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Marea Stamper, otherwise known in the EDM world as “The Black Madonna”, had her name and booking removed from the forthcoming Intersect music and art festival in Las Vegas, after learning of the event’s association with Amazon.

Also, well-known in the music industry as a D.J. activist, Ms. Stamper explained via a published statement that her issue with Amazon, is not just a matter of her ideology as “The Black Madonna.”

As a professional, she believes that linking her work with a company that has ties with the US Homeland Security, particularly its Immigration And Customs Enforcement (ICE) bureau, is an ethical and moral violation of her work and faith; and most importantly, an act of transgression against the people with whom she identifies.

Had she been informed of any Amazon branding, “The Black Madonna” said she would not have accepted the offer to perform at the Intersect festival. Ms. Stamper said she continues to stand in solidarity with the workers, immigrants, demonstrators, tech laborers and all people of conscience calling for corporations to end their collaboration with the said U.S. department and agency.

As a matter of fact, she is quite disappointed that the event organizers who approached her with the offer would think she would allow herself to become part of an Amazon brand-partnering. As it was, she learned about Amazon Web Services’ involvement only during the promotion of the event.

In response, Amazon’s cloud computing platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS) issued a statement with Pitchfork, saying that their affiliation with Intersect Festival was clearly indicated in the contract signed by Ms. Stamper. AWS’ claim though, was refuted by Ms. Stamper through a document provided to Resident Advisor dot net, as proof that the contract she signed did not include any mention of Amazon or AWS’ involvement.

Marea Stamper’s Background before Emerging as a Celebrated EDM Deejay

Marea Stamper went from obscurity to fame in the EDM world by starting out as a peddler of mixtapes compiled by deejays of the Midwestern underground rave scenes during the late 90s. The experience gave her the skills in blending mainstream pop tunes, hard-edge bangers, soulful disco and obscure remixes that earned her acclaim as one of the most exciting D.J.s in the EDM scene.

In 2016, Mixmag, the dance-music magazine, named “The Black Madonna” the D.J. of the Year. The following year, she cemented that reputation by closing the 2017 edition of Spain’s Sónar music festival with a euphoric set of excellently blended eclectic music.

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Electronic Dance Music (EDM) parties have drawn attention as popular haunts of opioid users. So much so that a study conducted by the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at the Meyers College of Nursing at NYU, suggests the need to focus on this increasingly popular scene as part of continuing efforts to reduce the harms caused by the growing opioid crisis.

 

The study revealed that in the past year, one (1) in 10 EDM party attendees have misused opioids beyond the national average. Estimates made in 2016 showed that nearly 11.5 million American individuals had misused opioid drugs intended as medical treatment. About 1.8 million of the users met criteria for drug abuse or dependence.

The alarming rise in opioid use has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Growth in opioid drug misuse has been touted by health and disease control authorities as a main driver in the resurgence of heroin use, and other related adverse occurrences such as the spread of Hepatitis C and HIV. and Hepatitis C.

Researchers emphasized that the study was conducted mainly on EDM party attendees as a means of highlighting the need for preventive measures concerning the high-risk group of people using opioid drugs. They made careful note that their findings, does not necessarily apply to the general population.

Researcher for the CDUHR and lead author of the study, Joseph Palamar, PhD, MPH, who is also an associate professor at the NYU School of Medicine for Population Health, contends that there is a need to reach this population of opioid drug users frequenting the EDM party scenes…

in order to prevent initiation and continued use, as such conditions can lead to more frequent and riskier use, dependence, and at worst, deleterious outcomes like overdose — specifically when opioids are taken in combination with other drugs,”

EDM Party Scenes as Main Focus of the CDUHR Study

The party vibes in such EDM scenes, widely known as “raves” are largely characterized by the use of electronic dance music, ostensive use of drugs, massive crowd and the free-from-restrictions environment.

CDUHR researcher Joseph Palamar said that they have always known that attendees of EDM parties are at high risk of being exposed to the use of club drugs like Molly or ecstasy. The focus on EDM scenes is the need to know the extent of opioid use in this particular population.

During the summer of 2017, the CDUHR researchers observed and interviewed 954 individuals in ages ranging between 18 and 40, poised to enter EDM parties at different dance festivals and nightclubs in New York City. Interviews revealed that almost 23.9 percent of EDM party goers have taken opioids non-medically in their lifetime; 9.8 percent of which had done so in the past year.

The recent findings are higher than the previous statistics on national prevalence, which approximated only 4 percent of adults, aged 18 years and older, while only five percent of the survey respondents admitted to misusing opioids in the past month.

Opioid non-medical use or misuse, denotes having used any one of the 18 types of known opioids, namely codeine, fentanyl, heroin, OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin, for purposes of getting high or in other manner not medically prescribed. At EDM parties, the highest report on opioid use was attributed to OxyContin, followed by Vicodin, Percocet, and codeine syrup usually as a concoction to party drinks like Purple Drank, Sizzurp or Lean.

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Disc jockeys of today are no longer the traditional broadcast personalities who played music selections over the air, most often unseen, seated and confined to radio booths. DJs or Deejays can now be seen performing anywhere, and for live audiences at dance clubs, night clubs, festivals, events, parties and online radios.

In order to give life to wherever djing takes them, deejays must strive to be the live wire that electrifies a venue with energy, using their creative mixes, remixes and tracks. Everything that a dj does, he does it not just to please the crowd, but also for his own pleasure of hearing tracks of music smoothly transitioning from one selection to another. While standing behind their turntables, deejays get all wrapped up, mixing and looping one song to another,whilst looking all so cool and relaxed.

Yet despite their seemingly enviable jobs and enjoyment with what they are doing, deejays are not exempt from suffering occupational hazards. They spend long hours listening to sample sound selections, trying to bring out something new, or adding greater depth to musical arrangements. Once they take on actual deejaying work, they will stand for about four to five hours, and possibly even longer. Rarely, if ever, will any one sees a deejay seated during a set, especially when and where there are guests dancing.

Due to the complexity and strenuous nature of their work, deejays are prone to suffer from neck pain and back pain. Such conditions can be aggravated when their concentration gets messed up by turntable woes; like when the table set up itself is too low for comfort. DJ tools, like any other mechanical device, have tendencies to go faulty in ways that make a deejaying engagement stressful. Technical difficulties happen and so do back pains, which could lead to contemplations of packing one’s DJ kit for good and looking for another line of work.

Actually, those who really want their back pain to go away permanently, take a break from deejaying and undergo a medical examination. After all, back and neck pains are symptoms common to musculoskeletal disorders, especially if one’s daily routine are regarded as risk factors.

What are Musculoskeletal Disorders?

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are feelings of pain or damages occurring in the parts supporting the human body; such as the muscles, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, discs, and the likes, which are collectively called the musculoskeletal system. The trauma or pain becomes pronounced with every bodily movement, often affecting a person’s ability to perform a task. In serious to worst cases of musculoskeletal disorders, particularly those affecting the spine, a sufferer may even have difficulty walking or standing upright without a mobility aid.

Examples of MSDs include Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Degenerative Disc Disease, Herniated Discs, Tendonitis, Tension Neck Syndrome, DMechanical Back Syndrome, Digital Neuritis, Epicondylitis and many more. Some MSDs can get better with rest and conventional medical treatments, while those that tend to linger and cause unbearable pain specifically Degenerative Disc Diseases and Herniated Discs may require surgery.

Readers can find additional information about these diseases at the Central Texas Spine Institute in Austin website.

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The Studio for Electronic Music (SEM) of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) a German public-broadcasting institution, is an important element in the development of electronic music. Founded in October 18, 1951, SEM was the first of its kind music facility, founded on the concept of mixing electronically synthesised sounds to introduce a new genre of music.

Principal Innovators of Electronic Music

The concept of establishing a studio for creating electronic music was the brainchild of three people: Werner Meyer-Eppler, Robert Beyer, and Herbert Eimert. who for years had developed and experimented on the technical requirements for creating electronic music.

Werner Meyer-Eppler (April 30,1913 – July 08, 1960) was a Belgian-born German physicist who held lectures at the Institute for Phonetics and Communication Research of Bonn University. He was also well-known for being an experimental acoustician, a phoneticist and information theorist. The development of the basic processes of electronic music, particularly the creation of musical compositions directly on magnetic tape, is attributed to Meyer-Eppler’s experiments at the Bonn Institute.

Herbert Eimert ( April 08,1897 – December 15, 1972) was a composer, radio producer, journalist, and musicologist, who had served as the first director of the Studio for Electronic Music. Since his youth, Elmert had a penchant for revolutionizing music by organizing concerts using noise instruments. During the 1920s he wrote a book that delved on the theory of atonal music, which unfortunately resulted from his expulsion from a composition class at the Cologne Musikhochschule.

Robert Beyer, a professional sound mixer had worked at the WDR at the time of founding, as a sound editor. He brainstorned the concept of electronic music with Eppler and Elmert, by bringing forward his ideas about timbre-oriented music.

Through the years of experimentations and development of instruments that made electronic music a new music genre, the studio became home to musicians, composers and artists coming from all over the world. They were welcome to use the latest equipment, albeit the technology at the time was limited to instruments for mixing usual soundtracks as a means of creating original compositions. Nonetheless, the instrument is still in wide use up to the present.

Artists used the Studio for Electronic Music to produce electronic music until its closure in 2000. In October 18, 2017 Google Doodle marked the importance of the studio in the history of music, by altering the Google logo to mark the studio’s 66th anniversary.

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Electronic music is basically musical sound produced by electronically processing vibrations, like those created by electronic oscillators coming in waveforms. They are then recorded and edited and subsequently reproduced with the use of loudspeakers. Generally, electronic music is sound captured in tape, to be edited and recorded later into a more permanent form.

This type of music can now be produced and performed as “live electronic music,” played back as it is through loudspeakers, often times in combination with other musical instruments including vibrations coming from some chance elements. Using software, the composer then develops the electronic sounds into a musical composition.

This is the world of music into which Tomas Barfod, a drummer and a dance music DJ had evolved in, ever since electronic music captured his interest and musical imagination.

Who is Tomas Barfod?

Tomas Barfod, is a native of Copenhagen whose introduction to music as a drum-playing 10-year old youth initially led to a career as drummer of the duo Filur with feĺlow Danish, Kasper Bjorke. In 2003, together with Tomas Høfting (singer and bassist) and Jeppe Kjellberg (guitarist), Tomas as drummer, founded the “WhoMadeWho” band.

After nearly ten years of musical experience as band drummer, Barfod started producing his own music. In 2012, he debuted as a solo electronic music artist by releasing “Salton Sea,” an album containing a mesh of sophisticated electronically produced music. Barfod describes “Salton Sea” as some kind of laptop album, which he hardly expected to reap acclaim and praises.

The success of his debut album, set a higher bar for his next project. To which Tomas devoted extra time in working with analogue instruments, and in developing string arrangements with “WhoMadeWho” guitarist Jeppe Kjellberg.

Year 2014, saw the release of Barfod’s second album, “Love Me,” where his coalescence of anàlog and real music were enhanced by the vocals of Nina Kinert (Pulsing), by singer-songwriter Luke Temple (Bell House) and by twitching of synths by Eddie Chacon (Happy). “Love Me” is multi-textured as it presents electronic music experience between danceable sounds softened by Nina’s soft, evocative croon.

After “Love Me,” Tomas Barfod released two more albums: “Glory” in 2015 and “Paloma” 2017.