Last week, Justin Bieber released his sixth studio album ‘Justice’, with Skrillex revealing himself as a producer on a number of the album’s tracks including ‘2 Much’, ‘Somebody’, and ‘Loved By You’ featuring Burna Boy.
Following the announcement to his fans via Instagram, Skrillex confirmed that he would be releasing more original music soon: “I wanted to say to all of my fans and supporters I love you and I appreciate your patience. New music soon.”
According to a new study, 87 percent of surveyed artists and musicians have said that their mental health has declined due to COVID-19-related lockdowns. Loss of income and inability to perform live are the two prominent factors, according to a new report by Help Musicians, a UK-based charity for musicians of all genres.
The independent charity conducted a survey of about 700 musicians at the start of this year to find out how COVID-19 has affected them. The survey recorded that there was a 65 percent increase in requests for mental health support in the last three months. The survey also found that 96 percent of musicians said they are worried about their finances while seven out of 10 said they fear that they will not be able to hold themselves over financially for the next six months. 91 percent emphasized a lack of certainty about what the future holds.
Over half of the musicians surveyed are no longer making money from music. The charity is calling the findings a “hidden crisis among musicians” with the impact of the pandemic and venue shutdowns as 56 percent are relying on Universal Credit and a quarter said they’re thinking of leaving the music industry for good. Help Musicians Chief Executive James Ainscough stated,
“We can’t sugar coat these findings – we are facing a mental health crisis amongst musicians on an unprecedented scale. Whilst there may be light at the end of the tunnel with a roadmap out of lockdown revealed, there is still substantial uncertainty around how quickly the music industry can recover, plus the catastrophic impact of the Brexit deal on musicians’ ability to tour. After a year of hardship, the ongoing uncertainty for musicians is taking a huge toll on mental health.”
The same charity partnered with Spotify for the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project in March as well as have recently expanded its mental health support.
For more information on Help Musicians click here.
The UK government’s Select Committee began the inquiry into the future of festivals on the 5th January this year, alongside the organisers of Parklife and Boomtown, to discuss the likelihood of events going ahead in 2021. According to a press release, the meeting this Wednesday, 24th March, will see Dinenage questioned on the Government’s plans for supporting UK festivals amid the pandemic, and what the “Government’s roadmap for lifting lockdown means for festivals and the decision-making behind plans for pilot events.”
It was announced that the Select Committee would also discuss the urgent need for Government-backed COVID-19 cancellation insurance, as well as support for freelancers and the workers further down the festival supply chain impacted by cancelled events.
“The idea that the festivals can’t go ahead and be socially-distanced is inaccurate,” she continued. “We can absolutely adapt our programming, put infrastructure in place, [and] change the way that we do things, to enable something to happen with social distancing in place.”
Cannon’s comments come as concerns mount in the UK that festival season may be cancelled for a second year in a row due to coronavirus. In January, Glastonbury’s organisers announced that the festival would not be taking place this year, and many fear that its cancellation is just the tip of the iceberg of mass postponements expected for the year as the pandemic continues.
The future of UK festivals meeting will take place this Wednesday at 10AM. Watch it here.
ARMNHMR have released a heartfelt, melodic collaboration titled “One Sided,” with Mark Klaver and Miles Away via Dim Mak Records. The new single marks the return of the LA-based producers to Steve Aoki’s label after releasing their euphoric six-track EP A Thousand Dreams in December 2020. Speaking on the release, Vancouver-based production duo Miles Away expanded on how the track transpired stating,
“[We were] working on a cool concept and thought Mark would be perfect for it, and he wrote a very powerful, emotional topline about falling out of love. [We] thought the song would be a perfect fit for ARMNHMR to jump on with us. Mixing our two production styles we created an anthemic future bass track with alt rock guitars and heavy bass fills.”
“One Sided” merges the emotional forces behind Miles Away and vocalist Mark Klaver as the single features an easy-going tempo, nocturne guitar melodies, and an uplifting future-bass foundation. The melodic anthem follows ARMNHMR’s recent collaboration track “Anywhere” with Adventure Club and HALIENE which is set to appear on Canadian duo’s highly anticipated forthcoming album Love // Chaos. Listen to ARMNHMR and Miles Away’s “One Sided” featuring Mark Klaver below.
Here’s another great underground DAW. The elegant, tape-inspired MultitrackStudio runs on desktop and iPad – and now not only does it to polyphonic expression, but it breaks ground in supporting MIDI 2.0, as well.
MultitrackStudio 10 for desktop and the corresponding MultitrackStudio 4 for iPad arrived this month. It’s not a widely-known tool, to be sure, but there’s some beautiful work done by developer Bremmers Audio Design.
It’s also the first DAW I know of to officially support MIDI 2.0. That updated MIDI is new enough that it’s been largely limited to tech demos – literally, talks by manufacturers and not much else. But MIDI 2.0 is officially approved, and a lot of times what you need to get out of the chicken-and-egg problem in tech and standards is a nice, piping hot chicken cacciatore. Wait, I’m not sure that metaphor made any sense – I might just be hungry. Anyway.
MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) is the part of this update you’ll likely actually use. That is now widely supported by both hardware and software, and allows per-note expression for more than one note at a time – which as I keep saying, is really common sense.
Part of the reason then MultitrackStudio becomes interesting as a model is that it shows how you’d support both. The developers say they’ve used MIDI 2.0 internally throughout the DAW, and then for the end user already support registered per-note controllers and per-note pitchbend. They can translate these to and from MPE, so you can work with existing MPE input devices, instrument plug-ins, and hardware synths.
There’s even similar MPE and MIDI 2.0 support in the iPad version, which is a promising sign of having the ability to work with these anywhere you like without having to worry about having a conventional computer handy.
Giel Bremmers, the developer, explains that internally the software can already use MIDI 2.0’s higher resolution – something we’ve been waiting on in MIDI for a long, long time. That means 32-bit resolution for controllers and 16-bit resolution for note velocities, they tell us. You can’t export that as a saved MIDI file, because the file format doesn’t exist yet as part of the standard, though presumably, that’s coming.
Note that what isn’t here yet is MIDI-CI (Capability Inquiry) and Property Exchange, which Giel tells us they left out since there’s no hardware that uses it yet. (I think again there have been tech demos, but nothing shipping in a way a consumer could use.)
Apple added this stuff under the hood in Core MIDI for macOS 11 and iPadOS 14 – so this is also a sign of just how fast Apple is moving. That opens up some new possibilities. Giel explains:
Right now it would be perfectly possible for others to use virtual MIDI on iPad – for example, a MIDI 2 synth (or keyboard app) would connect to MultitrackStudio via MIDI 2, and it would still work with MIDI 1 apps as iPadOS 14 converts between MIDI 1 and MIDI 2 where appropriate.
This is also a pretty powerful DAW for the price of a mid-range plug-in. For the desktop software, Standard is US$69, Pro $119 – and upgrades are $23 and $39 respectively, or free if you bought after the 28th of October. That supports macOS 11, OS X 10.9, and 64-bit and 32-bit Windows.
I really enjoy that they stuck to a straightforward audio/MIDI interface that just keeps channels and content visible. I can imagine this might be useful even as a companion to your existing workflow, for when you want a more traditional multichannel editor for recording, mixing, or mastering.
This sort of thing used to be commonplace – even something people assumed was essential alongside a DAW. It’s probably on my mind because lately my distraction addiction is a Facebook group on obsolete software, but remember things like Macromedia’s Deck II? I’m fairly certain a lot of people mourned the loss of these kind of tools, and it wasn’t that the use case died so much as the business case for the developer. (Take that last phrase and apply it to a great many things in music tech.)
But this is no nostalgia trip or “DAW for Boomers” – apart from as far as I know being the first shipping DAW to implement MIDI 2.0, check the full specs:
Daft Punk may have broken up, but the rumor mill persists.
A recent issue of the Japanese gaming magazine CoroCoro has featured Daft Punk in a full-page advertisement for Nintendo‘s upcoming title, Splatoon 3. The ad (seen below), directly references the now defunct duo with an image in the bottom left corner with a headline that says “Around The World,” followed by “Daft Punk Airlines.”
The featured artwork isn’t particularly new, but such a blatant inclusion of the iconic French duo’s name and likeness have led fans to wonder if Daft Punk will be involved in the upcoming game, either through contributions to its soundtrack, or possibly with dedicated skins.
This would not be the first time that the Splatoon series has given a nod to musical greats, as previous content from the franchise has included tributes to both Biggie Smalls and Tupac. For what it’s worth, the reference in CoroCoro may be the extent of the tribute, but has ambiguity ever stopped Daft Punk fans from hoping? Didn’t think so…
Death Row Records is reportedly being sold as part of a $600million deal.
According to a report from Digital Music News, LA-based label Death Row Records, which is owned by Hasbro, may be sold as part of the sale of the label’s umbrella company, Entertainment One (eOne).
In 2008, after the label initially folded following the incarceration of founder Suge Knight, entertainment development company WIDEawake bought Death Row Records for $18million, before Hasbro announced a $4 billion purchase of umbrella company Entertainment One (eOne), making them the owners of Death Row Records.
The reports of a $600million sale come less than two years since Hasbro acquired eOne, which also includes Dualtone Records, Last Gang Records and V2.
Founded by Dr. Dre, Suge Knight, The D.O.C. and the late Dick Griffey, Death Row Records catapulted West Coast hip-hop in the spotlight throughout the early ’90s, releasing some of the most iconic rap albums of all time, including Dr. Dre’s ‘The Chronic’ and Snoop Dogg’s debut album, as well as 2Pac’s ‘All Eyez on Me’.
Wuki has reached a new career benchmark: the realization of his debut studio album, WukiWorld. Released via HARDRecs, the 10-track LP taps into dubstep, trap, Jersey club, house, and even rock. The former Innerpartysystem band member takes a no-holds-barred approach to production from the songs’ arrangements to their features, recruiting Shaquille O’Neal, Diplo, Juvenile, Smokepurpp, Softest Hard, Stoppa, and more to guest on his first long-form. WukiWorld can be found in its full genre-evading glory below.
Though the COVID-19 health crisis has rendered Claptone unable to don his luminous gilded mask behind Balearic decks, the fantast’s catalog retains its capacity to set the Ibiza circuit—among others—ablaze. For some time, the latest example was his March 2020 reconfiguration of Mylo’s 2005 favorite, “Drop The Pressure.” It’s time for a fresh re-assertion—and it’s called “Zero.”
The high-spirited house original, built around Claptone’s characteristic crescendos and penchant for piano backbones, is an entrancing extension of the masked creator’s prowess in modern house circles. Harnessing a timelessness in its appeal, “Zero” can count on continuous recommendation for preferential treatment on dance floors long after clubs reopen to admit the stompers who’d move to this beat. Stream below.
John Mayer‘s “search for everything” forges forth, and it’ll soon yield new music.
On March 21, the seven-time Grammy Award winner—one of TikTok’s snazzy new users—took to the video platform to make the following known: “My album is recorded, mixed, and mastered. I’ve just been chilling and sharing it with friends for the past couple of months.” One day later, Mayer uploaded a TikTok clip of what is poised to be the project’s lead single.
The news won’t exactly come as a surprise to the more attentive members of Mayer’s following. On February 22, Mayer dropped by Andy Cohen’s SiriusXM-hosted podcast Radio Andy for an interview that notably included a reference to Mayer’s artwork for his next LP, suggesting that the follow-up to April 2017’s The Search for Everything was either in or nearing its final stages. He subsequently sat down with Kerwin Frost for a one-hour-plus interview filed under the Kerwin Frosts Talks banner and distributed to the latter’s YouTube channel on March 12. When Mayer materialized at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards ceremony, his guest appearance only further intimated that his decisive and sequential steps back into the public eye were emblematic of his mounting preparation for an album rollout—his eighth, to be exact.
Though further details about Mayer’s next long-form are awaited, the wheels of whatever is next to come can be expected to soon turn. Early into his Kerwin Frosts Talks stint, Mayer specified April 2021 as a key point in the album’s trajectory, signifying that the endeavor’s debut single could arrive then.
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