Wednesday, 27 July 2011

This Weekends Activities


Line Up

Kismet & Tippa
At One
Scholar T
Sef Kombo

Time: 9:00pm - 2:00am
Venue: Sway Bar, 61-65 Great Queen St, WC2B 5BZ
Cost:Ladies £5 b4 11pm on Guestlist £10 after, Gents: £10 All night on Guestlist, £15 Non-Guestlist

Uptownboogiedown presents Shur-I-Kan @ Fluid, Saturday 30th.

Line Up

Owen Howells
Nick Ronin

Time: 20:00pm - 5:00am
Venue: Fluid, 40 Charterhouse St, Farringdon, EC1

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Soul Clap @ Dubspot Video Recap + Session File: Ableton Live & Midi Sync Collaborative Workshop

On May 9 2011, the electronic music production duo of Charles Levine and Eli Goldstein, better known as Soul Clap dropped by Dubspot NYC for a free workshop to demonstrate their collaborative workflow with Ableton Live and multiple performers using MIDI controllers and computers all synced together for a performance/jam session.

The workshop started with a discussion on Soul Clap’s history and philosophies on production and DJing, lead to an interactive performance with six Dubspot students on M-Audio Axiom 25 MIDI controllers playing assigned parts such as drums, bass, synths, etc. The event was very well-attended, and we broadcasted a live stream of the entire event here on our blog. The result of that collaboration is presented here, and we encourage you to download the Ableton Live Session File [zip file], jam out, and leave a comment with a link to to your creation.

Monday, 25 July 2011

New Single: Tomson & Benedict ft. Bantu Soul - Blind (inc. Alton Miller and Opolopo mixes)

Tone Control Music return with their 10th release from Tomson and Benedict ft. Bantu Soul. Top selling South African artist Bantu Soul exemplifies his catchy song writing, with a powerful vocal performance, over hook driven electronic sounds by Tomson & Benedict.

Tomson & Benedict are a Manchester (UK) based production duo whose partnership spawns a mutated deep house sound, representing influences of old school house, garage and techno with future-thinking electronic synths and programming. Tomson & Benedict have built up a body of production and remix work involving names such as Paul Randolph, Atjazz, Flowriders and Paris Brightledge. Their discography includes releases together on Freerange, Urban Torque, Hudd Traxx and Kolour.

Bantu Soul has been performing and releasing music in his native South Africa for over a decade, with his style evolving from RnB to Soulful House. Having won Metro FM’s Best Male vocalist in South Africa, his most notable contribution to international house music was through a Black Coffee remix of "Even Though", taken from his debut album. Since then Bantu Soul has collaborated widely and is currently working on his next studio album. High quality remixes follow to cater for a range of vibes. Alton Miller turns in a deep and woody organic mix for the late night heads, while Opolopo turns the song into a modern boogie monster! Throw in a heady Telepathy dub and creative Instrumental edit from Tomson and Benedict themselves and the technophile’s are catered for to inspiringly high standards too – in short, electronic soul of all styles for the modern dance floor.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

What makes a good Dj according to Dubspot.

What makes a great DJ? There is no single answer to this question. At Dubspot, we want to help you figure out and achieve what great DJing means to you. The goal of our DJ program is to make that choice as well-informed as possible. The journey will be extremely rewarding. We can’t wait to take it with you! In the meantime, here are some tips from our talented instructors to get you started.

1. Thorough preparation is very valuable, especially with the constant barrage of new music DJs must face on a daily basis. I generally won’t play a track in a live set until I’ve: Beat Gridded it, Run it through Mixed In Key, Marked every key section of the song with Cue Points, Set strategic loops on cool parts and vocal phrases, Written appropriate notes in the comments field of my browser, and Organized it into all the appropriate playlists. This way even if a song is brand new, I can play it as if I’ve known it for years. - DJ Shiftee

2. If you are a warm up DJ don’t play banging stuff. Warm up the crowd properly. Nothing will get you not invited back worse than coming on to an empty room and playing every banging hit track. It won’t work and you will piss off the promoter and the people playing afterward. Feel it out and warm up to a peak. The party will go well and people will want to book you again. - Matt Shadetek

DJ Endo, Dubspot Instructor and Native Instrument DJ Product Specialist

3. Check out the latest evolution of DJ Technology with Traktor’s new Sample Decks. While it’s possible to drop your own loops and one shots into Traktor’s sample decks and play them in perfect sync with what your DJing, I find it most intriguing that you can actually create your OWN samples, grabbing the favorite parts of all of your tracks and building your own library of samples made out of tracks that you own.DJ Endo

4. There are 2 kinds of DJ’s – Ones who take requests and ones who don’t. Be the latter. Also: Practice without headphones and you can master beat matching. - Raz Mesiani / Badawi

DJ Shiftee, in action!

5. If the DJ booth is visible to the crowd, you are performing whether you like it or not. Visibly acting like you are enjoying/engaged with what youare doing goes a long way. Energy is contagious. - DJ Shiftee

6. Always be prepared. Even if the spot claims to guarantee turntables, CDJs, controllers, slip mats, needles, and or built in interfaces… BRING YOUR OWN! You don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised at the venue. Also – always bring a line in cable. If everything is just plain wrong at the gig but you still have to play something… that line in will plug to your laptop, ipod or phone. That will be your gig saver. - Mike Rivera / OneMic

7. When blending tracks together, lower/cut the bass on one of the tracks to create room for the other track. If you cut the bass on the track you’re blending into, the vocals & other mid-range sounds will still be audible (but you’ll be hearing them with the old baseline!). if there’s vocals on the old track, consider lowering the mids to save sonic space for the new vocals. Alternately – if you cut the bass on the track you’re leaving, it creates a smoother transition to the new track because the heaviest elements of the old song will be gone drawing attention & emphasis to the new track. - Sean Clements

8. Develop a knowledge of tempo, especially if you play music within a wide range of genres. If you’re a digital DJ, make sure all your music is tagged with the accurate BPM. Even when you’re just doing recreational listening, make sure the BPM column in your iTunes (or other music library program) is visible, and make a mental note of the BPM of the song as you’re hearing it. You can go through each song and manually add the BPM, or use a program like Mixed in Key to analyze batches of music identifying BPM and key of songs (for harmonic mixing). If you’re using vinyl, use mailing labels or masking tape to make notes about BPM and breaks on the album sleeves of songs. - Martin Perna

9. Know your tunes. Develop your musical memory by playing tunes over and over, until you can sing them in your head. If you can hum the tune when you look at the album cover, it’s yours. - JP Solis

10. When you are performing live and find yourself confused in a mix – turn your headphones and monitor down to re-gain control of your ears (and the mix.) Your ears fatigue from high volume levels and you need to give them a break to perform well. Often when DJs feel “lost” in the mix it’s a matter of the headphones or monitor (or both) being too loud. Make a habit of turning down your headphones and monitor between mixes to give your ears a chance to bounce back and work properly. - Michael Walsh

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

This Weekends Activities

House Affair @ The CAMP, Friday 22 July.

Line Up

Phil Asher
Booker T
Dean J
Nat Wendell

Time: 10:00pm - 4:00am
Venue: The City Arts & Music Project (The Camp), 70 - 74 City Road, Shoreditch, EC1Y 2BJ
Cost: £10

MUAK @ Egg, Saturday 23 July.

Line Up

The Martinez Brothers
Sol Brown
& more

Time: 10:00pm - 11:00am
Venue: Egg, 200 York Way, Kings Cross, N7
Cost: £15 +

Monday, 18 July 2011

Yamaha release TNR-i, Tenori-on for iOS

Yamaha have announced the immediate release of their TNR-i app.

The new TNR-i is, as with its parent the Tenori-on, based on a 16 x 16 grid of buttons which are used to sequence and trigger sounds; the horizontal direction relates to time, the vertical pitch. Most other features of the original, such as its interchangeable 16 song patterns and different composition modes, also make it to the TNR-i, although this new incarnation has its own set of benefits. Users can link with up to four other people via a network for simultaneous composition, while those who already own the Tenori-on can also connect via this feature. The video below gives a basic demonstration of the TNR-i.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Derrick May: Industry Thoughts.....

"There are a lot of people making music right now, but there's not a lot of people that really understand why they're making music." May cuts to the chase (as per usual) in this video interview with What the Razz!.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

This Weekends Activities

Nyumba Deep Presents..........Andy Compton @ Plan B, Saturday 16th.

Line Up

Andy Compton ( Peng Records )
Leon Paul ( Nyumba Deep )
DJ Tipz ( Atjazz Records, Nyumba Deep )
T.Roy Broadcite
Sheyi on Percussion

Time:11:00pm - 5:00am
Venue: Plan B, 418 Brixton Road, SW9 7AY
Cost: £10

Together @ The Light Bar, Sunday 17th.

Line Up

Phil Asher
Zepherin Saint
Jose Carretas
Dennis Christensen
Rap Saunders
Kristel Morin
Matt L-S

Time:2:00pm - 12:00am
Venue: The Light Bar, 233 Shoreditch High street, E1 6PJ
Cost: £8

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

There's More to Life Than This: Ben Westbeech's New Offereing.

Ben Westbeech will release his second album, There's More to Life Than This, this September on Strictly Rhythm.

Westbeech describes his latest effort as "house-inspired, rather than straight up house music"—a description that also suits his overall style, which has always balanced electronic production with a singer-songwriter approach.

There's More To Life Than This will be his first full-length since 2007's Welcome to the Best Years of Your Life. According to a press release, it was recorded over the past year in New York, Berlin, London, Munich, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Bristol. Every track shows Wesbteech teaming up with a guest producer, including house artists like Henrik Schwarz, Midland and Motor City Drum Ensemble. He also enlists the help ofGeorg Levin and Rasmus Faber, two producer/singer-songwriters like himself, both of whom appear twice on the album.


01. The Book feat. Georg Levin
02. Something For The Weekend feat. by Danny J Lewis
03. Falling feat. Lovebirds
04. Same Thing feat. Chocolate Puma
05. Justice feat. Motor City Drum Ensemble
06. Stronger feat. Midland
07. Inflections feat. Henrik Schwarz
08. Sugar feat. Redlight
09. Let Your Feelings Show feat. Georg Levin
10. Butterflies feat. Rasmus Faber
11. Summer’s Loss feat. Rasmus Faber

Strictly Rhythm will release There's More To Life Than This on September 12th, 2011.

Monday, 11 July 2011

From the Trenches of the Loudness Wars, A Broad Survey of Research


This goes to ele—augh, no, aside from over-compressing, we need to stop overusing that joke. Photo (CC-BY) Orin Zebest.

You’ve heard the gripes, and heard and seen the somewhat unscientific demos. Now it’s time to examine the over-compression of music with – science! Earl Vickers of STMicroelectronics examines the Loudness Wars in an academic paper, as noted to us by reader photohounds.

The Loudness War: Background,
Speculation and Recommendations
[PDF Link,]

The paper comes from last November, but it’s as relevant as ever. It’s not just the usual take, either. Its history begins with Phil Spector and vinyl, considering the impact of broadcast TV and not just the music industry. It notes the evolution of compression technologies, particularly multiband technologies.

Most importantly, though – and I’ve spoken regularly to mastering engineers about this – the paper turns to the issue of listening fatigue. Here’s one whithering criticism of the industry on that: some engineers even believe that thoughtless over-compression could be to blame for the decline of the entire industry.

Mastering engineer Bob Ludwig stated, “People talk about downloads hurting record sales. I and some other people would submit that another thing that is hurting record sales these days is the fact that they are so compressed that the ear just gets tired of it. When you’re through listening to a whole album of this highly compressed music, your ear is fatigued. You may have enjoyed the music but you don’t really feel like going back and listening to it again.”

2008 Metallica, unsurprisingly, more apocalyptically-loud than a 1909 Edison cylinder … for what it’s worth.

You’ve seen much of this before, but rarely in such well-annotated, comprehensive form.

Best of all? The conclusion applies lessons from Game Theory to work on making the loudness wars come to a conclusion.

Here’s another thought, too: with artists increasingly self-releasing or releasing through more specialized labels, greater access to music online, direct-to-consumer distribution, and online replacements for conventional terrestrial radio, many of the factors that produced some of the oddest hyper-compression at the top of the charts are fading into the background.