Spotify’s Sorting Hat Shows 3000 New Albums in a Week

Last month Spotify introduced their ‘New Release Sorting Hat’ that shows all the new releases of the past week.

With tens of millions of tracks on Spotify there’s no way anyone could ever run out of tracks to listen to,  especially after listening to just Tobu every week. But if you ever did feel bored with Spotify’s expansive catalogue then you needn’t worry.

As Spotify’s new Sorting Hat shows there were over 3000 albums uploaded to Spotify in the last week. So there’s no excuse for stagnation of what you’re listening to on Spotify, you couldn’t get through that in a month let alone a week!

But the Sorting Hat wasn’t intended to be a check-list to tick off each week, Spotify intended it as yet another tool for discovering new and unheard music. In their announcement post Spotify write: “If you’re excited by the freshest sounds the world has to offer, you’ve already found out how hard that is, especially if you’re looking for a particular kind of music.”

They go on to write: “This ‘experimental attempt at an algorithmic organisation of the week’s new releases,’ as it’s described by creator and Spotify data alchemist Glenn McDonald, takes a fresh approach to the problem, with powerful implications for music fans who want to explore the brand new music each week, delight their ears and impress their friends by always seeming to be first to the party – in just about any genre.”

Spotify’s Sorting Hat, named after the hat in Harry Potter, can be sorted by genre so you can hear the new releases in your niche before everyone else (well maybe not everyone…)

The site could use a lick of paint or two but the essence of what it presents is all there and well designed for ease of use. The New Release Sorting Hat also only shows music based on availability in the US so you may see releases that aren’t available in your country and vice-versa.

It was also announced today that Spotify’s Discover Weekly, a custom playlist of recommendations based on your listening history, has had 1 billion listens since launching 10 weeks ago. Though the statistic is new it’s acclaim is not as people have been praising Discover Weekly’s intuitive and varied choice since it’s launch, overshadowing Apple’s proud, human-curated playlists.

Safe to say Spotify aren’t looking, nor acting, like they are at all threatened in their position at the top of streaming services.


Deadmau5 Goes Independent As More Artists Decry Major Labels

Massive EDM producer Deadmau5 has made a giant move by ditching major label Universal  for the favour of independent artist publisher Kobalt.

Deadmau5, real name Joel Zimmerman, grew a dislike for Universal Music Group (UMG) due a lack of transparency in the system of major labels, losing control over content and being kept out of the loop. One move in particular caused a twitstorm from the 5-time Grammy Award nominated artist after his music was included on a “Now That’s What I Call EDM” compilation in 2014.

“I am very strict on what products I want to associate myself with, and I felt that some things were just to make a buck,” Deadmau5 says of some of the labels choices. “We’d only get a little trickle, and I’d be like, ‘Wait, I look this stupid for only that much? Why am I looking stupid in the first place?”

As one of the richest DJs in the world, with a reported net worth of $53 million, Deadmau5 has a big presence in the industry and therefore a wide influence.

Deadmau5 publicly spoke out, saying: “The label does what’s good for the label. Always. It’s instilled in the industry that that’s the only way to do it. Well, not anymore.” With this in mind Deadmau5 opted for Kobalt as his new publishing company.

Kobalt Music Publishing

You may already know of Kobalt, as the largest independent music publisher in the world they feature artists such as Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Skrillex, Lionel Richie, Nick Cave etc. Kobalt promise an alternative to the music business model that has become staple over the past 100 years.

With Kobalt Deadmau5 will keep control over all of his content. The president of Kobalt, Richard Sanders, said: ” The deal was focused mainly around flexibility and affording him the opportunity to release his music in any way, shape or form he’d like. How it’s monetised will be up to his direction and his control.”

The deals bargaining position was strengthened by the fact that the majority of Deadmau5’s income is generated from live shows and touring rather than record sales.

Kobalt was introduced to Deadmau5 by his manager Dean Wilson of Three Six Zero. This has brought about the potential for a partnership between Kobalt and Three Six Zero, with Wilson saying he “absolutely” sees himself bringing the agency’s other artists to the platform.

He added: “I feel a little bit of guilt that we haven’t. After looking at the back end and meeting everybody… my god, it’s like somebody’s awakened the sleeping side of my brain. It’s like, actually, there’s a different way to put records out.”

Deadmau5 spoke optimistically about his future, saying: “I’ve got $130 million in the bank and whiteboard full of cool ideas for emerging markets and technologies where we’re gonna test the waters and see what happens.”

This is one of many moves towards independence in the music industry with the often unfair treatment of artists coming to a head as the opportunities to go it alone become ever easier. As music production becomes easier and cheaper for independent artists, talks increase on fair treatment of artists and with free digital distribution available through distributors like RouteNote we look to be moving towards the first major reshuffle of power in the music industry since it became an industry.

Akai Announce New Touch Screen Music Production Controller

Akai Professional have announced their latest instrument in it’s MPC series, a controller with a built in touch screen.

With the MPC Touch you get a professional piece of production gear combined with the ease and intuition of using a smartphone or tablet. According to Akai the MPC Touch will “(forever change) how producers interact with all aspects of their sound.”

The result of “painstaking engineering development, detailed customer research and user feedback.” The main feature is of course the 7″ colour, multi-touch display that allows you to grab and pinch waveforms, draw midi events, adjust envelopes, chop samples, add effects and set controls with precision using your fingers.

Akai Professional MPC Touch

The controller isn’t just a touch screen though and comes with the staple MPC sound, quality design and newly improved pads. A representative from Akai said: “(The pads are) far superior to existing MPC hardware They’re much more sensitive and very playable, akin to the new MPD line of MIDI controllers as they follow a similar lineage.”

The MPC Touch also comes bundled with a massive collection of over 20,000 sounds in a range of styles from elit content providers, including: Prime Loops, Sonivox, MVP Loops, Toolroom, CR2, AIR and more.

Akai Professional MPC Touch

Akai went into detail about the in-built step sequencer and their new XYFX feature, saying:

The MPC Touch has a new independent track length feature which combined with the new step sequencer is something truly special. You can set any track to a different length in realtime doing this from the step sequencer gives an MPC user the potential to work in new ways.

In the Step Sequencer you can enter or remove steps with either the pads or on the TUI via the note steps beneath the velocity sliders, you can use the TUI to adjust the velocity of any step. Dragging your finger across the screen allows you to draw in velocity patterns, you can nudge the pattern with the onscreen ‘nudge’. There’s also an overall slider for trimming the velocity of all steps and section with preset shapes.

The gestural editing and tweaking via the TUI combined with the traditional pads makes the creation of drum parts way easier than your traditional drum machine step sequencer where things like tweaking velocities is a slow process.

The XYFX are a range of realtime gestural effects. You can instantiate an XYFX on any drum or instrument program with one touch and get straight into using the XY pad to mangle the incoming audio. There is a full screen view and a smaller view which contains the preset menu and controls for the touch envelope which crossfades between the dry and wet signal from the effect. It has a wide range of tempo synchronised and manual effects e.g. beat repeat variants and LFO modulated filters.

You can have as many instances of the XYFX as you have programs! And they can be automated into the sequencer.


So here’s a breakdown of the features that come with the revolutionary new MPC Touch:

  • 7″ colour, multi-touch display
  • 16 velocity-sensitive thick, fat MPC pads with RGB backlighting
  • 2-in/2-out audio interface
  • Step Sequencer with touch interface
  • XYFX control adds effects, adjusts sound dynamics in real time
  • Phrase Looper, enables connection of any instrument to create loops
  • Pad Mixer for setting levels, stereo panning and adding VST effects
  • Sample Edit control for trimming, chopping and processing your samples
  • 4 new, performance-ready touch-sensitive controls
  • Data Encoder knob for push-and-twist control of display paramaters
  • Includes MPC software and over 20,000 sounds

Unfortunately the MPC Touch still requires a PC or Mac to use but the touch screen still adds loads more functionality using just your fingers and controller.

You can read more about the MPC Touch on the Akai website. It will be available in November for £499.

You can see the MPC Touch in use with Grammy-award winning, multi-platinum producer Needlz below.

Spotify Partner With ‘Amsterdam Dance Event’ Festival

Spotify have partnered with EDM festival ‘Amsterdam Dance Event’ (ADE) to bring a new service for the festival’s visitors.

The new service and app takes Spotify users’ listening history and uses it to direct festival-goers around the Amsterdam Dance Event. The analytics will provide users with information about where their favourite artists are playing at ADE and gives more suggestions based on that data.


The apps main features are:

  • Programmes for the entire Festival, Playground and Conference.
  • A guide to all the Festival, Playground and Conference locations.
  • A profile for every artist and speaker in the ADE line-up
  • News updates, exclusive access to social media functions and access to special ADE playlists, including Celebrate Safe playlists.
  • A ‘discover’ function to explore the extensive ADE playlist.
  • A ‘recommend’ function that helps users discover new artists during ADE.


The Amsterdam Dance Event is a five day festival  and conference that features 450 events and 2,200 artists in 155 clubs and venues. Over 350,000 people attend the shows between the 14th-18th of October, from all around the world, making Amsterdam one of the biggest EDM hubs in the world.

ADE’s director, Richard Zijlma, spoke about the partnership, saying: “We are excited to collaborate with Spotify and to provide our audience a way to discover new talent and new music as well to provide the performing talents with an improved global platform.”

Spotify’s marketing director for Europe, Nikki Lambert, said: “Every year thousands of passionate music fans descend on ADE to enjoy music from hundreds of artists across the EDM world.

“Spotify can now help those music fans to navigate the huge range of experiences on offer and to find both new and established artists that either they love now, or will discover this year through Spotify and ADE.”

Spotify have created an ADE 2015 playlist that is updated daily, featuring artists such as The Chain Smokers, DJ Snake, Ferry Corsten, Armin Van Buuren, Joris Voorn, Seven Lions, Thomas Gold and many more.

The new Spotify-integrated ADE app is available for iOS and Android. You can also view most of the features on the Amsterdam Dance Event website:

Axero & Vexento – Our Road

Axero and Vexento, two of our favourite RouteNote artists, have teamed together for a new track. The collaboration of these two brilliant producers has resulted in the amazing track ‘Our Road’.

Listen to it below!

Follow Axero and Vexento below for more great tracks!


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