Looom for iOS makes animating like playing a musical instrument, now with major update

It’s exactly how musicians would want to think about animation. Time loops, free or bpm-synced, and you explore visual rhythm through lines, shapes, colors, and improvisatory gestural doodles. Looom is a total gem of an app – and this summer’s update transforms it into a serious and approachable pro tool.

The big breakthrough in Looom is letting go of first and last frames. Each thread has an independent length and speed – like overlapping loopers in audio. It’s also all vector-based, not pixel-based, so it’s resolution independent – an “infinite canvas” as the developer puts it. It’s nondestructive, too – and you can experiment and tweak the way you do with music loops and patterns and synths.

Also, in case you’re worried about another disposable iOS toy – everything in Looom is saved as SVG, so you can bring your improvised animations into any tool you want. Since it’s all vectors, you could go wild with looks here and come up with something aesthetically really different than what you see in the demos.

Version 1.6 is an innocuous version number, but it adds just the stuff that makes this tool easier to approach and more powerful for serious work. It now has unlimited frames, so you aren’t limited by length, and a grid and tons of gestures to work quickly:

  • Unlimited frames
  • Background grid
  • Background image
  • 2-finger tap to undo
  • Pinch to reset transform
  • Double-tap pencil to toggle eraser
  • Option to step after finishing each stroke
  • Option to add frame after finishing each stroke
  • Finger drawing line width variation
  • iPad mini support

“Weave Time”, from the 1.5 update, shows how this works like a looper app / functions musically. There’s even beat sync:

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I could see this being a perfect companion to setting up live visuals, VJ loops, AV shows, and music videos, precisely because of that musical style. This is how I imagined working with drawing and animation as a kid. It’s liberating in how it brings you back to that.

The software is the creation of Finn Ericson and Eran Hilleli, who say they’re “inspired by musical instruments and early video games.” Yep, our people.

US$9.99 on the App Store:

Looom: Animation Playground

Official site:

https://www.iorama.studio/ (and they do make music apps, too, actually)

Check the eye-popping example gallery:

https://www.iorama.studio/gallery

There are some great demos plus tutorials online to get you started with this one, including a complete class. Have a look – iorama is the developer of the app; the others are fans:

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A DIY violin with a spring reverb tank inside

A funny thing happened on the way to the digital instrument age – builders rediscovered novel acoustic and electroacoustic inventions, too. Take this gorgeous example by builder/composer/musician David Hilowitz. And it all started with a broken amp part.

That’s right, the spring reverb tank here is upcycled – salvaged from a broken part inside a Fender amp. The reverb tank gets installed inside the body of the violin, inside the resonating chamber. It’s an electroacoustic instrument here, though with very simple electronics – you need a pickup and a jack to capture the vibrations in the tank. David walks through the whole process:

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The sound is unearthly, adding a massive reverberation to the normally dry sound of a box violin. And some of its unruly characteristics suggest other feedback possibilities.

It’s no Strad. “It’ll probably fall apart in a year or two,” David admits. But what a year or two that’ll be.

I’m posting this in part because I expect it’ll trigger some other posts from other folks. By all means – carry on and let us know what reverb tank creations you’ve built / seen.

David, based in Philadelphia, has a bunch of music to check, too, both a rock project:

https://manwomanchild.bandcamp.com/

And composition / scoring project, which “focuses on the intersection between modular synthesis and violin music.”

https://davidhilowitz.bandcamp.com/

Here’s a lovely atmospheric creation or two:

Plus he has a Patreon, where he’s developing a sampler project – ah, interested in that, as well!

https://www.patreon.com/dhilowitz

This one I’m embarrassed to say is new to me (yeah, every now and then it happens), but it involves a custom sample player format and player software. Huh, I can’t think of the one that everyone uses that has things about it that might be, you know, less than decent… cough ahem…

From livestream concept to sophomore LP comes Jason Ross’ ‘Atlas’ [Interview]

From livestream concept to sophomore LP comes Jason Ross’ ‘Atlas’ [Interview]Screen Shot 2022 08 02 At 11.16.32 AM

When the COVID-19 quarantines put in-person music programming on pause, artists were forced to adapt to an ever-changing landscape the best they could. As venues and festival grounds collected dust, livestreams rose in prominence as a digital community of dance/electronic music enthusiasts flourished in step. Among them was Jason Ross Presents: The Atlas, a concept show that aired on Insomniac‘s Twitch channel every Monday night, where creator Jason Ross and a different special guest could reliably be found one day each week for a large part of 2020 and 2021. Fast forward to 2022 and “The Atlas” would become something of a blueprint for Ross.

“To me, Atlas means home” he told Dancing Astronaut. “[It] became a weekly event that gave people something exciting to look forward to while the world was shut down. From there, it built into a thriving community that a lot of us (myself included) call home.”

Building on that sense of community, that sense of home, remained important to Ross long after the “pause” on live music programming gave way to “play,” such that it became a driving force of his sophomore studio album of the same name. “We talked about themes a lot during the [studio] sessions and the concept I kept coming back to was this idea of home and what it means to us. So when I was thinking about the title of the album, it only made sense to call it Atlas,” he said.

From a top-level perspective, Atlas is 10 tracks of the signature bass sound that listeners have come to expect from Jason Ross, who has not only become synonymous with Ophelia Records, but also with consistent production quality. Look beyond that surface though, and you’ll see that Atlas is “a mixed bag of genres, influences, and tempos,” per Ross himself. “Every song was so different and had its own crazy journey to make its way onto the final album,” he added.

The album is led by “Hate This Kind of Love” (with HOLT), “Take You Home” (with MitiS featuring Dia Frampton), “Ghost Town” (with David Frank), “Burning Sky” (with HALIENE; debuted as the closer to Ross’ sunset set at EDC Las Vegas), and “Slow It Down” (with Chandler Leighton‘s L8NCY project).

“I feel very lucky to get the opportunity to work with these incredible artists. All of these artists inspire me through their own work.”

Jason Ross

Ross’ ability to extract the best out of the producers and vocalists with whom he works with is not unique to Atlas; it’s something he’s made a habit of throughout his career. Not coincidentally, many of his best-known releases are collaborations involving talents like Seven Lions, SLANDER, and Gryffin. Understandably, working on collaborative singles comes in tandem with “such a different process” than that of working on a long-form project like Atlas:

“Collaborations like those are just super exciting and fun! It’s also a great opportunity to learn from one another and grow; I always come out of a collaboration with a few new tools to add to my arsenal…[but working on an album involves] a lot more planning and digging deep, as this where you really want to convey to listeners who you are musically, visually, and everything in between.”

In fact, his favorite part of crafting Atlas might just be developing its visual components:

“I loved focusing on the visual identity of the album and brand. I naturally gravitate toward abstract and minimalist art, and I am stoked about how those monoliths on the album turned out. I’m really excited to explore even deeper into this world because I think there’s much more to do and say in this space, visually.”

It’s been two years since Ross released his debut LP, 1000 Faces, and he’s the first to admit that a lot has changed since then. “I’ve grown a lot. I think I’ve become more confident in who I am as a producer and what I’m really trying to convey through my music. I think my music has definitely matured since 1000 Faces, but it still shares the same sonic identity.”

Although much has changed in the time since, one aspect has remained the same: like 1000 Faces, Atlas is getting its release via Dancing Astronaut‘s 2021 Label of the Year, Ophelia Records.

“I truly feel like Jeff [Seven Lions] and Ophelia have given me a platform to explore who I am as an artist. They’ve been consistently supportive of me and my ever-evolving sound. I never really thought to explore new genres until I met Jeff, and doing so has made me expand substantially in my music,” Ross reflected. “I think taking risks is something a lot of artists are afraid to do, but as long as you’re being authentic to yourself, it can absolutely be worth it.”

Of course, no album is complete without a supporting tour and Ross’ Atlas tour is shaping up to be his biggest headlining endeavor yet. The 30-stop live initiative will feature city-specific appearances from a range of acts, including Arty‘s Alpha 9 project, Au5, Ray Volpe, Ace Aura, CloudNone, Gem & Tauri, Last Heroes, and more. The tour starts off with a bang at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium—Ross’ largest headlining show to date.

“It’s incredible to think this is actually happening,” he said. “I remember playing [at the Palladium] for the first time during Seven Lions’ Journey II tour and dreaming of one day headlining it. It’s a dream come true and I can’t wait to start things off there!”

View a complete list of Atlas tour dates and ticket information here, and stream Atlas, out now via Ophelia Records, below.

Featured image: Shane McCauley

The post From livestream concept to sophomore LP comes Jason Ross’ ‘Atlas’ [Interview] appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

There’s a skydiving techno festival happening this month

A skydiving techno festival, Skyfest, is set to take place in California later this month.

Taking place in San Diego on Saturday 27th August, Skyfest is a music and arts festival where attendees are able to skydive during the event. With a capacity of 200, this year’s festival will offer every raver the chance to try-out skydiving “just a few dozen yards away from the dancefloor,” according to organisers.

With organisers also promising “production and music by top house and techno DJs” over 12 hours, partial proceeds from the event will go to Casa De Los Pobres, a non-profit urban relief centre in Tijuana, Mexico that feeds, clothes, and provides medical care and social services for those in need.

Skyfest originated when skydiver and co-founder Zach Papier met fellow co-founder Richardo Haynes, aka DJ Sunset. In 2020, Skyfest was launched, featuring 100 attendees tandem skydiving to a 10-hour soundtrack of house and techno.

Check out the line-up for Skyfest below. Go here for more information and to buy tickets.

SLANDER and Dylan Matthew do it again on third ‘Thrive’ single, ‘Replay’

SLANDER and Dylan Matthew do it again on third ‘Thrive’ single, ‘Replay’294069067 787514842261325 8142314094871570616 N

The path to SLANDER‘s debut LP, Thrive, has been predictably emotive. Having first taken shape with the fabled “Walk On Water,” a duet led by RØRY and Dylan Matthew, as well as “Halfway Down” with Ashley Drake, the forthcoming project further fills out with “Replay.”

The third pre-album single is SLANDER and Matthew’s seventh all-time musical match-up and is memorable for premiering during the former’s set at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival‘s 2022 installment. In the months that have followed its debut, “Replay” has surfaced in several of SLANDER’s sets, staging interest where it’s always made sense to do so: on the road.

SLANDER and the Dancing Astronaut Supernova’s creative interplay is expectedly balanced and synergistic on “Replay,” and with the promise of yet another album single by month’s end, with a bevy of fall tour dates to boot (browse them here), it’s clear that August will serve as a titillating precursor of SLANDER activity to come. In the meantime, stream “Replay” below.

Featured image: Rukes

The post SLANDER and Dylan Matthew do it again on third ‘Thrive’ single, ‘Replay’ appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Zurich Street Parade announces full line-up and stage times

Zürich Street Parade has announced its full line-up and stage times for its 2022 programme.

The 29th installment of the annual event will take place on Saturday, 13th August. Kicking off at 1pm and ending at midnight, the Swiss parade – which is considered to the be the largest techno parade in the world – will feature the likes of Jackmaster, Ida Engberg, FJAAK, Anna Tur and more. Check out the full line-up on the Zürich Street Parade website.

As well as 30 moving stages, the event will also feature eight stages along the 2.4km street parade route featuring DJs, multimedia and laser shows. The festival will also include 100 parties throughout the city throughout the week.

Inspired by a television report on the Berlin Love Parade, Zürich Street Parade first took place back in 1992. Over the years, it has attracted up to 1 million attendees. Having been cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the motto for this year’s installment is “THINK.” 

“The organizers want to encourage people to think,” the parade wrote on Instagram. “Those who think acquire knowledge, and knowledge is the key to peaceful, tolerant and sustainable coexistence, regardless of people’s religion, skin color, origin or sexual orientation.”

Revisit DJ Mag’s look at the 2019 parade below.

‘Funk Wav’ is in full effect—stream Calvin Harris’ ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2’

‘Funk Wav’ is in full effect—stream Calvin Harris’ ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2’Image003 2

At summer’s apex, the temperatures are sweltering and the grooves on Calvin Harris‘ warm-weather answer to Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 are sumptuous. Tinged with retro influence and textured with heady instrumentation, not to mention some of pop and hip-hop’s most immediately recognizable, indispensable voices, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 slinks to streaming platforms courtesy of Sony Music. The psychedelic, 14-song package is led by “Potion” (with Dua Lipa and Young Thug), “New Money” (21 Savage), “Stay With Me” (Justin Timberlake, Halsey, and Pharrell), and most recently, “New To You” (Normani, Tinashe, Offset).

The sophomore Funk Wav LP is intended to soundtrack “car journeys, and beaches, and things like this,” Harris told Apple Music‘s Zane Lowe in a release-day interview. With its hazy aura and general sense of chill, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 hits this mark, burying the dart in the heart of the bullseye. No, Harris doesn’t reinvent the Funk Wav wheel on the follow-up—which functions more as an easy-going extension of the Funk Wav sound, circa 2017—and those tempted to consider this a misstep should remember that an overhaul was never part of the Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 plan, anyway. Warm and familiar, like the scent of last summer’s beach bag that never seems to wash out, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 is now streaming everywhere.

Featured image: Simon Thirlaway

The post ‘Funk Wav’ is in full effect—stream Calvin Harris’ ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2’ appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Fatboy Slim shares Big Beach Boutique 20th anniversary mix: Listen

Fatboy Slim has shared a mix to mark 20 years since his iconic Big Beach Boutique Festival.

The English dance music legend – real name Norman Cook – joined Apple Music 1’s Rebecca Judd to chat about the legendary performance, which took over Brighton beach back on 13th July 2002. More than 250,000 ravers – twice the size of Brighton’s population – gathered on the beachfront for the free event to watch the DJ and producer, in what was described as the “biggest event the UK has ever seen”.

As well as discussing the event, the Big Beach Boutique anniversary show in Brighton last month, and more, Cook shared an exclusive two-hour mix from the set. Listen to it here

Touching on the original Big Beach Boutique Fstival, Cook told Judd: “It had been a really rotten summer until that weekend, and that weekend the sun came out. Everyone went, what should we do? Oh, Fatboy’s having a party in Brighton, let’s go. And an awful lot of people, about an estimated quarter of a million people, decided to descend on our town. And it was like Woodstock.”

“There was a 20 mile traffic jam trying to get into the city,” he added. “You couldn’t park. There wasn’t enough toilets. There wasn’t enough alcohol. Every off license sold out of alcohol. And we had an enormous party on the beach. Which we just about got away with. But we did cause an awful lot of mess. So it was good natured chaos. Just a gathering of everybody who decided to have a party with us in Brighton. Which is great, historic in the city where I live.”

Among other talking points, Cook also discussed his upcoming boxset, Right Here, Right Then Boxset, and plans for a documentary commermorating the Big Beach Boutique Festival. “Because it’s the 20th anniversary of the really big one, we’re doing a reissued CD package and DVD of it, we’re making a documentary, like a 20 years on documentary,” he said.

“So, I’ve revisited it in my brain quite a few times,” he continued. “And just the idea of what’s happened to me and my life over the last 20 years, how the scene and music business has changed in the last 20 years. And yeah, it’s quite nice to take stock. So rather than counting down the days until doing this, I’ve been taking stock of what it means to come back and do it 20 years later.”

Calvin Harris releases new album, ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2’: Listen

Calvin Harris has dropped his new album, ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2’. You can listen to it below.

Teased back in April, and officially announced in June, it marks Harris’s first full-length album in five years. As well as Dua Lipa and Young Thug — who made an appearance on previously released single ‘Potion’ — the 14-track LP features the likes of 21 Savage, Tinashe, Stefflon Don, Halsey, Pusha T, Lil Durk, Offset, Justin Timberlake, Busta Rhymes, Pharrell, Swae Lee, Snoop Dogg and more.

Last night (4th August), Harris appeared on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music 1 show to discuss the album. “[It’s] for car journeys, and beaches and things like this,” he said. “What I was doing a lot was taking trips to the mountains. This is when I still lived in LA. Taking a trip out to this place called Idyllwild in the car, listening to a lot of psychedelic rock and then climbing the mountain, literally, and figuratively, and then heading back. So I was doing a lot of that, putting on a lot of vinyl, getting to that kind of zone, you know?

“I just want to make some good tunes, and if you like them, you like them,” he added. “If you don’t like them, that’s okay as well. I’m just going to be over here doing my thing and that’s just kind of where I’m at.”

‘Funk Wav Bounces Volume 2’ is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed first instalment, which was released in 2017. ‘Funk Wav Bounces Volume 1’ featured hits like ‘Slide’, ‘Feels’ and ‘Heatstroke’ and collaborations with Frank Ocean, Pharrell Williams, Snoop Dogg, Future, Ariana Grande, Schoolboy Q, Kehlani, among others.

In May, Harris joined the Liverpool Football Club atop their bus for a parade through the city to celebrate the club’s two League Cup and FA Cup wins.

BEON1X festival announces Carl Cox, Deborah De Luca, Paul Kalkbrenner, more

The first phase of the line-up for this year’s BEON1X Open Mind Music Festival has been announced.

Set to take place at CTO Public Beach in the Larnaca district of Cyprus from 23rd to 25th September, and 30th September to 2nd October, the two-part festival will feature sets by the likes of Carl Cox, Deborah De Luca and Paul Kalkbrenner.

With more names to be revealed, Boris Brejcha, Jamie Jones, Luciano, Satori, Sasha & Digweed, Sven Väth, Chelina Manuhutu, Fatima Hajji and Guy J also feature in the first line-up announcement.

As well as music, the festival promises two weekends of beach football, water sports and more. In a statement, festival organisers said: “This is going to be our first festival in Cyprus, but we expect it to be groundbreaking. It is the kind of event you are going to remember for a long time and look forward to every year.

“Each person will feel harmony of nature and music with every cell in their body. So, grab some friends and extend your festival season for another month,” they added.

Tickets for BEON1X are on sale now. You can buy them here.

In June, Carl Cox announced his first album in over a decade. Read DJ Mag’s recent long-read with the techno king.