Bask in the ‘Afterglow’ with Bob Moses, Kasablanca

Bask in the ‘Afterglow’ with Bob Moses, KasablancaUnnamed 4

Although Bob Moses and Kasablanca‘s first outing in tandem conceptually centers on the “Afterglow,” it sounds—and feels—a lot like a comeup. One play provides the same warm, total-body rush and, just before the breaks, the same sense of anticipation for what’s to come. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t disappoint.

If it wasn’t clear that Bob Moses and Kasablanca’s sounds exist on a complementary sonic plane prior to “Afterglow,” it is now, and even before song’s end, at that. A visceral melange of vocal presence (courtesy of Bob Moses) and smoldering, textured production, the debut collaboration is primed for peak-time performance in the club setting—and that’s exactly where it’s lived prior to its official release. “A few months back, we met up with the Kasablanca guys at our studio in LA,” says Bob Moses. “We’d just finished The Silence in Between and didn’t have any plans to jump back into finishing new music so quickly. It was a very creative couple days and the end result was ‘Afterglow’. We’ve been testing it out it in our club sets over the last month to great reactions and we’re stoked to get it out into the world.”

Bask in the “Afterglow” below.

Featured image: Courtesy of Astralwerks

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Ocaso Music Festival taps Solomun, Adriatique for 2023 return to Costa Rica

Ocaso Music Festival taps Solomun, Adriatique for 2023 return to Costa RicaOcaso 5

From January 6 – 9, 2023, Tamarindo, Costa Rica will go underground once again for Ocaso Music Festival. After a special five-year anniversary installment in 2022 that welcomed house and techno tastemakers like Amelie Lens and Hot Since 82 to the Guanacaste Province, the Central American event will return with Solomun and Adriatique, the first two acts to be revealed from the 2023 lineup. Of note, Ocaso will host Solomun’s and Adriatique’s sole North American performances in the time leading up to March 2023.

This first wave of talent will be followed by the full lineup, scheduled to be announced in September. Ocaso’s slate of evening jungle parties is also soon to be declared.

Rich with the Costa Rican landscape’s flora and fauna, Ocaso Festival is currently offering early tickets to its upcoming iteration. Purchase them here, and learn more about the leave-no-trace festival on Ocaso’s website.

Ocaso Music Festival taps Solomun, Adriatique for 2023 return to Costa RicaOcaso Lineup

Featured image: Julian Montenegro

The post Ocaso Music Festival taps Solomun, Adriatique for 2023 return to Costa Rica appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Gorillaz announce tenth album, ‘Cracker Island’, drop new track: Listen

Gorillaz have announced an album and dropped a new single.

Following the release of Thundercat-featuring track ‘Cracker Island’ in June this year, Damon Albarn’s digital outfit have announced a brand new album of the same name.

Marking the group’s tenth studio album, ‘Cracker Island’ takes in 10 tracks and features the lead single alongside Thundercat, as well as collaborations with Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny and Adeleye Omotayo.

To accompany the album announce, Gorillaz have also shared another album track in the form of ‘New Gold’ ft. Tame Impala & Bootie Brown, which they debuted at London’s All Points East festival earlier this month. Guitarist Noodle said of the band’s new record: “’Cracker Island’ is the sound of change and the chorus of the collective.”

You can check out ‘New Gold ft. Tame Impala & Bootie Brown’ below.

Erica LXR-02 drum machine update: finally, autosave, plus new Hrtl kits

Erica Synths’ LXR-02 drum synth, made in collaboration with Sonic Potions, gets one very important missing feature – autosave. And we’ve got some new kits and patterns, too, from our friend Hrtl.

Autosave is a big one – you no longer lose your clip on reboot or if you forget to save or if you tug out the power cord. (did that, yes, yup that too)

And so one of our favorite drum machines gets some nice tweaks and fixes. I also noticed a couple of these bugs, so glad to see those patched, as well:

– new feature: Autosave feature implemented

Kit and pattern changes are automatically saved 2 seconds after no further changes are made and stay persistent during reboot. When user selects save kit/pattern, files are saved to tmp folder on the SD card, persistent after reboot and manual pattern change. When user saves the project, tmp folder is cleared and changes written to project. When user reloads project, all temporary changes are discarded.

– fixed: Clipping in OUT 2 mixer routine
– fixed: Delay only uses one channel as input
– fixed: Screensaver errors

It’s nice to see that full explanation of how they implemented autosave.

Download and update instructions

The other LXR-02 news is that we get a new batch of kits and patterns from Hrtl. Now, part of the joy of the LXR is just going in and tweaking, honestly, but it’s beautiful at the same time to see what Hrtl is up to with it:

Fresh kits and patterns for the LXR-02 from Hrtl!

Plus in other news – yes, the PĒRKONS HD-01 IS SHIPPING, for Erica’s larger and more analog, though also brutal, drum machine.

Hrtl, aka Czech-based Leoš Hort, is always busy with loads of projects and playing. If you’re in Czechia in September, you can catch some sets around the country next month. But as I know, statistically speaking, most of you are elsewhere, you can instead take a virtual trip to “Czech Paradise” in Leoš’ cabin – as in this live modular show:

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… or go back to the OG LXR from Sonic Potions (ideas still applicable to the Erica 02 reboot), here complemented by Bast’s Thyme:

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I wrote some deep-dive guides on the LXR-02 which are hopefully helpful to you if you pick one up:

Massive Roland TR-8S + TR-6S updates: new FM models, probability, editor refresh

Roland’s TR-8S and the pint-sized repackage TR-6S just keep getting better. The latest update expands on the TR’s unique FM sound set and adds probability and step looping, with an updated software editor to match.

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And wow, is this a heck of an update – 2.5 for TR-8S and v1.5 for TR-6S (though they’re equivalent):

  • Six new FM-based drum models. Kick, snare, tom, clap, percussion, and cymbal, with new parameters for each.
  • Probability on the TR sequencer. You asked, you got it. Probability, sub step probability (!), and master probability.
  • Random kit and random instrument with restore. Yeah, so you can also go wild live, even.
  • Repeat STEP during STEP LOOP
  • Four new MFX: Tone Fattener, Vinyl Simulator, Pitch Shifter Delay, and Ha-Dou Reverb. So basically, it’s got 404 effects now, too.

The TR-EDITOR 1.5 version syncs up with all those other changes so you can do FM and probability editing on-screen. That’s fine and makes sense, but it’s still not the TR-EDITOR update we’ve been waiting for – the one that allows more management of sample content (as rival tools from Elektron et al can do). It’s nice to have, though I still expect to prefer editing on the hardware.

The firmware update though? That’s terrific.

Why TR – with FM

Just to review:

The TR-8S already launched with what is to me a perfect combination for a drum machine. It’s covered in faders! It’s easy to edit patterns! The 606/707/727/808/909 sound as they should! Effects! Did I mention faders? Faders.

All of that makes for an eminently playable package. (The TR-6S is just a smaller version with the same engine inside, so it’s a good choice if you want to add the TR to your rig but you’re short on space.)

But I think the TR-8S/6S hasn’t gotten nearly enough credit for its FM drum set. Breaking from the “how many times can we remake the 707/808/909”, the FM kit sounds genuinely unlike anything else. You get a ton of crispy, organic percussion in those patches. Since it’s FM, little knob twists can have a dramatic effect, making them far more fun to tweak than just altering the decay on a hat again. Roland’s sound designers did an exceptional job voicing the sound content.

It’s easy to put this up with Elektron’s Syntakt and model:cycles as far as must-have FM drum synths – and it sounds unmistakably different from the Elektron sound, too.

2.5/1.5 update details

Part of what I admire about the TR is that Roland has made some powerful sound facilities really dead-simple to operate, with a flat UI. These FM instruments stick to that mold – really simple models, really simple controls. That frees you up to focus on jamming, even speaking as a sound designer who loves climbing down rabbit holes. But it’s still useful to be able to look up what’s in there.

Make sure you download both the 2.50 version of the TR-8S Reference Manual and Preset INST Tone List (or 1.50 for TR-6S) – check manual downloads. Roland sometimes even cross-links to the outdated “TR-8S Owner’s Manual,” etc.

New FM models

You’ll find the new FM stuff in FM MODEL INST – this on top of previous FM entries. Note that the FM cymbal model gets a peculiar name – CC_RC (so it is both a cymbal and a ride):

BDFM Kick ModelFM
SDFM Snare ModelFM
TOMFM Tom ModelFM
HCFM Clap ModelFM
CC_RCFM Cymbal ModelFM
PERC1FM Perc ModelFM

These are in addition to a ton of existing FM models – basically, what Roland have done here is to add TR-style FM additions to each part. So the “FM Kick Model” is now appended to the list of all the more exotic FM Kicks from firmware 2.0 – FM Taste, Zap Kick, Simple Kick, HolloKik, WoodKick, Clicker, Knocker, KikBass (a sort of FM-enabled 808 bass), Zapdisk, Hardcore, and BrokenJack. That approach follows for each respective part, SD, tom, clap, cymbal/ride cymbal, and percussion.

I’m traveling so I’m not next to the TR to get the parameter values, but… because I love you and love the TR, I will do that in a couple weeks.

New effects algorithms

The new effects are tucked away similarly as additional types in the MFX master effects section – though 404 users (past and present) will recognize these:

REVERBHA-DOU
DELAYPITCH SHFT
MASTER FXFATTENER
MASTER FXVINYL SIM

These models are different but the parameters remain the same.

The new “looping STEP LOOP” feature is really cool, if buried in the updated manual. It lets you ‘hold’ a step loop.

STEP LOOP was first introduced in firmware 1.10 – it loops a single step repeatedly – the whole pattern, all instruments – while you hold down that step’s pad, then return to the overall playback. Here’s how to use it:

While a pattern is playing back, you can make the selected step play as a loop.

All instruments sounded by the selected step play as a loop.

1. Press the [START/STOP] button to play the pattern.

2. Hold down the [SHIFT] button and press the [INST PLAY] button.

The [INST PLAY] button blinks, and the unit is in step loop mode.

3. Press the pad [1][16] of the step that you want to loop. The selected step begins looping.

When you take your finger off the pad [1][16], you return to pattern playback.

I even shot a video of that feature back in the 1.10 days:

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The video should also make clear what the manual does not – you can loop multiple steps, not just one. Now, in addition, you can make those steps loop without having to hold down your fingers. That means you don’t mangle your hand the way it appears I did in the video – and you’re freed up to mess with other parameters as it loops.

Here’s how:

Making the loop hold (keep playing back)

You can make a step keep playing as a loop even after taking your finger off the pad.

1. Hold down the instrument select buttons [BD][RC], and press pads [1][16].

The loop keeps playing, even after you take your finger off the pad.

2. To stop the loop, press any pad.

TR-REC sequencer probability

Buried in the manual? Check. Stupidly simple to use? Check.

I love how TR-REC this version of probability is:

Long-press a pad, and press COPY (for probability) or UTILITY (for sub-step probability).

Dial in the probability you want with the VALUE knob.

That’s it.

With updates to the SP-404MKII and now the TR-8S/6S, Roland is back on top with their classic SP and TR workflows, respectively. And the new MCs are coming into their own for people who want to go that route.

This could be a very good time for live performance on these machines and some others. More on that soon.

Updates are labeled “System Program” V1.50 (6S) and 2.50 (8S):

TR-6S Updates & Drivers Downloads

TR-8S Updates & Drivers Downloads

Updated TR-EDITOR you get via Roland Cloud:

Roland Cloud Manager

Michael Bibi: ‘DJs play some of their best sets at after parties’

Solid Grooves has taken over Thursdays at DC-10 this summer, bringing the likes of Butch, DJ W!ld, Lauren Lo Sung, Oliver Huntemann, Magda and Seth Troxler to their residency on the White Isle. Here, DJ Mag Ibiza speaks to Solid Grooves co-founder Michael Bibi about Solid Grooves at DC-10.

Can you tell us more about the Solid Grooves residency at DC-10 this summer?

“The Solid Grooves residency this summer is a special one for us as it’s our debut at DC-10, and it also marks the 10th year of the brand. The theme this year is an old-style motel; we want to transform the club every Thursday into a wild motel where you will ‘not be disturbed’. We have some great names on the line-up, with a mix of upcoming artists and established legends. We can’t wait to show DC-10 and the ravers what we have in store!”

How do you think the parties will be received at your new home?

“We’re confident they will be greatly received. DC-10 has always been a dream for us, and we believe it fits everything we’re about. We have been on the island for many years, and finally now we all have a chance to shine.”

Did you envisage any challenges in getting the night off the ground?

“Bringing an event to a new club always has its challenges and uncertainty at first. It’s about finding what fits the new space and ensuring everything is done to the highest possible standard. However, we have a great team behind us and believe we will continue to have another successful summer on the island.”

Do you feel that with your programming it will bring something back to Ibiza that it’s perhaps been missing?

“Our aim with the programming this year was to bring fresh, exciting new talent through and appeal to both the new Ibiza party goers and the OG heads. After two years of no real residencies on the island, we feel this is a beautiful chance to really come back stronger with a fresh start and some of that island magic.”

What were your first events in Ibiza like? What’s your favourite memory of the island?

“Our first events in Ibiza were unorganised and chaotic, but had amazing vibes. It’s great to look back on those times to see how far we’ve come. My favourite memory has to be the closing season after-party of 2019. The party almost didn’t happen due to plumbing issues at the villa, but we managed to fix it last minute and had an incredible afters with some of the most special vibes I’ve ever experienced at a party.”

Outside of the usual club events, how key are the secret sets at secret locations, after-parties and smaller daytime events to the island’s culture?

“The after-parties and secret events are alive and well, and Solid Grooves celebrates its tenth anniversary as a brand and finds a new home at DC-10 every Thursday for the 2022 season of the Ibiza scene. People love the spontaneity and exclusive side of them, and I believe artists get to play some of their best sets there as usually they can play for much longer, with no pressure to ‘smash it’. They can branch out more with their sound.”

Premiere: ex.sses ‘silicon’

ex.sses is next up on London’s TT label with the ‘scanner’ EP. Hear the B-Side, ‘silicon’, below. 

The DJ, producer and Balamii resident takes inspiration from writings on “physical sensation, material and the gendered body” to create two cuts of abstract club music. Techno-like rhythms become agitated and disjointed, while eerie melodies and shadowy synths are fleshed out with heavily altered field recordings and voice notes. This is intense, exciting music that keeps a foot firmly on the dancefloor, even when at its most intricate.

The title track is described by ex.sses as an encapsulation of the “tension between a hard metallic space and a wetspace”, while ‘silicon’ is described as “the transitory segment of the night – laying in anticipation of its inevitable climax”.

‘Scanner’ is out tomorrow, 1st September. Pre-order it here

Warning issued over dangerous pills identified at Creamfields

Warnings have been issued over dangerous pills identified as this year’s Creamfields North.

Two separate warnings were issued, one over “high strength MDMA pills” and the other over pills in circulation that contain dimethylpentylone — a stimulant that can cause severe insomnia, paranoia, and an increased heart rate. Both had been identified by an onsite testing lab. You can read the full details below.

It comes after Sky News reported that a 25-year-old woman from South Wales died after falling ill at the festival in Cheshire on the night of Friday, 26th August. No link has been made between the death and the issued warnings .

Cheshire Police’s Superintendent Sarah Heath, who led the policing operation at the festival, said: “The tragic death of a young woman is heart-breaking and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time. An investigation into the cause of her death is underway, but at this stage, there is nothing to suggest that there are any suspicious circumstances.”

Read the organiser’s warnings over dangerous pills identified as this year’s Creamfields North below.

Kool G Rap announces new album ‘Last of a Dying Breed’: Listen

Kool G Rap has announced details of his sixth solo album.

The Queens, New York MC, who began his career in the mid-’80s as one half of acclaimed duo Kool G Rap and DJ Polo, will release ‘Last of a Dying Breed’ on 14th October 2022.

Featuring collaborations with AZ, Sean Price, NEMS and more, as well as production by Domingo, the album marks the follow-up to 2017’s ‘Return of the Don’ and ‘Son of a G Rap,’ G Rap’s 2018 collaborative LP with 38 Spesh. 

Accompanying the announcement of ‘Last of a Dying Breed’ is lead single ‘Fly Till I Die,’ featuring Big Daddy Kane. Stream it below.

Cited as a major influence to the likes of Nas, the Notorious B.I.G., Eminem, and Jay-Z, Kool G Rap and DJ Polo came to prominence as members of the Juice Crew, who also included the likes of Big Daddy Kane and DJ Marley Marl at the height of hip-hop’s golden age.

The announcement of ‘Last of a Dying Breed’ coincides with the news that G Rap will be inducted into the National Hip-Hop Museum in Atlanta, Georgia on 26th August. Other inductees will include Slick Rick, Diamond D and Whodini.

Premiere: Nikki Nair ‘Where R U’

Nikki Nair will make his Astrophonica debut in September with the ‘Renormalization Support Group’ EP. Listen to ‘Where R U’ below.

Comprising four cuts of Nair’s distinctive breakbeat electro, the DJ Mag North America Breakthrough Producer award winner’s hit streak continues here, with sizzling beats and phat, crunching basslines underscoring his flair for fun yet precisely designed club tools. 

In ‘Plug’, a sound like an aux cord pulled out is harnessed into a rib-shaking bassline, like a wink to fellow beat wizard Joe’s ‘Punters Step Out’. ‘It’s NP Complicated’ is irresistible, its bubbling electro beat and wavy synth propping up a strange, stuttering vocal. 

Avid fans of Nair’s recent mixes will recognise ‘Where R U’. A standout cut in his recent Boiler Room from Hyderabad and his 2021 DJ Mag Recognise mix, its oscillating robot vocal and glitchy beat is precisely the sort of thing that’s made his productions stand out so much in the past few years. 

‘Renormalization Support Group’ will be released on 9th September. Pre-order it here.

Nair, Sully and Astrophonica founder Fracture recently teamed up to release a sample pack comprising 65 breakbeats in aid of UK homelessness charity Shelter.