Stream A New Track From Michael Mayer And Joe Goddard That's Just "For You"

For nearly two decades now, Kompakt co-founder Michael Mayer’s been one of our favourite DJs and producers. From the absolutely essential fabric 13 and Immer mixes to mindblowing 12″s like “Love is Stronger than Pride” and “Privat”, when it comes to pristine, sad-eyed, stargazingly romantic house and techno, no one comes close.

And that’s why the recent announcement of a brand new album had us so excited here at THUMP HQ. &, which arrives on the 28th of October via !K7, sees the Cologne man team up with a series of collaborators for an album that keeps his track record impeccable. Featuring everyone from Roman Flugel to Miss Kitten, Prins Thomas to Barnt, the album’s a consistent treat, and you’ll love it as much as we do.

As a sneak preview, why not have a listen to the Joe Goddard featuring “For You”, which is just as dewy-eyed as you’d expect. For us sadlads raised out in the sticks on a strict diet of melancholy-microhouse and weary, weepy arch-electropop, “For You” is a perfect reminder that the things you held dear as a teenager will always have a hold over you. Goddard’s doleful vocal shuffles over the kind of marching bassline that Mayer knows how to deploy to absolutely stunning effect, whilecosmic synth droplets peal off into the distance, echoing into the eternal nothing that’s going to claim us all one day.

Tuck into it exclusively here on THUMP right now.

& is out on the 28th of October via !K7

Producing Dance Music Helped Me Cope With Schizophrenia And Saved My Life

“ONE two THREE four.” Kick drum thumps on the one; snare snaps on the three. There’s order on the dance floor: rhythms, repetition, structure, phrasing. Schizophrenia is the antithesis of ordera disorder of disorder. My thoughts come apart: My thouas ce mogh arpat. So I turn up the bass and follow along “ONE two THREE four.” I roll up a spliff and write a song.

I toiled through much of my late teens and early twenties from 2009 to 2012, unknowingly developing and then succumbing to a web of delusion and paranoia driven by hallucinations. The process was as engulfing and terrifying as a nightmare without the release of waking up. It ended in handcuffs and a hospitalization.

I started producing music at twenty-three, in the fall of 2012, on the way back from my first and only major psychotic episode. (I still experience intermittent symptoms of psychosis.) I write on my way back, because I’m still working on it; it’s the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced. The first step was admitting to myself that the torture I had experienced over the preceding several months was a product of my mind and had no basis in reality. They weren’t sending me coded messages. They weren’t watching me constantly; they weren’t screaming when I needed to sleep. There was no they. When I realized I had a lifetime of illness to look forward to, suicidal may not be strong enough a word to describe how I felt.

The next step was deciding I wasn’t ready to die. But if I was going to keep going, I was going to need a reason to. I couldn’t think of anything better to focus on than the one thing which made my newly inherited misery subside, even if only momentarily: music and the community around it.

I began my induction into electronic music when my symptoms were starting to get bad, but before they took a turn for the worse. I was living and going to school in New York City. A few good friends and I were on the dancefloor as often as we were able, worshipping at the altar of the soundsystem. We heard Boys Noize work methodically at Webster Hall, watched A-Trak juggle Robot Rock at Terminal Five, and felt the wall of bass at the first Reconstrvct events in Bushwick (Big up Joe Nice!). I was happiest on the dancefloor. It was ecstatic.

I started making music because it made me feel like I was still connected to that world, even if I was just listening in my headphones in my childhood bedroom or in an art studio in downtown Lowell, Massachusetts, where I live. Lowell is a small city 45 minutes northwest of Boston, but its history and culture distinguishes it from other Boston suburbs. We are home to the largest proportion of Khmer(Cambodian)-Americans in the United States, made up of people who fled the 1979 genocide. Lowell also survived a major crack epidemic in the 90s that was documented in the HBO show “High on Crack Street.” The city still carries the weight of violence, addiction, and poverty, but despite its history of trauma, there’s so much life here. The city is full of art, with brilliant writers, visual artists, and musicians working and interacting. I bartend and serve food at UnChArted, a gallery at the crux of the art community. Upstairs, the gallery supplies studio spaces for artist to use, which is where I write my music now, working out ideas on an old electric piano, lifted.

Schizophrenia is a disorder of which relatively little is understood. The symptoms, which vary from person to person, are well-documented. But the mechanisms, which produce the symptoms, are only shallowly comprehended. The prevailing explanation is called “The Dopamine Hypothesis,” and my amateurish understanding is that schizophrenia is caused by the brain’s inability to regulate dopamine production and reception. Dopamine is a lifeblood, in that it serves many functions in the brain. Current treatments inhibit the flow of dopamine imprecisely, which leaves me feeling stifled and sedated.

Personally, I understand my schizophrenia as a cluster of disorders. There are the readily recognized symptoms of psychosis: hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. The are also symptoms of thought disorderdisorganized or broken thinkingas well as symptoms reminiscent of Autism spectrum disorders, like hypersensitivity and social anxiety. I have motor-tics associated with Tourette’s syndrome. Depression, from which I suffer, is a mood disorder. I’m also conscious of distressing traits in myself that call to mind OCD, BPD, and PTSD.

My schizophrenia is a minefield, but writing music transcends it. Electronic music lends itself to the task serendipitously, because it is music to be experienced first, and intellectualized second. It’s a music to move your body, a music to trigger instinct. When I began making music, I was free to feel my way through it, even if I was almost completely ignorant of the theory behind it. I was free to express myself with no real consequence and was rewarded with a song for my efforts. I could share my songs with friends, which helped me stay connected to the world through my music when much of the time I couldn’t see past my symptoms and felt the need to retreat.

So I kept producing, and still do something musical every day, whether it’s learning some theory, fooling around on the keyboard, or writing a song. I produce electronic music because I like the way it makes me feel. If you love music, you’ll fall head over heels into the universe, because music is innate and infinite.

I taught my first music production class this summer at an alternative high school in the Lower-Highlands neighborhood of Lowell for students who don’t fit into more conventional classrooms. It was one of the most frustrating but rewarding experiences of my life. I guess I’d kind of forgotten how hard it can be to be a fourteen year old, let alone a fourteen year old facing the socio-economic challenges these kids are facing. I ended up forming my first group project with two brilliant young artists I’ve met in Lowell. We’re called Arty $lang. I’m also producing my solo music as Madhatter. My music brings together the dance music of my formative years with a lifelong love of hip-hop and collides them with lessons learned under the tutelage of local noise, jazz, and punk musicians.

I’m still dreaming of the day I can come home to New York City and feel those kick drums thumping in my chest again, smack my lips at the snare’s snap. But I’ll be forever grateful for the humbling lessons I’ve learned from the beautiful people I’ve met, fighting my madness in The Mill City.

Bossa Nova Civic Club Is Hosting A Haiti Fundraiser Tonight

Artwork for Bushwick Is Melting Volume 2 courtesy of the club

Bushwick nightclub Bossa Nova Civic Club is throwing a fundraiser tonight for the victims in Haiti affected by Hurricane Matthew. The category four hurricane hit the country on Tuesday last week and left a death toll that has since passed 1,000. The Brooklyn event was organized by Haitian-American DJ Sybil Jason, and will feature sets from sound artist Maria Chavez, Blacklauren of The Long Count Cycle, and more. 25 percent of bar sales for the night will go to The Lambi Fund of Haiti, a not for profit organization whose mission is “to assist the popular, democratic movement in Haiti,” according to its website.

Jason explained what motivated her to put the event together in an interview with Paper: “Usually in these situations it’s kind of hard to assess what should be done,” she said. ” is part of who I amI was born in Brooklyn and raised thereit’s my homeland. During the earthquake, I felt helpless. Now, instead of feeling helpless and upset about it, I’m glad I’ve been given an opportunity to help.”

Describing her choice to direct the proceeds to The Lambi Fund, she said, “The world donates so much money to the Red Cross and all these big-box organizations, and then found out their money didn’t go anywhere.” An investigation by NPR/ProPublica found the $500 million donated to the American Red Cross after the hugely destructive 2010 earthquake in Haiti had been grossly mismanaged.

You can RSVP for the event on Facebook.

Follow Alexander on Twitter.

Afrika Bambaataa Allegedly Molested Young Men For Decades. Why Are The Accusations Only Coming Out Now?

Ron Savage at the Castle Hill Houses, where he grew up. Photo by Cole Wilson.

This story appeared in the October Music issue of VICE magazine, a collaboration with THUMP and NOISEY. Click HERE to subscribe.

Ron Savage grew up in the poverty-stricken Castle Hill section of the Bronx in the 1970s. On the streets, gang violence was a fixture of day-to-day life. At home, he lived in fear of his dad, a drunk who terrorized him and his sister and abused their mother.

One of the few respites he had was the neighborhood hip-hop party, thrown regularly at the Center, a community space in the Bronx River Houses. DJs played breakbeats from soul, funk, rock, and Latin records while b-boys danced and MCs rhymed. The parties drew droves of people, especially teenagers.

It was at one of these parties, in 1979, that Savage met Afrika Bambaataa, the mysterious and eccentric visionary who, alongside DJ Kool Herc and DJ Jazzy Jay, is considered one of hip-hop’s founding figures. A longtime resident of the Bronx River Houses and former warlord of the gang the Black Spades, Bambaataa, among others, identified the four pillars of the nascent subcultureb-boying, MCing, DJing, and graffiti writinglater adding to it a fifth: knowledge. In a few years, he would release “Planet Rock,” widely credited with launching him and the Universal Zulu Nationthe hip-hop and African American advocacy organization he conceived of in 1973to international stardom. Today, the Zulu Nation counts hip-hop royalty like Nas, Lil Wayne, and Big Boi as affiliates, in addition to younger rappers like Joey Bada$ and Freddie Gibbs. Acclaimed TV series The Get Downnot to mention countless documentaries and a recent showcase at Cornell Universitycredit Bambaataa with uniting a divided neighborhood, offering a way out of gang life, and helping to launch a movement that would place African American art forms at the center of global popular culture.

“To me, he was cool. He was like a god,” Savage, now 50, told me. “It was like, ‘This is the guy I had always heard about.’ Everybody knew who Afrika Bambaataa was back then.”

Savage immersed himself in this new world. He began carrying records to parties for Bambaataa’s partner, DJ Jazzy Jay. He loved how Bambaataa gave him and the other neighborhood kids special attention and remembers how the DJ would buy all the kids burgers from White Castle after getting paid for a gig.

Afrika Bambaataa appears in an official Universal Zulu Nation publicity photo from 1990. Notables pictured in the group are deceased member Lucky Strike (far left); Crazy Legs, from the Rock Steady Crew (far right); and Zulu member “King Righteous,” kneeling to the right. Other individuals are unidentified. All archival courtesy of rushtown298 unless otherwise noted.

“He was a father figure to me,” Savage recalled. “I looked up to him as someone doing something positive. I looked at him as a role model, because the role model I looked up to in my house was an alcoholic. I used to see my father always arguing and fighting with my mother, and I didn’t see that in Bam. So that’s how I had the attachment to him.

Savage said the attachment brought him very closetoo closeto Bambaataa. In late March, Savage made headlines when he became the first of a series of men to accuse Bambaataa in the media of sexual abuse. In back-to-back interviews, first with controversial radio host DJ Star on his YouTube channel, the Star Chamber, and later in the New York Daily News, he graphically described how Bambaataa allegedly molested him when he was just 15. Since his accusations came out, at least three more men have accused Bambaataa of sexually abusing them when they were teenagers. Meanwhile, Bambaataa is at-large, his whereabouts unknown.

The accusers, three of whom spoke extensively to me for this story, claim that these accounts of alleged abuse have been common knowledge in the Bronx River community and beyond since the early 80s, including among many of Bambaataa’s closest friends and Zulu soldiers. They tell of a decades-long cover-up by the Zulu Nation and a hidden network of victims whose lives were allegedly haunted by death threats, suicides, drug abuse, and violence. Beneath the disturbing headlines, two questions remain: How could the Zulu Nation have known about this for years, as the accusers and others claim, yet never done anything to stop it? And how did Bambaataaa man universally hailed for decades as a musical pioneer and community heromanage to evade public scrutiny for more than 30 years?

The Castle Hill houses. Photo by Cole Wilson.

Back in the mid 70s, the South Bronx epitomized urban decay. The Cross Bronx Expressway, completed a decade earlier, had cut the area in half; by the 60s and 70s, property values had plummeted, racial tensions ran high, and more than 20 percent of the populationmostly middle class and whitehad fled. Murder rates tripled, and arsons ravaged entire neighborhoods. President Carter called a 1977 visit to the neighborhood “sobering,” and President Reagan compared it to London after the Blitz of World War II.

Amid the poverty and chaos, street gangs with names like the Black Spades, the Savage Nomads, the Seven Immortals, and the Savage Skulls sprang up to take charge. While the gangs provided protection for local residents and gave aimless young men with no opportunity a purpose and sense of belonging, they quickly became notorious for running drug, prostitution, and theft rackets, and engaging in staggering episodes of bloody urban warfare.

Bambaataa, a member of the Black Spades, decided in 1973 to create an organization that would offer an alternative to the gangs that were wreaking havoc on the neighborhood. He called it the Universal Zulu Nation, named after the 1964 war film Zulu and inspired by the Afrocentric and Black Power ideologies that emerged in the late 60s. Members were required to follow a strict moral code focused on self-improvement, closeness to God, community service, and universal equality. Bambaataa called those who succeeded “King” or “Queen,” as a show of respect to improve self-esteem.

Over the next few decades, the organization expanded its activities, which now include planting communal gardens, running neighborhood-watch patrols and after-school programs, organizing urban-reclamation projects, and even providing free legal services to members. Zulus also threw hip-hop block parties and promoted and managed concerts for the genre’s earliest artists, especially Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force. Today, the Zulu Nation has dozens of active chapters across the US, as well as in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, France, Honduras, New Zealand, Australia, and Belgium, among other countries.

In 1982, Bambaataa struck gold with “Planet Rock,” a futuristic electro-rap track that was fueled by TR-808 drum beats and spacey synthesizers. It became a massive local club hit and then a global sensation, one that would open the door for rappers and electronic-music producers across the world. The success of “Planet Rock” made the Zulu Nation a lucrative entertainment business, while an affiliated security arm called the Zulu Warriors provided additional jobs for members. The Zulu Warriors handle concert and VIP security and have been responsible for protecting dozens of artists for years, including Jay Z, Nas, Busta Rhymes, A$AP Ferg, Lauryn Hill, and others.

Party flyer from the T-Connection in the Bronx, 1981.

Savage joined the Baby Zulus, an apprentice group for future Zulus, earned the Zulu nickname “Bee-Stinger” (which he keeps today), and became a “crate boy,” an unpaid position that entailed carrying records and gear for Zulu DJs. It was a goal for many poor, disenfranchised kids in the neighborhood.

“Crate boys are pretty common in hip-hopapprentice DJs trying to learn the craft or looking for a career in the music industry,” Steven Hager, a hip-hop historian and former New York Daily News and Village Voice reporter, told me in an email interview. “But nobody cultivated or recruited them like Bam.”

Savage loved being part of the Zulus, hanging out at the Center parties and having a front-row seat to the birth of hip-hop. But in 1980, just two years before Bambaataa’s career really took off with “Planet Rock,” everything changed. One day that year, when Savage was 15, he said Bambaataa sent a cab to Adlai E. Stevenson High School on Lafayette Avenue to pick him up. Savage, a freshman, ditched class, got in the cab, and was driven to Bambaataa’s house in the Baychester section of the Bronx. Inside the house, Savage was met by Bambaataa and another man, who Savage wouldn’t identify.

“There was a guy there, and Bam said that I could watch TV in the room. When I went in the room, there was a photo book… on the bed,” Savage recalled. “It ills when he is the one who has caused this pain.”

Ron Savage near the Castle Hill houses. Photo by Cole Wilson.

There are also signs that the Bronx River community where Savage, Campbell, and Troy grew up is beginning to address wounds from the scandal. In August, a meeting focused on sexual-abuse awareness and victim support was held at the Bronx River Houses with members of the Association of Black Psychologists, the National Association of Black Social Workers, and Black Psychiatrists of America.

The scandal comes amid a renewed mainstream interest in old-school hip-hop and the genre’s roots, fueled partly by the success of Baz Luhrmann’s new Netflix series, The Get Down, the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, and a slew of documentaries, including Ice-T’s Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap and Shan Nicholson’s chronicle of gang culture in the Bronx, Rubble Kings, in which Bambaataa plays a prominent role. And while Bambaataa’s brand has certainly taken an irreparable hit from the accusations, his impact on pop culture continues. Most recently, he was a consultant, along with many of hip-hop’s founding figures, on The Get Down. (Emails to Luhrmann’s attorney were not returned.) Bambaataa’s massive memorabilia and record collection remains at Cornell University, where he’s been a visiting scholar. But Sirius XM Radio’s Backspin channel, which for years aired his ZuluBeatz mix show, has canceled it, a spokeswoman said.

Still, unlike the scandals surrounding black icons like Bill Cosby and Michael Jackson, the media has largely ignored the Bambaataa case. Part of that is probably due to Bambaataa’s fading celebrity, but it also could stem from another unfortunately common fact of newsroom decisions: The alleged victims are from poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods, where despair and tragedy are often taken as a fact of life. And some say there are racial elements at play as well.

Meanwhile, no one I interviewed for this article seems to know exactly where Bambaataa is, or at least they won’t say so publicly. Some speculate that he is hiding in the UK. Others say Chicago or Connecticut. Bambaataa’s attorney, Vivian K. Tozaki, declined to comment for this story. My attempts to reach Bambaataa through Tozaki and social-media channels were unsuccessful. Zulu King EL One said of Bambaataa: “He’s just completely fallen off the radarhe’s kind of just disappeared.”

On a recent, scorching day in East Harlem, the scene at Poor Richard’s Playground on 109th Street and Third Avenue felt like a throwback to hip-hop’s scruffy beginnings. Poppers and lockers practiced their moves on the tarmac. Young men worked up a sweat playing handball. Over at the DJ stand, DJ Jazzy Jaythe groundbreaking turntablist who released the first record with the iconic logo of Rick Rubin’s Def Jam Recordstook his turn at the decks.

Held every Thursday in playgrounds across the Bronx, the park jams are modeled after the legendary original throwdowns at the Center. They are like a living, breathing museum of hip-hop history, attracting a who’s who of the genre’s formative years, many of whom are members or affiliates of the Zulu Nation. Bambaataa attended the park jams for years but has been conspicuously absent since the allegations surfaced.

Savage, dressed in a fuchsia polo, pressed gray denims, and sleek gray Nikes, smiled, laughed, and bobbed his head as Jazzy Jay dropped a dusty breakbeat groove from the Meters. He said he was unfazed by the Zulus and Black Spades, some of whom are longtime friends of Bambaataa’s and are angry with him and the others for going public. Savage was at ease, called the Zulus there his “friends,” and said he harbored no ill will toward the organization as a whole. Like the other two alleged victims I interviewed for this piece, he said he’s not considering any legal action against Bambaataa but would like an acknowledgement and an apology.

Since making his accusations public, Savage said he’s made it his mission to help protect a new generation of kids in the Bronx. He spoke about working with an organization called ULULY that focuses on utilizing hip-hop in education, and has launched a new awareness campaign for child sex abuse that he’s seeking to have implemented in New York schools.

Nearby, some children splashed in a water fountain. “I feel good that I spoke up,” Savage said. “But I wish I had the courage to come out when I was younger, so I could have saved other kids.”

Kode9's Rinse FM Residency Ends After 13 Years

Photo by Philip Skoczkowski

For lovers of adventurous bass music, there are few DJs with pedigree comparable to that of Glasgow-born, London-based DJ Kode9. For 13 years, his regular Hyperdub slot on Rinse FM has been an indispensable resource for keeping up with the most forward-thinking beats from across the globe, and this morning he announced that yesterday’s show evening was the last ever.

Longtime label affiliate Cooly G was also there to play for the show’s second hour, and they dedicated the whole thing to the late, great footwork pioneer DJ Rashad, as it would have been his birthday. Kode9 was an early advocate for footwork and DJ Rashad’s work in particular, releasing his widely-celebrated LP Double Cup on Hyperdub in 2013 as well as the posthumous tribute album Afterlife earlier this year.

Kode9 has done the show consistently since 2003, except for taking a little time off from it in 2009; listen back to the final show below.

Watch A 'Save Fabric' Video Appeal Hosted By Artwork

Despite its name continually being referred to in the past tense, it’s important to remember that fabric’s fate hasn’t actually been sealed yet. The club has an appeal date setNovember 28and their campaign to raise legal funds has already seen them pull in nearly 300,000 in donations. Yet the struggle continues, and the club needs to rally even more in the way of support if it’s going to stand up to the draconian revocation it’s being threatened with. In order to aid this process, the Night Time Industries Association have put together a video appeal, hosted by Artwork and featuring a slew of DJs who have been affected or influenced by the club in some way or another. It’s a rousing battlecry and a well executed reminder of exactly why this is so important.

If that’s got you all fired up, you can donate to the appeal here.

Kode9, Ron Morelli, Addison Groove, And The Seven Best Things We Heard This Week

I’m fed up of writing what a terrible, dreadful, concerning week it’s been. I’m fed up of saying either “so here are some suitably aggressive selections from this week” or “so here are some uplifting balmy breezers to take your mind off things”. With that in mind, here are seven tracks and mixes from this week that bear absolutely no correlation to the week’s eventssome are tense, some blissful, some roof-raising, and some so ambient you’ll barely have noticed they’ve started. First, there are the fruits of Kode9’s trip to Japan with Boiler Room, then there’s a stark new cut from Struction on R&S, followed by a typically intricate number from David August. Addison Groove and Sam Binga’s recent stint on Radio 1 has just hit SoundCloud, alongside a fractured NTS show from Ron Morelli and a gooey hour of balearic from Zombies In Miami. Then, finally, enjoy a very special mix from Marcel Vogel, representing Lumberjacks in Hell who are celebrating six years in business.

1. Kode9 & DJ Fulltono – TKO

2. Struction – Ai

3. David August – The Spell

4. Addison Groove B2B Sam Binga – BBC Radio One Residency

5. Ron Morelli – NTS Radio Residency

6. Zombies In Miami – Clandestino 087

7. Marcel Vogel – 6 Years of LiH (Red Light Radio)

Follow Angus on Twitter.

Talking Shitty EDM And House Music As An Artform With Kenny Dope

Kenny Dope, via RBMA.

Right now the UK dance scene seems to be all about debate. The battle to retain a culture so many revelers and ravers hold dear to their hearts is very much on, with the police and the statein London at leastvery much a threat.

Over in Germany, and specifically Berlin, the picture looks markedly different, with Berghain recently being given the same status as museums and galleries by some unarguably forward thinking local authorities. All of which raises a very serious question: away from Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, is electronic music taken seriously enough as an artistic and cultural pursuit by the powers that be?

The obvious answer would be a straight-up “no”, but when a subject is this important it warrants a little more consideration than that. This month the Red Bull Music Academy tour hits two British citiesfirst Liverpool, and then Leedsan entity that’s all about promoting bass and beats as something more. Something more than simply fuel for debauched evenings out that may or may not end in someone being sick on another person’s shoe, at least.

For the Merseyside leg the legendary Kenny Dope, one half of Masters At Work and a decade-spanning house music originator, is among the names involved, and as such the time seemed right to give him a call and ask his opinion on a few things not least whether or not he sees enough being done to nurture aspiring talent, and support for the scene in general. This is what he had to say.

THUMP: Hey Kenny, hope you’re good today? So why do you think events like RBMA are important?
Kenny Dope: I’m good, thanks. Well I’ve done quite a few RBMA events, lectures and so on. It’s fun, and I’ve always welcomed the opportunity to pass on information, let kids know the good things and the bad things to do. It’s good to see the energy in people’s eyes, the hunger. They want to learn, and you learn from them too.

In terms of your own view on where things are at the moment with house musicare things looking positive or not?
I think it’s in a great space, honestly. I love what kids are doingthe technology available is making things happen so much faster. You have to understand, when I was making tunes in the 90s it could take three days to finish a track because of how they had to be recorded. Now I can travel with my laptop, and do the same thing in three hours.

It almost feels like things are at the beginning again, like when I was first starting out. The kids are making raw tracks, which I love, and the vocals will come into play again soon I’m sure. Right now everything is about technonot loud, noisy, 160BPM stuff, I’m talking about really funky stuff, which to me is really just straight house music.

And what about the cultural value of the scene itself? Is there enough support out there?
Well, one thing I gotta say is thiswhen I was coming up, “a DJ” wasn’t really a profession. I remember when I told my mum I wanted to play records she thought I was fucking crazy. It’s not like saying “I want to become a doctor”, or a lawyer, or whatever, going to college and stuff. You’re not a musician or anything, you play other people’s records. Now, with the right team, the right brains, the right promotion and network, this is very much a profession. I know guys that are making anywhere between $5 and $20 million a year playing those records. And, you know what, you don’t have to sell out, and you ain’t gotta sound like the next man.

Obviously it’s going to start small, you’re not going to walk in and start doing arenas straight off. Or if you do you’ll be gone the next year. But I do think things are in a great place right now and this is a definite sign. It’s really all about what you do as an individual.

And how about people seeing house music as an art form. Is that even a relevant argument?
Let’s be realistic here. A couple of years ago we had R&B singers using house music in their music. If you listen to Neo, Justin Timberlake, the commercial side of things, that’s also house music. So the whole thing has broadened, and that’s what I mean with it coming back to that original stage again.

For a minute things seemed to get really weighed down with the whole syncing thing. A few of the really big guys got caught not playing live, and that definitely bothered me. Someone walks on stage with a USB stick and the kids have no idea they just paid $100 to see an artist they admire who isn’t actually doing anything. That side of the art form is where things have become a little bit ridiculous, and so I totally get what you mean on that side of it all.

The irony is that electronic music has always been scorned, with naysayers claiming it’s not a real form of music, simply because it’s made from synths or because turntables are not “instruments”…
A turntable is an instrument, it’s just a different kind of instrument. If I gave a guitarist a turntable and told them to mix tracks together they wouldn’t be able to do it, in the same way that if a guitarist gave me a guitar I’m not going to play that shit. I mean, I know DJs that were playing in musical keys long before a computer could even identify them. They would play for a few hours and keep taking the music up and up because they knew how to use keys properly. But I understand the criticisms. When the whole EDM thing started up, that shit was just noise.

You were not a fan then?
It was the same record, pretty much, over and over again. You could take two tracks and play them together and you’d see they broke down at the same time, dropped at the same time. So I get it, what people say about that sound, but as with everything else it comes down to the people playing it and the people making it, and their integrity.

Last night I played Hyte in Ibiza with Loco Dice, record for record back-to-back for seven hours. Do you know the mind and vision you need to keep bouncing back and forth for that long? I don’t know what he’s going to play next, he doesn’t know what I’m going to play. But we have to create an experience, we have to elevate the people, on the spot. I have to compliment his selections, and he has to compliment mine. That’s an art form in itself, because if you play the wrong record you’re going to lose the crowd

Kenny Dope performs at The Immortal Sounds of Hip House tonight, as part of Red Bull Music Academy’s UK Tour, Liverpool. Find out more about this event and others here.

Martin Gutteridge-Hewitt is on Twitter.

Spanish Authorities Seized Over $334,000 From Amnesia Ibiza Owner

Photo via Flickr user Amnesia Ibiza.

After revoking Amnesia Ibiza’s late-night license for tomorrow night’s closing party, Spanish authorities yesterday morning (October 6) seized yet another pile of cash from the superclub’s owner Martin Ferrer, according to local publication Diario de Ibiza.

Officers of the Guardia Civil entered two banks in Ibiza Town, Banco Sabadelli and BMN, and reportedly seized over $334,000 (300,000) in cash from two security deposit boxes belonging to Ferrer. Tax agents also searched a third box located on a boat owned by Ferrer, but found nothing.

According to Diario, authorities have known about the deposit boxes since July, when Amnesia was first raided by Spanish police as part of a money laundering investigation. A magistrate yesterday ordered that the money be seized to be officially recorded.

During that initial two-day search, cash amounting to over $2.2 million (2 million) was uncovered along with a cash counting machine, and Ferreralong with his son (Amnesia’s artistic director), the general manager, and an accountantwere arrested for “alleged crimes against the Treasury” and are currently out on bail. This latest development now brings the total amount of money seized from the investigation of the club to just under $2.5 million (2.2 million).

The incident occurred amid a nationwide investigation into fraud within the nightlife industry titled Operation Chopin, which has seen clubs including Space, Privilege, Pacha, and Ushuaa raided by police over the course of the last three months. Searches of the lattermost clubs uncovered “several million Euros” in cash.

Suzi Analogue Asserts Her Presence With Siren-like New Single, “Visible”

Suzi Analogue and Rahel. Photo courtesy of the artists

Back in February, THUMP interviewed Suzi Analogue, the Brooklyn-based DJ, producer, and Never Normal label boss born Maya Simone Shipman. Named for two female African American iconsMaya Angelou and Nina SimoneShipman has long taken her cultural identity to heart, from recording herself reciting feminist manifestos on cassette tapes to vocalizing the representation issues she faces as a woman of color in the music industry.

“I have an invisibility complex,” she said. “Time and time again, you see lists and you’re not on there. You read stories from musicians you’ve worked with, and somehow you’re conveniently left out. It’s not about getting credit; it’s about someone recognizing that you actually exist in that creative context.”

Now, Suzi Analogue is making her presence known with her new track “Visible,” which features New York vocalist Rahel. It starts out as a woozy, R&B-tinged beat, until the attention-commanding sound of sirens swells to the forefront, while Rahel brings the message loud and clear: “Trying to make me feel invisible, but I am not invisible / trying to make me feel forgotten, though you’re thinking of me often, I know…

In an email, Shipman tells THUMP that the collaboration with Rahel spawned this past summer as part of a series of songs that reflect “strength.” Speaking on the invisibility complex she mentioned in her February interview, she explains, “We are really embracing the complex with this track, and flipping the message with our own sound for the future. We are also connecting our backgrounds that have modern roots in NYC but international beginningsall of that is in the sound.”

“At this point in our lives we have work to make, and it’s important that we make music with intent,” adds Rahel. “We’re just too smart and well-versed to do otherwise.”

Listen to “Visible” below; it’s out today on Never Normal Records.

Hallelujah, A Leonard Cohen Techno Remix Exists And It's Perfect

Leonard Cohen photo via Wikimedia Commons

Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Inductee of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Companion of the Order of Canada. Over the course of his lengthy career, legendary singer-songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen has won pretty much every musical and non-musical award that matters, and he’s still putting out albums at the ripe age of 82. Still, there’s one thing he hasn’t accomplished yet, and that’s put out a throbbing, festival-ready techno remix.

Until today that is. For his latest single “You Want It Darker,” off his forthcoming fourteenth studio album of the same name, Cohen enlisted Berlin producer Paul Kalkbrenner to rework the lyrically bleak track. His versionwhich he recently debuted at Lollapalooza Berlinstretches the song out to just over seven minutes, adding a minimal beat, while preserving the backing vocals of Montreal’s Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue choir.

There’s no word on who orchestrated this pairingour money’s on Cohen’s son Adam (who produced the new record) or some ambitious record executivebut it’s certainly a better fit than the time “Hallelujah” was used in the Watchmen movie. Listen to it below, Cohen’s You Want It Darker comes out Oct. 21 via Sony Music.

Max Mertens is on Twitter.

D∆WN To Release Final Installment Of Album Trilogy, ‘Redemption,’ Next Month

Album artwork courtesy of the artist

From show stoppin’ as part of girl group Danity Kane (and then as part of Diddy Dirty Money) to show running as a solo act, DWN aka Dawn Richard finally found her niche within experimental electronica. Following up on her Infrared EP and a mythological fashion film, Richard has announced that her new album, Redemption, will be released next month on November 18 via Local Action / Our Dawn Entertainment.

Redemption marks the third and final installment in Richard’s Heart album trilogy, comprised of 2013’s Goldenheart and last year’s Blackheart. According to an interview with Billboard, she says her hometown of New Orleans plays a major part in the album, notably in its use of live instrumentation. The LP will also discuss current events and her relationship with the music industry, touching on topics such as race issues, gender equality, and female empowerment. Redemption was produced largely by Richard and frequent collaborator Machinedrum (who just released his own album), and it has guest features from fellow New Orleans artists Trombone Shorty and PJ Morton.

Along with the news, Richard has shared a bellowing track from the LP, “Renegades,” which you can hear below. Previously released singles “Dance,” “Not Above That” and “Hollywould,” all of which were purportedly on the follow-up to Blackheart, are no longer included in the final tracklist, also below.

Redemption tracklist:
1. Redemption (Intro)
2. Love Under Lights
3. Black Crimes
4. Voices
5. LA ft. Trombone Shorty
6. Interim (Interlude)
7. Renegades
8. Lazarus
9. Tyrants
10. Vines ft. PJ Morton
11. Hey Nikki
12. Sands
13. Lilies (Interlude)
14. The Louvre
15. Valhalla (Outro)