This Week In Music – 6th June 2019

A weekly update on all things music, advertising and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM


Electro-acoustic artist breaks the mould.

It is getting harder and harder to create original music. I am not talking about songwriting originality, but rather the actual “sounds” used in the recording. Much of what we hear on a day-to-day basis is produced “in-the-box”, that is to say, recorded and mixed directly into a computer using similar programs, plug-ins and mixing techniques. This hyper accessibility to recording techniques and tools that were once only available to signed artists recording in expensive studios, has democratised music and granted musicians the chance to reach an audience without the approval of the music industry’s traditional gatekeepers. But it has also produced a certain homogeneity, where you hear the same style of beats (80s drum machine), guitar (Swedish pop power chords) and vocal effects (autotune). So when an artist steps up and dares to break the mould, it is always refreshing – and unsettling. This week’s artist, État (Daniel Wohl) does just that.

At first, the music appears formless. The listener waits for a sign, a pre-chorus, a chorus, anything to hang her listening hat on, but these traditional song structures only flirt with the listener. Mostly, the song remains amorphous. And what is that sound? Someone making noise in the background? Or is it part of the beat? The music is unlike anything you have heard before. But if you grant État a second listen, you will be rewarded. A recent review on the NPR website (radio station in Los Angeles and a great source for new music) sums it up perfectly: “Wohl’s latest music remains a Pandora’s box of unknown sounds and concussive juxtapositions. The Los Angeles-based Parisian is among the most spirited electro-acoustic composers working today.” Available on Nonesuch Records.


It’s not every day you see Robert De Niro in a UK ad. The Hollywood legend can be viewed spoofing one of his most famous gangster movies, Goodfellas, even referencing specific lines. The campaign works, mainly because of the thrill of watching DeNiro ham it up for Warburtons.

People will surely criticise DeNiro for selling out and desecrating one of his most beloved on-screen characters. Money aside, which must have been considerable, he might have been inspired by his friend and fellow gangster playing actor – Harvey Keitel – who spoofs one of his most beloved characters from Reservoir Dogs, Winston Wolfe for Direct Line and has remained the company’s spokesperson for over five years. Whatever you may think, DeNiro gets away with it in this ad, in spades. “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a bagel spokesperson”.


So long, old friend

Earlier this week, technology giant Apple has announced the retirement of iTunes at the annual WorldWide Developers Conference in California.

During a Keynote presentation at WWDC, which runs from June 3-7, Chief Executive Tim Cook revealed details regarding how three separate apps – covering music, TV and podcasts – are set to replace the 18-year-old media library in an attempted rebrand to an entertainment subscription service. Any podcasts, films or music bought by users will remain accessible via these apps that feature colourful sidebars and clear menus that are easy to navigate.


The investment bank’s ‘Music In The Air’ dossier, from August 2017, forecast a booming future for record labels, and set in motion a series of escalating valuations for Universal Music Group which have since hit $50bn (in the case of JP Morgan).

In that report, Goldman forecast that trade revenues from paid streaming would reach $28bn by the year 2030, with the overall recorded music industry pulling in a whopping $41bn in the same 12 months.

This week, Goldman has issued an update to ‘Music In The Air’ – obtained by MBW – in which it raises its forecasts for the years ahead.

Goldman now predicts that, by 2030, the global recorded music industry will be pulling in $45bn annually (up on a restated prior forecast of $44bn).

It also believes that paid streaming will generate $27.5bn for labels and artists in that year (up on a restated prior forecast of $27.1bn), and that the overall annual global trade streaming revenues (including ad-funded) will reach $37.2bn.


Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story, a biopic directed by Martin Scorsese.

The documentary arrives on June 12th and will accompany a new release.

Scorsese’s documentary is the second time the renowned director has worked with Bob Dylan on a documentary. In 2005, he directed No Direction Home, which focused on Dylan’s ascent towards becoming an iconic musical legend.

Rolling Thunder Revue will feature Dylan’s first on-camera interview in more than ten years. The trailer opens with Dylan discussing the 1975 tour of the same name. Watch below.


IKEA and creative collective Teenage Engineering developed a must-have collection that has partying at its centre. Now, AdAge reports that the collaboration is due for a June 2019 release with a price range of $5 to $99.

The publication also talked to one of Teenage Engineering’s founders, Jesper Kouthoofd, and learned that he “started thinking about how, a lot of Swedes, we go to Ikea when we have a party–to get candles, napkins. Maybe we could do something that’s really affordable so people can buy a sound system, including a light show–a complete party.”

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Together the two firms did just that and the images of the collection, seen at the top of this post, showcase the Bauhaus-influenced pieces in bold primary colours. The Swedish retailer first began working with Teenage Engineering’s audio labs about two years ago and eventually came up up with the FREKVENS collection.

Comprised of sound systems and decorative items, the upcoming range features a speaker, vinyl player and party lighting.

“We know that for younger people spontaneity is key,” says Michael Nikolic, the creative leader at IKEA Range & Supply. “Together with Teenage Engineering, we want to explore the possibilities of bringing the party with you and what else you need for a great party.”

Written by Anthony Vanger

Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf

Artwork by Gustav Balderdash

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