London club fabric has finalised the line-up for its 39-hour party this month.
Running from the 22nd – 25th October, fabric will celebrate its 22nd birthday across one marathon weekender, with three parties curated by Crossbreed, Love Child and new fabric party Sylvester, recently launched in collaboration with legendary queer party Adonis.
Marking the club’s first birthday in the newly renovated club interior, Benji B,Jossy Mitsu, Pete Cannon and Josey Rebelle will join Friday’s line-up, alongside re:ni,Stenny, Local Group, Eliza Rose, Hutch who will goB2Bwith Tasker, and Blackeye MC, who’ll join previously announced Mantra.
Elsewhere, from Saturday through Monday, Terry Francis, Kiwi, Cormac and Oscar Mulero will perform in the Farringdon club, joined by Kiwi, Wes Baggaley, Grace Sands, Georgia Girl and Harry McCanna.
You can get tickets for fabric’s 22nd birthday weekender here.
Earlier this year, fabric introduced a “strict” no-photo and no-video policy. Announcing the news via social media, a post shared by the club said: “fabric is London’s home for underground music, always aiming to create a feeling of self-expression on the dance-floor. We are introducing a strict no photo, and no video policy at the club. Stay in the moment and put away your phone, enjoy the night.”
Josey Rebelle was DJ Mag UK’s January 2020 cover star. The North London DJ’s career has been a real slow burn, building a loyal UK fanbase through her Rinse FM radio show and small club residencies. But in recent years the international spotlight has shone brightly on her — and her BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix was voted the best of 2019 by listeners. DJ Mag met with Josey in Hackney to talk jungle, overcoming personal loss, and her devotion to her craft.
The duo of Shahin Entezami and Behrang Najafi has produced a tape/digital release of reworks that buzzes and screams with the emotion-packed sounds of futuristic, electronic protest.
Remix projects have the potential not just to be about cross-promotion or tapping into some buzzy names, but real cross-pollination. They can trace sonic connections in ways that would otherwise be unheard. You hear the way artists hear one another – and how they respond, in their own voice.
And that’s the powerful feeling here on Pend Reworks. These are artists finding one another, across disconnections and distance, through sound.
The Tehran natives’ work Pend was already a favorite here on CDM. I adored it, as I had their live shows; David Abravanel said of their “aural cold sweats” that he could feel his fists clench. It’s worth revisiting their reflections on lies and warmongering:
As this weapon is used more and more, is the border between truth and lie still recognizable? Has anyone ever estimated how much destruction is caused by a simple piece of news about the escalation of tensions between two countries and the possibility of a war? Aren’t the devastating consequences of war such as death, destruction, poverty and disease the same as the consequences of living with fear and stress in the suspension and dread of war.
In general, isn’t a piece of news about the possibility of war, an act of war itself?
Now, for a second time, artist Sote’s fantastic label Zabte Sote is host to a sonic world that can channel resistance to violence, an emotional catharsis unafraid to face this darkness. Like neural stimulation, their music is “an artificial macro environment of hard electronic funk.” Here, artists produce still more formulations in that universe.
KMRU, the artist from Nairobi whose own rise to prominence grew out of his own relentlessly wonderful self-released Bandcamp stream, opens the release with an achingly gorgeous, melancholy “Two Lands” remix. All the metallic mournfulness of the original is remade in groaning, uneasy tones, like an opening elegy.
Selm then immediately takes the same track and forges blasts of distorted electrified industrial klaxons – for those not in the know (like me, before I looked), that’s the same The Brothers Giets who released as Selm on Opal Tapes.
Filmmaker makes “Construction of Insomnia” into a chilly, precise groove in this gem from the Colombian artist.
Idelfon is a Tehran-based artist (Hesam Ohadi) finding resonance in the words of Martin Luther King, words that take on added urgency and defiance in the context of fiercely punctuated bass beats.
xin spins a new “NanKraws,” which knocks and stutters with a sense of forward-propelled anxiety, before giving way to a surprise, cinematic left-turn.
Rojin Shafari, a labelmate, I’ve written about before – she’s an ideal example of the kind of musical talent now living outside Iran. Her “Caustic Surface” is a high point of the release, a tour-de-force of form and percussion that draws the emotional energy of that track into new dimensions, sophisticated rhythmic patterning and insistent piano notes rotating around an ever-unfolding set of timbral textures and dancing geometries.
Elvin Brandi from Wales makes a digitally-altered punk opera out of fragments of two tracks, warped digitally to the edges of samples and pitch, a kind of freaked-out aria interlude in the release.
tsrono is pure IDM, without sounding like a throwback, and almost feels like a calming, stable influence in this larger arc – amidst those richly-patterned cool beats.
Pouya Ehsaei, Iranian now in London, is another mainstay of this tight-knit community of adventurous artists, and here has his usual sensitivity, stretching and weaving textures amidst some thumping rhythmic scaffolding with delicacy and nuance. Slowly, you hear a new, uncertain harmonic progression start to emerge, motion moving from unsteady to a gentle amble.
And then, as if programmed as a live concert, the duo finishes out with Aho Ssan‘s violently futuristic tsunami of crashing sounds, quivering pads, and explosive hits. The Parisian artist has been on Subtext and Atonal and seems fitting of enormous sound systems.
That track fades out and up – almost like a question, unresolved, hanging on a high fifth.
Let’s be honest, even as some of the Iranian artists are currently unable to travel, on this compact cassette they’ve more or less programmed their own festival, exactly in sequence. As with this closing, there’s no doubt that this could scale to giant speaker stacks and enthrall crowds.
Until then, I’m grateful for those artists we can gather together, and send good vibrations to those artists abroad. Somehow, the Tehran scene remains a hub for the world, sometimes with Tehran and sometimes without it.
Bonus – here’s Pouya and friends patching away recently:
KMRU and Echium have collaborated on a new album, ‘Peripheral’. Check it out below.
The eight-track experimental ambient release was produced between the artist’s respective homes in Nairobi and Manchester, with the artists combining their respective specialisms into what KMRU has described as a “psychedelic collaboration”.
KMRU, who is now based in Berlin, folds his organic field recording manipulations and textured electronics into Echium’s sparse and frosty dub techno atmospheres. Echium also created the album’s abstract artwork.
As John Twells writes in the album’s accompanying text: “Echium and KMRU make abstract electronic music that sounds as if it’s bursting free of the digital world: they ink a utopia that’s verdant, fertile and teeming with life.”
Listen to, and buy, ‘Peripheral’, via KMRU’s Bandcamp.
Revisit KMRU’s DJ Mag interview and Fresh Kicks mix from earlier this year here.
Earlier this month, New York label Air Texture released the latest edition of its ‘Place :’ series, which was curated by KMRU, and focuses on artists from his native of Nairobi. All proceeds from the relaese will go toward The Green Belt Movement (GBM), an environmental, non-governmental organisation based in Nairobi, which focuses on conservation, democracy, community empowerment and conflict resolution.
While everyone else modulates the 70s, 80s, and even 90s, step back to the 1950s – with a complete array of test oscillators, vintage sound equipment, mixers, patching, and tape. It’s Berna3, and it’s possibly the most retro electronic music software … ever.
At last, you can live out your dream of being a modern Berio or Stockhausen, right in a standalone Mac or Windows app.
Berna3 is the much-anticipated latest creation of Giorgio Sancristoforo – as the number implies, the third generation since its debut. His tools have always been something different – not a DAW, not a standalone instrument, but not even a modular environment in the sense of most of those tools. Rather, they’re a bundle of interconnected tools, a custom virtual workshop of specific, fascinating inventions. And while originally Mac-only, with some help from contributors he’s also making them available on Windows.
There is the legendary Gleetchlab, an experimental arsenal of glitchy, digital, sound-bending opportunities. There is Gleetchdrone, too, inspired by the ideas of Soma, and Fantastic Voyage, which draws on the well of the Tascam Portastudio and its approach to creation. Our friend David Abravanel talked to Giorgio at length about that Tascam reimagining and Giorgio’s ideas in general, not only about tech but music and society at large:
But Berna3 is probably Giorgio’s most ambitious and unparalleled effort to date. Updating software that had already become a standard in teaching, the third generation finally models the sound characteristics of the analog original, looks better, works better, and does more than ever before.
Hands-on history, on your screen
Electronic music flourished with the evolution of the synthesizer and the emergence of modular connections between devices as a compositional and sound design technique. That happened more or less simultaneously in parallel in both digital and analog form at the end of the 1950s – with the first programmable synthesizer the RCA Mark II, the invention of digital modular synthesis and the unit generator with Max Mathews and Music I at Bell Labs, and of course was followed in the 1960s by the modular systems from Moog, Buchla, and others and their commercial availability.
But experiments in making electronic music sound came before any of that – and undoubtedly helped shape the direction of that evolution.
These early electronic music studios created those compositional environments by wrangling a bunch of gear that was available at the time. Mixers and tape recording equipment and patch bays were already readily available. Want to synthesize sound? Use a test tone generator – meant for signal testing applications, but those controls can be musically interesting to a composer.
In fact, to this day, you can see embedded in the DNA of our software studios some of the basic elements of the original primordial soup of electronic music creation. We have a bunch of interconnected parts, routed in wires, with signal generators, filters, effects processors, mixing, and recording.
Berna3 goes back to that history – and it goes deep, enough so that the foreword to the manual is authored by Massimiliano Viel, the esteemed Italian composer and collaborator of Stockhausen, Berio, Francesconi, Romitelli, and Guerrero.
Test tone generator equipment has seen a recent renaissance, partly because for a time, it was available cheap (or sometimes free, for anyone wanting to pick it up), as analog telephone systems were retired. The Waveform Research Centre at WORM in Rotterdam constructs a little lab assembled from this gear; Hainbach has of course brought it to YouTube audiences.
But Berna3 doesn’t just give you some test tone generators and call it a day. It simulates the whole studio, with specific references in mind – the former RAI Phonology Studio in Milan (founded by Berio and Maderna) and the German WDR of Köln, the haunting grounds of Stockhausen and co.
And they produced free-flowing compositions like this:
As Viel writes, this studio is so complete you could task yourself with recreating electronic compositional legends – “but also the possibility of approaching the very idea of electronic music, as it was invented in the first half of the last century, without being entangled by the allurements of technologies that in the end offer us pre-chewed musical forms already well oriented to a market, which has now forgotten the curiosity and the experimental courage placed at its foundation.”
That might be overselling this a bit – you’ve arguably more freedom coding in Csound, which in turn also is connected to the 1950s and Music I, let alone various other powerful and open-ended instruments. But this is truly an unprecedented creative pathway and one that inarguably differs from any other tools as far as workflow.
And not only is this suddenly on your computer, but it also revives a toolset that has become largely extinct. If you go to Milan, for instance, the RAI studio is in pieces in a museum – dismantled and unusable. Test tone oscillators are interesting, but part of what made gave them musical meaning was the array of other equipment used to weave their sounds into complete compositions. It’s tape machines, it’s patch bays, the process of playing between tape and equipment, and all the particulars of filter banks and vocoders and unique amplifiers and modulation and generators.
In short, it’s such a cacophonous complex ensemble of gear, Giorgio is probably the only developer who could take it on. Just get ready, as always, for a flurry of floating GUI windows. (More on how to cope with that later…)
And in this case, runaway skeuomorphic interfaces are part of the method to the madness. The experience of Berna3 is really to reconstruct all the details of working on these machines.
Heck, there’s even a Geiger counter in the thing. So there is some serious potential not only to make an homage to historical composition, but to ignore it completely, and go nuts with a whole mess of toys and an addictive amount of freedom of how you use them together.
Giorgio has posted a complete guide to the system:
New in this version
This is really a radical rewrite of the past editions of Berna – more realistic, more complete, and broader and deeper.
Overview of what’s new (from the developer – to be honest, I only really put time into Berna3 so had just a passing familiarity with the earlier version):
New, exquisite 3D renderings of each device and dial
Analog, modeled tone recreating the original (rather than just using basic digital sources) – nine distinct oscillator models in there, evidently – ranging from clean to dirty and fat/warm
Each device now has its own window (which also means closing them saves processing power)
Each device has an on/off switch, again useful with resource management.
New modules – lots of them, including the geiger counter, Stockhausen’s MESSGENERATOR MS60, and AG-10.
I’m just going to copy-paste this next text, because I missed it first, and it’s useful:
There are two pulse generators that will work with two high precision low frequency high-pass/low-pass filters, these together with the pulse generators will create a set of two (sort of) envelope generators (the real envelope generator was yet to be invented). Filtering a pulse with a high-pass filter at very low frequencies create a pulse with an exponential decay, and the decay depends on the cut-off frequency. Using a low-pass instead we get a log attack. So even if we can’t use a classic ADSR, you will get a functional AR without sacrificing the historical accuracy. This was a tip for which I have to thank the engineer Marco Bruno from Spin Electronics who is always a huge source of knowledge in vintage measuring instruments and electronics.
A tour of the gear
Maybe the best way to understand what this system is about is to take a quick tour of some of the gear. (I’m messing around, still, but hope something sounds like a composition eventually … and if that isn’t an authentic experience, what is?)
What you’ll see when you launch is a mixing desk – and nothing else. But from there you can access everything else – and note the dedicated strips for the loops and tape recorders.
Your first step – as in the real studio – will be to actually patch something so you can hear. (These devices are realistic enough, too, that most need to be switched on.) And so you get a massive patch bay:
The mixer itself is normaled, but can also be re-patched:
And then you’re into this huge catalog of modules, inspired by the real ones at RAI and WDR. (Don’t get too “east coast”/”west coast” with this – a number of the modules were available in both places.)
There’s a selection of tone generators, which is a decent place to begin.
You’ll probably begin with one of two available Dual Waveform Oscillators, which already include frequency modulation and sin/tri waves. (The Sine/Random variant gives you noise.)
If you thought everything would be really crude and simplistic, it’s not – there is a pretty capable sweep/modulation/oscillator module, too.
The Tieftone Generator is directly inspired by Stockhausen – it’s derived from the one he used in Kontakte and Studie II.
(Okay, I’m imagining what would happen if I guest-edited Computer Music. Newsstand sales plummet as I run “Sound just like Stockhausen” on the cover. It could be a sexy photo of him, hey.)
There’s even the Lietti Oscillator, inspired by those created by Alfredo Litti for the RAI Studio.
There are various others in different shapes.
Filters cover lots of interesting, precise territory, a lot of them focused on particular bands and octaves, which is a big part of what gives music of this period its distinctive sound. You get for instance the 3rd Octave filter as used by Stockhausen at WDR.
You should also check out the module labeled “analyzer,” because it also is capable of filtering and distortion – and probably more like the bandpass or notch filter with dial control you’ll recognize.
Likewise, the “Tuneable Indicating Amplifier WBM” also has filtering effects and models the distortion on the original – again a Stockhausen favorite.
You can gate signals and use clock/trigger with the Tone Burst Generator. I used this modular at the WRC to make some percussive sounds; the feeling of using it here is really unique and authentic.
There are tons of interesting amplifiers and gate and envelope followers – designed in a way that you probably haven’t gotten to experience before. That includes Lietti’s Modulatore Dinamico, an envelope follower. (Another advantage of the skeuomorphic design – it helps you remember what’s what, where controls are, and the origins of the devices, thanks to color and placement memory.)
And then you get the possibility not only to use circuits as an amplifier (VCA), but also experiment with amplitude modulation and ring modulation, as on the Balanced/Unbalanced Modulator. (The unbalanced switch gives you ring modulation – balanced means with the carrier signal.)
And there’s a vocoder.
Working in this way, you don’t get traditional envelope generators. Instead, you create trigger signals with something like the Pulse Generator and feed that into other modules to create envelopes. Just that extra bit of minor mental acrobatics (compared to your normal synth habits) often produces wonderful, percussive, unexpected results and leads you down a different path.
And then what really sets apart Berna3 is that it also includes multitrack tape recording and looping capabilities, so that tape technique becomes an integral part of your workflow. You wouldn’t get that even in most other software modulars, let alone a DAW.
There’s a two-track simulation of a reel-to-reel.
And a four-track, which you can use to export to other environments (in case you want to make a hybrid composition using more modern tools, too).
But you can also make and play back up to four monophonic loops – once you take the extra step to route this. Unfortunately these are not saved with presets, but you do get some basic tape models here and it’s another way to mess around and export (and you can also do this the old-fashioned way and record the results to tape).
And that’s just a small sampling of the modules here. You also get a simulated geiger counter and X-ray tube, which can be used to generate trigger signals.
Managing all of this can be a bit of a chore – expect tons of overlapping windows. I’m experimenting a bit with different window managers (which for some reason is especially hard on the Mac), just so you can arrange things and save them. But it isn’t all that hard to pop in and out of modules. (Don’t forget the opt-/alt-click to hide all of them once things get messy.)
Also, crucially, the software includes mapping to MIDI controllers and the computer keyboard. It’s fairly kludgy, though – MIDI controller mapping works decently, but for instance, I’d love to be able to assign keyboard shortcuts to open modules, which for now seems impossible.
I’m going to mess with that more, though, because the whole environment is truly like nothing I think any of us has used before on a computer.
Even if the only purpose of this was to bend your brain a little bit and experience sound design in a different way, it becomes immediately essential. And you might find it generates some ideas you wouldn’t come to elsewhere.
Watch this space; I imagine we’ll hear see some really special stuff come out of this now that it’s available.
25.00€ – yeah, twenty-five. That’s a lot of history for that price.
No plug-in. Seriously, this would not work as a plug-in. Don’t even ask.
Definitely read the manual and walk through the tutorial – each will nicely hold you by the hand and get you making some examples, which might not be obvious booting this up. (Like, even getting sound at first may be elusive – but a couple of pages into the manual, it’s easy.)
Internet musicforums are buzzing today about the upcoming Roland SP-404 MKII, a major update to the classic SP-404 compact sampling workstation.
We have not seen an official announcement for the SP-404 MKII yet, but it looks like it will keep the SP-404 workflow, but improve on it with improved pads and controls; faster project loading and sample import; easy project access via 16 GB memory; and more.
Key Features (preliminary):
Bang out beats anywhere with AA or mobile battery power
Capture audio from or stream direct to your mobile device via USB,
Collaborate with a partner using the dual headphone outputs and mic/guitar input.
Edit samples with an OLED screen and zoomable waveform view.
Chop up samples by tapping out edit points in real time, or use auto chop to slice samples automatically.
Shape samples with envelope and pitch shift
New resampling workflow lets you re-record patterns and effects layers for detailed sound design.
Skip Back Sampling captures up to 25 seconds of audio from your performance.
Process, flip, and twist your sounds with classic SP effects and a selection of new effects, including: Lo-fi, Cassette Simulator, Resonator, Vocoder, Auto Pitch, Guitar Amp Simulator and more.
Adjustable input quantize and shuffle for custom swing.
Pad Link lets you fire multiple samples with a single tap.
Roll button for variable note repeat.
BPM-per-bank for instant tempo changes.
Organize patterns for different sets and chain them together to automate playback.
Load 160 samples across each project for expanded performance and beatmaking combinations.
Official details on the Roland SP-404 mkII are still to be announced.
In the meantime, check it out and share your thoughts on the SP-404 mkII in the comments!
Astro Arcade is where the intersection of esports, gaming, and music comes alive. Few things go better together than electronic music and this digital universe, so whether it is a game soundtrack by our favorite artists or a virtual in-game concert series, Astro Arcade is here to keep players and listeners alike informed as these worlds continue to collide.
Fans of first-person shooter games have been anticipating Ubisoft’s sixth installment and newest game release, Far Cry ® 6. Ahead of its arrival on October 7, the game developer has put out a 21-track album that serves as the game’s official soundtrack. Award-winning composer Pedro Bromfman is behind the LP, which gives listeners a taste of the cinematic impact that the score will have within the game.
Pedro Bromfman discussed the soundtrack in an official release, sharing,
“The album is based on a very modern score, drenched in lush soundscapes, driving percussion, processed organic instruments and a ton of synthesizers. We tried to capture the soul of Yara, and its characters, by rooting the score on traditional Latin American and Caribbean music, while being completely free to experiment with contemporary sounds, elements and techniques, in hopes of creating something very fresh and unique. The score for Far Cry ® 6 overflows with distinctive, haunting melodies and character themes, accompanying and further immersing the players in their amazing journey through Yara. A journey full of beauty, violence, adrenaline and passion.”
Before his work with Ubisoft, the Brazilian producer was most well known for scoring RoboCop and three seasons of Netflix’s Narcos, among other works. The game itself stars Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito, and the sixth installment is promised to be full of the action and adventure for which the gaming franchise is known. The Far Cry ® 6 original game soundtrack is out now via Ubisoft Music.
LSDREAM is taking bass enthusiasts to dreamland with the release of his third full-length album, PEACE LOVE & WUBS, distributed via WAKAAN. Through 11 voyaging tracks, the artist—previously known as Brillz—sources cameos from Taylr Renee, Liquid Stranger, MeSo, Cojaxx, Karra, Z-Trip, Buku, LIGHTCODE, and Elephant Heart for a body of work that follows 2019’s RENEGADES OF LIGHT. Speaking on the album’s theme, the Israeli-born DJ said,
“The PEACE LOVE & WUBZ album is a collage of hybrid genre bass music intended to spark joy and raise the vibration of the collective. This album is a ‘container,’ so throw in the shit that’s been weighing on you, the shit that’s bringing you down. Now go dance, wiggle, laugh, sing, and express yourself.”
PEACE LOVE & WUBS taps into a whirlpool of imaginative soundscapes combined with a kaleidoscopic of rhythms and psychedelic instrumentals. LSDREAM not only broadens the horizon for the experimental bass genre but also connects fans through his inner spiritual beliefs and topics related to “encouraging feelings of joy, hope, healing, and self-love.” Wander into the universe of PEACE LOVE & WUBS below.
Crankdat and neverwaves have released their new collaboration, “The Same.” The one-off commences with sweeter melodies that consort with a floating topline. Utilizing horn-like instrumentals that lead into a heavy melody as the song progresses, Crankdat and neverwaves allow the vocals to distort in the second half of “The Same.”
“The Same” arrives as Crankdat’s first release since his August EP, Sad Robot. Released via Monstercat, the project saw the producer merge creative synergies with JT Roach and Ace Aura. Stream “The Same” below.
John Summit just joined the list of tastemakers to remix Dennis Ferrer and Disciples‘ January tie-up, “Whisper.” Citing Ferrer and Disciples as his some of his “all-time inspirations,” Summit combines James Yuill’s vocals with a seamless lead-up. Having teased the remix via social media the week of October 26, the Dancing Astronaut Artist to Watch in 2021 concluded that the track “passed the car test.” Hear it do just that below.
Following “Chase,” produced alongside fellow Aussies Bonka, VASSY has returned with “Don’t Wanna Be Right.” After much time spent in the studio, the singer-songwriter has enlisted New England native Vinny Vibe to join her on the uptempo house outing.
“Don’t Wanna Be Right” finds VASSY flexing her world-renowned vocal chops previously audible on smash hits such as “Bad” with David Guetta and Tiësto‘s club sensation, “Secrets.” Commenting on her newest single, VASSY shared,
“This is one of my favorite songs I’ve written, and it’s a passionate love song with a sensorial experience carried out through the sensual yet dancy production by Vinny Vibe.”
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