17 things to talk about on the smoking terrace
1. The Brighton Music Conference takes place later this month, and this year’s Conference will see the launch of a new industry organisation called the Women in Dance Music Collective(WDMC), which is headed up by Indigo Talent‘s Jude Thompson and Data Transmission‘s Sacha Wall, working alongside the Association For Electronic Music and other groups. Thompson told Music Week that the Collective is “intended to be a platform where people can connect, share stories, inspire and promote each other… we want to instigate positive change at all levels and recognise the strong female contribution to this dynamic and growing industry.” The invite-only Brighton gathering on 26 April will be the first of four WDMC events that are taking place across Europe this year.
2. A huge billboard placed right next to Interstate 25 just as you get into Detroit is reminding visitors to the city that “Detroit is the birthplace of techno music.” That little boost to local pride has been supplied courtesy of the organisers of Movement festival, which is at the Hart Plaza on 26-28 May.
3. An Austrian start-up called Rebeat Innovation have received $4.8M in funding to develop a new high-definition vinyl format.CEO Günter Loibl says the company hope to present their first ‘stampers‘ (the discs from which actual records are pressed) to the industry at the Making Vinyl conference in Detroit this October. The new technique is said to create records that can hold 30 per cent more music and play it back 30 per cent louder.
4. Look out for not one but three new dance music documentaries coming soon. Australian label Future Classic‘s history is told in Sleepless: The Story Of Future Classic, while the label’s biggest star Flume gets his own documentary in the form of Flume: When Everything Was New. Both films will be available via Apple Music from 20 April. Not to be outdone, all-conquering D&B collective SASASAS star in their own documentary, the feature-length Up Another LVL, which has been directed by Isaac Reeder and which premieres in London on 30 April. They’ve got a competition running to win tickets to the premiere.
5. Debut albums coming your way soon from… Leon Vynehall, whose Nothing Is Still (Ninja Tune, 15 June) is dedicated to his grandparents and sees him experimenting with orchestral and ambient music; Maidstone’s rising house and techno star Tim Green, whose Her Future Ghost (Cocoon, 18 May) is described as “cinematic… spanning genres from the ethereal to the electronic”; and London’s Dokta, whose Metronomic – said to draw influence from Sun Ra, Fela Kuti, Aphex Twin and Orbital – drops on 2020Vision on 14 May.
6. That’s not to say the old-timers haven’t been busy, too! Morcheeba return with their first album in five years on 1 June. Blazeis the trip-hop veterans’ ninth studio offering, and comes on their own Fly Agaric label. There’s a new long-player coming from Moodymann, too: no title as yet, but it’s due on Mahogani Music in June and the first single, Got Me Coming Back Right Now, which features Amp Fiddler‘s band Amp Dog Knights, can be heard below. Meanwhile Autechre have been compiling eight hours of original music that was first heard on their NTS Radio show for release on Warp (NTS Sessions 1-4, 26 April).
7. fabric have announced their summer schedule, with guests for May-August set to include Ben Klock, Maya Jane Coles, Nicole Moudaber, Midland, Jane Fitz, Steve Bug, Ellen Allien and more.
8. A brand new London venue called The Cause opens tonight. Housed in a former mechanic’s workshop in Tottenham, the 400-capacity space isn’t actually fully built yet – they’re still raising funds on Indiegogo – but the plan is for it to be a membership-based club that will open till 5am every Friday and Saturday, with 40 per cent of the profits going to mental health charities. Tonight’s opening party stars US house DJ Tusk Wax and acid crew Posthuman.
9. Meanwhile at other London clubs… Studio 338 have just announced a series of summer pool parties, with house and garageon 10 June (line-up TBC), hip-hop from Kenny Dope, Fatman Scoop and Steve Sutherland on 23 June and a Reggae Roast on 18 August. And 93 Feet East open their new alfresco courtyard ‘Paradise Alley‘ on 27 April, with a free party from 5pm-1am offering up disco and Balearic tuneage, a range of street food vendors and cocktails from the brilliantly named Fizzy Rascal.
10. Over in Ibiza, elrow‘s guests at Amnesia this season will include Seth Troxler, Groove Armada, Skream, Heidi, Kölsch, Ida Engberg, Camelphat, Patrick Topping and Pan-Pot. Exact dates are still TBA but they’re there every Saturday from 26 May till 6 October. Elsewhere on the island, Cocoon‘s opening party at their new home of Pacha on 30 May will star Sven Väth, Âme, Dana Ruh and Dorian Paic, while Jean Claude Ades‘ uber-sophis Be Crazy! moves to Fridays at HEART Ibiza for 2018, with guests from 1 June to 5 October set to include Audiofly, Guy J, Oxia, Sebastian Leger, WhoMadeWho and Chaim.
11. Moving on to festival news, and here in the UK this year’s Parklife (Heaton Park, Manchester, 9-10 June) will see the legendary main room from the Beehive Mill (AKA Sankeys) being lovingly recreated, complete with its Phazon soundsystem, while new additions to the bill for We Are FSTVL (Upminster, London, 25-28 May) include Hot Since 82, Amine Edge & DANCE, Sam Divine and Hatcha.
12. Over in mainland Europe, probably the biggest line-up announcement this week came from Kappa Futur. Taking place in Torino, Italy on 7-8 July, this year’s festival will feature Adam Beyer, Amelie Lens, Andrea Oliva, Apparat, Eats Everything, Joseph Capriati, Robert Hood, Josh Milan, Kölsch, Luciano, Patrick Topping, Martinez Brothers, Timo Maas, Larry Heard, Hot Since 82, Derrick May, Jackmaster, Jamie Jones, Paco Osuna, Pan-Pot, Peggy Gou, KiNK, Seth Troxler, Stacey Pullenand more. Meanwhile in Milan, Terraforma on 29 June-1 July has Jeff Mills headlining a bill replete with experimental techno acts.
13. In Spain, new festival Wakana Lake Reunion takes place in the Los Alcornocales national park on 18-20 May, with Blond:ish and Stimming headlining the 1,000-capacity event, while The xx‘s festival Night+Day will stage a series of shows across Bilbaoon 6-11 July, just before Bilbao BBK Live.
14. Over on the other side of the Atlantic, the Chicago House Music Festival (Millennium Park, 26 May) will star Ron Trent, Chez Damier, DJ Deeon, Paul Johnson, Joe Smooth and Louie Vega‘s band Elements Of Life. South of the border in Mexico, Ultra Worldwide’s RESISTANCE brings Maceo Plex, Martinez Brothers, Charlotte De Witte, Art Department, Eats Everything and more to Teotihuacán on 25-27 May, while Nic Fanciulli takes his Social Festival to Mexico City’s Deportivo Lomas Atlas on 28-29 April, with Sasha, Ben Klock, The Black Madonna, Carl Craig, Pete Tong, Josh Wink, Matador, Rødhåd and more.
15. In studio news this week, BandLab have relaunched Cakewalk’s SONAR as a free DAW called Cakewalk. The reboot comes after Gibson acquired and then shut down the Cakewalk brand, and is based up on the previous Sonar Platinum edition. Sadly, though, the new free version is only available for Windows users. For more info, see the BandLab website.
16. Makers of grime, dubstep and other bass music styles might like to know that Sample Magic have just unleashed a new sample pack called Dark Dub that’s packed with “cutting edge bass, dark glitchy synths, shuffled drums and pitch ‘n’ itch vocals.” It’s out now, priced £14.99 for the full package or with various ‘click n’ mix‘ options available for less.
17. Finally… in need of some new clubbing clobber for the summer season? Then you might be interested in two new t-shirts, produced by Uniqlo in association with Roland, that feature designs inspired by the famous TR-808 drum machine. They’re available in black or white and can be yours for a mere ¥990 (£6.50 approx!).