mlre is an expanded version of the classic monome mlr, focused on performance

It’s an even more performative monome. Creator sonocircuit has built a new take on the monome norns/grid app mlr, adding new macros, transposition, LFOs, and lots more.

The monome has had an enormous impact on machine-human interaction in music over the past years. And what made that formula work was always a combination of factors working in tandem. It was the elegant hardware by Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain – that’s the bit that made it into the Museum of Modern Art. But it was also the way hardware, open software, and community amplified one another. And a big part of what fueled the transformation of live performance tools in Akai APC and MPC, Novation Launchpad, Native Instruments Maschine, and others was a single app – mlr, by tehn (aka Brian).

Get into the die-hard monome community and you’re unlikely to ever see exactly the same version of mlr in use twice. mlre is a new extension by sonocircuit that has a ton of really lovely features like pattern recording.

  • Refined macro slots and views (record, cut, transpose, LFO)
  • Easy recording and playback of macros
  • Global scale transposition
  • Tape warble
  • LFOs

Watch – sonocircuit even has tehn’s “demo stuff with pretty chimey sounds” thing going here:

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Everything is locked into system clock, too, so it all looks nice and beat-y and tasty.

That quantization of patterns is especially elegantly done. I suppose if you’re into monome, you’re into grids not only in the visual sense but in the musical sense, too. Auto-length recording is absolutely in the milieu, and separates monome’s digital looping from free-clocked stuff like tapes or simple looper pedals.

But the ability to use LFOs here means a lot more detail to how a sequence shifts over time, not just endlessly-repeating patterns. Watch in the video as patterns modulate other patterns and live-recorded loops get layered. It’s good stuff, and really shows off the performative philosophy here.

Full track transposition is something I really appreciate on the Polyend Medusa, etc., so it’s nice to see here.

Check out the community post:

mlre: an extended version of mlr

Download and documentation on GitHub – and yeah, this was all a project to learn Lua!

https://github.com/sonocircuit/mlre

SoundCloud to cut 1 in 5 employees worldwide

SoundCloud CEO Michael Weissman indicated today the company was set to cut 20% of its workforce, apparently across all offices.

There’s little explanation for the change other than vague economic challenges. Part of the message was communicated publicly on LinkedIn:

Earlier today, I shared the news that we have decided to make reductions to our global team that will impact up to 20% of our company. Making changes that affect people is incredibly hard. But it is one that is necessary to ensure SoundCloud’s long-term success given the challenging economic climate and financial market headwinds. 

In the message sent to employees, acquired by CDM, Weissman referred to a transformation set into motion last year, and says “we continue to be laser focused on our mission to lead what is next in music.” (Sounds laser-focused to me already.)

The change appears to impact staff in the US, UK, and here in Berlin.

SoundCloud’s pitch – be the place music premieres. But what’s the play for either listeners or producer users? Less clear.

These would be the most significant headcount reductions at the streaming giant since 2017, when the struggling streamer cut a full 40% of its staff.

As is too often the story following deep layoffs, the company has struggled to roll out much in the way of new functionality since the restructuring. SoundCloud’s strength was always the relationship with producers, not listeners – something that never took on Spotify or Apple Music. That allowed the company to drive coveted subscription revenue from the producer market. But that didn’t necessarily move the growth needle, so what the service did instead was to focus on competing with general-audience rivals – and trying to service listeners and producers at once, lagged behind on features producers wanted. The early service’s community and sharing tools took a back seat to that laser focus they mentioned. (Just getting working versions of the app to manage your account on iOS and Android took a while, for instance.)

The latest announcement also comes against the backdrop of streaming battles at Meta. With an apparent eye toward expanding reels on Facebook and Instagram, Meta has been making noises about better revenue shares for artists – but Meta has licensing issues of its own, with high-visibility battles with some major partners and big catalogs of music being yanked off Meta properties:

Meta Announces ‘Music Revenue Sharing’ Amid Epidemic, Kobalt Licensing Battles: ‘This Feature Is the First of Its Kind Within the Music Industry’ [Digital Music News]

Kobalt US pullout gives Meta another licensing headache [Music Ally]

It seems until there’s an underlying business strategy here, most of what we’ll see is more layoffs and infighting – all as artists generally struggle to be heard, let alone paid, online.

Music production, meanwhile, continues to grow. Figuring out a way to serve all that output remains a massive opportunity – largely a missed one, for now.

One in five UK nightclubs shut since pandemic, new report shows

One in five UK nightclubs have shut since the pandemic hit in early 2020, according to a new report from the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) completed with figures from the CGA.

The NTIA has shared new research revealing that in March 2020 there were 1,418 clubs in the UK, which has decreased by 20% to 1,130 in 2022.

“Late night economy businesses were one of the quickest sectors to rebound during the financial crash many years ago, harbouring an abundance of resilience and entrepreneurial spirit,” said the NTIA’s CEO, Michael Kill. “It’s without a doubt that these businesses, particularly nightclubs, have a huge part to play in the regeneration of high streets in towns and cities across the UK.”

“The government needs to recognise the economic, cultural, and community value of clubs and the wider night-time economy,” he continued. “We must protect these businesses, using every means possible, and recognise their importance before it’s too late.”

According to the study, the number of nightclubs in the UK peaked in 2006 with roughly 3,000 venues, and has been on the decline ever since.

Read the NTIA report in full here.

Prince estate legal battle surrounding assets resolved after six years

The legal battle surrounding assets from Prince’s estate has reportedly been resolved after six years.

According to Billboard, a Minnesota judge signed off on an agreement on Monday (1st August), which will split Prince’s assets between his heirs, their advisors, and the management company Primary Wave.

The late icon died aged 57 in April 2016 from a fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park home outside Minneapolis. With no spouse or children, his estate passed to his six half-siblings. Three of them sold shares to Primary Wave, while three others kept hold of their stakes and partnered with advisors L. Londell McMillan and Charles Spicer. In and out of court for the past six years, no one has been able to agree on how to split the assets until now.

“Prince was an iconic superstar and this transfer out of the court’s jurisdiction puts in place professional, skilled management,” Primary Wave said in a statement to Billboard. “When we announced our acquisition of the additional expectancy interests in the estate last year bringing our ownership interest to 50%, our goal was to protect and grow Prince’s incomparable legacy. With the distribution of estate assets, we look forward to a strong and productive working relationship.”

“I represented Prince for over 13 years and we led with innovation to reform the music industry—we hope to do the same with his amazing assets and catalog, from his music, film content, exhibits, merchandise, Paisly Park events, branded products and more,” McMillan added in its own statement. “It is a historical and very exciting time. Prince is almost free to rest now.”

Throughout the legal proceedings, several posthumous or archival Prince releases have been distributed by different label partners. A previously unreleased 1987 album by Prince was given its first release via Third Man Records earlier this year.

In other Prince news, a 3D interactive exhibition called Prince: The Immersive Experience is currently open in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile district. The multisensory project celebrating the late pop icon was produced by experiential exhibition company Superfly in collaboration with the Prince Estate.

Watch UNIIQU3 give a production masterclass on her track, ‘Microdosing’, with Point Blank

UNIIQU3 has given an online masterclass on the production of her 2021 track, ‘Microdosing’, via Point Blank Music School. 

The Jersey Club Queen, who featured on the cover of DJ Mag North America in 2021, has had an incredible few years, fully establishing herself as a force of nature on the global club scene as both a DJ and producer, and representing the high-energy sound of her hometown of Newark. 

‘Microdosing’ was released via Local Action in August last year. Speaking about it at the time, UNIIQU3 said it is a track about “unreciprocated love and how addictive someone’s energy can be like a drug”.

In her masterclass, UNIIQU3 dives into the production process behind the track. “I wanted to create the new generation’s take on some of the classics that came out of my city,” she says in the video. 

“The vocal chops are very similar to the classic Jersey club style that I produce, which is a genre that ranges from 135 to 140 BPM,” she continues. “I wanted to take elements from Jersey club and elements from house music and just kind of mesh them into each other and see what I got. That’s the melting pot. That’s the sound of my city.”

Watch UNIIQU3’s ‘Microdosing’ masterclass with Point Blank Music School below. 

Alison Wonderland talks ‘Loner’ and more, live from HARD Summer [Q&A]

Alison Wonderland talks ‘Loner’ and more, live from HARD Summer [Q&A]Alison Wonderland Ivan Meneses For Insomniac Events 1

Rarely does one encounter an aura like Alison Wonderland‘s; both on and off stage, the Sydney-born musician is a source of galvanizing energy. On July 30, Wonderland lit the fuse of said energy, igniting sentiments of community, love, and fiery rage as she gracefully dominated the main stage at HARD Summer 2022. Wonderland performed songs from her May LP, Loner, incorporated fan-favorite throwbacks, pulled sounds from fellow dance/electronic tastemakers, and even debuted a brand new Whyte Fang ID during her headlining set at the Insomniac festival.

With shows spanning mid-November, Wonderland is now gearing up for a range of North American tour dates. Following appearances at Breakaway Music Festival and Life Is Beautiful in August and September, respectively, Wonderland—alongside Valentino Khan, Jon Casey, and others—will return to Morrison, Colorado’s world-renowned Red Rocks Amphitheater on October 7 to host 2022’s highly anticipated rendition of Temple of Wonderland.

Prior to her main stage set, Alison Wonderland sat down with Dancing Astronaut in San Bernardino, California, for an on-site interview at HARD Summer. The “Something Real” singer touched on her latest album, her highly anticipated headlining show at Red Rocks, and her recent effort to raise money alongside The Brigid Alliance, a non-profit travel fund dedicated to facilitating reproductive care for those affected by the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Sign up to be notified when Alison Wonderland’s “Pro Choice Tee” will be restocked here, purchase tickets to Temple of Wonderland here, and read the exclusive Q&A below.


How long had Loner been in the works prior to its May release?

Alison Wonderland: “I was weirdly planning to take 2020 off to write an album. I’d released ‘Bad Things’ in 2020 and then was writing a bunch throughout the whole pandemic. I was just in my studio taking advantage of that time ‘cause usually I’m touring so much. I like to be in my studio to create; I find it really hard to write on the road, actually. Weirdly, a huge chunk of the album that made it, I wrote last.”

It sounds like the pandemic strangely aligned with your career timeline. Would you agree?

Alison Wonderland: “Yeah, I planned to take off 2020 to write the album. And it’s weird…the whole story of this album was being written as I was going through it. It wasn’t as related to the pandemic as you might think, but I feel like everyone started to relate to being a loner. I’d had the name in my head; I usually dream my album names. For ages, I’d be like ‘I don’t know what this is going to be called,’ and then I’d have a dream and it’d be like ‘Loner, ’ or ‘Awake.’ On ‘Run,’ I had a limited merch thing where I had a crossword of all the song names. I didn’t even know this happened…but someone who bought a long-sleeve pointed out that it included both ‘Run’ and ‘Awake’, like accidentally. Yeah, weird.”

Had you been crowd testing music from the project beforehand?

Alison Wonderland: “Yes, I had been testing it out. ‘Eyes Closed’ was an early writing [that] I tried out during the Proximity mix I did. That’s the beauty of being an electronic artist; you can just do that! The files are on your computer, like who’s going to stop you?”

What’s your favorite track on the album and why?

Alison Wonderland: “Oh, come on…it changes all the time. I associate such strong memories with each track that it depends on what mood I’m in. I also don’t really listen to it. I would say the track I still resonate a lot with, lyrically, would be ‘Forever.’ It’s a really powerful mantra to me. You know when you’re stuck in a part of life, trying to move forward, and the universe just isn’t giving that to you? That’s kind of what I was going through, and my friend said to me, while I was crying in a Starbucks drive-thru, ‘it will feel like forever until it doesn’t.’ And I’m just like, ‘yo, I’m writing a song about you.’ That’s probably the best thing someone’s said to me in years.”

You have Temple of Wonderland coming up at Red Rocks in October. Can you expound on the effort going into the show?

Alison Wonderland: “Every year I spend months working on visuals, musically directing the show, I add strings…I don’t know if you know this, but I was originally a cellist; that’s what I studied, so it’s really cool to be able to put string quartets in there. Last year, we had a choir as well. It’s really cool to give life to my songs, and for so long I was scared to sing live. Then one day, Trippie Redd came up to sing ‘High,’ a song that we did together, at Coachella. And he was just out there belting it out, giving zero fucks. And I’m like ‘yo, if he can do it, maybe I’ll try and do it.’  And that’s kind of what made me snap out of being too scared to sing. All my songs since the beginning of time have been my vocals, so why not?”

Are you bringing any live elements/new visuals to your HARD set?

Alison Wonderland: “Yeah! We’ve got live drums and I’ll be singing. The visuals are obviously really important to me… I’ll see a video clip as I’m writing and be like, ‘fuck, that’d be sick.’ Half of them never get made…I’m surprised the ‘New Day’ video got made ‘cause I was like, ‘I want to be riding a horse and killing people, but with lasers for my eyes and then shooting them into flowers.’ It’s weird seeing an idea in your head materialize into real life, exactly how you saw it. At the show tonight, there’s a visual I saw while on shrooms. I accidentally took too much of a micro-dose, and that’s how I got the ‘Forever’ visuals.”

You boast a prolific, long-spanning career. How would you say your sound has evolved over time?

Alison Wonderland: “When I listen back to my earlier stuff, I can hear how much I’ve learnt, what my voice can do, and what it can’t. I really feel I’ve pushed myself vocally. Musically, I try to incorporate more organic instruments. I really like when you have something non-electronic layered over something electronic; there’s a warmth to it that I don’t hear when layering synth upon synth…My whole idea for this album was ‘order and disorder,’ and I wanted to do this minimalist, rich, organic sound [during] the verses, to then go into something a lot bigger. I just love strings, harp, piano, all that stuff.”

What’s your take on the future of electronic music?

Alison Wonderland: “There’s actually an act [booked for] my Red Rocks show… He’s in my trailer now, and he makes me really excited… in a platonic way! Jon Casey is incredible; he’s so interesting to me as a producer. As soon as I knew I was doing a Red Rocks show, I don’t even know if Jon Casey knows this… I called my agent and said ‘get me Jon Casey.’ What also excites me about the future of electronic music is the fast-growing technology. It’s so much easier now to get to where you need to go sonically as a producer; everything is a lot more accessible. People who may not have had the opportunity to learn music production in the past are doing it now. When I play a set, for the most part, if I’m not using my drops, I’m using drops from people who are more underground, less mainstream, up-and-coming…I think they’re making better music. You’ll hear that in the set tonight as well. I listen to the up-and-coming kids more than I listen to the established people.”

Who’s your dream collaboration?

Alison Wonderland: “Fuck anyone that hates on me for this answer, but Kanye. He’s my favorite artist. I don’t agree with everything he does as a person, but he is by far my favorite artist. He inspires me every time I put on a show, like go big or go home, you know? He gives so much of a fuck that he doesn’t…Every album sounds like Kanye, but he’s bringing elements that no one else would have the fucking balls to [bring.] I could do a TED Talk on how great I think Kanye is, as an artist. I doubt it would ever happen, but I’d literally cry to work with [him]…”

You recently launched a fundraiser with a new pro-choice t-shirt. How has that been received?

Alison Wonderland: “Really good! It’s been amazing; we’ve raised a lot of money. I have really strong opinions on that, which I will happily speak about… It’s funny, I tweeted ‘My body my choice,’ which is very true. And people will say, ‘What about COVID?’ And I’ll be like, ‘Yo, shut the fuck up. That’s everybody’s body, your choice.’ It’s a different thing. You can’t ‘catch’ an abortion, you can’t ‘catch’ pregnancy, it’s not contagious… The other thing people don’t understand is, not only is it about people’s own fucking business, but it’s also about more than terminating an unwanted pregnancy. There are people who’ve miscarried, and the baby is still in there. They need to have an abortion. There are people who have ectopic pregnancies; they need to have something called a D&C [dilation and curettage], which is basically an abortion. So if those rights are taken, it can actually be deadly to women. It’s really disturbing to me, and I get pretty emotional about it. It’s just the most fucking backward thing…I can tweet about it as much as I want, but what is that going to do? It’s going to show I stand with the cause, but if I can raise money and help people who are going through this right now? To me, that means 20 times more. The charity we’re donating to is called The Brigid Alliance, and I love what they’re about. They provide funds, travel, and accommodations to people who really need to go get procedures like that. If I didn’t do anything…I’d look back and be like ‘why the fuck didn’t you?’ Even if it’s not the biggest amount of change, I had to at least try and help. And fuck man…that photo’s tight.”

Featured image: Ivan Meneses

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Kaytranada releases new single, ‘Twin Flame’, with Anderson .Paak: Listen

Kaytranada has shared a new track with Anderson .Paak, ‘Twin Flame’.

The collaboration arrives alongside a black and white music video directed by .Paak, which sees the pair host a warehouse party from a suspended metal platform above a group of party-goers. Listen to ‘Twin Flame’ here and check out the video below.

The track follows Kaytranada’s Intimidated EP, which featured H.E.R., Thundercat and, Mach-Hommy, and his Bubba LP of 2021, for which he picked up two Grammys for Best Dance/Electronic Album and Best Dance Recording for album track ‘10%’ alongside Kali Uchis.

Back in April, Kaytranada jumped on a remix of the Weeknd’s ‘Dawn FM’ track ‘Out of Time’, which was featured on the Weeknd’s new ‘Out of Time’ remix EP, along with a radio edit of the remix along, the original tune and an instrumental version of the studio recording. 

A new chapter of RemK begins now—stream ‘Your Vibe’

A new chapter of RemK begins now—stream ‘Your Vibe’294796162 391278226320620 2146354684830089078 N

RemK‘s back in the mix, releasing new music and unveiling what he calls “the beginning of something new,” signaling the next sonic step for the Dancing Astronaut Artist to Watch in 2022. Dubbed the “first stop” of RemK’s next project, his latest single, “Your Vibe,” dabbles in the harmonious gray area between trap and bass. The initial build gives way to a break that can only be described as trap bliss before transitioning to take on elements of euphoric future-bass in a seamless marriage of the two beloved dance styles.

“Your Vibe” follows RemK’s remix of “Veneno” (from Boombox Cartel‘s Cartel II remix album), not to mention a July 29 debut at HARD Summer‘s Corona Electric Beach stage. Shortly after, RemK trekked to Canada to play Calgary’s Chasing Summer Festival before heading back to HARD Summer for a Sunday set on its HARDER Stage. So go ahead, throw on some shades and enjoy a punchy jaunt down the coast. Take the the top down and blast RemK’s latest single, “Your Vibe,” out now via Lowly.

Featured image: Ana Wigmore

The post A new chapter of RemK begins now—stream ‘Your Vibe’ appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Premiere: Sleepy Tom debuts new disco cut ‘Time and Time Again’ alongside Hotel Mira

Premiere: Sleepy Tom debuts new disco cut ‘Time and Time Again’ alongside Hotel MiraSleepy Tom3073 Phot Credit Lindsay Elliott

Veteran beatmaker Sleepy Tom is back with another disco groove, this time in conjunction with the fellow Vancouver-based band, Hotel Mira. Newly focused on the lighter, more jovial side of the disco space, Sleepy Tom’s newest work, “Time and Time Again” picks up right where another one of his most recent offerings, “Call My Name,” leaves off. Now, on his latest, Sleepy Tom and Hotel Mira frontman Charlie Kerr strike an instant chemistry that’s evident across the collaboration from start to finish. Sleepy Tom elaborates,

“Charlie and I met during our first writing session last fall. We seemed destined to work together at some point, since we shared a bizarre amount of social connections. I’m stoked to put this song out with him and Hotel Mira—it lives in this strange disco-punk world which feels nostalgic yet fresh.”

While listeners will have to wait until August 4 for the formal release of “Time and Time Again,” Dancing Astronaut has Sleepy Tom’s latest on repeat ahead of the track’s full debut. Pre-save the new single here.

Featured image: Lindsay Elliot

The post Premiere: Sleepy Tom debuts new disco cut ‘Time and Time Again’ alongside Hotel Mira appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Jerro reunites with Tailor for This Never Happened follow-up single, ‘Legacy’

Jerro reunites with Tailor for This Never Happened follow-up single, ‘Legacy’290947182 1089904748569907 3933363583929362290 N

Had Jerro and Tailor delivered “Legacy” just two weeks later, it would’ve fallen on the one-year anniversary of their first meeting, “In The Dark.” But it’s likely no coincidence the two decided to run back their Coming Home collaboration almost a year later, which also marks his first solo original since his debut album landed in August of 2021.

After introducing it during his second “Canopy Club” set—which relocated from Venice Beach over to Denver—Jerro teased that one of the IDs from it was inbound on his favorite label. And his favorite label could’ve only been the place that originally birthed Coming Home, with Jerro and Tailor formally reuniting on This Never Happened. Jerro explained that “Legacy” resulted from a burst of inspiration following his first-ever trip to Los Angeles during his album tour earlier this year, adding that he knew it needed a vocal lift. And that lyrical backing from Tailor proved to be Jerro’s missing puzzle piece, with the two picking up right where they left off on the melodic house synergy they had on “In The Dark.”

Featured image: Jerro/Instagram

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