Hugi Magazine 32: Say It With Flowers

hugi 32 header graphic

0-day club music scene (By slash//secular)

One can call it by many different names, be it "0-day mp3 ripping scene" or just "0-day DJ livesets", still the main idea is the same: a never-ending quest of gaining respect and fame by acquiring recordings of live DJ performances in clubs/raves/parties, radio aired club music shows, promotional full length continuous dance music mixes. These so-called mixes always come as one or a few huge chunks of 1hr long mp3 files (sometimes you can find 20-minute mixes or a 15-hour-long mp3 of 1.2GB size – monster mixes). Most of the time a genuine 0-day music scene release would require a proper tracklist (names of tracks played one after another) and possibly a cue-sheet to use with players supporting this feature (.cue files come along with .mp3 files and allow distinguishing and skipping of tracks in these hours of encoded treasure... Hey, I've forgotten to say above there: if you know all this stuff, you can skip the first paragraph, but you must go on and proceed to the second!). Well...

A little bit about me... For a year I've been obsessed with this 0-day dance music thing. For 5 years, I've been obsessed with dance music, dancing, parties, clubs and raves. Before that I was obsessed with solving programming problems and just programming. I did some work with Hugi and produced 26 ascii art-packs with secular. [Skip all the history, I'm Russian, I moved to Chicago 5 years ago, I haven't been exercising my programming skills during this period...] I've always been on the lookout for new peer2peer sharing software and ideas, and find torrents the best possible implementation of the p2p based community. And such communities centered on some website (called torrent-tracker for keeping and tracking stats on torrents) I found dedicated to dance music. The great idea behind a torrent tracker and torrent p2p sharing is you give while you take (upload back while downloading files), so seed (100% file) uploads to many peers, which must at the same time inter-exchange these received chunks of data, and in a perfect situation this mechanism would give every person involved in downloading this single torrent a full copy of it as soon as the seed has given out (uploaded) 1 full copy. My bad again, I did not mention that I would talk about this torrent thing in the beginning, so if you are aware of the torrent-mechanics, skip this paragraph, too...

Many times I've noticed genuine scene releases on these music torrent trackers. Once again to clarify things, the music we're dealing with here is completely legal and free to share and download and upload and do anything with, promos would be made in studios, but not cut versions of tracks on a new vinyl or cd-album, we're strict with this to stay legal and active, so nothing commercial or copyrighted appears on trackers. Basically there are 20-30 music trackers, 4-5 of them dedicated to club music. The world on each of those 4-5 trackers is pretty much similar, everything revolves around torrents, music styles, quality of sound, comments and responses, and of course users who download and upload to other users by the means of specially designed software. All these trackers have various share ratio (uploaded/downloaded) rules. Basically this tracker idea being so sweet, I knew right there (a year ago) that I had to get into this stuff, as it was really hard to find any information on the "genuine 0-day music scene groups" like 1KING, TWCLIVE, HSLIVE, REAL and others, simply impossible. I can say now, I still have no first-hand access to these 0-day scene releases (usually that would be a group hq or distro ftp site with 100/100mb uplink), but I do get these damn obsessive genuine releases sometimes, and the reason is...!

The "hidden" story behind tribalmixesdotcom says... Once slash tried to get uploader status (some trackers require you to have higher status than regular users to upload and share your torrents) on [censored] tracker, offered a bunch of mixes from his collection, but admins of that tracker said they didn't like the music he was offering... 2 weeks later was born. As a matter of fact, this was an easy process. I found open sources for torrent-bits-source based trackers, modified many of them to represent musical aspects, designed a different layout and some other things, registered a domain name and set up hosting on a shared-server for $7/month. A tracker is a php/mysql driven machine, and php is very much like C and Java (at least this way I see it), so it didn't take much time for me to learn enough of it to start programming my own things to it. And that was the time I felt really good, 'cause I could program and many people would see the results of my code, still many tasks required straight problem-solving skills, which makes me happy all this last year... But more history goes here and brainstorming comes later.. So, 3 months later with about 600 registered users and 150 dj mixes accessible online (torrents/mixes are deleted after they've stayed in for 2 months), the site went down after experiencing a fast growth of 400-500 new users, since shared hosting is not designed to handle this, trackers take too many resources from others, we were banned and had to find a personal dedicated server for $72/month... Right now (a month before our first anniversary, which will be May 5th, 2006) we are about 5k people large, with 1k registered visitors and 100 new users every day, 50-100 users constantly online, we have about 2,500 mixes online and about 1200 mixes in history (kept to make sure no doubles are there), with 1,000,000 daily hits (about 930,000 daily pages) – that's where the load comes from...

Are you still with me? I'm talking about the birth of a new star... Anyway, open-based source code results in many clones, not only related to music but related to other things as well, so we had to stand out and differ... The layout was changed, and the website received the first invention of my own (since then I've always programmed and coded new features myself, as I just love doing that, even if there's already a working solution) css-based skins, changeable from the profile-options menu for each user. From that point my roommate and great help and support Victoria =^..^= the kitty took over the graphics/color/design of the website and never failed ever since. She created quite a few skins in different styles and shapes. She's been exploring the vast universe of Photoshop as well. Moreover, she's the admin on the website doing some staff tasks. To make it even more interesting, I've created a so called skinMaster, using which any user can create a bunch of skins for the website for own or public (contestable) use. And during this year I have pretty much rewritten 75% of the code, creating new and editing old features, and I have expanded the database structure twice in field count.. Why am I saying all of this? Because I'm very proud of this work, and because it keeps pumping and bringing wonderful new ideas that really keep me busy doing something, creating and editing new stuff that will please me and probably a bunch of other citizens from 80 countries of Earth. The latest invention is the [e]ntertainment brows[e]r – a database on DJs, producers, clubs, parties, labels, radios and live shows, all kinds of stuff related to the dance music real life world... biographies of more than 500 DJs come handy and lists of torrents online and in history give a complete retrospective of pretty much last 2-3 years of the dance music society - mostly its house, tribal, trance and techno sections. Earlier music from the year of 2000 and up was allowed, although right now we have strict uploading rules for 1-month-only baby mixes only. :)

Of course it took me a lot of time to get where I am now, and to bring to its current state. Try searching in Google for "tribal dj mixes torrent" and you will see how hard I tried.. Right now the team of users promoted to a higher status (v.i.p. or uploader) amounts to 35-40. There are "our agents" ripping live AIR-radio streams and looking every day for new shows in Germany, Holland, France, England, U.S.A., Argentina, Slovakia, Hungary, Russia, Italy, Egypt, Canada and many other countries, some using insane constructions of million dollar bunches of satellite dishes, scanning most of the radio frequencies in almost every rather inhabitable place of the planet. There are others wiring into the DJs' play-turn-table-whatever tech stuff they use, sometimes even without DJs knowing that somebody would be filming them from the dark of the dancing crowd, keeping tribalmixes eye on all of our favorite pleasure-bringers, as for "house music has saved our lives"(c) .. We have quite a few real-life acting and famous DJs on the website, as well as 4 featured DJs with many mixes downloadable. Many DJs upload their music themselves and one of the internet radios has given a full heads-up to this whole idea and has officially allowed us to record their live shows and broadcasts as torrents on the tracker. And now we are not only a strong team finding (about 30% of all the new stuff), producing (ourselves about 70%) and sharing with others the newest 0-day dance music, but also a large community of people from all over the world to consume and possibly grade, rate and describe what they consumed. Our previously featured DJ from Melbourne has already played an opening set for a famous DJ in a big club and aired on a major Australian radio. Our current DJ from Egypt who is promising a very intense future has played twice in clubs since being featured on the page of tribalmixesdotcom for the first time. And a Hungarian featured DJ @ tribalmixes is one of the top most famous DJs in his home-country.

And now I'm ready to answer some questions that might have come up in your mind... Why? I'm writing this for a reason. In June 2005 I wrote to Adok all excited about this new website. The long conversation ended up with a promise from me to write an article on this 0-day music scene as soon as I get to know it better... A long time has gone by and I'm pretty much where I was at that point knowledge-wise, 'cause I knew before that scene group releases are great and hard to get, and few people I've met have ever told me anything about the sources they've got their scene-uploads from... Although those scene groups have probably never seen our tracker websites, they get full credit for their work, their releases always remain unmodified and always represent the group names and all the content, and we don't really talk about them, but they could start talking about us... That is "why" I'm sharing it with you all my friends, as I was looking for the 0-day music scene for so long that a full and exact copy of it grew up and blew up to something even much more than the scene itself, having scene rules on competition and other aspects, but more to that having so much other stuff as well. And now I'm ready to say that I personally don't even want to know this so-hard-to-get-in scene anymore, all this "if you want to help or join us, you will find us" has always impressed me before, but now I say: "Who cares, I've got my music, way more than I could listen to even if I spent 24 hrs a day listening to newly downloaded stuff and never returned to old mixes." And believe me, with my home cable internet of 10mbps download bandwidth I get about 7-8mbps download speed on the new torrents, so many sources are available.

For how long? Well, soon the annual domain registration will expire, so I'll be renewing it one of these days for 9 years... Funds for that are taken from the account of the website, where all incoming user donations are accumulated and saved for the future. In a couple of months we'll be moving to a new, dedicated server twice more expensive and much more powerful and capable of holding in the newcomers. We are looking for close commercial contact with some major company, club or radio, with plans growing far to the future. As one day we will grow up into a strong dance music lobby, we will be running our own radio station, first internet only, planning to have real airing later. We want to be more like a one stop hang-out for dance music lovers, providing all needed info and media for all kinds of club-goer-dance-head needs, providing such services as booking of DJ performances or inviting DJs to local clubs, running own charts and running / producing / releasing own music under own label for newcomers to take advantage of, organizing and promoting parties and club-events, giving an opportunity for fans to talk to the DJs they've always been crazy about, what else can you need? We will make sure we're going to have it... :) As for the nearest future, we're also going to have our own podcast with subscription. Right I'm now working on the wap-accessible mobile phone version of the website with a nicely planned feature of ring-tones provided with the torrents. We have a growing group @ myspace and a lot of positive feedback from all over... And to top all of this, our website is always going to be free of charge and friendly, although strict about the rules.

So... this was the story of an old hardcore-oldschool-scener who is really obsessed with altruistic giving... I know most of the Hugi-readers are also givers as big as I am, all coders, musicians, artists who call themselves a part of the scene and sceners. All of you have always given me so much fun and so much pleasure, information and knowledge is out of hardly imaginable boundaries... I called myself a scener for 5 years of my life, the next 5 years I was so far away and got so busy now, that all I did was reading Hugi. I don't even watch demos anymore. Getting older means more work and less free time, especially with 4 years of unfinished Russian and 2 years of unfinished American education. Work in the computer field doesn't get better than sales associate, but the force of coding sits deep in my brain. Away from the scene which which I was once obsessed to the bottom of me I found a new, even more powerful obsession, which at the same time represents the scene itself, more in a person-to-person kind of type in contrast to groups competing in the real scene, which has a more real-life representation in case of the demoscene, but less or none in case of the warez scene or, even more, the narrow 0-day club music scene. Btw, you can only find such long, long, long sentences in Russian writings... :) All I want to say right here, everyone is welcome, especially if intending to share their own creations. :)

slash ex/Scener, ex/Secular-ascii, ex/CC, ex/CEG, ex/Hugi-Russian, April 11, 2006...

Post Scriptum (from July 23rd, 2006):

Our vulcanic growth has slowed down a lot, since no double accounts can now be creates using proxy servers, but at schools - easy... :) Anyway, this rule of removing users who have been inactive for more than 6 weeks is resulting in big decreases, 'cause many people would just register to snatch that mix they wanted and never come back.. And with a constant rate of 60 - 80 new users daily, we're staying in 6100-6200, for some tweaked reason for the last 2-3 months. :) Just recently another site was contacted by British Piracy Intergroup (BPI) or something (it's like RIAA in the USA). They asked them to remove their torrents section (and this is the only website bigger than ours right now with more users and more traffic). They refused and their ISP insisted they do, although considering they have their own server machine, they're renting connection for it, so finally after two weeks torrents are back, since they have simply moved their server geographically out of England and put it somewhere else on the globe... While they were out and without any music, we had a 9-hour blackout as well, so many users posted happy comments when back online thinking "that's it, tribalmixes is no more by RIAA"... So basically we're worried too, but we're hosted in the US, as well as our providers - they're running forums which are also providing the same kind of music, but as direct download links (using megauploas, yousendit and such), so we're kinda safe in this matter.. I mean, we ARE legal 100%, senators in the US are just thinking about prohibiting recording online streaming audio, but hey, we got clubs and FM radios... :)

Anyway, now we're kinda closing up, I mean, only forums and website news are accessible without registration, all the rest - please confirm yourself. The radio project has not made any big advancements yet, but new features as immortal rating (given for your stored activity), daily lottery (with many types of awards, even planned v.i.p. status for 1-month award...), banner system which follows new released and shows up recently updated DJs more often, very many features that I'm trying to put my programmers' minds into and through... so... I'm taking care of this baby.. VERY good care.