Venue's Crumbling Ceiling Leads to Evacuation at Dixon's Amsterdam Show

Amsterdam concert hall The Royal Concertgebouw was evacuated last night when parts of the ceiling began to crumble, Dutch news service RTL Nieuws reports. Hometown DJ Job Jobse and Innervisions head Dixon were deep in a seven-hour back-to-back set when the incident occurred around 1 AM, approximately two hours before the event was scheduled to end.

Following the evacuation, the venue staff posted a statement on Facebook:”Last night during a dance event in the Concertgebouw we found that grit had come loose from a plaster moulding above the stage in the Great Hall. We decided to end the event prematurely due to the safety of the visitors. The house is now clear. An inspection found that a small part of the stucco is damaged; this section has now been removed. No one is in danger.”

The historic venue, considered one of the finest concert halls in the world, was built in 1886 and is revered for its near-perfect acoustics. According to the official website, Concertgebouw hosts over 900 events (most of them classical music concerts) and 700,000 people per year.

According to the venue, the cause of the damage is under investigation. All upcoming shows and rehearsals are expected to proceed as planned.

The Avalanches Say New Album is Coming “Definitely Soon”

Good news for Avalanches fans: the sample-loving Australian group is working on a follow-up to their last album Wildflower, and we won’t have to wait 16 years to hear it.

Speaking with Sydney’s FBI Radio, band member Robbie Chater shared that he and Tony Di Blasi have been spending the last few weeks writing since returning home from tour. “It’s flowing so quickly. I think getting Wildflower out of the way and following up Since I Left You feels like a weight’s been lifted,” he said. “The [new] music is really light, it’s some of the best stuff we’ve done.”

When asked as to when fans can expect to hear said new music, Chater replied, “We’ve got eight songs we’re playing to the label on Monday. Who knows when [they’ll be out]? Next year? It’s definitely soon.”

The as-yet-untitled album will be The Avalanches’ third, following last year’s Wildflower, which included singles “Subways” and “Frankie Sinatra.” They also recorded an Essential Mix last summer.

Aphex Twin and NTS Radio Are Up to… Something…

Cryptic social media posts by unconventional English producer Aphex Twin indicate that some sort of collaboration between himself and online radio station NTS is imminent, according to Aphex Twin’s Twitter.

Earlier this week, he posted a video to his account with the caption, “SOON.” The Tweet also links to the NTS website, which lands on a password-protected page boating a pulsating, neon visualizer of Aphex’s iconic logo. Today, he posted another video with that same graphic, though this time there’s also mention of a date: Saturday, June 3.

Coincidentally, June 3 is also the date of London music festival Field Day, at which Aphex Twin is performing. What could be announcement possibly be? Looks like the only thing we can do to find out is wait.

One Man’s Love of “Rave Music” Just Cost His Landlord Over $20,000 in Fines

The landlord of a building in Staffordshire, England has been ordered to pay nearly $20,800 (£16,000) in fines because his tenant “wouldn’t stop playing loud rave music,” reports British publication the Metro.

According to neighbors, the unidentified tenant repeatedly blasted his music for “up to 36 hours at a time,” notably tracks such as Stardust’s 1998 classic “Music Sounds Better with You,” and “American Dream” by Jakatta, a.k.a. Joey Negro.

“I warned the tenant, who said he does play music but not very loudly,” the landlord, Jason Duffield, told the Metro. Duffield, who lives on a separate property in Birmingham, said that he then received an abatement notice from the local council, who seized stereo equipment from the offending house.

The tenant has moved out, but left no forwarding address, thus, it seems, leaving Duffield to deal with the ramifications as the property owner. Convicted of five breaches of the Noise Abatement Notice, he must pay $12,950 (£10,000) in fines, plus $7,770 (£6,000) in fees to the council and another $220 (£170) in surcharges.

Duffield has since sold the property, but told the Metro, “I honestly can’t put into words how I feel about it. It’s made me sick with worry and I have no idea how I will pay the fine… I will fight it all the way but it’s just so much extra stress. To get blamed for something I have not done is completely crazy.”

Police Caught a Pigeon Wearing a Backpack Full of Ecstasy Pills

Authorities in Kuwait earlier this week captured a homing pigeon that was smuggling drugs in a makeshift backpack, according to local publication Al Arabiya.

The pigeon was reportedly coming from Iraq when customs employees tracked and captured it at the border, upon which they noticed it had strapped to its back a camouflaged knapsack stuffed with contraband. A total of 178 pills were seized in the incident.

No word on the identities of the sender or intended recipient, as the pigeon is pleading the fifth.

Daphni's Upcoming 'FABRICLIVE' Mix Will Be 100% New Material and Edits

Caribou mastermind Dan Snaith has announced he’ll be the latest contributor to the long-running FABRICLIVE mix series, under his club music-focused Daphni alias.

Out July 21, FABRICLIVE93 features 23 new tracks and four edits from the Canadian producer, whose last full-length LP under the moniker was 2012’s Jiaolong. He’s also shared the album’s funk-infused lead track, “Face to Face.”

In a press release, Snaith said the decision to feature original material was inspired by past editions by Omar-S and Shackleton, and that he’s visited fabric “ten or fifteen times over the years” to see Ricardo Villalobos play.

“I’m always drawn to the eccentrics in each field of music and I love that a club like fabric, that is such a mainstay of London’s clubbing landscape, is also the de facto London home of dance music’s foremost eccentric,” explained the producer. “I’ve got a friend who is a longtime member of fabric and whenever Villalobos plays he gets in touch to see if I want to go. We usually meet out front at about 6am (having had a full, if truncated, night’s sleep rather than having been out the night before) and then spend the next few hours inside.”

Listen to “Face to Face” below and pre-order FABRICLIVE93 here.

FABRICLIVE 93 Tracklist:

1. Daphni – Face to Face
2. Daphni – Xing Tian
3. Daphni – Carry On
4. Jamire Williams – FUTURISM (Daphni Edit)
5. Daphni – Poly
6. Daphni – Ten Thousand
7. Daphni – Medellin
8. Daphni – Hey Drum
9. Luther Davis Group – You Can Be A Star (Daphni Edit)
10. Daphni – Try
11. Daphni – Vikram
12. Pheeroan Ak Laff – 3 In 1 (Daphni Edit)
13. Daphni – Listen Up
14. Daphni – Tin
15. Daphni – Moshi
16. Daphni – Strange Bird
17. Container – Dissolve (Daphni Edit)
18. Daphni – Joli Mai
19. Daphni – Nocturne
20. Daphni – So It Seems
21. Daphni – Screaming Man Baby
22. Daphni – vs
23. Daphni – The Truth
24. Daphni – 406.42 ppm
25. Daphni – Always There
26. Daphni – Fly Away
27. Daphni – Life’s What You Make It

Max Mertens is on Twitter.

There's Still A Lot of Money to Be Made in Dance Music, Report Says

Today began the tenth International Music Summit (IMS), where electronic music industry folk gather on its home base of Ibiza to talk the state of the business. To kick off the weekend conference, strategy and insight specialist Kevin Watson of Danceonomics shared his annual IMS Business Report, which reveals that despite any talks of slowing down, the industry is still growing. Here are some chief findings and interesting observations we gleaned from the report:

Electronic artists, put your music on streaming services pronto

According to the report, the number of paid subscribers to music streaming services grew a staggering 65 percent in 2016, from 68 million to 112 million. The report also found that electronic music generates 12 billion streams per month on Spotify. In the US, dance music’s share of total audio consumption grew from 3.4 percent in 2015 to 4 percent in 2016, with 57 percent of total “sales” from streaming—the highest of any genre in the country.

Latin American market is growing

Though the US and Europe lead in global electronic music streams, Mexico and Brazil are in the top ten at No. 4 and 7, respectively. Overall, Latin America has shown the highest regional music sales growth with total revenue up by 24 percent. On the live events side, the region has become an emerging hot spot with brands such as Ultra, EDC, and Tomorrowland holding festivals in Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil.

Social media is still a major key

EDM fans have been shown to be the most social group out of all music fans, so an Internet presence is crucial for artists. Of all the platforms to be posting on, Instagram is the most important. Looking back on the past three months, the report indicates that the most popular artists have seen the most growth of their online fanbases on Instagram; its growth rate is shown to be 11 times that of Facebook’s. Another interesting observation: The Chainsmokers are adding 28 thousand social media followers daily… guess people really do want to get “closer” to the duo. Better start working on those #selfies.

Gender diversity is still a #festivalproblem

The business report gave THUMP a shout-out by referring to its study last year on gender diversity at music festivals. Of 24 festivals in 2016, only 17 percent of performers were women. The highest booking percentage went to Berlin’s CTM Festival (45 percent), and the lowest to California’s Beyond Wonderland (3.2 percent). Recently, THUMP teamed up with Smirnoff in an effort to double the number of female headliners at festivals over the next three years.

Festivals are bigger than ever

That a lot of people go to music festivals these days isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but a comparison of the number of attendees at the three biggest dance-music events (Tomorrowland, EDC LA/Las Vegas, and Ultra) in 2008 and now reveals just how much the festival industry has grown. In 2008, attendees of the big three totaled 185 thousand people. This year, it’s 925 thousand—an increase of 500 percent.

Overall, the industry is still growing, but highest-paid DJs are making less money

According to the report, Forbes reports show that earnings for the top 12 highest-paid DJs (including No. 1–3 Calvin Harris, Tiësto, and David Guetta) fell by 1 percent in 2016 from $304 million to $300 million. Despite this, the global electronic music industry’s value is up 3 percent, increasing to $7.4 billion from last year’s $7.1 billion. This value takes into account aforementioned factors such as streaming, social media, and live events, all of which showed an uptick.

Elysia Crampton Announces Her New Album, ‘Spots y Escupitajo’

Virginia-based experimental producer Elysia Crampton has shared her new album, Spots y Escupitajo, which is out now via The Vinyl Factory. The LP comprises eight Spots tracks—each lasting seven to 16 seconds—and nine standard-length Escupitajo (Spanish for “spittle”) tracks. Listen to two of its tracks, “Promesa” and “Spittle,” below.

Spots y Escupitajo follows last year’s Demon City (a THUMP 2016 favorite) and a guest feature on Chino Amobi’s debut album. As with her previous albums, Crampton explores Latin American and queer identities, this time influenced by themes including Andean Aymara figure Chuqui Chinchay, a dual-gendered god; and “the legacy of her deceased grandparents,” The Vinyl Factory notes.

Last year, we named Crampton the best live act of 2016.

Most Ecstasy-Related Harm Caused by Preventable Behaviors, Study Finds

Human behavior is thought to be the biggest factor in causing ecstasy-related harm, according to the latest findings from the Global Drug Survey. The annual survey asked 150,000 users around the world about their drug habits and found that the number of people who sought emergency medical attention after taking MDMA has gone up.

In the last 12 months 1.2% of people who took ecstasy reported that they sought medical attention, compared to 0.8% last year, and 0.6% in 2014. However while the overall number of people ending up in the emergency rooms around the world has risen, the figures for the UK dropped from 1.2% last year to 0.8% this year.

“Just knowing what is in your drug is not enough,” Dr. Adam Winstock, director of the Global Drug Survey, said. “It’s what you do once you know that matters. In our opinion the biggest variable in drug-related deaths is human behavior.”

The survey’s author said that findings of this year’s study highlight that the risks of MDMA use vary widely across different regions and demographics. The country with the highest rate of users seeking emergency attention was Denmark with 2.5% of users, while the lowest rate was 0.3% in Italy.

In the US, the rates were below the global average at 0.7%, but showed a slight increase from 0.5% in 2016, and 0.4% in 2015.

Winstock attributed the downward trend of people in the UK reporting to need emergency treatment to better drug education. “The downward trend in the UK is good news,” he said. “I like to think it might be down to people in the UK starting to use more safely and sensibly.”

The survey found that on average 60% of users around the world reported that they take a test dose from new batches of pills or powder. This keeps with harm reduction advice to start with a low dose and wait for effects to kick in. However age and sex appeared to influence the risk behavior of ecstasy users. Women over the age of 25 were 1.3 times more likely to test dose than men under 25.

Winstock said that these differences emphasize the fact that most drug-related harm is linked to individual behavior rather than the drug itself. This was further supported by the findings relating to the behavior of people who had taken MDMA and sought emergency medical help. Over 50% of people who sought medical attention after taking MDMA were drunk, only 20% had test dosed their batch, and 42% took a bigger dose than their usual amount that night.

“While the determinants of MDMA risk are many it pretty much come down to the interaction between the person, the amount and types of drugs they take and what they do when they use,” Winstock said. He added that the findings point to the need of people taking proactive harm reduction steps if they choose to take MDMA.

Winstock said: “Test dose any new batch by using a small amount of a new powder or a quarter or a half of new pill and waiting at least two hours before redosing—three hours is even better. Don’t get drunk before you start dosing (or afterward for that matter), and if you don’t feel well don’t take anything, save it for another day.”

Among the findings, young women were significantly more likely to report having sought emergency medical treatment following the use of MDMA. While the average rate of all people seeking medical attention was 1.2%, that figure was 2.2% for women under the age of 25.

This may support previous research by the Global Drug Survey that came out in November which suggested that MDMA may pose a greater risk to women than men. Last year’s study found that women are two to three times more likely to end up in emergency rooms having taken ecstasy, compared to men, possibly because of the way the drug interacts with the body’s hormones.

This year’s survey also found that MDMA is most likely to be used in a nightlife setting, with the highest percentage of users (35%) taking it in a club, and 27% taking it at a festival. Only 2% of users reported using MDMA on their own.

“We believe that people who use drugs should have access to timely, accurate information about the composition of their drugs,” Winstock said. “Greater emphasis should be given to promoting honest harm reduction information to users with a revision of club licensing laws that prevent dance venues and other hubs for young people to receive credible live-saving information.”

Anna Codrea-Rado is THUMP’s News Editor. Follow her on Twitter.

Manchester’s Parklife Festival to Go On as Planned in Wake of Terror Attack

UK music festival Parklife will go on as planned following yesterday’s terror attack at Manchester Arena.

Event organizers shared the announcement today, stating, “We are continually liaising with the security and local police to ensure the safety of our customers. We are certain we will not be defeated by such cowardice.”

The weekender will take place June 10-11 at Manchester’s Heaton Park, just four miles from where a suicide bombing in the foyer of the arena left at least 22 dead and 59 injured. The attack occurred just after 10:30 PM last night as patrons were leaving an Ariana Grande concert.

“Our thoughts are with those affected as well as the emergency services working tireless to keep us safe in all that we do,” said Parklife staff in their note. They added that their social media pages are going silent for 48 hours in respect of the victims.

Parklife will be headlined by The 1975 and Frank Ocean. Other acts playing over the weekend include A Tribe Called Quest, London Grammar, Eric Prydz, Anderson .Paak, Dixon, and many others.

At Least Six UK Festivals Plan to Allow Drug Testing This Summer

This summer, at least six music festivals in the UK are aiming to make their events safer for attendees. As the BBC reports, events including Reading and Leeds Festivals are proposing a plan to allow drug testing this summer pending the support of local authorities.

Melvin Benn, the director of UK music promoter Festival Republic, estimates that the number of festivals involved in the scheme ranges anywhere from “six to ten.” At these festivals, attendees can have their drugs tested to see what exactly is in them. Testing will be conducted by The Loop, a harm reduction organization that conducts forensic testing of drugs at UK festivals and nightclubs and provides follow-up support.

“We talked about it during the summer of last year and the reality is that I took a decision that unless and until the National Police Chiefs’ Council supported the principle of it, it was difficult for us to move forward on it,” Benn told the BBC.

West Yorkshire Police assistant chief constable Andy Battle told the BBC that his team are considering supporting the measure. “We can never condone the use of illegal drugs, but we recognize that some people will continue to take them and we need to adapt our approach in the interests of public safety.”

Last year, Cambridgeshire’s Secret Garden Party became the first UK festival to offer drug testing. Approximately 200 people used the service. During the first days and a half of the festival, more than 80 substances were tested, the Guardian reported; identified substances included “very high-strength” ecstasy pills as well as an anti-malaria tablet sold as ketamine, and ammonium sulfate sold as MDMA.

Armin van Buuren Denies Underground Resistance's Plagiarism Accusation

Trance heavyweight Armin van Buuren has denied accusations that he copied Detroit techno collective Underground Resistance’s name and logo for his new Ibiza party series, U R.

Over the weekend, Underground Resistance posted the flyer for van Burren’s U R party on their Facebook with the caption, “Is there no shame? What happened to electronic creativity? What the fuck is it all about the money?? To ‘those who know’ MOVE TO CONDITION RED!! To those who steal culture, you have been warned.”

The group’s allegation is based on the similarity they have drawn between the logo for van Buuren’s residency, U R with Armin van Buuren, to their own logo, which also has bold “UR” lettering and a rectangular border. View both logos below.

In a statement to FACT, van Buuren maintained that neither he nor the team at Hï/Ushuaïa were aware of the similarities to the veteran group’s logo. “Originally, UR…is derived from Universal Religion, an older but nonetheless known Armin van Buuren concept. The logo, which consists of a custom-made font and frame, was designed to conform with the Armin van Buuren brand.”

Van Buuren further stated that he intends to keep the name of the residency, but will “adjust the symbol.”

Underground Resistance’s manager, Cornelius Harris, told Resident Advisor that he thought it was a “lazy and irresponsible” choice of logo. “I’m all for folks having fun regardless of the style of music, but that can be done without trying to exploit the years of work that another artist has put in for your own benefit. Van Buuren offers no explanation for it, simply calling U R ‘my new concept’ and leaving it at that. Sorry man, no fucking way.”

In March, Harris hit Facebook to call out tech-house artist David Herrero and his label, Chus & Ceballos’s Stereo Productions, for illegally using the vocal from their 2002 track “Transition” for Herrero’s own “Make A Transition.” Stereo removed the track from all sales platforms and stated to RA that they “didn’t know the original track where the vocal was taken from.”

Logo via Underground Resistance’s Facebook page.