TODAY'S TOP STORY: The entertainment business set up by one-time hip hop mogul Russell Simmons in 2013, All Def Digital, has denied reports that it is closing down. Although its CEO has admitted that a "major restructuring" is underway ahead of a "strategic deal"... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Russell Simmons-founded All Def Digital denies closure rumours
LEGAL Fat Joe sues insurer for failing to pay for his defence in copyright dispute
LIVE BUSINESS UK Music calls out Google following CMA's latest Viagogo announcement
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Line Music expands into Taiwan
ARTIST NEWS Mystery Jets pay tribute to the NHS with new single, Hospital Radio
Lacuna Coil announce new album Black Anima
ONE LINERS Ed Sheeran, Beck, Blood Orange, more
AND FINALLY... Mac DeMarco hopes to get "get a new homie" after Mitski album title fall out
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email advertising@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060.
Located in the east London office, this is the perfect position for anyone with a passion for independent music. Secretly Group is an independently owned company that that includes the Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian record labels.

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Islington Assembly Hall is seeking an Assistant Venue Manager, Operations. You will be one of the first points of contact for new and current business, proactively responding to enquiries and be able to negotiate rates in order to maximise profits.

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Stones Throw is seeking a Project Manager to work in our London office. The project manager will work closely with the UK & Europe Label Manager to develop and deliver Stones Throw's UK and European campaigns.

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Domino is hiring a Junior Radio Plugger to join its busy in-house promo team. The ideal candidate would have at least one year’s appropriate experience in radio, superb organizational skills and a solid contact list. 

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The role of the Marketing Executive at Fanbytes is to work on our lead generation efforts closely with the CEO and eventually building our lead gen team. You will be working with our social and content to help build the brand of Fanbytes.

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Tru Thoughts is looking to hire a Digital & Marketing Co-ordinator to work in-house at the company's office in Brighton. The candidate should be confident and organized, with a demonstrable passion for the label’s music (and a love of being by the sea).

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bitbird is a record label and creative company spearheaded by San Holo, based in The Netherlands. Your responsibility will be ensuring the commercial success of our releases through the creation and execution of press campaigns, radio campaigns, and overseeing the general day to day marketing tasks.

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Academy Music Group is seeking fixed-term maternity cover for twelve months reporting to the Head of Communications and Public Relations, responsible for supporting the day-to-day running of the press office for AMG, its venues, and its national promoters, Academy Events.

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!K7 is seeking a Head of Digital & Streaming to set and execute global streaming and digital strategy for all !K7 Music repertoire, including in-house labels and across the Label Services division.

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Independent music publisher Bucks Music seeks Copyright Team Member – ideal for somebody with existing copyright experience or alternatively with collection society experience looking to make a transition.

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Islington Assembly Hall is a busy 890 capacity venue with over 220 events per year. As Events Co-ordinator – Marketing & Box Office, you will oversee all ticketing and box office activity, be responsible for all social media posts and work closely with the Assembly Hall team on overall marketing strategy.

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Listen Up is currently recruiting for a highly motivated Senior Press Manager with a passion for electronic music and industry relevant experience to join its rapidly growing team.

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BNDR Live is a part of our brand-new mobile app BNDR music, dedicated to showcasing the newest artists through live video. This will be a great opportunity for a team/individual to come on board and receive regular, fulfilling work that will be shown to audiences globally.

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Believe is seeking an International Marketing Manager. Reporting to the Head of Artist Services and working closely with the in-house label and artist services team this role is tasked with managing the roll-out of priority campaigns in key international markets.

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Russell Simmons-founded All Def Digital denies closure rumours
The entertainment business set up by one-time hip hop mogul Russell Simmons in 2013, All Def Digital, has denied reports that it is closing down. Although its CEO has admitted that a "major restructuring" is underway ahead of a "strategic deal".

Originally set up as a YouTube-centric management and label-style business, All Def Digital has expanded its activities over the years, with content production, live event and brand partnership divisions. At launch, Simmons' personal reputation in the music industry and large network of contacts played a key role in growing the business.

However, Simmons ended his active involvement in the venture in late 2017 after various women went public with allegations of sexual assault against him. He continues to deny all of those allegations, one of which is still subject to litigation.

Last week the website Tubefilter reported that All Def Digital was basically shutting down. Citing various anonymous sources, it said that following broad layoffs at the company, an advisory firm was now in the building "divvy[ing] up assets" of the business.

But All Def Digital's CEO Chris Blackwell has now denied those reports saying, in a short statement, that "we are reorganising the company in advance of a strategic deal". It remains unclear what that means exactly, though presumably more information will follow at some point soon.

According to Variety, not only did Simmons stop actively working with All Def Digital in 2017, but he hasn't had an ownership interest in the business since 2018 either.


Fat Joe sues insurer for failing to pay for his defence in copyright dispute
American rapper Fat Joe - real name Joseph Cartagena - has sued a New York insurance company for refusing to cover his legal costs in a copyright infringement lawsuit over his 2016 Remy Ma collaboration 'All The Way Up'.

Cartagena was sued by another rapper - Fly Havana, real name Eric Elliott - back in March this year. Elliott claims that Cartagena's 'All The Way Up' is simply an evolution of a track of the same name that he had produced a year earlier. Elliott says he collaborated with Infrared on his original recording, who then also guested on the version Cartagena released.

For his part, Cartagena hasn't denied Elliot's involvement in creating his track. He previously referenced Elliot's contribution in an interview and, legal papers say, after its release he paid the other rapper a $5000 fee while also promising additional future royalties. But, Elliot says, those royalties never materialised, and now he wants the courts to confirm he was a co-creator on the record, and is therefore due a co-write credit and formal royalty share.

It was when Elliott went legal in March that Cartagena turned to the Homeland Insurance Company, hoping to rely on a relatively new insurance policy that covered any liabilities related to his professional music career. The insurers, he assumed, would foot the legal bill for fighting Elliott's lawsuit.

But no. Instead, the insurance company seemingly accused the rapper of having withheld important information when purchasing his insurance policy - which came into effect in January - about an ongoing situation that would likely result in a claim. It then also added that a copyright action of this kind wasn't covered by the insurance policy anyway.

But these reasons for not covering Cartagena's legal costs are "all patently false", the rapper said in a lawsuit filed against the insurance firm this week. According to Law 360, his legal papers add that: "Homeland has wrongfully denied coverage for this clearly-covered claim ... the conduct by Homeland is despicable and outrageous".

Dealing with the insurance firm's specific claims, Cartagena says that he could not have foreseen Elliot's litigation, having assumed that, by taking the $5000 fee, his fellow rapper would not be making any future claims over 'All The Way Up'. And, he adds, copyright infringement actions are covered by the insurance policy he bought.

Homeland is yet to respond to Cartagena's lawsuit. It's also not clear whether the rapper expects the insurer to cover his costs in pursuing legal action over the insurer's refusal to cover his costs in pursuing legal action. Maybe there's a totally different insurance firm he could sue over that.


UK Music calls out Google following CMA's latest Viagogo announcement
After the UK's Competition & Markets Authority announced it was about to instigate contempt of court proceedings against Viagogo last week, cross-sector trade group UK Music has again called on Google to do its bit by stopping the often controversial secondary ticketing site from buying its way to the top of ticket search lists.

The CMA confirmed last week that it would begin contempt proceedings against Viagogo because the ticket resale site still hasn't complied with a court order that the regulator secured last year. That injunction ordered Viagogo to meet various CMA demands designed to ensure the company was complying with British consumer rights law.

In addition to campaigning for new regulation of the secondary ticketing market - and the better enforcement of existing rules - those who oppose ticket touting have also, at various points, called on Google to take action.

A key marketing tactic of the secondary ticketing sites is to buy the ad spots that appear at the top of the list when people search for things like "Ariana Grande tickets". Although those paid-for listings are accompanied by a small "ad" icon, many people are not aware of the commercial side to Google search and therefore assume that whoever comes top in a search result list must be the official seller of tickets to a show.

Coupled with the deliberately misleading language traditionally used by some resale sites, and especially Viagogo, consumers have often bought touted tickets at hiked-up prices while assuming they were in fact transacting with a primary ticket seller.

Google did introduce its own rules for secondary sites that advertise on its search engine at the start of last year which aimed to provide some clarity for ticket buyers. But some feel that the web giant hasn't gone far enough to enforce either its own rules or consumer rights law in general, both in the UK and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, in the UK specifically, critics also argue that, once Viagogo was on the receiving end of an injunction for failing to comply with British law - and especially now it is facing proceedings for allegedly ignoring elements of that injunction - Google should have stopped taking the controversial company's advertising pound.

Responding to last week's CMA announcement, UK Music boss Michael Dugher said: "News that the CMA is proceeding with legal action against Viagogo is welcome and a timely reminder that music fans should avoid getting tickets from this website which continues to rip off music fans. Equally, it's high time Google stopped putting Viagogo at the top of their search engine when customers are looking for tickets, when they could instead be directed towards legitimate, lower [priced] primary ticket sales".

On the CMA's legal case against Viagogo in general, Dugher added - while namechecking anti-touting campaign FanFair and those in Parliament who have called for a crackdown on the online touts - "UK Music, the FanFair Alliance and cross-party MPs have long campaigned for action against exploitative secondary ticketing providers. We urge the courts to join us and say no to Viagogo".


Line Music expands into Taiwan
Japanese streaming set-up Line Music - the music service of the Line messaging app - is expanding into a third market this week, it set to go live in Taiwan on Wednesday.

Line Music launched in Thailand and Japan in 2015. It was an early entrant into the Japanese streaming market, where the shift to digital has happened much slower, of course.

Line's musical dabblings were particularly supported by Sony's Japanese music business and the country's 'fourth major' Avex, which were initially keen that Japan's record industry have more control over any emerging streaming market there, rather than just having the global players roll in and take over.

The launch in Taiwan comes as the wider Line business seeks to boost its user-base in the country. In contrast to its Japanese launch, Line Music is rather late to the party in Taiwan, where Spotify and Apple Music already compete with home-grown KKBox.

According to Taiwan News, the company has recruited pop star Coco Lee to be its brand ambassador as it launches in the country, and will also sponsor her upcoming tour dates, including a show in the Taiwanese capital Taipei.


Approved: Nami Sato
Eight years ago, Nami Sato's home town near the city of Sendai in northeast Japan was entirely washed away by the 2011 tsunami. Her latest EP, 'Our Map Here', comprises five instrumental tracks reflecting on the area's recovery by using field recordings. The idea, she says, "was to create a map of memories around the coastline of Sendai City".

Originally created for a memorial installation next to a subway station nearest to the town where she grew up, each track layers different recordings of life in the area among her music. Far from what you might expect, the release is filled with joy and hope.

"These are soundscapes of the area that was heavily affected by [the] Great East Japan Earthquake, where the tsunami washed my whole town away on the 11 Mar 2011", she says. "Some people may say that those places are completely gone since the tsunami. But we know it's not true. There are beautiful new things born every day in the place where it has lost everything in the past, and I want you to know it".

Explaining further how she went about creating the field recordings, she says: "Instead of directly interviewing the locals, I focused on capturing the sound of local festivals of affected areas and disaster relief events. I created collages of sound by extracting and using the most personally memorable part of the recording".

This is not Sato's first release related to the tsunami. In 2011, she independently released an album titled 'In Spring At The North Wasteland' to raise funds for children orphaned in the natural disaster. Words like 'wasteland' no longer appear in her work with 'Our Map Here' instead feeling celebratory.

Listen to the EP's opening track, 'Arahama', here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Mystery Jets pay tribute to the NHS with new single, Hospital Radio
Mystery Jets have released new single 'Hospital Radio'. It's a tribute to the NHS and its staff, and recently had its first airings on a number of hospital radio stations around London.

Frontman Blane Harrison - who has spent a significant amount of time in hospital due to spina bifida - says of the song: "I was born in the NHS and it has saved my life several times over. I spent so much time on wards growing up that they became a second home to me and inspired the first song I wrote".

"Over the years, I have come to see NHS nurses and doctors as our guardian angels [who were] beautifully portrayed at the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony", he continues. "But austerity measures over recent years have meant that the spectre of privatisation has become a very real and threatening prospect".

"Whilst in hospital last month for on-going leg surgery, I lay in bed watching President Trump's televised address to the British media, in which he boasted that NHS contracts would be part of future trade deals", he goes on. "It gave me the chills, as it must have done to many others. I felt especially fearful of what the future might hold for the elderly people in the beds around me, many of whom are already in danger of falling through the cracks of the social care system".

Finally, he says: "Sometimes music can reach places deep within us that can't be reached by words alone. On this, the 71st anniversary of the creation of the National Health Service, it feels right to release this song to express our gratitude".

The band will be playing a number of festival shows over the summer, where presumably the new song will also get an airing. Listen to 'Hospital Radio' here.


Lacuna Coil announce new album Black Anima
Lacuna Coil have announced that they will release the follow-up to their 2016 album, 'Delerium', in October, titled 'Black Anima'. No, they haven't quickly knocked off a darker version of Thom Yorke's new album. They've both just happened upon the same bit of Jungian psychology at more or less the same time. And that's fine.

"Black Anima is all of us", says Lacuna Coil frontwoman Cristina Scabbia. "It's you and it's me. It's everything we hide and fiercely expose to a world that's halfway asleep. It is the fogged mirror we are peering into searching for the truth. It's sacrifice and pain, it's justice and fear, it's fury and revenge, it's past and future".

"[It's] human beings in the magnificence of a disturbing ambiguity", she goes on. "The black core that balances it all... as without darkness light would never exist. We proudly present to you our new work and can't wait to welcome you in our embrace. We are the Anima".

The album is set for release on 11 Oct. The band will also be touring the UK and Ireland in November. Here are the dates:

12 Nov: Manchester, Ritz
13 Nov: Glasgow, The Garage
14 Nov: Dublin, Academy
15 Nov: Bristol, SWX
16 Nov: London, The Forum



Ed Sheeran has released the video for his absolutely awful new collaboration with Bruno Mars and Chris Stapleton, 'Blow'.

Beck has released a new acapella version of his latest single 'Saw Lightning', stripping all the Pharrell out of it. At least on the production side. Beck's new album, 'Hyperspace', is due out later this year.

Blood Orange has announced that he will release a new mixtape, titled 'Angel's Pulse', on Friday. "I have a habit through the years of making records that I just give to friends, or on tape to people on the street, or no one", he says. "Usually this material is made directly after the album I've just put out. Somewhat of an epilogue to the thing I've made before. This time, I decided to release it".

The Shins' Yuuki Matthews has put out a previously unreleased album made with late singer-songwriter Richard Swift under the name Teardrops. "Sometime in April of 2013 ... Richard Swift and I decided we'd start a music project together and call it Teardrops after the song 'Secret Teardrops' by Martin Rev, who we were both huge fans of", says Matthews. "I'm happy to finally release this to the world knowing Swift was happy with these mixes as they are".

Bad Gyal has released new single 'Santa Maria', featuring Busy Signal.

Haiku Salut have released the video for new single 'Firewood'. The track is taken from their new soundtrack to 1926 Buster Keaton movie 'The General', which is out on 2 Aug.

Whipped Cream has released a new collaboration with Lick called 'The Greatest'.



BBC Radio 1 is hosting 'The Lewis Capaldi Symphony' on 5 Aug, which will see Capaldi perform alongside the Manchester Camerata Orchestra. He hasn't actually written a symphony, he'll just be performing songs from his album 'Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent'. Still, he says he's "buzzing". The show will take place at Croxteth Hall in Liverpool, ticket info here.

Ghost have announced that they will tour the UK in November this year, including a show at Wembley Arena on 22 Nov. Tickets on general sale on Friday.

Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


Mac DeMarco hopes to get "get a new homie" after Mitski album title fall out
The internet is just awful. It's always been awful. I don't know why we've persevered with it for so long. Perhaps because very occasionally something almost nice happens on it and people think that's enough. Like, maybe Mac DeMarco and Mitski are going to be great friends now. And all because the internet is just so fucking awful.

You may remember that, earlier this year, DeMarco announced his new album 'Here Comes The Cowboy', releasing the first single 'Nobody'. Mitski fans noted that she released an album called 'Be The Cowboy', the first single from which was called 'Nobody'.

Mitski fans online quickly whipped themselves into a frenzy over this, deciding that DeMarco should probably be murdered with sticks for his outrageous same name offence. Although Mitski herself said that it was a "non-issue" that she found funny.

Speaking on Beats 1 yesterday, DeMarco said he had found the whole thing quite "confusing", but in the end, he put it down to the general awfulness of everything, noting: "Look at the world we're living today. You know, people just want to have a go, and they did, and that's fine. If I made somebody satisfied or got their anger quota on or something, that's fine".

"It was just flabbergasting that people were like, 'Mac's trolling us'", he added. "It's like, 'No - why would I do that? Come on'".

Anyway, the whole situation has brought DeMarco and Mitski into contact, with a new friendship blooming out of the gloom. "She was sweet about it, and I'm thankful for that", he said. "I talked to her a little bit, and she seems really cool. I think we're playing some festivals together in the next couple of months, so hopefully I get a new homie out of the experience".

Let's hope so, otherwise what is even the point?


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
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SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
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Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
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