Music industry workers marched in Manchester today (11th August), calling on the government to provide for employees in the touring and festival events sectors.
Backed by Manchester icons The Stone Roses and New Order, as well as the Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord, hundreds of mask-clad, socially-distanced employees from the touring and festival sectors took to Manchester’s Oxford Street earlier today. PLASA (Professional Lighting and Sound Association), who were behind the day of action dubbed #WeMakeEvents, made a number of demands from the UK government, including grants for businesses in the events supply chain, not just the venues, as well as extending the furlough scheme until the industry is able to work.
The touring and festival events sector is currently in crisis, with over 100,000 jobs at risk due to the coronavirus pandemic, and many more expected. The #WeMakeEvents march coincides with a country-wide ‘Red Alert’ day where venues across the UK will light up in unison, including London’s Tate Modern, London Eye, Wembley Arena, and The National Theatre.
Last month, following various campaigns by the likes of Music Venues Trust (MVT) and #LetTheMusicPlay, the UK government have announced the first details of a £1.57billion support package for arts and culture institutions which remain closed amid the coronavirus pandemic. The package includes £270m in loans and £880million in grants for music venues, theatres, museums, heritage sites and galleries.
You can see footage from the march today, and an interview with Sacha Lord, below.
— North West News (@HeartNWNews) August 11, 2020
Well over 100 people who work in live music are holding a silent march along Oxford Road in #Manchester in a bid to try and save the industry.
— Hits Manchester News (@hitsmcrnews) August 11, 2020
2021 lineups have been flooding headlines as organizers look to the new year in the hope that large gatherings will return. Ottawa’s Escapade Music Festival is the latest to release the 2021 roster of talent after initially postponing the 2020 iteration.
Festival organizers have announced via Instagram that The Chainsmokers, Illenium, Martin Garrix, and Kaskade will headline the festival alongside many acts, including Steve Aoki, Chris Lake, and Nicky Romero, among others. Additionally, Seven Lions and Ophelia Records will host a stage, and the label head himself will later go back-to-back with Kill The Noise. Of note, most of the artists tapped to appear at the cancelled 2020 edition have since been transferred to Escapade’s 2021 lineup.
Escapade Music Festival’s comeback iteration will be held from June 18 – 20, 2021. Tickets to the forthcoming installment are currently available here.
Featured image: Rukes
The man with a million ventures, Diplo has not allowed the global COVID-19 pandemic to slow down his ability to surprise fans with all that he touches. Following the release of his debut album under his country moniker Thomas Wesley, and his crossover collaboration with Joji, “Daylight,” the Mad Decent head honcho has been tapped by Glass Animals to reimagine their single, “Heat Wave,” from their recently-released third album, Dreamland.
Abandoning his most recent sounds and styles, Diplo tries his hand at a tech-infused future bass flip, distorting Dave Bayley’s vocals and constructing a bouncy, metallic assortment of synths to give the original a heavier feel. For Diplo, this remix is quite a departure from what fans have come to expect given his recent activity, however, long-time fans will find this sound a close cousin to that of his California project.
Featured image: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Fabe will release his sophomore LP via FUSE later this month.
Landing on the 28th August, Mannheim DJ/producer Fabe, who is a regular face for Enzo Siragusa’s FUSE, will be the second ever artist after Siragusa to release an album on the London-based imprint.
Titled ‘Four Point Island’, the 11-track album serves as producer’s follow-up to his 2019 album ‘Water Tower’, and was made during the coronavirus lockdown period. “The current situation is suited towards something different to your classic three-track club-oriented EP made for the dance floor,” Fabe said on the LP. “There won‘t be a chance for DJs to play in front of big crowds this summer, but there will be time for everybody to explore new music.”
You can check out some clips from ‘Four Point Island’ below, and pre-order the album here.
London’s FUSE unveiled a new look for label, party, and collective last year, and alongside sub-label INFUSE, launched a brand new imprint: LOCUS.
DJ, producer and party founder Enzo Siragusa has come a long way from his early days raving in warehouses, but he’s never forgotten his roots. The man behind FUSE opened up to DJ Mag in his UK cover story earlier this year, about how he’s grown the event into an international, musically broad-minded collective and label — and how a hardcore and jungle past still surfaces in his music today.
The Weeknd’s augmented reality TikTok concert was a neon-infused hit. The Grammy Award-winning artist debuted his new, highly immersive 20-minute performance on the social media platform on August 7, teaming up with Doja Cat and giving fans a taste of new material along the way.
The digital set saw The Weeknd burst onto the stage through fire and flames before embarking on a psychedelic journey across time and space. Fans were encouraged to contribute to the performance by collectively voting on whether or not the artist should lick a toad. Later, their usernames and comments were illuminated among a booming display of fireworks.
The Weeknd also teased a new song in the buildup to the aforementioned frog-licking, a track reminiscent of the artist’s more vocally-centric earlier work. Find it at the seven-minute mark.
The live event replayed internationally from August 8 – 11, but is now available through fan-recorded channels. Watch the concert in full below.
Featured image: TikTok
Without a doubt, music lovers everywhere are craving concerts and festivals. And now, with most live events either postponed or cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it has become a matter of how far some will go to satisfy this craving. On the weekend of August 8, 10,000 people gathered in a remote mountain region in Lozère, France, to attend an illegal rave. According to local authorities who shut down the event, no social distancing measures were in place and small children were also reported to have been in attendance.
Though Lozère is one of the country’s least populated regions, France nevertheless has a current ban in effect on events with more than 5,000 attendees. After the illegal rave was discovered, authorities took precautions against the virus by first locking down the event and then setting up testing. Officials also handed out face masks, water, and hand sanitizer. Attendees were filtered out of the event site beginning on August 10.
Vidéo prise ce dimanche 9 août à l’intérieur de la rave-party à Hures-la-Parade, en #Lozère
Les teuffeurs commencent à quitter les lieux. 4 500 festivaliers sont encore présents
(Crédits : Alain Pouget) pic.twitter.com/SfhkxoEGBA
— France Bleu Gard Lozère (@bleugardlozere) August 10, 2020
Via: The Local fr
Featured image: AFP
The new versions of their popular and innovative battle DJ gear add new features to ensure that DJs are getting the best possible tools for creative mixing.
The SEVENTY-TWO MKII adds a highly requested external crossfader tension adjust allowing DJs to personalize the way the crossfader works and feels for them, whilst the TWELVE MKII has been opened up to other DJ software platform controls to include Traktor and Virtual DJ as well as Serato DJ Pro, adding independent controls and a redesigned plunger-style Start/Stop button. The TWELVE MKII also comes with OLED screen, Control Selection and BPM display and new Navigation control offering Scroll/Load, Back and Instant Doubles meaning DJs have everything they need at their fingertips without having to track back to their laptops. The pairing of these updated versions of RANE’s battle set-up makes for a very powerful DVS set-up that offers all the hands-on access of a traditional turntable style rig.
The RANE Seventy-Two MKII costs $1,899 while the Twelve MKII comes in at $899. Watch the videos below for more info.
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For what this year has lacked in live events, artists have certainly made up for in new releases. Adding to the slate of the summer’s stellar new music is RL Grime‘s Sable Valley. On August 10, the wildly popular trap DJ/producer shared a 15-minute preview mix of an upcoming compilation album from his label. Not only will the LP feature new music from RL Grime himself, but also Whethan, Baauer, Jon Casey, and JAWNS, among other artists who will join the release roster.
The compilation album—a first from Sable Valley—is scheduled for an August 14 release. If the preview mix is any indication, the new LP is sure to bring those festival feels straight to your living room.
Listen to the full mix below.
Featured image: Brian Walker
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 Whethan, Cuppy, CeCe Rogers, Martin Badder, Loud Luxury, Akira Akira, Anabel Englund, Brando, and Major Lazer‘s Walshy Fire, DJ 4rain curates Dancing Astronaut‘s ORBIT: AMPLIFY Playlist for the week of August 10.
DJ 4rain, born Stephan Tavares, is a French-born, Miami-based DJ and producer whose music is an eclectic blend of Caribbean rhythms, hip-hop beats, and electronic sensibility. His wide range of sonic inspiration is tied directly to his community: the hip-hop music he listens to with his friends, the African music favored by his family, and the EDM and festival-inspired sounds that come from his career. With big-name collaborations alongside the likes of Tory Lanez and Meek Mill already under his belt, Tavares is making a name for himself with his multi-genre approach and his dynamic aural signature.
His 17-track ORBIT: AMPLIFY playlist highlights black artists like Carl Cox, Black Coffee, Idris Elba, and Afro Bros, who have served as Tavares’ personal inspirations. DJ 4rain’s playlist also features ORBIT: AMPLIFY alum, Walshy Fire.
In addition to sharing his ORBIT: AMPLIFY playlist and hinting at a future collaboration with Fire, DJ 4rain talked with Dancing Astronaut about his path to producing, his role in Lanez’s Grammy-nominated track, “LUV,” and finding his calling in music.
How do you get started as a DJ/producer? Was there a specific moment when you knew you were going to go all in and pursue this path?
DJ 4rain: “One of my older brothers was building a lot of events in the South of France. He was making big parties in clubs and warehouses when I was about 15 or 16-years-old. The first time I was there and saw the DJ, I was like, ‘Oh, I want to try this too.’ And every time I went there, I would try [to DJ] before the party started. It just came to me naturally. But the day we worked on Tory Lanez and Meek Mill’s [respective] albums, I think that was the starting point to push it really, really, really hard. I think that was the moment. I studied music because I love music [and dreamed] one day [that] I would be a big producer, but the first time you get something big, it’s like everything becomes different.”
What, specifically, did your involvement with the Grammy-nominated collaboration with Lanez entail? What was your approach to the production process? Does the sound you pursued for this project deviate from the sound for your solo work, or did you have a similar sonic approach?
DJ 4rain: “There were so many producers in the studio. My part was more to do with arrangement, to take all the vocals and the beats and all the stuff that we made together to make the final project ready to mix. It’s different because when you are with a lot of producers, most of the time they come with really, really good ideas that you never think of for yourself. But when I start my own beats, sometimes I’m just outside and I hear something and I’m like, ‘Woah, this could be a really good melody.’”
What did the Grammy nomination for “LUV” mean to you?
DJ 4rain: “It was amazing because a lot of producers have the dream to get this type of nomination. When we received it, it was like, ‘Wow, everything is possible today.’ This was the big change in my career because I was like, ‘Hey, today I was able to do it for Tory, so I’m sure I can do it for myself now.’”
Can you please speak about your experience as a black artist in this industry? Do you have any advice for budding producers of color?
DJ 4rain: “I always worked really hard when I started [in] music. I tried to never be in the studio with anyone who would make me stay behind. They can say, ‘Ok, you’re black,’ but my music will speak for me. I always try to work a lot, that way if someday my color is an issue, the music will speak for itself. Maybe they won’t like me, or will choose someone else, but I’ll do my best for my music. It’s always good competition to be better in doing this work. Good competition, work harder, and don’t let people judge you, but let the music speak for you.”
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: