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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2020 » January » 10

ARP/KORG reissue the ARP 2600 semi-modular synth – and an ARP documentary to watch, too

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 10 Jan 2020 7:47 pm

As expected, we’re getting a limited-run, faithful recreation of the ARP 2600, one of the best-known semi-modular instruments of all time.

It’s 1970 all over again.

In a partnership between Japanese manufacturer KORG, who now have the ARP brand name at their disposal, and ARP co-founder David Friend, “ARP Instruments” is back as a maker. There’s now an arpsynth.com website, and the press release actually says ARP on it in big letters rather than KORG. It’s technically speaking still a KORG product, but it seems KORG are leaning hard on the authenticity of what they’re making, and the fact that they worked with ARP veterans.

Branding aside, the actual product really does look, sound, and operate effectively like the original, with only some minor affordances to modern convenience. So yes, there’s of course USB and MIDI DIN I/O plus XLR audio output – we aren’t Cro-Magnon humans here.

But otherwise, what you get is a 1970 package – and a strange realization that what was an advanced synthesizer a half century ago is still a powerful workstation today. (Well, hey, the violin and piano have lasted far longer than 50 years.)

Some of those features:

  • ARP 3620 duophonic keyboard (the improved model)
  • Tons of oscillators, envelopes, filter, amplifier – something that could well give a Eurorack kit of the same price a run for its money
  • Audio preamp for input
  • Ring modulation, lag and voltage processors, envelope follower
  • Clock-able switch (which now can also work with USB + MIDI)
  • Aux mixer, plus parallel-wired multis
  • Sample and hold module, signal inverters
  • Spring reverb tank
  • Built-in monitor speakers
  • Integrated carry case

Maybe the 2600 was just ahead of its time. With normalled paths for signal, and even 3.5mm minijacks (1/8″) – just like modern Euro, but from 1970 – the 2600 almost looks like it was made for today’s market.

It’s got flexible envelopes, tunable noise, solid 4-pole filters with -24/dB rolloff, and it’s just eminently playable, thanks to all those easy-access sliders.

And maybe that’s a good thing about all these recreations. They give hands-on access to some of the best designs of the past, and force new designs to compete – and genuinely improve on what came before. That’s always been the case with acoustic instruments, who likewise benefit from high-quality makers and not only cheap clones.

Or at least, that’s the potential if musicians educate themselves about these instruments and imagine new ideas, rather than just blindly following old brands because they’re established.

There’s already a preorder available, for US $3,899.99, with shipping next month. Happy Valentine’s Day to … someone with a generous partner.

That sounds high, but it’s notably below the price of digital workstations like even KORG’s OASYS not so long ago, even before accounting for inflation. And many Eurorack rigs start at least that high. It’s also vastly preferable to trying to buy aging, increasingly expensive and increasingly non-working historical models – see Reverb.com pricing, which is higher than this. Synths just don’t last like violins do. (I can’t find an original ARP price to know what it’d be in modern dollars … a lot.)

That said, if you want a free fix of ARP history, KORG and Reverb have teamed up on an excellent documentary that all of us can watch for inspiration in our own patching and sound design.

And we can gawk at these pretty pictures KORG sent over, too.

Also, I would definitely buy this and make R2-D2 noises before spending even more on a full-sized R2-D2 droid.


The post ARP/KORG reissue the ARP 2600 semi-modular synth – and an ARP documentary to watch, too appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

PIRATE Act Passes Senate, and Now on to the President for Signature – Provides for Big Fines and Enforcement Sweeps in Big Markets

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Fri 10 Jan 2020 5:53 pm

The PIRATE Act, to crack down on pirate radio, passed the Senate this week after having passed in the House of Representatives last year.  It now goes to the President for signature.  We’ve written about this legislation several times before (see for instance, our articles here and here).  In this final version, it provides more tools for the FCC to crack down on pirate radio operators more quickly, plus it imposes obligations on the FCC to make more regularized enforcement efforts against pirate radio operators, although without necessarily providing any more resources with which to do so.

The bill increases the fine for pirate radio to a maximum of $100,000 per day of operation, to a maximum of $2,000,000.  Fines can be imposed on anyone who “knowingly does or causes or suffers to be done any pirate radio broadcasting.”  This would seemingly allow the FCC to go after not just the operators themselves, but also those who “suffer to be done” any pirate radio operation, which could possibly implicate landlords who knowingly allow pirate radio operations on their premises, consistent with some recent FCC cases (see, for instance, the one we wrote about here).  In addition, the bill allows the FCC to immediately issue a Notice of Apparent Liability (a notice of a proposed fine) without having to first issue a Notice of Violation (a notice suggesting that there is a violation of the rules, but allowing the person accused of violating the rule to first respond before the FCC can issue the proposed fine).  The accused party will still be able to argue that no fine should be imposed when it receives the Notice of Apparent Liability (e.g., the party could argue that it had a license or that it did not really broadcast at all, or at a power level that requires FCC approval), but the two-step process currently needed before issuing a proposed fine would no longer be required, thus speeding up enforcement efforts. 

Under the bill, the FCC would also need to conduct an annual “enforcement sweep” of the top 5 radio markets based on the amount of reported pirate radio activity in the market, with follow-up monitoring 6 months after each sweep to assess whether the pirates have in fact ceased operations.  These sweeps would need to be conducted without disrupting normal pirate radio enforcement activity in other markets.  The bill requires all pirate radio enforcement activity to be cataloged and submitted in a report to Congress each year.

The bill would also prohibit the FCC from taking any action to preempt any state law that targets pirate radio, such as the laws in Florida, New Jersey, and New York which make such activity illegal under state law.  The bill also directs the FCC to coordinate with the US Attorney’s Offices and the US Marshall’s office to collect fines and seize equipment – powers that already have been used by the FCC to act against pirate radio operators (see, for instance, our article here about the seizure of pirate radio equipment).

Bigger fines and quicker enforcement actions, plus calls for the closer monitoring of FCC action so that future FCC administrations cannot retreat from the commitment to enforcement shown by the current FCC, seem to bode well for broadcasters looking for protection against pirate radio operators.  We’ll watch as these new penalties are rolled out when the Act becomes law.

Mura Masa: RYC review – so mediocre, it’s not even entertainingly bad

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 10 Jan 2020 9:00 am

Clairo, Tirzah and Slowthai and other guests can’t polish the turds on producer Alex Crossan’s profoundly awful second album

It’s never easy being young, and perhaps it is harder than ever, what with social media and the climate crisis sending youth anxiety rates soaring. This second album by the 23-year-old Grammy-winning British producer Alex Crossan – AKA Mura Masa – is about the understandable draw of nostalgia as an escape from today’s stresses, but it fills you with a different kind of flight impulse.

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DGTL festival makes its Asia debut in Bengaluru with a line-up of global artistes and a strong emphasis on sustainability – Indulgexpress

Delivered... | Scene | Fri 10 Jan 2020 9:00 am
DGTL festival makes its Asia debut in Bengaluru with a line-up of global artistes and a strong emphasis on sustainability  Indulgexpress

DGTL festival makes its Asia debut in Bengaluru with a line-up of global artistes and a strong emphasis on sustainability – Indulgexpress

Delivered... | Scene | Fri 10 Jan 2020 9:00 am
DGTL festival makes its Asia debut in Bengaluru with a line-up of global artistes and a strong emphasis on sustainability  Indulgexpress

DJ T-1000’s Generator revived from reel-to-reels, and more Detroit back catalogs

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 10 Jan 2020 3:29 am

Here’s another great Bandcamp phenomenon – digital reissues. And for a Detroit techno throwback, where better to start than this DJ T-1000/Generator remaster – and two big back catalogs, while we’re at it?

Step back in time to 1992.

DJ T-1000 aka Alan Oldham paired up with Ethan Nep Sevy (see also his band Code Industry) to form the label Generator. The result: an epic, delicious duo called TXC-1 (say it “toxic,” like Britney Spears). Alan was a key figure in the Submerge label orbit, as well known for his comic art and album cover designs as his music, but Generator matters, too – and Submerge did the pressings and distribution. (Image here, and at top – Alan’s artwork, to set the mood. Check more at alanoldham.com.)

It’s warm, groovy, perfectly economical stuff that’s full of heart. We’ve been following Alan’s exploits closely around these parts as he has settled into an ultra-productive period in Berlin. If you missed it, check out his excellent house EP from the fall, too:

But it’s great to have the history behind this, too. Generator Records has its own page, and Alan promises via Bandcamp that more reissues/remasters are on their way:


That’s the most recent reissue on my radar from Detroit, but there’s plenty more where that came from, particularly over the past year.

Don’t miss K-HAND aka Kelli Hand, whose work is so exhaustive and eclectic that Bandcamp recently gave her a well-deserved “lifetime” feature (thanks to writer John Morrison):

Lifetime Achievement: Kelli “K-HAND” Hand [Bandcamp Daily]

Bandcamp had reason to take notice – Kelli compiled a full discography’s worth of goodness, old and new, by putting up her Acacia label.


It’s a rich mine of focused production chops and rhythmic invention, from house, techno, acid, and the outer worlds. Bandcamp gives you a decent map through all that terrain, but here’s one full release just to get you started – the diverse Detroit History Pt. 1. It’s a bit like what would happen if a well-curated “various artists” comp could be done by, you know, one person. I adore “Bongos”:

But then there’s also DJ Bone, for some banging-solid, irresistible tracks. Maestro Bone has put up a massive catalog of his own.


Where to start? I mean, part of why I’m not much of a music journalist is I get distracted listening. It’s Thursday night as I’m writing this. Here’s a track literally called “Thursday Night” that’s pretty sick. Done.

Oh yeah, listen to the end. The break… and then…

Listening should always be part of our diet. These days it seems “managing social media” is the task that threatens to gobble our time. But that’s why I love this – all this music is now accessible. You can pay for it and download it, and load it onto a device or take it to the studio and turn the Internet off and get away from streaming. And somewhere, your name and email pops up right on the artist’s screen to let them know you care.

And then we get back to why we do this, and what makes us not just better musicians and producers but happier humans – we can listen to tracks like these that make us feel something really good. And I hope music gives that cue to our brains and souls that feeling good is okay.

So when you read that you should know your Detroit electronic dance music roots, I mean … there’s a good reason to do it. Easiest. New year’s. Resolution. Ever.

Oh yeah, also – this track comes right after “Thursday Night” and – stay tuned shortly for some goodness from Japan, too, meaning we can strap in for the Detroit-Tokyo connection.


The post DJ T-1000’s Generator revived from reel-to-reels, and more Detroit back catalogs appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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