New documentary tells history of UK rap and grime TV station, Channel U

Home Invasion: The Story Of Channel U is released in October

Brian Coney

Tuesday, July 20, 2021 – 12:12

A new documentary traces the history of UK rap and grime TV station, Channel U.

Coming to online entertainment channel Link Up TV in October, Home Invasion: The Story Of Channel U tells the story of how the satellite channel rose to become an institution of British rap and grime culture. Watch the trailer for the documentary below.

Later known as Channel AKA, Channel U ran from 2003 to 2018, and helped the breakthrough of acts including Dizzee Rascal, Kano, Wiley, Skepta, Giggs, Tinchy Stryder, and more. 

Last November, it returned for one night only with the premiere of Femi Oyeniran and Nicky Walker’s grime film Against All Odds.

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The first grime colouring book is being released this month.

491 English clubs have shut permanently in the past six years

491 nightclubs have shut permanently in England in the past six years.

According to figures given to Radio 1 Newsbeat by UK Hospitality, a quarter of all clubs in the country have closed since 2015. Records indicate there were 1,694 clubs in England in 2015 and 1,203 in February this year.

Kate Nicholls from UK Hospitality said, “Many have closed but have been in a hibernation state. They have survived the black swan of Covid but have still got the recovery to overcome and the level of debt businesses will exit with will mean many will fall over in the next two years.” 

“It’s a shame the government doesn’t understand that we are £30bn industry,” added Simeon Aldred from Printworks. “I don’t think we are forgotten, they just don’t care,” he tells Newsbeat. “It’s been exhausting with the government saying start, now stop, now start, now stop and every time that happens we lose tens of millions of pounds.”

A Government spokesperson said, “Nightclubs still have access to our unprecedented £352bn package of support, including the furlough scheme, loan guarantees, protection from eviction, Restart Grants worth up to £18,000 and business rates relief. Thanks to the success of our vaccination programme, all remaining businesses will be able to reopen, such as nightclubs, at Step 4.”

The figures come following a survey by the Night Time Industries Association (NITA) warning that 1 in 4 nightlife businesses will close in the next month without government support. The warning follows similar appeals by the Music Venue Trust and NTIA.

Revisit DJ Mag’s recent feature on how a return to clubs and festivals might work in a post-pandemic society here

Android users get an expressive, powerful MIDI control app in DAW IT

Owners of Android devices may well feel left out as far as music applications, but here’s one promising exception – one with enough advanced control features that it might even justify picking up a budget Android tablet.

DAW IT is a MIDI controller app with a particular emphasis on controlling instruments – even key switching and other advanced stuff you need with more sophisticated sample instruments.

It gives you a fairly impressive bank of possible features from which you can build custom control layouts:

Aux layouts let you combine controls – here some custom macros assigned as buttons for a DAW, plus a 3D controller for expression.
Faders (left) and key switches (right) – plus aftertouch shortcuts.
  • MIDI faders with labels (up to 40 per preset)
  • 3D pads (two-fingered control of up to three parameters)
  • MIDI buttons: 120 controllers with 120 program changes
  • Full MIDI keyboard
  • Key switches
  • For aftertouch, a fader with sustain and hold buttons
  • Aux panel for combining features

I like that it is focused on dedicated features for controlling instruments and soft synths. And you do need a lot of those controls with things like orchestral instruments – even MPE isn’t really enough to map everything.

€14.99 on the Google Play store. (Oh yeah – I guess with Windows integrating Android apps via Amazon’s store, we may soon see more stuff on that store, too.)

There’s a demo of each of these features to make it clearer – music by Constantine Christodoulou:

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Full details on the site. Great to see some new stuff happening on Android:

Livity Sound celebrates ten years with compilation featuring Hodge, Batu, Pev & Kowton, more

‘Molten Mirrors – A Decade Of Livity Sound’ arrives on 24th September

Brian Coney

Tuesday, July 20, 2021 – 13:11

Livity Sound is celebrating its ten year anniversary with a new compilation.

Set for release on 24th September, ‘Molten Mirrors – A Decade Of Livity Sound’ marks the occasion with 18 new tracks by Livity Sound acts including Hodge, Batu, Kouslin, Azu Tiwaline, and more. Stream lead track, ‘Exhale’ by Pev & Kowton below.

The label has called the release “an honest document of where they are in the present moment. No over-arching concepts, no hackneyed themes”. Featuring artwork by long-time collaborator Tess Redburn, it will be available digitally, as well as on CD and 4×12″ vinyl. Pre-order it via Bandcamp here.

Set up by Peverelist in 2011, the Bristol imprint has become one of the UK’s leading lights for showcasing underground electronic music. Back in April, Tribal Brothers and DJ Polo teamed up for a new EP on the label.

Akai Pro Releases Biggest MPC Update Ever

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Akai Pro has released MPC 2.10, described as “the biggest MPC update ever for the MPC One, MPC Live II, MPX, and MPC 2 desktop.”

The update features a new Vocal Effects Suite; 4 new plugin instruments, including Mellotron and Solina string synth; new insert effects; support for USB audio interfaces and more.

Here’s what’s new in MPC 2.10:

  • 4 New Plugin Instruments: Hype, Solina, Odyssey, and Mellotron
  • New AIR Vocal Insert Effect Suite w/ Automatic Vocal Tuning, AIR Doubler and AIR Harmonizer Plugins
  • USB Class Compliant Audio Interface Support
  • 7 new Insert Effects including Half Speed, Diode Clipper, Stutter and more
  • MPC Drum and Keygroup Engine Enhancements including Akai Pro Sample Tail, Dedicated Pitch Envelope, and Keygroup Portamento
  • 10 New Drum Pad Effects including Ringmod, Bitcrush, Decimator and more
  • New Sample Key Detection

Here’s a video playlist covering the new features:

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Pricing and Availability:

MPC 2.10 is available now as a free update for MPC One, MPC Live, MPC Live II, MPC X and MPC2 Desktop users.

Premiere: David Guetta, MORTEN proctor future rave-filled mix for Dancing Astronaut

Premiere: David Guetta, MORTEN proctor future rave-filled mix for Dancing AstronautImage00001

In July of 2020, the month of New Rave‘s release, David Guetta and MORTEN related to Dancing Astronaut what “future rave” was by delineating what it was not. It wasn’t electronic’s flirtation with pop in crossover fashionings fit for radio play, but it wasn’t completely underground, either. It decidedly courted the emotion so frequently tied to trance music, embodied “a lot of sounds and techniques from the underground,” and used the euphoria-spiking raves of the ’90s and their energy as a referent for contemporary reconfiguration. Per Guetta, it was—and has remained—”rave music that is sexy.”

For approximately two years now, Guetta and MORTEN have had their sleeves rolled up in the future rave forge, hammering out records with far-reaching, stadium-filling sonic capability. And, although electronic’s uptake of the future rave movement took place at a slower pace than Guetta had expected—”We kept doing it, and I just realized that it always takes time,” he said—rest assured that the dance circuit has since clamored for the all-consuming, in-person stimulation that is future rave IRL, especially considering that the stylistic push began to hit one of several peaks when dance floors were idle during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding a sort of double entendre to “future rave.”

As music programming’s post-quarantine renaissance repositions attendees before artists across venues nationwide, Guetta and MORTEN’s future rave initiative is one that sits at the apex of listeners’ live wishlists. Thanks to a 30-minute mini-mix from the future rave ringleaders, the show comes to streamers’ speakers in a pulsating preview of what a Guetta and MORTEN tag-team behind the decks would sound like, and a resounding affirmation that the duo’s live interplay warrants must-see status. Stream the mix exclusively on Dancing Astronaut.

Featured image: Future Rave

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Holly Lester’s Duality Trax announces new compilation in aid of Doctors Without Borders

‘Visions Vol. 1’ is a globetrotting, genre-hopping affair

Brian Coney

Tuesday, July 20, 2021 – 13:35

A new compilation is coming out on Duality Trax.

Founded by Belfast-based DJ and producer Holly Lester, the label will release ‘Visions Vol. 1’ on 6th August. The first installment of a new compilation series, the seven-track release is a globetrotting, genre-hopping affair, featuring tracks by Black Cadmium, Aguila, Baby Rollén, Optmst and more. Sample clips from the seven-track release below.

100% of profits from the release will be donated to Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian organisation that provide medical care to casualties of war in Gaza, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. 

Pre-order ‘Visions Vol. 1’ exclusively via Bandcamp here.

Last month, Holly Lester teamed up with DJ Sunil Sharpe to launch a new campaign to support the Northern Irish night-time economy. 

Revisit Lester’s Fresh Kicks mix for DJ Mag from 2019 here.

Swedish House Mafia take to The Tonight Show with Ty Dolla $ign, 070 Shake for live debut of ‘Lifetime,’ ‘It Gets Better’ [Watch]

Swedish House Mafia take to The Tonight Show with Ty Dolla $ign, 070 Shake for live debut of ‘Lifetime,’ ‘It Gets Better’ [Watch]SHM Photo Credit Aleander Wessely 1WEB

The Swedish House Mafia comeback train keeps chugging along, with AxwellSebastian Ingrosso, and Steve Angello admitting the in-person debut of their first pair of Paradise Again album offerings. Virtually appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Swedish House Mafia continued to purposefully broadcast their return by closing out Fallon’s July 19 show. The Tonight Show became the first talk show performance in any of the Swedes’ respective careers, and Swedish House Mafia made the most out of an opportunity to formally reintroduce themselves to a United States audience that hadn’t actually seem them since Ultra 2018.

Bringing along their two “Lifetime” counterparts—Ty Dolla $ign and 070 Shake—AxwellSebastian Ingrosso, and Steve Angello each stood in a compartmentalized setup similar to that of their reunion tour, with a simple silhouette of the collective’s iconic logo outlining them on either a synthesizer or drum pad as the camera flipped between the two featured vocalists and the trio. “Lifetime” wouldn’t close the curtain on their TV debut, though. As the forthcoming LP‘s second member began to transition out, “It Gets Better” seamlessly faded in as the performance’s cherry on top, realizing its live premiere while potentially alluding to what Swedish House Mafia’s album tour could look like come 2022.

Watch the side-by-side performances of “Lifetime” and “It Gets Better” below.

Featured image: Alexander Wessely

The post Swedish House Mafia take to The Tonight Show with Ty Dolla $ign, 070 Shake for live debut of ‘Lifetime,’ ‘It Gets Better’ [Watch] appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Sonny Fodera and Sinead Harnett’s synergy remains palpable on ‘Nah’ with KOLIDESCOPES

Sonny Fodera and Sinead Harnett’s synergy remains palpable on ‘Nah’ with KOLIDESCOPESSonny Fodera Credit Elliot Young

After putting out respective collaborations with MK and Diplo that have since caught fire, amassing more than 100 million streams in the past year alone, it’s certainly safe to say that Sonny Fodera has had a stellar two years. And, as Fodera’s latest smash—one with the capacity to achieve the same success as “One Night” and “Turn Back Time”—shows, that’s not about to change anytime soon. Enter “Nah” featuring Sinead Harnett and KOLIDESCOPES.

“Nah” blends catchy, Harnet-supplied vocal progression with radio-aimed house breaks. Fodera skillfully toes the line of putting out radio-worthy releases without becoming too formulaic with his music, as is evident on “Nah,” which underscores the nearly palpable nature of the collaborators’ chemistry. The track is Harnett and Fodera’s third time working together and is out now via Solotoko.

Featured Image: Elliot Young

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NGHTMRE tackles melodic hip-hop alongside Yung Pinch on ‘Scars’

NGHTMRE tackles melodic hip-hop alongside Yung Pinch on ‘Scars’Nght

NGHTMRE is no stranger to blending his sound with that of hip-hop’s finest. Past features include Tory Lanez, Gunna, and A$AP Ferg to name just a few, and now, we can add Yung Pinch to the already stacked list of NGHTMRE collaborators, thanks to his feature on “Scars.”

Of note, “Scars” signals a change of pace for the often hard-hitting trap producer given its more mellow approach. “I was excited to try my hand in some cool melodic hip-hop vibes. Yung Pinch did such a good job with the vocal, and I tried to keep the vibe going for the drop/hook” NGHTMRE said.

This is NGHTMRE’s third original release of 2021. “Scars” follows “Speak Easy (feat. Ghostlo)” with Alexandar Smash and “Falling” with KLAXX. Stream “Scars” below.

Featured image: NGHTMRE/Twitter

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