Dancing Astronaut presents the Top 10 Digital Events of 2020

Dancing Astronaut presents the Top 10 Digital Events of 2020Event OTY Final

Electronic dance music’s culture is deeply rooted in the live experience—the music and the live setting inextricably tied in a way that perhaps supersedes any other musical genre out there. As live events started to drop off the calendar this past spring, there was no way of knowing the global health crisis we were beginning to face would not only cancel the vast majority of live music events in 2020, but it would fundamentally alter our understanding, and appreciation for, the live events industry as a whole.

But then something remarkable happened. We saw a rapid, decisive shift to virtual settings, relying on technology to bring us a semblance of the live experience we so voracious crave. So that if we couldn’t be together on dancefloors, at the very least we’d have digitized spaces to convene and enjoy music with one another. And the pivot wasn’t some haphazard patch job either. Villages of talented creators got right to work, creating brilliant virtual worlds for us to experience while reality was much less inviting. It wasn’t perfect, because nothing beats actually being together under the electric sky, or in Grant Park, LA Historic, or the fields of Boom, Belgium, but it was enough to get us by. For that we’re thankful. Read below to see Dancing Astronaut‘s Top 10 Digital Events of the Year.


10. Cercle’s 2020 Lineup

Cercle’s video production has carried its own distinctive style, which has become almost instantly recognizable. Their projects are built upon a common goal of sharing remarkable electronic music in unique, breathtaking locations reaching all corners of the world. In 2020, Cercle showcased their most ambitious projects yet, including Lee Burridge off the shores of Bali, ZHU in Japan’s snow-capped mountains, Ben Böhmer floating through the Turkish skies in a hot air balloon and most recently, Sébastien Léger in front of Egypt’s Great Pyramids. Cercle’s sleek and explorative work has shined exceptionally this year, becoming one of the most sought-after mediums to capture an artist’s creative vision and amplify it to the world. 

Dancing Astronaut presents the Top 10 Digital Events of 2020Maresdefault

9. Sofi Tucker’s consistent livestreams

Shout out to SOFI TUKKER, who have masterfully championed the livestream game this year. Since the first lockdown in early April, the bubbly dance-pop duo joined Twitch and started playing daily hour-long sets for their dedicated “Freak Fam,” and haven’t stopped since. By the end of the year, they’ll be approaching one of their most unique milestones, capping in at more than a staggering 300 livestreams to round out 2020. Among the duo’s numerous releases this year was their chart-topping collaboration “House Arrest” with Gorgon City, remixes for friends like Dillon Francis and their first-ever live, interactive e-concert experience, bringing an unparalleled virtual aspect to their live music production. 

8. Kaskade’s 60 Days of Music performance at the Grand Canyon

As one of this genre’s foremost cultural tastemakers, Kaskade has always been one to set the bar—and set it high. In typical Kaskade fashion, his once-in-a-lifetime livestream event for Coca-Cola’s 60 Days of Music certainly followed suit. As the first artist ever to station at the Grand Canyon’s Skywalk West, the esteemed producer was tracked by multiple cameras, bestowing fans with a full view of the immaculate landscape of one of the Wonders of the World. Ushering forth enticing and ethereal house beats during the height of the pandemic, Kaskade brought life to millions of viewers worldwide with this top-notch performance.

Dancing Astronaut presents the Top 10 Digital Events of 2020EYF0PLWsAA8zMC

7. Lollapalooza’s Lolla2020

Michelle Obama at your music festivals? Sign us up. Lollapalooza has always hosted a wide array of nonmusical experiences in addition to a variety of musical genres at their annual event. This has differentiated the festival brand for years, and their 2020 virtual rendition was no exception. The festival curated a stellar lineup of artists to perform live in addition to featuring reruns of artist performances from years past. Lolla2020 also invited a variety of tastemakers ranging from Ms. Obama to Charles Reagan, giving a completely new dynamic to live streamed musical events.

6. Insomniac’s digital programming

Normally we look to festival giant Insomniac for events the world over throughout the entire year. As dance music’s most formidable events lynchpin, all eyes were on Pasquale Rotella and company to help guide us through a gutted events calendar, and Insomniac more than delivered. With consistent weekly programming, digitized renditions of existing major events properties, a trove of recorded performances, park ‘n rave events, and a hopeful outlook for 2021 with the announcement of new upcoming (hopefully) in-person events, Insomniac kept us raving in our living rooms all year, earning a deserved spot on this list.

5. Astronomical by Travis Scott in Fortnite

If there’s one thing virtual concerts did this year, it’s raising global awareness of the “Metaverse”—a virtual world where people connect via avatars. In a way, it’s always existed within online gaming, however, 2020 brought this universe into the spotlight and the music industry quickly moved in. Early on, Travis Scott’s 2020 Fortnite performance proved to a historic event for the virtual landscape.

The concert, titled “Astronomical” as an ode to 2018’s ASTROWORLD, reeled in over 12 million concurrent Fortnite players who were mesmerized by Scott transforming into a cyborg, submerging the stage under water, and bringing out Kid Cudi for a surprise debut of their new project “THE SCOTTS.” Scott uploaded the full concert to his YouTube channel, which has more than 114 million views to date. This was a record-breaking event for Epic Games, and planted the seed for follow up performances from DiploDeadmau5Anderson .Paak, and more.

Dancing Astronaut presents the Top 10 Digital Events of 2020Travis Scott Fortnite

4. Dillon Francis Presents: IDGAFOS Weekend 

Fact: Dillon Francis really doesn’t give a f*ck or shit. So much so that when COVID-19 cancelled this year’s festival season, he took things into his own hands. Francis hit the drawing board and invited Dancing Astronaut to co-host his three-day IDGAFOS Weekend livestream festival. Held over the Memorial Day weekend, viewers were privy to sets from top-tier talent like Diplo, Aluna, SOFI TUKKER, and Party Favor, crafty cool-down vinyl sessions hosted by Billy Zane, and a rare performance from Francis’ long-time confidante Gerald. 

Dancing Astronaut presents the Top 10 Digital Events of 2020DrCnzI6VYAETkbu

3. Porter Robinson’s Secret Sky

On May 9, more than 4 million people around the world tuned into Porter Robinson’s Secret Sky experience. The digital event, which served as the follow-up to the festival’s 2019 in-person debut, spanned over a total of 14 hours of music from 19 unique acts whose talents were put on display and helped amass more than $100,000 in donations in support of the MusiCares Relief Fund. Virtually equipped with a fully automated performance auditorium, attendees were able to digitally interact with their festival surroundings, including merchandise booths, a main stage, and more.

Notably, Robinson opened the event with a throwback electro-house style performance under the moniker of DJ Potaro, for 30 minutes fans were able to reminisce upon the  sound which originally emerged the artist back in the early 2010s. The artist showcase proceeded to be filled in by the likes of Madeon, Jai Wolf, Shadient, San Holo, GRRL, WAVEDASH and G Jones among others. The event’s most anticipated performance from Porter Robinson set social media ablaze throughout his 72-minute performance as it hosted 250,000 concurrent viewers while Porter went everywhere from a “Something Comforting” versus “Sad Machine” mashup to a Lil B personal freestyle to an Avril Lavigne vs. “Language” edit to an unreleased single from Nurture. Relive Porter Robinson’s historic Secret Sky virtual festival here.  

Dancing Astronaut presents the Top 10 Digital Events of 2020Screen Shot 2020 05 17 At 11.00.50 AM

2. Digital Mirage

While certainly not downplaying any of the virtual events that had taken place in the weeks preceding Digital Mirage, the electronic music world, and the industry music at large, had next to zero inclination as to what the future held for live entertainment at the end of March. Deciding to take the digital leap and test the airwaves, Proximity partnered up alongside Brownies & Lemonade to round up an A-list registry of names of everyone from Kaskade to Alison Wonderland for three back-to-back days of dance music. With the world quarantining at home as details surrounding an uncertain pandemic crept through by the day, it felt like everyone was watching, and considering how many times Digital Mirage or a performing artist was trending on Twitter, everyone was. Digital Mirage had no festival-grade production setups or world-class visual effects, artists simply found a way to set up a stream from the comfort of their homes and brought electronic music back to its roots. Although there were certainly a fair share of virtual events that had their moments, nothing seemed to eclipse the emotions felt during the first Digital Mirage, which ended up raising more than $300,000 for Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. Eight months and three Digital Mirage iterations later, it’s clear that without Proximity and Brownies & Lemonade firmly establishing the online tone for what live entertainment would become in the months that would follow, virtual festivals may not have filled the gap as well as they did during 2020.

1. Tomorrowland Around The World

Whether it is the size, the production quality, or the lineup of artists, Tomorrowland is for the most part, unmatched year after year. When the festival made the decision to go online, the brand could have chosen to match the production quality that had become a relative industry standard for virtual events, or they could redefine what those standards were. In true Tomorrowland fashion, organizers opted for “larger than life” and got to work. The Tomorrowland masterminds created the virtual world of Pāpiliōnem that hosted performances by over 60 artists across eight stages. Viewers were immersed into an entirely new world that took a combination of four separate studios, 38 digital cameras, and over 300 terabytes of raw footage to piece together into its final production. Dimitri Vegas sums up Tomorrowland Around The World when he says, “This is not a livestream. It’s something totally different.”

Dancing Astronaut presents the Top 10 Digital Events of 20204qlvfze44mgbfrrcuhmb2q 1 1

Featured image: Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images

Kid Cudi breaks new record for shortest song to enter Hot 100

Kid Cudi breaks new record for shortest song to enter Hot 100Kid Cudi Scott DudelsonGetty Images

The arrival of Kid Cudi‘s Man on the Moon trilogy conclusion dictated all eyes on the long-awaited record. Now, the prophetic finale claims its reward as Man on the Moon III: The Chosen breaks a new chart record.

Kudi’s recent achievement can be attributed to album opener “Beautiful Trip,” which locks in the shortest song of all time to enter the Billboard Hot 100. Overtaking the previous titleholder, “PPAP (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen),” which peaked at No. 77 in October 2016, Kudi’s track runs eight seconds shorter than its predecessor at just 37 seconds, seeing its debut at No. 100.

The Chosen has already made its mark on the charts, having opened at No. 2 and spawning ten total entries on the Hot 100 including “Tequila Shots” at No. 41, “She Knows This” at No. 49, “Show Out” with Skepta and Pop Smoke at No. 54, and more.

H/T: Hypebeast

Featured image: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

You can make your holidays completely techno with Techno Club

One of the best adaptations to this year’s adverse conditions – of course – came from the Detroit scene. Techno Club responds to everything wrong with streaming, and if you’ve got some days off and want to bring quality club music home, here’s your shot.

Time is always a fluid and mysterious illusion, which is to say I completely failed to write about Techno Club this year and forgot that there was an excellent Detroit Techno Militia takeover today. But fret not – because the joy of digital is, check your FOMO and hit the archives.

And there is some great stuff in the archives, meaning you get some top quality beats to pick up your move and help your ass recover from too much Zoom calls, stress, and whatnot.

There’s also Tony Humphries on live on Friday, Christmas Day – late for us in Europe, but at a proper nighttime for the Americas.

But you have your choice of excellent stuff in the archives – so make your own lineup. (Pictured: DJ Psycho, courtesy Detroit Techno Militia.)

Last weekend’s archive alone treats you to Jovonn, Temudo, Drox, Detroit Techno Militia, Mike Dearborn, Tony Humphries, Dave Bate, Knob, The Advent, RIVA STARR, Cristina Freitas Ladycc, Robert Babicz, David Cotto, DJemerson, Unklar, Assembler Code, Cari Lekebusch, Production Unit Xero, DJ Stacey Hotwaxx Hale, Jessie Belters, Tom Mitchell, DisX3 , Kevin M. Kennedy, and Darryl G Gunter – whew. And there are more weeks to dig through after that.

Speaking of Kevin Kennedy aka FBK, he was one of my favorite interviews of this year (on CDM or anywhere), so here’s your second chance to catch him:

techno-club.net has everything that most other streaming sources don’t (looking at you, corporate overlords):

  • Contribute directly as fans, with DJs and producers alike getting paid fairly
  • High quality sound (ahem) without poorly-placed advertising distractions, or that horrible copyright muting
  • Actual atmosphere and curation
  • Troll and hate free (just sayin’, here)
  • Multiple rooms – also including live chat and contests and workshops and other features

It’s great stuff, and I hope more of the kind of model we see in 2021 and beyond – because clearly we need, you know, The Internet with or without a pandemic, and The Internet (mainly The FaceBook and YouTube) in 2020 was basically a plague unto itself more than a solution, on balance.

But of course it’s more likely that a real solution comes from the scene that made this music, rather than a far-off transnational venture capital tech conglomerate. (We love you, we do. Well… anyway, we love your game consoles and cool smartphones, mostly. The trolls and hate and depression and such we could do with out.)

Check it here:

https://techno-club.net/

And yes, it is called Techno Club – but can go right along with rooting for, say, Washington Football Team. 2020 is all about the nice generic names.

I know it’ll be a big part of my go-to soundtrack for the coming chillout.

I’ll have a belated conversation with the folks behind this, so stay tuned. And maybe it’s time to do an overview of the best streaming in 2020 since we so badly need alternatives – your nominations welcome.

Polyend had a blissful 2020, but they’re not done yet – Tracker, Preset, Medusa updates

Polyend’s beloved Tracker finishes out the year with a pitch-perfect update – and homebrew gaming. And there are updates for their Preset module for Eurorack and the brilliant Medusa synthesizer hardware, too.

Not one but three wise updates make a Christmas Eve appearance.

https://i0.wp.com/www.djwhitestarhrabia.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/polyend-had-a-blissful-2020-but-theyre-not-done-yet-tracker-preset-medusa-updates.jpg?w=525

Tracker

How to word this – one of the most coveted? The most coveted music nerd gear? Just in case you forgot to put Tracker on the best-of list for 2020, Polyend are shipping a huge update.

And in addition to making this more playable, and play with MIDI gear, you can play games, too. You know – if you decided that after ditching your computer to get rid of “distractions,” you wanted just the right distractions back in again. (I’m all about that. I mean, no doomscrolling, but scrolling through Doom, yes! Or just tell your tax accountant it’s all part of your work composing music for video games… like, someday. Probably.)

And oh yeah, this thing is 499EUR.

It kind of puts everything from AKAI, Native Instruments’ new Maschine+, and everything from Elektron to shame – especially for those of us who already loved the unique tracker workflow from computers. It’s a standalone sequencing instrument that’s capable and affordable enough that computer lovers can love it, too.

What’s in there:

[embedded content]

MIDI connectivity means you can extend the Tracker with your own controllers, and send MIDI from the device to outboard gear with loads more options:

  • Per step MIDI Chords
  • MIDI Microtune step Fx
  • Performance mode is now controllable via MIDI input
  • Master mixer levels are now controllable via MIDI input
  • Tracker can now be configured to send 6 distinct MIDI CCs per MIDI channel
  • Added support for sending MIDI channel aftertouch and polyphonic aftertouch
  • MIDI instruments in Pattern mode can now be present without a note (specify which MIDI channel to send CC)
  • MIDI delay compensation for external clock sources in Config (experimental Config settings)

That’s a lot of detail, but basically Tracker is a MIDI hub now, and dare I say – Octatrack killer, potentially.

There are other workflow improvements, too, including the ability to manage audio recording, long samples (essential!), and loads of useful stuff.

Plus, hey, more Euclidean rhythms – here as fills, which is cool. Maybe just as important, did someone say step sequencing bit depth and distortion? Heck, yeah.

  • Tune step Fx
  • Track Arm Recording
  • Live audio Line input monitoring is now available during song playback
  • Long sample Importing
  • Lo-quality Importing (saves sample pool memory time)
  • Delete unused sample
  • Bit depth and distortion both as step and Performance Fx’s
  • Transpose octaves by turning the Jog-wheel with Shift in note editing
  • Enhanced Pattern Fill command: Euclidean fills, density setting in Random fills
  • Rewritten from scratch rendering mechanism

There are new sound processing tools, too. I’m still for finishing tracks on computers, but having some of these options at disposal live could give your performances more polished sound – and yes, someday we will have audiences again safely:

  • 5-band master EQ
  • Bass booster
  • Stereo enhancer
  • Updated Limiter with gain reduction meter
  • Line input can now be a sidechain source for the Limiter
  • Timestretch Fx in Sample Editor

Plus, the “One more thing…” is games. Simple stuff, but cute! Artist Isobutane did the pictures and sound so – more on all that soon, I hope.

If you’ve got Tracker, download the update:

https://i2.wp.com/www.djwhitestarhrabia.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/polyend-had-a-blissful-2020-but-theyre-not-done-yet-tracker-preset-medusa-updates-1.jpg?w=525

Preset module

Over in the Eurorack world, Preset is the module for assigning storage and recall of parameters to a grid – automating CV.

The new development is the ability to make your own modded firmware, with the fully free and open source Polyend Preset firmware and accompanying sandbox. (It really is open source, too – they’ve got it under a clear MIT license, so they didn’t just confuse the phrase “open source” with “you can mod it.”)

Coders, check GitHub:

https://github.com/polyend

But this also means that Preset users could have access to a bunch of cool custom firmware mods, as we’ve seen with norns in the monome realm. There’s already a generative Euclidean sequencing machine example to play with, available in releases.

[embedded content]

Medusa

Medusa, the expressive grid controller – slash digital-analog hybrid instrument could prove a sleeper hit. Here’s the thing – it is only getting more useful and relevant as it ages. So even as firmware updates smoothed out the analog/digital wavetable synth collaboration between Polyend and Dreadbox, what you might have missed is that this is also a MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) controller.

And now Ableton Live 11 has a beautiful implementation of MPE, so maybe you were looking for a controller.

Expressive_E were also early advocates of everything MPE can do. Now they’re giving away their Carbon MPE instrument.

Note that this is a desktop synth plug-in – it runs in UVI Workstation. But you can just plug in your Medusa and play – then record, trigger, and edit MPE in Ableton Live 11 beta (or Cubase or Bitwig Studio or another capable host).

Details here:

But it sounds really beautiful, even with other great soft synths with MPE support floating about. (ROLI have some of their own, too, thanks to the acquisition of fxpansion.)

[embedded content]

Oh, and note that an expressive grid is not something on Tracker, so these products remain differentiated. If you’re just looking at a grid as a way of sequencing, Tracker is your bet. If you’re looking for an instrument to play, Medusa remains Polyend’s interesting offering. (See also Roger Linn’s excellent Linnstrument, but the Medusa represents a different approach, in that a hardware synth is already built in.)

There you go. It’s been a crazy year, so it’s great to see an independent hardware maker in the midst of this pandemic finishing these great products.

http://polyend.com/

To everyone in our community – musicians and makers alike – I hope you find a way to stay healthy, care for each other, and get some time off in these days.

Korg OPSIX Review

Korg OPSIX Review
[embedded content]

In his latest Sonic Lab video, host Nick Batt takes an in-depth look at the Korg Opsix, a new keyboard that they call an “altered” six-operator FM synthesizer, because its sound engine goes far beyond traditional FM synth capabilities.

Topics covered:

00:00 Overview
07:15 Sounds demo 1
14:45 Synth engines
16:38 Filter
18:20 Envelopes and LFOS
20:25 More sounds
23:20 FX
28:05 Bass patch
30:35: DX7 patches
33:48 Sequencer
35:35 More Sounds
39:50 Summary

Check it out and let us know what you think of the Korg Opsix!

Polyend Track Update Adds New MIDI Options, Games & More

Polyend Track Update Adds New MIDI Options, Games & More
[embedded content]

Polyend has released an update to their Tracker standalone workstation that adds major new MIDI I/O and sound design options, plus onboard games.

Here’s what’s new in Tracker v1.3:

  • New MIDI I/O functionalities:
    • Per step MIDI Chords,
    • MIDI Microtune step Fx,
    • Performance mode is now controllable via MIDI input,
    • Master mixer levels are now controllable via MIDI input,
    • Tracker can now be configured to send 6 distinct MIDI CCs per MIDI channel,
    • Added support for sending MIDI channel aftertouch and polyphonic aftertouch,
    • MIDI instruments in Pattern mode can now be present without a note (specify which MIDI channel to send CC),
    • MIDI delay compensation for external clock sources in Config,
  • Overall enhancements and workflow refinements:
    • Tune step Fx,
    • Track Arm Recording,
    • Live Audio Line Input Monitoring is now available during song playback,
    • Long Sample Importing,
    • Lo-quality Importing (saves sample pool memory time),
    • Delete unused samples,
    • Timestretch Fx in Sample Editor,
    • Bit depth available as step and Performance Fx’s,
    • Transpose octaves by turning the Jog-wheel with Shift in note editing,
    • Enhanced Pattern Fill command: Euclidean fills, density setting in Random fills,
    • Rewritten from scratch rendering mechanism,
  • New sound sculpting possibilities:
    • 5-band master EQ,
    • Bass booster,
    • Stereo enhancer,
    • Updated Limiter with gain reduction meter,
    • Line Input can now be a Sidechain source for the Limiter,
  • Onboard games are now available to catch a breather from a hard day of music-making.
    • Polyend Tracker v1.3.0 firmware update is required to run the games,
    • Download the games, unzip and copy the “Games” folder directly to the SD card root directory,
    • Games will be accessible from the Files screen.

See the Polyend site for details.

$25 Open Source Embedded Audio Player Plays Up To 18 Stereo Samples Simultaneously

$25 Open Source Embedded Audio Player Plays Up To 18 Stereo Samples Simultaneously

Developer Andrew John March has launched a Kickstarter project to fund production of the WVR, an open-source embedded solution for audio that can play up to 18 channels of audio simultaneously.

It includes everything you need to get started with embedded audio, with no soldering, and no coding necessary.

WVR is a versatile device, capable of powering a new generation of embedded audio design, thanks in part to its WiFi and Bluetooth radio, providing the power of a versatile and extensible Graphical User Interface ( GUI ), without the need for a screen or other interface. Users can upload samples, manage firmware, set configurations, build sequences, or control any other data needed, wirelessly, using their laptop, or mobile device.

Features:

  • Playback up to 18 stereo wav files simultaneously, with ~1ms latency
  • Accepts virtually every audio file format, at any resolution, and any size, including wav, mp3, ogg, acc, flac, pcm, aiff, and many more
  • Upload audio, map samples to MIDI notes, configure pin functionality, apply FX, manage files, etc, all over WIFI, with the default firmware that WVR ships with, and without writing any code
  • Holds over 12 hours (8 GB) of stereo audio, at 16bit 44.1kHz resolution
  • Can buffer over 1.5 minutes (16 MB) of stereo audio in RAM alone, at 16bit 44.1kHz resolution
  • Optically isolated MIDI input, provides to-spec MIDI input implementation without any additional circuitry
  • 14 GPIO pins, 8 of which can be analog inputs, and 4 of which can be capacitive touch inputs, plus the many peripherals available on the ESP32 .
  • WVR’s Wifi can function either as a Station or Access Point (it can login to an existing wifi network, or can create its own network and accept connections directly from devices in range, without a router or local network of any kind)
  • Write firmware in Arduino, and upload over wifi. Stores multiple firmwares onboard, selectable via the UI. Fully compatible with the extensive, and battle-tested ESP Arduino library, and the exceptionally powerful ESP-IDF framework.
  • Use RC.js JavaScript framework to modify, or custom build, the User Interface that WVR serves to users, without prior knowledge of CSS, HTML, Babel, Node, etc. Even build and deploy native mobile apps for iOS or Android from the same code base. You can play with RC.js in this REPL, try modifying the existing code, to see how it’s intuitive, and highly portable, component-based syntax works, and check out the README.md file to learn more.
  • Onboard Ultra Low Power (ULP) co-processor means WVR consumes only ~10uA in sleep mode

Pricing and Availability

The WVR is available to project backers for about $25.

Note: All Kickstarter projects can involve risk – see the project for details.

Moor Mother and billy woods unite to devastating effect on new album ‘BRASS’

Moor Mother is a poet, musician and activist from Philadelphia. Her music is wildly experimental and disorienting in the best way, like an acid trip in the woods. billy woods is a straight up-and-down New York rapper with a beautiful turn of phrase. Their collaboration on their new album, BRASS, brings the best out of both of them. billy woods serves as the anchor to stop the album being swept away by its own excesses, while Moor Mother’s Afrofuturist trip brings a snarling beast out of him.

The music is oblique and unsettling, which was two things ticked off the checklist for me. It sounds claustrophobic and agoraphobic simultaneously. Moor Mother delivers her rhetoric in a way that hits you hard and leaves you needing a minute, while billy woods drawls menacingly over each track, lending an overall sense of crushing doom. Needless to say, it’s a release which demands a certain level of engagement.

The collaborators on BRASS are prestigious to say the least. Alchemist, John Forte, ELUCID, Franklin James Fisher (from Algiers), Mach Hommy and numerous other luminaries drop through to contribute. Wolf Weston gives a blunted beat some neo-soul sheen on early track “The Blues Remembers Everything The Country Forgot” before Moor Mother and billy woods swarm in to unceremoniously fuck up the vibe. The music constantly mutates and evolves throughout like Covid in London. Moor Mother drops poetic interludes while billy woods casually slings off esoteric references from the hip.

“Bad vibes in the vestibule, in your head it’s a time share,

Madame Bovary with the good hair, I shoulda stopped right there”

ELUCID drops his winding flow and dark vision on a deathly bare-bones beat for standout track “Arkeology”. The unsettling mood remains harsh and consistent throughout, despite the many contributors. The blunted beats, vocal effects, distorted samples, guest vocalists and segues create an immersive experience which takes very few if any prisoners. It’s definitely not one for getting yourself in the Christmas spirit, it’s more one for when you want to take a brutally honest and unflinching look at your true self and its relationship with society as a whole.

The album closer “Portrait” acts as a cool-down session, the old-school Last Poets-style instrumental and the playful flute sample providing the closest the album gets to a chill-hop beat to relax and study to. Moor Mother’s cathartic verse talking about decapitating demons seems at odds with this, but this fits nicely with the nature of the album. These two artists clearly relish the status of outliers and don’t look to be switching up any time soon. If music isn’t difficult, is there really any point?

Get the album here.

Connect with Moor MotherSpotify|Instagram|Facebook|Twitter

Connect with billy woodsSpotify|Instagram|Facebook|Twitter

Super Duper tops off breakout year with live ‘TRILOGY’ performance

Super Duper tops off breakout year with live ‘TRILOGY’ performanceSuper Duper 55

Following the success of his debut album, HALLELUJAH!, Nashville-based producer Super Duper decided to celebrate by performing some of the LP’s standout tracks around his home city. Premiered on Space Yacht‘s weekly Twitch livestream, the live outing, “TRILOGY,” represents his sonically pleasing sound and elevates the 2020 project’s luminescent visuals.

Filmed in three locations, ranging from an open field in the outskirts of Nashville to a rooftop overlooking the city and an abandoned warehouse with LED lighting and effects, TRILOGY will absorb viewers with its varying settings and finales as it focalizes Super Duper’s unwavering creativity. HALLELUJAH! is the culmination of the years Super Duper has spent crafting his sound and honing a sonic vision. The LP follows strong results from a string of projects over the years, with his unique, vibrant production style reaching the ears of big name brands including Peloton, Google, ESPN, Lexus, and more for various campaign soundtracks.

Trivecta unravels end-of-year mix for Ophelia Records

Trivecta unravels end-of-year mix for Ophelia RecordsTrivecta Live Key Vision Photography

Celebrating their largest year of releases, Ophelia Records carries out 2020 with a year-end mix from one of the label’s brightest stars, Trivecta.

Since 2018, Ophelia has crowned themselves as one of the premiere record labels in bass music, home to artists such as Jason Ross, Crystal Skies, Last Heroes, and more. In the year-end mix, Trivecta showcases the label’s monumental array of remixes and originals with a cathartic one-hour mix highlighting fan favorites from Seven Lions, Blanke, MitiS, and Trivecta himself.

The mixed collection of melodic anthems follows Ophelia’s final outing of their Visions livestream series this year as the label gears up for 2021. 2020 has brought a stellar streak of debut albums and EPs to Ophelia including Jason Ross’s 1000 Faces, Far Out‘s Beyond The Horizon, Xavi‘s To The Endless Searing Skies, Caster‘s Black Sands, and Gem & Tauri‘s All You Need. Hear the Ophelia Records year end mix by Trivecta below.

Featured image: Key Vision Photography