Jaymie Silk releases new EP, ‘The Legend of Jack Johnson’, on Shall Not Fade: Listen

Jaymie Silk has released a new EP, ‘The Legend of Jack Johnson’, on Shall Not Fade. 

The Paris-based artist’s latest release is inspired by American boxer Jack Johnson, the first Black man to win the world heavyweight title, which he held between 1908 and 1915, when segregation and discrimination against Black people in America was rife. 

Built around radio recordings and interviews with Jack Johnson and Mohammad Ali, each of the EP’s five tracks brims with energy and soul. ‘Knock You Down’ finds Silk on typically percussive, rave-ready form, while ‘Jack Johnson’ is a piano and brass-led house cut with tender vocals and spoken recordings, highlighting the racism of the Jim Crow era. The latter also gets a beautifully bouncy remix Byron the Aquarius, who released the wonderful ‘Apron EP’ last year.

‘Illegal Love’ is a emotive breaks cut exploring the crime of interracial relationships in 20th century America, while ‘Unforgiveable Blackness’ finds Silk placing his own voice over slowed-down, percussive production and languid guitars. 

The EP follows Silk’s contribution to DJ Mag’s Dance Music is Black Music issue, in which he spoke candidly about the effects of racism on Black artist’s mental health. Silk uses the story and themes of Jack Johnson’s life and the era in which he lived as a way to further his artistic examinations of institutional racism and its continued prevalence in society today.

Check out the EP and buy it through Bandcamp below.

Revisit Jaymie Silk’s DJ Mag Fresh Kicks mix and interview here.  

Legendary Chicago house label DJ International Records relaunches

Chicago house label, DJ International Records, has relaunched. 

DJ International, the legendary Chicago imprint oringally launched in 1985 by Rocky Jones and the late Benji Espinoza, has dived into a brand new chapter in 2021, releasing a new version of Joe Smooth and Anthony Thomas’ ‘1987 hit ‘Promised Land’ as the first in a new string of releases.

Born out of the Black and LGBTQ+ music scenes in the U.S., and home to records from the likes of Frankie Knuckles, Fingers Inc, Steve “Silk” Hurley, Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk, and Marshall Jefferson, DJ international is still considered one of the most influential imprints of its time.

Speaking to DJ Mag about the history of the label, and its importance in the early Chicago scene, Jones said that “DJ international was originally a record pool, a place where all the DJs shop, a professional organisation and a way for record companies to get product to the DJs to help expose their music.

“So, DJs had to come to the record pool to get the latest stuff. Every DJ in Chicago that was working got records through us… we would give advice to record companies on how to get their music played by the DJs.”

You can check out ‘Promised Land’ below, which features brand new vocals from Anthony Thomas, below, and find out more about DJ International Records here. 

Black Coffee, Diplo, and Elderbrook form power trio on final ‘Subconsciously’ single, ‘Never Gonna Forget

Black Coffee, Diplo, and Elderbrook form power trio on final ‘Subconsciously’ single, ‘Never Gonna ForgetBlack Coffee

After an extended run, Subconsciously‘s rollout is coming to an impactful close with Black Coffee‘s final pre-album single, “Never Gonna Forget.” Various facets of the electronic continuum fold together on “Never Gonna Forget,” a one-off that finds Black Coffee aligning his name with Elderbrook‘s and Diplo‘s for the first time in release history. Their sensibilities intermingle with a synergy that provides a sauntering finale to Subconsciously‘s buildup, long in the making.

Due on February 5, Subconsciously has been led by the Sabrina Claudio-assisted “SBCNCSLY,” “LaLaLa” featuring Usher, “Drive” with Delilah Montagu and David Guetta, and “10 Missed Calls” (Pharrell Williams and Jazzy), among several other available album singles.

Featured image: Hï Ibiza

TSHA continues her hot streak with a sizzling remix of KUU’s ‘We’ll Always Have This Dance’

TSHA continues her hot streak with a sizzling remix of KUU’s ‘We’ll Always Have This Dance’89715399 632690840842590 3136195132978086766 N

TSHA tinkers with KUU’s late 2020 single, “We’ll Always Have This Dance,” sprucing up the anthemic indie hit with a bobbing club-ready remix. The London producer, named one of Dancing Astronaut‘s Artists to Watch in 2021, preserves much of the original’s winning formula, ranging from its acid undertones to its defining, old-school house chords. TSHA goes on to give the remix a personality of its own though, outfitting it with bellowing bass and intricate yet light and crisp percussion, the latter of which is a growing staple in TSHA’s work.

Pitched up and with a more dynamic approach to its builds than the original, TSHA’s remix of “We’ll Always Have This Dance” feels as eager to hit the clubs as its listeners worldwide. In a press release, KUU commented that TSHA sat at the top of the list to remix the group’s latest track, a preference that comes as no surprise to those familiar with her recent Ninja Tune EP, Flowers. Listen to the new remix in full below.

Featured image: CRSSD Festival

Ellie Goulding confirms role in Silk City’s return

Ellie Goulding confirms role in Silk City’s returnEllie Goulding

Silk City are making a comeback, and they’re bringing Ellie Goulding with them.

Just one day after both Diplo and Mark Ronson confirmed via respective January 13 tweets that a Silk City return of some sort was in the works, Goulding signaled her involvement with a tweet that linked out to the same website that Diplo and Ronson’s did, “The New Love Club.” Though the extent of Goulding’s role in Silk City’s reactivation and the details that surround it currently remain unclear, it is possible that Goulding will feature on the song that Diplo and Ronson previewed in their tweets at a minimum. For now, fans can RSVP on The New Love Club for whatever comes next.

Featured image: Courtesy of Coachella

New short film series gives insight into artists’ creative process: Watch

Nubya Garcia launches the new series, My Process, curated by Benji B and AIAIAI

DJ Mag Staff

Monday, January 18, 2021 – 16:25

A new short film series from audio design company AIAIAI and DJ Benji B aims to give insight into artists’ creative process.

The series, titled My Process, is curated by Radio 1’s Benji B and has launched with an episode featuring London jazz innovator Nubya Garcia, whose 2020 LP ‘Source’ was nominated in the Best Album category at DJ Mag’s Best of British Awards. 

The episode gives a look into Garcia’s writing and performance techniques, using examples of tracks from ‘Source’ to discuss her approach to melody, arrangement and creativity. 

You can watch My Process With… Nubya Garcia below. 

Speaking about the series, Benji B said: “The idea of the series was to create a resource for music creatives – an encyclopaedia of ideas presented by musicians, producers, composers, DJs, MCs, and instrumentalists, sharing techniques that they use in their process of making music. It’s intended to be less of a ‘how to’ and more of a ‘how I…’  – presenting the opportunity to observe how different people approach music making.”

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Korg announces new smaller, cheaper version of their ARP2600 remake

The ARP2600M will cost €1,799 and is available in June

Declan McGlynn

Monday, January 18, 2021 – 11:13

Korg has announced a new, smaller version of their coveted ARP2600 semi-modular synth remake. The ARP2600M has all the same features of their first remake that was announced last January and is 60% the size of the original remodel. The spring reverb and the internal circuitry have been adjusted to fit the new casing. 

The new M version also uses 3.5mm patch cables instead of full-size quarter-inch ports. Round back there’s a stereo jack output, MIDI DIN in and out, USB A input for a controller keyboard and USB B out to connect to a computer or other device. The original remake cost $3,995 and sold out almost instantly on pre-order so has proven tough to get hold of. There’s no word yet on what the pre-order status for the smaller, desktop version is, although given its cheaper price tag and the legendary status of the original ARP unit, expect this one to be popular.

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Dancing Astronaut celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day [Playlists]

Dancing Astronaut celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day [Playlists]MLK

Over the past year, producers in the dance space have paid homage to the musical contributions of Black artists and other artists of color by curating respective ORBIT: AMPLIFY Playlists for Dancing Astronaut. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we have compiled ORBIT: AMPLIFY Playlists from Walshy Fire, Kyle Kinch, Brando, Whethan, and more to celebrate the diversity and cultural ingenuity that powers dance music. The playlists, available below, spotlight productions from Black artists that have influenced the curators’ careers, and on a simpler level, kept them moving and grooving.


Brando

Akira Akira

Loud Luxury

Anabel Englund

Walshy Fire

CeCe Rogers

Martin Badder

Cuppy

DJ 4rain

Kyle Watson

Kyle Kinch

VNCCII

Kevin McKay

Crazy Cousinz

Featured image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Good Morning Mix: Hayden James takes the ‘Intermission Broadcast’ reigns for mix ‘011’ in the Foreign Family Collective serial [Stream]

Good Morning Mix: Hayden James takes the ‘Intermission Broadcast’ reigns for mix ‘011’ in the Foreign Family Collective serial [Stream]61870294 121172285780045 2383999241632198335 N

Over the past two months, the second season of Foreign Family Collective‘s “Intermission Broadcast” serial has become the main attraction on the electronic mix end, what with ford. and Tycho stepping up to submit installments “009” and “010” in November and December, respectively. The idiom “good things come in threes” comes to mind as ODESZA‘s label commissions mix “011” from Hayden James, who opens his “Intermission Broadcast” stint with a statement: his unreleased remix of BRONSON‘s “DAWN.”

Shuffling through an assortment of originals from a varied cast that includes Honey Dijon, Chris Lake and Armand van Helden, and even one of Dancing Astronaut‘s Artists to Watch in 2021, John Summit, among others, James executes his “Intermission” stint with curative diversity and verve. Next up on the “Intermission Broadcast” roster are BRONSON, whom Foreign Family recently confirmed as the series’ February spearheads.

Featured image: Hayden James/Instagram

New Korg modWave Wavetable Synthesizer ‘A Synthesis Powerhouse’

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Ahead of the 2021 NAMM Show, Korg has introduced the modWave, a new synth they describe as ‘a synthesis powerhouse’, with distinctive wavetable timbres, Kaoss Physics, and Motion Sequencing 2.0.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“In 1985, Korg’s DW-8000 combined digital wavetables with rich analog filters to give users sounds which were impossible to create with analog oscillators. It’s still a cult favorite today.

modwave builds on the DW legacy and transforms it into a modern monster synth, featuring incredibly deep wavetable oscillators, gorgeous filters, wildly flexible modulation, unmatched polyphony, comprehensive pattern sequencing, and immediately satisfying hands-on control to deliver unique, powerful, and easily customizable sounds and phrases.

modwave also introduces two unique new tools for creating dynamic motion: Kaoss Physics and Motion Sequencing 2.0. Kaoss Physics combines an x/y Kaoss pad with modulatable game physics to create a responsive, interactive controller that is—besides being powerful— a lot of fun to explore. Motion Sequencing 2.0 brings the organic, continuously evolving patterns of the wavestate’s Wave Sequencing 2.0 into the world of motion sequencing, including multiple lanes and real-time recording to help you create complex and evolving phrases that other step sequeners cannot.

Like Wave Sequencing 2.0 (wavestate) and altered FM (opsix), modwave’s evolved wavetable synthesis delivers its own brand of completely unique sounds and a knob-per-function layout that makes customizing those sounds fast and easy. To start, there are hundreds of preset sounds empowered by this new architecture, organized by front-panel category buttons, and all instantly customizable via the four Modulation Knobs. modwave’s distinctive wavetable timbres start with aggressive basses & leads, and lush ambient pads which will add a new dimension to your tracks.

But that is just the start. Those who want to dig deeper will find an endless source of discovery; you’ll be finding new things in this synth for a long, long time because of the unique synth architecture. Once you have started finding new sounds – save as many as you like; there’s room for thousands more.”

The modwave features a deep synthesis engine.

It features over 200 wavetables, each containing up to 64 waveforms—from thousands of individual waves. You can use the 30+ Modifiers to change their basic character, and the 13 Morph Types to process them in real-time. Create new hybrids from any two wavetables using the realtime A/B Blend, giving you over 230 million wavetable variations out of the box. But you can also load your own custom wavetables in Serum or WaveEdit formats.

Each Program has two full-featured wavetable oscillators, plus a sub oscillator/noise generator and any of a dozen stereo filter types, including the aggressive MS-20, sweet Polysix, and the newly enhanced Multi Filter. You can animate almost any parameter, using the flexible modulation system, with four triggerable envelopes, five LFOs, dual mod processors and two key-track generators–plus multi-lane Motion Sequencing and Kaoss Physics.

Even with all that synthesis power, playing up to four simultaneous wavetables per voice in a single Program, the modwave still offers 32-voice polyphony.

Kaoss Physics

Kaoss Physics models a ball rolling on a surface and/or bouncing off walls. You can start the ball by flicking a finger on the x/y pad, or launch the ball automatically using a trigger source such as Gate + Damper. You can also directly control the ball by holding your finger on the pad.

The position of the ball produces four modulation signals, which can be used to control any modulation destination you like: the X and Y locations, the distance from the center, and the angle relative to the X axis.

There is a bump in the virtual surface, going either down or up, like a valley or a hill. You can set the height or depth of the bump, and choose one of several different shapes for its slopes. The surface has adjustable friction, so that the ball slows down as it travels. There are walls on the four sides of the surface, and when the ball hits a wall, it bounces off. Walls can slow down the ball, as if they were padded, or accelerate the ball, like bumpers in a pinball machine. The walls can also be removed entirely, so that the surface wraps around to the opposite edges like a vintage arcade game.

The modeled environment can create specific modulation effects. For instance, use a centered bump with negative height so that the modulation values always eventually return to 0. Or, position a bump with positive height on a side or a corner, to push modulation values away from that zone

Most parameters, including Tilt, Friction, Time, Bump Height and Position, etc. are modulatable. You can even modulate them from the Kaoss Physics outputs—for instance, try modulating Tilt X with Kaoss Y.

The result is an interactive controller that amplifies your physical gestures, transforming them into complex musical results.

Motion Sequencing 2.0

Motion Sequencing 2.0 is evolved from the wavestate’s Wave Sequencing 2.0. Timing, Pitch, Shape, and four sets of Step Sequence values are separated into “Lanes,” each with their own loop start and loop end, adding a deeper, more customizable level of phrase and modulation recording.

Every time the sequence moves forward, the individual Lanes are combined to create the output. For instance, a step sequence value may be matched with a different duration, pitch, and shape every time that it plays. You can modulate each Lane’s loop points separately for every note, using velocity, LFOs, envelopes, Mod Knobs, or other controllers. Each note in a chord can be playing something different!

Lanes can also randomize the step order every time they play. Finally, individual steps can be randomly skipped, with a modulatable probability from 0 to 100%. The result is organic, ever-changing sounds that respond to your control. The dual onboard arpeggiators can interact with Motion Sequences for even more possibilities.

An arsenal of effects

Each Layer has three dedicated effects, plus a send to the Performance’s master reverb, followed by a master parametric EQ. Along with standards such as compressors, EQs, choruses, flangers, phasers, and stereo delays, you’ll find distinctive processors such as the Wave Shaper, Talking Modulator, Reverse Delay, Multiband Mod Delay, and Overb (from the OASYS and Kronos), plus modeled effects including VOX guitar amps, VOX wah, multi-head tape echo, and a collection of classic guitar pedals.
Randomization that inspires.

Editor/Librarian software

The modwave Editor/Librarian lets you edit and organize sounds via your macOS or Windows computer (including the latest Apple M1-based systems). Using USB networking for high-speed communication, it works like a second front panel for the instrument, so there’s no need to synchronize or transfer data. Animations show the effects of modulation in real-time – a great help when programming.

Set Lists and Smooth Sound Transitions

Set Lists offer effortless organization of your wavestate Performances, and deliver instant access at the gig or in rehearsal. Smooth Sound Transitions allow previously-played voices and effects to continue to ring out naturally, even once a new sound has been selected.

Connections

Balanced stereo outputs connect to any recording or monitoring system, and a stereo headphone output is provided for private playing or onstage cueing. Din-style MIDI jacks ensure connection to other MIDI-equipped instruments and audio gear, and the modwave supports class-compliant USB MIDI connections to Windows and macOS computers.

Audio Demos:

See the Korg site for details.