Tom Jenkinson unveils the Lamental EP from his Squarepusher alias, a softer side to his madly percussive Be Up A Hello album. Lamental features the “Detroit People Mover” track from the album, which is the most calming piece on Be Up A Hello next to the hauntingly serene finale, 80 Ondula.
The EP’s “Midi Sans Frontières (Avec Batterie)” single is a rework of Jenkinson’s 2016 track “MIDI Sans Frontières” which saw its composition as a response to the Brexit referendum. This version of the track featured on the new extended play lands as a more melodic remedy without percussion. The Warp Records release offers a soothing allure from the breakbeat IDM album return at a time when relaxation is just what we need during these trying times. Squarepusher’s world tour was rescheduled for later this year, though for now, a handful of new material that Squarepusher has suggested be experienced at loud volumes will have to suffice.
Drake has been “Toosie Sliding” his way into the studio as of late to turn his attentions to the follow-up to his 2018 double disc LP, Scorpion. “I’m working on the album, I’ve been working on it for awhile now,” Drake said during his guest appearance on Diddy‘s coronavirus combating digital dance-a-thon on April 12.
Quarantine has afforded the self-proclaimed 6 God a sense of focus that he might not have under normal circumstances, Drake explained, allowing him to really hone in on the album’s production. The unmediated attention that Drake can now pay to the project, which currently remains nameless, is not unfamiliar to him. Drake recalled the rest that compulsorily followed an ACL injury in 2009 and its positive impact on the album that was then in the making, Thank Me Later.
“The last time I had to sit down was when I tore my ACL [in 2009], and I made a great album out of that. Obviously God has us all inside the house right now.”
The chart-topping megastar went on to say that he is, “the most excited [he’s] been about an album in a long time,” and also disclose that the LP’s sound is “fresh and brand new.”
At present, it is unclear when Drake intends to release the album, how complete it is, and the format that the production will take, as in, the possibility of another double LP up his sleeve. Of note, Drake said that the album represents “probably the most music [he’s] been sitting on,” so fans can justifiably expect a hefty offering.
While most DJs are streaming mixes to keep the dancing spirit alive through festival and club closures, Pedro Winter, better known as Busy P, has gone an entirely different direction. Instead of making a club mix, the Ed Banger Records head has crafted an electronic mix to accompany a classic french children’s story, Le Petit Prince (or The Little Prince). A hand-drawn animation materializes throughout the mix, making it ideal for a francophile’s a calm night in or story time with one’s family. Watch the mix and read his description below:
This is my childhood book, I wanted to give it a modern twist by adding electronic music as background. The story of a lonely aviator lost in the middle of Sahara, trying to survive by inventing an imaginary friend… Seems pretty relevent to me today no? I wasn’t in the mood for a club mix, some of our friends are doing it very well. This mix is something you can listen with your family, and most important, this is a mix you can watch! I’ve asked one of my favorite French illustrator, Stéphane Manel to add his touch to this project. While listening to the mix, you’ll be able to see a white page filling up slowly with his poetical drawings…
Toronto-based ZABO burst onto the scene last year when his music spontaneously went viral in China, spawning his debut China tour, and a slew of festival headlines around the country. As his influence spread, the rising mid-tempo and bass music innovator embarked on his debut North American run shortly thereafter. Now, fresh off a collaboration with leading Chinese bass producer R7CKY, and a full-length mix for a charity funding COVID-19 research, ZABO has tapped the vocal talents of David Pinard for his newest release “Is It A Lie.”
Released via Uprise Music, ZABO’s newest single combines Pinard’s emotionally-charged vocals with an uplifting and melodic spin on ZABO’s typical production style. The second break reverts to ZABO’s signature sound of deep bass shots with uptempo house-inspired drums. “Is It A Lie” is a welcomed addition to ZABO’s growing catalog, and highlights the up-and-comer’s ability to work in a variety of different genres. Listen below.
While you’re staring at your walls, maybe it’s the perfect time to realize the kind of trippy visuals that happen in your dreams. That ranges from beginner-friendly Ableton and streaming integration to advanced physics.
Visual development tool TouchDesigner regularly includes major updates, but this one is unusually chock full of important updates.
You can stream and route video and audio between apps – in the non-commercial version. There are two pieces to this – NDI support is now free, and there’s a special video output feature that can now support major services like Twitch and YouTube.
NDI, NewTek’s cross-platform protocol for handling audiovisual feeds, just became a lot more important – because it’s what you would want to broadcast to YouTube, Zoom, Slack, Skype, Facebook, and others. NDI was already a useful power tool, but now it’s in the non-commercial version – essential while a lot of people are on suddenly limited incomes.
That’s in and out support, so possibly invaluable even if you don’t intend to stream anything.
The Video Stream Out TOP is the other side of this – RTMP support for Twitch, Mixer, YouTube, Facebook, and the like. (YouTube is a work in progress.)
There’s updated Ableton Live support. Automatic installation, the ability to bind to Ableton parameters and Macros, more support for song information and chains, and just a whole bunch of little additions and fixes are included in the latest TDAbleton. So now’s the time to work on scoring music videos or building next year’s AV show, in other words.
There’s now expanded support for NVIDIA FleX, a powerful real-time particle simulation. (pictured, top, in case you wondered what the heck that was) Nvidia says they’ve made this “artist-focused” to make it easy to mimic the dynamics of real-world cloth, bodies, rope, fluids and gases, and other effects, live. In TouchDesigner, now all of those parameters are available to perform with, live, with a physics solver built on the engine. You’ll need Windows and an NVIDIA GPU, but if you’ve got one, this puts them to real use. You can even make your own smoke monster.
Finally, you get to do what you want with fluids, just emitting them all over the place.
More Kinect Azure support: The latest version of Microsoft’s Kinect computer vision tech was already supported in TouchDesigner, but now you can take its ability to see through our bodies and imagine skeletons (ewwww) and output to depth and color space.
Python support has been enhanced and, if you hadn’t been checking a while, is already up to Python 3.7 support.
Serato has released a free version of its DJ-centric digital audio workstation with its 1.4.4 update, giving those looking to improve their production and mixing skills a new tool during this downtime.
The free edition has its limits, such as the amount of audio tracks users can load at a time, but does enable the core process of producing, saving, and exporting original content for those looking to expand their creative resume. According to chief strategy officer Nick Maclaren, Serato is looking to “offer the best tool for people to start making beats and DJ edits,” allowing DJs and producers alike to “just load up an acapella or full track to chop up, make a mashup, or create a quick intro edit so it’s ready for your DJ sets.”
The latest update to the beat-making software brings a handful of other improvements to the full edition, including an auto-chord function, quantized cue points, and a “feel” mode to bring a bit of smooth soul into the mix. While these are limited from the free version, new users can still expect it to be a great example of the power under the hood. The full version of Serato Studio is either $199 up front, or a $10-per-month subscription, but the free edition can be downloaded here.
Throughout its lifespan of more than 15 years, Coachella‘s Do LaB stage has gained status as the festival’s hidden gem in its consistently top-notch art design, buzzworthy atmosphere, and best of all—programming curation. In particular, 2018 saw Do LaB ring in their most massive surprise guest billings yet, with ZHU taking the stage for his Coachella debut. Best of all, this was no ordinary ZHU performance, but a Blacklizt set.
Having already captured the fixation of dance music listeners with tracks like “Faded” and “Hometown Girl,” ZHU was already steadily becoming a household name and one of the scene’s most coveted acts. Colliding his distinctive sound with heavyweights like Skrillex, NERO, A-Trak, and Kaskade, the enigmatic producer had outputted three massive EPs and a chart-topping debut LP Generationwhy at the time of his Coachella appearance. Just one week later, the Mind of a Genius artist would go on to release the first installment of his sophomore studio album, Ringos Desert.
Replete with dark and moody tech-house selections, ZHU’s Coachella Blacklizt set imbues his sonic case for sensuality into underground stylings. Sporting a healthy balance of signature ZHU tracks including remixes and acapella renderings of “Working For It,” “Cocaine Model,” and “My Life” alongside selections from genre staples like Dennis Cruz, Cirez D, and Stan Kolev, the performance crossbreeds smokey intoxication with the unfaltering intensity of techno and house beats. For ZHU—a figure shrouded in mystery, but cemented in the mainstream spotlight—his decisive play to bring the exclusive Blacklizt to one of the world’s centerpiece festivals is a parallel that epitomizes the exact reason for his beloved appraisal.
Electronic auteur Aphex Twin took his full-length Warehouse Project set virtual on April 10, and in his signature fashion, accompanied the livestream with idiosyncratic visuals from storied collaborator, Weirdcore. The Warehouse Project performance was originally recorded in September 2019, and is now available to watch on the club’s YouTube and Facebook pages.
The retrospective airing of the Aphex set is the next serendipitous piece in the constellation of new content that the producer has recently shared. Between April 2 and April 6, Aphex Twin refreshed his alternative SoundCloud profile, user18081971, with six new songs without any semblance of a hat-tip to his following that new material was on the way.
Dillon Francis‘ German deep house persona DJ Hanzel is as hilarious as he is talented. Fans of Dillon Francis have long raved about the beloved side project, though until only a few weeks ago, a DJ Hanzel appearance was long overdue. On March 28, DJ Hanzel took his audience “one deeper” in a livestream that reached over 70,000 views.
Fortunately, DJ Hanzel didn’t disappear following this rare live set, and to the delight of many, he resurfaced on April 10 for another 60-minute round. Filled with deep IDs from DJ Hanzel himself, as well as a slew of tracks from the likes of Dom Dolla and Noizu, One Deeper Ep. 002 is the soundtrack house heads among Dillon’s fanbase have been waiting for.
The time might be now to mentally prepare for a year or more sans raving. Zeke Emmanuel, a director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania among his other professional credits, proferred a grim prediction to The New York Times when questioned about the return to normal life after the curren coronavirus-fueled lockdown:
“Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility. I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”
These sentiments voiced as part of a hosted panel on restarting the economy after containing the pandemic, in which the general agreement was that America would have to reopen in segments to ensure maximum safety while doing so. If Emmanuel is correct, it means we’re in the current concert-less reality for the long haul. The devastation to the music industry, which is driven largely by tour and event income, would be unprecedented; it’s safe to say that adaptation is urgently needed in order for it to survive.
COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019, and has since become one of the most widespread pandemics in modern history. Many countries as a result have adopted social distancing rules or guidelines to help “flatten the curve” and contain the outbreak, with large portions of the global economy being temporarily shut down. In the United States, early results from California and other early adopters of this methodology show improvement.
To encourage a return to normalcy as soon as possible, citizens are encouraged to remain vigilant about their personal health and the health of those around them by adopting habits like consistent handwashing, regular surface disinfection, and wearing a mask while running essential errands.
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