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Junction 2: London’s Newest Techno Festival

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As it turns out, London will enjoy a brand-new, techno-only festival. The Hydra, Drumcode, and Closer will be providing a stacked lineup for Junction 2, the first festival hosted by London Warehouse Events (LWE), often considered the UK’s finest in underground event promoters. The festival will be held on Saturday, June 4, at a never-before-used, undisclosed (in true underground fashion) Zone 4 location. The lineup is nothing short of ridiculous, featuring techno legends from every corner of the globe, including Alan Fitzpatrick, Dixon, Adam Beyer, Ide Engberg, Pan-Pot, Nina Kraviz, and a live Carl Craig set (billed as Carl Craig presents Modular Pursuits, a new alias under which he will also be performing at Movement). The event aims to blend  “green fields, rambling rivers, woodland pathways and hidden enclaves” and “striking industrial features,” according to festival organizers. Tickets for the all-day show are now available via the Junction 2 website, and the exact location will be announced in the coming months.

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Apple: Bye Bye iTunes Radio, Hello Subscriptions

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As of this weekend, Apple‘s iTunes Radio, once an entirely free, ad-supported streaming platform, has ceased to exist in its original incarnation. Earlier this month, Apple announced that the channels would be integrated into Apple Music, the company’s subscription-based streaming platform. Sadly, that day has come and gone, and the stations are officially no more. Anyone logging into the iOS Music app or iTunes on their computer will encounter a message prompting them to purchase an Apple Music subscription. However, Apple continues to offer the Beats 1 station for free, seemingly an attempt to further the “Beats” brand  that the former acquired in 2014. Upon the 2015 launch of Apple Music, iTunes radio (launched in 2013) was deactivated in regions where the latter service was available, with the exception (until this past weekend) of the US and Australia. While this is surely a major bummer for cash-strapped listeners, the silver lining is that Apple Music will include a number of features belonging to iTunes Radio, such as generating playlists based on a single artist/song and music discovery. From a business perspective, this move makes financial sense for the company at the expense of the consumer, just one of many controversial moves that Apple has made since 2011, when co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs suffered an untimely death brought on by pancreatic cancer.

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Wolfgang Gartner Ends Album Hiatus

10-ways-to-steal-home-plateAfter five years of silence, Wolfgang Gartner is back with a bang.

His sophomore album, Ten Ways to Steal Home Plate (seemingly familiar to the baseball-themed album from 90s techno duo Hardfloor, Home Run), was released today. The album is an interesting mix of a variety of sounds, from “funk to disco, electro, and big house bangers”, as Billboard describes it.

His first album, Weekend in America, and early singles like “Illmerica” and “Undertake” shed the spotlight on Wolfgang and pushed him to international fame, becoming one of the figureheads of electronic music. However, he stopped touring over a year ago due to health problems.

Compare his first album to his sophomore, and you’ll find a number of differences. There has been significant growth in Wolfgang’s style over the course of his absence, which is made clear over the course of the album. He writes in a Facebook status posted today that the album “represents a 3-year span of various vibes and creative urges that I had, inspired by listening to other great music and the interaction from audiences at my DJ gigs” (you can read the rest of the status here). The sounds you’ll hear are much further than the two singles that gave his career such a push so long ago. It is experimental and unafraid to push boundaries; less rigid and more fun. As Your EDM explains, each of the 10 songs on the track “presents a different way to ‘steal home plate’” – a clear message that Wolfgang is doing what he wants, however he wants to do it.

The album is a solo venture for Wolfgang, as there is no major label co-signing it – it comes from his own label, Kindergarten Recordings.

Ladies and gentlemen, Wolfgang’s making a comeback.

You can stream the album on Spotify here:

Acid Bitchez “Thinking About Acid” Remixes on Turbo Recordings

tubrboI think about acid on Turbo Recordings press #176. Finnish producer Juha and lyricist muse Jessica make up a fiery duo as Acid Bitchez, the new and fresh face of acid techno. With Turbo’s latest release in tow for February 5, Thinking About Acid is quite literally a buzzing musical playground. The original track has a driving retro acid sound, crispy to the touch with a side of warm molasses vocals by Jessica. Read more

Amazon Prime: A British Invasion

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As we plunge deeper into the streaming era of music, the number of choices available has drastically increased, giving listeners the option to utilize services such as Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, Google Play, and, Amazon’s Prime Music service. The last of these options, however, was initially restricted to the United States when it launched in June 2014. Finally, after many industry negotiations, and much anticipation, users in the UK can now stream their favorite records, ad-free, on Amazon’s Prime Music a very reasonable £79 per year. Although the service is priced lower than its competitors, the catalogue is less robust than Spotify and Apple, reinforcing an age-old trope – “you get what you pay for.”

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Pole Group Presents CD Mix Unknown Landscapes Volume 3 Mixed By Exium

BEXIUMPole Group presents Unknown Landscapes Volume 3, the third in a series of CD mixes composed of unreleased tracks mixed by a member of the Pole Group platform. Volume 3 invites Exium, Spanish performance and production duo Valentín Corujo and Héctor Sandoval, to put together a compilation spanning the forces of techno. Read more

Red Hot Chili Peppers Playing Bernie Sanders Fundraiser in LA Next Week

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers have announced that they will be playing a #FeelTheBern concert at The Theatre in the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles next week.

The California band will be headlining the concert on February 5th for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Sanders has earned widespread support from the music community with members of Vampire Weekend, Killer Mike and Foster the People at “Students for Bernie,” on January 30th at University of Iowa Field House. The event is free and open to the public.

Although initial reports stated that tickets for the all-ages LA concert were to become available at 10AM PST the morning of the show (with prices of $30 all the way to $2,700), it appears from the ticket link and the venue website that the show may already be sold out.

In September last year, all four members of the Chili Peppers endorsed Sanders’ campaign with a signed letter that has since been posted on the candidate’s website. Following the announcement of next week’s show the band’s bassist Flea went on to post his support on Facebook and Instagram:

 

 

Last month, Killer Mike famously sat down with Sanders for an expansive interview in an Atlanta barber shop owned by the rapper. They discussed a wide range of subjects including gun control, social justice, legalization of marijuana, and the country’s economy and health care.

Techno Legend Juan Atkins Claims That “The DJ List” Is Racist

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Every few months a new DJ ranking or list comes out and naturally, opinions abound. The arguments vary depending on the list in question, ranging form the usual “EDM vs underground” to the underrepresentation of female acts.

This week, Detroit techno pioneer Juan Atkins took to his personal Facebook page to express anger at what he perceives is a calculated underrepresentation of black artists on “The DJ List“. The producer and DJ called it “a slap in the face of the entire black race” and went on to announce that he “will lead the crusade for “The DJ List” to be Destroyed, Dismantled, Deleted, and Replaced.” Atkins is quick to point out that only two black artists have made the Top 100 EDM-heavy list.

Understandably, the post got people talking. While many of the commenters pointed out the seeming irrelevance of such lists, Atkins was quick to specify that while they appear to bear little significance, his own DJ fees and those of other black artists would be considerably different if they were represented better on such lists.

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Although a review of the DJ Mag Top 100 list showed a similar tendency with just a couple of black artists represented, Resident Advisor‘s poll told a slightly better story: illustrious names such as Carl Craig, Kerri Chandler, Robert Hood, Carl Cox, Black Coffee, Jeff Mills and Jamie Jones were all in the Top 100. While only RA members can vote for the site’s annual poll and voting takes place over a brief period of a few days, DJ Mag’s Top 100 list has been the subject of controversy for several years due to allegations of corruption and vote rigging.

It is definitely interesting to see that “The DJ List” brought into question by Atkins has an unclear “voting” system. Their website claims that, “leading industry members claim and manage profiles for; djs, labels, clubs, agents, publicists and more. Members participate in our DJ ranking and are presented customized dance music content based around their interests.”

Regardless, Atkins’ words have brought up once again an interesting discussion on the subject of DJ polls and lists. The role of black artists in dance music is of course undisputed, and it stands to reason that artists should be recognized for their craft regardless of genre, gender and race.

 

 

Radiohead Headlines Secret Solstice 2016 in Iceland

secret_solstice_featured2The English rock band Radiohead will headline Secret Solstice Festival this summer in the center of Iceland’s capital city Reykjavík. Because the festival will be held during the summer solstice weekend from June 17 to 19, participants can pay witness to three whole days of daylight due to Iceland’s close proximity to the Arctic Circle.  Read more

Dekmantel To Host Winter/Spring 2016 Tour Across Five Continents

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.22.05 AMThe Amsterdam-based music company Dekmantel will embark on a winter and spring 2016 tour across five continents with 27 show dates. Dekmantel is a cutting-edge electronic music company known for being a well-established record label, promoting its festival brand that includes Dekmantel Festival (August 4 to 7) and the new Dekmantel Selectors in Croatia (September 1 to 5), and functioning as the select destination for underground music showcases. Read more