One year after American stages began closing due to COVID-19, music venues across the county are sharing “One Year Dark” messaging to raise awareness for the still-struggling industry. Coordinated by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), the campaign calls on venues to post “One Year Dark” on their marquee boards and social media accounts to remind people that live music remains one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic.
According to NIVA, music venues and performing arts theaters were the first to close in the pandemic and will be the last group of businesses allowed to reopen due to government-mandated pandemic closures. Additionally, venues have the highest at-risk factor for failure, three to four times higher than the average small business.
12 months without revenue has left independent venues reeling, but many are hopeful about reopening. According to Marketplace, the recent pandemic relief funding passed by Congress allocates $1.25 billion for concert venues. While those funds haven’t been distributed yet, it offers essential help to an industry that needs it most. Learn more about how to support independent venues on NIVA’s website.
BROHUG march to the beat of their own BROHOUSE movement—and that’s just part of their beauty.
In 2021 and certainly during its 365-day prelude, John Dahlbäck, Christopher Lunde, and Niklas Lunde’s new content was subject to their command and theirs only. The result? BROHUG singles catapulted to streaming platforms—frequently across consecutive weeks—putting listeners on a consistent bass house dosing schedule. After dispersing a mammoth 30 releases in 2020, BROHUG continued to put pressure on their own craft early into 2021—and diamonds emerged. For the uninitiated, these would be the Swedish outfit’s debut album, Lockdown, and a three-course fixing of singles spanning “Fake Fake Fake,” “Do Me Right,” and “Chocolate.”
BROHUG’s decisive shuffle has stayed the course in 2021, culminating in “Fattoush”, a fourth addition to their family of one-offs this year. True to form, BROHUG can be found experimenting with accents that add a sense of novelty to their familiar bass house sound, and as some might have already presumed, on “Fattoush,” this involves Mediterranean musical flavoring.
It’s worth noting that BROHUG fans will want to save room for some more fresh material once they’ve gained their introduction to “Fattoush,” thanks to John Dahlbäck. The BROHUG constituent eyed March 12 as an enticing release date not only for “Fattoush,” but also for “Birth,” his sixth solo single of the calendar year to date. “Birth” trails March 5’s “If I Ever,” flexing Dahlbäck’s own unmatched momentum as an individual inventor.
Ape Drums recruits Jamaica’s finest, Silent Addy and Projexx, for his first single of the year, “Mek Money.” The one-off is Ape Drums’ second non-Major Lazer-affiliated release since he joined the group in 2019. “Mek Money” specifically succeeds “Delete” featuring BEAM, delivered in October 2020.
Ape Drums shared,
“Addy and I have been trying to make a record that represents all of what we do and what we believe in musically. ‘Mek Money’ does that perfectly, especially with Projexx. Him being from Jamaica, it was only right we shot the music video there. We directed and shot the whole thing ourselves and we’re super proud of how it came out. The idea was to have it be half recap of the trip and half music video, and I hope everyone will enjoy.”
“Mek Money” derives from Ape Drums’ forthcoming dancehall EP on Mad Decent. The rhythm-infused beat blends sounds from a collective of cultures as Ape Drums and Silent Addy demonstrate undeniable grooves and percussion followed by Projexx’s catchy lyrical cadences. The visual directed by Disco Neil and filmed in Ochos Rios, Jamaica aptly depicts how far the influence of dancehall and electronic music has stretched over years’ time.
House music producers have been sent a gift from the groove gods.
Dirtybird Records label head Claude VonStroke has released his very first sample pack, Claude’s Construction Vol. 1. Overflowing with the eclectic and quirky noises that VonStroke’s fans have come to know and love, this sample pack gives producers coveted insight into the house guru’s stylistic preferences. He notes,
“Many sample packs are based on a lot of single sounds, but this pack shows you how a typical VonStroke track is put together by providing all the core loops, midi and one shot sounds that go into creating a full concept. Music keys, BPM and information are all clearly labeled and the material is deconstructed from the smallest single elements all the way to the separated tracks that create the song ideas.”
Accompanying this exciting sample pack is a fantastic opportunity for beat makers to showcase their talent. VonStroke announced a production contest for producers using the sample pack, with the winner earning an official release on Dirtybird, a year-long subscription to Birdfeed, and spins on DIRTYBIRD LIVE TV and the Birdhouse Radio show hosted on Sirius XM. Claude’s Construction Vol. 1 can be downloaded here. Contestants can submit their demos to the contest here; the deadline to enter is April 15.
Another day, another ride on the remix train for Dillon Francis, who’s remained particularly hot on the edits end since the mid-pandemic’s “Bored In The House” moment. On the heels of that viral instance, he was recruited by TikTok-star-turned-pop-star Dixie D’Amelio for a jubilant rework of “Be Happy,” and he’s since dropped a VIP mix of his single “Be Somebody,” a joint EP with Drove (one-half of TV Noise) on STMPD records, and more.
The latest rendition from the renowned producer is a remix of Dua Lipa‘s “We’re Good,” one of the standouts from her Moonlight version of Future Nostalgia. Francis takes the original’s mild tempo and pop mannerisms to a dark yet groovy place. Featuring bright piano rhythms, what seems primed to be a staple disco track turns into a vocal-chopping, deep synth-led house track.
The Deckard’s Voice module is based on the same design as the Deckard’s Dream polyphonic synthesizer, which itself is inspired by the legendary Yamaha CS80. And, while it is a single voice, it retains much of the classic CS80 sound, while introducing patchability.
It has been 20 years since Daft Punk‘s landmark Discovery LP arrived and unequivocally changed the course of dance music. With the world still largely feeling the void left in the wake of the duo’s recent disbandment, a spirited celebration of the Androids’ beloved sophomore studio album is in order. Luckily, Spotify has it covered with the launch of a new “Enhanced Playlist” that features a wealth of newly unearthed Daft Punk iconography.
With the use of Spotify’s Canvas and Storylines functions, fans can surf through previously unseen concept art and storyboards from Discovery’s companion film, Interstella 5555, short clips from the film, and more all packed into the Discovery – Enhanced Playlist.
Widely lauded as one of the greatest dance records of all time, the Discovery phase marks the beginning of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo’s robotic alter-egos, and thus, the emergence of the most ubiquitously recognizable, iconic figureheads in all of electronic music. The album was a critical and commercial success and still stands as a paragon of perfection to an entire generation two decades later. Celebrate Daft Punk’s legacy, and throw it back to 2001, with Spotify’s new “Enhanced Playlist” below.