Vestax introduces a $10,000 mixer. Sydney’s lockouts are costing the city big. Etsy to acquire Reverb. Attack becomes an AFEM member.
Attack joins AFEM. We’re pleased to announce that Attack has joined the electronic music industry’s representative body, the Association For Electronic Music (AFEM). AFEM was co-founded by IMS co-founder Ben Turner, and is headed up by an international board of advisors and elected executive board comprised of many leading figures in electronic music, including Andreea Magdalina, founder of SheSaid.So, Horst Weidenmueller of !K7, and Matthew Adell. Attack Magazine joins other member companies like A Greener Festival, Amsterdam Dance Event, Boiler Room, International Music Summit (IMS), Pioneer DJ, SheSaid.So, Traxsource and Native Instruments. The team here are hoping that it helps us to continue to provide and improve our service as a publisher and an online store.
Lockout losers. Sydney has lost out big due to its lockout laws. According to a 40-page report by the City of Sydney, draconian licensing restrictions have cost the city $1.4 billion in turnover and millions of visitors — 500,000 fewer people under 35 visit Sydney each year as a result of the laws. Sydney has also lost 50% of its dedicated live music venues, and 50% fewer restaurants were reported opening in the City of Sydney’s local government area since 2014, when the lockout laws came into effect. The document outlines 18 key initiatives meant to reverse the devastation, including the abolishment of the 1:30 AM lockout and 3 AM cessation of service, the addition of 24-hour public transport on weekends, and introducing agent of change laws, which state that if music venue is in place before a residential building is constructed, the residential building would be responsible for paying for soundproofing. The document also calls for the establishment of a NSW Government nighttime economy office. The report has Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s support, but what happens next is anyone’s guess. Read the full report here.
Etsy reverbs. Later this year, Etsy will spend $275 million to acquire Reverb, the online marketplace for buying and selling used music gear. Reverb will reportedly remain a standalone business, while Etsy will continue to focus on its core business — arts, crafts and other creative goods. Etsy CEO Josh Silverman called Reverb “the Etsy of musical instruments, with significant competitive advantages, and we see tremendous value and untapped potential in the business.” Reverb founder David Kalt, who will remain CEO until Etsy’s board chooses a new chief once the merger is complete, said Reverb will “remain the marketplace built for the music community by a team of musicians and music lovers,” and that users should think of the acquisition like seeing “your all-time favorite band and getting a surprise sit-in from another musician you admire.”
$10,000 mixer. A gold and black Vestax mixer is on sale for the bargain price of $10,000 (plus another $200 for shipping). Dubbed the Phoenix (Hou-ou), the mixer’s features are fairly straightforward. It has four channels with three-band EQ, and each channel (as well as the master) has old-school VU metering — no blinking lights here. It’s also fully analog, as you’d expect, and has a total of nine line inputs, including three phono ins. While some of these features are impressive, Vestax say its price tag is due to the mixer’s “ground up,” hand-built design, with controls that are “satisfying to use, easy to see and robust enough to evolve with your own creativity.” If you’d like to order your own, head here.
Gibson’s penance. Synth pioneer Tom Oberheim is once again in control of the Oberheim Electronics brand name, after rights were returned by Gibson. Despite building the company from a DIY operation into a global brand in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Oberheim was unable to use the Oberheim trademark for his products. Gibson purchased the company from Oberheim in the late ‘80s, and Gibson CEO James Curleigh said now is the time to “do the right thing.” “I am very grateful to the new leadership team of Gibson for making this possible,” Oberheim said in a statement. Oberheim created the Four Voice, Matrix-12 and the DMX drum machine, among many other products.
808 State returns. Famed UK duo Graham Massey and Andy Barker, better known as 808 State, are returning with their first album in 17 years. Transmission Suite follows 2002’s Output Transmission, and focuses largely on the musical history of Manchester, the duo’s hometown. For instance, the LP was recorded at the old Granada studios, where 808 State performed on live TV in 1989. “It’s often quite broken, abstract, urban music,” Massey said in a press release. “They might play weird shit: like [Bauhaus’s] Bela Lugosi’s Dead being played next to a dubstep tune, played next to a proper Jamaican reggae electronic B-side from the ’80s next to drum & bass.” You can watch the video for the lead single from the album, Tokyo Tokyo, below.
Record store rumble. An open-letter addressed to major labels Universal, Sony, and Warner, signed by 40 independent American record stores, addressed issues with physical sales and distribution. The letter was first published by Billboard on July 16, and was written in response to the majors’ decision to move their distribution services to a new fulfilment partner, Direct Shot Distributing. While it was meant to streamline operations, stores claim the decision has weakened their supply chain, leaving them with only a small fraction of the physical music they ordered, sometimes only getting empty boxes. The scathing letter says things are “about as bad as it can be,” with “lost sales, lost credibility and wasted man-hours.” Read the full letter here.
Plugin Alliance makes the switch. California based Plugin Alliance has announced the availability of a new subscription service. The subscription offering 100+ plugins from 28 Alliance brands includes the SSL, Ampeg, Brainworx, Focusrite and many more. The service will be available for $24.99 per month later this year. However users can save from today with prepaid annual plans being offered for $249.99 per year. It follows a trend to subscription models across the industry. Find out more here.
Eventide Audio releases VSig. Create custom algorithms and presets for the Eventide H9000. The tool is now available to sound designers as a public beta. The company described it as “Not for the faint of heart but gratifying for any H9000 user with an understanding of basic digital audio techniques and a dream.” Available now as a free download for H9000 owners.
Everybody in The Place: An Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992’. This documentary film by Jeremy Deller explores the cultural significance rave and acid house had on ’80s Britain and it finally airs on BBC Four August 2nd. Initially screened last October at London’s Frieze Art Fair, the film “upturns popular notions of rave and acid house, situating them at the very centre of the seismic social changes reshaping 1980s Britain. This is a film we’ve been excited to see and you can watch the trailer below.