When Angela Seo and Jamie Stewart of LA experimental Xiu Xiu stopped by Perfect Circuit recently, they came to make some noise.
Or as Perfect Circuit puts it, the duo demonstrated “a number of ways to make sounds that were as hideous and disgusting as possible”.
In the no talk video embedded above, Seo sculpts feedback loops with a collection of her favorite pedals from Earthquaker Devices, Boss, and Death by Audio, while Stewart helms the mixer and Trogotronic’s Valykrie, a modified test equipment oscillator.
Next, Seo switches over to her Waldorf Streichfett, while Stewart moves to a couple pedals of his own: Death by Audio’s Echo Dream 2 and Benidub’s DS71 Dub Siren. They then both perform some solo Eurorack patches, and Seo closes things out with a solo performance on her Streichfett and pedals.
In the second video, embedded below, Xiu Xiu demonstrates how they make “the most disgusting sounds” possible.
With a variety of gear, including the Make Noise DPO, Verbos Harmonic Oscillator, and the Total Sonic Annihilation from Death by Audio, they show off a few setups for building up immensely destructive audio.
Along the way, Seo and Stewart also discuss using feedback and noise with intention, to make musical use of more unpredictable and harsh sound design.
Snowbombing festival has announced details of a live streamed, virtual event, taking place this weekend.
In lieu of its regular, IRL festival in Mayrhofen, Austria, Planet Snowbombing will take place on 9th and 10th April, with live streamed sets coming from the likes of My Nu Leng w/ Dread MC, Syreeta, Heartless Crew, Shadow Child, Bklava and many more.
The virtual event is also a celebration of Snowbombing 2022’s festival tickets going on general sale. The festival’s next in-person edition is scheduled to take place from 4th – 9th April 2022. General Sale goes live tomorrow, Friday 9th April
Other DJs locked for live streamed sets as part of Planet Snowbombing include Arielle Free, Sarah Story, Tommy Farrow, Bez’s Acid House Party and Sharpson, who will play a Daft Punk tribute set. The virtual festival will also feature activities including Bongo’s Bingo and virtual yoga.
DJ Mag are partnering with Snowbombing to stream a number of sets from the virtual event. Tune into DJ Mag’s YouTube or Facebook channels from 8pm to midnight on Friday and Saturday to catch sets from My Nu Leng w/ Dread MC, Bklava, Syreeta, Arielle Free, Tommy Farrow and more.
Check out the teaser trailer with the full line-up for Planet Snowbombing below.
A new iPhone app called S!ng lets any artist create and mint their own NFT for free, directly from their mobile device. File types like MP3, MP4, JPG and even MIDI files can be minted to the blockchain directly from your phone, quickly and for free. Previously, it cost between $50 and $100 of crypto to mint something to the Ethereum blockchain, using existing platforms like OpenSea or Foundation. S!ng manages its own Ethereum-based blockchain to speed up and make the process free.
The app was created in collaboration with artists like DJ Numark and producers like Jake One. S!ng co-creator and ex-Apple exec Geoff Osler told Fast Company the app is for “anyone who creates or manages creative work, including songwriters, photographers, visual artists, beat makers, and authors.” Also according to Fast Company “there’s no way to actually look up your NFT on the Ethereum blockchain; you have to use another app to do that.”
Currently, all eyes are fixed on Insomniac‘s channels, waiting for a firm confirmation from head honcho Pasquale Rotella that EDC Las Vegas will go on in May as initially planned. While still a heavily speculated rumor, The Festive Owl has revealed that sources close to the brand claim that Insomniac’s flagship festival will return in May of 2021 as previously announced, with some considerable modifications.
EDC Las Vegas will purportedly take place on its originally scheduled dates of May 21 – 23, though, capacity still needs to be confirmed by Nevada state officials. Here’s the big variable still up in the air—if EDC is forced to run at 50% capacity this year, the festival will split into two weekends, each accommodating festival goers at half capacity. Word is that attendance figures will be finalized by April 14 at the latest, though a second weekend has not yet been named.
EDC Update — Sources have indicated to me that Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC): Las Vegas is a go in May, that capacity should be confirmed by April 14th, and that if the festival is capped at 50% capacity it will be split over two weekends. pic.twitter.com/1T4lvIQKEi
An official announcement from Rotella has yet to land, though speculation started shortly after Insomniac founder Rotella shared an official update through his Instagram stating that after a submitting a robust safety plan, if approved by the state, it would allow the festival giant to move forward with the sold out three-day event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Dancing Astronaut reached out to Insomniac and Rotella for comment, though there was no response at the time of publication. An official announcement is imminent now—stay tuned for confirmations.
The tracks were originally recorded for Deftones’ ‘Black Stallion’ remix LP
DJ Mag Staff
Thursday, April 8, 2021 – 14:14
Arca and Telefon Tel Aviv have remixed Deftones tracks for a Record Store Day EP.
After the likes of Blanck Mass, Clams Casino and Squarepusher remixed California band Deftones for last year’s ‘White Pony/Black Stallion’ deluxe reissue, two new reimaginations which didn’t make the final cut will be released on Record Store Day.
The 12″ EP, which lands on the 12th June, features one remix from Grammy-nominated, experimental Venezuelan artist Arca, who puts her spin on ‘Feiticeira’, and a remix of ‘Digital Bath’ from Chicago-based American musicians, Telefon Tel Aviv.
You can check out snippets of the tracks below, and pre-order the EP here.
Set for a 4th June release via XL Recordings, the news has been announced alongside a remix of the album’s title track from Prince Paul – the de facto fourth member of De La Soul and remixer for the likes of Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, and Queen Latifah.
The 20th anniversary deluxe edition of ‘Since I Left You’ will also feature remixes from the likes of Detroit’s Carl Craig and the late MF DOOM, as well as Black Dice, Leon Vynehall and Sinkane.
You can listen to the Prince Paul remix of ‘Since I Left You’ below, and pre-order the LP here.
1. Since I Left You
2. Stay Another Season
4. Two Hearts In 3/4 Time
1. Avalanche Rock
2. Flight Tonight
3. Close To You
4. Diners Only
5. A Different Feeling
2. Tonight May Have To Last Me All My Life
3. Pablo's Cruise
4. Frontier Psychiatrist
2. Summer Crane
3. Little Journey
4. Live At Dominoes
5. Extra Kings
1. Since I Left You (Cornelius Remix)
2. Tonight May Have To Last Me All My Life (Edan Remix)
The group’s four members — 2-D, Murdoc, Noodle and Russel Hobbs — have selected either the M3 or M12 model of The Fred Perry Shirt, in colours ranging from Maroon, Tartan Green, Brighton Blue and French Navy.
“My first Fred Perry shirt wasn’t actually mine, it belonged to Arthur Ashe,” Hobbs says on the Fred Perry website. “Like a cross between Barack Obama and Denzel Washingtonhe was an artist… he had style, he had an afro, he wore a pair of tiny shorts – and, of course, the classic Fred Perry tennis shirt…”
Gorillaz also recently partnered with collectables brand Superplastic for the release of some limited-edition vinyl toys and NFT digital art collectibles, featuring each member of the band: 2D, Murdoc, Noodle and Russel. This follows the launch of the band’s range of toy figurines last year.
The Mark of the Unicorn shines brightly. MOTU are here with a ground-up redesign of their blowout hit audio interface UltraLite (now on revision mk5). Combine that with expanded support on Apple platforms and a still-great driverless line, and you have a MOTU interface for just about any job.
I’m gushing for a reason – I know how many of you live on these interfaces, and how many more are in need of something like this.
Now, I’m not currently using an UltraLite. I’m a big, big fan of the MOTU M4 – it’s simple, has big visible meters and knobs (crucial when you need to just grab something and set a level), and it doesn’t require drivers. That means it also works on Linux as well as Mac, Windows, and iOS – which had previously been a complaint among Linux audio lovers, though the mk5 is now there, too. The M4 also has DC-coupled outputs, so it works with control voltage and modular. I bought one for myself, as it’s also stupidly inexpensive (just over $200) but still has great MOTU audio engineering.
Because the M2 and M4 don’t have drivers, you also didn’t need to worry about updates for Big Sur or Apple Silicon Macs (M1).
But I also know that the M2 and M4 don’t work for everyone, because some people need the expanded functionality and I/O of something like the UltraLite.
And so, on to the rest of the news:
UltraLite mk5 is now the box to beat
The UltraLite has always won affection for balancing a ton of I/O with portability. The audio interface market is so fragmented because people have such different needs, but this is the one that covers most of them for most people.
2 front-panel XLR/TRS combo-style mic/line/hi-Z guitar inputs with preamps (+74 dB of gain)
6 x 10 balanced quarter-inch analog I/O
8-channel ADAT optical (switchable to stereo TOSLink)
stereo RCA S/PDIF I/O
And it’s US$595. USB-C, but you can still plug it into USB 2.0, 3.0, and iOS – so this thing isn’t a brick.
Like the M2/M4, it is class-compliant, so you don’t have to buy a separate interface for that Raspberry Pi effect you built, or the high-end Linux graphics workstation that needs a sound interface.
The key there, and what’s missing on the M2/M4, is having ADAT. There’s already enough for most project recording or mobile use, but when you need more, you can add the ADAT to a digital mixer (for example).
It’s a tough time to talk about some high-end gear because the world economy is hurting and there’s still such pandemic uncertainty. But the UltraLite seems like a solid investment that is ready for a lot of that unpredictable work.
What’s new on the mk5? Ground-up performance improvements, which MOTU have been busy with lately:
New high-res, high-contrast white OLED display
Updated DACs on all analog outs – it’s the ES9026PRO DAC which MOTU says delivers 125 dB range
-129 dB Equivalent Input Noise (EIN) on the mic ins
Reengineered native CueMix 5 software for macOS, Windows 10, and iOS
And hey, that new CueMix does look really, really nice. That’s been a deal breaker on some software mixing tools I’ve seen – the last thing you want is a new mixing interface to learn when you just want to get a job done. This looks clear and easy – like something you’d enjoy using, I dare say. But it’s there to do things that would be hard on a front panel – setting up independent monitor mixes, adding EQ, gating, compression, and reverb, and the like.
There’s also Digital Performer Lite, meaning this whole package is great for education – it’d be an easy way to add a one-seat audio production station anywhere.
Expanded Apple platform compatibility
MOTU quietly added a slew of support for Apple’s new chips – Apple Silicon, which for now is the M1 – and their latest OS, macOS Big Sur. This also dropped yesterday.
UltraLite-mk5 is fully compatible with both Big Sur and M1.
M2 and M4 always worked in class compliant mode, but now they also have a new M series driver for lower latency performance and loopback channels under Big Sur. (Confuse people by plugging an M2 into your M1 into Apple reveals a chip they call the M1!)
More pro audio drivers. Latest-gen drivers are available for (deep breath) 1248, 112D, LP32, 8M, Stage-B16, UltraLite-mk4, 16A, 624, UltraLite AVB, 24Ai, 8A, 828es, 24Ao, M64, 8pre-es, Monitor 8, and 8D
We’re still social distancing even after vaccination, or I’d suggest a really mean trivia/drinking game involving I/O specs and MOTU’s interface line, in some Cambridge pub.
Incompatible – MIDI interfaces, Digital Performer, virtual instruments are all still a work in progress for Big Sur.
(Note that MOTU lists that issue as Big Sur, not the new Apple Silicon – the OS has tended to be the first stumbling block industry wide.)
Maybe compatible – there are some interfaces also with ongoing testing for Big Sur – both Intel and M1 Macs. Check the installation instructions.
Let us know what you’re using and how it’s working for you!
BeepStreet has released an update for Drambo, its modular groovebox for iOS, adding multi-channel audio interface support, a new Analog Filter module, support for controlling external modular synths and more.
Here’s what’s new in version 1.40:
Support for multi-channel audio interfaces
Analog Filter module with 6 types of nonlinear filters (4x oversampled, high quality processing)
External CV instrument module to control external modular synthesizers via DC-coupled audio interfaces
Audio out module
MIDI to CV module: added voice allocation type setting