Axwell is no stranger to placing deserving, burgeoning producers on house music’s center stage, and he’s now welcoming in a fresh name to Axtone’s perpetually thriving lineup of talent, Ali Story. Not only is “Smile” a meaningful milestone for Axtone as Story becomes the first woman to stand unaccompanied on an original through the famed Swedish imprint, but it’s an even more momentous occasion for Story herself as she hands in the debut single of her career.
Simply put, “Smile” is a becoming headline for the dawn of Story’s newest chapter, considering it’s what a sizable percentage of the world’s population can’t wipe off their face as the pandemic’s lockdowns begin to wane away. Classically trained in music while growing up in the heart of Northern Ireland, Ali Story is the epitome of a one-woman show, single-handedly supplying all creative facets—from the vocals to the production itself—of the piano house treasure that is “Smile.” Story effortlessly flashes the mastery of a longtime veteran, despite having only credit in 2020 on Toolroom Records’ sophomore House Party installation. Story shared a message to emphasize her unwavering appreciation for the label boss and the Axtone team for giving her this break so early on in her tenure, stating,
“As an incredibly new artist to the industry, I couldn’t be more excited and thankful to Axtone for giving me the opportunity to release my first ever single. The support from the team has been phenomenal, but above all, it’s the genuine and sincere passion for music that shines through. Nothing but great resolve and determination to spread their belief and excitement for new artists and everything they represent. An incredible label and team!”
“Smile” will formally release on June 4 via Axtone, but can be streamed in full one day early, only on Dancing Astronaut.
A mere few minutes may have passed before clips of Gryffin’s newest ID began making the Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube rounds after his Ubbi Dubbi set dropped the curtain in late April. Dance music fans can certainly attest to missing the unreleased music road map of tracking an ID’s first crowd-test to its eventual official dispersal, and Gryffin is re-enabling that sense of normalcy by way of his second original of the year—following “I Want Love” with Two Feet—”Best Is Yet to Come” alongside Kyle Reynolds.
“Best Is Yet to Come” is the perfect description for how the trend back to status quo feels right now, in the US at least. In the near two-year cycle that’s elapsed since Gravity, Gryffin’s production step hasn’t faltered once and finally begun teasing that his sophomore LP is underway. Standing on the opposite side of his last-second entry for summer’s defining ballad in 2020, “Cry” with John Martin, Gryffin reroutes course in 2021 to send off his title-clinching ballot well ahead of time. Gryffin said he knew the moment the demo’s first note struck that “Best Is Yet to Come” couldn’t have been a more timely, fitting, and inspiriting single to soundtrack the cruise towards the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. Roping together his vintage house sound with Kyle Reynolds’ edifying vocals, “Best Is Yet to Come” provides an aptly uplifting atmosphere as normalcy creeps back into view.
A new book all about Daft Punk’s 2001 album ‘Discovery’ is to be published later this year.
Written by music journalist and author Ben Cardew, ‘Daft Punk’s Discovery: The Future Unfurled’ takes in more than 25 interviews, as well as past unreleased interview material with the French duo themselves.
“Daft Punk’s Discovery is a record that looked into the future and liked what it saw,” reads the book’s blurb. “An album that predicted the electronic music explosion, YouTube and the end of privacy, while dragging soft rock back into vogue.”
The book was originally finished before the duo announced their split earlier this year, and was subsequently re-drafted by Cardew to reflect the end of the project. It will be available in paperback and as an e-book in September.
A rare vinyl copy of ‘Discovery’ was sold on Discogs for $2,380 in February.
Read Ben Cardew’s piece on Daft Punk’s legacy, written for DJ Mag in the aftermath of their split, here.
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.
Here are some master-level skills for Max for Live with minimal effort. And you get an immediate reward – take control of how Live 11 launches Clips.
With instructor Phelan Kane, we get to learn what’s new in Max for Live’s tools for hacking Ableton Live, whether you’re a curious beginner or an experienced patcher ready to try Live 11’s new features.
Like a lot of tech, Max for Live offers so much power that you do indeed have that “I spent all the time patching and didn’t make any music” effect. But fear not – Phelan has boiled down some features into something you can do in an evening, and get playing right away.
Max for Live really offers two roles inside Ableton Live at once. First, it lets you run Max creations inside Live – so instruments, audio effects, sequencers, and even visual tools patched in Max run as if they were native Live Devices.
But second, Max for Live also offers the ability to control Live itself, via an API Ableton calls the Live Object Model (LOM). The LOM turns the patching environment into a scripting / hacking / Live customization tool – and it’s the only fully supported way of doing that with Live, complete with the power to create a user interface for whatever you build.
New to Live 11, the LOM includes access to more features, including the note API (and multiphonic expression), Simpler slices, Clip and sample Warp Markers, MIDI channel routing, and Clip Launch parameters. That’s a big deal, because it gives you more power to manipulate Live as a performance instrument. It takes those “I wish I could…” scenarios with Live and lets you make them happen.
It’s almost too much power at once, though. So Clip Launch control is a great place to begin.
You’ll need Ableton Live Suite 11 or Live 11 with a working Max for Live license to follow along. Live 11 is required because this tutorial centers around features introduced in that version.
A ready-to-use Clip Launch Hack Device
Phelan has made us a demo Device you can use right away to see what’s possible even before we start patching.
So yeah, you can set Global Quantize and Clip Quantize and Launch modes via the Live UI – but now you have all of that in one place, and you can store and recall settings and map all of them to MIDI, which isn’t normally possible. For live performance on controllers or making generative compositions or a number of other scenarios, this changes what you can do.
That’s just the example, though, so let’s learn how to build it.
Step by step, building the device with Max for Live and LOM
Phelan walks us through the process of building this patch – and interacting with the LOM – from scratch:
The video walks through all the basics, with a few things to note. So, you define which portion of the Live set you’re following and interacting with by setting a path:
path live_set tracks $1 clip_slots $2 clip
The magic all takes place via the live.property abstraction, as in:
live.property launch_mode @observe 1
live.property launch_quantization @observe 1
… for launch mode and quantization, respectively.
live.property both allows you to control a particular parameter and to observe as its value is changed elsewhere. (So you can think of it as both a getter and a setter, if you’re used to those terms from coding.)
It does a lot of the messy, complex work of dealing with the Live API for you – so you just pick your parameters and wire them up, as Phelan shows you in the video.
Once these settings are exposed in your Max for Live Device, you build handy UIs or use Max patching to automate settings or manipulate them however you wish. And you instantly get the ability to MIDI map these parameters, which normally would only be accessible through menus. So you’ll see toward the end of the tutorial video, Phelan unlocks the MIDI Map and then you have an easy way of adding control to your MIDI controller.
If this gets you going, hopefully we can return with some of the other features to control in Live 11 – let us know what you’d like to see.
Phelan has also been teaching online courses for Music Hackspace, an official educational partner of Cycling ’74. Thanks to Ableton and Cycling ’74 support, you can take advantage of that instruction for free.
For instance, for 4 weeks (and just two hours a week), you can enroll in Phelan’s Getting Started with Max course free of charge. Check their full schedule:
And for an overview of everything new in Live 11, see:
You’d be hard pressed to find another artist like Trent Madison. The Detroit-raised artist began his career as a model in the fashion world before rededicating himself to his long-time love of music and inspiring kids to follow their dreams. Still battling his own demons through his art, “Reality” is something of a cathartic dream-hip-hop banger, for lack of a defined genre, that finds Madison at his most infectious and engaging, spilling his soul over a lushly synth-laden wonderland.
The newest entry for Madison is an ethereal and ultra smooth cut that utilizes the singer’s distinctively poignant, pitched up vocals. A similarly wistful offering to Madison’s last entry “Sleepless Nights”, the new single is incredibly impactful and jarring with synths reminiscent of Stranger Things and bouncy 808s that pair with an infectiously sentimental chorus. Accompanied by a piece of Liam Walsh-directed eye candy, the track is driven home by its resonating visuals. Walsh, already with name-making collaborations with Sonder and Olivia Rodrigo, brings his signature visual artistry to elevate an already gorgeous and complex track. Capturing VHS-era visuals spliced with strikingly vivid shots, the visual is cluttered and powerful, creating an ambiance that mirrors the cautious aloofness of the track.
No one is doing what Trent Madison is doing right now. The sooner people acknowledge that, the better. Definitively in his own lane, the commitment to storytelling and defiantly impassioned lyrics is inspiring and cathartic for any listener and lover of music. Delivering one of the best music videos of the year thus far, you’ll want to stay tuned closely to Trent Madison in the future.
Chris Lorenzo has lent his hand to remix Roska and なかむらみなみ’s single, “Pree Me.” Giving the track a more upbeat treatment, Lorenzo injects his signature sounds to transform the track into a flowing instrumental, while maintaining the fun sounds found in Roska and なかむらみなみ’s original framework.
Lorenzo has been busy with his Anti Up project in collaboration with Chris Lake, with the two preparing for their first full-length album that is set to be released sometime later this year. Ahead of the upcoming LP, Anti Up has released the first two singles, “Shake” and “Sensational.” Fans are continuing to wait for more news about the release, but the upcoming LP sits as one of Dancing Astronaut‘s most highly anticipated releases of the year.
“We’re proud to have worked with 17 artists of different nationalities, gender identities, and sexualities who made DJ Mixes in the spirit of Pride. All of these mixes are different flavors of dance music, and even some hip hop, that show the true diversity of our community.”
Moore Kismet has been a resounding presence in the dance music community, especially within the last year, using their experience as a non-binary person to amplify queer voices within and around the dance music space. Their mix consists of 40 tracks including cuts from Skrillex, Meg Thee Stallion, and Barely Alive. Including exclusive IDs, the mix is a story in and of itself, adding Kismet’s impressive ability to curate emotion within their listeners with a authenticity and ease.
Qrion shares 17 techno-infused tracks from friends and up-and-coming artists, including one of her own heaters, “Monolith” and an unreleased ID. Known for her uncanny aptitude to harness sounds that occur in nature, Qrion divulges a mix that offers techno fans a moment to step away and fall into her world.
As club floors across the globe begin to reopen, partygoers may find the nightlife landscape left behind in 2020 will inevitably look a little different city to city. Though, mobile app Discotech aims to provide clubbers with the resources needed to get back out on the floor and pick up where things left off. Founded in 2013, Discotech is the OpenTable for Nightlife. The free mobile app and website aim to spotlight events for users to discover in various locales, reserve tables, secure tickets, and get free guest list access to nightlife venues in more than 60 cities across the country, including Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, among others. For those looking for parties and events in different cities, Discotech offers the ideal solution at one’s fingertips.
For those looking to get back out there as pandemic restrictions across the world loosen and vaccination efforts continue, Discotech seeks to provide updated information on local promoters, venues, and scheduled events in one place. Users can see which venues are officially back open and which venues have announced upcoming reopenings, for the most up-to-date information about a particular city’s events. The app also offers a nightlife and festival reopening calendar.
To learn more about Discotech, or to download the app and get back out on the dancefloor click here.
This is a sponsored editorial, selectively curated by Dancing Astronaut’s partnerships team in collaboration with our advertisers.
Slate Digital has introduced ANA 2 Ultra Bundle, which they describe as “the Netflix of synths”.
ANA 2 Ultra offers a huge range of sonic possibilities, with 3 wavetable oscillators, 3 samplers, and 46 different filter types. And it comes with hundreds of patches, ranging from hip-hop to cinematic to lo-fi sounds.
Here’s the official walkthrough video:
400+ new presets
Hundreds of new wavetables
Hundreds of new samples
6 new sound banks
New sounds dropping throughout the year
Pricing and Availability
ANA 2 Ultra Bundle is available via Slate Digital’s All Access Pass. The All Access Pass includes 60 plugins, thousands of royalty-free samples, video tutorials to show you how to up your production skills & a more.
Elektron has released Transfer 1.4, a free update to their file transfer utility, designed to let you get more from your Elektron hardware.
With Transfer 1.4, you can quickly back up projects and sounds/presets or samples on all current Elektron products, except the Octatrack. You can also share your projects, complete with sounds, or move them to another device.
In addition, performance improvements and bug fixes have been implemented to ensure Transfer runs super smooth, whether it is updating the firmware on your unit or backing up its files.
You’ll need the latest OS installed on your device to ensure full compatibility with Transfer. Digitakt and Analog Rytm both have new OSs released today to support sample transfer.
Note: Monomachine, Machinedrum, Sidstation, and Octatrack are not supported by Transfer. See the Elektron site for details.
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