As a new contributing author for this blog, I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Ilya aka Master Ill (that is ILL and not “the 3rd”). I am a recent graduate of Washington & Lee University Law School (Lexington, VA) now back in Los Angeles post-graduation seeking to make my way back into the music entertainment industry. Before law school, I was a DJ (I still make mixes on occasion, but not nearly as much as I wish I had time for), an aspiring minimal house music producer, and the founder of Twisted Entertainment Group (TEG).
TEG was a collective of unsigned and unrepresented EDM DJ’s and producers with varying skillsets key to any up-and-coming artist in the EDM scene. We were a close-knit group of friends looking to get our music careers off the ground. But we needed help marketing and selling our “brand.”
The members had complimentary skills in management, electronic music production, photography, videography, graphic design, and a myriad of other DIY skills to the collective. We met on a weekly basis to discuss how each member’s career was progressing and offered advice or provided networking opportunities to each other. We also collaborated on creating EPKs and websites to secure gigs, as well as assist each other in music production.
As a group of unknown and often financially struggling artists, the collective offered an opportunity for the members to trade services with other members to advance each others careers without having to seek paid-for services. I would like to think that TEG acted as a stepping-stone for those who continued with their music careers. Or, at the very least, some great memories from the time spent in our in-home studio for those who shared in the music only, but had no music career aspirations. I can say, with a huge smile on my face, although TEG is no longer around, one of our traditions remains alive and well – our annual retreat.
Over time, we have gotten to know each other very well and remain very close friends. Every year, we gather a small group of available TEG members and their closest friends. The DJ’s and producers in the collective would showcase their love of EDM music, creating a mix specifically designed for group, often times different from what we would play for the general public. We played these sets back-to-back for our friends to hear. These retreats pushed us to create some of the deepest, most interesting mixes that were often ahead of their time and ones that we would never dare to play at our usual gigs. After the one-day retreat had been over, some of these sets were never heard again, while others have been posted online with very few listeners. So as I plan this year’s mix, I would like to share with you, my very first set that I created for the TEG retreat, which was first heard by our small group back in August of 2010.