A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: SAULT
How can you love a band when you don’t even know who they are? SAULT, a semi-anonymous UK collective – have been making their mark with four albums in the space of two years. Randomly releasing the works, unwilling to talk about their art, they have become a new force on the UK scene, earning a Mercury Prize nod in 2021. Nine, their fifth album, was available to buy and stream for only 99 days until Oct 22. Not exactly a recipe for commercial success. An Instagram statement explains that the band’s origins lie in London’s council estates, and with songs like London Gangs, you can hear the authenticity achieved by other bands like The Clash. Whilst the tone is undeniably political and social, the experience remains intoxicating because, unlike most bands we hear, the pursuit of fame and fortune is nowhere in the music. With SAULT, you are listening to a band that could literally go anywhere.
#sault #michaelkiwanuka #nine #seven #five #untitled(blackis) #untitled(rise) #inflo #ivornovello #mercuryprize sault.global
AD OF THE WEEK: LADBROKES CASINO BALLOON
From a technical point of view, I am not sure how the ad agency managed to organize so many people to participate, but somehow, with the help of CGI, they managed to pull it off. Ladbrokes is not my favourite type of client, with gambling addiction a real problem the gambling industry has struggled to address. But morality aside, I appreciate the skill of this ad which is part of a series of ads created by agency Neverland. Maintaining a fresh approach, the Balloon campaign features no promotion or reference of slots, games, jackpots, or bonuses that have featured predominantly on casino adverts. Instead, using the premise of our collective desire for “playing”, the agency makes the connection between our childish inner-selves and the adults who like to have a bit of fun on a punt. A game of Keepy Uppy starts in an office and quickly spreads to the entire city. It is breathtaking footage and when it finally deflates with the prick of a rose thorn, there is a final twist. Let’s hope the quality of the advertising is reflected in Ladbroke’s behaviour moving forward.
The music is ‘Let’s Go’ by the Norwegian indie punk rock band The Laundrettes.
#thelaundrettes #letsgo #ladbrokes #neverland
THE FUGEES ANNOUNCE FIRST INTERNATIONAL TOUR IN 25 YEARS
Legendary hip-hop trio The Fugees has unveiled plans for an international reunion tour to celebrate 25 years since the release of its 1996 critically-acclaimed album The Score.
Kicking off with an intimate pop-up show at an undisclosed New York City venue on September 22, the trio of Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, and Pras Michel will embark on a 12-city tour on November 2 with locations including Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles, as well as London, Paris, and Ghana. The Score — which was released on Columbia Records — peaked at the number-one spot on the Billboard 200 shortly after its release, and also became the third best-selling album of 1996.
The trio’s first public performance in 15 years will also take place on September 25 and will be in support of Global Citizen Live, a global broadcast event that will call on world leaders to defend the planet and defeat poverty. You can see all confirmed tour dates and locations below, tickets for which are set to go on sales from September 24 and will be available from the Live Nation Webstore.
SOUNDCLOUD SEES UP TO 500% INCREASE IN ROYALTY PAYMENTS FROM ITS NEW MODEL
SoundCloud has said that artists have received up to a 500% increase in royalty payments from its new “fan-powered” royalty rate it introduced earlier this year. The new model, as SoundCloud describes it, “under the old model, money from your dedicated fans goes into a giant pool that’s paid out to artists based on their share of total streams.” That means, just like Spotify and other streaming platforms, a portion of your subscription fee or ad revenue will end up in the pockets of artists you have never listened to.
Those in favour of the user-centric model, rather than rates being distributed based on market share, have long argued that it would lead to fairer payouts for independent artists whose market share is small but have dedicated fans who listen regularly.
That appears to be the case, with SoundCloud profiling UK band Portishead, claiming the band’s royalty payments are up 500% since the new model was introduced in March 2021.
DJ EQUIPMENT IS MORE EXPENSIVE AND IN SHORT SUPPLY, NEW REPORT FINDS
Due to a number of significant developments over the past 18 months, DJ equipment is proving harder to get, and is costing more. That’s the findings of DJ Tech Tools’ latest report in which they outlined why DJ kit’s supply chains have been affected by a perfect storm of chip shortages, component, and labour price increases, the return to live events, and more.
As both a distributor of third-party DJ equipment on their own store and a creator of custom DJ controllers, DJ Tech Tools has seen the issue from all sides and has explained why the DJ community has found itself in this situation. One of the biggest issues is a global chip shortage, which has been widely reported as the cause of delays across multiple industries including car manufacturing, graphics cards, and videogame consoles.
DJ kit isn’t exempt and according to a report by MI SalesTrak, the retail sales tracking program for musical instruments, “Higher costs of shipping and component parts have contributed to higher selling prices. Fifteen of our twenty reported product categories have seen substantial increases in average selling price versus a year ago.”
You can read the report on DJ Tech Tools. The main conclusion is, if you’re looking to buy DJ kit anytime soon, order as soon as possible and expect delays.
CASIO MUSIC UK ANNOUNCES TWO NEW DIGITAL PIANOS
Casio Music UK has announced the release of two new 88-key digital pianos to their Privia range, available from September 2021.
The expansion of the range sees the addition of the PX-S1100 and the more advanced PX-S3100, which covers a variety of genres due to its 700 tones and 200 rhythms. The more expensive piano also boasts an auto-accompaniment feature, pitch bend wheel, and live controllers, which can be manipulated mid-performance.
They include a Wireless MIDI and Audio Adaptor, allowing users to stream audio from their phone or computer and use the instrument as a Bluetooth speaker. The digital pianos are also compatible with Casio’s ‘Chordana Play for Piano’ app, ideal for those wanting to learn new pieces at their own pace or those wanting to control the piano’s functions remotely via the app.
Neil Evans, Head of Casio EMI, adds that the two new additions “deliver a much more expressive playing style” and “truly offer any musician the best in performance”.
The PX-S1100 will retail for £615, whilst the PX-S3100 will be available for £839.
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Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional research, reporting, and artwork by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Additional research and review by Rose Farman-Farma
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash