Sub Focus has rhythmically altered Beatport’s longest-running #1 single, “Deep End,” by John Summit. Named one of Pete Tong’s “Essential New Tunes” in 2020, the original mix was an instant smash. What’s more, SIDEPIECE bolstered the tune’s appeal with an official remix that took TikTok by storm. Now, English veteran producer Sub Focus presents his own drum ‘n’ bass recasting of “Deep End,” streaming exclusively on Audius.
Sub Focus, born Nicolaas Douwma, has shared just a few remixes of his own in 2021, his John Summit rework marking the third. However, fellow UK producer Dimension recently dispatched an official remix of Douwma’s 2008 track, “Timewarp,” and Culture Shock reimagined Douwma’s 2006 cut “Airplane” in May. Now, Sub Focus has taken to the newest streaming platform on the block to deliver his latest rework, this time with John Summit in his crosshairs.
A new proposal to create 24-hour “nightlife districts” has been put forward in New York City.
Inspired by similar such areas in Berlin and Amsterdam, the move comes as part of a bid to help nightlife businesses get back on their feet as they reopen following over a year of sustained COVID-19-enforced closures. New York’s current licensing rules restrict alcohol from being sold at venues past 4am.
Ariel Palitz, the senior executive of the NYC Office for Nightlife, told WCBS: “Everything is on the table right now. We are recommending this as a pilot to identify areas where 24-hour use might be appropriate; new licenses that are committed to hosting community programming in exchange for this allowance in certain areas have proved wildly successful.”
Palitz added that “not having everyone rushing out and rushing in” at a strict closing time helps reduce “quality of life concerns” in other cities where these kinds of districts and late-licensing rules are in place.
Brazilian dance music acts Vintage Culture and Fancy Inc have joined forces with house music force Roland Clark to put out a new single, “Free.” Clark lends not only his production expertise, but also his vocals to the single, which would be at home laced into a beachside tech-house set. The single pits steady energy against an alluring production backdrop, making for the perfect setlist addition as club floors across the world open back up.
Vintage Culture speaks about the track in an official release, sharing,
“I had a vision about being back on the road, about bringing and living the joy of our parties again, the music and the union celebration all around it. I started working on it together with Fancy Inc.”
“Free” will also be the theme of Vintage Culture’s forthcoming US Tour with tickets available here. Vintage Culture and Fancy Inc came together earlier in the year for “Cali Dreams“, and their continued collaboration shows the obvious chemistry between the artists. “Free” is out now on FISHER‘s label, Catch & Release.
Artists just did the unthinkable – make a complete audiovisual demo on just a 1982 floppy drive, without the computer. And it’s utterly beautiful.
Yes, “Freespin” is the first demo ever produced for the Commodore 1541, the 1982 floppy drive from Commodore. Think of it like doing a test drive on the Nürburgring except you only have one tire and leave out, uh, the car.
I mean, not that the Commodore 1541 is anything to sneeze at. Priced at US$399, it’d set you back US$1,113 in 2021 dollars, so about as much as a new laptop or flagship smartphone.
And it does have some specs of its own – a MOS 6502 CPU and 2 KB RAM, 16 KB ROM. Here’s the problem – that architecture is sort of busy, uh, being a floppy drive, not really spitting out pretty music and graphics.
So, okay, how do you get sound and image out of this thing?
The music is produced by the stepper motor. See:http://www.quiss.org/freespin/music.html for complete details. To work with that compositionally, artist Matthias Kramm and team worked with the motor’s frequency (which also impacts its loudness), adjusted the duty cycle of the pulse wave, worked with silence, and even messed with the natural resonance of the case of the floppy. They composed the work in Renoise, and provide the files so you can try this if you get your hands on a drive, too.
The serial bus generates the video. So this element actually uses the peripheral aspect of the floppy – they wired an analog video output directly to the serial bus normally used to connect the floppy to the computer. That way, you get black and white and sync pulses, which is enough to generate video. Modulating those signals gives you graphical patterns. Again, full details: http://www.quiss.org/freespin/raster.html
Even if you never imagine doing anything like this, it’s all a fascinating glimpse into raw, digital signal manipulation at its most fundamental. The sound is gorgeous, too; I hope they consider doing a more complete, high-quality recording.
Oh right and – it all still has to fit in a tiny space, so you have details like this:
Most parts in freespin had less than 256 bytes to spare for auditory entertainment. We spent a significant amount of time developing special compressors just for the music patterns. In the end, we had eight different compressors in use, most highly specialized to target a specific section of the music.
Ray Volpe further stakes his sonic flag in melodic dubstep terrain with “Never Be Alone,” his follow-up his six-track Mixed Feelings EP, issued via Subsidia Records in June. “Never Be Alone,” which initially surfaced all the way back in November of 2020 when Volpe shared a preview of the track to his Twitter page, walks out as a sweet-toned bass record that’s entirely written, produced, and sung by Volpe himself. Having made its live debut during his guest appearance for Jason Ross’ ATLAS series on Insomniac TV in April, the original has emphatically remained one of Volpe’s most sought-after IDs and also arrives on the heels of his Webster Hall show announcement for September 17.
Speaking on the inspiration behind the single, Volpe shared,
“I wrote this song for my girlfriend, Jess. I fell for her instantly & I wanted to capture the pure joy I’ve felt ever since. This is about the night we met & the nights leading up to me asking her to be my girl. Best day ever honestly”
Volpe will self-release “Never Be Alone” on July 7, but listeners can stream the single one day early, only on Dancing Astronaut.
England will formally lift venue restrictions on July 19, as well as social distancing and mask wearing restrictions, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The announcement allows for the return of full-capacity live shows and outdoor music festivals, providing the green light for Creamfields, which will host deadmau5, MK, Alesso, and more. The dual-site Reading and Leeds will also be able to go ahead this summer.
Johnson’s call for UK to reopen comes after data that 64% of the country’s adult population has received both doses of approved two-dose vaccines, while 86% of adults have had at least their first shot. Johnson said in a press conference,
“To those who say we should delay again, the alternative to that is to open in winter, when the virus will have an advantage, or not at all this year.”
The development follows Johnson’s June call to delay the UK’s reopening by a month based on statistical models that suggested that thousands more people might die if the country did not push back its plan to lift all COVID-19 limitations.
Developer Chadwick Wood has announced updates to Coffeeshopped Patch Base (iOS version 3.17 and Mac version 1.11) that introduce an editor/librarian for the Yamaha Reface DX.
Hee’s what Wood has to say about it:
“Released in 2015, the Reface DX is an updated take on Yamaha’s classic 4-op FM synthesizers. People seem to most often compare it to the DX100, which is true in terms of its form and number of operators. But the Reface’s updated feedback options give it sonic flexibility closer to that of the TX81z, with its multiple waveform options, or the DX21 and DX11 with their pitch envelopes. And in today’s vintage synth market, you can get the Reface DX at about half the price of the DX100, which makes it a very attractive portable, high-quality FM synthesizer.
The Reface DX has 12 different algorithm options (whereas the classics only had 8), and as I mentioned, each operator’s feedback setting means the waveform can be shaped to a Sawtooth, Sine, or Square wave, or anywhere in between. The sound quality is also incredibly clean and smooth, as opposed to the DX100’s grittiness (which itself is a quality, of course!).
The other notable addition on the Reface DX is the two effects slots, each of which can be set to Distortion, Auto-Wah, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Delay, and Reverb. The added effects allow for much richer sounds directly out of the unit.
The patch editor shows all of the parameters on a single screen, with the usual Patch Base FM visualizer to let you see the structure of your patches. You can also copy/paste envelopes, or complete operators to make patching easier.
And the bank editor lets you organize the 32 sounds stored on your synth, making it easy to swap out a collection of sounds, and create different banks as needed.”
Pricing and Availability
Patch Base is available now as a free download. Unlocking individual editors is $29.99.
In this video, Red Means Recording shares a hands-on demo of the new Sonic Potions and Erica Synths LXR-02 Digital Drum Synth.
The LXR-02 is described as “a complex standalone drum synthesizer with a powerful integrated sequencer”. It features six voices: three multipurpose drum voices, a dedicated subtractive clap/snare voice, FM percussion voice, and a hi-hat voice.
Pricing and Availability
The Sonic Potions and Erica Synths LXR-02 Digital Drum Synth is available to pre-0rder for about $600.
SOMA Lab’s Vlad Kreimer shared this short documentary, Birth of the Pulsar, looking at the creation of their Pulsar-23 Organismic Drum Machine.
While many recent drum machines have offered tweaked takes on classic Roland TR-x0x designs, the Pulsar-23 is a unique drum machine design that features 52 knobs, 11 switches and over 100 inputs and outputs for patching, Eurorack integration, external mixing and processing and ‘live circuit bending’.
For an example of the Pulsar-23 in action, here’s Kreimer jamming with it at Superbooth:
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