Dreadbox’s new 200€ Dysmetria kit is an insane amount of analog groove fun

My favorite thing from Superbooth, the one thing I’d pull out a wallet right away and get? It’s none other than Dreadbox’s utterly brutal-sounding, wildly fun analog semi-modular groove synth for Eurorack or desktop.

It’s a really nice piece of hardware in person.

Things that do beats and things that do basslines, things that have some patch points, kits, stuff that fits in a Eurorack or desktop – you’ve seen that before. But the Dysmetria has two things going for it: one, an irresistible impulse-buy price, and two, it just sounds fantastically fun.

So the architecture is deceptively simple. You’ve got a sequencer, oscillators with noise and tuning and waveshape, simple decay control for amp envelope, and filter. It almost looked vanilla when I saw it from a distance. But then you get your hands on it, and there are a few details that stand out:

  • That Dreadbox sound. I already loved their oscillators from the Medusa (with Polyend) and other hardware, and their 2-pole resonant filter (both lowpass and bandpass here) is just great. Plus –
  • Voltage-controlled FM. Take a good look at the left-hand strip in gold in the oscillator section, because that’s where I was having serious fun. There’s just easy access to proper audio-rate FM, flip-switch access to noise, and it sounds great.
  • Patch points on the bottom. Everything is voltage controllable – including, crucially, the mixer and step sequencer. And the jacks being on the bottom make patching both easier to understand and out of the way of your fingers, even with a fairly clever patch. It’s already fun to patch on-unit, and then easy enough to patch into other desktop or Eurorack modular gear.
  • That big tune knob, and other performance features. This layout is just perfectly suited to live jams, from the flow of the controls to the amp and tune knobs.
  • It’s got a powerful sequencer. They crammed a 32-step sequencer with live and step recording modes into the left-hand side of the unit. Combined with noise and FM and patching, you can easily make percussive lines and not just basslines.

I love stuff like the semi-modular range from Moog, for instance, but this feels like a down-and-dirty machine for live jams in a way I haven’t seen from its rivals. The kit build also looks approachable. You will be doing some soldering, but there’s already a power board pre-assembled, and it’s all through-hole. Resistors are a little close, so I definitely wouldn’t take this on as my first soldering project, but it looks like it might actually be satisfying for anyone with a little experience who loves that solder smell. Plus you can use leaded solder and… shhh. Don’t tell anyone I said that. Please take precautions.

Check the construction guide.

Limited-run kit, 200EUR (without VAT). USB powered. Details and full specs:

More in video form:

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Directory of women, trans and non-binary producers launches online, In the Key of She

A directory of women, trans and non-binary producers, In the Key of She (ItKoS), has launched online.

Compiled by DJ, producer, and academic Samantha Parsley, aka Dovetail, the directory gathers over 250 artists and is categorised by genre, with everything from footwork to psy-trance making the cut.

Alison Wonderland, Charlotte de Witte, Honey Dijon, Shy One and Ciel are among the many artists featured in the directory. See the full list here.

Parsely founded ItKos alongside fellow academic researcher Alex Wright, aka Hide The Soul.

As ItKos points out on their site, women currently make up only 2-5% of music producers. “If we are serious about helping more girls and women get into tech-heavy creative industries, investigating the electronic music industry is a good place to start”, they say.

Lil Keed, YSL rapper, dies, aged 24

Lil Keed, the Atlanta-based rapper signed to Young Thug’s Young Stoner Life label, has died aged 24.

“A member of our family is gone. Lil Keed was one of the most genuine and heartfelt human beings,” a representative of YSL tweeted yesterday (15th May). “He was an artist who loved his fans more than anything else. We lost a brother, a son, a father, and a friend. Keep him in your prayers and his legacy alive. Long Live Lil Keed”.

Keed’s brother, fellow rapper Lil Gotit, paid tribute on Instagram. “Can’t believe I seened u die today bro,” he wrote. “I did all my cries. I know what u want me to do and that’s go hard for Mama, Daddy, Our Brothers, Naychur, and Whiteboy #ImaHoldthisShitDown”.

Born Raqhid Jevon Render on 16th March, 1998, in Atlanta, Georgia, Lil Keed signed with Young Thug’s YSL records via 300 Entertainment in 2018 and dropped his debut album, ‘Long Live Mexico’, in 2019. 

The cause of Keed’s death has not yet been confirmed.

Kendrick Lamar announces 2022 world tour

Kendrick Lamar has announced a 2022 world tour to coincide with the release of his new album, ‘Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers’.

The North American leg of The Big Steppers Tour will kick off on 19th July at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, and conclude with two performances at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on 14th September and 15th September.

A European run of tour dates will unfold in the autumn, kicking off with Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome on 7th October and taking in stops in Berlin, Paris, Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham, Dublin, Manchester, Leeds and London, among many more. There will also be four shows in Australia and one in New Zealand. Buy tickets and see the full list of tour dates here.

Lamar will be joined on tour by pgLang artists and album contributors Baby Keem and Tanna Leone. pgLang is the multi-disciplinary media company he launched in March 2020 with Dave Free.

Last week, Lamar released his fifth album, ‘Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers’, the follow-up to his Pulitzer-winning 2017 LP ‘Damn’. The record features a vocal contribution from Portishead’s Beth Gibbons on ‘Mother I Sober’ and Sampha on ‘Father Time’, among other contributors. Lamar is also set to headline Glastonbury next month (June).

Mary J. Blige given Icon Award at Billboard Music Awards 2022

Mary J. Blige took home the Icon Award at last night’s (15th May) Billboard Music Awards 2022 in Las Vegas.

The R&B megastar was presented with the award by last year’s winner of the same category, Janet Jackson, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. She is the seventh woman to receive the accolade, which honours the careers of artists who have made a sizeable impact on music and on the Billboard charts.

During her acceptance speech, Blige highlighted the hard work she has put into her career. “The way the world is now, I think people think icons are born that way,” she said. “They become a legend overnight. But that’s definitely not the case.” 

Blige also gave thanks to a raft of friends and family, including BBMAs host Diddy, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, before commenting, “The message of my music has always been we are not alone in our struggles. I finally found my real love, and that real love is me.” Back in February, she performed at the Super Bowl halftime show alongside Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre and Eminem. Watch her acceptance speech in full below.

Elsewhere at this year’s awards, Olivia Rodrigo and Kanye West stole the show by scooping six awards each.

Mary J. Blige dropped her 14th studio album, ‘Good Morning Gorgeous’, earlier this year.

Gryffin, Olivia O’Brien make for ultimate house-pop cross on surprise third ‘Alive’ single, ‘Caught Up’

Gryffin, Olivia O’Brien make for ultimate house-pop cross on surprise third ‘Alive’ single, ‘Caught Up’Gryffin 22

No one was expecting back-to-back Fridays with new Gryffin music. Exactly a week after publicizing that Alive was the name of his presently dateless sophomore album and delivering its title track alongside Calle Lehmann, Gryffin decided that one single wasn’t enough. And on the very same day that “Alive” landed, Gryffin posted a TikTok from Olivia O’Brien on his Instagram story where she was previewing what could only be seen as a collaboration between them. That “song of the summer” is what most assumed it to be based on Gryffin’s caption, now officially landing as the third Alive single, “Caught Up.”

Joining the Alive title number and “You Were Loved” with Ryan Tedder, “Caught Up” builds more credence thus far that Gryffin’s Gravity sequel may very well trend in a more house-slanted direction. And labeling it as a summer-defining anthem couldn’t have been a more spot-on depiction of what “Caught Up” is at its core, with Gryffin and Olivia O’Brien mapping out a quintessential dance-pop crossover that plants another layer of house versatility that Alive has offered three consecutive times. With an evening planned at Los Angeles State Historic Park on November 4 and a hint towards a “proper tour” in the works—featuring a brand new album live show—Gryffin will have more than just this summer’s airwaves in his grasp.

Featured image: Juliana Bernstein

The post Gryffin, Olivia O’Brien make for ultimate house-pop cross on surprise third ‘Alive’ single, ‘Caught Up’ appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

DJ Mooncup identified as person that died after attending Bang Face Weekender

DJ Mooncup aka Ellen Percival has been identified as the person that died after attending Bang Face Weekender at Pontins in Southport.

The Bristol DJ was taken to hospital after being found unconscious on the morning of Friday, 6th May.

In a statement posted to Facebook on Thursday (12th May), Percival’s father, Martin, explained that Ellen was rushed to Southport General Hospital after their partner Oli Gray called the paramedics. They were pronounced dead at 8:30 AM. They were 33.

“Ellen was a force of nature and I was so very proud of my daughter,” wrote Martin. “They packed more into 33 years than many people do in more than double that number of years. Ellen and [partner] Oli had just bought a house in Bristol, were talking about possibly starting a family and have a lovely cat called Arthur.

“Ellen was enjoying their job in the library at Bristol University, was finishing off their MSc in Biological Recording, totally enjoying their club and radio DJ work and always had multiple projects on the go. I will miss Ellen immensely, as will Oli, their friends and family.”

Merseyside Police have ruled out any suspicious circumstances but there will need to be a post-mortem as Percival’s death was sudden and unexpected.

Percival’s father, partner, and friends will hold a memorial picnic in their memory in St George Park, Bristol, on Saturday, May 21st, at 1PM BST.

DJ Mooncup had a monthly show on Bristol’s Noods Radio and had put out releases on Rye Wax. 

Valencia’s early ’90s rave scene captured in new exhibition

A new exhibition capturing the vibrant visual identity of Valencia’s early ‘90s rave scene, la ruta del bakalao, is currently open.

Held at the region’s Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM) until 19th June, Ruta Gráfica. Designs for the Sound of Valenciafeatures posters and graphic designs from the iconic clubbing era, which was centered around the region’s notorious Barraca, Chocolate and Spook Factory venues.

The exhibition, which has been organised as part of Valencia’s World Design Capital 2022 status, showcases 132 posters and 86 flyers, as well as two documentaries steered by an array of promoters, managers and creatives. Watch a video about the exhibition below and find out more on the IVAM site.

This week, a new exhibition exploring Manchester’s Haçienda and Factory Records label is set to open at the city’s John Rylands Research Institute and Library. The exhibition forms part of an overall project which the organisation says is “dedicated to the preservation and research of popular culture”.

Back in March, Spain introduced a €400 culture voucher scheme for all 18-year-olds. Recipients of the Youth Cultural Bonus will be able to spend their vouchers on festivals, concerts, books, vinyl, and cinema tickets, as well as digital music and subscriptions.

This exhibition celebrates Valencia’s early ’90s rave scene

A new exhibition capturing the vibrant visual identity of Valencia’s early ‘90s rave scene, la ruta del bakalao, is currently open.

Held at the region’s Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM) until 19th June, Ruta Gráfica. Designs for the Sound of Valenciafeatures posters and graphic designs from the iconic clubbing era, which was centered around the region’s notorious Barraca, Chocolate and Spook Factory venues.

The exhibition, which has been organised as part of Valencia’s World Design Capital 2022 status, showcases 132 posters and 86 flyers, as well as two documentaries steered by an array of promoters, managers and creatives. Watch a video about the exhibition below and find out more on the IVAM site.

This week, a new exhibition exploring Manchester’s Haçienda and Factory Records label is set to open at the city’s John Rylands Research Institute and Library. The exhibition forms part of an overall project which the organisation says is “dedicated to the preservation and research of popular culture”.

Back in March, Spain introduced a €400 culture voucher scheme for all 18-year-olds. Recipients of the Youth Cultural Bonus will be able to spend their vouchers on festivals, concerts, books, vinyl, and cinema tickets, as well as digital music and subscriptions.