Detroit deep house legend Mike Huckaby has died

Detroit producer and DJ, Mike Huckaby has died.

Last night (24th April), members of the international dance music community took to social media to extend tributes to the influential deep house figurehead, after news of his passing was shared by longstanding Detroit promoter, Adriel Thornton, who Tweeted on behalf of Huckaby’s family. “The family of Mike Huckaby would like to thank you for your support, and acknowledges the outpouring of grief from his friends, mentees, collaborators and more,” he wrote. “Please hold them in your thoughts in this difficult time. More information will be forthcoming. Thanks.”

At the time of writing, no official cause of death has been shared. In March this year, however, a GoFundMe campaign was launched for Huckaby by fellow Detroit DJ Delano Smith, citing an unspecified “medical setback”.

On 6th April, Smith updated the GoFundMe page, writing that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Huckaby had been “relocated to another facility to continue his rehabilitation”. In the update, Smith wrote that, at the time, Huckaby was “alert and sharp”. No further information was given.

Huckaby was a widely respected and impactful player in Detroit’s electronic music landscape, known for his distinct, deep and soulful house music and impeccable selections. From the mid-90s onwards, he toured extensively around the world, and released EPs and tracks on labels including Harmonie Park, Cross Section Records and his own Deep Transportation and S Y N T H. He was also a longtime manager and buyer at Detroit store Record Time.

An influential figure for young, aspiring producers and DJs, Huckaby led production workshops at YouthVille Detroit and beyond, with innumerable DJs and electronic artists counting him as a mentor.

Tributes have come from throughout the dance music world to honour the legendary DJ and producer. Our condolences go out to Huckaby’s family and loved ones.

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BoyW1DR is back and he’s “Shining”

The Dublin based rapper and singer-songwriter BoyW1DR first established his name in the last year with some monstrous singles like “Spaceman” and his debut EP Irish Wonderboy. After joining up with the stacked FaR Collective roster, the world is legitimately BoyW1DR’s oyster. The release of  his latest single “Shining” is further proof as to why he is one to watch. 

BoyW1DR has become known for his ear for catchy melodies and top tier lyricism. The rhythmic guitar and trap-infused drums found in “Shining” lay a perfect backdrop for BoyW1DR to pen one of his most interesting releases yet. The juxtaposition between the braggadocios lyrics and the laid back instrumentation is something to behold here. He switches from crooning and singing to spitting bars on this one with masterful transitions. The unapologetic rapper makes it look effortless and it leaves the listener beyond impressed. The catchy hook just glides in and out around the verses which takes you on a sweet melodic journey. This is the work of a master craftsman in the art form of hip-hop. BoyW1DR has presented a very urban style track in a very digestible way and has made it easy listening for everyone. 

BoyW1DR is on the radar of most people in Ireland but it’s only a matter of time until the world catches on. I’d highly recommend jumping on this while you can before “Wonderboy” takes off. 

Connect With BoyW1Dr: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Flume and Toro y Moi drop off extended cut of ‘The Difference’ [Stream]

Flume and Toro y Moi drop off extended cut of ‘The Difference’ [Stream]Flume Toro Y Moi Official Press Pic CJoyce Kim Scaled 1

On March 11, Flume and Toro y Moi offered up yet another experimental trajectory with their joint unveiling of drum ‘n’ bass venture, “The Difference.” Paired with an off-beat video treatment featuring spunky kaleidoscope split-screen maneuvers of the respective producers, the track added another testament to Flume’s ever-expanding collection of distinctive electronic productions. With the cut featured in a new Apple AirPods commercial, now the likeminded duo have dropped off an extended cut of “The Difference.”

While fans rejoiced at the drum ‘n’ bass tune’s original short-but-sweet release, the track clocked in at only a little over two minutes—leaving much to be savored. With the delivery of the extended mix, listeners can re-experience “The Difference” in its full flesh. Listen below.

Featured Image: Joyce Kim

Detroit Dance Music Pioneer Mike Huckaby Has Died At 54

Mike Huckaby

Detroit producer and DJ Mike Huckaby has died at the age of 54, as a result of a stroke complicated by Covid-19, the cause of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Connect Bookings shared the news:

“RIP Mike Huckaby. One of the greatest djs and producers in the history of electronic dance music. An incredible human being. The world has lost a genius today.”

Huckaby was a part of the Detroit dance music scene on many levels, running the influential Record Time music store, producing for several labels, DJing around the globe and working with Native Instruments and Ableton.

This video captures Huckaby DJing a vinyl set in December of last year:

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Here’s another example of Huckaby in action, in a 2011 mix for the XLR8R podcast:


Here’s Huckaby teaching a Maschine master class in 2015:

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1010music Bitbox mk2 Eurorack Sampler Offers More Polyphony, New Granular Synthesis Mode

Superbooth 2020: 1010music has introduced the bitbox mk2, the next generation of its bitbox Eurorack sampler.

The module has all of the features of the original bitbox and adds effects and mixing capabilities that take advantage of the faster and more powerful processor.

bitbox mk2 features twice the processing power of the original bitbox, increases sampler polyphony to 24 voices, adds a new Granular Mode and more.

Features:

Sample Playback

  • Play up to 24 polyphonic notes when your samples fit in the 64 MB of internal memory or up to 8 larger samples streaming directly from the microSD card
  • Configure 16 sample pads per preset as single or multi-samples, clips, slicers, granular or new recordings
  • Stream long samples from the microSD card with a max sample size of 4 GB, which can be many hours of audio
  • Trigger samples with the touch screen, CV gate inputs, or MIDI input
  • Use MIDI for polyphonic playback of samples or slices
  • Control how samples start and stop by choosing from one-shot, toggle, and gate launch modes
  • Tweak playback through a variety of sample parameters, including start position, length, pitch, gain, filter, loop mode, launch quantization, ADSR, Exclusive Grouping, clip synchronization, slice placement and sequencing, grain size, grain spread, grain count, and MIDI note and channel mapping

Sample Recording

  • Record samples from a stereo audio input pair
  • Configure each pad for stereo or mono recording with the option to synchronize the start and stop times to clock inputs
  • Trigger recording via audio level threshold
  • Create perfectly sized loops by setting the recording length
  • Enable immediate playback after recording for live looping capabilities
  • Make recordings up to 4 hours in length
  • Store recorded samples as WAV files on the micro SD card then remove the card to transfer them to your computer

5 Sample Playback Modes

  • Trigger one shots or launch loops using sample mode
  • Load a folder of samples into a sample mode pad to improve the quality of the pitch shifting when playing a sample chromatically or to trigger different samples with each note
  • Play time-synchronized loops with constant pitch time shifting in clip mode
  • Skip between slices of a WAV using slicer mode
  • Create rich textures and other worldly sounds with granular mode

Inputs and Outputs

  • Connect up to 8 CV modulators to control numerous sample parameters
  • Trigger each of the 16 pads with a dedicated gate input
  • Record through the dedicated stereo audio input pair
  • Use CV to keep time through the dedicated clock input
  • Confidently connect with both TRS MIDI Type A and Type B, no adapter needed
  • Route the audio from each pad out to one of 2 stereo audio output pairs or any of the corresponding single channels
  • Inputs and outputs are DC coupled so you can record and play out CV signals

External Control and Synchronization

  • Playback can be immediate or synchronized to internal clock, TRS clock in, or MIDI clock in and out
  • Trigger each pad independently through a dedicated gate input
  • Use MIDI to trigger pads via a note per pad
  • Play a single or multi-sample pad pitch shifted using MIDI notes or CV
  • Trigger different sample slices using MIDI notes or CV
  • Modulate a wide variety of sample parameters through the MIDI input and up to 8 CV signals
  • Quickly set up MIDI modulation using Learn mode — no need to look up CC numbers

Other Features

  • 3.5? diagonal touch screen
  • Double the processing power of the original bitbox
  • Reverb and delay
  • Import or export WAV files with your Mac or PC using a microSD card
  • Save and recall multiple presets
  • Increase your capacity with larger microSD cards
  • Select Flipped UI mode to mount the unit with the screen on the bottom and use the screen, knobs, buttons, and CV jacks as you normally would

Pricing and Availability

The bitbox mk2 is priced at $599 USD and is expected to be available in June 2020.

1010music Intros Bitbox Micro Eurorack Sampler Module

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Superbooth 2020: 1010music has announced bitbox micro,  a smaller, 18 HP version of its bitbox Eurorack sampler.

The bitbox micro lets you trigger samples using 8 pads on the 2” touch screen, 8 CV/Gate inputs or via MIDI controllers.

You can load a folder of samples to play as a traditional MIDI sampler instrument in Sample Mode or play samples as BPM synchronized loops in Clip Mode. Slicer Mode lets you trigger sample slices on-the-fly for new creative rhythms, while Granular Mode breaks down samples into a group of small wavetables.

The bitbox micro design also allows streaming up to 8 large samples of up to 4 GB file size straight from the microSD card. This means you can play entire song tracks, complete with beat-slicing, for playback at variable tempos with CV/MIDI control, with 24-bit stereo sample recording/playback.

The bitbox micro sampler

Features:

  • Play samples with up to 24 notes of polyphony from 64 MB of internal memory or stream 8 tracks of stereo, 24-bit samples (up to 4G each) from microSD, supporting up to 256GB
  • Multiple clip Launch Modes, including One-Shot, Toggle and Gate
  • Create and instantly recall Presets and use 8 touch screen pads to play one-shot samples, loops or multi-sampled instruments with complete control of sample slice playback, granular processing, and modulation
  • Import bitbox micro Presets directly into Ableton Live as a 4×4 bank of samples complete with sample slice parameters
  • Trigger samples via 2” touch screen, 8 CV/Gate inputs, or MIDI input
  • Use MIDI for polyphonic playback of samples or slices
  • Import or export WAV files with your Mac or PC using a microSD card (included)
  • Free sample library including beats and other samples by producer Jason Donnelly (DJ Puzzle), Soundopolis and SympleSound
  • 24-bit/48kHz stereo input for high quality recordings, with stereo output and two mono effects sends
  • Stereo or mono recording with the option to synchronize start/stop times to clock inputs with a maximum recording time of up to 4 hours.
  • Playback can be immediate or synchronized to analog or MIDI clock to allow BPM sync and start/stop quantization to note values (measure, 1/4, 1/8, etc.)
  • Control of sample parameters, including start position, length, gain, loop mode, launch quantization, grain size, grain spread, grain count
  • Tweak synth playback parameters including pitch, gain, filter, pitch, modulation and ADSR envelope controls plus MIDI note and channel mapping with control mapping
  • Supports hundreds of User Presets
  • Accepts TRS MIDI Type A and Type B input compatible with Arturia and other MIDI controllers
    18 HP Eurorack compatible 400mA on +12V

Pricing and Availablity

The bitbox micro is priced at $399.95 USD and is expected to be available in June 2020.

Free Sound Library Of African Instruments For Ableton Live

Johannesburg-based producer Emile Hoogenhout (a.k.a Behr) has shared a free sound library, featuring four African instruments, developed into unique Ableton Live Racks.

The Live Racks are based on samples made over five days in Nairobi. The Racks are set up so that you can morph from pure, multi-sampled recordings to heavily treated, filtered and arpeggiated forms.

“I wanted to approach this project with the utmost respect to the culture and history behind the instruments and musicians, but with the ability to push the sonic boundaries with the use of Ableton Live. I sat down with all the artists and asked them about the history of all the instruments – everyone was very happy this vision of cross-pollinating the traditional with music technology.”

Audio Demos:

The behr – Santuri Safari – Instruments Pack is available now as a free download.

James Blake releases first original music in over a year, ‘You’re Too Precious’

James Blake releases first original music in over a year, ‘You’re Too Precious’Jamesblake Jan19

James Blake releases, “You’re Too Precious”—his first single since 2019’s Assume Form LP which was released at the beginning of the year and featured the likes of Travis Scott, Metro Boomin, ROSALÍA, and Andre 3000. Soothing piano lays upon hardened bass to accompany an array of vocal offerings ranging from the original underlying warped humming cadence to high-pitched vocal chops that make way for Blake’s serenading crooning. The track carries a haunting harmonic element for a perfect chiller or relaxation piece.

During quarantine, Blake has entertained fans with covers of Radiohead, Billie Eilish, and more while playing his own music as well. Along with the single, the English multi-instrumentalist released a music video that encapsulates the tender allure to the soft tonal sounds.

Idris Elba demands introspection over Jay Robinson’s knocking production for latest mau5trap work, ‘Know Yourself’

Idris Elba demands introspection over Jay Robinson’s knocking production for latest mau5trap work, ‘Know Yourself’Idris Elba Djing

“What you need to do is know yourself.” If Idris Elba‘s commanding voice isn’t enough to drive that message home, Jay Robinson‘s mind-rattling production surely will be. “Know Yourself” is tech-house at it’s finest, as Robinson’s pounding drop pairs with Elba’s air of authority to combine for a club-ready track heavy in gravitas.

“Know Yourself” premieres on mau5trap, already the second marquee collaboration from the label this month. Two weeks ago, deadmau5 and Steve Duda revived their BSOD project for a four-track EP on the mau5’s label. Idris Elba made headlines last month when he confirmed he tested positive for coronavirus, but thankfully since then he has made a full recovery.

Boris Brejcha continues streak on Ultra Records with 4-track ‘Thunderstorm’ EP [Stream]

Boris Brejcha continues streak on Ultra Records with 4-track ‘Thunderstorm’ EP [Stream]Boris Brejcha

Boris Brejcha returns to Ultra Records for the second time since his Space Diver album, further cementing his kinetic techno sound in the global scene with the effortlessly salient Thunderstorm EP.

The release features four new tracks, which together showcase a producer who’s developed a true mastery of his toolset, an attribute that allows Brejcha to create with more flow and fewer inhibitions. The title track on Thunderstorm may not have made the aforementioned Space Diver tracklist, but has been a certified crowd slayer up Brejcha’s sleeve for the past few years, showing up in both his 2018 Tomorrowland set and his more recent Cercle show.

“Awakening” follows as one of the lesser known releases on the EP, but serves as a follow-up to Brejacha’s coveted 2013 B-side, “Angel In The Sky,” fusing the producer’s more recent bass-centric sound with a familiar celestial melodies. The EP also features “Nothing Seems To Be,” sought after track for fans of the German beatsmith, and for good reason, as it manages to bring the modern techno sound closer to an arena anthem than anyone in recent memory. Checkout the full release, including the more minimal and melodic “Titelbild,” below.