18 JUL 2013

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Last week UK Music officially unveiled a new Skills Academy for the music business, capitalising on the work already done by the government-backed Creative & Cultural Skills organisation. A key aim is to encourage music companies to explore the potential of apprenticeships as a way of finding and training future talent; ie creating paid entry-level roles linked to some kind of formal training that overcome many of the issues that surround unpaid internships more>>
With her degree in jazz performance at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway only just finished, singer Emilie Nicolas is already being talked about as someone set for big things in music. However, it seems it might not be as a jazz artist that she becomes known (though her jazz trio Gurls are very much worth checking out), her current solo guise being more pop focussed and a series of demos posted up on SoundCloud have apparently caught the interest of several labels more>>

- Spotify report says streaming services help battle piracy
- MMF issues statement on Spotify
- Liam Gallagher taking legal action over love child story
- Polaris Prize confirms official shortlist
- Bono made a commander by the French
- Sic Alps split
- Stargate's Stellar Songs signs Charli XCX
- New Tim Hecker LP detailed
- Warner to re-release Van Morrison's Moondance
- Viva Forever may return
- Disclosure, Rodigan, Marley bros to play RBMA Carnival Party
- FolkFest throws spotlight on folk sector
- Kobalt Label Services appoints new brand and sync manager
- Believe announces deal with Nacional Records
- Tunecore announces Gracenote and Shazam tie-ups
- Google launches streaming service down under
- Björk launches Biophilia app for Android
- Rolling Stone editors defend controversial cover
- Beyonce damns cameraphone fan
We’re looking for a driven music publicist with a minimum of two years print and online PR experience to join our team in Cambridge on a temporary basis. Candidates will be results driven, able to work to deadlines, and be enthusiastic about a wide range of genres. A network of contacts across print and online media is essential. Radio contacts a plus.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Rood Media is predominantly a boutique music PR agency, handling specialist radio, online and print on a global scale for some of electronic music's most respected and popular artists and labels. Recent projects include Disclosure, Cyril Hahn, Bromance Records, Felix Da Housecat and Yuksek/Partyfine. We are looking for a Freelance PR who has a keen interest in all that we do.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Management Assistant required for London-based, established artist management company. Suitable candidates must have a minimum of three years management or related experience. Knowledge of release campaigns, promotion and touring required. Candidates must be super organised, capable of multi-tasking and possess a good knowledge of the music industry. Role will include providing support to artist managers, co-ordinating day to day activities for artists including general administrative duties and personal assistant duties.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Partisan PR and Konkz are seeking to appoint a Social Media Manager to work across key client accounts. The candidate must have experience in devising and implementing digital campaigns for a broad range of artists. Experience of working at a record company or digital agency is preferred.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
WANTED: Experienced Communications Officer! We are seeking a self-motivated, proactive individual to take a key role in further developing our PR and communication strategies. The successful candidate will have strong artist and industry knowledge, first class experience in social media and excellent relevant PR experience.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
MAMA & Company are looking for dynamic, experienced General Business Managers, Assistant General Managers & Bar Managers with a proven track record within a live music operation. This is a fantastic opportunity to work and grow with an exciting company at some of London's most established venues. Based in London, closing date for applications is 6pm on Wednesday 24 Jul 2013.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
£600 per calendar month

Come and share our lovely office in Camden NW1, which is available from the beginning of July 2013

Situated in a 620 sq ft former photographic studio, up to four of you will be sharing with us - a music PR company. One third of the office is available in a friendly, spacious, airy, media environment. The space offered is partially separated from the main room and currently acts as our meeting / ping pong room! Individual desk spaces may also be considered.

The office is tastefully designed, has ample storage and is based in Camden close to all the amenities. The space would suit music professionals, designers or architects or a small company involved in the creative arts.

The studio has excellent security and is situated in a private yard off the street. It is 5 mins walk from Chalk Farm tube and Kentish Town West Overground stations. It is equally close to Camden Lock and Market with its numerous shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and a short journey on bus or tube will take you into the west end quickly.

There's a kitchenette, with sink for tea/coffee, microwave and fridge. The studio is situated on the lower ground floor of the building with its own locked door, with 24 hours access.

The rental cost is for the space and includes all utilities but not telephone. Wireless high speed broadband (reasonable use) could also be shared.

A one month deposit would be required with a three-month minimum agreement, with one month written notice and rent to be paid monthly in advance by standing order.

Please contact for more details

With interesting timing, given this week's Nigel Godrich/Thom Yorke-initiated debate about the pros and cons of streaming music services for the artist community, Spotify has published a new research report called 'Adventures In The Netherlands'.

It looks at the streaming service's three years operating in the Dutch market, the accompanying fall in piracy and growth in recorded music income in the region in that period, and whether there are links. The digital firm has long claimed, of course, that it turns former pirates into music consumers in a way download stores alone never could.

The report, seven months in the making, has been put together by Will Page, the former number cruncher for collecting society PRS For Music, who joined Spotify as Director Of Economics last year; a hire presumably designed to give research published by the streaming firm more credibility, even if it bigs up the firm's own business model.

And while cynics may be suspicious of the motives behind reports like this - even though Page told Music Ally he really hopes they won't be - the kinds of data the company is sharing in this document, and some of the conclusions as to where improvements can be made, are useful for all. Especially when made available to the wider music community.

Although stressing that you can't always be certain about cause and effect, Page's report looks at sales and file-sharing stats for the Dutch market (supplied by GfK and Musicmetric respectively) around four major album releases, two of which put their music on Spotify alongside download release, two of which held their content back from the streaming services for a time.

Page says that there is no indication that the two artists who had concurrent download and streaming releases - records from One Direction and Robbie Williams - suffered in terms of record sales because of their presence on streaming services. Moreover, the 'sales to torrent' ratio (so how many copies were sold versus how many were illegally shared) was better for those two albums, compared to Rihanna and Taylor Swift records that were kept off Spotify et al for a time.

Says Page: "There is no evidence in the four case studies showing that streaming on Spotify hurts sales... The most popular album on Spotify had the highest sales to piracy ratio. One Direction's 'Take Me Home' was available on Spotify on its release day; it had the highest weekly Spotify stream count and sold the second largest volume of albums in its release week".

The research doesn't attempt to deal with any of the royalty issues raised in the big Spotify debate this week, though, of course, the impact of streaming services on piracy and download sales is of direct relevance to the bigger picture consideration when discussing the monies Spotify pays rights owners. It's possible Page's reports poses more questions than it answers, though presumably Spotify hopes that by asking those questions it is participating in the debate that Godrich and Yorke say should be ongoing.

Music Ally has more detailed analysis of the report here.

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But back to the livelier Spotify debate that has been dominating the headlines this week, and the Music Managers Forum, which is chaired by Radiohead manager Brian Message, has issued a statement in support of the streaming service. This, of course, follows Thom Yorke and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich announcing that they were pulling their side projects off streaming services in protest over the royalties artists earn from streaming.

The managers' trade body said: "The Music Managers Forum embraces streaming as a technological development that adds to the ways that consumers can pay to access music. Any music creation is now potentially ubiquitous, for free, as soon as it is made available digitally. Streaming is in its infancy but growing fast and providing meaningful rewards for many. Income from radio, compact discs, downloads and even resurgent cassettes grows as the fruits of artists labour are discovered and become more popular. That popularity is a measure of the success of the artist fan relationship which is at the core of the modern music ecosystem".

It continued: "A new music business is being built that encompasses publishers, labels, technology, financiers, producers etc, but that has the artist and fan firmly at the centre. Everyone, including artists and fans, in the new business needs to adapt to the new world".

Finally, the statement concluded: "Streaming is not a download. Nor is it radio. It is streaming. It's different and a part of the future".

As previously reported, Message already came out in support of Spotify in a personal capacity following Godrich and Yorke's announcement. On the fact that doing so put him at odds with his own clients, he told the BBC: "Obviously when Thom speaks out, I take note and listen. It's a good healthy debate to be having. And he's right to ask, what's in this for new artists and new music".

Nigel Godrich was not quite so forgiving, tweeting in response to Pitchfork's report on that quote: "He has shares in the company. Maybe that has something to do with it". Though he added "Actually... he may not. But it wouldn't surprise me".

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Liam Gallagher is apparently planning to take legal action against the New York Post, after it published a report alleging that he fathered an illegitimate child last year. The paper has claimed that he is the subject of a case being heard at the Manhattan Family Court listed only as Anonymous v Anonymous.

A spokesperson for the singer told WENN: "Basically the lawyers are dealing with it. They are taking legal action against the New York Post. From our point of view we aren't going to comment on gossip while they are taking action against the paper".

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The fates at Canada's critics/media-decided Polaris Prize, aka the Mercury-style award for the year's best Canadian LP, have named the ten artists still eligible to win. Featuring Metric, METZ, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Purity Ring and Tegan & Sara, the final list follows a longlist released this time last month.

The winning act, past examples of which are Feist, Arcade Fire and Fucked Up, will be revealed on 23 Sep.

And the nominations are...

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Zaki Ibrahim - Every Opposite
Metric - Synthetica
Purity Ring - Shrines
Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol 3: To See More Light
Tegan & Sara - Heartthrob
A Tribe Called Red - Nation II Nation
Whitehorse - The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss
Young Galaxy - Ultramarine

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Bono was given France's highest cultural honour on Tuesday night for his many contributions to the arts, charitable causes, and the continued growth of Bono's ego. Which means the U2 frontman is now a Commander Of Arts And Letters amongst the French people. Which I'm sure will thrill all of our French readers out there.

The country's Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti addressed the singer thus: "Beyond notes and beyond words, you committed yourself and dedicated your fame and career to wage some of the greatest wars of our time. Not for charity's sake but in the name of justice".

Meanwhile Bono, who has a home near Nice in Southern France, remarked: "It is unspeakably special to receive an award from France for being an artist".

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Oh, no. Approved-in-2012 San Franciscan band Sic Alps have called it quits, which I don't approve of at all. Started by Mike Donovan and Adam Stonehouse in 2004, they've released five LPs to date, working with a cast of collaborators (notably Ty Segall, who played a string of live dates with the band in 2011) on the way.

One-time frontman Donovan is staying with the band's label, Drag City, to release his solo LP 'Wot' on 15 Oct.

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Charli XCX has signed a big time publishing deal with Norway-based dream team Stargate's Sony/ATV affilaite Stellar Songs.

XCX - real name Charlotte Aitchison - who co-created and featured on Icona Pop's megahit 'I Love It' and this year released a solo LP, 'True Romance' via Warner/Atlantic, is said to be writing with Naughty Boy, Benny Blanco and, potentially, Britney Spears.

Stellar Songs' Tim Blacksmith says: "All of us at Stellar Songs are immensely happy and proud to be associated with the great Charli XCX".

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Experimentalist-in-electronica Tim Hecker has named an heir to his 2011 LP, 'Ravedeath, 1972'. Made in Reykjavik, Iceland, 'Virgins' will be released via Kranky on 14 Oct. Its press release says it features woodwinds, piano and synthesizers "doing what digital music does not do naturally - making music that is out of time, out of tune and out of phase".


Virginal I
Live Room
Live Room Out
Virginal II
Black Refraction
Incense At Abu Ghraib
Amps, Drugs, Harmonium
Stigmata I
Stigmata II
Stab Variation

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Warner Bros is to re-release jazz man Van Morrison's 1970 LP 'Moondance' this year, on 30 Sep. Available in several variations, the priciest of which is a five-disc package featuring special extras and fifty unreleased tracks, it'll hit shops on 30 Sep.

Most significant amid the unreleased tracks cache is 'I Shall Sing', a Van Morrison original that was a hit for Art Garfunkel in 1973. The deluxe edition carries six early takes of the track, and a final edit.

This is it, as played live by Van M in Dublin back in 1973.

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Spice Girls musical 'Viva Forever' may return to the stage at some point, producer Judy Craymer has told The Telegraph. As previously reported, the show was closed in June after it's insufferable shitness made sure that no one wanted to watch it. Well, apparently. Or not, according to Craymer.

She told the paper: "Oh yes, I'm sure 'Viva!' will rise again at some point. It can be worked on. It was heartbreaking that we had to close it. I wouldn't say there weren't faults with it, but I love the Spice Girls, and, when you are thinking about a subject to write a musical about, I think that the Spice girls have earned a place on our landscape".

She added: "Audiences had a good time. It wasn't 'Mamma Mia!' but I wasn't trying for it to be 'Mamma Mia!' It was meant to be more the combination of [writer] Jennifer [Saunders] and comedy, with a wink at pop culture".

"It wasn't 'Mamma Mia!" - that's damning with faint praise, if I ever heard it.

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Red Bull Music Academy has shared listings for its bass-heavy Sound System party at this year's Notting Hill Carnival, which takes place in London on 26 Aug.

David Rodigan and his Ram Jam tapedeck, popular siblings Disclosure, house producer MJ Cole, Rinse FM's Éclair Fifi and reggae artists Wayne Marshall, Christopher Ellis and Black Am I will all appear, as will Marley bros Damian, Stephen and Julian (and Julian's son Joseph aka Jo Mersa).

As in past years, passes are available via a ballot giveaway that'll go live on 12 Aug at

Click here to find info on RBMA's Notting Hill party, and here for details of an earlier 17 Aug event at the Nottingham Carnival - this featuring Breach, T Williams, Congo Natty, Channel One and Throwing Snow.

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A series of panels and seminars with a specific focus on the folk and acoustic music sector will kick off later today in South London alongside London FolkFest at The Bedford. Entry to the sessions, on royalties, digital developments and building profile, are free, but should be booked in advance here.

FolkFest itself will host over forty bands over its four days, with various partners hosting stages that will include performances from the likes of Ryan Keen, Matthew And The Atlas, Laurence Fox, Leddra Chapman and winner of the BBC Radio 2 Horizon Folk Award Blair Dunlop.

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Kobalt Label Services has appointed sync expert Bree Nevin to the role of Creative Brand & Synchronisation Manager, giving her a role in seeking sync and brand opportunities for the labels the Kobalt division represents.

Confirming the appointment of Nevin, who has worked with the likes of Warp, Hyperdub and Mushroom Publishing in the past, KLS boss Paul Hitchman told CMU: "I am delighted to welcome Bree to Kobalt Label Services. Her addition to our global team will further enhance the quality of service we provide, and ensure that our clients benefit from the full range of revenue opportunities in today's market".

Nevin herself added: "I feel privileged to work with such a rich and diverse catalogue of composers and artists and look forward to exploring complementary cross marketing alliances for them, across brands and film".

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Digital distributor Believe has announced a new deal with Californian label Nacional Records, part of group of music companies run by Tomas Cookman. Believe will support releases from the label's mainly South American roster, including French-Chilean hip hopper Ana Tijoux, Colombians Aterciopelados and Argentinean rockers Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.

On Believe's side the account will be managed by new recruit Sam Telford, who joins the firm from Republic Of Music with a world music remit. The company's Head Of Sales & New Business, Lee Morrison, told CMU: "Believe is continuously expanding its repertoire and working with the finest labels worldwide; we are very excited to add Nacional Records to that list. We are also pleased to have Sam and his expertise on board as we continue to develop our world music roster".

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Digital music distributor TuneCore has announced an alliance with both Gracenote and Shazam, which will make it easier for artists and rights owners distributing their music via the company's platform to log their content and metadata with the two new partner's respective databases. This, says TuneCore, will aid music discovery for their clients.

Says TuneCore COO Scott Ackerman: "Our new partnerships with Gracenote and Shazam, and the integration of the artists' music with their respective technologies, brings music discovery to an entirely new level, increasing the opportunity for artists to earn more revenue from the downloads and streams of their music from store partners including iTunes, Amazon MP3, Rdio and Spotify".

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Google's very own streaming music service - Google Play The Music With All The Access To The Music Because We Got The Access And The Music So Let's Play, We're Google, Good Access - has launched in Australia and New Zealand.

Google added a subscription-based fully-on-demand streaming option to its download and locker platform Play in the US back in March. The launch down under is the set-up's first expansion into new markets, though presumably a European launch is in the pipeline.

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Björk has launched an Android version of her 'Biophilia' app, despite pulling a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for it earlier this year. Actually, in the announcement of the app's launch, the singer's website said that the crowd-sourcing campaign had been withdrawn due to a software company, Apportable, taking on the project in full, rather than due to a lack of interest as many had assumed - the project having raised just £15,370 of its £375,000 target when it was closed.

The website wrote: "The [iOS] apps have been an integral part of the 'Biophilia' educational programme, a project Björk and many others have been developing and implementing as a new way to teach kids about music and natural sciences. It's had a great run so far, but in order to reach more people, we decided it was important for the apps to be available for Android phones as well. Björk's vision of the 'Biophilia' app has always been for it to be available as widely as possible, and Android is an important factor for this".

It continued: "Initially, we tried Kickstarter, but then this amazing company called Apportable approached us and said they'd love to take on the project. They came up with a new way of converting apps to Android that costs a whole lot less and takes far less time than previously expected. So we withdrew the Kickstarter campaign and a few short months later, they're telling us the apps are ready! Luckily for us technology had developed so now it is possible to do this at a fraction of the cost. Amazing, right?"

Meanwhile, Approtable CEO Collin Jackson told CMU: "We are honoured that Björk has chosen Apportable's technology to power Biophilia's much-anticipated arrival on Android. Just as it broke new ground for interactive music apps with its original iOS release, 'Biophilia' is breaking the boundaries of cross-platform mobile development as the first ever Objective-C [programming language] music app on Android".

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US music magazine Rolling Stone has issued a statement defending its decision to run a photo of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its latest cover with the headline "The Bomber: How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster".

The cover story has become a hot topic on both the social networks and in the US media, with many accusing the music title of exploiting a tragedy for some cheap publicity, and some criticising the magazine's description of Tsarnaev in its headline before his crimes have been tried in court. Though not everyone's a critic; some have noted Rolling Stone has a history of exploring controversial figures outside of music, and others have argued the questions the title's article explores are legitimate.

Nevertheless, some US retailers are refusing to stock the issue, while Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has hit out at the cover. According to Buzzfeed, he has written in a letter to Rolling Stone bosses: "[The cover] is ill-conceived, at best, and re-affirms a terrible message that destruction gains fame for killers and their causes. The survivors of the Boston attacks deserve Rolling Stone cover stories, though I no longer feel that Rolling Stone deserves them".

But responding to the outrage, the mag's editors said that while their "hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, the cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone's long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens".

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So, the 'anti-cameraphones-at-shows' rally, to date backed by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Savages and CMU Editor Andy Malt, has a new champion; and she is Beyonce.

The R&B star chastised a lens-waving fan at a gig in Atlanta earlier this week, breaking mid-'Irreplaceable' to say to him: "You can't even sing because you're too busy taping. I'm right in your face, baby. You gotta seize this moment. Put that damn camera down!"

Granted, given the ban she slapped on all pro photogs bar one at her shows back in April, she may have had another, vainer motive in asking him to stop filming. Still, the moral of this story remains the same; put that damn camera down.

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 1, 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email or

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