‘Jane’ Party to Celebrate Cleveland DJ Icon Rob Sherwood


Cleveland DJ icon Rob Sherwood suffered a heart attack and passed away on February 18. He was 54 and had recently battled prostate cancer. To celebrate Sherwood’s legacy, a party called Jane (Sherwood was known as Jane to his friends) has been organized at Sachsenheim Hall on March 31 by The Disco Mafia. The night will feature drag performances and DJ sets by Sherwood’s Color Blind production partner Mike Filly, Lady Miss Kier, and Kenny Summit.

Sherwood was a beloved fixture in the city’s club music community. He spun at numerous gay and straight venues — as well as one-off raves — including Nine of Clubs, Alterhouse, Aquilon, Lift, U4ia, Trilogy, Metropolis, the Church, and Freak. From the mid-80s on he navigated himself through countless musical trends, DJing around the US and living for a stint in NYC.

“I went to New York and lived every single DJ dream I ever had,” he once said. “All of my heroes were coming out of the studio at night saying, ‘I just cut a disc, I want you to play it’ – my heroes. Not just some guys, my DJ and producer heroes. Every club I ever dreamed of wanting to work at, I worked at.”

the disco mafia rob sherwood

Sherwood, who contributed music reviews to Cleveland-based publications Underground News and Buzz, was an in-demand remixer in the ’90s and ’00s.

“He produced floor-filling remixes for Deee-Lite, Sparks, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, The Lightning Seeds, and Sagat,” says NYC-based dance-music label veteran Joe Berinato.

“Nightlife luminaries are rare breeds these days and none were like Rob Sherwood. The extent of immeasurable devotion, unwitting impact and ultimate legacy he left on DJs and club culture alike, not only in Cleveland but in many other cities across the country, will be honored and celebrated here on this night.” Continue Reading

Wearable MIDI Ring Controller Puts Your Finger on the Pulse of Music

wave ring genki instruments

Genki Instruments’ Wave Ring is a wearable MIDI controller that allows users to control sounds, effects and send commands with the motion of your hand. It’s one of the cooler tech inventions we’ve seen as of late.

Wave Ring was created in collaboration with musicians. Here’s how it works: a user slips on the ring and then has the ability to control and manipulate sounds and effects by simply waving their hand. Pretty cool, eh?

The Iceland-based team behind Wave Ring first developed the idea about three years ago. As the product evolved, the company later launched a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo. Reaction among techies was enthusiastic to say the least — the results of their campaign far exceeded their $30,000 goal. To finalize the product, Genki Instruments partnered with Anamaly, an award-winning design firm, and Haltian, a product development manufacturer

The MIDI device can be connected to turntables or just about any instrument that runs via a computer. It can also be paired with bluetooth devices running most software production software and apps.

The unit ships in April and will be available for$200. If you act now, one can be yours for $129 on Indiegogo until the end of the month.

wave sound finger genki instruments

Pitchfork Fest 2018 Ignores Electronic Music (Again)

Pitchfork Music Fest 2018 Lineup

Today Pitchfork announced the lineup for its 2018 shindig, taking place July 20-22, 2018, at Chicago’s Union Park. Aside from performances by Mount Kimbie, Kelly Lee Owens and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, festival organizers have ignored the genre once again.

To be fair, Pitchfork has done a credible job covering electronic music, hiring writers and critics that understand the history of the medium. But in terms of its annual festival the publication presents in Chicago, they’ve continually ignored electronic music in favor of presenting sets from up-and-coming indie acts for some unknown reason. What, they couldn’t get Aphex Twin to come to the Windy City?

Festival producer Mike Reed seems to think this year’s lineup is musically diverse.

In a press release he boasted, “Since the festival’s inception, we’ve tried to present the most unique and eclectic musical lineup. Unlike other festivals, music is always at the forefront, so it’s great to step back and see how diverse and inclusive the music makers and listeners have become. We hopefully do our best to reflect that by simply staying true to our initial ideals.”

Here’s hoping they throw dance music fans a bone next year.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2018 Lineup

Tame Impala
Courtney Barnett
Mount Kimbie
Big Thief
Earl Sweatshirt
Julien Baker
Open Mike Eagle
Julie Byrne
Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society
Lucy Dacus
The Curls

Fleet Foxes
The War on Drugs
Blood Orange
Raphael Saadiq
This Is Not This Heat
Moses Sumney
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Circuit des Yeux
Nilüfer Yanya
Zola Jesus
Paul Cherry

Ms. Lauryn Hill–The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 20th Anniversary Performance
Chaka Khan
(Sandy) Alex G
Alex Cameron
Japanese Breakfast
Kelly Lee Owens
Ravyn Lenae
Kweku Collins
Irreversible Entanglements
Nnamdi Ogbonnaya

The story’s intro has been updated to reflect that electronic artists Kelly Lee Owens and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith are on the bill.

End of an Era: NME Ceases Print Publication to Focus on Digital


NME announced today that its print edition will cease on March 9. The move comes as parent company Time Inc. adopts a digital-first strategy. NME will continue to publish special issues in print, such as its new paid-for series NME Gold.

Born as New Musical Express in 1952, the publication served as a hotbed for music news and criticism. It was the first British paper to include a singles chart. In recent years NME faced declining ad sales. It relaunched as a free publication in September 2015, increasing its print run to 300,000 from a circulation of 15,000, but it continued to struggle.

Paul Cheal, Time Inc. UK group managing director, Music, said in a statement: “NME is one of the most iconic brands in British media and our move to free print has helped to propel the brand to its biggest ever audience on NME.COM. The print re-invention has helped us to attract a range of cover stars that the previous paid-for magazine could only have dreamed of.

“At the same time, we have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market. Unfortunately we have now reached a point where the free weekly magazine is no longer financially viable. It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand.”

Keith Walker, digital director of NME, added: “NME has been at the digital forefront for more than two decades. Our global digital audience has almost doubled over the past two years. With these new developments, we are giving consumers even more of what they want from us. By making the digital platforms our core focus we can accelerate the amazing growth we’ve seen and reach more people than ever before on the devices they’re most naturally using.”

With the shuttering of the print edition, NME aims to keep going by focusing a suite of new “products” intended to optimize its digital footprint.

NME Audio, comprising two new music channels – NME 1 and NME 2 – is available on Regional DAB, the TuneIn App and on NME.COM. NME 1 will champion new talent on NME’s radar and NME 2 will feature a range of artists and NME classics. In addition, a new weekly franchise, The Big Read, is to launch on NME.COM, replacing the weekly cover star interview. This in-depth feature will also be the lead item in a weekly curation of NME.COM’s biggest stories available in the App Store.

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Pioneer DJ Unveil Updated DDJ-SB3 for Serato DJ Lite

Pioneer DDJ-SB3

Beginner and pro DJs alike have reason rejoice. Pioneer DJ have upgraded their DDJ-SB2 Serato DJ controller in the form of the improved two-channel DDJ-SB3. The unit sports a more inuitive interface, including the introduction of the dedicated play and cue buttons and the independent Auto Loop button.

In collaboration with legendary turntablist/arist DJ Jazzy Jeff, Pioneer DJ have introduced a new feature called Pad Scratch, which enables DJs to reproduce scratches based on Jeff’s own recordings by simply pressing the Performance Pads. Plus, smooth mixing is a breeze thanks to another new feature, FX Fade.

The DDJ-SB3 is available now at an SRP of £229 including VAT (roughly US $315). The DDJ-SB3 unlocks Serato DJ Lite – which is available for free download – when connected to a computer running the software.

Check the specs and promo video below. Continue Reading