Ben Annand | Modern DJ Musings

In his zone from deep house to techno, Ben Annand pairs impeccably smooth mixing skills with a dynamic style that keeps the music moving, often flowing over breakdowns and always spending most of his time in the mix.

Ben learned to mix in 1996 and just 2 years later became resident dj at the famed Moontribe Gathering, and started his own production company, Tropical.  The first half of his career was mostly focused on DJing abroad, leading to 13 trips to Moscow’s Propaganda club, travel all over Russia, Spain, and Mexico, an appearance at Wiggle at Fabric in London and two at the Labyrinth Festival in Japan.  After marrying his love Jessica in 2009, Ben refocused efforts more locally, and is now one of the top West Coast festival DJs with recent appearances at Oregon Eclipse, Motion Notion (Can), Cascadia (WA), Lightning in a Bottle, Sunset Campout, and Desert Hearts (CA), among others.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Tropical has evolved to 500 person sold-out boat parties in the summer and the legendary Tropical Oasis Retreat which has brought together top artists from the West Coast 6 times in California and most recently, Hawaii.  A breath of fresh air in the sometimes ego-dominated dj and party world, Ben has donated over $27,000 to charitable causes through Tropical.

In 2018 Ben Annand left his teaching job of 15 years to begin another new chapter of his music career.  Now a full-time DJ, he has more time and energy than ever to pour into his sets. In November Ben moved to Maui to focus on producing Tropical Oasis Retreat Maui March 2019, and will return to the West Coast mid-April for festival season.

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Modern DJ Musings

#24: Be Nice and Help Each Other!

I’ve veered towards the organization side in my first two musings of 2019, and I want to bring it back to Djing. No dj is going to make it alone.  There’s a heavy social component of keeping in touch with organizers, fans, and fellow djs.  There’s plenty of...

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#23: Promoter Responsibility

Last night I posted a simple observation on my home wall which got a lot of reaction. “Something I've noticed in 23 years doing events....It's easier to criticize them than to organize them” I really just meant it like that, its easier to criticize than organize.  But...

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#22 – Avoiding Fyres

Okay so it’s super easy to take potshots at the Fyre Fest from the 2 documentaries released in the last week, but what are the takeaways for djs and event promoters? Well first of all this should be required watching for anyone doing events of any kind, especially...

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#21 Have Some Class Getting Booked

Have some class when trying to get booked.  I know it’s a competitive field, I’m in it too. But a lot of strategies come off as more than a little desperate What does it mean to have some class? It means to approach things professionally. Here are some common mistakes...

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#20 Self-Criticism in Balance

Ever notice that Djs who tell everyone about how they blew things last night are never that talented or innovative? It's because truly talented artists are typically more in their heads than that - without self-critique, amazing things do not happen If you think you...

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#19 Track List Your Sets – (Part 2)

Following up on last week's post about tracklisting dj sets, here is part 2, which is about how to do this in modern times. In the beginning I had to copy the info by hand from record sleeves, well I don't have to tell you times have changed... The main advantage with...

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#18 Track List Your Sets – (Part 1)

Amazing how simple this is yet how infrequently done. It's nice to be able to use music other people produced and weave it into something special on the dance floor.  It’s nice to be able to release that set so people can relive it or hear what they missed. It’s also...

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#17 Quality not Quantity

Ideally a dj plays only amazing gigs with packed dance floors.  In reality, this is only approached by djs who have made it to a high level, or those who play twice a year.  So what strategy to take when you are in the middle?  Is it necessary to play a lot of bad...

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#16 Posting too many sets

How much is too much?  Some artists are very particular and only want one mix out per month or season.  I am more on the prolific side - I feel like it's ok up to once every 2 weeks as long as each one is unique from the others with little crossover.  Also releasing...

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