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Musical Chairs December 22, 2017

New Signings & Team-Ups: July 12

Senior Journalist, B2B
New Signings & Team-Ups: July 12


Universal Music Australia is distributing Germany label ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) in this market.

Founded by producer Manfred Eicher in 1969, the critically acclaimed and award-winning label has issued over 1,500 albums spanning jazz, classical and world music.

The first releases under the new deal are Bill Frisell & Thomas Morgan’s Small Town, Avishai Cohen’s Cross My Path With Silver, QuercusNightfall and Stephan Micus’ Inland Sea.

Eicher said: “Australian listeners have long been open to ECM’s music, and the press has been supportive, too, whenever our artists have visited.

“In recent years, however, the albums have been harder to find in the stores. We are glad that the new distribution arrangement with Universal will make the music more readily available.”

Dickon Stainer, President and CEO of Global Classics at Universal Music, added: “The distribution of ECM records in Australia is an important step in furthering the famed German record label’s already highly respected reputation in the southern hemisphere.”


ORiGiN Music and Music Sales have collaborated to publish The Justine Clarke Songbook.

Clarke (pictured above) is one of Australia’s pre-eminent children’s entertainers, with multi-platinum (and ARIA winning) albums and DVD’s via ABC For Kids, and sold-out national concert tours. Her current tour includes a 10 days (20-performances) at the Sydney Opera House with the Look! Look! It’s A Gooledygook show.

The Songbook contains 16 originals composed with, and for, Clarke by composer Peter Dasent and lyricist Arthur Baysting. It includes her big hits I Like To Sing and Watermelon which generated 1.6 million YouTube views.


Independent labels are acquiring prestigious catalogues as Warner Music Group sells off US$200 million worth of assets as part of the 2013 condition when it bought out the Parlophone Label Group.

Music Business Worldwide reported that the aggressively expanding and cashed-up Los Angeles-based Concord Bicycle Music has struck a reportedly seven-million deal to acquire the rights to Jewel (whosedebut Pieces Of You sold 12 million in America and follow up Spirit did 4 million), Brazilian icon Sergio Mendes, and a number of classic blues and jazz recordings.

MBW also revealed that Warner has sold London Records’ catalogue (but not the name) to Paris-based Because Music. It’s not sure what Because has got in the deal; London acts included All Saints, Ace Of Base, Bananarama, Bronski Beat and Whigfield.

Because also got the Happy Mondays, who were initially out on Factory Records, but the deal is not expected to include other Factory acts as classic titles from Joy Division and New Order.

Warner recently also sold rights to Domino (The Buzzcocks, Hot Chip) and Epitaph (Tom Waits).


Spunk Records has the Australian rights to Hug Of Thunder, the first album in seven years by Canadian collective Broken Social Scene.

Its title, band member Kevin Drew says, captured what he wanted people to feel about the group’s comeback, and how they sound playing together again: “It’s just such a wonderful sentiment about us, coming in like a hug of thunder.”

The Toronto-based act has been playing the odd gig here and there, but Drew says they went into the studios at the persistent insistence of producer Joe Chiccarelli, whose track record includes Beck and The Strokes.


The NSW-based Capital Country Music Association has enlisted the help of Australian-based Chuffed.Org to raise money for its activities.

Chuffed.Org is dedicated to helping non-profit organisations like CCMA, and allows supporters to donate online.

The CCMA’s latest event was last weekend with Hats Off To Stan Coster, a multi-act performance in Tamworth to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his passing.


Music Tasmania and Vanguard Bookings are behind the Kevin Gleeson Emerging Music Prize, set up to help emerging Tasmanian talent.

The winner musician or band get a gift voucher of $500 to spend at either Barrett’s Music Store in Launceston, or McCanns’s Music Cenre in Hobart, to help develop their music career.

Gleeson was a bassist who spent a considerable time helping young acts, especially with their first shows. He passed away last May.


Melbourne-based Remote Control has acquired three more international acts to distribute in the local market through its licensing deals.

New York rapper Princess Nokia, the best-known project of Destiny Frasqueri, comes via Rough Trade. Her new single G.O.A.T. is the first time her music has been available on streaming services other than SoundCloud and YouTube.

As regular readers will recall, the long-time team-up with XL (which gave them those very lucrative Adele rights) also hands them New York City based rapper Wiki who has a new track Pretty Bull.

When Wiki, known for his role in Ratking, made his debut at Glastonbury this year, he was joined by Skepta who ran over after his own show to perform God Bless Me from Wiki’s debut mixtape Lil Me.

XL also gave Remote Control the local rights to Scandinavianduo Smerz. Their debut release on their new labels is Oh My My which is a follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut EP Okey, whose sound was described as “incubated over years of late-night clubbing.”

Henriette and Catharina were raised in Norway but it wasn’t until they relocated to Denmark that they started collaborating on the music that garnered the early attention of underground radio.


The Melbourne run of My Fair Lady presented Cure Brain Cancer Foundation with a cheque for $50,366 after hosting a number of charity initiatives.

The Foundation’s mission is to increase five-year survival from the current 20% to 50% by 2023 by funding quality, innovative research that accelerates new treatments to patients.

When My Fair Lady moves on to Sydney in September, proceeds from 200 opening night tickets will be donated to the Foundation, while bucket collections will also be held over the weekend of September 8—10.

Photo: Justine Clarke (via Herald Sun)


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