Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music finally gets an update. The streaming vs. songwriters saga continues. Eventide Summer savings.
Ishkur gets an update. Nineteen years after the original Iskur’s Guide to Electronic Music first launched, everyone’s favourite online roadmap to dance music has received an update. The new guide is highly interactive. It allows you to work your way through tracks in each genre of dance music, from the year the genre started up to its most modern incantation. However, since the playlist shuffles, songs don’t always line up with their specific years. For instance, Detroit techno starts in the mid-1980s with Jessie Deep!’s 1992 track “Chill Out Space.” This only seems to be an issue with the earlier years, however. Click on the 2012 bar, and you’ll be introduced to that year’s track by Jam City, “How We Relate to the Body.” Otherwise, the site is a cornucopia of in-depth information on the main instruments each genre used, who its primary players were, what other genres it spawned, and in some cases, how it infected pop music. The historic descriptions for each genre are also rife with sarcasm — Ishkur leaves the dry academia to other historians. Take a spin for yourself here, but make sure you have a few hours (or days) blocked off. It’s as addicting as a website can get.
Streaming vs. songwriters. In an escalation of the fight between tech giants and songwriters, Google, Google, Pandora, and Amazon have complained that the pay-rate rise songwriters are asking for (via the Copyright Royalty Board) is “arbitrary, capricious, unexplained and unsupported by substantial evidence.” Songwriters are asking for a raise to 15.1 percent from 10.5 percent in the US over a five-year period. However, in a 92 page argument filed with the District Of Coloumbia’s Court Of Appeals, the appellant group state that the size of the raise would cause an unfair “disruption” to the bottom line, despite the five year window offered. Instead, they believe the CRB must ”carefully examine the relevant expert methodologies” regarding how to set their proposed rates in order to “resolve competing arguments about their validity and coherently explain its ultimate rate-setting decision.” It should be noted that while all four companies are part of the Digital Media Association (DiMA) along with Apple, Apple isn’t appealing the decision, and sees the rate increases as important for songwriter and publisher royalty structures.
Eventide summer savings. The Elevate mastering bundle from Eventide is on sale through September 3, 2019. The bundle includes EQuivocate, a 26-band graphic EQ with filters modelled after the human ear; Saturate, a two-control Spectral Clipper that allows for an additional 12 dB of clipping for overdriving individual tracks or an entire mix; and Punctuate, a 26-band transient modulator based that, like EQuivocate, is also based around the human ear. The bundle is available now from Eventide for $99.00, but those who want to try before they buy can download a 30-day demo here. For more information on Elevate you can check our tutorial here.
Better than one. Following a spate of recent news about new rotary mixers hitting the market, MasterSounds has released a new mixer aimed at DJs who want the audio quality of a rotary mixer in a compact design. The MasterSounds TWO VALVE gets its name from its two dual triode valves. As lead designer Andy Rigby-Jones said: “The valves’ high input impedance minimises loading on the preceding stages but provides low output impedance to drive the VCAs, whilst natural compression smooths and warms harsh transients. Careful circuit design around the valves minimises noise and distortion.” The two-channel mixer features a three-band EQ per channel, and each channel has an aux for external effects. There’s also a three-band isolator on the master that goes full-kill. Each mixer is hand-built at Union Audio in Cornwall, and runs £1495. Find out more here.
The Prodigy return. Following the death of Prodigy lead singer Keith Flint earlier this year, the band has announced that they are once again working on new music. The band made the announcement via Facebook, saying they were “back in the studio making noise.” “Brand new Prodigy tunes are gonna roll, boooom,” the post continues. The group cancelled their 2019 tour following Flint’s death, and have remained relatively quiet since then. Whatever follows next will be their latest music since last year’s album No Tourists. Though no further details surrounding new music or touring have been revealed at this time.
Partying plastic free. The plastic-free party EcoDisco will be returning to London for an environmentally conscious party on September 20th. The first edition took place this June at Oval Space, and following the event, Oval Space was inspired to ban all single-use plastics. The next EcoDisco event will coincide with the Global Climate Strikes , which is a global walkout from homes and workplaces in solidarity of already-active climate strikers, and to demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. The party will take place at Peckham’s Bussey Building from 11am to 5pm with Nick the Record and other guests, and will also feature a reusable cup system — replacing some 2000 throwaway plastic cups per event — as well as non-plastic straws, recyclable canned water, and plant-based bio-glitter. For every ticket sold, £1 will be donated towards Plastic Oceans, artist travel will be carbon offset through Carbon Footprint Ltd. For tickets, head here.
It’s Tricky. Tricky has announced that his autobiography, Hell Is Round the Corner, will be published by Blink on 31st October. The book will partially focus on the Bristolian musician’s troubled childhood growing up in what he describes as the “white ghetto” of Knowle West, as well as his mother’s suicide when he was only four years old. His mother’s death had a major impact on his life. Written with journalist Andrew Perry, the book also delves into his rise to prominence. His 1995 debut solo album, Maxinquaye, went gold and earned him a Mercury Prize nomination. He went on to record 12 more albums, perhaps most famously as part of Massive Attack — a group he had a long and sometimes tumultuous relationship with. Perry interviewed members of Tricky’s family and friends, as well as industry insiders, Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays, and “former gangsters.” Head here for more info ahead of the 31st October release.
‘Appy Birthday. Cherry Audio are this week celebrating their one year anniversary by introducing the Voltage Modular Nucleus, which is free for a limited time. It’s a bundle of “22 modules and 67 presets” and “is the ultimate introduction to modular synthesis. This package includes all of the fundamentals of subtractive analog synthesis, including oscillators, filters, envelope generators, amplifiers, and mixers, plus a sequencer, arpeggiator, and a full suite of useful utility modules and powerful effects modules.” This is a seriously big bag of free stuff and is only about for a bit, so go grab it before they decide they need to charge for it! You can also read our Cherry Audio review here.