This Week We Heard

Relevant and inspiring happenings tied into music and media

Sony Music UK acquire Ministry Of Sound

Ministry of Sound, one of the U.K.’s biggest independent labels, has been acquired by the British arm of Sony Music. Originally launched in 1993 as an extension of the influential London nightclub founded by James Palumbo, in the two decades since then Ministry Of Sound has grown to become one of the world’s biggest dance music labels. The resulting changes that will come into effect, particularly in regards to the local Australian arm of the imprint, are still unclear. But with Sony currently netting $25M per week in streaming revenue (overtaking physical and download purchases) we know where they found the extra cash.

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Stream while you shop: Woolworths Radio – Powered by Pandora

Streaming service Pandora has this week announced a partnership with the largest supermarket retailer in Australia – Woolworths – to offer specially curated, exclusive Pandora stations as an in-store music experience for shoppers nationwide. The music will be refreshed and updated on a regular basis so shoppers will have an updated listening experience each time they visit their store. Check out the branded station here. Pandora’s latest ad spot was pretty cool; taping into the emotional connection that music creates showing people describing the power of music rather than playing it. We just have one recommendation for Pandora: needs more Drum & Bass.

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Make music in VR with SoundStage

Gaming might seem like an obvious application for virtual reality technology, but it can also be used to tap into your creative side. Pairing with the HTC Vive, music-making suite SoundStage lets you set up a music studio and jam away without having to sound-proof a spare room or spend thousands on heavy equipment and instruments, and it offers a veritable array of amps, drums and synthesisers to create your soundscapes. In other gaming-related news, De La Soul have teamed up with popular mobile phone game series Angry Birds for the release of their latest iteration ‘Angry Birds Action!’ with a new song they’ve purpose-made, even appearing as characters in the trailer.

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It’s not just who we listen to. It’s who we are.

YouTube Music’s recent release of a five-ad series acknowledging the power of music as a definition of identity and self is powerful in its poignant and real depictions. Choosing five characters and matching each of them to a defining soundtrack, it’s both evocative and provocative. Two more tedious music video links worth sharing include Estonian rapper Tommy Cash’s latest track ‘Winaloto’ which is currently causing a viral storm for its provocative artistic imagery and certainly worth a watch or two, as well as a ridiculously funny music video created for a line of tonic drinks by Mirth Provisions named ‘Legal’, provocative in its own way.

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9FIVE x BeatsByJBlack

California-based 9FIVE Eyewear has teamed up with artist J-Black to create an original and live production in a video that has already amassed over 106K views on the brand’s Facebook channel. The content piece is itself simple, succinct and authentic: showing the beatsmith candidly at home adeptly working his way through a Hip Hop track comprised of chopped up samples, as his fingers trigger the sounds on an Akai MPC in a style akin to the late J-Dilla. 9FIVE has long associated itself with Hip Hop culture: another notable example would be the limited edition project with producer Alchemist that saw the release of a 7inch vinyl available exclusively with a custom eyeframe.

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Absolut Vodka teams up with Deadmau5 for a VR night out.

Launching towards the end of this month, Absolut Vodka has plunged in the world of VR and partnered with notoriously outspoken dance music producer Deadmau5 for a gaming experience that allows users to follow the artist around town on a night out as part of the brand’s ‘Absolut Nights’ campaign. Available in all major app stores, the game starts off in Deadmau5’s garage helping him pick out the best car to get him to his upcoming gig, players then manoeuvre through a series of live-action obstacles to ensure he gets to his gig on time. It even features his Instagram-famous cat, Meowingtons. Top job creating a virtual world for Absolut customers to explore. Watch the promo video here.

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