Harry Bertoia’s centennial celebrated by Important Records with a big ol’ box set

Harry Bertoia, who passed in 1978, would be celebrating his 100th birthday on March 10th, 2015. In lieu of an invite from beyond the grave, Important Records has decided to teach us all a thing or too about this birthday boy by selling us a box set of his work!

Bertoia might be best known for his iconic furniture, but his work extended through the arts, including painting and sculpture. These developments evolved naturally into an obsession with the aural nature of his material creations. From 1959-1978 Bertoia built up a massive collection of gongs and sound sculptures in his home, a barn in Pennsylvania. Many of the sculptures that he made were used to create the 11 Sonambient LPs that populated Bertoia’s final creative output.

Important has taken it upon themselves (honorably) to put out a box set that collects 100% of these recordings. The set will include a deeply archival book and be released to coincide with Bertoia’s centennial.

Check out a trailer for the set below, featuring some of Bertoia’s sculptures in action:

• Harry Bertoia Foundation: http://www.harrybertoia.org
• Important: http://www.importantrecords.com

dublab holds “Proton Drive” fundraiser, releases theme song from Sun Araw

Los Angeles’ non-profit, online radio station dublab is hosting another “Proton Drive” fundraiser this season, offering up all sorts of music bundles and other ways to help out the listener-supported organization. As of this writing, the drive has raised more than half of its $25,000 goal, with less than two days left. So go donate: you can give any amount you like, but at $20 you’ll receive a compilation of anonymous electronic music called Ghost Writer and at $50 you’ll get a collection of piano mixes. There are more gifts as you get higher on the donation scale, but the best might be in the $500+ range — a plaque with your name on it, and every digital download that dublab’s ever made.

To get Angelenos in the spirit of giving, local artist Sun Araw has released an official theme song for the drive, a dub collage of filtered guitar and rubbery sub-bass. Respected labels like Friends of Friends, Leaving, Ninja Tune, and Burger have also partnered with dublab for some special online bundles called “Flash Packs,” which they’ve donated to the station so that 100% of proceeds go towards the fund. Check out all the gifts you can buy for your cool friends and family this winter right here. Then stick around to watch some of this week’s special radio shows from Suzanne Kraft, Seano, Silent Servant, Heidi Lawden, and others.

• dublab: http://dublab.com

Rone announces new LP on InFiné, has a sleepover seance with his BFFs

French electronic producer Rone a.k.a. Erwan Castex has been parterned up with Parisian label InFiné since 2008’s Bora 12-inch. Now, Castex returns with his third LP, Creatures, which will see a release early next year. So far, he’s shared the lead single “Ouija,” which is allegedly inspired by a recent pajama sleepover he had with his closest friends. After a rousing game of Truth or Dare, they lit scented candles and pulled out a ouija board, using it to communicate with spooky spirits. When Rone returned to the studio the next day, he created a spastic hip-hop and IDM cut with a ghostly synth line that just won’t die, damnit. “Ouija” also translates to “Yes Lord” in French, I think.

Creatures drops on February 10 — more tour details for the LP will be announced in the coming months, but in the meantime, check out “Ouija” and a teaser below.

Creatures tracklist:

01. (oo)
02. Acid Reflux
03. Elle
04. Sing Song
05. Memory
06. Sir Orfeo
07. Ouija
08. Roads
09. Calice Texas
10. Freaks
11. Quitter La Ville
12. Vif

• Rone: http://rone-music.com
• InFiné: http://www.infine-music.com

253-song charity compilation announced with unreleased music from Autechre, Bibio, and Orbital

Touched Music, a UK electronic label that was created to raise money and awareness for Macmillan Cancer Support, has announced its second charity compilation, Touched Two. This time around, 253 artists have contributed music to the cause, including veteran acts like Orbital, Autechre, 808 State, and Luke Vibert, along with more contemporary artists like Machinedrum and Bibio.

All proceeds from the release will go to charity; last year, the inaugural comp raised almost £7,500, which is a decent chunk of change. Not only that, but the release is solely made up of unreleased material, so it’s definitely worth picking up for fans of IDM, techno, ambient, and experimental styles. Touched Two will drop on November 28 via the label’s Bandcamp — do a good deed for the holiday season and pick it up! In the meantime, check out a more extensive list of the comp’s artists here.

• Macmillan Cancer Support: http://www.macmillan.org.uk
• Touched Music: http://touched.isig.co

Alex Zhang Hungtai (Dirty Beaches) embraces dry, wintry, scaly skin, releases two songs as Last Lizard

Last we heard from Alex Zhang Hungtai, he was breaking news and our hearts via the dissolution of his long-running project Dirty Beaches, though he promised, via Twitter, “NEW PROJECTS NEW MUSIC COMING SOON 2015” (caps-lock his). Well, here we are a whopping three weeks later, still very much knee-deep in 2014, and Hungtai has gone ahead and dropped some new tunes on us.

Working under the moniker Last Lizard, Hungtai recently shared two new tracks: “Detroit” and “Dickie’s Theme” (listen below). Comprised of nothing more than interweaving sax swells, Hungtai is channeling some heavy In a Silent Way-era Miles and Sleeping Beauty-era Sun Ra vibes. While no further announcements regarding the project have been made, I just want to give Alex a heads up that I’ll gladly buy a quadruple LP of this stuff.

It should also probably be noted that Hungtai played a gig in Portugal a few nights ago under the name Sax Death. While the set did indeed involve a saxophone, I can’t tell you how much that project varies from Last Lizard, as I don’t live in Portugal and no one had the decency to Instagram the whole thing. Get it together guys!

• Last Lizard: https://soundcloud.com/lastlizard

Pioneer’s latest digital deck makes not being a DJ virtually impossible

We all know that DJing is pretty much the greatest thing anyone can do with their spare time; however, lugging those bulky compact discs or, heaven forbid, vinyls along to clubs is such a chore, it almost makes me not want to DJ sometimes.

Thankfully, Pioneer (by name and nature) have made playing your favorite tunes to people simpler with their latest XDJ-1000 digital deck. The thing that XLR8R points out is so great about this equipment (apart from the groovy name) is that this digital deck is entirely digital: all you need to rock a party now is a USB stick and you’re off, or if your USB stick is stolen by thieving bandits on the way to the party, you can connect your phone via wi-fi and still raise the roof.

If you don’t believe me, you can be visually impressed by the promo video below and start saving your money because the XDJ-1000 is set to retail for about 1000 Euros, which is precisely the amount of money my friends pay me not to DJ at their parties, so I’m sorted.

• Pioneer: http://pioneerdj.com

Apple to maybe relaunch Beats Music in March… or maybe not… but probably? It’s really still up to Bono.

So, I’m sure you all remember every single thing that happened to you two months ago, right? So there’s probably no real need for me to rehash the sensational piece we wrote at that time about how Apple was rumored to be shutting down “the streaming-music, all-you-can-stand-for-$10-a-month-style subscription service founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, Beats Music, which it gobbled-up like just one in a stream of unending Pac-Man pellets back in May,” right? (Man, it feels good to be able to quote yourself as a source! I feel like a Ph.D or some shit!) Okay, sweet.

Now then… here’s the THING though… according to a great little post onStereogum that I’d really rather just ignore but can’t, Apple might actually be making good on their promise to bring Beats Music back, and it might happen as early as March of 2015. According to Billboard, some sleekified, glossed-up, snow-white iteration or another of Beats Music will magically appear in an upcoming iOS update, in perfect accord with the late CEO Steve Jobs’ dying wish that the Apple of the future start surprise-forcing all kinds of shit on all of its users whether they like it or not.

Still no real word as to how much Apple will fuck with the business model of the service before they relaunch it (e.g. keeping Beats a pay-service vs. some sort of ad-supported free thing like Spotify). But rest assured, whatever happens, the Beats of the future will be way more… um, elegant? Yeah. And sleek. Elegant and sleek. Ooh, AND 40% thinner. Abra-cadabra!

• Apple: http://www.apple.com
• Beats Music: http://www.beatsmusic.com

Strange Wilds sign to Sub Pop, just in time for the Sub Pop Thanksgiving Feast

As a kid, our Thanksgiving dinners weren’t that great. Tofurkey from a can. Cranberry mash from a box. And a pie that came from a tin just labeled “PIE” and didn’t taste like anything, yet somehow reminded you, the eater, of pie. After our father passed out in front of the traditional viewing of Old Yeller, me and my seven siblings would slip out of the house, solely to gaze longingly at the indulgent Thanksgiving feasts the Sub Pop family had every single year. They really had it all. Fried turkey. Mashed potatoes and homemade gravy. Cornbread and biscuits. They even had five different types of yams. We were always jealous of them, and now we are jealous of Olympia/Seattle-based punks Strange Wilds, who just signed to the label.

The group, formed from members of Negative Press, Outlook, Wreck, and various other Pacific Northwest punk rock outfits, plan to release music for Sub Pop in the coming year. What music particularly? Hey pal, beats me! Probably an album or single or something. Until then, sate yourself with a video for “Slime” below and a stream of their Wet EP on SoundCloud, which they put out earlier this year on Inimical. Now, pass the succotash loaf.

• Strange Wilds: https://www.facebook.com/strangewilds
• Sub Pop: https://www.subpop.com

Shoegaze kingpins Ride are cowboys, on a steel horse they reunite, tour the world

As you may or not recall depending on the extent to which you, like me, were eight years old in 1996 when it came out, Ride disbanded off into the sunset on the occasion of their fourth and final full-length Tarantula. Ever since, aside from appearing together in a documentary on Sonic Youth and reissuing their early releases such as 1990s monumental Nowhere (both in 2001), they’ve not really done much in the arena of Being a Band Called Ride. Until very recently, Andy Bell was actually all about that Being in a Band with Liam Gallagher called Beady Eye life, but of course, with that band’s recent demise, Bell is no longer about that life, not even a little bit, because Ride have reunited!

As such, the band has taken to semi-cryptically announcing their reunion via a big billboard in Barcelona (commemorated on the Creation Records Facebook page), and then less cryptically re-announcing their reunion by way of sharing some world tour dates, including a headlining date at Primavera Sound next spring in Barcelona (for which the only other currently announced act is The Strokes). “We all, us four, will tour the world,” the band must have thought to themselves, grinning all the while at their sly Palace Music reference. Check the dates below.


05.22.15 - Glasgow, Scotland - Barrowland Ballroom
05.23.15 - Manchester, UK - Albert Hall
05.24.15 - London, UK - Roundhouse
05.26.15 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
05.27.15 - Paris, France - Olympia
05.29.15 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival
06.02.15 - Toronto, ON - DanForth Music Hall
06.04.15 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
06.07.15 - London, UK - Field Day

• Ride: http://www.rideox4.net
• Creation Records: http://www.creation-records.com

RIP: Jimmy Ruffin, Motown singer

From USA Today:

Jimmy Ruffin, the Motown singer whose hits include What Becomes of the Brokenhearted and Hold on to My Love, died Monday in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 78.

Philicia Ruffin and Jimmy Lee Ruffin Jr., the late singer’s children, confirmed Wednesday that Ruffin had died. There were no details about the cause of death.

Ruffin was the older brother of Temptations lead singer David Ruffin, who died in 1991 at age 50.

Jimmy Lee Ruffin was born on May 7, 1936, in Collinsville, Miss. He was signed to Berry Gordy’s Motown Records and had a string of hits in the 1960s, including What Becomes of the Brokenhearted, which was a Top 10 pop hit. He had his second Top 10 hit, Hold on to My Love, in 1980.

• Jimmy Ruffin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Ruffin