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CMU Info
Top Stories
AIM and [PIAS] launch label fund as warehouse fire arrests made
Items taken from Amy Winehouse's home
In The Pop Courts
Ghostface Killah sues and is sued
In The Pop Hospital
R Kelly speaks after throat surgery
Reunions & Splits
A-ha to reunite for Norway memorial
Release News
Ryan Adams pens album deal with Sony/Columbia
Sondre Lerche to release sixth album
Gigs & Tours News
CSS to tour in support of third LP
Chairlift announce one-off London show
Explosions In The Sky to tour
Zebrahead tour
Brands & Stuff
HTC invests $300 million in Beats By Dre
The Music Business
Woodstock Festival responds to Prodigy statement
The Digital Business
EMI licenses videos to discount-giving social network site
And finally...
Steve Albini and Tyler, The Creator begin war of words

Having first met as cohorts of Sunderland's tight-knit music scene, The Futureheads' drummer Dave Hyde and ex-Golden Virgins sticksman Neil Bassett came together as Hyde & Beast over a shared love of vintage soul and psych-rock sounds. The duo self-produced and mixed their debut album 'Slow Down' at Neil's Sunderland-based studio, averaging a prolific a-track-a-day pace.

Hyde & Beast will launch 'Slow Down', set for release on 15 Aug through Tail Feather Records, at London's The Social on 17 Aug. Looking forward both to this and a slot at Split Festival, as curated by his Futureheads affiliate Ross Millard, Dave was brave enough to run the interrogative gauntlet that is our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
We have known each other for years and have both spent time drumming in two Sunderland bands (The Futureheads and The Golden Virgins). I've kinda evolved and moved onto playing guitar. Beast hasn't evolved yet and is still stuck behind the kit, although he has now developed opposable thumbs.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
We simply wanted to make an album that we would want to buy and listen to. Very selfish, but we succeeded in that we are both very happy with the outcome. We never meant to make an album for public release, just some songs for our own fun. Anything can inspire you to write though. Neil's studio in Sunderland kinda inspired us in a way, it's very dark and there aren't any windows! All the walls and carpets are burgundy - like being in a womb! It's easy to lose track of time in there, and the studio seems to have a bit of hocus-pocus and wizardry about it. I don't think either of us would be surprised if we discovered that it turned out be built on the site of an ancient burial ground or something!

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It's all a bit of a blur really. We spent a day on each track starting with just a tiny seedling of an idea, and we would just water it and see where it took us. We shared song and lyric writing duties, although it felt like the songs wrote themselves. To be honest, it wasn't really like songwriting at all. More like a cross between growing a plant and practicing voodoo.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Mainly stuff from before 1976. The Velvet Underground, The Band, T-Rex, Beach Boys. More modern stuff would include the likes of White Denim, Dengue Fever, Tinariwen and Colourmusic.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream. It really is an album meant for headphones, there are all kind of strange instruments and noises hidden on there for you to discover. We were looking at the original session files recently and there's a track labelled "vibro cymbal"; we don't really remember what this was and it sounded nothing like a cymbal.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We're looking forward to playing more live shows. For live gigs we expand outwards into a six person band and it's a fun carnival-type experience. I guess we just hope people have as much fun listening to the record as we had making it. We also want to start recording again soon as we have a hell of a lot of new little seedlings to plant. We don't want to write the songs too far in advance before we go into the studio again as we find it's better to just record them as they are being played for the first time.

MORE>> www.hydeandbeast.co.uk
Amid all the tensions and issues London has witnessed over the last week, do you fancy an old school rave up? Well the UD crew have got it going on in Vauxhall at Hidden across three rooms this weekend.

The first features old skool hardcore and jungle classics with some massive back in the day names: Slipmatt, the mighty mighty Grooverider, Ellis Dee, Kenny Ken, Nicky Blackmarket, and DJ Vibes with MCs Fearless, Moose, Five Alive and Charlie B.

Over in room two, it's old skool garage and funky house, with Mikee B from the Dreem Teem, Jason Kaye and Mike 'Ruffcut' Lloyd, amongst others. While room three sees some current movers and groovers in dnb, with Mampi Swift and MC IC3, DJ Ruffstuff and Funsta MC, DJ Inter and MK Foxy, and more.

Plenty of names there to keep things going til 7am, and there'll be hot and cold refreshments on the smoking terrace, too. What more do you need?

Saturday 13 Aug, Hidden Nightclub, 100 Tinworth St, Vauxhall, London, SE11 5EQ, 10pm - 7am, £13, more info from www.slamminvinyl.com

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 Association Of Independent Music and [PIAS] have launched a fund to help support labels affected by the Sony DADC warehouse fire earlier this week.

As previously reported, the warehouse was a key storage facility for the [PIAS] distribution company. Over 150 UK indies lost CDs and vinyl product in the fire, caused during the London riots. 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.

Together, [PIAS] and AIM yesterdayday revealed that they have been working to negotiate preferential rates with suppliers and digital retailers for labels affected by the fire while they recover, as well as negotiating reduced fees in other areas. The distributor and trade organisation have also set up a fund, which companies and organisers of fundraising events can pay into.

In a statement yesterday, [PIAS] said: "The last 48 hours has seen a genuine outpouring of support for the principle of independent labels, artists and repertoire. [PIAS] and our labels have received offers of support from both some of the largest names in the business to individuals, all of which simply want to do all they can to support the continued vibrancy and creativity associated with independent music".

It continued: "In addition to the efforts to reduce actual costs through negotiation, and in response to the numerous offers of support, benefits, fundraising initiatives etc, [PIAS] have worked in conjunction with AIM to create a fund that companies and organisers of initiatives can contribute to. In this way, we have created a vehicle for enabling those involved to do so safe in the knowledge that such monies will be distributed fairly amongst the most needy labels with the sanction of both [PIAS] and AIM".

[PIAS] CEO Kenny Gates added: "The fund that is being put together in a matter of hours by [PIAS] and AIM demonstrates once again the strength and solidarity in the independent music community. [PIAS] will carry on engaging, helping and supporting its labels and artists in every way possible. I am very confident that our combined efforts will result in the smallest interruption to our collective business. Again the compassion of our recording artists, our labels and the industry wide support is amazing".

The total funds initially available are £250,000, which labels can apply to receive as a one year interest free loan.

In other Sony DADC news, three people have been arrested in relation to the fire which destroyed the building and its contents, all of whom are aged seventeen or eighteen. All are accused of violent disorder and arson.

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Items including unreleased music, lyrics and letters belonging to Amy Winehouse have apparently been taken, without her family's permission, by associates of the late singer from her former home since her death last month, according to The Sun.

An unnamed "member of Amy's circle" told the tabloid: "This is such a sickening shock to the family. That someone would stoop so low. They can't get their heads around it. Mitch is livid. The family, record label and management are months away from deciding what to do with any unreleased music. For that to be taken out of their hands is horrible".

It is reported that only around 20 people have had access to Winehouse's Camden home since her death.

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Wu Tang rapper Ghostface Killah is suing Universal Music Publishing over allegations the company has been holding on to more of the rap group's royalties than it is contractually due. Universal acquired the Wu Tang Clan publishing catalogue when it bought the BMG publishing company in 2007.

According to reports, in his lawsuit the rapper, real name Dennis Coles, claims that Universal has a 25% stake in the Wu Tang Clan catalogue, and not a 50% copyright interest as the company, according to the rap man, says. Which, according to my maths, would mean the Clan's performers are due 25% more Wu Tang royalties than they have been previously receiving.

It's a complicated claim because it, in part, relates to a previous royalties dispute between Coles and his Wu Tang Clan bandmate RZA, and the Wu Tang company that RZA controls. A side ruling in that dispute related to BMG's, and now Universal's, stake in the Wu Tang catalogue. Universal is yet to respond to the new legal claim.

Elsewhere in Ghostface Killah legal news, the rapper himself is being sued by Hollywood composer Jack Urbont. The Hollywood music maker objects to Coles' use of the 'Iron Man Theme' - which Urbont originally composed for 'The Marvel Super Heroes' back in the 1960s - on two tracks on the Wu Tang man's 2000 album 'Supreme Clientele'.

Coles' people this week filed an application to the court to have that case dismissed based on the statute of limitations, ie arguing Urbont has left it too long since the Ghostface Killah album landed to make a claim.

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R Kelly has posted a video message online updating fans on his condition since undergoing throat surgery last month.

As previously reported, the R&B star was rushed to the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago last month for emergency throat surgery after doctors found an abscess on one of his tonsils.

In the video, Kelly says: "I want to say thanks to all the prayer warriors out there for supporting me, praying for me. The doctor said the surgery went well. I know it may not look like it, but it did. I want ya'll to continue to pray for me, be strong out there. I will be back. I know it's a lot of negativity out there, please don't believe the hype. God is good all the time".

Watch it for yourself here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNtP5cylr8U

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A-ha played their final show of a farewell tour last December, but less than a year later that are reuniting. Though for a very good reason. The band have announced a one-off performance at a memorial concert for the victims of the bomb and shooting attacks in Norway last month, which left 77 people dead.

The band said in a statement: "On 22 Jul, we, like everyone else in Norway and the rest of the world, were shaken to the soul by these actions of cruelty and violent provocation against everything we stand for. We are also very proud to belong to a small country where people, politicians and the royal family worked together and showed solidarity in the face of such tragedy, and we are grateful to be asked to participate in the memorial ceremony. We do this to honour those who have been torn away, to show appreciation to everyone who made an effort to help on 22 Jul, and to express our sympathy to the survivors who now are left in sorrow".

The concert will take place at the Spektrum venue in Oslo on 21 Aug.

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Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams has signed to Sony/Columbia Records, and EMI/Capitol in the US, for a new album entitled 'Ashes & Fire'.

Due for a UK release on 10 Oct, his eighth solo LP will feature guest spots from Norah Jones and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench. Recording sessions took place at Hollywood's Sunset Sound Factory with seasoned rock producer Glyn Johns, whose son Ethan produced Adams' previous albums 'Heartbreaker', 'Gold' and '29'.

Having done the US deal with Adams, Capitol/Virgin President Dan McCarroll issued this rousing statement: "All great records start with great songs. 'Ashes & Fire' will remind you why Ryan Adams is at the front of the line as one of his generation's most gifted artists".

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Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche is to release his eponymous sixth album on 3 Oct through Mona Records, setting the tone for a headline show at London's Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on 6 Oct.

Recorded and mixed over three weeks, the album sees Sondre utilise his creative ties with fellow musicians residing in Brooklyn, where he has lived, on and off, for the last six years.

"Getting to work with my new friends was one of the highlights of this whole process". he says. "We recorded a lot of it to tape, forcing ourselves to either commit or burn bridges and move on. We were killing darlings left and right. It was truly liberating".

The "new friends" included the likes of Midlake drummer McKenzie Smith and Nicolas Verhnes of Spoon and Animal Collective.

Lead album track 'Private Caller' is available as a stream and free download, here: soundcloud.com/partisanpr/sondre-lerche-private-caller

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Brazilian electro-pop nuts CSS have booked a nice selection of UK tour dates off the back of their new album 'La Liberación'. Featuring collaborations with Bobby Gillespie and Ratatat, the LP is due for release on 22 Aug.

And now, those pesky dates:

21 Aug: Brighton, Digital
22 Aug: London Rough Trade East
23 Aug: London, XOYO
24 Aug: Birmingham, Academy 2
29 Aug: York, Fibbers
30 Aug: Manchester, Club Academy
31 Aug: Glasgow, Stereo

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Alt-pop duo Chairlift will preview songs from an as-yet untitled new album, due out in autumn, at a one-off show at Dalston hotspot The Shacklewell Arms on 7 Sep. It's sure to be good, especially if they play CMU Approved new track 'Amanaemonesia'.


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Following an appearance at this year's sold-out Green Man Festival, post-rock instrumentalists Explosions In The Sky are to peddle the symphonic sounds of their acclaimed latest LP 'Take Care, Take Care, Take Care' across a series of just-announced UK tour dates.

These are as follows:

20 Nov: Bristol, Academy
22 Jan: Belfast, Mandela Hall
23 Jan: Glasgow, Academy
24 Jan: Leeds, Academy
25 Jan: Gateshead The Sage
27 Jan: London, Brixton Academy

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Despite having just played a slot at this year's Hevy festival, California-based punk-rock outfit Zebrahead are planning another flying UK visit. This time, it's more of a promotional junket in honour of their new album 'Get Nice', which is due for release on 29 Aug.

Says jovial frontman Ali Tabatabaee of 'Get Nice': "We wrote and recorded the entire album in our own studio and that is a first for us. We made a conscious effort to push ourselves into new directions with these songs. I think it's a more diverse album and it has something for everyone. We think this album will definitely win a Nobel Peace Prize, get you a raise, and get your girlfriend pregnant all at the same time. It's that good!" Gosh, talk about a triple threat.

Tour dates:

10 Nov: Southampton, Talking Heads
30 Nov: Folkestone, Quarterhouse
1 Dec: Norwich, Waterfront
2 Dec: Nottingham
3 Dec: Leeds, Cockpit
4 Dec: Glasgow, Arches
5 Dec: Manchester, Club Academy
6 Dec: Birmingham, Academy 2
7 Dec: London, Islington Academy
8 Dec: Sheffield, Corporation
9 Dec: Newcastle, Academy

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Mobile phone manufacturer HTC has reportedly invested $300 million in Dr Dre's headphones brand, Beats By Dre. The two companies will launch a line of mobile devices with integrated Beats technology later this year. Which is nice. Though I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone say anything positive about Dre's headphones.

In a statement, Interscope/Geffen chairman and Beats By Dre co-founder Jimmy Iovine said: "The marriage of these two companies is very, very good. We are very good for each other. With HTC's innovation, technology and leadership, we feel we can really compete with anybody in this area".

You can watch some people holding phones and wearing headphones in different situations here, if you want: www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5uqvcrmJCQ

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The organiser of the Woodstock Festival in Poland, Jurek Owsiak, has responded to a statement released earlier this weekend by The Prodigy. The band's statement was a response to Owsiak's claims that the band had acted in an "unsafe" and "unprofessional" manner when they appeared at the festival last weekend.

As previously reported, the band said that they had arrived at the festival to find that there was no safety barrier in front of the stage. They said that not only did this contravene their contract, but it broke YOUROPE rules. A last minute barrier was put in place at the insistence of the band and their management, but, they said, this still did not meet safety regulations. According to their 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.

In response, Owsiak has said: "For many years, [my] festival has been considered a model when it comes to providing safety for such a big mass event. The floor of the stage is located 3.5 meters above ground. The elements which make it difficult to move or which create the risk of somebody being squashed or trampled have been reduced to a minimum. The audience is lit all the time, which makes it possible to monitor the situation constantly and react to any safety threat immediately".

He continued: "Also the model of cooperation between all kinds of services working to provide safety at the event is assessed to be impeccable. Those services include suitably trained volunteers, a security agency, medical services, Government Security Bureau, border guard, firefighters, various police units (intelligence police units, police psychologists and negotiators, riot police, traffic police, an antiterrorist brigade and a pyrotechnic unit) and a police helicopter. What the organiser thinks has happened is there has been a misunderstanding between the organiser and [the band's team]".

He added: "No extraordinary situations took place during Woodstock Festival Poland. Admittedly, some people fainted and there were some minor injuries but this could happen in any other situation too ... Nobody was really injured. Nobody died. The attendees of Woodstock Festival Poland are safe, and they went home happy. Only a nasty aftertaste is left in them, of a pretentious attitude of an artist".

I think it's safe to say, The Prodigy won't be playing Woodstock again. And Christmas cards are probably out of the question, too.

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US-based website Lockerz, which offers various content and social networking facilities, and rewards users with points that score discounts in the service's own online store, has added a music video channel to its platform via a deal with EMI. A load of pop promos from EMI-signed artists will now appear on the site, with Lockerz users earning points when they watch them.

Confirming the deal, EMI VP Of New Channel Development in the US, Michael Abbattista, told CMU: "At EMI, we're always looking for new means to bring music and consumers together. Partnering with Lockerz gives us an opportunity to reach music fans with great video content in a new and innovative way".

Lockerz CEO Kathy Savitt added: "EMI represents many of the world's greatest artists. These are the videos that Lockerz members are seeking out on the Web, and Lockerz is the only place that rewards them for watching".

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People don't like Tyler, The Creator. He seems to rub many up the wrong way. Earlier this year Sara Quin of Tegan & Sara wrote an open letter to media outlets that were supporting his 'Goblin' album, questioning why no one was criticising his misanthropic lyrics.

Now punk and production legend Steve Albini has taken issue with Tyler, along with the entire Odd Future Collective. Having spent some time in their company, this week he said: "I am quite happy none of them engaged me directly, because at least one of us would have regretted it".

Writing on the website for his Electrical Audio studio, he said: "I spent about 40 minutes with these little pricks at the end of May and I haven't wanted to strangle anybody that much in a real long time. My band shared a shuttle with them in Barcelona. They piled onto the shuttle late, 'niggering' everything in sight, 'motherfucking' the driver, boasting into the air unbidden about getting their dicks sucked and calling everyone in the area a faggot. A female passenger tried to engage one of them in conversation, but he just stared at her with a dead-to-me stare while his seatmate flipped double birds in her face".

He continued: "The whole trip they complained about not being at a McDonalds and repeatedly shouted for the 'motherfucker' to pull over so they could 'get some fucking McDonalds nigger'. Interspersed with the McDonalds requests were shouted boasts about how often they masturbated and 'fucked bitches, nigger' and 'got paid like a motherfucker fifty grand like a motherfucker'. They continued complaining that the trip was taking too long and insisted they be fed immediately all the way to the airport, where their minder presumably fed them".

Finally, he said: "If the whole thing is a put-on, a bit of Vincent Gallo life-as-theater for the benefit of whoever happens to be sitting next to them, that's no excuse. It's being an asshole about being an asshole".

Yesterday, Tyler wrote a rebuttal. Slightly longer than the one he wrote to Sara Quin, in which he suggested she might just "need some hard dick", he wrote on Twitter: "[I] Feel like I have to defend myself. 1. I don't know who the fuck Steve Albino [sic] is. 2. I don't 'nigger everything in sight'. 3. I never say fuck you to drivers. 4. We (Odd Future) never discuss how much we are making a show in public, ever. 5. Me nor anyone I know in my age group know who you are, old ass. [I'm] surprised you knew how to use a computer".

Finally, referencing Albini's late 80s noise rock band, he said: "And what's good with Rapeman?"

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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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