Malaa tells ‘How it is’ on first ‘Don Malaa’ album single

Malaa tells ‘How it is’ on first ‘Don Malaa’ album singleMalaa

“That’s how it is, and that’s how it goes,” says Malaa‘s lyrically simplistic yet percussively intricate new house cut. Dispatched on June 9, “How it is” marks the ski masked Parisian’s second original single of the calendar year and opens his forthcoming debut album, Don Malaa. Arriving fresh on the heels of February’s “Wait“—which has since received two April-released remixes from newcomers Kenty Clide and YYVNG—”How it is” reflects the first official look at Malaa’s Don Malaa, which is set to land on streaming platforms in September.

Tech-house infused, tribal, and hopelessly hypnotic, “How it is” is now streaming everywhere via Illegal Music. Add Malaa’s newest record to your summer house playlists after taking a listen below.

Featured image: Rukes

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Premiere: Stryer returns to Rude Service on ‘Fall For Me Again’ with Robbie Rosen

Premiere: Stryer returns to Rude Service on ‘Fall For Me Again’ with Robbie RosenPhoto May 03 3 42 40 PM

Stryer—an artist who promises waves of melody and tides of harmony—is back to deliver just that with his newest single. Featuring Robbie Rosen, “Fall For Me Again” sees the ascending bass talent turn in a track that’s ripe for festival circulation this summer and boasts melodic drops that match up alongside the vocals of the American Idol alumni. The Rude Service-backed artist gave some insight behind his newest single and how the collaboration came about, explaining,

“’Fall for Me Again’ is the song that I’ve been dreaming of working on since I started producing. It’s such an honor to work with someone Robbie, who I actually watched on American Idol when I was a kid. As soon as I first heard this vocal, I knew we had something major on our hands. This one is a true feelsy, feel-good anthem for summer 2022.”

“Fall For Me Again” will formally grace listeners ears via streaming platforms on June 17, but listeners can hear it one day early, exclusively on Dancing Astronaut. Pre-save the single so it’s available in your library upon release here.

Featured image: Stryer

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Premiere: Strick ‘Drunk at Laser Quest’

Ontario’s Strick will release a new EP via NKC’s Even The Strong label in July. Listen to ‘Laser Quest’ below. 

Though it was written while working on his family’s farm, the four cuts on ‘Headbutt’ remain firmly focused on the dancefloor, with Strick flexing his percussion muscles to craft tracks that roll, pop and swing with a rowdy flair. It’s a little bit house, it’s a little bit UK funky, it’s even a little bit techno, and, as the label puts it, it’s real “OG hard drum”, a sound that has become synonymous with the ETS catalogue since it launched back in 2017. 

The EP’s closer ‘Drunk at Laser Quest’ is as dizzying as its title suggests. Crushed-up drum rolls layer on top of each other while gqom-like shouts fade in and out of ear shot. This is the sort of tension-building club tool that’s designed to make your body shake. If mixed well, there’s no limit to how much it will set the dancefloor off. 

A portion of the profits from this release will be donated to a charitable organisation or initiative, chosen by Strick. 

‘Headbutt’ will be released on 1st July. Pre-order it here

Arturia FX Collection 3: now with tube and op-amp distortion and more enhancements

It started as small collections of effects “you’d actually use,” and Arturia’s full FX Collection suite has grown well into that. I’ve been hands-on with the latest edition – here’s all that’s new.

Arturia’s stuff is just a solid, lovely-sounding, and now wide-ranging set of effects in various categories. If you don’t like big, brash, skeuomorphic interfaces, you’re likely to be put off, it’s true. But Arturia has done a lot to refine its UIs and my sense is that advanced sound designers will fall in love from the moment they hit the “advanced” button and expose everything these tools can do. Almost every single effect, vintage-simulation included, has a powerful surprise waiting – an envelope follower, extra modulation, additional effects, and so on.

The big news for macOS users came earlier this year with the Apple Silicon-native 2.1 update – now, both the company’s instrument and effects libraries are M1/M2 native. (That version also updated NKS support, which in practical terms means you can easily tweak settings from Native Instruments gear, among other things.)

FX Collection 3 brings the collection in line with all the latest additions to the stable. That includes Tape MELLO-FI and the granular Efx FRAGMENTS, which I reviewed previously. But let’s get on to what you don’t know about:


Dist OPAMP-21

Oversampling on both of those new effects (switchable)

A/B comparison is invaluable while testing what an effect actually does to your material, and while altering presets or making your own

Interface refinement across the whole suite, including a particular upgrade for Delay BRIGADE (formerly Delay Memory Brigade). Even Efx FRAGMENTS got some UI/UX improvements, and generally browsing and UI performance are improved.

Let’s have a visual tour:

You know the drill – click to embiggen.

Dist TUBE-CULTURE. This looks like one we’re going to wind up using a lot – think easy access to harmonic character, warmth, saturation, and the ability to crank up to more crunch/distortion. As it happens I’ve been messing about with the plug-in version of the Black Box Analog HG-2 and the associated hardware is excellent, too. But there are a number of things that get this general job done.

What’s significant here is, Arturia has gotten good at modeling, so you get a nice model of that heated vacuum tube. And you have a control layout here that makes loads of sense. Add in dedicated input and output controls and that very-useful gate/compressor dynamics knob, and I think you’ve got a winner.

This can be as nuanced as you want, so I already find it useful on electronic drums and whatnot. It’s really down to that control layout for me.

Dist OPAMP-21. Okay, this one is derived from the Tech 21 Sans Amp and – far from the software clone stealing business from Tech 21, I now totally want to go buy some of their gear.

But yeah, this is also eminently useful, once your eyes recover from that bright yellow text. Still more distortion and saturation, and the FX Collection did already have some to begin with (Bus FORCE).

The trick is, this one takes some exploration, because you’ve got 4 modes – modern, normal, lead, and bass mean it models effectively four pedals – plus 8 character switches. Plus you have stuff hardware doesn’t give you, like parallel processing, expanded stereo options, and generally nice control over pre-drive and post-drive with EQ curves.

But there’s still a big bypass switch, which is also useful, even if you’re now using it with the, uh, mouse. (Well, MIDI map it?)

Delay BRIGADE is really a lot better looking and more readable now for improved usage.

I’m in. Already solved a couple of tracks with the new additions.

More info / yes there’s discounted intro pricing:

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Errol and Alex Rita’s Touching Bass label shares two new singles from ‘Soon Come’ compilation: Listen

Two new tracks have been shared from ‘Soon Come’, a 22-track compilation due for release on Errol and Alex Rita’s Touching Bass label in July. 

‘Miss U’ by Ego Ella May and Blck Spvde’s ‘Save A Lil Seat’, featuring Stone’s Throw’s DJ Harrison, each represent a different side of the compilation, which is divided into ‘Day’ and ‘Night’ moods. These tracks follow the release of previous singles, keiyaA’s ‘Camille’s Daughter’ (from the daytime side) and Ben Hauke’s ‘Turn It On’ (from the nighttime side).

Elsewhere on the compilation there are tracks by Hiatus Kaiyote drummer Clever Austin, Warp Records signee Nala Sinephro & Lyle Barton, Melo-Zed, Demae and more. 

‘Soon Come’ is two years in the making, with Touching Bass’ Errol, Sammseed and Rita in charge of curation. The latter was also responsible for the compilation’s artwork, which features captured moments from the past six years of the crew’s genre-defying South London events, gigs and NTS radio shows. Founded on a community ethos, Touching Bass became a label in 2019.

Revisit DJ Mag’s recent feature, ‘The Sound of Touching Bass‘, which includes a mix of tracks from its catalogue recorded by Sammseed. 

‘Touching Bass presents: Soon Come’ will be released on 1st July. Pre-order it here

Two Shell announce new EP, ‘Icons’

Two Shell have announced a new EP, ‘Icons’, which is set to land via Mainframe Audio on 30th June. 

A new track from the release, ‘Dust’, can be heard below. A previous single, ‘Pods‘, also features alongside a further three tunes. News of the release follows the duo’s recent Boiler Room set at Spain’s Primavera festival. The pair are also set to play at Glastonbury next weekend. 

Two Shell’s reputation has been steadily rising since they debuted on revered Bristol imprint Livity Sound in 2019, garnering a strong following through consistently well-received releases, such as January’s ‘Home’, and tongue-in-cheek edits of tracks by the likes of Sugababes and The Corrs. Earlier this year, their website began teasing a so-called “cyber-world” the duo are in the process of building. In January they recorded a mix for BBC 6 Music

Listen to ‘Dust’ below. ‘Icons’ is available for pre-order now.

NikNak announces new turntablism album inspired by Afrofuturism and Black spirituality, ‘Sankofa’

NikNak has announced a new album, ‘Sankofa’,  which will be released on 1st July. 

Billed as an “immersive turntablism-produced” record, the Leeds-based artist’s latest outing has a clear narrative thread. The release tells the story of a young Black woman’s self-realisation and discovery of superpowers. The concept is a result of intense research into Afrofuturism, Black spirituality, comic book characters and faith. These themes were then combined with the artist’s Oram Award-winning turntablism and production skills, incorporating deep melodic synth work, orchestral elements and field recordings into the experimental mix.

Speaking about the album’s title, NikNak, who is one of DJ Mag’s artists to watch for 2022, said: “Often symbolised by a bird looking back over its shoulder, Sankofa is a spiritual principle derived from the Akan people of Ghana; that one should remember the past to make positive progress in the future”. The release was first created during her time on 2021’s Sound Generator R&D programme in 2021. 

“Sankofa serves as a way for all Black womanhood within the diaspora and beyond to further accept and grow within themselves without apology, to not forget the power, mysticism and beauty that resides within and from their ancestors, whilst uniquely taking up as much space as possible,” she continued. “Sankofa sends a message that Blackness and femininity are so much more than stereotypes often alluded to.” 

Listen to NikNak’s recent track, ‘Doubt’, below.

Following the release, NikNak will embark on a UK tour, with performance and design aimed at exploring the album’s themes, combining visual art, improvised DJ sets, and support from like loop musician Xana. Tickets are on sale now, with full dates below. In January, NikNak recorded a mix for DJ Mag’s Radio 1 Dance residency — listen back here.

Avant Gardner acquires Made Event, Electric Zoo

Avant Gardner acquires Made Event, Electric ZooImage From IOS 3

The investment group behind Avant Gardner has acquired New York promoter Made Event and its annual festival on Randall’s Island, Electric Zoo, from LiveStyle for $15 million. Under the terms of the purchase, Avant Gardner will operate Electric Zoo’s 2022 installment from September 2 – 4. Billboard broke the news of the acquisition on June 15.

The business move is monumental in the context of the New York dance/electronic music market and cements Avant Gardner’s prominence not only in this landscape, but also in the Northeast region at large. The 80,000-square foot site, situated on the East Williamsburg/Queens border, opened in 2017 under the oversight of Swiss concert promoter Billy Bildstein, the company’s current chief creative officer, and Philipp Wiederkehr, a Swiss banker who owns and operates a multi-million dollar private equity and asset management firm, as well as a real estate investments company. Avant Gardner is home to the famed Brooklyn Mirage, which recently underwent costly but impactful upgrades, Kings Hall, and a 150-person private dance space.

In the context of the Northeast region’s dance/electronic events circuit, Made Event is most noteworthy for its promotion of Electric Zoo, a 100,000-capacity event that has reigned as New York’s sole dance-specific festival of its size since Insomniac retired Electric Daisy Carnival New York in 2017.

The acquisition brings resolution to a tumultuous past for Made Event, which was acquired by SFX in 2014. Two years after the acquisition, SFX filed for bankruptcy. Former chief executive Randy Phillips subsequently rebranded SFX as LiveStyle. According to Billboard, Made Event was “the last U.S. festival property held by LiveStyle to be sold.”

Via: Billboard

Featured image: Doug Van Sant

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Cost of shipping vinyl from Germany to increase due to DHL amendments

The cost of shipping vinyl from Germany to the rest of the world is set to significantly increase as a result of pricing amendments to ‘vinyl-sized’ parcels by DHL. 

Currently, shipping two record from Germany to most of the world costs €6, but could rise to €19.98 from 1st July under the new guidelines. The same service shipping a UK address will cost €16.70. 

A petition has now been launched on in a bid to pressure DHL into offering a solution. The firm’s most recent year-end financial report showed record earnings for 2021, with overall revenue across all divisions up 22.5% and a turnover of €81.7bn

“2 records (two regular 12″ Vinyl) to destinations outside of Europe can now still be send [sic] for EUR 6,00 and 4 Records (that’s four 12″ records) for EUR 9,00 to places like the US or Australia or any other destination outside the EU until now. This will not be possible anymore after July 1st,” a representative from YoreStore, one of the record shops behind the campaign, posted on a Discogs forum thread

“It would then go up to EUR 15,89 for the same service (sending 1-4 records to the US or Australia or any destination outside of Europe). The US for example is a strong market for vinyl to be ordered from Germany and it would simply not be possible to serve US customers anymore (unless for orders of 7 records or above). Who’s going to pay EUR 15,89 (without packaging) compared to EUR 6,00 for 1-2 records being sent?” they continued, adding: “This will effect all German record labels, all german vinyl mailorders, all smaller or bigger german Discogs sellers, and all german record stores.” 

The statement goes on to explain the petition is “not even about the prices of the fares” but rather asking DHL to change the formats of their parcels, so 12″ vinyl records can fit into the new maximum size packaging for cheaper parcel rates, as was once the case. A number of comments underneath point out that shipping costs from Germany have historically been much lower than many other EU and non-EU countries. Nevertheless, the new charges could potentially have a major impact on sales, with many stores reliant on mail order demand from major overseas markets such as the US and UK, where vinyl sales have significantly increased in recent years. 

Time Warp returns to Mannheim this October with two-day event

Time Warp has announced it will return to Mannheim with a two-day, two-stage event on 28th and 29th October this year.

The full line-up is still to be announced, but names including Amelie Lens, Adam Beyer, Sven Väth, Loco Dice, Hector Oaks, Solomun, MARRØN, Denis Sulta, VTSS, Peggy Gou, and Paula Temple have been confirmed to play. Reinier Zonneveld will also perform live. Perel and Sama’ Abdulhadi will also make their first appearances at the techno institution. Pre-sale registration is now open, with tickets available from Monday 4th July.

Time Warp restarted in Mannheim last October with a reduced version of the usual festival, which has run in the German city since 1994. This was followed last month with two special instalments São Paulo, Brazil and Santiago, Chile, welcoming 30,000 and 15,000 punters respectively. The second post-lockdown hometown instalment will be larger than the previous, taking over both the Maimarkthalle and Maimarktclub venues.

Organisers had originally planned for a full-scale Time Warp Mannheim at the usual time of spring this year, but that was postponed for a third time due to Covid-19. A new date has now been for 2nd April 2023.