Photo courtesy of Twitter
Influential electronic musicians all across the genre spectrumfrom DWN to Kaskade, and Diplo to the Dirtybird creware encouraging people to get out and vote in today’s presidential election by collectively posting to Twitter and Facebook with #WeDanceWeVote. Their attempt to spur mobilization comes as no surprise, as DJs, producers, and venues have been regularly involved this entire election season.
Among the many instances of this happening, some notable examples include Diplo soundtracking a Bernie Sanders campaign ad, ANOHNI telling Americans they were “being used” in regards to the election cycle, and Flying Lotus producing a Sanders-endorsing track by Smoke DZA. Others include Aphex Twin caricaturing the election with an absurdist video yesterday, Steve Aoki playing a Clinton rally, and Axwell serving Marco Rubio a cease and desist letter, among a whole spate of others.
If these artists’ rallying calls aren’t enough, President Obama also wants you to vote, and he’s using Spotify to remind you. On top of that, you could probably guess this, but a Donald Trump presidency would definitely be bad for nightlife.
Photo by Aldo Paredes
Chicago DJ and producer, The Black Madonna, announced a new release called He Is The Voice I Hear yesterday, marking her first to feature an ensemble of live musicians. The artist called it “the most exciting project I’ve ever worked on” in a Facebook post, and said it is her first release featuring all-new work since 2013’s Lady Of Sorrows EP.
While details about the record and what it sounds like are sparse, the artist said it was co-produced and co-engineered by her regular collaborator Rupert Murray. The live ensemble it features includes keyboardist Christoforo LaBarbera and strings performer, arranger, and Coldplay collaborator Davide Rossi.
It will initially be released this Thursday exclusively at Chicago’s Gramaphone Records at an event featuring in-store DJ sets along with food and drinks. There will be a special edition of the vinyl produced for the occasion, and it will be available online for general audiences “soon” thereafter.
The Black Madonna is currently on her first major North American tour, which includes a headlining gig as part of the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival this Saturday, November 12.
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Shit Robot (left) and Juan Maclean (right). Photo courtesy of Tim Sweeney.
In the late 1960s, Eldridge Cleaver became a leading voice in the Black Panther movement, advocating for black American political, intellectual, and social power during the Civil Rights movement of the time. Having penned a series of best-selling essays in 1968 entitled Soul of Ice, Cleaver gave readers a portal into his complicated, fascinating life’s journey. He traversed the country’s legal and political systems as a convict, critic, and activist. Decades later, Cleaver’s legacy lives on through his powerful quotes, essays, and teachings. In some cases, we even feel his legacy through music.
Enter DFA’s Juan Maclean (of live group The Juan Maclean) and Marcus Lambkin (of Shit Robot), who are marking Election Day by sharing a politically-tinged techno track that samples Cleaver giving a speech of one of his essays in 1968 in Syracuse, New York. Simply titled “Soul of Ice,” Maclean and Lambkin’s track, which will appear on a collaborative EP out on Let’s Play House in early 2017, is pretty simple overallthe pair layer a distorted 808 and funky sh101 bassline over Cleaver’s speech about the troubled climate between Republicans and Democrats. Check out what Juan Maclean had to say about the project below, as well as the track below that. And if you haven’t already, get out there and vote!
“We were in Marcus’ studio in his castle in Germany, messing around with the 808 and the sh101, when we came up with this wicked groove,” he explained. “At one point, Juan cued up the recording of the Eldridge Cleaver speech and just let it play, and it seemed to magically line up , Luckily, we were recording the entire time. Though we thought we’d just take a few lines or words, as we listened to it we became captivated by what he was saying and it’s relevance to the political climate in the United States in 2016, so we let it play out. It seemed a shame to edit it down so we kept it at the 8.5 minutes, a DJ bathroom break record!”
After recently announcing he’d be playing his last live gig”solo or otherwise”in the UK in December, enigmatic British artist Dean Blunt has shared a new video featuring Swedish rapper Yung Lean.
Set to his song “Fronto Kings,” the lo-fi clip credited to “Dean Blunt & Jonatanleandoer12” sees him and the Sad Boys ringleader prowling some darkened streets. In typical Blunt fashion, there’s little additional info, save a caption that reads “Wuthering heights stockholm2016.” However, the connection sort of makes sense when you consider that Blunt used to put out releases on the defunct label Hippos In Tanks, and Lean was once managed by that label’s co-founder Barron Machat, who passed away in 2015.
Watch the clip above and read our 2016 profile of Sad Boys producer Gud here.
Max Mertens is on Twitter.
Photo courtesy of Walter on Flickr
The City of Orlando reached a deal this past Friday to buy Pulse nightclub, and plans to turn the site of the horrific June 12 massacre into a memorial. The city and the club’s owners negotiated a price of $2.25 million. In order for the deal to go through definitively, it must be approved by the Orlando City Council, which will meet to make a decision next week.
Mayor Buddy Dyer announced plans to leave the club as-is for 12 to 18 months in a video posted to Twitter today, leaving mourners from the community and around the country a little more time before it is changed in some way. As of now there are no official plans for what shape the memorial will eventually take, and Dyer said he wants that to arrange a system so that process can be informed by community input.
In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, he said the ultimate goal was to “create something to honor the memory of the victims that are deceased those that were injured, and a testament to the resilience of our community.”
On July 7, venue co-owner Barbara Pomo formed a not-for-profit corporation called OnePulse Foundation with the purpose of “conceiving, funding and aiding in the construction of a permanent memorial on the existing Pulse site.”
In late June, Pulse’s resident DJs opened up about life after the Orlando shooting. Pulse was founded on love, respect, and acceptance in 2004: read the story of the club’s history as told by club patrons and nonprofit partners.
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Photo by Daniel Huertero
Los Angeles producer Sage Caswell has shared a new track off his forthcoming debut album Hoop Earring on San Francisco imprint Spring Theory. Settled deep in a cloud of sticky fog, the track is kept on its feet by a polyrhythmic bass foundation and modest house beat, hovering in distraction somewhere between confusion and bliss.
THUMP spoke to the producer about the track and his forthcoming record via email, and learned about how it relates to spirituality, ancient processes climate change, and why Spring Theory was such a good fit.
How would you characterize “All of Gardens”? What was the production process like?
Sage Caswell: “All of Gardens” feels to me like how I feel after I wake up from a dream, though it’s literally named after a picture from the internet. I started it at my apartment on my computer and ended up finishing it months later at a studio in Glassell Park. Of all of the tracks on the record, this one was started first and finished last.
You have talked about Hoop Earring as a very spiritual record. Can you expand on this? What is your personal relationship with spirituality?
I think that in order to create music, or art in general, there has to be some sort of instinctual desire to put what you want into the world. The process of creating music is cathartic and I consider my personal relationship with spirituality to be abstract.
In the press release you say that the LP is like The Younger Dryas of your younger life, in reference to an abrupt change in the earth’s climate from a glacial to an interglacial state about 14,500 years ago. This is a highly specific reference point–can you explain what you meant by the metaphor?
In referencing this, I meant to suggest an abrupt change in how I felt about my life, and the people and things going on around me. The songs that shape the record all played a part throughout a transitional and reflective period that I feel like Hoop Earring bookends.
What made Spring Theory the right home for this album?
I’d previously given Guillaume (who runs Spring Theory) access to all of my demos and we’d discussed doing another record after Sleep Quarters. I recognized that he really cared about the tracks I was sending him and it just made sense to commit to doing a full length when he approached me about it. Over the course of our working relationship we’ve forged a friendship I think is really real, and I think that’s cool.
Hoop Earring will be released December 1 on 2LP and digital formats, and is available for pre-order.
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When it came time to find an interviewer to talk to Tanya Tagaq about her latest record, Retribution, there was no better choice than Joseph Boyden.
The award-winning Ontario-born, New Orleans-based novelist is longtime friends with the Inuk experimental throat singerwho has collaborated with the likes of Bjrk, Faith No More’s Mike Patton, Fucked Up, and otherswhile both their work addresses Indigenous issues across the country, past and present. In 2014, they even worked together on a ballet written by Boyden called Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation about the Canadian residential school system (which Tagaq attended in high school), featuring music by the mother of two and the Northern Cree Singers.
We invited them into the VICE office in Toronto to have an intimate conversation about the artist’s fourth and perhaps most urgent studio album to date, which follows her 2014 Polaris Prize-winning Animism, and addresses the “rape of women, rape of the land, rape of children, despoiling of traditional lands without consent.” Over the course of their chat, they discuss Tagaq’s unique singing style, why the record is an “alarm call to start treating people better and the earth better,” and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment to Indigenous rights.
Watch the interview above and the singer’s “Retribution” music video here.
Retribution is out now on Six Shooter Records.
Photo by Camille Blake
Russian DJ and label boss Nina Kraviz announced that she’s at the helm for fabric 91, serving up a whopping 41 tracks for the occasion. The tracklist features 12 unreleased tracks in total, including two from Kraviz herself and several others forthcoming on her label by artists such as PTU, Nikita Zabelin, and Bjarki.
The styles featured on the mix range from 90s Russian IDM as delivered by Moscow’s Species of Fishes, Hague electro courtesy of Bunker Records affiliates Unit Moebius, and ambient-tinged hardcore by none other than Richard D. James, under his AFX alias. None of the tracks featured are current releases; they are either archival or forthcoming.
If you live in Brazil or are planning to be there in February, Kraviz will perform the inaugural Dekmantel So Paulo festival alongisde Nicolas Jarr and Jeff Mills. Meanwhile, Fabric will appeal for its future in court at the end of the month, and they released a 111-track fundraising compilation last week.
fabric 91 will be out December 9 and is available for preorder.
fabric 91 artwork courtesy of the label.
fabric 91 tracklist:
1. Species of Fishes Tak
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Photo credit: Emily Kinsolvin
In about four hours we’ll have a new president, and it’s safe to say people are freaking out just a bit. If there’s one thing that can help ease your angsty mind for the time being, while also capturing the frantic vibe of the day, it’s a hypnotic techno mix. Thanks to Mary Yuzovskaya, one of Brooklyn’s most promising DJ upstarts, we now have such a remedy at our disposal. Yuzovskaya will be joining NYC legend Levon Vincent and New Jersey’s Joey Anderson this Friday, for an all-night techno blowout at a secret Brooklyn location as part of this year’s BEMF festival. Check out what Mary had to say about the mix below, as well as the audio below that.
“This mix mostly consists of my newest records. They’re not all the newest releases, but they are definitely the newest in my collection. This recording is dancefloor friendly, but also very deep and hypnotic, just as I like it the most. It’s like the vibe that I’ll create on the dancefloor at the BEMF event on November 11hypnotic yet dynamic. As most of my mixes are, it’s also vinyl only. Oh and since we are on the subject: a couple days before I was requested to record this mix both of my turntables died. I would like to say thank you to my friend and Resolute resident Maxim for inviting me to his house and allowing me to use all his gear to make this mix happen.”
Grab tickets to Friday’s BEMF party on Ticketfly.
Synthek “Distress Mode”
Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr
Donald Trump is President of the United States of America. Say it a couple of times, wrap your lips around the words, your head around the idea. Donald Trump is President of the United States of America. What you’re doing now, in response to this news, could range anywhere between drafting impassioned tweets about the failure of pollsters, to stocking up on canned foods and kevlar, from planning your migration across the Canadian border, to starting bonfires in the street. We can’t tell you what the right reaction is, but what we can tell is how your favourite DJs and artists have reacted. Here are some of our favourite doom-ridden, downtrodden responses:
1. Mykki Blanco
2. Fatima Al Qadiri
3. The Black Madonna
5. Derrick Carter
6. J.G. Biberkopf
7. Dawn Richard
8. Flying Lotus
9. Jacques Greene
Release artwork courtesy of the label
London producer Daniel Avery has shared a stream of his immersive DJ-Kicks mix ahead of its full release on Friday. The 17-track session marks the Phantasy Sound-affiliated artist’s second commercial mix, following 2012’s Fabriclive 66, and focuses largely on atmospheric strands of desolate techno, ranging in tone from frigid to windingly acidic.
Along with tracks by the likes of Luke Slater’s Planetary Assault Systems project, Infrastructure New York producer Post Scriptum, and the Ulwhednar duo aka Abdulla Rashim and Varg, the mix features three new original tracks by Avery himself. Those include “A Mechanical Sky” and “Space Echo,” as well as “Look In Your Eyes,” produced in collaboration with Volte-Face as Rote.
Avery described his DJing approach to THUMP in an October interview: “As a DJ, it’s way more important if I can look out into a crowd several hours into a set and see people with their eyes closed lost in a moment and overwhelmed by the music rather than wild-eyed and pumping fists,” he said. “I’m way more interested in that idea of getting locked into a different world for hours and hours.”
The release is available to stream via DJ-Kicks’ website, and will be out on vinyl, CD, and digital formats November 11.
DJ-Kicks: Daniel Avery tracklist:
1. In Aeternam Vale – Soundscape I
2. Daniel Avery – Sensation (Rrose Remix)
3. Shlmo – Vertigo
4. Planetary Assault Systems – Dungeon
5. Ekserd – Hidden Document II (Svreca Remix)
6. BLNDR – Untitled 3 (Modvs Remix)
7. Ulwhednar – Stortorget
8. Artefakt – The Fifth Planet
9. Post Scriptum – Donbelief
10. JP Enfant – Sirens
11. IORI – Maya // Rote – Look In Your Eyes
12. Lewis Fautzi – Blood
13. Daniel Avery – A Mechanical Sky (DJ-Kicks)
14. Slam – Cirklon Bells (Edit-Select Remix)
15. Daniel Avery – Space Echo
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Photo by Jessica Dimmock
Following the election of Donald Trump by a plurality of American voters, musicians and artists across the political spectrum have had to grapplelike the rest of uswith a new understanding of the people that make up this country. But few have had harsher words for the United States than Moby, who took to his Instagram account starting in the hours before the Associated Press’ decision to call the election in favor of Trump.
Posting a few images of stark black text on a white background, he began: “America, you are so much more racist and misogynistic than I ever imagined.” In a caption he explained himself further. “The USA is an inch away from electing a man who has ruined businesses, bragged about sexually assaulting women, and spewed racist hate speech,” he wrote. “America you are breaking my heart.”
The California-based producer has continued posting throughout the day, questioning the electoral college and praising the work that many did to attempt to elect Hillary Clinton. He also gets in a few more jabs at Trump, calling him an “ignorant bigot,” “a hateful racist,” and a “misogynist”all descriptions that seem to line up with the words and actions of the man just elected as the president of this country. His first post after the results were confirmed poses a question that’s been running through the minds of many over the last 12 hours: “What the fuck have you done???”