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CMU Info
Top Stories
[PIAS] boss comments on fire
Professor Green defends rap from riot accusations
Reunions & Splits
Gallows discuss new frontman
Artist Deals
Cooking Vinyl signs Roll Deep
Imagem signs Indiggo Twins
In The Studio
George Michael working on gay album
Gary Barlow, Tinie Tempah and N-Dubz recording Children In Need single?
Muse to start recording new album next month
Release News
Skrillex hints at mysterious new project
Gigs & Tours News
M83 books London date
SBTRKT to tour
Festival News
The Prodigy deny safety accusations
Festival line-up update
The Digital Business
Spotify responds to Century Media pulling content
And finally...
Jedward would like U2 hook up

Psychotropic afro-punk ensemble The Intergalactic Republic Of Kongo, oft-abbreviated to I.R.O.K., first came about when one-time Dead Kids frontman Mike Title was inspired by the sights and sounds he witnessed at an African football match.

Having formed, they then divided recording sessions for their debut album 'Yé Yé God Revolution' between London and Morocco, releasing it earlier this year. For the uninitiated, you can check out how all this sounds when they play the Standon Calling festival this weekend. In anticipation of that, Mike Title gave us his highly original take on our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started making music like anyone else. Music is not the blessing bestowed on people in ridiculous clothes. It's in your blood, guts, bones, throat, dreams and soul. Dickheads have sabotaged and put barriers between man and music. Anyone is music.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Morocco inspired it; mountains, the ocean, African football terraces, smoke, fire, drums, fucking and generally being ALIVE.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
What drives me to write a track is the same thing that drives you to keep breathing, or a shark to follow the scent of blood. Songs write themselves.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Funkadelic, Sun Ra, Crass, Rick James and Prince.

Q5 What would you say to someone listening to your music for the first time?
I would say relax, enjoy the ride, commune with us. The Intergalactic Republic of Kongo wish to lower their force fields and engage with your mind.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I have no ambitions but to destroy everything I love before I die. To destroy everything. I want to sodomise you with my ideas. Maybe something good will come out of it.

MORE>> theintergalacticrepublicofkongo.tumblr.com
French producer Mondkopf continues to take techno into dark places with the follow-up to his 2009 debut, 'Galaxy Of Nowhere'. Entitled 'Rising Doom', he apparently took inspiration from post-punk and black metal, resulting in harder drum patterns, deep basslines, and synths that may incite paranoia. It's cathartic, life-affirming stuff, as you can hear on free download 'Song Of Shadows' and in the video for 'Day Of Anger' here.

'Rising Doom' is due for release on 3 Oct through In Paradisum and will hopefully bring him over to the UK for a full tour. Currently he has just one UK show booked in, in Brighton in November, but we want more. Why? Well, if you have 45 minutes spare, you should check out the video of the preview performance of is new show recorded in Paris in April. It looks pretty amazing.

Europe's leading digital distributor are looking for an intern to assist with a rang of duties in our expanding UK office, including expenses and hotel bookings for our artists. You should be able to demonstrate a passion for music, and a good knowledge of the indie label scene, as well as having some general experience in an office environment. Please contact [email protected] for more details or call +44 20 7036 8720
Europe's leading digital distributor are looking for two people to complement their expanding UK office. We are looking for one Sales And Label Manager and a Senior Label Manager 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.

Full details can be found here www.blogbelieve.com/new-staff-position-august-2011/

"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

The boss of [PIAS] has issued a personal statement regarding the fire at the north London distribution centre, caused by rioters in the capital earlier this week, that destroyed thousands of CDs being distributed by the music company for its independent label clients.

As previously reported, the warehouse owned by Sony DADC was a key storage facility for the independent label distributor. Numerous UK indies lost CDs and vinyl product in the fire, and some smaller labels - without the cash flow to order quick replacement stock, and possibly without the watertight insurance to pay for lost product - fear the fire could put their businesses in a very difficult position. The Association Of Independent Music has encouraged music fans to buy digital and remaining physical releases from effected labels, helping ensure those labels get some quick revenue, while [PIAS] are moving fast to get their distribution network back into operation.

In a statement issued yesterday, [PIAS] Co-founder and CEO Kenny Gates first clarified some reports that it was [PIAS]'s own London base that had been attacked, saying: "The news broke through Twitter that the '[PIAS] warehouse had burnt out'. It is extremely important for everyone to understand that [PIAS] has no warehouse as such in the UK and that [PIAS] sub-contracts its physical distribution with Sony DADC in Enfield and it is their warehouse which unfortunately went down in flames. Many people called me to ask whether any of our staff had suffered from the blaze and if we were OK. We are. Thank you".

Referencing an earlier statement on the fire issued by his company, Gates continued: "As you have noticed in our last note, Sony DADC have been remarkably quick and efficient to put together a contingency plan that should allow us to ship to stores some time next week. We are impressed by their efficiency and that is good news".

He concluded: "These times are difficult for us, our artists, our labels and the whole indie sector which we vastly represent but we are determined to come out of this setback in the best way possible. The [PIAS] team has been working around the clock to limit the damage. We know that the livelihood of many talented, passionate and hard working music people, artists and small and bigger labels is at stake and depend on our actions and those of Sony DADC. We have been getting a lot of words of support and offers of help and that truly helps. Thank you to everybody who cares and supports [PIAS] and the indie sector".

In related news, one of the artists affected by the fire, Charlie Simpson, has told fans he plans to re-press his self-released solo album 'Young Pilgrim', which is due for release next week. He wrote on his website yesterday: "Firstly I want to re-iterate my sadness at the events that destroyed the [PIAS] warehouse in Enfield on Monday night. It's a totally devastating situation for the independent music sector and my heart goes out to every artist and label affected by it. I'm so proud of my status as an independent artist and [PIAS] and are amazing institution and the figurehead for people who feel the same way as me - I wish them all the best and a speedy recovery".

He continued: "On a personal note, after a day of despair and total uncertainty, yesterday my team have pulled together AMAZINGLY and we've decided to re-press my lost CDs and forge ahead with my original album release date of 15 Aug. You can pre-order it and despite all the statements you may have seen that said we'd be putting the release on hold, it will still be with you on Monday 15th. Thank you so much for your messages of support - I really needed them yesterday! Let's all pull together to keep the independent music industry flourishing".

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The rioting and looting that has spread around the UK over the last week has touched the music world in different ways. Obviously, many labels became victims after the fire at the Sony DADC/[PIAS] distribution centre on Monday. But yesterday came the inevitable accusation that music was to blame for everything anyway - rap specifically, of course.

The Mirror's political correspondent Paul Routledge wrote in his column yesterday: "I blame the pernicious culture of hatred around rap music, which glorifies violence and loathing of authority (especially the police but including parents), exalts trashy materialism and raves about drugs. The important things in life are the latest smart phone, fashionable trainers and jeans and idiot computer games. No wonder stores selling them were priority looting targets. Stir into this lethal mixture, the fostering of irrational anger against the world and disrespect for others, and the end result is self-absorbed young people living at boiling point".

Quick to respond from the urban music camp was rapper Professor Green, who took to Twitter to say: "You had to be at East Dance at Glasto to see the damage urban music does: people of all colours and classes enjoying themselves. Terrible. Paul Routledge is an absolute moron. An absolute fucking moron. Yeah, ban rap music, silence our voices even more. Ignorant prick. Surely this isn't about shifting the blame, but accepting responsibility? Neither my music nor that of my peers is to blame for society and its faults. We didn't create the tiers".

Excellent. I think rap has won that one. From now on, I think everyone who blames music for anything should be forced to do so in the form of song. And within the genre they are railing against.

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Gallows have discussed their decision to hire former Alexisonfire guitarist Wade MacNeil as their new frontman. The Canadian musician replaces Frank Carter, who announced his departure from the band earlier this year.

Guitarist Laurent 'Lags' Barnard told Kerrang!: "We had a few people in mind, but we didn't want to get somebody who was really similar to Frank. That was one of things we were wary of. At the end of the day, Frank was a great part of what we are and we didn't want a copyist who couldn't do the role justice. We played with Wade last year and he was amazing. We've always got on well with him and he's fucking nuts and probably one of the most punk guys I know. If anyone has any doubts about Wade, we're just going to let the music do the talking".

The band's first show with MacNeil will be at XOYO in London on 13 Dec.

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Post-grime posse Roll Deep have penned a deal with Cooking Vinyl for an as-yet untitled new album, slated for release next year. Having welcomed vocalist Tania Foster into the fold, the one-time Virgin/ Relentless signings are working with Agent X (Tinie Tempah, Skepta) amongst other producers on what will comprise their fifth studio album to date.

Cooking Vinyl's Product Manager Steve Crane had naught but good things to say of his newest roster residents. "Judging on the music that's been delivered it sounds like Roll Deep are building their own hit factory", he enthused. "It's great to be working on a project where all the music is so strong and they're really taking their own sound to yet another level. At this rate it will be a difficult task picking out the lead singles!"

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Music publisher Imagem has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Indiggo Twins, aka twin sisters Mihaela and Gabriela Modorcea.

The duo can be heard on Jay-Z and Kanye West's 'Watch The Throne' album, and are currently working on their own debut record under the guidance of DAS Communications' David Sonenberg, who has hooked them up with producers including Peter Zizzo, Rockwilder, Paul Oakenfold and Swizz Beats. In addition to this, they are also developing a TV and musical. Busy busy.

Confirming the deal, Imagem Music USA President Richard Stumpf told CMU: "Mihaela and Gabriella are two of the most hardworking, passionate artists I have ever met. It doesn't surprise me that their talent and drive were recognised by Swizz, Jay-Z, and Kanye when they opted to use them on the 'Watch The Throne' album. The girls are a triple threat as writers, artists and actresses. We are all excited for their upcoming musical and TV show".

The twins themselves said, presumably in perfect unison: "We really feel that destiny has 'twinned' us with Rich Stumpf and Imagem Music. Rich is our third twin - not only because we share the same birthday, but because he has already performed wonders since we met and signed. With Rich we reached Kanye and Jay-Z's 'Throne'. Rich Stumpf/Imagem Music and David Sonenberg/DAS are a great team - street fighters, big-hearted, who show great enthusiasm for what we do as artists".

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George Michael is working on a new album which will feature only "gay or gay friendly artists". That in itself is not really newsworthy I don't think, I wasn't expecting Michael to be working with Beanie Man any time soon. Although Elton John did do that thing with Eminem, didn't he? Maybe this is news. No, it's not. The news is that George is putting together a collective of artists and will be using his influence to push forward some relatively unknown musicians. Well, maybe.

Speaking to the NME, he said: "For this album I'm going to be working with either gay or gay friendly artists, and it'll be a mixture of tracks sung by me and others by young gay artists - possibly unknown ones. And I've lined up some really great dance producers to work on it too, so it'll be a pretty stunning record. I'll be 48 when the album comes out, but I have to say that gay men's relationship with dance music probably doesn't end at the same time as straight people's does!"

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According to The Sun, Gary Barlow is working with Tinie Tempah and N-Dubz on a single for this year's Children In Need fundraiser.

An unnamed source told the tabloid: "Children In Need asked Gary to put a single together. He immediately said he wanted to get the cream of British urban acts together to write a number one record. He has been impressed by the current crop of talent in the charts and has befriended some of the big names. He is really fond of Tinie and they have been trying to find the right project to work on together for a while. He has also produced tracks for N-Dubz in the past and knows them well. These guys are flying the flag for British music right now and they are the best choice for the track".

Apparently Barlow is also trying to convince Plan B, Professor Green, Example, Tinchy Stryder, Wretch 32, Devlin, Ironik, and Chipmunk to get involved. We'll find out who cares about The Kids later this year ahead of the big Children In Need TV show on 18 Nov.

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Muse will begin recording the follow-up to their 2009 album 'The Resistance' next month.

Speaking to Zane Lowe on Radio 1 earlier this week, bassist Chris Wolstenholme said: "September and October, that's when we're going to get into the studio to start writing the new album".

He continued: "I think by the time you've finished touring an album, which is usually a two year cycle, it's something you start thinking about a lot. It's difficult to bring new songs into the live set before you record them with the internet and dodgy recordings of live songs getting out there before they've been released on an album".

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Knob-twiddling house producer Skrillex has posted up a couple of cryptic trailers hinting at a brand new musical venture. Both clips feature a wiry boy-child, styled as a young Skrillex, doing various perturbing things. Or, just staring.

The project has been dubbed 'Owsla', which, in addition to being the name of Skrillex's recent tour with German producer Zedd and electro aficionado Porter Robinson, could also be a reference to the troupe of militant rabbits featured in Skrillex's favourite novel 'Watership Down'. Who the heck knows?

Watch both trailers below.


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Grandiose pop fusionist Anthony Gonzalez of M83 has confirmed a show at London's Heaven on 1 Dec. Taking place at the tail-end of a lengthy US and European tour, this is M83's sole UK date announced so far. Tickets will be on sale as of Friday.

As previously reported, the latest M83 album, 'Hurry Up, We're Dreaming', will be released on 17 Oct through Naive.

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Masked producer SBTRKT, aka Aaron Jerome, is to set off on tour in support of his eponymous debut album. Four headlining dates will precede a raft of slots supporting Friendly Fires throughout November.

Tour dates:

4 Oct: London, XOYO
5 Oct: Brighton, Audio
6 Oct: Bristol, Thekla
7 Oct: Leeds, HiFi Club

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The Prodigy have issued a statement through their manager John Fairs "categorically" denying accusations that they acted in an "unsafe" and "unprofessional" manner when they performed at the Woodstock Festival in Poland last Saturday. The band says that the festival's promoter, referred to as Mr Owiask, who seemingly made the accusations in he first place, actually acted unsafely himself.

In the statement, the band said: "It was brought to our attention by our production manager Karel Hamm on Friday night that Mr Owsiak had no intention of providing a safety barrier in front of the stage, despite signing a legally binding contract agreeing to installing barriers on 4 Apr 2011. This is the biggest open air European festival with a 500,000 capacity, and the provision of safety barriers is acknowledged as an essential practice at all festivals in Europe and indeed the world".

They continued: "Without [a barrier] Mr Owsiak - and his event - would have been putting the crowd at huge risk, especially given the subsequent promoters report of 670,000 people in attendance. In reality, an event of this size should and must have several barrier lines. Woodstock is clearly in breach of the number one goal of The European Festival Association - YOUROPE - of which they are a member".

A last minute barrier was put in place at the insistence of the band and their management, but this still did not meet safety regulations. According to the statement, Owsiak then "insinuated in the media" that the barrier had been put there because the Prodigy wanted fans kept away from them, and that they subsequently "fled the site" quickly under police escort because they thought "their barrier" had caused injuries, and didn't want to stick around to find out for certain.

But, of course, the barrier was there to keep fans safe, not away from the band. And on the quick exit, the band's statement continued: "There are always traffic queues in and out of festival sites - it was quoted that 124,000 vehicles attended the event. All headline artists use police escorts to get through traffic when severe delays are possible. It is necessary and not arrogant. Furthermore, it is advisable for the band to leave immediately after their performance to avoid the congestion leaving the site".

Owsiak has not yet responded to the band's statement.

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BEAUTIFUL DAYS, Escot Park, Devon, 19-21 Aug: Beautiful Days favourites Hawkwind are the latest addition to this year's line-up, which also boasts the likes of I Am Kloot, Big Audio Dynamite, Tim Minchin, Alabama 3, Flogging Molly and The Low Anthem. www.beautifuldays.org

ELECTRIC PICNIC, Stradbally Hall Estate, Co Laois, Ireland, 2-4 Sep: Oh Land, The Vaccines, And So I Watch You From Afar and Esben & The Witch head up the raft of recent introductions to the Electric Picnic bill, which, besides co-headliners Arcade Fire, Pulp and The Chemical Brothers, will also play host to such fellow musical luminaries as Interpol, P J Harvey, Beirut, DJ Shadow, White Lies, and Santigold. www.electricpicnic.ie

SYMPHONY IN THE PARK, Chiswick House & Gardens, London, 20-21 Aug: Held in celebration the 80th anniversary of Abbey Road Studios, the first day of this cultural bash will see the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra putting a classical spin on pop and rock hits by Abbey Road recording artists including The Beatles, Elbow, Kate Bush, Radiohead and Queen. Second day festivities will feature the RPO's take on classic film soundtracks from the 'Star Wars' series, 'The English Patient', and '2001: A Space Odyssey'. Sounds epic. www.symphonyatthepark.com

WILDERNESS, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, 12-14 Aug: As part of a charity partnership with War Child, this year's Wilderness festival will present Guillemots in a "secret pop-up busking performance", which sounds intriguing. Also featuring highly on what amounts to a rather good overall bill are Antony & The Johnsons, Mercury Rev, Laura Marling, Daniel Johnston, Gogol Bordello, The Low Anthem, Dry The River, Toots & The Maytals, Robyn Hitchcock, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Hayseed Dixie. www.wildernessfestival.com

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Spotify has responded to the news that metal label Century Media is pulling its music off the streaming music platform. As previously reported, Century Media said in a statement earlier this week that it didn't think Spotify's current business model was the "way forward", and that the relatively meagre royalties paid were not worth it compared to the negative impact the label reckons having its music on the streaming platform has on more lucrative record sales. Having your content on Spotify, the label concluded, "accelerates the downward spiral".

Responding, Spotify said yesterday: "We are sorry that Century Media has opted not to offer its music to their fans through Spotify. Spotify was launched out of a desire to develop a better, more convenient and legal alternative to music piracy. And Spotify now monetises an audience the large majority of whom were downloading illegally (and therefore not making any money for the industry) before Spotify was available".

On the revenues it is now paying into the music business, the statement continued: "Spotify is now generating serious revenues for rights holders; since our launch just three years ago, we have paid over $100 million to labels and publishers, who, in turn, pass this on to the artists, composers and authors they represent. Indeed, a top Swedish music executive was recently quoted as saying that Spotify is currently the biggest single revenue source for the music industry in Scandinavia. We are very proud of the positive contribution that Spotify makes towards growth in the music industry".

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Jedward want to collaborate with U2. Imagine that, one of Ireland's most pioneering, innovative and successful music groups and U2, together at last.

Says Jedward 1: "U2 totally stands for me and John".

Says Jedward 2: "U2 are totally awesome. We want to do a duet with you, OK? It would be totally cool. It would be Jedward featuring U2".

Who's for betting they're really just after free tax advice.

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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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