Rialians On Earth – Beli EP

Rialians On Earth – Beli EPArtwork

You may never have heard of him, but Rialians on Earth’s latest 2-track pressing is sure to please any fan of minimal downtempo grooves. Comprised of “Novicani” and title track “Beli”, the pairing is the perfect showcase of this young UK producer’s sonic appetite and creativity. “Novicani” is a minimal, downtempo gem driven by subtle arpeggios and organic, ethnic percussion, while “Beli” is more energetic and bass heavy; a driving beat that is backed by Eastern atmosphere, vocal samples and traditional middle eastern instruments. The 13 minutes served up here might be short and sweet, but they manage to stir up a psychedelic yet soothing journey that is bound to captivate.

Stormzy, Little Simz, Dave, more amongst nominees for Ivor Novello awards 2020

Stormzy, Little Simz and Dave are among the nominees for this year’s Ivor Novello awards.

The annual awards, which serve as the biggest songwriting accolade in the UK and Ireland, were founded in 1956, and “recognise creative excellence in songwriting and screen composition.” 

Among the artists nominated are London MC Stormzy, who is up for Best Song Musically and Lyrically for ‘Crown’, co-written by MJ Cole and Jimmy Napes.

Elsewhere, Little Simz’s ‘Grey Area’ is nominated for Best Album, with J Hus and Dave both nominated in the Best Contemporary Song Categories. Calvin Harris’ collaboration with Rag ‘n’ Bone Man ‘Giant’ is among the nominees for PRS For Music Most Performed Work, Labrinth’s score for ‘Euphoria’ is in the running for Best Television Soundtrack.

Check out the full list of nominees here.

Earlier this year, Stormzy, who took home a BRIT Award in February, revealed plans to donate £10 million across the next 10 years, to organisations, charities and movements supporting racial equality, black empowerment and social justice.

Read DJ Mag’s 2019 feature with Little Simz, where we spoke to the MC and visionary about being in the public eye, growing as an artist and tackling politics in her music.

Don’t miss the visceral electroacoustic performances of Rojin Sharafi

Tehran-born, Vienna-based artist Rojin Sharafi plays electroacoustic music that’s kinetic, complex, and grippingly powerful. But just watch.

(Also, hello Sequential (Dave Smith Instruments) and Moog – here are hammered strings and burbling sounds in combinations you’re unlikely to get from any other artist endorsement.)

Photo, top via the artist.

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Rojin Sharafi plays ‘Urns Waiting To Be Fed’ (excerpt)
Released via Zabte Sote
Live at Fluc + Fluc Wanne
Organised by Struma + Iodine
October 2019

This isn’t new, exactly, but – somehow to me it’s an ideal sound to spend some time with now, anyway. (I have no conception of time normally, less so over the last months, so who cares? Also – we all better line up those 2021 or 2022 or 2025 bookings, eh?)

Looking like she’s spelunking in some post-apocalyptic future cave, her full set for “Urns Waiting to Be Fed” represents a full-velocity array of colliding analog bubbles, waves of frequency, micro-fragments of string and percussion, plucked, bowed, and coaxed from acoustic and electronic gear. You get hyperactive rhythms and hybrid sound bent between the physical and virtual.

That full album is on Zabte Sote, the Iranian-focused experimental label helmed by Ata ‘Sote’ Ebtekar with a production boost from Opal Tapes giving it some higher visibility. That’s included excellent stuff like Temp-Illusion – do check out their whole catalog – but this one has to be one of my favorites.

In another shadowy Austrian recording, we get to see how she mixes live percussion with a similar rig in 2018.

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Plenty more where that came from. It does raise an interesting question to me – even as more conservative dance music is off the table now, leading people to explore more experimental music, why couldn’t we dance to this when the time comes?

I’m also intrigued by various film work and interdisciplinary projects, including an unfinished architectural collaboration. I hope we get to see these partnerships’ output. There’s even a nice photo blog.


Sharafi’s work is also an an all-round excellent compilation of experimental electronics from Iranian composers. At 42 tracks, you get a feeling for just how broad that scene has become – and this selection is by no means complete or comprehensive.

I suppose one side effect of this process of identification – particularly as artists like Sote command larger audiences – is that people who work in isolation begin to hear what one another is doing. My anecdotal impression is that this mutual awareness has only grown over the past decade for Iranian producers. But anyone making weird and complicated music has experienced some form of isolation. (Or, conversely, got into the field of making strange sounds as a way to pass isolation.) Whatever the connecting thread, these sorts of compilations can make people more aware of context, even when a scene may not be obviously present in the way it is with, say, very popular club music.

I still await more ways that we share those kinds of sonic connections and adventurism. Those of us making music who prize alone-ness in creative work also I think need moments of connection.

But now while a lot of us are digging through sounds and pondering new directions in frightening times, it’s worth going back to some of these sounds, certainly.

And while the music press seems to love new “discoveries” and first albums, I know I’m keen to hear what Rojin Sharafi does next.

PS – more up to date, if you haven’t seen it. What has label boss Sote been up to? Well, he’s been doing things with wood! Awesome things with wood. Synthetic wood.

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ORBIT: AMPLIFY Playlist—CeCe Rogers

ORBIT: AMPLIFY Playlist—CeCe RogersScreen Shot 2020 07 22 At 2.55.18 PM

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 Martin Badder, Loud LuxuryAkira AkiraAnabel EnglundBrando, and Major Lazer‘s Walshy Fire, CeCe Rogers joins the ORBIT: AMPLIFY series to curate his own playlist. Credited as one of the artists who established house music alongside the likes of Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, Ten City, Robert Owens, and Joe Smooth, Rogers has a resume that spans more than 20 years in the dance context.

Dubbed the “Godfather of Soul” by James Brown, Rogers has a host of landmark house releases under his belt, including “All Join Hands” and “Someday.” Now, he’s highlighting releases from black creatives and other artists of color in a 19-cut collection that spans productions from Jefferson, Kerri Chandler, Blaze, Inner City, Aly-Us, Smooth, and many more. Notably, Rogers’ ORBIT: AMPLIFY Playlist hosts Morel’s “Club Mix Single” of Rogers’ “No Love Lost,” as well as Rogers’ new collaboration with Benny Benassi, “I’ll Be Your Friend.”

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

Porter Robinson surprises fans with DJ NOT PORTER ROBINSON remix of ‘Get Your Wish’

Porter Robinson surprises fans with DJ NOT PORTER ROBINSON remix of ‘Get Your Wish’Porter Robinson Photo Credit Rukes

Porter Robinson has made 2020 his comeback year with the release of two singles, “Get Your Wish” and “Something Comforting,” from his impending sophomore album, Nurture. Although the producer put the LP on an indefinite pause that fans have speculated is attributable to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Robinson celebrated his birthday the week of July 13 with the Anamanaguchi remix of “Get Your Wish.”

Out of the clouds, Robinson is back on July 22 with a surprise drop of another “Get Your Wish” remix, this one from a producer by the name of “DJ NOT PORTER ROBINSON.” Originally premiered during his virtual Secret Sky set, the remix certainly sounds like a live edit that Robinson would have included in his sets this festival season if not for the pandemic. Much more uptempo than the pop-leaning original, the rework takes the chorus for a bustling house ride before the enigmatic producer takes a turn and introduces a frenetic percussive spasm in a display of controlled chaos.

The identity of DJ NOT PORTER ROBINSON remains unknown, but diehard Robinson fans can thank the alias for a reinterpretation that will hold them over until Robinson divulges Nurture‘s release date. Stream the remix below.

Featured image: Rukes

The Weeknd shares new animated visual for ‘Snowchild’

The Weeknd shares new animated visual for ‘Snowchild’Screen Shot 2020 07 22 At 10.05.48 AM

The Weeknd has successfully turned lemons into lemonade this year behind the release of his critically lauded fourth studio LP, After Hours. The chart-dominating project is making a compelling case for album of the year in 2020, and now The Weeknd is extending the record’s summer run with the debut of a new animated visual to accompany “Snowchild.”

The anime-inspired video feature for “Snowchild,” which follows previous videos for album standout “Blinding Lights” and “In Your Eyes,” references the Canadian crooner’s storied come up, taking the viewer through symbolic call backs to previous benchmarks in The Weeknd’s career. From House of Balloons to Starboy, My Dear Melancholy onto After Hours, the new visual for “Snowchild” is a jaunt down memory lane for both the artist and his dedicated legion of fans, depicting the R&B force’s journey to global superstardom.

Following a Polaris Prize nomination, rumored jam sessions with Kygo, and a slew of high-profile After Hours remixes from the likes of Major Lazer, W&W, Yellow Claw, and more, The Weeknd is riding high in post-COVID 2020, despite the inability to tour for the foreseeable future. Watch the “Snowchild” music video below.

Families of Ghost Ship fire victims receive $32.7 million settlement from City Of Oakland

Families of the Oakland Ghost Ship fire victims have received a $32.7 million settlement from City Of Oakland.

Ghost Ship, a warehouse that had been converted into a living space and arts collective in Oakland, California, was hosting an event featuring artists from local label 100% Silk when a fire broke out in December 2016. The fire resulted in the deaths of 36 people, including a number of key figures in the local Bay Area electronic music scene such as 100% Silk artists Nackt (otherwise known as Johnny Igaz) and Cherushii (otherwise known as Chelsea Faith Dolan).

Last week (17th), the City Of Oakland, California settled 32 of the 36 lawsuits related to the fire, with $23.5 million given to the families of those who died in the fire, and $9.2 million going to Sam Maxwell, who survived while sustaining life-changing injuries.

Derick Almena, the lead tenant and lease holder of the Ghost Ship warehouse which was destroyed in a fire in 2016 killing 36 people, is to face a retrial in October 2020 following a mistrial last year, in which a jury reached a 10-2 deadlock on convicting him of the charges. 

Max Harris, who was also partly involved in the running of events at the warehouse space, was acquitted in the September 2019 and has since been freed from jail. 

A charity compilation was released by 100% Silk following the tragedy, with 50% of profits from sales being donated to Safer DIY Spaces, an Oakland-based coalition offering guidance, financial assistance, and labor to non-traditional creative community spaces. You can purchase ‘Silk To Dry The Tears’ here.

The Avalanches share two new tracks, featuring Jamie XX and Neneh Cherry: Listen

The group confirmed they had finished a new album last month

DJ Mag Staff

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 – 12:37

The Avalanches have shared two new singles.

After revealing that their third studio album had been completed, Australian electronic group The Avalanches have shared the two new tracks, ‘Reflecting Light’ and ‘Wherever You Go’, featuring Jamie XX and Neneh Cherry, as well as Sananda Maitreya and Vashti Bunyan.

Both released alongside visualisers, the two singles follow a track alongside Blood Orange, and ‘Running Red Lights’, featuring Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, earlier this year.

Check iout ‘Wherever You Go’ and ‘Reflecting Light’ below.

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In November last year, The Avalanches remixed The Chemical Brothers’ 1999 hit ‘Out of Control’.

Wolfgang Gartner returns with first EP since 2018, ‘Tucson’

Wolfgang Gartner returns with first EP since 2018, ‘Tucson’Wolfgang Gartner Live LA Credit NAFT Photography

It has been a long, winding road for The Wolf. But now, veteran selector Wolfgang Gartner is back, and on his latest EP, the producer finds himself celebrating his recovery following a month-long stint in a drug treatment facility located in Tucson, Arizona—from which the project draws its name, Tucson. With a career spanning more than two decades, the life of a globetrotting DJ can take its toll, and on his first extended release since 2018, Gartner pays homage to the place that brought him newfound mental clarity and the desire to create once again.

Introduced by lead single, “Supercars” earlier this summer, the six-track Tucson EP manages to draw inspiration from a number of sources—complextro landmarks with deadmau5 from the last decade, Basement Jaxx, Kool & The Gang, which Gartner connects with on the Walt Anderson-assisted “So Kool,” and more.

Tucson was written in part before Gartner’s treatment and completed after the experience in the southwestern desert, which Gartner credits for reigniting his creative drive. The EP finds Gartner in perhaps his sharpest creative form since his heyday at the cusp of the global EDM boom. Rich disco-inspired house, club-primed progressions, and eccentric, dancefloor-ready melodies swell together on Tucson, while managing to keep Wolfgang’s venerated electro sound largely intact. Reintroducing The Wolf after an arduous road out of treatment and back to the studio, Tucson is out now via ALT:Vision Records.

Featured image: Naft Photography