Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Best Music of 2011 - The "Ambies"

Well, 2011 is nearly a wrap and it's time to take a walk down memory lane.  If we were on the 'Board' of an artistic academy (such as for the Grammys), what artists and songs would we nominate for the 'Best of' 2011?

In lieu of an the Academy, Ambient DJs' staff members - as well as several industry friends, opined on their nominees for the "Best of 2011."  Contributing DJs include DJ Iron Mike, DJ Spinz, DJ AllDay, DJ Greg Nice, DJ Brett Gash, DJ Garrett B., DJ Austin, DJ "Stav the Greek," DJ Gill "the Dream" and myself, DJ Gregg Ambient.  Keep in mind that our esteemed academy is based in Central NJ, a land where dance music and hip hop reign, and country music is seldom heard.

Introducing, the categories and nominations for the first annual "Ambie" awards!  Winners are announced at the bottom of the blog.

1) Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO
2) Give Me Everything Tonight - Pitbull f/Ne-Yo, Nayer and Afrojack
3) Paris - Jay-Z and Kanye West
4) Cinema (Skrillex Remix) - Benny Benassi
5) Barbara Streisand - Duck Sauce

1) Mumford and Sons
2) Foster the People
3) J. Cole
4) Wiz Khalifa
5) Avicii

1) 21 - Adele
2) Watch the Throne - Jay-Z and Kanye West
3) Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites - Skrillex
4) Sorry for Party Rocking - LMFAO
5) Torches - Foster the People

1) Pitbull
2) Adele
3) Jay-Z and Kanye West
4) The Black Eyed Peas
5) Chris Brown

1) Rick Ross
2) Nicki Minaj
3) Drake
4) Trey Songz
5) Miguel

1) Lady Gaga
2) Katy Perry
3) Rihanna
4) Justin Bieber
5) Bruno Mars

1) Avicii
2) Skrillex
3) David Guetta
4) DeadMau5
5) Afrojack

Based on staff consensus and the executive powers of DJ Gregg Ambient, the winners of the first annual Ambie Awards are shown below!


Nearly every DJ selected either LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" or Pitbull's "Give Me Everything Tonight."  In a very close call, the award goes to "Mr. Worldwide" Pitbull... this track really works crowds into a frenzy!


In a close battle against J. Cole, Mumford & Sons takes the Ambie!


As one DJ commented, Adele's 21 has the best production, vocals and lyrics, and most of us agreed.  The album of the year goes to Adele, and let's hope that her voice problems are resolved soon.


And the Ambie goes to..... Jay-Z and Kanye West for their collaboration on "The Throne"  Their music is "provocative and really gets the people going!"


Dancefloors could just not get enough of the barks, grunts and boasts of the Teflon Don, aka Ricky Rosay, aka Big Meech - congratulations Rick Ross!


Our DJs were most impressed by the efforts of Rihanna in 2011.  Lady Gaga's latest album was good, but not ground-breaking.  Bruno Mars' charisma and talent should take him far.  Bieber and Perry made us yawn.


As a general comment, electronic dance music made great strides in 2011, breaking through into mainstream radio.  But the biggest break-through artist of them all was Skrillex, best known for his bass-heavy dubstep and electro productions.

Thanks to the Academy!

We look forward to partying with you in 2012!  To learn more about our award-winning DJ services, visit us online at

To view DJ Gregg Ambient's Top 50 songs of 2011, click here.
To view his 25 Recommended songs for New Year's Eve, click here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

25 Songs for New Year's Eve 2011

Listed below, Ambient DJs' lead music mixologist, DJ Gregg Ambient, shares 25 top song selections for New Year's Eve 2011.  The list is composed of a combination of current and classic tracks:

1) New Years' Eve Countdown Tool - The Groove Junkies (" Happy New Year! Let's take this party to the next level.... DJ, hit me one time"). (drops)
2) Lil Jon New Years Countdown Party Pack - Lil Jon (available to DJs on (drops)
3) Auld Lang Syne - Guy Lombardo (classic)
4) New Years Eve Party Medley - Bobby Morganstein Productions (a medley of upbeat marches to welcome the New Year!) (novelty)
5) A Night to Remember - Shalamar (disco)
6) 1999 - Prince (90s)
7)  Love Come Down - Evelyn "Champagne" King (disco)
8) Got to Be Real - Cheryl Lynn (disco)
9) High Energy - Evelyn Thomas (disco)
10) Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond (party classics)
11) Give Me Everything Tonight - Pitbull f/Ne-Yo, Nayer and Afrojack (dance)
12) Mr. Saxobeat - Alexandra Stan (dance)
13) Favorite DJ (Disco Fries Remix) - Clinton Sparks f/Jermaine Dupri (dance)
14) I'm Still Hot - Luciana (dance)
15) What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas - DJ Chuckie (electro)
16) The Cupid Shuffle - Cupid (line dance)
17) Wanna Be Startin' Something - Michael Jackson (dance)
18) New Years Day - U2 (80s rock)
19) Set It Off - Strafe (early 80s dance jam)
20) Paris - Jay-Z and Kanye West (hip hop)
21) Love in this Club - Usher f/Young Jeezy (hip hop/R&B)
22) Cut the Lights - Chris Reeder and DJ Skribble (dance)
23) Levels - Avicii (electro)
24) Resurrection - PPK (trance)
25) You Make Me Feel Brand New - The Stylistics (R&B)

7 "Chill" Tracks For the Afterparty

1)  Rapture (Avicii New Generation mix) - Nadia Ali (electronic)
2) Carbonated - Mt. Kimbie (dubstep)
3) Purple Rain - Prince (80s)
4) Becoming X - Sneaker Pimps (downtempo)
5) Gold for the Price of Silver - Kings of Convenience (Chillout)
6) Dirty Laundry (Tom Middleton's Balearic Mix) - Bitter:Sweet (Chillout)
7) Lick It (Kaskade's Ice Mix) - Kaskade and Skrillex (downtempo)

Happy New Year everybody!  Dance up a storm, party safe, and see you in 2012!

Musically yours,

DJ Gregg Ambient

For more ideas, view my top 50 dance tracks of 2011 that can be viewed by clicking here.

Twitter - The Best of 2011

To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question!

Ambient DJ Service (Twitter Handle @AmbientDJs) tweeted heavily in 2011.  We fired off some 4,000 tweets (messages) during the year.  Many of these messages were links to blog entries while others were shout-outs to our favorite Twitter users.  Our most popular days to Tweet were on #MusicMonday and #WeddingWednesday.

I confess that when learning about Twitter a couple of years ago, I though that the concept was stupid.  How much information could be shared in the 140 character limit?  Did I really want to read drivel from the likes of Paris Hilton tweeting "Poppin' bottles at Pure with the Kardashians..."  Well, after giving Twitter a try, I came to love its rhythm, which is very different from Facebook or email.  Limited to 140 characters, the author of a tweet must distill a message to its very essence.

During the year, I purchased goods and services from businesses discovered via Twitter.  Similarly, Ambient DJ Service booked more than a few private events and weddings from those who got to know us on Twitter.  Importantly, Twitter helps to promote "top of mind awareness."

Listed below are 50 of our favorite Twitter Users of 2011. To make the list, users had to exhibit some combination of the following characteristics:

1) Presence - did they Tweet often enough for us to notice?
2) Content - were their Tweets interesting, informative or creative?
3) Interactive - did they take the time to respond to our Tweets or re-tweet our content?  

In drumroll fashion, here is the Best of Twitter 2011 list!  We have listed the Twitter handle followed by a category, and a quick summary.

@JerseyGoods (New Jersey) - Knowledgeable on wide range of NJ topics, great re-tweeter!
@AndrewDarlow (Photography) - Posts great technical tips, and shares awesome content.
@WedOnWheels (Weddings) - South Jersey-based wedding officiant with prolific Tweet action.
@FavorsByDorinda (Weddings) - Well-connected wedding favor pro who is quick to re-tweet (RT).  Also check out Dorinda's daughter Alyssa's Twitter account @Thx4Noticing Me (Social Media).
@njwedding (Weddings) - Erik Kent, head of, has his finger on the pulse of the New Jersey wedding industry, shares great information, and will RT quality content.
@WeddingWireEdu (Weddings) - Great source of business tips for wedding pros.
@Al_Ojeda_Photo (Weddings) - Al and Ida are great wedding photographers who love social media.
@CardBoxDiva (Weddings) - Marni Gold designs creative card boxes & loves to Tweet and RT.
@MondayFlowers  (Weddings/Floral) - Georgianne V. frequently tweets about weddings & Princeton.
@NassauInn (Weddings/Hotels/Princeton) - loves to Tweet on Princeton history, weddings and food.
@SheratonNJShore (Weddings/Hotels) - one of the most engaging banquet hall Tweeps.
@CruiseDivaNJ (Travel/Princeton) - Stacey K. posts great travel tips.
@LisaPhoto2_0 (Weddings/Social Media) - Lisa provides more shout-outs than a DJ!
@WeddingQuestion (Weddings) - learn the ins and outs of wedding etiquette.
@njwedofficiant (Weddings) - Celia Milton never forgets her Wedding Wednesday shout-outs!
@WeddingMusicPro (Weddings) - Gloria and Barbara are great resources for wedding music.
@PRforSmallBiz (Public Relations/Business) - Karina Alvela offers great tips for small business.
@JonMoore (Music Promotion) - Super Promoter Jon Moore helps DJs stay on the cutting edge.
@WehringerandCo (Social Media) - Tracy W. is generous to share tips and give RTs and +ks.
@PhillyCyberGeek (Social Media) - His geekery will improve your results from Social Media.
@RuhaniRabin (Social Media) - Celebrity Tweeter with great lists and tips.
@ScreaminLunatic (Weddings/Social Media) - An edgy and prolific Tweep who makes you think.
@MrsMoNJ (Public Relations/Princeton) - Well-connected Princeton-area Hilary Morris.
@SocialSavvyGeek (Social Media) - Informative articles on timely social media topics.
@kdevito (Social Media/Princeton) - Well-connected Princeton-area Katie DeVito.
@PREXMusic (Record Stores/Princeton) - The Princeton Record Exchange tweets about music.
@PrincetonAds (Princeton) - Interesting posts, frequent re-tweeter, and great website for free local classified ads.
@DJTimesMag (DJs) - The world's best DJ magazine.
@RollingStone (Music) - Read the stories behind the music.  Great lists!
@AmazonMP3 (Music) - Watch their Tweets for mind-bending bargains.
@KarlDetkenProDJ (DJs) - His Twitter graphic alone is worth the price of admission.  Great info on digital DJing.
@DJSkribble (DJs) - A DJ celebrity who is not afraid to interact with his fans.  Respect!
@DJShiftee (DJ/turntablism/dubstep) - Shiftee shares free mixes and informative blogs.  Get it.
@Nigel611 (DJs/Philadelphia/Real Estate) - Nigel knows techno, and Nigel knows Philly.
@DJCassidy (Celebrity DJ) - See which celebrity DJ Cassidy is rubbing elbows with this weekend.
@PhillyGG (Philadelphia/Music/Current Events).  A witty Tweeter with personality-plus.
@cmcandela (TV/Pop Culture) - prolific & fascinating Tweep who even Tweeted from her own wedding!
@80sMusicGirl (Music) - If 80s music is your guilty pleasure, then follow.
@BalloonsByRenee (Parties/Inspiration) - This fast-paced Manhattan Tweep always has your back.
@SorayaAgency (Bellydancing) - Soraya is not only a professional dancer, but a super-courteous Tweep!
@GSLDJs (DJs) - Get inside the mind of DJ Greg Nice with his rapid-fire, late night Tweets!
@DJChrisAtwood (DJs) - Follow the adventures of DJ Chris Atwood on Twitter #tigerblood
@TonyTeeNeto (DJs) - Voice-over artist, wedding DJ, business guru and quick to RT quality content.
@JasonJani (DJs/Social Media) - Follow the moves of the head honcho of SCE Event Group.
@HurricaneDJs (DJs/Social Media) -  Pioneers of the "new school" DJ movement in performance and marketing
@Manta (Business) - Posts frequent short, inspirational blogs to super-charge your business.
@8pmWarrior (Business) - Thought-provoking tweets on leadership, business, social media.
@Gitomer (Sales) - The King of Sales shares his success secrets.
@Humblebrag (Comedy) - profiles mostly celebrities who disguise boasts in a humble manner.
@BestWorstAdvice (Comedy) - outrageous posts that will make you laugh (or cry).

To follow any of these great Twitter personalities, type in  For example,  Please follow Ambient DJ Service on Twitter by clicking here, and follow us on Facebook by clicking here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Holidays from DJ Gregg Ambient

Each year I enjoy recording a holiday compilation (unmixed) of favorite tracks.  This year's project is called "Switch the Style Up" which is a double-entendre.  First, this phrase is popular in hip hop parlance.  Second, the compilation features a wide range of styles as seen below.  If you are interested in receiving a free copy of the compilation, please send an email to  For those friends and wedding vendors who have been good boys and girls this year, keep an eye on your mailboxes!  


It would have been easy to throw together the hottest dance songs on the radio and call it a day.  Instead, I selected tracks from many different genres - old and new - most of these songs have, or will stand the test of time due to their quality.  The compilation starts on a mellow note, with the energy building up throughout.  Enjoy!

Marooned - Pink Floyd (Psychedelic Rock).  A mysterious start to any holiday listener.

Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop - Landon Pigg (Acoustic Rock).  A mellow, romantic track used for a Brooklyn hipster wedding in the DUMBO neighborhood.

Pumped Kicks - Foster the People (Alternative Rock).  Enjoy this catchy track by a break-through artist.

Rolling in the Deep - Adele (Retro Soul).  Adele’s voice is huge and soulful.

I Can’t Help It - Michael Jackson (R&B) - Written by Stevie Wonder and Susaye Green of the Supremes, this little known track from the Off the Wall album is wonderful.

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) - Marvin Gaye (Soul). While a protest song, Gaye still makes the song sound beautiful, and I love the sax solo.

Body & Soul - Tony Bennett with Amy Winehouse (Crooners & Chanteuses).  Sadly this was the last song that Winehouse recorded before her untimely death. Notice that when Tony & Amy harmonize, Amy takes the lower notes with her sultry voice.

Feeling Good - Michael Buble (Crooners) - Michael Buble was blessed with a perfect voice and is also a great entertainer. Check out the Youtube video where at a concert Buble is heckled by a mother who wants her son to sing onstage.  Buble plays along, cues up this song, and the results may surprise you!

Bossa Nova U.S.A. - Dave Brubeck (Jazz).  Brubeck, now in his early 90s, is one of my favorite jazz pianists.

Spring - Ursula Rucker (electronica) - Philadelphia-based Rucker, best known for her poetry and political activism, showcases her vocal abilities in this moody electronic soundscape.

Dirty Laundry (Tom Middleton’s Balearic Mix) - Bitter:Sweet (Downtempo/Electronica).  The classically-trained DJ/producer Tom Middleton is an all-time favorite, producing lush electronic soundscapes such as this.

Waiting in Vain - Bob Marley (reggae).  One of Marley’s lesser known tracks, it is among his best.

Come See About Me - Diana Ross & the Supremes (Motown).  Fun Motown track.

You Make My Dreams - Hall & Oates (80s).  Hall & Oates are perhaps my favorite 80s act, and this track is a great party starter!

La Vida Es Un Carnaval  - Celia Cruz (Salsa).  The Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz, was a major talent.  Coincidentally, I performed at a party this past year where the client was the doctor who treated Celia Cruz in her final years here in the U.S.

Audio Drop - Luciana.  Thank you to LA-Based “Super Promoter Extraordinaire Jon Moore” for having Luciana record this drop for me!

I’m Still Hot - Luciana (dance) - “I’ll rock your world... like a DJ”.. thanks Luciana for shouting-out the DJ!

Walking on a Dream - Empire of the Sun (dance).  This catchy song was featured in the movie “Hall Pass”

We Found Love - Rihanna f/Calvin Harris (dance).  Euphoric peak hour jam with Rihanna’s high-def vocals.

Sayonara - Ryuichi Sakamoto (international).  Sayonara of course is the Japanese word for “goodbye”... so goodbye until we meet again in 2012!

To check out DJ Gregg Ambient's Top 50 Dance Tracks of 2011, click here.

Musically yours,

Gregg Hollmann, aka DJ Gregg Ambient
Ambient DJ Service

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DJ Gregg Ambient's Top 50 Dance Songs of 2011

Greetings party people!  From a musical perspective, 2011 was an interesting year.  Electronic styles became increasingly popular at the expense of hip hop.  Artists like David Guetta fused the two, using R&B vocalists (like Usher) or rap artists (like Nicki Minaj) over his high energy Euro-beats.  Here are the Top 50 tracks that kept my dancefloors movin' and groovin' throughout the year.

In countdown fashion, drumroll please....

50. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie - Red Hot Chili Peppers (rock)
49. Under the Cover of Darkness - The Strokes (alternative)
48. The Show Goes On - Lupe Fiasco (hip hop)
47. Sugar Sweet (Shiftee Remix) - Aurora Young (electronic)
46. Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win - The Beastie Boys w/Santigold (hip hop)
45. Lotus Flower - Radiohead (alternative)
44. Animals - Neon Trees (rock)
43. Sofi Needs a Ladder - DeadMau5 (techno) Featured in the Hangover 2.
42. Where Them Girls At - David Guetta w/Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj (dance)
41. Raise Your Glass - Pink (pop)
40. S&M - Rihanna (dance)
39. When a Woman Loves - R. Kelly (R&B)
38. Okay (Rum & Red Bull) - Beenie Man (reggae)
37. John - Lil Wayne w/Rick Ross (hip hop)... Ross' grunts and chirps prevailed in 2011!
36. Coma Cat - Tensnake (disco house)
35. Blow - Ke$ha (pop)
34. Take Over Control - Afrojack w/Eva Simons (electro)
33. Levels - Avicii (electro)
32. We Found Love - Rihanna f/Calvin Harris (dance)
31. Don't Wanna Go Home - Jason DeRulo (dance)
30. Teach Me How to Dougie - Cali Swag District (hip hop)
29. Loca - Shakira f/Dizzee Rascal (Latin)
28. Tonight Tonight - Hot Chelle Rae (pop)
27. Barbara Streisand - Duck Sauce (dance)
26. You Make Me Feel - Cobra Starship f/Sabi (dance)
25. Yeah (3x) - Chris Brown (dance)
24. Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People (alternative)
23. Forget You - Cee Lo Green (party jam)
22. We No Speak Americano - Yolanda f/D-Cup (dance)
21. Hello - Martin Solveig f/Dragonette (dance)
20. Turbulence - Steve Aoki f/Lil Jon and Laidback Luke (electro)
19. Moves Like Jagger - Maroon 5 w/Christina Aguilera (pop)
18. Someone to Love Me (Naked) - Mary J. Blige w/Diddy and Lil Wayne (R&B)
17. Monster - Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rick Ross & Nicki Minaj (hip hop)
16. Beautiful People (Disco Fries Remix) - Chris Brown (dance)
15. Stereo Love - Edward Maya f/Vika Jigulina (dance)
14. Teenage Dream - Katy Perry (pop)
13. The Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga (dance) (rest in peace Clarence Clemons)
12. On the Floor - Jennifer Lopez f/Pitbull (dance)
11. Favorite DJ (Disco Fries Remix) - Clinton Sparks w/Jermaine Dupri (dance)
10. Time (the Dirty Bit) - The Black Eyed Peas (dance)
 9. Cinema (Skrillex Remix) - Benny Benassi (dubstep)
 8. Down on Me - Jeremih f/50 Cent (R&B)
 7. No Hands - Waka Flocka Flame (hip hop)
 6. Mr. Saxobeat - Alexandra Stan (dance)
 5. Danza Kuduro - Don Omar (Latin)
 4. Paris - Jay-Z and Kanye West (hip hop)
 3. Rolling in the Deep - Adele (Retro Soul)
 2. Give Me Everything Tonight - Pitbull f/Ne-Yo, Nayer and Afrojack (dance)
 1. Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO (heavily requested throughout the year.  The group's "I'm Sexy and I Know It" has huge potential to chart in the Top 10 for 2012.


Gregg is the President of Ambient DJ Service, an award-winning mobile DJ company based in Central New Jersey.  He enjoys performing at a variety of events ranging from Sweet 16s, to weddings, to bar/club engagments... and likes his dance floors HOT.  He also spins music videos.  To review DJ Gregg Ambient's top 50 dance songs of 2010, click here.

To review his top hits of the 1990s, click here.
To review his top picks of the 1980s, click here.
To review his top Motown dance picks, click here.
To review his favorite Old Skool hip hop tracks, click here.

To learn more about Ambient DJ Service, please visit our website at

To view Gregg's bio, as well as the other Ambient DJ music mixologists, click here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Invitation to Ryan's Quest "Black & White" Dinner Dance Fundraiser

Ticket sales are now underway for the Ryan's Quest in "Black & White" Semi-Formal Dinner/Dance scheduled for Saturday February 11, 2012 at The Westin in the Princeton Forrestal Village.  Guests will enjoy a Land/Sea Duet Dinner, 5 Hour Open Bar, Photo Booth, Live Music (DJ and band) and Silent Auction.  

This year's event also includes an exciting contest called "Ryan's Quest Most Loved Cake of 2012."  Guests, and esteemed food critics alike, will determine the winner from among the 20 entries!  Vincent Buzzetta, aka "Vinny," from the reality show "Staten Island Cakes" on WE TV, will be among the judges!

Tickets can be purchased online through the Ryan's Quest website at (click on 'Upcoming Events') for $125 per person.  There are a limited number of remaining tickets available.  Falling close to Valentine's Day, this event is a great way to enjoy a night out on the town with somebody special!

Ambient DJ Service is proud to be among a list of providers donating their services for this important cause.  Net proceeds from the event will go towards finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).  DMD is the most common genetic disorder found in children, afflicts only boys, and currently has a 100% fatality rate.  David and Maria Schultz founded Ryan's Quest in the hope of raising funds to find a cure for their son Ryan and the thousands of other boys diagnosed with Duchenne who find themselves in a race against the clock.

To learn more about Ryan and the quest to save his life from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), click here.  We hope that you can join us for this very fun evening that also benefits a wonderful cause! For those of you who cannot attend the event, please consider joining the mailing list to learn about future events or to make a donation.  Thank you!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ambient DJ Service Joins Vendor Partnership Program with David's Bridal, Lawrenceville

Ambient DJ Service is pleased to announce that it has joined the Vendor Partnership Program at the just-opened David's Bridal store located in Lawrenceville, NJ.  This beautiful new store is strategically located on Route 1 South, directly across from Quakerbridge Mall. Ambient DJ is honored to have been invited to participate in this program, and during the term of the licensing agreement will be the exclusive DJ entertainment company promoting its services at the Lawrenceville store.

David's Bridal, Inc. is a privately-held retail chain specializing in in bridal gowns. Based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, David's Bridal offers a wide range of bridal gowns and wedding party dresses which are high on fashion and aesthetic designs. Founded in 1950 as a small bridal salon in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, David's Bridal has evolved as one of the preferred shopping destination for brides-to be in America with over 300 stores located across the US and in Puerto Rico.  David's Bridal carries an exciting line of bridal fashions, including lines by Vera Wang and Oleg Cassini.

Ambient DJs' President Gregg Hollmann stated, "We are excited to align our company with one of the top brands in the wedding industry. With a 38% national market share, many brides-to-be will visit a David's Bridal store early in their research process, affording us a great opportunity to introduce them to the Ambient DJ brand.  The icing on the cake is that we will have the opportunity to market our services in the store on a regular basis.  In effect, this program has characteristics of a year-round bridal show.  The store offers a convenient, top-notch location in a shopping center with roadside frontage on the very well-traveled Route 1.  We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with David's Bridal and the staff at the Lawrenceville store."


Ambient DJ Service is a boutique-style mobile DJ company that provides customized music and entertainment throughout New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania and New York City.  Ambient DJ Service is a consecutive year winner of the WeddingWire Bride's Choice Award and has been featured in DJ Times Magazine.  To learn more about our services, visit us on the web at

Let Us Entertain You!

For those brides ready to begin the search for their perfect dress, here is the information for the new store:

3321 Brunswick Pike (Route 1 South)
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Store: 609-216-7323, Alteration: 609-681-2165

Regular Store Hours:
M-F:  11:00AM - 9:00PM
Sat:   10:00AM - 7:00PM
Sun: 12:00PM - 6:00PM

Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Review "If your website was an employee would you fire it?"

At last month's meeting of the New Jersey Disc Jockey Network (NJDJN), I had the pleasure of hearing Alan Berg give a presentation about providing great customer service in the wedding industry.  Afterwards I purchased a copy of Alan's recent book "If your website was an employee would you fire it? 5 things you wish you knew before you made your website... and how to fix them."

For those of you unfamiliar with Alan Berg, he is a highly-regarded sales and marketing consultant specializing in the small business space, and the wedding industry in particular.  A great consultant makes you think.  In any profession, there is a tendency to get bogged down in daily operations and to lose sight of the forest for the trees.  Berg's book, at a concise 128 pages, is like a powerful dose of smelling salts, to get a business owner re-focused on what makes an effective website.

The five questions explore by the author are:

1) Who is Your Site's Audience?
2) How Will You Get People to Your Website?
3) What Do Your Customers Want to See and Do on Your Website?
4) What Do You Want Your Customers to See and Do on Your Website, and
5) How Often Will They, or Should They, Return to Your Site?

Berg does a great job in cutting to the chase, and providing real-life case studies, both in the wedding industry in the world of Fortune 500 companies (e.g., Best Buy).  A few great lessons learned from the book include:

A website should speak directly to its target audience.  To do this, a business owner should define a detailed customer "persona" or perhaps multiple personas if servicing different segments.  When multiple personas prevail, you should market to each segment separately and consider using landing pages (or separate websites) to get the visitor to the most relevant content.  In other words, avoid trying to be all things to all people.

Give your Site Visitors Something to Aspire to.  Berg writes that "Most advertising is aspirational: It makes us aspire to be like the people we see in the ads who are using a particular product or brand."  This discussion was thought-provoking and really got me thinking about what specific images should be incorporated into our website.  Who is the "typical" Ambient DJ bride?  Berg also addresses the question about whether a business owner should include photos of him or herself on a website, and the answer may surprise you!

In evaluating prospective advertising programs, revenue per click is a far more relevant metric than cost per click.   As Berg reminds us "Advertising is not about costs; it's about the return on your investment."  High profile/cost advertising programs are not necessarily bad, nor are inexpensive advertising programs necessarily good.  

Talk To Your Audience About Them, Not About You.  Disc jockeys in particular love to talk about themselves!  Berg once again pulls out the smelling salts and reminds us that the website is about them (the customer) and not about you (the service provider!).  Does the copy on your website follow this common sense principle?

Incorporate More Calls to Action.  Each page on your website should have a call to action.  This can be done with variety and in good taste.  These calls to action can increase the probability that a customer will contact you and not leave your site (to a competitor's).

Overall, we would highly recommend this book to any small business owner looking to run a diagnostic test on their existing website.  From our perspective, it was a timely read as our company is poised to launch (version 3.0) later this month.  There are many actionable ideas from the book that we are planning to incorporate.  If we gain just one additional client from these ideas, then we will have earned a stratospheric ROI from this book purchase! For those of you interested in purchasing a copy (also available in digital version for Kindle), you can visit

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Best First Dance Songs for a Wedding

Congratulations on your engagement!  One of the key decisions of the wedding reception will be the song for your traditional first dance together as husband and wife.  For some couples, the decision will decision will be easy, as this will be a song that has a special meaning in your relationship.  For example, the song that was on the radio during your first kiss; or the song that was playing when you proposed at the Pearl Jam concert.  When the choice is not so obvious, you will need to conduct research to find a song with the perfect mood, lyrics and tempo for that magical moment.

Your Special Moment (Photo Courtesy of Al Ojeda Photography)
Browsing the internet, there are many contrived lists of suggested special songs for weddings that were clearly not compiled by wedding professionals. These lists may feature songs that are hard to dance to; or worse, contain inappropriate lyrics (e.g., a song  about a bittersweet romance).  Below are listed 50 danceable songs with uplifting lyrics to consider for a bride and groom's first dance.  These tracks span various genres; and  importantly, have been used at real weddings!

The first 25 tracks are Modern or Alternative Tracks, while the second 25 are traditional and timeless selections!

25 Modern or Alternative First Dance Songs

You Are the Best Thing - Ray LaMontagne
Crash Into Me - Dave Matthews Band
In a Little While - U2
Marry Me - Train
I’m Yours - Jason Mraz
I Do - Colbie Caillat
Just the Way You Are - Bruno Mars
Desire - Ryan Adams
Do You Realize - The Flaming Lips
Fade Into You - Mazzy Star
I Only Have Eyes for You - Jamie Cullum
First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes
Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop - Landon Pigg
Flightless Bird, American Mouth - Iron & Wine (from the movie Twilight)
The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson
True Companion - Marc Cohn
Angel - Robin Thicke (don’t let the fact that Kim Kardashian used the song discourage you!)
By Your Side - Sade
Stay With You - John Legend
Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not - Thompson Square
All That You’ll Be - Emma Bunton
Slave to Love - Bryan Ferry
Lovesong - The Cure, 311 or Adele
Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
Make a Memory - Bon Jovi

25 Traditional and Timeless First Dance Songs

When a Man Loves a Woman - Percy Sledge
You Make Me Feel Brand New - The Stylistics
These Arms of Mine - Otis Redding
It Had To Be You - Harry Connick, Jr.
The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett
At Last - Etta James
Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers
We Have All the Time in the World - Louis Armstrong
Can’t Help Falling In Love (With You) - Elvis Presley
I Will - The Beatles
Bless the Broken Road - Rascal Flatts
Amazed - Lonestar
From This Moment - Shania Twain w/Bryan White
It’s Your Love - Tim McGraw and Faith Fill
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Marcia Griffiths
Saving All My Love For You - Whitney Houston
Heaven - Bryan Adams
Don't Want To Miss a Thing - Aerosmith
Always and Forever - Heatwave
How Deep is Your Love - The Bee-Gees
Through the Fire - Chaka Khan
My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder
Beautiful in My Eyes - Joshua Kadison
Crazy for You - Madonna
Someone Like You - Van Morrison

What songs would you add to these lists?  (Please comment below, and check out my comment with reader suggestions from social media responders!).

Should You Be Bound by Lyrics?

There is divided thought on this topic, but what should you do if you love the mood and general sentiments of a song, but there are several lyrics that do not apply to your love story, or may be bittersweet?  Our thought is to let the mood of the song prevail, and be permissive with lyrics.  For example, Adele's "Make You Feel My Love" contains a lyric about rejection, but otherwise is overwhelmingly about the power of love.  We say 'yes.'  Of course, her "Someone Like You" would be wildly inappropriate, as it is a breakup song.  One final scenario is those couples who traveled a long and winding road to the wedding altar - where a song such as Rascal Flatts' "Bless the Broken Road" would be a great selection.

Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central NJ and  specializing in weddings.  To learn more about our services, visit us on the web at  We look forward to seeing you on the dancefloor!

2011, By Gregg Hollmann, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gig Log - WWPHS 10 Year Class Reunion - Nassau Inn

Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to throw a class reunion as guests are in full party mode with the long weekend.  This past Friday, Ambient DJ Service had the pleasure of performing at the West Windsor Plainsboro High School Class of 2001- 10 Year Reunion party held at the Nassau Inn in Princeton, NJ.  We were retained by Princeton-based event planner Dharmi Shah of Evenings of Elegance.

The party was held from 8 PM - 11 PM in the elegant Prince William Room located on the ground level.  Coincidentally, the party coincided with the lighting of the tree in Palmer Square, located directly in front of the Nassau Inn.  The area was abuzz with activity, and it was a wise decision to arrive very early for load-in and set-up.

For the event, Ambient DJ uplit the room in blue.  In addition, we also provided a 42 inch plasma television to display a video slideshow set on a loop.  DJ Gregg Ambient presided on the wheels of steel, spinning a variety of 90s hip hop and current dance music.  Class reunions do not necessarily feature dancing, since classmates are often engrossed in conversation.  Fortunately, the WWPHS Class of 2001 was in a festive mood and hit the dancefloor in the final hour!

Photo Courtesy of Michael Gonzalez (aka Memphis VK)
Rounding out the entertainment, Boardwalk Photo Booth provided a cool photo booth service with a fun prop bin, that became increasingly popular through the evening.  Photographer Michael Gonzalez worked the room, providing many candid photos.

Ironically, this particular class was the first to enjoy their junior prom at the Camden Aquarium, an event that I have been performing at for the past two years.  Perhaps I will have the opportunity to DJ for these graduates in the years to come!

Congratulations to the organizers for what apparently was the best-ever attended WWPHS reunion!  We've said it before and we'll say it again - the Nassau Inn is the top venue in Princeton for weddings and events, and truly captures the downtown Princeton-feel.  In an industry plagued by turnover, the Nassau Inn has a great continuity of staff and it great to see the same faces year after year.  To read our list of the top 15 wedding venues in New Jersey, click here.

Guest DJ Dharmi Shah of Evenings of Elegance!
Photo Courtesy of Michael Gonzalez (Memphis VK)

Gig Log - Amanda & Ryan - Water's Edge in Sea Bright, NJ

On November 19th, Ambient DJ Service had the pleasure of providing music and entertainment for Amanda and Ryan's wedding reception at Water's Edge in Sea Bright, NJ.  We were introduced to this great couple through Joseph K. Brown of Joseph K. Brown Photography.  Joe is one of our recommended vendors and also did the Ambient DJ 2011 corporate photo shoot!

Amanda and Ryan were seeking a cheese-free, high energy dance party among family and friends.  Specifically, we provided music for the onsite ceremony, cocktail hour and reception party.  Water's Edge has a distinctive ballroom, with the sweetheart table located in front of large circular window with an oceanfront view.  We uplit this alcove in red, complementing the black and white color scheme and  red flowers.  We also backlit our DJ facade in red.  One wall of the dancefloor was mirrored, reminiscent of the climactic scene of Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon."

What really stood out about Amanda & Ryan's wedding reception was the consistent dancefloor action that began during appetizers, and grew into a frenzied scene in the final hour.  At the bride's request, we dimmed the lights and pumped up the volume.  What an awesome group of party people - this wedding reception will surely rank in our annual Top Ten Best Parties list!

Thank you to assistant Garrett Bargiacchi for a job well done in easing the demanding logistics of the setup.  Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Granato!

Key Tracks:
Give Me Everything Tonight - Pitbull f/Ne-Yo and Nayer (Grand Entrance of Bridal Party)
Let Me Clear My Throat - DJ Kool (Grand Entrance of Bride & Groom)
It's Your Love - Tim McGraw (First Dance)
I Wanna Grow Old With You - Adam Sandler (Cakecutting)
Pretty Girl Rock - Kerri Hilson (bouquet toss)
Bring Em' Out - T.I. (garter toss)
Ole - Bouncing Souls
Mr. Saxobeat - Alexandra Stan
Shots Through the Heart (mashup) - Bon Jovi versus LMFAO
The Black Velvet Band - The Irish Rovers
Duke of Earl - Gene Chandler
We Belong Together - Los Lobos
Time of Your Life - Green Day (closing song)


Ambient DJ Service is a boutique-style mobile DJ company that provides customized music and entertainment throughout New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania and New York City.  Ambient DJ Service is a consecutive year winner of the WeddingWire Bride's Choice Award and has been featured in DJ Times Magazine.  To learn more about our services, visit us on the web at or our WeddingWire portal at

How DJs Should Use Craigslist

Craigslist ( is a centralized network of online communities featuring free online classified advertisements, with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums.  It was launched in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995 by Craig Newmark.

The early years of Craigslist - before hitting the mainstream consciousness - featured a network of cool, artistic types.  Most East Coast DJs were still unaware of CraigsList, and if somebody posted "DJ Wanted," there was a good chance that you could score the job and be compensated at your customary rates.  Weddings and corporate events were all possible through CraigsList!

However, the site eventually devolved into a tacky online flea market of bargain-hunters and a horde of discount DJs happy to oblige this new clientele.  As an example, a user on CraigsList would post something like "Experienced DJ Needed for Anniversary Party.  Must have references and provide demo CD.  Compensation - $0.  Free drinks and food!"  We have not browsed the CraigsList classified in years, but from what we hear, the number of quality jobs posted is few, with competition fierce for these scarce leads.  

An alternative CraigsList strategy adopted by some DJs has been to post "DJ For Hire" in the classified section.  Particularly if posted repetitively (at no cost), this could result in brand awareness among CraigsList shoppers.  The bigger question however is, "Are CraigsList shoppers your target market?" In the case of Ambient DJ Service, the answer is a resounding 'no'.

How DJs Should Use CraigsList

CraigsList is a great tool for recruiting and networking with fellow DJs.  In 2007, our company added its second system, taking the step from single-operator to multi-system operator.  That hire, discovered through a CraigsList ad, DJ Iron Mike, has proven to be a smashing success.  Through Mike, I was introduced to his friend Christopher Smith (DJ Spinz) who also proved to be highly successful in the Ambient DJ roster.  DJ Gary G, another CraigsList contact, became a friend and enlightened us on profitable internet marketing strategies - also becoming a great referral source.  Gary introduced us to his mentor DJ Brett Gash, "the Godfather of East Windsor DJs" who has become a great friend and source of referrals.

Fast-forwarding to 2011, we now periodically post in the Jobs Section for entry level disc jockeys.  The ads always produce a large and qualified group of respondents who we can weed out in search of our next great DJ!  Best of all, there is no charge to place a classified ad.

The moral of the story is that CraigsList, if used properly by a mobile DJ company, can produce extraordinary profits.  But it will not be via responding to "DJ Wanted" ads.  In the case of Ambient DJ Service, CraigsList helped us to find the right staff, opened doors, and set us on a course of "one thing leads to another."  For that, we dedicate this next song to CraigsList and thank you!

Postlude: And as DJ Iron Mike just reminded me, two of our cast members, DJ Extreme and Larry Sargent, also were discovered by the Craigslist relationship ripple effect! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Motown Dance Party - Our Favorite Songs

In my mind, "Motown" has always been a genre of music - one associated with the 1960s, Detroit and artists like Stevie Wonder, the Temptations and The Four Tops.  Of course, Motown is actually a record label that was founded by Berry Gordy, Jr. in 1960.  The "Motown Sound" is a style of soul music with a distinct pop influence.

Motown is excellent party music and often works well in uniting guests of various ages on the dancefloor.  Danceable, joyous and not too fast, the Motown Sound is a great way to jump start a dance party!  

The Four Tops
Listed below are 30 of our favorite danceable Motown tracks, organized in chronological order.  To be included on the list, the song must have been recorded on the Motown record label, or one of its affiliated labels such as Tamla Records or Gordy Records.

1) Please Mr. Postman - The Marvelettes (1961)
2) Do You Love Me - The Contours (1962)
3) Heatwave - Martha & The Vandellas (1963)
4) Baby I Need Your Loving - The Four Tops (1964)
5) Come See About Me - The Supremes (1964)
6) My Guy - Mary Wells (1964)
7) I Can't Help Myself (Sugarpie, Honeybunch) - The Four Tops (1965)
8) My Girl - The Temptations (1965)
9) Stop! In The Name of Love - The Supremes (1965)
10) Ain't Too Proud to Beg - The Temptations (1966)
11) Get Ready - The Temptations (1966)
12) Reach Out (I'll Be There) - The Four Tops (1966)
13) Uptight (Everything's Alright) - Stevie Wonder (1966)
14) You Can't Hurry Love - The Supremes (1966)
15) Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (1967)
16) For Once in My Life - Stevie Wonder (1968)
17) I Want You Back - The Jackson 5 (1969)
18) ABC - The Jackson 5 (1970)
19) Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Stevie Wonder (1970)
20) What's Going On - Marvin Gaye (1971)
21) Superstition - Stevie Wonder (1972)
22) Brick House - The Commodores (1977)
23) Got To Give It Up (Pt. I) - Marvin Gaye (1977)
24) Sir Duke - Stevie Wonder (1977)
25) Super Freak - Rick James (1981)
26) I Need Your Lovin' - Teena Marie (1981)
27) Let it Whip - The Dazz Band (1981)
28) All Night Long - Lionel Richie (1983)
29) Rhythm of the Night - DeBarge (1985)
30) Motown Philly - Boyz II Men (1991)


Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey.  We enjoying spinning danceable music from all genres, and delighting our guests.  To learn more about our services, please visit us online at  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

DJ Gregg Ambient's Playlist - November 2011

Happy November!  Found below is a countdown list of 30 hot tracks currently being featured in my sets around around the state of New Jersey.  In past countdowns, I have separately broken out "throwbacks," but for this month decided to merge them into a single list.  Myself, and other DJs, have noted the increasing popularity of dance music at the expense of hip hop, and the top ten hits reflect this trend. Dubstep has also hit the local palette, with entries by Skrillex at #20 and #17.  

We welcome your  comments and suggestions for other high-octane dance floor selections!

30) Malo - Avicii (electro)
29) Diet Original Don - Major Lazer (dancehall)
28) Sofi Needs a Ladder - DeadMau5 (electronic)
27) Perfume (Calvi y Neill Bouquet Remix) - BajoFondo Tango (international lounge)
26) Landing Boots - DJ Shiftee (downtempo lounge)
25) Dirty Laundry (Tom Middleton's Balearic Mix) - Bitter:Sweet (downtempo lounge)
24) Natural (Kaskade Roots Remix) - Afro-Mystik (house)
23) Aston Martin Music - Rick Ross f/Drake & Chrisette Michele (hip hop/R&B)
22) You Rock My World - Michael Jackson (throwback)
21) Insane in the Brain - Cypress Hill (throwback)
20) Lick It - Kaskade & Skrillex (dubstep)
19) I'm Still Hot - Luciana (dance)
18) The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie - Red Hot Chili Peppers (rock)
17) Cinema (Skrillex Remix) - Benny Benassi (dubstep)
16) Wobble - V.I.C. (hip hop)
15) Down on Me (Disco Fries RMX) - Jeremih (electro)
14) Come See About Me - The Supremes (Motown)
13) Rolling in the Deep - Adele (Retro-Soul)
12) You Make Me Feel - Cobra Starship f/Sabi (dance)
11) Danza Kuduro - Don Omar (Latin)
10) Now That We Found Love - Heavy D and the Boyz (throwback)
 9) Give Me Everything Tonight - Pitbull f/Afrojack and Nayer (dance)
 8) Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO (dance)
 7) Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga (pop)
 6) Turn Me On - David Guetta f/Nicki Minaj (dance)
 5) Paris - Jay-Z and Kanye West (why?  because it's provocative and gets the people going!) (hip hop)
 4) Moves Like Jagger - Maroon 5 f/Christina Aguilera (dance)
 3) Sexy and I Know It - LMFAO (dance)
 2) Mr. Saxobeat - Alexandra Stan /(dance)
 1) We Found Love - Rihanna f/Calvin Harris (dance)

To view DJ Gregg Ambient's Top Tracks of Early Fall 2011, click here.

To view DJ Gregg Ambient's Top 50 tracks of 2010, click here.

To see his favorite songs of the 1980s, click here.  To view his favorite dance tracks of the 1990s, click here.

About DJ Gregg Ambient

Ambient DJs’ Founder and Owner, Gregg Hollmann, is known for his creative mixing and chameleon-like ability to play in different musical styles. His musical knowledge allows him to excel in environments ranging from elegant wedding receptions to convivial dance parties.  A multi-faceted performer, Gregg also mixes music videos.

A graduate of the College of New Jersey, he holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration and has lived and worked abroad in Japan and the Philippines.  He enjoys working with clients and personalizing events to their tastes. Gregg was the subject of a feature article in the January 2011 issue of DJ Times magazine titled 'DJ Takes Stock in Niche Wedding Market.'  

To book DJ Gregg Ambient for your next party, visit the Ambient DJ Service website at

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tribute to Heavy D with 20 Favorite Heavy D Tracks

In this article, DJ Iron Mike reflects on the untimely passing of Heavy D and lists 20 essential tracks by this talented artist.  His final Tweet, posted just 21 hours ago, read "BE INSPIRED!"

Today, Hip-Hop lost one of its most legendary and charismatic performers.  Dwight "Heavy D" Myers brought a fun, honest and energetic approach to rap music while maintaining street credibility and most importantly, being himself. I believe it was fellow golden age rapper MC Lyte who said that one of the best things about Heavy D was that you could listen to him in front of your parents and your parents would even began to like his music. No doubt influencing future rap heavyweights The Notorious B.I.G. and Big Punisher, Heavy D didn't poke fun at his size as did the also legendary Fat Boys, but glorified it in a way that could attract the ladies. 

He leaves behind a memorable catalog of Hip-Hop classics and dance floor mainstays including the 1991 smash with his group Heavy D & The Boyz: "Now That We Found Love" which was immortalized in the popular Will Smith film "Hitch" as well as two versions of the theme to the wildly popular sketch comedy show "In Living Color."  Flexing his diversity, Heavy also built a solid acting resume appearing in such films as Life and New Jersey Drive as well as prime time TV shows Living Single, Bones and Law & Order: SVU. Without further ado, here are my Top 20 Favorite tracks either by, or featuring Heavy D solo or with The Boyz.  Pay homage, but most importantly, have fun. Heavy would've wanted it that way.

20. Jam w/ Michael Jackson (1991)
19. Next Stop Uptown w/ Various (1993)
18. My Love (Remix) w/ Mary J. Blige (1993)
17. I Miss You w/ Monifah (1995)
16. Is It Good To You (1991)
15. Keep It Comin' (1997)
14. If You Want it w/ The Lost Boyz & Soul 4 Real (1997)
13. Jam Session w/ Notorious B.I.G. & Troo Kulla (1993)
12. We Got Our Own Thang (1989)
11. Gyrlz They Love Me (1989)
10. Black Coffee (1994)
 9. Now That We Found Love w/ Aaron Hall (1991)
 8. Let's Get It On w/ Eddie F, 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G. & Grand Puba (1994)
 7. Candy Rain w/ Soul 4 Real (Track Masters Remix) (1994)
 6. Big Daddy (1997)
 5. The Overweight Lover's In The House (1987)
 4. Don't Curse w/ Big Daddy Kane, Q-Tip, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, Grand Puba & Kool G Rap    (1991)
 3.Mr. Big Stuff (Remix) (1987)
 2.You Can't See What I Can See (1992)
 1.Nuthin' But Love (1994)

For further information on the life and music of Heavy D, visit his Facebook Fan Page at

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ambient DJ Performs at Gala at Trenton War Memorial

Last Saturday night, the eve of the unexpected October 29th snowstorm, DJ Gregg Ambient provided the musical backdrop for a Gala Fundraiser at the War Memorial / Patriots Theater in Trenton, NJ.  Funds raised benefited the Children's Specialized Hospital Foundation.  The Children's Specialized Hospital is the best and largest pediatric rehabilitation hospital in the United States, with nine locations in New Jersey.

The event, themed "Oh What a Night!" was structured into three segments:  from 6 PM - 8 PM, guests enjoyed food and cocktails in an authentic Jersey Shore environment.  The centerpiece of the room was a bar with a large replica of the distinctive Trenton Bridge built above it.  The depth and attention to detail in the food and decor was truly impressive.  From 8 PM - 10 PM, guests left the George Washington Ballroom to be entertained by a musical performance of the Midtown Men (with four of the original cast members of "Jersey Boys", the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons) in the Patriots Theater.  After the show, guests enjoyed coffee and dessert back in the themed environment and learned the highest bidders in the Silent Auction.

View from the DJ booth
I was situated on the second floor of the George Washington Ballroom, with a bird's eye view of the themed room for the first and third segments of the evening.  Musically, the goal was to compliment the decor and theme early on, and then keep guests energized later on playing a mix of styles.  Unlike many fundraising events with abundant announcements, in this case announcements were minimal and guests were left to enjoy the evening.  The other key factor was keeping the volume at an appropriate level.  The acoustics of the room were good, with a sub-woofer utilized to fill up the low end of the spectrum.

Listed below are ten sample tracks selected to fit the theme:

Wildwood Days - Bobby Rydell
Sea Cruise - Johnny Rivers
Havin' a Party - Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes
Beggin' - Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons
Walk Like a Man - Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons
Working My Way Back to You - Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons
This Magic Moment - Jay & the Americans
Under the Boardwalk - The Drifters
Jersey Girl (live version) - Bruce Springsteen
This Little Girl - Gary U.S. Bonds

Special thank you to Mary Harris Events for retaining our services for this event.  Other top notch vendors at this successful fundraiser included Feastivities Catering, SnapShotz Photobooths and David Kelly Crow (photography and video).

Replica of the Trenton Bridge Built Over the Bar

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ursula Rucker - Where Poetry Meets Electronica

I have long been fascinated with the Philadelphia electronica scene and its talented artist pool including names like Josh Wink, King Britt and Nigel Richards.  I first became exposed to a talented Philadelphia artist of the spoken word, Ursula Rucker, in 2004 when listening to a smooth house track by Josh Wink called "Sixth Sense" off the album "The Ovum Fall Collection."  Not only did this track feature an ultra-cool vibraphone, it had Ursula Rucker delivering poetic lines over the house beats, and I loved it!

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rucker wrote poetry through her adolescence, but did not make her public debut until 1994. According to Wikipedia, "Rucker garnered a reputation for unique poetry techniques and stage presence which were described as "strong, vulnerable, wounded and raging". King Britt gave Rucker recognition and invited her to create her first spoken word recording, the 1994 club hit, "Supernatural". Dance music fans and DJ's quickly appreciated Rucker’s vocals and rhythm, which was described as "mystical.""

Rucker went on to collaborate with numerous recording artists and producers, most notably, The Roots.   While I am not a huge poetry fan, I have always enjoyed Rucker's performances, particularly when delivered over the perfect electronic backdrop.  This past week I have been enjoying a collection of her greatest hits covering a variety of styles and themes including love, hate, hypocrisy, politics, AIDS, secrets, erotica and humanity's darkest side (Song for Billy).  I look forward to catching a live performance of Miss Rucker sometime in the not too distant future!  

To preview and purchase the works of Ursula Rucker, visit this link on the iTunes music store

Sixth Sense (Booty in the Butta Mix) - Josh Wink ft. Ursula Rucker

Millenium Sanhedrin - A Guy Called Gerald ft. Ursula Rucker

Spring - Ursula Rucker

Guest Blogger "Bella Beatz" Picks 7 Soulful House Tracks

Today we welcome guest blogger "Bella Beatz" to the Ambient DJ blog.  Who is Bella Beatz you might ask?  Well, Bella Beatz is a smart, sassy, music-loving party person.  She also happens to be the fiancee of DJ Iron Mike, one of our company's music mixologists.  Could we have a future DJ in our midst?  I sure hope so!

7 Soulful House Selections
by Bella Beatz

Ms. Bella Beatz
Most people mistake house music to be solely the sound of something 'trance-like' or associate it with Jersey Shore. Furthermore, there are so many styles of 'house' music, making  it very easy to get lost in the shuffle of what is what.  To give a little background on why house music started, let's take a trip back to the 1980s.  

House music originated in Chicago in the early 1980s and was initially geared towards the Latino and African-American communities. The base of this music was deeply tribal due to the elements of deep percussion and the ever-present African drums.  House music is centered around a "four on the floor" rhythmic structure and is upbeat dance music, typically in the range of 117 to 130 beats per minute.   Other features of house music may include a synthesized bassline, vocal samples, and effects such as reverbs, delays and filters.  House music spread from Chicago to other major metropolitan areas of North America, before eventually crossing the pond to Europe, where it exploded in popularity and morphed into new genres of house music such as progressive, tribal, electro and deep house (to see a graphic visualization of the branches of electronic dance music, visit Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Dance Music here).

So what exactly is "soulful house music?" Well, it is just that.  A touch of a little R&B voice, some funk, some soul and letting the bass kick and lock you into a groove.  It is upbeat party music, very easy to dance to, with an 'old school' feel.  House music is the perfect choice for those who love to dance but are looking for an alternative to hip-hop or pop music. I suggest that you check out a few examples of songs below.  Of course, allow time for all of the elements of the song to develop and lock you into a groove!  

Hugs & Kisses,

Bella XO

1. Pirahnahead feat. Eric King - Keep Lifting Me (Pirahnahead's Main Vocal)

2. Green Velvet ft. Russoul- Millie Vanillie

3. Beaten Soul feat. Selina Campbell - I'm Not Ashamed (Distant People Rmx)

4. DJ Garphie and Diviniti - Could You Be MIne (Pirahnahead Deep Soul Mix)

5. Black Motion Ft Xoli - Set me free (Deeper Mix)

6. Nastee Nev Feat. Donald Sheffey - I'm So Hung Up On You (0808 Sweet Soul Mix)

7.  Liquideep - Angel (Vocal Mix)