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Weekend Primer #128

The week's dance music news in handy bite-sized pieces

2018 Jul 13     
2 Bit Thugs

THIS WEEK: festival drugs testing, Maceo Plex, Solomun, ADE parties, Movement Torino, Marquis Hawkes, FABRICLIVE, The Warehouse Project and much, much more

1. The UK's policing minister Nick Hurd has said in a statement issued by the Home Office that if festivals wish to offer on-site drugs testing facilities, the government "would not stand in the way". He cited support for such facilities from police forces in Avon & Somerset, Cumbria and Hampshire as having informed his decision, which follows repeated calls from harm reduction experts for testing to become standard.

2. Solomun has issued an apology after playing a track at Italy's Kappa Futur festival that sampled the Islamic call to prayer, the adhan. The track was apparently a demo that the Diynamic boss had been sent, and he says he was unaware of the sample's origin; nevertheless, he said in a statement on Facebook that "with all my heart I want to apologise for hurting religious feelings. As I am a religious person myself, nothing could be further from my intentions ... Music is there to connect people, and this is what it has always been for me - not something to create anger or hurt feelings."

3. Maceo Plex has launched a new record label called Ellum Black. Operating as a sub-label of his existing Ellum Audio imprint, Ellum Black will focus on darker techno styles, with Plex's own Mutant 2 EP coming as its first release on 27 July.

4. Other upcoming releases to look out for include: The Marquis Of Hawkes, the second studio album from Marquis Hawkes (funnily enough!), which features guest appearances from Jamie Lidell and Ursula Rucker, and which is out on Houndstooth on 24 August... Voodoo Magic, the debut album from Jeff Mills' electronic jazz quartet Spiral Deluxe (Axis Records, 7 September)... and Los Lagos, the seventh solo album from techno/ambient producer and former Orb man Thomas Fehlmann (Kompakt, 7 September).

5. In festival news, Italy's Movement Torino (12-13 October) announced their line-up this week, with highlights including Derrick May, Underground Resistance, Amelie Lens, Charlotte De Witte, Jon Hopkins, Nina Kraviz, Joseph Capriati and KiNK... Scotland's Terminal V (Edinburgh, 27 October) will star The Black Madonna, Len Faki, Moodymann, Eats Everything and Robert Hood, with more names TBA... Mall Grab has been announced as the headliner for Sydney's Output festival (24 November)... Creamfields (23-26 August) is to stage an orchestral tribute to the late Avicii... and finally this year's Ultra Japan (15-17 September) will feature Nina Kraviz, Carl Craig, Sven Väth, John Digweed B2B Nicole Moudaber and Jackmaster, alongside all the usual EDM suspects.

6. More details have emerged this week of this year's Amsterdam Dance Event. Germany's HYTE and Dutch festival Loveland take over Mediahaven on 18 October, for a party with three stages where you can catch the likes of Loco Dice, Chris Liebing, Guti, wAFF, Andrea Oliva, and Adam Shelton B2B Subb-an, with more names TBA... Dockyard Festival and Mystic Garden will host a 12-hour party on 20 October with Len Faki, Skream, Sven Väth, Robert Hood, Ben Sims, Matador, The Advent and many more... and Dave Clarke's electro party Whip It returns the same day with Clarke himself going B2B with Alienata, plus Umwelt, DeFeKT, Sync 24, Jensen Interceptor and DJ Brutuzz.

7. Here in the UK, fabric have announced the autumn line-up (or at least the room hosts) for FABRICLIVE, with the big news being the reopening of Room 3 and the introduction of £5 Early Bird tickets - see their website for more details.

8. Up in Manchester, The Warehouse Project are to host five Special Edition parties at Mayfield Depot in association with Manchester International Festival. Catch Bonobo, Shanti Celeste, Palms Trax and more on 3 November, Fever Ray on 6 November, Bugzy Malone on 8 and 9 November, and Bicep (live) on 10 November. Tickets are available now.

9. Detroit Sound Conservancy, a non-profit body which seeks to preserve the musical heritage of the Motor City, has acquired the soundsystem from the city's legendary Club Heaven - the place where many first-wave Detroit techno and house producers first found musical inspiration. The system was gifted to them by Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson, and they've now launched a Kickstarter campaign to help them get it operational again.

10. That brings us neatly to studio news, where new goodies announced this week included SKULPT, a portable four-voice polyphonic synth from Modal Electronics that's available to order on Kickstarter now for £249... the equally affordable AE Modular from Tangible Waves, an analogue modular synth which is available now priced €328 (£290 approx), with individual modules going for £20-£40... and version 2.4 of the Bitwig Studio DAW, with improvements including a new sampling instrument, new quick-start templates and enhanced MIDI features.

Pic: Love Saves The Day 2018 by Colin W





Tags: drugs testing, Solomun, Kappa Futur, Maceo Plex, Ellum Black, Marquis Hawkes, Houndstooth, Jeff Mills, Spiral Deluxe, Axis Records, Thomas Fehlmann, Kompakt, Movement Torino, Terminal V, Creamfields, Avicii, Ultra Japan, Amsterdam Dance Event, ADE, Loveland, HYTE, Dockyard Festival, Mystic Garden, Dave Clarke, Whip It, fabric, FABRICLIVE, Warehouse Project, Manchester International Festival, Mayfield Depot, Detroit, Club Heaven, Modular Electronics, Tangible Waves, Bitwig Studio