EU music industry revenues down 76%, new study finds

EU music industry revenues are down 76% amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study reports.

A new study conducted and published by the European Grouping Of Societies Of Authors And Composers (GESAC),has found that the creative sector in Europe, which includes TV, cinema, radio, music, publishing, video games, the performing arts, dropped by 31.2% year-on-year from 2019 to 2020.

In the details of the study, published by The Guardian, the authors of the report shared that the creative sector’s turnover of £570bn had grown by 2.6% a year over the previous six years – representing about 4.4% of the EU’s overall GDP. “What we have seen since then, however, are the dramatic consequences of shutting down literally thousands of venues,” said Marc Lhermitte, the study co-ordinator, on the impact of COVID-19. “Culture was the first sector to suspend most of its activities, and will probably be the last to resume without restrictions.”

Revenues have dropped by 90% in the performing arts and 76% in the music industry, the breakdown details, while visual arts, books, the press, films and TV saw declines of between 20% and 40%. Video games, however, saw a rise in turnover of 9%. Royalties collected for creatives by rights organisations also fell by 35% in 2020.

Read details of the report via The Guardian here.

At the beginning of this month, it was announced that the impact of COVID-19 on UK nightlife would be investigated as part of a new inquiry. Led by Westminster’s newly formed All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), Labour MP Jeff Smith is chairing, a politician who previously worked in the nightlife sector for several years. All night time economy businesses, workers and consumers are now being asked to share experiences and opinions on the huge problems currently facing the sector. 

Elsewhere, a podcast documenting the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the Chinese underground electronic music scene has been released as part of a BBC series.

Police mistake pensioners queueing for COVID vaccine with an “illegal rave”

Police mistook pensioners queueing for COVID vaccine with an “illegal rave” last week.

Last Friday (22nd) police attended the Freemasons’ Saxon Hall in Southend, Essex after being tipped off about a ‘rave’, The Echo reports

After arriving at the scene, the police didn’t find any signs of an illegal rave, and instead, were greeted by hundreds of pensioners waiting for their coronavirus vaccine. The chairman of Saxon Hall, Dennis Baum, told The Echo that it was “really funny” when the police arrived.

“They had been notified that there was a ‘rave’ taking place at Saxon Hall,” he said, “only to find 80 and 90 year-olds on wheelchairs, zimmer frames and walking sticks, patiently queueing for their vaccinations.

“Grumpy old men and grumpy old women were in abundance. Nevertheless, as a balancing act many more very appreciative people couldn’t have been more grateful to receive the vaccine and to Saxon Hall and the Freemasons for facilitating it.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “As the good public of Essex know, where we receive reports of people clearly and flagrantly breaking the rules we will respond, but we’re also available to help the community when needed. 

“Upon receiving reports of congestion at the vaccination centre, a unit responded to offer help with traffic management, and returned later that day to check that everything was progressing smoothly for those getting their jabs.

“No-one wants to see all of our communities getting the jab and being protected more than us at Essex Police, particularly our elderly and vulnerable communities and we will do all we can to support that.”

You can read the full report here.

Glastonbury’s Emily Eavis denies festival could go bankrupt after 2021 cancellation

Glastonbury organisers have denied that the festival could go bankrupt.

After announcing another forced fallow year for Glastonbury amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, festival co-organiser Emily Eavis spoke with The Guardian about the future of Glastonbury, denying that the annual Somerset pilgrimage will go bankrupt.

Speaking in the interview Eavis denied the bankruptcy claims, explaining that due to cancelling the event so far in advance, the losses incurred in 2020 would be avoided this year. “We would have been in trouble if we’d hedged our bets and pushed on regardless to March and then had to cancel. We’d have spent a lot of money by then, money which we wouldn’t get back,” she said. 

Eavis added that alongside her father, festival co-founder Michael Eavis, she has been working on Glastonbury-related projects for this year. “A lot of big artists have been in touch offering to perform for us at the farm, so we’re doing everything we can to make that happen. We would love to build a show that can be watched at home by people all over the world, and of course it would be a useful way for us to make some very welcome income.”

Michael Eavis had previously told The Guardian that the festival could go bankrupt if the 2021 edition did not take place.

Glastonbury has been among the most vocal forces calling for UK government support with coronavirus insurance to help protect against cancellations and postponements this summer. As of Tuesday 5th January, the UK has gone back into a national lockdown which will run until mid-February at the earliest in a bid to curb surging COVID-19 infections. Elsewhere, in New Zealand tens of thousands have been attending festivals as life continues to return to something like normality, with new cases of the virus now numbering less than 80 across the country.

Four Tet and Madlib share track from forthcoming album, ‘Dirtknock’: Listen

The album is out on January 29th

Christian Eede

Monday, January 25, 2021 – 12:36

Four Tet and Madlib have unveiled a new track from their forthcoming collaborative album.

‘Dirtknock’ is the third track to be shared from ‘Sound Ancestors’, a new instrumental album which consists of various beats produced by Madlib in recent years and later edited by Four Tet. It follows on from ‘Road Of The Lonely Ones’, which the pair unveiled last month when details of the album first emerged, and ‘Hopprock’.

Speaking previously about the album, Four Tet said: “[Madlib] is always making loads of music in all sorts of styles and I was listening to some of his new beats and studio sessions when I had the idea that it would be great to hear some of these ideas made into a Madlib solo album.”

‘Sound Ancestors’ will be released through Madlib Invazion on January 29th. You can listen to ‘Dirtknock’ below.

Late last year, Four Tet unveiled his first-ever D&B remix, taking on Krust’s ‘Negative Returns’, while he also released a two-track collaborative record with Burial and Thom Yorke.

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Tupac Vs. The Notorious B.I.G. VERZUZ battle discussed by producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz

Swizz Beatz and Timbaland have discussed their interest in doing a Tupac Vs. The Notorious B.I.G. VERZUZ battle.

The pair appeared on ESPN2’s Jalen And Jacoby show on Friday, January 22nd to talk about their plan to bring the online battle show into the world of sports for the upcoming Super Bowl. After being asked what their ultimate VERZUZ battle would be, Swizz replied: “My dream one, I want to figure out how to do Pac and Biggie in a way that the people is gonna really love it.”

Interested in the idea, Timbaland responded: “I’ma call you later, I’ma text you.” The idea of a Prince and Michael Jackson battle was also discussed as a possibility.

VERZUZ is an online series that pits producers, songwriters and artists against each other in a rap battle style format across Instagram Live and Apple Music. Competitors take it in turns playing a song from a list of 20 from their discography, with fans watching on before a winner is decided by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.

Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, John Legend and Alicia Keys are among the artists who’ve taken part since it got going last March.

Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Gang Starr’s DJ Premier also went head-to-head in a productions battle in April of last year.

Watch Bushwacka play a live stream dedicated to London’s seminal club, The End

DJ Mag have teamed up with Bushwacka to live stream a DJ set that he’d typically have played at The End

Euan McGraw

Monday, January 25, 2021 – 13:53

New Virtual Instrument Based On Rare Lintronics Advanced Memorymoog Modification (LAMM)

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UVI has introduced PX Memories, a new virtual instrument, based on the rare Lintronics LAMM.

The Lintronics LAMM (Lintronics Advanced Memorymoog Modification) was based on the the Moog Memorymoog. The mod, developed by Rudi Lindhard’s Lintronics, improved on the original by making it more stable, making it easily editable, giving it improved IO and enhanced stereo output and improving on the original’s MIDI implementation.

Here’s what UVI has to say about PX Memories:

“Every patch we designed for PX Memories was extensively multisampled in normal, factory unison, and the special LAMM stereo unison modes letting you seamlessly switch between real hardware samples, and subsequently allowing you to play unison modes polyphonically which is impossible on the hardware unit.

Another massive creative advantage of PX Memories is the ability to load two programs at once, with full expressive control over each. Each program in PX Memories functions as its own layer, essentially giving you another entire LAMM that can be layered, filtered, animated, and arpeggiated together (or discretely) to create truly massive analog sounds. As well, unison settings are per-program, so combined you can essentially have up to 36 authentic hardware analog voices sounding per note.

In the end we recorded over 38,980 samples, packing PX Memories with a whopping 353 presets made from 171 programs, and divided into 16 categories, including basics, animated arps, animated steps, bass, bells, brass, chords, FX, keys, leads, organ, pads, pluck, polysynth, strings and more. Every patch in PX Memories is fully-customizable allowing you to use them straight-away or as starting points for your own sound design.

PX Memories presents you with a full suite of controls to tweak and augment its sound to fit your particular use, including per-program multimode filter, amp and filter envelopes, pitch and stereo controls, handy modwheel assignments, step and lfo modulators, versatile arpeggiators, and a master effect section with 3-band EQ, drive, Thorus, ensemble, Phasor, delay and Sparkverb.

The LAMM is a rare and iconic instrument with a timeless analog sound, inspiring, versatile, effortlessly delivering thundering bass, rich leads, and massive pads; perfect your analog dreams with PX Memories.”

Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability

PX Memories is available now, with an intro price of $49.00.

La Voix du Luthier Intros Pyramide Essential Acoustic Resonator

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At the 2021 NAMM Show, La Voix du Luthier introduced a new version of its Pyramide acoustic resonator – the Pyramide Essential.

In the video, Christophe Duquesne demonstrates the Onde, the Pyramid and a new Slim Continuum controlling Jordan Rudess’ Geoshred application, with video mapped to the Onde & Pyramid resonators.

The sound generation comes from a layer of a Continuum preset and Geoshred. The audio is 100% acoustic and is recorded with a Zoom IQ7 and a Zoom H2. It is raw audio, direct from the mics, without any editing, and it is a one take live shooting.

The Pyramide Essential as an acoustic resonator – a device that essentially turns your electronic instrument into an acoustic one. It does this by using the signal from your instrument to vibrate wood acoustic resonators, similar to the way a guitar string causes the body to resonate. This approach means that your sounds are affected by the resonances of the Pyramide, which adds a physical dimension to your performances. This also makes it idea for electronic musicians wanting to perform with acoustic musicians.

Pyramide Essential differs from the original Pyramide by eliminating the integrated amplifier of the original. You can use it your own amplifier, similarly as passive speakers, but with a true acoustic sound (each Pyramid is stereo, and offers 2 voices that can be bridged to make it mono, 8 Ohms or 4 Ohms).

Pricing and Availability

The Pyramide Essential is available via La Voix du Luthier for 1 195,00€.

Additive vs Subtractive Synthesis Explained

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Synthesist Joe Evans shared this look at additive synthesis and how it compares to the subtractive synthesis approach.

Additive synthesis is an approach to shaping sound based on the idea of adding together sine wave partials to create more complex timbres. Additive synthesis historically has been less practical with hardware synths than subtractive synthesis, because of the need to precisely control the amplitude over time of potentially dozens of oscillators. Software has made additive synthesis more practical, because you can have unlimited numbers of oscillators and control their amplitude over time precisely.

In the video, Evans uses AIR’s Loom II to demonstrate additive synthesis concepts.

Tomorrowland shares sets from NYE virtual festival on Apple Music: Listen

Mixes from Armin van Buuren, Boys Noize and Diplo are among the sets available for playback now

DJ Mag Staff

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 – 13:03

Tomorrowland has shared a selection of sets from 2020’s New Year’s Eve festival on Apple Music.

Belgian festival Tomorrowland’s NYE event, which took place on the 31st December, was spread across four stages adapted to all 27 time zones in the world. It was the latest virtual push from the festival, who also took their flagship festival digital last year. 

After sharing footage of the festival exclusively via an on-demand pass, Tomorrowland have now shared sets recorded from the end-of-year spectacular, with performances from the likes of Armin van Buuren, Boys Noize, Diplo and Lost Frequencies available to check out in full.

There’s also sets from Duck Sauce, Kölsch b2b Joris Voorn and Major Lazer. Check out the full selection of performances available via Apple Music here.

DJ Mag’s Declan McGlynn wrote about how Tomorrowland’s 2020 virtual festival set a new standard for digital events during the Covid-19 lockdown: read the feature here.  

Never Stop The Music – The Creation of Tomorrowland Around The World is a documentary about the festival available on YouTube, giving an in-depth look into the technological feat that was its gamechanging event.

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