Dekmantel 2015 by BPM

A project that began with throwing a string of small parties, Dekmantel has rapidly grown into an underground success story as a record label, DJ collective and festival. Thomas Martojo and Casper Tielrooij’s main ethos is to showcase the best local and international talent in the underground electronic music scene: one that has seen them top Resident Advisor’s festival charts in both 2014 and 2015, despite the festival only being in its third year.

Unable to resist any longer, The Outpost team headed over to Amsterdam to get up to speed with one of the most credible house and techno festivals in Europe. To avoid a lengthy review of an overwhelmingly good line-up, here’s a little bpm guide to our highlights. (warning: some bpm’s may overlap)

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0 bpm

To set the scene, Dekmantel is based in the lush forests and grassy meadows of Amsterdamse Bos, on the outskirts of Amsterdam. With the Dutch being so friendly and helpful, the festival is easy to get to via public transport, or you can cycle alongside the locals. The forest location is small and easy to navigate: it’s the kind of festival where you can lose your friends and find them dancing around a tree with some stranger they became best friends with five minutes ago.

There are five stages, each with their own vibe; the UFO being the most futuristic with its lights, and Red Bull Music Academy’s greenhouse-like Lab being the most green, with its array of bamboo and illuminated willow trees. Armed with Funktion One sound systems, the sound quality throughout is faultless, while the general attention to detail makes the festival seem so seamless. Issuing tokens as festival currency makes queuing for a drink seem like a bad dream, so with the sun shining and a gin cocktail garnished with a rose petal in hand, we know it’s going to be a good one.

80 – 120 bpm

Despite being largely a house and techno festival, Dekmantel 2015 left no music stone unturned, with a range of jazz, funk and music from around the world. As the night beckoned on Friday, folks certainly got down in the sunshine as well respected jazz and R&B artist Roy Ayers Ubiquity delivered flawless vocals and summery vibraphone solos with his live band, set perfectly in the Lab. Meanwhile, Saturday saw a 5 hour marathon of non-stop dancing to Latin, funk, afrobeat and disco from Floating Points, Hunee and Antal at The Selectors Stage.

first day main stage

120 – 130 bpm

With the weekend promising various shades of house, we had high expectations for Motor City Drum Ensemble following his legendary set at Dekmantel in 2014 – however, it was unfortunately too busy to truly enjoy. On the upside, we were pleasantly surprised by Call Super’s technically impeccable set of unique and interesting music, having never heard of him before. Some of our other favourite moments included dancing to Hessle Audio Trio amongst the foliage at the Lab for 3 hours and ending the festival with a cuddle from Berghain regular and LGBT campaigner Tama Sumo.

second day the lab stage

130 -150 bpm

One thing Dekmantel did not lack was great techno, in all its many forms. Highlights included pounding DJ sets from Objekt, Blawan and the legend Robert Hood – not to mention Nina Kraviz, who gave us a taste of her new music, a mesmerising light show from Marcel Dettmann and Rødhåd, who had all the bar staff going crazy. For those after something a little softer, there was an outstanding performance from Steffi featuring Virginia’s beautiful live vocals: some of the few women on the line up. Most memorable was Sunday’s live set from Recondite on the main stage, taking us all on a beautiful techno journey away from the sad realisation that the festival was coming to an end for another year…

techno

150+ bpm

Verging on the undanceable, Midland’s Arabian melodies and Young Marco’s frenetic African beats epitomised the sheer pace of the festival, which occasionally bordered on unnerving. With head honchos like Ricardo Villalobos and ZIP playing on the main stage early on Friday, Dekmantel certainly threw you into the deep end with little time for warming up. But there was little time for slowing down either, with the party going on long into the night at Amsterdam’s famous cultural hotspot Melkweg. Though tricky to navigate our way there via the expensive and poorly organised shuttle services, we managed to sneak in and throw some shapes anyway.

Overall, Dekmantel certainly lived up to the hype. The day festival stole the show with its wide variety of music and endless energy juxtaposed with intimacy. There was never a dip in interest, forever keeping us on our feet in a magical land of sun and trees…bring on 2016!

 

outside boiler room on third day

Outpost Graduate Trainee opportunity – Publishing and distribution

We’re currently looking for a sharp graduate to join our team on our 3 month paid Graduate Trainee Scheme.

Working in our publishing and distribution departments, you will also gain first-hand experience in our PR department, working across print, online, radio and TV. Training in general office management will also form part of the role.

The scheme is a structured 3 month program including music business, public relations theory and on-the-job training. Depending on the success of the Graduate Training Scheme, a full time position could be awarded.

You must have excellent written communication skills, love music and take pride in doing a Superstar job.

Minimum requirement of 2:1 undergraduate degree or higher. Applications from graduates with 2:2 mark accepted with demonstrable music experience. Work placements for current undergraduate students with minimum BBB at A-Level also available.

To apply, send a cover letter and CV to careers@outpostmedia.co.uk

The Outsight Report #11

Is BBC Radio ‘Under Threat’?

bbc_chart_bigWith the government’s planned reforms to the BBC’s licensing fee, and new competition from Apple Music’s radio service Beats 1, it seems that BBC Radio is under threat.

The Tories claim the proposed changes have arisen out of a concern that the public’s money could be better spent. Alongside changes to the licensing fee, the government has also decided to decriminalise its non-payment and no longer subsidise the fee for over 75’s, challenging the way the BBC spends its money from all angles. Although the reforms will most likely affect funding for television, the sector the BBC spends the most on, there will undoubtedly be changes to radio too.

Amidst fears that this shake up could lead to a ‘much diminished service’, many stars have leapt to the BBC’s defence – including Annie Nightingale, who, as Radio 1’s longest serving broadcaster, holds the world record for the longest ever running radio show to date.

annieWith her commitment to the industry having earned her an MBE, Annie, who has just released her special Masterpiece album on Ministry of Sound, charting her extensive musical journey, owes much of her career to the longstanding establishment. In a recent live web chat for The Guardian, she commented: “The battle is to keep the BBC going… to ensure the future of the BBC. People often ask me why such a small country as ours has such a worldwide influence in terms of how our music is perceived. Surely the fact that we have radio stations such as Radio 1, 1Xtra, 6Music, to nurture new music, has helped this process ever since the Beatles gave us worldwide recognition. Without stations nurturing and playing new music, that culture could disappear very quickly. That really worries me.”

Like Annie Nightingale, BBC Radio is timeless: known for its curation of great music, both by established artists and new musicians, it has informed, entertained and educated for over 90 years.

And yet it is no stranger to cuts –just earlier this year it was announced that BBC Radio 1 was to cut funding to late night programmes as well as coverage of major live events and festivals. While these changes may have a detrimental effect, fears of their impact seem ignorant of the BBC’s strengths: namely, their cultural credibility and relationships of trust – both between musicians and radio producers, and presenters and their listeners.

beatsThe powers of such relationships are what streaming services such as Groove Shark often lack. These fads tend to come and go – something that Apple Music seems more than aware of. Recently launching Beats 1 as a 24/7 radio broadcaster for the entire world, Apple appear to have created the perfect marketing device to encourage people to subscribe to the faceless streaming service incorporated into the company’s latest software update.

zaneHowever, it is a service still in its early days, with only 3 specialist radio presenters: one of whom was poached from Radio 1. In what seems like a fitting homage to his former home, Zane Lowe opened his first ever Beats 1 show with ‘City’ by Spring King, a band that was recently featured on BBC Introducing, thereby inadvertently championing the cultural impact of the BBC globally. Although Apple Music may have the money to attract star guest presenters, to what extent can they nurture new artists in the same way the BBC does?

This is only one aspect of BBC Radio’s culture that makes it so commercially attractive – and undoubtedly, it is the commercial viability of the BBC that has driven the government’s debate about its place in the broadcasting landscape. However, their lack of understanding on the way creative processes work is risking the loss of the culture that makes the BBC unique.

Although unwanted, these changes will push radio to evolve, and ‘force the BBC to do what they do even better’, as Head of Radio 2 Music Jeff Smith notes. To ensure it flourishes in times of uncertainty, the relationships between musicians, PRs, producers and presenters need to remain strong, in order to remind the world what the BBC is capable of.

Outpost x Roskilde

We had the pleasure of being invited to Roskilde Festival this summer, and – being one of the only established non-profit festivals – we just had to go and see how the Danes do it.

The comparative ease of travelling to Roskilde was the first thing to hit the Outposters – a one hour’s flight from Gatwick to Copenhagen followed by a thirty minute train ride to the town of Roskilde. Already excited about what to expect, we sat next to a gentleman sipping from a miniature liquor bottle (whilst holding another three unopened), which transpired to be the Danish version of Jaeger, weighing in at a solid 44%. He was also on his way to the festival – for the 27th year running. When asked what it was about Roskilde that makes it so special, he replied: “For me it’s like Christmas” – perhaps it was the fumes from the booze, but we were sold!

Upon arrival at the station we were greeted by an array of friendly Roskilders who helped us on our way to the site (only a fifteen minute walk): door to door, we are convinced it takes both less time and stress than the ever ominous Glasto journey.

Armed with our festi goodie bags (including a hip flask!) we set off to explore our adventure park for the next three days.

Untitled

Beautiful weather, stellar people and a musically diverse programme made for an undeniably alluring atmosphere. Although here to embrace the international feel of the festival, we couldn’t help but be drawn to Florence and the Machine on the main stage. A shoeless red haired raven with the ability to command a festival stage like no other, she even jumped into the crowd at times to encourage a spot of surfing. What a way to start our Roskilde experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other notable stars of our first evening were the indescribable Die Antwoord and a closing performance from Hot Chip – in our eyes, in a festival setting, they can do no wrong – before sleep deprivation set in and it was off to bed.

With the sun beating down, the tent the next morning fast became inhospitable, although having a shower and a supermarket so close gave us the best of both worlds. A shot or two of the Danes’ liquor and we were ready for round two, complete with a growing clan that included two Danish fashionistas, an Israeli blogger, a Norwegian DJ and a couple of Polish beauties.

First on the agenda was the Icelandic sound of Kippi Kannius – a mesmerising concept which even included an original Sugarcubes member – quickly followed by a visit to the enigmatic Gaslamp Killer. Team Outpost took no time in introducing the ‘Experience’ to our new friends, with a cacophony of jazz, violin, preaching and beats filling the tent and quickly our hearts.

On a high from GL and looking for our next fix, we stumbled upon Kate Tempest, and although the beats kept us there, ultimately we found the performance underwhelming and opted to finish our night with crowd pleasers Disclosure. A controversial ‘Main Stage’ placement, in spite of their undeniable international support, unfortunately their performance for us was a little lacklustre too.

All showered and fed we started our final day with some tried and trusted reggae beats from Barrington Levy, a perfect way to soothe our lethargic ears: with the rays beating down, we were certainly feeling the love. Nicki Minaj was up next – and, having always wondered what the fuss was about, we stayed. We saw. We loved. A lady who can rap, sing and dance – all in heels? We might just be converts.

Flying the British flag, we popped our heads in to see Paul McCartney and his signature guitar strumming, but while it ticked The Beatles box it wasn’t one for us – Linda and her veggie sausages are still the favourite McCartney.

A constant theme running through the festival was its focus on international music, especially African sounds. A five hour set from Africa Express was the buzz of Roskilde: who were going to be the special guests? What was going to happen? And boy, did we pick the right time to have a gander – catching Outpost favourite Fatoumata Diawara, followed by Kwabs. Filled with energy and smiles, the tent was difficult to leave, but Jamie XX was beckoning…

Making the pilgrimage to the Apollo stage (outside the main festival area and through the camping site), it was like discovering a whole new event. With techno head Dixon still in full flow, we settled into our new environment and waited in anticipation for the man of the hour – and he didn’t disappoint. The lights, the song choices, the atmosphere he created…we hugged our new friends and felt that classic festival bonding experience. The morning sun started to rise, the fireworks lit the skies and we headed back to our tents elated.

Thank you, Roskilde – you were beautiful.

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Outpost June 2015 Newsletter

Here at Outpost, we are proud to provide music promotion services across the board to a plethora of clients: from renowned labels and independent artists to innovative club nights and local events. With a number of exciting projects currently on our books, June is setting a precedent for an exciting summer ahead. Here are some of our highlights…


craigCraig David

Legendary Double Grammy-nominated artist Craig David is bringing his internationally-renowned series of parties, ‘TS5’, to London for the first time this July. The events form a unique collaborative project that incorporates DJing and live performance from both Craig himself and artists on his own specially curated line-up. Tickets to the first of these dates at Hackney’s Oslo have already sold out, with Craig inviting Manchester-based producer White N3rd and upcoming Bristolian house act Barny Rubble to perform alongside him. Outpost are excited to be providing support across press and online for the ‘TS5’ campaign.

ts5.com


 

annieAnnie Nightingale

As the BBC’s longest-serving DJ and the world record holder for the longest-running radio show, Annie Nightingale, MBE celebrates her 50th anniversary in broadcasting this year. To honour this special milestone, Annie has been asked to produce the latest in Ministry of Sound’s ‘Masterpiece’ compilation series – and becomes the first woman to do so. The tracklist spans the entirety of Annie’s incredible career, including cuts from The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney alongside Motown, new wave, acid house, breakbeat, drum and bass, Balearic, grime, dubstep, trap and beyond. We are promoting this unique compilation across press and online.

www.facebook.com/AnnieNightingale.DJ


 

superFrench Electro Scene – Superpoze and TOYS

Superpoze’s debut album ‘Opening’ continues to be a storming success, with premieres being hosted on XLR8R and Hypetrak, along with a featured ‘Mix of the Day’ on Data Transmission, and an album minimix hosted on Wonderland. Outpost’s French electro contingent is boosted with our work on ‘Golden Line’ – the debut EP from TOYS. The group are already making waves, with The 405 describing their sound as an ‘enviable balance of ambient atmospheres, restrained synth melodies and pulsing beats’. Outpost are working with both acts across press, radio and online.

soundcloud.com/superpoze
www.facebook.com/toysareon


sinahSinah and B. Miles

German-born producer Sinah and L.A-based songwriter B. Miles have both selected Outpost to run radio and online campaigns on their new releases. Sinah’s self-titled album is her first solo full-length, having previously played in Lola Colt and produced remixes for the likes of Alt-J, while B. Miles has already received attention from influential blogs such as Hilly Dilly. With her video to single ‘Loveless’ having premiered on Clash, Sinah’s album stream was hosted recently by The 405, while Q Magazine have highlighted B. Miles as one of their weekly five artists to hear.

sinahmusic.com
facebook.com/B.Miles.Official


natNatalie Duncan and Lucy Mason

Outpost are also pleased to be running online campaigns for Natalie Duncan, whose latest EP, ‘Black and White’, sees her launch her first material since her celebrated debut album, ‘Devil In Me’, as well as upcoming Australian-born singer-songwriter Lucy Mason. With Natalie having already received acclaim on Q Magazine, The Sunday Times and MOJO, as well as a TV spot on Later… With Jools Holland, she returns with a radical change of sound, influenced by the likes of FKA Twigs. Lucy Mason has already been highlighted as one to watch by BBC Introducing and The 405, and will unveil the visuals to her stunning track ‘Lost and Found’ via Clash.

facebook.com/NatalieDuncanOfficial
facebook.com/lucymasonmusic


Hackney Summer Fete

While we are proud of our international roster, Outpost are always keen to promote events in the local community too, and are currently working with St. John at Hackney Church to promote their annual Hackney Summer Fete. The event takes place on 18th July, when crowds of over 2000 are expected to sample an incredible array of food, drink and entertainment, including local music from community choirs to soundsystems hosted by RBMA and Visions Festival, Shoreditch Radio and London Fields Radio.


Campaign Focus: Events

Behind the Tracks: AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ – 28th June @ Strongroom Studios
Lucy Mason
– Friday 3rd July @ The Troubadour
Sinah – Saturday 4th July @ The Old Blue Last
Annie Nightingale‘Masterpiece Launch Party’, Wednesday 15th July, East London
Craig David – Thursday 16th July @ Oslo Hackney
Lucy Mason – Saturday 18th July @ The Garage
Lucy Mason – Friday 31st July @ The Troubadour
Natalie Duncan – Thursday 6th August @ Cargo
Sola Rosa – Thursday 20th August @ Hoxton Square Bar and Grill

Also working with:

Crosswalk Records‘Crosswalk Presents: Vol. 1’, released on 15th June
Ballerino‘Love/Concentrate’, released 15th June
The Expanders‘Hustling Culture’, released on 15th June
PRofit‘Electric Smile’, due for release 22nd June
Sola Rosa‘Magnetics’, released on 22nd June
Morgan Heritage‘Strictly Roots’, due for release on 6th July
May Sebbag‘Circle Me’, due for release 6th July
KCPK‘Five to One’, due for release 6th July
The Meow Meows‘Friends on Benefits’, due for release on 13th July
From Kid‘Underground (Löwenherz Edit)’, due for release on 13th July

The Great Escape 2015 – Outpost Tour Diary

After a frantic few hours tying up loose ends in the office, and a few further hours travelling and settling in to Brighton, the bulk of the Outpost team headed over to the Jubilee Gardens for an initiation with a few welcome drinks. Keen to get stuck straight into the spirit (no puns intended – sadly, the supposedly free Jack Daniels was a no-show), we wandered around, soaking up the atmosphere and catching a few up-and-comers at an alternative showcase at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar.

Serious work began the following day, however – armed with our patchwork diaries we hopped between meetings and gigs, slowly but surely filling a slew of coffee shop loyalty cards. Dutch electronic duo Tears & Marble were an early highlight at The Queen’s Hotel, before we caught up with a few old faces at the Windish Agency drinks reception – shout out to the reps from Rough Trade and Fat Cat Records – and AIM social.

L-R: Brighton beach, M.D Mel's cheese and wine feast, Fed, Sam and Marietta bracing the beach breeze

L-R: Brighton beach, M.D Mel’s cheese and wine feast, Fed, Sam and Marietta bracing the beach breeze

L-R: The Lanes in the rain, Believe showcase at Carousel, Sam feeling Jaws' pain

L-R: The Lanes in the rain, Believe showcase at Carousel, Sam feeling Jaws’ pain

Hip-hop was the flavour of the evening, with Fed catching up with the Ninja Tune crew, before heading over with the rest of Outpost to The Komedia to catch The Lytics play their infectiously energetic show. Suitably pumped, we hit a rammed gig at The Prince Albert, courtesy of London-based duo Ivy & Gold, before closing off the night with office favourites Mumdance and Novelist.

Early doors the next morning for more meetings and a beautiful showcase from Yucatan Records – we were particularly impressed with Blanco White’s stunning flamenco guitar. We all managed to catch up with latecomer Sam later on at The Fishbowl to see grunge-pop group Dios Mio, before a slight change of pace came with Norwegian singer Siv Jakobsen. Sitting somewhere between Joni Mitchell and Laura Marling, she even threw in an inspired cover of Britney’s ‘Toxic’ – a welcome curveball.

Elsewhere, Mel was busy building international friendships at the reception hosted by the large Canadian contingency at The Great Escape. Cheese and wine buffets seem to speak a universal language, given the fantastic mood among the delegates. Meanwhile, Fed sat in line to catch a sold-out show from Kuenta I Tambu – a wait that proved well worthwhile. Then it was on to the Believe Records showcase, where we checked out the likes of Age of L.U.N.A., Club Kuru, Meadowlark and Fyfe, while Sam caught up with old friends Slaves for a filmed cameo appearance on the seafront.

Clockwise from top left: Summer vibes with Kiko Bun, Novelist giving M.D. Mel his best smile, Tears & Marble, Kuenta i Tambu, Bromantic moment between Outpost's Sam and Laurie from Slaves, Griming it up with Novelist and Mumdance

Clockwise from top left: Summer vibes with Kiko Bun, Novelist giving M.D. Mel his best smile, Tears & Marble, Kuenta i Tambu, Bromantic moment between Outpost’s Sam and Laurie from Slaves, Griming it up with Novelist and Mumdance

We parted ways before dinner, with Mel hitting the French Export party (predictably more wine and cheese), and Sam and Marietta catching Kent-based ‘dirty pop’ group Get Inuit as part of Alcopop Records’ showcase, while Fed accidently ended up in a to-be-aired video interview as part of the M for Montreal Festival (Canadian heads, watch out). Kiko Bun brought us back together, with his tropical dub summer slammers almost making it feel like we were abroad. Almost.

We ended the week with a couple of highlights: first up was Cash & David at a packed party hosted by The 405. Not knowing exactly what kind of live experience to expect from Liz Lawrence’s new project, the band really impressed us with their own brand of electro pop. The finale of the night then came from Icelandic band Vök, who we’ve been following for a while at Outpost – seeing them progress from their humble beginnings to filling The Brighthelm at The Great Escape marked a fantastic end to the week for us. Bring on TGE 2016!

Sofi de la Torre Named ‘Breaking Act’ in The Sunday Times

Spanish singer-songwriter Sofi de la Torre has been named as The Sunday Times Culture section’s latest ‘Breaking Act’ (April 12th).

The Berlin-based artist, who melds alt-R&B sounds with a ‘pop done right’ ethos, released her game-changing single ‘Vermillion’ last summer to great acclaim from the likes of TIME, Billboard and The Guardian. She marks her return with a new EP, ‘That Isn’t You‘, which has seen her gain new fans such as Paramore’s Hayley Williams, NYLON, Q Magazine and The Line of Best Fit.

Involved in every aspect of her artistry, Sofi writes her own music, shoots her own pictures, designs the artwork, edits the videos and takes care of styling – an act whose talents truly seem to have no bounds!

‘That Isn’t You’ is out now.

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https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id978184486

facebook.com/sofidltmusic
twitter.com/sofidelatorre
soundcloud.com/sofidelatorre
www.sofidelatorre.com

Sofi de la Torre - The Sunday Times - 'Breaking Act' - 12.04.15

Scratch Perverts and Throwing Snow play Hoxton Square Bar, 17th April

London promoter-giants CLUB THE MAMMOTH are excited to present the Scratch Perverts at Hoxton Square Bar on 17th April, also featuring Throwing Snow.

The legendary DJ collective continue their series of nights each supported by a host of unique acts, ranging from South London’s very own Al Dobson Jr, to R&S Records’ Paul White. Full details of the remaining nights can be found at: hoxtonsquarebar.com/search/scratch+perverts.

Formed in 1996 by Tony Vegas, Prime Cuts and DJ Renegade, Scratch Perverts have forged a longstanding career in the world of music – winning ITF titles, solo DMC titles plus two World Team DMC titles in their 19 year history.

Their reputation as turntablists has led the Scratch Perverts into a whirlwind career as DJs. As residents at Fabric since the beginning, they showcase a knowledge and understanding of music and how it’s meant to be played. Traversing all styles, the Scratch Perverts cross over genre lines with ease in a way that’s pleasing on the ears but similarly entertaining on the eyes.

Throwing Snow takes an equally broad approach to his productions, drawing from a vast array of genres, and establishing himself as a coveted collaborator. He has just released ‘Lumen’ on Houndstooth Recordings, the first single since his critically-acclaimed album ‘Mosaic’ of last year.

If you fancy coming down or are interested in covering the event, then do get in touch.

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hotcakes.info/scratch-perverts/
Scratch Perverts 2015 Mix Series 3: soundcloud.com/scratch-perverts-official/mix3

throwingsnow.co.uk
Throwing Snow – ‘Lumen’soundcloud.com/throwingsnow/sets/lumenpaint-by-numbers

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Doors: 10PM
Curfew: 2AM
Price: £10
Tickets available at: ticketweb.co.uk

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The Outsight Report #10

Used-CDsMusic sales in the digital age: jury is out on release date reform

The UK music industry is going through somewhat of a transition. February brought the news that Fridays will now be the global release date for new music, and the announcement could mean changes in the structure of the BBC’s music broadcasting.

In a statement from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents 1300 record companies worldwide, Friday has been decreed as the ideal global date in order for the market to take full advantage of the weekend, when commercial footfall is at its highest, but not everyone is convinced.

6music-300x300The move has reportedly been made in order to ‘best serve the music consumer’, according to a comment made by IFPI CEO Frances Moore to Music Week recently, and there are set to be major consequences for the UK and US industries in particular, with some major retailers even considering dropping music from their stores altogether as a result of the costs incurred. Beggars Group boss Martin Mills also has his reservations, claiming the decision ‘crazy’; taking away the week’s two trading peaks and serving only to further marginalise the niche in favour of the mainstream.

However, this comes at a time when the UK industry’s commitment to independent music seems stronger than it has ever been, particularly within the BBC. Since the corporation’s reversal of the decision to discontinue BBC 6 Music, the digital-only station has flourished and, at the beginning of last month, it made history when it hit 2 million weekly listeners for the first time, with independent artists forming a core part of its appeal.

The BBC’s policy towards mainstream shows on its flagship station continues to come under consistent scrutiny. Since the mid-90s, the broadcaster has sought to attract a younger core audience for Radio 1, which has alienated older audiences from the concept of music charts, reflected best in the downturn of chart-orientated programming such as Top of the Pops. The announcement of a designated date for releases has fuelled some speculation that TOTP is due a return, with bookies even offering odds on the most likely presenters.

totpBut the relevancy of charts is questioned more broadly than just on terms of demographic. Only less than a year ago, the UK charts incorporated the figures of streaming data into their calculation of chart success for the first time, creating ambiguity over what constitutes a sale of a musical product. Further, the changes in consumption seen in the industry over the last 20 years have also blurred the distinction of release dates specifically.

dangeloPreviews, promos and premieres mean consumers are often familiar with tracks long before their scheduled release, while prominent examples of leaks and rush-releases in the last few years have meant that record labels have needed to be flexible towards the concept of releasing records in order to stay competitive. A review recently commissioned by the BBC Trust seemed to highlight these issues as they relate to broadcasting, stating that ‘a fresh definition should be found for “new” music, as release dates become increasingly unclear in the online era’.

It is difficult to predict what the impact of a global release date will be on industry sales broadly, but what is sure is that it presents the BBC with an opportunity to shake up their mainstream music broadcasting. It would allow for a programme like TOTP to reveal the new Top 40 hot off the press, and in doing so might mark a welcome platform for struggling TV pluggers, taking on a whole new relevance to boot in an industry where emphasis is shifting further away from the traditional modes of release and embracing a digital age of blurred lines.