Study Finds EU Music Industry Revenues Down 76%

A new study says the European Union’s cultural sector lost 31.2 percent last year compared to 2019 earnings. The study, published by the European Grouping Of Societies Of Authors And Composers (GESAC), found that only the aviation industry experienced greater losses (31.4 percent).

The cultural sector—comprising music, radio, publishing, visual arts, cinema, video games, TV and the performing arts—outstripped even the tourism industry’s 27 percent loss. Speaking to the the Guardian, study coordinator Marc Lhermitte reported a 76 percent drop in music industry revenues. The performing arts was even harder hit at 90 percent. Video games was the only sector of the group to experience a rise in turnover at 9 percent.

An 8 percent rise in digital revenues in the music industry was dwarfed by a 35 percent drop in physical sales. Royalties gathered were also down 35 percent.

Lhermitte also said that independent artists and companies face “a real risk that their unbalanced relationships with global internet platforms” will further undermine already weak takings in the digital domain.

Employing around 7.6 million people in 2019, the EU’s culture industry was larger than the combined total of the auto and telecommunications industries. The study urges for public and private investment “to an extent that reflects its weight and importance.”

The Next Album From Serpentwithfeet, DEACON, Centers Black Queer Love

New serpentwithfeet material is arriving soon. Landing via Secretly Canadian on March 26th, DEACON comes three years after the release of his debut album, soil. Written following serpentwithfeet’s move to Los Angeles, the focus of the album is Black queer love, as well as the tenderness which pervades those platonic and romantic relationships.

The record fans out over eleven tracks, featuring contributions from Sampha, Lil Silva and NAO. The LP’s debut single, “Fellowship,” is out now, accompanied by a music video featuring picturesque shots of serpentwithfeet and his partner on the beach. “I originally approached this project wanting to make something that felt very sensuous. Something a lot softer, a lot more gentle than my previous work,” serpentwithfeet says about the album.

Alluding to his religious upbringing, the album’s title is named after the member of the Christian office that aids in the church’s charitable functions. “I wanted to create something that felt calm and restrained. This was my way of tapping into the energy many deacons possess,” he continues.

serpentwithfeet is a Baltimore-raised, Los Angeles-based experimental musician. He first gained recognition with the release of his debut EP, blisters, in 2016. Watch the music video for the album’s debut single, “Fellowship.”

Listen to ‘Fellowship’ below.

DJ EZ And Defected 24 Hour Stream Raised £88,000 For Charity

Tireless UK garage legend DJ EZ brightened up lockdown last weekend with another 24 hour stream of nonstop heaters, hosted in partnership with Defected.

The set was hosted in aid of raising money for mental health charity MIND, with a JustGiving page set up for fans to donate while tuned in.

By the time DJ EZ completed his 24 hour journey through the best sounds in UK garage, manipulated with his peerless mixing trickery, at 6pm GMT on Sunday, £41,000 had been raised for the cause.

Defected then matched this with its own £41,000 donation, writing on Twitter: “You guys have donated £41,000 to the amazing @MindCharity… To say thank you to you and @DJEZOfficial, we will be matching that amount, meaning we have raised £82,000 for a charity doing invaluable work in the battle against mental health. Speechless.”

MIND sent a response saying: “We just wanted to send thanks again to @DJEZOfficial for his incredible 24 hour+ DJ set, to everyone who donated, and to you for matching the donations. £82,000 is such a huge amount of money, and will make such a difference to our work. You’re all amazing!”

The JustGiving page is now at £88,880 and counting with 2,871 supporters, smashing way past its original target of £5,000.

Comments posted alongside donations include “Incredible, loved every min, and for a brilliant cause. Thanks so much” and “EZ deserves a knighthood”.

Yesterday, after a much deserved rest, DJ EZ posted on Twitter: “Waking up to donations of £87k for MIND is overwhelming. Thank you once again to those who listened and locked in, to all parties involved in making it happen & to those who donated and supported us”.

Have You Met.. Dampé

Joe Munday, a musician, producer and DJ from South London. Dampe brings a wealth of infleunce from across the world. Living in a richly diverse culture such as London, Dampe has never been short of ideas with his eclectic track selection on Rinse FM. He took some time to join our Q&A series:

Where did you grow up? What’s the creative culture like in your city?

I moved around the midlands as a kid, spent the teenage ‘growing up’ years in the South West/Devon but have lived in London longer than anywhere else now. Devon is a sick place to be a teenager, close to Bristol and Plymouth for music and going out but also lots of country and beaches to fuck about on. 

Usually i’d say that London’s creative culture is immense, forever shifting and makes the fight that it is to live here 100% worthwhile. Its just like they say, there’s a million overlapping communities, scenes and lots to get excited about and overwhelmed by. 

Covid is stifling all that at the moment and it’s bleak to see venues and communities on their knees. I think you learn a bit of resilience living here so hopefully it will bounce back although sadly there are people and places going under without support. Those first responsible dances back will be so, so good and hopefully make everyone appreciate and explore London’s culture, as well as support independent creative endeavour more.

What made you get into music, who were the people around you which influenced you?

My mum made me pick up an instrument because she was gutted she couldn’t play anything. Then getting to school you meet people who lend you music or turn you on to different sounds. It was pre-streaming, burning CDs and playing them in the car era. My friend Sami El-Enany burnt me a copy of Hail To The Thief and some Venetian  Snares I think – we actually released an album together this year. So those formative friendships are still really influential for me, who you party with, who you create with. 

What were early experiences in music, did you start with playing instruments?

Yeah, started with guitar – Spanish fingerstyle, traditional folk tunes. Then played in questionable bands for years before taking music tech at college and spending all my time in the studio they had there. My parents were never musicians but they always had music on in their houses. 

What made you decide to release music with Darker Than Wax?

I was programming a venue and we started doing a couple parties with the 4 To The Floor crew (s/o Kengo) who booked the DTW guys when they were over here one summer. We got to talking and bouncing some music back and forth. I hooked up with Marco when I was in NY last year and the rest just worked out slowly really. The label, crew and everyone involved is just great. I’m hugely grateful for the support and to be part of the family. 

Describe your show on Rinse FM

I’ve been hosting a monthly show on Rinse for two years now. It’s mostly new, upfront dance music, house, techno, garage and everything in between. Ive done a couple downtempo and ambient shows during peak lockdown when my head just isn’t up for two hours of dance music. This year i want to switch it up a bit and start getting guests in for mixes as well as play older finds too. I think now I’ve made myself part of the furniture i can branch out a bit. Stoked to be on the station though – banging place and people.

Have a listen to his previous show from Decemeber:

If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing? 

I literally have no idea. Music and sound design is the day job at the moment so i guess life would look very different. I like taking pictures on 35mm – is that a viable career?

Are there any artists in the UK we should be paying attention to?

Of course! Far too many to mention. Off the top of my head though:

2020 was Pa Salieu’s year for me, Coventry’s finest rapper – every project is so cold expecting massive things from him this year.

Ghetts continues to be the UK’s best MC imo

Been listening to an album from a London based cellist called Oliver Coates who released an album last year called skins n slime which is insanely beautiful and the production is close and intense  

I always look out for Sheffield based Yak’s productions, deep, percussive club tracks on a couple great labels

Bristol’s Livity Sound just put out a great EP from a producer called surgeons girl i really like – Lush new UK Techno.

Couple UK stalwart labels and crews i follow who always are pushing great dance music but I’m sure won’t be news to you guys: Apron, Hessle, Livity, Wisdom Teeth, Time Capsule, WOLF, AOTN, Faith and Industry, Rhythm Section, Co Op, Touching Bass etc 

How have you tried to change your approach going into your most recent record, in comparison to your previous EPs?

From the outside looking in I think the process and approach would appear very similar (me sitting at my synths for months on end, sometimes frustrated and sometimes serne) but to me they do all feel different and mark distinct people, moments in time, spaces and/or gear used. 

More interestingly and importantly, this EP specifically had me questioning/thinking about sample culture a lot, the massive imbalance in the dance music industry/the world and appropriation in general – lessons i’ll be taking forward.

Describe your EP in three words

Colourful, hopefully engaging 

Make sure you check out his latest EP through singnapore based record label, Darker Than Wax. Titled, ‘Oil’, Dampé doesnt hold back in showing you his extensive sound design skills, you can purchase here.

Henry Greenleaf – Taking First EP

Henry Greenleaf is a rising UK producer currently based in Bristol, in the south-east of England. Inspired by the creative culture in Bristol for electronic dance music, Henry draws inspiration from Jungle, Post-Dubstep, and an array varied techno from Drumcode, to the ambience of minimal. Henry’s new EP titled, Taking First, becomes the fourth release under Par Avion. The opening single, ‘Taking First’, is a heavy scorching opener which immediately grabs your attention. Henry seems to take inspiration from Drumcode and dubstep to create a quickly evolving track. The following track, ‘Rumble’, carries the dark engrossing feeling of nervousness, as the steady opening build creates an atmosphere of suspense.

The B-side carries the energy of the previous tracks but with more sounds befitting on the dancefloor. It could be the rhythmic swelling from the percussion elements in the closing track, ‘Rumble Cando Remix’. Or it could be more the ethereal, alien-like sounds resonating from the synthesiser during the opening build in the track, NOFM.

The full EP releases on the 22nd of January. You can pre-order here

Listen to ‘NOFM’ below. 

Funk and Soul Group, Céline & The Blue Release Their New Single, ‘Crave Love’

Female-fronted soul, jazz and funk band, Céline & The Blue & made its live London debut at Ronnie Scott’s and has been hailed as “Ones to Watch” (Music Republic Magazine) and “Unique due to their family-oriented approach” (Louder Than War). Their groovy sounds have aired on BBC Introducing, BBC Radio Berkshire, Eagle Radio and Vibe Radio. 

Speaking on the track, Céline & The Blue explain: “we wanted ‘Crave Love’ to emit emotions we have not shared with our existing music so far. Our aim was to express sadness through warm sounds. The sound palette was inspired by Charles Baudelaire’s poem ‘L’âme du vin’ (The Soul of Wine) where wine is personified and describes its descent into the human throat down to the warm chest which resembles a mother’s embrace. We tried our best to recreate this scene through the sound choices and we hope to transmit intimacy and warmth to listeners.” 

Listen to ‘Crave Love’ below.

Gloabl Jazz DJ Gilles Peterson Teams Up With Jean- Paul Bluey Maunick Team For Project ‘STRA4TA’

Gilles Peterson and Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick have teamed up to create a new project STR4TA.

This week, they released their latest single ‘Rhythm In Your Mind’, building up to the release of their album ‘Aspects’ on Brownswood Recordings on March 26.

‘Rhythm In Your Mind’ recalls the early-80s British funk scene, laidback and groove-driven. It is a sound that Maunick helped to drive with his involvement in groups Incognito, Light Of The World and Freeez.

As STR4TA, Peterson and Maunick released their single ‘Aspects’ in October of last year, although they didn’t announce that they were behind the project. This forthcoming album marks the first original material that the pair have produced together in over a decade.

Listen to ‘Rhythm In Your Mind’ below, and preorder the album here.

DJ Minx References Police Brutality For New Single, ‘Blind Amerikkka’

DJ Minx has produced a new single featuring New York artist E-Man.

“Blind Amerikkka” came out today via Women On Wax, an imprint that the Detroit mainstay launched in 2001. The track references police brutality in the US, among other pressing issues.

It’s the first Women On Wax release of the year, following Minx’s Violet Groove EP from 2020.

Listen to “Blind Amerikkka”

British DJ Ross From Friends Launches A New Label

Ross From Friends, AKA Felix Clary Weatherall, has launched a new label, Scarlet Tiger.

Kicking off the outlet is a new single, “Burner,” from Weatherall himself. It’s out now. “I’ve always sent music back and forth with friends and folk I’ve met online over the years, amassing all of this music, so it made perfect sense for me to start a label to release all of it,” Weatherall says. “There seems to be a general path that flows through all of the things that grab me, which is some kind of UK electronic music.”

Weatherall is a British DJ, producer and frontman of Ross From Friends. He released his debut album, Family Portrait, in 2018 via Brainfeeder.

Listen to ‘Burner’.

Reknowned Ecuadorian Producer Debuts on Rhythm Section

Nicola Cruz is releasing an EP on Rhythm Section. Spanning five percussive tracks, Subtropique will mark the Ecuadorian artist’s debut on the London label.

It’s out February 19th. Last year, Cruz released EPs on Highlife, Optimo Music and more. He also recorded his first BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix.

Listen to “Individuality Riddim.”