Drumcode cancels Malta festival due to “unresolved problems” with Pollen events organisation

Drumcode has called off its Malta festival over “an accumulation of unresolved problems” with troubled events company Pollen.

In a statement posted to Instagram, Drumcode said they “no longer have confidence in [Pollen’s] ability to deliver the rigorous high standards of safety and customer experience we demand of an event presented under our name.” Drumcode, the label and brand founded by DJ Adam Beyer, said they attempted to work with Pollen, FKA Verve, to resolve issues, “but, despite their repeated assurances, critical deadlines passed last week without the necessary improvements being made”. The statement describes these as “serious failings” by Pollen, and accuses the events company of “absence and lack of communication.”

The statement also mentions Pollen’s highly publicised “difficulties”. The start up was reportedly recently served a “winding up petition“, which can happen when a creditor of a business is on the brink of shutting down the company over unpaid debts. Reports suggest that the company, backed by the UK government’s FutureFirst fund, is not paying staff, headed to “collapse” — even after recently raising £150 million in funding — and are looking to the likes of Goldman Sachs for a buyout. Last month, a top executive left over concerns about the company’s ethics as it sought a buyer and, in May, Pollen are said to have laid off one-third of staff. 

Drumcode said that ticket buyers’ refunds are in the hands of Pollen, which they are urging to issue immediately. The promoter said they received “no payment of any kind for this event” and do not have access to customer payment details. 

“After well over a year of planning and hard work by our team to bring you an incredible line-up, we deeply regret that Pollen has not delivered on its responsibilities,” Drumcode said.

The Mediterranean event was planned to take place from 15th through 19th September with a line-up featuring the likes of Richie Hawtin, Ben Klock, Chris Liebing, ANNA, Marcel Dettmann, Monika Kruse, Sama’ Abdulhadi and Pig&Dan, as well as Adam Beyer and Ida Engberg. This is the second consecutive year the festival has been called off. 

Read Drumcode’s statement in full below.

Premiere: Blu Ritual ‘November Portal’

Blu Ritual will release a new EP, ‘Cosmic Dune’, via Chernihiv, Ukraine label OBRIY this week. Listen to ‘November Portal’ below.

The Italy-born, London-based producer pulls influence from London rave culture and spiritual practices across four tracks, crafting an EP that feels at once rooted in the club and somewhere otherworldly. From hazy downtempo and glitching, sci-fi sonics that will excite fans of DJ Stingray 313’s electro experiments to the UK-meets-Berlin techno pulse of closer, ‘The Cause’ (presumably a nod to the sadly missed London club), this is a suite of subtle experiments and dancefloor dizzy spells. 

All royalties from sales of ‘Cosmic Dune’ will go toward Ukrainian artists on the label who were forced to relocate due to the war, and to those who are still there. 

‘Cosmic Dune’ will be released this Friday 12th August. Pre-order it here

Jaydonclover shares new single, ‘but my sister (feat. Bel Cobain)’: Listen

Jaydonclover has shared her latest single, called ‘but my sister’. Listen to it below.

The Birmingham artist has teamed up once again with fellow 0121 resident dylantheinfamous on production, with East London, jazz-influenced singer Bel Cobain contributing vocals. 

“Oftentimes I run my crushes past my sisters because I know they’ll always be honest, but most times they’re a little too honest!” Jaydonclover said about the lofi R&B and hip-hop track. “‘but my sister’ is about the relationships I, and many others have with their sisters; we all just want the best for each other and if it’s not the best we will let you know.

“After having those sisterly chats with Bel over wine and cocktails, I knew she was the sister for this feature.”

Jaydonclover’s previously released the ‘dreamhotel‘ single in early July. Prior to that, she dropped the two-track ‘happier, but still sad‘ EP in November last year.

Watch the lyric video for ‘but my sister’.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performs concert dedicated to music from video games at BBC Proms: Watch

You can now watch the first-ever BBC Proms focused entirely on video game music in full via the BBC iPlayer now.

This year’s edition of the BBC Proms intended to bring video game soundtracks of the ’80s and ’90s to new audiences with help from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Robert Ames. The performance, which took place on 1st August at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall, featured music from Kingdom Hearts, The Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, Chronos and Final Fantasy, among others. 

Award-winning composer Hildur Guðnadóttir also performed her experimental score for Battlefield 2042 along with Sam Slater as the night’s finale. The two will also perform together at the upcoming Unsound 2022 festival.

Bonobo recently played a five-night residency at Royal Albert Hall, closing out with a special impromptu performance of ‘Otomo’ featuring organist Anna Lapwood. Watch that in full and see more behind-the-scenes clips via Lapood here.

Watch clips below and see the whole 105-minute concert on the BBC iPlayer.

Chase & Status announced as Louder Ibiza residents

Chase & Status are taking the reins for the rest of Louder’s Ibiza season at San Antonio’s Eden club.

The UK duo will serve as headline residents for the drum & bass party’s remaining dates on the White Isle this summer, Mondays through 19th September. Guests include Andy C, Sub Focus, Bou, Hybrid Minds, Culture Shock, Koven, Dimension and more. 

Chase & Status released their latest, sixth album, ‘What Came Before‘, arrived in June and featured collaborations with Popcaan, Unknown T, BackRoad Gee and more. 

See the full line-ups below via Instagram and watch a promo clip for the residency.

ALM ASQ-1 is a cute modular step sequencer with SH-101-style, drum trigger modes

ALM / Busy Circuits out of the UK has some tasty-looking new modular gear, including a very friendly little sequencer. You’ll find dual filters and stereo multi-effects added to their range, as well.

Let’s be honest – the second half of 2022 is looking like a tough time for hardware. (More on that to come.) But ALM is one of the makers getting stuff out the door – including their newest sequencer. (Checking Rubadub in their neck of the woods; other stockists have various gear of theirs, though not everything is in stock everywhere.)

And it’s looking like a particularly good year for sequencers. The ASQ-1 has a nifty little mechanical computer keycap octave, C to C, and focuses on simple pattern generation. Want notes? Enter them step-time, SH-101 style. Want drum patterns or pulses? Use simple x0x drum editing.

That simplicity and accessibility is draw enough, but this packs a punch as far as features, as you can run multiple sequencers at once:

  • 2x step-time CV/gate sequencers
  • 4x drum pattern sequencers (or for anything else that wants pulses…)
  • 1x clock with external high-resolution CV quantization (and external and internal operation, naturally)
  • Optional internal division per-pattern
  • USB-C connectivity (both for firmware updates and backing up your sequences)
  • Reverse power protection

It’s all made in the UK, 32HP. Watch it in action:

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They also have a clock/modulator unit that might pair well with the ASQ-1, called Pamela’s NEW Workout (which has an accessory water bottle in their shop, if you start to break a sweat).

Product page:

That’s just out this month, but for other stuff introduced earlier this year:

MFX (ALM032) is a multi-effects processor in 6HP, covering a lot of classic digital effects (reverbs and echoes, especially):

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MCFx2 is a dual filter with LP / HP / BP / notch outputs for each, 3-pole – and you can run these in parallel, serial, or with linked cutoff:

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Keeping an eye on these; love that neat and tidy design.



Hagop Tchaparian announces debut album, ‘Bolts’, on Four Tet’s Text Records

The next release on Four Tet’s Text Records will be the debut album from Hagop Tchaparian. Listen to his new single, ‘Round’, below.

The British-Armenian artist will release ‘Bolts’ on 21st October. The ten tracks blend lo-fi techno with field recordings taken throughout Armenia and the Mediterranean. Tracks ‘GL’ and ‘Raining’, first released mid-July, also feature on the LP. The album’s artwork and photography was curated by legendary skateboard photographer Atiba Jefferson.

“As a teenager I would make the pilgrimage to Slam City skateboard shop — I couldn’t really afford to buy anything other than Thrasher magazine,” Tchaparian said “I would see Atiba’s photos and get super inspired and want to push across the bridge and go skate Southbank. Downstairs was Rough Trade Records where I would be able to find the music from the music section in Thrasher and music I heard in the background of skate videos that I couldn’t really seem to find anywhere else… It’s absolutely a crazy dream to be able to work with someone who provided so much of the inspiration throughout my life.”

Like Hebden, who got his start in the ’90s post-rock band Fridge, Tchaparian’s first major music project was as the guitarist of post-grunge punk band Symposium, also formed in the ’90s. He later got involved in the London club scene, befriending Hot Chip and eventually becoming their and Four Tet’s tour manager. 

In another first for Tchaparian, he’ll be performing live at Four Tet’s all-dayer in London’s Finsbury Park this weekend, Saturday, 13th August. Josey Rebelle, Two Shell and Dialled In friends and family are also on the lineup.

Listen to new single ‘Round’.

House music’s Black roots highlighted in The Daily Show segment: Watch

The Daily Show paid tribute to house music and its pioneers in its CP Time segment last week. Watch the clip below

In the midst of the release of house-heavy new albums by megastars Beyoncé and Drake, The Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood, Jr. took the opportunity to highlight the Black and LGBTQ+ origins of the genre, formed in the wake of the racist and homophobic 1979 ‘Disco Demolition‘ at Chicago White Sox’s Comiskey Park. Wood nods to originators Frankie Knuckles, Larry Levan, Ron Hardy and Martha Wash, who joins Wood later in the six-minute segment over video call.

Beyoncé’s latest club-focused album ‘Renaissance’ features dance names like Honey Dijon, Nile Rodgers, Green Velvet, Skrillex, Kelman Duran, A. G. Cook, Luke Solomon and The Neptunes among its composers. She also tapped Honey Dijon, The Carry Nation’s Nita Aviance, and Chicago underground hero Terry Hunter for remixes of lead single ‘BREAK MY SOUL’. Drake’s recent ‘Honestly, Nevermind’ album includes production credits for Black Coffee, Gordo, Rampa and &ME. 

Watch the ‘Larry’s Garage’ documentary from ADE 2020 to learn more about the house trailblazer and Frankie Knuckles’ friend and partner. Chicago artist Ron Trent also discussed his city’s house history in a recent interview with Ria Hylton — read that here.

STMPD RCRDS recruits Seth Hills, Vluarr, and DubVision for Tomorrowland EP closing duties

Tomorrowland’s third and final weekend came to a close with a complete slate of The Library stage programming courtesy of STMPD RCRDS. And throughout the previous handful of weeks, Martin Garrix’s label had joined forces with Tomorrowland’s newly created label wing to piece together a seven-part collaborative EP in celebration of STMPD RCRDS’ hosting duties and Tomorrowland’s long-awaited return to Boom. After KVSHCAROLA, LOOPERS, NUZB, Julian Jordan, Justin Mylo, Pontifexx, and Clara Sofie, and—of course—Martin Garrix and Breathe Carolina filled out the first five spots on the STMPD RCRDS x Tomorrowland Music EP, the label duo tapped in one last group of artists following their appearance in Belgium.

Seth Hills and Vluarr—who fittingly went back-to-back on the STMPD RCRDS stage during Tomorrowland’s third weekend—reunite a year and a half later on “Leaving.” After seeing how smoothly their two sounds meshed on their Tomorrowland New Year’s Eve ID-turned-STMPD RCRDS single—known as “Calling Out“—the duo decided to run it back with a slightly more atmospheric, downtempo aura when held up to their first meeting. And for STMPD RCRDS and Tomorrowland Music’s terminal EP number, DubVision step in to already surrender one of the IDs that lived within shared set with Matisse & Sadko, delivering a flawlessly branded slice of progressive house bliss now known as “P.R.O.G.”

Featured image: Sabrina Makmur

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Blanke turns in sophomore drum ‘n’ bass EP on Deadbeats, ‘ÆON:TWO’

Blanke turns in sophomore drum ‘n’ bass EP on Deadbeats, ‘ÆON:TWO’Dead Rocks 2022 Day 2 86 1

Just shy of a full calendar turn, we learned about Blanke‘s blueprint to dig further into his love for the genre that introduced him to electronic music. And ÆON’s birth stemmed from Blanke’s live wing of the larger drum ‘n’ bass project—better known as AEON:MODE, which he had tested out in Australia at the beginning of early 2021—before delivering his first ÆON release as the summer of 2021 came to a close. “Breathe” proved to only the tipping point to what Blanke set out to do with the Deadbeats-hosted concept and after taking ÆON on the road for stops at both Red Rocks and Avant Gardner in July, Blanke has now followed through on unloading the second of two planned EPs for the project this year.

With ÆON:ONE having been fully digested after a handful of weeks and “Colors” with Gryffin and Eyelar still fresh off the release stand, Blanke’s ÆON catalog has grown once more with another triple-sided package of releases. Fittingly branded ÆON:TWO, Blanke’s sophomore EP effectively builds directly off the drum ‘n’ bass production breadth that he explored inside and out with the project’s maiden EP. And that’s a description that Blanke has become all too familiar with in terms of listeners describing his music at large. ÆON:TWO taps into both the militant and melodic edges of the drum ‘n’ bass space, with Blanke converting a trinity of fan-favorite ÆON:MODE IDs into tracks that are formally known as “Another Planet,” “Surface,” and “Aurora.”

Featured image: Colin Patrick

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