Flying Lotus and Denzel Curry challenge you to reimagine ‘Black Balloons Reprise’

Flying Lotus and Denzel Curry challenge you to reimagine ‘Black Balloons Reprise’Flying Lotus 3d Live

One of the few pieces of good news to come from 2020 was that the don of all things experimental, Flying Lotus, released his new Flamagra instrumental LP, giving all 27 tracks from the original LP a new identity. Now he is asking fans to give one of those tracks a fresh, new spin.

Black Balloons Reprise,” which features vocals from Denzel Curry, was one of the first singles released from Flamagra, and Flying Lotus, lesser known as Steve Ellison, put it out in anticipation of the album for a very clear reason. Curry’s concise wordplay demolishes Ellison’s raw production on this track, and it’s this structure that makes the instrumental a perfect opportunity for rappers to demonstrate their skills.

To enter, follow the guidelines set forth by Ellison below. He and Curry will personally select the contest winners.

“DOWNLOAD THE 16 BAR INSTRUMENTAL VIA SOUNDCLOUD HERE & CREATE YOUR OWN FLOW TO THE ACCOMPANIMENT. SUBMIT VIDEO OR AUDIO OF YOURSELF PERFORMING YOUR BARS ON SOUNDCLOUD, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, OR TIKTOK & USE THE HASHTAG #BLACKBALLOONSCHALLENGE TO WIN VARIOUS PRIZES, INCLUDING A FLYING LOTUS MERCH PACKAGE, A FREE PRO-UNLIMITED SUBSCRIPTION FROM SOUNDCLOUD, AND THE CHANCE TO HAVE YOUR REMIX FEATURED ON SOCIALS BY LOTUS & CURRY.”

Fans have until Wednesday, July 15 to submit their entries. Download the instrumental below and for full rules and requirements of the contest head FlyLo’s website.

Featured image: Emma McIntyre


Make no mistake—dance music is born from black culture. Without black creators, innovators, selectors, and communities, the electronic dance music we hold so dear would simply not exist. In short, dance music is deeply indebted to the global black community and we need to be doing more. Black artists and artists of color have played a profound role in shaping the sound and culture of dance music and now more than ever, it is necessary for everyone in the music community to stand up for the people that have given us so much. Dancing Astronaut pledges to make every effort to be a better ally, a stronger resource, and a more accountable member of the global dance music community. Black Lives Matter—get involved here:  

Black Lives Matter

My Block My Hood My City

National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Program

Black Visions Collective

Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Legal Defense Initiative

The Bail Project

The Next Level Boys Academy

Committee to Protect Journalists

The Neptunes and deadmau5 get a club-ready ‘Pomegranate’ remix from Carl Cox

The Neptunes and deadmau5 get a club-ready ‘Pomegranate’ remix from Carl CoxCarl Co Space 2

Talk about a motley crew of living legends—Carl Cox, deadmau5, and The Neptunes, all on one title.

Earlier this year, The Neptunes and deadmau5’s unlikely pairing on “Pomegrante” set the tone for the summer season, and the rollout for deadmau5’s forthcoming LP with a funky crossover groove with an equally tasty visual feature to boot. Now, the collaboration is getting a marquee remix from none other than Carl Cox, adding just a little extra star power to the mix for good measure.

In true Cox fashion, the venerated selector gives his subject a thumping club-ready twist, modifying the original’s vocoded nu-funk framework with a more floor-leaning appeal. Injecting his own distinguished tech-house stylings on his rendition of “Pomegranate,” Carl Cox breathes new life into the track—and this could just be the tip of the iceberg on an outstanding remix package to follow. Listen below.

Featured image: Space Ibiza

Free MacOS Sampler, Samplr For Touchbar

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Marcos Alonso, developer of Samplr for iPad, has introduced Samplr for Touchbar – a free app that puts a touchscreen sampler into your Mac’s Touchbar.

His ‘quarantine project’, Samplr for Touchbar is a mini version of the original Samplr and is a great showcase of the underutilized potential of the Touchbar.

Alonso describes the app as “a demo of Samplr for the MacBook Touch Bar.” The app uses the multitouch display of the Touch Bar to play samples in four different ways with multiple controls and effects. The iPad app offers many more features, including four additional play modes.

Samplr for Touchbar is available now as a free download.

Note: Depending on your OS settings/version, you may have to manually authorize the app in System Preferences/Security & Privacy.

New Burning Man documentary out in August gets trailer: Watch

A trailer for the forthcoming Burning Man documentary has been released.

Following the launch of Kindling, Burning Man’s non-profit virtual events platform, in May this year, the trailer for the upcoming Burning Man: Art on Fire documentary has been shared on Youtube.

Available exclusively via the platform, Art on Fire is a documentary about the intrinsic link between the arts and the flagship Nevada festival, and is the latest project from filmmaker Gerald Fox and producer Sophia Swire.

Elsewhere on Kindling, five “actions” will be presented on the site – Gather, Experience, Play, Co-Learn, and Ignite – with different experiences and digital events curated, each focussing on different elements of Burning Man’s famed culture and creative ethos. Virtual parties, performances, more screenings and talks will take place on the channel, with Burning Man fans and community members being able to get involved and host their own events as well as enjoying those curated by Burning Man itself. 

You can check out the trailer for the film, which will premiere on August 15th & 16th, below.

After weeks of deliberation and uncertainty, which culminated in the postponement of the Burning Man annual gathering’s main ticket sale earlier this month, the announcement was made on 10th April that Burning Man 2020 would not be going ahead due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Swedish hardware company Teenage Engineering introduces new revenue share model for black artists and artists of color

Swedish hardware company Teenage Engineering introduces new revenue share model for black artists and artists of colorTeenage Engineering

Teenage Engineering, the Swedish electronics hardware brand behind the famous OP-1 synthesizer, has announced a new revenue share model that they will be launching on September 1, 2020, for black artists and artists of color.

The “artist fellowship” will allow selected acts to share special links with fans that will redirect 15 percent of the company’s revenue generated through those links back to the artists. The first artists to participate in the fellowship will be Underground Resistance, Suzi Analogue, VoltageCtrlR, and Baseck, all of which are US-based black artists or artists of color. Teenage Engineering’s chief brand officer, Emmy Parker, made mention to the New York Times that the company estimates this immediate economic model shift will provide anywhere’s from $100,000 to $1 million a year in financial support to the artists.

H/T: New York Times


Make no mistake—dance music is born from black culture. Without black creators, innovators, selectors, and communities, the electronic dance music we hold so dear would simply not exist. In short, dance music is deeply indebted to the global black community and we need to be doing more. Black artists and artists of color have played a profound role in shaping the sound and culture of dance music and now more than ever, it is necessary for everyone in the music community to stand up for the people that have given us so much. Dancing Astronaut pledges to make every effort to be a better ally, a stronger resource, and a more accountable member of the global dance music community. Black Lives Matter—get involved here:  

Black Lives Matter

My Block My Hood My City

National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Program

Black Visions Collective

Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Legal Defense Initiative

The Bail Project

The Next Level Boys Academy

Color of Change

Committee to Protect Journalists

Kevin Parker delivers live acoustic rendition of ‘On Track’

Kevin Parker delivers live acoustic rendition of ‘On Track’Kevin Parker

Kevin Parker has unveiled a live acoustic rendition of Tame Impala‘s, “On Track.” Derived from the psychedelic outfit’s latest studio album, The Slow Rush, the track shines on the latter half of the LP with dreamy melancholy and rock instrumentation. In the new footage, a black-clad Parker takes centerstage in an intimate studio as he lays the song bare with just guitar and vocals.

Parker previously performed a stripped-down version of “On Track” for broadcast special, Music From The Homefront. Since releasing Tame Impala’s fifth full-length outing in February, Parker has delivered live versions of a handful of The Slow Rush tracks, including “Lost In Yesterday” and “Breathe Deeper” on Jimmy Kimmel, as well as “Is It True” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Watch Parker’s live acoustic rendition of “On Track” below.

Featured image: James J Robinson/Petta Chua

NPR shares ‘We Insist’ playlist detailing ‘a century of black music against state violence’

NPR shares ‘We Insist’ playlist detailing ‘a century of black music against state violence’Kendrick Grammys

2020 will be remembered as the year when hundreds of thousands of people all over the world took to the streets despite a global pandemic to fight for racial justice. George Floyd’s murder in police custody ostensibly restarted a conversation that should have never stopped to begin with. Because for black people, this problem is constant, ubiquitous, and unending.

This fight stretches back to 1619 when the first slaves were brought to America, and ever since black people have had a musical platform, they have used that platform to fight for the freedom of their people. NPR Music recently compiled a playlist of music recorded in support of that fight stretching back nearly 100 years entitled, “We Insist: Black Music Against State Violence.” NPR‘s playlist curators offered an introduction to explain the intentions and history of the music included, the last paragraph of which can be found below.

“The 50 songs discussed in this list often describe specific acts of police violence but they are not limited to that subject. Together they construct a kind of timeline of an ongoing movement within American music, stretching back more than a century. It is meant to be revelatory but not complete. The songs here take on some of the ugliest stories with which America—and, since it goes international, the world—has to reckon. They mourn the dead and fight for the living. Some are easy to identify as protest songs; others feel like a party. Many address police violence directly decades before that subject became a lodestone in hip hop. Some of these songs have been misinterpreted even when their messages are perfectly clear. All contribute to the history of black people showing what America’s official histories would hide in plain sight: the destructiveness of white supremacy and the uprisings against it that are not only organized and political, but personal. Like music itself, this spirit of resistance takes many shapes, but has never been silenced. As Baraka said of Coltrane, all you have to do is really listen.”

The 50 songs are split into four sections, listed chronologically in the playlist. They are as follows:

“1927–1963: Witness & Resistance”

The Roaring 20’s was the period where shout songs and other traditional cultural styles of music birthed through the struggles of the black community first began to coalesce with the instrumentation brought over from Europe forming styles like ragtime, crooning, and early jazz. It was in this time when the black community first demonstrated their virtuosity and mastery of the stage, and they were quick to denounce the horrendous systemic treatment they had experienced for over three centuries prior.

This section of the playlist represents the initial call to action. The black community laying their claim to this country, spreading their message of resistance through music long up until and following the civil rights movement. Hence why such figures vital to music history like Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday (her song “Strange Fruit” would later be sampled by Kanye West for “Blood On The Leaves”), and John Coltrane are found here, further making the case that all popular music to ever emanate from the US was in some way the byproduct of black culture.

1967–1985: Black Power

The 1960’s through the 80’s in America are regarded as one of the most plenteous times in musical evolution. In the span of two decades, there was an explosion of new styles—rock ‘n roll, funk, disco, soul, hip-hop and even house and techno at the tail end, black culture being the common denominator between all of those genres.

Following the civil rights movement, public figures like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, James Baldwin, W.E.B. Dubois, and others further empowered the black community to stand up for their rights. It was this fire that fueled unhindered artistic exploration and resulted in some of the most celebrated music in history. Marvin Gaye‘s “What’s Going On,” Stevie Wonder’s “Living For The City,” Rick James’s “Mr. Policeman,” are more than just classic belters, they’re sonic representations of collective unity in the fight for justice.

1985–2012: Policing & Protest

While the civil rights movement and its martyrs made significant progress for racial equality, the fight was (and is) no where close to being done. In fact, it was truly just beginning, and that’s what the music of this era denotes.

With rap now a major player in the musical zeitgeist, eventually growing into the most major player by the end of this era, the systemic struggles of the black community were now being delivered with far less room for interpretation. Rap brought “Fuck Tha Police,” (N.W.A.) “Cop Killer,” (Body Count) and “Sound of da Police” (KRS-One), to name only a few. But the emergence of rap wasn’t the only propulsion of this unfiltered social rhetoric. As the music industry grew into an international economic powerhouse, black artists of all different expressions would grow alongside it.

This section of the playlist extends until 2012, including songs from artists like Gregory Porter and Esperanza Spalding no doubt inspired by Michael Jackson, Prince, and other monoliths of the time. But what leads into the fourth and final section of the playlist is something very important for the advancement of this movement: the acceleration of technology.

2014–2020: Black Lives Matter

Before this era, the privileged peoples of the world could live their whole lives without encountering systemic racism. Then, seemingly overnight, everyone got their own personal pocket-sized video camera and suddenly horror after horror came popping up as notifications on a touch screen. It was impossible to ignore—or culturally sugarcoat—any longer, and the Black Lives Matter movement was born.

Songs like “The Blacker The Berry” by Kendrick Lamar are the anthems of this movement, and new songs are being written every day in support as depicted by the three songs released in 2020 that close out the playlist: “Pig Feet” by Terrace Martin, “Sweeter” by Leon Bridges, and “The Bigger Picture” by Lil Baby. Each of these final three adopt a particular viewpoint of the movement, but paramount to note is that not all are grounded in cynicism. In fact, “Sweeter” is grounded hope. Hope born from the worldwide response that has confirmed this recent wave of protests as the largest display of civil rights activism in history.

With that kind of unity fueled by the music like that found in this playlist, real change is coming.

Via: NPR


Make no mistake—dance music is born from black culture. Without black creators, innovators, selectors, and communities, the electronic dance music we hold so dear would simply not exist. In short, dance music is deeply indebted to the global black community and we need to be doing more. Black artists and artists of color have played a profound role in shaping the sound and culture of dance music and now more than ever, it is necessary for everyone in the music community to stand up for the people that have given us so much. Dancing Astronaut pledges to make every effort to be a better ally, a stronger resource, and a more accountable member of the global dance music community. Black Lives Matter—get involved here:  

Black Lives Matter

My Block My Hood My City

National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Program

Black Visions Collective

Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Legal Defense Initiative

The Bail Project

The Next Level Boys Academy

Color of Change

Committee to Protect Journalists

Samplr’s creator made a free sample player for the MacBook Touch Bar

The MacBook Touch Bar just got a new use. From the maker of the excellent iPad app Samplr, this free utility makes a multi-touch sample player – and it’s surprisingly capable.

Okay, this is definitely no match for the wonder that is Samplr. But as a cute little toy – and a way to jam with others with just your laptop handy – it’s some fun stuff.

It really is like a baby version of Samplr on your two-touch Touch Bar. Watch:

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  • Play slices (automatically or with manual slice control)
  • Play loops by using two touches (with multiple loop support on a single sound)
  • “Bow” through a sound (via granular synthesis)
  • Play tape-style with varying speed (-2x to 2x)
  • Attack and release envelope controls
  • 3 effects (filter, delay with feedback, and reverb)
  • Audio recording

It’s really clever. I figured Marco was just going to have some basic sample playback and call it a day, but this is a surprising amount of Samplr’s functionality crammed into your, uh, computer keyboard. It answers the question “could I sketch out some musical idea between Zoom calls and doomscrolling news of the end of the world?”*

Yes, you can. And yes, you definitely should do this.

http://samplr.net/touchbar/

“No support is provided and no future updates are planned.”

Hell, yeah. Only way to fly. (actually if it had some weird glitches I would be even more into it, but that’s me)

Exit Festival reducing capacity by 90% due to coronavirus spike in Serbia

Exit Festival will have to reduce capacity by 90% to go ahead this year following a spike in COVID-19 cases in Serbia. 

In a statement in May this year, Serbian prime minister Ana Brnabic said that the Serbian government expected the pandemic to be “totally under control” in Europe by August, and that it would be safe for the festival to take place in some capacity. The Novi Sad event, which attracted over 55,000 festivalgoers a day over four days in 2019, previously announced that it would be unable to take place as originally planned in July.

Now, in a statement to IQ, Exit Festival have said that the numbers for this year’s rescheduled August event would need to be dramatically slashed as a result of rising COVID-19 cases in the country.

“We want to be extra cautious as the health of our audience, artists and all festival staff is our top priority,” the Exit team told IQ. “Therefore, we will be further reducing the maximum number of attendees in coordination with officials, probably [by] even more than 90%. We continue to monitor the situation, consult closely with the health and government officials, and we hope to have more news on this matter next week.”

Last month, Exit confirmed the likes of Black Coffee, VTSS, Paul Kalkbrenner, Roni Size, who headlined the festival 20 years ago, and LTJ Bukem for this year’s event. Glaswegian stalwart Denis Sulta is also slated to perform at the festival, as well as DJ Tennis, Tale of Us, Marcel Dettmann, and VTSS b2b SPFDJ. Exit organisers told IQ that live streams of artists could be provided for those unable to attend Exit 2020.

Festivals around the world have had to be cancelled or postponed due the COVID-19 pandemic, along with countless club closures and tour cancellations. While the pandemic has led to several festivals moving into the world of live-streaming, or even the virtual world, some reports suggest that the festival industry is under threat of total collapse.