News \ News \ Scene

Weekend Primer #47

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

2016 Dec 16     
2 Bit Thugs

This week: Soundcloud, NYE parties, Juan Atkins, Bestival's new home, Frankie Knuckles, Moby and festival line-ups galore

1. There are changes afoot at Soundcloud, and for once they go in DJs' favour! As part of the machinations involved in setting up the new subscription service Soundcloud Go, they've managed to negotiate a deal with German rights agency GEMA, which means that DJs posting mixes on the service will no longer be hit by copyright infringement notices relating to the tracks those mixes contain. Or at least, they won't as a result of over-zealous computer algorithms - specific takedown requests from copyright owners will still be honoured.

2. Tis the season for next year's festivals to reveal their headline acts. Today, Creamfields announced a joint set by Eric Prydz and Deadmau5 as their big draw for 25 August. Germany's Melt, now in its 20th year, has Bonobo, Ellen Alien and Dixon on 14-16 July, while Dekmantel Selectors in Croatia's key attractions on 1-5 September include Ben UFO, Optimo, Marcel Dettman and Joy Orbison. The Prodigy top the bill at new Croatian festival Sea Stars on 27-28 May, while Finland's Flow on 11-13 August has Aphex Twin, The xx and Maceo Plex. Artists playing Sydney, Australia's Days Like This on 11 March include Ben Klock, Dixon and John Talabot, Hungary's Sziget (9-16 August) has Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Major Lazer and DJ Shadow, and while finally Euphoria in Austin, Texas on 6-9 April has Zed's Dead, Alesso, Wiz Kalifa and Chromeo.

3. UK festival stalwart Bestival, meanwhile, is on the move. Rob da Bank's crew have made the Isle of Wight their home since 2004, but from 2017 they're relocating to the smaller Castle Lulworth site in Dorset, which already hosts family-friendly spin-off Camp Bestival.

4. Also very much en vogue this week are announcements about New Year's Eve and New Year's Day parties. Elrow will be hosting New Year's Eve do's in Italy, Amsterdam and Dubai, and New Year's Day parties in Barcelona and Madrid. The Dubai bash features Dennis Ferrer and Stacey Pullen, in Madrid you'll find Joseph Capriati, Technasia, Matador (live) and Edu Imbernon, while the Barcelona party is headlined by Seth Troxler. Over in Berlin, meanwhile, Berghain's legendary New Year's Day event (which we're told will finish at 6am on 3 January "at the earliest") will this year feature Ben Klock, Margaret Dyas, DVS1, Answer Code Request, Honey Dijon, Marcel Dettman, Gerd Janson and many more.

5. The late, great Frankie Knuckles will be remembered at a special event at Chicago's famous Smartbar on 15 January. Derrick Carter and Ralphi Rosario will headline the party, which is a joint venture between promoters Queen! and the DefMix organisation, joined by Michael Serafini, Lady D, Garrett David and more. All proceeds will go to the Frankie Knuckles Foundation. Meanwhile another of dance music's late founding fathers, David Mancuso, was honoured with a candlelit vigil in New York's Tompkins Park last Saturday (10 December).

6. Speaking of legendary names from Chicago, highlights from the back catalogue of Ron Trent's Prescription label are to be released as a six-album vinyl boxset called Prescription: Word, Sound & Power in January. The 24 early/mid-90s tracks from the iconic deep house label come mostly from Trent himself and/or partner-in-crime Chez Damier, and include several previously unreleased cuts.

7. Berlin venue Musik & Frieden will host a special benefit gig tonight (16 December) to raise funds for those affected by the terrible fire at Oakland, California's Ghost Ship on 2 December which claimed 36 lives. Artists appearing include Jamaica Suk, Embers, Doc Sleep and Luz. Dance music superstar Moby played a fundraising gig for the same cause at San Francisco's Mezzanine earlier this week (11 December).

8. Techno titans Juan Atkins and Orlando Voorn are to release a collaborative album entitled, fittingly enough, Mind Merge. Credited to Frequency Vs Atkins, it's out on Berlin label Outer on 6 March and will mark 25 years of the pair working together - their first joint EP dropped in 1992.

9. The latest version of Native Instruments' DJ package TRAKTOR now includes a step sequencer, making it even easier to get creative by incorporating samples and loops into your DJ sets. A selection of samples and one-shots will be bundled with version 2.11 of the software.

10. German label !K7 has launched a new spin-off label called 7K! that will focus on ambient, experimental and what they're calling "neo-classical" music - think of the work of artists such as Nils Frahm. Indeed, Frahm collaborator Martyn Heyne was also involved in the label's first release, an album called Endless from Italy's Luca D'Alberto, which is out early in the New Year.

11. Finally, if you happen to be in the San Francisco area tonight, then get yourself down to Halycon. The state-of-the-art club, with its 24-hour licence, Pioneer Pro Audio soundsystem and world-beating lighting rig, has already welcomed the likes of DJ Sneak, Doc Martin, Eli Escobar, Lee Curtis, Ryan Crosson and Kenny Larkin since it opened in November, and tonight's special guest is no less a personage than Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez, who'll be joined by Cristoph and Shaded (live).