MPS FINALLY LAUNCH AN URGENT INQUIRY INTO THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON UK NIGHTLIFE

An urgent inquiry into the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the UK’s night-time economy has been launched in the UK.

The inquiry is being led by the newly formed All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), which is chaired by Labour MP Jeff Smith, who spent several years working in the sector earlier in his career.

The nightlife industry has suffered significantly in the pandemic due to the restrictions required to protect public health. Last month the Night Industries Association (NTIA) warned 75.6% of the UK’s night-time economy businesses face permanent closure.

The APPG is calling for night time economy businesses, workers and consumers to share evidence about their experiences and views on the challenges facing the sector, its importance to the country’s society and economy, and recommendations for how it can reopen.

Evidence for the inquiry can be submitted via an online survey accessed through the NTIA’s website here. Consultations will take place through this month with a report planned for release in February.

A number of Night Time Economy organisations and representatives will also be contacted to share testimonies.

Jeff Smith MP said: “As we move now into a third national lockdown, there has never been a more important time for Government to address the urgent needs of Night Time Economy businesses, their supply chains and those that rely on them for employment. Despite playing such a vital role in our local communities and UK economy, nightlife businesses have been repeatedly overlooked by the Government, and we are determined to ensure that the specific challenges facing the sector are addressed. This inquiry will be a vital first step in our work.”

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “Since March, we have seen the night-time sector berated, scapegoated and even blamed for rising infections. Our sector has slipped through the cracks of insufficient support packages and borne the brunt of ever-changing and inconsistent restrictions. We urge all those who work in the night-time economy, or simply enjoy a night out, to take part in the APPG survey to help policymakers understand the importance of our vital sector.”

[Via Mixmag]

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UK GOVERNMENT REJECTED EU’S OFFER OF VISA-FREE TOURS FOR MUSICIANS

It was revealed on Saturday 9 January that the UK has turned down an offer from the EU of visa-free tours for musicians.

An EU source involved in the Brexit negotiations has said that it is standard to offer musicians a 90-day period for travel without having to have various different work visas. Countries like the United States and Saudi Arabia currently hold this agreement with the EU.

It has been revealed that the UK rejected the EU’s offer of a 90-day period, instead asking for a 30-day one to fit with the government’s own proposals to limit travel for EU musicians.

These measures form part of Secretary of State Priti Patel’s plans to limit immigration. From this month, musicians from EU countries hoping to tour the UK will have to apply for visas that will allow them to stay for longer than 30 days, as well as providing proof of savings and a sponsorship certificate from an events organiser. These are the measures that non-EU citizens currently have to go through to work in the UK.

The government has previously put this failure to safeguard the needs of musicians down to Brussels, saying that it ‘pushed for a more ambitious agreement which would have covered musicians and others, but our proposals were rejected by the EU’.

Earlier this week, a petition calling for visa-free EU travel for touring artists surpassed 220,000 signatures. It had been shared by people and institutions like object blue, Josey Rebelle, NTS, Hyperdub and Rye Wax.

There are worries among the music community about how this will affect touring artists who have already been greatly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

As a progression to this, it is now for each EU member state to decide whether or not it will require touring musicians from the UK to obtain a work visa.

[Via The Independent]

ELLLL Is Back On First Second Label With A New 12-Inch, Housebreaker

Irish producer ELLLL has a new three-track EP coming out. Housebreaker, due out on February 5th via Dublin-based First Second Label, features three versions of the title track, including a remix courtesy of Parris. This is ELLLL’s first EP since 2019.

The Berlin-based artist and Gash Collective cofounder released three 12-inches that year, including Febreeze on First Second Label and Glisten via Paralaxe Editions.

Her most recent release was a remix for Copenhagen-based producer Erosion Flow, along with a track on Gash Collective’s first compilation. Listen to clips of Housebreaker.

[Resident Advisor]

Listen to snippets of each track below.

Elisa Delves Into Her Inner World For New Single, ‘Water’

Elisa Imperilee releases ‘Water’ produced by long-time collaborator SRIGALA and
accompanied by the singer’s first visual directed by ALMASS BADAT.

‘Water’ is a haunting tale of empowerment following Elisa’s journey through isolation
and fear as she faces her feelings. This is Elisa’s first self released track which follows her first release with MC Manik.

Speaking about the track, Elisa mentions: “People always told me that time was a healer. But sometimes time isn’t enough and the difficult truth is that you have to put in work to heal yourself.When I wrote this song I was in a dark place yet somehow this felt more comfortable than the prospect of facing the feelings I had been avoiding for a long time. I was becoming
aware of the trap I was in and this song chronicles my coming to terms with the fact I had
to dive into those difficult emotions to get out of it.”

Listen to ‘Water’ below.

London Club Fold Is Selling A Limited Edition Bag

London club FOLD has unveiled a new limited edition piece of merchandise.

The bag is branded with FOLD’s typography logo, and contains multiple compartments and an adjustable strap that makes it suitable for cross-body or belt-bag wear.

Its made out of heavy duty material, with a faux leather outer shell, printed red logo lining, secure zip and popper button closures, a dark silver-tone industrial finish, and an extra D-ring dog clip for the strap.

The bag was designed by Goda Poskaite.

It’s available on a limited run and costs £52. Get yours here.

Check out some more images below.

UK Music Festivals Face Imminent Cancellation Without Government Support

UK Music has warned British music festivals will be cancelled again this year unless the government steps in to provide support.

The campaigning and lobby group, that represents the commercial music industry, has shared a detailed report titled ‘Let the Music Play: Save Our Summer 2021’ outlining its strategy to protect and support the UK’s multi-billion pound live music industry.

In the report, it warns that a lack of COVID cancellation insurance available means that a government insurance scheme is necessary for music festivals to move forward with event planning this year.

UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “While this pandemic is still raging and continues to cause devastation to lives and livelihoods today, there is an endpoint in sight. Government is rolling out the vaccine and is openly speculating about returning to normal by the spring – but there is a serious risk that even if this proves to be a reality, lack of notice and available insurance options will mean much of the 2021 summer music season can’t go ahead.

“With the right support the live music industry can be at the forefront of the post-pandemic recovery and play a key role in our country’s economic and cultural revival – but there will need to be a concerted effort from industry and the Government together if we are to let the music play and save our summer.”

Last month, Germany announced a €2.5 billion cancellation fund to cover the cost of events planned for the second half of 2021 that may be cancelled due to COVID-19.

The call for action in the UK follows on from Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis taking to Twitter yesterday to deny a claim from Mel B that this year’s festival has been cancelled.

Speaking to Nihal Arthanayake on BBC Radio 5 Live, the Spice Girls member said she had been told the event has been called off, possibly indicating that the pop group were set to play the festival’s Sunday evening ‘legends’ slot as part of the 25th anniversary edition.

She said: “I know that Glastonbury’s been cancelled, so a lot of big stage performances are on hold again this year, which is sad but we’ve got to get this virus under control.”

UK Music’s report is also calling for an “indicative” date for when venues and events can return with full capacity, and the VAT rate reduction relief on tickets and business rates to be extended.

Read the full report here

[via Mixmag]

DJ Semtex Launches New Weekly Podcast Series, Hip Hop Raised Me

British broadcaster, DJ, producer and author, DJ Semtex, has launched the trailer for a new podcast entitled Hip Hop Raised Me, featuring “exclusive, no-holds-barred conversations with the artists that define the culture”.

Hip Hop Raised Me is produced by Nikita Chauhan and is available on all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

Chauhan produced BBC 1xtra radio shows including The Friday night Hip Hop show with DJ Semtex and Destination Africa, hosted by DJ Edu.

The weekly series starts on January 11 with the legendary Chuck D of Public Enemy, who joins DJ Semtex for a conversation about Public Enemy and the group’s contributions to hip hop music and to the larger community.

They also discuss the making of the 2020 remix to their hit Fight The Power. Upcoming episodes feature Busta Rhymes, French Montana, Jeezy, Sheff G, and more.

Semtex has played a key role in breaking some of the biggest hip-hop acts on both sides of the Atlantic.

He joined the Global-owned UK radio station Capital XTRA in October 2018 after leaving BBC Radio 1 after 15 years, where he hosted the 1Xtra hip-hop show. He’s also the host of the popular UK-focused Spotify podcast, Who We Be Talks.

The broadcaster’s relationship with, and history in, the hip-hop community is detailed in his 2016 bestselling book, Hip Hop Raised Me.

“THESE ARE IN DEPTH CONVERSATIONS WITH ARTISTS ACROSS THE GLOBE, NO AGENDA.”

DJ SEMTEX

DJ Semtex said: “These are in depth conversations with artists across the globe, no agenda. New cutting-edge artists. A-list artists. Architects of sound. Moguls. Icons.”

“Hip Hop is now the biggest art form of this generation. It is the Rock and Roll of the youth, a genre that transcends race and culture, this it isn’t going to stop anytime soon.”

Catch Up With Parklife and Boomtown Fair reps discussing The future of festivals with UK MPs

Watch a video meeting between MPs and representatives from UK festivals Parklife and Boomtown Fair. The title of the two-part Digital, Culture, Media And Sport Committee, which began at 10 AM GMT on January 5th, is “The Future Of UK Music Festivals.” First up were Anna Wade, communications & strategy director at Boomtown Fair, and Sacha Lord, cofounder of Parklife and The Warehouse Project.

They discussed issues such as the vaccine rollout and government insurance and financial support. At 11 AM, three new industry reps entered the session: Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, CEO of UK Music; Paul Reed, CEO of Association Of Independent Festivals (AIF); and Steve Heap, general secretary at the Association Of Festival Organisers (AFO). The session ended at 12:06 PM.

Watch it back here.

Madlib and Four Tet reveals His Second New Single “Hopprock”

Madlib has unveiled his new single “Hopprock”, which will feature on his forthcoming album Sound Ancestors that he worked on with Four Tet.

“Hopprock” is the second taster of Sound Ancestors following last month’s lead single “Road Of The Lonely Ones“, and was edited, arranged and mastered by Four Tet.

Sound Ancestors will be released under Madlib‘s name, but Four Tet, real name Kieran Hebden, arranged, edited, and manipulated the tracks.

The new track arrives just days after Madlib’s Madvillain collaborator MF DOOM was confirmed to have died. They released their debut collaborative album Madvillainy in 2004.

Check ‘Hopprock’ below.

Hiatus’ New Single ‘Semblance’ Meditates Metropolitan Life

British-Iranian producer Hiatus has released a new single ‘Semblance’.

Calm and meditative, it swells between horn melodies and quiet piano chords, flowing in whatever direction it feels. The video is a quiet reflection on what it means to live in the metropolis.

‘Semblance’ is taken from Hiatus’ upcoming album ‘Distancer’, which has been announced for release on April 9 2021.

Throughout his musical career, Hiatus has been inspired by his Iranian heritage. His first album ‘Ghost Notes’ samples heavily from many of his father’s Iranian records, and his track ‘Delam’ features his father reciting and translating old Iranian poems.

Distancer’ came about after Hiatus met Faraz Eshgi Sahraei and his wife Malahat. Faraz plays the kamancheh, a traditional Iranian stringed instrument, and Malahat sings. ‘Distancer’ was born after several recording sessions with the pair in Brixton.

Watch the video for ‘Semblance’ below.