Reflecting on A milestone feat for Asraar
Congratulations! You have arrived at this milestone with so much enthusiasm that can only be matched by your consistency in delivering top drawer mixes every Thursday. Thank you for 100 episodes of the finest in deep and progressive, showcasing top releases from around the world. A huge thank you and mark of gratitude for supporting premieres of BRC.
A simple question to begin, what inspired you to start reflections?
Well, there was a lot of great music coming out every week, and I wasn't playing that often after the pandemic because the brand of sound that I was playing became less popular. But yet I would get asked when I'm playing next. And so I realized that people want to listen to the kind of music that I'm playing, and hence I decided to start a weekly podcast. It's great in retrospect now because I started off with about 50 listeners a week, which is up to now 700 listeners a week. I get messages in different languages, in Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, and I have to use Google Translate to understand what they're trying to tell me, and they would just say that they listen to it weekly. And I just feel very happy now that beyond boundaries I can reach people via the Internet. And put out the kind of music that I want to play.
What's the idea behind the name?
I had quite a few names shortlisted, but they were all too wannabe sort of. But then Reflections had some substance to it because I thought that this podcast and the kind of music that I play is a reflection of the kind of person that I am. It's a reflection of the emotions that I feel, and hence I settle down with Reflections and thought that Reflections was a good name to have. And also I didn't want to waste a lot of time shortlisting any more names, and so I just went with Reflections.
This is a weekly mix series hence I am sure you do face challenges. Would you talk about a few or the most stressful of them all.
Of course, the challenges were immense. I wouldn't deny it. COVID happened. I lost my grandmother. I fell sick. I got COVID. I have a day job. But somehow over a period of time when I started making the podcast my time to short list and make the entire mix itself came down drastically and I owe it to myself to have a dedicated time in the week to put together great tracks. The other sort of challenges that I faced were financial. I would say spending money on hosting it on SoundCloud costs some amount of money, but that also helps feed it onto Apple Podcasts.
How easy or difficult has it been for you to source quality music week after week, every week?
Sourcing music is the primary job of a DJ. That's probably the only thing that a DJ should be doing or must have to do. But of course these days a deejay does a lot more other things on social media, thanks to social media. But I've been a DJ for about four, five years now. I follow a lot of labels and artists and lucky enough for me, in my brand of sound, there's about 400 releases every week. I go through all of them. I can listen to a track for three or 4 seconds and understand the vibe of a track and hence I quickly skim through all tracks. I buy about 12 of them because I can't buy all we pay in INR & the tracks cost us Dollars, but ten of them get played. Also, I'm lucky that a few labels and artists that I've been friends with send over promos and demos and I just enjoy and look forward to sourcing new music.
Tell us your process of making episodes.
Picking up from where we left off on sourcing music, once I have the tracks that I like, I put them into Rekordboxbox, arrange the tracks in the order that I feel that the set would flow well in, put it onto Ableton and mix it all Ableton. It's pretty simple now. Initially it was a tedious task, but now it takes me about 15 to 20 minutes to make a one hour mix. It's come over a period of patience and practice. I would say the most important thing is discipline in music cataloguing, storing your music the right way. I've had two HDDs crash on me. I paid a lot of money to recover all my music. I then got an SSD. I have it on my SSD, but I still don't feel very safe with my SSD and I plan to invest in cloud storage and catalog and store my music better.
Every 10th episode you have invited guests to take over the show, many greats have supported you. How did you choose one for the 100th?
So yeah, I've been very lucky to have great guests. Every 10th episode. I still can't believe the quality of guests that I've had. They've been very humble, sweet, kind, nice and great names. For the 100th episode, of course it's Praveen Achary. I couldn't think of anyone more fitting for the 100th episode. He's led this brand of sound in this country for a very long time now. He's a veteran in the industry. I was very touched. He isvery sweet. A lot of kind words he said to me when I requested him for the 100th episode. The mix is in. It's great. I can't wait for you guys to hear it. It'll be out on the 29th of December.
Which producers/labels do you always most often than not include in your episodes?
Well, this question is easy and tough to answer because I'm always on the lookout for new music, new producers, new labels. I try to search for as much new music and fresh names as I can, but of course, there are standout producers and labels. JuiceBox Music, Mango Alley, Meanwhile Recordings, The Soundgarden. Great, great labels. Then there are producers. Weird Sounding Dude, Forty Cats. Kamilo Sanclamente, Ezequiel Arias, Antrim and many, many more that I can't even name. And when I look at these names in my Beatport library, I just know that this track will fit because I just trust their sound and I trust their choice of music making.
You don’t play often, is there a particular reason? When can we see you play next?
Because I think I'm not popular enough or the kind of music that I play is not popular enough. There's nothing else I would like to do apart from just music to make myself popular. There's always a cycle in the industry where new sounds come and sounds go. It's a cycle. It's only a matter of time before the kind of sound that I'm playing is more in demand. And also it's got to be right for all stakeholders involved, from the promoter to the venue and the owner to the artist. Everybody needs to equally benefit and only then it makes sense for me to play and it'll come when it has to come. And that's why I have a day job that pays my bills!
And finally, Will there be REFLECTIONS on ground?
Reflections is something that I started without having any goals in mind. The only goal was to stay consistent, and I see that the other things that have come, the number of listeners or the messages, it's just a byproduct of being consistent. And so if there is demand, I would love to do reflections on ground. It would be great to play out all the music that I have, hundred episodes, ten tracks in each, about 1000 tracks or more that I have now. It would be lovely to play it out to people in front of you feeling the vibe in the club, open air, wherever, of course, nothing beats a live experience.
Finally, I would just like to thank everybody who's been a listener to everybody who supported the podcast, Bangalore Rave Community, you guys, to all my guests. Great sets by everybody. New episode every Thursday on Apple podcast and SoundCloud, if you would like to listen. 29th of December, the 100th episode airs with Praveen Achary on the guest mix. I'm really looking forward to it. And just a very, very big thank you. I don't know how long I'll continue doing this for, but I currently enjoy the process and. Let's all enjoy it while it lasts. Let's all have fun together and I hope to see you soon.