Developers of Zynthian – an Open Synth Platform – have announced version 4 of their DIY synth kit.
The Zynthian is a hardware synth, based on the Raspberry Pi minicomputer, that can run multiple synth engines, filters and effects.
Zynthian Kit v4 keeps all the good things from the v3, but integrates the Raspberry Pi 4, which substantially increases the Zynthian’s processing power.
The RBPi4 allows to run all the synth-engines without reaching the limits. No more “clicks” (XRuns) when playing Pianoteq, OBXd or ZynAddSubFX. You can also play simultaneously more layers, which comes in handy when using the ntegrated step sequencer, ZynStep.
Here’s what’s new in Zynthian Kit v4:
More CPU power than ever: Designed for the Raspberry Pi 4
Zynductor Passive Cooling: 100% silent
4 x extra push buttons, totally assignable to functions or programs.
2 x Balanced Audio Inputs with adjustable gain (-12db to 32dB)
THEY. and Tinashe throw a sultry guitar on some classic R&B for a new collaboration, “Play Fight,” cropped from the duo’s upcoming project, The Amanda Tape. The collaboration comes after the Mind of a Genius-championed R&B outfit remixed Tinashe’s 2019 standout, “Hopscotch.” Through a mist of vocal stacks, the guitar jogs alongside swinging percussion for a dynamic track featuring some of the genre’s premier vocalists. They were influenced by those early 2000 feel-good summer anthems back when R&B ruled the radio, as quoted in FADER, “We love songs that have both the male and female perspective, like Ja Rule and Ashanti, or Nelly and Kelly Rowland.”
As THEY. prep for their forthcoming project, “Play Fight” lands as the third single released from the DC/Denver connect this year, following “Red Light Green Light” and and the more R&B forward, “Count Me In.” Listen 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:
Nicolas Jaar returns with his third album of 2020, exhibiting the Chilean-American producer’s unrivaled sound design and penchant for the off-kilter across four abstract and inspired tracks.
Titled Telas, the new release is arguably Jaar in his most experimental state yet, and frankly, not for everyone. As revealed during Nicolas Jaar’s recent appearance on Palestine’s Radio Alhara, Telas translates to “tales,” which couldn’t be a more fitting title, as each of the tracks on the release tell their own cerebral stories. After escaping the intentionally overstimulating intro, “Telahora,” for example, seems to drop the listener under the sprawling night sky, one of Jaar’s many vast and atmospheric sonic ecosystems heard throughout the LP.
Each of the following tracks, titled “Telencima,” “Telahumo,” and “Telallás,” add further brushstrokes to the visual universe of Telas. There are points in the album where Jaar might get lost diddling with experimental sounds, but the resulting aesthetic that falls somewhere between abrasive metallic timbres and organic production is something to behold.
Telas is a release that’s easy to feel lost in, but is also thought provoking as a result. It’s the type of album that you listen to, let go of for a few months, and then come back to for a completely different listening experience. However, it shows an artist in Nicolas Jaar who isn’t driven by the sounds of past successes, but only the next artistic vision in front of him.
Telas is out on streaming services now. For more information on the concepts behind the album, visit Nicolas Jaar’s Instagram.
Few electronic endeavors have enjoyed the notoriety that Darude’s “Sandstorm” has. Two decades following the release of the seminal single, Darude’s iconic one-off continues to invigorate the electronic context and inspire those working within it, including bass innovating production pair, Pixel Terror. Monstercat has welcomed the duo’s contemporary update of “Sandstorm,” on which Pixel Terror wash Darude’s ear-gripping song in modern sonics.
Unsurprisingly, Pixel Terror laden on the bass at the revised breaks, even integrating touches of dubstep at these junctures for a festival-suited flip. Taking on such a time-honored dance classic is no small feat, yet Pixel Terror execute the edit with refined ease, cutting Darude’s original a sharper edge. A record poised to continue “Sandstorm’s” tradition of killing the dance floor, Pixel Terror’s alteration can be found on Monstercat – 9 Year Anniversary, a collection of re-envisioned ’90s dance hits released in celebration of the imprint’s nine year anniversary.
Looking for new music to soundtrack your day? Treat yourself with Meghan Trainor‘s new, full-length LP, TREAT MYSELF. TREAT MYSELF, the “All About That Bass” artist’s third studio album, is rich with powerful collaborations, featuring artists like Nicki Minaj, The Pussycat Dolls, and EDM’s own Dillon Francis, among others.
Trainor is no stranger to crossovers within the electronic music realm, having previously released a dance-pop collaboration with Kaskade, “With You.” Now, returning to EDM once more, the powerhouse vocalist has partnered with Francis for an infectious pop-electronic hybrid titled “Underwater.”
Trainor’s soulful, smooth vocals effortlessly intertwine with Dillon’s tight-knit production. Both lighthearted breaks on the duo’s newest hit feature a bright, wobbly synth set atop Dillon’s signature moombahton-influenced drums. “Underwater” is a wildly addictive dance showing sure to make its rounds in the club circuit, once those clubs open, that is. Stream the full album below.
Trap phenomenon Party Favor made the most of the downtime induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and hunkered down in the studio to make music. Through the spring and now, the summer, the prodigious producer experimented with a number of different concepts and ended up producing enough material for THE ISOLATION ALBUM.
The aptly-titled, 13-track body of work mainly comprises beats and instrumentals that span a wide array of soundscapes and subgenres. From hip-hop instrumentals to ambient indie-electronic cuts to thumping trap selects, Party Favor showcases his versatility as a musical craftsman while giving fans insight into his creative consciousness during lockdown. The album as a whole is quick, 34-minute listen, however, fans can appreciate the depth and different layers with which he has framed this body of work.
In honor of his album and in the spirit of staying home, Party Favor is throwing his own livestream festival, “Party Favor presents Isolation Festival,” in partnership with Dancing Astronaut. The lineup features Dillon Francis, Sofi Tukker, A-Trak, and more. Fans can watch the live festivities at 4 p.m. EST/1 p.m. EST on Dancing Astronaut’s Facebook on July 18, and can view the set times, here.
Gianni Blu is impressing his fluid signature on summer 2020, pushing it deeper with “Summer Jam,” a dance-inducing number that won’t take “no” for an answer when it comes to body work. Entrancingly deep yet delightfully buoyant in tone, Blu’s sixth single of the calendar year finds the house tastemaker catering to boat- and pool-stationed crowds with a song that takes weaves elements of deep house and dance-pop together in an intoxicating fashion.
Vocals from D. Lylez stand in silken suspension above the sleek slink of the beat, ushering listeners away from their respective locations and under the Balearic sun in a musical mirage that strikes bliss for just over three-minutes. Blu’s sun-soaked latest follows his preceding galvanizer, “ENDLESSLY,” as well as a host of other house allures that have further solidified Blu as one of the house circuit’s choice connoisseurs.
Start ’em young on this synth from Playtime Engineering
Thursday, July 16, 2020 – 14:33
The delightfully named Playtime Engineering is back with an update to their popular synth the Blipblox, designed to teach children synthesis. The new version – called Afterdark – features a new dark covering and features over 300 melodies, arps and sequences pre-loaded in the machine for tweaking and filtering. There’s also a built-in drum machine with 100 pitch-shifting drum samples and 256 built in vegetables.
Most of that won’t matter to the kids it’s aimed at, but it’s also a capable synth in its own right, with Playtime Engineering claiming it has “range of synthesis possibilities never before seen on a device [at] this price.”
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