Ambience: A NJ DJ Blog

  • 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 http://oliverherringtask.wordpress.com/

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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.

    Need a Caribbean music specialist for your wedding, private party or club event? Contact us today at www.ambientdj.com 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....

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  • The Hip Hop Wedding Cocktail Hour

    It's your wedding day and there are no rules. Let your wedding be the first to feature a hip hop cocktail hour that is bound to be memorable with guests. The following Hip Hop Wedding Cocktail Hour playlist was compiled by Ambient DJs' Head of Musical Programming DJ Iron Mike who is a specialist in the hip hop, R&B, soul and reggae genres. Yes, rappers fall in love too! The track selections below showcase the softer side of hip hop, with a bias towards the 1990s. That said, be sure to use the edited song versions so as not to offend Grandma.

    The accompanying cocktail for this playlist is a bottle of Cristal champagne. First created in 1876 for Alexander II of Russia, the Cristal brand became intertwined with hip hop culture in the 1990s. The hip hop community, led by Jay-Z, boycotted the brand in 2006 when an executive from parent company Louis Roederer implied that he was less than thrilled with Cristal's association with rap music.

    Be sure to take a listen to Iron Mike's 1990s "Back in the Day" hip hop / R&B mixtape series immediately below the tracklisting. Need a hip hop / R&B specialist DJ for your wedding, private party or club event? Contact us today at www.ambientdj.com to book DJ Iron Mike!

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