Smelting Sound With Boston’s Own Bosq

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From the disco hits of Donna Summer to the classical compositions of the Second New England School, Boston’s music scene has always been one of extreme diversity and innovation. So it should come as no surprise that producer Bosq (born Ben Woods) created his unique blend of electronic and world music right here in the Hub.

Working with live musicians on every track of his recent release Celestial Strut, Bosq has managed to find the sonic sweet spot when it comes to blending instrumentation and production. “[There are] limitations of working in a small set up that kind of force you to make certain decisions,” Bosq reflects. “For instance, even if I wanted to sound completely like a live band I wouldn’t be able to pull it off, so I have to work that balance.”

I think finding your sound is a function of smashing your ideas up against your limitations and then making the best of it. I got good at layering sounds because I wanted to achieve some semblance of complexity but didn’t have the musical chops to do it on any one instrument, and now in a lot of ways that is part of what defines my sound.

Oftentimes, the life of a producer is a solitary one while in the studio. But Bosq’s heavy reliance on instrumentalists has resulted in a distinctive production style that defies this notion. When discussing the pros and cons of working so closely with live musicians, Bosq is quick to point out “it’s a challenge in that you have to try and communicate what’s in your head to someone else,” he says. “But that process is valuable I think because it makes you critique your own ideas as you present them, and with someone else then applying their expertise to that it only makes the finished product stronger.”

Bosq’s style relies heavily on Afro-Latin music, which he stumbled upon randomly one day after discovering Latin funk and salsa artist Ray Barretto. As a kid growing up on hip-hop, Bosq also chalks his interest in funk and soul up to the samples used by so many of those early producers. “Usually the first question I get asked in an interview is something along the lines of ‘so you’re white, why do you like all of Afro-Latin stuff so much?” he explains. “I always want to say, ‘I don’t know man how does everyone else not?!’”

I got my first set of beat up turntables when I graduated 8th grade so I started on that pretty early – I begged my dad to buy them for me at a pawn shop in Brooklyn while we were visiting my cousin and I had no idea what I was doing. Let me tell you the learning curve was STEEP.

Not one to stay pinned down to a single style for too long, Bosq has been spending his days as of late working on some new tunes that expand on the style he’s come to be known for. “I’ve […] just written a bunch of new disco, funk, soul, [and] house tracks that I’ll be working out vocalists for in the coming months,” he says. “If I don’t always have a ton of unreleased material stashed I start to get nervous.” With an EP getting pressed on vinyl under Soul Clap records in the coming months and an album recorded in Puerto Rico this summer just waiting for a release date, it doesn’t seem like Bosq has much to worry about.

To keep up to date with Bosq and all of his new releases, make sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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Go deeper behind Ben’s process at Drip.fm

Want to learn how to make your own original productions based off of all the different music genres you love, just like Bosq? Schedule a tour of the Mmmmaven studios today.

What Will The Next Pioneer CDJ Look Like?

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With the Pioneer CDJ Nexus recently turning 3 years old, medicine it makes sense to look toward the future.  What will the next line of Pioneer CDJs look like?  Our friends over at DJ Techtools seem have a good idea of what they want in a redesigned Nexus, healing listing their 5 most wanted changes to the next generation of CDJs:

Beat Move

  1. Beat Move/Loop Move: Being able to jump around by 1, prescription 2, or 4 beats was first introduced on XDJ-1000, and despite our hopes we haven’t seen the feature added to any of the other players. We’re willing to bet this feature will make a strong appearance in the next player – ideally with an expandable move range to 8, 16, or 32 bars!

    Dual Deck Control

  2. Dual Deck Control: When you start pairing players only with digital music files, there’s no reason you can’t have the ability to control multiple playing decks with one controller. Add an A/B deck selector like on the DDJ-SX, and a screen that can show both decks (like the Kontrol S8 or Kontrol D2).

Visit the full list and more on djtechtools.com

Get Your DJ Mix Sounding Like The Pros #FREE [10/2]

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Each and every Friday, we’re proud to open the doors of our music school in Central Square for a FREE seminar, demo or meet-up. We’ll even throw a classical music concert or two. What’s in store this week? Let’s find out:

Are your mixes sounding flat? This week, instructor Chris Ward will teach you how to make your mixes sound like the pros. Using Ableton and Logic, Chris will discuss studio mixdown techniques that you can use to polish up your mix.

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Chris Ward is the co-­founder and long time resident of Boston’s original and longest running dubstep night BASSIC Boston. He has over 10 years of experience organizing music events and getting behind a set of turntables.

As a kid he grew up on a steady diet of metal/hardcore, hip­-hop, and his parents’ collection from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s.

His love for music had him to making mixtapes on his parents cassette decks when he only in middle school. But, Chris’ interest in DJing didn’t come about till high school after attending some local events where he heard deejays spinning jungle. His desire for knowledge mixed with a little bit of OCD led him to start collecting records and watch his favorite deejays to learn as much as he could whenever possible. His passion for music, like his record collection spans far and wide from jazz to experimental and everything in between. Chris has opened for numerous artists, and has played at countless venues throughout the New England area. As a performer whether cutting and blending hip­hop to mixing dubstep or jungle on 3 decks Chris is obsessed with finding the perfect mix.

Check out the event on Facebook, and RSVP below via Eventbrite:

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!

Mmmmaven Graduate: DJ Flow Trigger

“Very few people get the opportunity to learn how to beat match on turntables when starting out. Even more important is the community at Mmmmaven. Between the free workshops, strong alumni network both in person and online, and weekly shows like Make It New, this is a powerful community to be a part of.” – DJ Flow Trigger

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Introducing Manny A.K.A Flow Trigger!

Since graduating Mmmmaven earlier this month he has been working on a series of hour long mixes Called “Alpha Waves”, Volume 1 & 2 is featured below, with more to come!

Tracklist:
1. “Beat Organ (Original Mix)” -16 Bit Lolitas
2. “Wayfaring Stranger Ft. Florence Bird (AKA AKA & Thalstroem Remix)” –Joachim Pastor
3. “I’ll Be Missing You (TACHES Remix)” -Puff Daddy Ft. Faith Evans
4. “Fuck Dat (Original Mix)” -Shiba San
5. “Want To Know (Original Mix)” -Sonny Fodera, Bontan
6. “Like You” -Hot Since 82
7. “Just Escape (Justin Martin Remix”) -Escape
8. “Love Taking Over (Original Mix)” -Dusky
9. “Soledad” -Chus & Ceballos
10. “Crossfade” -Gusgus
11. “Sex Appeal (Original Mix)” -Maceo Plex
12. “Kneadin’ (Original Mix)” –Hannah Wants, Chris Lorenzo
13. “Lucky Star (Solomun Remix)” -Ron Carroll, Superfunk

Tracklist:
1. “Not The Only One (Original Mix)” –16 Bit Lolitas
2. “Stay Glued feat. Kevin Knapp (ZDS Remix)” -Audiojack
3. “Time To Get Physical (Sonny Fodera Remix)” -NiCe7
4. “Cherry Hill feat. Max Marshall” -Woz
5. “Chemistry (Original Mix)” -Get Abril
6. “Throwing Stones (Original Mix)” -Clint Stewart
7. “Bloom (Lane 8 Remix)” -ODESZA
8. “Always You (Shiba San Remix)” -Sonny Fodera, Bontan
9. “Stay (Justin Martin Remix)” –Henry Krinkle
10. “Sleep Walking (Original Mix)” -Francesco Parla
11. “Sights (Dennis Ferrer Remix)” -London Grammar
12. “Come On Now (Set It Off)” -Juliet Sikora, Tube & Berger
13. “Sugar & Cinnamon feat. Barry Drift” -Claude Von Stroke
14. “Everything feat. Meggy (Sonny Foder Remix)” -Rampa

Sometimes when you ask a DJ about their name they have one of three approaches to answering the question. First, its a secret. Two, the name was derived from a deeper meaning in which they connect with. Three, “idk I thought it sounded cool”. The name “Flow Trigger” came form Manny’s inspiration form novels which he explained to me…

The name Flow Trigger is inspired by the work of author Stephen Kotler in his 2014 bestseller- “The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance”. The book explores a state of consciousness called flow- an optimal state in which humans perform and feel their best. Kotler identified 17 specific psychological, environmental, social and creative situations- which he coined “flow triggers”- that inspire people to enter this powerful state of consciousness.

Since his graduation he has been working on improving his abilities as a digital DJ using Traktor software and Native Instruments controllers. he currently has a S2 and recently added a F1 into his set-up. In the mean time he has been looking for some gigs, networking, and expanding the DJ community.

Stay tuned with his Alpha Waves series: DJ Flow Trigger

To learn and have the same experience, speak with Sarah by calling 617.849.9321 or drop an email to sarah@mmmmaven.com