Most people experience the Red Bull Music Academy as a month-long series of sponsored events, bold advertisements plastered onto tall buildings and subway walls, and copies of the Daily Note newspaper. But those are only the most visible aspects of the Academy's 2013 edition, which kicked off its second term in New York City this week. In fact, most of RBMA takes place in a single building in Chelsea, where a carefully selected group of 30 musicians from around the world have been set loose in artistically designed, state-of-the-art studios and a contingent of writers, PR agents, and assorted music industry folks labor over various other projects upstairs. When the Academy is in session, RBMA headquarters houses an entire music-business ecosystem that produces not only fresh tunes and an extensive lineup of events, but daily newspapers, art installations, and lengthy lectures from seasoned artists. Since most of RBMA isn't open to the public, it largely remains a mystery to those not directly involved. As such, XLR8R spent two days scurrying around the epicenter of the behemoth culture machine that is RBMA, taking an inside look at the daily life of its participants. Read more »
A ton of great music appeared on the internet as streaming audio and video this week—more so than usual, it seems. We're not exaggerating: We've got record streams, fresh mixes, free downloads, high-profile remixes, and more from artists like MK, Skream, The Miracles Club, John Tejada, Ryan Hemsworth, Koreless, Joe Godard, Natasha Kmeto, and Hyetal, among others. All of the sights and sounds of this week's edition of Press Play can full enjoyed after the jump. Read more »
Hi, Doctor Nick! - The Necessary Evil of Self-Promotion and the Secret to Making Beats Without an MC
Nick Hook is a talented dude. The guy can make beats, play instruments, record rappers, and that's just a partial list. But he's also smart enough to know that no matter how talented someone is, they're going to need some help along the way. That's probably why he's agreed to sit down and answer our readers' questions each and every Thursday morning. He's got knowledge to share—people simply have to have ask. Hit him up at email@example.com.
Yo. Hi. I think I'm dying. I've been up till 10 a.m. the last few days, and now its 4 a.m. and I gotta finish this column before I'm back at it again. Read more »
It may be hard to believe, but the past three years have seen a surprising return to service for the humble 12" record. The format which DJ culture was essentially built from is enjoying something of an in-vogue moment, as vinyl sales have reportedly risen to a 16-year highpoint of $177 million. Exactly why this has happened now is difficult to say, but it's hard not to see the renewed popularity in the recent glut of limited-edition, vinyl-oriented dance-music labels. While this is undoubtedly a good thing, it also brings a variety of latent issues to the surface. To better explore those concerns, XLR8R went looking for the opinions of a variety of people who hold the almighty 12" dear. Read more »
Hype is a necessary, though often dangerous tool for marketing music in the digital age. Now seemingly more than ever, an album's or single's success relies heavily on how many people and media outlets are talking about the product across social media and other corners of the internet before they hear it. This approach to selling records is important for obvious reasons, but isn't without its side effects, the worst of which might be how it inflates the public's expectations. When fans are worked into a tizzy over a span of months while a label slowly leaks out minute details about a particular release, they are practically manipulated into thinking this music might very well be the best thing they could ever possibly listen to. 2013 has seen an above-average amount of hype so far, with long-awaited records from acts like The Knife and Boards of Canada making unexpected appearances in the year's release calendar, but none even come close to the fanfare which preceded the fourth album by French duo Daft Punk, Random Access Memories. Read more »
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