Blondes emerge from intense studio seclusion bearing sound collage Rein, announce Persuasion EP on RVNG Intl.

Forget everything you thought you knew about trance-inducing (but not trance-conforming) electronic music; while in most cases you would expect a casual mental drift in which you momentarily forget your surroundings, the first two albums from Brooklyn-based duo Blondes (Zach Steinman and Sam Haar) have the unique quality of ripping an extremely particular hole in the space-time continuum, such that the Oberlin grads are conveying a talent as if it’s 20 years into the future, and they’re fucking present-day Orbital or something! To be sure, the brunettes of Blondes have been independently at the musical it for a while now, but as a duo, their debut album (fully streamable, btw) came out a mere three years ago. It’s like we’ve known them forever. Don’t ignore my Christmas party e-vites, guys.

Oh, word? They and RVNG Intl. are instead delivering us presents in the middle of summer? Click play below to listen to the entirety of their new Rein “sound collage,” which was recorded during a “weekend studio binge,” which is also available on cassette and prefaces their more formal Persuasion EP, set for release August 7. Artist comparisons are a convenient thing almost regardless of the journalistic context, but I’m thinking Donato Dozzy might have a pair of unclaimed musical siblings with whom he would enjoy a platonic Venetian vacation.

Would you have guessed less than 48 hours work?

• Blondes: http://blondeblondeblondes.tumblr.com
• RVNG Intl.: http://igetrvng.com

RIP: Gunther Schuller, jazz and classical musician

From The New York Times:

Gunther Schuller, a composer, conductor, author and teacher who coined the term Third Stream to describe music that drew on the forms and resources of both classical and jazz, and who was its most important composer, died on Sunday in Boston. He was 89. […]

Petit Noir to release debut LP on Domino imprint Double Six

Petite Noir is lush, sultry magic. The stage name of half-Congolese, half-Angolan, 100% swoonworthy artist Yannick Ilunga, Petite Noir has been making waves already this year with his EP The King of Anxiety and early singles “Disappear” and “Till We Ghosts.” This fall, Domino imprint Double Six will release his first full-length, La Vie Est Belle/Life Is Beautiful, on September 11.

The album was recorded in London with fellow Domino artist Oli Bayston, who has worked with Lily Allen, Lianne La Havas, and several other illustrious musician types. The sound has elements of dance-punk, Afrobeat, and the type of late-night, vaguely-melancholic R&B that has been creepin’ up from the underground lately. Call it noirwave, if you want.

Tracklisting:

01. Intro Noirwave
02. Best
03. Freedom
04. Seventeen (Stay)
05. Just Breathe
06. La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful
07. MDR
08. Colour
09. Down
10. Inside
11. Chess

• Petite Noir: https://soundcloud.com/petitenoir
• Domino: http://www.dominorecordco.com

Soundfly Wants to Know: What’s on your mixtape?


This week’s NEWS is made possible by Soundfly, a unique online music school. The following is a message from Soundfly, who wants to know: What’s on your mixtape? [What is this?]

Not to get all existential up in here, but life is the ultimate mixtape, isn’t it? Every day, we encounter tons of raw material — sounds, feelings, situations, people — and get to decide how to mash it all together to make a coherent piece of work, one that feels like us. The great thing about a good mixtape is it’s both reflective and creative. You take in and put out, listen and play, suck and blow, imbibe others’ sounds and vomit them up in new ways. Should you put that Max Richter dreamscape right next to The Wu-Tang’s “Ruckus in B Minor”? Or will your intent be better expressed through some Errol Garner, a 90s throwback, and Sam Smith? It’s a creative process.

Such is life. Humans are creative beasts, constantly taking in new sounds and spitting them back out as their own. It is known, Khaleesi. The thing that defines you is choosing the sounds that uniquely express who you are.

This week, we launched Soundfly, a different sort of music school. We’re out to help people unlock, stretch, and push their creativity through music. We want to support you in starting the next great band, writing the next kick-ass song, picking up a new favorite instrument, or anything else that’ll help make your personal mixtape a little more interesting. We currently have courses on songwriting, touring, piano playing, reading music, improvising, band leadership, and, pretty soon, composition, arrangement and more. Or you can browse our online magazine for tips, features, and interviews with musicians.

We hope to be the primordial sludge to your swamp monster (if that’s what you’re going for). Or the mosh pit for your stage dive. Music in some form or another has accompanied our ancestors for 50,000+ years. Woolly Mammoth charging? Bang a drum. Dumped by your boyfriend/girlfriend? Wallow in some Bon Iver. Is the sky aglow with the rockets’ red glare? Write an anthem. Train car hopping in Montana? Ain’t no better companion than a six string.

If life is a mixtape, what are you going to include on yours? Let us help you make that mixtape a little sweeter.

• Soundfly: https://soundfly.com

Moog employees get a stake in the company, celebrate with purchase of actual steaks

Well, on a federal level, you can be sure that idiocy and political brinkmanship will act as moving barriers against anything substantial being done for the American worker any time within the next millennium. Luckily, our system of government and our quasi-free market allegiance mean that not just local governments, but also super cool and legendary companies like Moog can more or less do its part to make Congress look like the ineffectual catheter-wearers that they are. The late Bob Moog would be proud; who would’ve guessed that the Asheville, NC-based synth manufacturer would be flourishing to the point of formal and rampant employee love… in 2015?!

First reported by The New York Times, Moog CEO Michael Adams has just announced the implementation of an employee stock ownership plan, which means that 60 of Moog’s 61 full-time employees (excluding Adams’s son) effectively own 49% of the company, opposite Michael’s 51%. Upon each employee’s retirement, they can “cash out the shares they accumulated over the course of their employment” at no cost to the employees themselves, initially or ever.

None of this would have been possible were it not for Moog’s recent financial success (following a near-shuttering at the beginning of the 2000s), demonstrated by an average revenue growth of 18% over the past 12 years. It ain’t just Daniel Lopatin, it seems.

• Moog: http://www.moogmusic.com

Widowspeak release new album All Yours, gear up for summer US tour

You can call Widowspeak a dreampop band, sure, but they’re the dreampop of dusty rural American backroads, of towns with shuttered main streets and transitory carnivals that pop up in open fields, only to disappear days later and head on along down the old highway. After two releases in 2013 and a move for the Catskills/Hudson Valley region, the core duo of Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas are back now with All Yours, a new album for Captured Tracks set to drop September 4.

Molly went back to school. Rob got a job at a hotel. They got a house where they could play music. They got a dog. They tried to fix up the ol’ property, but wacky mishaps and nosy neighbors just kept gettin’ in their goshdarn way. OK, that might be a plot device from several 80s movies leaking in. That maybe didn’t happen. But they did make a new album with the help of producer Jarvis Taveniere, who worked with them on their 2011 self-titled debut. The fine people of Quilt also pop up on the release, making everything more harmonious and shit. And now they want to share it with you!

Check out both their new track “Girl” and summer US tour dates below.

Tour Dates:

06.30.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bowl**
07.03.15 - Des Moines, IA - Des Moines Social Club Theater
07.05.15 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
07.06.15 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
07.09.15 - Pomona, CA - Fox Theater***
07.10.15 - Pioneertown, CA - Pappy and Harriet’s***
07.11.15 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre****
07.12.15 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater***
07.14.15 - Tulsa, OK - Cain’s Ballroom***
07.15.15 - Little Rock - Revolution Music Room***
07.16.15 - Memphis, TN - Minglewood Hall***
07.17.15 - Nashville, TN - The Basement***
07.18.15 - Athens, GA - Georgia Theater Roof
07.20.15 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse***
07.21.15 - Orlando, FL - The Beacham Theater***
07.22.15 - Columbia, SC - The Music Farm***
07.23.15 - Raleigh, NC - Kings
07.24.15 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues***
07.31.15 - Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Theatre***
08.01.15 - Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox

* Jessica Pratt
** Small Black
*** Lord Huron

Tracklisting:
01. All Yours
02. Narrows
03. Dead Love (So Still)
04. Stoned
05. Girls
06. Borrowed World
07. Cosmically Aligned
08. My Baby’s Gonna Carry On
09. Coke Bottle Green
10. Hands

• Widowspeak: http://widowspeakamerica.com
• Captured Tracks: http://www.capturedtracks.com

Apple Music finally agrees to pay artists and labels during free trial period (presumably because TMT had mockingly replaced the “s” in its logo with a dollar sign)

Apple Music has finally conceded to pay artists and labels during their free three-month trial period. Not because it’s “the right thing to do” or because the independents complained or because TMT had mockingly replaced the “s” in “Apple Music” with a dollar sign, but because Taylor Swift “eviscerated” the company in an open letter that was published not 24 hours ago.

“We don’t ask you for free iPhones,” wrote Swift during the evisceration process. “Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”

Apple’s apparent change of heart broke when Apple VP Eddy Cue — who never thought he’d be “at a hockey game outside in the Bay Area” and has an incredibly small Twitter profile image — took to Twitter to make the announcement:

Oh shit, he said “and indie artists”! Never mind, Apple Music does care. NICE.

SoundCloud announces daily play limits for third-party applications

Content warning: The following post will likely sound a great deal like a podcast that your roommate who really wants an Apple Watch would listen to.

So, SoundCloud. Even you jokers who think WWDC must somehow stand for “Why would DYNOOO care?” and who don’t know API from D/P/I know about SoundCloud. It’s that little orange lookin’ dealy that we use to embed tracks at the end of news and Choco posts right here on Tiny Mix Tapes. Well, in addition to being in the news lately for losing the entire Sony catalog and making deals with 20,000 independent labels, the company announced on Tuesday that, starting July 1, it’ll start imposing rate limits on developer API play requests at 15,000 per 24-hour period. Pretty much what this means is that the number of times a track can play through a third-party app will cap out at 15,000 times each day. What’s causing a bit of uproar is the fact that it’s still not quite clear if this limit is going to be per app or per track.

SoundCloud says this is to help curb abuse both of creator content hosted on the site and of its terms of use by developers, but it’s likely also motivated by its recent introduction of ads; if listeners are streaming on their website or through one of their embeddable players, it’s easier to serve ads as opposed to streaming via some third-party app. And, although there was some confusion initially, SoundCloud has made it absolutely clear that this limit will not impact embedded players, saying “only a small number of developers will be affected.” At any rate, changes like these are clearly a part of the slowly-growing realization that no one involved in online music streaming really knows how to make money unless you’ve already got a whole lot of money sitting around from making expensive rap appearances or selling flashy laptops to millennials. And even then it can get sketchy.

In closing, check out the SoundCloud player I embedded below, containing a recent TMT guest mix from N1L, because it’s a tech thing I can do that involves code and because it’s relevant.

• SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com

Footworker Litebulb receives $15k grant from Chicago Dancemakers Forum

If you were Googling “footwork” and somehow ended up at the article… wait… wait! I’ll get your interest still. You like the city of Chicago? Alright, got ya there. You like dancing? Who the fuck doesn’t! Well, what if I told you that Chicago footwork dancer/TEKLIFE member Litebulb (Jamal Oliver) was awarded a $15,000 grant from the dance organization Chicago Dancemakers Forum? This grant allows Litebulb, who has danced on stage with DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn since 2011 (see, those big names got your attention), to bring footwork and his crew, The Era, to broader audiences.

I have you hooked now, and you’ll do whatever I say. Now check out Litebulb’s submission to Chicago Dancemakers below, which includes footage from an upcoming feature-length documentary from Chicago director Wills Glasspiegel. Scenes include Litebulb touring in Japan with DJ Spinn and Kode9.

Also check out Litebulb’s interview with The FADER to learn more about Litebulb, the grant, and his upcoming cameo in an Al Pacino movie. Hoo-ah! See how you forgot about your search for “footwork,” which, by the way, you’re looking for “footjob.” Honest mistake, but you’re a better person for finding this article.

• The Era: http://wetheera.tumblr.com
• Chicago Dancemakers Forum: http://www.chicagodancemakers.org

Alessandro Cortini returns to Hospital Productions with new Risveglio LP

“Hey, Trent, I think I’m gonna go futz with synths for a minute while you eat that falafel.” This phrase has a special meaning to me, because it’s what I say to my landlord Trent about once a week when he comes over, his mouth stuffed with deep-fried chickpeas. I bet it also has special meaning to Italian synthesizer mastermind Alessandro Cortini, since he does all that touring with Nine Inch Nails these days, and since Trent Reznor has such a well-documented affinity for the dish. I’ll bet Cortini’s sneaking off most nights to work on new compositions for the likes of his recently-completed Forse trilogy and last year’s Hospital Productions debut Sonno.

And now, friends, you can go ahead and hold the yogurt sauce and call me Trent, because Alessandro Cortini has just announced that he’ll return to Dominick Fernow’s Hospital Productions come July 27 with a new new double LP entitled Risveglio. Like Sonno, this new release was composed and put together while on tour. And while it shares a number of sonic touchstones with Sonno, it finds Cortini adding new gear (namely a Roland TB303 used in conjunction with the 202 he stuck to with Sonno) to his arsenal and exploring a slightly wider range of sounds. You can hear the album’s second track “La Sveglia” embedded below.

Cortini will perform pieces from both Sonno and Risveglio at the Berlin Atonal festival, which runs from August 19 through August 23.

Risveglio tracklist:

01. Stambecco
02. La Sveglia
03. Rispetto
04. Dormiveglia
05. Lotta
06. La Meta
07. La Via
08. La Guardia
09. Posso
10. Ricadere
11. La Sveglia (Drum Version)

• Alessandro Cortini: https://soundcloud.com/alessandrocortini
• Hospital Productions: hospitalproductions.net