Moodymann arrested at gunpoint. Tulum is tired of ravers. YouTube continues its anti-Article 13 crusade. Akai cuts cords with the computer.
Moodymann arrested. Pioneering Detroit DJ and producer Moodymann, real name Kenny Dixon Jr., posted a now-removed video to his Instagram showing what appears to be a confrontation with aggressive local police. The video showed police shouting and pointing rifles at him while he sat in his car. He continued to film as he frantically tried to unlock the doors while pleading with officers as they continued to act threateningly toward him. He explained in video’s caption that he was arrested on his own property, while holding the keys to his vehicle. The arrest comes at a time when tensions between unarmed black men and police officers in America remains high due to a string of controversial killings dating back several years. Read more here.
Party crackdowns in Tulum. As dance music festivals continue flocking to the luxurious Mexican resort of Tulum, the city council is starting to pushing back, partly because rave tourism isn’t bringing the type of person the tourism board thinks fits the resort’s “barefoot luxury” image. But many raves also take place inside national parks with protected wildlife, and are seen as counterproductive to conservation areas. What this means for the future of Tulum parties as of now remains unclear. Read more here.
Saffron returns for 2019. Bristol-based female record label and education platform Saffron Records has announced the return of Saffron For Sound, a six-week music production course for womxn who want to learn the fundamentals of Ableton Live, along with other skills like programming MIDI, sampling, building a track, mixing and mastering, drum programming and much more. The course generally runs at £120 plus concessions, but Saffron urge anyone wanting to take part who may not be able to meet the financial requirements to get in touch. Learn more here.
YouTube’s crusade. PRS for Music is warning its members against YouTube’s anti-Article 13 campaign, which is aimed at the general public and spreads “misinformation” as to how the copyright directive will affect creators. Pointing toward articles in Music Week, Billboard, and Europe for Creators, PRS says it hopes “to dispel the lies that YouTube is spreading,” and is supporting the #LoveMusic and Europe for Creators information campaigns in the lead up to the final vote in the EU Parliament. Head to the websites of #LoveMusic and article13.org for more information.
Akai uses the Force. Akai has introduced Force, which promises to free users from the computer as a standalone production and DJ device, with features like clip launching, step sequencing, sampling, synths and a 7-inch multi-touch display. As far as audio goes, it has two inputs, four outputs, MIDI and CV I/O. And along with its synth engines, Force is able to record eight stereo tracks. There are also sound-warping effects, like real-time time stretching and pitch-shifting, as well as eight touch-sensitive knobs. The price starts at $1,499.00 USD, and Force will be available internationally in February. Head to Akai’s website for more info.
Spotify keeps growing. Swedish streaming giant Spotify just surpassed 200 million unique users per month for the first time, adding 9 million more users during the final quarter of 2018. Spotify has been keeping its eye on growth as of late, adding options that allow independent artists to upload their own tracks, while inking a deal with India’s T-Series, the country’s leading music and film company, giving the platform access to Bollywood and regional movie soundtracks, among other types of Indian music. The company also hopes to fully launch in India at the end of the month. Read more here.
Pioneer upgrades. Pioneer is now offering a limited edition carbon fibre version of its HDJ-X10C headphones. Along with a gold finish, the carbon fiber housings reduce vibration and filter out noise, and a metal mesh grille optimizes the HD drivers. The cable is also more durable, coated with aramid, and the headphones come with an extended 3-year warranty. Price starts at £539. Watch a video on the new HDJ-X10C below.
KORG’s analogue adds digital. The KORG minilogue synthesiser is getting an upgrade with the xd, which adds a third digital oscillator on top of the two analogue oscillators and sequencer. Load up to 16 of your own waveforms or build percussion sounds with the digital oscillator, and add reverb, delay, modulation effects or custom algorithms to your sound with the 32-bit DSP effects engine. The minilogue xd is expected to arrive winter of 2019, priced at $649.99 USD. Check out a promo video below.
Volca Modular and Volca Drum. After the highly interesting leaks last month we’re pleased that the Buchla inspired mini modular (Volca Modular) and the digital drum synth (Volca drum) are real and appearing at NAMM this week. NAMM is gearing up to be one of the best in recent years and we’re excited to get our hands on these latest Korg creations and do a full review afterwards. For now, check the full specs of he modular here and the Volca Drum here.
Fabric goes dark. In a PR stunt that set the internet alight, London’s fabric shut down all social media channels and took down its website on Tuesday, even boarding up the club’s entrance, going completely dark. Initially, many online thought the club was once again in danger of being closed. 2019 is the club’s 20th anniversary and it was soon obvious that the blackout was a well-executed publicity move. Details for the club’s celebrations were slow to emerge, but on Thursday fabric announced a 20-party celebration, dubbed fabric XX, and its long-running on the fabric and Fabriclive mix series will now be a new quarterly edition called “fabric presents,” launching with Bonobo. For lineup details head here.