Student Profile: James Walker AKA Cakewalk

It’s time for another student profile! We checked in with our former student, James Walker, to hear about his DJ career since graduating from Mmmmaven.

James AKA Cakewalk got his start DJing at Franklin Pierce University after teaching himself how to DJ using Youtube and online tutorials. He wanted to learn more about the craft, so he began searching for DJ schools in Boston. His search led him to Mmmmaven, where he began taking classes in 2012. Early on, James started exploring different genres and Mmmmaven helped him pull from these influences to find his own sound.

One thing that has stuck with me from Mmmmaven is “imitate, imitate, innovate”. In other words don’t be afraid to “sound” like or take things you really like from artists that you really love. Eventually you’ll find your own sound but still be able to show your influences in your music or sets.

Cakewalk is currently a resident DJ at the monthly parties, BINARY at Wonder Bar and Flight 617 at Good Life. He loves playing at BINARY parties because they are always packed with fun and energetic people. Flight 617 parties also appeal to him because of the diversity and high-energy feel that they have.

Cakewalk has accomplished some amazing things since leaving Mmmmaven, including opening for Purple Disco Machine at a BINARY party, playing at Boston summer party, Dancing at the Charles, and doing a set at Habitat Living Sound in Calgary.

James describes the type of music he plays as New Disco/ House. He likes to play any funky, feel-good music that will get people dancing.

When asked who his biggest DJ idols are, he cited Soul Clap and no regular play.

Listen to a mix by Cakewalk below:

 

As far as DJing goes, James considers it a part-time job for now. He works full-time as a Kindergarten Teacher’s Aide in Brookline during the week. Even though this job doesn’t primarily deal with DJing, he is able to network with people by inviting them to his shows and has even been able connect with other musicians through work.

James still maintains his DJ career by doing his monthly resident gigs and shows on the weekends as well. Luckily, James has summers off from his full-time job so he is able to focus on DJ gigs during this time. He definitely keeps busy DJing even though he considers it a part-time job.

 

Here’s some advice James had for aspiring DJs:

Work your hardest, but be patient too. That was definitely the toughest part for me, but just keep at it.

 

Catch Cakewalk at our new free event this coming Saturday (3/25) at Hojoko in Boston. Come in for one of their signature dishes, a designer cocktail, and some house music tunes.

3/25/17

FREE

Posted by: Tori Leche

George Fitzgerald and Martyn Announce #MakeItNew Residency

George Fitzgerald via Facebook — A while ago, the first promoters to ever book me in the US were the Make It New (Mmmmaven) guys. Flying into Boston for the first time and playing at a random bar on the other side of the river in Cambridge was all a bit of a leap in the dark for me at first. But there’s a reason why I’ve kept going back and so many other great artists do. From the crowd to the people behind the scenes, the vibe is special. Alex and I have been talking about doing a residency at the party for ages, so I’m happy to say we finally got our act together and made it happen! The first night will be on 27th April and every quarter after that. To say I’m excited would be an understatement.

Make It New Announces Two Int’l Residencies
George Fitzgerald and Martyn align with Boston

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — [Cambridge, MA] — Throughout its now 13-year history, Make It New, the weekly party at Central Square’s Middlesex Lounge, has never announced an official partnership with international guests.

Until now.

George Fitzgerald and Martyn are two producers who are quite familiar with Make It New, having both slotted numerous appearances under their respective belts. But now, the musicians are proud to ally themselves officially with the Cambridge institution.

What this means is both will play the venue regularly throughout the year, as much as four times annually, along with curating the experience with their own distinct tastes and musical curation.

“We already have three accomplished regional resident DJs: Baltimoroder, Coralcola, and Mike Swells,” explains Mmmmaven Executive Director Alexander Maniatis, “but adding these two in an official capacity puts our weekly party on a whole new and international level.”

Both Fitzgerald and Martyn have released critically-acclaimed full-length albums, plus play routinely to excited fans around the world. These crowds gather at the world’s top clubs: Fabric, Berghain/Panorama Bar, De School, Nitsa, and The Warehouse Project. Naturally, they both own their own labels as well: Man Make Music and 3024, respectively. Each represents a different type of vibe with the same mission: To keep sound at the forefront, developing and recreating music, with an emphasis on fresh. Of course, this is the very essence of the night called Make It New.

“We’ve worked hard to officially partner with two of them–two very considerable crowd favorites, for sure–and are happy to welcome them with regularity,” says Maniatis. “With these two, most importantly, you never know what to expect.”

Except brilliance.

From BBC Radio 1 to acclaimed collaborations, from chart-topping singles to boundary-bashing LPs, Fitzgerald and Martyn officially add considerable weight to Make It New’s already regular heft.

As they say: Stay tuned.

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Make It New Holiday Party with Tim Sweeney [12/22]

Let’s celebrate!

Make It New Holiday Party
with special guest Tim Sweeney (Beats In Space)

+ resident Mike Swells

RSVP HERE!

December 22, 2016
9pm / 21+ / $10 before 11pm / $15 after

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Loop 2016: Day 1

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The Loop 2016 series of blog posts chronicles Mmmmaven’s Ableton intern and former student, Katharine Fountain, on her journey to Berlin to attend Ableton’s Loop Summit. Loop is three days of discussions, performances, presentations, studios sessions and interactive workshops aimed at exchanging ideas at the cutting edge of music, creativity, and technology. Click here to learn more about Loop, or connect with Katharine via Instagram or on Soundcloud .


Breakbeat Deconstruction: From Hip Hop to Drum & Bass and Beyond

The first presentation that I attended explored the sonic impact of breakbeats and sampling in music production, and was delivered by Dr. Jason Hockman. In addition to being an electronic music producer and co-founder of Drum & Bass label Detuned Transmissions, Dr. Hockman also holds a PhD in Music Research from McGill University, and a Master’s in Music Technology from NYU. He is currently a lecturer in audio engineering and conducts research in music informatics at Birmingham City University.

It was interesting to see how both limitations and advancements in music technology contributed to the way in which breakbeats have been interpreted and sampled over the years.

He illustrated this by sharing numerous examples of how famous breaks such as the Amen were used across a variety of tracks and genres spanning decades. One of my favorite tracks used in his lecture was Tango’s 1996 release “understanding”, which features pitch shifted hi-hats over a heavy rolling bass line.


Synth Build with Bastl Instruments

Every participant at Loop was given the opportunity to sign up for one “Workshop”. There were so many cool things going on that it was almost impossible to choose; however, I was drawn to the modular synth building workshop hosted by Bastl Instruments. Based in Brno, Czech Republic, Bastl is a dynamic and community driven company focused on producing hand-made electronic musical instruments. Many of their instruments are available through their boutique the Noise Kitchen as DIY kits that you can build yourself (fully formed versions can be purchased too!). They also have a cassette label called Bukkotapes. With so many cool projects going on, I was really curious to learn more about this company.

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Full disclosure: I had no previous experience with soldering or even with modular synths, but I figured that if there ever was a time learn – this was it!

We were each given a bag containing the parts that would eventually become our mini modular synths. The model that we would be constructing during the workshop was called the Kastle.

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The board – a piece had to be soldered into each and every one of those holes! It took me a couple of tries to get the hang of it, but after a while it became easier.

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Huddled around a small table in the drafty but charming Kultursaal, 2 Canadians, an Italian, an American, and a Brit got to work soldering.

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Almost ready for the final touches!

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4 hours later…my very own DIY Kastle Mini Modular! It ended up taking most of us quite a bit longer than anticipated to finish our synths (so long, in fact, that we were kicked out of our room to make way for the next event!). Nonetheless, it was a really fun project, and I enjoyed the sense of camaraderie that I felt with my peers as we discussed music and helped one another to finish our synths.

kastlesynthworkshop5

The crew from Bastl Instruments were really friendly and helpful, and overall it was a great experience! I spend so much time working with music technology every day, but seldom do I stop and think of how everything is working underneath the surface. It definitely added a fresh perspective to how I view electronic instruments, and I would definitely recommend trying something out like this if you ever get the chance!

Robert Henke Presents: Fragile Territories

Next up, I decided to check out Robert Henke‘s laser based audiovisual installation Fragile Territories. Located in the dark and somewhat creepy Sound Chamber. Henke aka Monolake used a series of complex algorithms to create this laser based audiovisual environment. Delicate lasers would draw images at random, while the crackle of electricity oscillated indefinitely.

Every so often, a dark shadow would appear and along with the deep rumble of sub frequency sounds, overwhelm the prior sonic and visual imagery.

Given the acoustics of the space, as well as the audiovisual environment created by Henke, I found these moments of the installation to be the most powerful. I revisited Fragile Territories several times throughout the weekend.


Morton Subotnick & Lillevän in Concert

Day 1 concluded with a collaborative performance between one of the pioneers of electronic music Morton Subotnick, and visual and animation artist Lillevän. Subotnick along with designer Don Buchla, is credited with inventing one of the first analogue synthesizers, The Buchla Series 100, in 1963. It was a nice way to end the day!

<<< Intro  |  Day 2 >>>

Want to know more about the Music
Production Program at MMMMAVEN
? Drop us a line below.