Watch Seani B live from DJ Mag HQ, This Friday

BBC 1 XTRA’s Seani B takes control of DJ Mag HQ on Friday

Euan McGraw

Monday, November 29, 2021 – 10:48

This week we welcome BBC 1XTRA’s Seani B to DJ Mag HQ for a 60-minute live stream on Friday (3rd December).

The live stream will take place in our London office from 5PM (GMT), and you can sign up to be in with a chance to attend here.

We’ll be announcing more streams in the coming weeks. You can keep up to date with announcements via DJ Mag’s InstagramTwitter and Facebook channels.

Please note the following entry requirements regarding Covid-19:

You must prove your NHS pass covid status via one of the following three options:

  • Proof of full 14-day vaccination, with the second vaccine having been given to you 14 days prior to attendance
  • A negative lateral flow within 48 hours of attendance, please show proof via the NHS app
  • Proof of natural immunity following a positive PCR test (providing it has been at least 10 days since your PCR test and up to 180 days following)

If you are unable to provide one of the above options you will be not be allowed to attend the stream under any circumstances.

If you can’t make it you can watch the stream live on Friday below.

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Goldie, Sama’ Abdulhadi, Or:la, more locked for BBC Radio 1 residencies

LCY, Scratcha DVA and Folamour have also joined the roster for December to the end of February

Eoin Murray

Monday, November 29, 2021 – 15:08

BBC Radio 1 has announced the next roster of DJs set to take over the station’s long-running Residency slot. 

Having updated the format of the slot in September, with two DJs now hosting four one-hour long radio shows each per month, the next run of residencies will kick off this Thursday (2nd December). Hyperdub affiliate and DJ Mag Best of British Best Producer nominee Scratcha DVA and Palestinian techno DJ and recent DJ Mag cover star Sama’ Abdulhadi will host four weekly shows each through December. 

From 6th to 27th January, Folamour and Or:la will take over the slot, while Goldie and LCY will take over from 3rd to 24th February. 

Residency shows will air on Thursday nights from 11pm until 1am GMT on BBC Radio 1, and will be available to listen back to via the BBC website

The next run of residents will take the torch from India Jordan, Todd Edwards, Kampire, Shygirl, Ela Minus and Maya Jane Coles. 

GAIKA announces new A/V installation and soundtrack, ‘War Island’

The first tune, ‘Zatōichi’, has already dropped and is inspired by Japanese Yakuza movies

Martin Guttridge-Hewitt

Monday, November 29, 2021 – 15:27

GAIKA has announced a new A/V installation and soundtrack, ‘War Island’, with the first track, ‘Zatōichi’, available to listen to now

The installation has already launched at London’s ICA, where it will remain until the full soundtrack lands in January via TSE. The inaugural tune sees the artist cast himself as the narrator of a film that doesn’t exist yet, with a heavy influence from the blood and brutality of Japanese Yakuza movies, not least John Woo’s 1986 landmark, ‘A Better Tomorrow’ and the eponymous ‘Zatōichi’, a 2003 film by Takeshi Kitano. 

Described as layering “GAIKA’s laconic spoken delivery over a lush cinematic grit”, the project has been made with input from regular collaborators AArt and Endless Felix Lee. In September, Nine Nights — the collective comprising GAIKA, GLOR1A, Zara Truss-Giles, and Shannen SP — revealed another exhibition at the ICA, ‘Channel B’. Meanwhile, in 2020 GAIKA presented ‘A New Dawn — The Era Of Reclamation‘, which addressed London members club and homelessness charity The House of Barnabas’ links to slavery.  

The best music and creative hardware deals for Cyber Monday from Amazon

Amazon has a surprising sale on Roland and Novation drum machines, among others. Here are some top picks.

The big surprise comes from some of my favorite Roland boxes, if you’ve been following CDM this year. Heck, I don’t have the TR-06 and kinda want one thanks to its trigger ins, so I may cause myself some temptation here.

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Roland’s TR-06 was arguably the company’s best little box this year. It has the sound of the 606, easy, but thanks to Roland going digital it still runs on batteries on the go. And they added all the modern niceties you’d want – USB in/out of both MIDI and audio, an updated sequencer with shuffle and substeps, plus five trigger outputs and one trigger input. That last bit makes it workable as a compact bridge with your other gear.

US$299 moves it into that must-have territory. I know plenty people who got one this year and have been really happy with it, too.

But then again, we just read this on the Amazon product reviews and – wow. I think I can quit writing about music tech, because I can’t top this.

“As far as other uses than a drum machine I didn’t really see the purpose of this machine. IMO its not suited for making much else than drum patterns (which it does well)”

Yeah, it’s useless as a drum machine other than being a drum machine, so probably don’t buy it and move on. I retract my recommendation.

The Roland TR-6S is the pint-sized version of the TR-8S – same engine, just in a shrunken form factor (not to be confused with MC-101, which is based on the MC-707). I love my 8S enough that I’d almost consider this as a second version to keep with me everywhere. US$349.

Otamatone Deluxe is US$63.59 in white which is about the best price I’ve seen on it outside Japan. This is the large-sized model, which is the easiest to play. I love my smaller one – the weirdly simple interface and oscillator with a formant filter that comes from physically squeezing its cheeks is irresistible. This model also gives you a proper audio jack and a big volume knob. Yeah, I want one. You think Eurorack is an addiction? Try cute Japanese eighth note characters.

It is honestly hard to decide between the Novation Circuit Tracks and Circuit Rhythm. They’re both great; they both have features that are nearly identical. So here, now it’s easy – Novation Circuit Rhythm, the sampler one, is $299, as opposed to $385-399 for the Tracks. Fine, that solves that.

Novation also gives you a lot of options on its Launchpad line. It seems Amazon has all the keyboards on sale, but I especially like the Novation Launchpad X for $169. That model is pretty perfect as far as balance – compact and light, but still with RGB pads and velocity sensitivity. It’s sort of the ideal grid when the Push is too complex or too heavy (or both). And I wrote a guide to hacking it – which is really easy, thanks to its simplicity:

Shure SM57B remains the best podcasting/voiceover mic out there, and it’s rarely, rarely on sale anywhere. Here it’s $359.

I’ve been using Roland’s video switchers and mixers for about 20 years now. The V-02HD for $350 is pretty compelling if you just want some simple audio/HDMI management. Sure, Blackmagic’s ATEM series can do more, but I’d seriously consider this one for the low price and physical controls (and switch to Blackmagic for its recording capabilities on the higher-end models as the upgrade – plus you might find a use for each, especially at these prices).

It’s just got that dead-simple design that always made us use Roland (originally Edirol when the company sold under that moniker) here and there.

Jeez, I should have set up a ‘gift’ account as I could use a couple of these.

If you just need to plug in some extra storage, there’s the SanDisk 512GB Extreme PRO USB stick, $84.99 for Cyber Monday. Now, I love this thing – even the 128GB model I got feels luxurious (check the prices on the others, too). 420 MB/second transfer means it behaves almost like an SSD. It has a retractable design so you protect the USB A port, but it feels way, way more rugged than other SanDisk stuff. The trick is, for maximum compatibility you’ll want to reformat to FAT32. Do that, and miracle of miracles, the thing works with CDJs. (The 512 I haven’t tried personally, but I think the same trick functions.) The advantage there is, you have one USB stick with all your music on it, for home listening or DJing, either way. (Mine is basically formatted to Rekordbox and then used with my players of choice on macOS, Windows, and Linux – uh, Vox, AIMP, and whatever I happen to be using at the moment, respectively.)

Here’s how to do it, from the source:

Formatting SanDisk USB flash drives in FAT32 format using third-party Windows applications

It’s even easier on the Mac; you just use the Drive Utility (it’s labeled MS-DOS FAT, but they mean FAT32 – don’t worry, you won’t accidentally wind up with FAT16):

Formatting on a Mac computer [SanDisk]

Trying to navigate even SanDisk’s product naming will give you a headache, let alone their competitors, but the ones I highlight here are verifiable as the most reliable options (YMMV).

It also works with NI’s Maschine+ standalone hardware, as I’ve verified with the engineers, along with the drive I mention below. And actually, the stick would have been the lifesaver purchase of the year, if I didn’t get –

SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD is now available at $119.99 – not technically a Cyber Monday deal, but a very competitive price. That’s the new-generation model with up to 1050 MB/s transfer speed. I’ve got one now as my mobile drive. They also work with devices like Maschine+ and other similar devices. That 1 TB model is the right price/performance sweet spot for me, because you can hold a couple of active projects, edit video and multitrack audio right off of it, and keep the bigger drives on your desk for archiving and backup.

Just be sure to buy a longer USB C-to-C cable, as the one included is way too short most of the time.

That’s what I’ve got. I’ll resist the temptation to link some trashy karaoke machines, but let us know your choices in comments.

London musician Mulimba reminds us to count our blessings on “Chasing Gold” [Video]

London-raised act Mulimba covers an expanse of sounds from soaring church choir to hard-hitting hip-hop on “Chasing Gold,” a powerful showcase of gospel-tinged beats and earworm electro hooks that speaks of a dreamer’s hustle to find their path. With a layered build of indie guitar picks and booming rhythms, the track is designed as a much-needed reminder to count your blessings and carrying forward to better days.

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Infused with a trademark edgy enigma that’s found a place in his genre-hopping music, the track is a haunting yet upbeat offering made up of an intricate soundscape and uplifting message. Accompanied by a lo-fi, organic music video that cuts seamlessly between the gloss of his live performances and the grounding humility of his every day, Mulimba captures the charm that has seen him draw massive amounts of love since emerging onto the music scene in 2019.

Consistently building a sound that’s personable yet polished, versatility and unpredictability from the cornerstones of this exciting act who has managed to use the lockdown to hone his sound into something brimming with originality. Formed around the crux of his distinct wash of vocals, “Chasing Gold,” is an anthemic indie-hip-hop crossover that brings this rising act’s musical journey in 2021.

Connect with Mulimba: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

French nightclubs launch initiative to gain cultural status

French nightclubs have launched an initiative aimed at securing cultural status, in an attempt to mirror Berlin’s decision to recognise venues in a similar way. 

Club-Culture involves 38 venues from across France which are working together to gain more recognition from policy makers. Combined, the clubs involved account for more than 1,000 jobs, hosting over 5,000 events and bringing in around €60million each year thanks to some three million people who attend parties. 

I-Boat, Macadam, BADABOUM, KALT, La Machine Du Moulin Rouge (pictured), Le Petit Salon, Le Sucre, Rex Club, and Warehouse are among the addresses behind the campaign. Key figureheads from the country’s electronic music scene including Laurent Garnier, Ètienne De Crécy, Jennifer Cardini, and Teki Latex have also expressed support.

“The Covid-19 crisis has proven the importance of a well-structured scene,” Alexis Tenaud, of Macadam’s collective and label Androgyne, told RA. “The necessity of gathering all actors under a common force. A lot of goals are yet to be reached, but it cannot happen without the creation of a global community that can set up a political agenda for the club-culture scene.” 

A series of events to raise awareness about the movement took place this past weekend, between Friday 26th and Sunday 28th November, advertised on the Club-Culture website. It is hoped that if the idea is successful French clubs and the country’s dance music eco-system will receive greater support and recognition from the government. Earlier this year, clubs in Berlin were officially declared culture institutions thanks to the work of the Parliamentary Forum For Club Culture & Nightlife. Berghain was previously awarded this status individually in 2016

MisterKay closes the year with double-sided ‘TOAST’

Rising Nigerian singer/songwriter MisterKay blends Afropop with R&B stylings in his new double single offering titled TOAST which serves as the final offering for the year. The two-song release is made up of “Diego” and “Dirty Diana,” two songs that show MisterKay’s versatile approach to music blending different genres to suit his mood.

“Diego” tells a story of an artistic photographer who praises the artsy figure and rhythmic movement of his muse. The production by Master Maison is a superb mix of atmospheric textures, thick basslines, and a drum groove that fits the singer’s playful melodic runs and low tone delivery. The second record “Dirty Diana,” details a love story filled with the emotional tug of war and toxicity over a moody and hypnotic backdrop provided by Master Maison. He delivers a gripping impassioned performance with his distinct husky vocals and with a knack for painting vivid pictures, he takes us deep into the mix while taking steps to rectify the situation and hopefully create the perfect love he so yearns for.

MisterKay is a fast-rising singer/songwriter from Abuja, Nigeria whose style is a mix of alternative soul, R&B, and Afropop. His first EP Rise to Fame was released in 2020 and he has since then released three more EPs (Underage, House of Eclipse in 2020, and a handful of notable singles such as “Comply”, his “Fucking Tired” freestyle dedicated to the #EndSARS protests that took place across several states in Nigeria decrying police brutality. TOAST is coming off the heels of the five-track collaboration EP entitled Lust & Emotions he did with fellow Nigerian singer Victor Collins.

MisterKay also holds a degree in Human Resource Management from Zenith University, Accra, Ghana.

Get TOAST on all DSPs here.

Connect with MisterKay  : Facebook | Instagram

Kahlil Simplis details a toxic romance on new tape ‘Safehouse, Vol. 1.’

LA musician Kahlil Simplis details the obstacles faced in a toxic romance on new project Safehouse, Vol. 1., exploring his past relationships, rooting himself in the present and looking towards his future. Wrapped up in sonics that are pleasingly raw, each offering on the eight-track production forms around a specific situation in his life, drawing from toxicity and turning it into something more uplifting. 

Opening with the pulsing beats of title track “Safehouse,” the project move effortlessly from the laid-back feels of “Been Playing,” to the introspection of “Skin,” to the confident fierceness of “Nonsense,” showcasing the full expanse of his sleek sound underpinned by intimate messages of different facets of toxic love that are crafted to connect with listeners.

Whether a poignant exploration of self-worth on “Safehouse,” which goes “When I was at my lowest/I knew quitting was a sin,” or the confidence of “If I Knew Then,” which looks back at a relationship in hindsight “Self care and free spirits are ones that I attract/I could never be with someone who’s gon’ hold me back,” Simplis’ music is straight from his heart yet infused with relatability. 

Whether it’s the frustrations that seep through “Options,” the playful charm of “Making It Easy,” or slower contemplation of final track “If I Knew Then,” Safehouse, Vol. 1, gives us a look at Simplis’ most genuine emotions carried forward by hazy but sharp instrumentals that get us grooving along even as we relate to the deeply thoughtful lyricism.

Simplis who treats music as his sanctuary brings us into his safe space with his versatile, emotive sound, as Safehouse, Vol. 1, provides a perfect snapshot of the carefully refined skills that make for a clear indication that the rapper is one to keep an eye on.

Connect with Kahlil Simplis : Instagram| Twitter

Blaqbonez drops deluxe edition of debut album ‘Sex Over Love’

Nigerian rapper turned Afropop singer/rapper Blaqbonez closes out 2021 with the deluxe edition of his debut album Sex Over Love. This new edition goes the extra mile by revamping some of his old tracks and extending the length of the project.  Consisting of several of Blaq’s hit singles such as “Haba”, “Bling”, “Fendi” and “Okwaraji” it includes three new additional tracks “Run My Race”, “Shut Up – Remix”, and “Medicine” featuring Afropop star Oxlade.

On “Okwaraji” he embodies the spirit of a good boy turned player after numerous heartbreaks and disappointments. On there, he is joined by singer Bella Shmurda who closes it out with an unapologetic verse over the sublime and punchy trap backdrop. On “Shut Up – Remix” he recruits Ghanaian rapper Kwesi Arthur,  South African singer/producer Tellaman, and Afropop singer Kuami Eugene who all have fun over the hypnotic backdrop laid before them. Blaq is in his element in “Novacane” a dreamy melodic trap track that displays his braggadocio demeanor in all its glory. He reminds us that he came from the bottom and now he is living his dreams despite what the naysayers think.  Other stand-out tracks include the sensual record “Never Been in Love” and the catchy hit “Bling” featuring singers Amaarae and Buju

Overall BlaqBonez sticks to the anti-love theme religiously in a slightly humorous manner where he seems to be living his best life devoid of girl troubles. In a nutshell, he reminds us that he is just here to have fun and further express his Sex over love gospel. “The album is my most successful body of work,” Blaq said via email, ” I’m just tryna show y’all more reasons why you should pick Sex Over Love.”

Blaqbonez a.k.a Akumefule Chukwu-Emeka George is a Nigerian rapper signed to Chocolate City Music who is popular for his versatile, energetic, and competitive style of rap, as well as his many personas.

Connect with  Blaqbonez :  YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

DJ and illustrator anu announces debut comic and artworks zine, ‘I’m not busy, but I’m not free’

DJ and illustrator anu has announced plans to publish her own comic and art zine, ‘I’m not busy, but I’m not free’. 

According to her Instagram post, the publication will feature “a selection of weird and fun work, with running themes of music, club culture and general silliness”. 

A launch party has been announced to mark the release, with Kaffa in Dalston, East London, hosting the event this Sunday, 5th December 2021, from 1PM to 9PM. DJ sets, drinks, and Ethiopian food will all be served up to those in attendance. Copies of the zine, in addition to prints and stickers based on anu’s visual work, will also be available. Remaining copies of the comic will then be sold exclusively through the artist’s online shop

Anu illustrated the cover of the second compilation from Daytimers, ‘DT002’, which is currently in the running for a DJ Mag Best of British award. She also continues to host a fortnightly show on NTS Radio, which is also up for an award at the forthcoming ceremony. Revisit our Get To Know feature with the London-based artist from last year.