SoundCloud is revolutionising how artist royalties are paid

Their new “fan-centric royalties” will pay out based on fan listening times rather than ‘pro rata’

Declan McGlynn

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 – 14:45

SoundCloud is introducing user-centric royalties for artists using its platform. As SoundCloud describe it, “under the old model, money from your dedicated fans goes into a giant pool that’s paid out to artists based on their share of total streams.” That means, just like Spotify and other streaming platforms, a portion of my subscription fee or ad revenue will end up in the pockets or artists I have never listened to. 

“With this move, each listener’s subscription or advertising revenue is distributed among the artists they listen to, rather than their plays being pooled – benefiting rising independent artists with loyal fans.” DJ Mag teased the news last month

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It’s a big move and huge news for independents who have built a loyal fanbase but don’t get the numbers of the megastar artists who are benefitting most from the old model. SoundCloud has built a microsite to explain more and demonstrate some real-world examples of the new model. In it, they explain ‘Vincent’ with 124,000 followers previously made $120 a month under the old model, now makes $600. Alternatively, ‘Chevy’’s account sees rates increase by 217%. Artists will be able to access the new model from April 1st. Find out more here.

Blanke surprises with silky smooth drum ‘n’ bass number, ‘Mystery’

Blanke surprises with silky smooth drum ‘n’ bass number, ‘Mystery’144821765 724835444718219 2453487400613023088 N

Blanke is a man of many talents. From skull-cracking dubstep hits such as “Control” to breathtaking melodic hits like “Flatline,” the electronic music and plant aficionado has positioned himself at all ends of the dance spectrum. Now, returning to drum ‘n’ bass for the first time since “Alchemy,” Blanke has released a tantalizing new single titled “Mystery.”

“Mystery” opens with an entrancing melody topped by enchanting female vocals. At the breaks, Blanke draws inspiration from both his heavy and melodic production, intertwining bright, smooth drum ‘n’ bass synths with a darker, grittier, dubstep-influenced bass. The first drop gives way to another beautiful lyrical break as the energy-infused drum ‘n; bass drums continue. Reminiscent of earlier drum ‘n’ bass trends while still meeting the standard for modern music production, Blanke’s “Mystery” is a nostalgia-inducing masterpiece.

Featured image: Curdin Photo

The post Blanke surprises with silky smooth drum ‘n’ bass number, ‘Mystery’ appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Artists have joined an urgent, epic-length compilation for Myanmar

Independently, musicians are proving capable of banding together and exchanging networks, artist to artist. For the second time in a year, the Syrphe platform is hosting a rapid-response compilation call to action – this time for Myanmar.

Last summer, C-drík Kirdec and their Africa/Asia/beyond-focused platform Syrphe was one of the first to host a musical answer to the crisis in Beirut. In under 24 hours, 94 artists across 40+ countries submitted hours and hours of music.

This time, the catalyst was the recent crisis in Myanmar, and the network was equally fast in mounting a widespread response. This is not any particularly superficial activism, but what may be read as a heartfelt exchange between friends and contacts across borders – an expression of feeling in music. It’s artists making a gesture of care. There’s no particular profit for the artists, and nothing other than humble aims. But at the same time, it shows that people don’t have to be silent, or stuck in loops of despair and doomscrolling. And there is material benefit on the ground – organizing some VPN subscriptions to allow people to stay in touch.

This was fast – as in, I’m the one slow in writing it up, but it certainly remains relevant. As with the compilation for Beirut, there is a four-part digital release. And it’s all great music, the reflection of that network of people who care and connect through underground channels and shared interests in undiscovered musics from the margins. Even just listening may be an important gesture. (It’s also, again, oddly coherent in all its diversity – maybe more so than more contrived releases.)

Civil disobedience – လူထုမနာခံမှု

Following the events in Myanmar in 2021, and after several email exchanges with friends (activists and artists) there, I decided to set up another compilation project on order to collect money to offer VPN subscriptions to journalists, activists, artists (…) based in Myanmar to allow them to easily bypass censorship and communicate with the outside world. The benefits will also be transferred to a friend in Yangon who well wisely use the money to help and support demonstrators and activists who fight for freedom as well as social, ethnic, sexual, philosophical (…) equality and respect.

Artists from 42 countries have kindly provided their tracks within a week.
89 artists from Tanzania, the UK, Singapore, Belgium, France, the USA, Uganda, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, India, Germany, Canada, Togo, Switzerland, Colombia, Greece, Malaysia, Indonesia, Argentina, Peru, Poland, Czechia, South Africa, Japan, Sri Lanka, Iran, Turkey, Vietnam, Norway, India, Nigeria, Mexico, Chile, the Netherlands, Spain, Belarus, Ukraine, Singapore, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Slovenia, Serbia, have kindly contributed to this compilation, many responded within a few hours, it is heartwarming to see such dedication and unity, especially during the long and sometimes harsh crisis the world has to go through for more than a year by the time I write those lines.

Such as what I previously did with the compilation to support people in Beirut, I will now and then post some updates on social networks, here and my newsletter regarding the benefits : how much and what for.

Myanmar is a special place for me or at least the little I know of it. I got the opportunity to play twice there in February 2014, solo and collaborations with local and international musicians. I attended some talks, met several activists (pro-LGBT, pro-democracy, artists, feminists, etc.), some were optimistic about the changes that seemed positive, most political prisoners had been freed, there was less censorship, but others were raising some doubts and today’s situation has unfortunately proved them right.

I will never forget people’s kindness, not only those activists, organisers and artists but also the people I’d meet in the street or cafés, the street sellers who would teach me the numbers and the name of the vegetables and fruits I’d buy, the children dancing during our noisy concerts…

Of course the situation is way more complex than those memories that I tell here, Myanmar is a fragmented country and these conflicts are the world’s longest ongoing civil war that spanned more than 70 years. But I want to keep the beautiful memories I have in mind, not the dark sides of the story.

That’s just a start; there’s plenty of additional background and tons of worthwhile links on the Bandcamp page.

Nice to see some familiar names on there, too.

And the aforementioned previous compilation (which I managed to squeeze a track into, something I failed to do this time – but will instead devote some time to listening!):

Watch Patrick Topping’s set from Elrow 2018, This Saturday

A never-seen-before Patrick Topping set from Elrow in 2018

Euan McGraw

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 – 14:45

Every week, we invite some of the world’s best DJs to live stream exclusive DJ sets on our Facebook, Youtube and Twitch channels.

We have digged into the DJ Mag archives for some never-seen-before mixes, and uncovered a Patrick Topping set from Elrow in Barcelona from 2018. 

Be sure to tune in from 19:00 (GMT) at, the DJ Mag Facebook Page, or the DJ Mag YouTube Channel

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Live solo master class: Baseck wailing on an Octatrack MKII is absolutely massive

Disclosure: I hate demos. Hate watching them. Hate doing them. Now, technically, this is a demo. But… uh, wow.

Is there product news here? Not especially. The Octatrack is ten years old; in this case what’s new is that its latest MK2 iteration now comes in black – no custom paint or limited edition, but for everybody. Perfect Circuit pretty much nails the description: Octatrack has eight tracks of sampling, eight tracks of MIDI sequencing, four audio ins and four outs. It lets you manipulate samples and effects. And, crucially, it has a crossfader, DJ style, which doubles as a macro control.

Now, to anyone who says there are no really great live performances and you can just DJ, watch this:

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It’s not fantastically complex stuff from LA’s Baseck, but it does all fit perfectly on this little box with absolutely nothing else. And jamming everything live – well, I mean, it just obviously looks fun. And Maestro Baseck demonstrates why Elektron users can be so fiercely loyal – all the stuff that makes this set breathe and groove is about getting all these operations under your fingertips.

It’s a great machine. But honestly, that’s not why I share this – I think this is a serious inspiration and high water mark for prepping your next live set, whatever box you use and whatever your style or voice is like at the moment.

Also, I kinda miss LA. Take care, y’all. (And stay safe up in Sweden there, too.)

Check out Baseck on Bandcamp:

Like, this banger happened:

For something totally different, also from Perfect Circuit’s channel, here’s synthesist Sarah Belle Reid with a burbling, grimy-dirty modular set and some thoughts about making a Eurorack setup. And I’m also a sucker for thinking about sound design and composition via minimal setup for live performance – that’s, uh, everything I like, so here’s that too:

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And obviously we need to loop back and explore this music, too – there’s a new one out in March, plus this one from late last year came with a graphic score:

Hey, I came via the Baseck link and hung out.

This is not a paid product placement in case it seems like one. So if I do ever make it back to LA, someone can buy me a beer or something; I imagine those cost like $15 in the USA by now.

India Jordan announces new EP on Ninja Tune, ‘Watch Out!’

India Jordan has announced a new EP.

Following last year’s ‘For You’ EP, and collaborations with Finn and Dance System, the Doncaster-born, London-based DJ/producer has announced their first release for 2021: ‘Watch Out!’.

A five-track EP incoming via London-based imprint Ninja Tune, ‘Watch Out!’ is an ode to India’s love for cycling, produced during lockdown. Described as “a homage to physical and conceptual movement”, the EP is brimming with their signature feel-good, high-energy rhythms, inspired by head-clearing bike rides and walks around London.

The announcement comes alongside the first single from the EP, ‘And Groove’, a smooth, summery trip through warm vocal samples and drums.

‘Watch Out!’ will be released on the 7th May via Ninja Tune. You can listen to ‘And Groove’ below, and pre-order the EP, which will also be available on vinyl, here.

(Press Shot: Oliver Vanes)

India Jordan won the Breakthrough Producer award at DJ Mag’s Best of British Awards 2020.

Italian house DJ Claudio Coccoluto dies, aged 59

Legendary Italian house DJ Claudio Coccoluto has died, aged 59. 

The longstanding DJ and columnist passed away this morning, 2nd March, following a “serious illness”, Italian publication La Repubblica reports

One of Italy’s most well-known house DJs, Coccoluto started DJing at the age of 13 in his father’s home appliance shop in his hometown of Gaeta. Eventually making his way onto local radio, the young DJ was caught up in the acid house revolution, and ended up landing residencies at the Seven Up club in Gianola and at the Histeria in Rome. He became one of Italy’s foremost proponents of house music, and went on to become the first European DJ to play the prestigious Sound Factory in New York in 1991. 

A cornerstone of the Italian scene, Coccoluto held down a residency at Goa club in Rome for 25 years. In 1995 he gave his reworking of the track ‘Belo Horizonte’ by The Heartists to Basement Jaxx, who subsequently blew it up via their Atlantic Jaxx label.  One of his biggest international hits was the deep tribal cut ‘Blues Brunch’ on Credence (later Cr2) in 2001. That same year, he released ‘Get Up! And Nae Tango’ on Parlophone.

A passionate advocate of electronic music, who appeared on the cover of DJ Mag in 1997, Coccoluto frequently spoke out in the media about issues facing the DJ world, and recently criticised the Italian government during lockdown for their poor support for the country’s music scene. “I try to use my position and do something special and something different. Because I think it’s a duty for a DJ that has, sorry, a ‘name’ to do something different and special,” he told Emma Warren for RBMA in 2004. 

Claudio died on Tuesday morning, 2nd March, at his home in Cassino, next to his wife Paola and their children Gianmaria and Gaia. In a Facebook statement his son Gianmaria Coccoluto wrote: “Our beloved dad left us last night”.

Tributes have been paid to the legendary DJ, some of which can be read below.   

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Denon DJ SC6000 adds full Serato DJ Pro support

The flagship media player now works with the popular DJ software

Declan McGlynn

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 – 11:38

Denon DJ has added Serato DJ Pro integration to their flagship SC6000 and SC6000M players. The support includes full-colour moving waveforms, essential performance control, navigation and key track data. You can also select any of the four decks in Serato to control them from a single player. Users can also access all of Serato’s performance features from the deck including loops, hot cues, roll, slicer, sampler, beat jump, and Pitch Play. 

Off the update, Denon DJ’s Brand Marketing Manager Jay Cunningham said: “Adding the ability to control Serato DJ Pro direct from the players, is a great addition to the functionality and feature set available to DJs around the globe to continue to embrace the future.” The Serato update will be available from mid-March and you can grab it here then. Engine OS version 1.6 is also required, which you can get here. Denon DJ also recently added Dropbox support to their Engine OS system.

Stream Snyder’s debut album ‘In the Dark’

Stream Snyder’s debut album ‘In the Dark’118271585 2751378248431568 4846521638284191793 O

After two years in the making, Snyder‘s dance-pop-infused debut album In the Dark has hit streaming platforms. The self-released LP traverses 10 diverse tracks that feature the likes of 24hrs, 51b, Dre of the East, Danielle Goz, Mike Eakins, and Northside Rocky.

In rare fashion, the Chicago-born producer has garnered more than 1 million streams on Spotify with his independently released music. Of note, In the Dark was led by “Your Love” featuring Northside Rocky, “Fire” with 24hrs, and the 51b-assisted “Thunda.” The multi-genre producer said of his first-ever LP,

In the Dark represents so much to me. For years, I worked at building something cohesive between my projects and finally to have something covering so many genres. I’m so proud that it came out the way it did. I call it In the Dark because I really do feel that the only thing that can tie all of these records together is darkness. Either darkness in the club, darkness in your heart, or darkness outside, you’re bound to feel some darkness in this project. Special thanks to 24hrs, Northside Rocky, 51b, Dre of the East, Mike Eakins, thank you guys so much for being a part of this project.”

In the Dark journeys across a variety of genres as Snyder bridges his pop-dance mastery with future bass, house, hip-hop, and mid-tempo. The balance of electronic ambience and commercial allure within his debut LP uniquely demonstrates Snyder’s knack for providing a stimulating experience through his diverse musicality and influences, further affirming his rapid rise to popularity.

Stream Snyder’s debut album In the Dark below

Featured image: Snyder/Facebook

The post Stream Snyder’s debut album ‘In the Dark’ appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah and Raekwon locked for Verzuz rap battle

The showdown was announced last Sunday (28th)

DJ Mag Staff

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 – 12:50

Ghostface Killah and Raekwon have been locked for the next Verzuz rap battle.

Launched in March 2020 during the initial COVID-19 pandemic, the Verzuz series is a clash concept from producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, which has seen the likes of Alicia Keys, Beenie Man, DMX, Snoop Dogg and Ludacris face off in music battles.

On Saturday (28th), following a set from D’Angelo, the two hosts announced that the next battle would be between two of Wu-Tang Clan’s original members: Ghostface Killah and Raekwon.

Speaking on the episode, Swizz said “What we talkin’ about, New York City? Staten Island stand up! Wu vs. Wu. Raekwon vs. Ghostface Killah… dates to come.” It follows a showdown between Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Gang Starr’s DJ Premier, who went head-to-head in a virtual Verzuz battle last year.

You can watch the last episode in full below.

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In October, Brooklyn-born rapper Raekwon revealed that he will be releasing his memoir in the form of a book in 2021.