Cassius’ Philippe Zdar dies. Fire destroys part of Club der Visionaere. High fashion pays tribute to techno. Laurent Garnier gets a documentary.
RIP Philippe Zdar. French DJ and producer Philippe Zdar, born Philippe Cerboneschi, died in an accidental fall from a building in Paris on 20 June. His agent confirmed the news. Having formed Motorbass with Etienne de Crécy and Cassius with Hubert Blanc-Francard, Zdar’s reputation as a French touch pioneer is renowned. He also remixed Air, and helped produce Phoenix’s 2000 debut album, United, as well as their 2009 album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, which went on to win a Grammy in 2010. His prowess as producer led him to work with personal heroes like the Beastie Boys, Cat Power, and Kanye West on the Cassius-inspired song, “Why I Love You.” Zdar’s death comes the day before the release of Cassius’s latest album, Dreems. He also produced Hot Chip’s latest album, A Bath Full of Ecstasy, which is also out on 21 June. Artists from across music shared their praise and memories on social media, including Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard, who described him as “an amazing man, so full of passion and love.”
Fire at Club der Visionaere. A fire broke out over the weekend at Berlin’s famed Club der Visionaere, affectionately known as CdV. Despite initial reports, the club posted in a lengthy statement on Facebook that there were no injuries, and that the fire was not caused by faulty wiring or a propane tank explosion. However, the statement did not list an official cause of the fire. The club’s owner, Gregor Kraemer, also stated that the damage was confined to a small outdoor seating section in the upper level, despite early reports that over 60% of the space was destroyed, and that he hopes CdV will reopen soon. The canal-side club has been a staple of the Berlin summer for 20 years, specializing in minimal house, with regular visits from DJs like Zip, Binh and Ricardo Villalobos. Read the full statement here.
Versace & Flint. Donatella Versace paid homage to Keith Flint in Milan this weekend, dedicating her SS2020 menswear show to the Prodigy frontman, who died in March this year. As models strutted the runway in bright, colourful clothing pulled from Flint’s signature look, including his dyed double mohawk, “Firestarter” pounded overhead, The Guardian reports. Versace, who’s known as something of a disruptor in the fashion world, described Flint as “my friend, and a disruptor of this world.” See photos from the event at The Guardian.
Cocoricò closes. Known the world over for its iconic pyramid shape, Italy’s Cocoricò club has closed, owing more than €800,000 in unpaid taxes, according to The Huffington Post. The club’s financial issues began following the high-profile death of 16-year-old Lamberto Lucaccioni, who passed away after taking ecstasy at the club in 2015. Cocoricò was shut down for four months during its peak season, damaging its reputation and plunging it into debt. The club opened in 1989 as a restaurant, eventually becoming one of Europe’s most famous clubs, with major DJs of all stripes regularly stopping by, including Marco Carola, Richie Hawtin, Nina Kraviz, Marcel Dettmann, The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim and Magda. Cocoricò’s first bankruptcy hearing takes place on October 25th.
Easy Output. Los Angeles-based software company Output have released a new plug-in called Portal. The company said it’s trying to “flip the script” on granular synthesis by making it more accessible. Because of how granular synthesis splits, splices and rearranges audio, it’s known for its uses with abstract sound design. But with Portal, Output is focused on “re-synthesizing sounds to give you a result that’s more closely related to the original input,” with “less random bloops and bleeps and more creative music making.” In essence, the synthesis technique should be easier to use in less abstract ways. To find out more, watch a video about Portal below. Keep an eye out for a review on Attack soon.
Laurent Garnier documentary. For three years, director Gabin Rivoire has been following Laurent Garnier shooting a documentary on the French DJ’s life and music. Now Garnier and the team behind the film are asking for donations via Kickstarter to help complete the project. Garnier decided on Rivoire after working with him for seven years filming the YEAH Festival that Garneir runs with friends in the south of France. “I am always touched by his sense of rhythm, narration and staging. I love the intimacy and poetry that emerge from each of his films, and I am always amazed and moved by the way he uses and films music. For all these reasons, I do not see any other director than him to consider this documentary project and share my passion for music,” Garnier said. There are plenty of enticing prizes for those who donate, including the chance to meet Garnier himself. Find out more here.
More than a door. We’ve all waited at doors to get into nightclubs, but very few of us (if any) have paid a visit to an exhibition that showcases a door. However, the Humbolt Forum is showing the ex Tresor front door as a ‘symbol of the threshold to a new era’ to symbolise post Cold War Berlin. The door was in service at the club till 2005 before being moved to a power station and now as an exhibit. In it’s previous life it was the safe room door for Wetheim, a Jewish-owned department store that the Nazis seized control off. The door survived the war and Dimitri Hegemann turned it’s function from keeping people out to letting people in – in this case clubbers into Tresor. Worth checking out which you can do so here.
Make Music Day. Spitfire Audio have released a new free product as part of their lab series. In 2018, Spitfire boss Christian fed a Wurlitzer, felt piano and guitar through ethereal effects pedals, including Gamechanger Audio’s Plus pedal, which sustains any sound indefinitely to create a soft pad effect. The result is excellent sounds that would work well for ambient techno, breakdowns and intros. You can get it free here.
VCV Rack update. VCV Rack is a free, open-source modular synth software, which has helped reduce the entry barrier to modular synthesis since its launch in 2017. The software has just received an update with version 1.0, featuring a host of improvements. New features include the ability to operate polyphonically with up to 16 voices, the ability to control hardware or software devices with a MIDI input through a new MIDI output, and the CPU engine has also been enhanced. Head here to see the full list of improvements, or to download the software, which is available on Windows, macOS and Linux.
Raf Simons touts R&S. Fashion icon Raf Simons paid tribute to famed Belgian imprint R&S Records in his S/S2020 collection, which he debuted at Paris Fashion Week on 19 June. One model was seen walking the runway in an oversized T-shirt emblazoned with the R&S logo, while other looks channeled the rave spirit with smiley face ecstasy pill designs. See for yourself below.