A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD
What do you do when the music press says you’re “the best band in the world” and you have only put out a couple of tracks?
For London’s Black Country, New Road, its strategy has been to hunker down during the pandemic and patiently wait to unveil its music to the world. When the album “For the First Time” finally arrived, it seemed like it had never gone away. The record feels urgent and timely, a reflection of our unsettled psyches during the pandemic. The sound pushes the audience to focus, separating the different layers in order to make sense of the whole. Songs are long and repetitive and don’t follow traditional pop-rock structures. So it is a surprise – and a welcome one – that this seven-piece experimental rock outfit emerged from relative anonymity in 2019 and is claiming to occupy a lofty position in the pantheon of tomorrow’s artists to watch.
Best band in the world? Not yet, but it definitely has something to say.
@blackcountrynewroad #blackcountrynewroad #ninjatunes #speedywunderground #jockstrap #blackmidi #experimentalrock #trackx #forthefirsttime #isaacwood
AD OF THE WEEK: CHANNEL 4 PARALYMPICS
What does it take to be a Paralympian?
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games are the culmination of five years of blood, sweat, and tears made by all the athletes competing.
This ad does a great job of showing the humanity behind these incredible athletes. Fantastic storylines, great editing, and powerful music drive the message home that these athletes and their games are not somehow “less” than the main Olympics. They are just as strong, brave, and talented – if not more so given what they have have to overcome on a daily basis, never mind what they conquer in the Games. I love the tagline: “If you want to be a Paralympian there has to be something wrong with you.” And the song, with the refrain “You might as well quit” is brilliant.
The 2020 Summer Paralympics is an upcoming major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee. Scheduled as the 16th Summer Paralympic Games, they are scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Japan between 24 August and 5 September. Are you going to watch?
#superhuman #tokyo2020 #paralympics
MPS CALL FOR COMPLETE RESET OF MUSIC STREAMING TO ENSURE FAIR PAY FOR ARTISTS
The music industry is weighted against artists, with even successful pop stars seeing “pitiful returns” from streaming, a committee of MPs has said.
They are calling for a “complete reset” of the market, with musicians given a “fair share” of the £736.5 million that UK record labels earn from streaming. In a report, they said royalties should be split 50/50, instead of the current rate, where artists receive about 16%. The findings came after a six-month inquiry into music streaming.
“While streaming has brought significant profits to the recorded music industry, the talent behind it – performers, songwriters, and composers – are losing out,” said Julian Knight, MP, who chairs parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee.
At present, Spotify is believed to pay between £0.002 and £0.0038 per stream, while Apple Music pays about £0.0059. YouTube pays the least – about £0.00052 (or 0.05 pence) per stream.
All that money goes to rights-holders, a blanket term that covers everything from massive record companies to artists who release their own music. That money is then divided up between everyone involved in making the record.
Often, the recording artist will only receive about 13% of the revenue, with labels and publishers keeping the rest.
SEOUL’S LATEST COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS INCLUDE BANNING MUSIC OVER 120 BPM IN GYMS
It’s part of a strategy to contain the number of respiratory droplets emitted by sweating.
Gyms in and around Seoul, South Korea, are limiting music to 120 BPM, The Korea Herald reports.
The Greater Seoul area is currently in the top tier of a four-level restriction system, as it faces another wave of Covid-19 cases. The government’s plan to contain the spread includes restricting the amount of respiratory droplets emitted by sweating in gyms through banning high-speed music for exercise classes and limiting the speed of treadmills to 6 KM p/h. Showering in gyms is also prohibited.
The new rule means tracks like PSY’s “Gangnam Style” (132 BPM) isn’t allowed, though Shubostar’s new single, “Hypernova,” would be allowed (115 BPM).
Following a recent spike in cases, which has brought South Korea over 1,000 new infections daily for the last week, Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province are also reinstating their strictest social distancing measures and curfews. The rules have been in place since Monday, July 12th, and will remain for two weeks.
NIGHTCLUB BOSSES PLAN TO IGNORE GOVERNMENT’S “COVID PASS” ADVICE
Nightclub bosses and industry leaders have said they will not be following government advice and requiring a “COVID pass” before allowing people into their venues next week. On Monday Boris Johnson urged the nightlife and festival industries to ensure crowds presented either proof of a negative COVID test, proof of full-vaccination or proof they have recently had the virus to be able to attend non-distanced events. The public will be able to show proof of this on the NHS COVID app from July 19.
The Prime Minister called it a “matter of social responsibility” – but didn’t confirm if this would be a legal requirement. The Government has since published its official advice which has said it “reserves the right to force venues” to comply, causing concern among nightlife industry leaders. Micheal Kill of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) told the BBC that if the scheme were to become a legal requirement it would leave the industry “in the hands of local public health directors.”
Nightclub owners REKOM UK that owns 42 venues across the UK have said they will not be implementing the need for a “COVID pass” insisting that all of their clubs will be open at full capacity with no restrictions and no need for a negative COVID test.
FRANKIE KNUCKLES’ RECORD COLLECTION IS ON DISPLAY IN NEW YORK
A selection of records from Frankie Knuckles personal collection is now on display in New York’s Gagosian Gallery.
As part of an exhibition called “Social Works” by Chicago artist and steward of Knuckles collection Theaster Gates, 5,000 of the Godfather of House’s records are available to view. Knuckles collection is also being digitised by Russell EL Butler.
Vinyl on display includes a test pressing of Danny Tenaglia ‘Hard & Soul’ from 1995, early acetate pressings of Celine Dion ‘Misled (MK Dub)’, Baby Ford ‘Oochy Koochy (F.U. Baby Yeh Yeh) and a test pressing of his first number one dance hit ‘Whistle Song’.
Visible on many of the records are blue or red dots that allowed him in a dark club environment to select records quickly from his bag. Red dots indicated a faster, more intense record and blue indicated wind-down tracks.
AIAIAI ANNOUNCE NEW TMA-2 STUDIO XE HEADPHONES
AIAIAI has announced new additions to their TMA-2 range of headphones.
The TMA-2 Studio and TMA-2 Studio XE are the new products in the lineup, the former being an updated version of the TMA-2 Studio and the latter being an entirely new version. A bio-cellulose diaphragm as been added by AIAIAI, which is more stiff and light than PET – which contributes to the lower distortion that the headphones create.
The XE also comes in lighter than the Studio model, while also being cheaper. Vegan leather makes up the earcups on the XE while the Studio model has Alacantara earcups.
The studio comes in at €229, while the XE will be sold for €179 from mid-July.
Check them out on AIAIAI’s website.