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

#15 Getting Gigs Out of Town

If you want to make a living as a dj, it’s very hard to do this solely in your hometown.  If you do, you’re likely playing 3-4 nights a week, just barely making it by on little-paying gigs and residencies. Realistically, to get paid better in your hometown you have to...

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#14 Timeline Review and Tagging

Djs, you can do whatever you want, but… Great way to start a post, right? So you can do whatever you want, djs, but if I may make a recommendation, as an event organizer… Make sure you don’t restrict the ability for people to tag you in posts. Of course people abuse...

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#12 Music Organization

▶️ There are many different approaches to music organization - what do you do to organize your music? Last week I finished reorganizing my entire digital music collection, for the second time in about 12 years. The goal of this project was to listen to every track and...

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#11 DJ Residencies

What does it mean to become a resident dj somewhere? I feel like there’s a big gap in understanding between promoters and djs on this one. I’m equally invested in both, so here’s my take: As a dj, I think a residency is a pretty big deal and I’m not trying to be a...

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#10 Using Soundcloud Playlists

Didn’t know what to write about this week so figure just write about what I’m working on, which right now is Soundcloud Playlists Playlists are an underused feature on Soundcloud -they allow you some advantages like grouping all your sets from one genre, or from a...

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#9 Record everything!

One of my best habits in 2 decades DJing has been to record every time I mix, whether at home, at a great gig or a so-so one. Recording your practice allows you to listen back and see what worked and didn’t work as well as really hear what your tracks sound like at...

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#6 Whose job is it to promote?

Nowadays promoters expect djs to participate heavily in promo unless they are headliners.  And djs are complaining a lot. If you are one of them then ask yourself a couple questions: #1 - Are you a headliner?  I’m guessing not, if you are expressing frustration at...

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