Pauline Herr has released her first solo single of 2021 titled, “Selfish.” The Los Angeles-based vocalist follows up her recent collaboration with helloworld titled “Voices” released in March. The track, which was originally written in 2018 adds to her already exceptional and expanding discography. Now, notching her first solo delivery of the year, Herr shared her thoughts on “Selfish” stating,
“This song is special because it’s a lot more vocal driven than the other stuff I’ve released and it’s showcasing a new side of me, the side we’ve recently coined ‘Spicy P.’ I wrote this song about that craving you have for someone that’s just out of reach and the way they keep you around with their unpredictability.”
“Selfish” blends laid back pop beats and future-bass elements as Herr’s dominant vocals and lyrical work swell up on listeners with strikes of emotion and reverence. The single was entirely written, produced, recorded, and mixed by Herr and has become the lead single of her forthcoming Contradictions EP set to release in June via indie electronic label Seeking Blue Records. Stream “Selfish” below.
Soul Clap have released their third studio album titled WTF (World Transformation Force) via Fool’s Gold Records. The Boston duo have been teasing the release of their LP with extended plays correspondently titled World, Transformation, and Force released in January, February, and March. The 15-track album showcases the DJ pairing’s blended tastes of deep, funk, and soul while conveying powerful messages of the world’s issues as WTF (World Transformation Force) aptly sees its full release on Earth Day (April 22). Speaking on the album the duo shared in a press release stating,
“WTF (World Transformation Force) is our reaction to what’s happening to this planet called Earth, and to us, the human beings on it. It’s a call for radical love and radical hope. It’s a wake up call to action, a time for all of us to join together on the path to positive change. Dance music was born as a subversive, underground movement of marginalized people and we believe it’s our duty to follow in their footsteps and use the power of our culture for positive change.”
WTF (World Transformation Force) features a handful of eloquent vocal contributions from the likes of Desmond “DSP” Powell, Life On Planets, Nona Hendryx, Tra’aze Clinton, Sha-Lor, XL Middleton, and more. With three previously unreleased tracks making the final cut, the duo’s third album bridges a modern twist to the soulful underground sound while allowing Soul Clap the opportunity to use their platform to shed light on important issues with uplifting themes. Stream WTF (World Transformation Force) below.
One of the most exhilarating new acts featured in Dancing Astronaut’s Artists to Watch in 2021, Qoiet, is ramping up the noise once again, this time with his latest single “saw BONES.” The multi-genre Hamburg-native producer earns his first solo release on Kayzo‘s label Welcome Records after debuting on the imprint with his commanding collaboration “Wait” alongside REAPER and Kayzo himself in August 2020.
“saw BONES” is Qoiet’s trademark blend of dubstep, death metal, trap, and post-hardcore, culminating in overwhelming bass designed to tear speakers apart, combined with the ferocity of the German producer’s petrifying vocals. The solo single is first release of the year for Qoiet and rightfully serves as a maximalist effort from the producer who is charging himself with pushing hybrid bass music forward. Hear “saw BONES” below.
Indie pop band Love of Lesbian performed in front of a crowd of 5,000 people in Barcelona last month, and Spanish researchers have now announced that there was “no sign” of higher levels of COVID-19 infections due to the event. Of the 5,000 attendees, only six people tested positive within 14-days of the show. This is a lower infection rate than that of the general population, and researchers found that four of the six who tested positive were not infected at the event itself.
Infectious disease specialist Josep Maria Llibre concluded that there was, “no sign that suggests transmission took place during the event.” All attendees tested negative for the virus beforehand and wore masks, but they were not socially distanced.
This is not the first study to take place in Barcelona. A 500 person event took place in the city this past December with same-day COVID tests administered and masks required, but with no social distancing. The findings coming out of Barcelona’s Love of Lesbian concert are positive heading into festival season. Many festival organizers are still determining the best path forward for precautionary requirements, and this case study will help many make informed decisions moving forward.
Brownies & Lemonade is bringing a new event to Lake Havasu, Arizona alongside Pollen Presents featuring performances by Baauer, Party Favor, Moore Kismet, Yehme2, Blanke, and more. Dubbed Lake Brownies & Lemonade, the new limited capacity event will take place from August 27 – 29, promising performances from a wide array of artists just a few short hours away from Los Angeles and Phoenix. Daytime activities will include access to a private beach and a remote party island in addition to infinity pool views with a swim up bar.
Performances will take place at night with after-hours bonfires to wind down each night. Additional artists performing include Wuki, Whethan, Pauline Herr, Hex Cougar, Chet Porter, and Snakehips among others. Brownies & Lemonade curated a well-rounded debut lineup primed for lakeside leisure, with a wide array of electronic flavors to get down to. Organizers also have a COVID-19 money back guarantee giving attendees peace of mind heading into the end of summer event.
Those looking to attend the two-night, three-day event at Lake Havasu can find more information here.
Smooth Operator is a unique new way of reaching out and sculpting sound at the spectral level – and it’s terrifically addictive and creative.
Okay, I know what the first glance at this looks like. This seems to be an EQ, right? One that is apparently very into pastels? And I also admit that I’m wary of plug-ins these days that boast lots of “smart” features to try to dumb down conventional audio tools that work perfectly well.
But look closer, because Smooth Operator is actually none of that. The basic conceit here is to take spectral processing – translating a sound into an FFT for all-at-once real-time processing – out of the domain of just doing audio restoration and into something creative and fun. “Signal balancer” is another term for this, but it’s fluid enough that you can also throw things out of balance in nice ways.
And, wow, does it work. You get something that can be a precise tool for mastering and equalization and compression alongside your conventional interfaces, but that can also be pushed to its very limit for creative re-imagining of sound material. It’s really everything a digital audio tool should be – that hands-on, sound-shaping feeling that a computer works a bit like your imagination.
Normally we talk about frequency-domain tools (like EQ) and time-domain (like compressors, limiters, and expanders). The best way to understand Smooth Operator – and tools like it – is that it’s both of those at once. That makes sense, because digital software is capable of translating to and from a frequency domain – which in turn is intuitive to your über-gestalt brain.
This is amusing to me, of course, because I’ve several times over written background text (and once an entire textbook) where I treat these things as separate categories. But there’s no particular reason for that hard distinction in the digital domain.
So yes, like an EQ, Smooth Operator does give you a live visualization of your sound spectrum and some draggable nodes you can use for parametric control of frequency. But it is also a compressor, so if you drag a node to the extreme, instead of filtering the sound, you get all sorts of lovely frequency-domain compression. Oooh.
And I do encourage you to be extreme with the UI, as I found all sorts of wild accidents. I also found some situations where I might get a particular form of precise control beyond what my favorite EQ and compressor might give me.
That pretty interface gives you a number of controls:
Effect level of a particular frequency, with slope/Q (as on an EQ)
SOLO per-node for each portion of the spectrum
FOCUS – “granularity/intensity” of the spectral algorithm is how Baby describes it. You normally crank it to 70-90% but this is also capable of some unique results across its range, depending on the source material
There are some great presets in there, too, which are a nice way of nudging you in a particular direction. It’s deceptively simple; it feels less like a single tool and more like a whole way of working with your source material – especially when you figure in sidechaining.
I’ve been a huge fan of Baby Audio lately for their new twists on oft-seen categories (delays, tape echo, compression). So much of the sharpest innovation in sound right now is independent plug-in developers, and they’re no exception. Apart from some very attractive UIs, all their stuff is both organic and futuristic, through and through, even when they’re throwing some emulation into the mix.
I gush partly because I’m really curious what some bleeding-edge producers will do with this. It is eminently source-dependent, which means it really encourages you to mess with your sound material – you know, the actual music.
The preset makers come from folks who have worked with some major stars, but that’s all the more reason to get it in the hands of some left-field unknowns.
Oh yeah, and it’s US$39 through the end of May. ($69 thereafter) Bundles also available.
VST, VST3, AU, AAX, 32-bit and 64-bit, support for Windows 7+ and macOS from 10.7 through the latest Catalina and Big Sur. Free trials available. No Apple Silicon yet, will ask.
No money at all? Check Magic Switch, a push-button chorus (which doesn’t in fact sound overly like the Juno-60) and Baby Comeback, a clever delay/echo (released in collaboration with our friends at UK mag Computer Music). I have now the full version of these and still throw the free ones on a track now and then:
Berlin-based musician and media artist Adi Gelbart shared Visions For Orchestra, Electronics And Bunny Theater, a unique multimedia project – combining keyboards, modular synthesizers, musique concrète, acoustic instruments & puppetry.
Gelbart notes, “I haven’t played a live show in more than a year. I find streaming depressing. This is my alternative. If you liked it, share it – it would mean a lot to me.” Check it out, and if you find the work intriguing, check out Gelbert’s site, and see how deep the rabbit hole goes….
An alternative version of MF DOOM’s ‘Dead Bent’ video is set to be released as an NFT.
After ‘Dead Bent’ was originally released in 1999 as part of the tracklist of the late and great rapper’s ‘Operation: Doomsday’ LP, a music video featuring DOOM in his home city of New York, directed by Adam Bhala Lough, was released the following year.
Following MF DOOM’s death in October last year, an alternative, unseen version of ‘Dead Bent’ is being auctioned as an NFT by Lough, with half of the proceeds going toward DOOM’s estate. Filmed on 1st Avenue in the East Village, New York in November 2000, the 16MM visuals have been transferred from Kodak 7231 Plus-X Negative Black and White Film to MP4.
You can bid on the NFT via Foundation here. The NFT is currently listed with a reserve for 99.00 Ether – almost £200,000.
One of the Internet’s most talked-about acronyms — 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? In a recent feature for DJ Mag, tech editor Declan McGlynn investigated the concept and impact of NFTs within the music industry.
Waveshaper Media has announced that Intersystems #IV, the first new album in more than 50 years from Toronto psychedelic multimedia collective Intersystems, is now available.
The group, originally made up of architect Dik Zander, light sculptor Michael Hayden, poet Blake Parker, and musician John Mills-Cockell (of Syrinx, Kensington Market and more), released a trilogy records that have since become collector’s items.
Intersystems was one of the first groups to use the Moog modular in their music. Their custom modular rig— purchased by Mills-Cockell directly from Robert Moog’s Trumansburg Headquarters—was the first of its kind in Canada.
They combined sounds of the Moog with homemade gadgets, spliced-together tapes, and ‘mutant beat poetry’.
They describe the new new album, #IV as “a mature and fully-realized continuation that sees Mills-Cockell and Hayden returning to the project’s core ethos with the myriad experience they’ve both accumulated over the fve intervening decades. The aural concoctions it comprises are no less perplexing than their earlier counterparts; bursting with new psychoactive ingredients, while reminding listeners of just how radical Intersystems was in the first place.”
In the latest loopop video, host Ziv Eliraz takes an in-depth at IK Multimedia’s new UNO Synth Pro.
The UNO Synth Pro features three wave-morphing oscillators, dual filters with 24 modes, deep modulation options, 3 effects slots with 12 effects, a sequencer with automation of 80+ parameters and MIDI/CV/Gate connectivity.
It’s available in two models, a full-size keyboard model and a compact model with a capacitive touch keyboard.