Noisia, Pioneering Electronic Music Trio, Breaks Up

Noisia Split

Noisia, the revered Dutch electronic-music trio known for blazing new trails in drum ‘n’ bass and dubstep, are calling it a day.

In a statement issued today to (below), Thijs de Vlieger, Nik Roos, and Martijn van Sonderen said that the time is right to pack it in at the end of 2020.

After 20 years of being Noisia, we are ready to become something new.

We’ve all grown, as people and as musicians. For almost 20 years, all three of us wanted pretty much the same, but we’ve developed, and realized that nowadays we want different things. If we all wanted the same different things, it would make sense to do that as a different Noisia, but we want different different things.

That’s why we’ve decided that for us, and our listeners, it’s the most honorable and respectful choice to put an end to this chapter, and start the next one. Noisia has always been about making as few compromises as we can. When Noisia becomes a compromise in itself, it’s time to move on.

We’ve tried to realign ourselves over the last few years to keep the wagon on the rails, but the reality still is: we are not who we were before, and the time of doing everything together because we all want the same is behind us.

Noisia is a game that we’ve completed. There’s very little left for us to explore together. Noisia is a beautifully consolidated shape. And we want to leave Noisia in that shape, rather than keep chiselling at it, with the risk of ruining it. A good artist should know when an artwork is finished.

What the future holds for us, we honestly don’t know. We still have our studios in the same space, and we will run into each other every day. We are still friends. We will still make music together in some shape or form.

We want to celebrate our 20th year and the past 20 years together with everyone who’s been involved and made it all possible. We want to go out with a blast and say goodbye to our fans properly, so that we can look back and say “it was an amazing era, and we finished it in style”. We want to do one last year of touring DJ shows, one last year of Noisia Radio, and finish and release the music that we’ve been working on together.

This was a very hard decision to make, but we thought about it for a long time and it feels like the only right thing to do for us without breaking what we’ve built.

We are very proud of what we’ve done. We’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity we were given to share our music and vision with so many people, and we feel greatly indebted to all those who helped us along the way. We’re excited about making the last year as Noisia as memorable as we can, and we’re curious to see what will come after.

TL;DR: We’ve decided to stop being Noisia at the end of 2020.

Gibson Returns Trademark to Synth Pioneer Tom Oberheim

Tom Oberheim Gets Name Back from Gibson

Gibson, a company known internationally for its lineup of signature electric guitars including the Les Paul and SG, announced today that it had returned the Oberheim trademark to company founder and synth pioneer Tom Oberheim.

According to a statement issued by Gibson, the move was instigated after a chance meeting between Gibson president and CEO James ‘JC’ Curleigh and Oberheim at Winter NAMM.

“Of the many stories I have heard and decisions I have made since joining Gibson, this situation seemed simple,” said Curleigh. “Let’s do the right thing by putting the Oberheim brand back in the hands of its namesake founder Tom Oberheim.”

“After over thirty years of being without it, I am thrilled to once again be able to use the Oberheim trademark for my products,” said Tom Oberheim. “I am very grateful to the new leadership team of Gibson for making this possible.”

The Oberheim company first produced the OB-X in 1979, the OBXA in 1980-81, and the OB8 in 1983, as well as the Matrix 12, Matrix 6 and Matrix 1000 from the mid-1980s.

The OB-X was used on classic albums, ranging from Rush‘s Moving Pictures and Signals to Madonna‘s debut album. Prince, Harold Faltermeyer, Van Halen and Jean-Michel Jarre were also Oberheim enthusiasts.

Gibson is coming out of a tumultuous time. After surfacing from bankruptcy in 2018 the instrument company had a reported $200 million in debt. This month Gibson announced new creative collaboration agreements with boutique guitar makers as well as the opening of its new headquarters in Downtown Nashville.

NYC Dance Music Industry Veteran Judy Russell Has Died

judy russell downtown 161 vinylmania

New York City’s dance music community is mourning the passing of Judy Russell (pictured above left). The cause of death is not yet known.

Russell, a Bronx, NY native, was part of the inner circle and the volunteer staff at the legendary Paradise Garage. After working at now-defunct record shop Vinylmania, she went on to work at two seminal (and also now-defunct) NYC dance labels, Nu Groove and Movin’ Records.

Russell later took an influential position at Downtown 161, running the label and distribution arm of the business.

Last spring, a group of friends banded together to launch a fundraiser for Russell, who had fallen on hard times. Russell had been in and out of the hospital, became unable to work and had been struggling financially. Tony Humphries and DJ Spinna played a benefit party on April 12 at the Panther Room at Output on her behalf.

Former Vinylmania owner Charlie Grappone remembered Russell on Facebook: “We first met Judy Russell when she came into Vinylmania and bought General Johnson’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’ off the wire for $20. She bought it for Manny, who Bobby Shaw recommended for employment with us. I hired Judy later on and they were our Paradise Garage connections and brought us into the world of Larry Levan. She was a key part of Vinylmania’s success. Worked the floor, the register, mail order, the label, she did it all. Judy was with us for the births of our children and loved by our parents and families. After vinylmania, we continued working with her and Linda at Downtown 161. She was part of our lives for many years and will be greatly missed and always remembered. RIP Judy.”

Close friend and colleague Manny Lehman shared fond memories of Russell: “They say people come into your life for a reason … some people come and go and some people stay with you forever. Judy Russell came into my life like a force of nature and bought so much music, fun, life and laughter. Her passion for music was unrivaled. Her friendship unwavering. Her love of life was limitless. I will miss her tremendously and I celebrate all the wonderful moments we shared together. Our musical memories are the stuff of legend. Thank you Judy for being all you were to everyone, especially to me. You can rest now. Say hi to Larry for me! Love you forever.”

A host of industry icons and labels have also taken to social media to express their condolences.

This is a developing story and will be updated as we learn more.

Superfreak Artist Laurent Blondeau (a.k.a. Lo) Commits Suicide

Laurent-Blondeau-Lo-Superfreak

Mr. C, the legendary member of The Shamen and much-loved DJ/producer/Superfreak proprietor, has announced the passing of label artist Laurent Blondeau (a.k.a. Lo). He was 47.

According to Mr. C, Blondeau, who lived in Calais, France, committed suicide on June 29. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

In a statement Mr. C said, “I had several extended conversations with Lo over these last couple of months and although he recognized he was going through some trials and tribulations, he was always positive, which makes his passing all the more shocking as it comes right out of the blue. I, like so many others, am truly heartbroken.”

Blondeau connected with Mr. C when he regularly DJ’ed at the now-defunct End club in London. He later went on to become a resident at Superfreq club nights. Blondeau started producing music in 2010 and developed a deep, techy and dark sound. He signed music to plethora of top labels, including Superfreq, Wiggle, VeryVeryWrongIndeed and Fabric.

On July 12 the label will host a tribute record sale day “in which all proceeds from all Superfreq sales will be donated to leading mental health charity, Mind. We will also be setting up a JustGiving page, holding an auction and memorial event, details of which will be released in due course.”

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide, do not leave the person alone. Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt. In the U.S., contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.