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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2019 » March

April Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Radio License Renewal, Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, Repacking and EEO Dates, and Comments on the Quadrennial Review

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Fri 29 Mar 2019 4:58 pm

April, as we wrote last month, begins the start of the radio license renewal process, with stations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia having to run on the 1st and 16th of the month public notices of the planned filing of their license renewals at the beginning of June.  As we also noted last month, April also brings a requirement that, by the 10th of the month, stations add to their online public file Quarterly Issues Programs Lists for the prior quarter, setting out the most important issues facing their communities in the prior quarter, and the programming that they aired to address those issues.  We have written about the importance of these quarterly reports to the FCC to show how you served the public interest and the fines that can be imposed at renewal time if the lists are not properly prepared and uploaded to the online public file.  So don’t forget the obligation this obligation that applies to all full-power stations (and Class A TV stations).  We expect that the FCC will be watching (and in fact already is, as evident from some of their recent warnings to stations)!

In addition, April 1 brings the obligation for radio and television stations in Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas that are part of an Employment Unit with 5 or more full-time employees, to add to their online public inspection file their Annual EEO Public Inspection File Report.  This report documents the full-time employment openings at the station in the prior year, the recruitment sources used to fill those positions, and the non-vacancy specific outreach efforts (the menu options) that stations use to inform their community about broadcast job openings and the efforts they make to train their staffs to assume more involved roles at their stations.  TV stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware will also file with the FCC their Form 397 EEO Mid-Term Reports – likely the last mid-term reports to be filed as the FCC’s order abolishing these reports should become effective before the next such reports are due to be submitted (see our articles here and here on the FCC’s abolition of the Mid-Term Report and its continued enforcement of the EEO rules through EEO audits).

Quarterly Children’s Television Reports are also due by the 10th of the month, reporting on the educational and informational programming directed to children broadcast on each stream that a TV station broadcasts (the obligations of TV stations to broadcast educational children’s TV programming is under review – see our post here – but that does not affect this upcoming filing obligation).  The 10th is also the date for TV stations affected by the repacking to give the FCC a status report on their repacking efforts, though the FCC just agreed to waive that requirement for TV stations in repacking Stage 3 as they have an April 12 deadline for their “10 Week Report” – due 10 weeks before the date on which their transition should be complete – and these reports are seen as essentially duplicative.

On April 29, comments are due in the FCC’s Quadrennial Review of its ownership rules.  This review will principally look at radio ownership rules (see our article here).  But the FCC will also be looking at trying to provide more definition as to when they will allow the common ownership of two of the top 4 TV stations in any market, and also at whether one party could own 2 of the top 4 broadcast TV networks.

Thus, as always, April will be a busy regulatory month.  Consult with your own counsel about dates we may not have highlighted here, and for dates that may apply specifically to your station.  For more information about upcoming regulatory dates, see our Broadcaster’s Regulatory Calendar, here.

The Matthew Herbert Brexit Big Band: The State Between Us review – spacious political elegy

Delivered... Dave Simpson | Scene | Fri 29 Mar 2019 10:00 am

(Accidental Records)

The Matthew Herbert Big Band are attempting something that so far seems beyond our politicians: “To work out what a new kind of relationship with our European neighbours may look like.” This BPI-funded project has taken Herbert to Syria, China and Russia and has provided work for more than 1,000 musicians from across the European Union. It’s certainly a very big Band, although the project has perhaps lost some impact by no longer coinciding with the now-delayed Brexit. Still, as the wheels of democracy grind, The State Between Us certainly offers space for reflection.

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Two free plug-ins and a music label take you into ambient worlds

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Labels,Scene | Thu 28 Mar 2019 6:42 pm

What’s to say a music idea can’t be both a tool and a tape, an instrument someone could play or an album they can get lost in? Puremagnetik are launching their new experimental label with two free tools that let you keep the drones and grains and ambient soundscapes flowing.

There’s a bunch of hype this week because Warner Music signed an algorithm. And in turn with everyone abusing the term “AI,” you might well think that a computer has automated a composer’s job. Except that’s not what happened – in the long tradition of algorithmic music, a group of composers applied their ideas to the development of software. One of the first apps launched for the iPhone, in fact, was the Brian Eno – Peter Chilvers “Bloom.” Endel has more in common with Bloom, I’d argue, than it does some dystopia where unseen, disembodied AI come to rob you of your lucrative ambient music recording contract. (At least, we’re not there yet. Endel is here in Berlin; I hope to talk to them soon – what they’ve done sounds very interesting, and maybe not quite what the press have reported.) Bloom in turn was a follow-up to Eno’s software-based generative music releases. Ableton co-founders Gerhard and Robert released software in the 90s, too.

So let’s talk about the role of musician as blurred with the role of instrument builder. Soundware and software shop Puremagnetik is made by musicians; founder Micah Frank was moonlighting in sound design for others as he worked on his own music. While this may come as shocking news to some, it turns out for many people, selling music tools is often a better day job than selling music or music performances. (I hope you were sitting down for that bombshell. Don’t tell my/your/anyone’s parents.)

But there are many ways to express something musically. Many of us who love tools as we do love playing live and recording and listening do so because all of these things embody sound and feeling.

It’s fitting, then, that Puremagnetik are launching their own record label to house some of the recorded experiments – Puremagnetik Tapes, which already has some beautiful music on cassette and as digital downloads.

And the perfect companion to those albums is these two free plug-ins. Like the label, they promise a trip for the mind.

The two first tapes (also available as digital)… gorgeous sound worlds to lose yourself in on loop.

The label announces it will focus on “experimental, ambient and acousmatic music.” That already yields two enchanting ambient forays. “Into a Bright Land” is in turns crystalline and delicate, warm and lush as a thick blanket. It’s Micah Frank himself, releasing under his Larum moniker. The musical craft is a digital-analog hybrid, part synths and tape machines – the kind the company has been known for sampling in its sound work – and partly Micah’s intricate custom coding work in the free environment Csound.


To accompany Into a Bright Land, there’s the plug-in “Expanse,” a “texture generator,” with a combination of “texture tone” filter, spectral blurring, adjustable pitch shift, and a healthy supply of noise generation and space.

Its drones and sonic landscapes draw from that same world.

Tyler Gilmore aka BlankFor.ms has crafted “Works for Tape and Piano,” pushing each instrument to its most vulnerable place, the tape itself becoming instrument, sounding almost as if at the point of a beautiful breakdown.


Since you can’t just borrow Tyler’s tape machines and such, Driftmaker is a digital equivalent – a “delay disintegration” device. Add your own audio, and the plug-in will model analog deterioration. The artist himself supplies the presets. Again, you have plenty of control – “parse” which sets the record buffer, “chop” which determines how much to recall, and then controls for delay, modulation, filtering, and wet/dry.

Both plug-ins are free with an email address or Gumroad login.

…and the plug-ins, each created to aesthetically accompany the albums.

There’s a pattern here, though. Far from a world where artists remove themselves from craft or automate the hard work, here, artists relish in getting close to everything that makes sound. They make music the hard way because each element of DIY is fun. And then they share that same fun. It might well be the opposite of the narrative we’re given about AI and automation (and I suspect that may also mean artists don’t approach machine learning for music in the way some people currently predict).

Or, well, even if you don’t believe that, I think you’ll easily lose whole evenings with these albums and plug-ins alike.



Requirements: macOS X 10.8 (AU, VST) or Windows 10 (VST) 64-bit plug-ins

The post Two free plug-ins and a music label take you into ambient worlds appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

April Fool’s Day is Monday – Don’t Let the Joke Be on You by Forgetting the FCC’s Hoax Rule

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Thu 28 Mar 2019 5:36 pm

It’s that time again.  If you are planning any on-air pranks on that air on Monday for April Fools’ Day, think twice.  As we do every year about this time, we need to play our role as attorneys and ruin the fun by repeating our reminder that broadcasters need to be careful with any on-air pranks, jokes or other bits prepared especially for the day.  While a little fun is OK, remember that the FCC does have a rule against on-air hoaxes. While issues under this rule can arise at any time, broadcaster’s temptation to go over the line is probably highest on April 1.

The FCC’s rule against broadcast hoaxes, Section 73.1217, prevents stations from running any information about a “crime or catastrophe” on the air, if the broadcaster (1) knows the information to be false, (2) it is reasonably foreseeable that the broadcast of the material will cause substantial public harm and (3) public harm is in fact caused.  Public harm is defined as “direct and actual damage to property or to the health or safety of the general public, or diversion of law enforcement or other public health and safety authorities from their duties.”  Air a program that fits within this definition and causes a public harm, and expect to be fined by the FCC.

This rule was adopted in the early 1990s after several incidents that were well-publicized in the broadcast industry, including one case where the on-air personalities at a station falsely claimed that they had been taken hostage, and another case where a station broadcast bulletins reporting that a local trash dump had exploded like a volcano and was spewing burning trash.  In both cases, first responders were notified about the non-existent emergencies, actually responded to the notices that listeners called in, and were prevented from responding to real emergencies.  In light of this sort of incident, the FCC adopted its prohibition against broadcast hoaxes.  But, as we’ve reminded broadcasters before, the FCC hoax rule is not the only reason to be wary on April 1.

Beyond potential FCC liability, any station activity that could present the risk of bodily harm to a participant also raises the potential for civil liability.  In cases where people are injured because first responders had been responding to the hoaxes instead of to real emergencies, stations could have faced potential liability.   If some April Fools’ stunt by a station goes wrong, and someone is injured either because police, fire or paramedics are tied up responding to a false alarm, or if someone is hurt rushing to or from the scene of the non-existent calamity that was reported on a radio station, the victim will be looking for a deep pocket to sue – and broadcasters can become the target.  Even a case that doesn’t result in liability can be expensive to defend and subject the station to unwanted negative publicity.  So, have fun, but be careful how you do it.


Premiere: rituals of sound and rhythm in the latest from Mexico’s FAX

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Wed 27 Mar 2019 7:09 pm

The Changing Landscape is the latest mystical outing from Mexican ambient/experimental electronic master FAX. And to launch into that world, we have a video that’s liquid, glitchy, a post-digital mind trip.

Let’s watch the music video, created by Hirám López:

Fax, aka Rubén Alonso Tamayo, is the epitome of a long-term artist. He’s got multiple decades of music to his name, spanning from dancefloor to far-out experimental soundscape, but always imbued with craft and thought. Ideally, you’ll get to hear Fax’s work in person – live, he creates earthquakes of sound and transports audiences to other planes. (I was lucky enough to catch him in Mexico City for the edition of MUTEK there.)

The Mexicali, Baja California-native artist is also a hub of activity in Mexico, across visual and sonic media. So for The Changing Landscape, we get free-flowing, spontaneous journeys full of the percussion work of Yamil Rezc.

The landscapes are organized into a diverse progression of “lands,” variations on a theme and instrumentation. “Land I” opens with a squelchy, exposed bassline before breaking into a gentle, jazzy jam. “Land II” is a stuttering, irregular ambient world, drums and piano idly ambling in stumbles over top waves of fuzzy pads. “Land IV” is more futuristic, pulsing synths glistening as noise crests and breaks across the stereo field. “Land V” crackles and cycles in some final parting ritual.

“Land III,” for which we get this video premiere, is clearly a highlight, an esoteric inner sanctum of the album, digital odd angles against a melancholy dialog of pad and bass.

FAX, photo by Braulio Lam.

Like the label he has co-founded, Static Discos, FAX works along borders of geography and medium. As often is the case, the personnel here come from that Mexican border town Mexicali. And visual collaborator Hirám López tunes into the trance-like, surreal-ultrareal quality of the work, writing:

FAX’s atmospheres and musical progressions submerged me in a hypnotic trance that I had to capture. Land III, was an experimentation exercise, where the human collages of Jung Sing were distorted to mix these characters even more through the aesthetics of the glitch. I used Adobe After Effects to replicate a series of visual alterations that bad coding can cause in today’s tech devices, based on the musical figures to give them a synchronized intention.

It’s all subtle, as is the music – the effect just disrupting the surface, a direct analog to the sonic approach in the album. As they write:

“Displacement mapping” was the technique that Hirám López used the most; It allows you to alternate pixel positions from a high contrast image, were the brightness intensity determines how the superimposed pixels on that image or map will move. Lopez’ method consisted in using several layers of this effect on Jung’s illustrations, placing keyframes and expressions (code that detects audio and converts it in a numeric value) that moved the distortion map along the x and y axes, in sync with the music. Under the concept of permanence of the disturbance, as a ghostly trace of the previous or later character, the “Datamoshing” effect created dynamic transitions, with this same tool. Due to its hypnotic effect, the waves and tunnels created with various plugins including “Ripple” and “Radio waves” were very helpful for depth simulation, the repetition of the illustrations, and the Mandelbrot type fractals to emphasize the trance.

Also, “masking” allowed López to cut out some elements from the characters in order to extend its fragmentation, also as a resource based on musical sync and especially on visual composition.

The full album is out on Bandcamp and other services from Static Discos.

Official release page:


For more – a mix from last year on the Dimension Series from the label:

The post Premiere: rituals of sound and rhythm in the latest from Mexico’s FAX appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Wed 27 Mar 2019 7:00 pm
The Cure, Robyn, Travis Scott and Bob Dylan are the headliners. Other notable names include Janelle Monáe, Underworld, Cardi B, MØ, Jon Hopkins, Johnny Marr doing both solo material and The Smiths classics, Skepta, Brockhampton, and the always amazing and deafening Spiritualized.


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Wed 27 Mar 2019 7:00 pm
Headliners include Chase and Status (DJ Set), Excision, GRiZ, TroyBoi, ZHU who were previously dropped at regular intervals. But now the full lineup reveal goes DEEP with names like Ganja White Night, Silk City (Diplo and Mark Ronson), Bonobo (DJ Set), Black Tiger Sex Machine, Kaskade, Liquid Stranger, Anti Up (Chris Lake and Chris Lorenzo), Zed's Dead, Jauz and Rusko.


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Wed 27 Mar 2019 7:00 pm
So many great names and lots of updates to your favorite stages ... it's gonna be a great year. Get the details, tickets are on sale now.

Time for All-Digital AM?  Petition for Rulemaking Asks that the FCC Allow It

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Wed 27 Mar 2019 4:34 pm

For decades, the FCC has been attempting to solve problems with AM reception – in the 90s looking to protect AMs from each other, and today trying to assist them in overcoming the effects of background “noise” coming from the proliferation of electronic devices in the environment which make AM reception, particularly in urban areas, very difficult. Even a number of car makers have announced plans to remove AM radios from new vehicles – particularly electric ones – given these stations’ susceptibility to interference from in-car electronics. Is there a solution?

Bryan Broadcasting (a long-time client that I assisted with its pleading) thinks it is time that the FCC do something dramatic to give AM a long-term future. This week it filed a Petition for Rulemaking asking the FCC to allow any AM to go all-digital in its operation.  The pleading does not suggest that any AM be forced to convert to an all-digital operation – instead it proposes that stations be given the option to make that conversion whenever they want. This is not a new concept, the FCC having considered it in the past and, in its 2015 AM Revitalization Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, discussed listed it as an issue on which they wanted comments so that they could consider such a transition at some point in the future (that discussion principally advanced in the FCC’s questions about the future use of the expanded band – see our post here on that 2015 Order).  Already, there is one AM station in Maryland operating full-time with all-digital facilities under experimental authority, and several tests have been conducted across the country on this all-digital operation.  While these tests have shown many positive results, why suggest this option for AM stations to make this digital conversion now?

The petition says that this proposal is just a recognition of the reality for AM broadcasting.  The electronic noise in the environment is not going away no matter what tinkering is done with the current AM transmission standard.  Music programming, and probably much other programming as well, simply will not be of acceptable quality when subject to this interference.  An all-digital signal can overcome this noise, and an all-digital signal is much more robust than the digital operation allowed by the hybrid digital-analog system currently permitted by the FCC.

While FM translators have provided relief to some AM stations, they have not solved any reception issues with the AM signal – they have just given the stations that were fortunate enough to get a translator a lifeline until a real solution comes along.  Plus, not all AM stations, particularly those in large markets, were able to be awarded a translator license.  For those AM stations that did not get a translator, or for those whose AM signal reaches farther than a translator can, other solutions are needed.  Bryan Broadcasting argues that this market-based approach – a voluntary transition to AM digital – may provide the answer for AM stations.

This is just a Petition for Rulemaking.  The FCC is likely to ask for comments on the Petition, then consider whether to issue a formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.  If the proposal gets to an NPRM, then more comments will be taken before this proposal could be adopted.  Thus, this permission will not happen overnight, although additional stations could ask for experimental authority in the meantime.  But if Bryan Broadcasting has its way, this option will be open to AM broadcasters soon so that they can adapt to modern marketplace conditions.

Beyond Rock: How Red Axes Are Carving Out A Unique Space In Israel’s Music Scene

Delivered... chloe | Scene | Wed 27 Mar 2019 12:48 pm

The post Beyond Rock: How Red Axes Are Carving Out A Unique Space In Israel’s Music Scene appeared first on Telekom Electronic Beats.

The month’s best mixes: dusty house, spooky techno and sparkling jungle

Delivered... Lauren Martin | Scene | Wed 27 Mar 2019 12:28 pm

We select the best mixes in March, including recordings from Lena Willikens, MGUN and DJ Klaus

Related: The month's best mixes: psychedelic sounds, soulful UK garage and sinewy EBM

Related: The BBC cutting Late Junction is a blow for experimental music

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Apple ships update it says addresses USB audio issues on recent Macs

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 26 Mar 2019 7:28 pm

An update to macOS Mojave yesterday promises to “improve reliability” of USB audio on recent Apple hardware, addressing a serious issue many users had flagged.

macOS Mojave 10.14.4 Update deals mainly with Apple News+, the (North American-only, for now) Apple subscription service, and Safari and iTunes updates. But buried in the release notes is this mention:

“Improves the reliability of USB audio devices when used with MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini models introduced in 2018”

I had heard anecdotally over the past week from macOS beta testers that they had seen the issue disappear after an update. This particular language is fairly tenuous. The symptoms as reported were specific only to Apple’s own hardware, not any other Mac or PC device, and it’d be more comforting to see this listed as a fix than improved reliability. There’s also been no official word from Apple or its partners about the source of the issue, though the culprit appears to be Apple’s own custom silicon which now includes the USB controller.

Apple often uses this kind of conservative language in release notes, though, so don’t read too much into that – we just need to test this.

It may be too soon to endorse buying the 2018 models until more test data comes in, but it’s at least safe to say, if you’re using USB audio and you have one of these machines, you should probably update your OS immediately.

Previously – and yeah, this is everything Apple makes:

Apple’s latest Macs have a serious audio glitching bug

What about OS reliability for sound generally?

While we’re talking quality issues and third-party hardware, Native Instruments experienced an issue with Windows updates to Windows 7, 8, and 10 causing TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 Mk2, MASCHINE STUDIO, and all KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series Mk1 devices to fail to be recognized. That issue, first made public on March 1, was already fixed by March 18.

There’s nothing particularly important about bringing that up, except this: while I’d like to see Microsoft (and Apple) make it easier for pro users to opt out of software updates, Microsoft does make it reasonably straightforward to roll back a problematic update to the previous version. Sure, you should backup regularly, but as restoring the backup of the operating system is rarely an easy affair, it makes sense for the OS itself to provide these tools. So in the case of this Windows issue, NI was able to advise customers to reverse the update. Apple hasn’t made a similar feature available.

I remain concerned about Apple’s present reliability for audio applications. And I think it’s fair to hold them to a higher bar, given the company tends to charge a premium for its machine and offer fewer choices, in exchange for greater responsibility for the integration of hardware and software. Third parties have told me that Apple have audio devices to test, and obviously the Logic and GarageBand teams all use audio interfaces just like the rest of us (in addition to the hardware people).

This isn’t about 90s-style platform wars. (Amiga! Atari ST!) No one wants to see musicians and audio makers having frustrating experiences with sound gear. I do hope Apple gets back on track and stays there.

What I can say across the board is this: audio and music users would benefit from more transparency, more detailed up-to-date information on tests, and more control over OS and hardware to avoid problems, on all platforms.

The post Apple ships update it says addresses USB audio issues on recent Macs appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Tue 26 Mar 2019 7:00 pm
Thomas Dolby will be at Moogfest! He'll do a live performance + a two-way interview with Jason Leopold from Buzzfeed. The live show is at Carolina Theatre on Saturday, and he'll open the performance with live projections of his audio workstation and talk about how he creates music.


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Tue 26 Mar 2019 5:00 pm
The Lumineers, The Chemical Brothers and Childish Gambino headline! Flume, Logic, Tame Impala, J Balvin, City and Colour and Hozier also top the list! Tickets are on sale!


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Tue 26 Mar 2019 5:00 pm
Paul Simon, Childish Gambino, Twenty One Pilots headline! The Lumineers, Flume, Blink-182, Kygo, Anderson.Paak, Leon Bridges, Kacey Musgraves and Lil Wayne also top the list! Tickets are ON SALE Mar. 28 at 10:00 AM PST. Check back for updates and access!
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