Journeys by DJ

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Journeys by DJ originated as a UK dance music record label, which started as a series of DJ mix albums or mixtapes on the Music Unites label in 1992, and moved from London to New York City in 2000. Journeys by DJ was the first record label to focus exclusively on the art and format of the DJ mix, as opposed to singles, 12" singles, artist albums and compilations. As acclaimed in the authoritative Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: The Story of the Disc Jockey,[1] Journeys by DJ (JDJ) was the first label to release full-length mixes of live DJ sets on CD. Other labels since the 70s released recordings of DJs spinning live, along with DJ-friendly vinyl "megamixes", and the 80s saw innumerable illegal mix tapes flood the market, but Journeys by DJ was the first label to set its stall out on the proposition that dance music is best heard in the mix, with high production values, and that the DJ can transcend the role of human jukebox to become a narrative artist and guide into the unknown.

Journeys By DJ Releases[edit]

Title DJ Label Year # of CDs
Journeys by DJ 01: In the Mix Billy Nasty JDJ 1993 1
Journeys by DJ 02: In the Mix Judge Jules JDJ 1993 1
Journeys by DJ 03: Party Mix Danny Rampling JDJ 1993 1
Journeys by DJ 04: Silky Mix John Digweed JDJ 1994 1
Journeys by DJ 05: Journey Through the Spectrum Paul Oakenfold JDJ 1994 1
Journeys by DJ 06: Ultimate House Party Jay Chappell & Tim Fielding JDJ 1994 1
Journeys by DJ 07 Rocky & Diesel JDJ 1995 1
Journeys by DJ 08: 70 Minutes of Madness Coldcut JDJ 1995 1
Journeys by DJ 09: Ultimate Beach Party Jay Chappell & Tim Fielding JDJ 1995 1
Journeys by DJ 10: Dance Wars Judge Jules
John Kelly
JDJ 1996 2
Journeys by DJ 11: CD Scape Justin Robertson JDJ 1996 2
Journeys by DJ 12: MusicMorphosis Terry Farley
Peter Heller
JDJ 1996 2
Journeys by DJ 14: Triptonite Jason Moore
Andrew Galea
Tomislav
JDJ 1997 3
Journeys by DJ 15: Desert Island Mix Norman Jay
Gilles Peterson
JDJ 1997 2
Journeys by DJ 16: Latitude 40 Degree Nicolas Matar JDJ 2001 1
Journeys by DJ 17: Ley Lines 1 Tim Fielding JDJ 2001 1
Journeys by DJ 18: Lightwave John Selway JDJ 2002 1
Journeys by DJ 19: Ultraviolet Touche JDJ 2002 1
Journeys by DJ 20: Sun Dance Matar
Nicolas
JDJ 2002 2
Journeys by DJ 21: Ley Lines 2 Journeyman (Tim Fielding) JDJ 2007 MP3

Journeys by DJ Special Releases[edit]

Title DJ Label Year # of CDs
Journeys by DJ: After Hours 1 Jay Chappell Tim Fielding Tim Reeves JDJ 1995 1
Journeys by DJ: After Hours 2 Jay Chappell Tim Fielding Tim Reeves JDJ 1996 1
Journeys into Jungle Jay Chappell JDJ 1996 2
Journeys Through the Land of Drum and Bass DJ Rap JDJ 1995 1
Journeys by DJ: Alive At Pride '96 Jay Chappell
Martin Confusion
JDJ 1996 1
Journeys by DJ: Marathon Coldcut
Paul Oakenfold
John Digweed
DJ Rap
JDJ 1996 2
Sounds Under New York Rus Deep
David Sambor
JDJ 2003 1

Journeys By DJ International Releases[edit]

Title DJ Label Year # of CDs
Journeys by DJ International 01 Keoki JDJ 1994 1
Journeys by DJ International 02 DJ Duke JDJ 1994 1
Journeys by DJ International 03: The Spiritual Mix Dimitri JDJ 1995 1
Journeys by DJ International 04: Ich Bin Ein Bass-Liner, The Purism Mix WestBam JDJ 1996 1

Journeys By DJ Promotional Releases[edit]

Title DJ Label Year # of CDs
Journeys by DJ: Smokin Mix Jay Chappell JDJ 1996 1
Journeys by DJ: Rhythm Method Nicolas Matar
Willie Graff
JDJ 2003 1
Journeys by DJ: Cinnamon Supreme Beings of Leisure JDJ 2003 1

Journeys by DJ Artwork[edit]

Journeys By DJ Album Covers

Producer's Note[edit]

One thing of interest to anyone tracking the history of DJ mixes, is the methodology when we set about recording high quality DJ mixes for release on CD. The state of technology, especially lack of computing power, was compounded by an undeveloped licensing system, meaning that, in 1992, the process of audio editing was still largely about physically slicing and splicing 1/4" tape, and there was no legal language accepted by the record labels that would allow for that kind of thing anyway. For context, the first release by Billy Nasty, we were lucky because Billy had been releasing his mixes on cassette at Camden Market for a while, and one of them featured a load of great tracks on local indie labels who were open to us licensing them for a minimal advance and putting the CD out speculatively just to see how it would do. So that was a relatively easy conversion from fresh-baked DJ mix to licensed master, but it soon became more complicated. In 1992, we used DAT (Digital Audio Tape) machines to record mixes - in fact many of the DJs signed up with us because the clubs they were playing at used to surreptitiously plug DAT machines into the mixers, and the DJs wanted to regain artistic control of all that. We asked the guys to send us a track list which we would start clearing for licenses, while they borrowed our DAT machine and went home to bang out a 79 minute mix (the longest you could fit on one CD). Then it would turn out that one of the major labels had signed a track and wouldn't license it to us, so we had to ask the DJs to go back and record the whole thing over again; or the DJ sent us a version which needed a bit of tweaking for one reason or another (iffy mix, weak progression, duff track choice etc), which started to put a bit of a strain on relations. We were still making things up as we were going along, for example the first run of JDJ001 CDs did not have PQ codes to allow you to skip from track to track (I was, mistakenly, adamant that it was all about experiencing the DJ, not the individual tracks, which is why there is no track list on the back, even if the picture on the front is not actually of Billy!). It was a while too before my co-producer Jo Beckett got to add metadata with any of the track info. Fortunately by 1994, when we started working with Paul Oakenfold, two things had transpired. Firstly, the labels had started preparing their own DJ series and were not just open to licensing tracks to other 'dance compilations', but they were using a lot of the legal language we had hacked together for our early deal memos (thanks due here to Matt Hutcheson of DMC/Mixmag for providing the template), which was kind of important from a business point of view, since Oakie for one was keen on using his remixes of artists like U2 and those were not copyrights that anyone would want to mess with. And secondly, we discovered Pro Tools, or Sound Tools as it was called then. This meant that you could upload a DAT recording onto a server and then process the whole mix, using a visual editor to linearly re-configure the sound wave in much the same way everyone takes pretty much for granted in sound editing programs today. Boundary Row Studios in London SE1, home to many a top progressive house and techno tune to have emerged from the UK underground in the 1990s, had a small windowless room with a server the size of a paving slab, where resided the one and only Jay Burnett, a US transplant who formerly engineered for Arthur Baker (see the genealogy here, these are not coincidences), who was the first dude we knew to get hip to Sound Tools. It took him a day to upload a mix, and often it would crash halfway through an edit and we would all go off to the pub for the afternoon while he reingested the damn thing, but from there on in, we were off to the races. Typically, we could ask the DJs to send us their first version at 80 minutes or so, and then a few mixed sections allowing us to add in and chop out any tracks that need replacing due to licensing issues, or on occasion some absolute belter that suddenly hit on white label and everyone agreed had to go on the album or we would never sleep soundly again. The combination of DAT + ProTools really made everything flexible, and - one of those happy accidents - we found that taking about 90 minutes of live mix and being forced to edit it down to fit on 79 mins of CD, actually made for a better listening experience in the car or at home, because you've generally got a shorter attention span there than you do in a club, where you can nod off to a kick drum for a minute without noticing. A good example of how this methodology worked was the Keoki mix, where we got a scrappy tracklist faxed over from his agent in New York while he was flying to UK for a short tour of European clubs. By the time we picked him up at Heathrow, we had several tracks verbally cleared, and he listened to a load more on the car stereo on the M4, then worked his way through a bunch of promo 12"s when he got to the office. We had 16hrs before his flight to Berlin, so we plugged in the DAT, shared some ideas about which new tracks we liked and what would be easy to clear, then let him get his groove on. By the time he flew off we had 2hours worth of live set on the DAT, including any times we just let it run when he didn't like a mix and put the needle back on the record and did it over. We then took it to Jay and sat with him for a day or two, cutting it down to size, and ended up with what many agree is still one of the better Journeys. By the time we got to Coldcut and Farley & Heller, studio techniques had progressed quite a bit and they delivered their own completely unique, fully produced masters. But many of the mixes required a team effort on track selection & clearance, sequencing, mixing, editing and mastering, for which I coined the term 'Disco-ordinator' as it kinda captured the sense of organized chaos that was involved much of the time. Tim Fielding

Notable releases[edit]

Journeys By DJ: Coldcut - 70 Minutes of Madness[edit]

Journeys By DJ: Coldcut - 70 Minutes of Madness
Compilation album (mixtape)
Released 1995
Genre Dub, techno, jungle, cut-up/DJ, downtempo, hip hop
Label Music Unites JDJ CD 8
Compiler Coldcut
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[2]
DJ Magazine (10/10)[3]
Mixmag (10/10)[4]
Muzik 5/5 stars[5]
PopMatters (very favourable)[6]
Resident Advisor 5/5 stars[7]
Stylus Magazine (favourable)[8]

Originally released in 1995, Journeys by DJ: Coldcut - 70 Minutes of Madness was a release on the Music Unites/Sony record label.

Track listing[edit]

1a. Philorene - "Bola"
1b. Depth Charge - "Depth Charge"
2. Truper, The - "Street Beats Vol. 2"
3. Junior Reid - "One Blood"
4. Newcleus - "Jam On Revenge (The Wikki Wikki Song)"
5. 2 Player - "Extreme Possibilities (Wagon Christ Remix)"
6. Funki Porcini - "King Ashabanapal (Dillinja Mix)"
7. Jedi Knights - "Noddy Holder"
8. Plastikman - "Fuk"
9. Coldcut - "More Beats"
10. Bedouin Ascent - "Manganese in Deep Violet"
11. Bob Holroyd - "African Drug"
12. Air Liquide - "Stratus Static"
13. Coldcut - "Beats and Pieces"
14. Coldcut - "That Greedy Beat"
15. Matt Black & The Coldcut Crew - "The Music Maker"
16. Coldcut - "Find a Way (Acapella)"
17. Mantronix - "King of the Beats"
18. Gescom - "Mag"
19. Masters At Work - "Justa 'Lil' Dope"
20. Raphael Corderdos - "Parp 1 / Rock Creak Parp"
21. Luke Slater's 7th Plain - "Grace"
22. Joanna Law - "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Acapella)"
23. Harold Budd - "Balthus Bemused by Color"
24. Photek - "Into the 90's"
25. BDP - "The Bridge Is Over"
26. DJ Food - "Dark Blood (MLO Nu Blud Mix)"
27. Jhelisa - "Friendly Pressure (Acapella)"
28. Hookian Mindz - "Freshmess (Bandulu Mix)"
29. Jello Biafra - "Message from Our Sponsor"
30. Pressure Drop - "Unify"
31. Love Lee - "Again Son"
32. Red Snapper - "Hot Flush (Sabres Of Paradise Remix)"
33. Ron Grainer - "Theme from Dr Who"
34. Moody Boys - "Free"
35. DJ Food - "The Dusk"

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Brewster/Broughton)
  2. ^ "Journeys by DJ: 70 Minutes of Madness". 
  3. ^ Journeys By DJ: Coldcut - 70 Minutes of Madness 2002 special edition sleeve notes
  4. ^ Journeys By DJ: Coldcut - 70 Minutes of Madness 2002 special edition sleeve notes
  5. ^ Journeys By DJ: Coldcut - 70 Minutes of Madness 2002 special edition sleeve notes
  6. ^ Cibula, Matt (July 15, 2002). "Coldcut: 70 Minutes of Madness". Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Coldcut 70 Minutes Of Madness - Journeys By DJ". 
  8. ^ Plagenhoef, Scott (September 1, 2003). "On Second Thought: Coldcut - Journeys by DJ: 70 Minutes of Madness". Retrieved August 13, 2016.