On the record
It's time for labels to face up to their technological future. JIM CARROLLon music
This is the year music industry geeks earn their corn. In recent years, forward-thinking bands should have been adding a tech-savvy member to their team.
A lot of acts feel the role of a nerd is to help them take the strain out of social-media marketing campaigns, but savvier ones realise a coder, programmer or developer can do much more than grunt work on Twitter and Facebook accounts.
We should expect the tech side of the music industry to play a stronger role in pushing things forward for the business. Now that the industry – or at least those parts that want to be around in 10 years’ time – have stopped blathering on about the perils of technology, it’s time to harness what tech can do for labels and acts.
It’s not just vested interests that can benefit. We’re looking forward to seeing more and more interesting, clued-in offerings from outside parties who are bringing tech ideas and innovation to bear on the traditional elements of the music industry.
There will be more Irish start-ups in the music sector to join the likes of Soundwave and 45 Sound, both of whom seem set to move to the next level. You can expect much more disruption too and this definitely applies to the live side of the business.
For instance, the likes of Soundkick’s Detour and Queremos in Rio de Janeiro both use crowdsourcing to enable fans to book bands and create events – and thus take the mystery out of this arcane business. But that’s just the starting point, there’s a gap in the live market and there’s a market in the gap for those who want to exploit it.
Matthew E White Big Inner(Domino)
Country-soul magnificence and then some.
K-X-P Melody(Melodic Records)
Sparkling electro pop from the Finnish combo’s forthcoming second album.
Cassie The Cassie Trilogy(Download)
A trio of mix tapes to remind you of Cassie’s smarts. Download at cassiecollective.tumblr.com
Flume Bring You Down(Mom + Pop)
Our favourite electronic producer right now from Sydney produces another golden moment. Vocals by George Maple.
Kendrick Lamar Good Kid, MAAD City(Aftermath)
The best album of 2012 still going strong this year. Lamar plays Dublin’s Vicar Street on January 14th.
Dublin-based producer Craig Babikan has a way with deep, infectious bass-house grooves. Illinois and Ghetto are probably the best things on his CV to date, but check out his Beach EP for First Second while you’re at it.
ELIZA THE BEAR
London-based five piece playing epic, swell indie tunes with loads of infectious hooks onboard. Fans of the Freelance Whales and Arcade Fire will find much to like on Upon the North and The Southern Wild.
From Tyneside, Crooked Hands are fronted by Christopher Brown and are already producing fully rounded indie-folk tunes with nods to Bon Iver and Grizzly Bear such as Under, which will probably sound right at home on your radio.
For more see irishtimes.com/blogs/ontherecord