The EURO 2020 anthem has been a long time coming—a year and a half, to be exact. After his two-night “THE ETHER” affair at ADE in 2019, Martin Garrix announced that he’d been awarded a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to produce the tournament’s official track. He’d split the original with the most high-profile collaboration that he’d yet to offer, he said.
The dance music and football worlds alike would have to wait another flip of the calendar due to COVID-19 before they’d learn who that other name was and for the EURO 2020 tournament, when they would hear the song. Ahead of EURO2020’s June start date, Martin Garrix is now following through on this bucket list opportunity to stand beside two categorically celebrated names—U2’s Bono and The Edge—for “We Are The People,” which aptly arrives on the STMPD RCRDS founder’s 25th journey around the sun.
To say the anthem is an unforgettable birthday gift would be to downplay the true weight of it all. Some might be awestruck to read the U2 frontmens’ names alongside Garrix’s, but Garrix has never dodged breeding music with A-listers including Dua Lipa, Bebe Rexha, Mike Shinoda, and most recently, Tove Lo. “We Are The People” follows in the footsteps of David Guetta and Zara Larsson’s 2016 anthem in championship fashion, celebrating European football’s historic bout with Garrix’s triumphant progressive touch and U2’s dateless rock temper. Considering the EURO 2020 anthem also follows his now one-year-old John Martin reunion, “Higher Ground,” let’s hope that the trend of Garrix self-bestowed birthday gifts is far from short-lived.
Durante and HANA are proving to be a must-watch duo. Last year, they released their first collaborative EP 13 Voicestogether, a gorgeous blend of Durante’s sublime deep/melodic house production and HANA’s angelic vocal talent. Now, the pair returns to Anjunadeep for another three-track EP, Celestia. The new EP shows not only that the compelling pair can replicate the magic of their first release, but also build on their sound and progress into new territories. “Away Home” and the EP’s title track lean into the emotive side of melodic house territory, while Celestia‘s closer “Whisper Cell” cranks up the tempo for an enthralling taste of the duo’s versatility.
Anjuna fans got their first taste of the Celestia EP in February when “Away Home” debuted on Anjunadeep 12. Dancing Astronaut caught up with Durante and HANA to chat about the duo’s body of work together, their collaborative style, and what’s to come for them.
You two have released several collaborations already, is there anything in particular that keeps both of you coming back to work with one another?
Durante: Working with Hana is effortless. It really helps we have a very similar taste in music and we’re always sending each other tracks we like, whether it’s drum & bass, techno, trance. I feel like we both pull a lot of influences from different types of music and Hana’s experience with being such a multi faceted producer really helps push the music from being strictly a dance record to more of a transcendent sound. Also have you heard her voice????
HANA: We just work so easily together. It’s a very natural and organic process. We realized that we have the exact same taste in dance music a few years ago, so our musical instincts really thrill one another. We’ve been friends for about 8 years so we are very comfortable giving each other feedback and being open with one another.
What is your collaborative process like? How do each of you present your musical ideas to one another?
Durante: When we released our 13 Voices EP in 2020, we did some production live streams on Anjuna’s Twitch channel to showcase our musical process. This is actually where we started working on this EP! Usually I’ll start with a drum beat and start playing some synths while recording vocals from Hana. It’s pretty free form until we get some sort of loop or melody that sticks, then we just build from there.
HANA: On our first EP 13 Voices, we worked incredibly fast in the same room together, both taking turns at the computer and at different synths around the studio. For the Celestia EP, we worked entirely remotely, sharing our screens/audio and talking over discord. Durante handled the session file, perfecting the drums and synths while I added vocals and synth parts and fine tuning of production. I will usually sing many many parts and then we both pick and choose our favorite vocal parts and lyrics. There’s zero judgement in our workflow, so working together is extremely chill and comfy
This is your second EP together released via Anjunadeep, how does it differ from your first?
Durante: Personally I feel that the Celestia EP is the perfect continuation of 13 Voices, like an elevation of the original idea that made the first EP. When we started working on the 3 tracks, everything was beginning to go into lockdown. We wanted to write something that was fun to listen to in a live setting, or even a dance floor at home, and I feel like the range of music fits a lot of different atmospheres. I feel like there’s something for everyone in this release.
HANA: Whisper Cell is SO exciting to me because its extremely different from anything either of us has put out. It’s 132 bpm and has both trance and techno influences. It’s the one I am the most excited to play out in a live room. It really makes me lose my mind. Overall, making the EP was a perfect escape from dreary quarantine. There are overtones of a vague sadness throughout the songs which reflect this, but overall I wanted the songs to feel hopeful.
What’s in store for both of you this summer?
Durante: After this EP I have another EP planned for late summer on Openers Records, and another 2 track EP slated for later this year on a label we haven’t announced yet. Very excited for everything coming up!
HANA: I’m going to be streaming more! Over quarantine my Twitch stream grew exponentially and has been such an amazing outlet for creativity and playing music. I am excited to be making more music and getting ready to play some shows late summer and fall! It’s going to be so euphoric!!!
India is currently experiencing a catastrophic second wave of COVID-19, leading to a severe shortage of oxygen tanks, ventilators and beds. As of this week, there have been more than 250,000 deaths related to the virus in total.
India’s Boxout FM online radio station is also raising money for the relief effort via a 48-hour broadcast this weekend, featuring Leon Vynehall, Jacques Greene and more.
The first trailer for Kurupt FM’s new film, ‘People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan’, has been released.
Set for release on August 18th, the film will follow the infamous crew from the hit TV show as they set out on a series of adventures around Japan after their song is used on a Japanese TV show. The film is directed by Jack Clough, who worked on the original TV series as well as on shows such as ‘Skins’.
“Since the end of their pirate radio station, life has been quiet for the Kurupt FM boys, but everything is about to change,” reads the film’s synopsis. “Chabuddy G steps excitedly back into his management role as Grindah, Beats, Steves and Decoy begin their journey to international stardom… But is Japan really ready for Kurupt FM?”
As well as the film trailer, the crew also recently released Craig David-featuring new single ‘Summertime’, which is co-produced by MJ Cole and Fred Again…
You can watch the ‘People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan’ trailer below.
The ruins of fractured accordions are reanimated with hybrid mechanical-digital constructions, to sing the imagined love ballads of a wounded forest. Canilla’s latest creation deserves a full listen – so let’s premiere it here together, right now.
ʻyou always wanted more in life, but now you donʼt have the appetiteʼ – it’s an opus of custom instruments and code. And for this high-concept construction, the music is visceral and earthy, every bit the voice of a lovesick forest. That was the premise behind an installation that helped spawn the album – the bellows of cannibalized accordions forming a mechanical, beating heart. Here, it grows into a full narrative, dark and organic and deeply emotional and raw.
Full-length album stream – plays end to end (then go grab the Bandcamp preorder below, if you’re into it):
It feels like a natural-mechanical hybrid, pulsing techno repetition of club music pulling against the fleshy internal bits. The live-coded elements produce elegant rhythms, but all those samples make them sound anything but computer-clean.
The deconstructed accordion digital-mechanical invention is featured in samples on “‘the extinction’s voluptuous odor,” the opening cut. The titular ‘you always wanted more…’ is described as “love ballad melancholia and power play accompanied by a synthetic sounding accordion.”
‘life without the human look’ is “a drugging sound that invites you in to the room of a memorial tribute to forests threatened with extinction.” I’m not totally sure what “a drugging sound” is, but I’m onboard.
Canilla is Norwegian-born sound artist and instrument builder Camilla Vatne Barratt-Due, now based in Berlin. She’s the kind of person who is always collaborating, always mixing media. And the same is true of this project. She turned to Ådne Meisfjord, who produced and mixed this album. (Ådne you’ll also find going back-to-back in the DJ set below from HÖR.) For the installation at Akademie der Künste, she worked with coder Fredrik Olofsson, and incorporated designs by hardware scanner maker Jo Grys. (Check details of that program of sound installations, from the excellent Kontakte Festival of sound and electroacoustic art – just the sort of thing we want to be back to!)
But that’s just to say that Canilla’s own imagination and intellect are expansive enough to play well with others. She has amassed a sprawling collection of accordions and accordion pieces. On this album, she tells us she’s making heavy use of SuperCollider and TidalCycles for live coding. (She’s also collaborated with live coders like Alexandra Cardenas).
Canilla’s own vocals are wonderfully weirdly intertwined with the machine, too, in a kind of reverb-wet droning punk serenade. Those harmonizers make the vocal cords free reed-like, in its post-human oddness. It’s strung together for perfect end-to-end listening but still sounds raw and free enough that you might also have wandered into a basement somewhere.
You get more delicious strangeness and mystical wanderings into the wilderness in their HÖR set. Take a trip without a compass:
Ådne also goes by the alias Tropic Contact High. This set was part of a HÖR takeover by the Lecken queer collective / platform – or self-described “queer-feminist engine for sonic, somatic and collective transformation unfolding once per trimester in Berlin.” See lecken.berlin.
The album is out now as Canilla’s debut, on Street Pulse records run by Kari from Ultraflex. (Wait – who? Why, that’s Kari Jahnsen (a.k.a. Farao) as the Icelandic-Norwegian duo Ultraflex – and speaking of collaborations, they “who work together like spandex and leg-warmers.” I can’t come up with a line that good; I just babble on semi-coherently – you need to read the Reykjavik Grapevine for that verbiage!)
You’ve read this far, and hopefully paid up on Bandcamp for the download. So after this serious trip into the woods, I absolutely say you’ve earned a pudding/dessert in the form of an Ultraflex video (“a tribute to Cher and Janet Jackson”):
In the video for the track, which features Rae Sremmurd rapper and singer, Swae Lee, and experimental artist Siiickbrain, the three artists pay homage to punk culture and garage bands, with Skrillex nodding back to his days spent as the frontman of post-hardcore band From First To Last.
Celemony Software has announced that it has released the ARA (Audio Random Access) audio interface under open source license. In addition, it has released a comprehensive software development kit via github, to make ARA integration easier for DAW and plug-in manufacturers.
Developed by Celemony in cooperation with Presonus Software, ARA was conceived as a new standard to complement existing plug-in interfaces, such as VST and Audio Unit. The objective was to make it possible for DAWs and plug-ins to exchange information of a musical nature, regarding such things as notes, chords and tempos. The protocol was also intended to afford access to the audio files used in the project.
ARA support is found in Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, Studio One, Cakewalk, Nuendo, Samplitude, Sequoia, Mixcraft, Reaper, Sound Forge, Acid, Waveform and other audio software.
The ARA Audio Random Access Software Development Kit is available under the Apache 2.0 license, which makes integration into projects with open-source licenses such as GNU GPLv3 possible. Interested developers can take advantage – free from licensing costs – of the full range of the ARA specification 2.0, which also covers more recent ARA features such as chord tracks, expanded copy & paste support, optimized routing and improved comping and editing.
Developers can see the repo on github for details.
Charis Cat shared this in-depth look at creating the After Eight Step sequencer – a DIY project that extends traditional step sequencing with artificial intelligence.
The After Eight Step is an Arduino and Max-powered 8-step sequencer. It uses Markov Chains to generate musical accompaniment, based on any sequence of notes. Details on this are available on Cat’s site.
If you’re interested in creating an After Eight Step sequencer, source for the project is available on github.
00:00 Introduction 01:18 Why am I doing this? 02:11 Let’s get building! 03:22 First row of Potentiometers 03:40 Potentiometers to MIDI 04:22 Sequencing in Max 05:17 Mounting the LCD Screen 05:50 Wiring potentiometers 06:12 Preparing the LEDs 07:30 Second potentiometer row 07:51 Markov Chains and Transition Matrix’s 08:39 Rotary Encoder & Settings 09:17 AI Attempt 1, Troubleshooting, & David Cope 10:51 Wiring the potentiometers 11:12 Multiplexing 13:05 Rotary Encoders & Interrupt Pins 14:06 Clicky Green Button 14:17 Wiring up the LCD Screen 14:44 Literal Explosions 15:24 Tearing the heart from an old project 15:47 Rewiring the Arduino 16:26 Conclusion 18:47 Demonstration 21:34 Pure Pain
Drumcode has invited a number of new and established names from across the techno scene to remix classic tracks from Kevin Saunderson’s E-Dancer alias.
The collaborative project between Saunderson and Adam Beyer, titled ‘Re:Generate’, marks 250 releases on the label and offers an update on several tracks from Saunderson’s 1998 album as E-Dancer, ‘Heavenly’.
Among the artists enlisted to remix tracks from the album are Special Request, Adam Beyer, Tygapaw, rRoxymore, Len Faki and Amelie Lens, as well as Detroit pioneers such as Robert Hood, DJ Bone and DJ Minx.
“The reason I felt the need to do an album like this is because of the strong presence and influence these tracks from the ’90s have had on so many different producers, DJs, artists and genres of music,” Saunderson says. “It’s the purest thing from me and a record that will always have a long-lasting place in my heart. I’ve had very few remixes of E-Dancer over the years, so thought why not work with different artists who I admire, who I’ve also influenced. Drumcode was a great fit for this due to my friendship with Adam. It offered a unique home bringing both the younger and older generations of techno together.”
Speaking about the project, Beyer says: “E-Dancer’s iconic ‘Heavenly’ album was a defining moment in the history of electronic music. There are so many influences that have been taken from Kevin’s music in that period that you still hear in many of the Drumcode tracks being released today. It feels great to breathe new life into these timeless tracks and present exciting and new interpretations of them here on this album.”
Drumcode will release ‘Re:Generate’ on October 1st, and a party marking the release is set to take place at London’s Printworks on October 2nd. Full line-up information will be announced at a later date.
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