Earl Smith Jr was one of three founders of the Chicago house legends who released the groundbreaking 12-minute single Acid Tracks in 1987.
‘He lived for this music’ ... DJ Spank-Spank. Photograph: FacebookGuardian music
One of the pioneers of acid house has died. DJ Spank-Spank was one of three founders of Chicago house legends Phuture, alongside DJ Pierre and Herb J, who released the groundbreaking 12-minute single Acid Tracks in 1987.
DJ Spank-Spank – real name, Earl Smith Jr – suffered a stroke in May, but the cause of his death was not apparent. The news was initially broken via a tweet, since deleted, from Chicago DJ The Black Madonna, but it has since been confirmed on Phuture’s official Facebook page. The post read: “To our Acid House family and Music family at large we are very sorry to say that our friend and partner DJ Spank Spank has passed away. Spank is (was) a legend. We will for certain continue the work he’s started on his final album project and his innovations in music. Please for now: Pray for his family and DJ Pierre his brother. Allow them time to grieve. We will come back with news. Much love.”
“Spanky is the reason why the group Phuture was formed. The world has no idea how talented he was and how much I depended on him. He texted me last night saying he was working on music and how excited he was to have this opportunity to perform again. We were working on our album project and he was so excited about that. I’m just speechless right now. He lived for this music. So we will make sure he forever will live in this music we created together. He will be in a better place. Love each other people. Love life.”
NEW YORK CITY, NY – The Top 3 of the R&B/Hip Hop single sales chart remains the same this week, with Lil Wayne, D.R.A.M. and Rihanna holding onto their first, second and third spots respectively. D.R.A.M. made some moves on the Hot Rap Songs chart this week by bumping Drake’s “Too Good” from the top spot.
Elsewhere this week, Travis Scott’s “Pick Up In The Phone” comes in at #6 and lastly, Beyonce’s “Formation” once again falls out of the Top 10 following a brief re-emergence last week.
Lil Wayne’s “Sucker For Pain” Glued To #1Lil Wayne’s “Sucker For Pain” lands at #1 on the charts for the fifth consecutive week. The cut, which features Wiz Khalifa and Imagine Dragons and appears on the soundtrack to the recently released film Suicide Squad, sold 36,446 units during the seven days leading to September 8, a figure that serves as an 11% decrease on the amount sold last week.
D.R.A.M.’s “BROCCOLI” Stays At #2D.R.A.M. and Lil Yachty’s popular single “BROCCOLI” remains at #2 this week, selling 33,151 units during the seven days leading to September 8. The cut has now sold 392,340 copies since its official release on to the charts 20 weeks ago.
Rihanna’s “Needed Me” Remains At #3Despite experiencing an 11% decrease in sales, Rihanna’s “Needed Me” remains at #3 this week. The cut, which features on the singer’s ANTI album, moved 27,226 units during the seven days leading to September 8, taking its total sales since its official release to 886,692 copies.
The Top 10 R&B/Hip Hop Single Sales For Week Ending 09/08/2016#1. Lil Wayne f. Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons – “Sucker For Pain” – 36,446 (413,164)
#2. D.R.A.M. f. Lil Yachty – “BROCCOLI” – 33,151 (392,340)
#3. Rihanna – “Needed Me” – 27,226 (886,692)
#4. Drake f. Rihanna – “Too Good” – 25,106 (533,334)
#5. Drake f. Wizkid & Kyla – “One Dance” – 19,846 (1,855,449)
#6. Travis Scott f. Young Thug & Quavo – “Pick Up The Phone” – 18,816 (80,161)
#7. DJ Khaled f. Drake – “For Free” – 17,710 (475,874)
#8. Beyoncé – “Hold Up” – 16,969 (570,995)
#9. Beyoncé – “Sorry” – 16,393 (794,185)
#10. Tory Lanez – “Luv” – 14,346 (151,358)
To view last week’s Hip Hop Single Sales chart report, click here.
For his eighth LP, Hard II Love, Usher finally seems to be focused. After years of not being able to replicate the runaway success of 2004 landmark Confessions while still collecting hit singles left and right, the dynamic performer buckled down for a full-length that’s actually worth sitting through.
Usher has consistently called upon a a whole squadron of producers to amass as many possible hit singles into a collection of songs – with the exception of My Way, which only utilized four producers. Confessions was the ideal result of that formula when the album went on to sell 20 million copies worldwide. Yet, everything after that project has fallen short and has lacked cohesion. Hard II Love (early-released on September 13) uses this same many-cooks approach, and once again manages to tie everything together.
The brilliant, falsetto-laden “Crash” remains a highlight on the album that marries the best of Usher’s R&B and pop sensibilities. Pharrell’s production appears on the minimalistic “FWM,” where we find the crooner revealing the thirst by singing, “Baby I can change, can you stick around? Fuck with me.” “Let Me” sounds like the counterargument to Rihanna’s “Needed Me” over a trap-inspired beat. All of them, while totally stellar on their own, offer a rock steady consistency from Usher.
The heart of Hard II Love is the eight-minute “Tell Me,” demonstrating the earnest delivery from Usher that he seems to reserve only for coital tracks. Except that on this one, when his vocals soar, it’s aimed more at the heart than the swimsuit area.
The minimalist and under-spoken quality of Hard II Love marks the first time since 2004 that an album of his binds together in such a way. That said, there are some missteps. But even with the unnecessary production of The-Dream and Tricky on the dated “Bump,” the regrettable Metro Boomin-produced “Make U A Believer,” and a few minutes from the intro, this sure sounds like the defining album of Usher’s current era.
Hard II Love is impressive because it shows an R&B vet who’s been around for two decades and has sold 43 million albums worldwide refusing to pander to the current landscape, and refusing to desperately grasp onto his glory days. R&B is being driven by the new generation, but Usher isn’t chasing them here. He abandoned EDM and house party tracks – a go-to for a guy like Chris Brown. Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, and Miguel may be singing about the same topics as Usher, but their view is laced with drugs and alternative sounds. Usher has embedded his place in music so deeply that he’s now flying above any current trend.
Jon Reyes | September 16, 2016
During the summer there were plenty of great festivals all over Europe. Famous names like Tomorrowland, Fusion, Roskilde, Melt, Sziget and Isle of Wight are festivals which you should visit at least once in your life. But there is way more to choose from as the ones above: Especially in Germany there will be a many great festivals in 2016. If you like electronic music and famous DJs you will have a great time on one of the German Festivals in 2016.
Dance-festivals in Germany
Many German DJs are known all over the world. Names like AndHim, Paul & Fritz Kalkbrenner, Paul van Dyk, PanPot and Anja Schneider are born in Germany and travel all around the world to perform on dance-festivals and parties. Lucky for us these DJs did not forgot where they came from and perform at German festivals on a regular basis as well. Partly because of this most German festivals have a very solid line-up with a mix of famous artists and talented newcomers. For many of you it might be too much of a time-investment to visit a day-festival in Germany, but for a weekend-festival it could certainly be worth travelling a bit. A good thing is that the money you spend for the fuel can be compensated with the cheaper entrance-ticket of the festivals in Germany.
Festivals close to Berlin
If the distance still makes you unsure whether or not to visit a German festival in 2016 you could always combine a festival with a trip to a city like Berlin. As you can read on this blog, Berlin is worth more than just a few days of your time and a great starting point for visiting a festival. It is a good thing that most of the festivals in Germany are organized in the eastern part of the country and therefore they are easy to reach from Berlin. All the German dance-festivals in this article cam ne reached in about 2 hours by train, bus or car. Obviously the clubs in Berlin are hard to leave behind, but a whole weekend with your friends on a campsite is still a way cooler experience than one night in a club.
Top 3 great German dance-festivals in 2016
Below you can find a list with some of the best German festivals in 2016. Most of the festivals offer versatile music-styles but we mainly focused on dance-festivals. All of the festivals are weekend-festivals so you will have the possibility to stay on a campsite overnight. Obviously a ranking like this always has a lot to do with personal taste and preferences. Because of that we wrote a small motivation at every single one of these dance-festivals. If you want to get an impression of the music and the line-up I would recommend visiting Youtube or Soundcloud and listening to some livesets of the DJs/Artists.
If you do not have much time you can also just skip to the summary: At the end of the article we summarized our selection of German Festivals in 2016. Click on the link below if you want to go there directly:
–> Directly to the summary
1. Fusion Festival
If you read an article about the best festivals in the world, most of the time the German festival Fusion will be one oft hem. Fusion (or Фузион) is one of the most unique festivals I have ever visited. The first edition of this German festival was organized in 1997 and the location has always been a military basis called Lärz. The last couple of years more than 60.000 people visited this dance festival about 150km north of Berlin. The ticket-sales of Fusion proof that the festival is very popular: It is not possible to buy a ticket directly on the website, instead you have to register and hope that you will be one of the lucky people who gets drawn.
The best festival in Germany: Fusion (© jonasginter.de)
Fusion festival 2016 will be organized from the 29th of June till the 3rd of July. The line-up is not available yet and this will stay this way till a few weeks before the festival because this is the policy of this German festival. The only thing I can guarentee is that the music has been great the last couple of years. Popular DJs like Andhim, Lexer, Pan-Pot, Super-Flu and Jan Blomqvist are just a few examples of what you can expect. But Fusion is also known for giving a lot of local DJs and young newcomers a chance to perform on a big stage.
The price of the tickets for Fusion Festival have increased rapidly during the last couple of years. This is a bit against all that Fusion stands for but also makes sense if you think about the package you get in return. You can camp for almost one full week, can bring your own drinks (even to the stages) and will have four days of great music and entertainment. Especially the fact that you can bring your own liquor to the dance-floor will safe you a lot of money in the end.
Line-up Fusion leak: The Fusion festival will take place within a few weeks so some DJs are already updating their tour-dates and the lists with leaks are getting bigger and bigger. Some great names on the line-up of Fusion 2016 are: HVOB, Einmusik, DJ Tenis, Kollektiv Ost, Victor Ruiz, Solomun, Kollektiv Turmstraße, Daniel Steinberg, Commander Love and Camea. If you want to see a full-list, click here.
Why visit Fusion? There is no similar festival to Fusion. The atmosphere is just different because there are less rules. Ticket-prices gone up but you will safe money in the end anyway because you can bring your own liquor.
Music-styles: Electro, Techno, House
Amount of days: 4 days (officially)
Line-up: HVOB, Einmusik, DJ Tenis, Kollektiv Ost, Victor Ruiz, Solomun, Kollektiv Turmstraße, Daniel Steinberg, Commander Love, Camea
Another German festival which was first organized in 1997 is called Melt. This dance festival is located at an abandoned colliery which goes by the name Ferropolis. The Feropolis is often referred to as the City of Ironbecause a lot of large machines and old cranes can still be found on this island. Just as many other German festivals in this list, the party-area of Melt is surrounded by water. Because this festival is organized in July it is a great that you can have a refreshing dive in the water every now and then.
When it comes to the line-up, Melt is probably the best German Festival in 2016. With DJs like AndHim, Ben Klock, Disclosure, Andy Scott and Oliver Koletzki will be performing here. Besides DJs you can also see bands and artists at the Melt festival (e.g. Two Door Cinema, Chvrches). Compared to Fusion Melt is a bit more expensive (136€)
The Melt festival is located about 140km from Berlin. Two years ago I went to Melt by car and it took me a bit more than 1 hour to reach the Ferropolis. If you want to read more about my experiences you can read thisarticle about the Melt Festival.
Melt officially starts at Friday the 15. of July but you can buy tickets for a pre-party on Thursday already. This pre-party also means that you are already welcome on the campsite on Thursday, the better spots are still available then so this might be a smart thing to do.
Why visit Melt Festival? Mainly because of the great location and the awesome line-up. No other festival can beat their list of famous artists. Besides that it is located quite close to Berlin.
Line-up: AndHim, Chvrches, Ben Klock, Two Door Cinema, Disclosure, Andy Scott, Oliver Koletzki and many others
3. Feel Festival 2016
Last year Feel Festival was listed on the 8th position in this article. But after having visited this festival personally last year I reconsidered and decided it is one of the three best German festivals in 2016. The Feel Festival is organized at the beach of the Bergheider See which is located about 127km south of Berlin. The fact that you can camp almost directly on the beach of this lake makes the Feel Festival a perfect festival to relax during the day and enjoy music at night. The photo below gives you an impression of this German festival.
The Feel Festival 2016 is organized in the second weekend of July (7th till 11th). At the moment not much is published yet about the line-up but last year DJs like Sascha Braemer, HVOB, Lexer, Niconé, Wankelmut and many others were present. Besides DJs there were also plenty of bands and artists and we even found a small stage with 90s music. If you want to read more about the Feel Festival of last year you can read my full article here.
The price of the Feel Festival is more than reasonable. The Early Birds were on sale for 69 Euro but in the meanwhile the tickets are 89 Euro for 3 full days and 4 nights of camping.
Line-up Feel Festival 2016: As mentioned above, the line-up of Feel Festival 2016 will not be published before the festival. Still there are some artists who (accidentally) leaked information. Here are some names on the line-up of this festival: Marlon Hoffstadt, Adana Twins, Einmusik, Jonas Saalbach, Monkey Safari, Animal Trainer and more will be added soon!
Why visit Feel Festival 2016? Camping directly at the beach, a solid line-up and a very reasonable price. What‘s not to love? I fit does not have to be as massive aas Melt or Fusion, Feel is probably the best festival in Germany.
Music: Electro, Techno, Bands, House
Amount of days: 3
Line-up: Marlon Hoffstadt, Adana Twins, Einmusik, Jonas Saalbach, Monkey Safari, Animal Trainer
Venture for a moment inward deep within the capacities of your own individual dreamscape. You’re in a dungeon; better yet? A vault. An underground facility hinged with imagination. Where your fantasies run rampant with electricity fueled by one specific energy source. Can you guess what that source of power may be?
Unleashed at a vicious 174 beats per minute, Desperados Studios mastermind Bob Parlington (OK GO – The Writing’s On The Wall) has truly outdone himself.
“They picked five traditional experiments with the elements and took them to a whole new level, subverting them— like setting the Chladni sand patterns on fire with the very sound that created them. Everything was built from scratch: the pyro plates, the Rubens tubes and air hockey table, and of course the speaker sphere: 98 speakers each one wired and connected to a stack of concert amplifiers, with 78,000 W of power coming out of the installation.”
Now that we’ve collectively established the sheer quality of the video itself, let’s move forward a bit to the extraordinary production value of the tune itself. Once again, through the signature sounds of one of drum and bass’s favorite duo’s The Prototypes the world is left in a unilateral shock. Heading to the club? Drop this tune. Having a beer with your mates? Drop this tune. In a fight with your girlfriend about why drum and bass takes up so much of your free time? Drop this tune so loud that she won’t be able to yell over your monitors blaring.
Heh, okay maybe not that last part, but you get the idea.
SHANE ARMIJOSEPTEMBER 13, 2016
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