There’s a new turntable that makes your vinyl records float

Image Credit: Jimin Hwang and Jihyo Seo

Wish your records could levitate elegantly before your very eyes? That’s the Levi turntable’s lofty ambition…

Gravity is for suckers. A newly designed turntable makes it possible to elevate your beloved records like they deserve, and watch the vinyl levitate before your very eyes… sort of.

The new concept for the “floating” turntable, named the Levi, was designed by Jimin Hwang and Jihyo Seo from Seoul, inspired by the designs of Harman Kardon. The use of an electromagnetic drive and coils means the records appear to levitate as they turn.

The Levi record player has four settings, soothing, refreshing, sweet, and bittersweet. Choose a mode and the platter moves up and down. It’s got a super-fresh pure white base and tonearms in bright colours that can be swapped over. It looks cool, basically.

No word on how the records actually sound, though. And sadly there’s no release date set for the turntable as of yet, so you’ll have to keep using your boring gravity-obeying turntable for now.

Vinyl records have never been so popular. Despite the age of Spotify and streaming, enthusiasts still love the ritual of removing the record from the sleeve and listening to the music in a raw, authentic way. They’re also a must-have accessory to display in the home – that’s the category that the Levi fits into. Last year, sales of vinyl made more money than CDs for the first time since the 1980s.

A Near-unknown Record Has Sold On Discogs For $41,000 Leaving Producer Baffled

Image credit: Tanner Boriack

The producer in question Scaramanga Silk, who won’t profit off the sale to anonymous bidder, is left confused by the surprise sale.

Like most of us you’re probably scratching your head wondering just who is Scaramanga Silk and why did someone just drop such a wedge of money on this record? We’re not alone as the producer himself still cannot figure it out either. Speaking on the sale he said: “I do not believe that any record is worthy of such a valuation.”

The record has sold for a staggering $41,000 (£29,800) on the music market place Discogs, making it the sites most expensive record ever. It’s also one of the most expensive records sold, ever. 

‘Choose Your Weapon’ by Scaramanga Silk is an almost unheard of record, as is the artist, whom has around 7 monthly listeners on Spotify. The vinyl was self released in 2008 with only 20 copies being made. It was released as a promotional vinyl edition with an accompanying poem, art print and CD. 

The listing originally read: “Mega-rare collectible. Unplayed, Mint Condition. Numbered 02 / 20. Contains info sheet, signed record, signed art print [plus CD].” The $41,095 sale to an anonymous buyer was finalised in December. 

It’s the only time the record has been sold on the site and it’s left Discogs and the artist in a state of confusion. Speaking in full on the transaction Scaramanga Silk said: “It is very difficult to understand why the release went for that kind of money, as I do not believe that any record is worthy of such a valuation.” He continues, “The individual who made the purchase must have had some kind of special connection to the work too … It means a lot that Choose Your Weapon is so special to somebody.”

The track which has “combined elements of breakbeat, electro and UK rave,” isn’t available online, or an any streaming services. Taking heavy influence from the likes The Prodigy and Dopplereffekt. The record was a “response to the issues around knife and gun crime at that time.” 

A statement released by Discogs said: “By several accounts, the release drew attention from collectors shortly after it dropped [in 2008] when it sold on eBay for $654. How that price tag sky-rocketed to over $40,000 remains a mystery.”

This massive price tag far exceeds the previous Discogs record of $27,500 (£20,000) for Prince’s 1987 LP ‘The Black Album’. This is followed by the copy of ‘Love Me Do’ by The Beatles that sold for $15,411. However, such figures are small for rare Beatles records, in 2015 a copy of the ‘White Album’ sold at auction for $790,000. 

It’s an interesting story that leaves much to the imagination, who exactly bought this record and why? And why did they spend so much money on it? Hopefully, as time goes by we will get more answers. 

Spotify Streaming on my 17-year-old iPod Classic (Video)

The ‘sPot’ from Guy Dupont is a 2004 4th generation iPod that streams music online from Spotify… sort of.

After Guy Dupont was handed a 2004 iPod, the first with the signature click wheel, he got to work figuring a way to stream music on the offline-only MP3 player. Anyone with knowledge of the pre-iPod touch era MP3 players from Apple will know that these devices had no way to connect to WiFi or Bluetooth, so this is a whole lot more than simply a sideload of Spotify on a jailbroken iPod. This is a complete rebuild in the body of the iconic device.

While none of the internal components are kept, Dupont managed to keep the fully functioning click wheel, with haptic feedback from a motor, rather than the clicking sound. The music is not stored locally on the device, the video explains how this iPod can stream playlists, saved music and search through all of Spotify’s 60 million+ songs.

The core of the device is a $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W, with other parts from Adafruit such as a colour screen replacing the monochrome one installed, a micro-USB port instead of the proprietary 30-pin dock connector, a larger 1,000mAh battery and Bluetooth to bypass the non-functioning headphone jack. The entire build came in under $100.

The OS runs on Linux with help from Raspotify and Spotify’s Connect API. Dupont build the UI to replicate the original menu style of the original iPod as closely as possible.

The video covers the basics on how the iPod hardware and software were build, with an in depth rundown on his site and source code on GitHub.

After a way to bring Spotify on-the-go, in an iPod Shuffle-like device?

How to play the greatest guitar solo of all time

Not only has the best guitar solo ever been revealed but you can easily play along with it too…

It’s official. The experts at Total Guitar magazine polled their readers in a quest to find the greatest guitar solo of all time, and the results are in.

Of course, what makes a solo the greatest depends on your criteria. Is it technical prowess? Emotion? A memorable melodic line? Arguably, the champion has it all…

So what was the winner – the blistering finger-tapping marathon of ‘Eruption’, ‘Free Bird’ with its pulse-quickening tempo switch, the cheesiness of ‘Hotel California’, or did a different legendary solo make the top spot?

That’s right. Brian May’s solo from ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen was voted the best guitar solo ever. It manages to be epic without being spotlight-hogging in length, and fits in seamlessly with the operatic song.

The reaction by May to winning the title was suitably modest: ‘I am not worthy, but it’s much appreciated.’

Last year over Instagram the Queen guitarist gifted fans and budding shredders a step-by-step guide of how to play the iconic solo, and also gave everyone a nice view of his knee.

(The tutorial is 2:00 to 5:00 if you’re in a hurry.) May offered insight into his playing, saying that he uses the guitar as a voice: ‘I’m not the world’s expert greatest technical guitar player,’ he insisted in typically humble fashion.

Inevitably many, many people will disagree with the results of the poll – but all that means is hours of listening to guitar solos and watching videos on concerts on YouTube until a balanced argument is reached.

You’ll have to buy Total Guitar magazine to discover what was ranked where in the top 50. Please do argue away in the comments over what you think deserves to be crowned the greatest guitar solo of all time. My vote’s for ‘All Along the Watchtower’.

Triple J’s Hottest 100 List Is Here

Image credit: Triple J

For the first time in 11 years a British artist takes the No. 1 spot on Australia’s most coveted annual music poll.

Like most of the world, Australia’s multi-billion dollar music industry came to a quick and sudden halt as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold. Lockdowns were implemented and festivals, events and gigs were subsequently cancelled. Thankfully, bands and artists kept morale high with new music and various releases throughout 2020 and now in 2021.

This year’s Hottest 100 feels a little different with that in mind, we can’t go out and celebrate, nor can the artists. It feels a little lackluster but the music that was released throughout 2020 was still incredibly exciting. The hottest 100 list celebrates the wide diversity and talent across the globe, as well as home grown talent in Australia itself. The pandemic has been rough but even amidst all the madness music has kept us sane, better yet hopeful. The hottest 100 summarizes what Australia had on repeat to keep them going.

Here’s what Australia voted as their hottest 100 records (in order):

Glass Animals – Heat Waves

Spacey Jane – Booster Seat

Flume – The Difference (ft. Toro y Moi)

Ball Park Music – Cherub

Tame Impala – Lost In Yesterday

Cardi B – WAP (Ft. Megan Thee Stallion)

G Flip – Hyperfine

The Jungle Giants – Sending Me Ur Love

Hilltop Hoods – I’m Good

Billie Eilish – Therefore I Am

Lime Cordial – On Our Own

Mashd N Kutcher – Get On The Beers (Ft. Dan Andrews)

Mallrat – Rockstar

Ocean Alley – Tombstone

Spacey Jane – Skin

Lime Cordiale – Screw Loose

Tame Impala – Is It True

Glass Animals – Tangerine

Halsey – You Should Be Sad

Lime Cordiale – Addicted To The Sunshine

Stace Cadet & KLP – Energy

Eves Karydas – Complicated

Mac Miller – Good News

Mac Miller – Blue World

Lime Cordiale – Reality Check Please

Skeggs – Under The Thunder

Spacey Jane – Straightfaced

Sycco – Dribble

Birdz –Bagi-la-m Bargan [Ft. Fred Leone]

San Cisco – Reasons

DMA’S – Criminals

Tame Impala – Breathe Deeper

Amy Shark – Everybody Rise

The Avalanches –Running Red Lights [Ft. Rivers Cuomo/Pink Siifu]

Machine Gun Kelly – Forget Me Too (Ft. Halsey)

The Kid LAROI – So Done

Bring Me The Horizon – Parasite Eve

Juice WRLD – Righteous

Juice WRLD – Come & Go (With Marshmellow)

The Smith Street Band – I Still Dream About You

Jack Harlow – Whats Poppin

Ziggy Alberts – Together

G Flip – You & I

Ruel – As Long As You Care

Tash Sultana – Pretty Lady

Architects – Animals

Headie One – Ain’t It Different (Ft. AJ Tracey/Stormzy)

Juice WRLD – Wishing Well

Peking Duk & The Wombats – Nothing To Love About Love

Glass Animals – Your Love (Déjà Vu)

DMA’S – The Glow

The Weeknd – In Your Eyes

Eiffel 65 – Blue (Flume Remix)

Alex The Astronaut – I Think You’re Great

San Cisco – On The Line

Beddy Rays – Sobercoaster

Tones And I – Fly Away

Joji – Gimme Love

The Kid LAROI – GO (Ft. Juice WRLD)

Ruby Fields – Pretty Grim

Joji – Run

Ball Park Music – Day & Age

The Amity Affliction – Soak Me In Bleach

Amy Shark – C’MON (Ft. Travis Barker)

Skeggs – Fantasising

Doja Cat – Boss Bitch

Vera Blue – Lie To Me

Hope D – Second

Chet Faker – Low

Bring Me The Horizon & Youngblud – Obey

Ocean Alley – Way Down

Genesis Owusu – Don’t Need You

LAUREL – Scream Drive Faster

Remi Wolf – Photo ID

London Grammar – Baby It’s You

Sofi Tukker & Gorgon City – House Arrest

G Flip – Lady Marmalade (triple J Like A Version)

Billie Eilish – My Future

FISHER – Freaks

Spacey Jane – Weightless

The Chats – The Clap

Cosmos Midnight & Ruel – Down For You

Dominic Fike – Chicken Tenders

Dune Rats – Too Tough Terry

Drake – Laugh Now Cry Later (Ft. Lil Durk)

Teenage Joans – Three Leaf Clover

BRONSON – Heart Attack (Ft. lau.ra)

The Jungle Giants – In Her Eyes

Billie Eilish – No Time To Die

Bugs – Charlie (triple J Like A Version)

Thelma Plum – These Days

Internet Money –Lemonade [Ft. Don Toliver/NAV/Gunna]

Aitch x AJ Tracey – Rain (Ft. Tay Keith)

Illy – Loose Ends (Ft. G Flip)

Hockey Dad – Germaphobe

Stormzy – Audacity

Joji – Your Man

Hockey Dad – Itch

BENEE – Kool

Police called on old age pensioners for attending an illegal rave

Image Credit: AC Taxis 334455

Police in Essex rocked on to the scene to break up an illegal rave during UK lockdown only to find a cascade of pensioners – sans techno beats.

It turns out, the people of Essex weren’t boldly flouting the social restrictions in place in the UK as part of the battle against the spread of Coronavirus. In fact, quite the opposite.

As Essex police turned up to the Freemason’s Saxon Hall in Southend, they expected to be attending the scene of an illegal rave after a report of a mass gathering. They’d been phoned with reports of a “rave” happening in the street.

‘In broad daylight? In the middle of the street? During a lockdown?” are probably just some of the questions that ran through the attending officers minds as they headed towards the scene of the illicit partying.

As they approached, no doubt the coppers’ confusion compounded the closer they got to the mass of people. “Certainly not a very lively rave,” was likely one of many swirling thoughts as they pulled up. “A lot of walking sticks and grey hair for a rave.”

Yes, the police had been mistakenly called on a queue of pensioners. No, they weren’t lining up to get into an extremely well ticketed event with confidence in blatantly flouting current law. They were lining up with the hopes of ending the restrictions sometime soon by getting a dose of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine – eventually it turned out to be the Pfizer vaccine.

Saxon Hall’s chairman, Dennis Baum told their local paper: “It was really funny when the police arrived as they had been notified that there was a ‘rave’ taking place at Saxon Hall – only to find 80 and 90 year-olds on wheelchairs, zimmer frames, and walking sticks, patiently queuing for their vaccinations.”

The reason for the old folks traffic jam was the mix up in vaccines mentioned earlier, which caused a delay in delivery. Potentially unaware of the fact that arriving earlier in the morning wouldn’t lead to a significantly earlier immunity to a treatment that takes a few weeks, the pensioners started to line up in abundance.

Baum added: “It was absolute chaos and very cold. The car park became choc-a-bloc with 80 year-old plus drivers.” He added that the police quickly left after realising the mistake but came back in the afternoon to help keep things orderly in the rush to get vaccinated.

More orderly scenes later in the day

A spokesperson for Essex Police said: “Upon receiving reports of congestion at the vaccination centre, a unit responded to offer help with traffic management, and returned later that day to check that everything was progressing smoothly for those getting their jabs.

“No-one wants to see all of our communities getting the jab and being protected more than us at Essex Police, particularly our elderly and vulnerable communities and we will do all we can to support that.”

So, if you see a mass gathering of people in the coming months as we roll out vaccines to communities and hopefully work towards a path out of the COVID restrictions; before you report to the police, take a long hard look at how grey and orderly the culprits are.

Flaming Lips socially distance gigs by putting fans inside inflatable balls

Image Credit: Thanhy Nguyen

Two Flaming Lips shows in Oklahoma featured everyone in ‘space bubbles’.

Have rock band Flaming Lips solved the problem of social distancing at live gigs? They’ve found a resourceful way to keep everyone in the crowd safe – by encasing themselves and the audience in giant inflatable balls.

The sight of singer Wayne Coyne rolling about in a Zorb ball is a familiar one to Flaming Lips fans – for years he’s jumped in a plastic bubble at their gigs to spin madly over the crowd. The idea of putting the audience in balls as well is a new one, however. The band had trialled the use of the bubbles for Covid-safe gigs back in October 2020, teased some more by playing a NPR Tink Desk concert in Zorb balls, but the pair of shows in Oklahoma City was the first time the plan had been seen in action.

Coyne told the BBC: ‘it is kind of absurd, I’d be the first to say that. I’ve been doing it as part of our theatrical freak out stuff at our concerts since I started doing it in 2004. We’re probably the only group in the world that probably would embrace this.’

Each ‘space bubble’ is big enough for three people and contained water, a cooling fan and a speaker. Audience members were armed with ‘I Have to Pee’ signs, a signal to staff that they need help exiting the ball to use the facilities, which when flipped read ‘It’s Hot in Here’, asking the staff to pump the ball with new cool air.

Flaming Lips, who formed in 1983, released their latest album American Head last September. Aside from appreciating the safety aspect, Coyne said that the band’s fans ‘like the adventure… it’s not just another concert, you’re part of this thing that’s never been done before, and they’re quite up for it being different.’

Depending on how well you cope with enclosed spaces, the prospect is either a dream or a nightmare. It depends how desperately you’re missing live music. Would you willingly trap yourself in a plastic ball if it meant that you could watch your favourite band again?

Sea Shanty TikTok star lands record deal

Image Credit: Zoltan Tasi

Nathan Evans has quit his job as a postman after signing to Polydor records.

As RouteNote pointed out a couple of weeks ago, one of the only lovely things to come out of the latest set of lockdowns has been the spontaneous sea shanty craze that has gripped the world, leaving the internet awash with ancient sailor songs. For one postman however, it’s been life-changing – or ex-postman, rather, as the originator of the #ShantyTok trend, Nathan Evans, has quit his Royal Mail job and signed to Polydor records.

Evans’ original rendition of shanty ‘The Wellerman’ attracted millions of views and has spawned umpteen collaborations and remixes across the internet. He’s now making waves in the UK Top 40 with the release of his first single with producers 220 KID and Billen Ted, who’ve added house beats to create an EDM remix of the sea shanty.

Yes, it’s now stuck in your head. A cover by Bristol band The Longest Johns is also riding high in the charts.

It must be hard for Evans to fathom his overnight success. It was barely half a year ago that he posted his first shanty video on TikTok. Time will tell whether or not his viral success will tide over into a music career. It bodes well for plain sailing for the future that aside from a love of sea shanties Evans is also a guitarist and songwriter, as he told the Independent:

I write my own songs and music too, but if people like the sea shanties and they bring a good amount of joy to people then I don’t mind doing that. Music is an absolute passion for me, if it makes people happy then I’m all for it.

Nathan Evans

Top 10 most followed non-editorial playlists on Deezer in 2021

Playlist placement is big business in the music streaming industry, but the major playlists from the services themselves aren’t the only ones with millions of daily listeners.

Much like Spotify, Deezer’s most followed playlists are totally dominated by their own editorial playlists, with only two non-editorial playlists in the top 50 on Deezer. Here are the 10 most followed playlists from third-parties.

Click here for Deezer’s top 10 playlists on the streaming service.

See Spotify’s most follwed non-editorial playlists here. Or click here for Apple Music’s top 10 followed playlists from major labels and indie curators.

Find some of the biggest third-party playlist curators to send your music to in 2021 here.

1. Orange Select

from Orange musique

5.1 million fans

2. Playlist Tigo Music Colombia

from Tigo Music Colombia

1.4 million fans

3. Top Sertanejo 2021 (Melhores Sertanejos)

from Som Livre

320k fans

4. Funk 2021 Lançamentos | Melhores Funks 2021

from Filtr Brasil

310k fans

5. 2018 Hits

from Filtr

289k fans

6. HITS 2021 | Tubes du moment | Best of 2020

from Digster France

254k fans

7. Reggaeton y Perreo

from Digster Music

238k fans

8. Sertanejo Romântico

from Som Livre

140k fans

9. Hits Of The 80s

from Filtr

138k fans

10. Sertanejo 2021 – Mais Tocadas

from Filtr Brasil

133k fans

Trump Pardons Lil Wayne and Kodak Black

Image credit: LilTunechi/Twitter

Both rappers have been pardoned of their Federal charges And Kodak Black receives commutation.

Well to finish off what was a pretty strange and unpredictable four years of his presidency, Donald Trump on his last day of office pardoned rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black. The two rappers reprieve comes amid a flurry of pardons as some of the outgoing presidents final acts. Other high profile names on the list included the controversial Steve Bannon, former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and Death Row Records co-founder Michael “Harry-O” Harris. 

Back in November, it was revealed that Lil Wayne faced a federal weapons charge relating to a December 2019 incident at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport. According to the Miami Herald, Miami-Dade Police tipped off federal authorities that a private plane transporting Lil Wayne from California to Florida was also carrying marijuana and weapons. The rapper was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition by convicted felon. He pleaded guilty in December and was facing up to ten years in prison. 

The statement about Wayne’s pardon released by the White House notes the rappers commitment to charity and quotes support from Sovereign Brands’ Brett Berish (who calls him “trustworthy, kind-hearted, and generous”) and Deion Sanders (who praised him as a “provider for his family, a friend to many, a man of faith, a natural giver to the less fortunate, a waymaker and a game changer”). 

Kodak Black’s current sentence stems from a May 2019 arrest for indicating on paperwork that he was not under indictment while trying to purchase firearms. At the time, the rapper was out on bond for sexual assault charges in South Carolina. In March 2020, Kodak pleaded guilty to second degree criminal possession of a weapon following an April 2019 arrest at the border between the United States and Canada. His pardon came whilst he was serving time in prison. 

The official White House statement commutation noted the support of Gucci Mane, Lil Yachty, Lil Pump, Baltimore Ravens player Lamar Jackson and more. “Before his conviction and after reaching success as a recording artist, Kodak Black became deeply involved in numerous philanthropic efforts,” the statement reads. “In fact, he has committed to supporting a variety of charitable efforts, such as providing educational resources to students and families of fallen law enforcement officers and the underprivileged.”

In another strange turn of events Trump also commuted the sentence of Michael “Harry-O” Harris, co-founder of Death Row Records. Harris had served 30 years of a 25-to-life sentence for conspiracy to commit first degree murder. “He is a former entrepreneur and has mentored and taught fellow prisoners how to start and run businesses,” the White House’s statement reads. “He has completed courses towards business and journalism degrees.”

The end of Trump was just as his presidency, confusing, odd and totally unpredictable. Who would have thought Trump would be pardoning some of the countries most popular and controversial rappers in his final days? Certianly not me.