Coachella and its beloved 642-plus acre home at Empire Polo Club in Indio, California are now inseparable—least until 2050. For more than two decades, Coachella and Stagecoach have attracted herds of music lovers to the desert oasis in Southern CA, generating north of 3 million dollars for the city of Indio annually. Thanks to a recently signed long-term lease, Goldenvoice‘s development agreement in Indio will hold from the year 2030 through 2050.
The contract also grants Goldenvoice year-round oversight of operations at the festival site, allowing the promoting giant to host two additional three-day music festivals on the grounds per year (this is your cue to recall the success of 2016’s Desert Trip featuring Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones). In a recent statement, Empire Polo Club owner Alexander Haagen III said,
“We are pleased to continue our long-term relationship with Paul Tollett and Goldenvoice. The new long-term lease will assure that the iconic Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festivals will continue for many years to come.”
Goldenvoice president Paul Tollett remarked, “Goldenvoice has had a unique relationship with Empire Polo Club for over twenty-five years. It is a privilege to now take over the operations of the venue and we look forward to continuing to build upon the special history that has been established there. It’s immeasurable how much we’ve learned from Al Haagen.”
Ever wanted to MC your own radio show? Following suit of live audio pioneer Clubhouse, Amazon Music‘s latest buildout to convert subscribers will take the form of a digital radio app. Currently referred to as “Project Mic,” the software extension will allow Amazon’s userbase to DJ their own interactive radio shows or simply tune-in as listeners.
Although Clubhouse ultimately popularized live audio streaming on Android and iOS interfaces, the live chatroom labyrinth lacks the rights to stream copyright-protected music. Amazon intends to grant “Project Mic” radio hosts access to the DSP’s immense music catalog, while also facilitating “radio call-ins” via its line of Alexa-supported devices, which (quite appropriately) includes a Bluetooth-equipped car device called the Echo Auto.
“Project Mic” reportedly aims to incorporate regional advertisements in its users’ radio programs, opening an opportunistic door for localized businesses and entrepreneurs. Furthermore, Amazon is allegedly in talks with a few major celebrities and even some select micro-influencers, who will assist in curating a plethora of live radio shows come the app’s official launch date. Though the programming will be primarily music-driven, “Project Mic” also intends to incorporate pop culture, sports, and comedy-focused content. Upon release, the innovative radio app will be made available exclusively in the United States.
Months prior, Dancing Astronaut was lucky enough to be able to sit down with the St. Louis-based artist for an interview after the release of his debut LP, which he called his “strongest” yet. Now, just months later, fans can rejoice with an EP that he calls his “greatest work yet.”
Xavi has truly found a home at Ophelia Records, with both a full-length LP and EP released on the label this year alone, as well as tour dates with the Ophelia crew on their ongoing Pantheon tour headlined by none other than label founder Seven Lions himself. Home No Longer once again features Xavi himself on vocals over serendipitous beats that truly break through the noise in a melodic-bass scene that can feel saturated at times. His refreshing take on dance music is inspired by “extremely personal” experiences throughout his life that have helped him to put his heart and soul into the work he puts out.
Xavi has risen from the ranks of the relatively unknown to those of the rising stars in the dance music scene in just under a year. Home No Longer further proves that To The Endless Searing Skies was no fluke—he’s here to stay for a long time. Listen to the full Home No Longer EP below.
Eli Sones and Matthew Halper of Two Friends began indirectly hijacking the AUX at house parties ever since they debuted their first hour-long “Big Bootie Mix” six years ago. Fast forward to now, and the production duo is still at it.
“Big Bootie Mix, Vol. 20” is officially streaming on Spotify, SoundCloud,and YouTube, and as to be expected, the 20th installment arrives packed with both recent hits and crowd-pleasing throwbacks, all interlaced via Two Friends’ impeccable mixing chops. Incorporating tracks from Olivia Rodrigo, Drake, the Beatles, and more, “Big Bootie Mix, Vol. 20” does not discriminate based on era, genre, or artist. What’s most impressive about each “Big Bootie Mix” is Two Friends’ natural ability to seamlessly fuse together songs from opposing genres. “Vol. 20” doesn’t break from this tradition.
As we near a full 24-hour period of Big Bootie mixes, stream Two Friends’ 20th edition of the series below.
Introducing burgeoning singer-songwriter Jasmine Canales, whose soulful debut, “Burn,” has officially landed. Canales emerges from Long Beach, California, where she built steel-solid support beams atop the city’s celebrated music scene. Produced by Kelsey González of the Free Nationals, her most trusted collaborator of the last 10 years, and Matty Chirch of BVRLY, “Burn” arrives ahead of the rising singer’s debut EP. A twist on the ’80s craze that the 2020’s can’t get enough of, “Burn” successfully juxtaposes ebullience and melancholy in just under three groovy minutes. Canales told Dancing Astronaut,
“When I wrote this song I was in the midst of dealing with a betrayal from someone I loved and trusted. I chose to use that as fuel, and have fun with all the anger I was feeling. I went to the studio with Kels and he was like well what should we do today, and I just needed something dancey and groovey to express how mad I was as weird as that sounds. He started playing the keys you hear in the beginning, which at first we thought were kinda goofy but the song kinda morphed into a banger. The whole experience of making it was extremely cathartic to say the least!”
Stream Jasmine Canales’ triumphant debut single, “Burn,” below.
In order to achieve the highest level of realism and authenticity, a sound engineer opted to “swallow” a microphone in a bid to help perfect the noise made by the sandworm in the new sci-fi movie, ‘Dune’.
The Denis Villeneuve-directed remake of the 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert cult 1985 novel has garnered rave reviews since opening in cinemas worldwide earlier this month. Praised for scope, special effects, cinematography and score, a recent interview with sound engineers Mark Mangini and Theo Green for Wired Magazine revealed some unique approaches employed beyond the scenes.
These include Mangini placing a small microphone in his mouth and inhaling deeply to create a realistic swallowing noise, which was then used for the scenes involving a huge, desert-dwelling worm-like creature found on the planet Arrakis — a beast large enough to digest an entire harvester whole.
Speaking about their approach, the pair explain the use of FDR — or Fake Documentary Realism — to try and break with sci-fi movie tradition and master for the most plausible audio effects possible for what is essentially a fantasy universe filled with unreal life forms. This also included recording sand moving in California’s Death Valley, which were then adapted and used to mark the sandworm approaching.
In other movie-related news, last week it emerged the London’s Printworks venue — currently in the midst of its autumn and winter events season — will feature in the new DC-produced superhero flick, ‘Batman‘.
A new record store, Sound Advice, has opened in Belfast.
The brainchild of DJ and producer Marion Hawkes, the shop is located at Banana Block, within the PortView Trade Centre, and will open Tuesday to Saturday between 10AM and 6PM.
According to the official Instagram, the shelves will focus on “[p]ushing sounds that fuel club culture, soul & world reissues, nu jazz, indie rock, wave & leftfield.” Stock will comprise both new and second hand records.
Speaking to Vinyl Factory, Hawkes explained her aims: “Belfast has progressed and is becoming a cultural hotspot, the talent coming out of Northern Ireland is incredible at the moment; and while the city has a few good record stores I noticed there was a gap in the market for something more electronic-led.
“I wanted to create a safe, inclusive space that everyone can enjoy, even those who are just starting to get into vinyl. I never want it to feel intimidating,” she added.
DJ Mag recently visited the Northern Irish capital for AVA Festival, a key date in the Belfast electronic music calendar. Meanwhile, Free The Night, a campaign to change what are widely regarded as Europe’s strictest nightlife regulations, continues to lobby for changes to the country’s laws governing alcohol licensing and venue opening times.
How great is live coding on Hydra, for free? It’s great enough that you’ll do it when you’ve never used code before. It’s great enough that – now with this new build – you’ll lie in bed with your iPhone or iPad and make trippy hypnotic visuals. You’ll plug in audio and stop using cameras and just permanently replace your visage with weird analog-style color feedback. It’s that great.
This update is just out, so you might find some bugs, but I think it’s notable that iOS browser coding works. That means you can literally carve out time to try live coding you might not have otherwise, on a couch or in bed or on a bus or plane now that more of us are starting to use those again. It’s every bit as satisfying on my iPhone (a recent model, to be fair) as on my powerful laptop.
The MicroFreak already offered a ton of sonic madness in a small package – like a little oscillation playground. The v4 firmware that just dropped is essential, both in kinky new features and some overdue smoothed-out kinks.
Wavetables are everywhere. The MicroFreak was a uniquely rich home to oscillator experimentation, though, even just with its stock wavetables. (This included some of the features of the Mutable Instruments oscillators and their wavetables, with a number of new twists, oscillator types, and wavetables – though it also made a great gateway drug to the Mutable line and various open-source recreations.)
Now you can load your own wavetables for even more possibilities – and there’s an expanded user wavetable oscillator (both with new dedicated waveform content and the ability to drag in your own sounds).
I spent a lot of time messing with the MicroFreak this fall, and I’m finishing up a guide. The short version is, this is a wonderfully strange little beastie. The deep modulation takes a little adaptation – the cost of that ultra-compact form factor is, you do have to do some finger gymnastics managing parameters and the push-button matrix. But if you’re willing to practice with that (and probably save some presets), it’s something special. It feels like a tiny modular rig with a keyboard – but at the price of about one half a comparable module. It’s like a little bottle of tabasco – though as such, maybe you want it alongside something else. Paired with effects, or as an extra voice with another synth, I found it delightful.
This v4 update is really worth some serious attention. It’s not just that they dropped in user wavetables; they also made it accessible.
Midi Control Center, the companion desktop app, is now your home for managing the feature. Grab some WAV or AIFF – your own wavetable or one of the many you can find online – and just drag and drop them onto the software to load them.
There are 16 Arturia-provided wavetables, too, so you can start to work with this oscillator even before you open up the software and add your own wavetables. (You can also drag and drop wavetables from the other wavetable oscillator, in case you want to use one of the other factory options with the bit depth option mentioned below instead of chorus.)
This thing is even cooler than it appears at first glance – there’s a lot of smart DSP work done here in the editor.
First, Arturia put a lot of thought into the software. It allows you to import wavetables at 32 cycles x 2048 samples each – the same as on Arturia’s Pigments. It then converts them in Midi Control Center so that you get 256 samples per cycle.
There are also some details to how Midi Control Center handles cycles. If you have a short audio file with less than 8 cycles, the MicroFreak will spread them across the slots. If you have more than 8 cycles, it will do some crossfading so you get a continuous waveform.
The upshot of this is you can drag-and-drop wavetables you use with Pigments or files you’d find online (labeled for Ableton Wavetable or Serum, for instance). You can also just drop short AIFF or WAV files you find and see what happens.
You even get little onscreen animations for added feedback, both to see what’s up with your imported files and to navigate the default banks.
There’s also, as with the previous Wavetable oscillator, the possibility of wavesequencing – routing modulation to Wave and then shifting through different waveforms for even more variety.
Also important to know – Shape on this oscillator controls bit depth, continuously modulating through bits for some crunchy lo-fi effects. (The original wavetable oscillator is set to Chorus.)
Believe it or not, nice as that is, I’m more excited by some fit-and-finish improvements.
Chord and Unison playback in Sequencer. You can now use the sequencer both in Chord and Unison modes. This is a big deal, especially as a lot of the joy of the MicroBrute is adding some clever sequencing and modulation and getting some weird and wild pattern going.
Accelerated encoders. From the Utility menu, you can now modify the speed of an encoder for an Oscillator. If you had seen me play this keyboard live, you’d know why – as you watched me furiously trying to turn an encoder to dial through a parameter. This one change alone has me more likely to play the MicroFreak.
No more clicks. It seems in addition to doing the work on the user wavetables, Arturia did some DSP cleanup on that wavetable engine. Most noticeably, they got rid of some clicks you’d sometimes hear when modulating the position on the WaveTable oscillator. (I just drenched mine in reverb, but this is a welcome change.)
They also fixed a bug with parameter display where the screen would sometimes blink to a parameter when you didn’t expect. (I think this was just some oversensitive touch tuning, but whatever it was, it’s listed as fixed in the changelog and I do notice it’s gone.)
Reworked “Wavetable” Ocscillator’s audio engine
Octave Led Blinking can now be disabled from Utility menu
Removed “User Preset Erase” feature
It’s just a terrific value, wonderfully portable, and now really feels a lot more finished and usable and hackable.
A book on pioneering British electronic musicians is set to go into reprint, ‘Tape Leaders: A Compendium of Early British Electronic Music’.
First published in 2016 by Sound On Sound magazine, the work is now on sale again courtesy of Velocity Press. A total of 100 composers and organisations who were actively involved in tape and synthesised music are featured, from well-known names like Brian Eno, William Burroughs, Janet Beat, The Beatles, Hawkwind, White Noise, and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, to more obscure talent such as Roy Cooper and Edgar Vetter.
Focusing on the 1950s and 1960s, the book took six years to research and write. The new edition also comes with a 15-track CD of largely unreleased music. A launch event has been announced for 8th November at The Social, London, wherein the author will appear in conversation with Oli Freke, the writer behind ‘Synthesized Evolution’.
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