ARTY has gone to remix Above & Beyond once again, this time under his trance-guised ALPHA 9 moniker. The Russian DJ has remixed Above & Beyond’s 2006 released track “Good For Me,” featuring long-time vocal collaborator Zoë Johnston, as part of the trance trio’s fifteenth anniversary of their album, Tri-State.
The remix was first played during ALPHA 9’s Virtual Dreamstate set for Insomniac and marks the second time reworking an Above & Beyond track after remixing “My Own Hymn” in 2018. ALPHA 9 delivers an ethereal rework of “Good For Me,” prompting a peaceful, placid listening state through both the radio and extended mixes. With featured elements of Johnston’s angelic vocals and the original’s alluring soundscapes, ALPHA 9 enamors listeners with his signature progressive mastery and melodic build-ups, rinsing out a unique combination of modern and contemporary styles.
The remix follows ALPHA 9’s aptly titled Stellar EP, as well as his two track collaborative EP with Spencer Brown titled Ariel / Afterlife. Listen to ALPHA 9’s remix of Above & Beyond’s “Good For Me,” featuring Zoë Johnston below.
Ibiza bars and restaurants have clearance to open their doors beginning March 2 provided the space has an outdoor seating option. This news comes on the heels of a notable decline in COVID-19 cases in the region, which includes Ibiza, Mallorca, Formentera, and Menorca. Indoor spaces will be allowed to reopen beginning March 16 provided that there is not another surge in cases.
Despite the reopening announcement, the Confederation Of Business Associations of the Balearic Islands has heavily criticized the government’s decision, stating that on Ibiza itself, 80 percent of the restaurants do not have a terrace for outdoor dining. The association further underlined the point, sharing that the reopening decision was “utter nonsense” thanks in no small part to the fact that “no financial aid has been provided to those impacted by the closures.” While businesses and employees of closed businesses continue to struggle, the association is pushing for a swifter return to normalcy.
President Francina Armengol responded to such criticism, sharing that the restrictions were working after bringing down the region’s coronavirus cases by 49 percent in just two weeks. While dining has been open sporadically in Ibiza since the initial lockdowns occurred in March of 2020, clubs were never given the clearance to reopen and have since remained shut. Time and case numbers will tell when it comes to the continued reopening of the region’s dining, bars, and eventually clubs.
Electro-funk duo Big Gigantic have remixed Petit Biscuit‘s hit track “Parachute”—the titular track from from Biscuit’s 2020 LP. Enlisting the pair as well as Jai Wolf for a “Drivin Through the Night” recreation, the French beatmaker has been inviting different perspectives to take on his breakout project.
With Biscuit’s original persuasion including a slower and more sultry intonation, the track brings forth an elaborate soundscape with a trap-leaning bass expression. Modifying the track with a rhythmic groove, Big Gigantic waste no time enlivening “Parachute” with their own stylistic additions. Calling forth an escapade of sparkling synths and the uproarious saxophone styling of the duo’s Dominic Lalli, the tune sees an invigoration that only Big G can bring to the table. This new rendition conquers the utility of a remix, breathing new life into a track and re-imagining a new take on the track, that keeps the foundation Petit Biscuit so thoughtfully carved out largely intact.
Notch is the latest “it” real-time visual effects tool. So as motion maven Defasten produced a dazzling science fiction video for my latest release, I asked him to share how it all works. Enter the nodegraph.
Notch is a powerful addition to motion arsenals – deep and responsive, something you can use as your main visual axe or alongside tools like TouchDesigner and Unreal. And it has a node-based, dataflow workflow – meaning, you can patch stuff together with virtual patch cords for modular inventions that are more than the sum of their parts.
But just as modular sound synthesis involves a high degree of transferability of concepts and language, so, too, live visuals play on fluency shared in common. It’s just that you’re playing with math and your GPU and eye candy in place of … math and your CPU and ear candy.
First, let’s watch the video – which began with the more analog material of the Moog Matriarch, with some digital effects here from Ableton Live 11 (and some repurposed string lines from Spitfire Audio). It premiered earlier this month on Berlin-London magazine Inverted Audio:
DEFASTEN (Patrick Defasten) imagined this wonderful, apocalyptic science fiction world. My inbox is somewhat littered with people using the pandemic as inspiration, but Patrick really moved me with this, creating this metaphorical fancy that seemed to capture some deeper emotional reality of this moment and its dissociative endtimes quality. It channels something I felt making the music but hadn’t explicitly said. And relevant to his use of Notch as a tool, to me, he was able to imbue these graphics with a sense of the mood and pacing of the sound. So let’s in fact listen as he explains how he did it.
You can navigate that by chapter, too, to help you digest all this information. There’s a combination of 3D objects, lighting, particle systems, and effects like glow – and part of the strength of Notch is letting you work with all of those, in real time without rendering. (Uh, wow.)
Part of the key to managing that is understanding how to manage elements hierarchically, and then applying the cinematic and lighting approaches that add emotional impact.
The structure of the scene is organized visually on the Nodegraph, divided into four quadrants – with the root at the center. There’s the corridor, the body, lights,
It’s all dramatic, dynamic lighting – again, in real time. (He talks a bit about optimizing those.)
Sketchfab is a great resource for 3D objects (it’s a 3D and AR asset platform), as is Mixamo (a human figure / animation platform). Basically, think of them as your set, prop, and costume shops – with some free (and affordable) options and optimized assets.
Models each have their own dedicated layer to make them easier to modify and preview.
Math modifiers in Notch animate the objects – and make them seem like they’re in freefall – sometimes using the null point as a zero point. (Patrick comments that he could have created a more accurate rigid body system but… I think the way he did it looks convincing and funny enough seems to match both fictional cinematic approaches to freefall plus, well, it sure looks like a lot of those Space Shuttle IMAX movies I obsessed over as a kid.)
Anyway see the explanation of Null nodes in Notch’s geometry system for more on what he means there. Basically, it’s a per-object reference to the transformation – so a way to add the behavior to that datapad or laptop that’s floating in the spaceship.
Dynamic textures pipe in the screen images and add a glitch effect.
Dynamic volumetric lighting provides all that essential mood. Frame rate takes a big hit, but it’s still fast enough to work with, as you can see in the screencast. Patrick balances the Max Depth Range and Num Depth Slices parameters to get desired look and performance.
Particle Trails make beautiful use of the Notch Mesh Attractor and the Time Stretch node.
Wide angle Camera Angles add more cinematic possibilities. And setting Near Clip to as low a value as possible helps preserve that cinematic quality by avoiding clipping objects near the camera (a dead giveaway that this is a computer-generated scene).
Best of all, Defasten has been kind enough to share his original Notch project file with all of us, and links to assets.
Check the video link (and subscribe to his channel).
Plus here’s a great intro by Ted Pallas from last year that gets you up to speed on what Notch is – and why it’s useful:
Plus an essential update:
Oh yeah, and if you’re wondering how I did the music, well, let me tell you, I sure… uh… played the parts with my hands and used the Moog’s arpeggiator. Or if we spoke about music like we did visuals, I assigned null points to my fingers on the musical keyboard manual and then applied triadic harmonic transformations.
Joining the likes of CeeLo Green, Fall Out Boy and Lil Yachty, De La Soul feature as themselves in the episode, fighting a monster who steals their music steals the group’s music. They defeat the monster with the help of De La Soul member Trugoy’s vocals.
With his first single of 2021, KAYTRANADA is back with the ultra-funky “Caution.” A Kaytra production is always immediately recognizable, and “Caution” fits the mold with groovy synth work and inimitable tight percussion. KAYTRANADA first debuted the single on Tik Tok as apart of the app’s Black History Month celebration.
Now, following more advice and upated information from the UK government, which includes the aim to offer the coronavirus vaccination to all adults by the end of July this year, a “road map” is set to be announced by Johnson later today (22nd).
Ahead of the announcement, Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy advisor, Sacha Lord, tweeted that in a “leak” about the road map from The Times — which he “believed to be true” — nightclubs would reopen in August. However, an article published by The Times today suggests that, although mass testing may help, it is possible that we may not see clubs open until the entire adult population has been vaccinated.
In a series of follow up tweets, Lord said, “If the return of restaurants/pubs isn’t until May, the Chancellor needs to urgently respond with a clear support package. A ten day wait until 3rd March is too long for peoples mental health and anxiety over their jobs/businesses.”
A previous tweet from last night (21st February) addressing the Chancellor said, “You must save the UK’s fifth biggest sector.”
Elsewhere in the world, clubs and venues are beginning to reopen cautiously. Earlier this month, New York City governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the city, which was one of the worst impacted at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, would begin to reopen venues later this month with 10% capacity restrictions and mandatory masks, as well as testing prior to entry.
Last week in France, the French government spoke about the return of live events in the summer, and announced that summer festivals could take place with social distancing in place, and a 5,000 attendee limit. This was met with criticism by festival organisers in the country, with AEG France highlighting in an interview with IQ that the “summer period” had been deliberately undefined, and that no outdoor food or drink trading will be allowed at the festivals.
Boris Johnson is expected to make the UK’s road map announcement at 3:30PM today, 22nd February.
MORE BREAKING from @thetimes on the likely roadmap:
The news comes as part of the government’s “must pass tests” – four conditions that must be met at each phase of lockdown easing. These include the ongoing successful roll out of the coronavirus vaccine, evidence that shows vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying or hospitalised with coronavirus, proof that infection rates do not pose a risk to a surge in hospital admissions, and data showing that new variants of the virus will not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions.
From the 8th March, schools will be open and two people from different households will be able to meet outside, before gatherings of six people or more are given the green light to meet outside from the end of March. Moving into April, non-essential shops will reopen, indoor and outdoor leisure, and self-catering holiday lets will be permitted, before mid-May when cinemas, hotels, performances and some venues will open their doors.
Providing the success of the UK’s new roadmap, the fourth step from the 21st June could see social distancing rules removed entirely, and the final closed sectors, such as music venues and nightclubs, free to operate as usual.
Ahead of today’s announcement, Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy advisor, Sacha Lord, tweeted that in a “leak” about the road map from The Times — which he “believed to be true” — nightclubs would reopen in August. In a series of follow up tweets, Lord said, “If the return of restaurants/pubs isn’t until May, the Chancellor needs to urgently respond with a clear support package. A ten day wait until 3rd March is too long for peoples mental health and anxiety over their jobs/businesses.”
A previous tweet from last night (21st February) addressing the Chancellor said, “You must save the UK’s fifth biggest sector.”
In the key findings of the survey, which were compiled by the Night Time Industries Assocation, the inquiry found that 85% of people working in the night time economy are considering leaving the industry, and that 78% of workers within the sector had, at some point in the last 12 months, been furloughed. The NTIA also highlighted the fact that on average, businesses in the night time economy had been forced to make 37% of their total workforce redundant, and that in the second half of 2020, clubs and music venues traded at an average of 28% of their pre-coronavirus turnover.
Spotify is launching a new high-quality version of their streaming service called Spotify HiFi. The service will be available to Spotify Premium subscribers in select markets “later this year”. The news came as part of Spotify’s online event called ‘Stream On’, which also saw some other new features and announcements added to the popular streaming platform.
Spotify claims high-res audio has been their number one feature request from users, but no information is available on how much the new hi-fidelity alternative will cost and when it will be available. The service is touted to work on all platforms and Spotify Connect-enabled speakers.
Spotify hasn’t specified what the lossless format actually is, be it FLAC, WAV, AIFF etc, or the bit rate or sample rate, but we expect more details to follow soon. Find out more about what Spotify is announcing on their Stream On event here.
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Iconic electronic duo Daft Punk has split, their publicist has officially confirmed.
Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo) announced the split by sharing a short video, entitled Epilogue, embedded above.
In Daft Punk’s nearly 30 year run, they had hits with songs like Around The World, One More Time and Harder, Better, Faster Stronger; appeared in and scored the film Tron: Legacy; and won Grammy Awards for Best Dance/Electronic Album, Record Of The Year and Album Of The Year.
No additional information has been shared at this time.