Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Protecting a DJ Company's Assets - Is Crime on the Rise?

When the economy declines, crime tends to rise.  In the past week, three of Ambient's DJs have been on the bad end of a crime.  Our company is not based in a particularly dangerous area.

1) DJ Chris' hard drive was swiped at a performance while he ran some gear out to his car.  For the full story, read the attached article from the DJ Times blog:

2) One of our performers who also owns his own mobile DJ company became aware of a ruse.  He believes that a con artist found his company on Youtube and identified that his DJ company performed at a prom in 2010 for a local high school.  The con artist sent a letter and contract to the high school in early 2011, seeking to renew the prom contract.  Payment was to be sent to a P.O. Box in California.  Regrettably, the school fell for the trick and mailed out payment to this non-existent company;

3) Another DJ of ours received cash for his performance, but when going to deposit the money at a local bank, learned that the payment included a counterfeit $50 bill!


In a separate incident, we booked a bar mitzvah for a family who had been de-frauded by a purported "national DJ company" based out of Chicago and having a professional staff in New Jersey.  The family diligently mailed in their contract and the entire fee, only to later learn that the company had disconnected its phone and was nowhere to be found!

In a final incident, an LED par can mysteriously disappeared while loading out from a wedding.  When calling the banquet hall to see if the light had been left behind, there was no trace.


It may be wishful thinking to think that these are isolated incidents or a string of bad luck.  Listed below are ten tips for securing your assets.

1) Work with a buddy when possible.  Two sets of eyes are better than one.  Always bring an assistant when working in the city.  Be aware of your environment and the people around you;

2) Park in a well-lit area that is visible from the building, where a thief may be less willing to risk being caught in the act;

3) When loading out from a party, bring small valuable items like laptops and hard drives first.  Lock your vehicle each time that you run back into the hall.  While loading into the party, bring in the small valuable items last, also locking the car each time that you enter the hall.  A thief is much less likely to snatch a large cumbersome item than a small valuable one;

4) If leaving the DJ booth, ask a trusted guest to keep an eye on your gear;

5) Beware of guests with drinks in their hands near your valuable DJ equipment (even if they are pretty ladies!);

6) Don't leave your gear inside your vehicle overnight if not parked in a locked garage;

7) If you are a digital DJ, then back up your music collection regularly, also keeping one backup drive at a remote location (in the event of a theft or fire at your primary residence);

8) Consider insuring your equipment against loss, damage or theft;

9) Label all of your equipment, so that in the event that it is left behind at a gig, the finder can easily contact you and is less tempted to keep the item.  For our laptops, we also mention a "reward" if returned as an additional incentive towards honesty; and

10) Loading out from a gig late at night when you may be physically fatigued, resist the temptation for a sloppy load-out where gear is roughly handled or not packed properly; or you don't lock the vehicle in between trips.  Also, don't forget to lift with your legs (and not with your back!) at the end of a long gig, a back injury can haunt you for a long time!

What other security tips would you recommend?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wedding Gig Log - Hendrick and Chi-Chi, The Tides Estate

On Sunday March 27, 2011, I had the pleasure of DJ'ing the wedding reception of the new Mr. and Mrs. Hendrick and Chi-Chi Moy.  The couple selected to hold their celebration at the beautiful Tides Estate in North Haledon, NJ.

Regarding the big picture, Hendrick and Chi-Chi wanted a celebration that incorporated traditions of their Asian heritage, but that was also playful and high-energy at appropriate moments.  Special touches included a Chinese tea ceremony (where family/friends sit in chairs across from the bride and groom and offer advice to the newlyweds) and Hendrick "serenading" his beautiful bride, accompanied by musician friends of his.

Ambient DJ provided music in several zones.  The cocktail hour was held downstairs in the Belmont Room where guests enjoyed a delicious spread of food.  Our cocktail hour mix included selections by Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Ingrid Michaelson, the Dave Matthews Band, Alicia Keys, Robin Thicke, Air and the Gotan Project.

The reception party was held in the Manchester Room, adjacent to the cocktail area.  Ambient DJ provided an uplighting package, accenting the classy white paneled wood walls and pillars with alternating red and lavender colors, with our South Beach-style DJ facade and the wall behind the head table (opposite) uplit in blue.  The rainbow of colors complemented the multi-colored origami table decorations.

The bridal party entered to "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas, followed by the bride and groom's entrance to "I Made It" by Kevin Rudolph.  Hendrick and Chi-Chi immediately went into a special edited version of "Only Hope" as sung by Mandy Moore, performing a graceful ballroom routine that culminated with a dramatic dip!  Immediately thereafter, couples enjoyed a dance with the bride and groom to DJ Sammy's "Heaven" (Candlelight Remix). 

For the Chinese tea ceremony, I played soft background music of Chinese classical music, followed by some atmospheric music from the Buddha Bar V album.  Later in the program, Hendrick serenaded Chi-Chi, including a special version of "Nothin' On You."  Chi-Chi's cousin, Oliver Forrest who walked her down the aisle and was visiting from London, delivered a moving and articulate toast.  Later on, Will "the Thrill" Chung gave a toast that was among the best that I've ever witnessed.

The bouquet and garter ceremony was performed with a twist.  Given the large number of married couples, only married ladies (bouquet) or guys (garter) were invited to the floor.  The catcher of the bouquet or garter then was asked to select an eligible bachelorette/bachelor.  This unexpected twist was well-received and effective!

After a hard dance set, the action moved outdoors for a "wish lantern" ceremony (see link to the attached video).  This ceremony proved to be a dramatic conclusion to the evening!

Special thanks to MCs David Lin and Samuel Lee who assisted in making the wedding reception such a success.  Shout-outs to Steve and his staff at the Tides Estate; big-ups to photographers Joel and Rita Wiebner and the friendly videographers from Northeast Horizons !  Hendrick and Chi-Chi, I enjoyed working with you and wish you my best in your married life together - you are an awesome couple!

Key Tracks:

I Made It - Kevin Rudolph (Grand Entrance of Bride and Groom)
Only Hope - Mandy Moore (First Dance)
Move Along - All American Rejects (closer)
(Just) Like a Star - Corinne Rae Bailey (video slideshow)
L-O-V-E - Nat King Cole (cakecutting)
A Whole New World - Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson (surprise vocal performance by Carol Tam)
Marry Me - Train
Just the Way You Are - Ahmir (cover version)
Rocketeer - Far East Movement f/Ryan Tedder (open dancing)

About Ambient DJs

Ambient DJ is an award-winning, boutique style mobile DJ company based in Central NJ that specializes  in multicultural weddings or celebrations for those with alternative tastes in music.  The Company provides service to New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania and Manhattan.

For those of you who are not yet followers, please connect with Ambient DJ at:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Out in the Field, March 2011

Below are posted some photos from Ambient DJs' recent activities.  In life in general, and party planning in particular, don't be afraid to dream big!

Coco Events Showcase at the Manhattan Center

Custom dancefloor

DJ Greg Nice - Welcome to His World!

Bring lounge furniture to your next party!

Ambient DJ Lounge Lizard

DJ Jagged poses with reality television star, Alan Peters, aka Prophit

Scrim covers backlit in green for St. Patricks Day celebration

Monday, March 7, 2011

Gig Log - Flood Warnings Super Sweet 16

On Friday March 4th, Ambient DJ provided musical entertainment for Danielle's Broadway-themed Sweet 16 Party held at the Hamilton Manor.  What an appropriate theme, as Danielle's passion in life is spending time at the studio where she studies dance, voice, acting and the piano!

The producers (Mom, Dad and Danielle) named the show, "Flood Warnings" and produced an authentic Broadway-style Playbill that was distributed to all guests.  An extensive cast and crew was listed, but of course Danielle was the star of the show!  To the back wall of the Grand Ballroom, the family ambitiously constructed a beautiful New York City skyline of skyscrapers, illuminated with Christmas lights (see photos below).   

Ambient DJ created a custom package for the event that helped to deliver the "Wow Factor" of a Super Sweet 16.  Elements of the package included:

* Intelligent lighting show with six Martin SCX 500 scanners and two industrial strength lasers;
* 14 uplighting fixtures (7 on each wall) that were linked by a combination of wired and wireless DMX signal so that they could be manipulated during the evening (i.e., color, fades, strobing).  The Grand Ballroom's 20 foot walls are ideal for uplighting!;
* Bliss Lighting Effect (i.e., "Dancing Under the Stars") - this lighting fixture projects twinkling green stars and shifting cloud nebulae on the ceiling;
* South Beach-style FaCIED facade, backlit with LED lighting;
* 90 inch screen, with Ambient projecting 4 separate video slideshows during the evening, as well as using the screen for playing music videos by the likes of Lady Gaga and Usher.

The room looked spectacular!  Danielle selected songs from some of her favorite Broadway shows such as Wicked, Hairspray and Mamma Mia to play as guests arrived. At approximately 7:30 PM, guests were asked to rise.  Diana DeGarmo's "I Believe" was played.  At about a minute into the song, we shined our theatrical spotlight to the mezzanine level of the Ballroom.  Shortly thereafter - and in dramatic fashion - Danielle emerged through the curtain and then walked down a long staircase that curved around and landed on the dancefloor where she was greeted by her parents and guests.

An evening of culinary delights and festive dancing ensued.  Ambient's staff for the evening included DJ Gregg Hollmann, aka DJ Jagged, mixing dance music and videos; and DJ Brian Dzbenski, aka DJ Extreme, operating the lights and co-emceeing the event.  Danielle blew out the candles on her Broadway-themed cake (provided by Peace of Cakes of Roselle Park, NJ), with guests also enjoying a chocolate fountain!  Our final two songs of the evening were Sinatra's "New York, New York" followed by the Broadway tune "Seasons of Love" from the musical Rent.   

Please check out some photos and video footage from the event, along with a copy of a thank you note from Mrs. Flood.  We also thank the Flood Family for entrusting Danielle's special day to our company and applaud you on your award-winning production! 

Note from Mrs. Flood to Ambient DJ:

Hi Gregg,

I just want to thank you again for a wonderful time last night.  You both did an outstanding job.  I'm a strong believer in following one's own instincts and I knew from the moment I met you that I was making the right decision by selecting you as the DJ for Danielle's Sweet 16.  That's why I continued to trust you and follow my heart when I told you that we were leaving it completely in your hands on the music selection and the overall flow for the night. There's a lot that goes into planning a party and we had done a lot of different things to make the night special, but if the DJ isn't good, no one has a good time and that certainly was not the case last night.  Everyone has told me what a wonderful time that they had and how wonderful you were.  Thank you again and if I ever need a DJ again, I'll be sure to call you.



Sunday, March 6, 2011

DJ Spinz's Top Dance Tracks of Winter 2011

The marvelous Christopher Smith, aka DJ Spinz, reveals his top dance tracks currently burning up dancefloors across the Tri-State area.  Spinzy is a Triple Threat, with polished Emcee skills, heavy mixing chops and a strong business savvy.  To book him for your next party, contact Ambient DJ today at or 609.672.1270.

First, the Top 20, in countdown fashion.  Drumroll, please.....

20) Sweat- Snoop Dogg
19) Party Rock Anthem (DJ Smerks Rockin Mix) - LMFAO
18) Whip My Hair - Willow Smith
17) Dynamite - Taio Cruz
16) The Time (Julian R Break]- Black Eyed Peas
15) On the Floor- Jennifer Lopez f/Pitbull
14) Bottoms Up - Trey Songz f/Nicki Minaj
13) Tonight - Enrique Iglesias
12) Black and Yellow - Wiz Khalifa
11) What's My Name - Rihanna f/Drake
10) Down on Me - Jeremih f/50 Cent
 9) We R Who We R - Ke$ha
 8) Yeah 3x- Chris Brown
 7) Moment for Life- Nicki Minaj f/Drake
 6) Grenade - Bruno Mars
 5) 6 foot 7 foot- Lil Wayne f/Corey Gunz
 4) Teach Me How to Dougie - Cali Swag District
 3) Hey Baby - T-Pain f/Pitbull
 2) Firework - Katy Perry
 1) Born this Way - Lady Gaga

Next, popular songs of recent years still in rotation...

5) Temperature - Sean Paul
4) Gasolina - Daddy Yankee
3) Don't Stop Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson
2) Apache - Sugarhill Gang
1) London Bridge (oh snap) - Fergie

Spinzy's Predicted Breakout Tracks!

4) Give Me Everything (Tonight)- Pitbull ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer
3) Turbulence- Steve Aoki f/ Lil Jon and Laidback Luke
2) Till the World Ends- Britney Spears
1) Get Ya *ss Up - DJ Class f/ Fatman Scoop

In Spinzy's i-Pod

5) Barbra Streisand - Duck Sauce
4) Hit the Lights - Jay Sean f/ Lil Wayne
3) Russia- David Rush
2) Boom - Snoop Dogg f/ T-pain
1) I Need a Doctor- Dr. Dre f/ Eminem

DJ Spinz struts the Princeton University campus

Working his dancers into a frenzy!

To review DJ Jagged's Top Winter Hits, click here

To read DJ Greg Nice's Top Winter 2011 Teen Dance Party hits, click here

To peruse DJ Iron Mike's Winter 2011 hits, click here

Does your DJ company regularly update its playlists by DJ?

Friday, March 4, 2011

DJ Greg Nice - Teen Dance Picks, Winter 2011

The dynamic, charismatic and wonderful Gregory Lambiase, aka DJ Greg Nice, has submitted his top dance floor bangers targeted towards the teen dance demographic.  These sizzling productions (many which are remixes) are sure to burn up the dancefloor in the midst of the deepest Winter freeze!

DJ Greg Nice's "Top 20 Club Songs for Sweet Sixteens"

01. Black Eyed Peas - The Time ( Dirty Bit - Original Mix )
02. Chris Brown - Yeah 3x  ( Original Mix )
03. Pitbull ft. T Pain - Hey Baby, Drop it to the Floor ( Original Mix )
04. Madonna vs. Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand Strikes A Pose! Vogue! (Robin Skouteris Mix)
05. Bruno Mars - Just The Way You Are (Edson Pride Club Anthem Mix)
06. Taio Cruz and Kylie Minogue - Higher (Wideboys Club Mix)
07. Willow Smith - Whip My Hair (Funk3d Extended Mix)
08. Lady GaGa - Born This Way (Liam Keegan Remix)
09. Rihanna - Only Girl (In The World) (Mark Pride Remix)
10. Avril Lavigne - What The Hell (Funk3d Club Mix)
11. Britney Spears - Hold It Against Me (Beatwalker Remix)
12. Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams 2010 (DJ Max Fonaroff & DJ Karp Remix)
13. Nicole Scherzinger - Don't Hold Your Breath (The Alias Extended Mix)
14. Beat Service feat. Emma Lock - Not Out (Xtigma Remix)
15. Filo & Peri feat. Audrey Gallagher - This Night (Original Mix)
16. Flo Rida ft. Akon - Who's Dat Girl ( 8 Barz Club Mix )
17. Cajmere - Perculator ( Throwback )
18. Robin S. - Show me Love ( Throwback )
19. Benny Benassi - Satisfaction ( Throwback )
20. Darude - Sandstorm ( Throwback )

The testimonial below is from DJ Greg Nice's last Sweet 16 client:

"Thank you, Ambient DJ Service, for making my daughter’s Sweet 16 party a great success! DJ Greg Nice was fantastic. His service far exceeded my expectations. He helped us through the process and was so sweet. The kids loved him and he had each and every guest on the dance floor! Thanks again!"

- Cheryl Britton

To book DJ Greg Nice for your next teen dance party, wedding, corporate affair or Bar/Bat Mitvah, contact us today at or 609.672.1270 !!!!

Ambient DJ Collaborates with Hun Students for Enable Dance Winter Ball

Ambient DJ recently collaborated with the students and advisors from the Community Service Club at the  Hun School of Princeton in hosting a Winter Ball for Enable, an organization that provides services to adults with developmental disabilities throughout Central NJ.  One way in which Enable helps persons with disabilities is with residential opportunities through group homes.  To learn more about Enable, you can check out their website at  

The genesis of the idea for a formal dance for Enable came when the students of Hun were helping a resident paint her nails, and that resident commented that she'd never had a reason to look good.  Thus, the students of Hun decided to throw a prom-like formal that most of the residents had never enjoyed during their teen years - a chance to get dressed up, and look and feel special!

The guests had a blast under the musical stewardship of Brian Dzbenski, aka DJ Extreme.  The photo below highlights the snowflake decorations provided by the students behind our DJ booth.  Notice the sleek scrim covers that dress up the normally industrial-looking speaker poles!

Contact Gregg at Ambient DJ Service to discuss how we can help you with your community event.