Tip: Tom Middleton’s ‘Sleep Better’ is the Natural Secret to a World-Class Night’s Sleep


Globetrotting DJ/producer/sound designer Tom Middleton has been burning the creative candle at both ends since the late ’80s in Cornwall, England. At the start of his production career he struck up a friendship with a then unknown chap named Richard D. James, whose Aphex Twin project was just getting off the ground. Not too long after Middleton had found his groove, creating genre-defining music with Mark Pritchard in Global Communication. (The duo’s 1994 album, 76:14, is a benchmark of excellence in the field.)

Middleton’s lengthy discography is truly something to behold — countless productions, remixes and a spate of brilliant mix CDs spanning ambient, deep house and downtempo. (2002’s sprawling three-disc opus The Sound Of The Cosmos is as sublime a mix collection as they come.) Factor in a variety of work as a sound designer, sample pack producer and that equals a busy man.

More recently, Middleton has come to learn and better understand the science of sleep, which invigorates the mind, body and soul, reduces stress, energizes, calms and plays an important role in overall wellbeing. If you don’t get enough of it on a consistent basis — a challenge for many of us in our always-on culture — then serious health problems may develop.

The cost of sleep deprivation in the US costs 1.2 million lost working days a year, costing $411bn or 2.28 percent of GDP. Middleton says if we could get just one more hour of quality sleep to make up to 7 hours plus, it would add £24bn back to the UK economy.

Middleton trained to become a sleep coach, learning about sleep architecture, sleep health and hygiene. Before long his two passions converged. It led to Sleep Better (Universal Music), an album of soundscapes designed to help inspire relaxation before bedtime. The tracks he created slow respiration with the goal of reducing blood pressure and stress levels, with the goal of activating the relaxation mechanism.

On the eve of the album’s release on World Sleep Day, Middleton recalls how he became interested in sleep science and why Sleep Better could be the important project of his career. Continue Reading

Ambient God Brian Eno to Release Jaw-Dropping 9 LP ‘Music For Installations’ Vinyl Box Set

Brian Eno

Pioneering ambient producer Brian Eno will release Music For Installations, a collection of new, rare and previously unreleased tracks, on vinyl for the first time. The music heard on the release was recorded by the master for use in his audio-visual installations from 1986 to the present held at the Venice Biennale, the Marble Palace in St. Petersburg, Ritan Park in Beijing, the Sydney Opera House, the Astana Expo in Kazakhstan, and more.

Eno designed the packaging with long-time collaborator Nick Robertson. The 9-LP bound set comes with a 64-page booklet featuring rare and unseen exhibition photographs and a new essay written by Eno.

Says Eno of his work: “If you think of music as a moving, changing form, and painting as a still form, what I’m trying to do is make very still music and paintings that move. I’m trying to find in both of those forms, the space in between the traditional concept of music and the traditional concept of painting.”

In unrelated news, a 12″ featuring a new song from Kevin Shields and Brian Eno called “The Weight Of History” will be released on Record Store Day 2018.


Track list for Music From Installations (previously unreleased):

01: ‘Kazakhstan’
Premiered at the Asif Khan-designed installation ‘We Are Energy’ in the UK Pavilion at Astana Expo 2017 in Kazakhstan.

02: ‘The Ritan Bells’
Premiered at an installation by Eno at Ritan Park in Beijing, China as part of the British Council’s ‘Sound in the City’ series, 2005.

03: ‘Five Light Paintings’
Premiered at an installation by Eno called ‘Pictures Of Venice’ at the Gallerie Cavallino, in Venice, Italy, 1985.

04: ‘Flower Bells’
Premiered at an installation by Eno called ‘Light Music’ at the Castello Svevo in Bari, Italy, 2017.

‘77 Million Paintings’ (previously unreleased):

01: ‘77 Million Paintings’
Premiered at the inaugural exhibition of ‘77 Million Paintings’ at La Foret Museum Tokyo, Japan, 2006.

‘Lightness – Music For The Marble Palace’ (previously only available as a limited-run CD, via Enostore only):

01: ‘Atmospheric Lightness’
02: ‘Chamber Lightness’
Premiered at the Eno installation ‘Lightness in the Marble Palace’ at The State Russian Museum in St Petersburg, Russia, 1997.

‘I Dormienti’ / ‘Kite Stories’ (previously only available as separate limited run CDs, via Enostore only):
01: ‘I Dormienti’
Premiered at an eponymous installation by the Italian sculptor Mimmo Paladino at The Undercroft of The Roundhouse in London, 1999.

02: ‘Kites I’
03: ‘Kites II’
04: ‘Kites III’
Premiered at an installation by Brian Eno at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland, 1999.

‘Making Space’ (limited-run CD previously only available at Eno installations and on the Lumen website):
01: ‘Needle Click’
02: ‘Light Legs’
03: ‘Flora and Fauna’ / ‘Gleise 581d’
04: ‘New Moons’
05: ‘Vanadium’
06: ‘All The Stars Were Out’
07: ‘Hopeful Timean Intersect’
08: ‘World Without Wind’
09: ‘Delightful Universe (seen from above)’
Compiled by Eno for sale exclusively at his installations, this was first made available while guest artistic director of the Brighton Festival, 2010.

‘Music For Future Installations’ (previously unreleased):

01: ‘Unnoticed Planet’
02: ‘Liquidambar’
03: ‘Sour Evening (Complex Heaven 3)’
04: ‘Surbahar Sleeping Music’

Brian Eno. Courtesy Paul Stolper Gallery 2017, photogrpahy © Mike Abrahams

Premiere: Luca D’Alberto – Everywhere You Are (Yehezkel Raz Rework)

LUCA D'Alberto Reworks From Endless

In 2017 emerging Italian violinist/composer Luca D’Alberto presented his acclaimed debut album, Endless, on the new imprint 7K!, demonstrating his unique talents in the realm of neo-classical music.

On March 16 he’ll release Endless Reworks, a nine-track album featuring remixes by a coterie of rising electronic music talents. The remix album is accompanied by a visuals produced by D’Alberto and Fabio Bonomo under the moniker BODA.

We’re extremely pleased to world premiere the video for “Everywhere You Are” (Yehezkel Raz Rework), where the arrangement of the up-and-coming Tel Aviv composer/musician’s winsome, emotionally moving interpretation is paired with the visual simplicity of contemplative color-changing waves.

Says Luca D’Alberto of the release, “On Reworks great ideas emerged from fragments of music from Endless. And so ‘fragments’ became a key theme for this project. We decided to shoot fragments of fire, metal, earth and water to accompany the album’s release. So much of life, including music, is invisible. This is what Reworks makes clear: many other forms of life – and sometimes its antithesis – can exist within one composition. The reworks give the music of Endless the opportunity to live on the opposite side while still very much being part of the same coin. These visual pieces break the mold and make the music visible – giving strength to both the imagery and the music.”

‘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.