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Top Stories
London riots hit key UK indie label distribution centre
Anger at use of Amy Winehouse's image on Swiss anti-drugs poster
In The Pop Courts
Big Boi arrested for drug possession
Reunions & Splits
Alexisonfire split
Release News
LL Cool J to feature on new Kasabian EP
Brett Anderson announces new album
Gigs & Tours News
PJ Harvey adds Albert Hall show to European tour
Death In Vegas tour dates
New Fair Ohs live dates, album stream
Okkervil River announce tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: Fool's Gold - Leave No Trace (IAMSOUND)
The Music Business
Sony appoints new chief for RCA Group USA
Imagem chooses Buma/Stemra and PRS for pan-European licensing
RIAA chief steps down
And finally...
Timberlake didn't need Nsync to succeed

Launched by Damon Albarn in 2006 to bring musicians from the UK and US together with others from Mali, Africa Express has been involved in various projects with an ever changing line-up since then. The group's Africa Express Sound System offshoot brings DJs and VJs into the mix, teaming them up with live musicians to offer a more dance music focussed experience. The Sound System will appear at the Standon Calling festival this weekend. We spoke to musical director and percussionist Remi Kabaka.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I was born into percussion. My father (also called Remi Kabaka) was a percussionist in Nigeria in the 60s and 70s and had a band with Tony Allen. I became involved with Africa Express because I loved the idea of being part of a platform for African Musicians to collaborate with peers from Europe.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Africa Express Sound System is performance based - we don't record. You have to be there to see it! As far as what inspired the soundsystem, if you haven't heard any township techno, Google it now! Producers like Spoek Mathambo and Mojave are doing some phenomenal things with old rhythms and new tech.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
We're doing that now - we get in touch with the best African artists, vocalists, producers, instrumentalists and invite them to collaborate with us. Then we put a load of brilliance in a rehearsal studio, interpret some traditional African rhythms through modern tech sounds, and then the magic happens.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
It's different every time but our set for Standon Calling is influenced by all of the fourteen artists contributing. Of course, they all have their own influences so you can imagine the diversity of sound going on. They include Fatoumata Diawarra, Baloji, Diabel Cissokho, Tor Cesay, Terri Walker, M3nsa.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Where've you been?!

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

MORE>> www.africaexpress.co.uk
Not music related, but very much of the moment for any of you based in London, or other English cities affected by the recent riots. Much of today's Daily was written while watching live footage of the area where I live being smashed up. When I finally got back there last night, much worse things were happening in other parts of London and England. This is the only thing I've seen in the last eighteen hours that wasn't thoroughly depressing:


Europe's leading digital distributor are looking for two people to compliment their expanding UK office. We are looking for one Sales And Label Manager and a Senior Label Manager/Head Of Sales to manage a team of four. Applicants should have a strong knowledge of UK indie labels, digital retail stores and online promotional opportunities.

Please contact [email protected] for more details or call +44 20 7036 8720
Anorak London is looking for a talented Head of Digital to join its expanding team. The successful applicant will be an expert within the digital field, have at least four years experience working digital PR campaigns, have proven management experience and a solid understanding of digital marketing. This role will be suitable for someone with natural leadership skills who can exercise diplomacy at all times and give valued input. The successful applicant will become a part of the company's board of executives. Competitive salary offered. Please send CVs to: [email protected]
Anorak is looking for a talented PR person who is experienced in events and festivals. The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate experience in event PR strategy and media crisis management as well as a proven track record achieving strong PR coverage across all media. Applicants must have exceptional organisation skills and acute attention to detail. Please send CVs to: [email protected]

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

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

How to 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 7 Sep

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

Communities and businesses across the country are already counting the cost of three days of rioting and looting in London and, as of last night, some other English cities, and that includes the music industry, in particular many of the UK's independent labels, after a warehouse facility used by leading indie label distributor [PIAS] was burned to the ground yesterday.

As anyone who has glanced at any British news channel or website in the last 60 hours will know, there has been mayhem on the streets of London since Saturday as disenfranchised young people run riot, literally, smashing up shops and businesses, setting vehicles and buildings alight, and looting properties damaged in the rampage.

Violence first broke out in Tottenham on Saturday during an otherwise peaceful protest against the shooting, by police, of local man Mark Duggan last week. Copy cat violence then began elsewhere in the capital, rioters possibly spurred on by the excitement of seeing their otherwise pointless violent acts played out on rolling news channels, and with some seemingly linked up via social media, especially BlackBerry's messenger network.

Rioters and other possibly desperate opportunists then followed the violence to loot damaged shops and offices. Last night similar gangs of teenagers started to run riot, with differing levels of impact, in Birmingham, Liverpool, and Bristol.

Some North London branches of HMV were among those vandalised and looted over the weekend, and as violence moved to Brixton and Camden yesterday, there were reports - albeit as yet unconfirmed - that both the Brixton Academy and Electric Ballroom venues were attacked. But the biggest impact on the music business is likely to be the fire, caused by rioters, at an Enfield distribution centre operated by one of Sony Corp's businesses.

The impact of the centre and its stock being destroyed will be felt far beyond Sony's own operations, because the warehouse was used by [PIAS], one of the country's leading distributors of CDs for independent labels, including the Beggars Group, Ninja Tune, Warp, Domino and around 150 others. It is as yet unclear exactly how much [PIAS] stock was damaged, and indeed just how much stock was stored at the facility, though with informal reports that the centre was "burned to the ground" some already fear the worst.

The Sony DADC centre was also used by movie and gaming distributors, so the impact of the fire could hit various branches of the British entertainment business, hitting supply of product in the short term and, for smaller businesses, already operating in a tough economic climate, maybe even resulting in an uncertain future long term.

Both Sony and [PIAS] are yet to comment on the extent of the fire and the damage it caused - presumably they themselves are yet to work that out - but we should find out later this week how bad the impact really is.

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There was some anger yesterday after a branch of the Young SVP - the youth wing of the Swiss People's Party - used an image of Amy Winehouse on a poster carrying the slogan in French: "No to the decriminalisation of drugs".

The poster was distributed online yesterday and Grégory Logean, president of the Young SVP group in French-speaking Unterwallis, which published the poster, told Swiss newspaper Blick: "The death of Amy Winehouse put a sad reality before our eyes that other parties often forget - the harmful effects of drug consumption. It is not our methods which are shocking - it is reality. We are displaying a photo that the whole world already knows. Winehouse was known not only for her songs, but above all for her drug excesses".

According to another Swiss newspaper, The Local, the organisation will decide later this week whether or not to go ahead with plans to print physical copies of the poster.

In other Amy Winehouse news, Pete Doherty has commented on the singer's recent death. He told The People: "I'm struggling with fucking everything because I'm so bewildered about what happened to Amy. I was in bed when I heard the news of her death. Someone had to wake me up to tell me. I couldn't take it in and still can't. Coming to terms with what has happened is almost impossible. It's hard to think she's not with us any more".

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Outkaster Big Boi was arrested in Miami on Sunday for possession of ecstasy, MDMA and Viagra without a prescription, according to reports.

His lawyer Daniel Kane later issued a statement, saying: "While Big Boi was travelling with his group and friends, a small amount of contraband was found in the collective luggage. I am confident when the entire facts are aired Big Boi will be completely exonerated".

Big Boi himself tweeted after being released: "Fresh out, baby! Shit, they said it was the Love Boat". I'm sure that will help in court.

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Canadian hardcore band Alexisonfire have decided to split in what frontman George Pettit has described as a "not really amicable" decision.

The singer said that guitarist Dallas Green had informed his bandmates a year ago that he wanted to focus his efforts on his other band, City And Colour. He played his last gig with the band in December, while the rest of the outfit decided to continue. However, lead guitarist Wade MacNeil recently decided to join another band too.

In a statement posted on the band's website, Pettit said: "Replacing one guitar player/singer/writer was something we thought was possible, but replacing two would run the serious risk of perverting the legacy of what we had achieved. So we all took a good hard swallow and decided to end it so it would never get old and ugly".

He added: "Was the break up amicable? Not really. Was it necessary? Probably. Regardless, the members of this band are my family and I wish them nothing but good fortune".

The remaining members of the band plan to play a series of farewell shows in Canada, and are preparing some special edition releases to mark the band's tenth anniversary this year.

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Kasabian have roped in LL Cool J to put an alternative spin on their new single 'Days Are Forgotten'. Yes, that's right, LL Cool J.

The US rapper, who, in his thespian days, portrayed a parrot-owning Christian chef in shark flick 'Deep Blue Sea', reportedly heard the song, loved it, and contacted the band to propose a collaboration. The duet will be released, alongside the original studio version and an as-yet-unheard track titled 'Pistols At Dawn', through Sony/Columbia on 11 Sep.

Kasabian's fourth album 'Velociraptor', as written and produced by Serge Pizzorno of the band in LA, is due out the following week on 19 Sep.

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Brett Anderson has announced that he is releasing a new solo album next month. The Suede frontman will release 'Black Rainbows' on 26 Sep.

He described the record as "restless, noisy and dynamic - electric guitars, bass, drums and vocals - no flute players, no strings, no gimmicks, just passion".

The first single, 'Brittle Heart', will be released next week and Anderson will play two live shows in October:

11 Oct: Manchester, Club Academy
12 Oct: London, Koko

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Perhaps in celebration of the recent and well-deserved Mercury Prize nod given to her latest album 'Let England Shake', four-time Mercury nominee PJ Harvey has tacked a lone and rather historic date at London's Albert Hall onto her European tour.

Besides bill-topping appearances at Ireland's Electric Picnic and this year's Bestival, her UK touring itinerary runs thus:

4 Sep: Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall
8 Sep: Manchester, Apollo
30 Oct: London, Royal Albert Hall

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Following a show at Portsmouth's Wedgewood Rooms on 18 Aug, genre-bending dance duo Death In Vegas are to power through a nine-date tour in the name of their new LP 'Trans Love Energies', which is due for release on 26 Sep. Tour tickets go on sale this coming Friday.

Here are the dates:

3 Dec: Glasgow, King Tut's
5 Dec: Leeds, Cockpit
6 Dec: Sheffield, Leadmill
8 Dec: Birmingham, Academy 2
9 Dec: Manchester, Club Academy
11 Dec: Brighton, Concorde 2
13 Dec: Bristol, Thekla
14 Dec: Cambridge, The Junction
15 Dec: London, Electric Ballroom

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Tropical punk-rock troupe Fair Ohs are soon to tour, somewhat sporadically, in support of their self-released debut album 'Everything Is Dancing'. Which, by the by, is streaming right now on very German website 3VOOR12: 3voor12.vpro.nl/index.jsp

Here are the dates:

11 Aug: Kingston, Hippodrome
26 Aug: Bournemouth, Sixty Million Postcards
3 Sep: London, The Lexington

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Jagjaguwar's resident Texan rustics Okkervil River will be airing material from their acclaimed sixth album 'I Am Very Far' during a series of just-announced tour dates.

The band, who are set to headline the Garden Stage at this year's End Of The Road festival, will release their new single 'Your Past Life Is A Blast' on 5 Sep. The b-side to that, the beautifully earthy 'Gold Faces', is streaming here via Pitchfork: pitchfork.com/forkcast/16134-gold-faces/

And now, back to the tour dates:

18 Nov: Dublin, Button Factory
19 Nov: Glasgow, Oran Mor
20 Nov: Manchester, Sound Control
21 Nov: Bristol, Trinity
22 Nov: London, Koko

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BRANCHAGE FILM FESTIVAL, Various Venues, Jersey, 22-25 Sep: Taking place in Jersey's illustrious national Opera House, as well as in assorted parish halls, barns and venues across the island, this film fest will have plenty of music-based entertainment too, including movies soundtracked by the likes of Rob Da Bank, post-electronica outfit Teeth Of The Sea, virtuoso cellist Gerard Le Feuvre, and songwriter and harpist Serafina Steer. There will also be an archive-gleaning Pulp documentary on show, plus a short film about Teeside's last surviving record shop. www.branchagefestival.com

FOLKESTONE SKABOUR, Folkestone Harbour, 2-4 Sep: Presenting an array of reggae and ska-type stars in a seafaring location (the name says it all, really), the second edition of Folkestone Skabour will host acts including 2Tone legends The Selecter feat Pauline Black, The Beat, The Quarterhouse and The Skabilly Rebels, who will perform with Specials member Roddy Radiation. www.folkestoneskabourfestival.co.uk

RELENTLESSS FREEZE FESTIVAL, Battersea Power Station, 28-29 Oct: Groove Armada will bring their 'Red Light' show to this snow sports-orientated bash, with Zane Lowe and Beardyman also joining The Streets, The Joy Formidable, Everything Everything and Summer Camp on Freeze's overall bill. www.relentlessfreeze.com

WOOLFSTOCK, Watership Down, Newbury, 3 Sep: Billed as a "small festival with a big sound", this 24 hour rock-athon will host headliners British Sea Power, folk outfit 6 Day Riot, Scottish band The Draymin, The Kleptones and Paris Riots. www.woolfstockfestivals.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Fool's Gold - Leave No Trace (IAMSOUND)
Every once in a while (read: almost every year, without fail), a new to new-ish band comes along with an album, usually around about summer, that never ceases to sound almost identical to the album released by the last hype-band before them. Fool's Gold. "Like Vampire Weekend, only less irritating", I was told. Now, don't get me wrong, I actually like Vampire Weekend, which was why I grabbed this with equally grabby hands in the first place. If only I knew that "less irritating" meant "less fun".

'Leave No Trace' is Fool's Gold's sophomore release. It starts off pleasantly enough - 'The Dive' is a fun pop song with a Surfer Blood-esque kind of feel, jumping and infused with bright, sunshiney energy. Luke Top's voice is reminiscent of Timber Timbre's Taylor Kirk: soulful and drawn-out, Bowie-quivering, a voice that feels the lyrics as well as voices them.

But 'Wild Window' and 'Street Clothes' sound very much the same, and I'm wondering to myself, 'didn't MGMT do this sort of thing... four years ago?' Soft but angular guitars, synths, and images conjured of chilled out beach parties laden with neon bathing suits and face paint. I'm tired. I'm tired of this sound, and I've already lost interest three songs in.

Not a lot changes. Nothing excites - it hums along, one soulless funky pop tune after the other, always well produced and perfectly nice to listen to, but perhaps not ten times in a row. TW

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As new boss Doug Morris makes his impact on Sony Music, the major announced yesterday that Peter Edge would head up one of the company's main US divisions, the RCA Music Group, which encompasses the RCA, Jive, J and Arista labels. Edge has been the division's President Of A&R since 2007, having previously worked at both EMI and Warner. He will be supported in his new role by Tom Corson, who was appointed COO of the same division yesterday.

Confirming the appointments, Morris told reporters: "Sony Music is well positioned for success with a deep line up of many of the most accomplished creative and operational executives in the industry. The enhanced roles for Peter and Tom, who have long played integral roles in the achievements of the RCA labels, underscore that strength. They are the ideal pair to lead the Group's continued development and success moving forward".

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Independent publisher IMAGEM has announced it has appointed Dutch collecting society BUMA/STEMRA and UK society PRS For Music to administer pan-European online licences for its catalogues of songs. The confirmation follows a previous announcement by IMAGEM that it would be taking the management of the online rights in its music away from other European societies.

Of course, both licensees and the European Commission have been lobbying and encouraging music publishers in particular for some time now to make their catalogues available to pan-European digital services through single licences administered by any one European collecting society. And some rights owners and societies have started doing just that. By doing deals with two rights organisations IMAGEM will also be give licensees some choice as to how they access their songs.

Confirming the new arrangements, IMAGEM chief Andre de Raaff told reporters: "In choosing Buma-Stemra we will see our important relationship with them move forwards into the future. With PRS For Music, we have identified a partner who is making a success of online licensing in how they work with licensees, rights holders and other societies".

The new arrangements will come into effect on 1 Jan 2012.

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As expected, the boss of the Recording Industry Association Of America, Mitch Bainwol, has announced he will leave the organisation next month to join a trade body for the US automobile sector. As also expected, he will be replaced in the CEO role by the group's current President Cary Sherman.

Sherman told reporters: "I'm honoured to take on this role at such a pivotal moment for music. The industry is now reaching a new stage, with exciting initiatives, compelling legal music offerings, and real signs of progress on a host of fronts. The RIAA plays an important role in helping shape public policy in connection with America's music".

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Justin Timberlake reckons he would have been a star anyway without ever having been involved with any of that Nsync nonsense. Yeah, but would he have made it without ever being Britney Spears' boyfriend? On that matter, just silence.

Discussing the impact of his boyband days on his subsequent solo career, Timberlake told Elle: "I don't want this to come out the wrong way. It was an amazing platform but even without it, I believe I would have been heard as a solo artist".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Aly Barchi
Editorial Assistant
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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