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CMU Info
Top Stories
CAA investor bidding for EMI
Reunions & Splits
Black Sabbath may or may not be reuniting, everyone be quiet
Artist Deals
Imagem extends Lionel Richie partnership
Release News
Justice announce new album
Tom Waits to set record straight
Jah Wobble and LoneLady to release collaborative album
Films & Shows News
Nirvana memorabilia wanted
Gigs & Tours News
Voiceless Vaccines vocalist voids European voyage
Roll The Dice announce London show
run, WALK! announce split single, tour dates
Talks, Debates & Conventions
Ignite Music returns to London
Brands & Stuff
Swizz Beats joins Lotus
The Music Business
The Beatles join Music Matters campaign
The Digital Business
Google launches new music website
And finally...
This Just-in: Bieber has a lot of money

Critical Mass-signed pairing Aaron Gilbert and Alex Payne began working under their Cicada moniker in 2002, producing remixes for Depeche Mode, New Order and Editors prior to releasing their own eponymous debut LP in 2006. Second album 'Roulette' emerged in 2009, taking an electro-pop-propelled step away from the outfit's purist dance origins.

Their latest long player 'Sunburst' seeks to readdress the balance, setting the guest vocals of Athlete frontman Joel Pott, Prodigy collaborator Shahin Badar and ethereal Icelandic singer Heidrun Bjornsdottiran against an alt-dance milieu of taut, muted synthwork and four-to-the-floor beats.

We spoke to Payne in a SSQ-stylee once before, but with 'Sunburst' out next week, we caught up with the duo again, and this time both Gilbert and Payne answered our predictable questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Aaron: I first started out playing keyboards with the school steel drum band, my teacher Tommy Tucker was a really inspirational character and I just wanted to be like him I think. Later I was in a few bands playing guitar and stumbled into electronica along the way.

Alex: We first went into the studio together when I was running a label and we started working on remixes together. The rest became a logical progression and the records started selling, so we decided to continue!

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Alex: I really wanted to get back to the ethos we had when we started - coming from the dancefloor. That doesn't just mean heads down four to the floor, but music that is much more groove related.

Aaron: I think it's been a pretty grim couple of years in the world and I wanted to do something that doesn't take itself too seriously. So, there's definitely some funk and house homages in there.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Aaron: I've always liked melody, so usually I like to get the basic building blocks of a track down first before spending ages dwelling on what keyboard should be playing what sound, what drum sounds to use etc etc. I like to get something up and running pretty quickly, so that (in the case of an LP) I can tell if it's going to fit with the album as a whole straight away.

Alex: I like to start with a concept of what type of track, stylistically speaking, we are going do. This often comes from us sitting down, discussing references, tempo, feel, or even an idea for a riff. After sketching that out we'll try to get the right feel of the rhythm track, before building up the layers and writing the vocals.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Aaron: There really are too many to mention here, but Blondie, Roxy Music, Fleetwood Mac, Parliament, and New York New Wave bands like The Bush Tetras spring to mind.

Alex: We share a lot of these and I could go on forever but I'd say things like Hendrix, Prince, early house, Cameo, AC/DC and Can. It's a pretty broad palette!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Alex: Without wanting to sound clichéd, listen with an open mind and without any preconceptions as to what you are going to hear. Also, as outrageous as it may sound these days, listen to the album from start to finish.

Aaron: Thanks for taking the time to listen, I hope you give it a second and third listen.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Aaron: After you spend ages in the studio on a new album, I'm always excited and nervous to see how people react to it. I'm looking forward to getting out and about again, touring and DJing, before the cabin fever sets in!! I'm also looking forward to doing more remixes, which we have more time for now the album's done and dusted!

Alex: Yes, getting out and about more and doing more shows is definitely a priority; and it's a good feeling when you have a new album which you're really pleased with under your belt.

MORE>> www.cicadamusic.com

While performing with Sparklehorse on what would be the band's final European tour in 2007, Stars Of The Lid founder Adam Wiltzie invited an Italian friend, Giardini di Mirò drummer Francesco Donadello, to see a show in Bologna. With him, Donadello brought American pianist and composer Dustin O'Halloran, best known for the score to Sofia Coppola's 'Marie Antoinette'. Introductions were made and thus begins the back story of A Winged Victory For The Sullen.

With similar backgrounds spanning indie, rock and classical music, and both used to working in their own home studios, Wiltzie and O'Halloran decided to work on a classical project that would take them in a different direction, and into large acoustic spaces. Their first collaboration took them to Grunewald Church in Berlin, then they recorded in a variety of setting, including the thirteenth century Begijnhof in Brussels, before mixing the album in a seventeenth century villa near Ferrara in Italy.

Rather than attempting to fill these larger spaces with sound, however, the pair's compositions seem to treat the buildings with quiet reverence. Although they often build to a peak, there is overall a more ambient feel to the music. The seven pieces, including a two-part tribute to late Sparklehorse frontman Mark Linkous, are quietly but deeply emotive.

The eponymous album is due for release through Erased Tapes on 12 Sep, and you can stream or download a track, Steep Hills Of Vicodin Tears', via the SoundCloud player here.

"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

Well look at that, someone bidding for EMI who didn't make a carbon copy bid for Warner Music earlier this year. According to the New York Post, private equity group TPG Capital is bidding to buy the music major, which current owner Citigroup is in the process of selling, of course. TPG have already made moves into the entertainment space, taking a 35% stake in the Creative Artists Agency, and setting up a $500 million fund to buy into other entertainment businesses.

CAA is not the only private equity group bidding for EMI, despite the disastrous outcome of private equity firm Terra Firma's acquisition of the music company back in 2007. Although said groups would normally bid high in such takeover races, posing considerable competition for the more traditional entertainment firms interested in expanding through acquisition, some do wonder whether private equity outfits can really raise the required finance for a multi-billion pound deal in an uncertain industry in the current economic climate.

Citigroup is reportedly in talks with various bidders as we speak, including those who have only bid for one half of the company.

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Are Black Sabbath's original line-up getting back together? Possibly. Or possibly not. We should probably just wait for an official statement and get on with our lives until then. That's certainly what the band would like you to do, it seems.

As previously reported, the Birmingham Mail quoted guitarist Tony Iommi as confirming that a new album and tour from the original line up were in the works earlier this week. Iommi then issued an angry statement referring to people "speculating" about the band's status, adding that when he spoke to the Birmingham Mail's journalist Andy Coleman, he had just been "shooting the breeze" and hadn't been expecting anything he said to be published.

The newspaper yesterday responded by saying that it had published the quote because it confirmed a report on MetalTalk.net which claimed the band are due to reform again.

Yesterday, Iommi's manager Ralph Baker told The Birmingham Mail: "[Tony] was not saying that it wasn't true. We haven't got anything in place. He's not denying that the guys have been talking but there's nothing in the way that's been implied in the statements that you made. He made them to you in June and he felt that he made them to you off the record. A very insignificant little website put something out about Sabbath getting back together and being in the Midlands. End of story".

He added: "When you went online, that's when it went around the world because [it appeared that] it was official. Tony's website virtually crashed and it took off. That's why Tony's pissed off, because the story would have died a death. I don't consider some dodgy little website a trigger [to publish]. It was picked up by everybody because a lot of these kids have nothing better to do than simply pick up a story from one site and run with it and see what happens".

Anyway, the upshot is that Black Sabbath's original line-up may or may not be reforming. I may or may not have a cheese sandwich for lunch. Actually, I won't, but that doesn't mean Black Sabbath aren't getting back together.

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Independent music publisher Imagem has announced it is extending its partnership with Brenda Richie Publishing, which co-controls the Lionel Richie catalogue. Imagem has previously administrated the Brenda Richie songs in the UK, but will now do so in most European countries also, excluding Spain, Portugal and Greece.

Confirming the new deal, André de Raaff, CEO of Imagem Music Worldwide, told CMU: "We are delighted to be building on our successful relationship with Brenda Richie Publishing and to be extending our agreement throughout Europe with this wonderful catalogue of songs. We have already delivered great results for the catalogue in the UK and look forward to continuing our great working relationship with Lorne Saifer and Mario Gonzalez and to replicating this success throughout these new European territories".

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Justice have announced details of their long-awaited second album, which will be released by Ed Banger on 24 Oct.

Entitled 'Audio, Video, Disco', the duo said of the album: "It is not like we've gone off in an obscure direction. Music that's been to our taste during the making of the album - ELO, Black Sabbath, The Who - is made by some of the biggest bands in the world. Quite a few people like their sound. Maybe they will like ours too. For us this is the Route 66 album. It's a French album, with all these English influences from the 60s and 70s, but it has that American wide open thing going on too. 'Rustic' is a good word for this album, made with the country in mind, the air, the trees, the mysticism of nature, rather than the darkness of the night and the hard lines of the city".

Make of that what you will. And watch the video for first single 'Civilisation', here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVq2yMuAMVQ

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Gravel-gargling minstrel Tom Waits is poised to "set the record straight" on various scurrilous rumours that he's about to release a new album. Or alternatively, he'll just announce that he's about to release a new album.

If it's of a studio variety, this will comprise his first LP proper (not counting live compilations, theatrical scores and such) since 1999's 'Mule Variations'. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Those interested in seeing the record set straight, once and for all, should keep watch at www.tomwaits.com on 23 Aug.

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Former Public Image Limited bassist Jah Wobble has crossed collaborative swords with dark-pop Warp conscriptee LoneLady on a forthcoming album titled 'Psychic Life', which is set for release through Cherry Records on 14 Nov.

Billing it as an extension of his and LoneLady's mutually-held post-punk leanings, he links the LP's tone to "the ideals of late nineteenth century romanticism; especially its poetry which rails, quite rightly, against the rationalisation of life and nature".

He goes on to say: "Back then, the industrial age was the enemy, whereas now it's the information-led age, the new Tower Of Babble, in its myriad forms, that stands infantile and all-pervasive in opposition to the romantic ideal. Facebook and the industrial revolution point towards the same thing. Unthinking, unhappy uniformity - well, fuck that".

Hurrah! Read the rest of Jah Wobble's highly informative anti-information age rant here on The Quietus: thequietus.com/articles/06771-jah-wobble-lonelady-release-collaborative-album

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An exhibition of Nirvana memorabilia will go on display as part of a two week exhibition to mark the 20th anniversary of the band's 'Nevermind' album. Organisers are calling on fans to donate photos, posters and other items to be shown alongside other artefacts already collected.

If you have anything that might suit, you can get in touch with the people putting the exhibition together here: www.nirvanaexhibition.com

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The Vaccines have been forced to cut a series of live dates in Holland, Austria and Northern Ireland, with frontman Justin Young citing "continued issues" with his voice as grounds for the cancellations.

Young posted this statement on the band's website: "The doctor has ordered immediate vocal rest with the risk of permanent damage to my speaking and singing voice if ignored. Cancelling shows has unfortunately become a reality in an otherwise successful, exciting and rewarding year and we understand any anger, resentment or upset you feel".

He persists: "Please try to understand that this is as distressing and upsetting, if not more upsetting, for the band and everyone involved. We have played to the extent recently that has become detrimental to my vocal chords".

Provided all members are in full and fine fettle by then, the band are still booked to appear at Reading and Leeds festivals later this month.

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Swedish electronic duo Roll The Dice have announced that they will play a one-off show at Café Oto in London on 20 Sep in support of their second album, 'In Dust'. The excellent LP is due for release through The Leaf Label on 12 Sep.

Speaking about the album the duo's amazingly named Malcolm Pardon said: "[We wanted it to have] an overwhelming feeling, rather than being too intimate. Though the first one might not have immediately come across as intimate, it was a bit more nature-like in a way. This has more of a big room vibe to it".

For a taste of what to expect, check out the album's video trailer here: vimeo.com/27250155

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Decibel-splitting art rock duo run, WALK! have announced details of a new split single with US punk outfit Sirs, which they'll release in digital and seven-inch formats on 10 Oct via Holy Roar/Topshelf.

Feeling in a generous mood, the run, WALK! lads also threw in a dash of imminent tour news. Dates as follows:

19 Aug: London, The Borderline
20 Aug: Wisbech, The Angel
23 Aug: Southampton, The Joiners
4 Sep: Manchester, The Star And Garter
28 Oct: Bath, The Green Park Tavern

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Ignite Music will return to London in October for a second round of 'lightning talks' on a wide range of musical topics.

Each speaker gets five minutes to talk about anything they like, so long as it's music-related. The first edition of the event earlier this year covered topics such as pirate radio, contemporary folk music, library music, apps as the new music delivery system, and why failure matters to the development of music.

Co-organiser Rob Dix told CMU: "It's all too easy to become jaded and forget why we're toiling away working in music at all. Ignite Music exists to nourish the obsession and geekery that brought us here in the first place, and to assert that the history of Norwegian black metal is every bit as interesting and valid a discussion as the future of the industry. And if you disagree? Hey, it's only five minutes".

Ignite Music will take place at Concrete in east London on 10 Oct. If you'd like to speak, email [email protected] with a title and a brief synopsis. And if you just want to listen, tickets are available now for free from here: www.eventbrite.com/event/2058341555

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You'd think that being the new face of Hasbro's Simon Flash memory game would be enough for Swizz Beats, but no. He wants a third job on top of producing songs for people and flogging board games. He has now been announced as the new Vice President Of Creative Design And Global Marketing for Lotus Cars.

Like Lady Gaga, who holds a similar position at Polaroid, Swizz will undoubtedly be working nine to five in his new job, and will be forced to make music in his spare time. Look what that did to Gaga's second album.

No, don't think about it, watch this video instead: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ngk9jmzFIY8

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The Beatles are backing Music Matters. Well, two of them are. I'm guessing neither John Lennon nor George Harrison were consulted. Lennon, as one of the earliest experts at manipulating media platforms to communicate political messages, would probably have pointed out that Music Matters - described in the blurb as a "grass roots" campaign, despite being backed by Universal Music - has been very good at producing lovely short films, less good at achieving its core aims of communicating why people should pay for rather than steal music online.

Indeed, my favourite of all the Music Matters videos tells the story of how Blind Willie Johnson was screwed over by everyone in the music business, dying penniless despite being responsible for many popular recordings. Thus furthering the myth that labels shaft their artists anyway, so it doesn't matter if you acquire tracks from illegal sources.

I wonder if the new Beatles-based video will hone in on how the band were royally screwed over by EMI in their early days, and how as a result relations between the major and Beatles company Apple Corps remain uneasy to this day, hence the huge delay in the Fab Four's catalogue emerging on any legal download platform, which in turn forced online Beatles fans to access file-sharing networks in order to get digital versions of their songs.

Why not go and see? www.whymusicmatters.org

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Google has launched a beta version of a new music service called Magnifier which has live sessions, artist interviews and free downloads, designed to be stored in a Google music locker. The first artist to feature on the new website are My Morning Jacket. While in beta the service is invite-only, but anyone with a Google account can request an invite.

Presumably the web giant is looking for artist and label partners to further develop the new service. It remains to be seen if those label types pissed off that Google launched its music-based digital locker platform without the involvement of or licences from the record companies refuse to get involved with Magnifier as a result. I suppose if it builds a sizable audience they won't be able to afford to boycott it.

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Justin Bieber has more money that any other teenage popstar. You had probably already guessed that, but People Magazine wants to rub your face in it.

Bieber reportedly earned $53 million in 2010, thanks to his 3D film 'Never Say Never' and upward-spiralling live fees. Miley Cyrus is not far behind on $48 million.

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

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