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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Minor and major labels: Interview with Edward Rogers

Leading Us Absurd’s Matt Satterfield talks to Edward Rogers about how record labels and the industry have changed over the past 30 years.

The music industry has changed hugely in the past 30 years, the rise and fall of different trends and technologies has forced record labels to adapt to the times. And artists have had to change too. So Matt Satterfield from Leading Us Absurd has been able to talk with British-born, New York-bred songwriter Edward Rogers about his extremely prolific career and how the industry has altered in his time.

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The Language of Hip-Hop: a lot more than ‘ass’

There’s a lot more to Hip-Hop lyrics than some of the biggest hits let on. Nathan takes a look at their socio-linguistic depths.

Okay, so we live in a world where Big Sean can release a song called “Ass”, where the lyrics consist mostly of just that word. Granted, if you’ve been paying attention to Top-40s hip-hop for the past couple of years you would have already experienced The Black Eyed Peas‘ “I’mma Be”, but that hasn’t saved me from the bemusement I feel regarding “Ass” being a song that actually exists.

For those who were on the opposing side of the Rock vs. Rap petty dichotomy during the 90s and early 2000s, the stupidity of “Ass” is something ‘expected’ for the world of Hip-Hop. At surface level (i.e. that awful club you and your friends go to, you know the one), Rap and Hip-Hop exclusively consist of self-aggrandizing and partying hard; designed to move your feet, but not move you.

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Proteus’ soundscapes: the similarities between procedural generation and improvisation

Proteus in action - Picture lovingly lifted from

Video game music has come a long way from the humble bleeps of its youth. Where once fantasy adventurers would be chaperoned by the gentle whirs of a synthesised 70s sound system, a hero now has the backing of an entire sweeping, movie-style orchestra to keep him company on his travels – each triumph and tragedy accompanied by an appropriate Howard Shore-style blaring trumpet or aching violin solo.

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Stream of Tumblr: Learning About the Curator Through Their Collection

In an article on Pitchfork, Mark Richardson, used comments about the lack of originality in Tumblr photoblogs made by Canadian rapper and singer Drake as a jumping-off point to talk about how we use pop iconography to define who we are, and how advances in technology have made recycled culture common in music-making. I had plans to write something similar, though, what I had originally hoped to zoom in on was sampling, because, like samples, Tumblr blogs are often comprised of re-purposed material.

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Bye Bye Disc Drive

How long has it been since you bought a CD? I’m talking about an actual circular, silver-on-the-bottom, graphics-on-top, comes-in-a-jewel-case compact disc? Last week? Last year? When’s the last time you burned an album to disc so you could play it in your car? Can you remember the last time you made a mix CD for a friend? Maybe you can, but judging by recent trends in Apple’s product development, they’re betting that many of you have learned to live without your old friend, the disc drive. If so, how is it to be replaced?

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