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In tune. Informed.

Monday 27 January 2020

No Touch

Raz & Afla

Beating Heart Music

Released: Out now
No Touch - Raz & Afla

We say

The weekend is not over yet; we have this infectious take on Afro-house from Hackney-based producer Raz Olsher and Ghanaian master musician Afla Sackey to keep it going. Using organic percussion Raz & Afla build a funky and addictive groove, with lush vocal harmony hooks and electronic melodies to power the track on a jacking cosmic journey through the entire African continent and beyond. Last week, Mary Anne Hobbs made it her ‘Near Future track’ on BBC 6 Music and further radio support has come from Frankie Francis on Amazing Radio (Single Of the Week). It is only early days for the duo, with this their debut, but we can’t wait to hear what’s next from them. 


Press, Online & Radio: Terry Emm, Cannonball PR
Read This…
  • Billie Eilish dominates Grammy awards in key categories (see News)
  • UK will not implement the EU Copyright Directive (see News)
  • Fred again... wins Producer of the Year BRIT Award (see News)
  • Job moves via LinkedIn: Victoria Needs is now VP, International Marketing at AWAL. She was previously Director, UK International Marketing/Head Of International at Sony Music. Bryan Johnson has been promoted to Head of Artist & Industry Partnerships, International at SpotifyFlash Taylor has been promoted to Senior A&R at Bucks Music GroupPaul Everett has been promoted to Head of Music, Europe at Eventbrite.
News and Features
  • Among the winners at the Grammy awards were: Billie Eilish (Record and Song - 'Bad Guy', Album and Pop Vocal Album and Engineered Album, Non-Classical - 'When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?', New Artist. Eilish is now just the second artist in history to win all four big categories in the same night, the other was Christopher Cross in 1980. Brother Finneas also won Producer of the Year, Non-Classical); Lizzo (Pop Solo Performance - 'Truth Hurts', Traditional R&B Performance - 'Jerome', Urban Contemporary Album - 'Cuz I Love You (Deluxe)'); Lil Nas X feat Billy Ray Cyrus (Pop Duo/Group Performance and Music Video - 'Old Town Road').
    Among the UK artists winners were: Elvis Costello & The Imposters (Traditional Pop Vocal Album - 'Look Now'); The Chemical Brothers (Dance Recording - 'Got to Keep On', Dance/Electronic Album - No Geography) (Billboard, Telegraph, Independent)
    Grammys: The ten most memorable moments. (HR)
    Sean Combs called out the Grammy Awards for dissing rap and R&B stars in its major categories. (APNews) At the end of his 50-minute speech at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammys gala, where Combs was honoured, the music mogul demanded change and said he was happy to be involved in making a difference. 
  • Universities and Science Minister Chris Skidmore has said that the UK will not implement the EU Copyright Directive after the country leaves the EU. (BBC)
    UK Music expresses disappointment and concern at the news. (RotD)
  • The BRIT Awards announced Fred again... as the youngest ever recipient of the award for Producer of the Year. (RotD)
  • The Government has announced details of a 50% reduction in Business Rates for small and medium sized grassroots music venues. The announcement releases over £1.7m back into the grassroots live music sector, with 230 venues set to benefit. (RotD, MVT)
  • Tommy Mottola has been in LA holding court, and the word is he’s going to make a new, major, well-funded run at the music sector. (Hits)
  • Charts: Eminem tops the Singles chart with Godzilla, and also debuts at the top of the Album chart. (OCC) Courteeners, Bombay Bicycle Club, Halsey and Mac Miller also debut in the top ten.
  • US charts: Eminem topped the Billboard 200 for a tenth time with a figure of 279,000, including 117,000 sales. (Billboard)
Comment, Opinion and Analysis
  • James Masterton's chart analysis.
  • The song economy (Midia - Keith Jopling)
  • 09.30 Radio 2 Ken Bruce - with David Essex
    10.30 6 Music Mary Anne Hobbs - with Anna Calvi
    16.00 6 Music Steve Lamacq - Independent Venue Week with Nadine Shah
    19.00 6 Music Marc Riley - with Isobel Campbell live
    21.00 Radio 2 Cerys Matthews - with Tom Doughty in session
Artist and Music Features
  • If co-founder Olly Barnes’ infectious optimism is correct, Voisey is a phenomenon-in-waiting. It’s an app that has the potential to shake up how songs are made. (MusicAlly)
  • In his new book Loving Music Till It Hurts, the musicologist William Cheng examines how our love of music can dehumanise as much as humanise, with catastrophic consequences. (FT)
  • Radiohead drummer Philip Selway has been filming The Long & Winding Road, commissioned for Independent Venue Week, which sees him travel the the country in search of the pubs and clubs that help to break artists. (BBC)
  • Dan Cairns goes to a Kodaline gig in Pune — one of the ‘trigger cities’ that now help to break a global smash hit. (SundayTimes - Dan Cairns)
  • As a new Pet Shop Boys album appears, the veteran duo tell Will Hodgkinson about age-appropriate fun, the secret of not splitting up and their lost toilet musical. (Times - Will Hodgkinson)
  • Tracey Thorn on rereading her teenage diaries and why she’s now a fervent fan of Jack Reacher. (Observer - Jude Rogers)
  • ‘I gave up meat and lost my man boobs’. (Times - Michael Odell)
  • Taylor Swift: the rise, fall and re-invention of America's sweetheart. (Telegraph - Alice Vincent)
  • Five years after going it alone, Elly Jackson (La Roux) is back with a sophisticated third album – via panic attacks, scrapped songs and life advice from Joanna Lumley. (Guardian - Michael Cragg)
  • BTS have become art patrons with a globe-spanning project estimated at £10m. (FT)
  • Mura Masa raided his past for sounds on his new album and for collaborations with stars including BTS and Slowthai. (Standard - David Smyth)
  • Louis Tomlinson: ‘Being in One Direction was like a drug. The break-up hit me like a ton of bricks’ (Independent - Fiona Sturges) 
  • Taylor Swift: the rise, fall and re-invention of America's sweetheart. (Telegraph - Alice Vincent) 
  • DJ and BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter Tiffany Calver talks about where to party in Paris, horror accommodation in Amsterdam and tour bus dos and don’ts. (Metro p32 - Polly Humphris) 
  • Circle the Drain by Soccer Mommy and other new tracks (Guardian - Luke Holland)
  • Sixty Seconds: (Metro p18)
  • One to watch: Obongjayar (Observer - Tara Joshi)
  • A Life in the Day: Jessie J (SundayTimes)
  • Breaking act: The Snuts (SundayTimes - Dan Cairns)
  • Virtually famous: Kokoroko (Standard - David Smyth)
  • Fame & fortune: Jade Jones (SundayTelegraph)
  • Obituary: Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist with Rush, Candian giants of rock. (Telegraph p27)
Showbiz and News
  • Taylor Swift discloses fight with eating disorder in new documentary. (Guardian, Times, Telegraph, Mail, Standard)
  • Madonna posted on Instagram she was unable to perform the first of 15 shows at the London Palladium, which had been scheduled for 27 January. (Mail)
  • White Rabbit Books tweeted "Warm and candid, funny and heartfelt, #RemainInLove is the incredible new memoir from @ChrisFrantzTTC, sharing secrets and stories #TalkingHeads fans have been curious about for decades. Out 28.05.20 and available to pre-order now.
  • Beyonce and Nicole Scherzinger pictured at a pre-Grammy Gala in LA. (Mail p25, Star p9) Ozzy Osbourne has vowed his Parkinson's battle will not him down as he joined music stars along with Sharon at the pre-Grammy Gala. (Mail, Express p15, Star p8, Sun p14, Mirror p3)
  • Kelis is the latest music professional to be unmasked on The Masked Singer. (Mirror p3)
  • Olivia Newton-John has said she is beating cancer for the third time with the help of medicinal cannabis to treat the pain. (Mail p13, Express p3, Sun p12, Mirror p11)
  • J-Lo pictured in a retro-inspired animal print for Guess's 2020 Spring campaign. (Express p25, Star p21, Sun p3)
  • Sun Bizarre: Mark Ronson is dating actress Genevieve Gaunt. Cardi B, Nicole Scherzinger and Sean 'Diddy' Combs pictured at pre-Grammy Gala. Beyonce and Jay-Z posed for pictures as they attended a brunch for Roc Nation. Lewis Capaldi is bracing himself for plenty of boozing when he tours the US with Niall Horan. Celine Dion has paid tribute to her late husband Rene while celebrating their son's 19th birthday. Fred again... has bagged the BRIT Award for Producer of the Year. Bananarama to headline Kew Gardens' Kew The Music.
  • Star Wired: Jake Bugg is going pop on his new album and reckons the guitar world can learn a lot from other musicians after being 'taken back by how supportive the electronic world is of one another.' Louisa Johnson has poured her heart and soul into a deeply personal first album. Doja Cat has dropped Boss B**ch from the Birds of Prey soundtrack that also features Maisie Peters. Halsey reckons the best way to get revenge on her exes was to strip off in her new video for You Should Be Sad. Tinashe reveals she drank for six months after finding out her ex moved on with Kendall Jenner. Rihanna pictured at Jay-Z's annual brunch. Lewis Capaldi is on course for his second No1 single with Before You Go. Bananarama will headline Kew the Music Festival in July. The Brit Awards have named Fred again... BRITs Producer of the Year. 
  • Metro Guilty Pleasures: Aitch says he will need to be hammered if he is to become the latest star to be inked by Ed Sheeran. Jessie J and Channing Tatum have confirmed they are giving their relationship another go. Madonna has cancelled her first Madame X show in London. Stormzy is 'proud' of his beef with Wiley. 
  • Pet Shop Boys (FT - 3* Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Observer - 3* Kitty Empire, Telegraph - 4* Neil McCormick, Standard - 4* Harry Fletcher)
  • Poliça (FT - 3* Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Observer - 3* Phil Mongredien, Standard - 3* Channy Leaneagh)
  • Kesha (SundayTimes - Lisa Verrico, MoS - 3* Adam Woods)
  • J Hus (FT - 4* Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Standard - 4* David Smyth)
  • Eminem (SundayTimes - Lisa Verrico)
  • Louis Tomlinson (MoS - 3* Adam Woods)
  • Blossoms (MoS - 4* Adam Woods)
  • Drive-By Truckers (MoS - 4* Adam Woods)
  • Nicolas Godin (Standard - 3* Phoebe Luckhurst)
  • Khushi (SundayTimes - Dan Cairns)
  • Bill Fay (SundayTimes - Mark Edwards)
  • ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead (SundayTimes - Mark Edwards)
  • Ben Watt (SundayTimes - Dan Cairns)
  • Black Country, New Road (Observer - 4* Kitty Empire)
  • Halsey (Observer - 4* Kate Hutchinson)
  • Sam Lee (FT - 4* David Honigmann)
  • Beak - Electric Ballroom, London (Times2 p11 - 4* Will Hodgkinson)
  • Edwyn Collins - Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh (Times2 p11 - 4* Peter Ross)
  • Holy Holy - Bonus Arena, Hull (MoS - 3* Tim de Lisle)
  • Schoolboy Q - Academy, Glasgow (Guardian2 p13 - 4* Malcolm Jack)
International News
  • Recording Academy Interim Chief Harvey Mason details steps towards diversity and inclusivity. (Billboard)
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Edited by Kevin Marston and Paul Scaife
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