Monday, 30 January 2012

KDJ-ONE GameBoy Style Mobile Music Workstation

This the 2012 NAMM Show, CyberStep introduced the KDJ-One GameBoy style mobile music workstation.


The KDJ-ONE is a mobile audio workstation with synthesizer, sequencer, and audio capabilities.

Compact size and battery allow it to be carried and used anywhere.

WLAN support enables quick and wireless integration into any existing production environment.

Multi-touch screen, keypad, and jog dial.

ACIDized WAV support allows time stretching/pitch shifting of audio clips.

Internal synthesizer can also be accessed via external software as a VSTi.

Sonic vibrator

The KDJ-One is priced at $799 without WIFI or $829. Which seems pretty high, but none of our gear came with a sonic vibrator, either.

Hardware Specifications

CPU - Intel ATOM E640 1.0GHz

Display - 5.0 inch WVGA (800×480) with Multi-Touch Panel

Main Memory -512MBytes

SSD - 4.0GBytes

External Storage - microSD, USB Memory

Battery - Lithium ion battery 2000mAh x 2

Connection - USB 2.0 host x 2, slave x 1, wireless LAN

Audio I/O - Mic/Line in, Line out, Built-in mic

Speaker - 0.5W (0.25W+0.25W Stereo) 120Hz – 20,000Hz, QW Body Sonic Vibrator


Max. Polyphony - 64 voices

Waveform Memory - 14 MB (Extendable)

Waveform - 240 Types (Multi-Layered)

Oscillator - 2 Units 10 algorithms

Filter - 7 Types

Modulator - 4 Units, 10 Algorithms (Correspondence to Step Modulator)

Num. of Programs - Preset: 200 Voices, 100 Drum Kits, 100 Audio Clips

Max. Audio Volume - 1GB Per Project

Effects - 20 Types, 2 Systems for Each Track, and Master Effect


Tracks / Pattern - 6

Patterns / Song Play - 4

Resolution - 384tick / Quarter Note

Tempo - 40 – 400

Recording Mode - Loop (Real Time) Recording, Step Recording

Score Editing Mode - Piano Roll

Pattern Length - 999 Measures

Song Length - 9,999 Measures

Number of Patterns - 999 Per Project

Number of Songs - 99 Per Project

Data / PC Link

Read - WAV (ACID Format), OggVorbis

Write - WAV (ACID Format), OggVorbis, SMF

DAW Plug-in - VST-i, Audio Unit

OS - Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X 10.5 or later

Thursday, 26 January 2012


Interview: Pezzner

We first became aware of your music under your current Pezzner guise, the deep house you were producing stood far apart from much of the other music being produced within this genre, equally for its elevating qualities and eccentric nuances …something we later learned was indicative of your previous production alias (Jocob London) It seems that you can add humor to music and still take it seriously, Is this an important part of your (production) process?

Yes I think its important that I don't take my art too seriously.  I have a note to self here that says "Remember, Its Just House Music".  The energy that you'd find in any of the Jacob London tracks is very different from my own works though, because those Jacob London songs were written with my long friend Bob Hansen.  That's just the vibe we get in the studio when we're together.  We get a little drunk and take this 'anything goes' approach to house music.  "Serious" goes out the window and we take all this creative energy and put it towards having fun and making musical sense out of nonsense.  Anyone who isn't familiar with the Jacob London project, I highly recommend checking it out.

It certainly opens the door to experimentation, something that has characterized your productions, your recent mix of Hugo Barrit's "Lilly Hole" was described to me me as sounding like a swarm of any africanized bee's… were angry africanized bee's a big influence at the time? : )

Totally I guess I was feeling very apiological at the time I was working on the track.  Actually the mix does carry an air of frustration that really speaks to what was going on in my life a couple months ago when I was working on it.  I have a baby at home now and we live in a small place.  For me my work life has become an incredible uphill battle recently.  I'm with my child during most days, and working late nights, getting very little sleep.  Maybe you can hear it in this remix?

I need to quote you from an interview you did with Ibiza Voice, when asked "Where, who or what is really influencing you and your work right now? part of your reply was "I use an alarm clock radio to wake up and it's tuned halfway between stations so that when it goes off its static and noisy but sometimes it will catch a beat that sounds fantastic and when you combine this with the lucid state of waking up, I'll wake up with this rhythm that leaves an impression. I love that." I love that, it's reminds of a famous Einstein quote " the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources"  Would you agree all music is derivative of something? it just varies on how abstract the influence is and do you apply this use or influence of everyday sounds to all your music?

Yeah I'd somewhat agree with Einstein there, at least speaking for myself. I usually try to get inspiration from hidden sources.  For me its like digging for gold. Finding influences from say, my alarm clock radio, or the windshield wipers on my car.   Here's a good one: Lately my promo box has been piling up and I haven't been able to provide feedback on the music that's coming in.  Its been kind of stressing me out a little bit.  Well, I had a dream the other night that I finally had a chance to go through and listen to these songs.  In my dream, the music in my promo box was some of the most amazing house tunes I'd ever heard, and I woke up with the basis of a song that I was able to start for my next LP.  

I read that you produce your music with the ipod in mind rather than the dance floor. It's a kind of a strange place we have got to with house music where this is probably the point of greatest consumption, do you find there is a strange balance producing music with a blueprint that has been taken from the dance floor and making it with the home listener in mind?

Yeah of course generally speaking, everyone listens to music on their devices - their computers, ipods, phones...  Long is gone the days when house music was only heard on vinyl.  You don't need a nightclub system, or a DJ mixer to hear this music.  I'm finding more and more with each tour that the growing majority of people who listen to dance music rarely hear this music in nightclubs.  The home listener doesn't care about how this music can excite the subwoofers on a Funktion One System, or how easy the song is to mix with other songs.  So it makes sense to produce my music for the headphones for the home listener, of course keeping the DJ and nightclub in mind - but really on the back burner. 

Originally posted here:

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

This Weekends Activities

Simmer present Chez Damier (3hr Set) @ Basing House, Friday 27th.

Line Up

Chez Damier (Balance / Prescription)
Richard Adam b2b Josh Silver

Time: 10.00pm - 4.00am
Venue: Basing House/ 25 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, E28AA
Cost: £5 Earlybird / £8 / £10 / £12 OTD

Nyumba Deep with Rancido(Nl) @ Plan B (Basement), Friday 27th.

Line Up

Rancido (Deep Journey, Offering & Nulu)
Leon Paul (
Nyumba Deep)
DJ Tipz (Atjazz Recordings)
Aluku Rebels (QH Radio )
Jon Stuart (Nyumba Deep)

Time: 21:00pm - 04:00am
Venue: Plan B (Basement)  / 418 Brixton Road, London, SW9 7AY
Cost: £10 on the door or £8 Concession

Trouble Vision.2: Âme, Deetron (Balance Release Party) & More @ Corsica Studios, Saturday 28th

Line Up

Room 1
Âme [3 hour DJ set / Innervisions]
Deetron [Balance Launch Party / 3 hour DJ set]
Park Ranger [Trouble Vision]

Room 2 - hosted by tief
Session Victim [Retreat / Delusions Of Grandeur]
Nicholas [live / Quintessentials]
Casino Times [Anchor Factory]
Hesseltime [Tief]

Time: 23:00 - 07:00
Venue: Corsica Studios/ 5 Elephant Road. London SE17 1LB
Cost: £8-15

Move D & Floating Points @ Plastic People, Saturday 28th

Line Up

Move D
Floating Points

Time: 23:00 - 07:00
Venue: Plastic People/ 147-149 Curtain Road, EC2A 3QE
Cost: £8

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

An Interview With Deniz Kurtel (Crosstown Rebels)

Last year, we were wistfully swept away by the sensational debut artist album of Crosstown Rebels leading lady, Deniz Kurtel. Straddling the disciplines of New York's most sophisticated house and techno with ambient sweeps and dancefloor bounce, ‘Music Watching Over Me’ has left us tentatively set for when we’ll next get an entharlling glimpse into the greatness of Deniz's creative prowess.

So you can imagine our excitement when we speak to Deniz ahead of her highly-antipated Room One live show next Saturday, alongside Perlon's Sammy Dee and she tells us there's a collaboration album soon to drop on her regular staple spot Wolf + Lamb, followed by a second solo album where she hopes to feature her own lyrics and vocals. If it all seems too good to be true, read on to get the whole story here first. 

Hey Deniz, how was your New Year, where and who did you celebrate it with?
I played at the Electric Pickle in Miami with Wolf+Lamb, Soul Clap and Tanner Ross, it was an amazing party both outside and upstairs. The Electric Pickle feels very homey to us since we've been in Miami both last winter and this winter and I have a residency there. We also had a bunch of our friends visiting from New York so it felt very special.

Following the huge success of your LP, ‘Music Watching Over Me’ - do you have plans for a follow up album?
Yes, I have a collaboration album coming out in a few months on Wolf+Lamb, with tracks I made with a bunch of Wolf+Lamb artist including Tanner Ross, Gadi Mizrahi, Wolf+Lamb, Voices of Black, Pillow Talk and Thugfucker. After that I'm gonna start working on another solo album.

We read you’re interested in writing lyrics and vocals, are these new passions or something you have always wanted to do. How are ideas developing for this?
No, I never thought of it before I made my first album. I really enjoy using vocals from other singers I think it adds a fresh element to the tracks when it comes from a completely different source, but I also want to try singing myself and write lyrics. I tried writing lyrics for one of the tracks on the collaboration album and tried singing on another one, that's about it. It will take some time to get it right but I definitely want to have more on my next solo album.

What’s it like having Damian as a mentor- what’s the best piece of music advise he’s given you so far?
He's been good at pushing me to reach my potential. When he signed my album I had no experience playing whatsoever and a few months after I started playing, even though I had wrapped up the album he suggested that I should make some more music for it with the experience of performing live and he felt like I would make a big dance track, and I made "The L Word" which did ended up being the most popular one.

What new faces on the Crosstown roster are you really excited to share with the rest of the world and what involvement do you have in finding/ welcoming new talent to the family?There is a new artist on Crosstown named Amirali, so far I only heard one track from him but he seems to have a pretty unique sound. I just remixed his first single "Beautiful World", which had really cool, melodic elements. He also sings on it and has a really cool voice.

What was your favourite Rebel Rave memory of 2011?
I haven't been in that many Rebel Raves this year but the one in Los Angeles in August was one of my favorites, followed by the 12 hour road trip to Burning Man with Damian, Jonny and Kenny.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far in your career?
The touring part is perhaps the most challenging to me because I'm not so used it and it's a bit of a distraction from studio time. The traveling also gets a bit exhausting, but it's definitely worth it. Being in Miami with the Wolf+Lamb family the last 2 winters has definitely helped keep a level head for all of us, being in nice weather, eating healthy, enjoying each other's company.

We’re waiting in anticipation for the return of your live show in Room One at the end of the month. In what ways have you been developing the live project since we last had you with us? Can we expect another sensory overload from you?
Both times I've played in that room so far has been magic, so I'm really looking forward to sharing my new music there again. Since last time I've been incorporating a bunch of new material into the set, from new tracks and remixes and also some rework on older tracks. I really wanted to include a LED installation like I had the first time I played there but unfortunately I'm using all my LED supplies in two other projects at the moment so I won't be able to do that. Next time I play there I will make sure to time it right and bring a new LED installation!

Are there new plans to explore DJ sets or do you prefer to play live and if so why?
DJ'ing hasn't been a priority for me yet. I'm definitely interested but music production and my LED projects, together with the touring isn't leaving enough time to get into DJ'ing. Hopefully next year I'll have some time.

Are you consistently working on your LED installations? What’s new and exciting you about your very special and personal project?
Yes, I've definitely been working on more LED projects this year since I finished my album. I've built a LED installation inside a trailer, which I showed at the Electric Pickle in Miami for Art Basel and NYE. I'm planning to go on a road tour of the US with it in April as part of my album tour, starting in Miami with WMC, ending in California. I'm also designing a new club in Istanbul which is scheduled to open in February, for which I'm building a bunch of new LED pieces.

In your attitude and artistry who do you always look to for inspiration in life and in the music world?
I look to my mother a lot for inspiration, who has played a huge role in shaping my artistic approach, and musically I feel very lucky to be part of such talented group of friends that are constantly inspiring each other.

What projects do you have in store for us in 2012?
Main projects I have in store are the collaboration album, the Trailer project, the club project in Istanbul, and a bunch of new exciting remixes.

Finally, if we left you on a desert island tell us five things you couldn’t live without.. 
Food: coconut water
Music: jazz
Companion: My family 
Book: Beast and Man
Gadget: Telescope 

Written by Annie Buckle

Originally posted:

Monday, 23 January 2012

An Interview With, Motor City Drum Ensemble (MCDE)

Germany’s Danilo Plessow has been recording exquisite, emotional music since he was 17, beginning with his electronic–meet-nu-soul project Inverse Cinematics and, for the past decade, as the housier and techier Motor City Drum Ensemble. Last year saw the release of a stunning MCDE entry in the !K7 label’s DJ-Kicks series.

You started producing at a very young age. How old are you now?
I’m turning 27.
So I guess we probably should stop referring to you as a “young phenom.”
Ha! I guess so. But I would still like to be called young; I don’t really like getting older.
I’ find that the name Motor City Drum Ensemble tends to confuse people who don’t know who you are, since you’re not from Detroit and you’re not an ensemble. What was the reasoning behind choosing that name?
I grew up on Detroit techno stuff in my hometown, Stuttgart, and a lot of the early parties I went to were called Motor City parties, with people who were into Detroit people like Robert Hood, that first-wave stuff. I’m also inspired by the kind of jazz and soul that was coming out of Detroit, and Motown—stuff like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye. Also Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are in Stuttgart, so a lot of people work in the motor industry there—like, in local hip-hip, Stuttgart was always called Motor City. So there are kind of two reasons for the Motor City part.
And the Drum Ensemble part?
That’s because I’ve always been collecting all these drum machines. They’re the ensemble.
You just alluded to this, but a lot of your work seems to have a very strong sense of musical history. Inverse Cinematics has a lot of soul and jazz influences, and your Raw Cuts series, for instance, seems to reference somewhat obscure early house from Chicago and New York, like Raw Elements on the Final Cut label and NY Housin’ Authority on Nu Groove. Is that something that you consciously try to inject into your music?
It’s all been a sort of natural progression. I was playing jazz as a drummer before I even knew about electronic music. From there, I realized how a lot of hip-hop is based on jazz grooves and samples, and so I started digging for those records, and then it sort of went from there. The music that touched me the most was stuff like jazz, soul, funk, whatever—and that was very evident in Inverse Cinematics, which had lots of broken rhythms, straight-up jazz beats. And then, the kind of house and techno that touched me was the kind that had jazzy elements. Not that there has to be a saxophone or anything—Kenny Larkin or even Basic Channel can have some kind of jazz twist to it.
It seemed like you included pretty much all of your influences on last year’s DJ-Kicks mix, which featured everything from Sun Ra and Tony Allen to Hood and Fred P. Was that a difficult mix to put together?
Yes, definitely. But the absolute toughest part was the licensing, even with the very obscure stuff. The last song on the mix, the James Mason song—he didn’t even know who had the rights to his own song! So that was quite a process. Once it was clear which tracks I was going to be able to use, it was pretty…not easy, but at least I knew what direction it was going to go.
How about the actual construction of the mix? There are 22 very disparate tracks, yet you managed to make a pretty coherent, smooth set out of them.
It was a pretty intense process. It was the first time I had ever used Ableton to do a mix, so I had to learn a new program from scratch while I was doing it. It was definitely a task.
How long was it from the time you knew you were going to be doing the mix to when you actually had it done?
Something like six months, I think. It’s not like I was working on it nonstop—I’d generally be touring about two days a week—but it was long. I heard Scuba did his DJ-Kicks mix in two weeks. I admire that. [Laughs]
The mix probably wasn’t what some people expected, but the reaction was extremely favorable—it was No. 9 on Resident Advisor’s Top Compilations of 2011 list, for instance. Did that surprise you at all?
I wouldn’t say it surprised me—but I was definitely very happy about it! The mix itself is not really the easiest listen, I would say, but if I play it to friends who are not really into music at all, they seem to like it. And, for me, that’s quite something. I definitely don’t want to be considered this intellectual guy, making music only for intellectual people.
You didn’t run into anyone who was upset that you didn’t make a straight-up house mix?
Not really. Maybe my dad did. He’s retired, and he kind of keeps track of reviews and stuff. He’s now proud of his son, and I have to say that wasn’t always the case! He’s always googling me—I’m like, Dad, give it a rest. Anyway, the overwhelming amount of feedback has been positive, but of course you can’t please everyone. People in electronic music can have a very narrow perception of things, but the message-board people who overanalyze every single sound aren’t the people I did the mix for. It’s more for the people who are willing to broaden their horizons.
I missed you the last time you played in New York, three years ago.…
It was amazing. You missed a good one!
When you play out, do you play mostly house-oriented material, or do you mix it up?
It depends on the night and on the crowd, but I usually try to avoid playing just house, or just a straight beat all night long. I do like to play disco, especially when it’s a venue where you wouldn’t expect it, like a big warehouse or something. It’s always good to break rules, you know? It seems like you have the liberty to do that a bit more in the States than in Europe. Berlin is starting to loosen up a bit, but just a few years ago it would have been hard for me to play much disco there, or even just happy music.
I think people will be ready for you to play just about anything when you come here.
Well, New York has such a rich musical history. You people have it in your DNA.

Originally Posted: