First Look: Beatchain for distributing, promoting and analysing your music online

The new platform is designed to simplify and maximise distribution and analytics

Declan McGlynn

Thursday, December 3, 2020 – 17:22

Beatchain is a new platform for independent artists and labels that features multiple tools for promoting, distributing and tracking your music. It aims to tie together multiple aspects of releasing music, to combine data and analytics about your audience. You can distribute your music on Beatchain for free to Spotify, Apple Music, Shazam, TiDAL and more. You can then analyse your releases and use Beatchain’s Fan Builder to advertise for more followers or to promote a release, using the data gathered from your releases and social accounts. 

Once you link your social media accounts you can then use Beatchain to schedule your posts as well as track what posts are doing well across multiple platforms. Beatchain offers three different price tiers, including up to three release a month for free. 

Watch the video below for more info on Beatchain. DJ Mag readers get 35% off when they sign up to Beatchain, which you can do here.  

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St. Lundi releases acoustic reworking of Kygo’s “To Die For”

St. Lundi releases acoustic reworking of Kygo’s “To Die For”St Lundi Kygo

Originally found on Kygo’s chart-topping ‘Golden Hour’ album, “To Die For” has lived multiple lives each more impressive than the last. What started as a defunct collaboration with Dermot Kennedy, resulted in Kygo reaching out to St. Lundi to finish the track at the 11th hour before ‘Golden Hour’ was released. The result was one of the most iconic tracks on the Norwegian star’s album – a stand out amongst a collective of certifiable hits. Now St. Lundi returns to the collaboration and re-imagines it as an acoustic version that just might be more enchanting than the original. Already at 1 million streams, the acoustic version of “To Die For” takes on a whole new soul with the electronic elements stripped bare and the vocals center stage. A little bit of Coldplay’s Chris Martin in his intonation, St. Lundi’s voice is the star here, striking chords with fans and those unfamiliar alike. Looking for more from St. Lundi? His second EP is slated for an early 2021 release date, produced by Edd Holloway and Nick Atkinson.

ODESZA are back in the studio

ODESZA are back in the studio110046860 588235441880956 2590762252104025609 N

New ODESZA music seems to be not a matter of if, but when. While the duo’s collective BRONSON project with Golden Features is irrefutably one of the most poignant and cohesive bodies of work of the new decade thus far, three-plus years have come and gone since A Moment Apart, the second and most recent full-length effort under the ODESZA banner.

In just a two-word Instagram post, ODESZA’s Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight shared that they were taking a break from a studio session. The December 2 post resembles one that the duo shared back in October of 2019, which, in retrospect, can only be presumed to have been BRONSON-related.

Although it certainly may not seem the most substantial bit of information, ODESZA fans can come to the overwhelming consensus that it nevertheless is a promising sign from one of electronic music’s most lauded one-two combinations. By the time that live entertainment is eventually permitted to return, a tandem ODESZA and BRONSON in-person show could make for a momentous comeback.

Featured image: Roger Ho

We Out Here Festival announces full line-up for 2021 festival

We Out Here Festival has announced the full line-up for its 2021 festival.

Taking place from the 19th to the 22nd August next year, We Out Here festival will return to Abbots Rippon in Cambridgeshire for three days of live music and DJ sets, as well as films, talks wellbeing, discussions and discovery sessions.

Among the DJs confirmed to perform at We Out Here in 2021 are festival co-curator Gilles Peterson, alongside some of the original 2020 line-up, and new faces, including Call Super, Six Figure Gang’s SHERELLE, Overmono and Mr Scruff, as well as Dan Shake, DJ Storm, Jamz Supernova, and Tash LC.

London’s jazz staples Ezra Collective will front the live music line-up, with Greentea Peng, Mo-es Boyd, Emma Jean Thackray, and Steam Down Orchestra.

You can purchase tickets from the We Out Here festival here.

Last year, Gilles Peterson announced a new label for “curiosities and gems from the basement” titled Arc Records

Last month, Glasgow’s Playground Festival announced its line-up for 2021, with Groove Armada, Kraftwerk and Maribou State all confirmed for performances.

Elektron’s Octatrack 1.4 OS makes both MKI and MKII go deeper

The latest OS update from Elektron takes the beloved workstation and adds a ton of new stuff – making it easier to randomize parameters, trigger sounds via MIDI, edit and perform.

Of all the Elektron kit, Octatrack may inspire the most passions. And it seems the Swedish maker have finally been hearing those enthusiasts. First there was the MKII hardware revision, which added the slicker look and feel of the Octatrack’s upgraded stablemates. Then there was the brief but enthusiastic celebration of the hardware’s legacy, with the limited Anniversary Edition. (Sorry, it’s already sold out, apparently.)

But I think it’s likely this free firmware update that will really win people over. It’s a big gift to Elektron’s fans, with a lot of stuff I know hard-core users had asked for. But it is also simultaneously a reminder of how nice the Octatrack is, at a time when more and more folks seem to be pondering hardware-focused workflows.

Basically, what you get:

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MIDI Trig Modes. External MIDI keyboards (or pads or whatever) can now play slice and sample slots and record into the sequencer, for new performance options. And that to me is huge, in that it fights some of the potential claustrophobia of Elektron’s wonderful boxes – sure, they’re a great size and hugely powerful, but maybe you want to wail on a big 4×4 pad grid, MPC style, or use a keyboard, or whatever. Now you can do that as an input to the Elektron’s powerful trig modes.

That huge feature gets this tiny mention in the documentation:

“To enable this, set AUDIO NOTEIN in MIDI CONTROL to either FOLLOW TM or MAP/TRACK.”

Got it? So now you can trigger on those audio tracks with MIDI. (PS, you can also choose whether or not to record note lengths as you play, too, in PERSONALIZE.)

Tempo per pattern. Oh yeah, now you can change BPMs even inside a single arrangement.

Roll the dice. There’s now a randomization function for parameters, which works like this:

Press [TRACK PARAMETER]+[YES] to randomize

Crucially, though, you can also reload from a saved part. And obviously you could use these two together to scramble something live as you play:

Press[TRACK PARAMETER]+[NO]to reload from saved part.

Trigs can apply to multiple things at once. This includes “changes to parameter locks, sample locks, microtiming, copying/pasting/clearingtrigs, and converting multiple trigs to trigless trigs or trigless locks.”

Adjust brightness on MKII. Check PERSONALIZE.

Preview sequencer steps, including parameter locks, while you record:

Added the functionality to preview a sequencer step (including its parameter locks) in GRIDRECORDING mode. Press[TRIG]+[YES]to preview a step on an audio track on the MAINoutputs. Press[TRIG]+[CUE]to preview a step on an audio track on the CUE outputs. Press[TRIG]+[YES]/[CUE]to preview a step on a MIDI track.

There are also a bunch of bug fixes and little tweaks.

It all works on both MKI and MKII – so it just made a used MKI an even better deal. It is all very Elektron, you know – there’s a huge, splashy video, and then you’re one moment later digging through very technical documentation where each of those things requires five steps. But the results are just as cool. It’s like learning new attack combos in Mortal Kombat / Soulcalibur. (The soul still burns…)

More:

https://www.elektron.se/products/octatrack-mkii/

1.40 release notes [PDF]

OS Upgrade: Octatrack 1.40 [Elektronauts blog]

Octatrack support resources / download

Dillon Francis takes on Hot Chip and Jarvis Cocker’s ‘Straight To The Morning’ with delightful new remix

Dillon Francis takes on Hot Chip and Jarvis Cocker’s ‘Straight To The Morning’ with delightful new remixDnpJI4UUwAEkTne

Dillon Francis and Hot Chip doesn’t sound like an obvious combination when it rolls off the tongue, but one listen to the veteran UK synth-pop outfit’s October 2020 single, “Straight To The Morning,” and it’s clear that track is the perfect groundwork for a signature remix from Francis. The original, which finds Hot Chip linked with fellow British icon Jarvis Cocker, is a playful disco-pop anthem that was notably originally written with Dua Lipa in mind around the time of the group’s dance-forward A Bath Full of Ecstasy LP in 2019. And while the original cut packs its own catchy, danceable appeal, it begs for a floor-ready remix and Francis steps in with a perfectly complementary modification.

In fact, try listening to Dillon Francis’ take on “Straight To The Morning” just once—it’s nearly impossible. Funky in all the right places, the remix grooves and dips through Francis’ classic pitch-bending vocal chops, reminiscent of his earliest house and moombah cuts. In a statement attached to the release, the IDGAFOS purveyor expresses his love for Hot Chip’s work, stating,

“I have been a massive Hot Chip fan since their album ‘The Warning’ so getting asked to remix this last single was an absolute honor. This remix is in the direction of a lot of my upcoming new music so I hope people enjoy the hell out of it because more happy house music is on the way!” 

“Happy house” certainly encapsulates the charm of Dillon Francis’ Hot Chip remix and it sounds that’s like the direction he’s largely heading in next tear. Count on there being a lot more where this remix came from in 2021. Listen to Dillon Francis’ take on “Straight To The Morning” via Domino below.

Featured image: Rukes

New M1 Mac Mini Runs 444 Voices, 555 Plugin Instances

New M1 Mac Mini Runs 444 Voices, 555 Plugin Instances
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The latest Sonic State Sonic Lab video takes a quick look at the new Mac Mini, one of Apple’s new entry-level MacOS computers.

The introductions have upturned expectations for MacOS computers, because the M1 system-on-a-chip is optimized in ways that desktop users are not used to, and the company’s bottom-of-the-line Macs based on the new M1 perform at a level that beats or at least competes with last year’s top-of-the-line maxed out systems.

In the video, host Nick Batt takes a look at the cheapest of the M1 Macs, a Mac Mini with an 8-core CPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB hard drive. He tried a variety of tests, creating 111 tracks with 444 voices and 555 plug-in instances (native) before the machine slowed to a crawl.

“This little computer packs a lot of punch for the price,” he notes. “But at present only really in true native mode can you expect this kind of performance.”

This is bleeding edge for musicians. Most will not want to switch to an M1 Mac until developers and software have a chance to catch up to the new systems. But ‘Apple Silicon’ is starting to look like one of those ‘game changers’ that actually lives up to the term.

Check out the video and share your thoughts on the new M1 Macs in the comments!

The Hacienda announces 24-hour New Years Eve livestream party

The Hacienda has announced a 24-hour New Years Eve livestream party.

Following the launch of the virtual Hacienda club, the legendary Manchester institution have announced a mega marathon to celebrate the end of 2020. Opening in 1982, the infamous Manchester nightclub is considered by many as playing a crucial part in the rise of acid house before shutting down in the ’90s.

Teaming up with United We Stream GM, the party begins as NYE starts at 10AM GMT and sees the day through with an all new Hacienda Classical, Inner City and Phuture live, before a special tribute to Frankie Knuckles from 2013 will be screened inside the virtual Hacienda.

There’s also a host of legendary DJs lined up for party, including Manchester’s DJ Paulette, Danny Tenaglia, and David Morales. The event will also host Greg Wilson and Jon Dasilva, alongside Todd Terry, Norman Jay MBE, and more.

Warehouse Project founder and executive producer of United We Stream GM, Sacha Lord, said: “A few weeks ago, I promised that Greater Manchester would hold the biggest New Year’s Eve event, not just in the UK, but probably across Europe.

“During the initial 10 week United We Stream run, the most viewed events were both the Haçienda productions.

“We always strive to better ourselves, so we are back, with not only a bigger line up, spanning artists across the globe, but also running for 24 hours.

“We are the 24-Hour Party People. Nothing will stop us from doing what we do best, and at the same time, raising many funds for those in need.

“The last time I did 24 hours solidly, was quite a few years ago… but I’m prepared to give it another bash!”

The entire broadcast is free to watch at unitedwestream.co.uk from 10AM GMT on 31st December . Donations can be made during the stream and will be distributed between four charities: oneGM, Save The Children, The Frankie Knuckles Foundation and Peacemeal.

Elektron Octatrack 1.4 Brings MIDI Trig Modes, Tempo Per Pattern & More

Elektron Octatrack 1
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Elektron today introduced OS v1.4 for the Octratrack, a free update that brings new features to both mk1 and mk2 versions of the machine.

Octatrack 1.40 adds Parameter Randomization, Tempo Per Pattern, MIDI Trig Modes, Parameter Locking Multiple Trigs simultaneously, Trig Preview, additional performance improvements and more.

Here’s what’s new in Octatrack 1.4:

Parameter Randomization

Parameter Randomization has arrived on the Octatrack, following its appearance on the Analog, Digi, and Model lines. With a touch of a button, you can try out wildly, randomized parameter pages and either take it off in your own direction or quickly dial it back if things go too far.

Tempo per Pattern

You can now set Tempo per Pattern on the Octatrack. Link up arrangements with different BPMs, giving you even more freedom to build dynamic and versatile compositions.

MIDI Trig Modes

The Octatrack now has additional MIDI Trig Modes, giving you new ways to trigger your sounds. Connect a MIDI keyboard or pads to the device to play slices and sample slots and record them straight into the sequencer.

Trig Preview

Trig Preview is now available on the Octatrack. Preview a specific Trig on your headphones or CUE outputs whenever you want, staying a step ahead of the pattern.

Parameter Lock Multiple Trigs

You can now edit multiple Trigs simultanously, letting you modify multiple steps at the same time.

The firmware is available now as a free update.

Premiere: Yolanda Be Cool celebrate a decade of ‘We No Speak Americano’ with anniversary edit [Q&A]

Premiere: Yolanda Be Cool celebrate a decade of ‘We No Speak Americano’ with anniversary edit [Q&A]YBC Press Pic2020landscape

Yolanda Be Cool‘s status as a household name is owed in part to “We No Speak Americano.” An emblem of what it means to be evergreen, the electro-pop anthem, produced alongside DCUP and released in February 2010, exercised a white-knuckle grip on pop culture from the day it left the hard drive. From soundtracking a 2013 Fiat US commercial to gracing Just Dance 4, “We No Speak Americano” became a prominent stitch in the sonic fabric of the past decade.

The pervasiveness of “We No Speak Americano” considered, a celebration of the buoyant cut’s 10-year birthday would not be complete without proper commemoration, and Yolanda Be Cool weren’t about to observe the milestone without a little pomp and circumstance. Thus, the “10th Anniversary Edit” of “We No Speak Americano” was born.

Delightfully familiar despite its twist, the “10th Anniversary Edit” emulates the experience of reconnecting with an old friend, and translates it to the form of a listening opportunity. Yolanda Be Cool discussed the honorary rinse and the remix pack on which is will appear in an interview with Dancing Astronaut.

The “10th Anniversary Edit” of “We No Speak Americano” will formally release in full on December 4, but listeners can stream it one day early, exclusively on Dancing Astronaut.


What guided your re-imaginative process as you revisited your decade-old classic to produce the edit of “We No Speak Americano”?

Matt: “We wanted to make something that was different enough to excite people but also,not so different that fans of the original wouldn’t recognize it. As the famous saying from street vendors in Thailand goes, ‘same same but different.’ Basically, we wanted to keep the bones but dress it up differently, so we thought replacing the sax line with something else did the job in a new way. We also updated the drums and bass a bit while we were at it.”

Can you tell those who are unfamiliar with the original’s backstory how “We No Speak Americano” came together 10 years prior?

Andy: “It was basically just us coming across the original version of the song (which is from 1956 and was famous in its own right in Italy) but is very slow, and so we did what we do and chucked it in the sampler and to our joy, still kept the same magic at 125 BPM. We then showed it to our buddy DCUP who we were on a plane with at the time and [with whom] we had always wanted to do something, and he loved it! So, we got together in his studio a couple days later and out came the version that was released.”

The forthcoming remix pack features a host of international talent. How did you select the remixing artists for this project?

Andy: “SLLASH n DOPPE are from Romania and are amazing. They totally got the vibe for the song. We play a lot of their originals and love their style, so we knew that they would smash it. 

CHEMICAL SURF are Brazilian legends and the song was huge in Brazil, which is probably our favorite country outside of Australia. We also play a ton of their stuff, so it felt right to ask them, and it was an honor to get an enthusiastic yes from them, and they nailed it!
And then JAXX DA FISHWORKS is our buddy and Japanese brother, and he’s super sick. We did a tour of Japan with him just before COVID-19 hit and we mentioned to him we were doing a little re-release. He asked for the stems, and pretty much before we got off the plane, he’d smashed out his mix. We were stoked to be able to have him on the pack.”

Featured image: Courtesy of Yolanda Be Cool