Cypress Hill have shared a new track, ‘Open Ya Mind’, complete with video.
The song, which was produced by Black Milk, is taken from the hip hop heroes’ forthcoming tenth studio album, slated for release in 2022 via MNRK! and is the first taste fans have had of the record. The verses address the impact of and confusion surrounding America’s ambiguous stance on cannabis legalisation, and the differences in attitude towards corporate firms that grow, prepare, and sell the substance and individuals cultivating and consuming their own crops.
It’s their first new music since the critically lauded LP, ‘Elephants On Acid’, landed in 2018, and the song ‘Champion Sound‘, which appeared on the soundtrack to video game ‘R.B.I. Baseball ’21’ earlier this year. 2021 also marks the 30th anniversary of the group’s self-titled debut album, and a graphic novel was published to mark the occasion. Next year US network Showtime will air a new Sony Music documentary about the outfit and their legacy.
“As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of our debut, we wanted to be sure fans knew we weren’t planning on slowing down and can’t wait for them to hear the new album, coming early next year,” said band member Sen Dog. “‘Open Ya Mind’ gives you a taste of what’s to come and we can’t wait to return to see you on the road in 2022.”
Rhodes Music has launched pre-orders for the new Rhodes mk8 electric piano, which they say offers “The ultimate in Rhodes sound and feel”.
The company says that their goal is to create the best version of a Rhodes piano ever made. To do this, they’re returning to the aesthetic and craftsmanship of the original, but updating the design to create an ideal Rhodes.
According to the company, the mk8 offers considerable improvements in tone, touch, intonation and dynamics. All critical components – including tines, pickups, dampers and pedal mechanism – have been redesigned, using the best materials and manufacturing techniques now available.
The Rhodes mk8 features an updated analog preamp, with parametric EQ, independent drive, envelope control, wah, new vari-pan with 4 waveshapes, audio rate modulation capabilities and dual expression pedal control inputs. An option is also available for built-in effects, with a VCA analog compressor and low noise analog stereo bucket brigade effects: chorus, phaser and delay.
Pricing and Availability
The Rhodes mk8 is being built to order in limited quantities. Customization options include hood color, bottom shell finish, front panel color, the FX panel option, pre-amp panel color and the optional stand. Production in the next year is expected to be limited to 500 keyboards. Pre-orders are currently open if you’ve registered at the site, with pricing starting at $9,450.
Five tracks of footwork, 2-step garage, broken house and more
Monday, November 1, 2021 – 15:24
Ciel has dropped a new EP, ‘All We Have Is Each Other’, on New York City label Mister Saturday Night. Check it out below.
The five track release spans footwork, 2-step garage, broken house, and slo-mo beats, reflecting both the breadth of the artist and variety the imprint is known for. The title is a nod to Ciel’s longstanding reputation for supporting up and coming women artists and building communities through music events and DJ workshops in Toronto.
It’s his first new album since 2017’s revered ‘Solar’
DJ Mag Staff
Monday, November 1, 2021 – 15:33
Maceo Plex has announced his forthcoming artist album.
Marking the first LP from the Ellum Audio boss — real name Eric Estornel — since 2017’s ‘Solar’, the new album will be released some time in the coming months, with a preview landing in the form of new single ‘Revision’.
Featuring soaring vocals from Giovanni, the track is a typically emotive production from Estornel, bringing together cinematic soundscapes and melancholic techno in perfect harmony.
In a world when so much seems virtual, remote, simulated, and yet oddly pre-scripted, Berlin’s Morphine Records turned in the month of October to something else. It was musical technology in raw and spontaneous form – intimate encounters, together in a room.
Byblos-to-Berlin, Lebanon-to-Germany curator-DJ-musician, and Morphine boss Rabih Beaini had a unique conceit for “Instruments.” While chance pairings of artists and inventors is not a new idea, he asked for guests – wherever possible – to try improvising on the titular instruments themselves. Ten evenings of performances, in the living room/loft-style environs of the new Morphine Raum studio, made for cozy, lively serendipity.
So each night started with a “guest” instrument – demoed by its inventor/builder or (as with the Cracklesynth by the late Michel Waisvisz) a caretaker. But then, in addition to jam sessions on more comfortable and familiar rigs, artists would swap instruments to try them for the first time. And it was in those moments of reluctance and uncertainty that you could feel people stepping into new areas.
We talk a lot in instrument building about “physicality” – of interface, of sound. But then again, there’s a rabid live coding music scene that uses almost exclusively in-the-box sounds and types away at computers, blowing holes in the notion that interface or analog or acoustic medium is really the main message. So maybe what musicians hunger for more than anything is the physical presence of themselves – mind, body, and soul – in play with one another. It’s not old or new or particular flows of electrons and vibrations in one way or another so much as it is that feeling of play as shared hardship and bliss.
It couldn’t have come at a more needed moment. Germany’s tough lockdown rules had all but halted one of the world’s most hyperactive cultural hives, making its citizens face the dreaded northern European winter depression more or less alone. Yet here we were, crowded together in a studio (vaccine pass check at the door, as per Berlin’s rules). You could see faces again – hear laughter, feel the warmth of musical enjoyment and delight, even have the feeling of being tired together or furrowing brows at tough-to-digest sounds.
And yes, these instruments indeed largely embraced acoustic and electro-acoustic sound – and accompanying chaos, unruly noise, and drawn-outside-the-lines pitch. Maybe that’s the common feeling with what could be mistaken as the opposite in livecoding or other computer scenes – what you get is experimental artists breaking the rules of market-driven musical economy, embracing punk and resistance. It’s not just DIY as self reliance, but also as self-determination and rebellion.
Common themes blossomed out of the marathon series. From the hand-built, ancient-futuristic-kitbashed-naive technology, this tribe of expert musicians somewhere between high craft and brute-force experimentation found worlds of sound in turns delicate and violent. Repurposed scrapyard metal and deconstructed pianos made of improvised construction rattled and buzzed. Everywhere there were strings and motors and pickups and coils. A surprising number of instruments tended not only to percussion but general cousins and cross-breeds of psaltery. That’d be the class of instruments – zithers and monochords and whatnot – that involve some sort of strings over soundboards. In fact, seeing the mishmash of first-time builds and lab adventures with historical instruments, it’s hard not to be taken away by the, uh, zithery-ness of all chordophone-derived stuff. (We are all zither players, at least when we aren’t metallophone players?)
The lineup included artists who built this craft over a lifetime of work, alongside people who had invested a lifetime in musicianship but only recently got into constructing instruments. It was evident that those didn’t need to be concepts in conflict. The theme of the event – even for audience members, being invited into the action – was both lifelong pursuit of sound and beginners’ mind.
I do want to share what all of this sounded like, but I think it’s better to let that discussion wait some weeks. Filmmakers who were embedded in each event are preparing proper documentation.
For now, I’ll instead link to some of the work of the established artists here and give you some impressionistic images. Somehow those still, from-the-hip mobile phone shots get at the mood.
It was all the stuff of fantasy, repurposed materials, and even as Rabih pointed, the nightmares and fears of a child (Yuri) transformed into dreams come true.
Meet the guests
Here are those artists from their lives, uh, pre-Instruments. Not a complete list, at all – so many folks, wow.
And posthumously, the artist whose spirit – along with STEIM’s generally – infused a lot of the series’ proceedings, Michel playing his Cracklesynth. (I look forward to sharing this, as it took on a totally different meaning in Mazen’s hands – a sign of a truly unique instrument, to be capable of such range.)
At the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held Saturday, October 30, 2021, German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk were officially inducted.
The inductees for the band are the classic lineup of Karl Bartos, Wolfgang Flür, Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider.
“The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a very special place,” noted Pharrell in his induction speech. “But I’m going to suggest that we create a new hall within the hall, reserved for artists who actually invented their genre, because Kraftwerk belongs there.”
Pharrell’s speech was followed by a video tribute from several artists, including Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, the Human League’s Philip Oakey and Run-DMC’s Darryl McDaniels.
Other inductees include Tina Turner, The Go-Go’s, Foo Fighters, Todd Rundgren, Billy Preston and others. To be eligible, artists are required to have released their first record 25 years prior to induction.
Episode one of the Rhythm Lab Records project features Ethan Hill and Madrush MC
Monday, November 1, 2021 – 15:53
A new short film series celebrating Black music history in Manchester has been unveiled, with the first episode already available to watch.
Coming from the Rhythm Lab Records Stable, the sister project to Reform Radio, ‘I Just Love How Black It Was’ started as part of Black History Month. The first instalment features rising producer Ethan Hill and decade-spanning drum & bass stalwart Madrush MC, covering “the history of shebeens, scared jungle promoters, and Home Office violence.”
Interviewed by Rhythm Lab’s lyun, following the conversation both artists were charged with producing music together, resulting in the ‘Corrupt Clarity’ EP, which is out now. You can hear the tracks and watch the film below, with more videos set to arrive in the near future. The project is supported by Youth Music and Arts Council England.
Manchester’s legendary nightclub The Haçienda was the subject of a recent phonebook, ‘Rave One!’. The northern English city is also preparing for its debut as host of the Independent Vinyl Market next month.
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Hard Street continues to take shape with “Come Again,” a beat- and bass riff-led cut that sees the Aussie transplant align with Shahay and British MC Scrufizzer. Issued via Wax Motif‘s own Divided Souls imprint, the bass-house outing assembles buoyant high-hats, percussion, and synths in a club-facing fashion.
“Come Again” nestles quite neatly into Wax Motif’s burgeoning collection of pre-LP singles, a bunch led by December 2020’s “All Black Everything” with Corrupt (UK) and Scrufizzer. On past releases such as “Skank N Flex” and “A1 Dip,” a little Wax and Scrufizzer action has proven a recipe for success, and as “Come Again” showcases, it’s a formula that can’t fail.
Massive Attack have auctioned two rare prints by elusive UK street artist Banksy, raising more than £140,000 for charities in the process.
The pair of works — I Fought The Law and Bomb Middle England — were bought for £71,000 and £70,000 respectively. The sale was held by the street art collective Vanguard, and far exceeded the estimates of £100,000 for both pieces.
Band member Grant ‘Daddy G’ Marshall donated the items, and money raised will now go to Aid Box Community (ABC) and Temwa. The latter works for water, food security, sanitation and education in northern Malawi, and lost a £250,000 grant as a result of the UK reducing its annual aid budget by approximately £4billion.
“When we heard about the government funding Temwa lost earlier this year with the UK aid cuts, and the importance of the work Temwa does in Malawi, we felt compelled to help,” Marshall told the BBC. “Selling the Banksy prints via the Vanguard charity auction seemed an easy way to help raise some urgent funds needed.”
According to a spokesperson from the organisation, this cash will now be used to purchase fruit and agroforestry trees. Meanwhile, ABC is a humanitarian organisation based in Bristol focused on the refugee crisis, and will use the money to provide asylum seekers with support and supplies.
Last year, Banksy — whose real identity remains a mystery but some people believe to be the alter-ego of Massive Attack member Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja — financed a boat designed to rescue refugees attempting to enter Europe via the Mediterranean, a journey estimated to have resulted in 40,555 deaths between 1993 and 2020. The vessel is named Louise Michel, after the French feminist and anarchist.
Florian Picasso remains the sole STMPD RCRDS signee with enough firepower as of late to spawn a GRX release from Martin Garrix. After the two reconvened for an awaited “Make Up Your Mind” successor in April of 2020—the first time Garrix went under that abbreviated name in two years—the STMPD RCRDS dyad has reconvened to consummate a collaborative trilogy, with Picasso tapping the label head for assistance on the introductory number of his impending EP, Héritage.
Picasso—who goes by his birth name for the uninformed—decided to craft an aptly named project that honorably pays homage to his late great grandfather through an “exciting piece of music and images.” Just a few seconds into “Far Away” and Picasso is already doing just that, with he and Garrix deciding to turn a stylistic 180 from their previous two meetings, opting for a much more euphoric, lighthearted spirit relative to “Make Up Your Mind” and “Restart Your Heart.” Although Garrix purposed GRX for releases he feels he doesn’t have an equal degree of production involvement in, his contribution to the first Héritage cut is more than palpable, with Picasso directing the violin-drenched single towards the dateless progressive and electro house heart of the previous decade, evoking a nostalgic resemblance to that of Porter Robinson’s “Language.”
Watch the cinematic video—directed and written by Loïc Schütz—for “Far Away” below.
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