Skrillex, Four Tet and Jamie XX are playing a surprise London show today

The three DJs will play at Moth Club in Hackney later today

DJ Mag Staff

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 – 12:03

Skrillex, Four Tet and Jamie XX have announced a surprise show in London today. 

Taking place at the Moth Club in Hackney in East London, the gig will kick off at 7PM today (7th), and feature a warm up set from DJ Chloé Robinson fka Barely Legal.

The three artists are no strangers to spontaneous, intimate gigs. In 2019, Skrillex served as the surprise guest for the Dance System & Friends party at London’s small The Glove That Fits venue, shortly before going b2b with Four Tet at Depot in Manchester for Warehouse Project. You can find out more about the show here.

In May this year, Skrillex and Four Tet teamed up on new single ‘Butterflies’, featuring vocalist Starrah.

Last year, alongside uploading ‘Kliptown Empyrean’, Skrillex dropped a collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign, Kanye West & FKA Twigs.

Retrokits RK008 is a pocket calculator for MIDI sequences, inspired by classic Alesis MMT8

Whether or not you remember late 80s gear, you might well want a device that lets you record and sequence real-time patterns. Retrokits has a tasty-looking gadget coming to do just that. And if the words “Alesis MMT8” do mean something to you, well, you’re probably salivating.

The RK008 is instantly adorable. It looks like an elegant calculator from another age. It’s compact, friendly, and irresistible. So it doesn’t look at all like the Alesis MMT-8, which looked positively pedestrian by contrast. The Alesis box looks just generically industrial; this is Braun Dieter Rams chic. So thanks, Retrokit, for not cloning the look – well, or cloning the look of something else that’s prettier and more functional.

But as for functionality? Finally, Retrokits seem to have a spiritual successor for the most beloved standalone MIDI music sequencer of all time. It’s a category that’s been all-but-forgotten, except for the odd boutique specialist device. And heck, this seems already like a must-have just from a few seconds on Instagram or YouTube:

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Sure, sure, there’s a trend around “DAWless” production. But don’t forget, standalone MIDI sequencers originally coexisted with software counterparts. There’s no reason not to want a piece of gear that does some sequencing if you own any MIDI gear whatsoever. (It’s especially useful if you’ve bought a small, dare I say underrated and brilliant synthesizer that, erm, sort of doesn’t have onboard sequencing. Cough, ahem, maybe we make one of those.)

And as for the Alesis MMT8 itself, it’s one of the few things from the era at home in a modern studio that isn’t a synthesizer. You can check out its storied past and famous users, or just knock on some producers’ studios doors and ask.

It’s multitrack. It seems to do USB host (from what’s connected to it). It looks like it’s got a reasonable amount of I/O and a pretty screen.

It is certainly coming to Superbooth here in Berlin next week, and I’ll certainly be there. So ask any questions you want, and be sure – something small and MIDI that looks like it was designed by Braun and is based on a classic Alesis design? Holy crap, that is up our alley.


Musicians’ Union calls on government to act on “rife” sexual abuse in music industry

The Musicians’ Union has called on the UK Government and various music industry bodies to come together to do more to tackle the issues of sexual abuse and harassment within the music industry.

New reports, the organisation says, show that harassment and abuse, particularly against women, remain a prominent issue within the music industry despite the #MeToo movement. “As the industry attempts to bounce back post-pandemic and those who lost jobs and income urgently seek employment, the MU warns many could find themselves more vulnerable to exploitation,” the organisation has said.

A statement shared by the organisation continues: “In recent months, artists such as Rebecca Ferguson and Lily Allen have shone a spotlight on the abuse by senior figures and organisations in the industry, detailing their experiences which range from sexual harassment and assault to bullying and coercive control. However, the MU warns it’s not just high-profile artists who are put at risk by the culture of the music industry – victimisation and sexual abuse is also rife behind-the-scenes.”

The Musicians’ Union has shared new anonymous testimonies from a group of women, all ex-employees and freelancers from a well-known music promotions company in the North of England, whcih detail ill-treatment, sexual harassment and assault, at the hands of their employer.

One of those anonymous testimonies reads: “I experienced sexual harassment constantly at work – both in and outside of the office. I was regularly groped and touched inappropriately. Outside the workplace, my manager would often send me lewd, explicit photos or videos of himself. I never felt safe.”

The testimony continues: “Like many of the other survivors I know I’m still traumatised by my experiences. When you choose to work in the music industry it’s often because you have a real love of the arts. You want to be surrounded by passionate, creative people – not entering a workspace when you worry you may be assaulted by your employer. More needs to be done to protect people in the industry both on and off-stage. I’m hopeful that through sharing stories like ours that we can help implement industry-wide positive change.

Naomi Pohl, Deputy General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union, said: “It’s unacceptable that so many artists, musicians, employees, and freelancers have suffered abuse at work and that many have left the industry as a result. With more women stepping forward to share their experiences, it’s vital the industry adopts a zero-tolerance approach to ensure everyone in the creative arts is protected as they return to work.

“We’re pleased to see the Government is recognising the seriousness of this issue after having recently convened a series of important creative industries-wide meetings to ensure positive action is implemented. Now we ask for action: we need the Government to strengthen the law to prevent sexual harassment at work before it happens.

“Together, with survivors, and other trade bodies like UK Music who are committed to ensuring change happens, we want to create a movement to ensure the music industry is a safe place to work for everyone.”

The Musicians’ Union has also revealed that a poll carried out prior to the COVID-19 pandemic revealed a number of shocking statistics, including that 48% of musicians have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work, and 58% had witnessed an incident of sexual harassment whilst at work. 10% of respondents to the poll said they had had witnessed incidents of sexual harassment on a regular basis.

To find out more about the Musicians’ Union campaign, click here.

This latest campaign follows on from an initiative launched last month that saw UN Women UK push for a renewed focus on women’s safety in the music and events industry.

Swedish House Mafia to make their MTV VMAs debut

Swedish House Mafia to make their MTV VMAs debutSwedish House Mafia Ultra 2018 DA

The MTV Video Music Awards, better known as the VMAs, will be taking place on Sunday, September 12. While Doja Cat will be hosting the awards show, the night will also find Swedish House Mafia making their VMAs debut. Planning to perform their recent singles “Lifetime” and “It Gets Better,” the Swedish supergroup comprised of Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Steve Angello has been returning with a vengeance after their eight-year hiatus.

With two singles under their belt this year, the beloved trio has also revealed that they have a new album in the works. Their VMAs performance will be their second show in the United States since their most recent reformation, following an appearance on the Tonight Show, and their third since their night-stealing get together at Ultra 2018.

With other performances from Camila Cabello, Chlöe, Justin Bieber, Kacey Musgraves, Lil Nas X, Machine Gun Kelly, Shawn Mendes, Olivia Rodrigo, and Twenty One Pilots, the VMAs are sure to deliver a memorable night as always.

The post Swedish House Mafia to make their MTV VMAs debut appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Berlin considers introducing ‘vaccinated-only’ public venues

Berlin considers introducing ‘vaccinated-only’ public venuesBerghain Nightclub Berlin 2012 Billboard 1548 Compressed

With COVID-19 still making its way around the globe and hanging over the music industry’s head, Berlin officials are beginning to consider introducing “vaccinated-only” public venues. Ramona Pop, the senator of Economic Affairs, said of the new consideration,

“The trend is heading in this direction, we’re already seeing lawsuits and should rather make regulations ourselves than let ourselves drift.”

If the new policy becomes approved, bars, restaurants, music venues, and other public places may begin to require proof of vaccination for entry. Those who have either received their full vaccinations or gained natural immunity will be allowed entry. While clubs have already been requiring proof of vaccination, the new “2G” restrictions could potentially lead to curfews being dropped, with those who are vaccinated able to return to regular life.

H/T: Mixmag

Featured image: Billboard

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Lady Gaga shares ‘Dawn Of Chromatica’ with remixes by Lil Texas, Mura Masa, Charli XCX and more [Stream]

Lady Gaga shares ‘Dawn Of Chromatica’ with remixes by Lil Texas, Mura Masa, Charli XCX and more [Stream]Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga has released the official full-length remix album of her May 2020 LP, Chromatica, titled Dawn Of Chromatica via Interscope Records. The world renowned pop star’s sixth studio album receives a plethora of alternative takes and reworks, sonically ranging across an expanse of electronic sub-genres such as electro-pop, progressive house, hyperpop, hardstyle, and more.

Chromatica‘s original production credits featured the likes of MadeonSkrillex,‎ TchamiAxwellBoys NoizeBurns, and BloodPop®. Now, the LP is revisited by a collective of mainstream and underground artists such as Charli XCX, Lil Texas, Mura Masa, Jimmy Edgar, Doss, Arca, Pabllo Vittar, Ashnikko, Shygirl, Dorian Electra, LSDXOXO, Bree Runway, A.G. Cook, Planningtorock, Chris Greatti, Count Baldor, Chester Lockhart, Mood Killer, Haus Labs, COUCOU CHLOE, Rina Sawayama, and Clarence Clarity.

The undeniable truth of Chromatica is that the LP has exceeded expectations while pushing pop and dance music to new echelons. Now, the famed singer-songwriter has highlighted dance music’s forward-thinking potential though 14 new tracks. Stream Dawn Of Chromatica below.

Featured image: Interscope Records

The post Lady Gaga shares ‘Dawn Of Chromatica’ with remixes by Lil Texas, Mura Masa, Charli XCX and more [Stream] appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Retrokits RK008 Compact MIDI Sequencer (Sneak Preview)

Ahead of Superbooth 2021, Dutch MIDI tool developer Retrokits shared this sneak preview of their new RK008, a compact MIDI sequencer that looks like an old-school calculator, but provides a compact solution for recording and sequencing MIDI.

Here’s a short video demo:

Details are to come. Check out the video and share your thoughts on the RK008 in the comments!

Soho residents win landslide vote to protect local nightlife from skyscraper development

Soho, London residents have voted to be given more control over planning decisions in the area, meaning they can now block the development of skyscrapers around the central part of the city.

91% of residents and 89% of businesses voted to pass the Soho Neighbourhood Plan, which took into account the opinions of 3,000 people, across residents and those running businesses.

The vote means that those in the area can now put forward their own plans, and lobby for Transport for London, as well as the Westminster City Council, to aid in making those plans come to fruition. The building and future of music venues, as well as the development of skyscrapers are among the more than 30 development decisions that residents will now be able to decide on.

The new ruling will come into official rule in around eight weeks.

It’s believed that locals wanted to take control of the decisions due to fears that plans for more skyscrapers could spell the end for some of Soho’s bustling nightlife businesses, be they clubs or bars. 

Matthew Bennett, who has been working on pushing forward the plan for Soho residents and businesses to have control over these decisions since 2011, told MyLondon: “This is an opportunity for local people. For the first time, they have control over how the area changes. The local community knows what it wants from the area.”

In other Soho news, the area recently got a new two-level record store, in the form of the London branch of Jack White’s Third Man Records.

A massive free crash course in visual powerhouse TouchDesigner, including RTX goodies

The Interactive & Immersive HQ has launched a beginner series focused on making expressive media with TouchDesigner. It’s a chance to focus on all the power of that tool while getting over the intimidation. Oh, yeah – and they even cover the latest-and-greatest magic of NVIDIA’s RTX platform. Put that new GPU to work.

They’re off to a rolling start – so it’s time to give them the Create Digital Motion bump here, because this stuff looks great. (We bring the crash, you bring the course.) Experienced devs and teachers Elburz and Matthew Ragan lead the way.

Here’s what it’s about – and yeah, complete beginners are welcome:

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He runs through all the basics, down to how to find your way around with the mouse, but let’s skip to some of the fun stuff.

Highlights of the basics

Right away, that gets to the creation of operators – the node-based or dataflow, patchable part of the UI. For folks coming from a music background, the similarity to patching modules is not accidental – modular concepts in sound grew up alongside similar visual metaphors for programming. They have inspired each other – in both directions, with digital concepts influencing the design of hardware modules and visa versa.

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And signal flow between them:

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You’ll sometimes hear about TOPs and CHOPs and other funny acronyms in relation to TouchDesigner before you have any idea what they mean. Here you go:

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RTX, Augmented Reality, and more

I’ve been writing repeatedly about some of the cool functionality that you now get “for free,” hardware-accelerated on NVIDIA’s RTX platform – that is, employing specific power features on the latest NVIDIA GPUs. But then it isn’t always immediately easy how to put that stuff to work in art and live performance. TouchDesigner gives you an easy way to do that now, so I’m not at all surprised that these videos have been a huge hit for them. Face tracking, AR filters – the likes of which you’ve seen on Facebook or Snapchat but might not have access to easily on your own, and even tools like denoising become more accessible.

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This doesn’t require RTX, but also some beautiful advanced functionality:

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They’ve also been doing lots of other good stuff in Unreal, with another favorite Notch, with projection mapping, and more. It’s basically my favorite YouTube video channel at the moment.

Why is this stuff on CDM? Because it means more expressive performances and performance-infused art and design – not everything is Eurorack gear. From their earlier video:

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Of course, the notion here is that you’ll buy into their paid community and learning platform, but I think that freemium model is absolutely appropriate and ideal here. It means the beginner stuff is opening up new audiences by building skills. And that’s perfect. Check it out:

The Interactive & Immersive HQ [YouTube]

And check out the full platform/community:

Tents and camping gear left at Reading festival to be donated to refugees

Abandoned tents and other camping equipment left behind by attendees of this year’s Reading Festival are set to be sent to refugees in France.

Around 2,300 tents and 500 sleeping bags were collected at the site this year, after the August Bank Holiday event which was attended by around 10,000 people. All of the useable abandoned equipment will now be given to refugees in Calais and Dunkirk, with the initiative being described as “life-changing” for those in need.

180,000 people attended across both the dual Reading and Leeds Festivals, and when they came to an end, the festival site at Leeds was described particularly as looking “like a war zone”. Homelessness aid charity Raise The Roof founder Carl Simpson said that “it was like everyone had just left in a panic”.

With that in mind, Raise The Roof collected hundreds of abandoned tents, as well as camping gear, at the Leeds site to be given to homeless people in the surrounding areas of Hull.

At Reading, meanwhile, Herts For Refugees were on hand to collect all disused tents and camping equipment so that they could be put to use by refugees in France.

Speaking about the post-festival scene at Leeds, Raise The Roof’s Carl Simpson said: “What we saw was just mind-blowing. We scrimp and scrape to get everything we can, we don’t get any funding from anyone – we just rely on what we can get and to see the wastefulness. There are tens and tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of stuff bought for the event and just discarded and left.”

Angus Clark, CEO of Herts For Refugees, said: “In wintertime, it can be quite desperate, so the things we salvage from festivals like Reading can actually be life-saving.”

This year’s Reading Festival, the first since 2019, included sets from the likes of Stormzy, Solardo, MK, AJ Tracey and more.

This isn’t the first initiative that Reading has got involved in either, with human waste from 2019’s event being put to use by Thames Water after being collected to be turned into renewable energy.