The latest Noir Et Blanc Vie video takes a look at creating a solar powered synth rig, so you can extreme social distance and still make sweet electronic music.
Host Stephen Fitzgerald wanted to take a road trip and be able to make music wherever he wanted, without having to limit himself to portable gear. And that’s how he ended up jamming in the sun in 104° weather.
“I’d like to say that both the Zoia and Subharmonicon performed great in 104 degree weather,” he notes.”I’m not an expert on solar, or renewable energy, but I wanted to take a road-trip, enjoy synths I wouldn’t normally bring and take you with me for the journey. Most of the time you wouldn’t consider synths that use AC/DC adapters as part of your portable outdoor rig, but I thought ‘Why not?’”
All synth sounds in the video are from a Moog Subharmonicon, through a Empress Zoia.
“We need less hating and more love, we need less hating and more love,” these are the lyrics that come in funky and strong on Kazy Lambist‘s new record “A Box in the Night”—an ode to his love for New York’s famous Lower East Side club best known for its raunchy nights, free-spirited crew, and sometimes darker hedonistic energies.
If you’ve ever visited The Box before and are familiar with the infamous space, then you might understand the track’s ominous spirit met with hypnotic percussive touches and dreamy vocal melodies. Lambist conjures up the aura of the hiding place for sin after a chance encounter that left him astonished. The track captures the musician’s own French roots but closes out with the energy of New York through the sounds of echoing sirens.
The single follows on the heels of the French producer’s well-revered EP “Sky Kiss” which has collected millions and streams and strong Spotify support. “A Night in The Box” is the first single of the Summer showing off his darker side compared to the light-hearted nu-disco vibes we were first introducing you to back in 2017. We anxiously wonder what’s coming up next!
“Faith” is the third single off Brett Cameron’s upcoming album Add Colour (which Cameron says is spelled the British way for purely aesthetic reasons). The instrumentals for the track were drafted pre-lockdown, but its lyrical content was born out of the anxious uncertainty of its beginning.
The verses found in “Faith” are analog and soulful reminders to hold onto hope and persevere through all the challenges life may throw your way. Though the song can get dark and heavy at times, the bright synths in the chorus bring subtle glimmers of light and hope.
“The record overall is a sort of hopeful body of work that is sort of celebrating everything life has to throw at you, whether the good or the bad, because it allows you to appreciate the color so to speak,” explains Cameron. “What “Faith’” represents in that bigger body of work is sort of the cornerstone of the whole record in the sense that it’s one of the starkest looks at the darker colors so to speak, or the larger struggles of the human condition and our own darker sides. It takes a look at that and says that ‘I still have faith in the better parts of who I am and the better parts of who we are as a collective.’ I think that the record as a whole is a reckoning with those darker colors in order to celebrate all the good parts of what life has to offer.”
Add Colour is set for release in the early fall, but Cameron plans on dropping a few more singles in the interim. His sophomore album will arrive only a year after his debut album It Comes in Waves & When It’s Here I’ll Know. He always makes good time; after all, he watched the entirety of The Office in only a week and a half.
Inner City have released their first new album in 30 years.
The Detroit trio, made up of Kevin Saunderson, Dantiez Saunderson and vocalist Steffanie Christi’an, today revealed their new 12-track LP, ‘We All Move Together’.
Recorded over 18 months of studio sessions between touring, a press release states that the album’s title “means more now than ever” and that “‘We All Move Together’ represents the uplifting love and connection that music brings to Kevin Saunderson’s life, the Inner City group, and the rest of the world.”
The album features an eponymous opening track with special guest Idris Elba, speaking words of positive messages, and vocal contributions from Detroit artist, ZebrA OctobrA.
Listen to ‘We All Move Together’ below.
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.
Sometimes it’s the little things. Software Xenakios took the Mutable Instruments Plaits oscillator and created a free fork with new features and more front-panel accessibility.
If the name Xenakios is familiar, it’s because this developer has created weird, excellent sound tools like HourGlass and PaulXStretch / the PaulStretch fork. Now they’ve gotten into VCV Rack – and we get to reap the benefits.
Mutable Instruments’ Plaits is a contemporary classic of modular – a packed module that can shift into all kinds of forms. In hardware and software, it gets near-constant use for a lot of us, and the open-source VCV Rack clone – Audible Instruments Macro Oscillator 2 – is terrific. It might even make you hunt down the hardware once you get hooked.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. The big issue with Plaits is, beautiful as its minimalist design is, it can be hard to actually tell what the panel does. And there’s a significant amount you can’t control. That can lead to the phenomenon that’s the one pitfall of the Mutable creations – getting stuck on particular sounds.
Atelier Palette is more readable, more patchable, and more controllable. It has an aesthetic all its own, and makes me glad to have both. (Think of it as having both salsa verde and sambal in your kitchen cabinet. Sometimes you want a choice.)
I’m just starting to dig into it, but straight away you get:
Control voltage control over lowpass gate color and decay
A main/aux mix output
Unisono/voice spread (okay, now you’ve really got me)
It’s also polyphonic. And just having those labels is already handy – especially if you hadn’t completely memorized them on Plaits/Macro Oscillator 2. It’s hard to even document what’s special about this – it’s completely reorganized in a way that’s likely to make you use it differently. If this is what we can expect from Xenakios, sign me up for this whole series.
Free, open source, GPLv3, head to the library and you can add it to VCV Rack on your macOS, Windows, or Linux machine:
While we’re on the topic of VCV, this isn’t the only good news in the module world this week. Stoev Interference is a new polyrhythm generator, for US$10. What’s beautiful about it is its simplicity and multi-functional approach – so even in a small space, it can be a clock source, clock modulator, trigger sequencer, or combination. While it’s capable of some of the same rhythmic goodness, it’s kind of the opposite of the sprawling Frozen Wasteland sequencer we visited recently, in terms of design. (Read our guide to that by the inimitable Kent Williams, who unlike me is not distracted by every new, shiny module that becomes available for download.) But polyrhythm lovers have plenty to play around with. So I don’t want to hear any of that dull 8-count cycle that never changes.
With his remix of Rynx’s “Hold On,” So Dope goes for a trifecta of 2020 singles, logging his third release of the calendar year while stylistically pivoting to a more chilled-out style of sound. In 2019, So Dope cemented his identity as a high-octane force to be reckoned with.
Releases such as “come for me” and “Catch Me Now” solidified that the New York native’s sound was of a heavy-handed bass nature, with plenty of low end engagement and rushing BPMs. The drilling vigor of So Dope’s productions have earned him credit in bass-embracing electronic circles, and while he continues to lay claim to this prowess, he’s not about to get repetitive, as his spin on “Hold On” evinces.
The rework sees So Dope take a more laidback approach to electronic production, and although this format is somewhat anomalous in his broader catalog, he fluidly navigates this alternative route, such that it sounds second nature to So Dope. The viscous, downtempo arrangement of “Hold On” is a dreamy contrast to So Dope’s bass-wielding outputs, and as to be expected, So Dope deftly makes the original his own. So Dope’s synth-laden revision plays with sharp textures at the breaks, where his production imprint is especially audible. Mark it down as another standout showing from So Dope.
Just one week after debuting the lead single, “Parasite,” from his forthcoming compilation album, Destinations: Living Room, Kaskade is back with the second serving from the upcoming project. Titled “When You’re Dreaming,” the latest single to be unveiled from the Grammy-nominated producer’s arsenal recruits Destinations frequenter, Finnstagram, to join forces with the powerhouse DJ on a mesmerizing composition.
Stepping into downtempo territory, “When You’re Dreaming” brims with nostalgic filters of distant white noise as glowing synths light up its languid atmosphere. Drum pads syncopate at will as dreamy vocals paint the track through the lens of an old film camera.
Residing on Kaskade’s label, Arkade, the Destinations compilation series has become both a staple in sensory escapades and a showcase of Kaskade’s sonic exploration, granting total immersion in location-inspired soundscapes. Preceded by Destinations: Icelandand Destinations: Tulum, the upcoming compilation takes on the mellow derivatives of the home in solace-inducing comfort.
Aluna Francis of London-based duo, AlunaGeorge, is breaking out on her own with the announcement of a new solo album to be released on August 28. Titled Renaissance, the album is tied to Francis’ personal process of self-discovery, which motivated Aluna to put her AlunaGeorge project with producer, George Reid, on hold for the foreseeable future.
As a teaser for the upcoming, full-length album, Francis has released a new single, “Get Paid,” featuring rapper, Princess Nokia, and Jamaican singer-songwriter, Jada Kingdom. The track pairs a tropical beat with velvety vocals, making for a tune that is fit for a party or a relaxing day at the beach.
However, the track is much more than just a perfect summer playlist addition, Aluna explained:
“‘Get Paid’ is an aspirational celebration about black women and women of color getting paid, in opposition [to] the reality that we are consistently undervalued for our work.”
The track list for the album will also feature earlier singles from Aluna, including “Body Pump” and “Warrior,” both of which feature SG Lewis. KAYTRANDA and Rema are also slated to make appearances on the LP.
Featured image: Lloyd Pursall
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:
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