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Weekend Primer #85

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

2017 Sep 08     
2 Bit Thugs

THIS WEEK: Warner buys Spinnin', RIP Holger Czukay, a new warehouse venue for Belfast, Afterlife closing party and much more

1. Warner Music Group has bought Netherlands-based label group Spinnin' Records. The independent label was set up by Eelko van Kooten and Roger De Graaf in 1999, and has since grown into a family of over 50 labels including Work Records, Rebel Yard Music and Hysteria. Warner has reportedly paid over $100M for the label group, which will now be headed up by De Graaf and Warners' own head of international dance music A&R, Bart Cools.

2. RIP this week Holger Czukay, bassist and co-founder of Krautrock legends Can. The 79-year-old was found dead at his home in Wellerswist, Germany on Wednesday. A lifelong experimentalist and devotee of musique concrete, Czukay was highly regarded for his role as a pioneer both in ambient music and in the art of sampling. In later life, he collaborated with the likes of Jah Wobble, Brian Eno, David Sylvian and U.N.K.L.E.

3. Can's Krautrock contemporaries Kraftwerk, meanwhile, are set to play a live show at the Kremlin in Moscow on 13 February. They'll join an elite list of artists who've performed at the seat of the Russian government, including Whitney Houston and Leonard Cohen (not together, obviously).

4. Lots of album announcements to tell you about this week! Amp Fiddler's fourth album Amp Dog Knights will be out on Moodymann's Mahogani Music in November, and features collaboration with Moodymann himself as well as two tracks produced by the late J Dilla. Om Unit's third album Self drops on Cosmic Bridge on 27 October, while Extrawelt's Fear Of An Extra Planet - their first long-player since 2011 - is out on Cocoon around the same time. KiNK's second album Playground is coming on Gerd Janson's label Running Back on 22 September, Anja Schneider's second album (and first since leaving Mobilee) SoMe is out on her new label Sous Music in November, and finally on the compilations tip, legendary Berlin nightspot Watergate celebrate their 15th birthday with the release of a compilation called Watergate XV on their own Watergate Records on 6 November. The album features cuts from the likes of Osunlade, Steve Bug, Ellen Allien, Solomun, Catz N Dogz and Henrik Schwarz.

5. If, on the other hand, it's raw sounds you're after, then new sample packs released this week include Bass House Anthems Vol 1 and Cinematic Hip-Hop Vol 3 from Producer Loops, Future House from New Loops, Tropical House 2 from Zenhiser and Distant Lights: Sci-Fi Sounds from ZeroG. Oh, and thanks to Sample Science you can also grab yourself 30 free loops from the Roland TR-505 drum machine by clicking here.

6. This year's Burning Man took place in the Nevada desert last week. While a great time was no doubt had by nearly everyone, the festival was slightly marred by a couple of very unusual medical emergencies. First a 41-year-old man called Aaron Joel Mitchell ran into the 50-foot burning wooden effigy that is the festival's centrepiece, and died of his injuries in hospital shortly afterwards; then another man was run over by a truck while he was asleep in his tent. Thankfully, the latter victim is now said to be in a stable condition.

7. Meanwhile another big US festival, EDC Las Vegas, have changed their scheduled dates for 2018, moving to 18-20 May instead of their traditional late June slot. It's hoped this will reduce the incidence of heatstroke, which has affected many attendees in previous years. EDC 2018 will also offer on-site camping for the first time, in a bid to reduce problems caused by traffic congestion.

8. Closer to home, Belfast is getting a brand new club/venue in the form of The Telegraph Building. The warehouse-style space, which formerly housed a printing press, opens on 30 September, with Len Faki, Blawan and Phil Kieran set to play the opening party (which is hosted by Shine). Meanwhile in London, Studio 338 - which was destroyed in a fatal fire in August 2016 - will finally reopen its terrace and roof spaces on 27 October. The rebuilt venue will be home to a rubberised dancefloor, a VOID Acoustics soundsystem and a "world-first LED light installation" called The Octopus, complete with "video screen tentacles".

9. Sticking with London clubs for a second, the full line-up of guests has now been announced for Motor City Drum Ensemble's three-month residency at XOYO. Highlights include 4hero's Dego on 13 October, Gilles Peterson and K-Hand on 27 October, Jeremy Underground on 3 November, Leroy Burgess (live) on 10 November and Daniele Baldelli on 17 November.

10. Afterlife have announced details of their closing party at Privilege in Ibiza on 28 September. Hosts Tale Of Us will be joined by the rather impressive line-up of Rødhad, Dixon, Nina Kraviz, Recondite (live) and Solomun, among others.

11. Finally, a nice positive note to end on. The second annual Frankie Knuckles Foundation fundraiser in Chicago last week raised over $10K for AIDS and diabetes research and an LGBT+ youth homelessness charity, while Laurel Halo is among the artists contributing to Praxis Houston, a 13-track V/A compilation which is raising funds for the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. Official iDJ big-ups to all concerned with both projects.





Tags: Warner Music Group, Spinnin', Holger Czukay, krautrock, Kraftwerk, Amp Fiddler, Extrawelt, Anja Schneider, Om Unit, KiNK, Watergate, Motor City Drum Ensemble, XOYO, The Telegraph Building, Studio 338, Burning Man, EDC Las Vegas, Electric Daisy Carnival, Roland TR-505, Tale Of Us, Privilege, Ibiza, Rødhad, Dixon, Nina Kraviz, Recondite, Solomun, Frankie Knuckles Foundation, Laurel Halo, Hurricane Harvey, Producer Loops, Zenhiser, New Loops, Sample Science, ZeroG