Drum & bass producer Andy Skopes dies. Beatport eyes in-booth streaming. Traktor gets a flashy new update and more post NAMM news.
RIP Andy Skopes. Metalheadz producer Andy Skopes died on January 23rd following an 18 month battle with cancer. Skopes, real name Andrew Lawrence, regularly released on drum & bass label Utopia Music, along with other imprints, and in 2017 released Speechless, his lauded debut EP for Metalheadz. Lawrence was also an employee at the now-closed record shop Wax City, and an important figure in Croydon’s drum & bass scene. Tributes came from Metalheadz, as well as artists like Doc Scott, Luke LSB and Rupture. Read his wife’s statement below.
We're absolutely gutted to hear about the passing of Andy Skopes – an incredibly talented producer and one of the nicest guys we've had the pleasure of knowing and releasing music from.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time ❤️https://t.co/vzdfb8SEta
— Metalheadz (@metalheadzmusic) January 25, 2019
Future of Beatport. DJ Mag interviewed Beatport CEO Robb McDaniels about the company’s plans for the future. Last year Beatport announced it wanted to allow DJs to stream its entire catalogue straight to the DJ booth by 2019, which caused controversy over royalties, analytics and other issues. In the recent interview, McDaniels says “streaming will become an established format for DJing,” though he admits that before anyone gets too excited about the technology, certain topics do need to be addressed, such as protecting the “economic interests of our global DJ community.” He also talks about offline useability, the acquisition of streaming service Pulselocker, and more. Read it here.
Behringer’s bargain. Behringer has announced Crave, a semi-modular, Eurorack-compatible synthesiser that’ll run $199 USD, combining features found on some of Behringer’s other clones. From first looks, Crave appears to condense features from other synthesisers into an affordable desktop design, with a row of patch points that can talk to Eurorack gear and CV-compatible hardware. It also has a the same 3340 VCO oscillator found on Dave Smith’s Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, and the arpeggiator/sequencer closely copies Behringer’s MS-101. There’s also a USB connectivity on hand for syncing with computers, and plenty more features and options, including a 32 step sequencer with eight banks of eight sequencers. Check out a demo of Crave below.
And while we’re here…more Behringer. Late last week, Behringer announced it was dropping another affordable piece of kit with the Roland TR-808 clone, dubbed the RD-808. At $300, it’s considerably less expensive than an original Roland machine, which usually run in the thousands. Going on sale this March, the clone is fully analog with extra digital effects. Users can create basslines or change the pitch of the track via the MIDI-controlled 808 pitch modulation, and the RD-808 has 1/4″ jack outputs for each sound. Watch a hands-on demo of the RD-808 below.
Traktor goes Parallel. Native Instruments’ Traktor 3.1 will include parallel waveforms, a feature that was debuted at NAMM. Other bug fixes were also included in the update, but now, when Traktor users switch to Parallel view, the waveforms will show up stacked. Users will also be able to zoom in and out on the waveforms, running stems and four decks at the same time. DJ Tech Tools grabbed exclusive photos at NAMM, check those out here. https://djtechtools.com/2019/01/24/traktor-pro-3-1-coming-with-parallel-waveforms-s4-mk3-standalone-mixer-mode/
Check back later. Rumours have been swirling for some time about Spotify’s imminent launch in India. However, as Music Business Worldwide reports, the streaming company’s supposed launch date has now come and gone with little to show. Spotify’s homepage in Indaia still reads “Spotify is currently not available in your country.” It appears Spotify never won licensing approval from major labels, though now it’s looking to work out a licensing deal, possibly including tiered subscription models. Read more here.
Big screen bouncers. A new film about some of Berlin’s’ most famous bouncers is on the way. Directed by David Dietl, Berlin Bouncers chronicles the lives of Berghain’s Sven Marquardt and Smiley Baldwin, as well as Delicious Doughnuts and King Size doorman Frank Künster, taking viewers from the 1980s to the present day. The film debuts on February 10th at the Berlinale, with follow-on dates on the 11th and 16th. A wider release is expected in April. Watch a trailer for Berlin Bouncers below.