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Archive for January, 2011

January 24th, 2011

Bill Laswell – Intuitive spontaneity (by Anil Prasad)

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Dear Friends,

just wanted to make you aware of the wonderful new interview featured on Anil Prasad’s Innerviews page.

While your at it, buy the book, and if you are counting your pennies (and you would, if your are the owner of an Iphone scam machine), get yourself the free app

Cheers to all,


January 24th, 2011

Future Shock

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No not that wonderful classic album but a remarkable, way ahead of its time, thought provoking 40 year old documentary that I recently watched, if you can find one hour in your hectic technological controlled human existence, it’s highly recommended – Orson Welles to boot!

But anyway, it got me thinking, is the album dead? Do we have the time or inclination to listen properly to a body of work composed by an artist(s) who may have taken one day or ten years to create those eleven odd songs or that one track seventy two minute musical opus.
Is there no need for a passage of work to be presented anymore or an intriguing concept (Script for a jester’s tear, what was that about btw? – I had a 6foot Fuzagi album poster on my wall, so no heckling please!) But with iTunes, we can live our lives on one long musical shuffle -“I love the randomness of the selection”- where is Bill Hicks when we need him!
Yes, we have all bought an album on the strength of one mighty fine tune and found there were simply no more to be had but in this bloggers opinion, the long player is alive and well, however it’s digested. We just need to find that quality time, when there is so much else to distract us for some deep thinking aural pleasure. If the track is that bad, skip and maybe you’ll discover further down the line, that it’s actually a lost classic – then again, maybe it isn’t but sometimes things do mature gracefully!
Download singles are currently booming, the single is the base unit of pop again and that surely is no bad thing. Then there is the other musical world where we judge an artist who delivers a body of work, music taste is all based on opinion and we certainly all have one of those. Recently there has been much discussion saying that Rock music is dead as a commercial genre due to only three songs featuring in the official UK single chart last year – on that basis Rory Gallagher never existed!

A club opened in London recently, where you all sit, in silence and listen to a classic album in its entirety, you then discuss the album after. Played on vinyl (re- mastered naturally!) on a Sunday evening. The next classic is “Innervisions ”, personally have played that one to death, so will skip but if they chose, “Future Shock”, then I might well go – see there was an actual thread to this article!

Albums shouldn’t be expensive; they aren’t anymore compared to the major record company greed that happened in the 90’s. You could argue that the so called filler makes the mighty fine tunes stand out even more. Pink Floyd finally crumbled and allowed iTunes to sell individual tracks but can you imagine buying “Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast” only, it would probably leave you somewhat bewildered – 79p for the sound of Alan ( a Floyd roadie), cooking his eggs and bacon.
In comparison, when you visit a cinema you spend on average £12, you don’t actually receive any physical content for this (possibly 3D glasses if you steal them) but you are provided with a visual experience that will hopefully stay with you for the rest of your life and considering all films are consistently good throughout and thought provoking, then this a deemed a fair price. You can always purchase the sell – through DVD after if you enjoyed it that much, for another £12. Premiership football games are all superb, brilliant from start to finish, and certainly worth the £50 odd asking price, especially if you see a goal. Computer games are similar, all games are simply breathtaking throughout and you always finish them, making them worth the £40 odd investment……
So take a risk, buy an album in whatever format suits you the most. Listen to it first, via a stream if need be, download (legally) buy it physically online or even go to a record shop , then upload it and give the cd/vinyl to a friend who needs to be musically educated but has more storage capacity than you! Delete that track if it really is that bad but remember the blood sweat and tears (Child is the father to the man – what an album!) that may have gone into its creation – long live the album and all those that sail with her.

Cheers My Good Friends,

Sheik Yerbouti

January 21st, 2011

IFPI publishes Digital Music Report 2011

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Dear Friends,

I wanted to share this with you all:

London, 20th January 2011

“Governments can turn the tide against piracy in 2011”

  • First actions by ISPs to stop mass illegal file-sharing announced in France, Ireland and South Korea in 2010
  • Progress expected in UK, New Zealand, the EU and Malaysia in 2011
  • Digital revenues up six per cent to US$4.6 billion in 2010, with 400+ licensed services
  • Piracy is hitting jobs and investment, according to IFPI Digital Music Report

Action to stop digital music piracy is gaining momentum worldwide, with implementation by ISPs of warnings and deterrent sanctions taking effect in three countries in 2010 and governments in other countries expected to implement measures in 2011.

ISP cooperation measures are now in place aimed at substantially reducing illegal file-sharing in France, South Korea and Ireland. Governments in several other countries, including the UK, New Zealand and Malaysia, are expected to implement new laws in 2011 and the European Union is reviewing its intellectual property enforcement legislation.

A comprehensive overview of the global digital music sector is provided in IFPI’s Digital Music Report 2011, published today. The report shows that consumer choice for accessing music via digital channels continued to grow in 2010. New easy-to-use subscription models, such as Spotify, Deezer and Vodafone, expanded to complement the hundreds of download services already available to fans. Record companies have also partnered with ISPs and mobile operators to offer music services in Ireland, Taiwan, Italy, South Korea, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Digital music revenues grew by an estimated six per cent globally in 2010 to US$4.6 billion, accounting for 29 per cent of record companies’ trade revenues in 2010.

Industry action is helping develop this legitimate business. Limewire, the biggest source of infringing downloads in the US, has been declared illegal and Mininova, a major BitTorrent site, shut down its illegal activities. The Pirate Bay was blocked by a court in Italy and its operators’ criminal convictions were upheld by the Court of Appeal in Sweden.

Despite these developments, however, digital piracy continues to massively erode industry revenues, hitting jobs, investment in new music and consumer choice. The report comprehensively reviews the scale and impact of the problem. Notably:

  • Fewer new artists are breaking through globally. Total sales by debut artists in the global top 50 album chart in 2010 were just one quarter of the level they achieved in 2003
  • Traditionally vibrant music local industries, such as Spain and Mexico, are especially hard hit. In Spain, where music sales fell by an estimated 22 per cent in 2010, no new home-grown artist featured in the country’s top 50 album chart, compared with 10 in 2003
  • Jobs are at risk across the creative industries. Independent research in 2010 from Tera Consultants, backed by trade unions, found that 1.2 million jobs could be lost across the creative industries in Europe alone by 2015 if no action is taken to tackle piracy.

Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, says: “Many governments are now recognising the need for proportionate and effective steps to curb piracy. In the last year, France and South Korea implemented systems of warnings and deterrent sanctions that will for the first time engage ISPs in reducing peer-to-peer infringement on their networks.

“Similar moves are underway in the UK, New Zealand and Malaysia. The European Union is reviewing its enforcement legislation. The momentum for a solution is building, and that is grounds for optimism.

“As we enter 2011, digital piracy, and the lack of adequate legal tools to fight it, remains the biggest threat to the future of creative industries. Great new legitimate music offerings exist all over the world, offering consumers a wide range of ways to access music. Yet they operate in a market that is rigged by piracy, and they will not survive if action is not taken to address this fundamental problem. This is the challenge and the opportunity for governments to seize in 2011.”

Read More

Cheers to you all


January 18th, 2011

Why Labels Abandoned A&R…

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Dear Friends,

I would like to share these insights with you. They appeared on Digital Music News this Monday 17th January 2011

The following is a guest post by Ritch Esra of the Music Business Registry.  Esra attempts to answer the question: whatever happened to traditional A&R?

“My take is that the traditional A&R process as we’ve known it is dying for a few reasons;

(1) The major labels are hiring fewer and fewer A&R executives because the volume of acts – and more importantly the types of acts – being signed have dramatically decreased.

(2) The A&R process used to be about the discovery, signing & nurturing of the act.  Today, A&R executives are not looking for talent per se.  They are looking for an ongoing business.

(3) An artist that has developed some kind of traction and awareness on their own is what I’m talking about.  Today, acts need to be “developed” or at least developing in a business sense for any label to have even the slightest amount of interest.  The idea that today’s A&R executives will discover an unknown act / artist and develop that artist is an illusion. They have neither the desire, time or money for that matter in 2011.

And by the way, this last point is about to become profoundly illustrated in the next 60-90 days – as dramatic and sweeping changes happen at Universal and Sony.

This is why from an A&R perspective, only the most generic, ubiquitous type of acts get any attention from labels today.  There is only a certain type of act these days that major labels are willing to sign.

So if you happen to have those specific skills these days – great!  Otherwise, our stats show it all: not one of the 40 A&R people let go last year has found another A&R job.  Not one!”

Some A&R-related hiring stats:

  • A&R executives hired by labels*, 2010: 25

(of those, 40 exited without subsequent rehire)

  • A&R executives hired by labels, 2009: 58 (w/ 51 exiting)
  • A&R executives hired by labels, 2008: 80 (w/ 64 exiting)

*labels defined as majors and larger indies.”



January 18th, 2011

RareNoiseRecords on IODA Promonet

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To all bloggers who may be interested in blogging about RareNoiseRecords’ releases:

IODA Promonet helps you get access to cleared mp3s to use on your blog, podcast, internet radio station, magazine, newspaper, or website.

IODA Promonet wants to help you discover and share music from thousands of top artists and labels… around the world.

Head to subscribe and and take it for a spin. (search for “rarenoiserecords” to find our releases).



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