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CMU Info
Top Stories
Amazon launches digital-locker cloud-player whatnot
Much gloom in IFPI and PRS figures
Canadian election halts copyright reform
In The Pop Courts
BlueBeat settles for a million
New royalty squabble over Bieber song
In The Studio
Amy Winehouse records duet with Tony Bennett
Fleet Foxes: second album took two attempts
Rebecca Black working on debut album, plus Ark founder speaks
Release News
Radiohead hand out newspapers, announce Record Store Day single
Scala & Kolacny Brothers announce new album and London show
Films & Shows News
JLS announce 3D concert film
Gigs & Tours News
Mos Def, Talib Kweli, De La Soul and Rakim announce gigs
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: Owiny Sigoma Band - Owiny Sigoma Band (Brownswood Recordings)
The Digital Business
News Corp talks to VEVO about MySpace deal
The Media Business
Phil Alexander gets new role at Bauer
This Is Fake DIY to moves into print
Mary Anne Hobbs returns to Xfm
And finally...
Gary Barlow "days away" from joining X-Factor judging panel

Hailing from Hertfordshire, rising rock outfit Lower Than Atlantis was formed in 2007 by vocalist Mike Duce, guitarist Ben Samson, bassist Dec Hart and drummer Eddy Thrower. Having taken the Watford hardcore scene by storm, the foursome released eight track effort 'Bretton' in 2008 and debut full-length 'Far Q' last year, demonstrating an aptitude for fusing punchy, melodic vocal work with post-hardcore riffery.


Latest album 'World Record' is a distinctly darker offering from the band, with some songs featuring slower tempos, dropped tunings and a more contemplative lyrical approach than their previous work. With new single 'Deadliest Catch' due out on 18 Apr through Wolf At Your Door Records, the album is set to follow on 25 Apr, with a UK tour the following week.

Ahead of all that, we caught up with resident bass bloke Dec to get his thoughts on our Same Six brand of questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?

I actually started out playing guitar, not bass, when I was around ten or eleven. I used to play on my dad's Fender Strat copy, which he still actually has! Then when I was a little older I started playing in bands and I think I just kinda made the decision that this was what I wanted to do when I grow up.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

Being broke, bored and bummed out.

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

Mike will usually come up with the basis of the song and we just get together and bounce ideas about then maybe take it away and work on it. We just keep bring ideas on to the table until we are happy with the finished product.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

My favourite bands are Foo Fighters and Biffy Clyro, so I guess that would come out in our music. But I think because we are all together in a van 99% of the time we are all listening to the same stuff, so when someone comes up with new material, everyone knows exactly where they are coming from and knows exactly how to react to it.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?

Enjoy. I hope you like it.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?

World Domination.

MORE>> www.facebook.com/lowerthanatlantis

After bringing his former project, Eim Ick, to a close last year, Danish producer Nick Eriksen relaunched himself as Taragana Pyjarama towards the end of last summer with a track called 'Girls'. As the blissed out house track began to circulate around numerous blogs, it came to the attention of very cool French label Fool House, which snapped Ericksen up to release Taragana Pyjarama's debut EP, which will finally make its way out into the world on 21 Apr.

The eponymous EP shows that 'Girls' was no one-off. Featured alongside it are two more original tracks, 'Sundanese Blonde' and 'Ocean', both of which are similarly built out of sun-filled loops, layered up into warm and beautiful tracks. In addition to those, 'Girls' and 'Ocean' get remixed by Ricardo Tobar and Teengirl Fantasy respectively, both of whom work their magic to bring the EP to a superb close.

Check out 'Girls', 'Ocean' and a handful of Eriksen's own remixes at the SoundCloud profile linked below.


Unicorn Jobs is on the lookout for Fashion / Lifestyle PR experts for a great opportunity within a high profile boutique fashion PR agency. The focus is on candidates from a Senior Account Executive to Account Director level who have strong fashion PR credentials, excellent media contacts and a history of working with high-profile clients, preferably in the fashion and retail industry. We are also looking for a digital/social media expert to join this agency as Head of Digital and take full responsibility for the company’s digital offering. Please email [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 6 Apr 2011


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 20 Apr 2011

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

So, Amazon is the first major player to arrive at the digital-locker cloud-player party.

With Apple and Google both thought to be rushing their own digital-locker services to market, Amazon in the US has announced it is launching the very same service. Users will be able to upload MP3s to Amazon's servers and then play them through a web-browser on most net-connected devices. There'll be a fee for the service, though existing Amazon account holders will get some freebies.

Amazon's Bill Carr told reporters: "We're excited to take this leap forward in the digital experience. The launch of Cloud Drive, Cloud Player for Web and Cloud Player for Android eliminates the need for constant software updates as well as the use of thumb drives and cables to move and manage music. Our customers have told us they don't want to download music to their work computers or phones because they find it hard to move music around to different devices. Now, whether at work, home, or on the go, customers can buy music from Amazon MP3, store it in the cloud and play it anywhere".

Of course, digital lockers are not new, and many such lockers already on the market - including those offered by Apple and Google - already allow you to store music files and move them between devices. The innovation, though, is that these new services come with a user-friendly 'cloud-player' making it easier to access, organise and play music stored remotely. Even that kind of service isn't especially new, services such as MP3tunes have been around for sometime, though this is the first time a major web firm has moved into this market.

It's not clear if Amazon has agreements in place with the record companies and music publishers regarding its new service. As previously reported, many label execs are nervous of digital locker propositions, and are uncertain on what sort of royalties to charge - especially as some argue digital lockers don't actually need a license to operate.

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Global record sales slumped by another $1.45 billion last year according to new stats from the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry. The 8.4% slide meant the record industry generated $15.9 billion in revenues worldwide last year. Digital sales continued to grow, albeit at a more modest pace than a few years back, and now account for 29% of recorded music sales.

The two biggest recorded music markets, the US and Japan, were particularly hard hit again, accounting for 57% of that $1.45 billion decline. The UK, which has been more resilient than most markets in terms of the decline of CD sales, also had a bad year, and as a result lost its position as the third biggest music market to Germany. Only India, Mexico and South Korea saw year-on-year record sales increases.

Needless to say, the IFPI blamed piracy for most of the record industry's woes, with their CEO Frances Moore telling reporters: "The demand for new music seems as insatiable and diverse as ever, and record companies continue to meet it. But they are operating at only a fraction of their potential because of a difficult environment dominated by piracy".

Joining in with this party of gloom yesterday were PRS For Music, who revealed that the total royalties they collected for songwriters and music publishers fell by 1% last year, the first time the total royalties collected by the collecting society has gone down on the previous year.

Obviously, songwriters and publishers earn every time records are sold, so declining record sales impact on them also, although in recent years PRS has overcome declining record sales royalties with new or increased live, media, digital and international royalty revenues. But the record industry's woes do now seem to have started to have an impact.

PRS big cheese man Robert Ashcroft said: "The loss of high street outlets, the slowdown in physical music sales as well as the challenges capturing the full value of music usage online has meant that for the first time we have seen royalties collected dip. Previously, any reduction from falling physical sales had been offset by our strong performance in music licensing both in the UK and internationally. In 2010 slower growth at home and abroad failed to fully mitigate the decline".

So that's all rather gloomy isn't it? But on the upside... Oh, I don't actually have any upside for you today. Hey, why not watch this classic video of Justin Bieber walking into a glass door to cheer yourself up: youtu.be/ig3dobYxNAM

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Efforts by the Canadian music industry to have copyright laws reformed have come to a halt after the government there lost a confidence vote last week resulting in a General Election. The result is that all legislation still working its way through the Canadian parliament, including the copyright law reforming Bill C-32, is dropped.

As previously reported, Canadian record companies have been lobbying for a reform of copyright laws there for years. The pre-internet copyright system in Canada has not proven particularly helpful to those labels trying to target file-sharers through the courts, and labels were hoping to get new laws to help tackle online piracy.

Although Bill C-32 was not without its critics, it passed on second hearing in Canada's parliament last November, and seemed to have a lot more momentum than past efforts to reform copyright in the country. But now, according to Graham Henderson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, the Bill is "in the words of Monty Python, a dead parrot".

As for whether copyright reform will remain on the agenda after May's General Election, Henderson told Billboard: "It's up to the next government to make that call. If we get a Conservative government again, whether a minority or majority, it will remain a priority. It was a priority. So the hope would be that it would be reintroduced at some point after the recall of parliament"

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BlueBeat.com, the US website that sold unlicensed downloads for 25 cents each, including The Beatles catalogue, and which claimed it didn't need licences because the digital files it sold had been resimulated, or something like that (it was one of the more original excuses), has agreed to pay EMI a million in damages to settle a lawsuit.

As previously reported, the low price download store came to wider attention when MusicAlly noticed that among the EMI tracks being sold by the service was The Beatles catalogue, then not available legitimately anywhere on the internet. EMI quickly sued, which led to the "psycho-acoustic simulation" defence being offered. It never worked well in court, with a US judge ruling BlueBeat.com was guilty of copyright infringement last December. The million dollar settlement is as a result of that ruling.

BlueBeat.com's legal man Archie Robinson said that he thought his client had done well to keep the damages payment as low as a million, adding that it was a "fraction" of what EMI US had originally demanded. The final settlement, he said, was "an acknowledgement on their part that they don't have the damages they claimed".

BlueBeat.com continues to operate as a licensed (I think) streaming service.

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Another day, another royalties claim over a Justin Bieber song. This time it's the 2009 track 'One Less Lonely Girl', which was co-credited to five song-creators, including songwriting duo A-Rex, aka Sean Hamilton and Hyuk Shin.

It's the latter's share of the song that is subject to litigation. Management duo Vance Tate and Thomas Oliveria claim they represented A-Rex when they collaborated with Bieber mentor Usher on the tedious pop track, and that according to their agreement with the songwriting twosome they are due 10% of their royalties from it. It seems A-Rex have not been forthcoming with that share, and Tate and Oliveria reckon they are owed $200,000 as a result.

The managers' lawsuit names Hamilton and Shin as well as their publishers, EMI and LA Reid Music Publishing, as defendants. None of which have responded as yet. I sense Tate and Oliveria are very pissed off about this, I wonder if the anger has ever bubbled over at a Bieber concert, you know, like this: youtu.be/0e50vqY7Szo

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Look at this people, news about Amy Winehouse doing some recording.

While details of progress on her third album may be sketchy - though The Sun claimed earlier this month that it's complete and awaiting release - it seems her contribution to Tony Bennett's new duets album is definitely in the can.

Winehouse reportedly recorded a song with Bennett at Abbey Road Studios for 'Duets II' which, along with songs recorded with Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones and others, will now be released in September.

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Fleet Foxes have revealed that the band completely re-recorded their second album, 'Helplessness Blues', after they were unhappy with the results of their first attempt.

Speaking to Uncut, frontman Robin Pecknold said: "When we did the first mix of the album it was like: 'This is where we're at, not where we want to be'. I felt there were things that could be improved. I wasn't being precious about it. I wanted the album finished and out as much as anyone. But as soon as we started re-tooling one or two of the tracks, that opened the floodgates."

Bassist Christian Wargo added: "It just sounded weird, not what we wanted. We just thought we could do a better job. That's what we all thought. It wasn't just Robin not wanting to let go of the thing".

The album will finally see the light of day on 2 May.

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Rebecca Black is to prove to everyone that she's not just a one-viral-hit wonder by recording a whole album of songs, after the video for her song 'Friday', created by Ark Music Factory, scored over 40 million YouTube views from people who mostly thought it was awful. The singer's new manager, John McEntee, president of TEI Entertainment, says that she is now in talks with a number of record labels.

McEntee told Reuters: "Record labels have been contacting myself and Ark Music directly about Rebecca. There is definitely interest from real record labels. They've found out she can sing. With all this exposure, we're looking at her coming out with more songs and an album. We've been getting submissions from a lot of fantastic songwriters. That's a good sign".

Meanwhile, Ark Music Factory last week posted an "exclusive" interview with founder Patrice Wilson to its YouTube profile. In it he answers various questions about his musical background (apparently he used to be very big in Eastern Europe) and the way in which Ark works, which has come under some scrutiny and criticism since the Black phenomenon.

He confirmed that his company does charge for teenagers to record a song and video, but added that they provide songwriters, producers, a team to create the promo and stylists for their fee, saying: "It can range from $2000 to $4000. Is that a bad deal - $2000 to $4000 and you get everything? You even get lunch".

He also claimed that they use less Auto-tune on their tracks than any mainstream artists on the radio. Watch the interview in full here: youtu.be/kd6K_oRyC-g

And if you're still wondering who Rebecca Black is (and how little Auto-tune is used on her track), we've already been over this in some detail here.

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Radiohead turned up at Rough Trade East in London yesterday lunchtime to hand out free copies of a newspaper produced to promote the physical release of their 'newspaper album' 'The King Of Limbs'. Entitled 'The Universal Sigh', the paper contains articles, poetry, stories, artwork and other content from various sources.

You can find out where you can pick up a copy near you at http://www.theuniversalsigh.com, or just stare angrily at pictures of people who already have theirs.

And while Radiohead were dabbling in the world of newspaper publishing, some staff at The Guardian, including editor Alan Rusbridger, had a crack at being in a band. Calling themselves The Radio Eds, they recorded a cover of 'Creep', which you can hear here.

It was also announced yesterday that Radiohead will release a limited edition, UK-only twelve-inch for Record Store Day on 16 Apr, which will either feature two remixes or two brand new tracks, depending on who you ask.

The release joins a number of other new additions to the line-up of special releases for Record Store Day, including a compilation of covers by Foo Fighters and a single featuring Beck and Bat For Lashes.

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Scala - a choir put together by pianist Steven Kolacny and his conductor brother Stijn, who perform covers of rock and indie tracks, as well as their own material - have announced that they will release their debut UK album on 6 Jun via Wall Of Sound. The record, entitled 'Scala & Kolacny Brothers', includes their version of Radiohead's 'Creep', which was recently used on the trailer for 'The Social Network'.

You can hear their cover of Kings Of Leon's 'Use Somebody', plus original track 'Seashell', on their YouTube profile at www.youtube.com/officialscala. And while you're in the mood, you should also seek out their version of The Knife's 'Heartbeats', which isn't on the album but is wonderful.

They will also perform live at Union Chapel in London on 7 Jun. Tickets for the show are on sale now.

Here's the album's tracklist:

Nothing Else Matters (Metallica)
Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel)
Champagne Supernova (Oasis)
Ironic (Alanis Morrissette)
With Or Without You (U2)
Everlong (Foo Fighters)
I Feel You (Depeche Mode)
Use Somebody (Kings Of Leon)
Our Last Fight (original)
Seashell (original)
Masquerade (Of Fools) (original)
Creep (live) (Radiohead)
Smells Like Teen Spirit (live) (Nirvana)

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JLS have announced that a film of them performing live at the O2 Arena, entitled 'Eyes Wide Open', will be released in cinemas on 3 Jun. It will also feature interviews and backstage footage. Don't worry though, it'll only be out for a day, so your cinema won't be beset by fans of the boyband for too long.

JB told The Daily Star: "How often does a boyband get to make a movie based around their tour for national cinema release? Words can't really describe it. The whole process was illuminating, exhilarating, exhausting and exciting. It won't be the only movie we ever make".

As it's only out for a day, I suspect this is more a stunt to promote the DVD release. But, hey, it'll still be a day longer than I've ever had a film in cinemas, so well done JLS.

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How about this for a line-up: Mos Def and Talib Kweli reformed as Black Star, plus support from De La Soul and Rakim. Impressive. And that's exactly the line-up that will be appearing at two gigs in London and Manchester in May. They will be the first Black Star shows in the UK since 1999, too.

Tickets are on sale now. Here are the details:

10 May: London, Hammersmith Apollo
11 May: Manchester, Apollo

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FRIENDS OF MINE, Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire, 21-22 May: Organisers have pulled of a coup in securing Leed's finest The Cribs for Friends Of Mine's first edition. They are the latest rabble-rousers in the mix alongside the likes of The Fall, Black Lips, The Longcut and The Buzzcocks. www.fomfest.com

HOP FARM MUSIC FESTIVAL, Hop Farm Country Park, Kent, 1-2 Jul: Making up an eclectic mix on Hop Farm's latest line-up update are Chrissie Hynde, Damien Dempsey, The Duke Spirit, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Frankie & The Heartstrings and hotly-tipped Australian indie sorts Cloud Control. The existing two-day bill, topped off by co-headliners Morrissey and The Eagles, also stars Lou Reed, Iggy & The Stooges, Bryan Ferry and a lone Brandon Flowers. www.hopfarmfestival.com

LATITUDE, Henham Park Estate, Suffolk, 14-17 Jul: Bombay Bicycle Club and Eels are the most recent pair of acts added to the sterling Latitude line-up. In older news, headlining honours will be shared by The National, Paolo Nutini and Suede, with The Vaccines, I Am Kloot, Deerhunter and Bright Eyes also already set to perform. www.latitudefestival.co.uk

SOUTHERN SOUNDS, Clapham Common, London, 11 Jun: Carving its niche in the overstocked festival programme by "celebrating the very best in Southern Hemisphere music under a Northern sky", headliners INXS are the first sub-equatorial act on the bill for the inaugural edition of Southern Sounds. www.southernsoundsfestival.com

URBAN ART FORMS, Arena Nova Playgrounds, Wiener Neustadt, 16-18 Jun: Heading to the fusion of dance music and visual arts that is this wunderbar weekender will be bill-topping DJ Fat Boy Slim, who is joined by an array of dance acts like Deadmau5, Simian Mobile Disco, Crystal Castles and Does It Offend You, Yeah? www.uaf-festival.at

WYCHWOOD, Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire, 3-5 Jun: Newly-announced acts including Scottish songwriter Eddie Reader and retiring Britpopsters The Bluetones will be joining in with the congenial atmosphere at this family-friendly bash. Fans can also expect a solo appearance by Eliza Carth of The Gift Band, as well as performances from such already confirmed acts as Cornershop, The Waterboys and Idlewild's Roddy Woomble. www.wychwoodfestival.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Owiny Sigoma Band - Owiny Sigoma Band (Brownswood Recordings)
Through voluntary organisation Art Of Protest, a team of London-based musicians - Jess and Louis Hackett, Sam Lewis, Chris Morphitis and Tom Skinner - found themselves in Kenya in 2009, with no set agenda other than to explore "the cross pollination of musical ideas". There they stumbled upon Joseph Nyamungu, a player and teacher of the nyatiti, and percussionists Joseph and Charles Owoko, all exponents of the traditional music of the Luo tribe, and their jamming sessions led to a Nairobi-meets-London sound clash.

The results are impressive and infectious: tribal African music with a shard of a European clubbing sentiment. Nyamungu does leads vocals on the traditional Luo folk songs, while J Hackett and Lewis take over on the London-leaning 'Wires' and the luscious sun kissed 'Here On The Line'. Blur frontman Damon Albarn chips in for organ duties on the sprightly foot tapper 'Odero Lwar' and one of the better tracks 'Margaret Okudo', which is a bit akin to The Orb's early forays into dub reggae.

All in all, a very decent project offering an accessible and catchy take on traditional world music. Gilles Peterson's label Brownswood have signed up a gem. PV

Physical release: 18 Apr

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According to reports, News Corp has floated an idea past Universal and Sony Music owned music video service VEVO that it might like to take ownership of flagging social networking service MySpace in return for the Rupert Murdoch controlled media empire getting a stake in the VEVO company. Presumably VEVO could get some use out of MySpace's vast database of users, even if most of its other assets are pretty useless.

It's thought News Corp's bankers Allen & Co originally proposed VEVO buys MySpace, but when that idea was rebuked the partnership proposition was put forward. It would be an interesting deal, though Reuters does cite sources who say that while talks have been ongoing since last month the chances of this proposal coming to fruition are low.

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Bauer Media has promoted Mojo Editor In Chief Phil Alexander to the new role of Associate Publisher overseeing both his magazine and sister music title Kerrang!.

He will report to the Publishing Director of Bauer's Music Brands, Rimi Atwal, who told CMU: "Phil is one of Bauer's most innovative editors, and I am looking forward to working closely with him to further develop Kerrang! and MOJO's editorial, digital, creative and commercial strategies. Our ambition is to grow these multi-platform businesses, while offering clients new and effective ways to communicate with our highly influential audiences".

One of Alexander's first tasks will be to recruit a new editor for Kerrang! Bauer also confirmed yesterday that incumbent Nichola Browne decided to step down from the role earlier this month.

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The people behind music website thisisfakediy.co.uk are launching a new print magazine this summer. The new free monthly title will launch with a pilot edition this week (following an earlier pilot in February last year), with a proper launch in June. It will be distributed in music retail and fashion outlets. The new print magazine, to be called DIY, is being created by the website's team in partnership with the people behind another free music mag, the urban focused RWD.

This Is Fake DIY Editor and co-founder Stephen Ackroyd told CMU: "After nearly a decade of living in the digital realm, it made absolute sense to us to buck the trend and expand into the world of paper and ink. While the internet has huge benefits, and will increasingly dominate the agenda, there's still a place for lovingly crafted, considered editorial. There remains no better format for that than the print magazine. With a quality free title alongside our existing website and mobile apps, we're making sure our readers get the best of all possible worlds both where and when they want it".

RWD Creative Media's MD Nigel Wells added: "We have spent nearly ten years building the advertising funded, lifestyle magazine RWD. We believe that DIY can become a major print title very quickly given its online credentials. Readerships and magazine ABC's are declining but RWD, freely distributed in JD and lifestyle outlets continues to grow and has topped 100,000 issues per month in ABC's February 2011 audit. RWD is without doubt the leading contemporary youth lifestyle publication and we believe we can do the same for DIY in the indie market."

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Having departed Radio 1 last September, Mary Anne Hobbs has announced that she is to return to radio in July. She will present a new Saturday primetime show on Xfm from 9 Jul, which will kick off with a series of 'audio postcards' from festivals where she is DJing this spring, including Coachella.

Announcing her return via her website, Hobbs said: "I broadcast my first ever radio show for Xfm... it was simply the most exciting thing I had ever done, and it changed my life forever. 20 years ago, we were broadcasting for just four weeks each year with temporary licences, on what was originally a pirate network. The station's signal had only a 25 mile radius from our base on Charlotte Street in London's West End. Yet the scent of revolution was high in the air".

She continued: "This was a time before the internet was established and the only man in the UK doing anything meaningful on legal radio was John Peel. It's hard to explain just how thrilling it was to be part of the family who created the first radical alternative radio network - a whole station - and changed the way we communicate about the music we love for all time. So much has changed across our generation; music and culture enriched immeasurably by global internet access. Yet, 20 years later, the value of everything we stood for at the outset is as vital and powerful as it's ever been".

Finally, she said: "In 2011, Xfm have given me the opportunity to deliver the music that I am so passionate about on a primetime platform. This is such a victory, not just for me, but for all the artists I believe in and all the live listeners who care so deeply. I'll broadcasting from Manchester across the world at www.xfm.co.uk bringing future sound and guest mixes from the most forward thinking artists on earth. Dubstep, UK funky, minimal techno, deep house, hip hop, electronica, grime, neo-folk and art house rock... no holds barred".

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Gary Barlow is days away from joining the 'X-Factor' judging panel. Apparently.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
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Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
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