UK artists now make up 10% of music streamed globally

UK artists now make up 10% of music streamed globally, a new report pubished by the British Phonograpic Industry (BPI) has found.

New analysis from BPI has found that 1 in every 10 songs (10.1%) streamed around the world is by a British artist. The UK’s share of global streaming is four times greater than its share of global GDP (2.2%), which BPI says highlights “the UK’s exceptional performance in music.”

BPI carried out the analysis based on the music charts of 14 major music markets, which together account for around three quarters of global recorded music consumption. The association cites artists such as AJ Tracey, Dua Lipa, Jorja Smith, JHus and Stormzy as some of the artists whose streaming numbers have increased dramatically across the globe in recent years.

In a statement, Chief Executive of the BPI, Geoff Taylor, said: “As the UK charts its new course as an independent trading nation, music serves as a symbol of the UK’s economic potential and creativity. A new wave of homegrown talent, backed by labels’ support, is taking British culture and business to every corner of the world. This is a new tune for a new age of opportunity. We are excited by the possibilities that streaming offers for our artists and for the continuing growth of British music.”

Despite a year-on-year increase in streaming numbers, big platforms are still under scrutiny for royalty payment percentages – especially when it comes to less established artists. In December last year, it was revealed that 82% of musicians earned less than £200 from streaming in 2019, according to a poll from the UK’s independent body for music creators, The Ivors Academy and the Musicians’ Union. 

In a survey conducted by YouGov in October 2020 for #BrokenRecord, 77% of people said they believed that artists and songwriters are not paid enough by streaming platforms. 

You can read the full study from the BPI here.


A-Trak and Ferreck Dawn reconvene for ‘Coming Home’ follow-up, ‘My Own Way’

A-Trak and Ferreck Dawn reconvene for ‘Coming Home’ follow-up, ‘My Own Way’A Trak Photo Credit Jenny AndersonGetty

A-Trak and Ferreck Dawn christen Fool’s Gold‘s 2021 slate with the label’s first release of the year, disseminating their second collaborative endeavor, “My Own Way.” The follow up to the pairing’s inaugural original production “Coming Home” arrives nearly a year apart from their joint debut, welcoming an upbeat sequel that showcases yet another facet of the two house stalwarts’ chemistry.

“My Own Way” takes residency as the ideal successor to A-Trak and Dawn’s first track, deriving similar elements like a soul-driven sample, disco-house grooves, and effervescent melodies. Bedazzled with uplifting string instrumentation and chiming synths, the four-on-the-floor production extends itself as a rich testament to the combined efforts of the two hitmakers.

Stream “My Own Way” below.

Featured image: Jenny Anderson/Getty

How MPE can work on hardware synths: a look at Sequential OB-6, Prophet 6 updates

Chicken and egg problem, no more. MIDI Polyphonic Expression is now in commonly available controller hardware and software like Ableton Live 11. So let’s check in at the synth maker of the father of MIDI – Dave Smith’s house Sequential and see what happens when you add it to classic synthesizers.

Sequential this week dropped a new OS for two of their more unique synthesizers. That’ll be the OB-6, the collaboration of legendary synth designers Dave Smith and Tom Oberheim, a 6-voice polyphonic powerhouse, plus the Prophet 6, which is a modern take on the Prophet 5 but also 6-voice analog. (And yes, just for added confusion, Sequential now also makes a 5-voice Prophet 5 remake that’s closer to the original. Basically… you have a lot of choices.)

Prophet 6 or OB-6, both OSes have the same two additions. There’s the ability to make slop run normally or vintage – so you get some of the irregularity of a historic synth, on demand. That’s a feature on the Prophet 5, now also on the P6 and OB-6. And there’s MPE, the aforementioned MIDI Polyphonic Expression support.

The keyboards on these synths work as they always do; adding MPE support means you can plug in an external controller and get multiple fingers shaping your sound. So add something like a Joué or Sensel Morph alongside your keyboard and you have more ways of tapping into the sound. (Or you could even use something like the Polyend Medusa, which supports MPE out, for simultaneous control of both engines.)

Now, not all of you have the requisite gear to follow what I’m talking about, but I specifically hope that some other synth makers are reading this article.

Here’s how the implementation works:

The y axis of your MPE controller can be mapped as you wish – so it’s really like a patchable modulation support from your hands. (Cool!) That means you can use that expression to transform filter cutoff, pulse width (1, 2, or both), and set direction in one direction or both. You also can use pitch bend per note.

I often hear resistance from people saying “yeah, but this doesn’t make better music.” That’s a bit like saying adding better handling on wheels doesn’t make everyone a rally car champion instantly. I mean – no. It won’t. What’s your point?

But if you look at it another way – these are elements of a very powerful synthesizer that then become accessible underneath the hands as you play. It means you don’t have to take your hands off the keyboard and adjust a knob. It means that each note can be shaped separately, which removes an arbitrary and sometimes unmusical restriction.

Right now, all of this runs globally, but I hope in future we see the ability to store per-patch.

Here’s the full implementation:

MPE is turned on/off by using the MIDI Channel global. MPE is one past channel 16 and takes over the channel assignments completely

Works with 6 voices on MIDI channels 2-7. It does not work with polychain.

When MPE is on…
CC 74 is now overridden and is routed via the Y-Axis destination global. The behavior is controlled by the Y-Axis Mode global.

Program pitchbend is now overridden by the Master Pitchbend Range global

To reach 3rd global page: hold ‘Bank’ and hit ‘Global’
0: Master Pitchbend range from 1-96 semitones (default 2)
1: Voice Pitchbend range from 1-96 semitones (default 48)
2: Y-Axis Destination: Cutoff, PW1, PW2, PW12
3: Y-Axis Mode: Unipolar, Bipolar
4: Vintage On/Off

Master pitchbend now overrides the program pitchbend when MPE is on.

Voice pitchbend responds to pitchbend on each channel, 2-7

Y-Axis destination should be straightforward.
Y-Axis Mode: In unipolar mode CC74 affects the destination by adding 0-127, in bipolar mode it adds -63/+63 with 64 as a the ‘0’ point

If you own the hardware, you can grab it now – and it’s another excellent illustration of the work Sequential does to add depth to their instruments for advanced musicians. (Seriously – congrats to Chris, Dave, and Julio on this, plus all the people who have fought for MPE over the years!)

You need to register and log in to grab the beta version from the forum. (You didn’t actually travel back in time to 2015 and 2017; these are updated posts.)

Newest Prophet 6 BETA OS: v1.6.3

Newest OB-6 BETA OS – v1.6.4

By the way, while we’re at it, it looks like there is some really cool stuff to explore in the alternative tunings functionality of these synths, too. So down with 12-TET tyranny!

Alternate Tuning / Scales editing improvement

More at Sequential:

Stay tuned; I hope we get hands on this stuff soon so we can show off how it works.

And as for MPE in other hardware synths and not just software plug-ins – watch this space.


BROHUG open the 2021 BROHOUSE books for business with ‘Fake Fake Fake’

BROHUG open the 2021 BROHOUSE books for business with ‘Fake Fake Fake’130487487 3806756522688588 5435446278015403015 N

After a 27-day respite from the release ring that was long only by BROHUG accounts, bass house’s holy trinity is taking its triangular presence into 2021 with “Fake Fake Fake.” Mark the date and the time, for the BROHOUSE books are officially open for business in the new year, and if the triumvirate’s following took anything away from the 30-release precedent that John Dahlbäck, Christopher Lunde, and Niklas Lunde set in 2020, it’s that training an eye on BROHUG’s artist page each “new music Friday” is one of the sagest moves to be made in 2021. Needless to say, another is streaming “Fake Fake Fake.”

A saucy 2021 catalog kickstarter, “Fake Fake Fake” follows BROHUG’s December 11, 2020 single, “Stockholm,” which not only doubled as their 2020 finale but also their 30th release of the past year. Interestingly, and largely unsurprisingly to those who’ve been cozied up on the BROHUG bandwagon, “Fake Fake Fake” and its attitude-wielding bass house bravado indicate that while a single digit in the year field might have changed, on the BROHUG front, little else has. The attention-commanding, high-octane technics of the BROHOUSE brand of sound remain blissfully intact, and the trio, ready to once again run the table.

Featured image: Gina Joy

David Guetta looks back on his ‘Memories’ with Kid Cudi in new ‘2021 Remix’

David Guetta looks back on his ‘Memories’ with Kid Cudi in new ‘2021 Remix’David Guetta

David Guetta swings back to simpler times, reinvigorating his decade-old collaboration alongside Kid Cudi with his 2021 rendition of “Memories.” The song’s original version (as well as Guetta’s “F*** Me I’m Famous ! Remix”) hit hard as clubbing staple back in 2009, but the tune’s viral nature in a string of recent TikTok videos argues that it may’ve never lost its step.

As the new remix title suggests, the French DJ didn’t do much to change the structural integrity of the original, but breathes new life into “Memories” with a future bass-inspired lead and a swelling bassline that pairs with Cudi’s vocals like a fine wine. Cudi’s ability to find a fitting home in dance and electro tracks is nothing new; the rapper’s “Day N Night” helped launch Italy’s Crookers to mainstream success all the way back in 2008.

Listen to David Guetta’s 2021 remix of “Memories” in full below.

Featured image: Rukes

Happy Jamuary – kick it off with this compact duo of MeeBlip and Zoom

When you feel like you’re out of ideas, when you’ve obsessed over that edit and that knob, when your mood has gone south… it’s time to stop everything and jam. January doldrums, meet Jamuary bliss.

So let’s celebrate Jamuary. Let me know what you’re working on, any nice jams, and any questions you’ve got about how to make your jams work a bit better or where you might be stuck (even where to begin).

Here’s a hot one from Heat Impact:

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This one was first in my Jamuary inbox. And you know how a proud parent keeps their eyes glued on their kid in the third row of the chorus? Yeah, we’re glad to see our MeeBlip geode in all its glory.

Brad from London writes.

Thick analog techno arp coming out of the dual oscillator Meeblip Geode, a powerful mono synth where you can blend between two oscillators that each have a different set of waves. It also has a guitar filter for its low pass filter which can sound awesome if you hit that resonance sweet spot, playing it into the Zoom multi fx pedal to add some reverb and delay.

Check their SoundCloud:

Oh, about that stomp pedal – it’s the Zoom MS-50G MultiStomp pedal. That’s already a Jamuary favorite, too, in that it’s compact, really inexpensive, and comes with dozens of pretty decent models of amps, processing, and effects. It’s basically like having your computer full of plug-ins in a stomp pedal. I should definitely do a write-up of those sorts of devices soon, but the Zoom may be the most affordable of all the options. (Zoom makes reverb and “bass” models of the same, differentiated largely by which effects are included – well, and color – but same basic idea.)

For MeeBlip, we’ve extended free shipping on geode for USA / Canada, and the European Union. (UK customers, for now the USA is the fastest way to buy, but we’re working on setting up shipping from Germany to the UK shortly, too – Brexit won’t stop you from getting a MeeBlip!)

And you can also check out our MIDI thru kit or splitter or USB MIDI interface for jam sessions.

North America/International:


But having advertised our stuff, I want to know what else you want to know about jamming – and to see more jam sessions. Let us know!

Bicep drop video for ‘Saku’: Watch

Bicep have shared a new music video.

irish duo Bicep, who took home the accolade for best track at DJ Mag’s Best of British Awards last year, have dropped another new track from their forthcoming LP, accompanied by fast-paced, emotive visuals.

The video for ‘Saku’ has been directed by David Bertram of Paris-based creative production company Diplomats, who describes the visuals as a depiction of a “father-daughter relationship, a story about teenagehood and emancipation, and the guilt it engenders.”

Bertram also shared that Clara La San, who’s vocals appear on the track, influenced a need “for continuous movement, like a train on rails, a line that never stops moving forward”, and inspired the video’s single-take shooting style.

‘Saku’ is the third single to be released from Bicep’s upcoming LP ‘Isles’, following the release of ‘Atlas’ and ‘Apricots’ last year.

Check out the video for ‘Saku’ below. ‘Isles’ will be released via Ninja Tune on the 22nd January.

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New Omnisphere Sound Library, Lumos, Offers An ‘Ambient Orchestra’

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Plughugger has introduced Lumos, an ‘ambient orchestra of sounds’ for Omnisphere, based on the sounds of lamps, ‘from mellow 40 watt lightbulbs all the way up to illuminating 200 watt’.

Here’s what they have to say about Lumos:

“When Spectrasonics created the Psychoacoustic section of samples in Omnisphere they didn’t hold back burning up a piano just to hear how that might sound, or the glassy sound of tungsten lightbulbs being hit with different intensities.

Equipped with the sound of a handful of lamps, our goal was to explore these sounds by turning them into sequences, textures / soundscapes, synth(ish) leads and pads.

Lumos is a soundset in two parts. The first part is all the sounds based on the sound of lamps. The second part is a re-imagining of our favourite sounds, but using bell-like FM tones based on the internal synth engine.”

Lumos contains 200 sounds, in the following categories:

  • Lumos (99 sounds):
    • 24 Arpeggios and Sequences
    • 9 Pads and Strings
    • 4 Bass sounds
    • 2 Hits, Boomers and Effects
    • 22 Synth Sounds (Poly, Short and Mono)
    • 38 Textures and Soundscapes
  • Digi Lumos (51 sounds):
    • 9 Arpeggios and Sequences
    • 20 Pads and Strings
    • 1 Bass sounds
    • 13 Synth Sounds (Poly, Short and Mono)
    • 8 Textures and Soundscapes
  • Multi sounds (50)

Pricing and Availability

Lumos is available now, with an intro price of 4.90 Euro through Jan 17, 2021 (normally $19.90 Euro).

Shut Up & Play: 50 Custom Sounds For The Korg NTS-1

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In this video, synthesist Chris Lody demonstrates 50 custom sounds for the Korg NTS-1 synthesizer.

The NTS-1 is unique little beast, because it takes the powerful multi-engine from the Korg Prologue and Minilogue XD  synths and puts it into an inexpensive portable module. It’s extremely capable out of the box, but can also be loaded with a wide range of third-party software.

In the video, Lody demonstrates 50 patches, which are documented within the video using patch sheets. The patches are also available as a free download via Dropbox.

The Korg NTS-1 is available via Amazon and other retailers for around $99.

Gryffin and Audrey Mika offer up stripped-back acoustic of ‘Safe With Me’

Gryffin and Audrey Mika offer up stripped-back acoustic of ‘Safe With Me’EqF6VEcIAIIfU4

Gryffin seems always to know the exact course of action to play to the strengths of each of his originals, as evidenced just a handful of weeks prior on the deluxe edition of his freshman LP, Gravity. As his formal prelude to the new year, Gryffin is now doing precisely that, reconvening with Audrey Mika for an unexpected dissection of their fall pairing, “Safe With Me”

Running from the “All You Need To Know” acoustic to the Maia Wright-assisted adaptation of “Body Back,” a song’s original composition truly does not matter when it comes to Gryffin’s ability to give it a charmed alternative rendering. Call it an overused expression, but it seemed improbable that “Safe With Me” could get any better, until its stripped-back account was introduced, that is. Gryffin stated that he and Mika set out to “showcase the lyrics that really gravitated us to the song,” and this aim seamlessly translates to action in the acoustic rendition.

Featured image: Spencer Miller