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INFORMATION
Jobs
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Barry Weiss to head up Island Def Jam
Gilles Peterson launches Steve Reid Foundation
In The Pop Courts
ACS:Law file-sharing cases finally closed, but what about costs?
Awards & Contests
Voting open in the Music Week Awards
Reunions & Splits
Faithless split
In The Studio
Thom Yorke and Doom collaborating
Release News
Kode9, Ninja Tune and more contribute to compilation for Japan
Books News
Jermaine Jackson to write book about Michael
Gigs & Tours News
Lovebox announces Village Underground residency
8Bitch relaunches as Nightwave
Festival News
Anthrax's Scott Ian pulls out of upcoming shows
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Album review: Low - C'mon (Sub Pop)
The Music Business
HMV boss insists his company has a future on the high street
The Digital Business
Qtrax boss confirms three major label deals in place
Kraftwerk release iPhone app
The Media Business
Ben Gomori steps down as Data Transmission editor
And finally...
Porn exec to save Usher's blushes?
Bieber and Gomez matched up by management
Courtney Love considered snorting Kurt's ashes


 
FRIDAY 18TH MARCH
THE MUSIC BUSINESS WEEK IN FIVE
So, what will the music business of the future look like? Well, I've not got enough space to tell you here, not least because Vigsy's done a double tip this week, but I can tell you the three places you should go to for intelligent comment on what the future holds (if I do say so myself!).

 
First, don't forget it's the Ten In Ten debate at the Roundhouse tonight, discussing the results of that previously reported survey of music business types on what the music industry will look like in ten years time. A panel will be discussing the results including me, ie:music's Tim Clark, PledgeMusic's Richard Lyne, Helienne Lindvall, Andrew Missingham and Adam Ficek. More here.

Second, we have a CMU Training course on this very issue, where we discuss how music and artists can be monetised now and in the future, and investigate how this will be achieved, what future music companies will look like, and how artist deals might be structured. The next edition of this is next Wednesday, and we have a few places left. So why not sign up now? Details are at www.theCMUwebsite.com/training.

And finally - and you already knew this - we'll be providing all sorts practical advice on how the 'new music business' will work - and is already working, for that matter - at The Great Escape convention in May. More on that next week, but get your delegate passes now at escapegreat.com.

Meanwhile, from the future to the very recent past.

01: LA Reid left Island Def Jam, and Barry Weiss took his place, in the latest round of record industry musical chairs. Reid announced he was quitting his job at the top of the Universal division to become a judge on 'X-Factor', which has led to speculation he might now join that TV franchise's owners Sony. Meanwhile, it was announced recent Universal recruit and former Sony man Weiss will take over as CEO of IDJ, as well as overseeing the major's Universal Motown Republic division. In the UK, the boss of Sony division Epic, Nick Raphael, also announced he will move over to Universal later this year. CMU report | LA Times report

02: Hargreaves shared the BPI's submission to his copyright review. The Prof reviewing copyright laws for the government is slowly publishing most of the 200 submissions he received from interested parties. This week that included the submission by record label trade body the BPI, which disputed Hargreaves' key assertion that so called fair use provisions needed reviewing in order to ensure the growth of the digital content market. CMU report | Submissions website

03: HMV prepared a presentation for its bankers, as it tries to renegotiate the terms of its loan facility so as not to breach covenants. The presentation is expected to be delivered next week. Meanwhile HMV top dog Simon Fox told a Retail Week conference that, despite his firm's recent woes, their money lenders remained supportive and he was confident new achievable loan terms could be agreed eventually. CMU report | FT report

04: Ticketmaster launched a new analytics business in the US, which will offer promoters who use their ticketing platform extensive stats about the people who buy their tickets. The move is almost certainly a response to a growing belief in the live sector that promoters should have more control over their ticket sales, and a better knowledge of their customers. CMU report | EU Ticket News report

05: The BBC Asian Network was saved, which was nice, even if bosses there are going to have to cut their costs considerably while also building audience. The Asian Network was set for the axe after the same strategic review published last year that also called for the closure of 6music. BBC 6 was saved last summer, and this week it was confirmed the Asian Network would also stay on air, albeit in a streamlined form. CMU report | Guardian report

And that's your lot, though do look out for more week in view chatter on the CMU Weekly podcast this afternoon.

Chris Cooke

Business Editor, CMU
 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Soundcrash at XOYO
Soundcrash presents a night of 'forward thinking hip hop' and electronica laced with acid bleep at XOYO, with one of my faves toppping the bill, Luke Vibert, as Wagon Christ. He'll be presenting his intricate blend of stoned exotica and tripped out vocal samples, with a decent groove and a hefty dose of soul. This exclusive performance comes as he releases his new album 'Toomorrow' on Ninja Tune.

 
Support comes courtesy of Parisian synth wizard Xavier Thomas, aka dÉbruit; Ceephax, the brother of Squarepusher, with his 303 based gabba with added 8-bit zaniness; and Mike Ladd with his Infesticons project. Young Montana, I Love Acid and Keep Up will be also be joining in this musical melee.

Saturday 19 Mar, XOYO, 32-37 Cowper Street, London, EC2A 4AP, 9pm-late, £10, more info from www.soundcrashmusic.com

VIGSY'S BONUS TIP: A Dance For Japan at Plastic People
A little last minute addition to this week's Club Tip column now. Shocked by the events that he (and all of us) has watched unfold in Japan over the last seven days, DJ and promoter Andy Newcombe, who lived and worked in the country for three years, has organised a special night at Plastic People tonight to raise money for the Japan Red Cross and GlobalGiving to help with the relief operation.

Says Newcombe: "To sit and watch this catastrophic disaster live and do nothing is just not an option. Having spent a lot of time in Sendai City and Miyagi Prefecture over the past fifteen years and made lots of close friends there I have to do what I can to help".

As well as Newcombe himself, Ashley Beedle, Leo Zero, Faze Action, Yam Who?, The Cosmic Truth, Toni Rossano, and Toru Yo will all DJ. Aside from the fact that it's all in aid of a good cause, it should be a top night out to boot.

Friday 18 Mar, Plastic People, 149 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3QE, £5-£10 donation, 10pm - 3am, more info and donations page at www.justgiving.com/danceforjapan/


"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:


MUSIC BUSINESS MODELS - MAKING MONEY, FINDING INVESTMENT
How to make money out of music - both now and in the future, with a look at alternative investment and revenue streams, and a new approach to monetising artists and their music. Wed 23 Mar 2011

MUSIC RIGHTS - INSIDE & OUT
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 6 Apr 2011
For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training





BARRY WEISS TO HEAD UP ISLAND DEF JAM
Universal Music yesterday confirmed that recent recruit Barry Weiss will now head up its US division Island Def Jam, taking over from LA Reid, who announced his departure from the music major earlier this week.

As previously reported, Reid has officially quit Universal to join the US version of 'X-Factor' as a judge, though some now wonder if he took that role because he knew he was being eased out of his IDJ job now that Lucian Grainge is in charge at Universal Music. Some are also wondering whether Reid will ultimately end up working for 'X-Factor' co-owners Sony Music, possibly taking over from Weiss, who recently left Sony to join Universal.

As well as being Chairman and CEO of the Island Def Jam group of labels, Weiss will also head up the Universal Motown Republic Group, which includes the Republic, Motown and Mercury labels. He will not, however, sit above Universal's other big US division, Interscope Geffen A&M, with its chief, Jimmy Iovine, still reporting directly into Grainge.

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GILLES PETERSON LAUNCHES STEVE REID FOUNDATION:
Gilles Peterson has announced the launch of the Steve Reid Foundation in memory of the legendary drummer who died last year.

During his career, Reid worked with artists including James Brown, Miles Davis, Fela Kuti and more recently Four Tet's Kieran Hebden. However, after being diagnosed with throat cancer, he was unable to afford treatment in the US. The Foundation will support other musicians who find themselves in a similar situation.

Peterson told CMU: "This is something that is very close to me and that I feel strongly about, and wanted to set up something as a lasting legacy to help others in similar situations. To this end, I am running the London Marathon on 17 Apr on behalf of the Steve Reid Foundation".

While the Steve Reid Foundation awaits approval for charitable status, money raised from Gilles' marathon run will actually go to the Musicians Benevolent Fund, with whom he has been working closely on the launch of the new organisation. You can donate here: www.justgiving.com/GillesPeterson

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ACS:LAW FILE-SHARING CASES FINALLY CLOSED, BUT WHAT ABOUT COSTS?
So, the drawn out legal debacle which has been the ACS:Law file-sharing litigation finally came to a close yesterday, albeit with an important epilogue still to come.

A quick recap. Andrew Crossley was an lawyer who seemingly reckoned he could make a quick buck by sending out legal letters to suspected file-sharers on behalf of dodgy (often pornographic) content owners, accusing the recipients of copyright infringement and demanding damages.

Critics said Crossley's legal arguments were flawed and that he had no intention of ever going to court to put them to the test, ie his system was based on intimidating net users who didn't understand intellectual property law, couldn't afford legal advice, and didn't want their porn consumption on public record, to just pay up.

Crossley denied these allegations and, in a bid to silence his critics, took some cases to court. Where it turned out his legal arguments were indeed very flawed and so Crossley's lawsuits, letter writing operation and entire business fell on the floor with one big bang.

Aside from picking holes in most of Crossley's legal arguments, Judge Colin Birrs was also very critical of the lawyer's entire operation, accusing the ACS man of deliberately trying to avoid judicial scrutiny.

The fact that Crossley, after finally realising how flawed his legal arguments were, tried to have his lawsuits dismissed, and then didn't show for a court hearing, and then shut down his entire company, hasn't helped overcome Birrs' very low opinion of the man.

The judge refused to let Crossley withdraw his lawsuits, ensuring ACS's legal actions were fully scrutinised so there was no doubt about how weak they were. So much so it was only this week, when legal representatives of the defendants requested the cases now be closed, that Birrs agreed to end Crossley's torment.

However, there remains the issue of legal costs. It would actually be rather unusual for a judge to force ACS:Law to cover the so called 'wasted costs' of the defendants in this case, which are almost certainly in excess of £100,000. But, Birrs said on Wednesday, this is not a usual case and that therefore he is seriously considering making ACS liable for those costs, not least because its client, MediaCAT has gone out of business. Though, then again, so has ACS:Law, which poses another question, will Birrs make Crossley personally liable for those costs?

Some think he might, despite Crossley's legal rep in court (Crossley himself did not attend) insisting his client made a big fat loss from his sue-the-fans operation. Though, arguably, that was because it was a sham that got caught out before going into profit.

A final ruling about costs is still to come, that being the epilogue to this story that will bring everything to a close. Well, possibly. Legal reps for the defendants are now saying they are considering suing Crossley for harassment in relation to his letter writing campaign.

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VOTING OPEN IN THE MUSIC WEEK AWARDS
Music Week has confirmed that three categories at its annual music business awards bash will be voted for by a public online vote again this year, and that voting is now open.

Music business people are invited to vote in the mobile app, best studio and best festival categories, choosing from a long list of contenders, details of which below. To vote get yourself over to www.musicweekawards.com. The awards take place on 24 May at The Roundhouse in Camden.

Music Mobile App Of The Year Longlist: Aweditorium (iPad), Exile On Your Street: Rolling Stones (Android and iPhone), Gig Finder (Ovi), iConcertCal (Android), iTunes Live (iPhone), LoKast (iPhone and Android), Ninja Tune Official (iPhone), Plastikman SYNK (iPhone), Riddim Ribbon (iPhone), The xx (iPhone).

Studio Of The Year: Abbey Road, Air, Dean St Studios, Metropolis, Miloco The Pool, The Premises, Rockfield, Sawmills, Sphere, Strongroom.

Festival Of The Year: All Tomorrow's Parties, The Big Chill, Creamfields, Download, Glastonbury, Global Gathering, Green Man, Isle Of Wight, Latitude, LoveBox, Reading and Leeds, Rock Ness, Sonisphere, T In The Park and V.

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FAITHLESS SPLIT
Faithless have announced that they will split after their current tour. Well, to be honest, I'm not sure where you can go exactly after you've released your last album via a deal with Tesco.

Announcing the split, frontman Maxi Jazz told fans: "After fifteen years and six albums, I think we've probably made our collective point by now and that it's time to close the book and return to the library ... Quite naturally people grow, change and leave the things of youth behind them. You've not only brought us with you, but introduced us to y'children too! What're you like?"

With the final shows already under way, the band will bow out with two gigs at London's Brixton Academy on 7 and 8 Apr.

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THOM YORKE AND DOOM COLLABORATING
Masked rapper Doom has announced that he is working on an album with Radiohead's Thom Yorke. The news follows the release of a collaborative single between Yorke, Four Tet and Burial this week.

Speaking to 3D World, Doom said: "[I'm] doing some stuff with Thom Yorke... we're working on some duets, some duet songs and shit. Just like preliminary shit but we'll probably end up doing a whole record together... he's cool - he got a lot of ill ass ideas and shit, you know".

Yorke has previously remixed a track from Doom's 2009 album, 'Born Like This'.

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KODE9, NINJA TUNE AND MORE CONTRIBUTE TO COMPILATION FOR JAPAN
A new compilation featuring over 40 electronic artists from seven countries is due to be released today to raise money for the relief effort in Japan, following the earthquake and tsunami which hit the country a week ago.

Amongst the producers who have contributed tracks for the album, entitled 'Nihon Kizuna', are Kode9, Fink, Emika, Daisuke Tanabe, Nightwave (formerly known as 8Bitch) and Rudi Zygadlo. Many tracks are previously unreleased, and some have been created especially for this compilation. The title roughly translates as "a bond of friendship with Japan".

The project was put together in just five days by London-based writer and radio presenter Laurent Fintoni, who had travelled to Japan shortly before the earthquake hit. He told CMU: "I landed back in Tokyo on Thursday 10th after three years. I used to live here in 07/08. I love this country, I love its people and I've always felt spiritually connected to it. I also have many friends here. Within 24 hours it suffered its greatest natural disaster in recorded history (I believe) and within 48 hours it became clear that while we were all here, there was a growing feeling of helplessness among us - we can donate money, and some of us blood, but that's about it at this point".

He continued: "On Monday, we started to talk about various music-related ways to generate money and interest, and that's when this idea came up. Four days later we have the most heartening tracklist we could have ever hoped for to try to raise awareness and money for those who need it most - the nearly half a million displaced Japanese who live in the northern prefectures hit by the tsunami/earthquake combo".

On putting the project together, he explained: "The comp was put together by myself and three friends who live here - Keisuke Ito aka Broken Haze (producer), XLII (producer, Ukrainian), and Audace (producer, French). I guess I'm a journalist of sorts. As I said, it's our way to do our bit. Hell, most of the people/labels on this comp have a direct link to Japan, many of the tracks were made in or inspired by the country and its culture, so it only feels right. I would personally like to thank all those who contributed so willingly. It means a lot. Let's hope we can raise a memorable amount of money for those who need it. I mean when was the last time you could buy this much good music for so little, right?"

Turning to the situation in Japan in the wake of the disaster, Fintoni told us: "Tokyo is quite honestly fine. We have some power cuts in the nearing prefectures/outer suburbs, there's limited trains and people are doing their best to save energy by working less(!) and by turning off any unneeded appliances - including shops normally open 24 hours a day shutting early. I've also seen bars turn our lights at tables they don't need, etc... The Japanese resilience is amazing and heartening. I won't even bother to mention the hysteria that has seeped in here via foreign media, suffice to say this compilation is also partly an answer to it".

To view the full tracklist, listen to a teaser mix and to purchase 'Nihon Kizuna' head over to www.nihonkizuna.com.

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JERMAINE JACKSON TO WRITE BOOK ABOUT MICHAEL
Jermaine Jackson has announced that he will publish a book about his brother Michael, which he hopes will give an insight into the singer's life. Entitled 'You Are Not Alone: Michael, Through A Brother's Eyes', the book is due to be published in the autumn by Simon & Schuster imprint Touchstone in the US and HarperCollins in the UK.

Jackson said in a statement: "This book commemorates Michael's life. The forthcoming trial of Dr Murray surrounds Michael's death, but none of us wish for those proceedings to stand as the final word on how he is remembered. We want the world to remember his truth, his legacy, and some wonderful memories we shared as brothers, as a family. We don't want Michael's life to be an eternal mystery. I have read so much about what people claim to know about Michael, and I've heard countless people talk as if they knew him better than his own family. This book's blood is thicker and truer than water. It is about what really happened and who he really was, representing the things he never got the chance to say, based on what we know, based on what he shared".

Touchstone Vice President Stacy Creamer added: "As a lifelong fan of Michael Jackson and of Jermaine Jackson I am thrilled to be publishing 'You Are Not Alone'. Jermaine's book will offer a unique view of the real Michael Jackson, a perspective only a very few people could possibly have. As his brother and close confidante since they were children, Jermaine can explain Michael in a way that, in life, Michael was never able to articulate himself".

Fellow Jackson siblings Janet and LaToya also have books due out this year.

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LOVEBOX ANNOUNCES VILLAGE UNDERGROUND RESIDENCY
Organisers of the Lovebox festival have announced that they will be taking over Village Underground in London over Easter weekend to put on three special shows, respectively curated by Warp, Tayo and the Lovebox team themselves.

Line-ups as follows:

21 Apr - Warp at Bang The Box: Hudson Mohawke, Rustie, Benji B
22 Apr - Tayo's Tracksuit Party presents Fresh To Death: Wookie, dBridge, The Heatwave V Sticky, Southern Hospitality, Tayo3000, Sophie Lloyd, J33
23 Apr - Lovebox presents... OOF!: Andy Butler & Kim Ann Foxman, Jim Stanton & Severino, Dan Beaumont, Dave Kendrick

Ahead of last year's festival, Lovebox co-founder and Groove Armada man Tom Findlay put together a Powers Of Ten playlist for us. You can listen to that here.

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8BITCH RELAUNCHES AS NIGHTWAVE
Producer and DJ Maya Medvesek has announced that she is changing the name she performs under from 8Bitch to Nightwave.

Medvesek told CMU: "I have decided to adopt the new artist name of Nightwave, which I feel is a much better representation of my music and fits well with my future releases. I have stopped using the old artist name of 8Bitch due to the obvious limitations with PR and beyond, and the connotations that the name suggests".

Her first release as Nightwave will be an EP entitled 'Feel', released via Svetlana Industries in May. However, she will officially launch herself in her new guise at a show at CAMP in London tonight, joining a bill which also includes Lil Silva, Patience and XXXY.

Listen to Nightwave at soundcloud.com/nightwave808

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ANTHRAX'S SCOTT IAN PULLS OUT OF UPCOMING SHOWS
Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian has announced that he will not perform with the band at their upcoming shows on the Sonisphere touring festival, meaning he will be missing when the Big Four of thrash metal - Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth - play on the same bill in the UK for the first time ever. Instead, he will be replaced by Sepultura's Andreas Kisser.

In a statement, Ian told fans: "I won't be playing the shows scheduled from 2-16 Jul in Europe and the UK. My wife Pearl and I are expecting our first child and she is due literally the day of the Big Four Sonisphere show in France. This decision to miss these shows was a deeply personal one. Becoming a father is the biggest, best thing that's ever happened to me, and it made the decision relatively easy. My priority is with my wife and the birth of our first child".

On the choice of replacement, he said: "We chose Andreas because we feel he can do the gig better than anyone. He has the fire, the attitude, and the crushing right hand to do the gig. I've played with Andreas and we are kindred spirits. We both play every show like we're going to jail the next day, like it's the last show we'll ever play. He has what it takes and he has the experience and history to fucking bring it and make these Anthrax shows something special. I can't wait to see and hear it for myself!"

As previously reported, the shows will also be the band's first with vocalist Joey Belladonna since 2007.

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

ATP NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Butlin's Resort, Minehead, Somerset, 9-11 Dec: Co-curators Battles, Caribou and Les Savy Fav have selected reformed US indie heroes Archers Of Loaf to appear on their ATP bill, with No Age, Marnie Stern, Flying Lotus and Walls also amongst the chosen few. The three host bands will also top the bill on respective days. www.atpfestival.com/events/nightmare2011.php

BOOMTOWN FAIR, secret location, 11-14 Aug: Further enhancing the predominantly dubstep, grime and dnb flavour of this three-day rave-a-thon are Gentleman's Dub Club, Foreign Beggars, Black Sun Empire, Spor and Feed Me. Gogol Bordello, Goldie Lookin' Chain and Ms Dyamite are amongst those already booked to play the event, the location of which organisers are still keeping firmly under wraps. www.boomtownfair.co.uk

DEER SHED, Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, 22-24: Organisers have fleshed out the Deer Shed billing with a host of cool indie upstarts, with Frankie & The Heartstrings, Tom Williams & The Boat, Tigers That Talked, Spokes and The Neat all set to arrest family-friendly audiences with their marginal indie vibes. Already confirmed co-headliners are I Am Kloot and The Go! Team, who will also be joined by acts including Erland & The Carnival and Caitlin Rose. www.deershedfestival.com

LONDON FEIS, Finsbury Park, London, 18-19 Jun: Keeping up the Irish ethos of this here new feis-tival will be headliner Van Morrison, who is to play alongside fellow line-up newbies The Cranberries and Shane MacGowan. Bob Dylan is the existing Saturday headliner, with The Undertones and Imelda May. www.londonfeis.com

SHORT CIRCUIT PRESENTS MUTE, The Roundhouse, London, 13-14 May: The latest addition to the Mute label's own eclectic mini-fest is Beth Jeans Houghton, with a collaboration between Maps and Polly Scattergood and a DJ set from Moby also on the cards. Liars, Erasure, Big Deal and Poppy & The Jezebels are amongst those acts already set to take to the hallowed Roundhouse stage. Talks, art installations, workshops and film showings will also feature at the multi-faceted event. www.roundhouse.org.uk/short-circuit

SPIRIT OF BURGAS, Burgas, Bulgaria, 12-14 Aug: Taking place on a beach in the Balkan sunshine, this good-value Bulgarian bash will this year welcome headliner Moby, who will appear on the bill alongside Deftones and returning 90s rockers Skunk Anansie. www.spiritofburgas.com

WIZARD FESTIVAL, New Deer Showground, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 26-27 Aug: Iconic 70s post-punks The Stranglers will perform a set of their many greatest hits at this two-day highland fling, they being the first unveiled act to appear at Wizard. www.wizardfestival.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Low - C'mon (Sub Pop)
The magisterial moperockers recorded this, their ninth album, in a church and separating the quasi-spiritual, devotional atmosphere that infuses the entirety of 'C'mon' from its place of origin proves difficult. This, however, should not be seen as a negative: Low's sound has always been a tremulous, stain glassed one, the sound of a group reaching towards the high and the holy.

'C'mon' isn't radically different from their previous output; Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker still harmonise eerily over crystalline guitars and Phil Spector style drums. Again, this is a positive. Low, at this stage, fit like a beloved pair of Levis. Album highlight, 'Nothing But Heart' is indicative of the whole of 'C'mon' - group incantations ("I'm nothing but heart" they repeat over and over) bellow and disintegrate whilst Arcade Fire listen back to their own brand of faux-churchy OTT bombast and wonder how they got it all wrong.

It's not all reverb and portent though; the closer 'Something's Turning Over' is a charming slice of 60s pastoral, while opener 'Try To Sleep' is a minimalist xylophone workout.

'C'mon' turns out to be hugely listenable, but difficult to pin down. The record's obvious quality transcends language, pointing as it does, towards faith and something untouchable and unspeakable. Easily the second best record recorded in a church to come out this year (the first being Tim Hecker's superlative 'Ravedeath, 1972'). JAB

Physical release: 12 Apr

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HMV BOSS INSISTS HIS COMPANY HAS A FUTURE ON THE HIGH STREET
HMV boss man Simon Fox has insisted that his firm will have a long-term presence on the high street, despite his stores continuing to struggle, and his company's recent expansion into live music, talent management and digital services.

According to the Financial Times, Fox told a Retail Week conference that "in five years' time, we will still have hundreds of stores on the high street, but will be selling different products to what we're selling today". Pointing to the expansion of techie products at one of HMV's London stores, he added "this gives a good indication of how we will refresh our estate".

HMV is very much under the spotlight at the moment, of course, as it struggles to meet the terms of its £130 million bank loans. After a set of disappointing pre-Christmas sales figures Fox announced the closure of 40 HMV stores and 20 more Waterstones shops.

As Fox tries to restructure his firm's debts, there have been rumours one of the company's shareholders, Russian businessman Alexander Mamut, is interested in buying the Waterstones chain, providing HMV with some useful cash flow. Though the entertainment firm's CEO wouldn't comment on those rumours at the Retail Week event.

He did, however, address his company's ongoing talks with its moneylenders, saying: "It will take some weeks, possibly months, to renegotiate terms but it's moving in the direction we want it to move in. We have been talking to [the banks] since January, it's a complex and laborious process. We are moving through the process absolutely according to timetable".

With regards his predictions for HMV's high street future, most analysts the FT spoke to seemed skeptical. One expressed surprise at the idea HMV would still have hundreds of stores in five years time, while Nick Bubb of Arden Partners told the paper: "HMV need to be careful what they wish for. They do have a future in selling technology, but there is a risk in losing authority in core product while they make the transition. They may find it just as low a margin commodity market as the one they are trying to escape from".

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QTRAX BOSS CONFIRMS THREE MAJOR LABEL DEALS IN PLACE
The boss of digital music service Qtrax, which was suddenly reborn earlier this month and is now operating in ten countries including the US, has confirmed he has deals in place with three of the majors, the hold outs being Warner.

As previously reported, EMI had already confirmed it had a "short term" licensing arrangement with Qtrax, while Sony and Universal deals were widely reported. The digital firm's boss man, Allan Klepfisz, says these deals give his company access to the three majors' entire catalogues, while adding that talks with Warner are ongoing, and that a deal with a big indie label aggregator is close.

Billboard also questioned Klepfisz about why his digital offer has taken so long to come to fruition, after its famous false launch at MIDEM in 2008, and whether a DRMed download service can work in the streaming music era, even if the music is free and paid for by advertising. You can read the full interview here.

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KRAFTWERK RELEASE IPHONE APP
Kraftwerk have launched their own "interactive 24 hour music generator" iPhone app, calling it 'Kling Klang Machine No 1', which creates audio based on your surroundings.

Developer Norman Fairbanks explained: "It's a novel system that creates music and sound based on realtime data depending on your location that are continuously fed into the app, meaning the 'Kling Klang Machine No 1' can't be compared with other generative music apps which mostly utilise pre-programmed algorithms. There are some nice ways to manipulate sound and store personal preferences. For now the functionality is still kind of basic but the original concept will be more and more implemented in future updates and releases".

If that's still left you a little confused, try watching this video demo: http://youtu.be/fO3TY_QFrEg

You can download the app from iTunes now from here

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BEN GOMORI STEPS DOWN AS DATA TRANSMISSION EDITOR
Data Transmission editor Ben Gomori has announced that he is leaving the electronic music website after three years. He will be replaced by Joe Gamp, who has previously worked for PR agencies Leyline and Get In.

Gomori told CMU: "After three immensely fun years building Data Transmission from the ground up, the time has come for me to move on and work on some new challenges. Friday 18 Mar is my last day here. It's been an incredibly enjoyable experience, I can't believe I've written and edited over 800 features and 6500 news items in my time here for starters. It's been quite the workload!"

He added: "There's still a long way to go but I'm immensely proud of what we've achieved here. Our ambition was to fill a gap in the market for a well-informed but not too high-brow music portal that covered the full range of dance and electronic music and lifestyle, with a focus on content rather than forums, photos or user-generated content. I'd like to think we've fulfilled our remit, and I'm very happy and proud when someone tells me that they've discovered great new music through DT. It's all we set out to do".

Gamp said of his new role: "I'm ecstatic to be taking over the reins at Data Transmission. It's been a dream of mine to take a position of responsibility at a music magazine, and after six years of freelancing within the music industry, I'm excited to join the team of this music and culture powerhouse. I'm proud to have been selected to take the position from Mr Gomori, who has pushed the site to new heights and forged a great reputation since the site's inception - I pledge to keep the solidity of the magazine intact, whilst also striving to carry on Ben's impeccable dedication, knowledge and expertise, whilst continuing to make DT one of the premier electronic music outlets in the world".

Gomori will remain involved with Data Transmission in some capacity, including continuing to present the website's weekly podcast.

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PORN EXEC TO SAVE USHER'S BLUSHES?
Head of porn merchants Vivid Entertainment Steve Hirsch has come to the rescue following rumours that someone is attempting to sell a sex tape featuring Usher and his former wife Tameka Foster to various adult entertainment companies. Although he has distributed many a celebrity sex tape in his time, he seemingly wants to help stop this one going public on the grounds that it's, er, "very personal".

Anyway, here's what he said in a letter obtained by TMZ: "As a result of this being an intimate and very personal tape we can certainly understand why you would want to stop its distribution. What you may not know about Vivid is that there are many celebrity sex tapes that we have actually stopped from being distributed. We may therefore be able to assist you in stopping your own video from any type of circulation".

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BIEBER AND GOMEZ MATCHED UP BY MANAGEMENT
How do two teen popstars get together? That's what you've been asking yourself ever since you learned that Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez were an item, isn't it? Well, the answer, seemingly, is that one manager phones another and says something along the lines of: "My client fancies yours".

Speaking to David Letterman on his US talk show, Gomez said that the pair had met two years ago when "his manager called my mom, who's my manager".

She added: "I'm blushing! He's been in my life for so long and it's just nice to have someone that understands what you're going through".

To be fair, I'm not sure this has ever actually happened to Selena Gomez: youtu.be/0e50vqY7Szo

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COURTNEY LOVE CONSIDERED SNORTING KURT'S ASHES
If I remember correctly, various unusual things were supposed to have happened to Kurt Cobain's ashes after he died. However, they didn't disappear up Courtney Love's nose. Not that she didn't think about it.

In a newly published collection of interviews, music journalist Neil Strauss recalls meeting Love at her LA home in 1994, the year Cobain died: "She leaped off her bed and suddenly said, 'Say hi to Kurt'", pulling out her late husband's remains. She then added: "Too bad you don't do coke - otherwise I'd suggest taking a metal straw to it".

It sounds like a flippant comment, gallows humour perhaps, but Strauss is adamant that she "was serious when she made the suggestion".

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
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