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Dance Review: Above & Beyond 'Anjunabeats Vol. 10'

EDM’s long-overdiscussed sweeping surge through America has meant increasingly regular visits from UK trance trio Above & Beyond, often bringing with along a posse of their high-grade prodcuers from the Anjunabeats label; Mat Zo, Arty, Andrew Bayer and Norin & Rad among others. With a slew of dates set for WMC, plus a new residency at Wynn Las Vegas, the arrival of Above & Beyond’s Anjunabeats Vol. 10 also signaled a roar to the top of the iTunes Dance Charts; with it comes an eclectic beat that’s better geared for US audiences than ever before.

Dance music has a fascinating way of doubling back on itself. A few years back when Swedish House Mafia were overhauling their pop-step sound to prepare for world domination, they had the bright idea of plundering the uplifting melodies in the treasure chest of classic trance. If Anjunabeats Vol. 10 is any indication, things have come full circle again: trance is now taking inspiration from bigroom house. The 30 tracks here are all crammed with intricately produced house grooves, thundering electro basslines for some seriously heavy bottom end, while the melodies are as likely to convey a Daft Punk-esque sense of fun, as traditional trance euphoria.

The mix begins at a high tempo and stays there, but it’s a solid run of bangers. Sunny Lax’s Isla Margarita is about as perfect as a nu-trance tune can be, a divine example of the new and traditional elements coming together perfectly. Meanwhile, fresh faces Audien provide one of the compilation’s defining moments with Altara, a very housey effort indeed, though it still lets those trademark gorgeous Anjunabeats melodies shine through.

Above & Beyond's club mix of Alchemy with Zoe Johnston possibly ranks as one of the best vocal tracks the trio has worked on, and the trio also delivers a new instrumental in the form of Walter White that’s properly slamming, showing they're not afraid to let loose with a bit of sonic insanity. And the tunneling hook of Oliver Smith's Pressure chugs with maximum force.

The second disc boasts a raft of recognizable names like Arty, Andrew Bayer and Super8 & Tab, and there’s no shortage of heavy-impact tunes, spearheaded by Californians Norin & Rad who’ve calibrated their new torpedo Aldo for maximum impact. Genix is another extremely capable newcomer who shows Anjunabeats haven’t lost their knack for finding fresh talent. His collaboration with Lange, Immersion, is a real homerun; a joyful burst of melody that comes packaged with a heavy, techy grind. Bluestone also delivers one of the comp’s strongest tracks with Sinai; sporting a heavy buzzsaw of a bassline that’s chunky enough to nearly double as a guitar riff, while still manages a chorus with enough plenty of emotion.

Anjunabeats Vol. 10
is a release that’s bound to win Above & Beyond an even bigger legion of fans, though there’s also the potential it’ll disappoint the purists who’ve followed the label over the course of its history. However, it’s the evolution of the trance sound that delivers the impact here, with the records packing a heavier punch than anything across the Anjunabeats catalogue. Again, Above & Beyond show there’s creative life left in trance yet.

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Kevin Mazur

Tekashi 69 Fears For His Life In Prison, Wants To Serve Remainder Of Sentence At Home

Tekashi 69 fears for his life in prison, especially after snitching on his old crew. The onetime gang-affiliate, born Daniel Hernandez, received a shortened sentence after cooperating with federal prosecutors, but he wants to serve out the rest of his time on house arrest, or at a halfway house.

“Allowing Hernandez to serve the remainder of his jail sentence under home confinement would be the most reasonable means to adjust and prepare for his re-entry into the community,” Tekashi’s lawyer Lance Lazzaro said in court documents filed on Tuesday (Dec. 15).

Tekashi is currently incarcerated at a private facility for safety reasons. However, his attorney argues that the Bronx native “is still housed with various members of the Bloods” gang.

“As a result of Hernandez's cooperation with the government against multiple gang members with the Bloods, Hernandez's safety is still, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, seriously at risk,” the lawyer pointed out, according to The Blast.

The documents go on to note that Tekashi’s co-defendant, Roland “Ro Murda” Martin, was stabbed nearly a dozen times for severing ties with the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. Tekashi fears that he could meet a similar fate if his request isn’t granted. “It is foreseeable that placement in any Bureau of Prisons facility, including any CCC, would jeopardize Hernandez's safety,” the lawyer added.

A judge has yet to rule on the request.

Regardless of whether or not he’s allowed to return home or to a halfway house, Tekashi’s lawyer says that “given the sensitive nature of his testimony,” the “Gunmo” rhymer will have to take “extreme” safety measures, likely for the rest of his life.

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Tashonna Ward: 25-Year-Old Woman Dies After Waiting Hours In ER

The family of the 25-year-old Wisconsin woman are seeking answers following her tragic death earlier in the month. Tashonna Ward, a daycare worker whose newborn daughter died last year, passed away after waiting nearly three hours in the emergency room at Wisconsin's Froedtert Hospital where she sought treatment for chest pains and shortness of breath.

Ward checked into the ER at 4:58 p.m on Jan. 2, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. During the wait, hospital staff checked Ward’s heartbeat and she underwent an x-ray, the latter of which showed that she had an enlarged heart.

She was sent back to the waiting room.

"I been here since 4:30 something for shortness of breath, and chest pains for them to just say it’s a two to SIX hour wait to see a [doctor]. Like that is really f***ing ridiculous,” Ward reportedly wrote on Facebook according to NBC News.

Ward left Froedtert to go to another hospital at around 7:30 p.m., but never made it. She collapsed soon after and was rushed back to Froedtert where she was pronounced dead.

“How can you triage someone with shortness of breath and chest pain, and stick them in the lobby?" Ward’s cousin, Andrea Ward, said according to the Journal Sentinel. Andrea launched a Go Fund Me  account to raise funds for her cousin’s funeral.

A rep for Froedtert expressed condolences over Ward's death . “The family is in our thoughts and has our deepest sympathy,” a rep for the hospital said in a statement. “We cannot comment further at this time.”

Ward had previously been told that she developed an enlarged heart during her pregnancy. Her baby died last March after the baby’s umbilical chord wrapped around the its neck.

Although heart disease is the leading cause of death among men women in the U.S., the risks are even higher for black women. According to 2017 statistics, nearly half of black women over the age of 20 battle some type of heart disease.

Black women are also at higher risk of dying from pregnancy complications. While there are several variables at play (like a lack of access to proper health care), the larger issue is that black women are often “undervalued,” noted Dr. Ana Langer, director of the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in an interview with the American Heart Association.

“[Black women] are not monitored as carefully as white women are,” said Langer. “When they do present with symptoms, they are often dismissed.”

Ward’s family are reportedly scheduled to meet with the hospital next week. The hospital has received numerous online complaints over the years, many of which involve billing issues but also treatment and long wait periods.

A Yelp review  posted last year warned patients not to believe the 23-minute wait time touted at the hospital. The woman and her ailing child left the hospital after waiting for six hours “without being evaluated other than a [five-minute] ‘triage.’”

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Akon Is One Step Closer To Building Futuristic Cryptocurrency-Powered City In Senegal

Akon recently finalized an agreement to build a “futuristic,” eco-friendly, cryptocurrency-based city in his home country of Senegal, he announced on social media on Monday (Jan. 13).

“Just finalized the agreement for AKON CITY in Senegal,”  he tweeted. “Looking forward to hosting you there in the future.”

Just finalized the agreement for AKON CITY in Senegal. Looking forward to hosting you there in the future pic.twitter.com/dsoYpmjnpf

— AKON (@Akon) January 13, 2020

Akon City will be built in the village of Mbodiene (about six miles south of Senegal's capital city of Dakar), the Jakarta Times reports.The city will utilize sustainable energy resources in addition to utilizing  crypto currency. Akon launched his own cryptocurrency, Akoin, in 2018.

A spokesperson for Senegal's tourism ministry said that Akon’s goal is to build an eco-friendly tourism village.

Aside from Senegal, Akon traveled to Abu Dhabi for an energy summit hosted by MASDAR, one of the world’s lead renewable energy companies.

Thank u Masdar for an amazing sustainable week in Abu Dhabi. pic.twitter.com/NfS9TSQTks

— AKON (@Akon) January 15, 2020

The 46-year-old entrepreneur, who was born in Senegal but raised mostly in the states, founded Akon Lighting Africa to provide sustainable energy solutions to the continent, a mission that he has been working on for several years.

“There’s always been so many initiatives in Africa, so much money raised in Africa, but there’s never no results and it got to the point where you get tired of it,” he said in a 2015 interview. “I took it more personal than anything and I wanted to be in a position to where if I move forward on something I wanted to actually see it materialize.”

Akon also expanded the brand to include Akon Lighting America, the first African-American owned solar energy company of its kind.

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