Indian techno label AsymetriK releases compilation in aid of COVID-19 relief

Indian techno label AsymetriK has released a digital compilation through Bandcamp to raise funds for the COVID-19 relief effort in India.

The country is currently experiencing a catastrophic second wave of the virus, leading to a severe shortage of oxygen tanks, ventilators and beds. As of last week, there were over 17 million cases in the country and over 300,000 reported in a single day.

The compilation, titled ‘S O S’, includes 14 tracks from artists affiliated with AsymetriK, including label founder Arjun Vagale, as well as from the wider Indian electronic music scene.

Speaking about the release, Vagale said: “The idea was to put this project out as soon as possible so we can start generating funds immediately. We need to help NOW! I want to thank all the artists who stepped up and contributed – we literally put this together in a couple of days – none of this would be possible without your art.”

All the proceeds from sales of the release will go to the Hemkunt Foundation, an NGO doing on-ground COVID-19 relief work and helping to supply oxygen to patients that are critically ill.

You can purchase the compilation here.

Rushes is “Wide Eyed” on new single [Video]

Irish singer-songwriter Rushes is back with his first independently released single “Wide Eyed”.  After the success of his debut EP Glimpse and singles such as “Liquor” and “Still Water” with Irish hip-hop heavyweight Jafaris, Rushes found early praise from the likes of Red Bull, securing a place on their “Ones to Watch” list in 2020. Since then, Rushes is on […]

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Glastonbury Festival site to offer family-friendly camping this summer

Glastonbury organisers Michael and Emily Eavis are setting up a “tranquil, family-friendly campsite” on the site of the much-loved festival this summer.

A website went live late last week revealing that over this year’s summer holidays, part of Worthy Farm will be transformed into Worthy Pastures. Tickets went on sale on Saturday.

Described as a chance to get “back to basics”, Worthy Pastures is offering a range of unfurnished bell tents and scout tents that are available to hire for three-, four- and five-night stays. Food traders, bars and a “village store” that will sell local produce, will all be set up on the site also.

A statement on the website, however added: “Please note that Worthy Pastures is not a party venue: there will not be any live music, sound systems will not be allowed and a noise curfew will be in place after 11pm. Instead, come for nature, fresh air, calm and tranquillity.”

The statement continues: “After what has been a challenging year for so many, we’re so pleased to be able to provide the opportunity for our crew to do what they do best, and we can’t wait to welcome our first guests back on to the farm. It will be a much-needed boost to morale all round!”

Worthy Pastures is just one part of Michael and Emily Eavis’ alternative plans for the site this summer, having been forced to cancel this year’s edition of the main event at the start of the year.

It’s hoped that a smaller two-day festival will be able to take place at the site in September. The event would stage live music from 2pm until 11pm over a Friday and Saturday. No further details have yet been confirmed, but a license application has been submitted to Mendip District Council for the event to go ahead.

Audacity finds home along open-source MuseScore in new acquisition by growing Muse Group

Sure, it ain’t pretty. But Audacity’s extensive feature set and free status have made this audio editor an essential tool across education and sound production. And now it’s been acquired by the emerging Muse Group. So, who are Muse, and what does this all mean?

As the “Muse” part of the name implies, Muse Group is the moniker for the company that now owns MuseScore, the free and open source notation software. And as such, Audacity and MuseScore seem ideal stablemates. It also means as an owner, Muse – erm, now Muse Group – has a natural investment in open source. (They claim as much on their site.)

But this story actually begins in the 90s, back in the days when no one used the word “onboarding,” the idea of a phone that was also a Mac was just a fantasy, and AOL was still popular for messaging (RIP AIM). It was even before the most actively-traded music commodity was a pirated MP3. Back then, what made a community successful was guitar tab – see also Harmony Central, which got ints early fuel through similar means.

And so in 1998, Ultimate Guitar was born, the pet project of Kaliningrad-educated Eugeny Naidenov. That site has since grown to some 12 million registered users at last count. Naidenov struck gold again by releasing a companion mobile app back in 2007.

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Since then, the company has been on an acquisition spree, launched Tonebridge, a guitar effects platform for iOS, Android, and desktop with tons of free effects, and acquired MuseScore notation (in 2017).

So now we see the basic formula here: build a big community with free tools. (Hey, no argument there.) MuseScore seems to have thrived under the company’s ownership and continues to be, as far as I know, a first-class open source citizen and a key part of free and open options for score making. Alongside other fine choices for open source notation, MuseScore has a uniquely polished interface and feature set that’s friendly to newcomers. And it’s alongside a tool that promises to manage music class assignments, too, MuseClass.
MuseScore, which has evolved into a mature music notation tool and a key element of the larger open source music creation landscape.

It’s all an ambitious menu of offerings. In turn, it’s expanded to support around 100+ employees in a 100% remote-work arrangement. (The company is officially headquartered in Limassol, Cyprus, but employees are scattered internationally, mostly in what appears to be Europe and North America.)

And they’re hiring. Current job roles are engineering focused, with a C++ audio dev wanted for Audacity and ton of development on MuseScore’s core application and the communities and MuseClass platform.

I have to say, I’m pretty bullish on the company’s strategy. Companies at around 100 people are big enough to serve these kinds of ambitions without necessarily being overly cumbersome. The track record is solid. And it’s great to see a music software company so focused on community and these free tools.

If they’re successful, it’s even something likely to benefit the music software industry at large – which can even be said of Audacity already.

I just wish I immediately saw “UI/UX” and “user testing” positions on that Audacity board. Keep an eye out for that, as that would make good on the company’s promise to invest in the tool. At least Martin Keary, MuseScore head of design, was the one who announced the acquisition.

And yes, they promise to manage Audacity “in partnership with its open-source community.” There’s precedent for that, before people freak out.

Audacity is a really great tool in some ways, hampered by a UI that is, uh, let’s say charitably “90s UNIX chic.” It’d be great to see it rise to the level of some of Muse’s other tools.

I don’t think anyone in the open source music software community would argue that it’s easy to maintain these products without resources. So if Muse listens to users and open developers, there’s a real future here, and one that could demonstrate the business possibilities in open source tools for musicians and audio makers.

Stay tuned.

Tomorrowland announces first names for virtual festival 2021

Armin van Buuren, Adam Beyer and Tale of Us are among the first names confirmed for the virtual event

DJ Mag Staff

Tuesday, May 4, 2021 – 15:38

Tomorrowland has officially announced its virtual Around The World festival for 2021.

Last week, Tomorrowland founder Michiel Beers revealed that a virtual event would take place this summer. While Tomorrowland’s flagship festival in Boom, Belgium, is still scheduled to take place across two weekends in August and September this year, organisers have now officially announced that Tomorrowland Around The World 2021 will take place on 16th and 17th July.

Tomorrowland has also announced the first round of artists to play this year’s virtual event, with Armin van Buuren, Adam Beyer, Tale of Us, Nicky Romero and Claptone scheduled to play over the weekend. The full line-up for the event will be announced in the coming weeks.

Over 1 million people tuned into Tomorrowland’s first virtual festival, which took place in July last year in lieu of the real life event. In a feature for DJ Mag, tech editor Declan McGlynn investigated how Tomorrowland created a revolutionary interactive virtual world in under three months.

Tickets for Tomorrowland Around The World 2021 will be available from 3pm CEST on 6th May via Tomorrowland’s website


Flying Lotus shares full 26-track ‘Yasuke’ soundtrack featuring Thundercat, Denzel Curry, and more

Flying Lotus shares full 26-track ‘Yasuke’ soundtrack featuring Thundercat, Denzel Curry, and moreFlying Lotus 3d Live

Flying Lotus has shared the official soundtrack to his Netflix anime series Yasuke in full. The new LaKeith Stanfield vehicle follows the story of the first African to become a non-Japanese samurai, not only scored, but also executive produced by Flying Lotus. The Brainfeeder head honcho put together 26 new tracks for the animated feature’s first season, inviting frequent collaborator Thundercat, Denzel Curry, and Niki Randa to contribute to the tracklist.

Yasuke premiered on Netflix on April 29, just days after the You’re Dead! producer teased the show’s intro and outro tracks during the opening and closing credits. Now, the full tracklist is upon us, rounding out at 44 minutes in total. In a recent interview with Vulture, FlyLo expressed feelings of familiarity with his protagonist, identifying with the character’s outsider nature, and honing in on that feeling to help develop both the show’s storyline, as well as the accompanying sonics. Says FlyLo,

“Being a Black man whenever I go to Japan, it was really easy to get the story. I knew exactly what it felt like. They say, ‘write what you know.’ I was able to help shape Yasuke’s present-day narrative in the story based on my friends and the things that I was feeling.

Listen to Flying Lotus’ new Yasuke soundtrack in full below.

Featured image: Emma McIntyre

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Trayce Chapman makes money moves on new single, “NASA” [Video]

Denver based rapper, Trayce Chapman showcases his unique lyricism on latest release, “NASA.” The accompanying visual features sandy desert dunes and barren forest trails. The track stops and the video cuts to focus on a negotiation between the artist and a businessman. Chapman appears to reject the deal and hops back into his rap, “I been on moon we trappin’ out NASA, that slow money ain’t comin’ no faster.”

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“NASA” has a simple hip-hop beat equipped with heavy bass and subtle piano keys. Each verse is calculated and fast paced. Chapman’s rhymes slide off his tongue with a smooth demeanor and effortless charm. He raps, “I been on true moon rock no cappin’, I been on my spaceship no lackin’.” The beat is mellow enough to be a chill listen but the bass adds a level of trap. The single is a well executed release following a clear and concise theme of space and extraterrestrial life.

As a creative director, Chapman is heavily involved in the production of his music videos. From the cinematic inspired imagery of the cover art to the melodic bars, his artistry is shown in every aspect of this track. “NASA” is the latest release off his upcoming project, Contraband 3. Boasting millions of streams and a cult following on social media, Trayce Chapman is an emerging rapper quickly on the rise to stardom.

Connect with Trayce Chapman: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify

Tao Group Hospitality acquires Hakkasan Group in landmark nightlife and dining acquisition

Tao Group Hospitality acquires Hakkasan Group in landmark nightlife and dining acquisitionCalvin Harris OMNIA Photo Credit Conor McDonnell

Tao Group Hospitality has acquired former competitor Hakkasan Group in an acquisition that creates a global premium hospitality powerhouse for Tao Group Hospitality moving forward. The newly merged companies boast 61 entertainment, dining, and nightlife venues in 22 markets across five continents. The acquisition will see brands such as Tao, Omnia, Jewel, Marquee, Lavo and Beauty & Essex unite under one roof. Hakkasan Group’s executive team will continue to run day-to-day operations for Hakkasan properties under the direction of Tao Group Hospitality, led by co-CEOs Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss.

Strauss spoke about the deal in an official release, sharing,

“Despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, we know there’s a real desire by people around the world to gather once again. As indoor dining and other hospitality experiences start to return to regular operations, we believe our newly combined company will be well-positioned to take advantage of this pent-up demand, setting the stage for long-term growth.”

The vision for the merger is to create a combined portfolio of world-renowned entertainment, dining and hospitality brands that can be leveraged globally. Through a combination of license, management and lease agreements, the two companies have built a vast network of partners that provide the combined company with additional opportunities for expansion and brand development. Markets of focus with the recently inked transaction include London and Hakkasan Group’s four venues in the Middle East, which will provide an instant platform for growth. Tao Group Hospitality is part of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation (MSG Entertainment, NYSE: MSGE). For the transaction, Tao Group Hospitality issued equity from one of its subsidiaries to acquire Hakkasan Group from Hakkasan USA. With the completion of the deal, Tao Group Hospitality owns a majority of the newly combined company. MSG Entertainment owns a controlling interest in Tao Group Hospitality and, as a result, also owns a controlling, indirect interest the newly combined company.

Tao Group Hospitality acquires Hakkasan Group in landmark nightlife and dining acquisitionTAOHAKKASAN Infographic.jpg?download=1

Featured Image: Connor McDonnell

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Hook N Sling, Galantis launch listeners into summer with new single, ‘The Best’

Hook N Sling, Galantis launch listeners into summer with new single, ‘The Best’Galantis

Hook N Sling and Galantis have found themselves reunited for the new single, “The Best” featuring Karen Harding. Incorporating Hook N Sling and Galatis’ upbeat, poppy sounds, “The Best” drives listeners straight into the summer swelter. Harding begins the track by singing, “When we looked at the stars/In the back of your car/Didn’t care where we are,” while joined by a dancing piano arrangement. Whistles float through the track’s swelling break, creating an uplifting feel around this new summer anthem.

Galantis will be making an appearance at Electric Zoo in September, and are slated to perform that Sunday, September 5. In January, the duo teamed up with JVKE for the single “Dandelion.” What’s more, the pair are also coming off of a celebratory remix of Benny Benassi‘s iconic 2011 hit, “Cinema,” which just turned 10. Listen to “The Best” below.

Featured image: Rukes

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Spotify CEO states he has secured funds to purchase Arsenal FC

Spotify CEO states he has secured funds to purchase Arsenal FCDaniel Ek

Following the Super League controversy that occurred in the month of April, where several of Europe’s most famous soccer clubs said they planned to join a closed competition, followed the idea’s quick subsequent undoing, Spotify‘s CEO, Daniel Ek, expressed interest in purchasing famed English Premier League Club, Arsenal. Now, Ek shared with CNBC that he has secured funds to purchase the team.

The club’s owner, Stan Kroenke, has stated that Arsenal is not for sale. However, that has not deterred Ek. Speaking with CNBC, he said,

“I am very serious. I have secured the funds for it. And I want to bring what I think is a very compelling offer to the owners, and I hope they hear me out.”

Arsenal is currently owned by the Denver-based Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which also owns the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. Forbes estimates Arsenal is worth $2.8 billion, while Ek’s net worth is estimated to be around $4.7 billion.

Kroenke, who is also married to Walmart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke, has said that they are “100% committed to Arsenal” and will “not entertain any offer.” Meanwhile, Arsenal has fallen down to eight in the Premier League in 2020, with Ek stating, “I just see a tremendous opportunity to set a real vision for the club, to bring it back to its glory.”

H/T: Billboard

Featured image: Spotify Newsroom

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