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Weekend Primer #74

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

2017 Jun 23     
2 Bit Thugs

This week: RIP Prodigy, LCD Soundsystem, Dizzee Rascal, Gorgon City, Relief, Aphex Twin, Pete Tong and much, much more

1. The world of hip-hop was in mourning this week after news that Prodigy, one-half of seminal New York duo Mobb Deep, died in Las Vegas on Tuesday (20 June) while on tour with Ghostface Killah, KRS-One and Ice-T as part of the Art Of Rap tour. He was just 42 years old, but had been battling sickle-cell anaemia all his life. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

2. Electro-rock outfit LCD Soundsystem will release their fourth album American Dream on 1 September. The album's release will be followed by a world tour, with UK fans getting the chance to see them at Warehouse Project, Manchester (16 and 17 September), Barrowlands, Glasgow (19 and 20 Sept) and Alexandra Palace, London (22 and 23 Sept).

3. Also heading out on tour are Gorgon City, with 14 North American dates in October followed by six UK shows (and two more gigs in LA) in November. The tour is in support of forthcoming album Kingdom, and support will come from Claptone, Solardo and Detlef (though presumably not all of them at every gig).

4. Following a public hearing on Monday, New York City councilman Rafael L Espinal Jr has announced he will be tabling a bill to repeal the city's controversial Cabaret Law, which essentially outlaws public dancing in any venue not equipped with the right licence, and appoint a Night Mayor to encourage the development of a thriving nightlife scene in the city. You can read a thorough breakdown of the 1926 law's impact on small venues in the Brooklyn Eagle. Meanwhile in Vancouver, Canada things seem to heading in the opposite direction, with 1 July being the start date for a six-month trial of a programme called Last Entry, which is similar to the "lock-out" law that have had such a negative effect on clubs in Sydney, Australia.

5. Last week, we told you about Madhouse and Bass Culture's plans to celebrate their 25th and 20th birthdays, respectively. This week it's the turn of Relief Records, Green Velvet's Chicago-based house and techno stable, who are also 25 years old in 2017. Their quarter-century was marked this week by the release of a nine-minute mini-documentary about the label's history, which you can watch below...



6. The next album from grime star Dizzee Rascal will be called Raskit. Out on his own Dirtee Stank Recordings on 21 July, the album is said to tread a rawer, more underground path than his recent more pop-oriented offerings, and is preceded by the single Space, which is out now. Dizzee is also headlining the West Holts Stage at Glastonbury this weekend.

7. Following the terror attack at an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester on 22 May, musicians from the city have joined forces to create a whopping 226-track charity compilation called Manchester With Love to aid those affected. Available only from Bandcamp and Boomkat, the collection features cuts from 808 State, A Certain Ratio, Crazy P, Dub Phizix, Illum Sphere, Solardo, Virus Syndicate, Zed Bias and many more artists from all areas of music. And while we're talking musicians doing good deeds, victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster will benefit from a fundraiser that took place at Studio 338 (the London club that suffered its own fatal fire last year) on Sunday (18 June), which featured performances by Leftwing & Kody, Clive Henry and East End Dubs, among others.

8. Aphex Twin really doesn't want you to buy his records, does he? Following the ultra-limited 11-track EP that was only available at London's Field Day festival a couple of weeks back, his latest vinyl offering - a two-tracker comprising 3 Gerald Remix and 24 TSIM 2 - was made available this week in a single shop - Technical Equipment Supply in Ypsilanti, Michigan, which sells records and skateboarding gear and is run by US DJ Todd Osborn.

9. Snatch! boss Riva Starr announced this week that he's launching a new sub-label called Brock Wild, which will cater for hip-hop, D&B, dub and other bass-centric sounds. The label's debut release, the Wickedest Sound EP from Starr himself, will be out on 30 June.

10. Pete Tong is taking his 'Ibiza Classics' orchestral project to Australia. Tong and the 65-piece Heritage Orchestra, conducted by Jules Buckley, will play the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney on 1 November and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne on 3 November. Tickets go on pre-sale today.

11. In EDM corner... look out for new albums from Steve Aoki (Kolony, 21 July) and Don Diablo (release date and title TBC, but coming soon). This week also saw deadmau5 announced as the first headliner for the Sensation Australia festival in Sydney on 25 November, while Zedd announced an 11-date North American tour to take place in October/November.

12. Speaking of all things EDM, the three-day Electric Daisy Carnival festival took place in Las Vegas last weekend. There were 95 felony arrests at the event, but that might not lead to 95 convictions. Not if Las Vegas lawyer Michael Pariente has anything to do with it - as reports, his law firm took the (as far as we know) unprecedented step of releasing a video specifically targeting anyone arrested for MDMA possession at the festival...



13. There was also, sadly, one death at Electric Daisy Carnival, of a 35-year-old man called Michael Adam Morse. Although it's not yet known whether his death was drug-related or simply due to heatstroke (the festival took place in temperatures of 38°C, which left many festival-goers in need of medical attention), now seems like a good time to tell you that UK police have issued a warning about blue-and-yellow 'IKEA' ecstasy pills following the death of Jersey 18-year-old Kyle Pringle last weekend. Play safe, people...

Prodigy pic: Lipstar & Fred Production/Creative Commons, via Wikipedia





Tags: Prodigy, Mobb Deep, LCD Soundsystem, Gorgon City, New York, cabaret law, Relief, Green Velvet, Chicago, Dizzee Rascal, Glastonbury, Manchester With Love, Ariana Grande, Manchester, Grenfell Tower, Studio 338, 808 State, A Certain Ratio, Crazy P, Dub Phizix, Illum Sphere, Solardo, Virus Syndicate, Zed Bias, Aphex Twin, Snatch!, Riva Starr, Brock Wild, Pete Tong, Ibiza Classics, Steve Aoki, deadmau5, Zedd, Don Diablo, Electric Daisy Carnival, IKEA ecstasy pills