Protecting you culture – and your ‘brand’

September 1st, 2013

Hi, I’m back from a well-earned break. There’s so much to to at the moment that blogging has gone on the back burner for quite a while.

Before I left I was working on this – based on a trawl thru the BBC which unearthed this surprising item about the Masi people looking to protect their culture from exploitation by applying principles of Intellectual Property.

There’s always,in my opinion, a case for people to have a little respect or at least properly acknowledge the role other cultures if they’ve been an inspiration.

There are many ways certain individuals or companies have made money off the images of other cultures for commercial gain, banking of the notion of being exotic somehow being ‘cool’ or fashionable. Unfortunately, these appropriations, taken out of their cultural context actually mean little & could be seen as demeaning or disrespectful.

The full article can be read here

RIP Mrs T?

April 25th, 2013

Well Ms T (or ‘that Bloody Woman’ as described by some politicians, even by her cabinet), has finally, at public expense, been laid to rest.

Whilst I can’t claim to be a fan, it can’t be denied her place in British, if not world (political) history is assured.

Her administration and legacy is complex & contrary; there’s a good analysis from the BBC website (read it here).

I’ve left it for a while partly due to being bloody busy & needed to give a bit of distance between the events. Whatever your view, discussions will run & run……..

Stump Juice presents: Alvin Davis & Friends

April 14th, 2013

Searching through my archives during another digitsing session & I came across this gem.

Stump Juice presents: Alvin Davis & Friends, Feb 1995 by Alph on Mixcloud

This is the first appearance of Alvin Davis & his collaborators the MC’s Moose & Dr Funk.

This was also one of the earliest recordings from Stump Juice. This was only a few months after we opened. This is significant as this is the earliest live guest recording. It is also the first upload to Mixcloud without a tracklist.

 

Alvin has forged a successful career, particularly Stateside, where he has made a number of high profile appearances on US TV, as well as working with some incredible artists. Check out his Myspace page here.

We were lucky as they almost didn’t make it; traffic breakdowns & technical problems (radio mics, dropout from the desk) seemed to be against all of us.

 

The sound quality probably isn’t as good as normally, but I’m sure the energy & vibe more than comes across and makes up for this.

From the improvising of Alvin over our instrumental selections to dropping breaks for the MCs to do their thing, this captures the spirit of the club & what we did.

We were so into we forgot to turn the tape over!

 

We were blessed with several more appearances form Alvin & the gang; each time was unique & special. Those that remember can attest to the fun we all had back then.

 

Regarding the tracklist (or lack of one), normally I wouldn’t as I’m very picky about following rules, but as this is the anniversay year, I thought it’d be worth it. Also, in order to presumably to keep record companies & rights holders happy, the site now uses recognition software, identifying popular tunes.

Hopefully, I’ll get the tracklist properly sorted; in the meantime – enjoy!

Music, Moby & Money

March 31st, 2013

I came across an article via Twitter about Moby; nothing unusual about that you might say, until you realise the headline compared his seminal album ‘Go’ to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’.

Before some of you become apoplectic with rage (I fear for it’s too late already for some of you), both are landmark recordings, changing the face of the music industry, but in very different ways.

 

Much has been written about ‘Thriller’, so I’d not get into it here (I’ll save that for another time).

The phenomenally successful ‘Go’, by the mopey vegan owes its success to the fact that every track on the album bypassed the usual route to success by every recording on the LP being licensed for use for other parties, most notably ad agencies.

The full article can be read here – it’s an interesting read, & it demonstrates the value of thinking differently.

 

Moby & his manager bypassed the traditional route of approaching record company execs & formulated a strategy essentially targeting ad agencies & manufacturers.

The success of this now means that record labels, like film companies now effectively have an eye on ‘merchandising’, in this case the lucrative licensing market; indeed, acts may be dropped from their labels if they disagree over a licensing deal.

 

As much as labels complain about illegal downloads (which is a problem that does need to be addressed), licensing tracks has become very big business & a highly viable revenue stream, both for the label, but the client as well as the artist.

 

We’re aware artists are in a rapidly-changing musical & commercial landscape. Now more than ever, artists wishing to be successful need to have one eye on the marketplace, one eye on the Internet as well as constantly awareness of changes in technology.

Whilst it’s (mostly) given quality work is a must for any artist, those that can exploit a niche stand to secure an advantage in an increasingly competitive & crowded space.

Other Stuff I’ve Been Listening To…

March 17th, 2013

Alph’s Listens on Mixcloud