Batu launches new free-to-access community music studio in Bristol, First Light Studio

Producer, DJ and Timedance founder Batu has launched a new community music studio, First Light Studio.

Having opened its doors today (May 20th), the new, free-to-access studio at the Trinity Centre in Bristol aims to level the playing field for local artists by providing access to an open and inclusive space, professional equipment, and support to develop their skill set without the financial boundaries present in today’s music industry.

Kickstarting the initiative – which is supported by Dr. Martens – is a series of intimate workshop sessions with Hodge, Elder Island, Mix Nights and Sir Hiss in at the Trinity Centre in July.

“So many people have helped me along the way and I’ve received a huge amount of support from the community around me,” says Batu. “Privately renting a studio is an expense that is prohibitive for a lot of up and coming artists, and there should be more access for free.”

“I’m really proud to bring First Light Studio to life with the support of Dr. Martens, and help give Bristol’s talented network of up and coming artists the support they need.”

Go here for more info and to apply. 

New book celebrates hip-hop’s most influential producers

From Boom Bap to Trap will feature MF DOOM, Dr. Dre and RZA among others

Brian Coney

Thursday, May 20, 2021 – 12:57

A forthcoming book will celebrate some of hip-hop’s most influential producers.

The work of Toronto-based writer, illustrator and rapper Riley Wallace, the 312-page From Boom Bap to Trap will profile a diverse school of hip-hop producers, from Dr. Dre, RZA and MF DOOM to lesser-known names such as Easy Mo Bee and Johnny “J.”

Speaking about the project, Wallace said, “Until now, hip-hop heads have been forced to navigate a sea of wiki entries, incomplete bios and confusing credits (or none at all), which has caused some mind-melting tracks to be underappreciated or completely undiscovered. No more.”

Combining biographies and liner notes with artwork, the book – which is set to be published next year – is also crowdfunding via Kickstarter. Support it here.

News of From Boom Bap to Trap comes after the publication of Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop by Clover Hope and Rachelle Baker.

A brilliant, diverse Indian compilation seeks urgent support for COVID relief in India

Deep and wide-ranging, this musical selection of productions entirely from artists of the Indian diaspora urgently seeks your support. As the medical system fails in India, the artists are working with essential community organization on the ground serving some of the most marginalized.

I know this crisis has been hard not only on those living in India, but the many who have friends and family in the country and have to watch across distances. It’s a unique and difficult form of anxiety. So it’s meaningful that these are all artists of Indian heritage living outside the country.

And the music is something really special – both a chance to support relief when it’s needed, and to appreciate the rich and inspiring spectrum of music being produced by the broader world of people of Indian heritage.

As you are aware, this wave of the Indian variant of the virus has crippled the nation like never before. The worst hit are the under-privileged people. This compilation is a collective effort by artists of Indian origin from all over the world to draw attention to this emergency situation and ask you to donate while sharing with you music that some of us made to cope with these difficult times along with some fun tunes which will hopefully lift your spirits in a small way.

This compilation was put together just in a few days as India needs all the help it can get as soon as possible. Hence the short notice on this request. We are hoping to reach a wide range of audiences with this selection of artists from varied genres and living in different parts of the world.

Preorder now, but out tomorrow. Already love the tracks on the preview, though.

‘We The People’ is a curated compilation of music from artists with Indian heritage living outside of India, who are coming together to support our country during these perilous times. This album spans different genres and moods, showcasing the diversity of music being made by Indian artists. This is symbolic of the citizens of India coming together irrespective of their background to fight covid and a failing system with all their might. 

By buying this compilation, you donate to charities that are currently organizing medication, hospital beds, and oxygen for COVID-19 patients, including providing aid to those who are severely affected and have little to no support from the government. 

Funds will be donated to:

– Citizens Covid War Room (treatment for underprivileged, relief for those rendered jobless & to families who lost their earning member to covid)
– Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (Healthcare support & Logistics for COVID-19 Patients)
– Hemkunt Foundation (providing oxygen & humanitarian aid to marginalized sections of society)
– Milaap (supporting the transgender community in Mumbai)
– Mukul Madhav Foundation (helping communities access life saving equipment and relief)
– Protsahan India Foundation (aid for children orphaned due to COVID-19)

Even though this isn’t war, it sure feels like ‘We the people’ are an army on a mission.


Decoder / Low Volume / Nikki Nair / Pooja B PAV4N X SUKH KNIGHT ft. Ishani / PKO / Satya Hinduja / Snad / Stof / VANDANA / WeTurnToRed 


Decoder – Bioc 2
Low Volume – Naru Anor
Pooja B – Hecknowhere 
PKO – Sun before the storm 
Nikki Nair – ManaHoTum 
Satya Hinduja – Hanami-Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō 
Snad – Latent Heat
Stof – Blizzard of the Arctic 
VANDANA – Ecstatic
WeTurnToRed – Amber Embers

Ajaaz Rasheed (Artwork)
Rhys Copeland (Mastering) 

In association with:

Never Alone Mental Health Awareness Summit 2021

It’s not been easy for many of us from India to sit in our privileged position, while friends and family are in the midst of this horrible second wave of the pandemic. I put together this compilation as music is the best way we as artists can urgently amplify and support India’s desperate need for help, whilst being far away.

I am hoping that you will be on board to help with this time critical endeavour. We are open to support of any kind, with contacts, ideas for amplifying this, feature posts and all sorts of affords that can raise funds. 

Excision drops long-awaited ‘Back to Back’ with Armanni Reign, UBUR on 20-track ‘Night: Vol. 4’ compilation

Excision drops long-awaited ‘Back to Back’ with Armanni Reign, UBUR on 20-track ‘Night: Vol. 4’ compilationEcision

Excision‘s label Subsidia Records is known for sourcing new artists and tastemaking across all sub-sects of the greater bass genre. Now, the imprint continues to feed listeners with dubstep drops and battering bass breaks on Night: Vol. 4. The latest installment of Subsidia’s Night series, the compilation project includes 20 releases from artists such as Felmax, Dubscribe, Shoku, Elusion and more.

One of the release’s top standouts comes by way of Excision’s long-awaited collaboration with UBUR and Armanni Reign. The track, titled “Back to Back,” is intense to its core with relentless, bulldozing drops intertwined with cutting low-end and chanting vocals. The track was first premiered at Bass Canyon in 2019, and three years later fans can enjoy the single in all of its monstrous glory.

Featured image: Rukes

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Bristol gets a new free community studio from Batu; the beauty of public access

Bristol-based DJ/producer Batu sends word of a new community access studio he’s founded in his city. It’s a reminder of the value this kind of space can have – especially right now.

All of music has been hit hard by the pandemic – starved not just of venues to play, but also the connections, friends, care, and casual conversation that feed music and musical skill. Think especially of the next generation, who are starting out in the midst of this disruption.

Anyway, even without that context – having a free access space can be hugely useful to a community. (See also Detroit’s Portage Garage Sounds, as we covered last summer.)

So it’s really excellent to see First Light Studio in Bristol, UK. Not only is it founded by the excellent Batu, but other talent is providing support and workshops. That includes the terrific electronic experimentalist Hodge, the trio Elder Island (talking pedal effects), all-female/non-binary collective Mix Nights (Danielle, Em Williams, and Daisy Moon) doing DJ workshops, and Sir Hiss bringing UK Rap / Grime knowledge to a production workshop. They’ve got support from Dr. Martens Presents series, as Doc Martens gives support to grassroots culture.

Our friends at Novation have ponied up for some gear, as you’ll guess at if you look at the shots, plus those essential DJ tools the Pioneer DJ CDJ NX2s, PLX-1000, and DJMs. Plus there’s a couch, also important. Oh, and sonic treatment but – again, couch.

Batu in the new studio.

I was always a fan of public access or community access TV and radio, a concept that thrived in the USA in the days of terrestrial broadcasting. Even though we live in the age of bedroom production and Internet access, it seems we still need spaces to gather, spaces to democratize access to technology, and places to meet and learn. I hope we see more of this kind of community effort.

And of course, if you’re in Bristol, you can apply – and check out the workshops! Just do share what you make, even a little before you get famous.

Don’t know Batu? Well, gosh. Don’t sleep; it’s brilliant.

Batu · SYX

Two years later, Ibranovski reconvenes with Tchami’s Confession—stream ‘Only You’

Two years later, Ibranovski reconvenes with Tchami’s Confession—stream ‘Only You’COB ADE20 Okt 2017 31 Min

After charting his first Confession outing in March 2019 a la “Omega” alongside Tchami, Ibranovski is back for a sophomore stint, made via “Only You.” A dance floor consumer, what with its four-to-the-floor rhythm and ear-catching adlibs, Ibranovski’s second-ever CONFESSION single keeps his 2021 hot streak burning brightly. To date, this piping path has sweltered with his April release “Go Getter,” disseminated via BROHUG‘s BROHOUSE label, as well as his “Gimme,” which arrived via Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings in March.

Listen to “Only You” below.

Featured image: Ibranovski/Facebook

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Pendulum to release first body of work in more than a decade

Pendulum to release first body of work in more than a decadePendulum Rukes Ultra Korea

After rejoining the electronic world in 2020 following a 10-year hiatus during which the drum ‘n’ bass purveyors’ absence was acutely felt, Pendulum are furthering their re-entry to the dance domain with Elemental, their first body of work since 2011’s IMMERSION. Slated to release on June 17, the EP will include the three singles that previously soundtracked their comeback, “Driver,” “Nothing For Free,” and “Come Alive.” Elemental will also feature a fourth and final tracklisting, “Louder Than Words” with Hybrid Minds, which was introduced during Pendulum’s set at Spitbank Fort.

The Australian luminaries’ latest outputs have been nothing short of what fans of the triple Platinum-wielding band would expect, what with rock-inspired vocals, percussive synthwork, and generally jaw-dropping production. Pendulum are back not only with a vengeance, but also with what feels like the birth of a new era of drum ‘n’ bass.

Featured image: Rukes

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New online DJ academy app, SeeDJ, launches with subscription service

A new online DJ academy app has launched. 

Also available as a web platform, SeeDJ is a subscription-based “digital acceleration” app that promises to put emerging DJ talent in “direct contact with the leading labels and management agencies, offers downloadable resources, tools for production, feedback from established DJs and many more essentials tips that will help you elevate your game.”

Available as either a monthly or annual subscription from July 30th, the five key services offered by SeeDJ include video courses, lectures and workshops by teachers and experienced producers, as well as periodic reviews by partnered labels and management agencies.

“We want to turn as many new DJs as we can into professional DJs through key services that reflect all the realities of electronic music,” added the platform’s creators. “We want to train new DJs through the e-learning service such as courses, lessons and a ton of resources. Our long-term vision is to develop a platform that can support the musical growth of an artist through multiple services, all for a low monthly subscription.”

Among those already on board to offer content and feedback for aspiring DJs include Phil Weeks, Coyu and Perc. Go here for more information.

Here’s the 10 best YouTube channels for music producers.

Armin van Buuren, Nicky Romero, Charlotte de Witte, and more top Tomorrowland Around the World 2 poster

Armin van Buuren, Nicky Romero, Charlotte de Witte, and more top Tomorrowland Around the World 2 posterScreen Shot 2021 05 20 At 9.49.38 AM

Before Tomorrowland makes their in-person return to Boom, Belgium, they’re making a pit stop at their digital island of Pāpiliōnem for a second iteration of Dancing Astronaut‘s favorite online event of 2020, Tomorrowland Around the World. Hosted across back-to-back days on July 17 – 18 and once again adapted to all local timezones, Tomorrowland has drawn back the curtain on the more than 40 names that will grace the virtual airwaves to hold everyone over before the real thing.

Split across six different stages that include the Mainstage, Atmosphere, CORE, The Cave, The Wall, and Elixir, Tomorrowland’s sophomore Around the World lineup will be bringing in both new and familiar faces, including Afrojack, Charlotte de Witte, Armin van Buuren, Headhunterz, HI-LO, Mike Williams. Nicky Romero, Sam Feldt, Tale Of Us, Vintage Culture, and more. Friday’s showing will only host Mainstage and Elixir artists from 7PM to 1AM, while Saturday’s roster will open up to the exhaustive six-stage package from 6PM to 2AM.

Tomorrowland is currently weighing safety options for the in-person iteration on August 27 – 29 (weekend 1) and September 3 – 5 (weekend 2), stating that a combination of vaccination requirements and rapid testing before entry will be part of their guidelines FOR later this summer, with a comprehensive announcement coming shortly.

View the entire lineup below and tickets for Tomorrowland Around the World are now available here.

Featured image: Tomorrowland

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Glastonbury organisers granted licence for one-day festival in September, Equinox

Glastonbury has been granted permission to hold a one-day festival this year.

In January, the Somerset festival announced it was officially cancelled for 2021 due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Two months later, co-organiser Emily Eavis revealed that they had applied for a licence to hold a smaller event on the Worthy Farm site this year. 

Now, Mendip District Council have authorised the festival to host a 50,000 capacity, non-camping event called Equinox in September. It will be held solely at the iconic Pyramid Stage. While the event is to be fully confirmed pending further developments, Emily Eavis said it would essentially be a bigger version of the Pilton Party, Glastonbury annual “thank you” fundraising gig for villagers, workers and local people.

Speaking to BBC 6 Music’s Matt Everitt, Eavis added: “We are going to throw everything at 2022. The light is coming in. We’re able to move out of this very awkward time and plan to be back in fields again and to be watching live music and camping for five days outside with 200,000 other people. That is now a possibility and it’s looking highly likely that that will happen next year. So we’re booking bands for that [now]. It’s hugely reassuring to be able to actually plan something that might happen.”

Sam Phripp, Mendip council’s chair of licensing said: “Any event would have to be Covid-safe, and Mendip will work with other organisations and the organisers to make sure that’s the case.”