Midnight Kids have announced via Instagram that Dylan Jagger Lee will no longer be a part of the project, but that Midnight Kids’ musical output will continue. In the post about his departure, Jagger Lee has shared that he will be “moving in a different musical direction that feels more true to me.”
Midnight Kids first started releasing remixes anonymously in 2017, and after gaining support quickly from the likes of The Chainsmokers, Don Diablo, Audien, and more, the duo revealed themselves to be Kyle Girard and Dylan Jagger Lee. Their ascension into notoriety within the electronic music scene grew swiftly, building their fanbase through a consistent stream of releases.
A week prior to the announcement, the duo released a remix of Winnetka Bowling League’s “Congratulations” making Jagger Lee’s exit even more of a surprise. Confirming that the project will continue, Girard shared,
“To all Midnight Kids, our stories aren’t over. We have so much more to tell.”
It’s been an absolutely incredible experience going on this adventure with Dylan these past few years, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him. To all Midnight Kids, our stories aren’t over. We have so much more to tell.
From ‘Banaheim’, Behringer today introduced knockoffs of the classic ARP 2600 ‘Blue Marvin’ and ‘Gray Meanie’ synthesizers.
The original ‘Blue Marvin’ and ‘Gray Meanie’ synths are rare early versions of the ARP 2600. They differed in terms of styling from later 2600s. They also had some electronic differences from later models that affect how they sound, but arguably not as much as the later move from a Moog clone filter to the so-called ‘post-lawsuit’ filter design.
Here’s what Behringer has to say about their two new variations on their 2600:
“Featuring carefully selected high-grade components for improved performance, a mechanical spring reverb and unicolor fader LED’s, the Behringer Blue Marvin and Gray Meanie look back at the rarest first editions of the 2600 that was released in 1971.
We further added some very useful features such as a dual filter, an additional LFO, VCO syncs, USB MIDI, and much more.
Rumoured that only 25 Blue Marvin’s and 35 Gray Meanie’s were ever made, these modern-day and authentic recreations bring you closer than ever before to these rarities that have always been so out of reach. This time, at a price within reach.”
Based on what Behringer has said, it sounds like the build changes in the new 2600s are not to align with the unique electronics designs of the original Blue Marvin and Gray Meanie synths, but to address complaints some had with the sound and build of the Behringer 2600s. For many buyers, though, paying an extra $100 for improved components and a real spring reverb (vs the emulation used on Behringer’s earlier 2600s) will be a no-brainer upgrade.
Pricing and Availability
Behringer says that they will be shipping their ‘Blue Marvin’ and ‘Gray Meanie’ 2600s in February 2021, priced at US$ 699.
It’s his second collaboration with the Italian fashion house
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 – 18:08
Richie Hawtin has debuted new Plastikman music for a recent Prada fashion show.
British-Canadian DJ and producer Richie Hawtin, who first joined forces with Prada at Milan Fashion Week in September last year, has teamed up with the Italian fashion house for a second time, soundtracking Prada’s fall/winter menswear presentation with two new tracks: ‘Narcosis’ and ‘Spektre’.
The capsule presentation, titled Possible Feelings, was directed by Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada, and Hawtin shared that the themes of the show drove him deep into the “Plastikman psyche”, and allowed him to explore “feelings of introversion and isolation, the quest of finding yourself and forming inner strength and resilience” on the new productions.
It’s cute and small, it’s affordable, and now it’s getting more packed into it, in collaboration with boutique maker Noise Engineering. Here’s a look at what’s new in Arturia’s free 3.0.x firmware update to their MicroFreak synth.
I mean, look, the MicroFreak has a street price of about US$300. That means it’s competing with software budgets for a lot of people, let alone the cost of modular systems. But even if I had an unlimited budget, this synth would be high on my list, because of its unique sonic possibilities.
And it’s not just inexpensive when you buy it – it adds value over time, which is something we’ve seen from the best gear from Arturia, Novation (Circuit and — Station), and KORG (‘logue SDK) even at the entry level. On $300 synths, it’s just wonderful, as it still maximizes your hard-earned dollar over time – which may not be something the cheapest knockoff manufacturer can do.
On to what’s new — from Arturia’s MicroFreak 3 firmware notes (currently 3.0.6.x):
Brand new Noise Engineering Oscillators: BASS, SAWX and HARM.
Unison mode available for all Oscillators, with a control over the voice spread (shift+Paraphonic)
Number of preset slots increased from 256 to 384
Last saved preset is recalled on startup
Improvements on the Save workflow
Chord Mode can now be saved in the preset
The Filter Amount parameter can now send and receive Control Change in its full range. Center position of the Modulation Amount parameter at 64 on the CC26 in/out
Where to start
So in fact the very first two things you should do if you’ve got a MicroFreak, after following the update guide, is try unison mode and the new oscillators.
For unison mode, you hold down shift + press the Paraphonic button (it’ll blink). That feature alone might be reason to reevaluate the MicroFreak; it’s a no-brainer to have the option of some fattened-up unison sounds.
That triggers unison mode, but each preset stores its own unison settings – in preset settings, set unison voice count from 2-4 and unison spread of up to an octave or anything in between. It’s all tucked away under the Utility control.
That’s a good place to check out generally: go to Utility > Preset and then dial in unison settings, along with powerful customizations like envelope and glide mode, bend range, and tuning reference.
And now you know how to find this unison mode, it’s a good time to dial in those three new oscillators from Noise Engineering.
The vanilla-sounding names belie some eccentric and wonderful stuff underneath.
Listed here with parameters:
Bass adapts an algorithm from the writings of engineer Bernie Hutchins (Electronotes). The idea is basically this: combine an oscillation with saturation with wavefolding saturation modulation and noise between stages. So you take something, butter it up with saturation, and then butter it up some more – the distortion equivalent of French cooking.
Ah, for all the other things in the world, we’ve come a long way from the 80s when everyone wanted just the same terrible electric piano and brass patch for everything.
Saturate (saturation of oscillator)
Fold (wavefolder – their own touch)
Noise (phase modulation)
SawX is a super-saw oscillator with… a ton of modulation. Again, this is their own special sauce, but very “2021: The Year We Make Everything Distorted In Unique Ways.”
Naturally, these come from their own modules. And this does sound like close collaboration of engineering teams. (The work with Mutable Instruments’ oscillators from the Plaits module is better described as adapting open source code than it is direct engineering collaboration, as I understand it.)
Saw Mod (gain into modulus)
Shape (chorusing added to oscillator)
Noise (phase modulation)
Harm is their own special recipe additive oscillator. but again – distortion added.
Spread (from zero-unison to octaves between partials)
Rectification (of partials)
Noise (phase modulation – notice the trend)
Yeah all their stuff has phase modulated noise at some stage of this.
But this all looks eminently tweakable with just the right amount of unpredictability and flavor.
Here’s how it came about:
Video demos / walkthroughs
Tom Hall live performance for Arturia:
Dacci has a very complete walkthrough/demo that’s the most compact of those I found:
And it’s nice to see this in combination with VCV Rack; thanks, Omri. The MicroFreak would integrate with any modular system, but it’s hard to beat this for price – a laptop you likely already own plus the MicroFreak is already an insanely deep combo:
Old review, but covers the essentials of the original release:
Plus remember version 2.0 delivered scales and noise:
The feature I’m sadly missing – which Novation did add to Bass Station – is tuning. You can change tuning reference (from the A=440Hz default), but you’d need outboard gear or software to have something other than equal-tempered tuning. That feature is in Arturia’s Pigments software, so let’s explore it there soon. This isn’t like an Aphex Twin thing, it’s more a “what does most music in the world and even most of the history of European music involve” thing.
And all the other recent features
This caps off a ton of stuff in firmware updates. That includes:
Vocoder Edition for all, 16-band Vocoder oscillator with waveform, timbre, shape controls.
Microphone settings in the Utility menu.
Vocoder preset types with VU-meter.
Vocoder Hiss modes.
Chord Mode (hold Paraphony and press keys to make your chord)
A new community radio platform, Refuge Worldwide, will launch in Berlin this week.
After launching fundraising series Refuge back in 2015, the team behind the Berlin-based organisation will launch a new community radio platform later this week: Refuge Worldwide.
According to Refuge, Worldwide’s programming will combine internationally recognised and promising local artists, as well as offering a platform to marginalised communities and grassroots groups. The station will have shows from magazines and collectives, journalists, venues and activists, DJs, live acts, spoken word artists and community leaders, and topics covered by the hosts will include sustainability, identity, sexuality, music, culture decolonisation, politics and more.
The station will rely on donations via Patreon, with the low-level package, “supporter”, costing £3 per month, and the full “ally” membership available for £5 for month. Speaking about the new platform, Refuge co-founder, George Patrick, said: “Since 2015 the Refuge collective has been working in solidarity with NGO, non-profit and grassroots groups. This year we launch a new radio station to amplify the music and issues that we care about. The new Refuge Worldwide website will not only be a community platform but it will help to connect people with grassroots organisations and improve our fundraising efforts.”
In terms of music offerings, residents lined up for Refuge Worldwide include Angel D’Lite, Gramrcy, Nazanin Noori and Sally C, as well as Cromby, Mother (Rubadub), and Yuko Asuanuma. There’ll also be takeovers from labels like Love On The Rocks, Partisan Records and Raiders. Featured collectives and platforms will include shows from female:pressure, an international network of female, transgender and non-binary artists; Berlin-based crew Climax, as well as CO:QUO, Black Brown Berlin, Daisychain Podcast, Warning, Femme Bass Mafia, Face The Music, and more.
Refuge Worldwide will begin broadcasting on Wednesday 20th January 2021. You can find out more about the station’s programming schedule here.
Some tracks like Axwell and Years‘ “Bliss” can lay dormant inside the ID vault for years upon years (no pun intended) since their initial unveiling, with only a sliver of promise that their red lights will eventually turn green, while other ID hopefuls such as Hardwell and Blasterjaxx‘s now-released 2017 linkup are unsuspectingly given the go-ahead out of thin air.
It comes as no surprise that 2020 sent more than a handful of musical objectives into limbo as a product of the COVID-19 pandemic, but 2021 is a new year, and with a new year comes reanimated aspirations that artists will have a change of heart (or release schedule) and make fans happy by releasing long-awaited IDs. As a precursor to the outstretched year ahead and to coincide with Dancing Astronaut‘s most-anticipated albums of 2021 list, here is a group of IDs that ranges from hopeful to realistic in terms of respective opportunities for release before 2022.
Axwell and Years –“Bliss“
Premiere location: Axwell Λ Ingrosso’s Ultra Music Festival 2015 set
Chance of release: Toss up
The five-year anniversary of the unreleased crown jewel of progressive house is briskly approaching, and while Years’ 2020 promise and Axtone‘s allusion towards “Bliss” coming out of hiding had not been realized before the clock struck midnight on the last day of the past year, 2021 is surely as good of an opportunity as any for this never-ending ID pipe dream to ultimately turn into a tangible reality.
“Bliss” is supposed to come out sometime this year
Premiere location: Porter Robinson’s Secret Sky set
Chance of release: January 27
Since the moment Porter Robinson welcomed the suspected Nurture inclusion as the finale to Secret Sky in June 2020, “Look At the Sky” has been incessantly pleaded for. Although his sophomore LP rollout was unexpectedly interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Robinson confirmed that he had formally finished Nurture in mid-December of 2020, and revealed just a handful of weeks later that the ID’s arrival will occur just after the one-year mark of the LP’s initial announcement.
In early 2020, Tchami surprised those scanning through his Reddit AMA that the ID he debuted a half-decade ago—once thought to be a long-lost project—was not entirely out of the release question. Tchami confirmed that it would serve as an extra inclusion on the eventual Year Zero vinyl edition, and its appearance in his Elevation Sunrise stream only reasserted that promise.
.@iamTchami‘s Webster Hall 2015 ID is finally getting released
He says it’ll be a bonus track on the ‘Year Zero’ vinyl with a new vocalist
Premiere location: Alesso’s Countdown NYE 2019 set
Chance of release: Likely
Subtly slid in between his hour-and-a-half showing at Countdown NYE during 2019’s waning hours, “Somebody Like You” is a balanced compromise between Alesso‘s golden age era charm and the PROGRESSO-instilled fervor that he installed earlier that year. An updated version was unveiled at Marquee New York at the top of 2020, and the ID in its final form—along with two other IDs—made their public debut at Ultra Taiwan, alluding to the likely possibility that they derived from a sophomore PROGRESSO mixtape that would be arriving sooner rather than later.
Premiere location: Confirmed during Illenium’s Instagram live
Chance of release: Likely
After Nurko revamped “Take You Down,” daydreams about what a potential meeting with Illenium would entail were overwhelming. Illenium had previously alluded to a collaboration in the works during one his production streams earlier in 2020, and reconfirmed the tie-up in an Instagram livestream with Dabin, who similarly disclosed that he was working with the melodic dusbstep phenom, in January that same year.
Premiere location: Swedish House Mafia’s first Tele2 reunion date in May 2020
Chance of release: Toss Up
Akin to “Bliss” (although it hasn’t sat untouched for nearly as long), Swedish House Mafia‘s “It Gets Better” wholeheartedly deserves an opportunity to see the light of day at some point in 2021. The ID didn’t go all of 2020 without an acknowledgement, appearing in Axwell‘s exclusive night at Disney World at the top of the year, but the fate of both the ID itself and Swedish House Mafia’s reunion campaign are truly up in the air for 2021.
SHM opened their reunion performance with this surprisingly dark ID
SLANDER, NGHTMRE, and Dylan Matthew – “Fall Into Me“
Premiere location: SLANDER’s Virtual Vibes stream in October 2020
Chance of release: Likely
Considering the sheer volume of time spent together, it’s mildly surprising that SLANDER and NGHTMRE have only two sonic co-ventures, but their third may serve as their greatest. Led by the vocals of none other than Dylan Matthew, “Fall Into Me” was the incontestable highlight of SLANDER’s Virtual Vibes Festival stream from Black Rock City, and the hope for it not only to be released but also experienced in person grows with each passing second of 2021.
Premiere location: Seven Lions’ Virtual EDC 2020 set (unconfirmed)
Chance of release: Toss up
Just reading Seven Lions, Kill The Noise, Wooli, Trivecta, Jason Ross, Blastoyz, and potentially one or two others on a single headline is enough to make any avid Ophelia Records follower start to see colors, although no formal confirmation of the collaborators or concrete updates on the eclectic track’s status have been given outside of a slew of virtual set inclusions.
Introduced as the kinetic entrance to RL Grime‘s hotly anticipated “Halloween IX,” the ID potentially known as “Power Source” also made an appearance in a label merchandise post from the Sable Valley leader, suggesting that its landing date would be approaching sooner rather than later.
Premiere location: Gorgon City’s Club Space Miami set in November 2019 (unconfirmed)
Chance of release: Likely
Considering the measure of IDs that Gorgon City currently have stowed away, it was difficult to narrow it down to just one for this list, but their DRAMÄ-assisted collaboration that has been floating around since late 2019, most recently disclosed in the their New Year’s Eve set for Defected Records, was well worth inclusion. Not long ago, Gorgon City teased that their next release—as well as a full-length album—was in the pipeline, and we can only wait and see if “Done Enough” turns up when the time comes.
Premiere location: Bleu Clair’s Blueprint 03 mix in October 2020
Chance of release: Very likely
Bleu Clair and OOTORO have one of the most talked-about unreleased productions in house music at the moment. After being fully publicized during DJ Snake and Malaa‘s Secret Room back-to-back and again during Martin Garrix’s virtual set for Tomorrowland New Year’s Eve, the collaboration later received STMPD RCRDSconfirmation that it would reside under the label’s umbrella, and now, its release seems a matter of when, not if.
Premiere location: Martin Garrix’s Dutch Waters set in May 2020
Chance of release: Toss up
“Backlash” is arguably the most underappreciated progressive house production of the mid-2010’s, and Martin Garrix and DubVision decided to rekindle the partnership that yielded “Backlash” for another official alliance in 2020. Unveiled during the former’s Dutch waters boat stream, the ID’s current standing is unknown at the moment. A rumor that DubVision supposedly told a fan that the ID may never see a release day introduced a plot twist to the ID’s narrative, but it’s possible that the story doesn’t end there.
Dancing Astronaut‘s 2019 Breakout Artist of the Year validated his title as such throughout 2020, and Dom Dolla now rolls into the succeeding year with a sliver of house preeminence in his back pocket. Debuted sometime at the front end of 2020, “Pump The Brakes” wholly embodies how Dolla’s originative direction sets him apart in a crowded space, but the ID currently remains in virtual limbo, with a hopeful delivery scheduled for 2021.
Premiere location: Madeon’s Good Faith Live tour in November 2019
Chance of release: Toss up
After the post-album release of “The Prince,” the likelihood that Madeon will unhinge another Good Faith extra seems plausible in the new year. Originally said to be removed from its introductory placement on the album’s ultimate tracklisting, “Love You Back” played a hand in select Good Faith live shows in late 2019.
David Guetta and MORTEN – ID
Premiere location: David Guetta’s Tomorrowland New Year’s Eve set
Chance of release: Likely
David Guetta and MORTEN have redefined what it means to be on a “hot streak,” and they’re looking to append another future rave allegiance for a third consecutive calendar year. The suspected collaboration premiered in the midst of Guetta’s set at Tomorrowland on New Year’s Eve, and could potentially unseat the two’s bottomless count of prior meetings as their single best future rave clash yet.
STMPD RCRDS has come out the gates swinging in the new year with a mixed bag of high-grade releases, and Martin Garrix‘s label is now uncovering three of the 10 total unnamed segments from his virtual appearance at Tomorrowland New Year’s Eve. Some fans had unofficially attached the authors to select tracks from the one-hour set shortly thereafter, and STMPD RCRDS has since substantiated those speculations with a triplet delivery from Julian Jordan, Aspyer, and MNNR.
The multi-part package contains three of the most coveted IDs from the Garrix expo, with each holding its own and exemplifying how STMPD RCRDS is one of the most promising labels not only in house music, but dance music as a whole. Julian Jordan pretended that he was unaware of the producer behind the ID during STMPD RCRDS’ guessing-game Tomorrowland video, but the “Big Bad Bass” owner’s involvement was clear as day from the get-go, and Jordan puts its name to proper use throughout the more than three-minute bass-riddled invention. Aspyer’s “Symphony” is perhaps the most originative STMPD RCRDS output of the trifecta, and flashes the Russian talent’s unrivaled knack with the violin. Rounding out the ID trinity is MNNR, who returns to the Dutch-based imprint for “Can’t Hurt Me Anymore,” a vintage four-on-the-floor product reminiscent of the 1990’s era of house.
Stream all three of the STMPD RCRDS releases in full below.
When Digital Mirage unveiled its Friendsgiving lineup in mid-November of 2020, fans were excited (and equally confused) by the presence of a ZHU back-to-back with NGHTMRE. Whereas ZHU is renowned for his sexy deep house vibes, NGHTMRE’s brand is more closely associated with booming dubstep and melodic bass. How the two would be fused together in a single set was anxiously anticipated, and the delivery could not have been more exciting, to say the least.
Broadcasting live from the USS Hornet US Navy Vessel on November 27, 2020, the back-to-back cooperative saw the two talents effortlessly intertwine their juxtaposing genres, traversing through a myriad of house, bass music, and even some drum ‘n’ bass. Following the set’s overwhelmingly positive reception, NGHTMRE took to Twitter to hint at a forthcoming remix of a ZHU record, then asking fans, “Which @ZHUMusic song should I remix?” We now know it to be a rework of ZHU’s “I Admit It,” thanks to its December 11, 2020 disclosure. Relive the titillating team up below.
The new DJM-S7 is a more affordable version of the S9
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 – 11:59
Pioneer DJ has launched a new two-channel battle mixer, the DJM-S7. The mixer is a more affordable version of the popular S9 mixer, and features the same two FX levers, eight performance pads per channel with hot cue, sampler, and more, Magvel fader pro crossfader, three-band EQ and filter per channel and some new features including Bluetooth input so send loops and samples to the mixer from your mobile device and Loop MIDI mode that lets you control samples and loops from the FX levers.
There’s a built-in USB A hub to connect other controllers or connect directly to CDJs, and there are also dual USB B ports to connect two computers for easy swap over or b2bs. Round front there’s lots of customisation controls including crossfader curve and torque adjust, fader curve settings, Bluetooth control and mic input and tone settings.
The SM-7 comes with Serato Pro DJ license and is also a hardware-unlock device for rekordbox dj so you can immediately start mixing and triggering samples in pro DJ software. The SM-7 costs £1,339.
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