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Recently, we sat down and chatted with Sydney Blu and Shelley Johannson about their latest collaboration ‘Getting Closer’ EP, which released on Truesoul. This is what they both had to say about their writing process and creation of each track:

Thematically, what was your approach going in? Did you have a vision for the tracks and how they should sound?

We crossed paths at Electric Island, a festival held on July 1, 2022 in Toronto. While we hung out listening to a great set from Joris Voorn, we had a conversation about the possibility of collaborating in the studio. It was evident to both of us that Truesoul would be the ideal label for our joint project, as it perfectly complemented the fusion of our respective sounds. Subsequently, we explored avenues for our collaboration, envisioning an EP that would maintain a techno influences while incorporating captivating melodic elements. We firmly believed this fusion would create the ultimate combination for our musical endeavor.

What was the writing process like – share details on work flow, division of labour.

SHELLEY: When we embarked on the creation of this EP, my primary focus was on establishing a strong foundation for each track. I wanted to ensure that both songs had ample room to evolve and breathe. Given that I had limited percussive elements to work with, it was crucial for each sound to stand out. To achieve this, I employed a technique of layering multiple white noise hits, toms, and random clicks from my DFAM synthesizer. This approach allowed me to fill the frequency spectrum, resulting in a richer and more robust sonic experience.

SYDNEY: I am a melody writer, I love working with drums and building on them. Additionally, I thoroughly enjoy the process of track arrangement in Ableton Live. In our collaboration, Shelley provided me with her stems and foundational drum tracks, allowing me to delve into the arrangement process and ignite the creative spark for melodies. Moreover, I took the opportunity to write sub basslines and experiment with various vocal sounds and chops for both records.

For the track ‘Drive me Crazy,’ I had an interesting idea. I decided to take a vocal chop and layer the plugin ‘Tantra‘ over the entire vocal section. This approach intentionally obscured the vocal, making it difficult to comprehend for the majority of the record. However, during the final significant break, we removed the Tantra effect, resulting in a clearer and more prominent vocal presence. In a similar vein, I employed the same technique for ‘Getting Closer,’ where I sought out a selection of random opera vocal sounds. By applying the Tantra plugin to these vocals, I was able to transform them into entirely new and captivating elements within the composition.

Were you doing the collab remotely or in person? If in person, whose studio did you go to?

Throughout the entire writing process, we engaged in a collaborative back-and-forth approach, passing the project seamlessly between us. The majority of the work was done in Ableton Live, and later, we transferred the projects to Protools for the mixing phase.

It’s truly remarkable how today’s technology enables us to effortlessly exchange Ableton projects via platforms like Dropbox. Additionally, we utilized Zoom sessions to work together in real-time, despite not physically being in the same studio. This allowed us to maintain a cohesive creative flow and effectively collaborate from different locations.

Once we reached a point where both songs felt complete in our eyes, we sought the expertise of Daniel Dubb, an exceptional mastering engineer who owns a remarkable surround sound studio. Entrusting him with our projects, he skilfully enhanced the tracks with his impeccable mixing abilities. We rendered the tracks to stems and seamlessly integrated them into Protools for the final mixing and mastering process. Daniel’s expertise elevated the songs, making them sound truly incredible and polished.

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What were the key bits of studio gear you used?

SHELLEY: Processing, which played a vital role in unifying these diverse sounds, especially since they originated from different sources such as analog gear, synths, and sample packs. To accomplish this, I routed everything to a bus and utilized several essential plugins. For enhancing the grittiness and boosting the dirt range (2k-6k), I employed Decimort from D16, which also proved valuable for automating gritty textures during breakdowns. Additionally, I applied a touch of light reverb (specifically Outer Space from Audiothing) to create a cohesive sonic space. Lastly, I integrated GClip, a user-friendly wave shaping clipper that aggressively cuts peaks, allowing for more headroom. And, of course, gentle EQing was applied as well.

SYDNEY: Throughout the production process, we incorporated a selection of my preferred plug-ins, each serving a specific purpose. Notably, I relied heavily on Kontakt by Native Instruments, as well as two vocal pad plug-ins, Pharlight and Straylight, which can be heard in both tracks. Additionally, Massive X, another Native Instruments plug-in, was utilized for creating impactful stabs. When it comes to lead synth, my go-to choices were U-he DIVA and U-he Repro-1, providing a versatile range for crafting captivating melodies and basslines respectively.

For sidechain compression, I consistently turn to Shaperbox by The Cableguys. This powerful tool not only facilitates sidechain processing but also enables sound remixing, offering a dynamic approach to sculpting sounds and achieving intricate rhythmic effects. In addition, the JUNO analogsynth played a crucial role in shaping the sub bass, while Spectrasonics Omnisphere contributed to the creation of various high-frequency elements. To add punch and character to the kick, I employed the 1176 compressor.

However, the standout plug-in that became a personal favorite is Tantra. This versatile tool allowed me to transform samples into entirely new and exciting sounds, adding a layer of creativity and enjoyment to the production process.

The Adam Beyer co-signed EP is available in all streaming platforms.

The post Tech Breakdown With Sydney Blu and Shelley Johannson appeared first on EDMTunes.


By: Jay Seabrook
Title: Tech Breakdown With Sydney Blu and Shelley Johannson
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Published Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2023 13:13:40 +0000

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Afterlife Announces Second Miami Music Week Date

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In a thrilling statement, Afterlife, the renowned label and event promoter, has just unveiled its plans for a second date during Miami Music Week 2024. With a pulse on the beating heart of the Electronic Music scene, Afterlife has become synonymous with transcendent visual experiences and cutting-edge sounds. The anticipation reaches new heights as the announcement of a second date answers the prayers of thousands of fans who so desperately asked for another date.

As the magic of Miami Music Week approaches, Afterlife sets the stage for a sonic voyage that will undoubtedly be the talk of the town. Quite possibly the single fastest-growing event inside Dance music, this 2-day extravaganza is set to be a memorable one.

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Miami Music Week events are pivotal, uniting global talents, setting trends, and creating moments etched in Dance music history. For an entire week, America gathers some of the biggest personalities in the scene for a week of connecting, partying, and making sure the best of the industry is ready to shine in the upcoming year.

Having not only one, but a second date added due to the high demand, speaks volumes about the work Afterlife is doing. The label owned by Tale Of Us has turned Melodic Techno into one of the strongest subgenres around. Now, they look forward to further cementing their legacy inside America during one of its most important weeks.

Taking over the Miami Marine Stadium, attendees to such an iconic week will have the chance to enjoy the performance of the moment.

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Una publicación compartida por Afterlife (@afterlife_ofc)

Tale Of Us, their very talented roster, and thousands of fans are ready to make these two of the most memorable days in recent dance music history. There’s no guessing what might happen. The ultimate audiovisual experience of dance music comes to Miami Music Week.

The post Afterlife Announces Second Miami Music Week Date appeared first on EDMTunes.


By: Sebastian Flores Chong
Title: Afterlife Announces Second Miami Music Week Date
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Published Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2024 06:32:54 +0000

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What So Not, Trivecta, Henry Fong, and 4B Join Phase 2 Lineup For Pulse Event’s Spring Festival: Lunar New Year Celebration

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Pulse Events is bringing the heat with its phase 2 lineup for their Spring Festival: Lunar New Year Celebration at Brooklyn’s Avant Gardner on February 18-19, 2024. Headlined by SLANDER and Alan Walker, this two-day event is not just about music but promises a full-blown celebration of Chinese New Year and the Lunar calendar’s spring. Tickets are still available for purchase on DICE.

The Phase 2 lineup introduces a mix of local Asian-American talent. SLANDER leads the charge on Sunday, supported by Trivecta and Samplifire. The Great Hall will also feature local talent REMIX and Jom Zeng B2B Zion. Sunday night at Kings Hall boasts dynamic performances from local acts like G-NET, Orlost, DYVERGENT, GRIMMACE, and PSYTOXI.

Monday sees Alan Walker in the Great Hall, joined by 4B, Henry Fong, 4YU, and CYBERPUNK. What So Not headlines Kings Hall on Monday, with support from SunRyse, Kasi Opi B2B Charmy, and closing acts Auxygen, Minijoy B2B 1MO.

Pulse Event’s Spring Festival goes beyond music, featuring a lively night market with Lunar New Year treats. Attendees can enjoy immersive experiences like a glam station, interactive photo booth, Kandi Bracelet stations, Spin The Wheel excitement, and a Fortune Wall for writing wishes.

Established in 2015, Pulse Events has emerged as a key player in the Asian-American electronic music scene, specializing in organizing concerts and live performances across North America and beyond. With a mission to pioneer cultural and media innovation, this event producer and promoter brand has successfully hosted industry-leading electronic music artists like Afrojack, Gryffin, KSHMR, Kill The Noise, Like Mike, Seven Lions, Vini Vici, Yellow Claw, and others. Pulse Events has also produced world tours for South Korean acts such as EXO and Big Bang.

Pulse Events aims to represent Asian-Americans within the global dance music community by paying homage to the Lunar New Year. In 2024, Pulse Events will further champion the Asian American market by holding more events and supporting youth organizations and groups that highlight Asian culture. In addition to dance music events, Pulse Events created the Krazy Super concert to promote K-pop music in New York and Los Angeles, uniting more fans who love Asian culture.

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The post What So Not, Trivecta, Henry Fong, and 4B Join Phase 2 Lineup For Pulse Event’s Spring Festival: Lunar New Year Celebration appeared first on EDMTunes.


By: Kevin Ng
Title: What So Not, Trivecta, Henry Fong, and 4B Join Phase 2 Lineup For Pulse Event’s Spring Festival: Lunar New Year Celebration
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Published Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2024 03:37:29 +0000

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Tomorrowland Turns 20: Meet This Year’s Stage Hosts

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The legendary Belgian EDM festival, Tomorrowland, turns 20 this summer! Booming with excitement, it’s set to be an unforgettable experience for fans in Boom, Belgium. Get ready for a stellar lineup of stage hosts igniting the party.

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Dive into the Vortex of Atmosphere Stage

The Atmosphere Stage, an iconic behemoth crowned by a soaring 105-foot tent and bathed in 12,000 dazzling LED lights, is a vortex of excitement. 26-year-old Andromedik, Belgium’s rising Drum and Bass star, will take over Atmosphere with “Andromedik Not Invited.” Having etched his name in history as the first Drum and Bass DJ on the Tomorrowland Mainstage since Netsky in 2018, Andromedik is ready to blow the audience away once again.

Amber Broos Takes Command

But hold on, the party doesn’t stop there! Amber Broos, a 21-year-old Belgian DJ and producer renowned for her fresh blend of Techno and Belgian Retro, will take command of the Atmosphere stage next. Get ready to be captivated by her unique sound, as she injects Tomorrowland’s 20th chapter with a vibrant jolt of energy.

Crafted by Masters: The Art of Stage Hosts

It’s no secret that the selection of stage hosts is the secret sauce of the Tomorrowland experience. Core, Afterlife, Lost Frequencies & Friends and many more add their own distinct flavor and talent to the mix. This festival has always been about embracing innovation and pushing boundaries. The 20th chapter promises to be a monumental testament to its enduring legacy.

Stay tuned! Tomorrowland will soon unveil more exciting announcements, introducing the diverse lineup of artists who will shape this momentous celebration. The anticipation adds another layer of excitement to this already eagerly awaited event.

Get ready to immerse yourselves in an unforgettable experience as Tomorrowland turns 20. Prepare for a world of music, lights, and unparalleled energy that only Tomorrowland can deliver.

The post Tomorrowland Turns 20: Meet This Year’s Stage Hosts appeared first on EDMTunes.


By: André Walker
Title: Tomorrowland Turns 20: Meet This Year’s Stage Hosts
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Published Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2024 14:53:49 +0000

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