WMD Releases The Kraken

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WMD has released the Kraken, a new physical modeling snare drum Eurorack module that’s designed to create realistic snare sounds.

WMD says the sound of the new module is “Crack-in”….

The heart of Kraken is a digital synthesis engine that uses filters, delay, and feedback networks to create the sound of two heads and a resonant cavity. Shell, Low Tune, Pitch, and Overtone knobs all interact with each other, creating the physical model of the drum itself. This resonator then acts as an exciter for a network of noise generation to provide the sound of the snare springs rattling on the bottom head.

The Model switch provides three distinct modeling sounds. The first uses digital noise to create the sound of the “snares”, providing a repeatable, sample-like sound. The second model uses analog noise, which makes each hit a bit different. It mimicks the subtle inconsistencies of a real drummer hitting the head with alternating stick patterns. The third model uses the digital noise to generate the snares, then engages a pitch shifter on the output that transforms the sound to a vintage pitched up or down style sound.

The Wreck switch provides 3 unique distortion characters that can be dialed in or modulated via the corresponding CV input. The analog style distortion ranges from saturation to clipping. The wavefolder selection gets that compressed crunch, and bit depth reduction resembles vintage, digital sampler-like sounds.

Stick and Rim inputs give the user two gate inputs for hitting the head of the drum or the rim. When both inputs receive a trigger simultaneously, a realistic “rimshot” sound is generated, offering even more ability to sequence a realistic sounding snare pattern.

Here’s a demo of the Kraken inn action:

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Pricing and Availability

WMD released the Kraken and it’s available now, priced at $299 USD.

A Tiësto fan’s ashes were fired from a confetti cannon at Creamfields festival

A Tiësto fan’s ashes were fired from a confetti cannon at Creamfields festival.

After buying and receiving tickets online when they were readvertised ahead of Liverpool’s Creamfields festival, which saw 70,000 people descend on Daresbury last weekend, cousins Ryan and Liam Millen were surprised to receive another envelope shortly after containing a hand written note and the ashes of 30-year-old Stuart Mitchell.

The hand written note was from Stuart’s family, who explained that he had taken his own life in July this year, and the tickets had been sold to help fund his funeral. The family also included a portion of Stuart’s ashes, and asked for them to be scattered somewhere at the festival.

According to a report in the Liverpool Echo, after carrying a banner in memory of Stuart around the festival throughout the weekend, the cousins managed to get it on main stage before Creamfields organisers suggested firing Stuart’s ashes out of a confetti cannon during Tiësto’s headlining finale. Stuart’s sister Laura later revealed to the Millen cousins that he had been a fan of Tiësto, and that ‘Adagio For Strings’ had been played at his funeral.

Ryan Millen told the Echo: “Words cannot express our gratitude to his family for allowing us, to everyone who listened to his story and took pictures with the banner, and most importantly to the Creamfields production team for going above and beyond to accommodate us and go out of their way to allow us to honour his memory in such a fitting way.

“Stuart Mitchell, we are humbled to have been allowed to help you complete your journey with us.”

One album: Kei Watanabe, Whisperings, in gentle bells, hums, and tape loops

The recurrence of Bandcamp Friday means yet another slew of releases, which is unequivocally a wonderful thing. But I hate schedules and structure – we’re musicians, not accountants! – so let’s just leave this week with one gentle gem.

The ever-international, ever off-center label Syrphe from Cedrik Fermont focuses on “experimental, electronic, noise music from Asia and Africa.” And yes, even as we come from all over the planet, we do have a tendency to crash land in Berlin, born by the chaotic winds of our modern world, so this is another Berlin-based artist.

Photo of the artist by Marta Manzouli

Kei Watanabe’s music is just the kind of irregular tranquility we need right now. Its ebbing, flowing textures always have a feeling of intense intentionality behind them – organic and free, but nonetheless pulling the music somewhere, not just letting the loops wash over the artist.

Cedrik presumably wrote this text, which, coming from a music journalist and researcher, also eloquently describes it:

Kei Watanabe (Sri Lanka/Japan) performs ghostly mystifying and electrifying improvisations of found instruments, shuffling loops and odd occurrences. A minimal combination of voice, bells, stringed instruments and electric hums.

This first album is a collection of tracks composed between 2017 and 2021 in Colombo and Berlin.
While recording Kei’s sessions in Berlin, we tried to keep her way of working and recording as close as possible from her original style and sound (in Colombo with a cassette recorder, effects and a looper, in Berlin with a computer, looper and some more effects) but without entirely creating a carbon copy of her previous compositions.


Bonus, here’s a quite-nice live set from Sri Lanka:

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More on the official artist site:

Have a good weekend, everybody.

Roland TR-707, TR-727 Software Rhythm Composers Now Available

Roland today introduced the TR-707 and TR-727 Software Rhythm Composers, the latest in their Legendary series of software-based virtual instruments available via Roland Cloud.

The pair of virtual instruments use Roland’s Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology, which models the behavior of the individual components of the original circuits.

Here’s what Roland has to say about the TR-707 and TR-727 Software Rhythm Composers:

“In 1985, Roland introduced the now-famous TR-707 and TR-727, the company’s first drum machines with all sounds based around PCM samples. The TR-707, with its orange livery, had the most advanced pattern sequencing capabilities to date and included 15 punchy drum sounds covering all the basics, from kick and snare to toms and cymbals. Its sibling, the blue-highlighted TR-727, was an all-out percussion powerhouse with 15 Latin-inspired sounds that could take any groove to new heights. Each unit was formidable on its own, but together they were unstoppable.

Taking their rightful places next to other classics in the Roland TR series, this dynamic duo of drums and percussion has appeared on hit tracks in many genres through the years, including synth-pop, acid house, industrial, electro, indie, alternative, and more. The software-based recreations reproduce their sound and behavior with 100-percent authenticity, coupled with modern upgrades that take them into all-new creative territory.

The playback engines in the TR-707 and TR-727 were primitive by today’s standards, with 25 kHz sample rates and 8-bit resolution (and even 6-bit for some tones). To optimize performance, Roland engineers used short PCM waveforms with decay introduced later in the analog circuitry. But this early hybrid approach had its limitations, with deviations in the digital clock and analog circuitry causing variances in the pitch and decay characteristics. This combination of factors strongly contributes to the charm of the TR-707 and TR-727 and their unique and pleasing lo-fi punch. To replicate these behaviors in software, Roland started with the original PCM wave data from the hardware. Next, ACB technology was used to recreate the interaction between the PCM engine and analog output stages, carefully including all its quirks and instabilities.

The software-based TR-707 and TR-727 also include many updated features inspired by popular aftermarket modifications. Users have deep levels of sound control unavailable with stock hardware units, including attack, decay, and tuning for individual sounds, the ability to overdrive the internal circuitry, and much more. Additionally, the sequencer features include numerous modern enhancements for infusing grooves with added detail and nuance.”

Pricing and Availability

The TR-707 and TR-727 Software Rhythm Composers are available to now from Roland Cloud for $149 each, and are also included with the Roland Cloud Ultimate membership.

Roland gives TR-707, 727 official software treatment

I’ve been eyeing that 7×7-shaped hole in Roland Cloud for a while, and I know I’m not alone. Now Roland has added the 707 and 727 drum machines to their growing software back catalog.

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I am unapologetically a fan of Roland’s Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology, for a simple reason – it sounds great, on the hardware and software that use it. If there’s a particular emulation you’re looking for, like the 303, it’s worth comparison shopping different plug-ins to find what you like. But if you just happen to be staring at a production and saying “I want 727 sounds,” there is appealing convenience to just hitting download and having a well-executed TR-727 emulation ready-to-go.

Yep, even the TR-727 gets the treatment. Awesome.

Okay, to be fair – the 707 and 727 are the drum machines least in need of the ACB treatment, in that their primary sound source is PCM – that is, they used short, lo-fi recorded waveforms as the primary sound source. And that means the 7×7 samples lurking somewhere in a sound collection you already own will probably get the job done.

There are some analog components, though, which Roland says they’ve faithfully modeled. They took the raw PCM data – which are 100% authentic, since they’re, you know, digital to begin with – and then added details to pitch, decay, and output stages, all of which were analog on the original gear.

Roland also went above and beyond with emulating the TR-707/727 panel, down to that distinctive LED display. They’re even more skeuomorphic and nostalgic than usual – they added the memory cartridge to the UI. Useless, but cute.

The treatment is really nicely done, and even includes extras like DAW drag and drop for audio and MIDI, multiple outputs, the original sounds, kits, and 64 patterns, plus extra sound content.

Unique to Roland’s recreation – some of the aftermarket mods are there, including attack, decay, and tuning for individual sounds, and the ability to overdrive the internal circuitry. This is already great to have in a plug-in, as it makes this more like having the musical experience of owning some maintained, modded hardware, just in software form. And that makes a great argument for going beyond just those stock 707 sound 1-shots you may have used before, because you have more granular control over the sound you want.

The sequencer and pattern programming is also significantly updated, though given you’ll use these inside a DAW, that’s less of a big deal. Now in hardware, though… (hint, hint…)

These TR plug-ins, like the other Roland Cloud models, do include their own sequencer, which you may or may not love.
Now, this part of Roland Cloud is the bit to complain about (oddly this is a press photo). Come on, Roland, software doesn’t need to have hardware-style preset storage UI. It’s a pain, and it’s too easy to accidentally lose a patch you were working on. But yes, that gripe aside, there is some really lovely sound content available on the platform.

Honestly, the 7×7 deserves more credit than it gets. The analog/digital hybrid approach wound up – inadvertently – becoming the mold that has lasted to this day, even with far superior digital tech available and more inexpensive components.

Also, while we refer a lot to “808” or “909” tracks, there are plenty of productions that mix and match sounds from the 606, 707, and 727 with the 808 and 909.

And thank you, thank you, Roland, for including the TR-727 properly. The Latin-tinged sounds on that model add loads of additional character and color and variety and don’t have that “oh please not this sound again” feeling of the better-known TR series.

Really, the only thing missing here is hardware. Assuming Roland likes it when people give them money, it seems a no-brainer that we’ll see something like the Boutique Series TR-09 with the same ACB engine here tossed in. I’d be especially eager to see this just because of some of the mods reproduced here. It’s also fun that Roland’s little hardware models can double as controllers for the plug-ins when you want some hands-on control.

That being said, your time will be well spent taking those individual outs and simulating some of the interesting circuit bends and mods of the 7×7 over the years. (I still want to get my hands on some 727 hardware to bend – used that once at Rotterdam’s WORM, and I’m totally hooked.)

But the great news is, if all you can afford is your computer and a Roland Cloud account, you can still make something like this:

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Get a fader box and do some MIDI assigning to get more hands-on, and you’ve got the full experience.

Roland did put some love and care into this, down to the marketing on the product site:


US$149 each for a lifetime license is steep, but the Roland Cloud subscription winds up being a good deal if you use a lot of stuff there.

A comprehensive guide to the Brooklyn Mirage, Avant Gardner’s EZoo afterparties

A comprehensive guide to the Brooklyn Mirage, Avant Gardner’s EZoo afterpartiesBrooklyn Mirage 1

The 2021 Labor Day Weekend signals many ticket holders’ return to festivals since the COVID-19 pandemic put live, large-scale events on hold for nearly two years. From September 3 – 5, droves of electronic music enthusiasts will flock to Randall’s Island for the annual Electric Zoo music festival, and while soon-to-be attendees undoubtedly have their schedules planned to a tee, Dancing Astronaut is here to help EZoo-goers devise their afterparty plans.

We’ve rounded up all of the EZoo afterparties to take place at the Brooklyn Mirage and Avant Gardner throughout the holiday weekend. Details on the individual shows and ticket information are available below.

—September 3

Who: FISHER, Rebuke, Martin Ikin, and Charles Meyer

Where: The Brooklyn Mirage

Tickets: Available here

Who: Deadbeats: Zeds Dead, Peekaboo, Blunts & Blondes, Yultron, Chomppa

Where: Great Hall at Avant Gardner

Tickets: Available here

Who: Brownies & Lemonade (special guests all night)

Where: King’s Hall at Avant Gardner

Tickets: Available here

September 4

Who: Testpilot, Artbat, Local Dialect

Where: The Brooklyn Mirage

Tickets: Available here

Who: Zomboy, Blanke, Dirt Monkey, Inzo, Mize

Where: Great Hall at Avant Gardner

Tickets: Available here

Who: John Summit, Kyle Kinch, Dischetto

Where: King’s Hall at Avant Gardner

Tickets: Available here

September 5

Who: KSHMR, Nitti Gritti, Offaiah, Night Tales

Where: The Brooklyn Mirage

Tickets: Available here

Who: Diesel (Shaquille O’Neal), ATLIENS, Kai Wachi, He$h back-to-back Bommer, Ace Aura, Sludge

Where: Great Hall at Avant Gardner

Tickets: Available here

Featured image: Brooklyn Mirage

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yuma., Jewels, and MAGNUS find themselves ‘Paralyzed’ in new single

yuma., Jewels, and MAGNUS find themselves ‘Paralyzed’ in new singleYuma.

yuma. and Jewels are following their February tie-up “Falling With You” with a new single, “Paralyzed.” Enlisting MAGNUS to join them this time around, the collaborators’ tap into tantalizing instrumentals that infiltrate the track’s soundscape on this go-round. Buttery vocals weave through the track, making for a club hit that transports listeners to neon lights covered by foggy nights.

“Paralyzed” follows yuma.’s July release, “Renegade.” The 18-year-old producer’s ambient house style is quickly rendering him one to watch as he continues to flesh out his sound.

Featured image: @yuma.inbox via Instagram

The post yuma., Jewels, and MAGNUS find themselves ‘Paralyzed’ in new single appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Bobby Shmurda drops first new music in seven years, ‘No Time for Sleep’: Listen

Its the Brooklyn rapper’s first single since his release from prison earlier this year

DJ Mag Staff

Friday, September 3, 2021 – 13:47

Bobby Shmurda has dropped new music.

The Brooklyn rapper, who was released from prison in February this year following a seven year sentence for conspiracy and weapons charges, has shared a new freestyle. 

Titled ‘No Time for Sleep’, the track follows a collaboration from the Brooklyn drill pioneer alongside Fetty Luciano in 2018, as well as joining J Balvin and Daddy Yankee on a remix for Eladio Carrión in July this year.

You can watch the video for ‘No Time For Sleep’ below. 

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Bingo Players & Zookëper – Do What You Like

Bingo Players & Zookëper – Do What You LikePasted Image 0

Legendary DJ/ producer Bingo Players is about to embark on his first tour of the United States in nearly two years making stops across the country. He’ll be joined by Zookëper, fellow DJ, producer, and recent collaborator on his latest release “Do What You Like.”  

The pair’s sounds blend effortlessly on this club friendly pop dance bop. It’s disco meets house with a touch of electro that plays to both producers strengths and styles. A bed of soft synths and delicate production set the tone, but the track’s gripping vocals and bold, bouncing beat, give it potential to crossover as a modern radio hit like “Cry” did almost 10 years ago.

Catch the pair on tour.

09/4 – The Headliner Night Club – Neptune City, NJ
09/5 – Commonwealth – Las Vegas, NV
09/6 – Maya Day & Nightclub – Scottsdale, AZ
09/9 – Green Door – El Paso, TX
09/10 – The Venue ATX – Austin, TX
09/11 – Decorum – Houston, TX
09/12 – WTR Pool and Grill – Tampa, FL

The post Bingo Players & Zookëper – Do What You Like appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

RL Grime rounds up trap’s brightest on sophomore seasonal finale, ‘Sable Valley Summer Vol. 2’

RL Grime rounds up trap’s brightest on sophomore seasonal finale, ‘Sable Valley Summer Vol. 2’69535631 765804940551079 22918171568579622 N

Just beyond the one-year commemoration of Sable Valley‘s first summer blowout—which rounded up 15 of trap’s brightest stars, two of whom would fall into Dancing Astronaut’s Artists to Watch in 2021RL Grime is putting his curation cap on again for an unprecedented seasonal finale, Sable Valley Summer Vol. 2. The label’s sophomore compilation may have seemed to come out of nowhere—sending r/trap into shambles as everyone attempted to pin down the blue-tinted membership initiation posts scattered across socials—but the delivery of all 14 tracks has intentionally arrived on day one of Sable Valley’s Community Outreach campaign.

While the clock had to strike midnight on September 3 for the exhaustive list of names and titles to be known, Sable Valley Summer Vol. 2 grandly follows in the footsteps of its trap-swarmed predecessor. Now looking back at how far the names on round one have come in this last year, RL Grime’s eye for trap’s future has no reason to be doubted, bringing along one of Dancing Astronaut’s Artists to Watch in 2021, Cozway, for his “Halloween IX” ID with and Rossy, Jon Casey and CAB, Deadcrow, Rohaan and X&G, SADRN and Lizdek, DJ Ride, Sorsari, HELLBOUND!, Control Freak, Frequencerz, and Capshun. Just like last summer, Sable Valley Summer Vol. 2 couldn’t be entirely completed without something from the label head, with Grime re-enshrining Montell2099 and opening the trap opus with the duo’s masterful Diplo and Friends ID, “One Day.”

Stream Sable Valley’s second label compilation below.

Featured image: Andrew Keyser

The post RL Grime rounds up trap’s brightest on sophomore seasonal finale, ‘Sable Valley Summer Vol. 2’ appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.