Hot Summer 2016 Playlist by DJ Gregg Ambient

July 2016 here in our company’s headquarters of Central New Jersey has literally been steaming hot with daily temperatures averaging 95 degrees.  In this blog, Ambient DJ founder Gregg Hollmann (aka DJ Gregg Ambient) shares his top songs of Hot Summer 2016.

Gregg’s selections span pop, electronic, hip hop, Latin, deep house, soca and a Guns N’ Roses throwback (they are currently on tour).   We also debut a new feature in this blog – a suggested “DO NOT PLAY” track!  Immediately below the playlist is a link where you can listen to the playlist (unmixed) on Spotify.  Enjoy and please comment with your own favorite songs of Summer 2016!

Hot Summer 2016 Playlist – by DJ Gregg Ambient

  1. Feel Like I Do – Disclosure f/ Al Green (this track is perfect for a wedding or wedding cocktail hour combining a classic soul track over a house beat)
  2. In Common (Kaskade Remix) – Alicia Keys (note: for a deep house treatment, try the Black Coffee remix. Both remixes are included on the Spotify playlist)
  3. This Girl (Kungs Vs. Cookin’ on 3 Burners) – Kungs
  4. Ginza – J Balvin
  5. Bailar – Deorro f/ Elvis Crespo (this track is an interesting fusion of merengue and EDM and would make a great transition track for mixing)
  6. Crash – Usher
  7. Cold Water – Major Lazer w/Justin Bieber
  8. Into You – Ariana Grande
  9. Toothbrush – DNCE
  10. Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake
  11. Gyal You a Party Animal – Charly Black
  12. All the Way Up – Fat Joe w/ Remy Ma and French Montana
  13. Don’t Mind – Kent Jones
  14. Me Too – Meghan Trainor (this track has a popping coffee machine… it was meant to be mixed with “The Perculator”)
  15. My Boo – Ghosttown DJs (the ‘running man challenge’ song!)
  16. Panda – Desiigner
  17. One Dance – Drake w/ Wizkid and Kyla
  18. Cheap Thrills (Le Youth Remix) – Sia
  19. BOSS – Disclosure
  20. Acceptable in the 80’s – Calvin Harris
  21. Take Me There – Cloak Dagger f/ Basement Love (note: this track was produced by one of our DJ music mixologists Cloak Dagger) – you can listen and enjoy a free download of this track on Cloak’s Soundcloud page by clicking here.
  22. Sambal – Aeroplane and Purple Disco Machine
  23. Someone Who Needs Me (Kryder Remix) – Bob Sinclar
  24. Hot Summer Nights – David Tavare
  25. Welcome to the Jungle – Guns N’ Roses (throwback)
  • BONUS TRACK – Perfect Strangers – Jonas Blue f/ JP Cooper

DO NOT PLAY – Track of the Season

  • M.I.L.F.$ – Fergie (this song will not be as long lasting  or satisfying as Kelis’ Milkshake!).  Listen at http://youtu.be/bsUWK-fixiA

Listen on Spotify

Mix of the Season

Enjoy a hot reggae mix by Gregg  featuring dancehall classics, the Penthouse riddim and mellow vibes on the Mixcloud player below:

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A Mid-Summer’s Night Playlist – by DJ Iron Mike

We’re nearly a month into Summer 2016.  Our resident music selecta Mike Bacon, aka DJ Iron Mike checks in with thirty of his top dancefloor selections.  Mike submits this playlist just a day after grinding out a 7 hour set at the bacon lover’s paradise known as “Baconfest”!

Be sure to check out the Spotify playlist containing these tracks immediately below the playlist.  For the Spotify playlist, in some cases, the original tracks were used in lieu of Mike’s preferred remix due to lack of availability.

A Mid-Summer’s Night Playlist – by DJ Iron Mike

1. One Dance – Drake f/ Wizkid & Kyla
2. This Girl – Kungs vs. Cooks on 3 Burners
3. Can’t Stop the Feeling! -Justin Timberlake
4. Controlla – Drake
5. Don’t Let Me Down (Dom Da Bomb & Electric Bodega Remix) – Chainsmokers f/ Daya
6. Panda – Desiigner
7. Too Good – Drake f/ Rihanna
8. My Boo – Ghosttown DJs
9. Cheap Thrills – Sia f/ Sean Paul
10. Don’t Mind – Kent Jones
11. All The Way Up (rmx) – Fat Joe & Remy Ma f/ Jay-Z & French Montana
12. Work – Rihanna f/ Drake
13. Luv – Tory Lanez
14. Needed Me – Rihanna
15. Never Forget You – Zara Larsson/ MNEK
16. Hasta El Amanecer (rmx) – Nicky Jam f/ Daddy Yankee
17. Exchange – Bryson Tiller
18. This is What You Came For (Danny Dove rmx) – Calvin Harris f/ Rihanna
19. All in My Head (Flex) – Fifth Harmony f/ Fetty Wap
20. Light it Up – Major Lazer f/ Nyla
21. Bruk Off Ya Back – Konshens
22. For Free – DJ Khaled f/ Drake
23. Oui (rmx) – Jeremih f/ Jadakiss & Nino Ma
24. Be Alright – Ariana Grande
25. Sorry – Beyonce
26. I Got The Keys – DJ Khaled f/ Jay-Z & Future
27. Me Too – Meghan Trainor
28. Gold (J Farell rmx)- Kiiara
29. Happy Birthday – Kygo f/ John Legend
30. Work From Home – Fifth Harmony f/ Ty Dolla $ign
For more information about Ambient DJ Service or to book Iron Mike for your next soiree, visit www.ambientdj.com.  Ambient DJ Service, “Keeping New Jersey in the Mix!”

 

 

 

 

Interview with DJ Cloak Dagger (Luke Rizzo)

In 2015,  Ambient DJ Service was thrilled to welcome Luke Rizzo aka “DJ Cloak Dagger” to our roster of DJ music mixologists.  When not appearing at trendy hotel bars in Manhattan, Luke is available for private events through Ambient DJs including weddings, corporate events and in-store appearances.  Luke is not your average DJ – he is a seamless music mixer, he produces his own music, and even runs an ascending record label named “Noc Boots.”  His music possesses a distinct vibe that touches musical souls.  To experience the signature deep, soulful and sexy DJ Cloak Dagger sound, check out the mix found immediately after our interview questions.

We recently caught up with DJ Cloak Dagger to learn more about his background and musical approach.

When did you first become interested in music and the DJ craft?  Were you always musically inclined? 

Music has been an integral part of my being since birth. I grew up in a house surrounded by music and creativity. Being the youngest of four I was fortunate enough to be exposed to a vast array of genres from a young age. In the late 80’s and early 90’s my sister would pump a lot of New Wave, Brit Pop, Industrial, Disco and House music. My brothers were more into Metal, Hardcore, Hip Hop, Jazz, Fusion, Folk and Rock. My mother was a Belly Dance teacher. She utilized our living room as her dance studio and would let me drop the needle on these amazing sitar and tabla laced vinyls out of India for her students. Of course being the “baby” of the family nobody wanted to play with me. When my siblings would all go out with their friends, I would sneak into their rooms and sift through all of their cassettes making mix tapes of my own before they returned home. The art of digging, compiling music and recognizing what I thought sounded great together was no doubt my very first steps into what I do today.

Tell us the story of how you named yourself DJ Cloak Dagger. Do you DJ / produce under any other names?

Cloak Dagger was something I came up with back in 2009 as an artist moniker. Cloak AND Dagger means espionage. I thought removing the AND and just keeping it Cloak Dagger sounded interesting and enigmatic. I released an EP back in 2006 as Pony Boy Curtis and played a few DJ sets under that name opening for a lot of post New Wave and Indie bands at the time like Jupiter One, The Finals and Hello Eden. I also produce a cultural networking, art and live music exhibition entitled MAE that I founded back in 2008.

Tell us more about your artistic approach as both a DJ and Producer. Who are your musical influences?

I try not to limit myself. Neither as a DJ or a producer. I think my music and my catalog reflects that. I constantly keep an open mind. As a DJ I genuinely love playing to different crowds mixing an array of genres, being challenged and learning something new each time. Creating a positive energy for the room that we can share, celebrate and rejoice in is the ultimate goal. I approach the studio in the same way, only it’s more personal. As artists, we create in order to tap into a part of our souls that needs to be unleashed.

My influences run pretty deep, but it starts with Lonnie Liston Smith, George Benson, Fela Kuti, Pat Metheny, Hector Lavoe, Steve Tibbetts, Gregory Isaacs, Evelyn Champagne King…. spanning to A Tribe Called Quest, Ben Harper, Mos Def, Common, Mr. Fingers, Mark Farina, DJ Premier, J Dilla, Kenny Dope, DJ Muggs, Maxwell, Sade, El General, Bjork, Thievery Corporation and a lot of contemporaries like Kartell, FKJ, Vanilla, Andras Fox, HNNY, Robosonic, Sandy Rivera, Pomo, Oliver Nelson, Late Nite Tuff Guy…..I could go on and on….

Tell us the story of the Noc Boots record label.

Sure, I created the Noc Boots series in 2014 as platform for DJs, producers and fans within the underground rework, edit and bootleg recording world. The sound is deep, soulful and always sexy. Noc is short for Nocturnes (taken from a short lived Itunes podcast I had running) and Boots is abbreviated from bootleg recordings. It’s also a play on words from the 90’s phrase “Knocking Boots” which appropriately fits the Noc Boots sound. We just celebrated our 5th release. The series features releases from Ash Reynolds (UK), Rocco Raimundo (AUS), P SOL (NYC), Brother in Arms (SF), Basement Love (CAN), DJ Steef (FRA) to name a few – and you can find our releases at our official store at NocBoots.Bandcamp.com as well as Juno Download.

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Where can fans catch your live sets?

You can catch me every Friday from 6-9 at my residency in the Living Room of the W Hotel in Times Square.

I heard that you recently DJ’d a Silent Disco Party. Tell us about that experience.

Incredible, 500 people singing, dancing and bouncing to 3 different DJs. We were on the rooftop of Stage 48 in Hell’s Kitchen and the floor was shaking beneath my feet. The energy was outrageous. With headphones on the crowd, they are  totally tapped into the DJ – more so than maybe a traditional setting. No cell phones, little conversation, just music and dancing. It was great.

Is there any particular party that stands out in your career?

My favorite party to play in NYC is the TOCA parties at Cielo. It’s a tribal themed house party that’s truly indicative of old school NYC nightlife. Each party has a different motif, patrons come in costume, the energy is contagious and of course Cielo’s sound system and sunken dance floor makes it my favorite club to play in the big city!

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Are you working on any new and interesting projects?

Yes, I have two overseas releases for my track “Ale’ Sofi” which got an amazing remix from my friend Captain Planet. It was recently selected by Buddha Bar founder Claude Challe to be released on his latest Select 9: Music For Our Friends series coming out in July out of France and it also just saw a release last week on Timewarp Music’s latest compilation Bamboola Boogie out of Greece.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love being with my wife and daughter. Spending sunny days in Central Park and always keeping my ear out for new exciting music and artists.

Is there any track that never leaves your record crate?

Man, Tough question, there are so many! Late Nite Tuff Guy’s edit of “The Man Who Loves You” is a strong candidate. It works over every crowd and is a great dance floor ice breaker. I’ve probably played it 1,000 times over the years.

Where can fans connect with you online? 

Sure, I regularly post my appearance dates and music projects on Social Media.  You can connect with me at:

@cloakdaggernyc on Facebook, Soundcloud and Instagram

Thanks for having me!

Thank you Cloak! For all of you interested in booking DJ Cloak Dagger for your private event, connect with us at www.ambientdj.com (note: Luke is highly versatile and DJs all musical genres, tailoring the music to fit your unique celebration).

Before concluding this article, we’d like to share our own personal favorite DJ Cloak Dagger mix.  Skip the therapist’s couch and let go with this delightful one hour set!

 

DJ of The Month – Martin Valcin, aka “DJ Marti Gras”

Periodically our company likes to acknowledge a DJ from our staff who is doing particularly great work.  To that end, our June 2016 “DJ of the Month” from the Ambient DJ Service roster is Martin Valcin, aka “DJ Marti Gras.”

We initially met Martin at the DJ Times International DJ Expo in Atlantic City.  Martin, like many upcoming DJs, was at the DJ Expo hungry for knowledge to elevate his craft.  Martin subsequently joined the New Jersey Disc Jockey Network (NJDJN) where we got to know him even better.  Thereafter, we invited him to perform under Ambient DJ Service, and he agreed!

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“Mixing Gone Wild!”

About DJ Marti Gras

Born and raised in New York City, Martin discovered his passion for the DJ craft while attending Syracuse University. After receiving a BS Degree majoring in biology, Martin began performing at private parties under the stage name of “DJ Marti Gras” with a tagline of “Mixing Gone Wild.” His portfolio of work includes Sweet 16s, Communion Parties, Weddings, Block Parties and Fashion Shows. DJ Marti Gras is the ideal choice for those seeking a hot dance mix, drawing from his palette of current dance music, pop,hip hop/R&B, Caribbean vibes, disco and party classics.  Martin is Ambient DJ’s most educated music mixologist, with a Masters Degree in Public Health.

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A Happy Marti Gras Sweet 16 Client!

Achievements 

The feature that particularly stands out about DJ Marti Gras is his focus on excellence and self-improvement.  We’ve progressively stepped up the degree of difficulty of his DJ engagements, and Martin has met each challenge with great aplomb!

When asked to step up his game for interactive kids parties, Martin not only learned a series of games, but developed a curriculum of new games that he shared with the rest of our staff.   Martin has also made great strides as an Emcee.

Martin is an avid music curator and researches new musical themes in great depth.  This means that he is able to work with people of all ages and ethnicities, and always has the perfect track for your party!

Finally, Martin is extremely organized and his well-labeled DJ gear has multiple backup solutions in case any component should fail during a party.  Backup equipment is the hallmark of a professional DJ.

In Closing

Thank you Martin for your contributions, and we look forward to your continued excellent contributions!  To book Martin for your upcoming party, connect with us online at www.ambientdj.com

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Packing the Dance Floor with DJ Marti Gras!

The Bossa Chill Wedding Cocktail Hour

Ambient DJ Service was thrilled to recently add Andre Ovalle, aka DJ Dre Ovalle, to our wedding entertainment team.  Dre Ovalle is everything that we look for in a DJ – a music mixologist who lives and breathes music, and is well-versed in international genres.

Dre has compiled an hour of chilled out bossa nova, jazz and catchy cover versions that are sure to soothe and delight your wedding guests.  The playlist would be equally welcome at a dinner party or romantic date night.

For a signature drink, Dre Ovalle has selected Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha which is created with cachaca (sugarcane hard liquor), sugar and lime.  For a drink recipe for the Caipirinha, click here.

 Immediately after the playlist below, you can take a listen to Dre’s selections on our Spotify channel.  Cheers!

The Bossa Chill Wedding Cocktail Hour (by DJ Dre Ovalle)

  1. New York, New York – Wanda Sa
  2. Mi Lupita – Marimba Chapinlandia
  3. How Deep is Your Love – Maria Augusta
  4. Killing Me Softly – Flor De Lis
  5. The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson
  6. Just Like Heaven – Kat Edmonson
  7. Agua de Beber – Bebel Gilberto
  8. Impetu – Paco de Lucia
  9. My One and Only Love – John Coltrane (w/ Johnny Hartman)
  10. Dance Me to the End of Love – Madeleine Peyroux
  11. Wishing – Nouvelle Vague
  12. I Melt With You – Nouvelle Vague
  13. The Way You Look Tonight – Tony Bennett
  14. Candela – Buena Vista Social Club
  15. Fell in Love with a Girl – Richard Cheese
  16. No Diggity – Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox

To enjoy Dre Ovalle’s playlist on Spotify, click on the player below.  Note:  we made several substitutions/enhancements on Spotify to account for tracks that were unavailable.

For lovers of Brazilian music and bossa nova, be sure to check our Brazilian Wedding Cocktail Hour playlist by clicking here.  We also recommend the Chillin’ in Mykonos CD series for more chilled out, bossa nova influenced cover versions.

Recap of Previous Cocktail Hour Playlists

Here are our prior submissions:

  1. Alternative Rock Cocktail Hour, Craft Beer (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  2. The Quintessentially Mixed Cocktail Hour, Long Island Iced Tea (DJ AQ). Click here.
  3. Good Vibes Cocktail Hour, Pina Colada (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  4. Head to Shoulder Dip Cocktail Hour, Hairy Navel (DJ Gary G). Click here.
  5. Retro Soul Cocktail Hour, Ciroc Havana Coconut Martini (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  6. Smooth Sail Cocktail Hour, Malibu Bay Breeze (DJ Mike K). Click here.
  7. Back to the Eighties Cocktail Hour, Midori Sour (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  8. Beach Themed Cocktail Hour, Red Stripe Beer (DJ Spinz). Click here.
  9. Classic Wedding Cocktail Hour, Tanqueray & Tonic (DJ Garrett B.). Click here.
  10. International Excursions Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sangria (Gregg Ambient). Clickhere.
  11. Country Wedding Cocktail Hour, Manhattan (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  12. Crooner Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jack Daniels on the Rocks w/Splash of Water (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  13. Chanteuse Wedding Cocktail Hour, White Lady (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  14. TV Theme Songs Wedding Cocktail Hour, Coca-Cola with a side of Popcorn (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  15. Christmas Wedding Cocktail Hour, Eggnog (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  16. Boardwalk Empire / Great Gatsby Wedding Cocktail Hour, Rum Punch for a Crowd (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  17. Classic R&B Wedding Cocktail Hour, Ciroc Blue Ocean (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  18. James Bond Wedding Cocktail Hour, Vesper Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  19. Valentines Wedding Cocktail Hour, Godiva Chocolate Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  20. Miami Vice Wedding Cocktail Hour, Cuba Libre (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  21. The “Super Happy Hour” Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Bob Marley (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  22. The Brazilian Wedding Cocktail Hour, Caipirinha (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  23. The New Jersey Homegrown Wedding Cocktail Hour, Boat Beer (Microbrew) (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  24. The French Connection Wedding Cocktail Hour, 2010 Canon-la-Gaffeliere (Bordeaux) (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  25. The Disco Love Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sloe Gin Fizz (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  26. The Super Funky Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour, Funky Cold Medina (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  27. The Acid Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour, Gimlet (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  28. The 70s Soft Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Miller High Life (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  29. The New York State of Mind Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bronx Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  30. The Disney Wedding Cocktail Hour, Vibrant Orange Juice Frosty (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  31. The Summer Pop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jameson & Ginger Ale (DJ Spinz). Clickhere.
  32. The Colorful Wedding Cocktail Hour, Shot of Goldschlager (DJ Gregg Ambient). Clickhere.
  33. The Inspiring Ladies of Music Wedding Cocktail Hour, Brandy Alexander (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  34. The Psychedelic Wedding Cocktail Hour, Death in the Afternoon (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  35. The Surf’s Up Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Italian Surfer (DJ Gregg Ambient). Clickhere.
  36. The 90s Grunge Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Whiskey Sour (Guest Bloggers Pash & David). Click here.
  37. The Nice and Easy Wedding Cocktail Hour, Dirty Martini (DJ Greg Nice). Click here.
  38. The All Beatles Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bass Ale (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  39. The Savannah Southern Charm Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade Mojito (Guest blogger Cindy Brown). Click here.
  40. The All Cover Versions Wedding Cocktail Hour, Tecate Beer (Team Ambient) . Clickhere.
  41. The Giants of Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jazz Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Clickhere.
  42. The Smooth Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour, Kahlua & Cream (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Clickhere.
  43. The Vintage Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour, Old-Fashioned (Guest Blogger DJ Ali Gruber) . Click here.
  44. The Acquired Taste Wedding Cocktail Hour, Fernet Branca (Guest Blogger DJ Toad) . Click here.
  45. The Jamaican Love Song Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Hummingbird (DJ Jazz) . Clickhere.
  46. The Motown Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Last Word (DJ Spinz) . Click here.
  47. The Broadway Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Fuzzy Greyhound (Guest bloggers Kris & Wesley) . Click here.
  48. The 50 Shades of Grey Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bottle of 1999 Bollinger La Grande Annee Rose . Click here.
  49. The Hip Hop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bottle of Cristal Champagne (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  50. The Tropical Tradewinds Wedding Cocktail Hour, Barbados Rum Punch (DJ Marti Gras) . Click here.
  51. The Reggae Wedding Cocktail Hour, Dirty Banana (DJ Sully) . Click here.
  52. The Mellow Country Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Southern Comfort Cherry & Cola (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  53. The Space Travelers Wedding Cocktail Hour, Astronaut (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Clickhere.
  54. The African Safari Wedding Cocktail Hour, Castle Lager Beer (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  55. The Sunset Sessions Wedding Cocktail Hour, Mojito (Guest Blogger DJ Troy Michael). Click here.
  56. The 70s Soft Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour (Volume 2), Scotch on the Rocks (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  57. The Bar Life Wedding Cocktail Hour , Margarita (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  58. The New Orleans Wedding Cocktail Hour , Hurricane (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Clickhere.
  59. The Catchy Covers Wedding Cocktail Hour , Southern Revival (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  60. The Blues Wedding Cocktail Hour , Blonde Manhattan (DJ Marti Gras) . Click here.
  61. The 80s 90s Something Wedding Cocktail Hour, Zima (DJ Gregg Ambient). Clickhere.
  62. The Lush Boutique Hotel Wedding Cocktail Hour , Botanist Cocktail (DJ Cloak Dagger) . Click here.
  63. The Boy Bands Wedding Cocktail Hour , Bubble Martini (DJ Iron Mike . Click here.
  64. The New Years Eve Style Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  65. The Valentines Wedding Cocktail Hour (Volume Two) , Frangelico on the Rocks (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  66. The New Age Wedding Cocktail Hour , Maple Breakfast Stout (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  67. The 420 High Times Wedding Cocktail Hour, Leinenkugel Summer Shandy Beer (Ambient DJ Staff Collaboration).  Click here.

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile NJ DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey that specializes in wedding DJ entertainment. Ambient DJ is a 2016 winner of the Knot Best of Weddings award as well as of the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Award. We have a deep passion for the music that we play and enjoy collaborating with our brides and grooms to create unforgettable parties! For more info and to read our wedding reviews, visit us on the web at www.ambientdj.com.

Top Dance Songs of Spring 2016 – By DJ Gregg Ambient

The tulips are blooming, the birds are singing – Spring must be here!

Ambient DJs’ boss “DJ Gregg Ambient” shares twenty of his top selections for the dance floor this Spring.  The list spans a variety of current music and choice throwbacks.  Following the list of songs is a new dance mix by Gregg for your enjoyment. Cheers!

DJ Gregg Ambient’s Top 20 Track Selections for Spring 2016

  1.  Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake (pop)
  2.  House Every Weekend – David Zowie (house)
  3. One Dance – Drake f/ Wizkid and Kyla (R&B)
  4. Work (Cloak & Dagger Dancehall Rework) – Rihanna (R&B/reggae) (get the remix here)
  5. Panda – Desiigner (hip hop)
  6. Trumpets – Sak Noel and Salvi f/ Sean Paul (dance)
  7. I’m in Control – Aluna George w/ Popcaan (dance)
  8.  All the Way Up – Fat Joe w/ Remy Ma and French Montana (hip hop)
  9. 679 – Fetty Wap (hip hop)
  10. This is What You Came For – Calvin Harris w/ Rihanna (house/dance)
  11. Formation – Beyonce (R&B)
  12. Cake By the Ocean – DNCE (pop)
  13. Be Alright – Ariana Grande (pop)
  14. Gyal You a Party Animal – Charly Black (Caribbean)
  15. Unspeakable Joy (Maurica Joshua House Mix) – Kim English (house/throwback)
  16. Mama – Lunchmoney Lewis (pop)
  17. Kiss – Prince (throwback, and in recognition of Prince’s untimely passing last month)
  18. Seven Days in Sunny June – Jamiroquai (throwback/summer selection)
  19. Follow the Leader – The Soca Boys (try this song for your next conga line or limbo game!)
  20. Purple Rain – Prince (throwback/ Prince tribute)

Memorial Day BBQ Mix

Dance around the grill to DJ Gregg Ambient’s just released “Happy Hour” mix on Mixcloud!  Hand selected from the vaults, DJ Gregg Ambient mixes up a diverse selection of international genres including reggae, soca, Haitian kompa music, R&B and soulful house music. Sample artists include Justin Timberlake, Prince, Bob Marley, Madonna, Toto, Inner City, Kim English, Jamiroquai, LunchMoney Lewis… and many more. Play it below.  To book Gregg for your upcoming wedding or celebration, visit www.ambientdj.com

Spring 2016 Dance Playlist by DJ Marti Gras

The tulips are blooming, the birds are singing – Spring must be here!

Ambient DJs’ hard-driving music mixologist Martin Valcin, aka DJ Marti Gras,whose moniker is “Mixing Gone Wild” shares twenty of his top selections for the dance floor this Spring.  The list spans a variety of current music and choice throwbacks.  Enjoy!

DJ Marti Gras Top 20 Track Selections for Spring 2016

  1. Love Yourself (Kue Remix) – Justin Bieber
  2. Better When I’m Dancin’ – Meghan Trainor
  3. This is What You Came For – Calvin Harris f/ Rihanna
  4. Adventure of a Lifetime – Coldplay
  5. Hula Hoop – OMI
  6. Bang My Head (Robin Schulz Remix) – David Guetta f/ Sia and Fetty Wap
  7. Cake By the Ocean (Riddler Remix) – DNCE
  8. One Dance – Drake
  9. Run Away With Me (Velvet Sunrise Remix) – Carly Rae Jepsen
  10. Sorry – Beyonce
  11. My House – Flo Rida
  12. Panda – Designer
  13. Don’t Let Me Down (WandW Remix) – The Chainsmokers f/ Daya
  14. All I Do is Win – DJ Khaled f/ T-Pain and Snoop Dogg
  15. My Boo – Ghost Town DJs (Running Man dance routine!)
  16. Conga – Gloria Estefan
  17. Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean
  18. Brick House – The Commodores
  19. Musicology – Prince
  20. Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Listen to Marti Gras’s playlist on Spotify at the link below (note: in some cases the original tracks were used rather than Martin’s recommended remixes.  Musicology by Prince (Rest in Peace) was not available – we substituted a song composed by Prince (“I Feel for You” by Chaka Khan).

To listen to DJ Marti Gras’ continuous dance mixes, visit his MixCloud page at https://www.mixcloud.com/martigras.  To book Martin for your upcoming party, connect  at www.ambientdj.com 

Spring 2016 Playlist – by DJ Gregg Ambient

Spring is officially here!  We kick off our quarterly top songs playlists with a submission by Gregg Hollmann, aka DJ Gregg Ambient.  Gregg’s top twenty selections below reflect a variety of hip hop, R&B, pop,  Latin, reggae and EDM.   Regarding a potential Summer blockbuster, Gregg’s top pick at this juncture is Gwen Stefani’s “Make Me Like You.”

Listen to this playlist on Spotify at:

https://open.spotify.com/user/gregg_ambientdjs/playlist/12eiuvNkn36Y9f09Z5lDBn

Drumroll, please….

DJ Gregg Ambient’s Top 20 Songs of Spring 2016

  1. Work – Rihanna w/ Drake (R&B)
  2. Jumpman – Drake & Future (hip hop)
  3. Sorry – Justin Bieber f/ Skrillex (pop/electronic)
  4. Ginza – J. Balvin (reggaeton)
  5. Cake By the Ocean – DNCE (pop/dance)
  6. My House – Flo Rida (pop)
  7. Make Me Like You – Gwen Stefani (pop)
  8. Formation (John Keenan & Mark Picchio Remix) – Beyonce (R&B/Dance)
  9. El Taxi – Osmani Garcia w/ Pitbull (Latin/Reggae)
  10. Be Right There – Diplo f/ Sleepy Tom (EDM)
  11. Antidote – Travi$ Scott (hip hop)
  12. Trumpets – Sak Noel, Sean Paul & Salvi (Latin/Reggae)
  13. 679 – Fetty Wap (hip hop)
  14. Bang My Head – David Guetta, Sia and Fetty Wap (dance)
  15. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson f/ Bruno Mars (pop/funk)
  16. Company – Justin Bieber (pop)
  17. Easy Love – Sigala (dance)
  18. Sugar (Frey Remix) – Robin Schulz f/ Francesco Yates (house)
  19. Automatic – ZHU and Aluna George (Electronic)
  20. Down in the DM (radio edited version) – Yo Gotti (hip hop)

Throwbacks:

  1. Brazilian Love Affair – George Duke
  2. Walking in Rhythm – Blackbyrds
  3. La Dolce Vita – Donna Summer & Giorgio Moroder

DJ Mix of the Quarter:

Reggae/electronic/Caribbean DJ/producer Ted Ganung recently laid down a proper set at Cielo that we were fortunate to experience live.  For those who missed it, listen here:

 

5 Book Recommendations for Mobile DJs

(this blog is a re-print of my recent blog on ProMobileDJ.com that can be accessed at http://promobiledj.com/2016/03/five-book-recommendations-for-mobile-djs/ )

I’m a believer in the adage that “readers are leaders.”  As a boy, I loved reading mystery books and biographies about my favorite sports stars.  During summer vacation, I would typically read a book a day.  Fast forwarding to my late twenties when I became interested in the mobile DJ profession, I once again returned to the books to learn about the industry.  Unlike many mobile DJs, I am entirely self-taught and never worked under another DJ company.  Books were immensely helpful in bridging the information gap.

Much of what I learned via books helped me to create a successful small business.  Even so, years later, I continue to read in my spare time.  In the non-fiction realm, I particularly enjoy books about business, music history and the DJ industry.  These days I do most of my reading on a Kindle (love this device!).  By now, I’ve encountered many of the key concepts of the mobile DJ continuing education curriculum.  However, my quest for knowledge remains high and I never mind receiving a refresher course on a particular topic.  Reinforcement of educational material is one way to ensure that it becomes cemented permanently in your knowledge bank.

What types of books should mobile DJs read?  Since most us wear many hats as DJs and business owners, books related to music, technical skills, emceeing, sales skills, finance and management are welcome additions to any DJ’s library!

In this blog, I share five book recommendations that should appeal to you as a DJ or small business owner:

How to DJ Right – The Art and Science of Playing Records, by Frank Broughton and Bill Brewster.

This book explores the power of music and how an adept DJ can get inside the minds of guests and create memories.   How to DJ Right provides instructions and graphical depictions on beatmixing and popular DJ scratches.  The artist interviews are also inspiring.  I provide this book to all of my new hires.  While not specifically geared towards the mobile DJ, this book is a must read for all DJs.

Also recommended by Frank Broughton and Bill Brewster is their beefy history of the DJ and dance music, “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life”.  Learn the stories behind industry pioneers like Alan Freed, Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and David Mancuso.  Explore the birth of various music genres and understand the interrelationships between them.

Running Your Multi-Op, by Michael Walter.

Mike Walter is the owner of Elite Entertainment based in New Jersey.  Many consider Elite to be America’s most successful multi-op DJ business.  In the book, Mike shares in great detail how he recruits and trains DJ talent.  He covers a wealth of topics including non-compete agreements, how to train emcees, the employee versus subcontractor debate, how to “sell down”, how to make winning promo videos and how to create a successful business that can run itself without the constant presence of its owner.  Mike delivers the information in his patented fun and candid style.

Running Your Multi-Op is a beneficial read for any DJ – whether single-op or multi-op.  Furthermore, you will gain many tips on how to become a better emcee.  Running Your Multi-Op is also available as an MP3 audio book.  Mike’s teachings really come to life in the audio book version, read by the author himself!

The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, by Joel Whitburn. In the updated ninth edition of this book, Whitburn’s encyclopedic music guide spans complete chart information about America’s most popular songs and artists from 1955 to 2009. The largest section of the book contains an alphabetical listing of artists where you can read the artist’s bio and see the details about all of their songs that charted.  Want to know what year Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” was released and how many weeks it spent at #1?  Then this book is for you.

The latter section of the book contains the Top 25 songs of each year and also reveals the top-ranking artists by decade.  This book is a must-have for any music lover.  I often use it when researching playlists or preparing for a class reunion or milestone birthday.  A DJ can also use the information in the Billboard Book of Top 40 hits to create fun ‘name that tune’ or musical trivia contests for events.

The Mobile DJ MBA (Business, Sales & Marketing Industry Secrets Revealed), by Stacy Zemon. Stacy is the Editor and Chief Scribe at com.  The Mobile DJ MBA is a collection of articles written for DJ Times Magazine by herself, joined in several articles by co-writers like Jeff Stiles and Cap Capello.  The book begins with an inspiring foreword by Bobby Morganstein who shares his journey from working as a rookie for a company called Fascinating Rhythms, before founding his own company and undergoing a series of expansions and service diversifications that transformed his business into a conglomerate powerhouse.   A common theme of the articles in the book is that it’s seldom the best entertainer who is the most successful in this business.  DJs and DJ business owners need to possess serious marketing and sales chops.  The readings provided by Stacy provide information on advanced strategies that DJs can use to their benefit.  Some of these topics include power partnerships, guerrilla marketing techniques, sales techniques to increase your closing rate, DJ contracts (presented by Cap Capello) and how to keep your DJ staff happy.  More than feel good general information, the articles in the Mobile DJ MBA provide detailed, actionable ideas.

The Mobile DJ MBA is recommended for DJs of all skill levels, but particularly for business-minded DJs seeking to grow their operations.

Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine, by Mike Michalowicz.  This moderately technical, but well-explained book, presents a methodology that ensures that all of a business owner’s hard work will be rewarded in the form of dividends that do NOT get plowed back into the business, but rather are used to reward you and your family.  Too many event professionals start a business based on passion, but soon find that they are terrible business people. The Profit First system imposes a discipline on an owner that will have the business serving you, not vice-versa.

For those interested in learning more about Profit First within the DJ context, connect with DJ Jason Spencer who is a certified Profit First professional and has received formal training in the program.  Jason has been speaking at national DJ conferences on this topic.  For a quick primer, see my previous article on ProMobileDJ.com “How DJs Can Use the Profit First Financial Management System”.

Those who are contemplating starting their own DJ business are also well-advised to read Michalowicz’s “Toilet Paper Entrepreneur” that provides important training to survive your first years in business.

 Don’t Forget the Periodicals!

Also, you are well-advised to order subscriptions for DJ Times Magazine, Mobile Beat Magazine and Disc Jockey News.  The cumulative cost to subscribe to all three is only $65.  In addition, ProMobileDJ.com publishes articles written by experts on a weekly basis that you can enjoy for free.

In a subsequent ProMobileDJ.com blog, I’ll share another five recommended books for Mobile DJs.  In the meantime, happy reading!

 

Supporting DJs and The Joy of Music

As a mobile DJ, January-March are my slowest months. April through December run hot and heavy. I like to use free time in the Winter to check out DJs in the bar/club/lounge scene.

There are many benefits:

  • It’s important for a DJ to relate to the guest experience from the other side of the DJ booth;
  • To gain exposure to new styles of music;
  • To discover new tracks;
  • To check out how other DJs mix particular styles of music;
  • To support one’s DJ brethren and sistren – it’s a huge compliment when a DJ drops in to check out a fellow DJ;
  • To network and meet new people;
  • To stay inspired; and
  • According to my accountant, attending DJ performances for educational/networking purposes is considered a tax-deductible expense. While I don’t recommend expensing bottle service, you should be fine writing off cover charges and travel expense as legitimate business expenses.

My February Road Trip

Stop #1 – DJ Cloak Dagger, The Living Room at The W Hotel

In this blog, I share my recent experiences on the road. The first stop on the tour was to Times Square New York City, to check out a set by Luke Rizzo, aka DJ Cloak Dagger. Luke is currently the artist in residence at the trendy W Hotel, and spins every Friday night from 6 PM – 9 PM in the swank hotel lobby bar known as “The Living Room” spinning primarily sexy house music. The Living Room has a nicely-appointed DJ booth, situated in front of a dazzling kaleidoscope wall of moving lights. Tucked into a corner near the DJ booth is a Photo Booth where guests can be photographed for free and then receive a photo print and/or email copy.

Photo Feb 26, 9 25 09 PM

For an introduction to DJ Cloak Dagger, check out the mix from his Nocturnes series below which I consider to be a masterpiece:

https://soundcloud.com/cloakdaggernyc/nocturnes-podcast-006-cloak

Stop #2 – The Samovar Bar, Manhattan

Following the W Hotel, my wife and I enjoyed dinner then headed over to the Russian Samovar Bar on 256 W. 52nd Street.  I’ve been patronizing the Samovar Bar for years.  They serve up delicious carafes of infused vodkas (the cranberry is my favorite) and there are frequently an interesting assortment of characters for people watching.  Tonight was no different.  With the exception of an unfortunate incident where I was the victim of a “Cougar Attack” – it was a great night at Samovar.  There were three live musicians who performed a fun international repertoire spanning from Russian folk songs, to Egyptian belly dance music (Oojami) to Latin favorites (Juanes).  The vodka was flowing and a nice dance floor developed.

Photo Feb 26, 10 41 11 PM

Stop #3 – Sunday House Social, Philadelphia

After resting my liver on Saturday, it was off to the City of Brotherly Love for the Sunday House Social series and currently led by the team of DJ Linda Leigh and DJ Dre Ovalle.  Linda, who has her roots in the rave culture of the 90s – and Dre who is an upcoming DJ based in the Hamilton/Trenton area, aim to showcase the sounds of underground electronic music.  The Sunday House Social series is based out of the Trenton Social (449 South Broad St., Trenton) every Sunday night from 6 PM until close.  The series has recently expanded to Philly at Lolie’s Ale House – conveniently located right off Route 95 and having free parking.   Future Sunday night dates at Lolie’s will be announced soon.

Photo Feb 28, 11 02 13 PM

Posing with DJ Linda Leigh from Sunday Night Social

 

 

To make the evening as interesting and diverse as possible, several DJs are scheduled.  This past Sunday in Philadelphia it was Linda Leigh, Dre Ovalle (open format with a techno edge this particular evening), DJ Landzi (funky house) and Hoju Pockets (drum n’ bass).  I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

With “the sound of the underground” out of favor in America at the moment and being eclipsed by commercial house music and EDM, I encourage music lovers to support these talented DJs who are carrying the torch.

As an example of what you can expect from the Sunday House Social, check out Hoju Pockets’ Sunday evening set on Mixcloud at:

https://www.mixcloud.com/potatofeen/liquid-vibes-4/

Stop #4 – Cielo (Deep Space Night with DJ Francois K. and Special Guest Ted Ganung)

In all of my years of international travel, I haven’t found a nightclub more special than Cielo in New York City.  So for this Monday night, I conveniently scheduled a client meeting in Manhattan so that I could attend Deep Space at Cielo.  The space is intimate and warm  with cushioned log cabin walls and a huge disco ball.  The star of the show is the incredible Funktion One sound system that delivers warm, punchy bass when needed but never strains the ear.  This particular evening, DJ Ted Ganung opened with a reggae influenced set featuring roots, dancehall, dub, soca/calypso, Drum n’ Bass remixes and a smattering of house music classics. Francois K. took the reigns at midnight and brought the guests to a state of dance nirvana.

Check out DJ Ted Ganung’s Mixcloud set – which is a solid representation of his actual set at Cielo below:

https://www.mixcloud.com/tedganung/deep-space-promo-mix-by-ted-ganung/

In conclusion, there’s a world of music that awaits you. While you may need to travel a bit to find it, it’s worth the journey!

Photo Feb 29, 10 13 05 PM

Ted Ganung, on the set at Cielo NYC – Big ups Ted!