Ghost Ship master tenant Derick Almena sentenced, unlikely to serve further prison time

Derick Almena, the former master tenant of San Francisco Bay Area warehouse and event space Ghost Ship, has been sentenced after pleading guilty to 36 charges of involuntary manslaughter. Almena, 50, pleaded guilty in January following a devastating fire during an event at Ghost Ship in December 2016 that killed 36 people.

On Monday, 8th March, Almena was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but he is unlikely to spend any more time in jail. He was removed from jail last year due to coronavirus concerns, and has been under house arrest since. Because he received credit for good behaviour and time already served, it is likely that Almena will only serve another 18 months. These will be served at home while wearing an electronic ankle monitor, and will be followed by three years probation. 

“I know that no family member will find this in any way acceptable, and I accept that responsibility,” Alameda County Superior Court Judge Trina Thompson said following the case, AP reports. “I wish I could in the stroke of a pen take away your deep loss and your sadness.”

Thompson had previously been urged by family members of fire victims to reject the plea deal, which Almena had made with prosecutors to avoid a second trial, after the first ended with no verdict. “This lenient, slap-on-the-wrist sentence is vastly inappropriate for the crimes Derick Almena committed,” the family of fire victim Sarah Hoda said in a statement read to the court via teleconference. “Upholding the DA’s irresponsible plea recommendation would shortchange 36 victims and their families.”

Emilie Grandchamps, the mother of victim Alex Ghassan, said: “I often ask, why was my son given a death sentence for being in the wrong place and at the wrong time and those responsible for his and 35 others’ death are given a second chance at life? I want my son’s death not to go in vain,” she said.

Last year, families of the Ghost Ship fire victims received a $32.7 million settlement from City Of Oakland. At this time, 32 of the 36 lawsuits related to the fire were settled, with $23.5 million given to the families of those who died in the fire, and $9.2 million going to Sam Maxwell, who survived while sustaining life-changing injuries.

Ghost Ship had been converted into a living space and arts collective in Oakland, and was hosting an event featuring artists from local label 100% Silk when a fire broke out in December 2016. Among those who lost their lives in the fire were a number of key figures in the local Bay Area electronic music scene such as 100% Silk artists Nackt (otherwise known as Johnny Igaz) and Cherushii (otherwise known as Chelsea Faith Dolan).

Exploring Live 11’s new features with Push hardware

Who’s up for chance modes? Scales? Polyphonic pressure? Exploring Live 11 on Push hardware means you can get away from the screen and get your hands on some of the new stuff. Here’s how.

So yeah, I know this story – you went out and got the upgrade, and you just don’t have headspace to tackle all the new stuff. (Believe me, I know.) If you do have Push or Push 2 – and most of this works on the original Push – you can take your focus away from the computer we stare at all the time now and concentrate on hardware.

And yeah, if you didn’t manage to dig through that monster guide I wrote yet (link again below) – this stuff gives you some stuff you can play with with your hands and not the mouse.

This isn’t the biggest-ever Live update for Push owners by quantity – if you just count the number of features in the release notes. But it has a uniquely big impact on how you play – maybe the biggest since Push’s original launch.

For a full overview, Andri Søren has done a lovely walkthrough of everything. (Thanks for sending in your work, Andri!)

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Ableton posted some short demos, too, in the past days, so let’s walk through one at a time:


First, with all this fuss over MIDI Polyphonic Expression – a now-standard scheme for letting multiple fingers add expression independently – a lot are asking if Push has MPE. Technically, it doesn’t, but you still get per-note controls of expression in Live 11, via Poly Pressure or polyphonic aftertouch.

On the Live side, you’ll find these features when using Push 2 with the following places:

  • External Instrument. (so you can route that poly pressure to external gear!)
  • Simpler and Sampler. (modulate individual notes with Push 2)
  • Push 2 Setup menu. You can now toggle between mono and poly aftertouch with melodic instruments – inside preferences.

Both Push 1 and Push 2 support channel aftertouch, but only Push 2 also has per-note poly aftertouch.

I’m a little unclear on whether you can also use these with things like MPE Control, so I contacted Ableton for feedback.

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I missed this – I’m not sure it was really even clearly documented. But it’s kind of my favorite new feature. Playing with the Chance Editor onscreen with Clips is fun. But playing with the same feature on the Push hardware really gives you that hardware drum machine feeling.

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Speaking of visualization, of course each Live update tends to bring new visualizations of Devices on Push. And this can be a great way to play around with the new toys:

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More Macro Encoders (up to 16 max, from the original 8)? Obviously you’ll want those on Push, too.

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Key and scale sync

You have scales and grid layouts on the Push hardware, so wouldn’t it be nice to sync those up with different clips so you can swap on the fly as you play? That’s finally here, after lots of requests. And it works both ways. Set your Push to Key Mode, and set a MIDI Clip with Scale Mode enabled, and selections in one will impact those in the other.

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Other tips?

What hardware/software combinations are you using, actually? (I don’t exclusively work in Live, so I’m curious about you, too.)

Let us know.

In review, a reminder:

Loraine James announces new album, ‘Reflection’, on Hyperdub

Loraine James will release a new album via Hyperdub in June. 

Titled ‘Reflection’, James’ new album follows her 2019 breakthrough LP ‘For You & I’, which DJ Mag crowned as its favourite release of that year.

Set for release in June, the album was made in the summer of 2020, and is described as “a turbulent expression of inner-space”, and examines the experience of the past year from the perspective of a young, queer Black woman. 

Placing an emphasis on the sounds of R&B and drill, which James spent a lot of the last year listening to, ‘Reflection’ updates her experimental, rhythmic electronic sound across these 11 tracks. 

Collaborations on the album come from Eden Samara, Baths, Le3 bLACK, Xzavier Stone, Nova and Iceboy Violet, whose vocals accompany James’ own.

Lead single, ‘Simple Stuff’,  can be heard below, and features James’ vocals, which became more prominent in her 2020 EP on Hyperdub, ‘Nothing’

The first posthumous SOPHIE release has arrived—stream ‘JSLOIPNHIE’

The first posthumous SOPHIE release has arrived—stream ‘JSLOIPNHIE’Fb

A new collaborative release from SOPHIE and Jlin has surfaced. Titled “JSLOIPNHIE,” the joint track marks the first posthumous music from SOPHIE following her tragic death in January and arrives as part of Unsound’s Intermission compilation.

The new track features experimental sound textures and rhythmic patterns from both artists, bringing together their unconventional production styles for a dissonant and immersive auditory world. “JSLOIPNHIE” lands amidst a thematic tracklisting of 15 commissions for Intermission that explore the pandemic through intersectional forms of art, sound, and music. The album is dedicated in memory of SOPHIE, whose legacy continues to be felt through the industry.

Stream Jlin x SOPHIE’s “JSLOIPNHIE” below.

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Google Launches ‘Music, Makers & Machines’, Showcasing The History & Legacy Of Electronic Music

Google – in collaboration with over 50 international partners across 15 countries – has launched
Music, Makers & Machines, a online exhibit showcasing the history and legacy of electronic music.

The site is designed to be a immersive resource, with more than 200 online exhibitions. It features an extensive archive of photos, videos, 360° tours and 3D scans, along with editorial features delving into scenes, sounds and iconic cities.

Music, Makers & Machines includes:

  • 10,000+ photo and video assets
  • 200+ curated online exhibits from more than partners from 15 countries
  • 4 Street View and 360° tours
  • 22 3D-scanned synthesizers

Tech highlights feature the legendary original Tresor club entrance door in 3D, the biggest online archive of 3D-scanned synthesizers from the collection of the SMEM (Swiss Museum for Electronic Music Instruments), as well as multiple 360° and Street View tours.

Music, Makers & Machines will also offer lesson plans for schools and students.

Contributors include XL Recordings (UK), Innervisions (DE), Kompakt (DE), Kitsuné (FR), WDR – West German Broadcasting (DE), Museum of Youth Culture (UK), Moogseum – Bob Moog Foundation (US), Clubcommission Berlin (DE), Deutsches Museum (DE), Visit Düsseldorf (DE), SMEM – Swiss Museum for Electronic Music Instruments (CH), Amsterdam Dance Event (NL), Barbican Centre (UK) and others.

The entire Music, Makers & Machines online exhibition can be accessed online or via the Google Arts & Culture app on iOS or Android.

Grammys partner with Berklee College and ASU for study on women in music

Grammys partner with Berklee College and ASU for study on women in musicGrammys

The Recording Academy announced their intent to partner with Berklee College of Music and Arizona State University to complete a study focused on promoting equal representation of women in music.

Prompting a timely move for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, the organization’s annual Grammys award ceremony has been criticized over the years for awarding and nominating more men than women. As the 2021 Grammys prepare to air on March 14, the Academy revealed that among the 853 nominees across all 84 categories at this year’s show, only 198 or roughly 23%, identify as women.

The Academy has stated that the lack of female creators in music is “one of the most urgent issues in the industry today,” with a predominant skew towards male nominations in honors across not just performers, but also producers and engineers. Valeisha Butterfield Jones, the Academy’s Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer stated,

“Women are key drivers in the economy and across all business and creative sectors in music, globally, yet we reflect 2% of producers and engineers.”

The study is expected to be completed and released by early 2022. The organization says the data it collects “will be utilized to develop and empower the next generation of women music creators.” The Recording Academy plans to double the amount of female nominee voters by 2025; it has reached 33% of its goal with the addition of 831 women to its voting membership.

Featured image: MJ Photos/REX/Shutterstock

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Poland-bound: Red Bull BC One 2021 World Final heads to Gdańsk

Poland-bound: Red Bull BC One 2021 World Final heads to GdańskDean Treml

“Breaking since 2001,” Red Bull will take Red Bull BC One’s 18th annual World Final to Gdańsk, Poland, for the first time in BC One history.

Red Bull BC One represents one of the world’s largest and most prestigious one-on-one breaking competitions, and has routinely provided a platform for standout breakers to flaunt their talents on a global scale. In 2020, the Red Bull BC One World Final’s invitational lineup competed for champion honors in Salzburg, Austria. Now, in what marks another Red Bull BC One first, the 2021 breaking competition— which will run from November 5 – 6—will occupy two day’s worth of programming to support the inclusion of a Top 16 b-girl World Final.

The path leading up to the Red Bull BC One World Final will span 60 qualifier events in 30 countries around the world, with the best breakers to eventually travel to Poland. In countries where an in-person qualifier is not to be hosted, Red Bull’s BC One E-Battle provides would-be breakers a chance to compete to become the next breaking champion of their country.

Gdańsk will host all country champions and national heroes in the breaking domain, who will battle it out to secure their spots on the World Final lineup. In sum, the roster of breakers will include 16 b-boys and 16 b-girls.

The Red Bull BC One World Final bespeaks Red Bull’s long-term presence in the breaking space. Learn more about the basics of breaking here. Competitors and other interested parties can find further information on the Red Bull BC One World competition and 2021 final here.

Watch the trailer for the 2021 World Finals here.

Poland-bound: Red Bull BC One 2021 World Final heads to GdańskImage003

Featured image: Dean Treml

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Nicole Moudaber and Alan T control ‘The Volume’

Nicole Moudaber and Alan T control ‘The Volume’19477331 10155760119488268 4583451210843140913 O

Nicole Moudaber and Alan T unite for a blusterous two-track EP titled The Volume. The Queen of Techno enlists her dear friend and Miami’s notorious Club Space doorman, Alan T, for a pair of overwhelming hypnotic tracks “The Volume,” and “The Music Is Mine,” released on Moudaber’s very own label, MOOD Records. Speaking on the release and collaboration with Alan T, the producer stated,

“Alan and I met in the early 2000s during the Winter Music Conference in Miami and always found ourselves reconvening on the dancefloor. We were communicating during lockdown last April and decided to collaborate on something. Alan IS Miami, basically. I wanted to do something to do him justice and bring him the fame he deserves, and thus ‘The Volume’ was born.”

The Volume continues to champion Moudaber’s blistering techno sound as Alan T assists with his spellbinding vocals and ad-libs. The combined tracks amass for an immersive experience of club and dance as thunderous basslines and dark atmospheres assume control of the dancefloor and club-goers bodies. The venerated radio personality is set to celebrate seven years of her award winning show In The Mood in May and will feature special guests such as Nile Rogers and Paris Hilton.

Stream Nicole Moudaber’s The Volume EP below.

Featured image: Stuart Tracte

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Malaa serves a dark recast of Petit Biscuit and Diplo’s ‘Pick Your Battles’

Malaa serves a dark recast of Petit Biscuit and Diplo’s ‘Pick Your Battles’133724507 497132901686153 570218655273621078 N

No one should even attempt to pinpoint a lone crowning moment from DJ Snake and Malaa‘s sophomore Secret Room stream, but the masked Parisian had everyone paying full attention when he tweeted out “ID ID ID ID ID ID” right as the the back-to-back set crossed its 22-minute mark. Instantly detected as an impending Malaa conversion of Petit Biscuit and Diplo’s Parachute linkup, “Pick Your Battles,” that formally known ID has now been officially realized after only a short-lived waiting period.

Succeeding a first run of Parachute reworks that tapped into the creativity of Jai Wolf, Big Gigantic, and Jerro, Malaa was called up to deposit his impenetrable French house command on an already sublime cut of electronic music, and he stayed on par with his first spin of the year, “Anything.” Holding onto a sliver of the source’s chilling vocals, Malaa retains Petit Biscuit and Diplo’s passional spirit, catalyzing a measure of foreboding bass house that had both him and his Secret Room counterpart unable to stand in place behind the decks.

Featured image: Jamil Hammadi

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Julian Jordan and Guy Arthur meet on STMPD RCRDS for future house merger, ‘Let Me Be The One’

Julian Jordan and Guy Arthur meet on STMPD RCRDS for future house merger, ‘Let Me Be The One’Screen Shot 2021 03 09 At 9.10.28 PM

Julian Jordan and Guy Arthur rest on polar ends of STMPD RCRDS in terms of time served, but the respective Dutch and Polish producers have now partnered up for a collaborative effort that’s been in the pipeline for a while. After the latter stamped his sound on the former’s “Love You Better” in 2020, it was only appropriate that the two sanctioned an official meeting of their house veins on Martin Garrix‘s humble abode with “Let Me Be The One.”

The two had been plotting a possible liaison into the new year, but both said that nothing felt particularly fitting until “Let Me Be The One” eventually came about. Stepping outside of his tied-and-true bass house layout, Julian Jordan connects with Guy Arthur’s lightsome tone for the proper touch of future house that superlatively ties together the faculties of both a STMPD RCRDS veteran and a STMPD RCRDS novice.

Featured image: Kevouthere

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