ARTIST OF THE WEEK: BONOBO
I love it when an artist comes good. Bonobo has been around for a while, gaining a cult following, but his latest work is my favourite and will most likely introduce him to a wider audience. Simon Green (born 1976), known by his stage name Bonobo, is a British musician, producer, and DJ based in Los Angeles. He began his career with the sort of down-tempo aesthetic prevalent at that time, bands like Zero7 and Air. Over the years, he has steadily dialled up the tempo and added something of a pop sensibility, with lots of collaborations. As before, his music delivers a euphoric and smooth experience, enveloping the listener in Bonobo’s world. This track, Shadows, from his latest album Fragments, could be my favourite track so far of 2022.
Taken from the album ‘Fragments’, out now on Ninja Tune: https://bonobo.lnk.to/fragmentsYo
@bonobomusic #bonobomusic #simongreen #fragments #triphop #jordanrakei #electronic #downtempo #ninjatune #truethoughts #nirobi #barakas
AD OF THE WEEK: OLD SPICE – CURLS ARE COOL
How do you reinvigorate an old (stale) brand? Hire Wieden + Kennedy for a start. The storied ad agency based in Portland, Oregon most famous for its Nike Ads has created a quirky TVC that pulls the corners of your mouth skywards. The concept is pretty simple and the grungy deli setting is almost drab but the viewer gets a sense of authenticity like the brand is not talking down to its customers. The spot was produced by PRETTYBIRD UK in partnership with Wieden+Kennedy and directed by award-winning director Yousef. The music track, written by H33ra, delivers and the brand even has a pretty good sonic logo. 10/10 for this advertiser.
LITTLE SIMZ, DAVE AND ADELE AMONGST WINNERS AT BRITS
This week’s BRIT Awards saw big wins for the likes of Little Simz, Dave and Adele.
Little Simz won the award for Best New Artist, she was in the running against the likes of Joy Crookes, Central Cee and Griff. She was joined by her mum on stage and said “look what you’ve done mum,” crediting her mum for her successes.
Dave (pictured) won the award for Best Hip Hop/Grime/Rap act and took over Little Simz, AJ Tracey and more; Dave is the first recipient of this award as it comes amongst many new categories for the 2022 edition in hopes of making the awards more inclusive.
Both Little Simz and Dave also performed at the London-based awards show last night.
Adele was the biggest winner of the night bagging three awards for Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Artist of the Year.
Becky Hill, famous for her tracks ‘Lose Control’, ‘Remember’ (with David Guetta) and ‘Afterglow’ (with Wilkinson) won the award for Best Dance Act.
Elsewhere, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Holly Humberstone and Olivia Rodrigo also won awards at last night’s ceremony.
AN ASTEROID HAS BEEN NAMED AFTER PIONEERING PRODUCER SOPHIE
An asteroid has been named after the late producer SOPHIE following a petition addressed to NASA last year.
While the petition to rename a planet after the artist was not successful, even after garnering some 95,000 signatures, The International Astronomical Union has now commemorated the artist with a newly discovered asteroid – now known as “Sophie Xeon.”
The name change went ahead last June following the discovery and was shared earlier this week in a new update.
The announcement was made by Christian Arroyo, the creator of the original petition pushing for NASA to rename planet TOI 1338 b after SOPHIE. The call was launched last year and was signed and supported by Charli XCX.
MUSIC PIRACY HAS PLUMMETED IN THE PAST 5 YEARS. BUT IN 2021, IT SLOWLY STARTED GROWING AGAIN.
Music streaming has long been hailed as the killer of music piracy.
While there’s no that doubt that streaming has transformed the fortunes of the major labels, and that subscriptions to music streaming platforms are growing (reportedly up 26.4% to 523.9 million subs globally at the end of Q2 2021, as per Midia), piracy still appeared to make a comeback in 2021.
That’s according to new research published by data company MUSO, which works with the likes of labels, publishers and rights-owners to protect their content from piracy,
MUSO‘s data, sourced from its Discover analytics platform, shows that music piracy declined consistently year-on-year from January 2017 until the second half of 2020 – but it gradually started to increase across 2021.
So what’s driving this growth in piracy in the music streaming age?
According to MUSO, the No.1 online destination for music piracy is so-called ‘stream-ripping’ websites.
Stream-ripping sites, which allow users to rip and download audio from YouTube, accounted for 39.2% of all music piracy globally in 2021, up from 33.9% in 2020.
A number of prominent stream-ripping sites have been hit with legal action by the recorded music business in recent years.
Just last month, for example, a US judge recommended that operators of two stream-ripping sites pay over $80 million in damages for circumventing Youtube’s anti-piracy measures and infringing copyrights in audio recordings.
Meanwhile, unlicensed streaming sites accounted for 31.5% of all music piracy visits in 2021, while illegal downloads made up 24.3% (see above).
Private and Public torrents accounted for the remaining 5%.
Looking at MUSO’s data globally shows that India is the most popular country for music piracy, with unlicensed streaming and web downloads the most popular forms of music piracy in the market.
BRIAN ENO HAS CREATED A LIMITED RUN OF COLOUR CHANGING LED TURNTABLES
Pioneering ambient artist Brian Eno has teamed up with London’s Paul Stopler Gallery to create a limited run of colour shifting LED turntables.
The light-up record players are said to be a feat of sound and visual fusion, adding a psychedelic edge to your average listening experience. Eno noted, “it doesn’t make sense until you see it”.
“The light from it was tangible as if caught in a cloud of vapour. We sat watching for ages, transfixed by this totally new experience of light as a physical presence,” he said on the prototype turntable.
With only 50 available, the record players’ cost has yet to be disclosed, although enquiries are the only available option at this point meaning that prices could sit on the higher end.
This new project isn’t Eno’s first venture into LED work – the artist works regularly in film and hands-on crafts such as his lauded ‘light boxes’, a piece of art creating ‘colour scapes’ of light combined with music to create a kaleidoscopic, psychedelic effect.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional research and reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Badger