New Evil Drone Synth, The Runner, From Moffenzeef Modular & Boy Harsher

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Moffenzeef Modular’s Ross Fish let us know that they’ve introduced a new limited edition synthesizer, The Runner, created in collaboration with electronic music group Boy Harsher (Jae Matthews and Augustus Muller).

The synth is inspired by the soundtrack to Boy Harsher’s new horror film, The Runner:

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Here’s what they have to say about the new synth:

“We worked together to bring you a compact and feature rich drone synth that can cover the entire spectrum of evil drones.

From sweet, mellow, chorus-rich, detuned washes to walls of brutal harsh noise, THE RUNNER will be sure to take you to the drone zone with little effort. We worked hard to give you a catered selection of macro controls; rather than cramming as many parameters onto the interface as possible, we carefully selected the most desirable controls for drone synthesis. Any position the knobs are in will deliver a pleasing result that will evolve and morph over time.

This instrument hopefully eliminates the need for complicated setups or a deep knowledge of synthesis theory. Drone on and on till the break of dawn.”

Pricing and Availability

The Runner is available now, with a limited run of 250 units, for $455 USD.

James Bond Has No Time To Synth

The latest James Bond film, No Time To Die, joins the long tradition of television shows and movies using synthesizers, drum machines and other electronic music gear to convey the idea that characters are using futuristic technology.

In Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, scientists use an ARP 2500 modular synth to communicate with aliens. In Star Trek VI, Chekov uses an Oberheim DX drum machine to control the Enterprise. And, in the movie Contact, Jodie Foster uses a Focusrite compressor to prove the existence of alien life.

In No Time To Die, Bond visits the home of gadgetmaster ‘Q’, where a Eurorack modular system and a Polyend SEQ sequencer provide the high-tech blinkenlights:

In this case, Q doesn’t do anything with the system, so it’s not clear from the film whether Q is a dawless jammer, or if it’s just another instance of film makers using electronic music gear to stand in as incomprehensible future tech.

The book No Time To Die: The Making Of The Film, though, reveals that the character Q does have a musical side:

“[Q] likes music, but rather than a piano, he has this super-contemporary electronic music device that looks like something he would use at work.”

The device was actually a modular synthesizer built by the associate producer (and son of Michael G Wilson) Gregg Wilson that production designer Mark Tildesley had seen him use on a flight to Canada while scouting for the Danny Boyle incarnation ad remembered months later when it came time to decorate Q’s home. “Gregg is very much like Q,” says Tildesley. “He’s a super-bright scientist working in the arts.”

Have you spied other instances of music gear playing the part of futuristic gadgetry in other movies or TV shows? If so, share it in the comments!

via Jacek Tworkowski

Berlin clubs reduced to 50% capacity from this weekend due to rising Covid-19 cases

Berlin clubs are to be reduced to 50% capacity from this weekend due to rising cases of COVID-19.

Due to a new ruling, venues and nightclubs in the German capital will only be able to operate at half-capacity from Saturday, 27th November. It’s the latest development in a rollercoaster few months for the city regulations-wise.

Speaking to Resident Advisor, the owner of Mitte clubs Fitzroy and Marie-Antoinette, Rémi Letournelle, confirmed the news. “It’s not fully clear if we have to keep masks for concerts or limited capacity or minimum distance between people, which pretty much equals half capacity,” he said. “It’s still up in the air.”

The new ruling – referred to as the ‘2G Plus’ rule – also means that clubbers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recently recovered from the virus must show a negative test result in order to gain entry.

The news comes days after it was announced that clubs in the German state of Bavaria have been forced to close for three weeks starting from 22nd November.

Germany has a lower than average vaccination rate compared to much of Western Europe, and the rate of cases is reaching a new high across the nation. Earlier this week, Germany’s acting Health Minister Jens Spahn urged all German citizens to get vaccinated as soon as possible, warning that people will either be “vaccinated, cured or dead” by the end of winter.

Berlin’s Clubcommission also recently issued a statement in response to the shifting of the conversation in the country towards blaming increasing COVID-19 rates on nightlife, saying venues had been depicted in the “wrong light”.

Midland records final mix for beloved Honey Soundsystem Potcast series

The series bows out after 13 years and 400 episodes

Brian Coney

Thursday, November 25, 2021 – 14:25

MIdland has recorded the final mix for the Honey Soundsystem Potcast.

After 13 years and 400 episodes of mixes from some of the world’s best selectors, the beloved podcast series bowed out yesterday (Wednesday, 24th November) with a final episode by the DJ, producer and Graded label founder, aka Harry Agius.

“I have recorded the final instalment of the HNYPOT mix series,” wrote Agius, posting on Instagram. “A nearly 3 hour wander through some of my favourite music. It is hard to over state just how pivotal it has been for so many of us over the last 13 years.”

“I will keep it short, there is so much I could say, but sometimes its best to let the music do the talking,” he continued. “Thank you to @jacobsperber for entrusting me with this one and to all the amazing djs for turning it out over the last 399 episodes.”

Check out Midland’s three-hour ‘Everything Comes Back To You’ mix below.

Also known as HNYPOT, the series was launched in 2008 with a mix by Honey Soundsystem member Jason Kendig.

V Collection 8.2 – Apple M1, faster GUIs, tuning support, and it’s 50% off for Black Friday

It doesn’t cover everything Arturia makes, but the V Collection 8.2 update shows a ton of modernization for their software synths – including tuning support, faster GUIs, faster presets, and for the Mac folks, that all-important M1 native compatibility. That coincides with their Black Friday sale pricing, too.

New in this release:

  • M1 native compatibility
  • ODD sound support for Clavinet V, Stage-73 V, Piano V, and DX7 V
  • GUI and animation improvements / JUCE 6 framework
  • Faster preset loading for libraries

And it’s included in their sale for 50% off. (So are the excellent FX Collection 2 and – if you prefer one modern synth to a bunch of recreations – Pigments 3, in a bundle with Spectrum.)

Arturia V Collection Overview

V Collection is a bunch of instruments now – including the new Vocoder, Emulator II, Jun-6, and OB-Xa. That includes some total gems like the ARP2600, Synthi, Buchla Easel, Modular, and CZ.

There is one noticeable omission to keep in mind, though – the bundle doesn’t include the recently released SQ80 V, which I’ve slightly fallen in love with (still owe y’all a review, any day now). Presumably, that’ll get added in at some point (one might notice how the number nine follows the number eight); it just hasn’t happened yet.

In detail:

Tuning support

Tuning support is the feature I didn’t expect here, but I’m sure glad to get it. It’s just four instruments – Clavinet V, Stage-73 V, Piano V, and DX7 V – but they now work with ODDSound MTS-ESP, in a trend I hope continues (both for Arturia and other plug-ins). I already wrote them asking for Pigments support, please.

DX7 maqams, I’m ready.

Improved performance

A lot of users will be looking for Apple M1 support on macOS, and rightfully so. It does mean enhanced performance and improved compatibility with DAWs running on the new Apple machines.

But the funny thing is, a lot of the time what you notice breaking in non-optimized plug-ins isn’t computational performance. It’s stuff like the GUI fails to appear or scales incorrectly or behaves strangely or sluggishly.

It seems the Apple Silicon compatibility drive is turning into a “shake the tree” moment for a lot of plug-in developers. It’s either part of other performance optimization they’re doing, or in some cases, I’m sure it’s causing them go back and do a little cleanup, refactoring, and updates. (They’re not going to tell me that, but it is a pretty safe bet.)

Whether that’s what happened here or not, V Collection does get some performance improvements. And as a heavy user of some of their other instruments and effect plug-ins, I hope those follow suit shortly, too – that seems likely.

For V Collection 8.2, you get support for the new JUCE 6 framework, bringing 4K interfaces and smoother performance. And Arturia also updated preset loading; the company says you’ll load factory libraries up to twice as fast. Those improvements reach Windows users as well as macOS users.

A tuning footnote:

So the industry to sell this does two things – they call this “microtuning,” and apparently for some reason have to mention Aphex Twin every time. I won’t do that, because 12-tone equal temperament isn’t even universal inside western classical concert music, let alone most of the world’s music traditions. Okay, I might occasionally say “microtuning” just to be clear, but it’s not the right word – it’s not only subdivisions of a tuning system (which is what microtonal usually means) but also different tuning systems. With the exception of recent pop, almost no music limits itself to a single tuning.

Gosh, there is some other company that makes a ton of instrument and effect plug-ins and I wish would do a proper M1 update for their stuff, too. I can’t remember who they are, but it feels like it rhymes with Dative Schminstruments. It’ll come to me.

Jungle pioneer Ray Keith is releasing a biography, Dark Soldier

It’s a story of UK Culture, jungle music, personal growth and self-development

Brian Coney

Thursday, November 25, 2021 – 14:58

Essex jungle pioneer Ray Keith is set to release a biography.

Written in collaboration with journalist Dave Jenkins, Dark Soldier is a 650-page account, described as a “unique multi-layered tale that shows the true soul behind Ray’s many aliases”.

Featuring contributions from the likes of Fabio & Grooverider, Goldie and more, the biography is said to be a “story of UK Culture, jungle music, personal growth and self-development” tracing Keith’s “adverse and challenging” childhood to his rise in UK club culture across three decades.

Dark Solider is published on Friday, 26th November. Pre-order here.

Working primarily in jungle and drum & bass, Keith has released nine studio albums to date, and has performed under aliases including Renegade, Armageddon and Babylon 5. He is also the uncle of Peter O’Grady aka Joy Orbison.

Revisit our feature delving into how Keith’s 1994 classic ‘Terrorist’ (producing as Renegade) created a blueprint for jungle music.

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VTSS announces new EP, ‘Projections’, on Ninja Tune’s Technicolour imprint

VTSS has announced a new EP, ‘Projections’, set for release on Ninja Tune’s Technicolour imprint. 

The Poland-born, London-based producer will release the six-track EP, her debut for the label, digitally on 28th January 2022, and on vinyl on 22nd April. 

The release is influenced by VTSS’ move from Berlin to London last September. “With clubs being closed and there being no perspective on when it was going to change I felt free for the first time to do what I wanna do,” she said. “And being in London, being surrounded by friends who are outside of the ‘techno bubble’ – everyone here is more genre fluid. That was really inspiring.”

“Being in a new city gave me courage to explore some territories I thought I could never reach in my music,” added Maja, reflecting on lead single ‘Trust Me.’ “It is the result of that and one of my fav tracks I’ve made.”

Stream ‘Trust Me’ – and check out the EP’s artwork and tracklisting – below.

Earlier this year, VTSS teamed up with LSDXOXO for ‘Goin Nuts’, a track that intended to “show the perspective of a voyeur or someone watching from the edges of the crowd, offering an intimate peak inside a queer and often unnoticed POC community within Berlin”.

1. The need to avoid
2. Trust me
3. For your safety
4. Live laugh leave
5. Propaganda of success
6. Why we don’t deserve nice things

Dancing Astronaut Gives Thanks 2021

Dancing Astronaut Gives Thanks 2021Thanks

Today is Thanksgiving. It’s a time to give thanks for good health, good friends, good family, and, of course, good music. We thought we’d take the time to pay tribute to our favorite parts of dance music culture on this day of thanks, not only for the ones behind the turntables while we get to party, but for the greater dance music culture and its constantly expanding fanbase. This one’s for the producers and performers that put their full hearts and souls into everything they do, the clubs that go all out every night of the week, and the people who live and breathe dance music. Today, we celebrate you. It’s the least we can do.


David Klemow

Editor-in-Chief

“Now in my ninth year as an Astronaut, I can look back at almost every previous iteration of Dancing Astronaut and it becomes almost impossible to quantify all of the things I am proud of, thankful for, and honored to have taken part in that makes this website run. Giving dance music an authoritative, insightful voice and sharing this platform with millions of readers and ravers across the world is something I am incredibly blessed to get to do. And while writing about music and going to shows professionally certainly checks the ‘very cool job’ box, things have changed immeasurably for all of us since the pandemic. Blogging isn’t the same as it once was, concerts and festivals aren’t what they once were, I am not the same bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, over-alliterating rave kid I was in 2013. What does remain the same, however, is the dedication that the Dancing Astronaut team brings to electronic music. From covering weekly releases to diving in deep with our favorite artists, from uncovering emerging talent to weekly tastemaking playlists, this team bleeds for electronic music day-in and day-out. And while this team may be smaller and more spread out than previous versions of the DA squad, its connectivity, inclusivity, thoughtfulness, and determination remain as strong as ever. To have the opportunity to be associated with this group of dance music diehards, let alone have even a minor role in leading them forward, but mostly to watch them tell the next generation of dance music’s story, makes me more thankful and proud, than I can articulate. This year, I give all thanks to the team that makes this sweaty circus of sirens and wubwubs tick, because without them, I simply don’t know where I’d be.”

Ross Goldenberg

Social Media Managing Editor

“With another year in the books, I want to start this off as always by saying that I’m thankful for Dancing Astronaut.

After what felt like a lifetime without concerts, I’m thankful for finally having them back and giving me something to look forward to week in and week out again. Last year, I was thankful for Insomniac Events for getting everyone through the pandemic with virtual events and in 2021, I’m thankful for them once again after experiencing my first EDC Las Vegas.

I’m thankful for Swedish House Mafia being back, for Alesso for releasing ‘Somebody To Use,’ and for all of my other favorite artists—including Lane 8, Nurko, Bleu Clair, and Martin Garrix to name a few—who continue to do what they do. In between all of that, I’m constantly reminded of why I’ve stayed with DA for as long as I have and how thankful I am to have such an invaluable platform in dance music. Happy Thanksgiving!”

Zach Salafia

Social Media Coordinator, Staff Writer

“I’m thankful for the dance music community as a whole for staying so positive through thick and thin this past year-and-a-half-plus. The sense of community I felt during the isolation of the pandemic via livesteams or drive-in raves was truly the boost of serotonin I think we all needed during trying times. It was remarkable to see an industry pivot at a moment’s notice to adapt to new and unprecedented circumstances in a way I think only dance music could. Lastly, I’m thankful for Dancing Astronaut and everyone I’ve met since joining the team in February. It’s been a true honor and pleasure to be a part of something with genuine influence in the community I love so much. Alright enough with the sappy post, time to dig into some sweet potato casserole!”

Rachel Narozniak

Managing Editor

“This Thanksgiving, I am especially grateful to have had the opportunity to check an item off of my bucket list: attending EDC Las Vegas. I’d hoped to attend the festival since I was introduced to dance music years prior, and this year, I was able to not only go, but to go as press. Although I’ve been a member of the Dancing Astronaut team since 2017 and have sought to attend this festival for nearly five full years, receiving the press credentials still felt surreal.

My first festival since COVID-19 cleared dance floors, EDC Las Vegas reminded me of the festival scene’s resiliency and beauty as it concurrently elevated my passion for music journalism to a new height. I am grateful to have a platform that supports the intersection of my two passions—dance music and writing—and that, after all these years, still makes me feel the way I did about dance music when I first heard it nearly a decade ago.”

Farrell Sweeney

Senior Writer/Editor

“This year has been a year of change and adjustment to an ever-evolving ‘new norm’, but overall, it has also been a year of hope and healing. Last year, I rediscovered and reignited my passion for pop, and this year, I have grown to love the more upbeat house music that has pervaded the dance music scene. The music is fun, upbeat, and channels a sense of optimism that I think many are looking for right now. It has been a very difficult few years, and dance music has really made a push to ‘lighten the mood’ in a big way. I have also been completely inspired by the sheer volume and creativity of the music that is now being released, a lot of which was written and produced during quarantine. 
Lastly, I am thankful that live performances are back, employment within the music industry (especially live events) is again on the rise, and people are able to enjoy the music they love in person alongside friends and fellow music lovers. The industry is going through a time of healing and a rebirth, in a way, after all of the event shutdowns. I am thankful that people are able to share their music in a live setting and that the people who power the music and concert industries behind the scenes are able to return to doing what they love.”

Sami Weisband

Staff Writer

“I could not be more grateful for the return of live music and the opportunity to reunite with the beautiful community that dance music has always provided me. I’m incredibly thankful that during a time of such isolation, we have only grown stronger.”

The post Dancing Astronaut Gives Thanks 2021 appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

J-Onyx is all about that “Hood Stuff” [Video]

South London rapper J-Onyx is ending the year on a solid note with the release of the visual for her third single “Hood Stuff.” On the record, she teams up with esteemed producer Ty Metronome, who lays down a synth fuelled bass-heavy drill beat that fires up the listener.  From thinly-veiled verbal jabs, engaging stylish cadence, and an air of natural confidence, J-Onyx goes for the jugular as she reminds us of her rough beginnings and her journey through this music thing will not be curtailed by naysayers or detractors. .medrectangle-3-multi-108{border:none !important;display:block !important;float:none;line-height:0px;margin-bottom:15px !important;margin-left:0px !important;margin-right:0px !important;margin-top:15px !important;min-height:250px;min-width:250px;padding:0;text-align:center !important;}

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The visual is straight to the point and focuses on J-Onyx’s presence while capturing her in her element with her team. It also makes use of expressive choreography, quick-cut scenes, and a bit of dark lighting to accentuate the moody vibe of the song itself. In the same vein as her previous two releases earlier this year, the rising rapper only aims to make an impression with her music which serves as the focal point of her branding. Her face is fully masked and she is usually fully clothed in pictures and videos so the only point of reference is how dope her music is.

“Hood Stuff” is the third single and follow up to her previous singles “Chop The Bummies” and her debut single “Can’t F With.” 

Get “Hood Stuff” on all DSPs here.

Connect with J-Onyx : SoundCloud | Spotify | TWITTER  | INSTAGRAM

MOONWOOD unveil their dreamy new tune “Sydney Lights”

Travel restrictions placed on us due to the pandemic have been a struggle for many. Whether it is travel for pleasure, work or returning to the place we are from, getting out of our normal environment sometimes is just the escape we need. MOONWOOD sings of a new appreciation for your native city in “Sydney Lights.” With a light, passionate tone gliding over wistful guitars and shining synths, the tender track is so warm and inviting, with the imagery of Sydney lights illuminating the city clearly engrained in your mind. That longing to go to a place you once called home can be heard in the yearning angst oozing off the vocals.

The Australia born, United States and Canada based band consists of Jake (lead vocals), Justin (drums), Aaron (keys), Will (bass) and Paul (guitar). Inspired by U2 and Kings Of Leon, they enchant listeners with their gentle, melancholic sound. This release possesses that same delicate quality fans know and love. Singer Jake shares, “As a result of the pandemic, a lot of us have been sitting still, not being able to travel or leave the state. We have had no choice but to stay in our homes to think and reflect. It was in that place that this song was born.”

Connect with MOONWOOD: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram