Five choice cuts to prepare for dual evenings of deadmau5 at the Brooklyn Mirage

Five choice cuts to prepare for dual evenings of deadmau5 at the Brooklyn MirageDeadmau5 Dayofthedeadmau5 Leah Sems

Summer is here and shows are back, baby!

From July 10 – 11, the Brooklyn Mirage will transform to the house of mau5, with deadmau5 taking New Yorkers through his vast catalog of classic staples and current cuts. The can’t-miss affair will be the mau5trap label boss’ first booking in New York this year, and the two shows are notably his sole city appearances at present.

deadmau5’s expansive catalog spans two decades of intricate sound design and glorious chord progressions, earning him the status of one of electronic dance music’s premier players. A luminary in the production space, deadmau5 has earned six Grammy nominations for his work.

As a perpetual student of the craft, Joel Zimmerman’s success was built in the progressive house space; however, the constant creator has built various offshoots in conjunction with his masked showcase such as his techno alias Testpilot and his new house imprint, hau5trap.

Although tickets to night one of the deadmau5 festivities are sold-out, a low number of tickets to the July 11 show are available. Tickets to the second evening to be spent in the mau5trap label head’s company can be purchased here. View the Brooklyn Mirage’s full calendar of upcoming events here.

Below, Dancing Astronaut reminisces on five must-listens from deadmau5’s sprawling repertoire to ready readers for the electronic affair.


REZZ is a stellar example of the deadmau5’s A&R ability, signing the up-and-comer in 2016 and instigating her exponential rise as one of electronic music’s most sought-after bass extraordinaires. In April, Canadian production powerhouses REZZ and Zimmerman finally came together for their first collaboration, “Hypnocurrency,” which manifests as a mix of the deadmau5’s synth progressions and REZZ’s attention-grabbing bass.


After breaking hau5trap ground with Tommy Trash and Daisy Guttridge’s “hiiigh,”  deadmau5 released “Nextra,” his house imprint’s first original production, albeit its second single.

“hiiigh” features deadmau5’s classic synthwork and a soft house beat that floats through the mix. At a palatable six minutes, the songs arrangement stretches to a break down around halfway through, gliding through arpeggiated soundscapes that curate a wondrous yet brooding atmosphere for a stellar contrast of light and dark.


deadmau5’s prowess as a producer and collaborator can be heard through various long-time works; however, this pairing with The Neptunes became an immediate classic and a reigns today as a prime example of collaborative excellence. Sitting at the intersection of electro-soul, pop, and R&B, “Pomegranate” finds Pharrell delivering ultra-smooth, vocoded versework over a plucky, funk-laden deadmau5 bassline for a song that oozes summer.

“The Veldt”

We’re going back to a classic here and number six in Dancing Astronaut‘s Top 100 Songs of the Decade. “The Veldt” is Zimmerman at his progressive peak, painting a visceral lyrical and production portrait, demonstrating his unique ability to create music that is both gentle and galvanizing, all at once.

 “Channel 43”

deadmau5 and Wolfgang Gartner opened 2021 with an electro-house gift, “Channel 43,” the follow-up to the pairing’s 2012 single, “Channel 42,” from the former’s > album title goes here <. The track further showcases Zimmerman’s eclectic pallet through harder-hitting electro while still manning longer-form arrangements that entice and excite. There’s an eight-minute version that is just as good as the radio edit, and when you have more Wolfgang and deadmau5 at the helm, the question shouldn’t be “why?,” but rather “why not?”

Extra Credit:

“Raise Your Weapon” (Madeon Extended Remix)

Another classic and stellar remix work from Madeon. On the original—written with Skrillex at his side—deadmau5 puts on a full-frontal display of his aural dexterity. Greta Svabo Bech helps wed progressive and dubstep in this hallowed union, and Madeon added a electro-house brightness that became happiness overload—and an instant classic in the remix golden era.

Featured image: Leah Sems

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RIP Berlin synth, drum machine legend Manfred Fricke of MFB

Manfred Fricke was democratizing analog machines for music and pioneering Berlin electronic invention over 5 decades – years ahead of this city becoming known for such things. We’ve lost him this month.

Known as founder of Berlin machine maker MFB, Fricke was an innovator across multiple eras, from the ground-breaking, beautifully simple and affordable 301 and 501 drum machines to this generation’s futuristic Tanzbär family and formidable Dominion 1.

He has been a friend to the whole community of synth makers in Berlin, and helped build the foundation for unique and original designs and the folks who gathered round them.

Andreas Schneider writes for Stromkult:

“On June, 17th around 11am Manfred Fricke from Berlin alias MFB sadly passed away after having had a hard time with cancer for a while already. He left his wife Gloria and his son Jean-Marcel behind, we are all very sad having lost this partner, friend and father.“

From today’s obituary:

Manfred Fricke passed away [Stromkult]

See also the Matrixsynth obituary.

The saga of Manfred Fricke and MFB is really two stories. There’s MFB’s origins, as a company making affordable independent instruments in the early days of electronic music production. And then there’s its ongoing product line, which has packed ingenious designs into small accessible form factors and produced sounds unlike any other devices. Even when riffing on some established designs, MFB boxes remain unique. Herr Schneider doesn’t easily give away praise like this: “The Tanzbär, in particular, is considered by many to be their favorite drum machine of the last few years, especially in terms of its amazing sound.”

Actually, there’s a third story of engineering, too – Manfred also built breakthrough industrial framegrabbers in the second half of the 80s for Apple II, Commodore 64, and IBM PC and clones. MFB also broke through with the first video mixer to cost under 1000 DM, the 1995 MFB-902. (Take that, Roland/Edirol!)

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Must-read (if you read German), must-browse (lots of photos if you don’t), has a wide-ranging interview from 2019 (as MFB turned 40) that does a great job of detailing the company’s history.

Manfred Fricke in 1984 – read Amazona’s interview and feature for this vital snapshot of an important colleague, neighbor, and part of Berlin’s electronic instrument invention history.

Interview: Manfred Fricke MFB, 40 Jahre Drummaschinen & Synthesizer

To his son Jean-Marcel, who has also contributed immensely to the operation of MFB, I know we all feel especially for your loss. I feel honored just to have been able to stand alongside your family’s company and all that you and your father have done for independent manufacturers and the musicians who love these creations. I can only join Andreas in wishing you, the family, and everyone the best for the future.

A partial timeline

  • 1976: MFB founded – starting with various products, including video games.
  • 1979: Low-cost MFB-501 drum machine, a breakthrough seller in Germany (beating out the likes of the TR-808), with an even more approachable kit version.
  • 1984: E-Drum module series.
  • 1986: MFB-201 MIDI-CV converter
  • 1995: MFB-902 video mixer (later follow-ups would add even built-in hard drives for cutting and post-processing material, which I think Roland still doesn’t really do…)
  • 1997: MFB-SYNTH

And that’s just a start – see also the little ‘Zwerg synths and larger synth range, step sequencers like the MFB-STEP 64, MFB-5×2 drum machines, Tanz* line, and more.

Note Raum is a perfect, free MIDI echo for Ableton Live and Max for Live

Just like a fresh herb or spice, there’s some potential beauty in seasoning your musical ideas with something different. Note Raum does that with MIDI patterns – and it’s free, provided you’ve got Max for Live.

Manifest Audio is crafting a number of elegant devices for playing with note patterning and probability, ideal for spitting out rhythms and melodies and timbres in clever ways, or transforming musical ideas.

Note Raum is a generous giveaway, as it’s clever and straightforward. Sure, MIDI note echoes are nothing new. The twist here, from experienced producer/electronic artist and Ableton Certified Trainer Noah Pred, is to make this concept more musical and instrumental. Note echo can be clinical; this is more like dialing in musicality.

Live 10 and Live 11 are both supported with a Max license or Suite license.

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Well, for starters, there’s a Scale menu with modes – a feature borrowed from some of Manifest’s other offering, and something I’ve certainly never seen in this sort of context.

And you get more:

It’s like opening a Phrygian Gate to a whole bunch of modes.
  • Feedback, Chance, and Velocity (these three alone already make it way more interesting)
  • Blend / solo (for just the echo or the incoming notes, too)
  • Scale / mode (a lot of them – Ukrainian Dorian – though for microtunings you’ll need a different device)
  • Limit, Bounce, and Free modes for pitch
  • Transposition – with a lot of control, including trigger/continue, keyscaling, minimum/maximum, basically so you can get these repeated pitched effects
  • Keyscaling
  • Metrical multipliers / sync
  • Swing

There’s no manual for this free Device, but it’s all annotated in the Info View help.

Bounce or Limit or Free.

It’s actually a lot in a little bit of space, but your best strategy might be to mess around with the dials a bit and experiment. That’s especially true because you can use this with anything that takes MIDI – drums, melodies, a modular plug-in patch, a MIDI-playable effect…. whatever.

And yeah, if this gets you interested in Manifest’s Chance Engine and Subtraction Engine, that’s the idea.

I mean, I sure didn’t finish anything like this over the last year’s lockdowns. But it’s okay if we didn’t; we get to use Noah’s devices so – solved, really.

London extends COVID-19 restrictions on live events, cancelling HARD UK

London extends COVID-19 restrictions on live events, cancelling HARD UKHs19b 128

In order to keep in line with the ongoing European COVID-19 restrictions, HARD Events has just announced that they will be cancelling their HARD UK festival, previously taking place at The Drumsheds in London. Releasing an official comment via social media platforms, the Insomniac-championed events brand stated,

“The latest delay from the government and the uncertainty this has created has left us with no choice. We’re obviously extremely gutted to share this news with you and tried everything possible before reaching this decision. We simply cannot carry on with this level of uncertainty this close to the show.”

Initially planned to return on August 21, the festival boasted headliners including Tchami, Alesso, Dillon Francis, Malaa, with more to be announced. Refunds will be distributed to those who purchased tickets within the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more global festival updates as pandemic restrictions continue to shift.

London extends COVID-19 restrictions on live events, cancelling HARD UKHARD London Insta

Featured image: Rukes

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Eli & Fur deliver dynamic new album ‘Found In The Wild’

Eli & Fur deliver dynamic new album ‘Found In The Wild’Eli Fur Ig Official

Eli & Fur are looking to be Found In The Wild with the release of their debut album, landing via Anjunadeep. First led by the singles “Come Back Around,” “Wild Skies,” “Walk The Line,” and “Big Tiger,” Found In The Wild explores the duo’s atmospheric deep-house soundscapes. The first six tracks feature spellbinding instrumentals that lull listeners into a floating haze, while the final six tracks pick up the pace and thrust fans into a collection of expansive, club-ready singles.

With its morphing sound halfway through the album, Found In The Wild puts all of Eli & Fur’s signature production techniques on display. Ahead of the release, Eli & Fur’s slew of singles reflected the LP’s versatile framework, while the larger picture of the album came into focus. While the majority of Eli & Fur’s releases from the past year have led up to Found In The Wild, the duo released a non-album single, “Otherside” via Spinnin’ Deep last year. Hear the duo’s dynamic debut LP in full below.

Featured Image: Eli & Fur/Instagram

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Crankdat and Ace Aura bring ‘The Feeling’ to Monstercat

Crankdat and Ace Aura bring ‘The Feeling’ to MonstercatCrankdat Mo Bamba Re Crank

Crankdat and Ace Aura have joined forces on a vibrant new track titled, “The Feeling” released via Canadian independent powerhouse, Monstercat. The single follows Crankdat’s serene, vocal-driven collaboration with JT RoachBetter Without You” as well as Ace Aura’s “Resist” alongside Subtronics, both of which were released in May. Speaking on the collaboration process, Crankdat shared,

“Very excited to finally drop this tune! I wrote this song about me and my girlfriend’s cat – Momo – who really hates kisses. This inspired the hook ‘you don’t have to love me.’ Don’t tell him the song is about him, his ego is already too big. Working with Eric (Ace Aura) was really cool. We talked about collaborating and I sent him a demo that I was stuck on and had shelved. He took the track and gave it everything that it needed and added some really cool sounds! He is a super talented producer and an exceptional sound designer – I’m glad to have made such an awesome record with him!”

“The Feeling” pushes the boundaries of dubstep and future-bass, as both Crankdat and Ace Aura combine their heavy and melodic flairs to bridge together a unique arrangement of looming color-bass and riddim tropes. The first collaborative single between the two will be released as part of the label’s forthcoming Monstercat Uncaged Vol. 11 compilation. Ahead of the full compilation, hear Ace Aura and Crankdat’s groovy bass-riddled original work below.

Featured image: Mike Kirschbaum

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Dillon Francis drops second original of 2021 alongside Shift K3Y, ‘Love Me Better’

Dillon Francis drops second original of 2021 alongside Shift K3Y, ‘Love Me Better’Dillon Francis Red Rocks Rukes

Dillon Francis is out with a new single that is set to be featured on his forthcoming house album. The single is titled “Love Me Better,” co-produced by British artist Shift K3Y and features Marc E. Bassy on vocals.

Francis has returned to a more commercial-leaning brand of electronic music with his recent string of releases. Just a month ago the producer released “Unconditional,” the first single to be released from the upcoming album. “Love Me Better” catches the listener’s attention immediately with alluring vocal hooks and radio-ready dance tropes. The single is Francis’ second original release of 2021, out now via IDGAFOS.

Featured Image: Rukes

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David Guetta, Steve Aoki, DJ Snake, Netsky, Martin Garrix, and more billed for UNTOLD Festival 2021

David Guetta, Steve Aoki, DJ Snake, Netsky, Martin Garrix, and more billed for UNTOLD Festival 2021UNTOLD Festival 2017 3

The only scheduled festival in Europe with unlimited capacity, UNTOLD Festival has unveiled its official 2021 lineup for the weekend of September 9 – 12. With even more to be announced, the 2021 UNTOLD performers stretch across a wide range of genres. Take, for example, The Script, to grace the same stage as Martin Garrix and legendary cake tosser Steve Aoki. Tyga, Martin Solveig, Netsky, Afrojack, and DJ Snake, will all try their hands at not slipping on any frosting residue left at the decks.

The Cluj-Napoca, Romania mainstay event is home to three stages. The techno haven of the festival, the Galaxy Stage, awaits the progressive majesty of Paul Kalkbrenner, Amelie Lens, and Nina Kraviz, among others. Fans of drum ‘n’ bass and trap will find their fix at the Alchemy Stage, while the main stage hosts the major headliners. Tickets to UNTOLD Festival 2021 are available here. See the full lineup and official announcement below.

David Guetta, Steve Aoki, DJ Snake, Netsky, Martin Garrix, and more billed for UNTOLD Festival 2021UNTOLD Line Up 1

Featured image: UNTOLD Festival

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Swizz Beatz, Busta Rhymes, Method Man, more pay tribute to DMX at BET Awards: Watch

Swizz Beatz, Busta Rhymes, Method Man, and more paid tribute to the rapper DMX during the BET Awards, which took place on Sunday 27th June at the Microsoft Theatre, Los Angeles. 

The collective homage saw a string of DMX hits delivered and curated by some of his closest friends and collaborators, including the actor Michael K Williams and members of Griselda, who appear on the hip hop icon’s acclaimed posthumous album, ‘Exodus‘, released in May 2021 and his first work for the iconic Def Jam imprint in 18 years. 

“You see a lot of tributes and you can almost predict [what’s going to happen]… This time we wanted to do something a little different. We wanted to add some curation and different types of artistry. Everybody that’s coming on stage, X had a serious respect for them,” DMX’s legendary producer, Swizz Beatz, told Complex Magazine

DMX died on 2nd April following a heart attack, aged 50. The news was followed by an outpouring of tributes from the hip hop and music community, including Snoop Dogg. A New York street or statue is set to be named in his honour, while 18th December will now be marked as Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons Day in the state. Millions tuned in to watch DMX’s memorial service.

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Teenage Engineering Updates OB–4 ‘Magic Radio’ With Beat-Matched Looping & More

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Teenage Engineering has released an update for their OB–4 ‘Magic Radio’, a portable high-fidelity loudspeaker that continually records what you play, so that you can rewind, time-stretch and loop it.

Here’s what’s new:

Beat Match Looping

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The OB–4 helps you get perfectly timed loops from any audio source. Beat match analyzes the musical content of what you are listening to in real time and automatically detects the beats.

808 Metronome

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The OB–4 features a new synthesized 808 kick drum sound as one of the metronome sounds. You can tune it and adjust the decay.

Ambient Effect

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The OB-4 can turn any audio source into a drone, with its ‘Ambient’ effect.

External Looping

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Looping now works with any external equipment connected through the line in. In the demo above, an OP–Z pattern is being looped and manipulated using the OB–4.

Pricing and Availability

The Teenage Engineering OB-4 is available now for $649 USD.