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Weekend Primer #99

The week's dance music news in 14 handy bite-sized pieces

2017 Dec 22     
2 Bit Thugs

This week: AFEM sex harrassment hotline, DJ Kaleb RIP, Rainbow Venues, robot DJs, Ultra Music Festival, Salsoul, Boomtown Fair, Theo Parrish, Jack Ü and more

1. In the wake of the Weinstein allegations and the #metoo movement, the Association for Electronic Music (AFEM) is launching a 24-hour confidential hotline for anyone who's experienced sexual harrassment while working in the electronic music industry. The helpline is being run in association with Health Assured, and the number to call is 0800 030 5182 (or +44 800 030 58182 if you're not in the UK).

2. The first names have been announced for next year's Ultra Music Festival in Miami, which takes place on 23-25 March. Carl Cox, Sasha & Digweed, Jamie Jones, Eric Prydz, Maceo Plex, Hot Since 82, Armin Van Buuren, Tiësto, David Guetta, The Crystal Method, Infected Mushroom and Flosstradamus all feature, as do two very special back-to-back sets: Nicole Moudaber B2B Dubfire B2B Paco Osuna, and Jackmaster B2B Eats Everything B2B Skream B2B Seth Troxler, as 'J.E.S.U.S'. But are Ultra's days numbered? Miami's local authorities are currently said to be considering a proposal put forward by the City Commissioner to ban all electronic music festivals from the Bayfront Park venue...

3. Brazil's Atmosphere festival, meanwhile, ended in tragedy on Sunday when a stage collapsed in high winds. A 30-year-old DJ named Kaleb Freitas was standing backstage during a set by Puro Vida at the time, and died in hospital shortly afterwards from head injuries sustained in the accident. The organisers have been criticised for pushing ahead with the festival despite extreme weather conditions.

4. Here in the UK, Birmingham's Rainbow Venues have appealed against the local council's recent decision to revoke their licence following two drug deaths. The council received notice of their appeal on Tuesday, but a court date has yet to be set. In the meantime, you can sign the petition to keep Rainbow Venues open here.

5. In somewhat happier club news, Mexico City has a brand new club called Yu Yu. The 120-capacity spot is located in the basement of a 19th Century building in the city's Juarez district and will focus on local house and techno DJ talent. Yu Yu will also be hosting a stage at the Comunité festival in Tulum on 5 January.

6. Massive Attack will be playing two, er, massive outdoor shows at Cornwall's Eden Project on 15 and 16 June, as part of the annual Eden Sessions festival. Young Fathers will provide support on both nights. Eden Sessions 2018 also includes an appearance by Bjork on 20 June.

7. The organisers of Boomtown Fair have teamed up with drug safety charity The Loop to produce a 16-minute video highlighting the harm prevention policies that are in force at the festival. The video features contributions from the family of 18-year-old Oxfam volunteer Eleanor Rowe, who died after taking ketamine at Boomtown in 2013, and you can watch it here.


8. Some key new and upcoming releases to look out for include: a two-disc vinyl collection of Shep Pettibone's remixes for legendary disco label Salsoul, featuring tracks by First Choice, Loleatta Holloway, Leroy Burgess and many more (Salsoul, 9 Feb); a vinyl boxset of all four EPs Gemini made for Relief Records in the mid-90s, entitiled The Beginning (Anotherday, 2 Apr); a physical release of Jeff Mills' soundtrack for Japanese film And Then There Was Light (Axis, 26 Jan); and a Mood Records best-of, mixed and compiled by label boss Nicole Moudaber and named, in true does-says-tin fashion, Mood 50: The Best Of Mood (Mood Records, out now).

9. In London club news, Louie Vega and Jeremy Underground headline at Electric Brixton on 3 February, with tickets on sale now; Hyperdub's club night Ø returns to Corsica Studios on 17 January; and the revived 93 Feet East have announced visits from Huxley, Miguel Campbell, Steve Bug, Doc Martin, Hector and Solaris in February.

10. On the festivals front, The Chemical Brothers, The xx, Fischerspooner, Young Fathers and Gorillaz have been confirmed for the multi-genre Bilbao BBK Live on 12-14 July; Apollonia and Adam Beyer B2B Ida Engberg have been added to the bill for the Junction 2 pre-party at London's Tobacco Dock on 10 February; and CRSSD in San Diego on 3-4 March has Gorgon City, Nicole Moudaber, Sasha, Lee Burridge, MK, Cirez D, Bonobo, Charlotte De Witte, Alan Fitzpatrick, Patrice Bäumel and many more.

11. Before all that, though, a brand new festival makes its debut at the Mont-Dore ski resort in the French Alps. The 48-hour event, which claims to be the world's festival dedicated to the twin delights of techno and cheese (as in curdled milk, not as in Vengaboys and Taylor Swift) takes place on 28-29 December and goes by the fantastic name of Cheese Porn Odyssey.

12. Diplo has confirmed that he and Skrillex will be recording as Jack Ü again in the near future... although he has to finish a Major Lazer album first, and Skrillex needs to complete a long-player of his own, so don't hold your breath.

13. Theo Parrish has launched a new online radio station called W.O.K.E. The name stands for 'We Only Keep Evolving' and the channel aims "to musically educate listeners of all ages, with an emphasis on youth and black and brown people". Check it out here.

14. And finally... the world's first robot DJ made his/her/its debut this week, at a club in Prague called Karlovy Lazne Music Club. The modified car-factory robot goes by the name of DJ Kuka, and if you're in the mood for listening to some truly excruciating EDM-pop while shaking your head and wondering what's gone wrong with the world, click on the vid below!






Tags: Association for Electronic Music, AFEM, sexual harrassment, Ultra Music Festival, Bayfront Park, Miami, Atmosphere festival, Kaleb Freitas, Rainbow Venues, Mexico City, Yu Yu, Massive Attack, Bjork, Eden Project, Boomtown Fair, The Loop, Salsoul, Shep Pettibone, Gemini, Relief Records, Jeff Mills, 93 Feet East, BBK Bilbao Live, CRSSD, Junction 2, Cheese Porn Odyssey, Diplo, Skrillex, Jack Ü, robot DJ, DJ Kuka