1 AUG 2013

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Before he'd even completed his degree in Classical & Contemporary Music Composition at the Birmingham Conservertoire, Ben Stefanski had already made a name for himself as electronic producer Raffertie. For his debut album, 'Sleep Of Reason', due out on 5 Aug, he settled at Ninja Tune, and settled on a new sound too, which may surprise some of his fans. CMU's Andy Malt caught up with Raffertie to find out more about the album, his new sound, and 'discovering' AlunaGeorge more>>
Yesterday in the Approved column we had Glaswegians Mogwai stepping out into zombified France, but today we're staying very much in Glasgow. Though, while we may be zombie free, that doesn't mean some bad things aren't going to happen. Or that today's tip is going to have anything to do with music, sorry. Listening though, that's all happening. Brilliantly written and performed, comedy podcast 'Limmy's World Of Glasgow' develops in unexpected and often disturbing ways more>>

- Spotify revenues double, though losses up too
- Rihanna successfully sues Topshop over t-shirt
- Wiley won't pay back CockRock fee
- David Cameron's G8 playlist revealed
- MKS "could have had the Sugababes name, Jade Ewen reckons it might be available again
- Gary Numan hails new LP, Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)
- Daedelus details LP
- Crosby, Nash, Brown and Harper all on Jonathan Wilson LP
- Jensen Sportag ring in new track, Bellz
- Nick Cave adds Brighton date
- Foxygen singer breaks leg, band cancel dates
- Festival line-up update: Leeds and Ringmaster
- Merlin cuts fees
- Bauer relaunches Mojo website
- RAJAR round up
- Bon Jovi use Google Glass on stage, film world's most boring live video
Essential Music and Marketing is seeking a confident, high calibre individual to lead its digital retail representation. The position will manage partnerships with digital music services (eg iTunes), working closely with label managers and reporting to the Sales Director. This is an ideal position for someone with experience of dealing with key online accounts, looking to forward their career and skills in a dynamic and fast growing music distribution company.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Sound Channel is one of the leading companies working in the electronic music industry. We are looking for a bright individual who has a solid grasp of music to work with us across all our projects including Hideout Festival, Unknown, Canal Mills, Wax:On and Metropolis.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Passionate about social media & dream about working in the music business? Well here's your chance to take that first important step with a leading music PR firm Cypher - the agency responsible for looking after artists, music brands such as including Food Music, Pacha, Big Chill, and New State album and artist releases.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
The Secretly Label Group is looking to hire a junior press officer to manage online, print press and general public relations for select artists on the roster of the in-house labels Dead Oceans / Jagjaguwar / Secretly Canadian.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
TeamRock are looking for a Deputy Art Editor for Classic Rock magazine. You will be an experienced commercial designer whose current role will include cover design, page concepts and layout, and ideally some experience of digital publishing. You will excel in making old stuff look really vital and exciting and feel comfortable commissioning and directing photographers, even if you secretly think they are a bunch of prima donnas and perverts.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
London based independent record company seeks Product Manager to join our existing marketing team. Candidates will report to a Head of Marketing and be responsible for the day to day running of artist campaigns. Hard working, enthusiastic and a genuine passion for music a must. Previous experience as a Product Manager at a record label required.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Liverpool-based digital distributor Ditto Music is seeking an experienced Digital Content/Label Manager to join our team. The role will feature a wide range of duties including digital content delivery, liaising with retailers, customer support for artists and record labels, co-ordinating promotional campaigns with online stores and working alongside our offices in Nashville and Melbourne to provide an award-winning service.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Liverpool-based digital distribution company Ditto Music is looking for an Online Marketing Specialist with experience in planning, executing and optimising digital marketing campaigns, including paid search, display advertising, blogging, SEO and especially email marketing, to increase brand awareness and drive revenue.

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

Spotify doubled its revenues in 2012, but losses also rose as the streaming music platform seeks to expand in an increasingly competitive market.

According to the Financial Times, the latest financial filing from the digital firm in Luxembourg shows that revenues in 2012 went up from 190.4 million euros to 434.7 million euros, with the number of 'active users' rising to 20 million worldwide, over a quarter of which are paying premium service users. However, overall losses widened to 58.7 million euros, up from 45.4 million the previous year.

Of course few in the streaming music domain are making a profit, as services compete to reach a more mainstream audience, ie users who are harder to sign-up but almost certainly cheaper to service than early-adopting hardcore music fans.

Most streaming set-ups assume that various economies of sale will ensure profitability once they reach critical mass. Assuming they can. If that doesn't work, they'll likely want to cut their royalty obligations to the rights owners, though that won't be easy given those parts of the music industry that already believe the streaming sector is getting too good a deal.

Despite the growth in losses, Spotify does seem to be moving in the right direction; though assumptions in its business plan will be more rigorously tested as the company matures.

Commenting on the figure itself, the digital company said in a statement: "During 2012 Spotify saw dramatically increased revenues while maintaining a free-to-paid conversion rate of well over 20% - unheard of for a freemium business, and a clear demonstration of the success of the business model".

"In 2012 the business focused on driving user growth, international expansion and product development, resulting in soaring user numbers and increased market penetration. Our key priority throughout 2013 and beyond remains bringing our unrivalled music experience to even more people while continuing to build for long-term growth - both for our company and for the music industry as a whole".

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Rihanna has won a legal battle with Topshop over a t-shirt featuring her image, though the ruling is specifically narrow so as to not introduce a new image right for celebrities.

The popstress sued the British retailer last year when it started selling a t-shirt with her image on it. However, the retail firm had correctly licensed the photo of the star featured on the garment from the copyright owner, meaning the singer couldn't sue under copyright law.

The case reignited the debate about image rights, which don't currently exist in the UK, but which give celebrities some control over the commercial exploitation of their image, even when they don't own the intellectual property rights in photography or artwork in which they feature.

However, in the end Rihanna won her legal battle by utilising the more traditional concept of 'passing off', which protects consumers from being sold products they think have an official link to an individual or company, but do not.

To that end, the case depended on the argument that the picture used on Topshop's t-shirt was "very similar" to imagery employed on the artwork to Rihanna's album 'Talk That Talk'. The judge ruled that there was sufficient similarity to confuse customers into thinking the t-shirt had been officially endorsed by the singer.

But, said judge Colin Birss, this ruling did not mean that celebrities had a "freestanding general right" to control the use of their image, and nor had Rihanna's privacy been breached by the photographer who snapped the photo Topshop used.

The ruling in Rihanna's favour could cost Topshop £3 million, though the retailer is expected to appeal.

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Wiley has said he has no intention of returning his fee to promoters of the CockRock Festival in Cumbria, after organisers of the charity event said they were planning legal action after the rapper stormed off stage after just fifteen minutes of his 45 minute set.

As previously reported, Wiley received a hostile reception at the Cockermouth event last month, partly because he had been busy slagging off the festival on Twitter ahead of his arrival. The rapper says he left the stage early because the audience were throwing things at the stage, adding that staff at the festival had advised him to walk if that happened.

But organisers have countered that the atmosphere during the short Wiley set was not as hostile or dangerous as the rapper has claimed, and that security had it under control. With that in mind, the BBC says promoters now plan to sue to get some of Wiley's reported £15K fee back.

But the rapper told the Beeb: "They say it's a charity event and they want their money back. I've just stood on stage and been coined and bottled. Obviously I'm not giving the money back".

Adding that the critical tweets ahead of the show were aimed at his agent, not the CockRock audience, he continued: "When I went on I knew some people were going to be unhappy. The escalation on Twitter is uncontrollable. The woman who was looking after us said if it gets too much, come off. After fifteen minutes I looked at the floor and it was covered in coins. Any one of those coins could have taken my eye out".

Despite seemingly ready to fight over the fees, Wiley did seem keen to play down any beef between him and the people of Cumbria. Asked why he referred to locals as 'pagans', he quickly cleared that one up. "Pagan's just a word but they don't know that yet. It's a London thing. I don't want them to think I hate Cumbria". In case you wondered, 'pagan' is just slang for 'idiot'. So that's alright then.

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So, no sooner has Labour MP Tom Watson written in the NME that it's embarrassing when David Cameron pretends to like pop music, word arrives that he was at it again at the G8 summit last month.

Even worse, he was trying to get other world leaders to join in. Each of them was given a USB stick featuring ten tracks from new-ish British artists. So, we may as yet find out what Vladmir Putin thinks of Alt-J.

Software developer Dan Williams uncovered the contents of the playlist, compiled for Cameron by the BPI, with a Freedom Of Information request. Number Ten apparently replied with a Spotify playlist.

You can listen to the full list - if these ten artists haven't been tarnished by association already - here. Though maybe have a look at the tracklist first below before you press play. At least it's another reason not to listen to Jake Bugg.

Alt-J - Tessellate
Jake Bugg - Lightning Bolt
Laura Mvula - Green Garden
Lianne La Havas - Is Your Love Big Enough?
Ben Howard - Only Love
Gabrielle Aplin - Home
Tom Odell - Another Love
Rudimental feat John Newman - Feel The Love
Birdy - Skinny Love
Conor Maynard - Can't Say No

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Mutya Keisha Siobhan, aka the original Sugababes line up, reckon they could have reclaimed the 'Sugababes' name for their new venture had they wanted to.

Keisha Buchanan told the BBC: "We could have had the [Sugababes] name if we wanted to go and get it, I guess, but we didn't feel like we needed it. I feel like there was so much emphasis on 'the name', and we sort of wanted it to be about us".

Of course, there was that whole thing when Mutya Buena attempted to trademark the Sugababes name after leaving the group. She was indeed successful, though only if she planned to use the name on "paper products and stationery".

Universal Music secured the mark in all the areas that a pop group might need it. Which didn't look much like a successful attempt by ex-members to take the name back. But perhaps Buchanan knows something we don't.

In fact, it looks like the name might be about to become available again anyway, if a claim by current Sugababe Jade Ewen, that they are "pretty much done", is true. She told Digital Spy she has no current plans to go back into the studio with fellow Babes Heidi Range and Amelle Berrabah, and isn't sure they ever will.

Ewen told the entertainment website: "I don't even know if the band stuff is going to happen again, if I'm completely honest. I think Amelle wants to do her own solo stuff, Heidi is doing a 'Happy Days' musical... I think we're pretty much done".

Either way, Ewen was certainly more interested in talking about her solo work. She continued: "I'm working on solo material at the moment actually. It's only come about in the past three weeks, so it's quite a new project. No one's really seen me yet. I sang for Eurovision, I've been in a band, but I don't think anyone really knows what I'm about".

Though, Ewen added, she would be interested in a tour involving all six of the Babes, ie the current line-up of the group, and the original one. She went on: "I would love to do a giant tour of all the Sugababes, old line-up and new line-up. That would be awesome, it would sell out".

She's right, it probably would be awesome, and highly profitable for whichever promoter got the rights to the project - even after paying for the psychiatric counselling any tour manager would surely need after coordinating that lot backstage.

Anyway, whether that ever happens remains to be seen. Right now, MKS are preparing to play their first show together in their current incarnation tonight at The Scala in London.

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An autumnally-attired (prematurely, I'd say) Gary Numan has announced a new album, 'Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)', his first studio LP since 2006's 'Jagged'.

Due out on 14 Oct, it'll feature Nine Inch Nails/GNR's Robin Finck on guest guitar, and is produced by Ade Fenton.

Hear one of its tracks, titled 'Dust', here, and find a transcription of Gaz's just-added 'Splinter' tour dates, here:

7 Nov: Bristol, Academy
8 Nov: Dublin, Button Factory
11 Nov: Sheffield, Academy
12 Nov: Newcastle, Academy
13 Nov: Glasgow, ABC
14 Nov: Manchester, Academy
15 Nov: Oxford, Academy
16 Nov: London, Roundhouse
18 Nov: Brighton, The Dome
19 Nov: Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall

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The next LP from LA beat-maker Daedelus, aka Alfred Weisberg-Roberts, is titled 'Drown Out', and will be released 16 Sep.

Seated in themes of melancholy and grief inspired by recent bereavements in Weisberg-Roberts' life, its press release states that the new record is "a heart-on-sleeve meditation devoted to loss, coded language and the maddening failures of communication" that "one can still bob one's head to".

Daedelus says: "Everyone deals with death and departure in their own way. For me, it started to stew and manifest itself in sound... There was a longing to express myself louder then the grief. This is the album that I needed to make".

Stream an initial LP preview, 'Paradiddle', here.

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Laurel Canyon-esque renaissance man Jonathan Wilson is to release a new LP, titled 'Fanfare', in the stead of 2011's 'Gentle Spirit'. Wilson says he aimed at a "widescreen" kind of vibe whilst making the LP, mainly by bringing in "strings, horns, voices, solos, improvisation", aka an orchestra, and a Steinway grand piano.

A substantial 'Fanfare' guestlist features several all-time Americana greats, not least Graham Nash, David Crosby, Jackson Brown and Roy Harper, plus the comparatively 'green' likes of Father John Misty and Wilco's Patrick Sansone.

Reflecting on all that, Wilson adds: "There are an awful lot of wizards on this album. Wizards of all ages and life experiences. All these amazing voices and musicians. There is a high degree of musical prowess and pedigree here. Cross-generational musical sharing and passing down traditions is very important to me and something that must continue. This is the way you keep the 'Fanfare' blowing, this is how you keep the energies interacting".

'Fanfare' is released via Bella Union on 14 Oct. In the mean time, here's a preface to it in listed track 'Dear Friend'.

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Tennessean dream team Jensen Sportag have taken a leaf (ie a track) out of their TBA first LP, which is released later this year - in 'fall', I believe - via Cascine.

Play 'Bellz', as that leaf/track is titled, here.

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Faux-nasty Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds have augmented their sold out October tour of the UK to the tune of a new show. It's in Brighton, where Cave lives with his family, at the Dome, on 24 Oct. Tickets to it will go on sale 2 Aug at this link.

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Folk-pop fops Foxygen have capped a spate of inter-band spats and mishaps by possibly cancelling several live dates in North America and Canada, this after singer/guitarist Sam France broke his leg falling off stage mid-set in Minneapolis earlier this week.

Writing via the Foxygen Facebook page, a rep has said the band may yet be able to play their next date at this year's Pickathon festival, which starts in Portland on 2 Aug, albeit by giving "subdued performance".

The message adds: "Sam needs to have surgery this morning. We will be back. It all depends on healing ands travel time. On the bright side, Sam will probably have a cool cane or something. Thank you all for understanding. We'll play again soon".

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Today's capsule collection of FLUUS features (well, consists of) additions to the Relentless stage at this year's Leeds Festival, and news of a late 'special guest' aligning with Maximo Park, Mystery Jets, Deaf Havana, Ghoestpoet, Johnny Borrell & Zazou and Swim Deep on the bill at Worcestershire one-dayer Ringmaster:

LEEDS FESTIVAL, Bramham Park, Leeds, 23-25 Aug: Clean Bandit, Kiwi, Dan Greenpeace, TCTS, Major Look, Alex Light, The Frederik, Burns.

RINGMASTER, Whitbourne Estate, Whitbourne, Worcestershire, 28 Sep: Hadouken!

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Merlin, the organisation that negotiates deals with digital music firms on behalf of a stack of independent labels around the world, has announced it is cutting its fees.

The agency has announced that its admin fee on Spotify income will decrease from 4% to 3%, while its cut on other digital revenues secured via Merlin-negotiated agreements will fall from 6% to 3%. Rates are slightly higher for Merlin-affiliated labels which are not members of their local indie label trade bodies, though those will also fall, to 3.9% across the board.

Music Week quotes Merlin chief Charles Caldas thus: "It is certainly very satisfying to be able to announce this reduction so soon after the reduction we made in January, and we trust that this further underlines to all members our commitment to continuing to deliver the maximum possible value via our activities".

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Bauer Media has announced an overhaul of the website for Mojo magazine, with new online-only content strands going live, including Track Of The Day, Clip Of The Day and a series of long-form features. There'll also be a series of special promotions, kicking off with a focus on the catalogue of Warner's Rhino Records.

Confirming the stepped up online activity around the Mojo brand, the magazine's Editor In Chief Phil Alexander told CMU: "The re-launch of Mojo4Music is a great news for music obsessives around the world as we believe it will give them access to great music, filtered as ever through Mojo's discerning point of view. This fully responsive site will ensure our readers have access to quality whenever and wherever they want. Along with our weekly music show, Mojo Rocks on Planet Rock, the new Mojo site is an exciting development in what is Mojo's 20th anniversary year - further celebrations of which have yet to be revealed".

Martin Bojtos, Music Commercial Director at Mojo, Q and Kerrang!, added: "Building on great content and design, the new site will also offer our clients a wide range of new advertising options to effectively target our passionate audience, including high-impact formats, mobile advertisements and much more. We are delighted to welcome Rhino Records on board as our launch commercial partner given their iconic status amongst our core audience".

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Ignoring all the flaws in methodology, let's look at ten nuggets of info from the latest radio station listening figures published today by RAJAR.

1. At 5.9 million, Nick Grimshaw's Radio 1 breakfast show is still bringing in 900,000 fewer listeners than that of his predecessor Chris Moyles, though he has found 100,000 new listeners in the last quarter, with BBC research suggesting that 70% of these are in Radio 1's target 15-24 age bracket (a sizeable portion of the Moyles listenership being outside that core demographic).

2. But that does mean that the Radio 1 breakfast show now lags behind Radio 4's Today programme, which saw its audience rise in the last quarter. The Chris Evans breakfast show on Radio 2 remains by far the biggest show on British radio, despite its audience slipping slightly this time.

3. Nevertheless, following a number of schedule changes, including the move of Grimshaw to breakfast, Radio 1 saw its weekly audience rise by over 750,000 people in the last quarter to eleven million. So, plenty to smile about there.

4. Both Radio 2 and Radio 4 scored record listening figures this quarter (ie their highest since current RAJAR system began in 1999). Radio 2's weekly audience was 15.44 million, while Radio 4's audience rose to 10.97 million.

5. On the digital spectrum, the Asian Network saw its audience rise from 554,000 to 587,000, while the 6music audience slipped slightly, from 1.81 million to 1.79 million.

6. Into the commercial domain, Absolute Radio, just acquired by Bauer, saw its listening figures rise by 17.5% quarter-to-quarter, topping 1.98 million. If you include the spin-off digital stations run by Absolute, the company has an audience of 3.76 million.

7. In London, Global's Capital FM wins the breakfast show battle, with the Lisa Snowdon and Dave Berry fronted show reaching 1.1 million listeners a week. Sister station Heart had the second biggest breakfast show in the capital, while Bauer's Kiss FM saw its primetime show move into third place, ahead of breakfast on another Bauer station Magic.

8. It was a good quarter for Kiss in general, which increased its audience by nearly 25%, making it the second biggest station in London, just behind Capital FM - 2.18 million weekly listeners from Capital, 2.01 million for Kiss. Heart and Magic were pushed into third and fourth place respectively.

9. The Real and Smooth stations, although in limbo while Global Radio deals with a tough Competition Commission ruling regards its acquisition of the networks, has increased its network-wide audience to 5.7 million, up 260,000 year-on-year, and 163,000 quarter-on-quarter.

10. Digital listening - ie consumption of radio via a digital platform (including DAB, TV and online) - is up again, 16% year-on-year. 28 million people now listen to radio digitally, with 24 million apparently having access to a DAB digital radio receiver. In terms of listening hours, 58.6% still happens via the FM and AM networks, though that falls to 48.4% if you take out in-car listening.

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Bon Jovi keyboard player David Bryan recently wore Google Glass on stage at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. So that's fun, isn't it? Showing off the awesome power of Google's new face tech, the band uploaded a video shot by Bryan to their YouTube profile, and the results are... well, let's not get too excited about anything just yet, eh?

For some reason, none of the actual performance features in the video, probably because the sound is utterly awful. But fans of corridors will be excited to know that we do get to see around the back of the stage and what it's like to climb up a step ladder.

But, hey, what did the owner of the glasses, PR guy Chris Barrett, think of it all?

Well, he told C-Net: "I kind of didn't believe that I'd actually get to share my Google Glass with the band. I got to give demos to the entire band, management, family, and even some of the security at the stadium. I knew this was a moment of rock history. This was the first time Google Glass has ever been on stage at a sold out stadium concert. I think this is the most futuristic point of view concert video ever. This was the most amazing night of my life".

Oh, so apparently I was wrong. It is actual very exciting indeed, I was completely mistaken early. Behold, the most futuristic point of view concert film ever made.

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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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