AZ Mag and DJ Mag collaborating on free writing workshop

AZ Mag and DJ Mag collaborating on a free writing workshop later this month (April).

As part of DJ Mag’s ongoing partnership with AZ Mag, an online publication and social space, as well as event organisers, for LGBTQ+ people of colour, we’ll be offering a free writing workship for aspiring music journalists via Zoom in April.

The workshop, which is open to QTIBPOC  (Queer, Trans, Intersex, Black, People of Color) who are interested in freelance magazine writing, will be faciliated by DJ Mag’s editor-in-chief, Carl Loben, features editor, Lauren Martin, and digital editor Rob McCallum.

With almost five decades of experience in the arts and cultures industry, attendees will learn from hosts how to break into the industry/become a journalist, the importance of a writing style, news writing, feature writing, and advice on how to pitch to publications.

The free workshop will take place online on Wednesday 21st April from 4PM until 6:30PM. You can sign up for a ticket here.

Earlier this year it was announced that DJ Mag would be sponsoring and mentoring Xilhu Ayebaitari Ese to create a Dance music project as part of AZ Mag’s Creative Fund. Xilhu – whose artist name is Ayebaitari – will be using the grant to launch a new project, Queer Rave: a community project that celebrates and represents queer, female and genderqueer Drum & Bass DJs.

In Fracture Space software instrument, a 3D playground of sonic fragments for $12

Somewhere at the border of granular synthesis, 3D immersion, and game engines, the Fracture Space team have built a compelling looking new instrument.

But before any screenshot or feature list, artist Sarah Badr aka FRKTL has made a teaser audiovisual that’s likely to get you onboard. (You won’t look like this using the software – those are her visuals. Whether you sound like this is up to you, of course.)

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Getting everyone’s attention with something called “2.0.3 beta” feels like the software equivalent of the first time the original Star Wars film credits rolled right from “Episode IV.” But they’ve been hard at work at Project Fracture – they’ve done an overhaul of the internal engine, added fixes and such, and crucially allows you external MIDI control.

For many, the ability to try this at your desktop computer with MIDI gear plugged in is what will move it out of the oddball toy territory and into something you might really use.

It’s also the right time to take notice, as they say next up is version 3, with a ground-up rewrite that will integrate different output options, assist in composition, and do a “bottom-up refactoring” of the engine. (Oh, yeah – been there.)

It’s all just US$12 on Itch, the indie game-focused platform, built in Unity for macOS and Windows.

And there are impressive features already:

  • 3D sound objects with various parameters
  • Virtual acoustic positioning
  • Stochastic composition – think generative music making with probability distributions
  • Sequencer
  • 3D effects
  • Audio sample playback, which gets fragmented into those objects
  • Real-time, physics-based control
  • MIDI integration / control

Here’s a demo from last year of using MIDI control of objects – in this case, via Clips in Ableton Live, though other software or hardware could work.

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And granular synthesis. Because birds. And then metabirds. Metabird event horizon.

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Particle granulation sounds beautiful – a nice combo of granular synthesis and physics. (I’m curious if libpd is the sound engine here just because it does have a Unity wrapper; I’ll ask.)
It works like this. Somehow.

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Plus a quick start, which is my favorite kind of start.

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That comes with this disclaimer – “The Video is recorded in low resolution and does not reflect the actual sound quality of FS.” Yeah, I struggle with my video capture sometimes, too.

Let’s check this software out ourselves, then:

Calvin Harris: ‘NFTs can completely revolutionise the music industry’

Calvin Harris has said that he believes NFTs can “completely revolutionize the music industry.”

On the Good Time Show on Clubhouse last Sunday (28th), Scottish DJ and producer Calvin Harris made an appearance, and spoke about the concept of NFTs, and his new NFT collection. The collection – titled TECNHOFISH – dropped via NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway earlier this week, and comprised of five previously unheard pieces of music and five associating digital art pieces by visual artist Emil Nava. 

Speaking about the concept of NFTs — a token that stores information about digital ownership and lives on the Ethereum blockchain — Harris said that it felt like “a whole new avenue that you can really just put out whatever you want, and that’s kind of how music should be but it really isn’t.”

“Initially that got me super excited,” he said. “The fact that smaller artists can have ownership over their music and literally just make what they want and then let the people decide.

“It seemed like such a great, direct way of doing it. So that got me really, really excited and then seeing what 3lau’s been doing… and just thinking ‘we need to be a part of this. We need to make this a bigger deal, and we need everyone to do this.’ I think it can completely revolutionize the music industry.”

Elsewhere, other artists aren’t quite as enamoured by the concept of digital ownersip tokens. In a recent interview with The Independent, German musician Nils Frahm said that he thought NFTs were “the most disgusting thing on the planet right now”. He added that some of heroes like “Aphex Twin are selling, sorry, crap for 130,000 bucks” and said it’s “unforgivable to participate in something which is so bleak and wrong”. Aphex Twin’s recent NFT sold for 72 Ethereum, equivalent to roughly $128.5k

(Via Billboard)

NFT — which stands for non-fungible token — is redefining digital ownership. But could NFTs really revolutionise the music industry, give the power back to artists, introduce new revenue streams, and ensure artists are automatically and accurately paid for their work? Or is it another ego-driven exercise for crypto investors, with a dramatic environmental impact? For a recent feature, DJ Mag’s digital tech editor Declan McGlynn investigated the most talked-about token

2hp No Pass Filter Promises To Put An End To Boring Synth Jams

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2hp has introduced a new module, the NPF No Pass Filter, that promises to put an end to boring synth jams.

The 2hp No Pass Filter is an all-analog, infinite dB slope passive filter that’s designed to pull the tones you love out of your patch.


  • Infinite dB slope passive filter
  • All analog topology
  • Great for ambient music

They note, “Yes, this product is a joke, and yes it is actually for sale, today only!”

Pricing and Availability

The 2hp No Pass Filter is being made available for $20 for one day only.

Sound Art Paradox May Or May Not Be An Elaborate Prank

Luftrum Sound Design has announced The Sound Art Paradox, a unique NFT (Non-Fungible Token) being made available via an auction.

The sound is 1 second long, formatted as a 24bit 96kHz .wav file, created by sound designer Luftrum,

Here’s what Luftrum has to say about it:

“Discerning eyes may cast skepticism on the date of creation – April 1st. This is done by design, in order to provoke the following question: Is this an April Fool’s joke?

Keen explorers of quantum physics will recall the paradox in Schrödinger’s Cat, as this might or might not be an elaborate prank, and at the same time it will be both, and exist simultaneously in both states.

Should judicious observation reveal the truth, the paradox collapses and manifests itself into a single state. However, as any sage philosopher is bound to muse, the truth itself is not for sale, but a journey into the sound might or might not resolve it.”

Details on The Sound Art Paradox are available at the Luftrum site.

BROHUG give the dance floor something to lust after—’Look at You’

BROHUG give the dance floor something to lust after—’Look at You’25022535 784553148400442 3659458611756662784 N

The 2021 sonic forecast signals that BROHUG‘s bass house downpour will continue throughout the year, and boy, do we like getting caught in that rain.

That’s precisely what Dancing Astronaut and fellow BROHOUSE disciples are doing amid John Dahlbäck, Christopher Lunde, and Niklas Lunde’s triangulation on the temperature-spiking “Look at You.” Doused in a dark allure, the follow-up to March 12’s “Fattoush” would flirt quite persuasively with its potential for club play were dancers able to cluster in their characteristic fashion on the floor. Though this capacity remains temporarily on hold, “Look at You” will assuredly retain its appeal in these settings as it jostles in among the BROHUG battalion’s family of 2021 originals, “Fattoush,” “Chocolate,” “Do Me Right,” and “Fake Fake Fake.”

BROHUG devotees will note “Look at You’s” distinctiveness from its 2021 predecessors. Straddling assertive and sometimes attitude-ridden samples, hyper-charged breakdowns, and wonkier sound patterns, the singles that predated “Look at You” year speak to a different side of BROHUG’s rich bass house sensibilities, as does “Look at You,” which comes lacquered in a slightly more seductive polish proprietary to the trinity’s sound. The early finalist for inclusion on our “Songs of the Year” record is available below.

Featured image: Merc Photography

The post BROHUG give the dance floor something to lust after—’Look at You’ appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Synthetic Sound Labs Intros Nurse Ratchet Burst Module For MU Modular Systems

Synthetic Sound Labs has introduced Nurse Ratchet, a 1 MU burst generator that lets you create classic Tangerine Dream-style ‘ratcheting’ triggers, hand-claps and a variety of other effects.

The SSL 1620 Nurse Ratchet module is produced in collaboration Befaco and is based on their Eurorack format Burst module.

The module is a trigger processor and generator, designed to add an organic chain of events (bursts) to your modular setup. Each time it is activated, either manually or with an external trigger, the selected number of triggers are generated.

You can control Time Division, Distribution, Quantity, and Probability of the bursts, using panel controls or CV’s. This means you can sync the module to your sequencer’s trigger output and then create all kinds of ratcheting effects, with divisions and multiplications leading to doubles, triplets, quintuplets, and polyrhythms.

You can also use it with very short time windows to create fast transients for clap sounds; as a master clock with tap-tempo; and to create non-linearly distributed clocks.


  • Custom trigger bursts up to 64 triggers.
  • Voltage Control burst Quantity with dedicated attenuator.
  • One Shot and Cycle play modes activated via manual controls or dedicated Trig Input.
  • Pingable clock input.
  • Voltage Control burst Distribution, Time Division and Probability.
  • Tempo and End of Cycle individual outputs for sync other modules.

We have not seen an 0fficial demo for the Nurse Ratchet yet, but here is Ben Wilson’s (DivKid) demo of the Befaco Euro version, Burst:

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Pricing and Availability

The SSL 1620 Nurse Ratchet is available now for $345 USD.

SoundQuest Fest 2021 Performances Now Available To Stream

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Ambient artist and festival organizer Steve Roach let us know that the performances from Soundquest Fest 2021 are now available to stream.

The three-day online ambient music event, held March 26-28th, 2021, featured performances from ambient electronic musicians from around the world. The performances range from ambient space music to Berlin School style jams to microtonal soundscapes, and feature a huge variety of electronic music gear and other instruments played in creative ways.

“The event was was a groundbreaking moment for this genre of music,” notes Roach, “with a continuous 3-day flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds, Ambient VJ sets, interviews and music videos….”

You can view the performances on Youtube or via the playlist embedded below:

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Featured artists include:

  • Robert Rich
  • Steve Roach
  • Michael Stearns
  • Erik Wøllo
  • Ian Boddy
  • Jeff Greinke
  • Chuck van Zyl
  • Serena Gabriel
  • Chris Meyer (Alias Zone)
  • Nathan Youngblood
  • Will Merkle
  • Caldon Glover
  • Tony Obr
  • Howard Givens
  • Madhavi Devi
  • Craig Padilla
  • Bluetech
  • Matt Black
  • Daniel Pipitone

Glastonbury Festival locks in Damon Albarn, Honey Dijon, and more for ‘Live At Worthy Farm’ livestream

Glastonbury Festival locks in Damon Albarn, Honey Dijon, and more for ‘Live At Worthy Farm’ livestreamGlastonbury Festival Image By Andrew Allcock 1

Though Glastonbury Festival organizers announced the cancellation of the event’s 2021 edition in January, fans will still get some Glastonbury-guided action, thanks to a new ticketed livestream event, Live at Worthy Farm. The May 22 event promises performances from a wide variety of artists including Coldplay, Damon Albarn, Haim, Idles, Wolf Alice, Jorja Smith, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka, and Honey Dijon, in addition to “unannounced surprise performances.”

Live at Worthy Farm will be filmed at the festival site, situating acts across landmarks such as the Pyramid Field and, for the first time, the Stone Circle. The livestream will also support Glastonbury’s three main charitable partners: Oxfam, Greenpeace, and WaterAid. Spoken word interludes written and delivered by special guests will guide festival goers “on a journey through the sacred valley in Somerset,” tying the multidimensional experience together.

Organizers released a trailer for the forthcoming event, giving virtual attendees a taste of what is in store for the first digital iteration. The show will be shot by Grammy-nominated director Paul Dugdale and co-promoted and produced by Drift.

Co-organizer Emily Eavis said,

“After two Glastonbury cancellations, it brings us great pleasure to announce our first online livestream, which will present live music performances filmed across Worthy Farm at landmarks including the Pyramid and, for the first time ever, the Stone Circle. It will feature a rolling cast of artists and performers who have all given us enormous support by agreeing to take part in this event, showing the farm as you have never seen it. There will also be some very special guest appearances and collaborations. We are hoping this will bring a bit of Glastonbury to your homes and that for one night only people all over the world will be able to join us on this journey through the farm together!”

Those looking to attend Live At Worthy Farm will be able to access the show across four timezones, with staggered livestreams for the UK, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East; the East Coast of North America/Central and South America; the West Coast of North America; and Australia/New Zealand and Asia. Glastonbury typically attracts more than 200,000 attendees. Tickets are available here.

Featured image: Andrew Allcock

The post Glastonbury Festival locks in Damon Albarn, Honey Dijon, and more for ‘Live At Worthy Farm’ livestream appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

1010music Changes The Game, Ports ‘Doom’ To The Blackbox Sampling Studio

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1010music has released free firmware for their blackbox compact sampling studio, ‘Gamechanger’, that lets you have some fun with the portable device when you’re not making music.

The new firmware lets you play Doom on the device, using the blackbox buttons to control the action.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“We may have exaggerated a bit in the video, but we do have a version of Doom shareware you can download and install on your 1010music blackbox, a compact sampling studio that lets you make beats and melodies wherever you go.

The 1010music team has ported the shareware version of Doom 1.8 to the blackbox platform.

Put Gamechanger firmware on a separate microSD card and you can swap between making beats and bringing on the doom whenever you want.”

The alt firmware is being made available for a limited time only as a free download for registered users of the Gamechanger forum.

Check out the video and share your thoughts in the comments!