This week: RIP Boyd Jarvis and MC Stormin, Stormzy triumphs at the BRITs, new clubs, festivals galore, The Chemical Brothers, Soft Cell, Novelist, Green Velvet and much, much more
1. Some sad news to start with... the international dance music community lost two highly regarded figures this week, with the passing of both US house and garage pioneer Boyd Jarvis, who was 59, and UK grime MC Stormin (real name Shaun Lewis), who was just 28. Two different generations of artist, from two different continents, making two very different styles of music... both taken by cancer. Our thoughts are with their family and friends.
2. So let's cheer ourselves up now with the fact that Stormzy [pictured] took home the gong for both Best Album and Best Male Solo Artist at the BRIT Awards in London this week - and used his win as a platform to take the Prime Minister to task over the Grenfell disaster, too.
3. Look out for brand new clubs opening in London, Melbourne and Dubai. In the UK capital, The Glove That Fits is a 120-capacity space in Hackney that will open in March, while in Melbourne a vast former warehouse in the city's suburbs will commence a new life as a rave venue when Solomun visits on 14 April. Dubai residents don't need to wait anything like that long - the 7,000-capacity Soho Beach opens tonight, with Luciano topping the bill at an Elrow party. ANTS follow in their footsteps on 9 March, bringing Andrea Oliva, Art Department, Sasha, Steve Lawler and Matthias Tanzmann with them.
4. In other club news, London's Ministry Of Sound launches a new trans-inclusive party called He.She.They on 24 February, with headliners Maya Jane Coles, Ellen Allien and Satoshi Tomiie. A couple of weeks later and on a not-unrelated note, Oval Space (also in London) hosts an all-day UN 'HeForShe' benefit in association with not-for-profit dance label Needs on 11 March, with a series of daytime panel discussions followed by a club night headlined by Jackmaster and Peggy Gou. And right here in iDJ's home town of Bristol, Defected visit Motion on 14 April with DJs Claptone, Amine Edge & DANCE, Low Steppa and Sam Divine.
5. Meanwhile over in the US, Green Velvet has announced Kerri Chandler, Tiga, Detlef, Latmun, Solardo and Camelphat as the guests for his first ever La La Land party in Miami, which takes place at the Delano Beach Club on 24 March, while Brooklyn nightclub Output is launching a new series of off-site parties called Outpost, with an event at the Knockdown Center in Queens headlined by Hot Since 82, Pete Tong and Lauren Lane on 19 May.
6. The line-up was announced this week for this year's Wilderness festival, which takes place at Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire on 2-5 August. Nile Rodgers feat Chic, Groove Armada, Peggy Gou, Severino (Horse Meat Disco), Jon Hopkins and Haçienda legend Mike Pickering are all on the bill.
7. A new trailer for forthcoming dance music documentary What We Started (starring Martin Garrix, Tiësto, Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox, Seth Troxler and more) was posted online this week, ahead of the film's premiere in Miami on 22 March. So here it is.
8. After that brief cinematic intermission, let's get back to festival news, with a quick run-through of this week's line-up reveals worldwide. Rapture Electronic Music Festival (Miami, 22 March) will welcome Luciano, Guy Gerber, Nick Warren, Danny Howells, Art Department and tINI, among others, while Time Warp (Mannheim, Germany, 8 April) stars Adam Beyer, Apollonia, Ben Klock, The Martinez Brothers, Sven Väth, Tale Of Us, Monika Kruse, Ricardo Villalobos, Jamie Jones, Dixon, Chris Liebing, Dubfire, Laurent Garnier, Luciano, Rødhåd, Len Faki, Nina Kraviz, Pan-Pot, Seth Troxler and many more.
9. A little further down the line, Hideout (Croatia, 25-29 June) is the place to head if you want to catch Peggy Gou, Bicep, Eats Everything, Skream, Heidi, Mall Grab, Richy Ahmed, Joy Orbsion, AJ Tracey and many more in action, while finally Larry Heard, Jayda G, Maceo Plex and Young Marco are among the attractions at Lisbon Sound Garden (Lisbon, Portugal) on 31 August-2 September.
10. The Chemical Brothers are to play London's Alexandra Palace in October, visiting the iconic 10,000-capacity venue (the birthplace of broadcast TV, don't you know?) on 5 October as part of their European tour. A week before that, another legendary electronic duo visit the Big Smoke, as synth-pop pioneers Soft Cell reunite for their first live show in 15 years. Sadly, the one-off gig at the London 02 on 30 September will also be their last-ever performance.
11. In studio news: Behringer's controversial £300 Eurorack version of the classic Moog Model D has now started shipping; Pioneer has just made Version 5.2 of its rekordbox DJ software available for download, with the headline being a new Lighting Mode that will sync DMX-compatible lighting systems to your musical output; and finally a virtual reality DJing app called Reality Decks is now available for users of the Oculus Rift system, priced $19.99.
12. Finally... no, we haven't forgotten about release news this week! So, new and upcoming albums to look out for include: Once Upon A Time In Napoli, the first studio album from Circoloco resident Davide Squillace (Crosstown Rebels, 23 March); a remixed version of Thundercat's Drunk album called Drank, consisting of crunk reworkings by Houston's DJ Candlestick and OG Ron C (Brainfeeder, 15 March); a 20th anniversary vinyl reissue of Fatboy Slim's classic You've Come A Long Way, Baby (BMG, 16 March); Novelist's debut album Novelist Guy (Mmmyeh, 13 April); Caibu, the first long-player from Scuba's SCB project (Hotflush, 13 April); and finally the fifth installment in Dekmantel's Selectors series, which has been compiled and mixed by Lena Willikens, and which is out on Dekmantel on 16 April.
Tags: Stormin MC, Boyd Jarvis, BRITs 2018, Stormzy, Chemical Brothers, Soft Cell, The Glove That Fits, Elrow, ANTS, Ministry Of Sound, Oval Space, Motion, Defected, What We Started, Martin Garrix, Rapture Electronic Music Festival, Time Warp, Hideout, Croatia, Miami, Lisbon Sound Garden, Green Velvet, Hot Since 82, Output, La La Land, Miami Music Week, Behringer, Pioneer DJ, rekordbox 5.2, Reality Decks, VR DJing, Davide Squillace, Novelist, Fatboy Slim, Thundercat, Scuba, SCB, Dekmantel, Lena WIllikens