Behringer RD-8 MKII Now “The Most Authentic Analog Recreation Ever Produced”

Behringer today introduced the Rhythm Designer RD-8 MKII, an updated version of their Roland TR-808 knockoff that they call “the most authentic analog recreation ever produced.”

The company says that the RD-8 MKII uses Behringer’s clone of the Roland BA662 VCA chip, introduced last year, to more accurately recreate the sound of the original 808.

Here’s the official Behringer RD-8 MKII intro video:

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Here’s what they have to say about the changes in the RD-8 MKII:

“This drum machine has been re-designed from the ground up with carefully selected components and circuitry, which have dramatically improved the sound of the voices as well as noise and phase response across both the main and individual outputs.

Most importantly, our engineers – together with our Coolaudio semiconductor sister company – successfully recreated the 40-year-old BA662 chip, which is instrumental for the authentic voices of this instrument.

We’re proud to deliver the most authentic and accurate analog drum machine recreation ever produced.”

Pricing and Availability

The Behringer RD-8 MKII is available now for $329 USD.

Peter Zinovieff, UK synth pioneer and EMS co-founder, has died

It’s a tough moment for a whole generation in electronic music history. This weekend claimed the British legend Peter Zinovieff – deserving a look back at him and EMS and the VCS3.

Zinovieff’s accomplishments are many – a composer, a musician, an engineer, and the first private individual in the UK to own a computer. But he will be best remembered for EMS – Electronic Music Studios – and the 1969 debut of the VCS3.

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It says something about the US-centric history we get in electronic music that the Minimoog so easily eclipses the VCS3 in popular imagination. But arguably the VCS3 is as much a predictor of today’s approach to electronic production as the Minimoog was, if not more so. Its 16×6 matrix was way ahead of its time, and might even be more comfortable in the more experimental synth lover market of our decade now. The pins looked like nothing if not a game of Battleship, but allowed synthesists to create modular connections without carrying patch cords – and kept the rig popular. Today’s soft synths and modular hardware and software therefore may owe as much to the VCS3 as any pioneering instrument.

EMS – and the VCS3 – were founded in 1969 by Zinovieff along with the late Tristram Cary and David Cockerell, to be followed by the Synthi. The VCS3 sold for 330 GBP, or about 5500 Pounds Sterling in modern money (US$7600).

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But apart from the computer first, Zinovieff was also part of Unit Delta Plus with Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson (for a kind of 60s BBC radiophonic superband), and made cybernetic art, and has kept composing recently. Oh yeah, and he worked with the Beatles and Bowie and many others.

These past days have seen major losses of not only Zinovieff but American composers Frederic Rzewski and Jon Hassell, among too many other recent deaths to count – both as a generation ages and some have been claimed by COVID.

Some obituaries:

Peter Zinovieff — 1933-2021 [Sound on Sound]

Peter Zinovieff, British composer and synth pioneer, dies aged 88 [The Guardian]

Synthesiser pioneer and composer Peter Zinovieff dies at 88 [Far Out Magazine]

And one more documentary:

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Synthesiser pioneer Peter Zinovieff dies, aged 88

The synthesiser pioneer Peter Zinovieff has died, aged 88. According to a report in The Guardian, the Russian-British founder of benchmark-setting brand EMS suffered a fall in his Cambridge, UK home, earlier this month and had been hospitalised for ten days. 

Iconic equipment including the VCS3, Synthi AKS and Synthi 100 are among Zinovieff’s creations, with his instruments used by electronic acts including Kraftwerk and Soulwax. David Bowie and Pink Floyd were also fans. News of his death was followed by an outpouring of tributes on social media. 

“Peter Zinovieff passed away last night. Thank you Peter, the father of the VCS3 and the AKS, I owe you so much,” world-famous electronic composer Jean-Michel Jarre tweeted.


“RIP Peter Zinovieff. Terrible news. Peter was a true original. I spent a day with him once, learning about synthesizers at his house in Cambridge. I interviewed him, we ate lunch, and his lovely wife gave me a tour of the town. He had an incredible life story, & was so funny too,” posted the arts critic and journalist Geeta Dayal. 

Zinovieff was often referred to as the British Bob Moog, but despite the level of respect afforded him and his company, EMS would fold after just ten years in the business, ceasing trading in 1979. Nevertheless, the firm’s contribution to computer-controlled synthesis and sequencing cannot be understated. In addition to designing instruments, Zinovieff was also a composer and had collaborated with a number of groundbreaking musicians such as Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson of BBC Radiophonic Workshop, housed at the broadcaster’s soon-to-be-closed Maida Vale Studios in London. 

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BAYLI links with ILoveMakonnen for infectious new banger “SICK!”

Providing a fiery and replay-worthy song to cap off Pride Month, Brooklyn’s BAYLI teams with LGBTQ+ hip-hop icon ILoveMakonnen for her newest single “SICK!”.  

Fearless synth bass and a scintillating flute loop give the loose musical backbone to the simple and bouncy club cut.  Clocking in at just over 2 minutes, there’s no room for filler as BAYLI and Makonnen trade concise bars and an effortlessly catchy hook.  Serving as a highlight to both Pride Month and Black Music Month, “SICK!” is two confident artists and queer advocates performing at their very best.

BAYLI started making music back in 2016 as a member of noted alt-R&B band The Skins before branching off to a solo career in 2018 and has since grown to become an in-demand voice in songwriting after studying under her mentor, industry legend Rick Rubin.  The Brooklyn songstress is set to cement her status as one of the new-school voices of pop with an EP due to be released later this year.  Makonnen, while best known for his smash hit Drake collaboration “Tuesday” in 2014, is still making confident and wholly self-assured pop music through his brand new imprint Timeless Magic with underrated gem My Parade released this past April.  

Connect with BAYLISpotify | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Connect with ILoveMakonnenSpotify | Instagram | YouTube

Over half of UK summer festivals have been cancelled 

Over half of UK summer festivals have been cancelled for 2021, according to a new study. 

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) suggests 51% of events with capacities of 5000 and over have now pulled their dates for the coming months. A further 22% of respondents said they were “unsure” as to whether they can proceed. 

“This is a milestone that nobody wanted to reach but, unfortunately, it has seemed inevitable for some time now thanks to the Government’s inaction and refusal to give organisers any kind of safety net that would allow them to continue to invest in their businesses and the supply chain with confidence,” said AIF CEO Paul Reed. 

“Make no mistake – these cancellations were entirely avoidable, and Government must now change its position of reviewing insurance at step four, as it will be far too late for most UK festivals. At this point, every day counts. If Government has any confidence in July 19 as a terminus date, they will back this now,” he added.  

The news comes as the UK Government unveiled the results of the Events Research Programme Phase One. The second phase, which included 10,000 capacity camping festival Download, has yet to be made public. The original plan to lift all remaining coronavirus restrictions in England by 21st June was delayed due to the rise in cases resulting from the highly transmissible Delta strain. A new date of 19th July was announced earlier this month, at which point the UK festival sector called for urgent financial support from the government. The request has so far gone unanswered. 

“There are still a number of festivals that could take place after the intended final lifting of lockdown on July 19 but, as we have seen with the likes of Kendal Calling and Truck Festival cancelling this week, that number is rapidly declining,” said Reed. “This is an existential issue; the 2021 season is collapsing without decisive Government action and there is a real risk of these festivals not returning.”

It’s an all star affair as Evans Junior, R3D and Tony Konstone link up on “Don’t Push Me”

On “Don’t Push Me,” of Ireland’s most unique, interesting talents—Evans Junior, R3D and Tony Konstone—have joined forces in the most unexpected line up of artists we have seen in a long time. 

Evans Junior, R3D and Tony Konstone have all established themselves as solidified solo acts in their own right. Longford’s Evans Junior has been dropping a slew of singles since the released of his debut, two-part album Organised Mess. R3D made his name known as the DJ for hip-hop/pop duo Tebi Rex but recent embarked on his own solo music journey with huge singles such as “Zone Out” and “The Vibes”. 

Tony Konstone is part of Dublins pop duo Hare Squead. Recognised globally for their breakthrough singles such as “Flowers”, “Minor Gangsters” and more infamously “Herside Story” which was removed by Goldlink for his debut album At What Cost. An “All Star” line up right? Let’s see if they can live up to the hype. 

“Don’t Push Me” is produced by Liam Harris and is a bouncy, trap banger. The track seems to effortlessly glide between verses and chorus with the kind of finesse you expect from a line up like this. Evans carries the majority of the heavy lifting, not to downplay the excellent contributions from Tony and R3D. Evan’s interpolation of of the 1982 classic “The Message” by Grandmast Flash & The Furious Five is the glue that ties the record together. Tony and R3D deliver eclectic and smooth verses with punchy flows.

The true highlight here is the chemistry. The boys just have it. They feel like a seasoned rap group and this is their first single. With the imminent release of their All Star Weekend mixtape, it has quickly risen to be one of the most anticipated Irish hip-hop releases of the year. Let’s wait and see if they stick the landing. 

Connect with ASW: Evans Junior Instagram | R3D’s Instagram | Tony Konstone Instagram 

Aiobahn and NUZB meet on soothing Monstercat tie-up, ‘All of This’

Aiobahn and NUZB meet on soothing Monstercat tie-up, ‘All of This’Aebcaa19 6f0f 43e9 A69d A2b2c59c7fe2

Inventive house music from two different corners of the planet has come together for a meeting on Monstercat. Aiobahn and NUZB both shared something in common when they made a trip around the STMPD RCRDS delivery arena earlier in the year, and the respective South Korean and Brazilian minds chose formally link up for “All of This.”

Aiobahn is anything but a stranger when it comes to releasing on Monstercat, now bringing along NUZB for the first time to make a label homecoming after an intermission that stretched just beyond a year. “All of This” has all the ingredients that go into an ideal summer house recording, with Aiobahn and NUZB intertwining their idiomatic house dealings with a low-pressure, soothing spirit through what will hopefully result in just their first of many memorable meetings.

Featured image: Aiobahn/Instagram

The post Aiobahn and NUZB meet on soothing Monstercat tie-up, ‘All of This’ appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Kevin Sinatra tries to shake our “Chrome Hearts”

Kevin Sinatra drops a new single featuring Belis and Soduh titled “Chrome Hearts.” It’s a sophisticated track filled with a heavenly production and poetic lyrics.

Earlier this year, Kevin Sinatra dropped an EP called “Black To Business,” revealing his heart and soul through impactful messages that focused on equality. In his new single, Kevin offers us some diversity through his music, making a song that shows another side to him. Regardless of the theme, one thing is for certain: Kevin Sinatra gives us music that makes us feel something powerful internally. In “Chrome Hearts,” the message of opening our souls comes across strongly with every word he utters. Never being afraid to express his emotions, Kevin spills his heart out through the poetic lyrics and metaphors in this track. The catchy hook is filled with memorable rhymes and an impeccable delivery, leaving us repeating the lyrics long after the song is over. Belis has such a soothing tone, elevating this track even higher than it already is with her sweet voice.
The passion that exists in this track can be heard in the delivery and the intense lyrics. Adding the perfect background that includes chimes, angel heavenly choir, snappy beats, and a violin, truly gives “Chrome Hearts” the ideal touch. 

Influential avant-garde composer Jon Hassell dies, aged 84

The influential American avant-garde composer Jon Hassell has died, aged 84.

The musical icon’s family released a statement on 27th June via Facebook and Twitter confirming the news.

“Our beloved Jon M. Hassell – iconic trumpet player, author, and composer – has passed away at the age of 84 years on June 26th 2021.  After a little more than a year of fighting through health complications, Jon died peacefully in the early morning hours of natural causes,” the statement reads. “His final days were surrounded by family and loved ones who celebrated with him the lifetime of contributions he gave to this world — personally and professionally.”


Releasing his debut album ‘Vernal Equinox’ in 1978, during his career Hassell collaborated with a number of famous artists, including Brian Eno, who would go on to pen a 2007 essay for the Guardian, ‘The Debt I Owe To Jon Hassell’. Other Hassell projects featured names such as Ani DiFranco, Moritz von Oswald, Carl Craig, and Techno Animal. Hassell also worked with another avant-garde master, Harold Budd, who passed away aged 84 in December 2020. 

Despite many major achievements, Hassell’s biggest legacy will arguably be the creation of a so-called “fourth world” musical aesthetic, which focused on looking beyond geographical and genre boundaries. He counted synth hero Robert Moog as a friend and at one point learned raga trumpet under the tutelage of Indian classical singer Pandit Pran Nath. 

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RZA announces new album, ‘RZA vs Bobby Digital’, shares single: Listen

RZA has announced a new album, ‘RZA vs Bobby Digital’, and shared the latest single, ‘Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater’. 

The LP was originally teased under the title ‘Bobby Digital: Digital Potions‘, alongside the track ‘Pugilism’. While the name has changed the concept remains the same, with RZA revisiting the solo moniker he created for 1998’s ‘Bobby Digital in Stereo’. 

The Wu-Tang Clan rapper has now confirmed the full record will arrive on 6th August, with the triple-Grammy nominee and multi-platinum selling studio head DJ Scratch credited as Executive Producer.

“Lyrically the hip-hop part of me had a chance to re-emerge during quarantine. Giving Scratch the reins as a producer and me taking the reins as an MC, that’s what frees me up creatively and lets me play more with lyrical gags and lyrical flows because I don’t have to be focused on everything,” RZA said of the album in a statement. “[Scratch] delivered tracks that resonated and brought me back to a sound that I felt was missing. For me it was really natural for me to flow and write to these songs,” he continued. 

It’s RZA’s first time working as Bobby Digital in 13 years. Last August, he sold 50% of the rights to his songwriting and production credits. In addition to writing music, RZA has a burgeoning directorial filmography, including 2012’s feudal China brawler ‘The Man with the Iron Fists’, hip hop drama ‘Love Beats Rhymes’ starring Azealia Banks and Common, and 2020’s ‘Cut Throat City’, which sets its heist plot in New Orleans amid the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.   

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