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You couldn't fake it up...

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Can we be "real"? In our warm and lovely vinyl coated Rat world, the head candie headphone nonsense of the mainstream digital music product world is a source of more bored, disdainful chuckling than any kind of genuine interest. Or fear. And this makes us rather different than other music "retailers". Still, sometimes the inherent absurdities and self-cannibalising crack pipe notions of this market do get our attention.As you can assume, foamy streaming music "services" pay artists so little you'd need to be a quantum physicist to understand the process. Labels don't do that much better, so these days make more money on adverts, concerts and ripping off anyone who samples stuff than the royalties from the interwebby. But its a lifeline for the money monkeys, and so the systems that keep track of what sheeple people plays what when and where is pretty crucial to them. Big Bad Google stood on the collective neck of the corporate music world and forced a more than fair deal on where YouTube pays a few pence to them, not far off what radio stations of old would have done if they felt legal. But Spotify, Napsta, Spotify and the rest need to keep careful track of what corporate entity is owed a couple tuppence. It's such a hassle that like everything these days software is needed.Computer code with a hellish task straight out of Kafka Meets J.G. Ballard in a bad trip toilet fever dream. It has to listen to it all and log it together. A vision of electric hell beyond the imagining of an airport potboiler hack. But just as David Byrne in one of his cooler moments once opined "the aliens will contact us only when they can make money by doing so" a lovely load of electric chancers have found a way to coin it via "musical spamming".What could that mean? Much in the style of Nordic industrial geniuses Pansonic is this taking a slab of process meat product and electrifying it into some kind of sonic instrument? No. It's clever people sneaking fake versions of false attempts at pop into the digital domain in hopes of taking a few quid out of the trash trough. Deep respect to them.While you never know what a Rat loving vinyl vulture will want or find in our fine racks, the big data bozo machine world can easily predict what most mainstream punters want. And then keep track of it. There is an American firm called Echonest, which sounds like some kind of hippiefied tinnitus support group but in fact "powers" the engines behind digital dorkpie sound slinging. What's sad is there are clearly some very clever people there dedicating their wetware to a global satanic jukebox. One of their major bugbears is this bunch of copycats, uploading perfectly valid takes on Carly Rae Jepsen and Company, titling their tracks in such a way as they look like they are part of a comp or else just part of the half remembered lyric. One CD of this wonder even has chased the US charts for some time. If I had some extra shrapnel, I'd set up a kickstarter crowd fund for these guys. They are delivering a public service by bunging up the bog brained guts of the digital music economy with a parasitic tribute. Fight on, people.Of course all this fun is just the latest episode in an ongoing struggle of the majors to control distribution, and therefore be able to squeeze cash and jam product down every part of the music market. It started in the late 70s, when the big boys noticed that there were often dozens of distro outfits in every major country - which gave oxygen to both pesky independents and minor majors like ABC/Dunhill and United Artists. They squashed that right down until by the close of the 80s every known artist on any label had some kind of distro relationship tax with the majors somewhere. Digital briefly disrupted this lock on the storefront, but Echonest and others have used big tech and bigger data to ensure total monopoly continues in the mainstream. That said, independents have not always played it straight. Iggy shows both sides of the fence with typical total genius here.And if you're chained up in the yard you'd better jump whatever fence you need to and get down this Saturday. Why?We're putting out plenty of nice hip hop, classic rock and classic noise rock, Some funky 12"s, be it disco or house, a touch of Jazz and another nice batch of reggae 12"s for good measure : Birthday party, Velvet Underground, Tom Waits, The Smiths, Sonic Youth, robert owens, Thenolious Monk, JAga Jazzist, DJ Paul Nice, Husker Du, Brainstrom, Delroy Wilson, Bobby Womack, Joy Division, Go Betweens, Triffids, Nas..And that's before we even get to Nick drake, Black Sabbath, My Bloody Valentine, Pixies, Soft machine, Love...and plenty more! Feel it.

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