Mike Skinner releases new album, ‘The Streets’: Listen

Mike Skinner has donned his side project alias The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light for a new album called ‘The Streets’.

The album was surprise released late last week, with Skinner revealing the news in an Instagram post. It’s believed the album could be the soundtrack for a forthcoming film made by Skinner, which he previously discussed in an interview with the BBC last year.

“The album is like two years old now,” Skinner told the BBC at the time. “I spent a few months with a script editor which was great and then at the end of the year I decided to kind of do it myself really, and we’ve since got different funding through the music industry, rather than the film industry.

“The film has definitely got things in common with ‘Quadrophenia’. Also, in a weird way, kind of ‘Tommy’ [The Who’s rock opera] as well, because in my film it’s a musical but the songs are the voiceover.”

Skinner hasn’t yet confirmed a release date for the film, or whether this new album is fully linked with that project.

Last year, Mike Skinner released a collaboration-heavy mixtape, ‘None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Alive’.

Shygirl shares new single, ‘BDE feat. slowthai’: Listen

The track arrived as part of the artist’s new long-form music video, ‘Shygirl BLU’

Christian Eede

Thursday, July 1, 2021 – 14:19

Shygirl has released a new single, ‘BDE’, which features slowthai.

The track premiered this week, alongside a long-form 15-minute music video titled ‘Shygirl BLU’. The visual, which you can watch below, is directed by Shygirl herself, and takes in tracks from her debut EP, ‘ALIAS’.

You can also listen to ‘BDE’, which is out now, below.

Last year, Shygirl featured alongside the likes of SOPHIE and Grimes on the soundtrack for dystopian videogame ‘Cyberpunk 2077’.

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Cercle Festival postponed to 2022

Cercle Festival postponed to 2022Cercle Festival 2020

Cercle Festival, held at Dugny, France’s Air and Space Museum, has been postponed to May 14 – 15, 2022, festival organizers announced on June 28. Coordinators attributed the festival’s postponement to complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic, namely the general risk for transmission associated with large gatherings, international festival goers’ inability to enter France, and an inability to obtain insurance that would cover last-minute cancellations should the event require cancellation.

Cercle’s lineup will remain the same in 2022. “All artists have already confirmed their presence for the new dates,” organizers said in the official cancellation statement. Tickets will remain valid, and ticket holders will have the choice of receiving a refund or preserving their passes for the following year of Cercle production. All returned tickets will be put back on sale for the 2022 iteration. Preregister to purchase these here, and read the French music brand’s official statement below.

Cercle Festival postponed to 2022Screen Shot 2021 06 28 At 9.27.46 PM 1

Featured image: Maxime Chermat

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Behringer Four Play Short On Creativity, Coming Soon

Behringer Four Play Short On Creativity, Coming Soon

Behringer today introduced the Four Play, a Quad VCA and Mixer Module for Eurorack modular systems.

As Synth Anatomy’s Tom Wies points out, it looks like Behringer skimped on Four Play, because the module appears to be a direct knockoff of the Intellijel Quad VCA. Comparing the two modules, pictured above, the Four Play copies the features, controls, layout and panel graphics of the Intellijel module.

Behringer says that the best part of Four Play is its price – the module lists for $99 vs $189 for the original Intellijel design.

Here’s what Behringer has to say about the new module:

“The FOUR PLAY is a feature rich quad VCA module with CV input attenuators, each with a bi-color LED to indicate CV input activity and polarity. Input boost switches add extra gain for lower level input signals.

The curve controls allow you to setup the ideal CV response curve from fully exponential to linear, or any combination of the two.

The level controls set the VCA gain and allow manual control of the signal output level, both when used as independent VCA’s or when used as a mixer. The VCA’s are DC coupled so can process both audio signals and CV signals.

The FOUR PLAY gives you comprehensive connectivity, 4 CV inputs for control or modulation of the VCA’s which are cascaded allowing all 4 VCA’s to be controlled by a single CV input if required. 4 signal input jacks with excellent headroom and the 4 VCA outputs are cascaded so that if only the 4/MIX output jack is used, the module becomes a 4-input voltage-controlled mixer, other combinations are easily selected according to which output jacks are inserted, such as a dual 2 input mixers for ultimate flexibility.”

Pricing and Availability

The Behringer Four Play is coming soon to dealers, priced at $99 USD.

Eric Prydz to bring series of exclusive VR shows to Sensorium Galaxy’s Metaverse

Eric Prydz to bring series of exclusive VR shows to Sensorium Galaxy’s MetaverseEric Prydz

It goes without saying that Eric Prydz knows how to put on a show, and for his latest trick, he’s teaming up with Sensorium Galaxy to bring fans a new and characteristically immersive live experience. The man of many monikers will be soon host a series of exclusive virtual reality (VR) shows within the Sensorium Galaxy Metaverse’s virtual PRISM venue.

“I believe metaverses are taking digital events to the next stage, which is one of the main elements that has drawn me to become part of this project,” Prydz said in a press release. “As live streams fail to deliver the emotions and interactions of real-life concerts, the flexibility of what Sensorium is building offers me a whole new and unique way to connect with my audience and discover an entirely new dimension of music.”

Of note, Prydz is the first artist to join Sensorium Galaxy in 2021, and extends the Sensorium legacy of working with electronic acts. In 2020, the entity partnered Armin van Buuren, David Guetta, Carl Cox, Black Coffee, and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike for performances defined by eye-catching, artificial intelligence-empowered avatars, unique aerial perspectives, and even the ability to see through the DJ’s eyes. What’s in store at PRISM is sure to be nothing short of spectacular. View the trailer for the Prydz x Sensorium Galaxy team-up below.

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Monstercat celebrates 10-year anniversary with compilation album, livestream

Monstercat celebrates 10-year anniversary with compilation album, livestreamPegboard Nerds

Monstercat is celebrating its 10 year anniversary with a new compilation LP that takes listeners through the label’s history. Featuring tracks from Pegboard Nerds, WRLD & Keepsake, Stephen Walking, Rogue, Shingo Nakamura, Subtact, Nitro Fun, and more, Monstercat – 10 Year Anniversary pulls tracks from all three of the label’s brands including Uncaged, Instinct, and Silk. Speaking on the compilation album, Monstercat’s CEO Mike Darlington said in a press release,

“It’s almost surreal celebrating 10 years of Monstercat today. The last decade has been an incredible journey – from our humble beginnings as a Canadian start-up, to supporting over 1,000 artists worldwide. I’m proud of our team for constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation and creating a sustainable platform for artists to thrive. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next ten years of Monstercat and the electronic music community.”

Interestingly, not one of the cuts included on the compilation ever enjoyed a formal release, categorizing Monstercat – 10 Year Anniversary as a veritable treasure trove of previously unheard material. In addition to the compilation album, Monstercat will also celebrate its milestone anniversary with a multitude of events, including a worldwide livestream via Twitch that will feature artists from Korea, Russia, Melbourne, Italy, and more.

On July 6, the storied imprint will also launch Lost Civilization in Roblox. Notably, Lost Civilization will be the Roblox world’s first game centered on a record label.

Featured image: Ajapuya Photography

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Rossy finds solace with Jadū Dala single, ‘777’

Rossy finds solace with Jadū Dala single, ‘777’E4 0c0hMAEto8o

Rossy rejuvenates Philadelphia-based experimental label Jadū Dala with the release of “777.” The energetic bass thriller follows the Los Angeles-based producer’s We Rose tie-up “See Through,” released in March. “777” auspiciously unravels a unique of combination cinematic and future-bass elements. Speaking on the production of “777,” Rossy shared,

“You know when a song comes together so seamlessly, it’s such a beautiful feeling. You enter this flow state where you forget everything around you and then you come out like what the actual heck did I just do, that was ‘777.’ It was truly a labor of love. I started with the development of the main arp in the drop and the rest just fell into place from there. I love arps so much and tried to push that love for them in a new direction with this song. I knew while making the track that I wanted to add a very distinctive vocal chop, after the bulk of the track was done was when I added the chop in and for me it made the song so special. This song makes me feel so full of light and I am so happy today to be able to share it with you all. And, for everyone taking the time to read this and taking the time to listen I wish I could explain how much I appreciate you. hope you love ‘777’!! :)”

Stream “777” below.

Featured image: BRXVN

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96 Back announces next EP on Local Action, ‘Flex Time’

The Sheffield producer explores 808s and high tempos on his new release

Christian Eede

Thursday, July 1, 2021 – 14:32

96 Back has a new EP on the way for Local Action.

Titled ‘Flex Time’, the five-track release follows on from the Sheffield producer’s 2020 debut on Local Action with the ‘9696 Dream’ cassette.

In contrast to that release, ‘Flex Time’ finds 96 Back in a more club-focused mood, pairing 808s with tracks that sit within the 140-150 BPM spectrum. He’s also worked with Toronto rapper Cadence Weapon and Manchester’s Iceboy Violet for the project, which is billed as the second part in a trilogy of releases for Local Action. 

A dedicated website for the EP has been set up, and can be found here. You can listen to the Cadence Weapon-featuring lead track ‘Coup de grâce’ below.

The release comes ahead of 96 Back beginning as a resident at Sheffield’s Hope Works and No Bounds festival this year.

‘Flex Time’ is out digitally on Local Action on July 21st.

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SOMA’s upcoming REFLEX is a polysynth with timbres you touch directly

SOMA’s “romantic engineering” just hit some crazy new level – their upcoming 6-voice digital polysynth is paired with a multidimensional sensor-controller.

The demo from creator Vlad Kreimer is wild – it looks more like a circuit bending project, but far from just randomly glitching sounds, it looks like you really get timbres under your fingers:

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Here’s what we know so far:

  • 6-voice polyphony
  • Digital synthesis core, direct digital synthesis
  • 16 small hemispheres arranged for touch control
  • Each sensor based on a “high frequency transmitter-air-receiver chain” meant to capture the position of your palm
  • Audio-rate sensing (for high timing precision)
  • “Pure math synthesis” – well, basically not fixed wavetables but generated sounds so you get fully parameterized synthesis (which with the integrated controller is quite clever)
  • Dedicated microprocessor and separate effects per voice
  • Discrete components and custom analog output (see below)

And yadda yadda, the usual bit about being like an acoustic instrument. But that’s fair, because instead of the abstracted control you get with knobs, you have continuous, audio-rate control of the timbre which is indeed closer to acoustic idioms.

The controller bit is the most interesting:

The main part of the sensor-controller consists of 16 small hemispheres arranged ergonomically in a way that provides comfortable and simultaneous access to all of them for the fingers of your hand. Each hemisphere contains a tiny version of a high frequency transmitter-air-receiver chain, where the human finger functions as a kind of obstacle that affects the connection. It captures the position of your palm and fingers from 16 points of view. The sensor data collected by each hemisphere is connected in a smart way with one or more synthesis parameters. Combinations of several sensors can be processed in a separate way and attached to a unique set of synthesis parameters. Sensor output is processed at a speed of 23 kHz, which is higher than the audio range, and reaches the synthesis core with latency of no more than 50 microseconds. Tiny movements of your fingers can drive the very synthesis core, letting you play with the process of synthesis directly and instantly.

Yeah, take that, D-BEAM / Alesis AirFX! (Sorry, they had the right idea but – this is a much, much more usable and high-performance sensor. And this is closer to the original, historic precision of the Theremin than those IR range sensors were ever really intended to be.)

But there’s some fun stuff on the digital side, too – true to SOMA’s engineering passions. He replaced standard digital-to-analog converters with his own custom, raw PWM outs, and built the whole thing with discrete through-hole bits and transistors – no OPAMPs in sight. I think that may not make so much of a difference in and of itself as it speaks to how original and esoteric SOMA like to be. But that’s the joy of this thing.

There is a lot of parallelism in the engineering, so we’ll see what this costs – separate microcontrollers for each voice for, uh, some reason, plus separate effects per voice. That makes me a little scared this was massively over-engineered just for some audiophile digital specs, but … well, we’ll see what comes out. I almost wish that controller were available as a separate unit, just to see what other applications it might have.

There’s more – upgradeable firmware, yes there are 17 knobs doing something, no menus, and…

I just can’t wait to see this thing. Full preview from the source:


The Haçienda’s visual history to be celebrated in new photobook

A new book by designer Ben Kelly will look at the pre-history, lifespan and visual legacy of Manchester’s iconic Haçienda club, which closed its doors back in 1997.

Kelly was the club’s interior designer and has worked with photographer Eugene Schlumberger to create ‘Haçienda Landscapes’, which is billed as “part photobook, part visual history”.

A press release explains that the book “reflects upon the club’s enduring design aesthetic via photography of the industrial landscapes of the North, the graphic language of the everyday, and items selected from Kelly’s personal Haçienda and Factory Records archives, much of which has never been seen before”. It also includes a special contribution by famed graphic designer Peter Saville.

The Haçienda was central to the explosion of the acid house craze, and rave culture, in the UK in the late ’80s following its opening in a Manchester yacht showroom earlier that decade. The club was the project of the city’s Factory Records, with Kelly having been enlisted to design the interior following a recommendation from Peter Saville, who created release covers for key Factory acts New Order and Joy Division.

The book project is now crowdfunding via Kickstarter, and can be supported here.

A note on the Kickstarter page says of the design focused on in the book: “Kelly’s daring use of a hard-edged industrial graphic language paired with dazzling block colours communicated Factory’s intent for the venue; this would be much much more than a nightclub – The Haçienda would be a crucible for the cutting edge of music culture and creativity.”

Last year, the Haçienda was recreated in VR.

Revisit the club’s ’90s heyday with this photo retrospective.