A weekly update on all things music, advertising and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: WEYES BLOOD
Californian-born Natalie Mering has made three records on the Mexican Summer label. This is her fourth album and her first on Sub Pop. She’s previously guested on tracks by Father John Misty, Perfume Genius and Ariel Pink. These are atmospheric sacred synth sounds. Strings emerge into music for a place that’s not been touched for a 100 years. These are the songs they played as the Titanic sunk and that pleased the sea so much Neptune released the ship back into the light. These are torch songs with poignant vocals like the memory of a lost summer. Gloriously effortless vocals slink like velvet over music for the end of the world. This could be a ‘songbook’ collection after a 50 year career. (Rough Trade)
Her voice is what really separates this album from other artists. Sometimes she layers her harmonies to produce a choral sound. Other times, she delves deep into her stomach voice, giving the lyrics depth and gravitas. A very good album and one that is garnering solid reviews, with a chance at an “Album of the Year” nomination.
AD OF THE WEEK: LEICA – THE HUNT
Riveting, impossible to take your eyes off the screen, fantastic photography, incredible sound and music, this ad has it all. The end frame states: This film is dedicated to those who lend their eyes to make us see.
Client: Leica / Agency: F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, Sao Paolo, Brazil
MANCHESTER DJS SMASH THE WORLD RECORD FOR LARGEST BACK 2 BACK RELAY
Manchester’s DJ community banned together on Thursday, April 18, and smashed the world record for the largest back to back (b2b) DJ relay.
Starting at 11 am, the goal was to get 160 local DJs from all walks of life to show up with one pre-selected track (no duplicates) and mix out of the track selected before theirs fluidly. Each DJ was given four minutes to cue their track, mix it in and fade out the other.
In total, 182 local DJs showed up to the Manchester venue Joshua Brooks to participate and topple the record – including DJ Luke Unabomber, BinaryFunction, Koop from the iconic movie Human Traffic and world-famous snooker player turned DJ, Steve Davies.
When the time allocated for the record attempt was up, Manchester had smashed the world record and raised a great sum of money for the Greater Manchester homelessness charities
SPOTIFY LOSES CATALOG OF INDIA’S OLDEST LABEL AFTER COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT
In February, the streaming company publicly fell out with Warner Music Group after the latter’s pubco, Warner/Chappell, refused to license Spotify for its launch in the region.
Spotify launched in India anyway, attempting to circumvent the need for a direct agreement with WMG by applying for a statutory license for Warner/Chappell’s music – a license which WMG claims is bogus.
The legal fallout from that situation is ongoing. Now, a new pain point for Spotify in India: the streaming service has just agreed to remove the content of the country’s oldest record company, Saregama, within the next fortnight.
The decision follows a copyright infringement suit against Spotify brought by Saregama and heard by Delhi’s High Court.
Saregama claims that, although it entered into negotiations with Spotify for a copyright license – and even permitted Spotify to upload its content a month ahead of the platform’s launch in India – the two parties never actually inked a deal.
As a result of the suit, Spotify has held up its hands, agreeing that it will pull down Saregama’s catalog from its service over the next ten days.
YOUTUBE MUSIC ROLLS OUT FREE, AD-SUPPORTED SERVICE FOR GOOGLE HOME USERS
A free, ad-supported YouTube Music service has been rolled out for Google Home users.
The free service is available on smart speakers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, and Austria and will be available in more countries soon.
Not only is it for free on Google Home devices, but also on other third-party, Google Assistant-powered speakers, manufactured by the likes of Panasonic, JBL, Sony and others. This could spell trouble for its competitors.
EU PARLIAMENT VOTES TO BAN USE OF TICKET-BUYING BOTS
Members of European Parliament have voted to ban the use of bots for bulk-buying tickets online.
The move marks the first time the EU has directly addressed the issue of ticket resale and the legislation sets the minimum standard by which EU members must abide.
Representing promoters, managers, trade bodies and grassroots consumer action groups, anti-ticket touting organisation, the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT) raised awareness of the issue at EU level. This included helping propose text and coordinating lobbying for this legislation’s inclusion.
Outside of the UK, it follows the introduction of targeted bot legislation in the US, Ontario, South Australia and New South Wales.
AIAIAI LAUNCH T-SHIRT SERIES
Danish headphone brand aiaiai has released a new T-shirt line for Record Store Day 2019.
The limited edition RPM-RIP collection was curated by designer and multi-disciplinary artist Trevor Jackson and pays tribute to a “selection of iconic and closed down record stores”.
Six artists from London, Paris, Tokyo, New York, Berlin and Copenhagen were enlisted to design T-shirts inspired by shuttered stores in their respective cities. Groove Records, Cisco, Pinky, and Street Dance Records are among the stores honoured. Buy them here.
ELEKTRON’S EASY-TO-USE SAMPLES COULD BE ONE ITS BEST MACHINES YET
An affordable machine with a modern edge
What exactly does it do? It plays samples such as drum sounds or monophonic noises really well thanks to an effective sequencer and an interface that is easy to navigate for anyone with a very basic knowledge of using hardware machines. You can apply Elektron’s in step sequencing functionality (Parameter Lock) to bring your sequences to life and crucially, it has a tiny screen to make you spend more time playing and less time screen diving.
And the feature likely to be loved most of all? It’s the first truly affordable instrument in the Elektron range. No doubt a reaction to the tide of budget machine being made by companies like Korg, Roland and Behringer, in Samples, Elektron has given the masses what they want: an affordable machine with a modern edge.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash