UNIIQU3 - Heartbeats

By the end of next year, I no doubt will be a card-carrying festival bro. If you need explanation for why I’ve been listening to Resident Advisor’s main podcast feed with relative frequency, that’s it.

I’d been catching up this afternoon when I came across the big round number 800 and found it immediately so compelling that I actually sought out the associated interview, which I needed only skim for less than half a second a before spotting the words “Techno Is Black.” (Stylistically, I believe the Advisor is in error here. TECHNO IS BLACK doesn’t seem to be in question.)

Within the same second, I’m sure, I saw the words “Spotify playlist” in the vicinity of this profound, but unacceptably undercovered truth, and concluded that I was obligated to take action.

Using a free web tool to associate some metadata across databases is not activism, mind you, but here’s what I can do: I will be diligently minding the origin playlist (on Spotify) for changes and assuring that they are reflected accurately in the target playlist (on Apple Music.) I will not be removing any music. I can do this, at the very least.

I have also created handy shortlinks for both the original and the parallel playlist hosted on my Apple Music profile.

ORIGIN: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6GXo3G4M0wrOVI7yTkYviz


I also made a shortlink to the original despite its unfortunate choice of platform:








Music on iOS

Reporting from deep within the iOS cult on essential apps/methods for real-life music people.


by David Blue

SoundCloud Tile

Last Tuesday, SoundCloud announced the release of onsite, automated mastering in cooperation with Dolby. The service will cost $4.99 per track for non-Pro Unlimited subscribers, who'll receive three free mastered tracks per month and $3.99 per track masters after that. After uploading a new track (less than 10 minutes in length,) users will see a small button labeled “Master Track,” which then takes them to a trimming interface that prompts them to select a 30-second, “high contrast” clip representing the dynamic extremes of the track, which is then locked in as the singular preview for the service. After “listening”/analyzing said clip, the user is brought to the mastering interface and prompted to select between four presets:

Thunder “Make car speakers rumble and club systems shake. This option will push your bass frequencies to the limit.”

Sunroof “Open up your mid and high frequencies and bring some life to your transients. This option is perfect for hip-hop and any other beat-focused genre.”

Aurora “Aiming for something ethereal, light and wavy? This option will infuse even the most experimental tracks with a new burst of color.”

Clear Sky “Brighten your mix, manage your dynamics and reign in your low end with this pop-focused mastering option.”

For a professional analysis of each preset (and extreme hair,) see MixbusTV's video.

I asked a number of music-related Discord servers if they'd tried the feature yet and Business Casual's answered the most comprehensively.

SoundCloud Mastering - Business Casual Discord

The general consensus from musicians and producers seems to be that SoundCloud misinvested its resources into the making of the feature. On the MixbusTV video, YouTube user Nelson Leeroy comments “Lot of uneducated aspiring artists will fall for it.... Sound Cloud should not be allowed to use the word mastering, it's misguiding, it's a scam.” A Twitter search for “SoundCloud Mastering” yields overwhelmingly critical commentary, including “SoundCloud Mastering is jus IG Filters for songs,” which – from what I've seen – I agree with completely.

I reached out to Dolby's media contact email address asking how long the two companies spent working on this service and about any future cooperative projects. Gentry Bennett, who described herself as “the PR lead for this launch,” responded 25 minutes later (prompt AF,) answering “the teams were working together for a couple years on this tool.”

#software #music

by David Blue

C̸ ̵O̷ ̴N̵ ̶T̸ ̵A̵ ̴C̶ ̵T̴ is my best (and only, really) recent contribution of worth and I guarantee you will gain something from listening.

On Apple Music

On SoundCloud

On Spotify. http://bit.ly/dbtouched

On YouTube Music

On Tidal.

On Pandora.


by David Blue

Originally released in 2014 on Visual Disturbances, now reissued for the first time since. Presented to you with 2 bonus tracks, one cut from the original album and one produced shortly after its release.

Preorder Gray Data Deluxxx now on Bandcamp.


by David Blue

"Mannequin Challenge" by SAINT PEPSI

Counterfeit record Mannequin Challenge proves to be a lively, heartfelt reflection for cassettehype lovers.

In a surprising turn of events, an anonymous actor uploaded, metatagged, and published a fabulous futuredisco tape this evening on the official Bandcamp page owned by the KEATs-affiliated Groove Guru using stolen credentials. SAINT PEPSI (now Skyler Spence) himself revealed the breach on Twitter just before the end of workday on the coast, disclaiming “SOMEONE HACKED THE SAINT PEPSI BANDCAMP AND PUT UP A NEW ALBUM! NOT ME.”

At press time, it is unknown how long the account's security has remained compromised, nor how long the release will remain live. The investigative process so far has been hindered severely by effects voluminous playback of the work itself has had on staff in our newsroom.

Skyler Spence has been often (quite-cringely) credited by music journalists and bloggers as their introduction to vaporwave, which was hilarious in the moment, yes, but in fact represents one of the first puncture events into mainstream music media discourse for the precious Twitter and generally net-born community of truly boundary-pushing electronic musicians for whom this magazine was created.

Saint Pepsi is in many ways the apotheosis of blog disco, this wave of young musicians poring over the internet for samples of classic smooth electro-funk from 1980-84 to turn, via Ableton, into new works of nostalgic yet somehow future-perfect art. –”New band of the week: Saint Pepsi” | The Guardian

Like its attributed creator, Mannequin Challenge is very special and far more substantial than we've come to expect from the futurefunk sound: it's imbued through and through with real sentiment – and why shouldn't it be? In reflection, the role of cultural ambassadorship is as surreal (read: absurd) as it is spectacular.

If you'd told me that Pepsico had discovered SAINT PEPSI and threatened him with copyright law in the years post-high school when I was first introduced to the like purveyors of the sound, I would've heard it as a hypothetical (and died laughing.) However, the shit did occur in 2015: in a hilarious internet micro-controversy, SAINT PEPSI really was pressured – under the threat of legal action, one assumes – to change his name. (My own little experience confirmed that Pepsi had no patience for contemporary humor.) As an ancient relic of a American brand punished him, though, another no-less-surprising one – none other than GQ Fucking Magazine – would celebrate him as “Pop Music's New Disco Whiz Kid.”

I don't know the whole story, but I'm comfortable declaring in the now: Mannequin Challenge represents a sincerely touching gift for those of us who've been listening. Or that is... It certainly would were it not the product of digital hijacking and therefore completely inattributable, legally, to SAINT PEPSI.

Favorite track: “Mr. Wonderful, pt. 2” (Bonus track requiring download/purchase on Bandcamp)


by David Blue

'Metamorphosis' - Blank Banshee

Perhaps nearest and dearest of all to the hearts of more casual, Twitter-bound vaporwave fans, Canadian-sourced Blank Banshee has apparently been distinctly Offline as of late. When Bandcamp's Simon Chandler interviewed them about their last full release – MEGA – in 2016, he asked “will we have to wait another three years until the next Blank Banshee release?” Banshee replied with a definitive “no,” and they were technically correct – it's 2 years, 9 months later and Metamorphosis has been on Bandcamp for two whole weeks.

Considering the lack of results my queries for reviews of the thing have returned so far, I thought it prudent to make you aware of its existence. I'm not even remotely qualified to assess vaporwave records, but if you have some thoughts you'd like to publish, I'd love it if you dropped me a line.

#music #news

by Adam Bexten


On the eve of her new album’s first single reveal, we reflect on the Swedish artist’s incredibly-sincere, yet profound past contribution to the pop mystic.

On August 1, pop-extraordinaire Robyn released “Missing U,” her first proper single in eight years. Fans of the Swedish singer have long awaited a new album since 2010’s critically acclaimed Body Talk, but certainly were not left without material deserving of years of repeat-listening.

Dubbed the “Body Talk series,” Robyn initially announced plans in early 2010 to release three mini-albums over the course of the year, but after releasing Body Talk Pt. 1 and Pt. 2, plans were altered and Body Talk — a compilation of the best songs from Pt. 1 and Pt. 2, plus five new songs — was released on November 22, 2010. Described by Robyn as the “turbo version” of the album, fans were gifted an ever-evolving collection of songs that was eventually edited into a single pop masterpiece. Despite never reaching great commercial success, Body Talk today continues to garner a cult-like following and new fans. In 2014, Pitchfork named it the 36th Best Album of the Decade thus far.

Most astonishingly, the album is built upon a foundation of intense honesty. Specifically, an honesty that’s only possible when paired with polished pop hooks and hidden amongst heavy synth. Robyn never misses a shot. The album is calculated, direct and always on target, regardless if she’s reminiscing on unrequited love, instructing a new lover on how to let his ex-girlfriend down gently, or giving the middle finger to everyone who keeps telling her what to do!

Dancing On My Own,” the album’s debut single, remains a fan favorite and clear standout. On the track, Robyn explores the idea of dancing with tears in your eyes to a new level in the dancefloor tragedy of watching an ex-lover move on to a new woman. Don’t let the song’s catchiness mistake you. Upon hearing the first note, almost anyone would want to run for the dancefloor, but the track’s true genius lies in its lyrics, demanding stuck-on-repeat listening as you fall deep into her storytelling. It’s worthy of the all the acclaim it’s received, and more. As Robyn bounces between the larger-than-life electo-queen on “Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do” and “Fembot” to the vulnerable, sentimental-synthesizer on “Stars 4 Ever” and “Indestructible,” she encapsulates emotional experiences in a way that is usually absent from the charts’ biggest hits. Her songs are bottled feelings.

Today, and in 2010, the genre of pop is often treated as synonymous with singles dominating Top 40 stations – sometimes for good reason. The radio-ready songs are written and produced like products of a pop music factory. They’re strategically designed to get stuck in your head, to grab attention and ultimately, to make money. It’s commercial; it’s a business, but this false equivalence can lead many a music lover to discredit the entire genre as just an earworm, divorced from artistry. Body Talk puts all these arguments to rest.

Hang With Me” details the exact moment early in a relationship when you realize you can trust your partner and let down your walls. Upon first listen, the lyrics seem obvious and simple, but eventually you realize that’s where the brilliance lies. Robyn’s ability to tap into those universal moments and experiences that most of us can only recognize, not articulate. Not only does she accomplish this, here – she makes it catchy.

The entire album can be enjoyed at surface level without great interpretation or introspection. Robyn matches her ability to capture euphoric emotion with infectious beats, witty lyrics and over-the-top production. It can transport you back to your very first crush or your very first heartbreak. It can heighten your confidence to make you feel invincible or it can break you down to your most insecure form. It’s pop perfection.

As Robyn readies her eighth studio album, she returns to a different, darker world. “Missing U” doubles as a message for both the fans that have waited eight years for this moment and for the lover that left. One can’t help but imagine how this song might be played differently in a less solemn present, but either way, Robyn arrives just in the knick of time, offering the escapism of grand production, unforgettable lyrics and a perfect world where even our greatest problems can be solved out on the dancefloor. Like Body Talk, it’s not going to actually save the world, but it provides listeners a perfect opportunity to escape the heat, dance it out and – at its best – see themselves in a remarkably honest way.