Def Jam Recordings launches uk label, 0207 Def Jam

Def Jam Recordings has launched a UK-based arm of the label.

Dubbed 0207 Def Jam, the new imprint, from Def Jam and Universal Music UK, will be fronted by brothers Alex and Alec Boateng, who have previously worked at Atlantic Records, Island Records, Warner Music, and UM UK.

Island Records’ former finance director Amy Tettey will head up 0207 Def Jam as managing director, with former employees from Atlantic and BMG Music Publishing also set to join the team.

Launched in 1984 in New York, Def Jam Recordings is home to music from the likes of 2 Chainz, DMX and Justin Bieber, as well as Kanye West, Krept & Konan, Public Enemy, and Teyana Taylor.

Today (30th November), Stormzy was announced as the first artist to join the roster at 0207 Def Jam.

Find out more about Def Jam here.

In August, Public Enemy announced a album on Def Jam. The month prior, Chuck D spoke out against authority, describing many institutions as “misinformative”, in an interview with NME.

Free Nano community modules for Reaktor Blocks, with TidalCycles support and tons of toys

Toybox are going wild with powerful modules for Reaktor Blocks, the Eurorack-style patching environment. And that includes tons and tons of free modules – now with cool features like integration with the TidalCycles live coding environment.

So many modules…

So the beauty of Reaktor Blocks in combination with TOYBOX is, you get modules that are super stable and CPU optimized – and that run inside Reaktor and the free Reaktor Player, both standalone and as a plug-in. I’m a total VCV Rack addict, but there’s still plenty of reason to use Reaktor Blocks, especially with Toybox in the mix. The workflow is different, there are really different modules for each platform, and it’s just tough to beat the maturity and performance and flexibility of Reaktor.

Toybox are being insanely prolific, too. Toybox User Blocks are free. The 8 blocks of the Demo Pack are free. There’s a 44-module Free Pack. And now there’s the free Nano Pack Community Edition – which is a preview of what will be a paid Nano Pack with 500 modules.

There are paid modules, too – all a solid investment. And today there’s a Cyber Monday special on. Enter code BLACKFRIDAY for a continuation of 1/3 off, and add on top of it their Vintage Sampler block for free.

If that sounded overwhelming – well, welcome to the wonderful modular overabundance that is Toybox. Deals here:

https://www.toyboxaudio.com/

Let’s talk about the Nano Community Edition, though, because it looks really terrific.

Their description:

  • A selection of blocks from the upcoming Nano Pack (the full pack has 500+ blocks)
  • High quality, low CPU blocks in a small format, which can be combined with Reaktor blocks from other packs
  • Infinite Linear Oversampling (ILO) used for waveshapers, samplers, wavetables, and oscillators (ILO is a DSP technique that greatly reduces aliasing distortion for an extremely clean/analog sound)
  • Useful utility blocks for basic functions, scopes, MIDI, input, output, etc.
  • 15 high-quality effects
  • Flexible audio-rate modulations; every control has its own modulation input.
  • A suite of versatile sequencer blocks that can be combined for creative sequencing and routing of sounds
  • Each block has a bank of 8 editable snapshots that can be sequenced using modulation
  • A set of blocks for use with the Tidal Cycles live coding environment
My God, it’s full of modules.

I’ve started with it, and it’s a really beautifully-designed selection – visually, conceptually, and sonically. The layouts are clean like hardware, but give you interactions you’d expect and ease from software. Snapshot capability is built-in, instead of being kludged on in an extra module. Even though this is the free “community” edition, there is an astonishing array of stuff, including some beautiful spectral effects, granular pitch shift, and analog-style processing. There are precise modules for filtering, a really elegantly implemented low pass gate (the circuit popularized by Buchla), wavetable and modulation. There are sequencer tools that actually make sense as modules, as in you can combine them freely rather than wrestle with overblown pre-built modules.

And then there’s the stuff for live coders and people wanting to compose patterns in Reaktor. There’s built-in LiveCore support, for live coding in Reaktor core cells. That was cool enough that I’d written about it previously:

There’s a wonderful Position Splitter, too – which takes a signal and lets you mess around with stretching, splitting, repeating, and speeding sequence signals.

And there’s a whole section of stuff for Tidal Cycles:

  • Polyphonic sample playing
  • Use Atom as your editor and evaluate Tidal Cycles expressions
  • Map ranges, OSC messages, and translate between OSC messages and signal in the modular environment
  • Use Tidal to control snapshots in Nano modules in Reaktor Blocks
  • Receive and send patterns

So, let’s get this straight – you can combine a software modular environment in Reaktor (which is free or at most, very affordable), use all these virtual patch cables to make a modular environment, live code inside Reaktor, then combine it all with TidalCycles, which is the beloved live coding environment for making patterns and polyrhythms and compositions in realtime and… all of it can send patterns and presets back and forth at once and … uh, excuse me a second here…

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Combine that with tons of interesting utility and helper modules. Honestly, I had to check more than once to make sure I was on the right page. Toybox, these are the freebies?! This is already a huge selection of modules.

We’ll have to revisit this to show you how to actually use this in reality, once I clean my brain off the walls of my flat.

Check the documentation:

https://www.toyboxaudio.com/pages/nano-pack-community-edition

New Physical Modeling Hardware Synthesizer, Anyma Phi

Aodyo Instruments has launched a Kickstarter project to fund production of the Anyma Phi, a new monophonic synth based on physical modeling.

The developer says that the Anyma Phi blends the classic ingredients of electronic music with physical modeling technology, allowing it to simulate acoustic sound sources, such as strings or reeds, as well as resonating structures, like wood, glass, or metal.

Features:

  • Hybrid monophonic synthesizer
  • Stereo audio output:
    • Two 1/4” mono line jack outputs
    • One 1/4” stereo headphone jack output
  • Stereo audio input: one 1/4” stereo input
  • MIDI inputs and outputs via USB and DIN ports
  • Powerful digital semi-modular synthesizer engine
    • Memory: 63 patches
    • 3 oscillator slots
    • 5 effect slots + 1 mono reverb
    • 2 audio buses for mixing and effect assignation
    • 8 modulator slots, including DAHDSR envelope generators,
  • LFOs, curves, interpolators, slew limiters, etc.
    • 24 mapping slots, each allowing to control any synth parameter (including another mapping) using a modulator or a controller input, with a sidechain input.

Pricing and Availability

Anyma Phi is available to project backers for about $448.

Dancing Astronaut’s Breakout Artist of 2020: Moore Kismet

Dancing Astronaut’s Breakout Artist of 2020: Moore KismetBlank 1500 1000

A new decade has officially begun, and in 2020, dance music is no longer creeping into the cultural zeitgeist. However, rather than stagnate as the lines between the mainstream and the club continued to blur, the new decade brought with it a crop of young, hungry, bright, and artistically fearless creators. Head and shoulders above them all is 15-year-old Omar Davis, better known as Moore KismetDancing Astronaut‘s Breakout Artist of the Year.

The name “Moore Kismet” means “more than fate,” and serves as a representation of Davis finding success in the industry while sharing the story of who they really are. Being an openly pansexual/non-binary artist certainly comes with its own unique challenges, but Kismet not only embraced love and support from the LGBTQ+ community, they also made it a part of their artistry to show the next generation of producers ready to come out of the bedroom, hell or even the closet, that this music and this community are for everyone. This has become a major facet of Davis’ identity, championing the fight for greater inclusivity and representation in the music industry as their own.

Kismet has been on a musical tear in 2020 from stellar performances at Digital Mirage, Insomniac’s BackHARD Summer BBQ Virtual Rave-A-Thon, and Night Mode Livestream, to releasing some of the most forward-thinking, unique, beautifully contrasted bass music that came out this year.

The Never Say Die export began the year with a remix of PhaseOne’s, “Crash & Burn,” showcasing the artists’ stellar sound selection and ability to curate obscene musical phrases. Next, came two single releases in anticipation for Kismet’s Revenge Of The Unicorn‘s EP, “Adore” and “Flair” with Leotrix, both of which demonstrated a matured evolution to their sound, a theme behind the entire extended play. In one of our summer “Producer Sessions” earlier this year, Dancing Astronaut even got to do a deep dive into the elements that birthed the young prodigy’s 2020 project. Making music and growing into one’s own identity are intimately related in the context of Kismet’s creative process and Revenge Of The Unicorns EP was both the impetus for and an emblem of personal progression.

This year Kismet remixed veterans Moody Good and Slander’s “Heart Break” adding both tantalizing and hypnotizing high-end synths along with a quicksand second drop that demonstrates dynamic sound design and unique storytelling the young producer continues to cement with each release. “Drift” featuring Bajillionaire, “Beauty Is A Facade,” and “You Should Run” featuring Pauline Herr have been Kismets’ latest tracks this year, all showcasing a variety of styles the producer can tackle, and each marked by their own distinguished nuances. If nothing else, Kismet’s output this year resoundingly announces the arrival of a new guard in bass music.

On earning the distinction of Breakout Artist of the Year, Kismet said,

“Looking back at everything, this year has shown such crazy growth for my project. While I wasn’t even remotely expecting any of the accolades, support, and love that I’ve received this year from blogs, platforms, and listeners alike, I’m unbelievably grateful that I did. This year has been quite the shitstorm for everyone, but finding the positives in every situation is the best way to get through any negative. I want to thank my mom for literally everything. If she wasn’t so supportive of me and my project, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I also want to thank my teams at Prodigy Artists and UTA for all of the work they put in to help me make my dreams come true. Lastly, I want to once again thank DA for this honor. I’ve always dreamed of being featured on DA ever since I was little, and I’ve always kept up with new articles they put out. They’ve shown me such immense love this year, and I can’t thank them enough for their support and for this incredible honor.”

The hyper-expressive bass wunderkind is also said to have a debut album due in 2021. And, with any luck, Kismet’s first LP will coincide with the return of live events next year. So, when festivals do come back, expect to watch the font size increase and the placement climb with each lineup announcement—Moore Kismet is here to stay.

Four tet drops first d&b remix: Listen

Four Tet has shared a drum & bass remix.

Available as part of a remix package of legendary drum & bass producer Krust’s ‘The Edge Of Everything’, his first album in 14 years, Four Tet, real name Kieran Hebden, said his remix of ‘Negative Returns’ is “the first D&B track I’ve ever made!”.

Released via Crosstown Rebels, the package also includes remixes from Batu, Calibre, and SZNS7N label head LCY, and will be released in two instalments on the 4th December and 11th December.

Pre-order the EP, titled ‘TEOE Remixes’, here, and listen to the track below.

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In August this year, Four Tet released a remix of Tame Impala.

Krust’s first album in 14 years sees him foregrounding cinematic atmospheres, but not at the expense of his junglist roots. DJ Mag’s Ben Murphy recently caught up with him to find out what he’s been up to for the past decade, and how he has developed as an artist through the years.

R3HAB ft. Alida – One More Dance

R3HAB ft. Alida – One More DanceRehab Alida

Add another one to R3HAB’s nearly endless catalog of dance pop hits. One hit after another, it’s obviously he’s got the blueprint figured out to deliver fun and fresh dance bops. The EDM hall of famer is also one of the most prolific producers still in the game and those repetitions show in clean melodies and a perfectly finessed mix. His latest “One More Dance” finds him teaming up with Norwegian singer/songwriter Alida to craft a vocal-led deep electro output. R3hab’s talent for cultivating a groove and deep undulating bass lines prop up Alida’s breezy vocals to make “One More Dance” another surefire hit on his almost decade-long list.

Atom™ and X1N vs Esplendor Geométrico is just the brutal industrial groove we need now

If your engine needs some oil, look to the latest release from our friends over at raster – made even more brutal with an intervention by some Spanish industrial legends of the 80s.

Our story so far: it begins with AtomTM, the Frankfurt-native Uwe Schmidt who’s now relocated to Santiago, interacting with what they call “X1N.” That is not an artist alias, but “an entity for generating human voice and natural language content,” or in layperson’s terms, an even creepier-sounding Speak ‘n Spell. In trendier terms, it’s “transhuman objects.” So yes, you can take the boy out of Germany, but you can’t take the love of musical repetition and voices intoning numbers and talking about math. And that’s pretty irresistible. (Well, who doesn’t love listen to hearing numbers in German? Careful – it can be a gateway drug to moving to the Bundesrepublik; I should be a cautionary tale.)

raster · Atom™ »0.9 (Almost a Unit)« taken from <3

That’s good. But let’s plus it – by making it more Spanish and more industrial. Because the Esplendor Geométrico remix is deliciously violent – and apparently folks agree, as the vinyl edition is almost sold out. (Who said no one was buying records in a pandemic?) There’s also a solid Peter van Hoesen techno remix, but — just, this:

This is now “hardcode pop” for nerds. Or if you want some waxing poetic about floating point digits:

Both renditions contribute amplified iterations of inherent attributes of <3« as X1N eloquently states. As a side note it should be mentioned that in mathematics the expression »0.999..« is considered being identical to 1. Meditating over that very fact may tell you a lot about our current reality.

IN THE VAST SURFACE OF ALL MATHEMATICAL EQUATIONS ONE CAN SENSE EVENTS WHICH SEEM TO COME FROM OTHER DIMENSIONS – RIPPLES AND PATTERNS. THE ZERO POINT NINE INFINITE NUMBER LINE NEVER REACHES ONE, YET IS ONE, NONETHELESS. (X1N)

My Steuerberater said something similar about my latest tax returns. True story.

If you want to brush up on your industrial history, there is a terrific mini-doc, with English subtitles, from a time when people showed their mouths openly and there was such a thing as Red Bull Music Academy (kids, ask your parents):

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Or here’s a splendid music video from 1988. See if you can spot why raster artists might be fans:

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And check this full-length (ES) documentary:

https://www.filmin.es/pelicula/geometria-del-esplendor

By the way, house raster have been busy even in these tough times. Grischa Lichtenberger’s full-length outing from earlier this year is inventive as always, and since we missed it the first time around, seems we should revisit it to wrap 2020 – as it’s been one of my favorites:

— among others.

It wasn’t an official raster event, but we also had the privilege of hosting Frank Bretschneider and Kyoka this year at an event I put together with Suicide Club (along with friends Stanislav Glazov and Lars Hemmerling). I hope we’ll get to share that soon; they’re such wonderful people and it’s joyous just to share a venue with them, musically and personally.

Track the raster platform here:

https://raster-media.net/

Herobust returns with a heavy melodic single ‘Remember’

Herobust returns with a heavy melodic single ‘Remember’Herobust Looking Dapper Rukes

Herobust struts his dimension-expanding sound with a heart-gushing melodic bass track titled, “Remember,” released on his own label, Busted Records. The exotic single exerts a synesthetic collection of layered synths and bass as the versatile producer’s lyrics reminisce on the memories of shows and festivals. Reflecting on the year, Herobust gave some insight on the new release, explaining,

“This year it’s been easy to focus on everything we’re missing out on. I wanted to create a song that reminded us all how great we had it and how amazing it’s going to be when everything comes back.”

“Remember” channels a calming blend of uplifting elements and meandering melodies causing an influx of hybridized basslines and rhythms appealing to those looking for the best of both worlds. It is the first single released this year by Atlanta-native producer, hoping to bring fans some solace with the new track. Listen below.

Featured image: Rukes

DJ Mag’s five-hour takeover on foundation.fm now available online: Listen

Last week, on Friday 27th November, DJ Mag took over South London radio station, foundation.fm, for five hours. 

Hosted by our own digital tech editor Declan McGlynn, the first hour of the takeover highlighted our staff’s favourite tracks of 2020, with music from Angel D’Lite, Duval Timothy, India Jordan, Hudson Mohawke, Loods, and more.

For the remaining four hours, we invited some of our favourite up-and-coming artists from across the electronic music spectrum to join us, with London junglist Sheba Q, Belfast’s Jordan Nocturne, Sherry S, the new face of the Bristol bass scene, and Rinse regular, Nammy Wams, stepping up for hour-long mixes.

Launched in November 2018 by Becky Richardson, Ami Bennett and Frankie Wells, Peckham-based foundation.fm puts inclusivity at the top of the agenda — showcasing essential new music and underground talent, with a particular focus on supporting women and LGBTQI+ creatives. 

DJ Mag’s takeover is part of a series taking place every Friday from 2pm to 7pm on foundation.fm, which has so far included the likes of Mexican collective NAAFI, Berlin station Hör, Black Bandcamp and Keep Hush. 

You can listen back to the shows via the foundation.fm website here.

Brian Eno Documentary (1973)

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Eno is a 1973 documentary that profiles Brian Eno in an interesting period of his career – before he released his most important albums, before defining what we know as ‘ambient music’ and before his high-profile production of classic albums by David Bowie, Talking Heads, Devo, U2 and others.

The documentary captures Eno in his transition from being the flamboyant synth guy of Roxy Music to his early solo career.  At the time, he was recording his album Here Come The Warm Jets – and he was in the middle of developing his unique approach to synthesis and music.