Is it 2011? Because two of house music’s top guns have crossed paths on a new progressive house remix. Seemingly minutes after dropping his latest album, a tech house mixtape, and a new original with Netsky, David Guetta has stepped in to remix Calvin Harris‘s “Promises,” with the only telltale sign that it is indeed 2018 being that certified star and modern-day pop crooner Sam Smith is in on the momentous endeavor.
Leaning in to his recent creative exploration across genre and sound, Guetta has brought “Promises” from its 80s-leaning neo-pop to an energetic house style. With production that manages to maintain subtle melancholy with a simultaneous uplifting progression, this remix is precise, and a welcome reminder of the progressive house apex in the mid 2010s. Guetta’s rendition works in creating simple synth melodies in a manner that almost sounds (dare we say) Swedish, given the trio’s chord progressions tend to ring with resplendence with minimal production froth to weigh them down.
Dutch musical prodigy turned pop icon Martin Garrix has released the debut episode from the third season of his short-form episodic series, “The Martin Garrix Show.” If anything is made abundantly clear by episode one, it’s that the now 22-year-old shows no signs of slowing down.
The episode is centered around Amsterdam Dance Event and begins as Garrix gives fans a sneak peek into his brand new STMPD Records recording studios as they begin to come to life in his hometown of Amsterdam. Garrix’s show director then talks about bringing the live show come to life, which yields interesting insights as they head into what he dubs Garrix’ “most important performance of the year” — ADE.
As the episode progresses, the scenery changes to the Sony Music offices, where the producer shows the Sony team what music he has in store for the coming year and ultimately signs a multi-year agreement that has been long in the works. The machine that is the Martin Garrix team only seems to be expanding as he heads into the back half of the year, and it appears as if the producer has an array of exciting new things in store for fans in months to come.
Known for his lo-fi, UK garage brand of four-on-floor club fare, London-born Shift K3Y, lesser-known by Lewis Jankel, has again flexed his sonic dexterity with, “Entirety,” released through Sony Music. Part of what makes Jankel such a prolific producer is, indeed, his ability to hit shift, and switch up his style seemingly at will. Earlier in May, he delivered his Bite EP: a dark, bass-brimming, subtly grime-tinged garage house concoction perfectly tailored for its Night Bass housing.
Just a few months later, “Entirety” reintroduces the vibrant, 90s dance floor delivery, characteristic of his earlier tracks, like “Touch.” Above its stuttering percussion and playful bass arrangement, Shift K3Y’s newest offering also features soul-suffused, desirous vocals from fellow Brit, A*M*E, who has worked modestly within the electronic circuit, most notably alongside Duke Dumont and Camelphat. Stream “Entirety” below.
During a recent performance in China, Zhu took the opportunity to officially confirm to fans that the collaboration does in fact exist and it is underway, and later confirmed in a statement by the “Waters of Monaco” producer’s management team.
Zhu’s exciting news didn’t stop there though. The aforementioned performance in China came as part of a launch event for a new Chinese electronic dance music label called Liquid State, which will host releases from Zhu, Alan Walker, and burgeoning Chinese artists, among others in 2018. Liquid State is backed by Sony and Chinese streaming and tech powerhouse Tencent Music Entertainment. The new imprint will develop dance content with the intent of leveraging Tencent’s streaming services QQ Music, Kugou Music, and Kuwo Music to distribute said content. The move was effectively sealed by a reported 10% equity swap between Tencent and Sony’s licensing partner, Spotify, in December. Tencent, by comparison, boasts nearly double the users as Spotify across their three platforms.
YouTube will look to launch its own music streaming service come March. Tentatively titled “Remix,” the paid service will offer video clips directly sourced from YouTube, as well as on-demand music streaming.
Remix represents Google’s third attempt to introduce a music streaming platform that can contend with the likes of Apple Music and Spotify. Google released its audio-only streaming service, Google Play Music, in 2011. 2014 would see the development of YouTube Music Key, a subscription based service that coupled ad-free music streaming and music video viewing on YouTube for a ten-dollar monthly fee. In 2015, YouTube Music Key became YouTube Red. YouTube Red maintained all of YouTube Music Key’s original features, adding offline video viewing. YouTube Red also enabled subscribers to listen to videos even when their phone screens were turned off.
YouTube will remain on the offensive as its contract with Vevo becomes subject to renewal in early 2018. Jointly owned by Sony and Universal, Vevo holds a “majority share” of music video rights. YouTube, however, might find some of its industry relationships to be tenuous given the record industry’s general distaste for YouTube’s reportedly thin payouts to labels and artists. The third time might indeed be the ‘charm’ for Google, but only time will tell if Remix can emerge as a formidable contender in the music streaming market.
In celebration of hitting the 10 million subscriber mark, Alan Walker performed his new single, “All Falls Down,” alongside Noah Cyrus and Juliander live from YouTube. This marked the first time that the trio has performed the track live together.
The performance featured Walker on a midi controller and pad and Juliander and Noah Cyrus singing, accompanied by a drummer and a keyboardist.
Alan Walker has had no shortage of tracks lately, his clean sound alongside a strong vocalist — whether it be in remix or original form — has been his craft for years now.
“The Spectre” is a single rooted in the sound on which Walker built his fan base. If the melody sounds similar, there’s a reason. Walker initially released “Spectre” in January 2015 and has re-released it with a fresh set of vocals for a new sound entirely. The 2017 rework is an energetic electro track that pounds the listener with major chords and overarching lead synths for a classic sound.
With the popularity of streaming services skyrocketing in recent years, artists, record companies, and the services themselves have been playing a game of legal catch-up, trying to determine how much money everyone deserves. In a groundbreaking new deal, Sony Music has partnered with Dubset, a tech startup specializing in music identification software, to allow artists to publish mixes and unofficial remixes using Sony Music artists.
Dubset’s music “fingerprinting” software will analyze audio files to see if they contain music from Sony Music artists. If they do, Sony and the artist will get a cut of the profits. With Warner Music and Universal Music reportedly working towards similar deals, Soundcloud may no longer be the unique option for uploading unofficial remixes. After a tumultuous summer for the streaming service, this cannot bode well for their future. With laws and technology surrounding the streaming industry finally modernizing, Spotify, Apple Music, and more have the potential to become a hotbed for innovation.
While artists may not be cashing in a substantial amount of the revenue made from streaming, a study done by Music Business Worldwide found that music labels like Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group are taking an astronomically large portion, cashing in at $9,000 for every minute of streaming.
Digging deeper into the numbers, this revenue works out to $540,000 per hour, and $12.5 million a day. With the booming growth of services like Spotify and Apple Music attaining a combined rate of over 100 million paid subscribers, and projecting to hit $5 billion of streaming sales in 2017.
On December 26, Sony Music’s official Twitter account sent out two tweets announcing the “death” of Britney Spears. One of the tweets blamed her supposed demise on an “accident” and promised more details would be on the way. The official Twitter account of Sony Music artist Bob Dylan also sent out a tribute to the star.
While Sony Music has offered no comment on the subject, the bizarre tweets appear to have been the product of a hack. Spears’ publicist confirmed that the artist is alive and well, according to a tweet from CNN’s Anne Claire Stapleton.