Tuesday, May 31, 2011

DJ Gregg's Top 25 Tracks of Late Spring 2011

On a quarterly basis, Ambient DJs' music mixologists prepare playlists reflecting their top dance floor selections.  Listed is below DJ Gregg's (aka DJ Jagged's) late Spring 2011 playlist, reflecting a wide variety of tracks across multiple genres.  Gregg is known for his deep and semi-eclectic musical tastes, with a bent towards alternative, electronic and international genres.  

In Countdown Fashion, drumroll please.....

25) Loca - Shakira w/Dizzee Rascal (Dance)
24) Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win - Beastie Boys f/Santigold (hip hop/alternative)
23) WEDDING HOT PICK - You are the Best Thing - Ray LaMontagne 

22) WEDDING HOT PICK- Marry Me - Train (acoustic)

21) SWEET 16 CORNER - Firework - Katy Perry (dance)
20) SWEET 16 CORNER - Friday - Rebecca Black (novelty)
19)  Hello - Martin Solveig f/Dragonette (dance)
18) Forget You - Cee Lo Green (dance)
17) Charlie Sheen Winning - Awesome Vatican Assassin (trance)
16) Under Cover of Darkness - The Strokes (alternative)
15) I Like That (We No Speak Americano) - Yolanda f/D-Cup w. Nablidon (dance)
14) Rolling in the Deep - Adele (vocalist)

13)  Cut the Lights (Acid & Skribble's Lights Out Edit) - Chris Reeder (dance)
12) Someone to Love Me - Mary J. Blige w/Diddy and Lil' Wayne (R&B)
11) Coma Cat - Tensnake (house)
10) No Hands - Waka Flocka Flame w/Roscoe Dash and Wale (hip hop)
9) Rocketeer - Far East Movement f/Ryan Tedder (R&B)
8) Carbonated - Mt. Kimbi (dubstep)
7) Beautiful People - Chris Brown f/Benny Benassi (Disco Fries Electro Remix) (Dance)
6) Look at Me Now - Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes & Lil Wayne (hip hop)
5) Stereo Love - Edward Maya f/Vika Jigulina (electronic)

4) On the Floor - Jennifer Lopez (dance)
3) S&M - Rihanna (note: this song surprisingly has strong appeal across numerous demographics including middle-aged moms!)
2) Favorite DJ (Disco Fries Remix) - Clinton Sparks w/Jermaine Dupri and DJ Class

1) Give Me Everything Tonight - Pitbull w/Ne-Yo, Nayer and Afrojack

Almost Made the Cut
1) Teach Me How to Dougie - Cali Swag District (hip hop)
2) When a Woman Loves - R. Kelly (R&B)
3) Party Rock - LMFAO (dance)
4) The Lazy Song - Bruno Mars (pop)
5) Give it to Me (Jay Dabhi Smooth Remix) - Nelly Furtado, Timbaland, J. Timberlake (lounge)
6) I Do - Colbie Caillat (pop)
7) Cowbell - DJ Shiftee (dubstep)
8) Danza Kuduro - Don Omar (Latin)

Predicted Breakout Tracks - Summer 2011
1) Motivated - Kelly Rowland w/Lil Wayne (hip hop)
2) If I Was You (OMG) - Far East Movement f/Snoop Dogg (dance)

Classics in Rotation
1) Psycho Killer - The Talking Heads (New Wave)
2) London Calling - The Clash (Punk)
3) Dancehall Days - Wang Chung (80s)
4) Enjoy the Silence - Depeche Mode (80s)
5) True - Spandau Ballet (80s)
6) Didn't Mean to Turn You On - Cherrelle (80s)
7) Native New Yorker - Odyssey (disco)
8) Got to Be Real - Cheryl Lynn (disco)
9) I Can't Help It - Michael Jackson (disco)
10) Escape (the Pina Colada Song) - Rupert Holmes

11) Lambada - Kaoma (Brazilian/world)
12) Show Me Love - Robin S. (90s dance)
13) Make the World Go Round - Sandy B. (90s dance)
14) The Humpty Dance - Digital Underground (90s)
15) Valerie - Amy Winehouse (vocalist)

16) Say It Ain't So - Weezer (alternative)
17) Where It's At - Beck (alternative)
18) I Wanna Be Your Lover - Prince (80s)
19) Low Rider - War (funk)
20) Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now - McFadden & Whitehead (disco)
21) Rise - Herb Alpert (80s)
22) Some Kind of Wonderful - Grand Funk Railroad (classic rock)
23) Roadhouse Blues - The Doors (classic rock)
24) Send Me on My Way - Rusted Root (world)
25) Mustang Sally - The Commitments (rock)

To see DJ Jagged's Top 50 tracks of 2010, click here.  For booking information, please visit Ambient DJs' website here.

Memorial Day Set - Fort Dix

On Sunday afternoon, I received a phone call from a Captain at Fort Dix who as an afterthought, was seeking to add a DJ to a Memorial Day picnic/BBQ party at the base.  This party was being termed a "sendoff party," as he and his unit are being deployed to Afghanistan in June.  As a token of goodwill to the men and women serving our country, I offered a 50% discount.  I also knew that this would be an enjoyable event; that is, spending time with our soldiers on Memorial Day.

Fort Dix/McGuire Air Force Base is a massive complex.  I have gotten lost driving around the base in the past, so took great care to arrive early and have all of my paperwork in order.  Enroute, the Captain called to inform me that the party was starting at 3 PM, not 4 PM as he had originally believed.  While I arrived to the first checkpoint at 2:45 PM, I was denied access and asked to visit the Fort Dix Visitors Center.  Unfortunately this center was closed, and I was also denied access at the accompany checkpoint.  My next stop (erroneously) was at a commercial vehicle entrance that sweeps your vehicle for explosives. I was similarly denied access through this checkpoint!  Finally, I was sent to the McGuire base Visitors Center which was open. My name was not on file, so one of the sergeants had to physically visit the center and authorize me in.  We then made the long drive on-base to the picnic area.  I marveled at the massive scope of this complex/community. Needless to say, my set did not begin until about 4 PM, but these security measures were outside of my control and there were no hard feelings.

The picnic area near Doughboy Field was in full-swing with activity.  Soldiers playing basketball, volleyball and softball, riding go-karts, competing in tug-of-war contests, attempting to sink an officer in a dunk tank, and enjoying a delicious spread of barbecued items.  The guests were active, generally young, and in great physical condition.

On the music side, I started with my laid-back summer party set, before increasing the beats-per-minute later on.  Throughout, I made it a point to invite requests.  These requests reflected the diversity of the soldiers, who hailed from various parts of the country and from different ethnic backgrounds.  While I may not have been able to totally satisfy the Tennessee and South Georgia contingents, artists such as Hank Willams, Jr., Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks provided suitable alternatives.  The weather was warm and picture-perfect, like a summer barbecue should be!  The guests were very cordial, and it was refreshing to be addressed as "Sir" and not "Hey DJ!" :-)

While packing up later on, I enjoyed a nice conversation with one of the sergeants about the soldier's life in Afghanistan.  The upcoming tour will be his fourth.

Key Tracks:

Is This Love - Bob Marley
Summertime - Shaggy
Set it Off - Strafe
If Heaven Ain't a Lot Like Dixie - Hank Williams, Jr.
Ghost Riders in the Sky - Johnny Cash
The Cupid Shuffle - Cupid
Run the World (Girls) - Beyonce
Straight Out of Line - Godsmack
Born Free - Kid Rock
God Bless the U.S.A. - Lee Greenwood

Happy Memorial Day to all Americans, and God Bless America!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

DJ Spinz Top Dance Tracks of Spring 2011

Below, Christopher Smith, aka DJ Spinz, chimes in with his hottest dancefloor hits of late Spring 2011.  These tracks are appropriate for any hot Sweet 16 party or club engagement.  Certain tracks would also work well for open dancing at formal events.

In countdown fashion.....

Top 20

20) Bring It Back- Travis Porter
19) Beautiful People (Disco Fries Remix)- Chris Brown
18) Detroit Bounce- Chuckie
17) Rolling In The Deep- Adele
16) Hey Muma- Vado Feat Cam'ron
15) S&M- Rihanna (note: did you catch Rihanna's performance at the Billboard Music Awards?)
14) Till The World Ends (Remix)- Britney Spears Feat Kesha and Nicki Minaj
13) She Ain't You- Chris Brown
12) Firework- Katy Perry
11) Blow- Ke$ha
10) Boom- Snoop Dogg Feat T Pain
 9)  Lazy Song- Bruno Mars
 8)  Tonight- Enrique Iglesias
 7)  Just Can't Get Enough- Black Eyed Peas
 6)  E.T. (Rmx)- Katy Perry feat Kanye West
 5)  Run The World- Beyonce
 4)  Look At Me Now- Chris Brown Feat Busta Rhymes
 3)  Down On Me- Jerimih Feat 50 Cent
 2)  On The Floor- Jennifer Lopez Feat Pitbull
 1)  Tonight (Give Me Everything)- Pitbull Feat Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer (note:  this track was a predicted breakout hit in Spinzy's Winter 2011 countdown!).

Next In Line

1) Party Bout To Pop- Papoose
2) Don't Wanna Go Home- Jason Derulo
3) I'm On One- DJ Khaled Feat Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne
4) Motivation- Kelly Rowland Feat Lil Wayne

Predicted Breakout Hits

1) Next To You- Chris Brown Feat Justin Bieber
2) Till The end Of Time-  Beyonce (note: blends well with Major Lazer's Pon di Floor with the identical 'riddim').

DJ Spinz, live in the DJ booth at 46 Lounge in Totowa for the NNJWEP Launch Party

To book DJ Spinz for your next event, contact gregg@ambientdj.com or call us today at 609.672.1270.

To read DJ Iron Mike's hot dance playlist, click here.

To peruse DJ Gregg's hot dance playlist, click here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tewksbury Educational Foundation Fundraiser at Brady Life Camp

On Saturday May 21st, Ambient DJ Service has the pleasure of providing DJ and sound reinforcement services to the Tewksbury Educational Foundational (TEF) at their sixteenth annual Barn Dance.  This event is the TEF's primary fundraiser.  Like all districts in New Jersey, the Tewksbury school budget is limited by a state spending cap that has been increased by only small amounts over the years.  Through its fundraising efforts, the TEF strives to bridge the gap and maintain excellent educational standards for its students.

The event was held at Brady Life Camp in Pottersville, NJ.  Pottersville is a beautiful town located in scenic Hunterdon County.  While driving to the event I passed by many beautiful farms, before turning onto McCann Mill Road (unpaved!) and navigating to the barn.

The theme of this year's event was 'Country Picnic'.  The barn was masterfully transformed by Egils Matisse and his creative team from Eggsotic Events (see some of the photos below).  

In a departure from years past, the committee opted to use a DJ instead of a band for this year's event (smile).  A primary benefit of this arrangement is that guests were able to enjoy music throughout the entire evening, rather than just at the end of the night when the band came on.  For the first 45 minutes of the event, I played primarily country music, before broadening into a variety of styles over the course of the evening.   I also pitched in on Emcee duties, informing and motivating guests on the silent auction.

After the conclusion of the live auction (which included high ticket items like ski vacations and golf outings), it was announced that the 50/50 kitty was up to $5,200 - spurring a final push of ticket sales!  Guests then slowly began working their way to the back room of the barn for the DJ Dance Party.  An enthusiastic group danced to a mix of classic rock, disco, 80s and modern dance music.  With the dance floor running hot, a half-hour of overtime was commissioned!

Thank you to Darrah and the committee for utilizing our services, and we hope that this event raised a healthy sum of money for the students of Tewksbury!

Gigs in Hunterdon County often require rides down dirty roads!
Signature cocktail, "The Rapture" - Fortunately, the world didn't end during the party (as some had predicted  for 5/21!)
A packed house for the Silent and Live Auction
Even Ambient DJ Service donated a prize for the silent auction!
DJ Gregg providing cocktail hour and dinner music
Auctioneer stokes up bidding for high ticket items 
Second Grade Quilt by Tewksbury Students
Decorative lighting for 'Country Picnic Theme'
DJ Booth for post-Auction Dancing

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Our Italian Crooner-Style Top Picks

Most of our clients, particularly at formal affairs, appreciate the class and elegance of Italian-style "crooners" such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Andrea Bocelli or the "new Sinatra," Mr. Michael Buble.  While the suggested song selections below may be more Italian kitsch than authentic Italian, these songs are sure to delight guests during the softer moments during your affair.

These selections were compiled from Ambient's staff of "music mixologists" (i.e., DJs).

Ain't That a Kick in the Head - Dean Martin
Arrivaderci, Roma - Jerry Vale
As Time Goes By (love theme from Casablanca) - Frank Sinatra
Besame Mucho - Andrea Bocelli
Beyond the Sea - Bobby Darin
Bueno Sera - Louis Prima
Caruso - Josh Groban
Con de Partiro - Andrea Bocelli (note: this may not be appropriate for wedding as it translates to "Time    to Say Goodbye)
Fly Me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra
Gigolo - Louis Prima
I Left My Heart in San Francisco - Tony Bennett
Italia - Chris Botti (trumpet) w/Andrea Bocelli
Little Girl - Vic Damone
Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin
Mambo Italiano - Dean Martin
More - Vic Dana
Non Dimenticar - Frankie Avalon
Quando, Quando - Michael Buble w/Nelly Furtado
Rags to Riches - Tony Bennett
Sogno - Andrea Bocelli
Spanish Eyes - Al Martino
Speak Softly Love (the melody from Godfather) - Andy Williams
Summer Wind - Frank Sinatra
That's All - Michael Buble
That's Amore - Dean Martin
The Best is Yet to Come - Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett
The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra big band version, or Tony Bennett slow, romantic version
That Old Black Magic - Louis Prima
Volare - Dean Martin
When You're Smiling - Louis Prima
You're Nobody Til Somebody Loves You - Dean Martin

For an abundance of bonus music and video content, visit this link provided courtesy of DJ Greg Nice:


Please comment with your own picks which should be added to the list!

By, The Ambient DJ Music Mixologists, with special credit to Christopher Smith (DJ Spinz).

DJ Iron Mike's Spring 2011 Top 25

DJ Iron Mike, "Mercer County's hardest working DJ", shares his Top 25 dance floor songs of the Spring Season, also calling out tracks that nearly made the cut. As per traditional format, Mike has also identified some of his favorite "classics in rotation."

Contact us today at www.ambientdj.com to book Mike for your upcoming formal or family event where a modern and hard-hitting dance mix is a must!  In addition to private parties, Mike maintains a busy schedule of bar/club appearances; notably a Friday night dance party residency at Brewsters Pub in East Windsor, NJ.

The Top 25 

25. Daddy Cool - DJ Riz & Chris Moody
24. Animal- Neon Trees
23. Out of My Head- Lupe Fiasco f/ Trey Songz
22. Just Can't Get Enough- Black Eyed Peas
21. Hustle Hard (Rmx)- Ace Hood f/ Lil' Wayne & Rick Ross
20. Hello- Martin Solveig w/ Dragonette
19. Sure Thing- Miguel
18. Beautiful People- Chris Brown f/ Benny Benassi (tie w/) She ain't You- Chris Brown
17. Tonight- Enrique Iglasis f/ Ludacris
16. Til' The World Ends (Rmx)- Britney Spears f/ Ke$ha & Nicki Minaj
15. Run The World (Girls)- Beyonce
14. Roll Up- Wiz Khalifa
13. So Fresh- CJ Hilton f/ Nas
12. Everyday Coolin'- Swizz Beatz f/ Eve
11. I'm Okay/Rum & Redbull- Beenie Man
10. Don't Stop The Party- Black Eyed Peas
9.  S&M- Rhianna
8.  Racks- YC f/ Future
7.  E.T.- Katy Perry f/ Kanye West
6.  Blow- Ke$ha
5.  Make It Rain (Rmx)- Travis Porter f/ Rick Ross
4.  On The Floor- Jennifer Lopez f/ Pitbull
3.  Give Me Everything (Tonight)- Ne-Yo f/ Pitbull & Nayer
2.  Look At Me Now- Chris Brown f/ Busta Rhymes & Lil' Wayne
1.  Down On Me- Jeremiah f/ 50 Cent

On the Bubble (Just Missed the Cut!)
1. Motivation- Kelly Rowland f/ Lil' Wayne
2. The Lazy Song- Bruno Mars
3. Unusual- Trey Songz f/ Drake

Classics In Rotation
1.  Play At Your Own Risk - Planet Patrol
2.  Everyday People (Metamorphosis Mix)- Arrested Development
3.  Jessie's Girl- Rick Springfield
4.  Your Love- The Outfield
5.  Candy Rain- Soul 4 Real
6.  This Is How We Do It- Montell Jordan
7.  Shoop- Salt N' Pepa


Mike began DJing in 1996 while attending West Windsor-Plainsboro High School. His passion for DJing grew while spinning monthly Firehouse Teen Nights over 1997-2000. Thereafter, he spun live sets on stations such WPRB 103.3 FM and WMCC 107.7, also serving as Station Manager at WMCC 107.7.

DJ Iron Mike is a well-rounded performer with a deep passion for the music that he plays. His portfolio of past events including weddings, high school dances, bar/bat mitzvahs, corporate parties, family parties and various nightclub appearances. His musical specialties are hip hop, R&B and reggae.  His deep music collection also includes liberal doses of pop, classic rock, Motown and soul.  Mike is Ambient's Sweet 16 and Teen Dance specialist, bringing a night club environment to these special celebrations. 

For those preferring an “old skool” party atmosphere, Mike is the perfect choice, performing on the legendary Technics 1200 turntables.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wedding in Newport, Rhode Island

This past weekend, my family attended a wedding in Newport, Rhode Island.  Located on the Atlantic Ocean and known as a New England summer resort and for the famous cliffside Newport Mansions, Newport is a superb location for a wedding.   Weddings aside, Newport would make an ideal romantic weekend getaway, particularly in the June - October season when weather conditions are most favorable.  Great seafood, charming shops on Thames Street, beautiful beaches, majestic cliff walks, mansion tours and the Tennis Hall of Fame are just a short list of the attractions!

As it turns out, my cousin is the banquet manager at the OceanCliff Resort in Newport, and was able to negotiate an attractive package for this family event.  This was a second marriage for the bride and groom, Caryl (my Aunt) and Dan.  The guest list was composed primarily of family and long-time friends, and was slightly less formal than the typical wedding reception.  The couple took their vows on the lawn of the resort, with beautiful background views of the water, cliffs and bridge... and to the pleasant sounds of wildlife and sea birds.

An afternoon of cocktails, delicious food, dancing and conversation ensued.  Many of the vendors were personal friends of the bride and groom.  For music, Caryl and Dan used musicians from a local favorite band of theirs.  A longtime family friend served as videographer.  My sister Heidi, who has always been talented in cooking and baking, made a beautiful and delicious beach-themed wedding cake (see below).

This was a daytime wedding, and the Ocean Cliff Resort, as an option, offers a sunset cruise on a 66 foot schooner called the "Aurora."  Some 75 guests boarded the boat and enjoyed a sail around Newport viewing the sites from the water.  While the weather was a bit too cool and overcast by then, it was still an amazing experience.  Please enjoy photos from the weekend posted below.

My niece, and Flower Girl, Julia Grace

The Schooner Aurora

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wedding Video Parody - Black Eyed Peas' "The Time" (the Dirty Bit)

This masterful music video was created by David Robin Films using footage from Joya and Emre's recent wedding and reception held at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.  The term "parody" might suggest a gag or joke, but in this case, the couple wanted something unique and "outside the box."  All guests were incorporated into the video, and the wedding DJ (DJ Nahchey) even made a cameo!   My favorite part is when various middle-aged men interject "Dirty Bit."

Regardless of whether or not you like the Black Eyed Peas, this video remix must be respected as a fresh, creative and ambitious undertaking. I imagine that much planning was involved to capture all of the various scenes and lyrics.  The end result is seamless.

To read the full details of Joya and Emre's special day, click here.

The takeaway from the Dirty Bit Video Remix is that couples should not be afraid to think outside of the box and incorporate touches that reflects their unique personalities and values.  The unexpected often results in the most memorable!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Photos from the Field

In recent years, Ambient DJ has placed a greater emphasis on presentation and lighting.  Done correctly, lighting adds ambience and excitement to a celebration.  Here are some of the outstanding results!  

LED lighting at College Semiformal

Uplighting and Music Video Mixing

DJ Facade and Black Scrim Speaker Covers

LED color scanners and REVO 4 Effect

Couple enjoys first dance with Custom Monogram
In the DJ booth with Tim and Leah on their special day! Photo courtesy of Michelle Jonne (www.michellejonne.com)

To discuss how Ambient DJ can make your event unforgettable, please contact us today via www.ambientdj.com.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Royal Wedding Processional Song

Admittedly, I did not recognize the processional song used at last Friday's Royal Wedding of William and Kate.  Viewing the ceremony, I had been struck by the majestic, regal and spiritual nature of the piece.  This is the type of music that I could imagine being played as one entered through the gates of Heaven.  In fact, the piece is often used in coronation ceremonies.  It was the perfect choice for a royal wedding!

The name of the piece is "I Was Glad" from Psalm 122 by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry.   Parry is a British composer whose first major works appeared in 1880.  As a composer he is best known for the choral song "Jerusalem", the coronation anthem "I Was Glad" and the hymn tune "Repton", which sets the words "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind."  He was director of the Royal College of Music from 1895 until his death and was also professor of music at the University of Oxford from 1900 to 1908. 

Should engaged couples use this selection for their ceremony music?  I believe that most couples will find "I Was Glad" too epic for the bridal party processional or entrance of the bride.  However, the song might be a welcome addition to prelude music and a refreshing surprise from the usual suspects.