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INFORMATION
Jobs
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Cage Against The Machine: Top musicians fall silent
Cage Against The Machine: Some quotes
Sky Songs closes
In The Pop Courts
Beatport founder accused of anti-competitive behaviour
Dope update: Rudd, Nelson, Blow
Awards & Contests
Folk song installation wins Turner Prize
Reunions & Splits
Soundgarden may consider new album
Is this the end for Gorillaz?
Release News
Deftones offer side project remix
Gigs & Tours News
Erasure announce forest tour
Festival News
Linkin Park to headline Download
Reviews
Album review: Plastikman - Arkives 1993-2010
Brands & Stuff
Yuill remakes Jingle Bells with pint glasses for Guinness
The Music Business
EMI appoints new A&R VP
The Digital Business
Could AOL merge with Yahoo?
Shazam passes 100 million users
And finally...
Michael Jackson glove goes for $300,000
Jean: "In Haiti, I am the Beatles"
The Beatles on iTunes, it was Heather what done it


 
TUESDAY 7TH DECEMBER
CMU ARTISTS OF THE YEAR 2010 - #7: WRONGTOM
Producer and DJ Wrongtom has been involved in many musical projects, though in recent years became best known as Hard-Fi's in-house remixer and tour DJ. That was, at least, until this year, when his two year collaboration with Roots Manuva finally came to fruition.

 
In 2008, Tom was asked by Big Dada to turn in a remix of 'Buff Nuff', the first single from Roots Manuva's 'Slime & Reason' album. However, so impressed were the label's people with the result that they asked him to do some more, eventually adding a whole bonus disc of Wrongtom mixes to that long player. Then they asked him to create an entire remix album spanning the rapper's career.

In creating that album, 'Duppy Writer', Tom tried to re-imagine each track as an 'original' version from an earlier decade, taking Roots Manuva's 21st century music back through 80s dancehall to classic reggae. He and Roots even found time to record a brand new track, 'Jah Warriors', which features guest vocals from Ricky Ranking.

Although conceived as a remix album, the final thirteen track collection is actually more a standalone piece in its own right. Although the vocals are taken from previously available Roots Manuva tracks (except for 'Jah Warriors', obviously), Wrongtom completely succeeds in his mission to make it sound like it is the originals which are remixes.

It's such a complete and cohesive piece of work that any newcomer to Roots Manuva's career would be completely justified in thinking 'Duppy Writer' was his debut, rather than a retrospective. And it's this skilful production and creative vision that, in case you were wondering, puts him at number seven in our Artists Of The Year chart.

As well as the record, various live shows in strange locations with Roots Manuva have hit London over the last few months, with the rapper performing these new versions of his songs. We were lucky enough to stand outside a t-shirt shop in Shoreditch recently, craning our necks in an attempt to see over the heads of the assembled crowd spilling out of the door.

And Roots isn't the only artist to receive the Wrongtom treatment this year; the producer released a brilliant, though unofficial, digital dancehall reworking of Tinie Tempah's 'Pass Out', and a dub version of 'Skanky Panky' by Kid Koala for the Ninja Tune 20th anniversary boxset, amongst others.

I've not even mentioned his house project with Dante Gabriel - Indian Queens - or his 'Old Ghosts' compilation, which featured fifteen unreleased tracks spanning genres from hip hop to free jazz, and which came out as a free download via Myuzyk in January.

Plus, an honourable mention must go to the Mr Trick & Wrongtom radio show, which was last broadcast in December 2009 before being dropped from the schedules by Resonance FM in January. I miss feeling like I know almost nothing about music on a weekly basis, thanks to Trick and Tom's archival knowledge (and archives of records) - something further demonstrated on Tom's CMU Powers Of Ten playlist.

2010 has indeed been a very busy year for Tom, and he's not looking like slowing down in 2011. Already scheduled for next year is his contribution to The Dub Pistols' upcoming remix album, 'Six Months', featuring vocals from Rodney P and the recently departed Gregory Isaacs, a dubby mini-album with Phantom and more from Indian Queens.

Website | iTunes | Amazon | Spotify | CMU Powers Of Ten playlist
 
BEST OF CMU APPROVED 2010: OH LAND
Former ballerina Nanna Øland Fabricius, aka Oh Land, is one of our favourite finds of recent years. Her 2008 debut album, 'Fauna', was (and indeed still is) a beautiful collection of songs, which manage to sound like recordings of a late night in a 1920s speakeasy, then unearthed in the 21st century and spruced up with modern production.

 
It's quite striking, which is why Sony/Epic snapped her up after last year's SxSW and shoved her in the studio with Shakira producer Lester Mendez. A second album is now complete and set for a 2011 release. As a taster, back in September Fabricius made a track from it available, 'Sun Of A Gun'. It's clear straight off that she's been given much more of a pop treatment this time around, but that's not to the detriment of her experimental side, which ensures the track is essential listening throughout, beyond its killer chorus hook.

You can check out the track and various remixes at the SoundCloud link below.

soundcloud.com/ohland


 
  CMU, EDITORIAL INTERN
CMU is looking for a full time (Mon-Fri 10.30am-4pm) intern to assist with editorial tasks at its Shoreditch-based HQ.
Working closely with the Editor, the intern will manage the reviews database, input content into the CMU content management system, prepare photos for email bulletins, and assist with other editorial tasks. There will also be opportunities to write, including artist biogs and reviews.

Some writing experience and a passion for music are a must, while any admin, CMS and/or Photoshop experience will also be useful. Although unpaid, this internship role will provide excellent hands-on experience and some formal training. Zone Two travel will be covered. The post runs from one month minimum to three months maximum. Early January start.

Send your CV and two recent examples of your writing to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk, indicating how soon you could start and how long you would like your internship to last. Deadline 5pm Wednesday 15 December.
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CAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE: TOP MUSICIANS FALL SILENT
And so it came to pass that over 60 musicians, yesterday afternoon, crammed into the live room at Dean Street Studios in Soho, and for four minutes and 33 seconds stood in total silence. Actually, it was nine minutes and six seconds, because the group recorded two different versions of John Cage's silent composition, '4'33"', as part of the Cage Against The Machine project.

As much previously reported, the aim is to get the four and half minutes of silence to the Christmas number one spot later this month - beating the customary first single from this weekend's 'X-Factor' winner - while raising money for five lesser known charities, the British Tinnitus Association, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, Youth Music and Sound And Music.

It's all the idea of three friends - Dave and Julie Hilliard and John Rogers - who were inspired by last year's Rage Against The Machine Christmas number one campaign. They were immediately attracted to the perverse idea of forcing silence into the festive top spot, while they couldn't help but be pleased, and rightly so, with the brilliant name they'd come up with in 'Cage Against The Machine'.

Xfm DJ and CMU columnist Eddy Temple Morris stumbled across their campaign on Facebook and, already looking to work on a fund-raising campaign with Ou Est Le Swimming Pool's Joe Hutchinson, approached the CATM team about getting involved. And so one thing led to another, Eddy spent a few weeks glued to his mobile phone, and yesterday's recording came into being.

Among the eclectic bunch of artists taking part yesterday were Mr Hudson, Guillemots, UNKLE, The Big Pink, The Kooks, Enter Shikari, Coldcut, Orbital, Heaven 17 and Jon McClure, plus last minute additions Suggs, Scroobius Pip, Gallows and Pendulum. Imogen Heap and Billy Bragg both phoned their contributions in - Bragg from his tour bus and Heap in the back of a taxi - with telephones in the studio sat on top of the studio's piano during the recording. Pete Doherty, meanwhile, contributed his silence in the way you'd probably expect, by promising to take part and then not showing up.

As well as the main track, Alex Metric, Adam F, Hot Chip, Herve and Mr Scruff are all set to create '4'33"' 'remixes' - actually four and a half minute audio snapshots of their own lives - as B-sides for the single release.

It all took place not long after 3pm yesterday afternoon. After thirty seconds of noise-making to get it out of their system - which Dan Le Sac later described as being "like an orchestra tuning up, but a really bad drunken orchestra of ex-ravers" - the group went straight into the first take. The discomfort of having to be quiet was noticeable amongst some, though there were outbreaks of dancing and arm-waving among others as time went on. What was most striking though was just how long four and a half minutes feels when spent in total silence.

Take two was an altogether more relaxed affair, done more for the video of the venture, being made by film maker Dick Carruthers. Although Mr Hudson later said he felt the second take was "more magical", the feeling amongst everyone else we spoke to was that the first was the best.

Temple-Morris said: "It's all about that first take for me, the second one was for the video, the honesty was there in the first one", while the man who matters - BRIT winning Producer Of The Year Paul Epworth, who took charge in the control room - said: "It sounded good, everyone performed admirably. Even with the little cough and splutter here and there, it was good".

Despite the task of standing in silence for four and a half minutes, not to mention the challenge of fitting all the eager musicians into one small studio, there was a real party atmosphere at the recording. A few extra touches were thrown in here and there at the last minute, in particular artist Kilford, best known for making 'visual representations of music' on stage at concerts, who was asked to paint a visual representation of the silence. Unsurprisingly, at the end of the session he was signing a blank piece of paper.

Two challenges now remain for the Cage Against The Machine project. First, the team at Wall Of Sound have to master the track and get it into pretty much every digital music store by Saturday night. And then CATM's supporters have to buy the track in sufficient numbers to get it to the top of the chart in time for Christmas.

Of course, in the chart battle, CATM faces competition from both the eventual 'X-Factor' winner and other anti-X Factor campaigns. If the former - Matt Cardle is currently favourite to win - can match Alexandra Burke's first week sales in 2008, then he could still take the Christmas crown. Of the other anti-X campaigns on Facebook, the one to get The Trashmen's track 'Surfin Bird', made popular by its appearance in a particularly fine edition of 'Family Guy' in 2008, to the top is almost certainly the most popular in terms of 'likes'.

Having come together in a major way somewhat late in the day, the CATM project is behind both the 'Surfin Bird' campaign this year and the Rage campaign this time last year in terms of numbers of Facebook followers, though 10,000 were added yesterday alone as media interest began to gain momentum. And the collective fan bases of the artists involved in the recording are considerable, Imogen Heap alone has 1.5 million followers on Twitter.

And in terms of originality, surely getting an original recording of nothingness to the top of the charts is the most innovative proposal this Christmas. As the core aim of last year's Rage campaign - on which all these projects are based - was to restore some originality in the uniquely British pastime of caring about who is number one at Christmas, after years of lukewarm 'X-Factor' creations automatically taking that prize, the truly sublime Cage project surely best fits the bill. And the odds of CATM taking the top spot are now down to 4/1, putting it in second place behind this year's 'X-Factor' winner.

Either way, all of this is happening in aid of five brilliant under-funded charities, so whatever happens in terms of the chart race, it is definitely something we'd urge you all to support. If you want to get involved, sign up at www.facebook.com/cageagainstthemachine, watch yesterday's recording at www.ustream.tv/recorded/11289286 and then get ready to buy yourself some silence (well, four and half minutes of quiet ambience from a very crowded studio) next Sunday. Hurrah.

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CAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE: SOME QUOTES
Co-organiser Eddy Temple Morris: "[This project has been] stressful, ageing, laborious, but ultimately rewarding, joyous and very very emotional. I'm shattered, humbled, full of love and admiration for all those who contributed, from the artists to the camera people to Buttercup Cakes, who made VV Brownies and Lethal Drizzle cake for us all!"

Participant Dan Le Sac: "It was good, it was really good. It was lovely to see a lot of people uncomfortable with hearing their own thoughts. You know, lots of people who, all they've heard is basslines for the last ten years, and now they're going: 'Silence?! What do I do?'. But I got it once I was in there, that idea that it's not always about the noise you're making, it can be about the noise you're not making. There was something quite lovely about it".

Participant Alice Russell: "I bought my Rage Against The Machine last year, and I think there's enough people that wanna support that side of things, and also for the charity side of things. I think it'll do well. I think there's so many people that need that, they're sort of fed up with the sugar-sweet, crazy 'X-Factor' pop crud that they need a bit of this. We need to be refreshed".

Artist Kilford: "I see lots of colours when I hear music and I paint music for bands. I go on stage with them and start painting a picture on the first note and then finish on the last note. [But '4'33'''] is a musical piece which is based on silence, so I didn't see any colours. So therefore the painting, as far as I'm concerned, represents the true piece. It's a painting without paint. I think it's a perfect piece to represent that specific piece of music".

Producer Paul Epworth: "Apart from anything, it's nice that there's people who have started to look at providing a grass roots alternative to mainstream music culture again. And on top of anything, I like the idea there might be an avant-garde track at number one. It's a good testament of John Cage's legacy as well, I think".

Co-creator and co-organiser Julie Hillard: "When the campaign was originally started we had no idea it would grow to be so big. I think after the original Guardian piece was published about us, that's when we realised the potential. Eddy has been a huge help in mobilising bands and getting the venue, producer and label on board. Throughout we have fought to maintain the integrity of Cage's '4'33"' piece in relation to this project, and this has sometimes meant saying 'no' to the media types we've needed to deal with to make this thing happen".

On the chances of '4'33"' now being the Christmas number one, Hillard continues: "I feel like we hit a niche of people who really get how cool the idea is. Whether the rest of Britain concurs with that is another story. I do feel like the blankness of '4'33''' is what makes it special and really unique. It allows people to put their own agenda or meaning on it. For some it will be about beating the 'X-Factor'. Some people want it to be all about raising funds for charity. For others it is about honouring a classical composer. And for some people, they will just find it a really wonderfully funny joke - which, to be honest, was exactly what it originally set out to be".

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SKY SONGS CLOSES
BSkyB yesterday closed its short-lived digital music service Sky Songs, just over a year after it opened with a middle-sized fanfare. The subscription-based service offered a combination of unlimited streaming Spotify style with a bundle of MP3s included each month for download.

There was no free-to-use ad funded version of the service to woo customers - unlike Spotify and We7 - Sky presumably hoping it could upsell it to its existing TV and ISP customers without demonstrating how its pay-to-use music platform worked. It was a theory that didn't pay off, as it happened, with Sky admitting yesterday it was shuttering the service because it had been "unable to reach a large enough customer base".

Sky Songs' loyal customers (anyone?) will stop paying as of now, though will still be able to access the service through to next February.

Sky's music venture business model opted for 'access' over 'ownership', based on the belief that ultimately the future of digital music is in one-monthly-fee-gets-you-everything services rather than pay-per-track download stores like iTunes.

Attempts to launch subscription-based download platforms six years ago generally failed. But, buoyed by the potential and appetite for streaming services in the broadband age, and some albeit moderate successes in this domain in the US, a number of new 'access' services have entered the market in recent years. However, all pay-to-use streaming services will struggle to compete with the free version of Spotify, including, of course, the premium version of Spotify.

Which puts a lot of pressure on the ad-funded services - like those operated by Spotify and We7 - to actually work commercially once investor funding is spent. Whether that can happen remains to be seen. Some predict that free unlimited access services will eventually be phased out, with digital service providers and music companies hoping users of such services can then be persuaded to upgrade to pay-to-use equivalents for a nominal monthly fee. If and when that happens, launching Sky Songs type services will make sense again.

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BEATPORT FOUNDER ACCUSED OF ANTI-COMPETITIVE BEHAVIOUR
The co-founder of dance music download service Beatport has been accused of using his digital company's influence to give his nightclub in Denver an unfair advantage over competing clubs.

Both Beatport Chairman Bradley Roulier and the claimant in a new lawsuit, Regas Christou, runs clubs in the American city. And, according to Billboard, the former used to work for the latter, with Christou helping Roulier secure the loan used to launch Beatport.

In his lawsuit, Christou alleges that Roulier uses the influence of Beatport, an important digital service in the dance and electronic music sector, to force acts to only play his Denver venue, Beta, when they visit the city. Roulier's bookers, it is claimed, tell big name DJs that if they play any of Christou's venues they and their labels will be blacklisted on Beatport.

Alleging that names like DJ Rap, Shasha, DJ Dan and Deadmau5 had all be coerced in this way, Christou says in his lawsuit: "They've threatened DJs that if they play at [my venues] the Church or Vinyl they will pull their songs off Beatport - even that they will pull a DJ's entire label off Beatport. And DJs have no choice but to go along because it's their financial life at stake".

Christou claims that Roulier's conduct is anti-competitive under US antitrust laws, and is suing for a million in damages. Roulier is yet to respond.

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DOPE UPDATE: RUDD, NELSON, BLOW
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has been convicted of marijuana possession in a New Zealand court after police found 25 grams of the drug on his boat back in October. Rudd pleaded guilty to the charge and requested that, in return, the court not give him a criminal record in relation to the drugs incident. It was an ambitious plea really, and the judge was having none of it. He convicted the drumming man of the crime, and ordered him to pay a $250 fine.

Elsewhere in dope news, country star Willie Nelson has been charged with a misdemeanour in relation to the cannabis found on his tour bus by a Texas state border patrol last month. He had faced a felony charge which meant that, if found guilty, he could have been facing a jail sentence. But he got off with a misdemeanour, possibly because his lawyer reportedly questioned the legality of the tour bus search undertaken by border officials, given the bus was someway from any border at the time and no warrant was issued.

And finally, rap legend Kurtis Blow has denied those reports from last week on TMZ.com that he was busted for carrying a small amount of dope through security at LAX airport recently. Well, it wasn't clear if he was denying being caught with the drug completely, or whether he was stressing - as we reported - that he was only cautioned and not arrested because it was such a small amount of marijuana. We hope some of the story was true only because it contained one of the quotes of the year, a statement from an airport official that they had found the drugs after a body scanner detected "an anomaly in the rapper's pants".

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FOLK SONG INSTALLATION WINS TURNER PRIZE
This year's Turner Prize has gone to a sound installation, which almost makes the crazy art award music news, no? As expected, Susan Philipsz took the prize for her installation piece in which she sang three versions of Scottish folk song 'Lowlands Away' over public address systems.

Chairman of the Turner Prize judging panel, Penelope Curtis, said: "Susan's presentation, both in Glasgow and in the way it transferred to the Tate, was quite extraordinary. The way she's managed to make you look at things differently by hearing things differently is really quite exceptional".

Some arty types have criticised the judges' decision, arguing Philipsz's work is music not art. One art group called The Stuckists said in a statement: "It's just someone singing in an empty room. It's not art. It's music".

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SOUNDGARDEN MAY CONSIDER NEW ALBUM
Soundgarden, who reunited in April after twelve years apart, and who headlined this year's Lollapalooza festival in the US, have said that they might record some new material. Well, guitarist Kim Thayil has.

Confirming that a live album and B-sides collection was in the pipeline, Thayil also told Canadian radio station CFNY-FM: "When we get together to rehearse it's natural for us... to start jamming and inventing. We've come up with instrumental and certainly, on occasion, lyrical ideas. I'm not confirming anything, but it's impossible for us to get in a room and not come up with ideas".

Thayil added that his bandmates were busy with other projects at the moment, but said that they were all committed to the Soundgarden reunion too. He said: "The guys have other commitments but this is the thing we're most excited about".

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IS THIS THE END FOR GORILLAZ?
Damon Albarn has said that he's considering bringing Gorillaz to an end, as he's not sure where he can take the project following the success and scale of the 'Plastic Beach' album and tour.

Albarn told WENN: "It's been an unqualified success - bizarrely. But we always think that when we get to a point where we've achieved something that it's time to stop, don't we? We'll see how we feel in January [after the final leg of the band's world tour]. A period of reflection and sobriety [is required], I couldn't keep going at this size and pace".

Gorillaz's other half, Jamie Hewlett concurred, adding: "This would be a wonderful point to leave Gorillaz; at the end of this tour, I think... This tour, with these people, is a one-off. It's a once in a lifetime experience. We'll never repeat this".

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DEFTONES OFFER SIDE-PROJECT REMIX
The side-project of Deftones guitarist Steph Carpenter, Sol Invicto, has remixed the title track of his main band's latest album, 'Diamond Eyes'. The group are now offering the remix to fans for $0.99, with proceeds donated to One Love For Chi, the charity launched to raise money for specialist treatment for Deftones bassist Chi Cheng, who was seriously injured in a car crash two years ago.

Sol Invicto's Richie Londres told Noisecreep: "With this 'Diamond Eyes' remix, we wanted to do something different but retain the feel of the song, so we ended up only using Chino's vocals for that one and created a 'Chino choir' from segments of his voice to layer up the backing in different tunings ... It was a huge honour [to create the remix]. So I thought a nice way to repay this would be to bring some attention to Chi Cheng. It's been a while since the accident and he really has been making great progress. He is no longer in a coma and they are pretty confident that this specialist treatment on the East Coast can effectually wake him up!"

You can get the track from www.oneloveforchi.com. Londres added that an exclusive Sol Invicto EP, featuring drummer Zach Hill, will also be made available through the site soon.

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ERASURE ANNOUNCE FOREST TOUR
Erasure are the latest act to announce a tour of Britain's forests for 2011, which is exciting.

It's also an excuse to link to their rather fine version of 'Take A Chance On Me' which someone reminded me about on Saturday night via Twitter, I think because there was some Abba thing going on in the 'X-Factor' domain. As said Tweeter remarked, it's the only Abba song you ever really need. Here's the link: youtu.be/qSnLGdpjWf4

And here are the dates:

10 Jun: Thetford Forest, Suffolk
11 Jun: Bedgebury Pinetum & Forest, Kent
17 Jun: Sherwood Pines Forest Park, Nottinghamshire
18 Jun: Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
24 Jun: Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire
25 Jun: Dalby Forest, North Yorks
1 Jul: Delamere Forest, Cheshire

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LINKIN PARK TO HEADLINE DOWNLOAD
Following the announcement that the newly reformed System Of A Down will headline next year's Download Festival, Linkin Park have been confirmed as the second band to top the bill.

The band's frontman Chester Bennington told CMU: "We are very excited to be playing Download again next year. It's one of the best festivals in the world and it's always an honour to play in front of such a great crowd. We can't wait!"

Live Nation VP of Promotions Andy Copping added: "It's great to have Linkin Park back at Download next year. They've always put on a great show and following the success of their recent sold out UK tour, it was essential to have them at Download, where they will deliver their full-on live show".

Musician and film maker Rob Zombie will also perform, sixteen years since he last performed at Donington with his former band White Zombie.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Plastikman - Arkives 1993-2010 (Minus)
Well, if you're going to release a career retrospective, you might as well do it properly. Why stop at one, or even a paltry two CDs? Plastikman, aka Canada's Richie Hawtin, has decided that this limited edition box set should include not just the six albums released under his Plastikman guise, but also five - five! - CDs full of rarities, remixes and unreleased material.

Sadly - or possibly thankfully, depending on how you look at things and whether you enjoy reading verbose reviews or not - the promo is merely a 150 minute, two CD greatest hits type affair, which would probably work quite well in its own right, actually.

Anyway, on to the music then, and if you had to describe Plastikman's in one word, that word would be 'acid'. The best tracks here (see 'Plastique', 'Plasticene' and 'Spastik'), the type Hawtin made his name with, are generally ten minute long brutally minimal slabs of acid wherein not much happens aside from foreboding bass, crunching beats and the infamous Roland 303, insistently squelching its psychedelic patterns to nefarious effect. These tracks probably sounded amazing in the 90s, especially if chemicals were involved. But they sound pretty good now too, even without the drugs. Hawtin can do melodic techno, too - witness 'Dimension Intrusion', his album by FUSE - or the undulating 'Are Friends Electrik' here.

You could complain that, at times he's too minimal for his own good, but when he gets the balance of beats, mood and melody right, it makes for heady listening. It's available to pre-order now from www.plastikman.com/arkives/. MS

Release date: 28 Feb
Press contact: Darling Dept

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YUILL REMAKES JINGLE BELLS WITH PINT GLASSES FOR GUINNESS
Guinness have teamed up with fab electro-folkie type James Yuill to create a version of 'Jingle Bells' using pint glasses containing differing amounts of the black stuff as his main instrument.

It's not actually quite as good as it sounds, mainly because the video also features a lot of actors trying really hard (but failing) to look like they're impromptu punters in a real pub. But we like James Yuill, so thought we'd link to it anyway. And you never know, perhaps by doing so Guinness will send us some free booze. Hmm, come to think of it, if that was the plan we possibly shouldn't have pointed out that the video's a bit lame.

youtu.be/Gu72Vz5JTv8

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EMI APPOINTS NEW A&R VP
EMI US yesterday announced that Downtown Music co-founder Michael Howe will be joining the company as VP A&R of its Capitol & Virgin label group. It's Howe's second stint at EMI, having worked there for two years before setting up Downtown. Though presumably the company he's returning to is rather different than the one he left, given the various rejigs and workforce culls in recent years.

Confirming the new appointment, Dan McCarroll, himself only appointed to the President role at Capitol/Virgin in October, told CMU: "I think that Michael is one of the most talented creative executives working in the industry today, with a real ability to work in partnership with artists to help them in achieving their goals. I've wanted to work with him for a long time, and I think he's going to be a great asset for Capitol and Virgin as we move forward".

Howe himself added: "I've known Dan for many years, and have always been impressed with the level of commitment he gives to the songwriters and artists that he works with. There's a huge opportunity at Capitol and Virgin, and I'm excited to be able to return to EMI to play my part in the next stage of their history".

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COULD AOL MERGE WITH YAHOO?
According to Reuters, bosses at AOL is considering breaking the business into two, and merging one half of it with Yahoo! Though we should add that Yahoo! hasn't been told about this plan yet.

That said, we should also say this isn't a new proposal. Before AOL demerged from Time Warner last year it was proposed the web firm be split into two companies, an internet service provider and a content-and-advertising outfit. The former could be merged with another US ISP, most likely EarthLink, and the latter sold to Yahoo!

Insiders have told Reuters that the proposal is being reconsidered by the now independent AOL, though things are at an early stage, mainly because both EarthLink and Yahoo! have entered into new ventures since Time Warner first floated the proposal and may not now be in a position to do an AOL deal. Nevertheless, the web firm's share price rose yesterday as speculation of a split up and sale gained momentum.

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SHAZAM PASSES 100 MILLION USERS
Shazam announced yesterday that it now has over 100 million users worldwide, which means the music recognition system has added 25 million users in the last six months alone.

The ten year old service has gained considerable momentum, of course, since it went the free-to-use use smartphone app route. Originally the service was billed through a pretty expensive SMS message. The service is now funded by advertising and up-sell downloads.

Shazam chief Andrew Fisher told reporters yesterday: "Shazam's growing popularity and ubiquity has established our leadership position as the best way for consumers across the globe to discover, engage with and share new content via their mobile phones".

Last week Shazam announced a new ad package called Listening Screen Takeover which gives advertisers much more exposure within the company's app. Universal Music have block booked the new ad spaces until mid-January.

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MICHAEL JACKSON GLOVE GOES FOR $300,000
A studded glove worn by the late Michael Jackson during the 1980s 'Bad' tour has been bought for $300,000 by some rich idiot with too much money at a rock memorabilia auction in California. A signed Jackson jacket went for $96,000 while a fedora the singer once wore went for $72,000.

It wasn't just Jackson tat up for sale. A military style jacket once worn by John Lennon in a Life magazine photoshoot went for $240,000 while the denim jumpsuit worn by Johnny Cash for a rehearsal at San Quentin prison went for $50,000.

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JEAN: "IN HAITI, I AM THE BEATLES"
In an interview about his recent failed attempt to run for President of his home country Haiti, Wyclef Jean has compared himself to The Beatles.

He says he hoped that, had he become President of Haiti, he could have reduced the amount of political corruption while the country tries to recover from the devastating earthquake that struck earlier this year. He implies that it was corrupt types who stopped him from joining the political race, though, as previously reported, it was constitutional rules that really stopped the non-resident Haitian from standing.

Jean told The Guardian: "I felt that, if I ran for president, there would be too many eyes on the country for even the most corrupt to break the law. And in that aspect, I was wrong, because I got kicked out of the race before even running".

Asked about his reputation in his home country he added: "Haiti is my country. The same way the Beatles are received in England - that's how Wyclef Jean is received in Haiti". So presumably that means that when iTunes arrives in the country, no one will buy his music on it.

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THE BEATLES ON ITUNES, IT WAS HEATHER WHAT DONE IT
Talking of no one buying The Beatles on iTunes, Paul McCartney's ex-wife, Heather Mills, has claimed that it was because of her that the world can choose to not buy the Fab Four's music via the Apple download store.

There was us thinking the iTunes deal was made possible because the newish bosses at EMI and Beatles company Apple Corps finally agreed on an arrangement acceptable to both them and Apple Computers last month. But no, it was all possible because Mills introduced McCartney to Apple boss Steve Jobs years ago.

The Daily Mail quotes Mills as saying: "iTunes? I organised it all with Steve Jobs". But don't worry, she's not looking for a cut of the action now The Beatles are online. "There's no way I'm going back to court for more money. It was all settled at the time and that's it".

Right...

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