A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: SYLVIE
n France, they call it “un coup de foudre”. When you see someone for the first time and it’s love at first sight. I feel the same way about this band. The music wraps itself around you like a warm blanket. Think Arcade Fire meets 70s southern-Cal folk-rock with a bit of Carol King and Linda Ronstadt thrown in. The band is a bit of a mystery. Sylvie is a Canadian indie rock music group from Regina, Saskatchewan. Not exactly the centre of musical creativity, but that “other-ness” is one of the main emotions in the music. Not loneliness per se, but I can definitely see a wide expanse of nothingness all around. The arrangements are sparse and languid but full of confidence, with the piano punching out chords and the slide guitar trying everything up together like a bow. Falls on Me is a gift of a song that leapfrogs into my top 5 for 2021. What a discovery! “Autumn leaves are falling like the rain…”
@sylvie #sylvie #despistado #studio11 #brandonfriesen #wcma #corblund #thebegoodtanyas #swollenmembers #arcadefire #iwishiwasdriving #anelectrictrace
AD OF THE WEEK: TIKTOK “HAVE YOU SEEN IT”
The idea behind this latest ad from Publicis Groupe’s Le Truc for TikTok is that you don’t need to be on TikTok to actually hear about a TikTok video. Whether that is a good thing or not is a separate topic we won’t get into here, preferring to judge the ad on its merits alone. The ad is delivered in a series of vignettes, with the tension rising with each description of the video, making us want to know, finally, what was behind the…Well, I won’t spoil it for you. What this ad tells us is that TikTok is quickly morphing from the “silly-you-should-check-this-out” to a more nuanced “this video-is-really-interesting-because” phase. More compelling, more eyeballs and more advertising revenue.
RADIOHEAD’S ENTIRE CATALOGUE HAS BEEN RELEASED ON BANDCAMP
Bandcamp made the announcement last week.
Radiohead’s entire discography has been shared to Bandcamp. Users can now listen to seminal albums via the online store and streaming site, such as 1997’s OK Computer and 2016’s A Moon Shaped Pool.
The move comes over a year after the platform first launched Bandcamp Fridays, in March 2020. The initiative saw the platform waive its share of all sales for one Friday each month. It was launched to help support artists during the pandemic. Andrew Jervis, Head of Artist and Label Relations, and Aly Gillani, the platform’s UK/EU label representative, talked about the initiative during a Supporters Week discussion. Listen to the talk via crackaud.io.
Last year, The Knife also released their full back catalogue to the platform, along with unreleased material.
Check out Radiohead’s Bandcamp page.
GAME PUBLISHER UNVEILS GLORIOUSLY UGLY IPOD PROTOTYPE
The iPod is 20 years old. This is what it looked like before Apple’s engineers made it beautiful and iconic.
Video game publisher Panic has unveiled photos of the original iPod prototype it said was laying around in a closet. First released on October 23, 2001, the iPod catapulted Apple from an iconic but struggling computer company to a global behemoth. It revolutionized people’s relationship to devices. Its earliest prototype is a startlingly ugly yellow plastic box.
The prototype is rather large and has four buttons for up, down, left, and right. There’s a tiny screen and a working scroll wheel. Inside the device is mostly empty, only a small circuit board and screen are present. According to Fadell, the gross shell was just to show off a proof of concept while engineers worked on the final design. It’s almost as tall as a laptop is long, and in a photo taken for comparison, it appears to be four times the size of a first-generation iPod.
iPod inventor Tony Fadell confirmed that the pictures were, indeed, of an original prototype of the iPod. “This is a P68/Dulcimer iPod prototype we (very quickly) made before the true form factor design was ready,” he said on Twitter. “Didn’t want it to look like an iPod for confidentiality – the buttons placement, the size – it was mostly air inside – and the wheel worked (poorly)”
NUMARK ANNOUNCE NEW STANDALONE DJ UNIT MIXSTREAM PRO
Numark has announced a new DJ hardware unit, the MixStream Pro. It’s designed to be used without a computer and can stream music from multiple sources including Beatport LINK, Beatsource LINK, TIDAL, and SoundCloud Go+. Tracks are buffered to an internal memory system so they won’t drop out if you lose connection. You can even use Dropbox to store your music and access it straight from the device without a computer.
There are also two USB ports and an SD card slot to load your own tracks from your collection. You can also connect the device to a computer to control Denon DJ’s own PRIME DJ software.
The unit is made up of two six-inch jogs, a seven-inch touch screen, three-band EQ, two-channel faders, eight performance pads to cover looping, hot cueing, and more. There are four built-in FX and even built-in speakers for on-the-go performance. The usual cue, play, and sync controls, and LFP per channel is also present.
There are balanced XLR and RCA outputs and dual-size headphone ports around the front. There’s even a quarter-inch microphone input.
The MixStream Pro will cost £499 – a pretty amazing price for all the features. Find out more in the video below and on the Numark website.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional research and reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Badger
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