Agoria is in the middle of a real purple patch that includes his original soundtrack for French comedy Lucky plus brand new EPs including this one on his own Sapiens label. The long time French electronic icon also recently finished his critically acclaimed debut solo art show during Art Basel Miami at Scope, curated by Santiago Guggenheim and shows now signs of slowing down. ‘3 Letters’ is a perfectly emotive pop-dance track with catchy finger clicks and warm, summery chords complete with a pained vocal sample rising out up top. It is a heavenly groove and one that stays long in the memory. The release features th amazing vocals of Blasé who Agoria worked with on his huge summer release last year ‘Your Not Alone’
Stereocalypse is an Italian duo that has found great success on labels like Innervisions and they re-work that track into something more suited to the club, with edgy snares and a tense lead synth line that eventually explodes in cosmic fashion to take you on a real trip. Enduring German house specialists andhim then step up with an S Computer Love Mix that flips the track into something futuristic and spaced out, with far-sighted pads and pixelated melodies lighting up the whole track with real colour. An Instrumental is also included and strips out the vocal for a more direct impact. This is another standout single from this long time French wizard.
Agoria – 3 Letters Ft Blasé
Agoria – 3 Letters (Stereocalypse Remix)
Agoria – 3 Letters (andhim S Computer Love Mix Instrumental)
Agoria – 3 Letters (andhim S Computer Love Mix)
Agoria feat Blasé – ‘3 Letters’ will be released on 29th May via his Sapiens label.
The Next Billion Years is an album which, at its core, asks what the future might look like. The album’s story is marked by a serendipitous happening as Robot found a tape with a mysterious recording by the late explorer, Jack-Yves Cousteau on it, where he prophesied about the future of our planet and species. But different from Cousteau’s verbal meanderings, Robot’s exploration is sonic – he worked with the famed conductor Kristjan Järvi for this album, yielding poignant and touching tracks. The theme of the album is, incidentally, so relevant to the times we live in right now. All of a sudden, looking towards “the next billion years” is not such an absurd contemplation as more and more of us find ourselves with the time and motive to ask some big questions now.
The album’s latest single, All Forms Are Unstable, mixes Robot’s futuristic electronic soundscapes and the highly emotional strings of the Baltic Sea Philharmonics. The resulting track is both powerful and poignantly relevant to our times.
“Music is a means to allow a higher consciousness to enter. everything is energy, everything has a frequency and with music we can connect and raise our frequency in a way we would not be able to do with the limitations of the mind.” – Robot Koch.
The Next Billion Years is out on May 29th via Modern Recordings / BMG label.
Get the album here.
Spanning from Stormzy and Kano, to Kirk Franklin and Fela Sowande.
Music journalist and presenter Jesse Bernard has helmed a new podcast exploring the relationship between genres including gospel, hip-hop, grime and drill with Christianity – titled The Gospel of Grime – released as part of the BBC’s Art of Now series.
Delving into the origins of of gospel music and gospel sub-genres, The Gospel of Grime ultimately questions, “what really happens when grime or other contemporary black music forms meet the institution of Christianity?”
Investigating how colonialism and slavery shaped the role of music within black Christian faith communities, Bernard questions the impact of social inequality and austerity on both black churches and the music being produced by black artists across the UK.
“I see black music as a space that… allows black people to reclaim agency in their own bodies and spirituality, and that can, and has, included the music of black churches,” explains Bernard.
“Music like grime, hip-hop and drill offer young people the language to contextualise their own experiences. ”
With her revolutionary interactive Saturday shows, DJ Vivie-Ann Bakos aka BLOND:ISH turns Twitch on its head to let the audience in, adding much needed real-time human connection to the usual livestream format. Fans miss the sense of community, sharing and fun of live gigs, and Viv has found ways to supply that. As a passionate communicator of positivity, this is ‘Human Nature’ to the Canadian-born, nomadic DJ/producer.
Have you ever seen a DJ do a full set but include the likes of ‘Spin Spin Sugar’ (a Spin The Wheel with prizes), ‘Meditation Minute:ish’, or ‘Dance Hotline’ (an onscreen Zoom backstage)? Each Saturday, alongside an uplifting, genre-busting DJ set, she welcomes you into a magical space for 90 minutes of pure escapism. ‘Human Nature’ puts the viewer in the driving seat for once, with real-time audience interaction all served up with special guests (such as legendary Andy King (Fyre) and industry luminaries like Mixmag’s Nick DeCosmo), and a blaze of energy only Viv can generate.
‘With gigs being cancelled, and no tours in sight – I was deeply missing that connection with my community. That energy, from the music and moments we all shared, to the group hugs at the end of a set. There was such a need for a space to bring my community together, something which is even more important right now.’
Streaming on Twitch on Saturdays, plus a full DJ set on Wednesdays, continuing BLOND:ISH’s mission to unite humanity and nature through the power of music and her Bye Bye Plastic foundation. During lockdown, what do we need most? Connection on a human level. What is the most powerful communicator of all?…. What matters most? Connection on a human level. What is the most powerful communicator of all, across any distance, language, culture? Music. Who better to step up, create space for such a connection, but Vivie-Ann.
‘This is really bringing people together all over the world. We’re getting the same people coming back week after week, friendships have been formed in the chat, we’re connecting on a deeper level. It’s been incredible to see!’
The South Africa sessions featured Yugen Blakrok, Nono Nkoane, Tubatsi Moloi, Gally Ngoveni, Sibusile Xaba, Soundz of the South Collective, DJ Mabheko and Thabang Tabane, with Watts Prophets and Antibalas contributing from LA and New York respectively.
Coinciding with the announcement, Ahead Of Our Time has also shared first single ‘Future Toyi Toyi’, with a DJ Stingray remix and ‘Gqom version’, backed with ‘Crystallise’ – forthcoming on 7″.
A portion of Keleketla!’s profits will be donated to charity In Place of War, which aims to utilise the creative arts to help current sites of conflict.
Head here to pre-order a copy in advance of Keleketla!’s 3rd July release, check out the artwork and tracklist below.
1. Future Toyi Toyi
2. International Love Affair
3. Shepherd Song
4. Freedom Groove
6. Broken Light
8. Papua Merdeka
9. Swift Gathering
Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory https://thevinylfactory.com/news/tony-allen-dele-sosimi-shabaka-hutchings-keleketla-album/
New York, NY (May 21, 2020)—The brainchild of host Sean Braswell, a renaissance man of sorts who holds a Ph.D. from Oxford University and a law degree from Harvard, each episode of the new Flashback: History’s Unintended Consequences podcast shows how actions that seem inconsequential can eventually lead to surprising outcomes.
“We like to joke that he’s OZY’s in-house cool history professor,” says Flashback executive producer Rob Culos, who leads the creative direction behind original audio programs at OZY. “When you listen to an episode, it’s as if you’re sitting in Poli-Sci 506 and you are learning how a decision that was made had a ripple effect 50 years later.”
In the first two episodes of the 10-part first season, Braswell connects Henry Ford to the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995, and shows how the YMCA unwittingly helped launch the tobacco black market. Co-produced by OZY and iHeartRadio, Flashback is currently ranked No. 3 on the Apple Podcasts chart for History podcasts and hovers around the top 50 overall.
That kind of success doesn’t happen by accident—Culos and the Flashback team had the podcast series in development for six months prior to launching. Production began in January 2020, so when the COVID-19 crisis hit and people began to shelter at home, eight episodes were already completed and two were still in production for season one.
The COVID-19 pandemic has doubled the number of Americans who work remotely to nearly 60 percent of the workforce—but the team behind the new Flashback: History’s Unintended Consequences podcast series was already ahead of the game.
“We had already been working and producing this show remotely, so our workflow was largely set up,” says Culos. “Our producers are in San Francisco, Washington D.C., L.A. and Atlanta, and have at-home studios. We had already done the groundwork for it to work.”
Even so, a new production process had to be invented from the ground up. The first order of business was to firm up assets, cataloging what was needed to continue producing the show. In a typical interview situation, they provide guests with best practices on ways to record local audio, which they later sync to the host’s audio.
“Oftentimes, we’re talking to folks that have done this before and might have a handheld Zoom recorder, or they might have some little thing they got at Radio Shack 20 years ago that will do wonders,” he says. “Outside of that, we have them use their phone and tell them to do the basics like hold it up as you’re talking on the phone and go into Airplane Mode. That file is our backup.”
Luckily, the production team is accustomed to being flexible with how it sources audio. The production staff also recognize that the audio characteristics of a phone call or a VoIP app like Zencastr can be aesthetic choices in themselves. Culos says they often lean into those variables to enliven the podcast.
“We’ve actually put small telephone filters onto telephone calls so it enhances that experience, and that’s before any of this [pandemic] hit,” he says.
Where consistency is key—such as with the host mics and certain interview sources—the producers use a Shure SM7B to keep the sound and timbre uniform across a variety of voices.
“We tried out probably six, seven, eight microphones across the board,” he says, “and we just found that the SM7B highlights each one of those. We don’t have to think about it. It just gets what we want to get, and it makes it easy.”
The sound design on Flashback is a more open-ended animal, as it is for many OZY shows. Culos and Braswell begin by passing songs back and forth for ideas—on season five of The Thread, OZY’s successful precursor to Flashback, they even hired a bluegrass band out of North Carolina to record custom music. This time around, the team didn’t want to stray too far from the formula they established for The Thread, but Culos knew he wanted more “punch” and a more modern treatment.
“We relied a lot on our two producers on the team, Iyore Odighizuwa and Chris Hoff, who each have a really good ear for music, and we created a folder of production music and ideas around themes and beds and vibes and motifs,” he explains. “I wanted it to be a cool documentary style but also fun and unexpected.”
For each episode, editing and production work are done through a somewhat gated group effort, with a small group focused on the first round of edits. Once a rough cut with sound design is completed, the team leader opens the project to a larger group to get line notes. They even have a process to smoothly navigate editing over the different platforms used by the producers.
“There have been times in the past where we’ve had to export stems and sessions from Pro Tools to Logic, which can get a little bit hairy,” he says. “But as long as you know the exact way to export your sessions, you should be fine.”
The album is taken from Satoshi and Makoto’s archive of sonic experimentation, with its 10 tracks created using the Casio CZ-5000 synth.
‘A Postcard in Summer’
In Safe Trip style, the release is accompanied by a string of “results”, including an analysis of the album’s colour profile, which reads as follows:
“If you assign a Pantone colour code to each different musical note featured on the artefact, all bar 734 of the 1,867 “spot” colours are present … most of the “musical colours” employed by Satoshi & Makoto were shades of purple, orange, red, green, yellow and pink.”
CZ-5000 Sounds & Sequences Vol II follows the release of the first volume, also on Safe Trip, in 2017.
Head here to pre-order a copy in advance of CZ-5000 Sounds & Sequences Vol II’s 24th July release, and check out the tracklist below.
2. Crawl Up
5. A Postcard In Summer
7. Dive Into Olive Oil
Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory https://thevinylfactory.com/news/satoshi-makoto-cz-5000-synth-volume-ii/