Ambience: A NJ DJ Blog

  • The French Connection Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist

    France is known for its refined culture. Its music is no exception. This playlist, titled “The French Connection” includes French Cafe music, smooth electronica, vintage French disco, and modern French dance fare. The set starts on a classical tip with Debussy and Satie, before ratcheting up in tempo and energy. All composers, artists and remixers in this set are of French descent. The set is heavily weighted towards electronic music, of which the French do particularly well.

    I have many fond memories of a trip to Paris taken during the late 1990s. The entire city is like one giant museum. I particularly enjoyed viewing the original paintings of Claude Monet, sipping rich coffee at French cafes, touring historic cathedrals and walking around this bustling city.

    Ambient DJ continues its tradition of selecting a signature drink for each wedding cocktail hour playlist. With France's rich “terroir”, we’ve selected a highly rated French Bordeaux, the 2010 Chateau Canon-la-Gaffeliere St. Emilion ($103 per bottle). For more information about this award-winning vintage, click here.

    And now let's get into the music!

    Read more
  • Our Favorite New Jersey Wedding Venues (2014 Edition)

    Through the years, we have had the opportunity to work in many of the finer banquet halls located throughout the state of New Jersey.  While our company is based in the Princeton area in central New Jersey, we perform across the state, from Cape May to Bergen County.  That said, our selected 'best venues' are skewed towards Central NJ and the Jersey Shore.

    New Jersey offers an incredible array of quality wedding reception venues that are diverse as the state itself. From rustic farm weddings to summer celebrations in the heart of the Jersey Shore to fancy banquet halls with the most incredible Viennese spreads, the Garden State is a great place to celebrate a wedding. Find a venue that suits your personal style. Do keep in mind that outdoors celebrations in unique venues can produce the most memorable parties, but that New Jersey's weather is unpredictable - to say the very least!

    Read more
  • Venues that We Provide Wedding DJ Service

    We are often asked by prospective clients about our geographic service area, We are in the "mobile DJ" business, the "mobile" indicating that we travel to where the party is. Ambient DJ Service is domiciled in East Windsor NJ in Central NJ. For those unfamiliar, East Windsor is located just south of Princeton in Mercer County, in the western central part of the state. The location is quite convenient, with the ability to access North Jersey via the NJ Turnpike, or South Jersey via 295 or the Turnpike. Pennsylvania is located just 15 minutes away, also giving us quick access to celebrations in Bucks County or Philadelphia.

    From year to year, there can be trends in the geographic areas that we service. These are a function of advertising programs, referral streams or random chance. Thank you to a successful advertising experience with The Knot, we have recently been booking more weddings in the Long Beach Island, Atlantic City and Cape May areas.

    Variety is the spice of life, and we look forward to new adventures with our wedding couples in 2014! Read on to view some of the fantastic venues in the New Jersey Tri-State area that we’ve been honored to work at in recent years.

    Also, check out NJWedding’s blog article “10 Reasons to Get Married in New Jersey” that further explores our state's geographic diversity, by clicking here.

    Read more
  • The New Jersey Homegrown Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist

    New Jersey, "the Garden State", is where our company calls home. Many famous musical artists hail from New Jersey. The playlist that follows highlights these musicians. The early part of the set features the Jersey Shore sound with popular names like Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny, John Eddie and Bon Jovi. Tracks marked with three asterisks (***) capture the sound of the Jersey Shore, but are not performed by New Jersey-based musicians.

    The second half of the set focuses on the R&B musicians who hail from the northern part of the State, particularly the Newark area. Ambient DJ continues its tradition of selecting a signature drink for each wedding cocktail hour playlist. We've selected "Boat Beer" a session IPA produced by Carton Brewing Company of Atlantic Highlands NJ. For more information about this microbrewery and its delicious beers, click here.

    Read more
  • DJ Gregg Ambient's Winter 2014 Dance Playlist

    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 our head honcho, “DJ Gregg Ambient’s” current favorites. In addition to traditional DJ'ing, Gregg mixes music videos and entertains in a proprietary format called "Video Fusion Karaoke." This playlist coincides with the most frigid Winter in the Northeast in recent memory courtesy of the "polar vortex," as well as the 2014 Winter Olympics being held in Sochi, Russia.

    Known for his wide range and love of international music, here are 21 tracks from Gregg Ambient’s private reserves. They are listed in no particular order. The weather may be cold, but these tracks will keep your dance floor hot!

    Read more
  • 7 Tips for Party Percussionists to Book Jobs with DJs

    On Sunday, February 16, 2014, I participated in a seminar that was part of an event called "Weekend of Percussion" at New York University. Weekend of Percussion was co-sponsored by the Percussive Arts Society, KOSA Music and New York University. I was speaking as a DJ company owner who hires party percussionists and also in my role as current President of the New Jersey Disc Jockey Network (NJDJN), our state's premier professional DJ organization. The percussion and DJ industries are very different animals. Our presentation was designed to bridge the information gap.

    The seminar was titled "How the DJ Industry Benefits the Percussion Industry." Co-presenting with acclaimed DCI Champion and party percussionist John Donovan, the idea behind this seminar was to inform the percussion industry how the mobile DJ industry operates, and share ideas on how percussionists can gain bookings with DJ companies. Our 20 minute lecture was followed by a 20 minute live performance of DJ Chris "Trio" Triola, accompanied by a stage full of all-star virtuoso percussionists hand-picked by John Donovan including Jotan Afanador, Michael Eagle, Andrew Barlow, Jay O'Brien, Sampson and Shaun from NYMMDrummers, and Donovan himself. The set that followed was incredible, including tracks like Martin Garrix's "Animals," Steve Aoki's "Boneless," Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke" and Earth, Wind & Fire's "September."

    In this blog, I share the 7 tips presented at the seminar for percussionists to book freelance jobs with DJ companies. While prepared in the context of percussionists, these strategies can also be applied by other musicians (e.g., strings players, pianists, vocalists, ensembles). You see, those who individuals and companies who hire entertainment typically first book a DJ company, who can then offer and suggest unique upgrades to their entertainment package. Those planning higher-end bar/bat mitzvahs, teen dance parties, weddings and corporate events often have a healthy appetite and budget for unique upgrades. It is rare for DJ companies to employ full-time party percussionists as the upgrade remains relatively rare. Therefore, the common practice is for DJ companies to employ freelance percussionists - a few of whom are very well known in the mobile DJ community and consistently work with the top DJ companies.

    The DJ-Party Percussionist duo is exciting and fresh! This configuration was initially used in clubs. I experienced it firsthand at "Studio 54" in Las Vegas during the 2000s. Savvy mobile DJ company owners brought this configuration from the clubs to private parties. In addition to adding drive to the rhythm section, a percussionist introduces a visual element, an "eye candy" for guests to enjoy. Furthermore, there are interactive possibilities with the chance for a bride to play along with the percussionist. This scenario always results in big smiles and awesome photo opportunities!

    Click below to read the 7 Tips...

    Read more
  • 50 Hot Songs for a 2014 Sweet 16

    Ambient DJs' Vice President / Chief Creative Officer and Master Mixologist- Christopher Smith, aka DJ Spinz, has submitted his third installment of 50 hot dance tracks for a Sweet 16, Quinceanera or Teen Dance Party. These selections are updated for 2014 and span electronic dance music (EDM), pop, and hip hop/R&B. At the hands of a talented DJ mixologist like "Spinzy" - your dance floor is destined to become a modern day disco inferno!

    To learn more about DJ Spinz or book him for your next throwdown, check out his bio here.

    Ambient DJ offers an exciting array of packages and options for teen dance parties including party percussionists, uplighting, intelligent lighting, special effects, Photo Booths, music video mixing, videography services, modern LED party favors, and much more!

    And now let's get into the music. The songs are presented in countdown fashion. Drumroll pleeeez.....

    Read more
  • The Brazilian Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist

    Brazil offers an incredible array of music perfect for a wedding cocktail hour or the dance party that follows. The music of Brazil encompasses various regional styles influenced by African, European and Amerindian forms. The samba and bossa nova styles popularized in the 1950s and 1960s are relaxing musical forms that capture the natural beauty of Brazil, particularly its beaches. Jazz saxophonist Stan Getz and his bossa nova interpretations are pure magic. In more recent times, electronic dance music producers ranging from Thievery Corporation to Ian Pooley to Tom Middleton have remixed and re-imagined Brazilian classics in pleasing electronic wrappers.

    The playlist starts with Brazilian classics in their original versions, with a heavy representation by Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz. The second half of the playlist increases in tempo, featuring Brazilian Funk, electronic remixes, music played at Carnival and even Baile Funk - a style of music played in the slums using simple instruments.

    Ambient DJ continues its tradition of selecting a signature cocktail for each wedding cocktail hour playlist. The Caipirinha is Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaca (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar and lime. View the recipe for this signature drink by clicking here.

    No passport is required for this musical journey to Brazil. Enjoy!

    Read more
  • The "Super Happy Hour" Wedding Cocktail Hour

    The premise of the following playlist is a collection of particularly happy songs. These are songs about parties, dancing, and casting your worries aside.

    The playlist starts on a reggae/tropical vibe, before exploring the 80s and the particularly happy 60s. The final section of the visits R&B soul favorites, before jacking up the beats with current pop music (e.g., Pharrell's "Happy" and some brisk house music to finish the set. Is this music too happy for our native New Jerseyans who can be reluctant to flash a smile?

    Ambient DJ continues its tradition of selecting a signature cocktail for each wedding cocktail hour playlist. Inspired by a vacation to Jamaica last year, a pool drink called the "Bob Marley" has been selected. The Bob Marley can be consumed frozen, on the rocks, or even flaming! View the recipe for this signature drink by clicking here.

    We became so giddy in the midst of preparing this playlist, that there is far more music than a traditional cocktail "hour" will allow for. Therefore, feel free to use the leftover happy songs for the wedding reception dance party to follow!

    Read more
  • Songs About DJs (Songs About and Referencing DJs) - The Ultimate Playlist

    As disc jockey/music mixologists, we were interested to compile a list of songs about DJs. From the early days of rock n' roll radio, to country music, to the heyday of block parties in the South Bronx, to today's EDM mega-stars, DJs have always been a part of America's musical lexicon. The following list includes songs written about DJs, featuring a DJ as a protagonist in the lyrics, or referencing DJs or DJ culture.

    Most of the songs reference DJs in a complimentary way, but several "diss" the DJ! The most extreme example would be the Smiths' "Panic (Hang the DJ)" where Morrissey laments of the songs meaning nothing to him. This list was compiled by our DJ Gregg Ambient and DJ Iron Mike. Please comment with your own favorite songs about DJs and we'll add them to the list.

    Read more