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Jobs & Training Courses
CMU Info
Top Stories
Spotify could be close to Universal deal in US
Could anti-piracy measures be sneaked through in Ireland just before general election?
In The Pop Courts
US court cuts Vivendi damages for misled investors
Chris Brown restraining order downgraded
Awards & Contests
NME Awards awarded
Reunions & Splits
Jack White will never join another band
In The Studio
Ke$ha pens song for Britney
Release News
Record Store Day announces Ozzy as ambassador
Foo Fighters premiere new single
Dum Dum Girls announce new EP and tour dates
Gigs & Tours News
Celine Dion adds Jackson tribute to stage show
Sufjan Stevens to tour UK
The Luminaire bows out with Wake Week shows
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: Wagon Christ - Toomorrow (Ninja Tune)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
AIM to stage another MusicConnected
Brands & Stuff
Daft Punk design Coke bottles
The Music Business
BMG announces new UK structure
Gary reflects on EMI
The Digital Business
Labels, ISPs and ministers meet
And finally...
US pop stars played for the Gaddafi clan
Script frontman thinks Jarvis Cocker is brilliant

Having started DJing on the Italian live circuit at seventeen, dream-trance producer Robert Miles released his most famous club anthem 'Children' in 1995 through Deconstruction Records. With its undeniable piano refrain and pulsating house beats, the song soon topped dance charts across the world. He subsequently signed a deal with Deconstruction owners BMG for debut album 'Dreamland', scoring platinum sales and a BRIT Award for Best International Male Newcomer in 1997.

In 2001, Miles set up his own label, S:alt, and began to experiment with new styles, first on his third album, 'Organik', which took on an angular, more orchestral sound, then with 2004's 'Miles: Gurtu', a collaboration with Indian jazz-fusion composer Trilok Gurtu. On his latest album, 'Thirteen', he has experimented again, this time going a bit prog rock. With that album released earlier this month, again on S:alt, we caught up with Robert to map his lengthy musical career through our Same Six questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I was fourteen when I first started getting involved with music. I was taking piano lessons and playing as a DJ in local venues nearby Venice. At age seventeen, I put together a small band, but after having to deal with the fact that some of the band's members where not taking it seriously I decided to go solo, produced my first record and launched my own pirate radio station.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

Everyday life experiences, as per all my albums really. Also, in this specific case, I wanted to do a more guitar-orientated album and something that would reflect my early music influences.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?

I first write the various instrument parts, arrange a demo and, once I'm pleased with it, ask musicians to join in and play the parts. Since I have been working with live elements I also love recording a lot of improvised parts, which I will then edit and use bit by bit in the track I'm working on. Next I mix the main elements and finally work on the sound design and the electronica part.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

FSOL, Eno, Radiohead, Fripp, Can, and many others....

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Close your eyes, listen to it on a good sound system or headphones (the studio master copy is best (!) - but at the very least try to avoid listening to an MP3, which kills half of the detail) and enjoy the journey.

Q6 What are your ambitions for the future?

My aim for the future is to get more involved with soundtracks. I have been composing quite a few lately and really enjoy it. Also, I wouldn't mind recording an electronica album and seeing what the outcome is. Having been using so much live elements in the last three albums, maybe it would be a good idea to go back to basics and see what I can achieve after all these years. Singing is also becoming an option. As always, my next album will sound different from my previous ones... so we shall wait and see.

MORE>> www.robert-miles.com
At just nineteen years old, Drop/Dead is still so fresh on the scene that the promo picture he hands out is a holiday snap. In fact, he's only been seriously making dance music for a little over six months, but already has churned out a handful of enviable tracks in that time, starting last year with 'Always Love You', a slice of future garage that's already got the likes of XLR8R and Knowledge in a spin.

Next month sees the release of his first single, a double A-side featuring the tracks 'Cassette Tape' and 'Flicker', which will be released through Limerick-based label Hsuan Records. Clips of both tracks can be found on the Drop/Dead SoundCloud page, along with 'Always Love You' and a couple more excellent pieces of cutting edge electronica. And if you're in Oxford, head down to the Baby Love Bar tonight to catch him DJing with Doc Daneeka.


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:


How to build a profile for your artists - the state of the music media, traditional and new publicity techniques, social media and the future of music PR. Wed 9 Mar 2011

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

Could Spotify's long awaited launch in the US market be nearly here? With EMI and Sony Music seemingly already on board, Reuters is now reporting that a US licensing deal between Universal Music and Spotify is now "a few weeks away". Though it adds that some sources within the US branch of the music major are still saying that it is not 100% assured Universal bosses will actually sign on the dotted line. But if said deal was done, it is thought Spotify could launch Stateside this side of summer.

Talks with Warner Music, meanwhile, are seemingly going nowhere fast, despite their top man Edgar Bronfman Jr saying in a recent investor call that streaming services will play an increasingly important part in the future of digital music. Though, as previously reported, he, like some execs at the other majors, remains cautious about the viability of the free ad-funded version of Spotify's service. Either way, it seems likely Spotify could and would launch in the US without Warner on board providing access to Universal's content was available.

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With Irish voters due to go to the polls on Friday, most likely to kick out their current government, tech news website Siliconrepublic.com has reported that the country's outgoing executive is trying to speed through a statutory instrument which would alter copyright law to put more onus on internet service providers to assist in the fight against online piracy.

As previously reported, in Ireland the country's largest ISP Eircom is already operating a three-strikes style system of sending warning letters to file-sharers, threatening a reduction or suspension of service if said file-sharers don't stop accessing or distributing unlicensed content. But the net firm launched that system voluntarily as part of a wider legal settlement between the Irish record labels and the tel co.

As part of the same settlement, the Irish Recorded Music Association agreed to pressure other ISPs to follow suit. But when they did, one of them, UPC, went to court to get clarification that under current Irish copyright law they were in no way obliged to do so. And an Irish judge duly complied last October.

Forcing other Irish ISPs to launch a three-strikes system, or something similar, will therefore require a change in the law. And it is thought that it is that change that will be made by the statutory instrument currently being drafted by the country's Department Of Enterprise Trade & Innovation and the Department Of Communications.

The instrument would be secondary legislation and would therefore not have to go to the country's parliament, which is just as well because it's not currently in residence, what with the election and all. With that in mind, it is not entirely clear how far the instrument will be able to go in forcing ISPs to help with tackling piracy, ie how far Minister For Enterprise, Trade & Innovation Mary Hanafin, who will sign the instrument, can go without consulting parliament.

However, Eircom's rivals are likely to object to any new obligations being put on them, while pro-file-sharing groups will surely criticise the slightly sneaky pushing through of these changes without parliamentary scrutiny in a week when everyone's attention is on the general election.

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A new US court ruling has limited the number of shareholders in Universal Music parent company Vivendi who can claim damages relating to misinformation provided by the company's management between 2000 and 2002, in doing so reducing the amount of money the French-based conglom will have to pay out.

This all relates to that crazy period in the French firm's history when then CEO Jean-Marie Messier went on a mega spending spree buying up all sorts of companies, including all the music, media and movie assets of Edgar Bronfman Jr's Seagram business.

He had a grand plan to transform the one time water company into a global entertainment giant, but it all went horribly wrong and he almost drove the conglom out of business. In the end he was fired, and his successor Jean-Bernard Lévy rescued the firm by selling off many of its recent acquisitions, including all the Universal companies except the music business.

Messier was accused of misleading his investors about the state of the company as it went through that period of dramatic growth. He was found guilty of said charges by Parisian financial regulators, and subsequently given a three year suspended sentence and fined 150,000 euros by the French courts last year.

Meanwhile, some of the affected shareholders from that era, who saw the value of their stock slump as a result of Messier's grand plan, sued both the former CEO and the company through the US courts. American judges cleared Messier of personal liability, but ruled against Vivendi itself and ordered it to pay damages to the claimants.

As a class action the ruling meant any affected shareholders could similarly make a claim, with lawyers representing the claimants reckoning the total damages could reach 6.6 billion euros, though Vivendi made a much more conservative estimate of what the total damages might be, setting aside 550 million euros to make the payments. They also appealed the ruling.

In the latest stage of this saga a US judge has not overruled the original court decision, but reduced the number of shareholders who can claim damages as a result of it, mainly based on jurisdiction arguments, ie what power does a US court have over a French company, especially when dealing with non-US investors. In the end US judge Richard Holwell said only holders of 'depositary' rather than 'ordinary' shares can claim, and then only those based in the US, UK, France and the Netherlands.

It's not clear what impact the ruling will have on the amount of money Vivendi has to shell out over this, though current CEO Levy called the ruling "a substantial victory", while one commentator told the Financial Times it could see the final damages bill being reduced by up to 80%.

As previously reported, the aforementioned Bronfman Jr, now the CEO of Warner Music, was also given a suspended sentence and fined five million euros over allegations that he, as Vice-Chair of Vivendi during its turbulent era, was guilty of insider trading for the way he handled his own portfolio of Vivendi shares while in receipt of insider information about the company's affairs.

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The restraining order barring Chris Brown from coming within 100 yards of former girlfriend Rihanna has been downgraded to a stay-away order. Exactly what the different is, I'm not sure, but he is still not allowed to come within 50 yards of his former girlfriend, or ten yards at entertainment industry events.

As oft reported, Brown was convicted of 'assault likely to cause great bodily harm' in August 2009 for beating his then girlfriend Rihanna unconscious and leaving her slumped on the pavement during an argument as they travelled home from a pre-Grammy Awards party in February the same year. As well as being given the restraining order, he was sentenced to five years' probation, 180 days of community service and a year of domestic violence counselling.

Brown originally requested that the order be lifted last month, to avoid logistical issues at the Grammy Awards, which both were attending. However, the decision to reduce the distance the two must keep between each other was only made this Tuesday. Brown, in the end, decided not to attend the Grammys, despite being nominated in three categories. Rihanna, of course, performed at the event.

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This year's NME Awards were dished out last night, as expected. So that's good. There was no clear big winner, though My Chemical Romance and Justin Bieber won two awards each, so I guess it's them. The former took Best International Band and Best Video, while Bieber won Least Stylish and Worst Album. Well done both.

Picking up the Outstanding Contribution award, PJ Harvey performed songs from her new album, 'Let England Shake', while Godlike Genius Dave Grohl led his band in a round of Foo Fighters classics.

NME editor Krissi Murison told CMU: "With over 3.5 million votes cast in the second stage of voting, music fans have proved they are as passionate as ever - and their taste in music is as eclectic as ever! Not only is the international rock scene in great shape but a wide spread of genres are represented by our winners tonight. It's great to see My Chemical Romance lead the way scooping two awards. And with Muse, Biffy Clyro, Laura Marling, Professor Green, Hurts and Arcade Fire amongst others all coming out top in their nominated categories, 2011 is set to be a great year for music".

Highlights of the ceremony will be shown on Saturday night at 11.20pm on Channel 4, with extra coverage from T4 earlier in the day at 11.25am.

Those awards in full:

Best British Band: Muse
Best International Band: My Chemical Romance
Best Solo Artist: Laura Marling
Best Live Band: Biffy Clyro
Best New Band: Hurts

Best Album: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Best Track: Foals - Spanish Sahara
Best Video: My Chemical Romance Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
Best Festival: Glastonbury
Best Dancefloor Filler: Professor Green - Jungle
Best TV Show: Skins

Philip Hall Radar Award: The Naked & Famous
Teenage Cancer Trust Outstanding Contribution To Music: PJ Harvey
John Peel Award For Innovation: Crystal Castles
Godlike Genius: Dave Grohl

Awards not handed out on the night:

Best Small Festival: RockNess
Best Album Artwork: Klaxons - Surfing The Void
Best Blog: Hayley Williams (Paramore)
Best Book: John Lydon - Mr Rotten's Scrapbook
Best Film: Inception

Worst Album: Justin Bieber - My World 2.0
Worst Band: Jonas Brothers

Hero: Lady Gaga
Villain: David Cameron

Most Stylish: Brandon Flowers
Least Stylish: Justin Bieber

Hottest Man: Matt Bellamy
Hottest Woman: Alison Mosshart (The Kills)

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Having officially announced the dissolution of The White Stripes earlier this month, Jack White has now vowed never to join another band. Which does not, of course, mean that he's quitting music altogether. He still has The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, as well as his solo work, to keep himself occupied with.

White told Q: "I won't join another band again. Three's enough for one lifetime. If I can't say it in any of these bands, then I'll say it by myself".

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It's probably of no surprise to you that Ke$ha writes her own songs, though you may be perplexed by the news that she'd be in demand to write them for anyone else. But seemingly she's written a track for the new Britney Spears album, 'Femme Fatale', that is rumoured to be the next single to be taken from it.

Speaking about the song, 'Till The World Ends', Ke$ha told Spin: "That song is me imagining her and any female musician touring the world. You know, when you go out, and you're having an amazing, magical night and you don't want to go to sleep and you want it to last until the world ends".

'Femme Fatale' is due for release on 28 Mar.

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Ozzy Osbourne will act as ambassador for this year's Record Store Day, which is due to take place on 16 Apr.

Here's Ozzy with a very brief message announcing this news: http://vimeo.com/19948315

Had he gone on for longer than fifteen seconds, he might have told you about some of the exclusive releases that will be available on the day. But he didn't, so I'll just have to do it myself.

Amongst the releases available only in independent record shops (and only on 16 Apr), will be vinyl singles from the likes of The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Of Montreal, Pearl Jam, REM, Panda Bear, Cults, Busdriver, Midlake and Will Self, and, of course, Ozzy Osbourne. There'll also be a compilation of covers from Deftones, a covers EP from Franz Ferdinand, a three LP edition of Rolo Tomassi's new rarities collection and live albums from Mastodon, Villagers and The Vaccines.

More releases are still to be announced. You can find more info and the current list of records at www.recordstoreday.co.uk.

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With frontbloke Dave Grohl crowned 'Godlike Genius' at last night's NME Awards, the first single from Foo Fighters' stripped-back new album 'Wasting Light', due for general release on 11 Apr via Roswell, has appeared on the net, as if by PR magic.

Listen to 'Rope' here: rope.foofighters.com. If you like it, it will be available for download from 27 Mar.

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Following last year's brilliant album 'I Will Be', California quartet Dum Dum Girls return with new EP 'He Gets Me High', a four-track helping of their brooding garage-rock that includes a beautifully-restrained rework of The Smiths' 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out'.

With production credits shared amongst Dum Dums frontgirl Dee Dee, legendary American producer and Sire Records co-founder Richard Gottehrer and Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes, the EP is set for release on 28 Feb through Sub Pop.

In the meantime, get a load of this title track here: www.subpop.com/channel/blog/what_gets_dum_dum_girls_high

The band have also announced some UK tour dates to follow the release, which are as follows:

31 Mar: Manchester, Deaf Institute
1 Apr: Dublin, Whelans
2 Apr: Belfast, Black Box
3 Apr: Glasgow, Stereo
4 Apr: Leeds, Brudenell Social
5 Apr: London, Dingwalls
6 Apr: Brighton, Komedia

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Celine Dion has announced that she will include a tribute to Michael Jackson in her new stage show. As previously reported, the singer will return to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for a new three year residency next month.

Speaking to Access Hollywood she revealed that she will sing Charlie Chaplin's 'Smile', Jackson's favourite song, as part of her set. She said: "He changed my life. I saw him on TV and I wanted to sing in English because he was doing so. And I went to learn English and met with him and I [sang] with him and he came to see the show and he had a big impact on my life".

This is not the first time Dion has performed in tribute to Jackson, of course. However, last time he was still alive. This might be deemed even less tasteful now: youtu.be/8lrccH7IHtU

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Sufjan Stevens is to perform live in the UK for the first time in five years. Riding high on the commercial and critical success of recent album 'The Age Of Adz', he will make a handful UK stops in the midst of a European tour, which includes his previously reported appearance in Brighton as part of The Great Escape.

Tour dates:

12 May: London, Royal Festival Hall
13 May: London, Royal Festival Hall
14 May: Brighton, The Dome (The Great Escape)
16 May: Gateshead, The Sage
17 May: Dublin, Olympia
18 May: Dublin, Olympia
19 May: Manchester, Apollo

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As much-loved Kilburn venue The Luminaire nears its closing date, the management team have announced details of a run of Wake Week parties to send the old gal off in style.

Speaking to CMU, Luminaire co-founder and director Andy Inglis said: "We asked some of our favourite promoters to put together shows, and so we have Club AC30, Platforms: Live, Transgressive Records, Upset The Rhythm and The Fence Collective. Two have already sold out and we expect the others to do so, before we bring in the wrecking ball".

Well, this is all very sad. But to cheer you up, here are details of the shows:

2 Mar: The Fence Collective (sold out)
4 Mar: The Mariner's Children
5 Mar: Upset The Rhythm All-Dayer
6 Mar: Johnny Flynn (sold out)
7 Mar: Piano Magic, Ringo Deathstarr, SPC ECO, Club AC30 DJs

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DEER SHED, Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, 22-24 Jul: Joining headliners I Am Kloot will be The Go! Team and The Leisure Society, it has just been confirmed. Thoughtful folk-rockers Erland And The Carnival will also appear, with Caitlin Rose, Admiral Fallow, Matthew And The Atlas, Lanterns On The Lake and Laki Mera all set to perform on the Dock Stage. www.deershedfestival.com

DOWNLOAD, Donington Park, 10-12 June: New to the Download bill are Disturbed, Frank Turner, Bring Me The Horizon and Bowling For Soup. Madina Lake and The King Blues are also amongst the most recently-announced acts set to rock out at the Donington racket, which is to be headlined by Def Leppard, System Of A Down and Linkin Park. www.downloadfestival.co.uk/2011/

EXIT, Novi Sad, Serbia, 7-10 Jul: Pulp have joined in with the EXIT merriment, with the announcement that they will flounce their way through hits and classics spanning seven albums at the Serbian bash. Already set to play are Arcade Fire, Portishead, Underworld and Grinderman. www.exitfest.org

LARMER TREE, Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset, 13-17 Jul: Veteran washboard-scraper Seasick Steve will be joined at this year's family-friendly festival by Irish rockabilly siren Imelda May. Steve's pal Jools Holland has already been confirmed to headline the first night of the four-day event with his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra. www.larmertreefestival.co.uk

SOUTH WEST FOUR, Clapham Common, London 27-28 Aug: Underworld are newly introduced to the line-up of the dance and electro bash, headlining with a homecoming Saturday set. Pendulum are already confirmed to top the bill on Sunday. www.southwestfour.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Wagon Christ - Toomorrow (Ninja Tune)
The rather talented Luke Vibert first hit us with his Wagon Christ moniker back in 1994 with the seminal 'Throbbing Pouch' EP on cult techno imprint Rising High. Since then the West Countryman has given us 'London bass' as Plug and fabulous techy-disco under his Kerrier District pseudonym on Rephlex, amongst many others.

It has been a while since his last outing as WC though, but the musical theme of this particular alter ego essentially remains the same: Leftfield beatsy electronica with a curious edge - tripped out samples and bleeps, but with a massive dose of electronic soul and funk. It doesn't seem quite as experimental as earlier Wagon Christ releases, and at times extends into territories more usually trodden by his other projects. Nevertheless, it's a welcome new peek into this producer's creative mind.

And with some 'Speak And Spell' synthesised speech at the start, we are led straight in to Vibert's cerebrum with little ado. The title track is great - warped synths, sweeping strings and a beat made for head nodders - while the chilled out 'Ain't He Heavy' works well and 'Accordian McShane' takes you to a Nightmares On Wax 'Smokers Delight' type scenario, this theme being then furthered by the funky soul beats of 'Respectrum' and 'Harmoney'.

There are no real nadirs here, though 'Wake Up' is not overly exciting, and 'Sentimental Hardcore' is fairly bizarre, the samples lifted from straight from his 'Drum And Bass For Papa' project. Meanwhile highlights include the old school rave-esque polyrhythms of 'Manalyse This!', and better still 'Lazer Dick', a more dance orientated track with funky flavours, actually much akin to his work as Kerrier.

A welcome and overdue return. And while the boundaries between Vibert's different projects may be blurring, he is still delivering the goods. PV

Physical release: 14 Mar

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The Association Of Independent Music will host another edition of its digitally focused Music Connected event on 5 May at Glaziers Hall in London.

Spotify's GM for Europe, Jonathan Forster, is among the speakers set to take part in a programme of panels and presentations. Once again the formal part of the proceedings will be backed up with a 'digital market place' where music and digital companies can network, chatter and do business.

Music Connected usually sells out pretty quick, with 400 delegates from 130 labels attending last year. For more info go to www.musicindie.com/musicconnected

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Following similar collaborations with Justice and Mika, as part of the 'Club Coke' initiative, Daft Punk are to get their own Coca-Cola bottle designs, according to HypeBeast.

Coming in gold and silver, to mimic the French electro duo's trademark helmets, the limited edition bottles will go on sale next month. The bottles will be sold in clubs, and also in a limited edition collectors case, like that's something anyone would want. The box will be available exclusively through swanky Paris shop, Colette.

The promotion is handled by the Magic Garden Agency in Paris. More information will be available on www.daftcoke.com as soon as it goes live.

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BMG has announced a revamp of its UK operations that follows its acquisition last year of independent music publisher Chrysalis. Moving forward BMG Chrysalis UK will bring together all of the German music rights company's British assets into one business.

Recent recruit Alexi Cory-Smith, a music business lawyer by trade, will become Senior Vice President of the combined BMG Chrysalis, overseeing creative, marketing and business affairs. Meanwhile BMG's COO of Europe will directly managed UK operations. Top A&R execs Ben Bodie of Chrysalis and Alan Pell of previous BMG acquisition Stage Three will also be involved in the creative development of the new company.

Confirming the new appointments, BMG top man Hartwig Masuch told CMU: "Alexi is a keen and innovative dealmaker who is focused on driving growth for our artists and our business. Her skills, combined with John's expertise and vast experience in running operations, will serve BMG Chrysalis UK well as a rights management business leader with a unique approach to today's music market".

Cory-Smith herself added: "One of my top priorities is to preserve and build on the creativity and independent spirit that are inherent in the BMG Chrysalis family of companies and their people so that we can best serve the artists we work with. Ben Bodie, head of A&R for Chrysalis, and Alan Pell, director of A&R for BMG/Stage Three, will be key to developing the creative direction of the company and I look forward to working closely with them and their teams as we continue to build our roster of writers and producers".

The new appointments mean that the former MD of Chrysalis, Alison Donald, is leaving the company. Masuch added: "Alison helped grow Chrysalis Publishing UK into the country's leading independent music publisher. She has built a formidable A&R team who have signed some of the world's most talented songwriters. We thank her for her many contributions and we wish her every success in her future career".

The new company will be based out of Chrysalis's West London base, which will be refurbished as part of the revamp. BMG remains one of the most interesting new companies in the music space, and we hope to get an insight into how it will be working with artists moving forward when the aforementioned Pell joins us on the 'Future Music Company' panel at The Great Escape in May. More info on that at www.escapegreat.com.

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Unless rumours that Gary 'The Guy' Hands is considering making a bid for Warner Music, or even to buy back EMI from Citigroup, turn out to be true, this could prove to be the last word from the infamous financier about his billion-dollar losing musical adventure, ie Terra Firma's doomed acquisition of EMI.

In a letter to his investors, published by the Wall Street Journal, Hands expresses regret that Citigroup chose to repossess EMI rather than work with him to restructure the flagging music firm's debts.

He writes: "As you will be aware, on 1 Feb 2011, Citigroup assumed ownership of EMI having completed a debt for equity swap. We are disappointed that we could not reach an agreement with Citigroup (despite great efforts from our side) that would have involved us putting in more equity simultaneously with Citigroup writing down their debt".

He continues: "However, as we could not reach agreement with Citigroup on the valuation of EMI, they felt that it was in their interests to take over the business in order that it could be sold as and when they feel appropriate. Our direct involvement in EMI is therefore over".

The legal dispute with Citi, though, continues, with Hands confirming the equity group will continue to appeal the US court ruling from last year which ruled against his claim that the bank misled him into bidding too soon and too high for EMI back in 2007.

On that he wrote: "We continue to be indirectly involved through the appeal of the legal rulings made by the court in relation to the litigation against Citigroup. Our lawyers will continue to progress this and we do not expect any rulings in this matter until sometime next year".

Whatever happens with that legal squabble - Hands, of course, is seeking damages to cover some of the nearly two billion he lost on EMI - the equity chief told his investors that he was confident that other investments made by the Terra Firma funds that enabled the EMI acquisition would be profitable, and slowly but surely ensure the funds, overall, come good.

Despite rumours that many of Terra Firma's investors were highly concerned about Hands' continued support for EMI last year as it became clear the music firm would need further cash injections to avoid repossession, Hands says in his letter that his backers remained supportive. He adds that when he asked investors to back a potential further 622 million euro investment into EMI late last year (an investment that would have been linked to Citigroup restructuring debts, which never happened in the end) "you [ie his investors] supported us with a vote of over 80% of the partnerships".

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The government's main culture monkeys - Jeremy 'don't say cunt' Hunt and Ed 'Tory cool dude' Vaizey - have met with representatives of the music industry, including trade bodies UK Music, AIM and BPI and labels Universal, Warner, Sony and Beggars, and key internet firms, including BT, Talk Talk and BSkyB, for some good time talking. The ministers want the music companies and net firms to collaborate on new digital content services.

I wasn't there but assume it went something like this:

Music industry person: "Well thanks for totally screwing up our graduated response anti-piracy system with your tedious judicial review, you money-grabbing philistines".

Internet industry person: "Don't mention it you deluded luddites, how's it hanging back there in the Stone Age, worked out how to use email yet?"

Tory: "Guys, guys, let's be friends, can't you music dudes work with these techie guys to create some really exciting new digital music service they can sell to their customers - you've got the content, they've got consumers, it's a match made in heaven surely?"

Shit stirrer: "What, like Sky Songs - that worked really well didn't it?"

BSkyB person: "Watch it, or I'll get my mates at the News Of The World to hack your phone and publish all your secrets".

Tory: "Is there nothing we can agree on?"

Peace maker: "That Nick Clegg's a bit of two-faced cunt isn't he?"

All: "Too right".

So that's fun. Apparently they'll all meet again in three months to repeat the exercise. Here's what the boy Vaizey told Music Week: "We have brought the industries together so they can discuss the issues facing the digital industries and I am delighted that progress is being made. Consumers demand choice. It is essential that new, legal methods to access films, music and other content online are developed, whilst enabling creators' copyright to be properly protected".

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With Libya and the collapsing regime of Muammar Gaddafi very much in the news at the moment, the New York Times has noticed that among those American diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks recently is the revelation that Mariah Carey, Beyonce and Usher have all played at the Gaddafi family's annual New Years party on the island of St Barts in recent years.

Carey was reportedly paid $1 million to sing four songs at the 2009 party. Still, how were they to know that Gaddafi - once considered by some to be the biggest supporter of anti-Western terrorist groups in the world - would turn out to be a bit of a controversial figure one day?

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OK, that headline isn't true at all, but we went with it anyway just to piss off The Script frontman Danny O'Donoghue, who, it seems, has no time at all for the Pulp frontman.

He has attacked Jarvis Cocker for his decision to reform his former band (he seems to presume the rest of the band were not involved). The Script and Cocker's reformed ensemble both appear on the bill at this year's T In The Park, though it seems safe to assume O'Donoghue won't be watching Pulp's set.

O'Donoghue told The Daily Record: "I am not a big Pulp fan. Jarvis Cocky. I'm not into him at all. I don't like his style. I don't like his music. I won't be steering clear of him, but he should be steering clear of me".

He added that he was pretty sure the whole reunion is a cynical money-grab, saying: "I have watched his career. I'd like to think Pulp are coming out with a new album or that he wants to really do a job in the music industry, but I am sure they will release a single, do a tour, make their money and go home".

As for his opinion of Jarvis Cocker personally, he added without irony: "The audacity of Jarvis Cocker to think he is important enough for people to give a damn what he thinks".

Now, CMU is not usually a great place to go to find support for reunions, but for the frontman of The Script to complain about Pulp reforming when his band refuses to split up doesn't seem right at all.

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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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