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CMU Info
Top Stories
Amy Winehouse's funeral takes place in London
In The Pop Courts
Lauryn Hill sued by guitarist
T-Pain sues Auto-tune maker
Coheed And Cambria bassist released on bail
Charts, Stats & Polls
Amy Winehouse rises up single and album charts
In The Studio
Noel Gallagher has written third solo album
Linkin Park working on new album
Release News
Mastodon announce album details
Death In Vegas announce new album
Gigs & Tours News
Xzibit announces UK tour
Doom announces UK tour
The Rapture announce UK shows
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Festival review: Latitude 2011
The Music Business
Placido Domingo becomes IFPI chair
Universal Publishing exec to head up Motown
The Digital Business
Bands shouldn't rush to Google+
And finally...
This Just-in: Bieber gets inked

One of India's most famous contemporary musicians, Raghu Dixit is starting to gain wider recognition in the UK, thanks to appearances on Jools Holland and at Glastonbury and Latitude.

But Dixit, who performs with a loose line-up of musicians he calls The Raghu Dixit Project, is perhaps the most unlikeliest of rock stars. He grew up in a conservative Tamil household in the South Indian town of Mysore, studied to become a microbiologist, trained in the Indian classical dance of bharatanatyam, and didn't get into Western music until his early 20s. In fact, he learned to play the guitar just to prove to a college friend that strumming a few chords was easier than mastering the complex foot patterns of bharatanatyam.

In a nod to his dancing days, a pair of ghungroos or anklets completes Dixit's on-stage costume of a kurta and a lungi or Indian sarong. He sings in Hindi, in Kannada (the regional language of his home state of Karnataka), and in English, but whichever he chooses, Dixit has a voice that manages to cut through all barriers of language or culture. With his new double A-side single, 'Hey Bhagwan/I'm In Mumbai', out this week, a UK tour starting next week, and plans to complete his debut album this Autumn, we asked Raghu to answer our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
The music was always in me! It just took a little while to come out and make itself heard. In the meanwhile, life had taken me to Belgium where I was working as a microbiologist. It was there that one of my colleagues sent a song of mine to a local radio station and, looking at the fantastic response they got, convinced me to get back and follow my passion.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

The songs were written over many years, between 1996 and 2008, so there was no single point of inspiration. It's like a personal blog in a way. From a period when I just wanted to be heard. Each song has its own story, really. The lyrics to 'Hey Bhagwan' were written by Aditya Dhar, a guy who helped manage Antaragni, my band at the time; I picked them up from his desk and by the end of the day, I had composed the song. 'Gudugudiya Sedi Nodo' and 'Soruthihudu Maneya Maligi' are Kannada folk songs that were being sung by other popular singers but in a very different format. I sang them in a contemporary style. And 'Mumbai, Waiting For A Miracle' is about the innumerable times I came to Mumbai with a new demo CD in search of a record contract.

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

There is no one single process. Sometimes, I hit on a melody and try and write words that fit. Now I'm digging into ancient Kannada poetry and working on how to make music around it. It's very instinctive and spontaneous, and not like sitting in a lab and working on bacterial culture! You just need your mind to be free, and uncluttered. The music just comes.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

More than artists, it's always been the country [India]. There is no one particular musician whose compositional style has influenced me. Because I didn't have a tape recorder at home, I did not listen to popular music while growing up. My parents were strict about us not listening to Western music. This forced me to be original and develop my own style.

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

You're definitely going to have a good time, and experience an unbridled sense of freedom and absolute joy. Some of the hooks will get stuck in your head. That's a warning.

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

There are huge expectations, so I want to not get affected by the pressure. The aim is for us to sound as natural as we are on stage... to play a live gig in the studio. The plan is to record in September and October and release the album in India at the NH7 Weekender festival in Pune in November. The ambition is to reach out to a larger audience, even though we're not a mainstream band, a Nickelback or Britney Spears. We've given ourselves a year for India, and another year for the rest of the world. Meanwhile, my Bollywood project should be out next month. And I'm working at the Southbank Centre in London with Bellowhead and Indian classical dancer Gauri Sharma Tripathi on a musical that will premiere at the next Alchemy festival.

MORE>> raghudixit.com
Manhattan-based singer-songwriter St Vincent has made her brand new song 'Surgeon' available for free download. A skewed fusion of old-world orchestral grandeur and angular electronic sounds, the track will appear on St Vincent's forthcoming third LP 'Strange Mercy' upon its 12 Sep release date. 'Surgeon' could only be 'unlocked' if enough fans tweeted the hashtag #strangemercy on Twitter, which, judging by its present state of liberation, they did.

St Vincent, whose track 'The Strangers' was sampled by Kid Cudi on 'MANIAC', also worked with Bon Iver on 'Roslyn', a contribution to the second 'Twilight Saga' installment 'New Moon'. So you see, her collaborative credentials are equally as imposing as her solo work. Sample a slice of the latter, along with some cute, cryptic, conceptual (and sometimes downright creepy) teaser clips, here on the official St Vincent site.

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As expected, Amy Winehouse's funeral took place yesterday. A service was held at Edgewarebury Cemetery in London with a congregation made up of close friends and family, who closed the ceremony with a rendition of Winehouse's favourite song, Carole King's 'So Far Away'. Her body was then taken to the nearby Golders Green Crematorium.

Although the location of the service had been kept a secret, a number of photographers and fans did gather outside the cemetery. Those in attendance at the service included Mark Ronson, Kelly Osbourne, Kerry Katona, and Winehouse's boyfriend Reg Traviss.

In a statement, the singer's father Mitch Winehouse said that prior to her death, Amy had been "the happiest she had been for years", adding: "Three years ago, Amy conquered her drug dependency, the doctors said it was impossible but she really did it. She was trying hard to deal with her drinking and had just completed three weeks of abstinence. She said: 'Dad I've had enough of drinking, I can't stand the look on your and the family's faces anymore'".

Speaking about her death on Saturday, he said: "[On Friday] night, she was in her room, playing drums and singing. As it was late, her security guard said to keep it quiet and she did. He heard her walking around for a while and when he went to check on her in the morning he thought she was asleep. He went back a few hours later, that was when he realised she was not breathing and called for help. But knowing she wasn't depressed, knowing she passed away, knowing she passed away happy, it makes us all feel better".

He finished by saying that he now plans to launch an Amy Winehouse Foundation, which will be an organisation "to help the things she loved - children, horses, but also to help those struggling with substance abuse".

He added: "In this country, if you cannot afford a private rehabilitation clinic, there is a two-year waiting list for help. With the help of Keith Vaz MP, we are trying to change that".

As previously reported, Amy Winehouse was found dead at her home in Camden on Saturday. An inquest was opened on Monday but adjourned until 26 Oct, as results of a postmortem were inconclusive. It may be four weeks until a cause of death can be established, while the outcome of toxicology and histology tests are awaited.

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According to TMZ, Lauryn Hill is being sued by her former guitarist Jay Gore, who claims he has not been paid for a gig he performed with the singer back in 2007. In legal papers, the guitar man says he worked with Hill for two weeks and was supposed to be paid $3590, but has never received any payment at all. Hill has not yet responded.

To be fair, she's just given birth to her sixth child, so is possibly too busy to be responding to lawsuits from former collaborators. Talking of which, and while it's not really any of our business, there has been speculation as to who the father of this latest Hill baby might be after the singer's on/off/on-again/off-again boyfriend, and the father of her other five children, Rohan Marley, said he wasn't the daddy this time round. Then again, as he's reportedly in a relationship with another woman at the moment, perhaps that's not surprising.

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Rapper T-Pain has launched legal action against Antares Technologies, the creator of the Auto-tune effect. He claims that the company has continued to use his image to promote the product, despite their partnership deal now having come to an end. As previously reported, T-Pain recently launched his own rival voice manipulation software, 'The T-Pain Effect', with technology company Izotope.

According to AllHipHop.com, the lawsuit accuses Antares of continuing to use T-Pain's image and likeness in advertising for both Auto-tune and other products, and of licensing his name and image to third parties without permission.

The rapper is seeking $1 million in damages, plus an injunction preventing Antares from directly associating him with any of its products.

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Coheed And Cambria bassist Michael Todd has been released on $25,000 bail, following his arrest for armed robbery and unlawful possession of prescription drugs earlier this month.

As previously reported, shortly before the band were due to support Soundgarden at the Comcast Center in Attleboro, Todd entered a pharmacy and showed the pharmacist a note on his mobile phone which said he had a bomb, and that he'd detonate it if he wasn't given several bottles of the painkiller tablet Oxycontin. He fled in a taxi with six bottles of the pills, but was later arrested after being identified by the pharmacist and the taxi driver on CCTV footage of the robbery.

The band distanced themselves from the bassist following his arrest, saying in a statement that they would continue their US tour with a replacement.

Todd is now due back in court on 9 Aug.

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As expected, Amy Winehouse's records have seen a boost in sales following her death on Saturday.

According to The Official Chart Company, she is set to have seven singles in the top 40 on Sunday, and fourteen in the top 200. Her 'Back To Black' album is likely to reach the top five (and may knock Adele off the number one position), while her debut, 'Frank', will be in the top 20. A combined set featuring both albums is also likely to make the top ten.

OCC MD Martin Talbot told CMU: "The British public is showing just how much they loved Amy's music, with 'Back To Black' clearly their favourite single and album".

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Earlier this month, Noel Gallagher revealed that he will release two solo albums in the next six months, one with psychedelic rock outfit Amorphous Androgynous. However, he has now revealed that prior to entering the studio, he had also written a third.

Speaking to Q, he said: "Now I'm a free agent I thought: 'I've got all these songs, so I'll make two records'. But between you and me, I made three. The third was going to be called 'The Future Of Martial Arts'. I had nine great songs but had to split them up. I wanted to do some work with Amorphous Androgynous, so I made the albums concurrently. It was really exciting being that creative, but by the end I was sick of it".

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Linkin Park are working on their fifth album with producer Rick Rubin.

Frontman Chester Bennington told Rolling Stone: "I can tell you that we have a lot of good music, a lot of quality songs. Mike [Shinoda] and I are out there with our studios. Technology, thank God, has gotten to the point when what used to be three refrigerator-sized racks of equipment and a full board the size of a king bed can now fit in my back pack - and we're working on new music as we're driving in the car to a venue or in our hotel room, and when we come home, everybody works in their homes".

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Mastodon have announced details of their fifth album, 'The Hunter'. The LP will be released through Roadrunner Records on 26 Sep. A limited edition package is available to download from the band's website - www.mastodonrocks.com - now.

The first single from the album, 'Black Tongue', is available from iTunes now (and as an instant download for those who pre-order the album from the band's website). The track can be heard on the video below, which shows the creation of the sculpture that appears on the album's cover by artist AJ Fosik.


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Death In Vegas have announced that they will release a new album, entitled 'Trans Love Energies', through Drone Records on 26 Sep. This will be their first album since 2004's 'Satan's Circus'. A UK tour is also due to be announced soon.

The first single from the album, 'Your Loft', which features vocals from Austra's Katie Stelmanis, will be released the week before the album on 19 Sep. However, you can hear it right now via SoundCloud:


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Xzibit will tour the UK in October, it has been announced. Tickets are due to go on sale on Friday.

Promising that fans will be treated to some excellent performances, the rapper said: "I still love it as much as I did when I first burst through the door, and I'm going to keep spitting like I'm that unsigned kid desperate to showcase himself".

Tour dates:

19 Oct: Glasgow, ABC
20 Oct: Bristol, Academy
21 Oct: Birmingham, Institute
22 Oct: Manchester, Academy
23 Oct: London, IndigO2

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Mask-wearing rapper Doom has announced that he will tour the UK this November. The dates include a show at London's Roundhouse where he will be joined by Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah. The pair have recently worked together on a new collaborative project under the name Doom Starks

The first track to be released from the project, 'Victory Laps', is on sale now and can be heard here: soundcloud.com/lexrecords/doomstarks-victory-laps

Tour dates:

3 Nov: Glasgow, The Arches
4 Nov: Manchester, HMV Ritz
5 Nov: London, Roundhouse (with Ghostface Killah)
7 Nov: Leeds, Academy
10 Nov: Oxford, Academy
11 Nov: Hatfield, The Forum
15 Nov: Bristol, Motion
16 Nov: Birmingham, Academy
18 Nov: Brighton, Concorde 2

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To promote their forthcoming new album, 'In The Grace Of Your Love', The Rapture have announced further UK shows in October and November, in addition to previously announced September festival shows and headline dates. The album will be released by DFA on 5 Sep, and tickets for the tour will be available from Friday.

Tour dates:

2 Sep: Electric Picnic, Ireland
4 Sep: Jersey Live
7 Sep: Manchester, Club Academy
8 Sep: London, XOYO
28 Oct: Leeds, Cockpit
29 Oct: Coventry, Kasbah
30 Oct: Glasgow, SWG3
2 Nov: London, Koko
3 Nov: Brighton, Coalition

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ATP CURATED BY JEFF MAGNUM, Butlins Holiday Centre, Minehead, 13-15 May: Harp-strumming folk waif Joanna Newsom joins the Jeff Magnum-curated ATP bill, closely followed by Thurston Moore, Sebadoh, The Mountain Goats, US electro folk outfit Tall Firs and jazz collective Sun Ra Arkestra. They join overall host Jeff on a line-up that also boasts Fleet Foxes, Yann Tiersen, Low, The Fall and Boredoms. www.atpfestival.com/events/jeffmangum.php

ATP NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Butlin's Resort, Minehead, Somerset, 9-11 Dec: Co-curated by Les Savy Fav, Battles and Caribou, this festival is set to host fresh bookings including Cults, jazz legend Pharoah Sanders, Matias Aguayo, Violent Soho and that familiar-sounding Sun Ra Arkestra. A DJ set from Simian Mobile Disco is also newly on the cards. Already on the bill are Holy Fuck, Gary Numan, Washed Out, No Age, Archers Of Loaf, Hot Snakes, Marnie Stern, Wild Flag, Surfer Blood, and lots more very good types. www.atpfestival.com/events/nightmare2011.php

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Latitude 2011
Diversity remained the predominant feature of the Latitude manifesto for its sixth edition at Henham Park last week. Naturally, this meant that it found itself offering to be a great many things to many different people, but somehow harmony was achieved. With Latitude 2011, Festival Republic managed to create an environment akin to an alternate universe where glittery faced teenagers were happy to revel alongside a pair of septuagenarians with their grandkids in tow.

Admittedly, there is little that is edgy about Latitude. Instead, it focuses on safety, family friendliness and general pleasance. It achieves this in abundance, but by doing so it does risk feeling a bit Cath Kidston at times, though the array of artists and activities on offer are its saving grace.

The strains of the Phantom Band were carried on the wind as we set up camp in the glorious Suffolk sunshine, choosing a paddock of multi-coloured sheep for neighbours. This idyllic festival scenario was made even better when we moseyed down through the woods to the Sunrise Arena to see the great Scots in the flesh.

We mainly flitted between the Obelisk Arena and the Sunrise Arena where Glasser competed with Jenny & Johnny for best in show, though it was Caribou who absolutely owned Friday. That said, after a phenomenal year, it felt fitting that The National should graduate from the Word Arena to close main stage proceedings on Friday. Generally, stage choice was spot on throughout the weekend, with a couple of exceptions; Bright Eyes and Iron & Wine seemed badly accommodated in the cavernous Obelisk Arena.

On Saturday, the rain Gods made us pay for our day in the sun as the heavens remained open for the duration. Irish Conor Oberst-alike Villagers shared the crowd with They Might Be Giants, whose puppetry and playground melodies ensured they were a hit with the kids.

Because of the sheer quantity of children in attendance, Latitude sometimes feels like a less comfy Butlins. Though there is a family campsite, there's always one who slips through the net and that tiny baby up in Guest Camping made sure everyone within a 50 tent radius knew how rubbish it was feeling at 5am. Like suitcases and high-heeled wellies, perhaps babies are one of those things that should not be at festival campsites.

But never mind - we were all crying like babies when Foals announced that the band would be put on hiatus after their rapturous Saturday night performance in the Word Arena. Luckily, despite a late start, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble helped us to forget our troubles.

Of course, Latitude offers the festival-goer much more than great bands and tepid lager. Off piste activities include comedy, cabaret, film, dance, theatre, poetry and art, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. The roster of comedians lined-up for the Comedy Tent was possibly the best I have seen at a festival, save Edinburgh. Dylan Moran, Mark Watson, Jason Byrne, Danny Bhoy and David O'Doherty were amongst the acts served up as laughing fodder.

Meanwhile, the Literature Tent played host to all kinds of bookish luminaries, Q&A's and lively debates and the Poetry tent held a steady stream of poetry bigwigs, including Saul Williams. And as the arenas wind down the festival's underbelly comes alive with all kinds of oddities, including The Electric Hotel installation, performance art and silent disco where onlookers are piped audio via headphones.

Scandinavian contemporary choir Scala & Kolacny Brothers soothed even the sorest of heads on Sunday morning, before Anna Calvi took to the stage, to a relatively sparse audience it has to be said, presumably something she'll see less off post that recent Mercury Prize nomination. Conversely, an immense mob packed into the Word Arena for OMD, though I cynically suspected that the monsoon happening outside may have contributed to this. Lykke Li followed suit and then it was time for Eels who finished in time for us to catch the end of Suede's headlining set.

Latitude is a bit of a gem, actually. A festival where people-pleasing feels higher up on the agenda than money-making is refreshing. MB

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Perhaps taking a lead from UK Music, the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry has appointed a celebrity to head up the organisation. Though while Fergal Sharkey is the full-time CEO of the cross-sector British music industry group, opera star Plácido Domingo will take the more hands-off role of Chairman at the record industry's global trade body, supporting existing CEO Frances Moore.

Nevertheless, says IFPI's press release, as Chair Domingo "will play a leading role promoting IFPI's priorities internationally, including improving copyright legislation, promoting the work of music rights owners, helping develop a thriving digital music sector and supporting the industry's public education efforts around digital music". Moore's predecessors in the CEO job also took the Chairman title at IFPI, though presumably it's hoped having someone as well known and respected as Domingo in that position instead will open more doors, especially in the all important political sphere.

Confirming his appointment, Domingo told reporters: "It is a great honour to be invited to become the chairman of IFPI. I have always passionately believed in the importance of respecting talent and in the rights of all those who perform, create, produce and invest in music. Today, the world of music and in fact most of the arts is undergoing enormous changes and challenges. Technology, which on one hand allows artists to reach many more than ever before, has led to a debate about how to find a way to protect the intellectual property rights of artists, creators and all those living and working in the world of music. I look forward to being a part of those discussions".

Meanwhile Moore added: "It is a privilege to welcome Plácido Domingo to IFPI. He is an artist of unrivalled talent and authority who speaks from the heart about the issues that matter to him. His forceful advocacy for the intellectual property rights of the music sector comes at a pivotal moment, as governments in many countries consider new legislation to curb piracy and help develop the legitimate digital music business".

Representatives for each of the major record companies and, speaking for the indies, Dramatico's Mike Batt, all issued statements welcoming the appointment, but I won't bore you with them all now. They basically all said "wa-woo-za, Plácido is the king, it's fabtastic he's going to lead us into battle". Or something similar.

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Everyone now seems certain that Ethiopia Habtemariam, who heads up urban music at Universal Music Publishing in the US, will take over as boss of the major's Motown record company. According to Billboard she is currently negotiating terms with Universal about switching from publishing to recordings.

As previously reported, Sylvia Rhone stood down as Motown boss in May after the Motown Republic division of the major was given to newish exec Barry Weiss as one half of his new super-division, which encompasses both the Motown Rupublic and Island Def Jam operations. Although initially set to be given a brand new division to run at Universal, it now looks likely Rhone will follow her former boss Doug Morris to Sony Music.

Habtemariam's role atop a streamlined Motown will be less expansive than the one Rhone fulfilled, and will be much more focused on A&R. Sources have told Billboard the new look Motown will have a modestly sized team of about twelve, tapping into back office and promotional resources within Island Def Jam when such things are required.

An announcement about the next stage in the development of Weiss's new Universal super-division is expected pretty soon.

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American digital marketing expert Bob Baker has written a column for Hypebot cautioning artists about rushing to build a profile on Google+, the web giant's latest and much hyped attempt to enter the social networking space. Unlike past efforts by Google to offer users profile and networking tools, Google+ has been generally well received, and already has 20 million people signed up.

So, does that mean that, in the same way every band made the leap from MySpace to Facebook, now they should looking to build a new presence on Google+? Well, Baker reckons artists should tread carefully before putting too much energy into launching themselves on the new social network. Firstly because, for the time being at least, Google+ is restricted to individual subscribers who must sign up using their real names. Baker says that anyone setting up band profiles, or registering under a stage name, may well find their account is deleted by Google, who are keen to keep their new social network restricted to individual real people.

Baker also reveals that Google does have plans to allow businesses and brands to have a Google+ presence down the line, with a different kind of profile option which could be launched within the year. As these profiles are surely going to be more appropriate for performers, it's possible musicians should hold off until said profiles are available, as there's a high chance turning an individual profile into a brand/band profile at a later date won't be easy. Remember how artists set up personal Facebook profiles for fans, before discovering groups, and before Facebook finally launched its proper artist profile function? Don't go through all the pain of setting up multiple profiles again.

You can read Baker's Hypebot post here, while he blogs at TheBuzzFactor.com

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Justin Bieber and his dad have both had the same tattoo inked onto their respective bodies. Isn't that nice? And they went with the Hebrew spelling of 'Jesus', too. Ah, Jesus will be thrilled. This is pretty much what he's been waiting for all these years, his name, engraved on the bodies of a teenage superstar and his doting father. Almost makes that whole crucifixion thing worthwhile.

For fans of rubbish tattoos, the whole thing was captured on camera, here.

Talking of the Bieber, Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis has told Q that watching the JB film 'Never Say Never' made him cry, and not out of pain. He told the mag: "I sat on an airplane recently, coming from Hawaii to Los Angeles, with Rick Rubin just across the aisle, watching the Justin Bieber movie, 'Never Say Never'. I cried twice during that film and I want the world to know that! They were doing this very cheesy giveaway of concert tickets to sixteen year old girls. The cheesiness didn't matter - it was the reaction of the kids. When you saw those little girls crying deliriously, I lost it".

To only slightly misquote Bieber's manager Scooter Braun: "Kiedis, man the fuck up, will you".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Aly Barchi
Editorial Assistant
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