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Upcoming event   🇷🇺 JOOF Showcase, August 10, 2019

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.

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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?

 No comments    2   2017   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!

 No comments    6   2017   I am   Music production

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 a 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.

 No comments    8   2017   Advice   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 to 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 of how it sounds 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

The 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.

 No comments    2   2017   I am

Happy New Year 2016—2017!

Thoughts on the past year and a free download track

2016 was a tough but very productive year. This year, we’ve got Rave Podcast 5th year anniversary, I’ve managed to complete my second album, and Digital Om Production is now taking care of my bookings, kicking things off with the PLUR Festival next year in Greece.

To celebrate this, I’m giving away my single Surreal, released this year on JOOF Recordings, as a free download. It is one of the most unusual track from me as a Psytrance producer since it has a very melodic and emotional blend of Techno, Progressive Trance, and a pinch of Psychedelics at a lower tempo — something that I typically never do.

Hurry up to grab your copy because the free download time is limited:

Oops, it seems you’re late. The download has expired on January 3rd.

And just to let you know, there is something else is cooking behind the scenes (besides the album). It gonna be huge. Hopefully, I’ll be able to announce by the end of 2017.

Happy New Year!

 No comments   2016   Free download   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.

 No comments    23   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 to make a half-assed product.

I often heard a popular argument in 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.

 No comments    52   2016   Advice   I am   Personal development

Vinyl vs. sync button

What makes you a better DJ

cover transparent white

Over the past several years I’ve been a witness of numerous debates around the sacred topic: a “real” mixing on vinyl versus “fake” mixing using sync button. And very recently a new ‘demotivator’ picture popped up in my newsfeed that instantly flew across all social media, so I thought I had to write this.

In all those internet battles people seem to forget one simple fact. Yes, beatmatching is the core principle of DJing and the very basics of mixing technique, but it alone doesn’t make you a good DJ. Whatever you beat matching in old fashioned way, or sync button does it for you, there are plenty of other factors that professional DJ should learn and care about: music selection, perfect knowing of his music library in general and each track individually, sense of taste, the ability to feel the crowd and guide them through the musical journey, the way how he interacts with the people on the dancefloor, how he behaves on the public, and the list goes on.

Once you master all of these, your choice of gear becomes absolutely irrelevant. And it works the opposite way too. Let’s say, If you mixing on vinyl like a cool bro, but you have no idea how to feel the crowd, you suck as a DJ. If you play using the sync button with a ton of other modern tools around, but all you do is just staring at the laptop’s display, you suck as a DJ, too. As simple as that.

The only reason I see people still play on vinyl is nostalgic/romantic feelings of that particular person about “good old days”. And it’s totally fine, as long as you don’t put an equality sign between “vinyl” and “better”. It’s no better than any other way of mixing, it’s just different. Someone adore retro cars, someone prefers modern and more practical vehicles, but neither of them doesn’t make you a better driver.

Same with the writers: if someone prefers to write old fashioned way with a nib pen and inkwell, it doesn’t make him a better writer over those who type on a keyboard, just like I do at this very moment.

As for myself, since the childhood I was thinking about electronic music as a frontier of the future: science, technologies, intergalactic travel, you know, all that stuff. So it was natural to me to evolve my setup along the way, trying out new things and new technologies. At the moment I’m fully satisfied with the current setup with Ableton Live and a MIDI-controller, but who knows, maybe someday I’ll step further to the new generation of Pioneer digital players, or something even newer.

Don’t get stuck in the past, be open-minded and courageous to move forward. The future is so exciting!

 No comments    7   2015   DJing   I am

Less is more

I use the principle “less is more” and it works great in every aspect:

  • In music production: less plugins means in-depth knowledge of each device, less CPU usage, easier mixdown. And budget savings, too.
  • In radio show: less periodicity means more diversity in tracks and guest mixes. This is the reason why I’ll never turn Rave Podcast into a weekly show.
  • In web development: less features means more attention and polishing for other important functions, as results — launch on time with no bugs.
  • In food: eat less at once (but more often) to stay healthy.

Do less to get more.

 1 comment    4   2015   I am   Management

Joining the Digital Om Productions roster

After having two EPs signed on Digital Om Productions, I’m pleased and honoured to officially join the label’s roster.

Daniel has been a great supporter of the label and with his commitment and terrific skills in the studio and on the decks, he is a welcome addition to our growing family of Live Acts and DJs.

 No comments    3   2015   I am
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