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Live music & clubbing in Cambodia, South East Asia

The Internet is helping the music scene in CambodiaIf you’re in living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia or just passing through you’ll have noticed a burgeoning arts & culture scene. Art exhibitions, theatre, movie festivals and live music events are all stepping up in quality, diversity and frequency. It’s exciting times for the arts in Phnom Penh and soon we’ll be going head to head with other capital cities in south-east Asia and beyond.

It’s easy to get vital information on the latest events from a number of free magazines and publications such as Asialife, L’Echo and City Life Cambodia. For up-to-date informative reviews, extensive listings including underground musical events, look no further than the following online resources: Leng Pleng, Phnom Penh Gigs and Lady Penh. They’ll help you get proper live music listings and reviews in a flash.

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Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 22nd July 2010 2 Comments

New albums and singles on Invisible Agent Records

new invisible agent releasesThere are a several singles and albums circling Invisible Agent HQ and I’m too excited about these upcoming releases to stay quiet any longer. Here’s some exciting new music about to coming in for a smooth landing:

First in the holding pattern is the rising star Eomac who will soon grace us with a new EP entitled ‘Battery Baby’. It’s getting increasingly difficult to lock Eomac down to one genre which is a good thing. I guess this EP could be described as an amalgamation of dark and dirty baselines, rave-o-matic riffs and breakbeat stylings. This will be Eomac’s inaugural release on Invisible Agent and will be available in all good download stores worldwide in August.

Remixes are ready and mastered for John Dalton’s well received techno production ‘fifteen’. This EP has diverse remixes by Danseizure, Eomac and Ebauche. It was always going to be difficult to top John’s original output, but I am sure you’ll be as impressed as I was when I first heard these distinct and fresh re-works by fellow Invisible Agent producers. This EP is bound to send x-ray machines in to overload. More information coming soon…

Last but not least is Danseizure who’s weighed in with some heavy cargo. Known to hang out at the Forest Record Collective counter, Dan Gorman has produced experimental soundscapes and scores for several years. This Dan’s 3rd album to be released on Invisible Agent Records and I’m very excited about his latest body of work. As always, Dan’s sounds are meticulously crafted and will leave you mesmerized. Touch down of these releases is imminent, stayed tuned to cash in on your frequent flier miles.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 21st July 2010 Leave a comment!

Lots of services, not much choice.

monkey businessPurchasing music online? Ever wonder why certain songs are labeled as ‘Album Only’?

If you have an account on any of the popular music download services you will notice selected tracks labeled as ‘Album Only‘, meaning that you can’t buy them individually, only as part of the entire ‘album’. So who’s in control of this activity? the artist, the record label or the distributor?

Consumer choice verses artistic integrity?

Large record labels have a range of digital-release strategies designed to optimize revenues. They want you to buy the entire album, they don’t want users to ‘cherry pick’ the best tracks. Some will argue this approach is about maintaining artistic integrity, it’s not just the record labels who demand restricted sales. For instance, Pink Floyd only want you to download their entire album, not individual songs. Some argue that they have a right to these demands. I’m not going to argue with a band that has sold over 200 Million albums. They consider their albums as a single piece of art, that’s their choice. The likes of AC/DC, Led Zepplin and The Beatles take the same approach. So you won’t find those bands on iTunes. According to figures this approach doesn’t affect their album sales.

However, I’ve come across many remixes and compilations containing tracks marked as ‘Album Only’. In certain cases, I own most of the tracks already. I’ve had to buy a bunch of tracks that I already own, just to get two tracks marked as ‘Album Only’. It’s a rather frustrating experience. I now refuse to buy any releases that are sold this way. I’ve seen Emusic and other distributors lambasted by users for selling music in this way. Write a note to the record label, in these cases they are in control of this ‘Album Only’ option, not the distributor.

Billions of track sales but not that much profit

Even though iTunes is credited with pioneering the uniform 99 cents a song pricing model, they still get up to skullduggery with track pricing. After doing further research, it appears iTunes automatically marks all songs over 10 minutes long as ‘Album Only’. Most distributors and shops allow an opt out, but not with iTunes. In this particular case, it seems artisitic integrity has nothing to do with it. Apple has said it makes little profit from iTunes because of the costs of running the online store. iTunes had a cash turnover of $4 billion last year and are just a minimal profit-making lure for prospective iPhone and iPad customers. I wonder will the upcoming Google Music offer more choice and give the artists a fair cut of the sales? Is it just a lure for prospective Android customers and a gap filler in the Google portfolio. Let’s wait and see.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 19th July 2010 2 Comments

The war on music

home_taping_is_killing_musicpngLike oil, music is pumped out and commoditized by large corporations. Commoditization occurs as a goods or services market loses differentiation across its supply base. Sound familiar? The goods in question is the garbage being churned out by the music industry. Like the wars waged for other commodities, the corporations are at war with consumers and the battle field is the Internet.

Technology is killing music

In the 80′s and 90′s people would ask their friends for recommendations and share mixtapes. It’s apparent that ‘high speed dubbing’ has been replaced by ‘drag and drop’. Thank goodness for that, it took me hours to splice mix tapes and my music doesn’t degrade over time. Like a broken record, pardon the pun, the music industry has used the same old line since the 1980′s. Copying is killing music? No, the only thing killing music is the music industry.

Failed to diversify, blame the Internet

It’s now possible to obtain trend information and track specific files being sharing in the digital domain. This type of information was not easily obtained in the world of analogue high-speed dubbing. These figures are the biggest weapon in the music industries arsenal of misinformation. I doubt that even a paltry 10% of blank cassette or VHS tapes sold in the 80′s were used in dictaphones or handy cams. Cassettes were used for copying and distributing, and the large labels still made huge profits. The Industry skews figures to justify their war on customers. They want to squeeze every last cent out of the us to maximize their profits. Music is not a commodity, they should stop treating it like one.

The internet, and all it entails – MySpace, social networking, file-sharing, blogs – has destroyed the importance of the physical ownership of music. – Hazel Sheffield – The Guardian

Peculiar statements such as this highlights the successful brainwashing of the masses by the RIAA and the big four. Vinyl sales are increasing. The Internet is an enabler and an important communication tool for musicians, local music scenes, independent labels and alternative music festivals. Social networking sites have enabled other people to share tracklists, music reviews and podcasts. Most importantly; discovery and even creation of new sounds and genres. For example the Internet has aided the growth of the Dubstep scene worldwide through forums and blogs.

It’s foolish to ignore the future of music distribution. It’s obvious that the old encumbents are bloated and slow to act. The 2009 book ‘Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Recording Industry in the Digital Age’ sums up the music industries loss of control

amid the actions of extravagant, sometimes cocaine-addicted executives — ending with the seismic domination of the download,
which slipped out of the industry’s control before its chiefs could decide how to harness it.

A fine example is the demise of Tower Records. Music industry ‘experts’ blame Tower Records’ closure on its failure to compete with the Internet. The high paid executives probably never heard the saying ‘if you can’t beat them join them’. You’re meant to be ‘on’ the Internet. Not competing with it. I’m sure if Tower had taken their head out of the sand and started selling music online in parallel to allow iPod docking facility in their stores they would be still be alive and kicking today. The once-ubiquitous Tower Records is gone because they failed to diversify.

Today, it’s clear Sony is failing to diversify. Over the years Sony has been abismal in the field of innovation and diversification. Like the ingenious mini-disk, the Sony Memory key and their fabulous attempt to infiltrate your computer with a DRM trojan virus. Ironically, even after attempting to copy Apple iTunes, the mighty Sony failed again with ‘Sony Connect’.  Their profits dropped from a whopping 2.2Billion US$ in 2007 to  110 million in 2008. Chump change I shout! Sony & others have shot themselves in the foot repeatedly while pointing the blame elsewhere….

How are we ever going to tame this rampant corporation killer know as the Internet? Answers on a postcard to 550 Madison Avenue, New York.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 26th June 2010 4 Comments

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