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Jobs & Training Courses
CMU Info
Top Stories
New Spotify funding values company at a billion
In The Pop Courts
Jay-Z successfully appeals Rockafella restaurant ruling
In The Pop Hospital
Stuart Cable killed by "vodka diet", says girlfriend
Awards & Contests
Urban music entrepreneur lashes out at Grammys
Jónsi wins first Nordic Music Prize
In The Studio
Red Hot Chili Peppers (don't actually) name new album
SSS close to completing third album
Release News
New Buck 65 album to be released this month
Gigs & Tours News
Shaun Ryder cancels UK tour
Mumford & Sons announce extra Irish tour dates
Kurt Vile tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: Radiohead - The King Of Limbs (XL Recordings)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
AKG announces details of Scholarship Of Sound
MusicConnex speakers announced
The Media Business
Bauer favourite for BBC magazines
And finally...
Magnetic Man in talks to buy football team
Duffy quitting music
Lady Gaga's perfume to smell of semen

Formed in 2008, precocious grad-rock quartet Little Comets first earned plaudits and droves of devotees through a serious of audacious guerrilla gigs at university lecture halls and local supermarkets. Their debut single, 'One Night In October', was released in 2009 via Lucky Number, the considerable success of which led to the band signing to Sony/Columbia for the second, 'Adultery'.

Having recorded and self-produced their debut LP 'In Search Of Elusive Comets', they parted company with Columbia in 2010, citing that they "didn't sound enough like Ke$ha" as grounds for the split. Forging on through all the fuss and nonsense, Little Comets penned a new deal with indie label Dirty Hit the same year, going on to release their album last month.

Anthemic new single 'Joanna' is out now, a fantastically-catchy statement of intent and independence from an intelligent young band. As Little Comets reach the end of a headline UK tour, we caught up with frontman Robert Coles to get his thoughts on our Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music.
Mickey and I started writing songs in our house when we were twelve and thirteen. We would record them on an old tape player and send them to local radio stations as playlist suggestions... it wasn't actually as offensive as that sounds.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Hopefully our music is as authentic as the original intention was supposed to be. If that's true then I think we get inspired quietly by everything: conversation and allegory, people and places, incidents and accidents, hints and allegations.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I think that depends on the song. Mickey and I will often write in the house with very basic instrumentation. From there we'll rehearse with Matt and Mark to finalise structure before recording. At that point we'll focus on the detail of the parts and sections and I'll write the lyrics. We try to experiment with as many different ideas and add a multitude of layers to the track, then we go home while Mickey peels everything back and the song is hopefully complete.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
We've hopefully adopted a little bit of Bowie, Milan Kundera, Joan Miro, Paul Simon, Debussy, Camus, Roald Dahl, Jonathan Safran Foer, Carol Anne Duffy, Elgar, Brian Eno and Mickey's perseverance.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
"Hopefully you'll like it". If they don't then Mark plays bad cop.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We don't have any specific ambitions, to be honest. For the future, I think Mark wants to give being a male model a shot (he's too commercial at the minute), Matt is a skilled yachtsman so has one eye on the 2016 Olympics, Mickey seems to be about two years behind MIT in inventing things so he needs to work out how to bridge the gap and I'd like to be a milkman (glass bottles only though please).

MORE>> www.littlecomets.com
Justin Broadrick has been a major figure in British heavy music for over 25 years, having been an early member of Napalm Death and a founder member of Godflesh. Another of his recent projects, Jesu, which deals in ultra-slow melodic metal has continued to cement his place as a metal pioneer. But it doesn't end there, Broadrick has also worked in various areas of electronic music (often with Kevin Martin, aka The Bug).

It's largely his electronic influences he shows off in his new mix for FACT, which sets a new high standard for the music website's already exceptional series of guest mixes. Artists including Boards Of Canada, RZA, Caustic Window, Seefeel, Burial, Slowdive, Dr Octagon, Cabaret Voltaire, and dBridge all make it into the 90 minute set, which can be streamed and downloaded on the FACT website, via the link below.


Established artist management company requires digital manager for maternity cover in London office. Working as part of a small team you will be responsible for the websites, social networks, e-commerce (including product development) and digital marketing initiatives for the artists on our roster.

Experience running digital marketing campaigns is essential in addition to familiarity with content management systems and online artist tools. HTML editing and basic Photoshop abilities will be advantageous.

Please send CV, cover letter and salary expectations to [email protected]
We are looking for a part-time designer and production manager to work on a number of upcoming print and online projects. You will need to know your way around InDesign, Photoshop and Dreamweaver, and combine a creative spark with the drive and attention to detail required to lay-out content-rich media to tight deadlines.

This is a part-time freelance role based at our Shoreditch HQ. You will be needed at least two days a week throughout March and April, though we can be flexible on exact days and times. This would suit a junior designer with great ideas and some experience in magazine and/or website design and layout. Daily rate £90.

Send CV and cover letter to [email protected].

"The best music business training event I have attended; relevant and up to date, your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the industry is simply exceptional" from delegate feedback

We are currently taking bookings for the following CMU TRAINING courses:

A beginner's guide to music copyright - everything you need to know about copyright law, licensing, monetising copyright, the fight against piracy and the future of the music rights industry. Wed 23 Feb 2011

For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training

A new round of financing could bring another $100 million into Spotify's coffers, according to reports. Russian firm Digital Sky Technologies is thought to be leading the latest round of investment in the streaming music service, which would reportedly value the digital music platform at a neat $1 billion.

In terms of securing new capital, Spotify is benefiting from renewed interest in investment circles in web-based companies amid expectations that a string of digital content and social media firms will float in the next two years, delivering big pay days for early investors, even if it remains unclear how many of those companies will ever really deliver decent revenues.

DST already has a sizable stake in Facebook, believed to be in the region of 10%, and recently invested in American social media games company Zynga. TechCrunch reckons that the Russian company has a reputation in some circles for being shrewd in its digital investments, suggesting that Spotify's business plan remains sound despite the ongoing challenges of making digital streaming services add up.

Though whether the company would be worth anywhere near $1 billion in the real world, ie were we not at the beginnings of a new dotcom bubble, is highly debatable.

That said, the continued delays to Spotify's US launch, which has tarnished its reputation as the big grower in the digital music space to an extent, could be over within the year given it is now generally believed both EMI and Sony Music have signed up for an American launch. Though getting Universal Music on board remains the big challenge.

Meanwhile, insiders say Apple's recent announcement that it will start taking a 30% cut of subscription revenues generated by its app store - which could have a big impact on Spotify for which iPhone users are premium customers - doesn't seem to be bothering those considering investing in the firm.

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Jay-Z has successfully appealed an English court ruling which allowed a British chef, Terry Miller, who appeared in a series of the ITV show 'Hells Kitchen', to use the Rockafella name in connection to food services in the UK.

As previously reported, the hip hop mogul, real name Shawn Carter, sued Miller after he opened a restaurant in Newcastle using the Rockafella name on the grounds people might think the establishment was linked to his Roc-A-Fella business empire. Even though said restaurant had closed down by the time the case came to court, Miller defeated the lawsuit and was granted the trademark rights to Rockafella for use in the UK for catering-based business ventures.

But Carter appealed, and an appeal judge has now overturned the original ruling, stating that the lower court judge was wrong to assert that the catering industry in which Miller traded was far removed from the entertainment industry in which the rapper deals. The ruling means that Miller won't now be allowed to use the Rockafella name for his food-based enterprises.

It is thought the food man is now considering whether to appeal the appeal ruling.

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Former Stereophonics drummer Stuart Cable died because he'd switched his drink of choice from lager to vodka in a bid to get fit for live shows with his band Killing For Company, his girlfriend has revealed.

As previously reported, Cable was found dead at his home in June last year. He had been celebrating his 40th birthday and drinking heavily. He fell asleep on the floor in his living room and chocked to death after vomiting, triggered by acute alcohol poisoning.

Cable's girlfriend, Rachel Jones, who is launching a new campaign to warn people of the dangers of drinking spirits to excess, told the Daily Record: "Stuart was getting ready for a festival. All the guys were getting gig-fit. There are diets that say a vodka is better than half a lager because it is lower in calories. Stuart had a large amount of spirits that night and that took its toll on him. Spirits are so strong that people don't realise what they are doing to them".

Jones is now campaigning for stronger warnings on spirits. She said: "If you saw someone drinking poison or bleach you would stop them. People need to be aware that spirits can lead to deaths".

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So, it's not just the Beliebers who were pissed that Justin didn't pick up the Best New Artist gong at the recent Grammy Awards.

Long-time Nas associate Steve Stoute, who also runs an urban-music focused marketing partnerships agency called Translation, wasn't impressed either. Moreover, he says that the shunning of Bieber was typical of a Grammy's organisation whose producers use big pop acts to secure viewing figures, but whose voting academy prefer to champion less commercially successful acts.

In an open letter and New York Times advert addressed at the Grammy's organisers, its parent company the National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences, and its president Neil Portnow, Stoute says the US industry's big awards show has become "a series of hypocrisies and contradictions". Meanwhile he calls on the pop stars of America to make a stand against the awards machine.

The letter says: "Over the course of my 20 year history as an executive in the music business and as the owner of a firm that specialises in in-culture advertising, I have come to the conclusion that the Grammy Awards have clearly lost touch with contemporary popular culture. My being a music fan has left me with an even greater and deeper sense of dismay - so much so that I feel compelled to write this letter. Where I think that the Grammys fail stems from two key sources: (1) over-zealousness to produce a popular show that is at odds with its own system of voting and (2) fundamental disrespect of cultural shifts as being viable and artistic".

He continues: "We must acknowledge the massive cultural impact of Eminem and Kanye West and how their music is shaping, influencing and defining the voice of a generation. [Meanwhile], how is it that Justin Bieber, an artist that defines what it means to be a modern artist, did not win Best New Artist? While these very artists that the public acknowledges as being worthy of their money and fandom are snubbed year after year at the Grammys, the awards show has absolutely no qualms in inviting these same artists to perform. Interesting that the Grammys understands cultural relevance when it comes to using Eminem's, Kayne West's or Justin Bieber's name in the billing [but not when giving out awards]".

Calling on artists to demand that Grammy bosses change the "system", Stoute continued: "I imagine that next year there will be another televised super-close-up of an astonished front-runner as they come to the realisation before a national audience... that he or she was used. To all of the artists that attend the Grammys: Stop accepting the invitation to be the upset of the year and demand that this body upholds its mission for advocacy and support of artistry as culture evolves. Demand that they change this system and truly reflect and truly acknowledge your art".

I'm not exactly sure how he thinks the voting system should be changed. Presumably he wants Grammy voters to write a list of which artists they think are most popular, rather than the ones they think are best. Actually, in that case you could get rid of the voting system altogether, which would save time and postage stamps, at least.

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Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi was awarded the very first Nordic Music Prize for his solo album 'Go' last week. The album was selected from a shortlist of twelve by a panel of music journalists and industry types like Domino Record's Laurence Bell, Rough Trade's Jeannette Lee and Columbia Records' Mike Pickering.

The trophy was handed over at the by:Larm conference in Oslo last week by Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway, who said: "The music of the winner could only have been made here, in the North. It sounds and almost smells like Iceland. It's brave and life affirming pop music that grabs you by the heart in flamboyant Technicolor".

Here's a video, if you don't believe us: vimeo.com/20136446

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Bands often think up stupid working titles for their albums while they're still in development - names which someone sensible, either in the band itself or at their label, later rejects.

Like, for example, the working title for 'Chinese Democracy' by Guns N Roses, which was, er, 'Chinese Democracy'. OK, that was a bad example. But here's a better one. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have revealed that their currently-in-production, sure-to-be-awful new album is currently going by the name of 'Dr Johnny Skinz's Disproportionately Rambunctious Polar Express Machine-head'.

Frontman Anthony Kiedis told Spin: "[A friend] was reminiscing about one of his legendary acid trips, and told us that [during a hallucination] he had [imagined he'd] been playing a sold out show to the planets and moons, and his number one hit was, well, that title. We found it so funny that we told him for as long as the album was under the radar, that that would be our nickname for it".

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Liverpool-based thrashers SSS have revealed that they are just two weeks away from completing their third album, and that its title will be 'Problems To The Answer'.

Writing on their blog, the band said: "We're back! Had to knock things on the head for a bit, but we've opened up shop again. Finishing the lyrics to the last few songs then next week we record some vocals with a special guest star! We finish recording the LP on 1 or 2 Mar, then mix for four days from 4 Mar, then we're DONE! Release date to be confirmed, but we're looking at June/July".

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Buck 65 will release a new album, entitled '20 Odd Years', on 28 Feb. The title comes from the fact that he's been making music for 20 odd years. You'd have thought that would have made a better title for a greatest hits compilation, but it's too late to change things now.

Not least because the tracks on the album are actually culled from his '20 Odd Years' vinyl EP trilogy, which was released last year, along with two new tracks. The tracks feature various guests, including Gord Downier of Tragically Hip, John Southworth, Nick Thorburn from The Unicorns, Jenn Grant, Hannah Georgas, Marie-Pierre Arthur and Olivia Ruiz.

Says the rapper: "Recently I came to realise that I've been getting weird on tape for 20 years. I decided to celebrate and invited a bunch of my fellow sub-normals to the party. We ate pasta and pretended we knew what each other was talking about. It was uncomfortable a lot of the time, but lots of exciting music was Frankensteined".

Here's the tracklist:

Superstars Don't Love
Gee Whiz
Whispers Of The Waves
Paper Airplanes
Zombie Delight
Tears Of Your Heart
Cold Steel Drum
Who by Fire
She Said Yes
Lights Out
Final Approach

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Shaun Ryder has cancelled the remainder of his UK tour, which only began last week, due to health problems.

A statement reads: "Due to unforeseen circumstances, we regrettably have to postpone the Shaun Ryder tour. Shaun has suffered with his thyroid condition for a while now, unfortunately he has been prescribed the incorrect medication which has left unable to continue. Shaun is really disappointed and upset for his fans, that he can not continue his best of tour. We will be rearranging dates soon when Shaun is back to full health again".

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Waistcoat-wearing folk blokes Mumford & Sons, encouraged by their recent success at those pesky BRIT Awards, have added four Irish dates on to the end of their already sold out tour of the Scottish Highlands, on which they will be road testing song ideas for the follow-up to 2009's 'Sigh No More'.

On visiting lesser known, oft-neglected venues, they said in apparent unison: "We love touring Scotland and Ireland, going back to our Celtic routes, and wanted to take the chance to play some beautiful smaller towns that often get ignored on the more traditional touring routes. We figured that playing smaller shows would take us back to the beginning of our touring lives again".

I assume they meant "Celtic roots", but who cares? They finish: "We just wanna play gigs - big and small, and we always will as long as we live!"

Those tour dates in full (remember, all the Scottish ones are sold out):

2 Mar: Tobermory, Aros Hall
3 Mar: Fort William, BA Club
4 Mar: Forres, The Loft
5 Mar: Ullapool, Village Hall
7 Mar: Stornoway, An Lanntair
8 Mar: Inverness, Ironworks
9 Mar: Lerwick, Whiteness and Weisdale Hall
11 Mar: Kirkwall, St Magnus Cathedral
14 Mar: Cork, Savoy Theatre
15 Mar: Galway, Radisson
16 Mar: Limerick, Dolans
18 Mar: Dublin, Olympia

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Off the back of latest album 'Smoke Ring For My Halo', due for release on 7 Mar via Matador Records, heartland troubadour Kurt Vile has announced details of a series of European live dates with his touring band The Violators. This includes a handful of UK appearances, which are thus:

19 May: London, Corsica Studios
20 May: Liverpool, Kazimier (Liverpool Sound City)
21 May: Glasgow, Captain's Rest (Stag & Dagger Festival)

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CAMP BESTIVAL, Lulworth Castle, Dorset, 29-31 Jul: The very polished Mark Ronson & The Business Intl will share headlining duties with Blondie at Camp Bestival this year, whilst House Of Pain, Claire Maguire, Katy B, Eliza Doolittle, zany kids' TV character Mr Tumble AND old hand Sooty and his pal Sweep are also poised to perform. A host of DJs including Groove Armada present Redlight, Channel One Soundsystem, Dub Pistols Soundsystem, Mistajam, DJ Yoda and Krafty Kuts will spin some tunes for appreciative ravers, while Frankie & The Heartstrings and Caitlin Rose are amongst the emerging acts confirmed to appear at the family-friendly event. www.campbestival.net

FRIENDS OF MINE, Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire, 21-22 May: Mark E Smith and the boys of The Fall are the latest additions to the inaugural FOM line-up, with support from fellow Mancunians The Longcut. Alt-folk man Liam Frost will also join John Maus, The Heartbreaks, Golden Glow on a this year's bill, which features a diverse array of acts ranging from such rock stalwarts as The Lightning Seeds and Buzzcocks to young pretenders like Black Lips, Toro Y Moi and Emmy The Great. www.fomfest.com

HOP FARM MUSIC FESTIVAL, Hop Farm Country Park, Kent, 1-2 Jul: The Eagles are to headline the Kentish hopfest this year. The LA rock legends will be making their only UK appearance with what is sure to be a memorable set of classics. Bryan Ferry, Brandon Flowers, Death Cab For Cutie and 10cc complete the recent announcements for Hop Farm. www.hopfarmfestival.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Radiohead - The King Of Limbs (XL Recordings)
'The King Of Limbs' is a difficult record to review. Like a cockroach, it skitters away into the shadows when you shine a light on it. It's probably the band's least accessible record to date - the beats are never firm enough to dance to, the lyrics are cloaked in reverb, and there's barely a guitar to be heard. It's a deep, layered, album that crams a lot into just eight tracks and 37 minutes, but with a nonchalance that belies what's hidden below.

Take sixth track 'Codex', which is probably closest to the band's earlier work. Horns and a mournful piano, run through effects to make it sound like they're just below the surface of a lake on a moonlit night, accompany abstract lyrics about dragonflies. On first listen, it's easy to write off as predictable and unremarkable, but after a few listens Nigel Godrich's twinkling production gives it a soothing quality that elevates it to one of the most impressive works on the album.

Other stand-outs include 'Mr Magpie', 'Lotus Flower' (which was released as a video an hour before the full record arrived, so it's probably as close to a "lead single" as we're going to get) and album-closer 'Separator'.

But as deep and difficult as 'The King Of Limbs' is, it doesn't reach the heights that the band have comfortably scaled in the past. There's no intensity - it's all troughs and no peaks. There are no moments where everything comes together in the band's trademark rush of energy. There's no real problem with what's here - the problem is in what's not present, as if three or four tracks were accidentally forgotten about and then it was too late to add them back in again before release.

What'll be really interesting to see is how 'The King Of Limbs' gets translated to a live show. It's very difficult to hear the contributions of the band members, other than Thom Yorke, on the record, with a few exceptions when it comes to Jonny Greenwood's arrangements. Perhaps in a live setting it'll come to life, but right now, 'The King of Limbs' is a difficult, dense, slow-paced and ever-so-slightly disappointing record. DG

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Sound technology maker AKG has announced details of its Scholarship Of Sound programme for 2011, which is giving ten budding electronic music producers the opportunity to attend a week long course on music and sound in Berlin in August.

During the week those selected to participate will go through a series of workshops and mentoring sessions working with and learning from leading electronic music producers and artists. Specific details of who will be providing such mentoring this year will be announced in due course.

Meanwhile, AKG's General Manger Juergen Bopst told CMU: "Now in its second year, the AKG Scholarship Of Sound provides a unique opportunity for young and aspiring sound engineers and electronic music producers who dream of a career in sound and music".

He continued: "The Scholarship Of Sound offers passionate people from across Europe the chance to learn from highly respected experts and to discover tools and methods developed by those experts over the years in their personal careers. AKG has created the Scholarship Of Sound to support the most talented students and music producers from across Europe and help them to break into the highly competitive music industry".

The deadline for applications is 30 Apr. For details of how to apply for a place on the programme go to www.akg.com/scholarshipofsound.

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Organisers of the London-based music business conference MusicConnex, which focuses on DIY and new media, have announced details of this year's speaker line-up. The event takes place at Kings Place near Kings Cross from 19-21 Apr.

Among those music business types set to speak at the event this year are Spotify's Jonathan Forster, YouTube's Jamie Dolling, Beatport's Matthew Adell, Robbie Williams manager Tim Clark and MusicTank chair, PPL Director of Performer Affairs and Stevie Wonder rep Keith Harris.

For more information check www.musicconnex.co.uk

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Bauer Media are favourites to buy BBC Magazines, the publishing business owned by the Beeb's commercial division BBC Worldwide, which among other things publishes Top Of The Pops magazine and the classical title BBC Music Magazine.

BBC Worldwide started looking for a buyer for its magazine business last September after a BBC strategic review called on the Corporation's commercial division to concentrate on its core operations in the broadcast media space.

There was a lot of interest in various titles currently owned by the Beeb, though most were put off by BBC Worldwide's insistence one buyer bid for its whole magazine business. There will also be strict license rules over those titles that bear the BBC name or are based around a BBC programme brand, which may have put off some other interested parties.

UK-based Haymarket was thought to be in the running but the company said its wouldn't bid last month. It is thought another potential buyer will compete with Bauer in the final offers stage.

Among many other titles Bauer owns Kerrang! and Q, as well as a network of FM and digital radio stations and half the Box TV music telly business.

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Dubstep trio Magnetic Man are in talks to buy Surrey-based local non-league football team Farleigh Rovers, or at least that's what they told Sky's 'Soccer AM' on Saturday.

Artwork from the group said: "I reckon we could have Farleigh in the Premier League in a few years. We'll get them hyped up with some tunes in the dressing room before a game".

Team manager David Wilcocks joked that the potential deal was causing stress for his team: "With money potentially coming, our players are afraid we'll bring in better players from the top leagues. They've been out there training on a muddy pitch, trying to prove their worth".

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Here's another one from the 'almost certainly not actually happening' file now. According to The Daily Mirror, Duffy is planning to quit music because no one bought her last album.

An unnamed source told the tabloid: "[She's] really down about 'Endlessly'. It didn't sell well and charted terribly and she isn't trying again and making a comeback. She wants to have a quiet life and start over. Duffy made a truckload of cash with the first album and through her endorsements with Diet Coke, so she's comfortable and able to enjoy some downtime. She's not got management right now and has met a few people about taking over. But she's just not interested".

Maybe it turned out she isn't her own worst critic after all.

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Until now, getting your skin to smell of blood and semen has been a fairly laborious task. Luckily, Lady Gaga has spotted a gap in the market, and has designed her new perfume accordingly.

Speaking to Sydney 2DayFM, the singer said: "The perfume smells like an expensive hooker. I wanted to extract the feeling and sense of blood and semen from molecular structures. You get the after feeling of sex from the semen and the blood is primal. It was taken out of my own blood sample so it's the sense of having me on your skin".

I'd write more, but I really need to clean all this sick off my keyboard.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Arcade Fire

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