Spotify recently introduced a new lossless version of their streaming app called Spotify HiFi. While no details are yet available about what format it will take, they’ve promised “CD quality”, meaning it will at least be lossless (meaning there’s no file compression), 16-bit and 44.1kHz sample rate. If that doesn’t mean much to you, or you’re a child of the MP3 era, it’s worth taking a test to see if lossless is more than just a marketing term to you. The results might surprise you.
The other snag for Spotify HiFi, apart from the fact that there’s a high chance you won’t be able to tell the difference – is that most people listen on wireless speakers, be it a Bluetooth or AirPlay system, or via Spotify Connect built into a speaker. Most Bluetooth protocols end up compressing the sound anyway, and while AirPlay can be lossless, only high-end AirPlay speakers (which do exist) will really feel the benefit of lossless streaming.
We’re not saying lossless streaming is snake oil – far from it, on the right system, that extra detail can be the difference between great and brilliant quality – but in the age of streaming and wireless audio, the number of potential variables introduced in your system means you might not benefit as much as you thought. There’s actually an argument to be made that some will prefer lossy audio to lossless, as it’s what they’re used to, in the same way some people romanticise vinyl because they grew up on it. Let’s not open that box, eh?
Try this comprehensive test to see if you can tell the difference between compressed and lossless audio on your system, and make sure you read the instructions before starting. A key thing to bear in mind is that it’s asking you which is which, not which one you prefer. If you are vibing more on a 128 YouTube rip over a vinyl 12-inch through a Macintosh amp and some B&W speakers, more power to you.
Spain plans to incorporate vaccine passports into its safe travel protocol, which may allow tourists to travel to the country and its surrounding islands this summer.
Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto told journalists on Monday that the government plans to introduce vaccination certificates, or “passports”, into its safe travel corridor scheme, as “an element of safe mobility”.
“We already have safety protocols in place but we want to take another step to help restart travel as soon as the coronavirus situation allows for it,” she said, adding that the government is working with the EU and OECD to “adopt common protocols that give travellers the confidence that they can travel safely”.
These planned protocols, including vaccine passports, have already been approved for use in the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands, including Ibiza, where travel corridors were trialled last summer.
Maroto added that, if Spain’s vaccination roll-out goes ahead as planned and significant improvements in the COVID-19 situation are seen, then “it gives hope and certainty that that the second semester of 2021 will be when the reactivation of the tourism sector” can take place.
Maroto’s comments come just days after the Balearic government announced that, from the beginning of March, bars and restaurants in Ibiza, Formentera, Menorca and Mallorca will be able to open terraces and outdoor spaces to the public. At the beginning of the month, Maroto said that Spain hopes to reopen for tourism in the spring.
Tourism is one of the most crucial industries in Spain, especially in nightclub hotspot Ibiza. Spain welcomes approximately 80 millions tourists a year, with the industry providing over 12% of the country’s GDP.
There’s no sitting on the sidelines for SG Lewis‘ times rollout, which—now in its post-drop phase—has proven so robust as to warrant its classification as “The Big Dance” of its own kind. As the times disco ball continues to turn, much of listeners’ anticipation to return to the dance floor is indubitably owed to Lewis and his debut LP. And, with fire in his chest, he’s spiking it further. Cue the official music video for “One More.”
The last single to predate times, the Nile Rodgers-assisted “One More” was a highlight of times – The Live Experience on February 19, and at Lewis’ gracious call, the live performance of the inclusion landed on YouTube. “One More,” the very first song that Lewis conceived for times in Los Angeles, is now expanding its visual footprint with an Aidan Cullen-directed accompaniment that follows the split-screen proceedings of an evening out, experienced by Lewis himself and his costar, Bar Maldonado. The mannequins that accent the club setting can be read as a clever representation of the many nondescript strangers with whom one might brush shoulders during a jaunt out, giving depth to a visual that hooks eyes from the very first second.
GForce has introduced OB-E, a new macOS software synthesizer, based on the classic Oberheim 8 Voice.
OB-E builds on the original’s architecture with features like a step sequencer, effects, new modulation options and MPE support.
Here’s what they have to say about it:
“OB-E is our take on the legendary 8-Voice. More than just an emulation, OB-E offers a unique musical experience. Sounding HUGE, it takes the iconic Synthesiser Expander Module based 8-Voice (a.k.a the EVS) into new sonic territory via a raft of enhancements and additions.The concept of the 8-Voice is actually very simple; based around a single Module containing two VCOs with Pulse and Sawtooth waveforms, two ADS Envelope Generators, one LFO, and a magical Multi-Mode Filter. In isolation, each Module is monophonic, but in the 8-Voice, because there are eight Modules triggered by a polyphonic keyboard, you have a superb eight note polyphonic synthesizer.While simple at heart, OB-E is, to our knowledge, the first virtual instrument with complete per-voice control. This unique Octaphonic architecture offers fresh and exciting creative possibilities to music producers, composers and sound designers for the first time in the digital realm.”
Unique 8-Voice Octaphonic architecture
An authentic sounding emulation of the Oberheim® 8-Voice
Zero delay feedback filters
600 factory Patches designed to fit in a mix, all tagged and categorised
Librarian for easy access to the Patches (Arrow Keys Navigation)
Continuous, round-robin mode where each note uses a new voice
ZOOM enlarges an individual SEM filling the UI with front and rear panels side by side
Introducing The Space Station, our exclusive Audius playlist focused on exposing new and exciting music from independent artists.
Since 2009, Dancing Astronaut has been sharing music for the love of it. Like many electronic music fans, we grew up on Soundcloud. We got our start sharing mash-ups, bootlegs, and remixes from then unknown artists who were pioneering a new style of sound on the internet. Unfortunately, those days are far behind Soundcloud, but our crate-digging and music-sharing obsession is still going strong. And, if you’re anything like us, you’re sick and tired of seeing the same artists populating every EDM playlist on Spotify.
So where do you turn? The answer is simple; AUDIUS.
Finally, there is new platform that’s as exciting as Soundcloud felt during those early years.
Every week, we’ll be updating The Space Station. On it you’ll find some familiar faces and plenty you’ve never seen before — and that’s the point. No label plants. No walled gardens. No slotting fees. Just good music, updated every week.
We’re looking for submissions from creators and producers to submit their music to us to be featured on the playlist. No matter the genre, let us hear what you’re making.
With the warm rush of “Silver Screen,” Kartell‘s Daybreak EP opens, enveloping streamers in a nostalgia-tinged ambiance that embraces elements of bedroom pop, R&B melodies, the indie genre, and its intersection with electronic. Its fluency in cross-genre cues apparent across all six of its inclusions, Daybreak is sure to appeal to fans of Tame Impala and SG Lewis, the latter of whom guests on Daybreak‘s finale, “Crossing Paths.”
Conceptually, Daybreak takes facets of Kartell’s favorite settings and translates them into sound as it simultaneously brushes up against the idea of memory, the French artist explained. Kartell said,
“Timeless and soulful, the project is about the story of our relationship with memories and how we travel through them.”
The EP, which Dancing Astronaut backs as a must-stream, vaults Kartell onto the radars of music aficionados with soft spots for plush synth work, moody pads, and languorous sound progression. Your next favorite project can be found below, distributed via Roche Musique.
After alluding to a new Florida-based festival on February 21, Insomniac East has formalized its plans for Abduction 2021, a bass-geared festival slated to take place at Lot 54 at The Vanguard in Orlando on April 10. The one-day event, at which masks wills be required, has attracted an intimate array of electronic acts including Tchami, Diplo, Habstrakt, Dombresky, Virtual Riot, and more.
Of note, a back-to-back involving 4B and a currently unnamed deck sharer is in the Abduction cards, with more information on this enigmatic partner’s identity to be disclosed at a later date. Tickets to the first-ever Abduction installment will go on sale at 12:00 p.m. EST / 9:00 a.m. PST on February 25 and can be purchased here.
Ever since NUZB enrolled in the STMPD RCRDS ranks during the summer of 2020, the Brazilian act has only defended both how and why he earned Martin Garrix‘s attention. After assembling his forthcoming RetroFuture EP with a four-piece of multi-skilled numbers that land across all edges of the house map, NUZB is bringing the roll out full circle with its fifth and final piece, “Get It.”
Categorized as “one of the best tunes I’ve ever made,” by NUZB’s own admission, “Get It” stands orderly in line behind “Don’t Talk,” “No Rush,” “Want Your Body,” and “Nighttime” as NUZB continues to simplify the meaning behind the EP’s clashing headline. Capturing the old-fashioned spirit of the ’80s and linking it with the dreamy sense of present-day indie-electronic, NUZB rounds out his RetroFuture tracklisting on a worthwhile bottommost inclusion.
Stream NUZB’s RetroFuture EP in its entirety below.
Daft Punk’s ‘Homework’ and ‘Alive 1997’ will be reissued on vinyl this month.
The duo’s 1997 debut LP, ‘Homework’, and a 45-minute live performance recorded at Q Club in Birmingham that same year have been repressed and will be released via EMI this Thursday, 25th February.
‘Homework’ features some of Daft Punk’s most iconic tracks, including ‘Da Funk’, ‘Around The World’, ‘Revolution 909′ and ‘Rollin’ & Scratchin’. ‘Alive 1997’ was recorded on the duo’s first ever European tour, and was originally reissued in 2014.
The news comes just days after Daft Punk announced that they were splitting up after 28 years in the business.
Pre-order the ‘Homework’ reissue here, and ‘Alive 1997’ here.
Earlier this week, DJ Mag asked readers to name their favourite Daft Punk tracks. You can dig into a playlist of their choices here.
Read about how the French duo’s ability to constantly reinvent electronic music made them one of the most important electronic acts after Kraftwerk here.