And you know why? Because good music doesn’t have “expired date” and “best before” labels. Music made with love, skills, and passion sounds amazing even after a decade being released.

Sweet Fine Crystaline by Protoculture is one of my all-time favorite tracks. Released in 2006

Let’s respect music a bit more, it’s a form of art, not expendable material.

On cover image: what the hell pizza is doing there? Luckily, unlike of pizza, music is great even the day after tomorrow. And ten years later, too.

2016   I am   Music industry
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