About The Phonograph

Looking at music in a broader context since July '11. Follow us on Twitter @ThePhonograph for more information, news and general noise.

Bloc 2012 has gone into administration: what this means for ticket holders

After the cancellation of the Bloc festival on Friday night, Baselogic have announced that they have gone into voluntary administration. Here we explain that means.

Bloc 2012 was a disaster, for organisers and fans alike. Music, party and travel plans were ruined for tens of thousands of people who had come from all over the world for the festival. These events have now taken an even darker turn with the organisers filing for bankruptcy.

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Drop It Like Its Bloc

Bloc 2012. By now, you’ll have heard that it was a disaster. Two of our members were there when it all went wrong: Phil and Rowan share their experience and thoughts on why it went wrong.

Bloc 2012, the most hyped festival in the UK this year, looked like it was going to be an amazing two days. Snoop Doggy Dogg, Orbital, Joker, Kode9, Four Tet, Flying Lotus, Amon Tobin (to name but a few) were all set to play over the weekend. So, feeling pretty hyped about it ourselves, we bought two weekend tickets. Little did we know what was about to happen: ticket breakdowns, poorly designed stages, massive queues and a police shutdown.

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Music defined

Forming a baseline definition, we tussle with what we believe music to be.

Never one to shy away from the big topics, today we’re going to define music. Many are likely to disagree with our definition. You may disagree with it. Frankly, amongst ourselves, the people writing for The Phonograph, we may disagree with elements of the whole. What we are aiming for here is broad strokes.

It doesn’t matter if we disagree; in fact, should you disagree with us we’d like to hear why because it is only through conflict that we can flesh out a solid theory. What is important is that we discuss it so that we can the look out from our conception of music to understand why things do and don’t fit within our definition. Continue reading

Eurovision 2012: a sign of the apocalypse?

always suspected Eurovision was the end of all things good and holy? Peter Kissick has done the research to prove it.

Robert Weinland – self-proclaimed prophet (as if there were any other kind) – has declared the end-of-the-world to be May 27

But is it possible that rather than being another deluding soul in the business of our imminent destruction, Weinland could actually be correct? And could it be more than coincidence that the date follows immediately on the spangly, sequined coat-tails of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?

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We called it America: the intellectual roots of American punk

josh white explores the figures that inspired the AMerican Punk movement long before the british explosion in  the 70s.

In the UK, when we think about punk, we usually think about the Sex Pistols. We think about fluorescent mohicans, clothes pins in noses and gurning and snarling aplenty. Some of us might think about Joe Strummer, or Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, whose situationist SEX shop on King’s Road in London became, in many ways, the cultural and geographical epicentre of the British punk movement.

But across the Atlantic, they might take a rather different view.

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What happens when the stream of music is dammed?

Aryn Clark investigates the danger of investing money into unsecure streaming platforms.

Late last year, the music streaming service Spotify lost over 200 labels when a distributor called STHoldings withdrew its entire catalogue from their library. This came in the wake of a study which claimed that streaming music services actually harm other forms of music purchasing. Despite this setback however, Spotify announced this year that they now have a record 3 million paid subscribers, and that more than 20 percent of its active users are subscribing to its paid service.

So, who do we believe? I’ve heard a lot of talk over the past few years about streaming music being “the future”, but just how secure are the fortunes of these much-praised services? Let’s look over the history of the issue.

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Why make your own ramshackle recording studio?

With cheapening equipment and a proliferation of recording software more and more artists have made their own recording studio. Chloe Hamilton explores the ins and outs of this venture.

Picture a recording studio. What do you see? For me, a self-confessed amateur when it comes to the music world, a recording studio is synonymous with complex looking machines with a billion different buttons. The odd chair, preferably swivel, also resides in my imaginary recording studio. And the walls are padded. It is very shiny and very expensive.

However, this is not always the case. The majority of Bon Iver’s album For Emma, Forever Ago was recorded in a remote cabin in Wisconsin. Radiohead recorded Climbing Up Walls in a mansion. What makes an environment suitable for recording and producing music?

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