This week: EXIT, John Digweed, Seth Troxler, Massive Attack, Love International, Danny Avila, Ibiza noise clampdown, Afterlife, Holy Ship and much, much more...
1. The first names have been announced for the dance arena at this year's EXIT festival [pictured], which takes place in Novi Sad, Serbia on 12-15 July. Richie Hawtin, Adam Beyer B2B Ida Engberg, Ben Klock, Amelie Lens and Anastasia Kristensen are all set to play on what's being billed as 'Techno Thursday' - though that leaves the Friday, Saturday and Sunday line-ups still TBA.
2. Kalamazoo, Michigan native Seth Troxler has now been living in Europe for a full 10 years. Why's this newsworthy? Because he's about to celebrate that fact by releasing a compilation album called This Is Then, which will feature the best of the tracks and remixes he's released during that time. The tracklist and release date haven't yet been announced but the album can't be far off: he's playing a free launch party for it at Smolna in Warsaw on Sunday (14 January).
3. John Digweed has been granted a restraining order against a 49-year-old woman from Dundee who apparently spent much of last year sending him abusive and/or sexually explicit emails, turning up unannounced at his house and generally stalking him. The woman was given a 120-day sentence (suspended for two years) at Maidstone Magistrates Court this week, and under the terms of the order is banned from contacting Digweed or his wife, and from visiting the town of Sevenoaks where they live.
4. It's official: raving is good for you! The folks at online ticketing platform DICE recently got gig-goers to wear Fitbit health monitors, and found that fans of grime and electronic music move about the most, with grime lovers taking an average of 7,635 steps per gig, which is roughly equivalent to going for a 6km run. Pop fans took an average of 5,588 steps, while R&B and indie enthusiasts could manage just 3,914 and 2,347 steps respectively.
5. Lots of new and upcoming releases to tell you about this week. Look out for new long-players from Answer Code Request (Gens, Ostgut Ton, 23 February), John Tejada (Dead Start Program, Kompakt, 9 February) and Appleblim (his debut full-length Life In A Laser, Sneaker Social Club, March), as well as a retrospective from Maceo Plex in his electro guise Mariel Ito (R&S, May). On a compilations tip, the back catalogue of Dutch house and techno label Rush Hour Music gets revisited by Hunee on a 12-track, triple-vinyl comp called Hunchin' All Night (Rush Hour, March), while Chicago's early 80s proto-house label Let's Dance Records is the subject of an 11-track retrospective called, imaginatively, Let's Dance Records (Still Music, 30 January). And finally Pinch, Sam Binga, Dr Meaker and Phaeleh are among the artists contributing to a charity album put together by Bristol radio station SWU FM and D&B night The Blast in aid of mental health, disaster relief and homelessness charities. The Bridge is available now from the I Give You Give website.
6. Okay, so "DJ plays some music" isn't really news. But Spanish up-and-comer Daniel Avila's highly technically adept set for DJsounds.com (recorded at Ministry Of Sound) rather impressed us this week, so we thought we'd share the video anyway...
7. The Ibiza authorities' clampdown on noise from bars and clubs continues, with nine San Antonio venues being told this week they will have to close at 3am (two hours earlier than normal) this summer - and close entirely for up to two weeks during the peak season. The venues haven't been named, but are thought to be mostly bars that are popular with British visitors.
8. Happier news from Berlin, where a new nightclub called arkaoda has just opened. Located in the Neukölln area of the city, the club - sister to a club of the same name in Istanbul, Turkey - features a techno-oriented music policy and is housed in a former bowling alley.
9. In other club news... Tale Of Us's party Afterlife returns to Barcelona on 16 June with a line-up that includes Maceo Plex, Marcel Dettman, KiNK, Recondite, Patrice Bäumel and more; Circoloco are touring Australia on 25-27 January with Dubfire, Nicole Moudaber, Apollonia, Art Department and Clive Henry in tow; elrow are hosting their first-ever party in Berlin on 1 April (and no, it's not a wind-up: tickets are already on sale); Hot Since 82 has added Erick Morillo and Matthias Tanzmann to the bill for his Labyrinth bash at London's Tobacco Dock on 31 March; and finally the Defected crew take over London's Studio 338 for the first in a series of parties on 7 April (line-up TBA).
10. Moving on to festivals, Love International in Tisno, Croatia on 27 June-4 July have added Crazy P, Four Tet, Bicep, Midland, Palms Trax, Gerd Janson and Call Super to what was already a star-studded line-up; Stormzy's grime-fest #Merky returns to Ibiza Rocks on 2-3 July, with three-day hotel/ticket packages starting at £176; while on a more EDM-oriented note, Tomorrowland 2018 will be taking place in its usual home of Boom, Belgium, on 20-22 and 27-29 July and, over in the US, Shaky Beats in Atlanta, GA on 11-13 May has Kygo, Marshmello, Zedd, Borgore, Dillon Francis and many more.
11. In Reading Corner, look out for a new book from Matthew Collin, author of dance music history Altered State. Rave On is out now and chronicles the developments in dance music culture globally in the 20 years since Altered State was published. Look out, too, for Massive Attack: A Bristol Story, a biography of the trip-hop heroes by French journalist Melissa Chemam that was published in France in 2016, but that has how been translated into English. It'll be available from 9 April.
12. On a gear tip, Behringer has announced two new synths that should launch some time this year. The UB-Xa is a clone of the classic Oberhem OB-aX, while the VC340 vocoder and string ensemble looks to vintage Roland hardware for inspiration. Details are scarce, but Behringer broke the news this week via posts on their Facebook page and the Gearslutz online forum.
13. And finally... WTF is going on with US rave cruise Holy Ship? Not only were over two dozen ticketholders and DJs arrested for possession when boarding last weekend, but those who did make it onboard were greeted by a sign on the buffet warning them not to attempt to have sexual relations with the pizza, following "incidents on previous sailings" - though some cynics have suggested the latter may simply have been a publicity stunt...
Tags: EXIT festival, John Digweed, Seth Troxler, DICE, Answer Code Request, John Tejada, Appleblim, Rush Hour Music, Let's Dance Records, Hunee, Pinch, Sam Binga, The Blast, Daniel Avila, DJsounds.com, MoS, Ibiza, Berlina, arkaoda, Tale Of Us, Afterlife, Circoloco, elrow, Hot Since 82, Labyrinth, Tobacco Dock, Defected, Studio 338, Love International, Stormzy, #Merky, Ibiza Rocks, Tomorrwoland, Shaky Beats, Matthew Colin, Massive Attack, Behringer, Holy Ship, Maceo Plex, Mariel Ito