THIS WEEK: Tbilisi, The Loop, Afrojack, Marco Carola, Honey Dijon, Solardo, Ibiza, ABODE, Zedd, Aphex Twin, Sasha, fabric, Louie Vega, Beastie Boys and much more
1. The week got off to a troubled start when ravers in Tbilisi, Georgia took to the streets to protest the closure of two of the city's nightclubs, Bassiani and Cafe Gallery. Both spots were raided at the weekend following a number of drug deaths in the city - despite the deaths not occurring at either venue. But after armed police arrested over 60 people, including the clubs' owners, clubbers swiftly organised a protest rave [pictured] outside the Georgian parliament, calling for the resignation of the prime minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and minister of internal affairs Giorgi Gakharia, who they accuse of bowing to pressure from far-right groups. DJs including The Black Madonna, Michael Mayer, Nina Kraviz and Seth Troxler voiced their support on Twitter, and Gakharia has since apologised for the heavy-handed behaviour of the police, and promised a full investigation. The protests seem to have been peaceful, as can be seen from this video.
2. Here in the UK, iDJ's home town of Bristol was the setting for the UK's first police-approved recreational drug testing facility last weekend. The pop-up lab was organised by drugs education charity The Loop and will be in Bristol for three weeks, following trials at festivals that have seen a 25% drop in drug-related medical incidents. Avon & Somerset Police spokesman Inspector Martin Rowland told ITV News it was time to try a different approach to reducing drug fatalities.
3. Dutch EDM star Afrojack has launched a worldwide talent search to find new vocalists. The contest has been organised in association with Japanese party promoters LDH (Love Dream Happiness) and is open to unsigned singers and rappers aged 15-25, with auditions to be held in New York, Los Angeles, London, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Tokyo, Osaka and Taipei. For full details and to enter, visit the competition website.
4. The Ibiza line-up announcements continue to flood in. Taking place tonight is the opening party for Marco Carola's Music On (Amnesia, Fridays), with Carola joined by Leon, Stacey Pullen, Joey Daniel and Never Dogs. Manchester duo Solardo will be hosting the Club Room at Hï Ibiza every Tuesday from 10 July till 25 September, with guests set to include Dennis Cruz, ANOTR, Huxley, Lauren Lane, Max Chapman, Dense & Pika, Secondcity and more. And Honey Dijon and Luke Solomon are taking up residence at Pikes Hotel, with their Deputy Of Love party running on 4, 11 and 18 June and then returning for one last blow-out on 26 September.
5. Moving on to festivals, and here in the UK London promoters ABODE will once more take over Finsbury Park on 23 September with a line-up that includes Groove Armada, Sante, Hector Couto, Sidney Charles, Cuartero, East End Dubs and Ellie Cocks, while the all-new but fairly self-explanatory Gin & Disco Festival will be touring the UK this summer, visiting Chester (16 June), Liverpool (30 June), Edinburgh (also 30 June), Glasgow (21 July) and Stoke (28 July), bringing the likes of Crazy P, Greg Wilson and Geddes with them.
6. Looking further afield, France's Klassified Music Festival (21-22 July) will be headlined by Damian Lazarus, BLOND:ISH and Audiofly, while Aphex Twin tops the bill for Club To Club in Turin, Italy (1-4 November). Martinez Brothers and Cassy have been added to the line-up for Sonus in Croatia (19-23 August), while on the other side of the Atlantic, EDM star Zedd will host a mini-festival in Los Angeles' State Historic Park on 3 July, and Miguel, Axwell ^ Ingrosso, DJ Snake and Jamiroquai can be found at Chicago's multi-genre North Coast Festival on 31 August-2 September.
7. Fabric Records have announced that their long-running series of mix CDs will come to an end when it reaches its 100th installment. Who'll be at the controls for that one is still TBA, but we can tell you that fabric 99 will come from none other than the mighty Sasha, and will be out on 22 June.
8. Other new and upcoming releases to look out for include: NYC Disco, a collection of tracks from classic disco label Sam Records that have been remixed and remastered by Louie Vega (Nervous, 29 June); Filthy Flavor, a new compilation from Dirtybird (Dirtybird Select, out today); KO, the second album from Israeli dancehall vocalist Miss Red, which has been produced by The Bug (AKA iDJ's former reggae correspondent Kevin Martin) and which is out on his Pressure label on 13 July; and a Tidal-exclusive collection of unreleased Prince material that's been produced by Jay-Z (date TBC).
9. In UK club news, London's Corsica Studios will host a benefit night for Help Refugees on 24 May, with Dusky, Wookie and Felix from Basement Jaxx all set to appear; Tottenham's The Cause, which raises money for mental health charities, will welcome Harri, Ross Allen and many more for the opening of the new second room on 27 May; and liquid D&B stalwarts Spearhead Recordings celebrate their 13th birthday at Egg LDN tonight, with Dub Phizix, Breakage, Randall, Dexcell, Spectrasoul and label boss BCee among the star attractions.
10. Over in Berlin, meanwhile, this weekend will see Griessmühle, a club housed in a former grain mill in the Neokölln district, hosting an 87-hour techno rave to mark the club's seventh birthday, with DJs and live acts set to appear over the four days including Slam, Jesper Dahlbäck, Pär Grindvik and the brilliantly named Intergalactic Gary.
11. Two brand new clubs to tell you about this week as well: say hello to Terminal in Mexico City and B3 in Melbourne. The 170-capacity Terminal is open now with an open-minded music policy ranging from ambient to gabber (!), while all we know about B3 is that it's somewhere in the centre of Melbourne, has a capacity of 5,000 and will host its first event on 27 September, with DJ Koze headlining.
12. Patrick Topping will be touring Australia in June, with shows in Tasmania (1 Jun), Sydney (2 Jun), Perth (3 Jun), Brisbane (8 Jun), Melbourne (9 Jun) and Geelong (10 Jun). Also hitting the road are BLOND:ISH, who'll be taking their ABRACADABRA party to Scorpios in Mykonos, Greece on 31 May, 21 June, 12 July, 26 July and 13 September, and to the Tomorrowland festival in Belgium on 21 and 28 July, joined on the latter two dates by Behrouz and Audiofly.
13. The crowdfunded book Clubbed: A Visual History Of UK Club Culture, which features classic rave and club flyers with text from Bill Brewster, is now available to order on Kickstarter, priced £35, while Mike D and Ad-Rock, the two surviving members of legendary hip-hop trio The Beastie Boys, have put together a 592-page memoir simply called Beastie Boys Book, which will be published by Spiegel & Grau on 30 October.
14. Meanwhile in film corner... the one-hour techno documentary Sound Of Berlin is available for streaming via Apple Music from today; Pulse Films and BMG have announced that a Wiley biopic, imaginatively titled Wiley, is in the works, directed by Adam Smith, who also made the video for Wot Do Call It? back in 2004; and Thomas Bangalter has contributed a cut called Sangria to the soundtrack of Climax, a film by Argentinean director Gaspar Noé that sees an entire dance troupe spiked with an unknown hallucinogen, with (un)predictably disturbing results. The film's out on 19 September.
15. Finally in studio news, Moog announced a new semi-modular synth this week. The monophonic, analogue Grandmother is inspired by classic Moog synths from the 60s and 70s, features a built-in keyboard and will debut at this weekend's Moogfest in North Carolina, with a retail price of $999 (though Moogfest attendees can pick one up for just $899, and get a free Moog denim jacket to boot).