This Week In Music: 22nd October 2021

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


Sam Shepherd, known professionally as Floating Points, is a British electronic music producer, DJ, and musician. Shepherd studied classical piano before receiving a PhD in neuroscience and epigenetics. Shepherd’s prodigious intellect taps into a heady mix of Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen, and Bill Evans for his inspiration and despite the electronic sound of his recordings, you can hear those influences, especially the jazz. Recently, Shepherd collaborated with jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and The London Symphony Orchestra for the album Promises, which was released to critical acclaim. What appeals to me about this artist is that while his music is devoid of human sound it manages to be profoundly human. Hence the growing popularity (combined with ultra-cool light shows) of his live sets. Shepherd’s role in these live videos is similar to what one sees with a traditional DJ, but a closer look reveals a classically trained musician, twirling knobs, pushing faders, and conducting an orchestra of pulsating machines. Electronic music has long been part of the mainstream, but this artist’s approach is an attempt to retreat away from the middle ground and in doing so, forge a new path.

@floatingpoints #floatingpoints #floatingpointsensemble #samshepherd #thelondonsymphonyorchestra #promises #vacuum #kuiper #pharoahsanders #claudedebussy #oliviermessiaen


Still not sure about the clothes, but this ad is pure originality. Four friends are walking through a field of wheat when suddenly, a magical breeze gives them the power to fly. This is the surreal premise of Burberry’s latest film, “Open Spaces.” Megaforce directed the film and came up with the creative idea. (La) Horde, a collective at the head of the Ballet National de Marseille, did the choreography for the film. The soundtrack is “Counting Atomic,” written and composed by Ryan Lott. Burberry chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci said in a statement. “[This ad campaign is] about pushing boundaries and pursuing endless possibilities—looking to the future and connecting us all.” By pulling all this extraordinary talent together and giving them the opportunity to do shine, Burberry has once again set the mark for global campaign work in the fashion industry.


Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures artwork has been reworked for a climate change mural in Manchester.

Inspired by pulsar radio waves and originally designed by Factory Records cofounder Peter Saville in 1979, the cover has been redesigned with flat lines for campaigners Music Declares Emergency (MDE).

Launched in July 2019, MDE is an independent group of artists, organisations and music industry professionals campaigning for cultural and governmental changes for a carbon-neutral future. MDE described the new mural as representative of “the eternal silence of a dead planet.”


Unlike Martin Shkreli, they plan on sharing the elusive record with the world.

The new owners of the elusive Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin have finally revealed their identities.

In a new Rolling Stone feature, a group of 74 crypto fans named PleasrDAO confirmed that they were the ones who purchased Shaolin from the federal government in July for $4 million USD. The group is known for purchasing “digital collectibles honoring anti-establishment rebels,” and unlike the album’s previous owner Martin Shkreli, they plan on ideally sharing the Wu-Tang record with the world. “This beautiful piece of art, this ultimate protest against middlemen and rent-seekers of musicians and artists, went south by going into the hands of Martin Shkreli, the ultimate internet villain,” Jamis Johnson, PleasrDAO’s Chief Pleasing Officer, said.

Johnson added that they want to bring “this back to the people. We want fans to participate in this album at some level,” but discussions with RZA and producer Cilvaringz will need to take place as the album cannot be commercially released until 2103.

Shkreli, dubbed “Pharma Bro,” acquired Shaolin for $2 million USD in 2015. However, he was arrested and eventually convicted for securities fraud in 2018, with the government seizing his assets.


During Apple‘s Unleashed event on Monday, the tech giant officially unveiled its third generation of AirPods.

The latest update arrives with an all-new design, equipped with a new low distortion driver that delivers powerful bass and clear high frequencies. The listening device supports spatial audio, which provides a three-dimensional immersive listening experience for both surround-sound music and videos.

The design, which Apple says is sweat and water-resistant, presents a new contour that delivers sound “directly to your ears” as well as real-time tuning audio, like the AirPods Pro. The third-generation AirPods’ battery life has increased to up to six hours, and just five minutes of charge will provide users with one hour of battery. The case itself can support four full charges and now supports both MagSafe and wireless charging.

The third-generation AirPods are available to order today for $179 USD on Apple’s website. The device will be available in stores beginning Tuesday, October 26.

Written by Anthony Vanger

Additional research and reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf

Artwork by Badger

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