An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Tuesday 2 Aug 2014
 
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The American record industry isn't going to get a speedy resolution to the grand debate over what, exactly, is the deal with sound recordings that pre-date 1972 when it comes satellite and online operators. As much previously reported, in America, unlike Europe, traditional broadcasters are not obliged to pay royalties to the record labels even though they routinely play said companies... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Italian drum n bass festival Sun And Bass kicks off on the island of Sardinia on 6 Sep, but before that the people behind it have teamed up with promoter innerSoul for a special night at Plan B in Brixton. Those not able to get across to the sunnier side of Europe next month will be able to sample some of the picks of the festival's line-up. Total Science, Eveson, Bailey, A-Sides, Randall, Klute, Bryan G, Chef... [READ MORE]
   
BEEF OF THE WEEK: "Gotta let me in", sang B*Witched on their enduring 1998 hit 'C'est La Vie'. "Let the fun begin". This week it emerged that anyone listening to Supergrass's eponymous 1999 album on Spotify, instead of hearing lead single 'Pumping On Your Stereo', would instead find themselves listening to that B*Witched song in its place. The response from Supergrass fans alerting Spotify to this on Twitter did... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Possible setback for the labels in ongoing dispute with Sirius over pre-1972 recordings
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DEALS Abbey Road extends alliance with Chandler Limited
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Asian streaming service scores $104 million in investment, hopes for further expansion
Universal invests into B2B streaming start-up
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ARTIST NEWS Dame Dash sorry for behaving badly in Big Pimpin vid
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RELEASES The Body and Sandworm announce split LP
Jamie Cullum releasing another covers LP
Hookworms announce next LP
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Pearls Negras announce UK shows
Amber Run and Fyfe playing Communion's New Faces tour
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AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #221: B*Witched v Supergrass
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Possible setback for the labels in ongoing dispute with Sirius over pre-1972 recordings
The American record industry isn't going to get a speedy resolution to the grand debate over what, exactly, is the deal with sound recordings that pre-date 1972 when it comes satellite and online operators.

As much previously reported, in America, unlike Europe, traditional broadcasters are not obliged to pay royalties to the record labels even though they routinely play said companies' recordings. Though they do pay royalties to the music publishers via the collective licensing system. Satellite and online broadcasters, however, do pay royalties to the labels, usually via the SoundExchange system, because of a bit of 1990s federal law.

But federal - so US-wide - copyright law only kicked in back in 1972, prior to that copyright operated at a state level in America. So, satellite broadcaster Sirius XM and various online radio services have argued, the royalty obligations set out in the 1990s federal legislation to not apply to the pre-1972 catalogue, which includes, of course, all that still rather popular 1950s and 1960s rock n roll. The labels, though, unsurprisingly, reckon that royalties are still due on the older repertoire.

There has been some discussion as to whether, in this specific case, federal law should actually apply to all copyright protected works, even if a copyright originates at a state level. Though the copyright owners themselves are divided on that viewpoint. Because they are concurrently arguing that 'safe harbour' protections that stem from the same 1990s federal copyright acts, and which are exploited by the likes of Grooveshark to operate without licences from most labels, should also not apply to pre-1972 recordings. And in that scenario the 1972 technicality aids the labels.

So the record companies have mainly argued, in their ongoing legal battle with Sirius over pre-1972 royalties, that an obligation for the satellite broadcaster to pay exists in state law (specifically Californian law in the main case), and precedents set under said state laws. And to that end they have been urging the judge overseeing the case to say as much when giving the jury that will eventually rule on the dispute their instructions.

It was an ambitious request, given it would pretty much settle the argument around which the whole case revolves before any actual arguments could be had. So it's perhaps not surprising that, according to The Hollywood Reporter, judge Mary Strobel has indicated she is likely to reject the record industry's jury instruction motion.

At a hearing on Wednesday, Strobel mused that the case law the labels have presented to back their arguments is not necessarily relevant to the Sirius XM case, indicating she would rather this debate be had before the jury, rather than it being settled before they arrive. Although a final ruling on the matter is still pending, that decision would be a set back for the labels, in that Sirius would still be in the running to win the debate in court at a later date.

The labels' litigation against Sirius isn't the only lawsuit relating to the pre-1972 question, though another being pursued by the aforementioned SoundExchange has been put on hold so that the US Copyright Royalty Board can first consider the arguments put forward by both sides in the dispute. That particular case centres heavily on a previous CRB ruling.

Abbey Road extends alliance with Chandler Limited
Universal's Abbey Road Studios has extended its partnership with audio kit maker Chandler Limited, which will see the latter continue to sell and expand its 'Abbey Road Series' of audio equipment, which carry the Abbey Road and EMI brands (Abbey Road coming to Universal via its EMI acquisition of course, and the EMI Record Engineering Development Department having built lots of sound recording kit there back in the day).

Confirming Abbey Road's ten year partnership with Chandler is being renewed, the studio's Head Of Audio Products Mirek Stiles told reporters: "Thanks to Chandler Limited, a whole new generation of engineers and producers today have access to EMI hardware, inspired by the very units used to record some of the biggest pop hits in history. Abbey Road Studios is extremely proud to be associated with these excellent examples of quality recording hardware. We are delighted that our partnership has been extended and look forward to releasing new products that continue to keep the Electronic And Musical Industries legend alive".

Meanwhile Chandler Limited's Chief Designer Wade Goeke said: "I'm delighted to be starting a new era with Abbey Road Studios. We have already logged ten years together, but this new agreement will allow us to expand our product lines and develop our relationship as a whole. We will be offering products based upon classic EMI equipment that has never been modelled before, including REDD and RS units, as well as new directions in the TG line. There are also a few tricks that we have up our sleeve, which I think will surprise people. We are very excited about what the future holds".

Asian streaming service scores $104 million in investment, hopes for further expansion
Asian streaming service KKBOX announced yesterday that it had raised a neat $104 million in new investment from the Singapore government's investment corporation GIC. The new funds will be used to both enhance the platform's technology and to fuel further global expansion.

In its original base of Taiwan, KKBOX was one of the early pioneers in streaming music, originally launching in 2004, slightly ahead of the Pandora internet radio service in the US, which emerged the following year (though Yahoo! had been dabbling with streaming music for a few years by that point). The Taiwanese service's expansion into other Asian markets was aided by Japanese telecom giant KDDI Group becoming a significant shareholder in 2010.

KKBOX now operates in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand and clearly has ambitions to expand further. Whether that means moving outside the Asian market isn't clear, though as US and European services compete ever more aggressively in Asian territories, KKBOX will be hoping to remain a dominant player in the region.

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Universal invests into B2B streaming start-up
A US-based virtual jukebox service has scored a "strategic investment" from Universal Music, according to TechCruch.

Rockbot is a jukebox-type system sold to bars and cafes which allows customers to interact with the platform via a mobile app, enabling them to pick and vote for what music is played. The B2B service also offers other licensed music services for businesses who aren't turned on by the consumer-interaction gimmick, providing an in-store radio-style set-up that is especially attractive to smaller restaurant chains.

Rockbot isn't the only start-up looking to reinvent the jukebox/in-store-radio business through a B2B streaming platform, though the Universal alliance could give it an edge, especially if it ever looks to score content exclusives to gain a competitive edge.

The exact size of Universal's investment is not known.

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Sun And Bass at Plan B
Italian drum n bass festival Sun And Bass kicks off on the island of Sardinia on 6 Sep, but before that the people behind it have teamed up with promoter innerSoul for a special night at Plan B in Brixton.

Those not able to get across to the sunnier side of Europe next month will be able to sample some of the picks of the festival's line-up. Total Science, Eveson, Bailey, A-Sides, Randall, Klute, Bryan G, Chef, and Sun And Bass's very own Alite will all be on the decks, plus there will be some special guests revealed on the night.

If you're into your dnb then you need to check this one out tonight.

Friday 29 Aug, Plan B, 418 Brixton Road, London, SW9 7AY, 9pm-6am, £12+, more info here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Dame Dash sorry for behaving badly in Big Pimpin vid
Hi. You know in Jay-Z's 'Big Pimpin' video circa 2000, right, when hip hop kingpin Dame Dash spills his champagne (deliberately) all over some models? Well, a now older and more enlightened Dash has since realised that, not only was his spilling the champagne on the models a pretty careless thing to do financially, it was also disrespectful and sexist.

And that epiphany only took, oh, NEARLY FOURTEEN YEARS to arrive in Dame's mind. Still, it did eventually, which I think we can all agree calls for a toast.

Contemplating it all, as one does, to Hip Hop Motivation lately, the one-time Roc-A-Fella boss said: "There's things that I see that I did on videos when I was younger that I be like, 'Damn, I was bugging'. Champagne Dame, that dude, he was bugging. I don't even know that guy. If my son even did that I would be appalled".

Apologising straight to the models, he added: "I'm sorry to all the girls that I poured champagne [on]. I'm not gonna say... because it was Champagne Dame, but I'm not gonna say that excuses it, but I do apologise. I really do. I wouldn't do that now".

So that's all quite nice. I think the girls will really appreciate it.

The Body and Sandworm announce split LP
Metal duos The Body and Sandworm have announced that they will release a split LP through Thrill Jockey on 20 Oct.

The two Providence, Rhode Island-based bands have been associated for a number of years now, with Sandworm's Ben Eberle and Pat Reilly both appearing on The Body's 'Christs, Redeemers', and Eberle also contributing vocals to the recently released 'I Shall Die Here'.

The Body's drone metal opens the album with sixteen minute 'The Manic Fire' taking up side one of the vinyl, while black metallers Sandworm take the rest of the space on the record with a further ten tracks.

Explaining how the project came together, Eberle told CMU: "Most of these songs were written a couple years ago, so we've been sitting on them for a while. We finally put some time aside and devoted ourselves to getting a proper release and good recordings. Our first instinct was to ask long-time friends Chip and Lee if they would be into doing a split and they agreed. We couldn't be more satisfied with the way things have turned out. The two styles compliment each other well. The Body side is killer, some of my favourite stuff from them".

Listen to Sandworm's 'Desert Warfare', which is taken from the album.

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Jamie Cullum releasing another covers LP
BBC Radio 2's most played man-child Jamie Cullum has a new LP waiting in the wings, consisting of covers which "avoid more obvious jazz standard choices" (like Nina Simone's little-known 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood', for instance) that JC discovered whilst on one of his many, many crate-digging trips. Titled 'Interlude', it'll make its way into shops on 6 Oct, nicely in time to be available as a half-price Xmas gift for your granny.

Anyway, I'll stop being needlessly mean and let Jamie speak. He says re 'Interlude': "It's very much something that was recorded in a celebratory way - a celebration of people I've met through doing the radio show. Of young British, under-the-radar, shit-hot jazz musicians, those corners of the music that all of us who gathered behind the old fish market love so much. It's a true collaboration".

The 'fish market' bit, by the way, is a fond nod to the fish market in Willesden behind which Jamie taped and mixed 'Interlude' (in a studio) alongside its producer Ben Lamdin. As well as hints of Lamdin, the LP features Laura Mvula and Grammy-winning jazz man Gregory Porter.

Here's the tracklisting, which features Jamie's takes on songs like Jimmy Durante's 'Make Someone Happy' and 'Losing You' by the artist Solange (not really, it's the Randy Newman song):

Interlude
Don't You Know
Seers Tower
Walkin
Good Morning Heartache (feat Laura Mvula)
Sack O Woe
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (feat Gregory Porter)
My One And Only Love
Lovesick Blues
Losing You
Out Of This World
Make Someone Happy

ALSO J-to-the-C is playing two shows at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club (obvs) on 17 and 18 Sep. Tickets are on sale now, via ronniescotts.co.uk

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Hookworms announce next LP
Having made the world a richer and stranger place to live in via their really (really really really) excellent first LP, the approved 'Pearl Mystic', in the year 2013, Leeds psych screamers Hookworms have come slithering back with news of a new one they're releasing via Domino's Weird World on 10 Nov, titled 'The Hum'.

It's led by a single named 'The Impasse', which the band played live on Wednesday night via Marc Riley's BBC 6music show, this in addition to new track 'On Leaving' and past A-side 'Radio Tokyo'. Listen again here, and head for 'The Impasse' here.

Pearls Negras announce UK shows
Brazilian rap trio Pearls Negras have announced that they will play their first European shows in the coming weeks, starting tonight with a headline show at the Aoûtside festival in France. Amongst their itinerary are two London shows.

On the upcoming gigs, Mariana from the group told CMU: "For me it's really important that with this tour we manage to get our message across and leave an impression on the public. I am also really curious to see how they are going to react. Apart from that I am really looking forward to getting out here, having loads of fun,and also to buying some wicked clothes!"

Jenny added: "We want to conquer the public here, and in all the places that we go. I am looking forward to changing my look with some crazy hairstyles!"

The tour coincides with the release of a new single, 'Make It Last', which is taken from the group's CMU approved mixtape, 'Biggie Apple'.

Of the track, Mariana said: "'Make It Last' is about having fun, going out and not letting other people kill your vibe - let the night flow, cos the night is ours! This song, it's a call to forget all our problems for a while and celebrate!"

Alice added: "It's different from our other songs, where we talk about the problems of society and more serious subjects. It's much more pop!"

The video for the track sees the group employing some distinctly dark humour into their visuals. Check it out here.

You can catch Pearls Negras in London at the following dates:

4 Sep: Shoreditch, The Old Blue Last
13 Sep: Dalston, Birthdays

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Amber Run and Fyfe playing Communion's New Faces tour
Promotions co/label/state of mind Communion has listed the acts that'll be playing a series of shows as part of its twice-yearly New Faces Tour, which is designed to spotlight emerging artists. Nottingham quintet Amber Run, electronic soloist Fyfe, 'Pat Butcher enthusiast' (and alt-pop vocalist) Kimberley Anne and silky - sonically speaking that is - Oxford band Pixel Fix are all hitting 'intimate' spots in seven cities over seven days as here listed:

3 Nov: Brighton, Green Door Store
4 Nov: Bristol, Louisiana
5 Nov: London, St Stephens Church
7 Nov: Oxford, Art Bar
8 Nov: Manchester, Soup Kitchen
9 Nov: Nottingham, Bodega
10 Nov: Leeds, Holy Trinity Church

Amber Run say as one that they are all ''really excited to be playing alongside some wicked bands. Communion have been good to us so we're delighted to be on the tour". So that's nice. The right thing to do now is to go get tickets to your nearest date, here. A free EP featuring tracks by all the bands on the tour is available with each ticket purchased, by the way.

CMU Beef Of The Week #221: B*Witched v Supergrass
"Gotta let me in", sang B*Witched on their enduring 1998 hit 'C'est La Vie'. "Let the fun begin".

This week it emerged that anyone listening to Supergrass's eponymous 1999 album on Spotify, instead of hearing lead single 'Pumping On Your Stereo', would instead find themselves listening to that B*Witched song in its place.

The response from Supergrass fans alerting Spotify to this on Twitter did not conclusively prove or disprove the theory posited in those B*Witched lyrics, that is to say, they were let in, but did the fun then begin? Opinion remains divided. It's also still a bit of a mystery as to how exactly this happened.

It's believed that the audio was submitted to Spotify incorrectly, and as of this morning the error has been fixed by Warner. But the more astute among you will remember that Supergrass were never actually signed to Warner Music before they split in 2010. The first five of their six albums, including 'Supergrass', were released by Parlophone.

Parlophone, of course, has been passed around a bit over the past couple of years, before settling down as a Warner subsidiary. It was briefly linked to Universal too, after a long stint as part of EMI. But the one major it's not rubbed up against is Sony, which, through its Epic imprint, released B*Witched's debut album. So a simple mix up of tracks from the same catalogue released at a similar point in history isn't the answer.

I'm holding out hope that this was a deliberate act by an unknown person, who has conducted the greatest ever mutation of the 'rickrolling' phenomenon.

It's not clear how long the switch was in place before Digital Spy picked up on it this week, but imagine how long that possible someone was potentially waiting for their joke to come to light. The quiet chuckles to themselves late at night. The occasional plays of the track to check it was still there. If this was a conscious act, the private joy of whomever did it must have been overwhelming.

The artists involved also saw the funny side too, which isn't really in the spirit of the beef. "I realise I sound remarkably like and have a similar girlish figure to B*Witched, but this is somewhat surprising", tweeted Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes.

Meanwhile, B*Witched's Lindsay Armaou told CMU: "Haha! What can I say! We have B*Witching powers. It's an interesting mix-up. I think we need to do a B*Witched/Supergrass remix - it could be genius! I wonder if Gaz would be up for it?"

The group's Keavy Lynch added: "It's hilarious. I'm not sure Supergrass would be too happy if someone believed it was them, but who knows?! Maybe a collaboration is on the cards!"

Maybe indeed. I mean, look at the success of McBusted. Band reunions via mergers with other bands are clearly the next step for the music industry. Supergrass should get on this quickly, before the moment has passed. Keavy even suggested a name for the project: Superwitch. And you have to admit, that is a better name than McBusted.

So look! This is no beef at all. For all the criticism Spotify gets, it really does have the power to bring people together.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
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ALY BARCHI | Staff Writer
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