Ambience: A NJ DJ Blog

  • The Mellow Country Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour

    In this 52nd installment of the wedding cocktail hour playlist series, DJ Gregg Ambient constructs a playlist of primarily country-rock selections. The playlist includes country-influenced rock (think the Eagles), country, folk rock and a touch of bluegrass. This playlist is sure to put guests at ease, and would be ideal for a rustic farm wedding.

    For a signature drink, Gregg has selected a Southern Comfort Cherry & Cola, an adult version of Cherry Coke! To learn how to mix this slow-sipping, delicious cocktail, click here.

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  • DJ Gregg Ambient's Dance Playlist - Spring 2015

    A regular feature of the Ambient DJ blog is the submission of periodic playlists reflecting songs currently being used by DJs out in the field. The list below reflects the choice cuts of Ambient's head honcho "DJ Gregg Ambient." His list contains a mixture of musical styles and an unusually high number of throwbacks. Flavors of the season include selections from The 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack, hip hop drug anthems (Trap Queen, Coco) and Central NJ's very own "Big Nab" (formerly Nablidon) with his new single "Make You Dance" (Cova & Steel mix). Gregg eagerly awaits the monster smash hits of Summer 2015!

    Below the playlist below, enjoy Gregg's free, one hour continuous "50 Shades" mix, a harmonically mixed dance set featuring R&B, international beats, sexy house music and other electronic styles.

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  • DJ Iron Mike's Dance Floor Picks - Spring 2015

    A regular feature of the Ambient DJ blog is the submission of periodic playlists reflecting songs currently being used by DJs out in the field. The list below reflects an amalgam of hip hop / R&B / pop / EDM selections of our Head of Musical Programming Mike Bacon, aka DJ Iron Mike. Mike spins at a variety of weddings and other private events, supplemented by bar/club events at the likes of PURE in Princeton and The Golden Rail Pub in New Brunswick.

    Read on to enjoy the choice cuts of Ambient's resident music selecta. Below the playlist, enjoy a free, downloadable 90s dance mix from Mike's Soundcloud page.

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  • Wedding Trends, Statistics and Marketing Tips from the Knot

    Last night, the New Jersey Disc Jockey Network (NJDJN) enjoyed a presentation by MaryLou Pernod, the Northeast Regional Sales Director from The Knot. This presentation was tailored to professional DJs based in New Jersey, but offered numerous takeaways for wedding professionals from all categories.

    This blog summarizes the key trends, statistics (from the "2014 Wedding Study") and marketing tips shared by MaryLou and her team. Some of the statistics were presented by region with South Jersey being measured as Ocean and Burlington Counties and to the south, and the North-Central NJ region encompassing all counties north of Ocean and Burlington.

    Any DJs or other wedding vendors interested in learning about the benefits of partnering with The Knot, please contact Tara Ritting at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or p# 856-231-0656.

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  • DJ Sully's Reggae Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist

    In this 51st installment of the wedding cocktail hour playlist series, Michael Sullivan aka DJ Sully makes his maiden contribution with an authentic reggae set guaranteed to make your wedding guests feel super "irie." DJ Sully is a key member of Ambient DJs' wedding team, highly regarded for his deep music knowledge and skillful mixing.

    For a signature drink, Sully has selected the "Dirty Banana." However, before tackling the cocktail, Sully recommends drinking a cold Red Stripe beer! Regarding the Dirty Banana, the ingredients are: 2 oz. Tia Maria, 2 oz. dark rum, 2 oz. rum cream liqueur, 4 oz. milk, 1 oz. simple syrup, 3/4 of a banana and ice. Fill the blender 3/4 to the top with ice and all ingredients. Blend until thick and smooth. Pour into glasses and sprinkle the top with cinnamon, allspice or nutmeg. Optionally, add a floater of Tia Maria. Yum!

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  • How to Recruit DJ Staff - An Ambient DJ Case Study

    Up until 2007, Ambient DJ Service was a "single op" - with the owner (myself Gregg Hollmann) being the sole DJ. On the occasion of our recent photo shoot, we noted how much the company has grown with some 20 entertainers now on staff.

    This blog recaps select stories on how we recruited" our staff - recruited is not entirely appropriate, for as you will see, many of our DJ music mixologists recruited us. In addition to celebrating the history of our still young company, I hope that this blog will provide ideas to aspiring DJs on how to gain employment at mobile DJ entertainment companies.

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  • 20 Songs for a TASK Party

    This Friday April 24, 2015, the International Sculpture Center and Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton NJ will present a TASK Party with internationally acclaimed artist Oliver Herring, founder of TASK. This event will be held from 6 PM - 10 PM and is free to the public. For more details and to register, contact the ISC Events department at 609.689.1051, x 302 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    For those unfamiliar with TASK, a TASK party is an improvisational arts-making event where participants transform raw, everyday materials into inventive and participatory sculptural experiences. For example, a task could be to "draw the best dream that you ever had" or "to start a revolution." In other words, this is creative playtime for adults! View the YouTube video later in the blog for footage from a prior TASK party.

    In the midst of bidding for the DJ job for this event (interestingly, the DJ not only provides music but is also an improvisational player in the party), we were asked to prepare a sample playlist. The following 20 song selections were compiled by DJ Gregg Ambient and DJ Marti Gras - and are songs used to promote adult creativity and teamwork. Enjoy!

    For the full details of this Friday's event - including registration details - click here. For more information on TASK, visit Oliver Herring's website at

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  • The Seven Deadly Sins of Karaoke

    There's few things in life more fun than a hot karaoke dance party. However, in the heat of merrymaking, "sins" can be committed by a karaoke guest against the DJ, his/her gear and other guests. Your Karaoke Host/DJ is there to make you look and sound your best. Work together to ensure the best show ever!

    Read on to view the Seven Deadly Sins of Karaoke...

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  • The Karaoke Anthems of The Golden Rail Pub - Part 1

    Ambient DJ Service is proud to host karaoke at the Golden Rail Pub in New Brunswick NJ on Wednesday nights from 10 PM - 2 AM. This evening can best be described as an intense evening of singing, dancing and hard partying by a combination of loyal regulars and Rutgers students. After inheriting this residency from DJ Rob Porter in 2014 (note: Rob had a 10+ year run at The Rail, equivalent to 100 years in Bar DJ years), I quickly labeled this party "Wednesday Night Karaoke #OffTheRails."

    The typical evening starts with a half empty bar at 10 PM. By 11 PM, the space is getting busy, and near 11:30 PM, the Rail is jam packed and starting to rock. Guests are well-advised to get there early and put in their song requests. Past midnight, the song request backlog can grow as long as 20 to 40 songs deep! From Frank Sinatra to Bruno Mars to Marvin Gaye to Taylor Swift, guests can select from over 30,000 songs and then rock out, reading lyrics from one of the many flat screen TVs at this modern sports bar.

    Following are some of the popular anthems of The Golden Rail. In some cases, I have placed in parentheses the particular singer who is known to perform it. Enjoy the music, and hope to see you at an upcoming #OffTheRails session. The Golden Rail is located at 66 Easton Avenue in New Brunswick NJ - not far from the New Brunswick train station. The Rail also has karaoke on Sunday evenings. Read more

  • The Tropical Trade Winds Wedding Cocktail Hour

    In this 50th installment of the Ambient DJ wedding cocktail hour series, we share a very special playlist by Martin Valcin, aka "DJ Marti-Gras" whose performance moniker is "Mixing Gone Wild." Martin is of Caribbean descent (Haitian-American) and has compiled an authentic Caribbean-themed wedding cocktail hour composed of Jamaican and Haitian flavors. For those unfamilar with Haitian "compas" music, check out the "Pa Manyen Fanm Nan" music video by Sweet Micky later in this blog. Compas music is a style of Haitian dance music at moderate tempo sung primarily in the Haitian Creole language. Compas music is fantastic!

    For a signature drink, Martin has selected Barbados Rum Punch made with Cockspur Rum. Sip this sweet delicious concoction slowly, or you will quickly feel the "punch" in rum punch. For a Barbados Rum Punch recipe, click here.  Attention Barbados travelers - for 100 fun things to see and do, check out this amazing article from Jen Reviews filled with practical tips and advice

    Need a Caribbean music specialist for your wedding, private party or club event? Contact us today at to book DJ Marti Gras. Now imagine yourself on a white sand Caribbean beach, tropical trade winds blowing in your face, a drink in your hand, and enjoying the accompany playlist that follows below....

    The Tropical Trade Winds Wedding Cocktail Hour - Compiled by DJ Marti Gras

    1. I Feel Good- Beres Hammond
    2. Say Woee- Devonte & Tanto
    3. Falling In Love- Glen Ricks
    4. My Woman- Cutty Ranks w/ Barrington Levy
    5. I’m Still In Love With You- Sean Paul & Sasha
    6. Land Of Love- Marcia Griffiths
    7. Night Nurse- Gregory Isaacs
    8. Someone Loves You Honey- June Lodge
    9. Everything I Own- Ken Boothe
    10. Pa Manyen Fanm Nan - Sweet Micky
    11. Stir It Up- Bob Marley
    12. Mr. Loverman- Shabba Ranks
    13. Knocking On Heaven’s Door- Ed Robinson
    14. Believe in Love- Maxi Priest
    15. Nu-Look- What About Tomorrow
    16. Amazing- Alaine
    17. Cherry Oh Baby- Jimmy Cliff
    18. Hold My Hand- Sean Paul
    19. No Letting Go- Wayne Wonder
    20. Manyen’ W - Zin
    21. Life Is So Precious- Cecile
    22. My Girl- Frankie Paul
    23. Smile- Sugar Minott
    24. Na Let Go - Alison Hinds & Gyptian
    25. Tabou Combo- Chale Lanmou

    Recap of Previous Cocktail Hour Playlists

    Here are our prior submissions:


    1. Alternative Rock Cocktail Hour, Craft Beer (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    2. The Quintessentially Mixed Cocktail Hour, Long Island Iced Tea (DJ AQ). Click here.
    3. Good Vibes Cocktail Hour, Pina Colada (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
    4. Head to Shoulder Dip Cocktail Hour, Hairy Navel (DJ Gary G). Click here.
    5. Retro Soul Cocktail Hour, Ciroc Havana Coconut Martini (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    6. Smooth Sail Cocktail Hour, Malibu Bay Breeze (DJ Mike K). Click here.
    7. Back to the Eighties Cocktail Hour, Midori Sour (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    8. Beach Themed Cocktail Hour, Red Stripe Beer (DJ Spinz). Click here.
    9. Classic Wedding Cocktail Hour, Tanqueray & Tonic (DJ Garrett B.). Click here.
    10. International Excursions Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sangria (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    11. Country Wedding Cocktail Hour, Manhattan (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    12. Crooner Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jack Daniels on the Rocks w/Splash of Water (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    13. Chanteuse Wedding Cocktail Hour, White Lady (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    14. TV Theme Songs Wedding Cocktail Hour, Coca-Cola with a side of Popcorn (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    15. Christmas Wedding Cocktail Hour, Eggnog (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    16. Boardwalk Empire / Great Gatsby Wedding Cocktail Hour, Rum Punch for a Crowd (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    17. Classic R&B Wedding Cocktail Hour, Ciroc Blue Ocean (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
    18. James Bond Wedding Cocktail Hour, Vesper Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    19. Valentines Wedding Cocktail Hour, Godiva Chocolate Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    20. Miami Vice Wedding Cocktail Hour, Cuba Libre (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    21. The "Super Happy Hour" Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Bob Marley (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    22. The Brazilian Wedding Cocktail Hour, Caipirinha (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    23. The New Jersey Homegrown Wedding Cocktail Hour, Boat Beer (Microbrew) (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    24. The French Connection Wedding Cocktail Hour, 2010 Canon-la-Gaffeliere (Bordeaux) (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    25. The Disco Love Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sloe Gin Fizz (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    26. The Super Funky Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour, Funky Cold Medina (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    27. The Acid Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour, Gimlet (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    28. The 70s Soft Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Miller High Life (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
    29. The New York State of Mind Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bronx Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    30. The Disney Wedding Cocktail Hour, Vibrant Orange Juice Frosty (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    31. The Summer Pop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jameson & Ginger Ale (DJ Spinz). Click here.
    32. The Colorful Wedding Cocktail Hour, Shot of Goldschlager (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    33. The Inspiring Ladies of Music Wedding Cocktail Hour, Brandy Alexander (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    34. The Psychedelic Wedding Cocktail Hour, Death in the Afternoon (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    35. The Surf's Up Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Italian Surfer (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    36. The 90s Grunge Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Whiskey Sour (Guest Bloggers Pash & David). Click here.
    37. The Nice and Easy Wedding Cocktail Hour, Dirty Martini (DJ Greg Nice). Click here.
    38. The All Beatles Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bass Ale (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
    39. The Savannah Southern Charm Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade Mojito (Guest blogger Cindy Brown). Click here.
    40. The All Cover Versions Wedding Cocktail Hour, Tecate Beer (Team Ambient) . Click here.
    41. The Giants of Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jazz Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
    42. The Smooth Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour, Kahlua & Cream (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
    43. The Vintage Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour, Old-Fashioned (Guest Blogger DJ Ali Gruber) . Click here.
    44. The Acquired Taste Wedding Cocktail Hour, Fernet Branca (Guest Blogger DJ Toad) . Click here.
    45. The Jamaican Love Song Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Hummingbird (DJ Jazz) . Click here.
    46. The Motown Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Last Word (DJ Spinz) . Click here.
    47. The Broadway Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Fuzzy Greyhound (Guest bloggers Kris & Wesley) . Click here.
    48. The 50 Shades of Grey Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bottle of 1999 Bollinger La Grande Annee Rose . Click here.
    49. The Hip Hop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bottle of Cristal Champagne (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.


    About Ambient DJ Service

    Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile NJ DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey that specializes in wedding DJ entertainment. Ambient DJ is a 2015 winner of the Knot Best of Weddings award as well as of the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Award. We have a deep passion for the music that we play and enjoy collaborating with our brides and grooms to create unforgettable parties! For more info and to read our wedding reviews, visit us on the web at