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With almost a dozen contenders registered and more pouring in, everything is set for the What You Got Wednesday’s DJ Tournament hosted by Loft 709 in association with sceneSTIR Productions. The complete list of DJ’s will go public when registration closes and anyone interested can get involved in a prequalification round that will whittle out the top eight who will go head to head with one another over a three week public tournament.

dj Sina

dj Sina

The first night, each DJ that shows up will get their 15 minutes of fame – literally. But it won’t quite be that easy. Unlike previous competitions that have taken place in the St. John’s metro area – What You Got Wednesday’s is on a mission to find the most versatile DJ – contestants will have to cram three different styles or genres of music into the time they’re allotted. Outside of this requirement, anything’s game.

Jonathan Loder is one of the event planners and the promoter but he attributed the idea of getting the competition going to the local and well loved DJ Sina. “Red Bull did DJ competitions across the country this year, but they didn’t come to Newfoundland. Sina thought that it was important for the talented DJ’s in St. John’s to be showcased.”

The judging panel will include Sina along with two additional local pro’s yet to be named out of the St. John’s music scene. They will be watching to see how each contestant reacts to the different crowds each night as the tournament progresses. “This contest is really going to show the contestants versatility as well as their ability to impress people who have an appreciation for DJ’s and not just a particular type of music,” Loder adds.

On a more tangible level, the judges will have to score each performance in five categories that include creativity, track selection, skills, stage presence and audience response. The performer with the highest score on a given night will proceed to the next round. With the top eight selected on night one, the second evening will cut things down to a top four with the final two being determined on night three, leading to the battle royale on the finale night. The performing set times will progressively increase from the beginning from 15 minute sets to half an hour to a full hour.

With $1,500.00 of cash and gear at steak, the winner will also be given a golden opportunity to open for Montreal-native DJ Shortcut, who was named the best club DJ in Montreal this year. “This is a great opportunity for people to get their music out, there are a lot of good DJ’s in this city that most people don’t get to hear. Hopefully a couple of people will end up with some gigs downtown out of this,” Sina encouraged.

The contestants that do sign up can rest assured that they won’t even need to be responsible for bringing their own gear. As the hosting sponsor of the event, Loft 709 will be providing a Pioneer DJ M800 mixer, 2 Technic 12’s, 2 CDJ 800’s and a Serato Scratch Live.

What You Got Wednesday’s is all set to discover and uncover some of the amazing and talented DJ’s and that’s what Loder and Sina are looking forward to the most. The best advice from Loder, “be creative, make sure you plan out your set, and come prepared for some tough competition.”

While every DJ is different in how they prepare for a performance, there is likely no dispute that the competition will be stiff. Sina is hoping there is opportunity to learn as well for the contestants, “because it will enhance [their] ability to transition between a variety of styles using beat matching and scratching, while keeping the crowds involved.”

The What You Got Wednesday’s DJ Tournament will begin Wednesday, June 3rd; presented by Loft 709 and sceneSTIR. Also being supported by local business Ballistic, and sponsors WESC and Volcom. Any interested DJ’s that want to sign up can email their information to seamusd@gmail.com (deadline Sunday, May 31st).

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originally published June 2008


A very exciting time to be had will hit St. John’s just hours after this issue hits stands and then will be followed up by a rare opportunity not to be missed by any one interested in dance music and pro djing. A special report in this month’s Progress magazine bared the headline that St. John’s was the new “it town,” and while perhaps slightly unrelated they may not be all together wrong. Bryan Cox is the latest international dj talent to touchdown in St. John’s, NL which is seemingly attracting more big acts and bigger parties. It’s a welcomed trend for local promoters like Pat Dunn as well as for those that make up the grassroots dj scene here, so this time Cox comes with a seminar.

Who is Bryan Cox?
A lot of people, whether they know him or not, have already shaken their asses to his beats on our dance floors here for years. Plus, he was willing to do the SEMINAR!

What’s the Sunday session really about?
It’s about production. What makes a great track? How do you start from a clean slate to a finished master ready to play for tens of thousands? How do you choose sounds? How do you make the sounds you hear in your head come out through the speakers? How do you build tension? Release it? There are many ways to do these things and this session is all about Bryan Cox sharing a few nuggets from his pool of knowledge. A pool of knowledge, I will dispute, that is much deeper than our collective understanding at this point when it comes to manhandling our available technology.

What kind of set up will there be for this?
First of all I’d like to thank MusicNL and Newfoundland and Labrador government (the D-man) for supporting the arts. They were a great in helping me put this idea into motion. Setup is simple and all that is required for any international Producer to travel and work is a Mac and software of choice, maybe a controller or 2 to input notes and data.

What can they expect to get out of it?
Most times when people ask me that about something I’m balls deep into I calmly just reassure them that I know exactly what I’m doing when I’m making it up as I go. So I’m going to ask all registrants what they hope to get out of it and tailor the seminar around building a track from scratch. I haven’t finalized discussions with Bryan yet but I would like to see the backbone of the seminar be building the track. Along the way we hope to nourish everybody’s thirst for knowledge they require.

Why did you feel the need to set up an event like this?
I do it for love man! (laughs) I love the music!  The infinite possibilities of sound generation software these days is the amazing part of the evolution of music. Some day in the future they’ll call this the synthetic age; it’s music that’s made to make you dance man! Music and Dancing!  I want to master it and I’m far away from that so this is a way to strengthen and nurture our little underground electronic music scene here in St. John’s.

What kind of response have you been getting so far?
Hi-Fives…pats on the back…I don’t need to pay for booze anymore. (laughs)

Do international dj’s just offer up these sessions regularly?
Yea when I was in Miami I went to one with Steve Angello another top producer with the Swedish House Mafia but it was being put off by Apple so the moderator would always try and tie everything back to Logic (Apple’s audio software) and all the great things it can do so people would buy it ‘cause Angello used it.  It got annoying but I asked the questions and got my answers. Props to Apple though for that MacBook Pro! It’s amazing. It really makes me proud to be a human being that we’ve come this far and made something so perfect!

Who should go to this and how do they do it?
Anybody serious about djing will go nowhere without their own tracks so, build your own tracks!  Besides that? Anybody into making music and wants to learn about the technology, it’s in all the music we hear. Everything is done electronically now; Postal Service, Hot Chip, Nelly Furtado – it’s all got that electronic sound though they try and make it sound like it’s not sometimes.

How and why was Buzz Management started?
Buzz Management started out as a name on that little voice in your head that would always sit there ready for you to pull the chute and be the autopilot and guide you back to your bed – it was the principle that you couldn’t let yourself go out on the weekend get too fucked up so that you became other peoples responsibility, like the old work hard play hard.  But then when I was thinking of getting into promoting it was perfect for a bunch of professional party people!

What are the mission/goals of Buzz Management?
Buzz Management was formed as a means of cultivating the appreciation and development of Electronic Music in Newfoundland and those who choose to stick around. Whether importing world renown DJ’s or promoting local talent, Buzz Management seeks to both entertain and inform local audiences of this, the new world sound.

What’s coming up for Buzz in the (near) future?
L.M.F.A.O.  Check them out They’ll be here in August. Met them in Miami. They have a song “I’m in Miami Bitch” myspace.com/lmfaouno. Other than that, Outdoor music festival with top talent and an exclusive Buzz Management audience in a secret location.

If people can’t make it to Sunday, how can they check out Cox?
Cox will be serving up his smorgasbord of body jackin’ fidget house at Junctions Friday June 13th thanks to Polar Ice Vodka and Redbull for that! For more go to myspace.com/djbryancox

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