Hands On With Rare Gear At The Italian Synth Museum, Museo del Synth Marchigiano

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In his latest video, synthesist Alex Ball documents his visit to the Museo del Synth Marchigiano, the Italian synth museum.

Ball gives an overview of the museum, and then demos and discusses some of the rare instruments in the museum’s collection.

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro
1:19 Synket
4:40 EKO Computerhythm
8:01 Chilton Talentmaker
12:07 Crumar Compac Synth
13:41 Crumar DP-50
15:07 Elkatwin 61
16:29 Elka Synthex
19:38 CRB Oberon
21:29 CRB Voco Strings
22:53 CRB Uranus 2.0
24:34 Farfisa Polychrome
25:24 Logan Piano Strings Synthesizer
27:10 Welson Syntex
28:28 Keytek CTS-2000
29:47 Baleani Solista

Erica Synths Perkons HD-01 Drum Machine In Depth Review

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In his latest loopop video review, host Ziv Eliraz takes an in-depth look at the Erica Synths Perkons HD-01 drum machine.

The Perkons HD-01 features four versatile hybrid voices (digital sound engine + analog multimode filter with overdrive) and a sequencer with simultaneous control over all four percussion tracks.

While the Perkons may not have as many features as some drum machines, it features chunky build quality, its own unique character, and a hands-on knobby user interface.

Check out the video and share your thoughts on the Perkons in the comments!

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro
1:30 Overview
3:45 Grid views
5:05 Connectivity
5:40 Banks
6:30 Sound engines
8:00 Voice 1
10:05 Voice 2
12:10 Voice 3
16:05 Voice 4
19:05 BB Delay
20:50 Compressor
21:50 MIDI control
22:15 External FX
24:05 Tempo
24:35 Sequencing
25:00 Speed & groove
25:45 Play modes
26:35 Ratchet & odds
29:00 Live rec
29:20 Motion seq
29:50 Param locks
31:15 Accents
31:45 LFO
34:20 Pros & cons
39:05 Outro

D16 Intros “The Definitive 303 Emulation”, Phoscyon 2

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D16 has introduced Phoscyon 2, a software emulation of the legendary Roland TB-303 bassline synthesizer that they say “has been taken to entirely new heights.”

While D16 says that the signal path has been designed to “achieve an unprecedented level of emulation accuracy”, Phoscyon 2’s design otherwise diverges significantly from the classic 303, adding a robust FX chain tailored to “acidic squeaks” and an original sequencer and arpeggiator, designed to make it easy to edit patterns and perform with them live.

Other features include:

  • Substantial factory content
  • Over 800 presets and patterns in factory content
  • Several UI sizes and HiDPI support for better screen fit
  • MIDI Learn for easy controller assignment

Here’s a demo of the factory presets:

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Pricing and Availability

Phoscyon 2 is available now with an intro price of 89 Eur (normally 119 Eur).

via Absolut

Arturia unleashes Dist COLDFIRE

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Arturia has introduced Dist COLDFIRE, a dual-engine distortion effect that gives users “a reactive arsenal of classic & cutting-edge ways to process and destroy their sound”.

The company says that the plugin lets users manipulate and combine various distortion types for truly unique and powerful sound design.

Dist COLDFIRE is an all-in-one distortion effect, that is capable of subtle mix-enhancing saturation, dual-engine custom crunch, or “unrestrained sonic destruction”. You can pair any of 11 distortion types, from emulated tube heat to digital bit crush, customize routing, add modulation, and create custom distortion effects.

Pricing and Availability

Dist COLDFIRE is available now for $99. Registered Arturia users can purchase Dist COLDFIRE at an introductory price, with discounts up to 50% off.

Premiere: Maggie Tra ‘Kingdom Of Her’

Maggie Tra will release a new album, ‘Kingdom Of Her’, via her SYS Sister Sounds label this month. Listen to the title track below. 

The Australia-born Khmer/Viet DJ and producer follows her recent single ‘Apsara’ with a 10 track album that pays tribute to her Cambodian roots and to her mother. Blending traditional music samples and personal field recordings with punchy house, disco and techno beats, Tra expands on her trademark sound to explore personal themes, while still keeping a foot firmly on the dancefloor. 

From the opening spoken word piece, in which Tra examines notions of identity, trauma and self-love, to the shadowy ambience of ‘Tra Family, which features field recordings from a hospital visit she took to see her mother, ‘Kingdom Of Her’ has a diaristic quality to it. This quality isn’t lost in the album’s clubbier moments either: techno cut ‘Strong Srey’ opens with a Khmer vocal prayer repeating “the right path” in testament to Tra’s perseverance amid anxiety. ‘Ladyship’ and ‘Temporary Visa’ balance their club-friendly beats with striking traditional strings and vocal samples. 

The album’s title track pulls off a similar balance with its stomping Hi-NRG disco beat and chopped-up vocal samples. Check out its video, shot and edited by Freddy Morales, below.

‘Kingdom Of Her’ will be released on 21st September. Pre-order it here

Techno meets graphic novel: Alan Oldham’s Johnny Gambit is back to the future

1986, Chicago. Hot Comics. Inside the sleeve of a Rhythim is Rhythim 12-inch. Private detective Johnny G is always popping up somewhere vital to techno – and now creator Alan Oldham has him set for Berlin 2023.

If techno is more than just the track banging away at the club, it requires some imagination and output – from the fans, the artists, the scene. But then there’s a chance for a flight of fancy around the music’s message.

Alan Oldham aka DJ-T-1000 is a more multi-dimensional being to try to track down than some of his Detroit colleagues partly because of how hyperactive he has been in that sense. If the techno track is the framework, there’s also his copious work done as a visual artist, writer, journalist, radio personality (on WDET) – making press releases for Underground Resistance or art for Transmat. I could say our Instagram-obsessed age has made us miss that larger outline of music, but then that was always the case.

So like a Renaissance type is prone to do, Alan is hitting his stride now. And it’s a great moment for Johnny Gambit, too – the graphic novel character Alan dreamt up in the 80s and has followed obsessively ever since. (Seems I saw him pop up even on a skateboard or two.)

That’ll be Johnny G in the creator’s words – “Miami Vice” meets “Akira” meets “Mister X” in Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS with elements of DARK CITY.” Pow pow pow.

Following the twists and turns of Johnny G’s story through an article in The Face London that popularized techno internationally, onto sake at Richie Hawtin’s new Berlin bar – this almost reads like frames of a graphic novel. But now this week Alan is launching a Kickstarter to debut the new outing, Great Reset.

There’s a graphic novel. There’s a double-disc soundtrack. There’s a t-shirt.

The soundtrack itself is a draw on its own, pairing Alan with other unsung heroes of ours like FBK (check the interview):

Disc 1 features Alan Oldham’s solo music (based on the events of the comic), while Disc 2 is a various artist “inspired by” affair starring the international cast of Nino Sebelic, FBK, Altroy, Blak Tony, Krenzlin and more.

Now that the Kickstarter has launched, you can check out the premiums and follow both the real-life story of Alan’s art and the fictional world of Johnny G. The latter starts out like this:

JANUARY 1st, 1959 and SEVENTH CITY is America’s fastest-growing metropolis. A futuristic dream city built on the ashes of World War II. A testing ground for leading-edge technologies and prototype consumer products designed to be seven years ahead of the general U.S. population, hence the city’s name.

Competely owned and operated by the RAYTHEON CORPORATION, the city fathers and the European expatriate genius inventor MIES VAN DER FLUGT promise a new kind of engine that will provide FREE, CLEAN ENERGY to the citizens of SEVENTH CITY –forever!

On January 1st, New Year’s Day (the day of the Cuban Revolution in our world), the city fathers, with great fanfare, throw the switch to activate the massive RESISTANCE ENGINES deep beneath the city. But an unforeseen SIDE EFFECT occurs. The sky goes red.

THE BARRIER.

“Miami Vice” meets “Akira” meets “Mister X” in Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS with elements of DARK CITY.” Pow pow pow.

Here’s that track for you, by T-1000:

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And some more bangers for you from earlier this year:

THE RETURN OF JOHNNY GAMBIT GRAPHIC NOVEL [Kickstarter]

Freddie Gibbs announces new album, ‘$oul $old $eperately’, shares single: Listen

Freddie Gibbs has announced his fifth studio album, ‘$oul $old $eperately’, and unveiled its lead single. Check out the video for ‘Too Much’ below. 

The Grammy-nominated Gary, Indiana rapper will release his major label debut album via Warner Records on 30th September. It’s the follow-up to his fourth studio album, ‘Freddie’, which was released back in 2018.

‘Too Much’ features Memphis MC Moneybagg Yo, and comes accompanied by a casino-themed video directed by JMP. Check it out below.

While a tracklist has yet to be released, Gibbs previously revealed Pharrell, The Alchemist, Madlib, and Boi-1da will share production duties on the album.

Leading up to the album’s announcement on 2nd September, Freddie placed mysterious casino-themed billboards (pictured below) across the country with a toll-free number that gave information and clues about the upcoming project. 

Gibbs joined Warner Records shortly after the release of his 2020 collaborative album with Alchemist, ‘Alfredo’, which landed a 2021 Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album.  Also in 2020, Gibbs and Madlib released an instrumental version of their collaborative album ‘Bandana’.

Moonchild Sanelly releases music video for ‘Chicken’: Watch

Moonchild Sanelly has unveiled the music video for her track ‘Chicken’. Watch it below.

Playfully musing on a classical philosophical quandary (“What came first, the chicken or the egg?”) the video is a typically unique offering from the South African artist.

Following the release of singles including ‘Strip Club’, featuring Ghetts, and ‘April Fool’s Day (Makahambe)‘, it’s the latest single to be taken from the Port Elizabeth artist’s recently-released second LP, ‘Phases’. 

Released via Transgressive in June, the 19-track double album is the follow-up to her 2020 debut mini-LP ‘Nüdes’, and boasts production and guest features from the likes of Sad Night Dynamite, Wesley Joseph, Xavier Thomas (Débruit), TOKiMONSTA, HOLLY, and Aramboa.

Speaking about the album, Sanelly said: “I think that, with this album, I’ve managed to piece all the different parts of me together, because I’m known for different things in different parts of the world. I think you get to know me better with Phases – all the different sides of me.”

Revisit DJ Mag’s recent long read piece on Moonchild Sanelly, in which she talks about freedom of expression, ‘Phases’ and more.

Hodge launches new label, Two Moons, with two-track release, ‘Sub 100’: Listen

Hodge has launched a record label, Two Moons, with a new two-track release.

The Bristol DJ and producer kickstarts his brand new imprint with ‘Sub 100’, which lands on 16th September, comprising a title track and ‘Where I Wanna Be’. Stream the title track below.

He also shared the news via Instagram on 1st September: “I’ve never released my music via my own label so I’ve decided to change that,” said Hodge. “I’ll be releasing tracks here when I write stuff I like, no real plans for how often – just when the music comes.”

The arrival of ‘Sub 100’ comes a year on from Hodge’s four-track collaborative EP with Simo Cell on Livity Sound‘Drums From The West’.

In April 2020, just after the start of lockdown, he released his acclaimed debut LP, ‘Shadows in Blue’. Revisit DJ Mag’s April 2020 long read around the release.

Last year, Livity Sound celebrated its ten-year anniversary with a compilation featuring the likes of Hodge, Batu, Kouslin, and more.

Shygirl shares new single, ‘Nike’: Listen

Shygirl has dropped a new single from her forthcoming debut album, ‘Nymph’. Listen to ‘Nike’ below. 

Produced by Mura Masa and OscarSheller, the track comes off the back of previously released singles, ‘Firefly’, ‘Coochie (a bedtime story)’ and ‘Come For Me’, which was produced by Arca.  

‘Nymph’ will be released on 30th September via Parisian label Because Music. The 12-track LP features a number of collaborators, including Arca, Sega Bodega, Karma Kid and Cosha, with production coming from Vegyn, Kingdom, Noah Goldstein, Danny L Harle and BloodPop. 

Shygirl – who is also co-head/founder of label and collective Nuxxe alongside COUCOU CHLOE, Sega Bodega and Oklou  – is known for her collaborations, including last year’s ‘BDE’ with slowthai. Her previous EP, ‘Alias’, included a joint production with the late SOPHIE. 

In 2021, Shygirl enjoyed major recognition for her work, including an appearance in Forbes’ coveted 30 Under 30 list, and a commission to remix Lady Gaga and Blackpink’s ‘Sour Candy’ alongside Mura Masa.

Pre-save ‘Nymph’ here and watch the Colors live session of ‘Nike’