Thom Yorke’s indie-electronic rock troupe is joining the global streaming party during the COVID-19 crisis. Radiohead announced to fans on social media that they will be pulling full live shows from the Radiohead Public Library—the band’s website that currently hosts all of their content—and uploading them once a week to their YouTube channel. The band’s first show to grace YouTube will be Live From a Tent in Dublin that took place in October 2000 at Punchestown Racecourse shortly after the release of their fourth studio album, Kid A.
Available April 9, at 10:00 p.m. GMT (5:00 p.m. ET/ 2:00 p.m. PT), the performance will start a cascade of weekly video drops as long as everyone is holed up in quarantine or they run out of content, whichever may come first. Watch the first show below and check out the official statement of the band as well.
California’s Lightning in a Bottle officially announced that the 2020 iteration of the festival would not go on in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic restrictions. Lightning in a Bottle is one of many events that have been cancelled or postponed due to the global crisis, however the festival announced that it would not be refunding ticket-holders as a result of the cancellation.
Many festivals and events that have cancelled have promised that 2020 tickets will carry over to 2021 editions of the events or they have willingly offered refunds. The Do LaB event is now facing a lawsuit in light of the festival’s inability to provide refunds or promise that purchased tickets will transfer over for admission to a future event. Lightning in a Bottle’s initial statement can be viewed below, explaining that the festival is a small independent company that is unable to weather the financial storm that has occurred since it doesn’t have large corporate backing. Do LaB Inc. revealed that their insurance coverage also did not protect the festival’s expenses that had already been spent on the 2020 iteration of the event, putting the festival in an even more precarious financial situation.
Lightning in a Bottle will not offer refunds for the 2020 cancellation, but the festival will attempt a return in 2021. pic.twitter.com/p6wZnI706a
The lawsuit that has been filed is Rutledge v. Do LaB Inc., and the plaintiff asserted three causes of action against the festival organizer. The lawsuit was filed on March 24, 2020, so it remains to be seen whether these allegations will be successful against Lightning in a Bottle’s organizer.
If you really live for house music, you’re already well-acquainted with Gene Farris. Always serving as a living link to the metronomic genre’s historical beginnings, Farris is an example of a four-on-the-floor jockey who honors his funk-ified Chicago roots with every track and every set. It doesn’t matter whether he’s topping the bill or kicking off the night, get ready to dance with Gene Farris on the decks.
What’s more—if you really live for house music, Toolroom needs no introduction. After nearly twenty years, co-founders Stewart and Mark Knight have built one of the most consistent and respected imprints in house and, frankly, all of electronic music. Over 1,000 releases bear the Toolroom sigil across the home label and sister label, Toolroom Trax. What’s more, every single one is capable of bringing one looking for flawless house rhythms to their knees.
Now, these two defining forces have come together once again for Gene Farris’s new single, entitled “Nursery.” The title and rhyming lyrics commend this well-aged combination of the artist and label’s fitting chemistry. So many house fans began their journey with Gene Farris and Toolroom that this pairing essentially serves as a nursery rhyme; providing listeners with a sense of familiar club-ready comfort wrapped in a fluffy blanket of bass-tinged beats.
The Song Machine continues to rumble as the Gorillaz release their new single, “Aries,” featuring New Order’s Peter Hook and producer Georgia. The new track follows “Désolé” with Malian talent Fatoumata Diawara and the Slowthai-assisted “Momentary Bliss.”
“Aries” runs with an indie feel with the animated rock band’s bassist conjuring a running bass line underneath melancholy vocals and an upbeat percussive arrangement. Each song in the new project also has a handful accompanying skits released, further expanding the group’s multimedia approach. Their new Song Machine endeavor sees the band’s divergence from the traditional release format through a series of video episodes charting their new music creation process. Gorillaz will continue to ride out the storm, promising new Song Machine entries amid the spring lockdowns.
As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the music industry in unprecedented ways, major streaming platforms are doing their part to ensure artists and labels are getting paid. Spotify and SoundCloud have already created funds to support creatives, and now Apple Music has announced a $50 million advance royalty relief fund for labels and artists.
To qualify for aid, labels must earn a minimum of $10,000 per quarter through Apple Music, and have a preexisting direct distribution deal with the streaming platform. A letter sent out to these labels states,
“These are difficult times for the music industry globally. Livelihoods are at risk, with multiple sources of income that our industry relies on vanishing overnight. Apple has a deep, decades-long history with music, and we are proud to be in close partnership with the best labels and artists in the world. We want to help.”
Record sales and streaming numbers’ recent dips, compounded with the total halting of all nationwide tours, digital streaming platforms are doing their share to soften the blow as the industry tries to find it’s footing.
Between maneuvering the quarantine landscape and working on his next album, Excision has been keeping busy in every sense. Now, the bass heavyweight has pulled out his own rendition of the hot-trending virtual festivities, announcing the three-day Couch Lands. Taking place on Twitch through April 17-19, the digital gathering will feature never-before-seen full sets from Lost Lands 2019 and allow fans to experience last year’s bass mayhem in its entirety.
Lost Lands 2020 is currently still scheduled as planned for its September 25-27 date later this fall. Its sister festival Bass Canyon follows suit—expected to return August 28-30. Both teams have assured attendees that they are “keeping a close eye on this fluid situation” and will continue to give updates.
Couch Lands is back with complete sets from Lost Lands 2019 for the first time ever! When Lost Lands is going on, because of overlapping set times we’re only able to stream partial sets. But on April 17-19 we’re bringing out 3 days of full sets! pic.twitter.com/mkmzLsqKDW
Hailing from Miami, emerging 20-year-old producer Benda has just released his highly anticipated debut EP, Bare Bones. Benda burst onto the bass music scene in 2018 with his Borgore collaboration “B.Y.D.” Since then, under the mentorship of Borgore, Benda has gone on to release a slew of catalog-building original works, as well as bookings at major US festival events including EDC and Bass Canyon. With a new EP now under his belt, Bare Bones marks a significant benchmark in Benda’s unfolding career, officially introducing his sound with four new tracks.
Released via Thrive Music, Bare Bones is a diverse collection that includes Benda’s signature dubstep sound, as well as a rap and house collaboration. Opening with the EP’s title track, followed by “Free Smoke,” Benda showcases his unique sound design and propensity for hard-hitting bass. The EP winds into hip-hop territory on the high-energy Kimo collaboration, “Faucet,” followed by the EP-closing house cut “Show Me” with Cry4tre. Jump into Benda’s Bare Bones for a a healthy blend of groovy house drums and dubstep-influenced sounds below.
A rebranding to Swedish Brohouse Mafia may be in order. There is thankfully no end in sight to BROHUG’s continual downpour of house music in 2020. Recently turning in a four-track mixtape, stretching their searing release tally dating back to January to a total of six new drops, BROHUG is back with more, renewing Robert Miles’ 1995 hit, “Children.”
BROHUG’s modernization may immediately recount memories of last year’s festival circuit as the rendering was a staple piece in both Tchami and Alesso’s live performances, most notably at Ultra’s 2019 iteration. Retaining the original’s unmistakable piano arrangement, BROHUG’s update to “Children” is a bass-house crown jewel swamped in rumbling synths. Reach for this one as summer starts to heat up and the lack-of-festival blues really set in.
Encouraging fans to stay inside during these dire times, Defected Records unveils their Virtual Festival 3.0 this Good Friday, introducing Calvin Harris‘s blisteringly hot Love Regenerator project will hold down the house music event’s headlining performance.
“Defected helped define the sound of house music I was listening to as a teenager; I associate the old grey and blue 12” covers with so much happiness and inspiration… Since day one every release has been of quality, and when you think about it—with the amount the industry has changed since 1999—to be smashing it out the park more than ever is a beyond incredible feat,” says Harris.
A free browser tool has created pixelated universes from games to zines – and a Pittsburgh gallery is celebrating with a show you can visit from your browser.
It’s the perfect zen for self isolation – take the WASD keys of your keyboard, and roam through a simulated art gallery and poetic and sometimes tragically beautiful game inventions. LIKELIKE is normally a physical space in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, devoted to game as art – “strictly non-commercial, artist-run … without nostalgia and commodification of play.”
I’ll forgive you a bit of nostalgia. either for early arcade media or, as you enter this virtual gallery with a virtual dog in the backyard, for the days of yore when we could be in the same room with other humans. The virtual opening was on Friday, but maybe some CDMers will meet in this space in the next hours; there’s some chat capability. I’ll leave that window open on my machine.
You also may want to check out Bitsy itself. Built in HTML5 by developer Adam Le Deoux, it’s a 2D game world editor made for interactive fiction and role playing. Since it runs in-browser and since the 2D adventure style supports text, that makes it open both to interacting with other users and to distributing words in non-linear narratives.
And that makes it one of a number of counterpoints to the kind of platforms we’ve seen lately. These weeks are at first dominated by the kind of tech that has algae-bloomed all over the Internet – venture-backed corporate mega-platforms with little privacy concerns and a lot of vulnerability to hackers and bad actors. (So yeah, we’ve got the harassment and privacy disaster that is Zoom, and the re-emergence of the harassment and privacy disaster we’ve already been living with that is Facebook.)
Well, Bitsy sure isn’t that – it’s weird, quirky, free, indie, HTML5-dressed-up graphics that throw back to early Atari pixel art. But in that cosy little neighborhood, you find wonderful things. And it’s just as ready-made for quick interaction and construction.
LIKELIKE for its part is the creation of Paolo Pedercini, Tenley Schmida, and Heather Kelley – Heather I even got to collaborate with at one point on the GAMMA experimental game project she was part of. This whole scene is a rabbit hole of great thinkers.
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