The Art of the Halloween Mixtape

In commemoration of Halloween weekend, we’re sharing six mixes from the minds of our DJ music mixologists.  What makes a good Halloween mix?  Savvy track selection, smooth transitions, spooky sound effects, a surprise or two – and of course, musical storytelling.   The six mixes below showcase the unique style of our team.   The most terrifying mix – by DJ Linda Leigh – is saved for last

Keep scrolling down to view each successive mix.  Please follow your favorite Ambient DJ music mixologists on Mixcloud and we’d appreciate your comments and feedback!

Mix #1 – Halloween Night 2017

DJ:  Mike Bacon, aka “DJ Iron Mike”

Keywords:  Open Format, Party Rocking, Hip Hop, Halloween Cinema

Mix #2 – Ambient Halloween Mix 2017

DJ: Andre Ovalle, aka “DJ Dre Ovalle”

Keywords:  Metal, Trap, Big Room House, Party Rocking

Mix #3 – Sinister Halloween Dance Party

DJ:   Gregg Hollmann, aka “DJ Gregg Ambient”

Keywords:  Dub, Electronica, Classical, Sound Effects

Mix #4 – Halloween 2017

DJ: Christopher Smith, aka, “DJ Spinz”, aka “The King of Pop”

Keywords:  Open Format, Pop, Halloween Classics, Hip Hop, Sound Effects

Mix #5 – Clown Town, Symphony of a Madman

DJ:  Martin Valcin, aka “DJ Marti Gras” aka “Mixing Gone Wild”

Keywords:  Hip Hop, Hip Hop Tapestry, Sound Effects, Halloween Cinema

Mix #6 – Tapestry of Terror

By: DJ Linda Leigh

Keywords:  Electronica, Techno, Spooky, Terror, Sound Effects

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central NJ.  We pride ourselves on a creative, music-centric approach.  To learn more, visit us online at www.ambientdj.com

New Summer Mix 2017 by Ambient DJs

To celebrate the ongoing summer season, Ambient DJ Service has release a summer mixtape.  Titled “Hot Summer 2017” and compiled and mixed by DJ Gregg Ambient, the one hour mix is open format, fusing a range of musical genres.

The mix starts with stone cold classics by Kool & the Gang and Roy Ayers, before dropping a sultry bootleg rework of Sade’s “Love You More” from the Noc Boots record label run by DJ Cloak Dagger.  Then, onto the moody Lost Frequencies remix of Miley Cyrus’ “Malibu” and a recent electronic offering from Kaskade.  Calvin Harris’ tropical house/hip hop fusion offerings have been a huge innovation of 2017 – and we highlight two of his tracks “Rollin” and “Holiday.”

From here, Santana’s “Maria, Maria” gets mixed into DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts,” and from here the dance beats kicks in nicely, starting with DJ Cloak Dagger and his moombahton edit of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” followed by journeys into Latin music, reggae and pop. The set concludes with Luis Fonsi’s smash hit “Despacito.”

The mix can be enjoyed for free on Mixcloud via the player below.  Enjoy the rest of your summer party people!  To learn more about Ambient DJ Service, visit us online at www.ambientdj.com.

The Top 25 Songs of 2016 – by DJ Marti Gras

Ambient DJ Service continues its 2016 musical recaps with this playlist submitted by Martin Valcin, aka “DJ Marti Gras” whose moniker is “Mixing Gone Wild”  Below, Martin has submitted his Top 25 party jams of 2016 as well as an incredible “Pop Reggae Fusion” Dance Mix.  Here are his listening notes:

This year saw the steep rise of reggae fusion or pop-based dancehall-style tracks from artists such as Drake, Tory Lanez, Ariana Grande, and Rihanna. As a person of Caribbean descent, this was music to my ears. Other “tropical” sounds continued to make waves in the 105 BPM area with the entry of a lot of old school remakes. EDM and dance-pop made a strong imprint on the charts, whether slow or fast. Here are my favorite 25 songs of the year.

The Top 25 Songs of 2016 – by DJ Marti Gras

1.     This is What You Came For- Rihanna
2.     Run Away With Me (Velvet Sunrise Remix)- Carlie Rae Jepsen
3.     Love is The Name (Reggaeton Remix)- Sofia Carson ft. J. Balvin
4.     Work (Mr. Collipark Remix)- Rihanna
5.     Controlla- Drake
6.     Oljuelegba- Wizkid ft. Skepta & Drake
7.     Way Down We Go – Kaleo
8.     Starving- Hailee Steinfeld and Grey ft. Zedd
9.     Luv- Tory Lanez
10. Panda- Designer
11. Starboy- The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk
12. 24K Magic- Bruno Mars
13. In Common (Kenny Dope Remix)- Alicia Keys
14. Work From Home- Fifth Harmony
15. Bonbon- Era Istrefi
16. Do You Mind- DJ Khaled ft. Nicki Minaj, August Alsina
17. Closer- Chainsmokers ft. Halsey
18. Hula Hoop- OMI
19. Bailar- Deorro ft. Elvis Crespo
20. Pillow Talk- Zayn
21. Gold- Kiara
22. Your Number – Ayo Jay
23. I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Seeb Club Mix)- Mike Posner
24. Come Down- Anderson Paak

25. Side to Side- Ariana Grande

Listen on Spotify

Listen to DJ Marti Gras’ 2016 Reggae Fusion Mix

For More Info

To learn more about DJ Marti Gras or to book him for your upcoming throwdown, visit www.ambientdj.com.  #KeepingNJInTheMix #MixingGoneWild

To read DJ Gregg Ambient’s Top 25 songs of 2016, click here.

Meet Dancer Sasha Saco

Ambient DJ Service is excited to officially welcome Sasha Saco to our team!

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Sasha Saco has been dancing and assisting DJs in the New Jersey/ New York Tri-State area for over 12 years. Sasha’s career began at age 2 when she was accepted in to the Hamilton Ballet School and has been professionally trained in all genres of dance for over 25 years. She has also worked professionally in NYC as an actor and voiceover artist, working for TV shows such as Sesame Street and Nickelodeon. She has also worked as a dance choreographer and acting instructor for children and teenagers.

Sasha is extremely energetic on the dance floor and takes pride in knowing that every party started ends with sheer and absolute fun. Having degrees in both Education and Psychology, she specializes in parties for children and teens, but that will not stop her from leading the dance floor at weddings, birthdays and corporate events. Her professionalism and never-ending smile will leave both you and your guests completely satisfied.

Booking Information

For booking information, visit us online at www.ambientdj.com.  Sasha makes the perfect addition to a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Communion party, kids birthday party or corporate event.

 

Halloween Music Sampler 2016

In tandem with the Halloween party season, Ambient DJs’ music mixologists have assembled some of our favorite party jams for your listening enjoyment.  In this blog, we share five pieces of spooky musical content that include a Spotify playlist (unmixed), three Halloween party dance sets (mixed) and a video of one of our homes illuminated with LED uplights programmed to the classic “Thriller” – great job DJ Vinny Blanc on the lighting job!   Contributing DJs to this blog include Linda Leigh, Iron Mike, Vinny Blanc, Gary G, Marti Gras, Dre Ovalle, Nick and Gregg Ambient.

Have a blast, and if you enjoy the music, please share it with a friend.  Boo-yah!

Eerily Yours,

The Ambient DJ Music Mixologists

P.S.  You will need to scroll down the page to access the mixes

DJ Mix #1 “Sinister Halloween Dance Party” by DJ Gregg Ambient – an open format mix containing everything from classical music to techno to MJ’s “Thriller”

DJ Mix #2 “Tapestry of Terror” by DJ Linda Leigh – old school electronic treats, spun on vinyl back in the 1990s!  Tripped out, spooky, avant garde…

DJ Mix #3 “Nightmare on Teal Court” by DJ Gregg Ambient – recorded in 2016, this mix focuses on dark electronic music but also contains some 2016 pop/dance hits.

Thriller Custom Programmed Lighting Show by DJ Vinny Blanc

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ entertainment company specializing in weddings and based in Central NJ.   Connect with us online at www.ambientdj.com

DJ Cloak Dagger Featured On Buddha Bar

Congratulations to Luke Rizzo, aka Cloak Dagger, for the inclusion of his production “Ale’ Sofi” (Captain Planet Remix) on the new Buddha Bar ‘Select 9’ compilation.  This fun tropical house track evokes the feeling of flamenco and Brazilian Carnival – and is found on the “Party Friends” side (Disc Two) of the album.

Read Luke’s thoughts on this accomplishment below!

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To enjoy the Captain Planet remix:

To enjoy the original Cloak Dagger track that was remixed by Captain Planet:

To learn, more about DJ Cloak Dagger, read our recent interview at:

https://ambientdj.wordpress.com/2016/07/06/interview-with-dj-cloak-dagger-luke-rizzo/

Booking Information

To book DJ Cloak Dagger for your wedding, club or private event, visit us online at www.ambientdj.com or email info@ambientdj.com

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.

Noc_Boots_Volume_5

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!

Toca_NYC_Flyer

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!

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