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Archives for June 2011

Now Playing - Bjork

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Producer Will Producer Will | 12:02 UK time, Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Bjork Biophilia Live

 

Bjork – one of the world’s most iconic and charismatic popstars – has returned in typically emphatic fashion which has in turn sent keyboards into overdrive.

With a string of live performances beginning on Thursday (June 30) at the Manchester International Festival, the Iclandic singer has also released the full video for new track Crystalline on YouTube - this after a teaser of the track was put up a month ago on Vimeo showing Bjork driving and listening to the track on her van’s stereo.

And on top of this, the first photo of her new live set up ahead of her Biophilia album tour has surfaced (above) which will be debuted this week along with a number of other album tracks.

This Friday (July 1) we are going to use Bjork as the lynchpin of the show’s playlist and build a selection of songs around her and her incredible work. These could include:

• Her own work
• Tracks from The Sugarcubes
• Other Icelandic or perhaps more generally Scandinavian artists
• Female vocalists who have taken inspiration from Bjork
• Other artists who have headlined the Manchester International Festival
• Music from people she has collaborated with or worked with such as Thom Yorke

 

The choice is up to you and there are plenty of ways to get in touch. Leave a comment here, join the debate on our Facebook page, Tweet or e-mail us and drag songs into our collaborative Spotify playlist.

Let us know what you want to put in this Ultimate Bjork Playlist, and remember to listen to the show with Tom Robinson this Friday between 7-9pm.

Digital Digest: Beyonce, Brian Eno, Nick Cave and more

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Producer Will Producer Will | 09:01 UK time, Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Beyonce Glastonbury

 

Off the back of her headline Glastonbury slot, Beyonce played a secret gig at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire to launch her new album, 4. The guest list was strict and star studded – OMG Music have more. 

You can now watch Beyonce's set in full, as well more than 70 others from Glastonbury at  bbc.co.uk/glastonbury.

Brian Eno has revealed more artwork and tracks ahead of the release of new album Drums Between The Bells. I Like Music have it all up, including tracks Bless This Space and Pour it Out which you can stream.

Digital Music sales have reached 10 million this year, far outdoing last year which was 7.1 million at the same point. CMU have more information.

Nick Cave and Neko Case’s cover of Zombie’s She’s Not There for US TV drama True Blood has been made available to stream on Soundcloud.

The video for Drake’s new track, Marvins Room, is up on Vimeo.

To mark the release of Revolutions // Live At Wembley, Biffy Clyro have launched a free live digital download EP. Serving as a taster to the full album, two of the tracks – Mountains and Bubbles – are available with The Music Fix one such outlet telling you how to get them.

Digital Digest: Glastonbury winners, YACHT, Chilly Gonzales and more

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Producer Will Producer Will | 19:00 UK time, Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Janelle Monae

 

HMV said Elbow have enjoyed the biggest post-Glastonbury boost with album sales going up 1,751% after their Pyramid performance, while Amazon’s figures put Janelle Monae as the biggest winner with sales up 4,928%. CMU have all the facts

And you can now relive performances by over 70 acts from this year's Glastonbury by visiting bbc.co.uk/glastonbury to see the likes of Elbow, Janelle Monae, Primal Scream, Laura Marling, The Chemical Brothers and many more.

YACHT have taken part in NPR’s series of Tiny Desk Concerts – check it out on YouTube now.

Consequence of Sound have the exclusive video of Chilly Gonzales’ new track Party in My Mind.

Bon Iver first covered I Can't Make You Love Me / Nick of Time on US TV, then made it a B-Side on single Calgary, and now has put a video up of him singing it, wearing a beanie, with lots of close ups - enjoy.

Norwegians Ungdomskulen have released a free mini-album, and Fame Magazine have everything you could possible want surrounding it.

Digital Digest: Bjork, Wilco, Lee Scratch Perry and more

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Producer Will Producer Will | 16:40 UK time, Tuesday, 28 June 2011

 

Bjork’s new track Crystalline is up YouTube in full after a snippet of her listening to it in her car emerged online a couple of weeks ago. 

Wilco have made ther return with new single I Might. Stereogum have all the latest on the new track which is the first to come out on Tweedy and co’s own label dBpm.

Lee Scratch Perry has recorded verses and weaved them into Gang Gang Dance’s Mindkilla – which CMU has ready for you to download.

Nearly $400 million has been invested in digital music start-ups this year – see who and how much at Digital Music News.

Two students have been testing and experimenting to see if there is any science behind what makes a hit record. Their results and more insight is available at Chart Porn.

Spike Jonze has teamed up with Arcade Fire and made a 28-minute documentary inspired by their album The Suburbs. Mubi.com have Sounds of the Suburbs available in full to watch ahead of its release as part of the reissue of the album next month.

Alice Cooper was joined on stage by Johnny Depp who played guitar while gigging at The 100 ClubNME.com reports.

Turntable.FM has been shut down to everyone except people in the US. More information here.

Ever wondered how a multi-national Swedish company would organise its office space? Well, Hypebeast have been let into Spotify’s offices and have the photos to show you what goes on.

Sophie Ellis Bexter is concerned her contribution to the iPod has not been fully recognised – Holy Moly with a full explanation.

Dave Grohl has admitted to performing Smells Like Teen Spirit for the first time in 17-years with other ex-Nirvana band mates during a run through for a Foo Fighter’s gig – and the only people to hear it were themselves and the sound engineer. Full story up at NME.com.

A Texan commodity trader has snapped up Michael Jackson’s iconic red jacket from the Thriller video for a cool $1.8 million (£1.1 million). Contact Music have more details.

The video for SBTRKT’s Wildfire is up on YouTube.

Guest B(V)logger - Oh Deary Me

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Producer Will Producer Will | 13:56 UK time, Thursday, 23 June 2011

Oh Deary Me - Vlogging

 

Well 'Blog' is a shortened term of 'Weblog'. Replace the letter 'b' with a 'v' and what do you get, yes - Vlog. Clever eh!

Urban Dictionary describes the term Vlogging as ‘the next in the evolution of narcissism – taking the idea of a Blog to the next level.’

I would agree with this in some sense. There’s nothing more exciting than a new video posted getting 100’s of hits and people enjoying your work.

I got into Vlogging on the 12th of December 2007. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. It was my birthday, I was watching The Good The Bad and The Queen at a small gig and I bumped into someone who was working at MTV who had forgotten their camera. I lent them mine and bam! An idea was born! The excitement, rush and accomplishment of documenting and attending live gigs took over and my creative streak wanted more.

I was in the same situation as a lot of people – working 9-5, what a way to make a living – I was barely getting by, it was all taking and no giving. I wanted to move ahead – but I didn’t know how – (gotta love the Parton). So I remember approaching Art Brut in a club – and I asked them to say in to my camera ‘Get these girls into every festival!” I sent this video to lots of companies and Virtual Festivals took a bite and said, ‘ok then,’ and that was the beginning…

Running on a tank of pure naivety and lust for adventure I embarked on my blag-blog idea – which was to get into the festivals using the tickets we were given by Virtual Festivals and get backstage and interview the musicians. I would then rush home and stay up all night editing to get it online before work at 9am on a Monday. I was usually sleep deprived but my mind always felt content. It was hard when I started because no one would give us an interview because we were so unknown. There was a lot of waiting around for interviews that potentially might not happen.

This is where having a really passionate team with you is really important, as is keeping everyone upbeat and enthusiastic.

I ended up being shortlisted for two Channel 4 Talent awards, won a prize with Pepsi and winning a Vodafone competition. I would never have dreamed that would happen. I was voted through three rounds – and won the ultimate prize of being flown to New York to interview Usher.

This was by far the best experience of my life! (Check out the result here)

I had never been out of the EU and there I was doing it in style - picked up in a limo – and being treated like a VIP for four days. It was really flattering winning that competition and a great feeling that people had liked my work.

This brings me back to the idea of video blogging being narcissistic. I believe it is important for artists to have a certain amount of healthy narcissism. Freud argues that healthy narcissism is an essential part of normal development. An artist is always evolving and I believe more likely to be comfortable exploring themselves.

For me, my videos’ are not so much about my ego –but a chance to be creative - a journey through my career if you like. I film, edit and present and I have a vivid imagination. The festivals are a stage for my ideas and an opportunity to bring some of my daydreams to life. There is nothing more satisfying than someone liking the video or appreciating the context of the video.

I have just started a new project called 'The Inspiration Series'. It’s basically challenging the idea of those without money becoming self sufficient and getting by - by brand interaction. Or ‘brand hopping’ - a term I would like to coin please if someone hasn’t already.

Chilly Gonzales has just recently been involved. We’d made a video on Record Store Day at Rough Trade – where we blagged an interview with him. He liked the end result –and invited me to the Isle of Wight Festival with him (lucky eh!?). It was such a great day and so strange to see the festival from the point of view of the artist.

Not all my videos are brilliant but I am enjoying the journey which is the most important thing – and practice makes perfect. It’s like Seasick Steve said to me once at Bestival: “Don’t give up. You give up and you surely ain’t gonna get where you’re going’.

Becki Bx


***



Many thanks to Becki from Oh Deary Me for telling us about Vlogging – perhaps something to think about for aspiring journalists or music reporters.

Check out her site, and more of her videos on her YouTube channel.

Guest Blogger - Faded Glamour

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Producer Will Producer Will | 12:27 UK time, Tuesday, 21 June 2011

 

Hi, I'm Saam Das and I'm the founder/editor of music, film and television blog called FADED GLAMOUR.

 

It was a privilege to appear on Now Playing last month where I talked about some of my favourite artists from The Great Escape festival. Equally, it was a privilege to have been part of this year's Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition - and I'm here to share five acts that I heartily recommend seeing at Glastonbury.

 

Several music bloggers contributed to the judging of the Emerging Talent Competition, including Robin Breaking More Waves and Amelia Put Me On It who have also appeared on Now Playing recently. We all chose different artists but unfortunately, there could be only one winner - Treetop Flyers, who are playing the Other Stage on Saturday at 12.20 in the afternoon.

 

I think it's probably wise if I continue along those emerging talent lines, and hopefully pointing you toward some lesser known acts in the process. Most Glastonbury veterans will suggest you simply wonder around and discover the site more organically - please feel free to do that but perhaps you can slip in a couple of the following acts too...

 

BASTILLE (Thursday, The Rabbit Hole + Strummerville Stage)

An artist I've raved about for a considerable amount of time now, including during my appearance on Now Playing, Dan Smith's grandiose pop has begun to attract a considerable profile. His incredible debut single Flaws comes out on the ever-reliable Young & Lost Club in July.

 

 

Fight Like Apes (Saturday, noon, John Peel)

An Irish band that combines synth-pop with punk rock in a devastatingly fun manner. I firmly believe that they're one of the most thrilling live acts around and hopefully they'll reward my praise with a resoundingly sweaty performance.

 

 

Oh Land (Friday, Cubehenge + The Rabbit Hole)

Another of my favourite artists from The Great Escape, along with BASTILLE, Danish popstar Nanna Øland Fabricius brings her compelling electro-pop to Glastonbury to wow newcomers and long-term fans alike. On her way to becoming a bonafide worldwide sensation.

 

 

The Joy Formidable (Sunday, 14.00, John Peel)

It's been a fantastic journey seeing The Joy Formidable rise and rise. I nominated the band as one of my choices as part of the BBC Sound Of 2010 panel and they're finally getting the recognition they deserve - Dave Grohl even proclaimed their recent single Whirring as the "song of the year". Dave Grohl!

 

 

The Good Natured (Saturday, 19.30, BBC Introducing)

Headlining the BBC Introducing stage on Saturday, Sarah McIntosh et al may well one day headline the festival full stop. Hyperbole aside, their anthemic synth-pop is just as engrossing live as it is on record. One of my tips for 2011, the first release on their new (major) label is out this week - the Skeleton EP.

 

***

 

There's plenty more to see and do at Glastonbury but if you do catch any of the above acts then let me know what you thought - I'm on Twitter - and if you have a spare minute, visit FADED GLAMOUR for music reviews and features as well as stuff about film and telly too.

Now Playing @6Music tracklist June 17, 2011

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Producer Will Producer Will | 21:00 UK time, Friday, 17 June 2011

Depeche Mode

 

After years of Fragile Tension between members old and new, it seems all is now at ease on the Depeche Mode front, with the emerging revelation that Vince Clarke and Martin Gore have been working together on a new techno album.

The two were founding members of the Essex based group and Gore took over lead song writing duties from Clarke after he left the band in 1981, but revealed to Billboard how the two have been working on new material for about 9-months now.

We also round up what has been streaming online this week, the best of the new video footage uploaded onto the internet, and invite A New Band a Day and Breaking More Waves onto the show to let us know which artists have been getting them excited recently.


Tracklist:

Depeche Mode – New Life

#Digital Digest
* Martin Gore revealed he and co-founding member of Depeche Mode Vince Clarke are making a new album together. Speaking to Billboard.com, Gore confirmed he had been in the studio together for the first time in three decades making an instrumental techno album.
* The Guardian has launched their history of modern music online. Looking at pivotal moments in rock, pop, dance, hip-hop and world music, each genre has an interactive time available on their website.
* Morrissey débuted three brand new tracks on BBC Radio 2 on Wednesday. In the same week the Queen Is Dead celebrated its 25th anniversary; you can hear the session and see videos over at the Radio 2 website
* Clap Your Hands Say Yeah returned this week announcing a brand new album, Hysterical, set for a September release. The first single - Same Mistake - is available as a free download.

#NowStreaming - get all of the week's streaming tips on our dedicated blog post.
YACHT – I Walked Alone

#BloggedBreaking More Waves
Curxes – Creatures
Rizzle Kicks – Down with the Trumpets
Alice Jemima - Red Coat

#NowPlaying
The Strokes - Taken for a Fool


Depeche Mode related playlist part 1 - collated via Spotify, our Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Text and E-Mail as well as the DepecheMode.com forum.

Depeche Mode – Walking in My Shoes
The Normal – T.V.O.D
The Assembly – Never Never
Yazoo – Don’t Go
Depeche Mode – Photographic
Depeche Mode – Behind the Wheel (Vince Clarke Remix)

#Digital Digest
* The summer festival season is now in full swing and live performances from events across the world are available to stream online. AudioPerv have full sets from Tennasse’s Bonnaroo Festival including Arcade Fire and Mumford and Sons, whilst the Foo Fighters’ headline slot from last weekend’s Isle of Wight Festival is available on YouTube.
* The Kasier Chiefs have confirmed an official release date for their new album The Future is Medieval. The band, who made 20 tracks available online a fortnight ago in an innovative ‘make your own album’ experiment, will release a 12 track physical version on June 27.
* Glastonbury has all the set-times up for next week’s festival available online. Work out the clashes on their site.
* As we come to the half-way point of 2011, a number of sites have been compiling lists of their best albums of the year so far. NPR have put forward their 25, while a debate is raging on the Drowned in Sound boards over whether albums by Friendly Fires, Tom Vek, tUnE-YarDs and Radiohead make the cut.
* Cult power pop four piece Fountains of Wayne have announced details of a brand new album via Stereogum. Sky Full of Holes, will be released in UK on August 1 and you can download the first taster from it - Richie and Ruben - for free over at their official website.

#NowViewing

Michael Jackson - Man Behind the Mask (Facebook)

The Rapture - How Deep is Your Love (Vimeo)

The Cribs - Under Pressure (YouTube)

Chad Valley - Now That I'm Real (How Does it Feel?) (Vimeo)
White Denim – Street Joy (Pitchfork TV)

#BloggedA New Band a Day
Shells – Pastels
Gala Drop - Rauze
Tiger Cats - 1985

#NowPlaying
The Who - Baba O'Riley



Depeche Mode related playlist part 2 - collated via Spotify, our Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Text and E-Mail as well as the DepecheMode.com forum.

Johnny Cash - Personal Jesus
Depeche Mode - Master and Servents

Erasure - Sometimes

Franz Ferdinand - Ulysses

Dave Gahan - Hidden Houses

Recoil - Faith Healer

Depeche Mode - Useless (Kruder & Dorfmeister)

Depeche Drums & A Furry Flop

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Tom Robinson Tom Robinson | 16:16 UK time, Friday, 17 June 2011

Boss Dr Rhythm DR-55 drum machine

A band like Depeche Mode would not have been possible before cheap programmable drum machines. Prior to their arrival, any aspiring pop songwriter hoping to make a demo needed a full recording studio and the services of an amenable drummer before the groove in their head could become a reality.

During the seventies drum machines were a joke - the affordable ones only played preset bossa nova patterns, while the few programmable models on the market were eyewateringly expensive. Phil Collins embraced the Roland CR78 while Peter Gabriel brought one of the first Linn machines into the country. They were far beyond the reach of bright teenagers with fresh ideas and next to no cash.

But then in 1980 along came the Boss Dr Rhythm DR-55 - a small battery operated box with four naff analogue drum voices and, crucially, eight memory slots where you could create and save your own drum patterns. The main downside in those pre-MIDI days was that tempos were a bit hit and miss - there was no readout, just a sweepable knob you could turn to make your beats faster and slower. In the unfashionable dormitory town of Basildon, a young songwriter called Vince Clarke worked odd jobs to raise enough cash to buy one as soon as they arrived in the local music shop. Suddenly, with the help of a four-track cassette recorder and an early Roland synth, the world was his musical oyster.

Back then I used to read the NME religiously from cover to cover, and early in 1981 their single of the week was an indie release by a new young all-synth band called Depeche Mode. The gig guide showed they were opening for The Psychedelic Furs at Hammersmith Palais that week and I bought myself a ticket. The Furs were a big noise back then, with a debut album on CBS Records, posters everywhere and gigging on a grand scale thanks to lavish tour support from their label.

The Palais was rammed with their fans, and the support band had been crammed into a small apron of stage, hemmed in my giant amplifiers, guitar stands, PA stacks, monitors, keyboards, drum risers and - at the back of the stage - a SuperTrooper followspot mounted on a stand like a machinegun.

Depeche Mode turned out to be four small shy skinny youths with three cheap bottom-of-the-range synths on makeshift stands and no backline at all. There was no sign of Vince's drum machine - instead  at the front of the stage Dave Gahan had a radio cassette recorder that was wired into the PA system. As he announced each song, he would pull a cassette out of his shirt pocket, put it in the machine and out would come a plinky DR-55 drum pattern at exactly the right speed. A foolproof lo-tech solution to the tempo problem.

Their sound was young, fresh, sexy and quite unlike anything I'd seen or heard before. The Furs were as heavy dull and predictable as a Sherman tank and after two numbers I slipped away. As to what happened next... New Life went to number 11 that month on the unknown indie label Mute - while later in the year, for all the Furs' touring and promotional push, Pretty in Pink failed to even dent the UK Top 40.

Guest Blogger - Breaking More Waves

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Producer Will Producer Will | 15:36 UK time, Thursday, 16 June 2011

Take That

 

How the Internet Is Slowing Change in Pop Music

 

One of the elements that has traditionally pushed popular culture forward is the interrelationship between fashion and music. Timothy Warner in his book, Pop Music: Technology and Creativity, talked about the clear parallels between these worlds. He identified that both are luxury commodities, which undergo stylistic change in similar short timescales in order to renew themselves. Pop music and fashion don’t ‘wear out’ but instead they ‘go out’. They both rely on high profiles in the mass media to excite and involve potential buyers.

Yet when Warner wrote his book he couldn’t have envisaged the day when pop music was no longer a luxury commodity. The internet, through illegal downloading, online radio, streaming and blogs creates an environment where music is so easy and cheap to access 24/7 that purchase is no longer necessary. The need to fascinate and excite consumers with the constant buzz of the new and the evolution of musical styles is less important, with little money to be made from it.

So instead record companies push out what has gone before. From back catalogue re-issues, to new bands who remind us of the past from the nostalgic sounds of 60’s referencing boy-girl band Cults to the new single by The Horrors, a song that bears an uncanny resemblance to early Simple Minds. Take a scan of any new music blog and the vast majority of new music you will find there will remind you of something from the past.

If this sounds like a negative criticism of those who make music, it’s not. Far from it. There are hundreds of great artists out there inspiring, making people feel alive and creating the same sorts of emotional stimuli as artists that have gone before them. The new acts who are the most successful commercially are no longer ground-breaking innovators but those who are following tradition, the likes of Adele and Mumford & Sons.

So where does this leave music? If it is now less dictated by the fashion of being ‘in’ or out’, if selling stuff that sounds like something we already know is the direction we’re heading in, what of live shows ?

 

Live concerts are still a luxury commodity. Witness the over £50 ticket prices for artists such as Britney Spears, U2 or Take That. It’s in this area that performers will have to continue to change in order to involve and excite consumers to come and see them again and retain a long term fan base. An artist like Lady Gaga understands this concept completely.

 

Even if her music is simply likeable but hardly innovative danceable pop music, every one of her performances becomes a talking point with her constant and ever-changing costumes. This is what stimulates consumers and keeps them coming back.

Pop music has reached middle age. There is less stylistic change in sound than there has been in the past. The revolution now is coming from the excitement of the internet and the way music is distributed and consumed. I’m looking forward to where it takes us next.

 

**

"How the Internet Is Slowing Change in Pop Music" was written by Robin Seamer of Breaking More Waves, a great blog based in Portsmouth which focuses on amazing new music. He is going to be featuring on the show on Friday, recommending some tracks to us - make sure you don't miss it!!!

Digital Digest: Morrissey, Metallica and more Mumford.

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Rowan Collinson Rowan Collinson | 13:03 UK time, Thursday, 16 June 2011

 

Morrissey

Morrissey stopped by Janice Long’s BBC Radio 2 show and debuted three previously unheard tracks. Action is My Middle Name, The Kid’s a Looker and People Are the Same Everywhere are likely to be on his finished tenth studio album which is still without a label. Listen to them at The NJ Underground. 

Metallica have announced via a blog on their official website one of the more unusual musical collaborations in 2011 by confirming they are set to release a full length record with Lou Reed. The project has been in the making since 2009 with more details to follow. 

Kanye West and his ‘people’ have hit back at blogs after many posted new track Mama’s Boyfriend. In a statement they say “The version of the Kanye West recording ‘Mama’s Boy’ that arrived on blog sites earlier this week is entirely bogus and unsanctioned, and violates the artist’s creative intentions” – read it in full at One Thirty BPM and listen to the disputed track. 

Mumford and Sons covered The National’s England for VH1 Unplugged – the result is up at EW.com 

A new track from rapper Nas has emerged on YouTube. The ex-husband of Kelis who currently sits on top of the UK Charts with Calvin Harris, comes back with track Nasty, after his recent collaboration with Damian Marley.  

And in the build up to father’s day, Spinner have come up with some musical presents which bring the old man up to speed with modern music. They suggest for those who like Bob Dylan try Josh Ritter, fans of Beck go for Gorillaz, while those who like Bowie give TV on the Radio a try – many more up on their site.  

 

 

Now Playing - Depeche Mode

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Producer Will Producer Will | 14:32 UK time, Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Depeche Mode

 

After years of Fragile Tension between members old and new, it seems all is now at ease on the Depeche Mode front, with the emerging revelation that Vince Clarke and Martin Gore have been working together on a new techno album.

The two were founding members of the Essex based group and Gore took over lead song writing duties from Clarke after he left the band in 1981, but revealed to Billboard how the two have been working on new material for about 9-months now.

Since leaving Depeche Mode, Clarke has been involved in projects such as Yazoo, The Assembly, Erasure and a pioneer in the use of synthesizers in pop music.

After speaking with you, we are going to build the ultimate Depeche Mode related playlist on Now Playing @6Music this Friday. Think anything by the band itself, anything from Vince Clarke’s work since he left the group, collaborators, influences, influencees, and people who have covered them – Johnny Cash for example.

Let us know what you would like to see Tom Robinson play on the show by leaving a comment, joining the debate on Facebook, e-mail us or drag a track onto our Spotify playlist.

Over to you!

Digital Digest: Paul McCartney, Kaiser Chiefs, Michael Jackson and more

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Producer Will Producer Will | 12:31 UK time, Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Paul McCartney

 

Paul McCartney, who has never been one to be behind the musical curve, is set to digitise his entire collection of music, photos, reviews and other bits and bobs in a project which will last the next three years - details on Wired - and also coming up for the ex-Beatle is a possible collaboration with Gorillaz on their next album – revealed in an interview given to The Quietus

After releasing 20 tracks and inviting fans to pick and order whichever ones they wanted to form an album, Kasier Chiefs are to release an ‘official’ version of The Future is Medieval. Set to come out physically on June 27, it includes another new track Kinda Girl You Are, which wasn’t an option in the original package. More on Gigwise.

And as we come to the half-way point of the year, people are beginning to chime in with their suggestions for albums of 2011 so far. NPR have put up their top 25 thus far while Drowned in Sound have begun a debate on their message-boards.

The entirely fan recorded video for Michael Jackon’s Man Behind the Mask has surfaced on the King of Pop’s Facebook page. It shows people across the world from the Taj Mahal to Big Ben recreating some of his legendary dance moves and lip synching to the words.

After news broke of how Spotify might be making its steps into the American market, Billboard have an interesting article about how it’s a very serious danger to competitors.

Now Streaming - YACHT, Jill Scott, James Drake...

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Producer Will Producer Will | 15:00 UK time, Tuesday, 14 June 2011

YACHT

 

NPR have the new album from YACHT, Shangri-La, up giving you the option to listen-before-you-buy. Out on June 21 on DFA the electro-pop duo are in good company following the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip et al.

And still on the same site, Jill Scott’s latest offering, The Light of the Sun, is also up.

James Blake and Drake have been dominating blogs on both sides of the Atlantic, and now, two DJs by the names of Bombe and Mr Caribbean have smashed them together to create James Drake, the mixtape. Check it out at FutureBombe.com.


Self-Titled Mag have a whole load of Flying Lotus material available to stream. One of Thom Yorke’s best DJ friends has got remixes of Bjork, Massive Attack and Mr. Oizo up as well as tasters for what is coming from the producer.

The Guardian have the exclusive streaming of Patrick Wolf’s new album, Lupercalia, up via a We7 platform.

Released on their own This is Forever imprint next week, you can stream debut EP from Ghosting Session now on Drowned in Sound.

An album preview of the Wonder Years present Suburbia is up on the band’s official website now.

Digital Digest: TVC, The Rapture, Glastonbury and more

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Producer Will Producer Will | 12:13 UK time, Tuesday, 14 June 2011

TVC

 

The BBC have put Television Centre up for sale after 50-years in the property. The iconic building has been to some iconic musical performances on Top of the Pops, events like Comic Relief and Children in Need, brass bands on Blue Peter, gigs on the roof and even the Save 6 Music demonstration. It has provoked an interesting and mixed reaction on Twitter – see for yourself.

DFA have released the White Out Sessions filming of The Rapture’s new single, How Deep is Your Love, on Vimeo.


Glastonbury have announced the set-times for this year’s festival.

The video for Metronomy’s The Bay is up exclusively on NME.com.

Now That I’m Real (How Does It Feel?) – the new track from Chad Valley – has a video, and it is up on Vimeo.

Fountains of Wayne have made an announcement regarding their return back to the musical fold. Album, Sky Full of Holes, will be released on August 1, and track Richie and Ruben is being offered as a free download.

The Cribs, now without Johnny Marr, did a session for Popload and covered Queen and David Bowie’s Under Pressure – with quite interesting consequences. Check it out on YouTube.

After Music Fan’s Mic recommended the Swedish pop act to us last Friday, Niki and the Dove’s new EP, The Fox, is up on Soundcloud to listen to at your leisure.

Digital Digest: CBEs, History of Music, Foo Fighters and more...

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Producer Will Producer Will | 12:21 UK time, Monday, 13 June 2011

Bryan Ferry

 

BPI chairman Tony Wadsworth and singer Bryan Ferry have both been given CBEs in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in recognition of their services to the British Music Industry.

Wadsworth was the CEO of EMI Music UK between 1998 and 2008, working with the likes of Radiohead, Blur, Pet Shop Boys and Queen while Ferry of course fronted Roxy Music. Full details on Music Week’s site.

The Guardian have launched their history of modern music. Looking at rock, pop and hip-hop so far, there is an interactive time-line for each genre as well as many other interesting features.

The Foo Fighters helped kick off British Festival Summertime at the Isle of Wight last weekend – the highlights of their set are already up on YouTube.

While you can jump over to AudioPerv for pretty much all the sets from Bonnaroo festival in Manchester (Tennasse), including Florence and the Machine, Big Boi, Arcade Fire and Mumford and Sons.

The New York Times are reporting Spotify in America may now be just a matter of time after they tied up a deal with Universal – therefore confirming ties with three of the four US major labels.

Depeche Mode co-founders Martin Gore and Vince Clarke have reunited for a new techno side project. Billboard have the story as to how Gore tapped up Clarke and started the new work which is currently being mixed.

Flea Tweeted the tracklist for the new Red Hot Chili Peppers’ album, I’m With You.

Pitchfork have videos of Thom Yorke’s DJ-set at Four Tet’s night at Plastic People over the weekend. The Radiohead lead singer previewed the new Caribou remix of Little by Little.

Jamiroquai have made new track Smile available as a free download via their official site.

Ed Sheeran performs from the back of a transit van as part of a motoring manufacture as part of their Bands in Transit campaign and is interviewed. 

The new video from Best Coast for Gone Again is up on Adult Swim, while the pictures behind White Lies’ Holy Ghost is on YouTube.

Cage the Elephant have a new video feature on MySpace Music, and White Denim have a prom-inspired video for Street Joy.

BPI

Now Playing @6Music tracklist June 10, 2011

Post categories:

Producer Will Producer Will | 21:00 UK time, Friday, 10 June 2011

Kasabian

 

Kasabian burst back on Wednesday, making heir brand single Switchblade Smile available to stream via Soundcould. The band, who play Rockness and the Isle of Wight festival this weekend, also revealed on their official website that their new album will be called Velociraptor!.

 

Details of My Life and Music Fan's Mic come on the show and recommend us some music to listen to, while we also wrap up what has been going on musically online this week.

 

Kasabian - Club Foot

 

#Digital Digest

* Google celebrated what would’ve been the 96th birthday of legendary guitar designer Les Paul yesterday, changing their logo into an interactive 10-string guitar. Users were able ‘play’ the Google guitar using their mouse cursor or keyboard and you can see the results on YouTube.
* The first remixes of Radiohead’s King of Limbs were confirmed this week, with the artwork for the 12" vinyl emerging online. Caribou will rework Little by Little while Jacques Greene takes on Lotus Flower.
* Social concert site Songkick have launched a brand new app aimed at matching your online music library with upcoming gigs in your local area.

* Beirut made a triumphant return this week, making a new track releasing East Harlem available online. Although the track’s not official released until July 18, it shot straight to Number one on Hype Machine.

 

#NowViewing

 * Panda Bear has uploaded a new video onto YouTube which combines live footage from his 2010 show at Governor’s Island and other shots to form the pictures for new track Slow Motion. Directed by Cheryl Dunn, it ends with a short interview from the artist.
* Nero’s Dubstep Symphony, broadcast from Salford for Mistajam has been doing the rounds online. We Are SME, Some Kind of Awesome and Details of My Life So Far have all had their say on the producers teaming up with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
* Bat for Lashes has caught the imagination during her two-night stint at Australia’s Vivid Festival. Staged in the Sydney Opera House, she covered Depeche Mode’s Strangelove, as well as Radiohead and The Cure – all up on Stereogum.
* The Audio Perv has the whole of Coldplay’s set from Germany’s Rock am Ring festival streaming. The band, who released new track Every Tear is a Waterfall on Friday debuted a number of new tracks as well as some old favourites.
* Meanwhile, Bjork has been driving her car and singing a-long to new track Crystalline. Not to be confused with The xx, the teaser is up at Vimeo.
* Foo Fighters have another typically sarcastic and satirical video for track Walk. Dressing up and generally taking the mickey, check it out on YouTube.

 

#Blogged - Details of My Life So Far

Russ Chimes - Tonic 

Deadmau5 - Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix)

Clock Opera - Piece of String

 

#NowPlaying

New Order - Regret

 

Themed Collaborative Playlist Part 1 - Kasabian

Kasabian - Fast Fuse (via Facebook)

Primal Scream - Miss Lucifer (via Spotify)

The Stone Roses - Fools Gold (via Facebook)

Public Enemy - Don't Believe the Hype (via Spotify)

DJ Shadow ft. Sergio Pizzorno - The Tiger (via Facebook)

Kasabian - Shoot the Runner (session track via Facebook)

The Beach Boys - California Girls (via Facebook)

 

#DigitalDigest

* Tributes have been being paid online this week to producer Martin Rushent who died this week at the age of 63. Best known for his work on the Human League’s seminal album Dare, the Electronically Yours blog have an in depth tribute to a producer who helped define the 80s synth sound.
* As expected, Apple launched the iCloud this week. The service allows users to stream all their iTunes purchases via Apple devices.
* Leak of the week was Beyonce’s new album, 4, which appeared all over the blogs on Tuesday. As well as her collaboration with Diplo, the album features a track called Party made with Outkast's Andre 3000.
* The Duplass brothers are reportedly making a film based on music website Pitchfork.
* If Jamie xx’s so much as breathes, it seems to be reported in every corner of the online music world, so the arrival of his new EP on Monday spread far and wide.

 

#NowStreaming - check our other blog post for a list of everything that was up this week

Junior Boys - Banana Ripple

 

#Blogged - Music Fan's Mic

Niki & the Dove - The Fox

 

#NowPlaying

Caribou - Odessa

 

Themed Collaborative Playlist Part 2 - Kasabian

Kasabian - Cut Off (via Facebook)

Oasis - Columbia (via Facebook)

Six by Seven - I Owe You Love (via Text)

Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood

10CC - Dreadlock Holiday

My Bloody Valentine - Sometimes

 

Guest Blogger - Details of my Life so Far

Post categories:

Producer Will Producer Will | 17:09 UK time, Friday, 10 June 2011

Russ Chimes

 

I was asked to submit an article for the Now Playing blog, with the option of writing about any subject of my choice. I was mulling over writing a piece about the pros/cons and implications of Apple’s recent iCloud service announcement, and I also thought about discussing the "On Air, On Sale" strategy recently introduced by Universal and Sony.

Both are massively important topics that will have major implications for the music industry in the near future, but there was no way that I could use this space to talk about either of them.

I had this nagging feeling of guilt following the recording of my links, though, that I did each of the following artists a massive disservice. Therefore in my mind the only thing I could possibly do to rectify the situation was to give them a much-improved written endorsement.


1. Russ Chimes – Tonic

It wasn’t until very late in 2009 that I suddenly stumbled upon the genius of 26-year old producer Russ Chimes. The initial allure stemmed from a stunning rework of Confusion Girl that he had delivered to Frankmusik as part of a remix package for his new single. Full to the brim with uplifting string samples, and sporting a deft injection of fast paced electro, it came as no surprise to me that it scaled to the top of the Hype Machine chart with relative ease.

Sure enough, in very early January, Neon Gold released a new remix that he had produced for BBC Sound of 2010 winner Ellie Goulding. This time he had gone to work on her breakout single Starry Eyed, and as soon as I heard it I instantly fell in love. His precise selection of piano chords was goosebump inducing, and the drop that followed the fantastically worked crescendo made me want to dance around like an utter maniac. It was safe to say that from then on we were hooked.

By “we” I also include our readers, as he comfortably strolled to victory with that track in our audience-voted “Remix of 2010” competition.

I patiently waited in anticipation for each new Russ Chimes remix that followed, and every time he far exceeded my expectations. However, it was his own material that really blew me away last year. In the summer he released his three track Midnight Club EP that was accompanied by a stunning trilogy of music videos, directed by the talented Saman Keshavarz.

We have unfortunately had to wait up until now for him to release more of his own music, and his two-track Tonic/Helix EP is the latest fruit of his labour. Geared towards the dancefloor, Tonic blends his trademark catchy 80’s synth hooks with some really impressive layering. I can only sit here and hope that he is in the process of creating a full-length album.


2. Deadmau5 – Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix)

For someone that has only just turned 17, it’s hard not to be impressed by the obvious talent of French electro/house prodigy Madeon.

After steadily building a name for himself on the Internet with the release of some jaw-dropping electro remixes of The Killers, Alphabeat and Yelle, it seems that he has is already within touching distance of becoming an established name in the dance music scene.

His rise to prominence began when he was judged winner of the Image-Line’s Friday Night remix competition (the creators of Fruity Loops). Provided with just vocal stems to play around with, he manufactured an intricate club ready track that gave us the perfect insight into the depths of his technical prowess.

Madeon then conquered a slightly tougher task of taking first place in Pendulum's remix competition that was run for their single release of The Island. Beating away more than 800 entrants to snatch the title, it was a fantastic platform with great exposure for the youngster.

The biggest accomplishment so far is arguably his remix of Deadmau5’s single Raise Your Weapon which set the blogosphere on fire after its premiere on Pete Tong’s Radio 1 show. Deadmau5 himself was visibly impressed with the remix, describing it as “insane” whilst revealing that he “nearly fell out of his chair” when he first heard it.

When you compare it to the original, you can see why he has won the plaudits. To take the thoroughly depressing lyrical content and turn it on its head just by adding a different electronic score is not as simple as it sounds. The kind of technical proficiency on show has many of his older peers quaking in their boots, with Deadmau5 even admitting he was jealous that Madeon is only half his age.


3. Clock Opera – A Piece of String

Whereas the other two tracks I have posted are new releases, this song is slightly older as it was the first original material I had ever heard from Clock Opera. However, their name first appeared on my radar thanks once again to a remix.

The song in question was a remix of I Am Not A Robot by another Sound of 2010 longlistee - Marina & the Diamonds. Their inimitable style shines through on this number, captivating the listener from the opening few seconds. With the original verses kept more or less intact, pulsing string samples and dramatic piano stabs are used to full effect until Marina's vocals are masterfully spliced together to invent a new vocal melody and an altogether new refrain. Something lead singer Guy Connelly has referred to in interviews as 'chop pop' - in other words, he cuts and dices found sounds with immense flair.

This is precisely the sound that can be heard on A Piece of String, as Guy Connelly’s haunting vocals take centre-stage over a refined blend of chopped up guitar and string samples. It’s another stunning example of crescendo mastery, so much so that I struggle to restrain myself from playing it on a constant loop.

Clock Opera have since gone on to release two more singles, Once and For All on Kitsuné, and the fantastic Belongings on Moshi Moshi. Both of which are fantastic songs that act as clear indicators to show how amazing a full studio album might be if it were ever to see the light of day.

 

***

 

Many thanks to Mark - the main man behind Details of My Life so Far. Listen to the tracks he has chosen tonight on the show, or of course if you are reading this post 9pm, June 10th 2011, listen back on the iPlayer.

Kasabian form the Now Playing playlist

Post categories:

Producer Will Producer Will | 16:25 UK time, Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Kasabian - Switchblade Smiles

 

Leicester’s favourite sons, Kasabian, are back with their new track Switchblade Smiles and details of fourth studio album Velociraptor!

The track was debuted as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World, simultaneously uploaded to Soundcloud and blogged and discussed across the internet from sites such as The NJ Underground, Clash, Glasswerk and Rock it Out Blog to Consequence of Sound, Details of My Life so Far, My Indie Site, Addict Music and plenty of others.

The band have won multiple awards for their albums, tracks, artwork and live performances – which goes some way to understand the hype around them headlining this weekend’s Rockness and Isle of Wight festivals.

Now Playing is going to place Kasabian in the centre of the playlist this week:
- Kasabian’s own tracks
- People they were influenced by – Stone Roses anyone
- British indie-rock bands of the noughties
- Other Midlands acts such as Cornershop, Black Sabbath, Slade
- Music produced by Dan the Automator like Gorillaz, Handsome Boy Modelling School
- Other acts at Rockness/Isle of Wight
- and anything else you can think of

Leave a comment with your ideas, add to our Facebook discussion, e-mail us and drag some tracks into our collaborative Spotify playlist.

Digital Digest: Kasabian, Wu-Tang Clan, YACHT and more

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Producer Will Producer Will | 12:01 UK time, Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Kasabian are back with details of a new album and a new track available to stream ahead of their summer of headlining festivals. Switchbade Smiles is up on Soundcloud, while details of Velociraptor! and its 11-tracks is up on their blog West Ryder / Silver Bullet.

The Rap Up have done as they set out to do and given the full lo-down on the new Wu-Tang Clan record, Legendary Weapons - there is the full tracklisting and the video for first single Only the Rugged Survive

In a similar mould to Brighton’s Great Escape and Dot to Dot, Northside Festival is a indie music celebration, spread across multiple venues and generally encouraging new music. Set in the New York borough of Brooklyn, Spin are giving away a free album including tracks from Theophilus London, Beirut, Teenage Fanclub and many others. 

YACHT’s new album is out on June 21 and Some Kind of Awesome have a couple of tracks up already for you to preview their latest offering, Shangri-La, coming out on DFA

Swedish band Teddybears have teamed up with Cee Lo Green and The B-52s on new track Cho Cha which is now up on Soundcloud.

Panda Bear has uploaded a new video onto YouTube which combines live footage from his 2010 show at Governor’s Island and other bits and bobs including a man in a panda suit, to create the pictures for Slow Motion. Directed by Cheryl Dunn, it ends with a short interview from the artist. 

 

Ups & downs of the week

Post categories:

Tom Robinson Tom Robinson | 16:48 UK time, Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes

So nice to see Natasha (Bat For Lashes) Khan doing so well. Last time I saw her she was wowing the crowd on a BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury in a native american headdress. And the time before that she was a shy young woman playing breathtaking music with one other musican on my Friday suppertime show right there in the 6 Music studio. If those walls could talk...

And now we have video of her in an expensive-looking ball gown in front of  an equally expensive-looking band on stage at the Sydney Opera House, being blogged around the world. And simply because she performed one song that people hadn't heard before… Genuine talent so often goes unrewarded that it's really heartwarming to see one of the good guys doing so well.

By the same token I was sorry to hear of Martin Rushent's death. He was only a couple of years older than me and I went to visit him in 1981 just after he'd produced The Human League's Dare. He'd set up his own studio at home and kitted it out with all kinds of state of the art gear, and I was an artist who'd seen better days in need of a collaborative partner.

Martin was very matter of fact and upfront about the financial terms he was prepared to work under - and the degree of artistic control that he would expect to excercise - and we amicably agreed it probably wasn't a good idea for us to work together. It would probably have been the way Andy Partridge  of XTC memorably described working with Todd Rudngren: "like having two Hitlers in the same bunker."

I managed to write and produce a comeback hit on my own in any case with War Baby a couple of years later. But Martin himself had real staying power. His production career had included The Stranglers from 1977-79 even before his massive breakthrough with The Human League. After taking a well deserved career break to raise his family, he returned to the fray in the mid 90s and enjoyed recent success with The Pipettes, Killa Kela and Does It Offend You, Yeah? - who feature his son James on lead vocals. We're all the poorer for his passing.

Martin Rushent

Now Streaming - Is Tropical, Depeche Mode, Dananananaykroyd...

Post categories:

Producer Will Producer Will | 14:05 UK time, Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Is Tropical’s debut album Native To is streaming via their Facebook page. The album is released on June 13 on French label Kitsune which has helped launched the careers of Friendly Fires, Two Door Cinema Club, La Roux and many others. 

Depeche Mode’s remix album, taking tracks they have released for 30-years from 1981 and handing them to the likes of Digitalism, UNKLE and Peter, Bjorn and John is up on AOL’s Spinner to stream

Emmy the Great is back with a new album, Virtue, which the Guardian have made available to stream via their site ahead of release with a track-by-track guide from the singer herself.

MSN have the music from the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, written by Bono and the Edge. 

Drowned in Sound are streaming the new Dananananaykroyd album in full. Out next week it is being released on their own Pizza College label.

The Black Ghosts are Theo ‘Fake Blood’ Keating and Simon ‘Skywave’ Lord and are back with their second album When Animals Stare. Full Moon off their debut self-titled album has been used on the multi-million selling Twilight soundtrack and a sample of the new effort is up on Soundcloud

Junior BoysIt’s All True is out on Domino next week but now is available via Hypem to listen to. 

*AR, Richard Skelton's collaboration with vocalist Autumn Richardson, is now available to stream online for free. The five track debut by Skelton and Richardson, Wolf Notes, was released in May as a 200-limited edition CD run an 200 vinyl. Its up at The Wire

 

 

 

Digital Digest: MJ's jacket, Radiohead's remixes, Apple's iCloud and more

Post categories:

Producer Will Producer Will | 12:14 UK time, Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Michael Jackson’s iconic red jacket from the Thriller video is going up for auction in Beverly Hills at the end of the month. Auction administrator Darren Julian expects the lot to fetch at least $200,000, with other items in the Music Icons sale including one of Bob Dylan’s harmonicas, a guitar from Elvis Presley and much more – check out MSN for the full story

 

Martin Rushent, the producer who worked with Fleetwood Mac, T-Rex, the Stranglers and most famously the Human League's Don't You Want Me? has sadly passed away. Aged 63, a number of sites including Contact Music and Pitchfolk have tributes to him. 


Radiohead are releasing a series of remixes as 12” singles. It has already been announced Flying Lotus will cast his web over some of the tracks from King of Limbs, though this latest announcement has confirmed Caribou (Little by Little) and Jacques Greene (Lotus Flower) will be the first producers to take on the Oxford band’s latest work. Clash have more.  

And speaking of Flying Lotus, his track Do the Astral Plane is the opening track on a Warp sampler which can be downloaded for free via Amazon. The 10-song collection also features production from Bibio, Hudson Mohawke and Jamie Lidell.  

As expected, Apple announced their iCloud – the service which allows users to stream all their iTunes purchases via Apple devices. Steve Jobs also announced iMatch, which for $24.99 annually, means users can have their iTunes library scanned and matched with music in the iTunes store which can subsequently be streamed. Check Consequence of Sound for more

Nero’s Dubstep Symphony, broadcast from Salford for Mistajam has been picked up by lots of blogs – one being We Are SME as the producers teamed up with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

Not to be out done by her mother, Bat for Lashes has caught the imagination during her two-night stint at Australia’s Vivid Festival. Staged in the Sydney Opera House, she covered Depeche Mode’s Strangelove, as well as Radiohead and The Cure – all up on Stereogum.

The Prophet Blog are hosting Beyonce’s track with Andre 3000, Party, on their site to be listened to at your leisure.  

Beirut have released new track East Harlem on Soundcloud. It is currently number 1 in the Hypem chart, and will be released as a single on July 18, with the album The Rip Tide coming out on August 29.

Digital Digest: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Domino Radio, Jamie xx and more

Post categories:

Producer Will Producer Will | 12:36 UK time, Monday, 6 June 2011

Red Hot Chili Peppers have announced their return with album I’m With You dropping on August 30, and single The Adventures of Raindance Maggie on offer from July 18. This confirmed what Chad Smith told the Rock It Out blog a few weeks ago – and unsurprisingly they have the confirmed information.  

Domino Records have launched their own radio station for the week, and have some pretty interesting presenters. In collaboration with the Guardian, the likes of Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand), Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) and Bobby Gillespie will host shows. Take a listen

The Audio Perv has the whole of Coldplay’s set from Germany’s Rock am Ring festival streaming. The band, who released new track Every Tear is a Waterfall on Friday debuted a number of new tracks as well as some old favourites. 

Jamie xx’s debut solo EP is now up on Soundcloud. Released on Glaswegian label Numbers, the tracks Far Nearer (debuted on his 6 Mix) and Beat For are creating quiet a stir.

Foo Fighters have another typically sarcastic and satirical video for track Walk. Dressing up and generally taking the mickey, check it out on YouTube.

Meanwhile, Bjork has been driving her car and singing a-long to new track Crystalline. Not to be confused with The xx, the teaser is up at Vimeo.

After being leaked earlier in the year and receiving criticism for being misogynistic and offensive, Kanye West officially released the video for single Monster on TwitVid. It begins with text saying “it is an art piece, and shall be taken at such.” Even so, don’t watch if you are easily offended by both imagery and language.

Another track from the Buddy Holly Tribute album has emerged on YouTube – this time My Morning Jacket’s take on True Love Ways. Rave On: Buddy Holly is released on June 28 and features other covers from Paul McCartney, Julian Casablancas, Florence and the Machine amongst others.

Joss Stone has uploaded a video onto YouTube giving insight into recording new album LP1 set for release in the UK on August 1.

Now Playing @6Music tracklist June 3, 2011

Post categories:

Producer Will Producer Will | 21:00 UK time, Friday, 3 June 2011

The sad passing of Gil Scott-Heron had a lot of people talking this week. Written tributes, Tweets, videos and tracks have been posted from such luminaries as Snoop Dogg and Eminem to XL boss Richard Russell down to people who never met the legendary poet and rapper.

We decided it was a no-brainer to focus on Scott-Heron’s life, work and influence on music through the themed playlist this week, and with the breadth and volume of response we received from you – we clearly weren’t the only ones to be hit by the news.

Culture Deluxe and Fried My Little Brain also came onto the show and told us what is currently making them buzz, and we introduced new features Now Viewing and Now Streaming.


Tracklist:

Gil Scott-Heron – The Revolution Will Not be Televised

#Digital Digest
* Queens of the Stone Age fans have the chance to pick which songs the band perform at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. Head over to Zane Lowe’s page on the Radio One website to make your pick from a list of 50.
* Steve Jobs is set to give the keynote speech at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday where he’ll outline plans for iCloud - a new cloud data storage service.
* Mixcloud have launched their new iPhone app which is free for a limited time.
* Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band streamed a press conference and performed four songs via Muzu.TV.
* Coldplay unveiled their new single Every Drop is a Waterfall. It appeared on Coldplay.com and YouTube today (Friday 3), and will be available to download in the UK on Sunday.


#Now Streaming
Tom Vek – World of Doubt

#Blogged
White Denim – Drug (Recommended by Adam and Parri from Culture Deluxe)

#NowPlaying
Foals - Blue Blood


#Themed Playlist – Gil Scott-Heron
Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson – The Bottle (via Facebook)
Public Enemy – Fight the Power (via Spotify)
Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five – The Message (via the Blog & Spotify)
A Tribe Called Quest – Jazz (We’ve Got It) (via Spotify)
Gil Scott-Heron – B-Movie (via Facebook)

#Digital Digest
* The Beatles’ anthologies are going digital for the first time on iTunes later this month. Released in 1995 and 1996 they feature rare and unreleased songs, outtakes and alternate versions of their classics.
* Glastonbury and Orange have launched their mobile App for 2011, available for Apple, Android and Nokia handsets.
* Bjork’s new album Biophilia is going to be released with an individual App per track. People will be able to explore and interact with the song’s themes or even make a completely new version. More at CMU.
* The Kaiser Chiefs have made their return with a fascinating new album marketing strategy. The band have made 20 tracks available and are allowing fans to pick 10 to create a personalised version of The Future is Medieval.

#Now Viewing
UNKLE ft. Nick Cave – Money and Run

#Blogged
Brenmar – So High (Recommended by Damian from Fried My Little Brain)

#NowPlaying

Underworld - Born Slippy



#Themed Playlist – Gil Scott-Heron

Mos Def - Ms Fat Booty (via Twitter and Facebook)

Boogy Down Productions - My Philosophy (via Text)
Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy - Television, The Drug of the Nation (via E-Mail and Twitter)

Gil Scott-Heron - Lady Day and John Coltrane (via Facebook, E-Mail, Text and Twitter)

Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx - The Cloud (via Twitter and Text)

Guest Blogger - Culture Deluxe

Post categories:

Producer Will Producer Will | 15:43 UK time, Friday, 3 June 2011

Adele

 

More Power to You

 

The Guardian published the Music Power 100 list, their own rundown of the 100 people exerting the greatest influence on the listening habits of the general public right now. It brought together the usual group of music moguls such as Simon Fuller, Simon Cowell and Lucian Grange but intriguingly places the promotional team behind Adele's sophomore album 21 in the coveted number one spot.

It's undeniable that the team behind a record-breaking sixteen weeks at number one in the UK album charts, as well as a combined total of seven weeks at number one on the USA's Billboard Charts, have put a phenomenal amount of effort in to get the campaign to where it is.

However, you have to recognise that if it wasn't for 21 being a great album then that level of success would’ve been impossible. The general public as a whole aren’t fools; no matter what PR folk may think, they won't buy any old piece of junk and no amount of campaigning will produce such a prodigious return if the actual product is second rate.

This got us thinking… surely The Guardian has excluded the most powerful person in the whole of the music industry - you.

Every single one of you reading this blog has an extraordinary level of influence on the music industry. You -- the consumer, the super fan, the record buyer -- you all change the dynamic of the music business every day. Without all of the obsessive music nuts there would simply be no music industry.

In this increasingly digital age one person can genuinely make a difference to album campaigns that have taken months to plan. The same could not have been said ten years ago. Nowadays all it takes is one person to leak an album on the web and best laid plans can go up in smoke. In recent years we have seen the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Jay-Z, Deftones and Crystal Castles all push forward the release of their albums to combat album leaks. Some of them sit by idly and accept what is now seen to be inevitable; others go all Future Of The Left.

The most notable change this has brought about is record companies' reticence for giving away something for nothing is finally disappearing. With more focus on building fan bases and, dare I say it, 'brands', we are now seeing more and more albums being made available to stream in full weeks before their release.

While the Lars Ulrichs of the world may still shed a tear at seeing their hard work go online for no monetary reward, smaller up-and-coming bands are undoubtedly finding a much wider audience as people Tweet and Facebook links to all their friends and followers. And it's not just burgeoning bands at it, the likes of Arctic Monkeys, My Morning Jacket and Death Cab For Cutie are also offering up their long players for a little pre-release streaming.

On top of this we have bloggers. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of bloggers all writing about what floats their musical boat and, for the large part, throwing up MP3s to download. With the prestige of a number one album or single long gone, should we now look at how high up the Hype Machine chart tracks are?

The power and importance of the blogger is something which is slowly being recognised. Whereas pirate radio stations and independent record store playlists used to be the place to go to see what was turning the ear of those that cared, now it's the turn of the blogger.

Radiohead’s In Rainbows' pay-what-you-like model was a shot in the arm to what is possible with album distribution -- and one largely fuelled as a comment on and combating of illegal downloads -- The King Of Limbs tried something different.

Radiohead calmly tapped the world on the shoulder and said "We've got a new album coming out this year. It's called the King Of Limbs. Oh and, by the way, you can own it this Friday." From nothing at all to a record you can own in five days, the news of The King Of Limbs went pandemic and the music-loving, blogging and Tweeting public created more buzz in a couple of days than any God-knows-how-expensive marketing campaign ever could.

In truth record companies follow the trends of your listening habits as much as they influence them. Poor record sales can mean that the most promising young bands are dropped before they can begin to spread their wings, whilst the success of a debut release can lead to multiple album deals. Poor ticket sales can cause tours to grind to a halt, recently even for 'legends' such as Roger Daltrey.

On the other hand we're seeing bands playing their first or second gig to sold-out rooms due to a few carefully placed MP3 and a whole bunch of blogger buzz.

In an industry that is based on the old fashioned principle of action/reaction, the public may just have the upper hand.

 

***

 

Many thanks indeed to Adam Gibby and Matthew Parri Thomas of Culture Deluxe. Check out them on the show this evening (June 3) as they recommend some of the music they are listening to.

Digital Digest: Bjork, Lounge on the Farm, Glastonbury and more

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Producer Will Producer Will | 12:25 UK time, Thursday, 2 June 2011

Bjork’s new album is going to be released with an app per track. Biophilia will have a separate app for each track, held together by a mother app letting fans interact with the song as well as the associated visuals. CMU have details

Kent based Lounge on the Farm are giving away a free mixtape ahead of the festival at the beginning of next month. Available via Soundcloud, it features a number of the artists who are performing at the event such as Summer Camp, Trophy Wife, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Benjamin Francis Leftwich and many more.  

Staying with festivals, Glastonbury and Orange have launched their app for 2011. Available for iPhones, Android and Nokia handsets, it allows users to schedule their weekend, there is an interactive map with now and next listings and mood map, as well as news and ability to share line-ups via Facebook before and during the festival. Get it here

My Morning Jacket are the latest band to take part in YouTube’s Unstaged – gigs organised by the site and streamed live. The band took to the stage last night in Louisville and were joined onstage by Erykah Badu for Wordless Choruscheck it out.  

Metronomy have made the Stopmakingme remix of their new single The Bay available as a free download. It is being hosted by a number of sites including Planet Notion, There Goes the Fear and This is Fake DIY

Digital Digest: The Beatles, Adele, Mixcloud and more

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Producer Will Producer Will | 17:00 UK time, Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Beatles

 

Back we are with a second Digital Digest of the day - don't Bank Holidays mess you up? Anyway, The Beatles, Adele, Neighbours, Pris and Mixcloud - let's go!

The Beatles’ anthologies are going digital for the first time on iTunes later this month. Released in 1995 and 1996, the three volumes of The Beatles Anthology feature rare and unreleased songs, outtakes and alternate versions of their classics – more at Music News

Blogs have been going pretty barmy with the bonkers news that Adele wants to collaborate with Neighbours star Harold Bishop, or Ian Smith as he is known off camera. The starlet revealed she would love to record with the tuba puffing actor and even wants to have a cameo in the Australian soap. 

Breaking More Waves has the video for PrisThe Better You Look the More You See – as recommended to us a couple of weeks ago by The Von Pip Musical Express. Check it out for yourself.

‘Bus rides just got a whole lot better’ according to online mix and podcast streaming service Mixcloud after they have launched their new iPhone app. It is free for a limited time so get your hands on it now.

 

Digital Digest: Queens of the Stone Age, Ringo Starr, Coldplay and more

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Producer Will Producer Will | 14:39 UK time, Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Queens of the Stone Age

 

Radio 1 are giving Queens of the Stone Age fans the chance to pick the set-list for their Glastonbury performance later this month. Head over to Zane Lowe’s page to vote for your favourite QOTSA track to make sure it’s played on the Pyramid.  

Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band are holding a press conference and performance, which will be streamed live this afternoon at 3pm (GMT). There will also be a chat facility enabling fans to submit questions to the Beatles’ drummer.

Coldplay have been releasing mysterious videos detailing what could be lyrics to tracks from their new album, and Will from the band announced new single, Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, will be released on Friday but curiously later in the UK (Coldplay’s official site)

Kaiser Chiefs have uploaded their video for new track Little Shocks on YouTube.

The Quietus were at Primavera to see the return of Pulp – they explain what went on and have a Spotify playlist of their long-awaited return set.

We featured Nick Cave on Now Playing last week and his collaboration with UNKLE, Money and Run, has just had pictures put to it. Directed by Tom Haines it is on YouTube.

MySpace explains how Courtney Love is being sued by Twitter, again, despite the fact her account is now defunct.

Gigwise are reporting Apple main man, Steve Jobs, is to announce the iCloud tomorrow – an online music storage/streaming utility.

Bowlegs have footage of Cults performing in a Brighton coffee shop during The Great Escape with the release of their new album this week.

Now Playing to pay tribute to Gil Scott-Heron

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Producer Will Producer Will | 12:39 UK time, Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Gil Scott Heron

 

A visionary master of the arts, the Godfather of Rap and inspiration to thousands, Gil Scott-Heron touched everyone he met and meant so much to others who never even shared a room with him.

Born in Chicago, he grew up in Jackson, Tennessee, before moving to New York. He is best known as a poet and his musical collaborations helped to pave the way for hip-hop and neo-soul in the ‘70s and ‘80s. His last work was album I’m New Here.

The sad news last weekend has been met with a flood of online sympathy and words of condolence.

“Gil was not perfect in his own life. But neither is anyone else. And he judged no one.

“He had a fierce intelligence, and a way with words which was untouchable; an incredible sense of humour and a gentleness and humanity that was unique to him,” just some of the words from Richard Russell, XL label manager and producer of Heron’s last album. More on Russell’s last conversation with Heron and thoughts on the man.

On Heron’s official site there is a short video of him chatting to friend Jamie Byng – a fuller version of the film is going to be released later this year.

On Twitter, Snoop Dogg posted: “#rip to 1 of tha greats gil scott heron.” 

Ghostface Killah – “Salute Mr. Gil Scott-Heron for his wisdom and poetry! May he Rest in Paradise. #Respect.”

Eminem – “RIP Gil Scott-Heron. He influenced all of hip-hop.” 

But go to Billboard for a long list of other Twitter tributes, or Mashable for the top five most popular YouTube videos to remember Gil Scott-Heron by.

 

On Heron’s official sites comments were left such as:


“Don’t usually comment about anything. I find it futile. Who listens anyway. But GilI still have his infamous album “Winter In America” I purchases it when it was first released. That’s been so many years ago.I still listen to it when I want to bridge the gap. He was unique. A gifted artist. I’m sorry to hear of his passing. I extend my heartfelt condolences to those who will miss him most.”

“I am grateful to the universe to have had the spirit and soul of Gil Scott-Heron for as long as we did. As long as we speak his name he will never be forgotten. When ever I hear your voice, your music my heart smiles. I LOVE YOU and welcome your spirit as I meditate and pray. I know you knew you were loved. I will see you next lifetime.”


***


On Now Playing this Friday we are going to be paying tribute to the legend that is Gil Scott-Heron, by dedicating the playlist to the master of wordplay.

Which tracks sum up his work best? Which artists have been most influenced by his work? What do you think would be a fitting tribute?

Leave a comment on this blog post, join in the discussion on Facebook or add to our Gil Scott-Heron Spotify playlist.

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