Shadient shares lead single ‘Ego Insaniac’ from upcoming Gud Vibrations LP

Shadient shares lead single ‘Ego Insaniac’ from upcoming Gud Vibrations LPShadient 2

Five years after his first official release, Shadient has officially announced his debut album is on the way. Additionally, Shadient shared a first taste of the forthcoming LP with new single “Ego Insaniac,” a heavy hitting electro-pop burner slathered with his signature gritty sonic texture.

Shadient’s debut record is slated to be released via SLANDER and NGHTMRE’s Gud Vibrations imprint. At the time of publication, neither a complete tracklist or release date have been publicly announced. “Ego Insaniac” is a boisterous return to the release radar for Shadient, whose last material arrived in July, 2020, when he shared his celestial EP Infinite Structure. The single follows recent Gud Vibrations crossover track “Scars” with NGHTMRE and Yung Pinch.

Featured image: Shadient/Facebook

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FKA Twigs directs skateboarding film to mark Tokyo Olympics

FKA Twigs has directed a skateboarding film to mark the Tokyo Olympic Games, which run in the Japanese capital until 8th August 2021. 

The project was inspired by the Olympic Committee’s decision to allow skateboarding into the Games for the first time this year. This then sparked a global campaign by Facebook and creative agency Droga5, ‘We Change the Game When We Find Each Other’, focused on worldwide communities united through skating. 

The social media giant approached FKA Twigs to direct one of four videos to support the initiative. ‘Longboard Family’ is two minutes long, and celebrates the art of longboard dancing with choreography by Mike Tyus and Joy Brown. Renowned skaters Lotfi Lamaali, Marina Correia, Aboubakry Seck, Ko Hyojoo, and Giu Alfeo all feature in the mesmerising action. 

“I had the honour of directing this dance video about the longboard community and how they have used a Facebook group to share moves and grow their longboard family,” said Twigs in an Instagram post. “It was so amazing being immersed into their world, and as a movement artist and obsessor myself, I felt humbled by the skill levels and beautiful athletes that I shot.”

Earlier this month, FKA Twigs unveiled the video she made to accompany the Koreless track ‘White Picket Fence‘. In 2020, she won Best [Difficult] Second Album at the Association of Independent Music Awards [AIM] for the long-awaited sophomore LP, ‘Magdalene’. She also directed two videos to accompany the record, for the tracks ‘Holy Terrain’ and ‘home with you’.

MK dispatches VIP remix of recent single, ‘Chemical’

MK dispatches VIP remix of recent single, ‘Chemical’MK LAC Media

Veteran producer MK began rolling out official remixes of his latest triumph, “Chemical,” a month after the single’s initial release in late May. English record producer 220 Kid provided the first rewiring of the infectious house tune, followed by an emotive reinterpretation from FEMME HOUSE spearhead, LP Giobbi. Now, MK presents a third official remix, dropping off a coveted VIP mix of the DJ’s own record.

MK’s meta rework certainly upends the minimal approach he took in producing the original cut, exemplified by the update’s bolstered percussion arrangements and chopped-up vocals. MK’s “Chemical” remix radiates striking potential to become a 2021 club staple, and effectively doubles the track’s shelf life with an all-around aced second effort. Stream MK’s second take on “Chemical” below.

Featured image: LAC Media

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US federal government sells Martin Shkrelli’s one-of-a-kind Wu Tang album to undisclosed buyer

US federal government sells Martin Shkrelli’s one-of-a-kind Wu Tang album to undisclosed buyerWu Tang Rza Credit Gq Aust

The US government has sold the Wu-Tang Clan‘s seventh studio album, the one-of-a-kind Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, to an anonymous buyer for an undisclosed sum. The record has been in the possession of the US government since it was seized from infamous pharma bro turned federal convict Martin Shkreli, who purchased the record in 2015.

In the late 2000s, Wu-Tang Clan members began recording Once Upon a Time in Shaolin in secret. Wanting to create something that would stand the test of time as a work of fine art, rather than a piece created to boost sales, the single record was auctioned off to the highest bidder. In 2015, Shkreli, the CEO of Turin Pharmaceuticals purchased Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for $2 million, and the controversy began.

Shkreli was considered “the most hated man in America” in 2015 after his company increased the price of an AIDS drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill. As Donald Trump was running for the presidency in 2016, Shkreli said that he would allow the album to be streamed for free if Trump won the election. Once Trump had been elected president, Shkreli released snippets of the album online. Shkreli had also considered destroying the record or putting it in some concealed hiding place to force Wu-Tang fans to make a “spiritual journey” in order to hear the album.

Shkreli tried to sell the album online in 2017, with Wu-Tang’s RZA hoping to be able to buy back the album himself. However, contractual clauses made RZA’s repurchasing of the album murky, and before a sale could be finalized, Shkreli was convicted of security fraud and conspiracy for defrauding investors out of more than $10 million between 2009 and 2014. His 2018 conviction saw him sentenced to seven years in federal prison and required that he forfeit $7.4 million in reparations.

As part of his forfeiture, the United States federal government has now sold Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for an undisclosed sum to an anonymous buyer. The album’s sale pays off Shkreli’s remaining balance.

Featured image: GQ Australia

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GRiZ takes listeners on a psychedelic adventure with his seventh studio album, ‘Rainbow Brain’ [Album Review]

GRiZ takes listeners on a psychedelic adventure with his seventh studio album, ‘Rainbow Brain’ [Album Review]GRiZ

When GRiZ first began turning in a steady stream of singles earlier this year, fans’ ears quickly pressed to the ground in the hopes that an album announcement was imminent. Initially however, the saxophone-wielding selector, lesser known as Grant Kwiencinski, kept his lips sealed. Then, news of Rainbow Brain, GRiZ’s seventh studio album, finally arrived on July 13, along with the project’s titular single

Just 10 days later, future-funk devotees were greeted with a collection of 23 tracks, packaged together as a the full-bodied psychedelic odyssey that is Rainbow Brain. Perhaps an overwhelming number at first glance, seven of the tracks are short interludes, described by GRiZ as “shamans,” that lace the album together in an underused setlist-style framework that provides a salubrious directional flow to the LP. The “shamans” bridge various tracks on the album, acting as a way to help carry listeners from one song to the next, while also supplying their own pleasing stylistic signatures. And while Rainbow Brain had first been led by several singles, including “Astro Funk,” “Tie-Dye Sky,” and the album’s title track, GRiZ commendably managed to keep the lion’s share of tricks stashed up his sleeve for the full release, rather than simply turning in a grip of previously market-tested singles at once.

The album opens with the 53-second, “c h r o m e s t h e s i a” which sets the tone for the dub-riddled, kaleidoscopic psychedelia that’s about to ensue across the album’s hour-long run. Distorted vocals weave through the track, threaded with synesthetic messaging as the come-up begins, beckoning the listener with, “music is, in a way, visible. You can feel the sense of color in your mind.” Remaining an overarching motif throughout the entirety of the album, the sample continues to make appearances in several tracks. Acting as the first “shaman,” the instrumental smoothly launches into “Astro Funk,” and dives into Rainbow Brain’s journey.

A quarter of the way through the tracklist, GRiZ employs the veteran talents of Jantsen on “Burn Up The Floor.” The pair patch together a genre-blurring collaborative cut that effortlessly highlights each of their production strengths in a complementary fashion as Rainbow Brain throttles onward. The album also finds Big Gigantic and ProbCause on the track “Daily Routine” and Cherub assisting on “Gold.” The LP’s only other features arrive on “Rainbow Brain” and “Feel It All,” with Chrishira Perrier appearing on both.

Now a decade into his career, Kwiencinski proves there is still new territory waiting to be explored within the endless intersections of nu-funk, electro-soul, and contemporary dubstep. The album manages to strike the sweet spot with its setlist-esque progression, while still allowing each of the tracks, all wrapped in buzzing low-end breaks and wailing saxophone arrangements, to command their own unique characteristics. The album requires the listener to suspend their reservations slightly, and at the risk of sounding trite, allow for a little open susceptibility to the trip, if you will. Though, to that end, while everyone has spent more time at home than ever expected over the past year, Rainbow Brain invites listeners to enter the outer realms of their imaginations and to find cosmic adventure within their own minds.

Altogether, the album very clearly finds the Michigan-native beatsmith having a blast in the studio again; the convivial, happy-go-lucky nature of the album’s writing process evident from the project’s first notes. For those looking for a spirited good time, GRiZ has a bag full of fun on Rainbow Brain, and luckily he’s invited us to share in the mind-bending festivities. Throw on a good set of headphones, sprawl out across the rug that ties your favorite room together, and dive into Rainbow Brain.

Featured image: Alden Bonecutter

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Soundfly Intros New RJD2 Course, “From Samples To Songs”

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Music education platform Soundfly has announced a new online course featuring instrumental hip-hop producer RJD2 (Ramble Jon Krohn), known for his albums Deadringer and Since We Last Spoke, as

The course features 35+ videos that guide you through RJD2’s unique approach to chopping and flipping records, and how he arranges samples into fully realized songs.

Here’s what they have to say about the course:

In his course, “RJD2: From Samples to Songs,” RJD2 opens up his creative process – sharing his perspectives on crate digging, listening, and finding samples, and walking students through the process of turning chops and loops into sequences, and arranging those parts into thoughtful, dynamic tracks. He demonstrates how he works with the AKAI MPC2000XL and how to achieve similar effects in the DAW. And he opens up the Pro Tools sessions of some of his most iconic tracks, including ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ and ‘Let There Be Horns,’ going into elaborate detail about how the songs came together.

“RJD2: From Samples to Songs” features over 35 videos, filmed in RJD2’s home studio, as well as readings, downloadable tracks, creative prompts, and access to Soundfly’s online Slack community where students get feedback on their work. It joins Soundfly’s extensive subscription library of creative music courses for both amateur and professional-level musicians.

“One of the most common obstacles that artists fall prey to is being too delicate with their own music. I hope that one of the things I can do with this course is to provide the encouragement for students to think big, be bold, and be drastic when it comes to their recordings. I’d encourage students to find that boundary at which they might think something is ‘acceptable’ and blow right through it,” said RJD2 about the inspiration behind the material. “By the end of the course, I hope you’re excited to sit down and make music.”


Soundfly is a subscription service that’s $39/month or $234/year. See their site for details.

If you’ve used Soundfly, leave a comment and share your thoughts on it.

Watch a video on how Tiffany Calver DJs, powered by Pioneer DJ

Tiffany Calver is the next in our DJ Mag Originals series, How I DJ — powered by Pioneer DJ — with the latest episode premiering today (28th July). You can watch the full episode below.

How I DJ is an in-depth look at the craft of some of the world’s leading DJs. In each episode, we sit down with the artist to explore their musical, technical and creative approaches, as well as their history as a DJ — how they started, their breakthrough moments, and their most memorable sets. We then invite them behind the decks at DJ Mag HQ to give a detailed practical insight into their DJ techniques.

From cue and loop preparation, four-deck mixing and switching up genres and BPMs to creative FX, EQ blends and playlist curation, How I DJ is a deep-dive into the record box and rekordbox of the world’s best DJs.

Previous episodes of How I DJ include David Guetta, James Hype, Eats Everything, Jamz Supernova, Kenny Allstar and more. Watch Tiffany Calver’s How I DJ below, and the full series via our YouTube channel.


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FTC Announces Fight To Make Your Gear More Repairable

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) unanimously voted yesterday to ramp up law enforcement against repair restrictions that can prevent you from fixing your gear.

They adopted a new policy statement (pdf) aimed at fighting manufacturers’ practices that make it difficult for you to repair your products or to find someone that can repair your products.

Repair restrictions have increasingly become an issue for electronic musicians, especially with the rise of electronic music applications that run on standard mobile devices. Some of the most innovative tools for electronic music in the last decade have been software synths and music applications that run on standard mobile devices.

For example – in 2005, the JazzMutant Lemur was introduced as a $2,500 state-of-the-art touchscreen music controller. Five years later, though, Apple introduced the iPad, the JazzMutant Lemur was dead, and Lemur was a $50 mobile app.

A downside of using mass-produced mobile devices, though, is that they’re extremely challenging to repair, which can leave you with music software or music on a dead, unrepairable device.

And while mobile devices are the most visible example of devices with repair restrictions, the issue is a concern with devices ranging from portable gaming systems to computerized tractors.

In May, the FTC released a report to Congress that concluded that manufacturers are using a variety of methods—such as using adhesives that make parts difficult to replace, limiting the availability of parts and tools, or making diagnostic software unavailable—that have made consumer products harder to fix and maintain.

The new Policy Statement goes further, saying that practices that restrict repairs of your products may be limiting competition for repairs in ways that may violate the law. The Commission says it will target repair restrictions that violate antitrust laws enforced by the FTC or the FTC Act’s prohibitions on unfair or deceptive acts or practices.

“These types of restrictions can significantly raise costs for consumers, stifle innovation, close off business opportunity for independent repair shops, create unnecessary electronic waste, delay timely repairs, and undermine resiliency,” FTC Chair Lina Khan said during an open Commission meeting. “The FTC has a range of tools it can use to root out unlawful repair restrictions, and today’s policy statement would commit us to move forward on this issue with new vigor.”

Image: iFixit

Dorico Notation Software Now Available For iPad As A Free Download

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Steinberg has introduced Dorico for iPad, a music notation app that lets you write music, using traditional notation, and play it back using a built-in library of sounds.

Dorico for iPad comes with a new Key Editor that they say makes it possible to work seamlessly both on conventional music notation and detailed MIDI editing tools. An on-screen multi-touch piano keyboard makes inputting and editing music easy. You can also connect a USB or Bluetooth MIDI keyboard and input music both in step time and in real time. You can also add clefs, key signatures, time signatures, dynamics, tempos and other notation.


  • Automatic engraving
  • Easy note input using on-screen keyboard, MIDI keyboard, or external keyboard
  • Intelligently adjusts notation as you write
  • Any number of movements or pieces in a single project
  • Automatic layout of instrumental parts
  • Expressive playback using included sounds and effects
  • Supports Audio Unit virtual instruments and effects processors
  • Sequencer-style piano roll MIDI editor
  • Sophisticated chord symbols, unpitched percussion and drum set notation
  • Unbarred music, tuplets across barlines, etc. all handled correctly — no workarounds
  • Transfer to and from other apps via MusicXML, MIDI, PDF, etc.

Pricing and Availability:

Dorico for iPad is available now as a free download. The free download version is limited to writing for two players. You can write for ensembles up to four players if you register for a free Steinberg account.

An option subscription unlocks the ability to score for up to 12 players, and adds Engrave mode, which lets you tweak the graphical appearance of every marking in the score.

Steinberg brings Dorico to the iPad, for complete tablet notation that starts for free

Big news in the world of scoring and notation – Steinberg’s Dorico, fast becoming the most compelling notation tool, is now on iPad, too. It realizes the dream a lot of us had years ago of taking this software and using it on a music stand.

Lots of notation tools produce good-looking notation, but Dorico’s – which minimal adjustment – often looks great, rivaling much more advanced engraving tools that require manual entry. (Those are worth a look, too, by the way, but some contexts really favor the automated workflow.)

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First, for those who haven’t been tracking notation software, Dorico is special in that it features a new generation of notation tools and a lot of the team that originally worked on Sibelius. Now, building notation software is hard – you’re essentially bundling together a whole lot of different cultures and histories together. You’re taking something that originally evolved around hand engraving and trying to make it conform to digital rules, and still make it something you can use in a creative flow as a composer or arranger or player. So it’s taken Dorico some time to evolve. But recent versions start to fluidly move between parts and scores and handle various musical conventions in a way that’s seamless.

Without going into the full competition, that’s already enough to shortlist the desktop version. But having a companion tablet app is important, too, because of how you would work with paper scores. That means taking scores on the go – using them alongside your instrument as you write or arrange, editing in rehearsals, sketching ideas when you’re mobile, and just physically being able to put the entire score interface on a piano desk or music stand.

Dorico’s big rival Finale doesn’t have an iOS app to even compare here. Notion from PreSonus does – and the mobile app is excellent, and probably the best point of comparison. But Dorico has workflows and advanced functionality, derived from tons of feedback from Finale and Sibelius users, that set it apart. Seeing that come to iPad is a big deal.

And it seems Steinberg have done enough with Dorico that this could appeal to two groups – both those wanting to focus on the iPad as their main tool, and those wanting it as a satellite to the desktop software.

Where it starts – easy keyboard-style entry. That’s significant, as this can be quicker than handwriting. And Dorico’s notation options still remain open to alternative notation for different musical practices and experimentation.
Steinberg and the Dorico team have come up with some new ways of entry we haven’t even seen on desktop – tailored to the interface here. And some of it is fiendishly clever, like this drum pad interface.

Don’t throw out your PC yet – you can only work with 12-person ensembles on iPad, presumably because trying to edit a full orchestral score will make your eyeballs fall out. But notation is almost uniquely suited to the sketch-on-tablet, finish-on-desktop approach. People were using tablet PCs for this task back when that was a thing.

What notation software needs to do in a more electronic world, and taking into account traditions and conventions across experimental practice and outside 19th-century European concert tradition, is a whole topic unto itself. I hope to revisit that. But now is a perfect time to reimagine that, particularly with software evolving to work on this additional platform. And it’s also worth saying that a lot of the world does have training to communicate ideas in written form – it remains essential to working with players across a variety of backgrounds.

It’s also gratifying to see the basics here working for free. That means you can open up desktop platforms and essentially use Dorico as a free (very advanced) reader. It opens up easier digital distribution of your scores, and it makes notation accessible to newcomers.

There is a ton of functionality here, tailored to the iPad.

It’s Cubasis. It’s Dorico. Well, it’s both. And even though Apple’s Logic began life as Notator, nothing is anywhere close to being this complete as notation and sequencer on both iPad and desktop.
The re-imagined piano roll editor here is sharp enough that you might even consider using Dorico as your main sequencer and composition tool, even if printed output isn’t the idea. I even hope some of this interface refinement finds its way back to a desktop version.

Okay, let me not copy and paste their bullet list, because the first bullet is “best automatic engraving of any software,” and I don’t want to make that claim unchallenged.

But I’ll make that claim. Dorico right now has the best-looking automated engraving output I’ve seen. The key word is “automated” – there are tools that will deliver better output with manual input, some of which can actually be quite fast. But having a leading automated option is a big deal.

As for the rest, it’s a nice translation of everything that is attracting folks to Dorico, but in a touch- and iPad-native format:

  • Easy note input using on-screen keyboard, MIDI keyboard, or external keyboard
  • Intelligently adjusts notation as you write
  • Any number of movements or pieces in a single project
  • Automatic layout of instrumental parts
  • Expressive playback using included sounds and effects
  • Supports Audio Unit virtual instruments and effects processors
  • Revamped Key Editor, with piano roll, velocity and continuous controller editors
  • Sophisticated chord symbols, unpitched percussion and drum set notation
  • Unbarred music, tuplets across barlines, etc. all handled correctly — no workarounds
  • Fully compatible with Dorico for macOS and Windows
  • Transfer to and from other apps via MusicXML, MIDI, PDF, etc.
  • Built-in reader mode for performing directly from the project, using a single tap of the screen or Bluetooth foot pedal to turn pages

Emphasis mine – all of this matters, but those ones jump out.

Playback with score with mixer. It’s amazing to see an iPad app that’s arguably more advanced than a lot of the desktop apps.
Yeah, and here is the stuff that makes engraving nuts go wild – now finally on iPad. Since Finale still isn’t on iOS, and Avid’s Sibelius hasn’t evolved without its original development team (sorry, Avid), you can bet plenty of engravers will be checking out this release and giving it a serious workout.

The excellent Cubasis sound engine is also integrated, according to Steinberg, which explains the robust MIDI and Audio Unit support.

Making this mobile and making it comparing with AUv3 also opens up interesting new digital-acoustic hybrids even in live performance. I think it could transform how some composers work. (It certainly makes me ponder what to do over the winter.)

I’ll do a deep dive in this soon, because notation and composition are actually my background, and I don’t think many folks are really dealing with the hybrid situation.

But this is really a big deal. It’s publisher-strength notation and engraving quality, something that musicians and engravers and education can all use, working on the iPad. And it comes just in time for serious M1-powered iPads from Apple.

It’s also fun to see things that first attracted me to Sibelius 20 years ago – easy, pianist-friendly note entry – show up on the iPad, now in the form of support for an on-screen multi-touch keyboard, easy access to markings, Magic Keyboard and Bluetooth keyboard support, and support for external MIDI devices.

And while there are other worthy notation tools out there, Dorico also benefits from being a Steinberg tool with full-fledged MIDI editing and sequencing – now with a Key Editor and controller support on the iPad. It looks promising enough that you might even use Dorico as your composition/sequencing tool, depending on your tastes.

This is a comparatively small detail, but just seeing the sharing options is encouraging. MusicXML, MIDI, and PDF are fully supported, and as for Dorico, this is a native Dorico editor.

Subscriptions make me as squeamish as I’m sure they do you, so when I see “free” I almost get a pit in my stomach. But the free version actually does open any project without limitations. All you can’t do is create projects for more than two players (four with sign-in), and the subscription adds detailed graphical editing of symbols and the like.

The subscriptions make sense, too – US$3.99 or €3.99 per month or $39.99 or €39.99 per year, etc. So it costs way less than those damned meditation apps, which is good, because I can do my own breathing exercises and then relax by writing some experimental clarinet part instead.

Requirements: Dorico for iPad requires iPadOS 13.0 or later, and an iPad Pro, iPad Air (3rd generation or later), or iPad (7th generation or later) is recommended. 570 MB free storage space is

Dorico at the Apple App Store