Scottish government announces £2.2 million package for small venues

The Scottish government has announced a £2.2 million package to support small venues amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday 11th July during the First Minister’s briefing, economy secretary Fiona Hyslop announced that a £2.2 million fund had been established to support grassroots music venues in Scotland. The amount was agreed with the Music Venues Trust, who have been campaigning for the government to support UK venues since the beginning of lockdown. 

The announcement follows the reveal of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s economy recovery package for the UK, which included £270m in loans and £880million in grants for music venues, theatres, museums, heritage sites and galleries. 

It’s been four months since prime minister Boris Johnson officially ordered a list of venues, which included clubs, pubs, bars, food and drink venues, theatres, and concert halls, to close their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was announced last week that outdoor gigs, festivals and theatre shows would be able to take place in England from the 11th July.

In April, Berlin’s local government announced that it would provide €30 million in grants to private institutions throughout the city, including nightclubs.

ORBIT: AMPLIFY Playlist—Martin Badder

ORBIT: AMPLIFY Playlist—Martin Badder1 2

Over the past few weeks, electronic artists have celebrated the musical contributions of black artists by compiling ORBIT: AMPLIFY playlists. The playlists have succinctly spotlit productions from black artists and artists of color that have influenced these artists’ careers, and on a simpler level, kept them moving and grooving. 

Following respective ORBIT: AMPLIFY playlists from Loud Luxury, Akira AkiraAnabel EnglundBrando, and Major Lazer‘s Walshy Fire, Martin Badder joins the ORBIT: AMPLIFY series to curate his own playlist. Speaking on his playlist, Badder said,

“Music made by black artists has had a massive impact on me throughout my life and will continue to do so in the future. In my playlist, I have included tracks that have shaped me as a producer and also a DJ. I’ve included mostly house music, however there are a few other genres in there that I could not ignore.

I am constantly referring to and taking influence from all of these tracks, when writing and producing new records. Without this music, I would not have the sound I have forged over the years.”

Badder’s 15-song collection doubles as a narrative of sonic influence and a tribute to artists such as Prince, Solange, Bobby Womack, Curtis Mayfield, and Black Legend. On the ascendant house talent’s ORBIT: AMPLIFY playlist, listeners will find a rich array of releases from various genres, in a reflection of the diverse sounds and artists that have guided and inspired him throughout the years. Stream below.


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

Native Instruments release free sample pack featuring SIA, No Idle Crew, Laurel Halo, more

The pack is designed to help creatives globally through a new COVID-19 fundraising initiative

Declan McGlynn

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 – 15:53

Native Instruments have released a new Community Drive sound pack with over 200 loops and one-shots from artists including Just Blaze, Take a Day Trip’s No Idle Crew, Richard Devine, SIA, Junkie XL, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Laurel Halo and more. The pack is designed to both inspire artists in quarantine and raise money for COVID-19 charities with an optional donation.

NI themselves are donating €100k to charities who are “closely aligned with the company’s core values of supporting musicians from all backgrounds” including Musicians Without Borders, Black Trans Femmes in the Arts and The MusiCares Covid-19 Relief Fund. 

You can find out more about the pack, download it and donate here

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UK government ends ban on outdoor music events

UK government ends ban on outdoor music eventsOutdoor Festival

Summer 2020 can still be saved—if you happen to be a resident of the United Kingdom, that is. The UK government recently confirmed that starting July 11, outdoor festivals, gigs, and theatre events are allowed to resume if organizers adhere to preventive COVID-19 restrictions.

In a press release, Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said outdoor events must ensure “a limited and socially distanced audience.” Additionally, organizers of outdoor events will be required to use electronic ticketing and attendees will be prompted to supply specific information when purchasing tickets to aid contact tracing efforts in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Outdoor events are not the only live events coming back to the UK. Part of the gradual return to in-person gatherings encompasses several scheduled indoor test events, which include performances at the London Symphony Orchestra at St Luke’s Church, the London Palladium, and Butlin’s holiday parks. These measures represent the UK’s third phase of live event reopenings. Phases four and five, which will allow more widespread indoor performances, have no set start date yet.

Featured image: Monkeybusinessimages

Tiësto to unveil VER:WEST at Tomorrowland’s Around The World

Tiësto to unveil VER:WEST at Tomorrowland’s Around The WorldTiesto Jordan Lloyd

Following a taste of his upcoming side project VER:WEST, Tiësto has revealed he will debut the new alias at Tomorrowland‘s digital event, Around The World. The hotly-anticipated virtual festival will welcome an extensive selection of talent including Martin Garrix, David GuettaArmin van BuurenCharlotte de WitteTale Of Us, and the recently-announced Katy Perry, among many others. Around The World will take place the weekend of July 25-26.

Tiësto first previewed VER:WEST on July 9, hinting at a return to his classic trance and progressive house roots, before sharing the project would be unveiled at Tomorrowland’s forthcoming event. The Dutch DJ described the direction as melodic house, noting VER:WEST’s sound as, “a lot deeper and more chill, a very different energy than Tiësto.” The upcoming single “5 Seconds Before Sunrise,” is slated for release July 17 via AFTR:HRS

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@tomorrowland

A post shared by VER:WEST (@verwest) on Jul 13, 2020 at 9:29am PDT

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This Friday, July 17th.

A post shared by VER:WEST (@verwest) on Jul 14, 2020 at 9:31am PDT

Featured image: Jordan Loyd

Flume announces Red Rocks live-stream, happening this week

Flume will share his 2019 Red Rocks live-stream later this week.

Last year, Australian DJ and producer Flume returned with a brand new mixtape, ‘Hi This Is Flume’, before announcing a headline show at Colorado’s huge Red Rocks Amphitheater. 

The show, which was Flume’s only confirmed US headline date at the time of announcing, saw the artist joined by the likes of JPEGMAFIA and slowthai, and will now be made available for fans to watch online. 

In a Tweet, Flume announced that this Thursday 16th July he’ll be streaming the Red Rocks show in full via YouTube and Twitch, which features performances from Vera Blue and Reo Cragun, as well as slowthai and JPEGMAFIA.

Check out the tweet below from Flume to RSVP.

In May, Flume shared a collaboration with Toro Y Moi, ‘The Difference’. Not one to rest on his laurels, the producer also made a call out for “corona collabs” to keep himself and likeminded musicians occupied during lockdown.  

Krewella and Yellow Claw evoke nostalgia with new collaboration, ‘Rewind’

Krewella and Yellow Claw evoke nostalgia with new collaboration, ‘Rewind’Krewella

Krewella and Yellow Claw have come together for “Rewind,” the follow-up to their inaugural collaboration, “New World,” released in 2017. The track’s title is reminiscent of the lyrics, and the nostalgic piece excels at transporting listeners to the depths of their own memories.

“Rewind” tackles the notion of how memories that can feel so distant can still shape the person that one becomes, even years later. This lyrical focus is led by Krewella’s signature vocals, which carry a punching energy that cuts the track its catchy edge. The break is where Yellow Claw’s influence becomes apparent; cutting notes intertwine with a trap drop, giving the work a surprising twist.

The Radar 128: Mixed by Super Duper

The Radar 128: Mixed by Super DuperSD 19 2

Super Duper continues to turn heads in 2020, having recently released Prelude, his third full-length EP. The project encompasses a selection of monthly releases that began in March, including popular singles “Spiritual,” featuring former Jai Wolf collaborator, Mr Gabriel, and “Quiver,” a track that’s seen steady radio support from platforms like Sirius XM Chill.

The Nashville-based producer is lauded for its ability to provide atmospheric bliss to any setting, and has soundtracked commercials for Google, ESPN, and more. He’s also provided direct tour support for some of dance music’s most prominent artists, including The Chainsmokers, Petit Biscuit, and Kasbo. Now, Super Duper lends his talents to Dancing Astronaut for episode 128 of The Radar.

The 45-minute guest mix kicks off with his 2019 standout, “Montage.” Upbeat jams including “Summers End” by Keys N Krates, “Need You” by Kidswaste, and “Home” by Caribou ensue. Super Duper also intermingles some of the SoundCloud remixes that increased awareness of his artistry in the dance community, including a euphoric take on Kasbo’s “Over You” and Corona’s classic “Rhythm Of The Night.”

Expression plus free patching: Sensel Morph integrates with Pure Data

DIY music instrument making with visual patching is like having a blank slate. Now there’s some blank-slate hardware to match.

The Sensel Morph is simply brilliant. It’s about as easy an entry into multi-touch expression you can get under your fingers – terrifically sensitive, fabulously portable and compact, and via overlays something you can give any number of tactile layouts. You can use it to make your own instruments, or control lighting or visuals or 3D or whatever else you imagine.

With open-ended expressive possibility, you might want equally open-ended software. If more expression makes you start to imagine new possibilities for sound and visuals, you want to translate those ideas quickly.

You could already use the Sensel Morph with Pure Data, the free Mac/Windows/Linux software for music and multimedia. But today Sensel has announced they’re releasing some free tools that make it easier – for even quicker hacking.

They worked with none other than our friends at Virginia Tech and the Linux Laptop Orchestra (L2Ork) – which means it’s already been tested by people who want to work with this environment quickly and efficiently.

And whereas the oldskool approach was to map expression to your patch … one … parameter .. at a time … from scratch … each time … now they instead work with an API so you can build stuff fast. (It’s still a patching environment, so you can always go down to the from-scratch level when you need.)

Watch. These examples are maybe not fantastically musical (well, depending on your taste), but they do show how the mappings work. Stick them in your patches and make whatever music/visuals you want.

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How to get started

For the customized (Virginia Tech-alum) Purr Data distribution of Pd, the Sensel object and examples included now in the latest build.

https://www.purrdata.net/

For Pd Vanilla – the same version upon which support in iOS, Android, and other libpd environments is based – you can install via the excellent Deken add-on management environment.

First, updated versions of vanilla are available directly from Pd (and original Max/MSP) creator Miller Puckette:

http://msp.ucsd.edu/software.html

Once installed, choose Help > Find Externals and then type in ‘sensel’ so Pd can build for your platform. It looks like deken support may not be totally baked across platforms, though, so you may still want to head to GitHub (or start with Purr Data first).

Everything is on Git:

https://github.com/sensel/PD-objects

I couldn’t yet get this working on Windows, but it may be that they haven’t quite synced up the builds of the external just yet. Stay tuned. On Mac and Linux I suspect you may be fine; I haven’t had a chance to boot up the other OSes yet.

The Sensel Morph is wonderfully sensitive. You need to have one in-hand to feel this, but the tiniest movement of your finger and the most minute variation in pressure gets accurately sensed. (That’s not something the iPad can do – it has no real force sensitivity, and you don’t get the sort of precision of x/y, either, or the number of contact points. It’s not a criticism of Apple, it’s just Apple is making a device with a specific use case – the Morph is only about control.

The [sensel] object reads up to 16 contacts and all the pressure/positioning data so you can use that in your patches. Then there are multiple examples with different mappings to show how that translates to a patch:

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With Pd, you can access a bunch of information:

  1. contact point number
  2. contact status (0=invalid , 1=start , 2=move , 3=end)
  3. orientation
  4. major axis
  5. minor axis
  6. delta x
  7. delta y
  8. delta force
  9. delta area
  10. min x
  11. min y
  12. max x
  13. max y
  14. peak x
  15. peak y
  16. peak force
  17. x position
  18. y position
  19. total force
  20. area

You also can discover and connect automatically to your Morph, saving the usual trouble of configuring inputs right before a gig. That works with multiple Morphs, too, in case you really dig into the #senselyfe.

It all provides far more depth than just the usual MIDI/MPE implementation. And now that this API is structured this way – and there’s a free tool to prototype with – I immediately am curious about other environments. (I may have to just code my own Sensel module for VCV Rack for instance.)

I only found out about this late last night, so I’ll try and give it a shot and follow-up with more – and I’ll probably also use the Buchla Thunder overlay a bit, too.

https://sensel.com/pages/the-sensel-morph