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Eventide – Anthology XI

19/01/2018
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In the world of hardware effect processors, few names can match Eventide’s acclaim. Going back all the way to the ’70s, their Instant Phaser and H910 Harmonizer generated groundbreaking sounds on albums like David Bowie’s Low. They also covered utilitarian applications like correcting the pitch of TV shows that had been sped up to allow more time for commercials. Many of their most well-received effects were developed back in the days when RAM had just been invented, so it’s no exaggeration to say that Eventide was a pioneer in digital audio effects. The innovation continues today with high-end units like the mammoth H8000FW rack effects processor, which remains one of the most lust-worthy hardware units on the market 12 years after it was first introduced.

When it comes to software, Eventide first embraced the Pro Tools TDM format. Back in 2003, they released Clockworks Legacy, their first ever TDM plug-in bundle, which included the H910 and H949 Harmonizers, a sophisticated compressor called Omnipresso and the classic Instant Phaser and Instant Flanger units. Over the next three years they continued to add new TDM plug-ins to the suite, rebranding it as the more impressive-sounding Anthology bundle. As the computing world evolved, the desire for TDM plug-ins waned, and in late 2015 they made the jump to the native VST / AU format with Anthology X. This included many algorithms from classic Eventide hardware units like the H8000 and H3000, which were cleverly repackaged into 17 different plug-ins. With a high asking price and a heavier focus on mixing and tracking use cases, many electronic producers passed on the bundle in favour of alternatives from SoundToys or Waves. However, this December Eventide released its latest bundle, Anthology XI, which includes new effects that make it more attractive to producers working in less traditional realms.


A good example of the new creative plug-ins added to Anthology XI is Fission, the first of Eventide’s Structural Effects range. This is a new core technology developed by Eventide that lets you split incoming audio into separate transient and tonal parts in real-time for independent processing. We reviewed this plug-in back in March, and were impressed with the myriad ways it could be used. It’s great for tuning drums and percussion, since you can independently adjust the tonal portion of a drum hit while leaving the crucial transient intact from a pitch and energy perspective. You can also use it for extreme sound design, like removing all transients from a sample or enhancing them with delay or reverb. Fission includes six transient effects and seven tonal effects, and the ability to tweak the split engine in many ways. It’s surprising how much it can do.

 

Reverbs are also well represented in Anthology XI’s new additions. The two that I was most excited about were Blackhole and MangledVerb. These plug-ins are essentially recreations of two of the best algorithms from Eventide’s Space stompbox, and they have a look and feel that matches the hardware. This greatly improves usability compared to the older Eventide UIs, which tended to feel a bit complex. Blackhole, MangledVerb and UltraTap all have well-designed controls over the most important parameters of their respective algorithms. But most exciting are the ribbon and hotswitch controls, which allow you to morph and swap between two snapshots of the effect’s parameters. These are definitely the non-traditional reverbs of the bunch, with Blackhole specialising in huge ambient soundscapes and MangledVerb incorporating a complex distortion algorithm into its reverb chain for additional grit. If you’re looking for more realistic reverbs, Anthology XI’s 2016 Stereo Room and UltraReverb can fit the bill.

 

The H3000 Factory in particular gave me countless “wow” moments during my time testing the plug-in. While it’s getting on in age (having first made an appearance in the original Anthology TDM collection in 2006), the sheer power housed within the modular environment of the plug-in is astounding. Also, there’s another benefit to the slightly older codebase that the H3000 Factory and other original Eventide effects are built on: CPU efficiency. If it was designed to run on computers over a decade ago and sound great doing so, today’s modern processors would have no problem stacking multiple instances within a single session.

Other highlights from the older plug-ins include the H910/H949 Harmonizers, which sparkle with the characteristic sound of ’80s music production, and the Octavox/Quadrovox pitch shifters. Octavox in particular is a bit of a hidden gem. The ability to use a piano-roll sequencer to draw in the pitch and timing of its eight pitch-shifters yields the most musical approach to this style of effect that I’ve seen before.

When it comes down to it, the main downside with Anthology XI is the asking price. If you own other Eventide plug-ins or bundles, the upgrade costs can be significantly reduced. But if you’re coming in fresh to the world of Eventide, the asking price is pretty steep: $1799. When you compare this to something like SoundToys 5, which retails at $499, it can seem a bit overwhelming. However, if purchased individually, the plug-ins included in Anthology XI would cost over $3500. Even if you just wanted Blackhole, Fission and H3000 Factory, you’d be close to the price of Anthology purchasing those on their own. But if you’ve got the money and are looking for a CPU-friendly effect suite that covers a huge spectrum of audio processing, Anthology XI is worth your consideration.

Ratings:
Cost: 3.7
Versatility: 4.6
Ease of use: 4.0
Sound: 4.9

Festivals News

EPIZODE Festival 2017

19/01/2018
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Running from New Year’s Eve through January 10th, EPIZODE strode into its second year with a sense of confidence that was reflected in a lineup stuffed with top-level names. The Vietnamese island of Phú Quốc, situated just south of Cambodia, was barely on the map ten years ago, but now a lucrative tourism boom has taken hold and resorts are springing up by the dozen. It’s still early days for the island’s industry, but the next few years could prove pivotal to its appeal as a destination.

The EPIZODE concept is a familiar one: a partnership of foreign promoters and organisers heads to an exotic location to showcase international artists to an international crowd. Comparisons with BPM Festival (formerly of Mexico, now of Portugal) were heard aplenty, although EPIZODE was thankfully free of the challenges that festival faced in January last year. (That said, the organisers included the teams behind Kazantip Festival and Moscow club ARMA, two promoters that have weathered their fair share of storms back home.)

There are many different ways to organise a beach festival, but the organisers opted for an intimate setting with three stages. Most of the structures were made out of bamboo. There were juice bars and thoughtful chill-out spots, which meant the predominant atmosphere onsite was laid-back and hippyish, boosted by a healthy contingent of international backpackers. Most reports suggested that last year’s much smaller crowd was largely Russian.

When an international party lands in the tropics there’s always a risk that local concerns will get overlooked, but a solid portion of Southeast Asian ticketbuyers had been drawn in by the efforts made to showcase talent from the region. While South Korea’s Peggy Gou—who played two excellent back-to-backs with Bambounou—might well be considered a European artist nowadays (she lives in Berlin), the likes of Hong Kong’s Ocean Lam and Jo.D demonstrated how forward-thinking music from this part of the world can be. The smaller Egg stage played host to many of these acts, and Lam and Jo.D in particular laid down impressive sets of electro and nervy acid.

As often happens at dance music events with so many heavyweight names, there were times when a kind of tech house homogeny took hold—the likes of Richie Hawtin and Loco Dice rolled out typically ordinary sounds. There were, though, plenty of distinctive performances. On January 6th, Denis Kaznacheev played a rich warm-up set on the Freesby stage, with playful, expressive strains of minimal that set the tone perfectly for Sammy Dee and Ricardo Villalobos. The Chilean was at the top of his game well into the morning, inspiring a feverish response from the crowd when dropping irreverent party material like the Thomas Bangalter/Bob Sinclar belter “Gym Tonic.” (Or was it Spacedust’s subsequent rip-off, “Gym And Tonic”? It was hard to tell.) He later returned for a picturesque sunset session where he had free reign to indulge his freaky side with all manner of abstract rhythms and tones.

It was often Freesby that was home to the festival’s best moments, particularly during afterhours sessions where the vibe would get very loose as the sun rose. tINI and Bill Patrick were on exceptional form on January 9th, whipping out Dexter’s “I Don’t Care” to great effect. Tyoma, part of the festival’s organisational team, made a memorable scene of the final sunset with daring but tender selections, veering from UNKLE’s “Rabbit In Your Headlights” to Brad Fiedel’s original theme for Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The ARMA crew took control for the final hours, with Hipushit in particular laying down some crucial slow and trippy tackle before Orgue Electronique fired up a live hardware acid set well past the curfew.

Unfortunately, I was forced to miss Call Super in a frantic dash to make a direct flight from Phú Quốc back to London, which, given the shockingly low prices, suggests that many more from the UK may make the trip out next year. EPIZODE’s small size and loose attitude is rare for a festival with such a weighty lineup and impressive production, and the question of where to go next weighs heavy on the team’s minds. (Musical director and resident DJ Roustam Mirzoev spoke of his desire to bring more live acts and bands into the mix.) All were in agreement that this second edition had been a success, and a step forward from last year. If it can maintain its cosy atmosphere and build on integrating with the South East Asian electronic music community, EPIZODE could become a truly unique festival within the increasingly hectic international circuit.

New Releases News

XL’s Richard Russell announces first album as Everything Is Recorded

19/01/2018
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Sampha, Kamasi Washington and Damon Albarn feature on the LP, which comes out in February.

XL Recordings cofounder Richard Russell has revealed full details of his first album as Everything Is Recorded.

As Russell explains in his recent RA Exchange, the album, titled Everything Is Recorded, is a highly collaborative affair, with contributions from Sampha, Obongjayar, Kamasi Washington, Damon Albarn, Giggs, Ibeyi, Wiki, Syd, Rachel Zeffira, Infinite, Green Gartside, Peter Gabriel and Owen Pallett.

Russell will also collaborate with Toby Ziegler on a music and art installation in Dalston, at the site of the soon-to-open Hackney Arts Centre. It’ll run from February 14th through 17th, and will include a three-screen video work featuring music from the album alongside Ziegler’s visual art. The first Everything Is Recorded live performance will happen at the venue on February 15th, with Russell joined by Sampha, Ibeyi, Warren Ellis, Obongjayer, Rachel Zeffira, Infinite and more. Some of the band’s rehearsals will also be open to the public.

Tracklist
01. Intro
02. Close But Not Quite feat. Sampha
03. She Said feat. Obongjayar & Kamasi Washington
04. Wet Looking Road feat. Giggs
05. Mountains Of Gold feat. Sampha, Ibeyi, Wiki and Kamasi Washington
06. Show Love feat. Syd & Sampha
07. Echoes In The Bone – Interlude feat. Rachel Zeffira
08. Bloodshot Red Eyes feat. Infinite & Green Gartside
09. Cane feat. Ibeyi
10. Purify – Interlude feat. Infinite & Peter Gabriel
11. Be My Friend feat. Infinite
12. Everything Is Recorded feat. Sampha and Owen Pallett

XL Recordings will release Everything Is Recorded on February 16th, 2018.

Label: XL Recordings
Music News

Carl Cox starts new label, Awesome Soundwave, for live electronic acts

19/01/2018
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The first release is an album from his label partner Christopher Coe, AKA Digital Primate.

Carl Cox’s new record label will launch in May.

The label’s called Awesome Soundwave, or ASW for short, and it’s geared towards artists who make and perform their music live. It’s founded alongside Christopher Coe, AKA Digital Primate, who will also offer up the label’s first release, an eight-track album called MNTNS of SLNC. As the name might suggest, the album is inspired by the damp, mountainous landscapes of the artist’s home on the west coast of Ireland. There’s also a couple of remix EPs in the pipeline for that one.

Stream Christopher Coe’s track “Headland.”

Tracklist
01. Maumtrasna
02. They Walk, The Mountains
03. Let It Go
04. Mountain Burial
05. Headland
06. Mountain Of Grooves
07. Cliff Face
08. Ancient Prayers

Awesome Sound Wave will release MNTNS of SLNC in May, 2018.

News

New club, Yu Yu, opens in Mexico City

26/12/2017
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Yu Yu will also curate a stage in an underground cave at the 2018 Comunité festival in Tulum.

A new nightclub called Yu Yu has opened at Calle Versalles 94 in Mexico City.

The cozy 120-capacity club is tucked into the basement of a late 19th-century residence in the capital’s Juárez neighborhood. It’s equipped with a Martin Audio Blackline X series sound system and an Alpha Recordings 9000 rotary mixer.

The programming will emphasize the city’s wealth of local talent, including collectives like Cuatro Cuartos, NAAFI, Departure Records and CVMR, though they also have international headliners like Tin Man, Rhadoo, Kalawila and Auntie Flo booked for upcoming dates.

Yu Yu will also present a stage at the 2018 edition of Comunité, the Tulum festival that takes place on January 5th. They’ll take over an underground cave at a nature reserve in the jungle, with a bill that includes Matias Aguayo, Clap! Clap!, Kuniyuki & Soul Of Hex, rRoxymore, Tevo Howard, Olin, Eris Drew, Aleksa Alaska, Francis Harris and Itzone.

  • Mexico Jan 05  Comunite 2018, TBA – Tulum, South

 

Music News

10 BEST HOUSE TRACKS OF 2017

24/12/2017
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1. “HOME” – JOE GODDARD [DOMINO]

Joe Goddard’s endearing re-make of Danny Tenaglia’s, “Music Is The Answer” may have been the shining single off his sophomore album, Electric Lines. However, it was this particular single, “Home” which struck four-on-the-floor gold thanks to an immaculate disco chorus sung by up-and-coming vocalist, Daniel Wilson who also stars in the accompanied music video. A tongue-in-cheek, five minute story which follows the vocalist himself on an early-morning, cab-ride home from the club, drifting into unconsciousness towards an animated disco-wonderland filled with psychedelic visions of nude disco divas, leather daddies, and the house music legend himself, Larry Levan.

2. “NOTHING REALLY MATTERS” – TOTO CHIAVETTA [INNERVISIONS]

At about 4AM on one Friday the 13th this past January in the middle of the Yucatan jungle, Dixon was unleashing one unidentified track after another and the very peak of his set he featured this otherworldly tribalistic party-starter by Italian producer, Toto Chiavetta. The tune went down in Day Zero history as the biggest track ID only to be released a long eight months later with seven other fantastic numbers on dance music’s most illustrious imprint, Innervisions. It set the bar higher than ever thanks to an odd pairing of middle-eastern strings and tribal rhythms colored with trippy, reverberated sound effects. It sounded like nothing else yet it fit in perfectly with the vibe of 2017.

3. “HEAL ME” – RODRIGUEZ JR. [MOBILEE]

I’m completely dumbfounded as to why Rodriguez Jr’s “Heal Me” wasn’t a bigger charting tune in 2017. It’s a nearly perfect composition from his sophomore album, Baobab which was released this past June. Press play, close your eyes, and drift away to sonic heaven.

4. “COLD HEART” – DUSKY [17 STEPS]

Dusky spent 2016 achieving electronica fame with their sophomore full-length effort, Outer. But in 2017, the London house duo went back to their roots by diving straight back into ’90 style garage and all things four-to-the-floor including this mega-balearic bomb they titled “Cold Heart.”

5. “V13A” – SUPER FLU [MONABERRY]

Dance music’s most remarkable duo split 2017 right down the middle with their most accomplished full-length yet simply titled Musik 3. It’s their third effort on the LP front and it features this absolutely maniacal, stop-and-go, dance-floor destroyer oddly titled “V13a” and it is without a doubt, one of the best tracks that house music had to offer in 2017.

6. “THE PHOENIX (PART 1)” – MARQUIS HAWKES [AUS MUSIC]

Marquis Hawkes’ “The Basement Is Burning” is the one that has been getting all the attention this year but his other release on Aus Music, “The Phoenix” is the one which truly took me to that special place.  The ethereal, anthem-like tune practically reaches into my soul and transports me to house music heaven thanks to a traditional house recipe consisting of an immaculately sampled diva vocal, steady euphoric chords, and a raw syncopated bass-line which flawlessly massages the pumping rhythm better than any tune in recent memory.

7. “CHROMA” – LONE [R&S RECORDS]

Dance music’s most legendary imprint, R&S isn’t accustomed to releasing house music but Lone isn’t your run of the mill house producer. For the past ten years or so, the Nottingham producer who’s known privately as Matt Cutler has been churning out his own unique version of early ’90s electronica with a handful of full length albums and a select amount of euphoric singles scattered over a few different well-respected imprints.

8. “FOR YOU (DJ KOZE CLUB MIX)” – MICHAEL MAYER & JOE GODDARD [K7 RECORDS]

Michael Mayer‘s fabulous long-player from late last year featured this indie/electro collaboration with Hot Chip‘s own Joe Goddard. Then just a couple of months later, the tune was given a couple of remixes but up until then, every incarnation of “For You” paled in comparison to Koze‘s revision.  A brilliant makeover which features an ingenious bass-line that takes on a life of it’s own and practically steals the show from Joe Goddard!

9. “SILENT STARS” – JIMPSTER [FREERANGE RECORDS]

Jimpster continues to rule the underground house scene with a critically-acclaimed catalog as far as the eyes can see and in this particular year, he continues his string of high quality tunes. He released his first first full length in four years and it starred this enchanting tribal jam which he masterfully crafted to fit the vibe of 2017.

10. “REALITY” – TIM ENGELHARDT [FRYHIDE]

Wedged smack dab in the middle of house and techno and sitting on top of the ten best of the year is this absolute masterpiece by German-based producer, Tim Engelhardt.

Music News

The Bangkok Countdown Just Revealed Its Epic Stage For New Year’s Eve

24/12/2017
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If you’re planning on traveling this year for NYE, may we suggest Bangkok?

The Bangkok Countdown is making its debut this year in Thailand on December 30 & 31. Featuring some of EDM’s top artists, including Afrojack and Knife Party (who will be doing the countdown), this is bound to be a memorable experience you’ll be telling your friends about for years to come.

Brought to you by the same creative minds that present Thailand’s wettest and wildest Songkran extravaganza S2O, this spanking new festival promises to wow New Year’s revelers with a genuine music festival atmosphere – huge futuristic stages, Bangkok’s best comfort food, digital experiences, and a diverse line-up of international artists DJs from various electronic music genres.

And now, the festival has officially unveiled the design of their main stage and it is absolutely incredible. Featuring 16 massive LED screens and trusses sporting a variety lighting effects – and don’t forget about the lasers – this main stage is worthy of being called one of Asia’s most elaborate stages.

Tickets are now available at www.thebangkokcountdown.com.

Music News

David Guetta & Afrojack’s ‘Dirty Sexy Money’ Gets New Life With Banx & Ranx Remix [PREMIERE]

23/12/2017
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David Guetta‘s recent heated collaboration “Dirty Sexy Money” with dutch house phenomenon Afrojack, pop sensation Charli XCX, and hip-hop prodigy French Montana gets acunning remix from Banx & Ranx that revitalizes the original track’s sound while maintaining the sunshine-filled vibe.

The original track is loudly taking over the charts on a global scale, raking in an astounding 40 million plays since its release. “Dirty Sexy Money” debuted at the MTV VMA awards in November and exploded the track into its perpetual path of success. The official music video was released last week, and the remix package is slated for a release just before Christmas.

Banx & Ranx’s remix gets a head start with a tribal, moombahton, and reggae vibe with a low-passed pluck and percussion from KIIDA that flows flawlessly with Charli XCX’s vocals. Banx & Ranx take the remix into a dancehall-fueled track without losing the cultural flavor and allow for maximum exposure on the dirty dutch elements with the sunny vibe to shine through. Cesqeaux, who’s signed to Barong Family and Mad Decent, effortlessly embeds the slo-mo reggaeton rhythm that acts as the remix’s foundation and allows for imminent and unlimited building. Lastly, Mesto and Joe Stone (Spinnin’ Records) polish off the cunning remix with flavored indie-dance and electro elements that feature funky piano house melodies and synth refrains.
You can catch David Guetta in the states for NYE weekend, or catch him on his tour through Europe this winter!

December 28 @ Centro de Eventos Valle del Pacifico, Yumbo, Cali, CO

December 29 @ LIV Nightclub, Fontainebleau, Miami Beach, FL

December 31 @ Depot 52 Warehouse, Brooklyn, NY

January 18 @ Olympiahalle, Munich, DE

January 19 @ Accor Hotels Arena (Bercy), Paris, FR

January 20 @ Mediolanum Forum, Milan, IT

January 26 @ TipsArena, Linz, AT

January 27 @ Tauron Arena, Krakow, PL

January 28 @ International Exhibition Centre, Kyiv, UA

February 1 @ Hallenstadion, Zurich, CH

February 2 @ Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, DE

February 3 @ Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg, DE

February 4 @ Festhalle, Frankfurt, DE

News

What if You Could Play a DJ Gig Using Virtual Reality?

23/12/2017
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Survios is creating a VR game for music creation!

For many years, the worlds of gaming and electronic music have collided. Whether it was a game soundtrack or a dance themed game, video games have served as a prominent source of inspiration for producers to create their own music.  With VR gaming becoming popular, it’s only natural that a company would develop a music based game for that system. VR Gaming company, Survios, has recently announced the development of a music creation and performance game called ‘Electronauts’.  

The game enables you to create, remix and perform music within a virtual world. Sounds pretty sweet, right? On top of using the songs in the game, the game also allows users to upload their own songs into the game. Let’s say you want to do a mash up of a handful of songs from a variety of genres. That’s all possible to upload and perform in Electronauts.  Each player will be given three DJ tables with the handheld controllers operating a variety of functions in the game. You can perform songs, play a variety of instruments, record loops, re-arrange your drum kits and much more within the game.

Musical ability doesn’t matter as there is no musical requirements to play the game. A beginner will have as much fun in this game as the seasoned musician.  For the latter, this could serve as a new source of inspiration.  Beta versions of the game will be available to select players in early 2018 with the game expected to be available to the public later that year.

Music New Releases News

Avicii Releases a 3D Video for ‘You Be Love’ Featuring Billy Raffoul

23/12/2017
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He may have retired from touring or performing, but Avicii was everything but inactive this year.  A successful new EP, a documentary, and a video game were just some of the project he was involved in this year.

Swedish producer now released a new video, for a song “You Be Love,” taken off his comeback EP AVĪCI (01). The new, 3D video offers Avicii’s idea of creating an entirely new way of telling a love story, lead by surprise, technical innovation, creativity, and emotion.

The minimalistic video made completely in 3D with directors TNT offers a new dimension to the emotional track featuring low-timbered rock and roll vocalist Billy Raffoul. The tragic story, inspired by antique art forms, accompanies the song in the right way, once again exposing Avicii’s eye for details and exploring instincts.

AVĪCI (01) has already proved to be a huge success, while “You Be Love” generated over 19 million streams on Spotify alone.