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02 janvier 2009

B&W Music Club Offers Lossless Audio Downloads

Posted by Admin on Thursday, January 01, 2009

Bowers & Wilkins and Peter Gabriel lead the fight for high-quality downloads with lossless music service.

Bowers & Wilkins has teamed up with Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios to offer the world's first music download service that is about quality rather than quantity. Music Club members can download a specially recorded album each month. The album is DRM-free and delivered in either the Apple Lossless or FLAC formats, providing members with a true CD-quality recording.

The B&W Music Club is a unique partnership between Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios and Bowers & Wilkins. Part of B&W's Society of Sound ( an online community for audiophiles and music fans, the B&W Music Club offers exclusive monthly albums to its members, which are downloadable in the Apple Lossless or FLAC formats to provide CD-quality sound.

For a small annual or six-monthly subscription fee, B&W Music Club offers one specially commissioned album each month, recorded in dedicated live sessions at Real World Studios near Bath in the UK. Albums are available to download for one month only and are provided without Digital Rights Management (DRM) to enable use across a variety of playback media.

Alongside B&W Music Club, B&W's radically updated and expanded Society of Sound website is created for people with a passion for sound. As well as blogs and feature articles, Society of Sound features regular podcasts hosted by Martyn Ware (Heaven 17, Human League) and video interviews with its Fellows including; Real World's Peter Gabriel, composer James Newton Howard, jazz singer Cassandra Wilson, Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and the seminal British designer Kenneth Grange, amongst others.

Dan Haikin, Brand Director, B&W said at the launch: "B&W's business is built on being passionate about music and sound quality. In Society of Sound we have created a meeting place for people who share our passions. The B&W Music Club takes this a step further by providing exclusive opportunities for people to hear an eclectic mix of new music from a diverse range of artists at super-high fidelity."

"For many people today, music has become a background noise or commodity. The MP3 revolution has placed convenience over quality. B&W Music Club redresses this by creating exclusive live albums from a hand-picked selection of leading musicians as high quality downloads."

The music offered on B&W Music Club spans many different genres and styles from new and established artists from all across the world. Two months after the live sessions are first offered to B&W Music Club members, B&W returns the rights for the albums to the artists.

By providing free studio time, mixing sessions and eventually returning the rights to artists, B&W Music Club provides a great opportunity for new bands to professionally record new material, as well as offering more well-known artists a chance to experiment or collaborate on interesting side projects.

Peter Gabriel said: "This collaboration with B&W is unique as far as I know and it's going to allow a lot of interesting projects to happen. For artists, B&W Music Club is a dream proposition because they get some great time in the studio, access to really good recording facilities and can experiment without being committed to anything or anyone beyond a month with B&W."
Since it's launch in May 2008, B&W Music Club has brought members a wide variety of different musical styles, all from exceptional artists: Little Axe, featuring legendary blues guitarist Skip McDonald; Grindhouse (mondo cane) a new collaboration from Dominic Greensmith (Reef) and Gareth Hale; Gwyneth Herbert; Dub Colossus; former Suede frontman Brett Anderson; guitarist Tom Kerstens; LA's Julianna Raye; and 16-year old piano prodigy Benjamin Grosvenor.

Future releases include offerings from UK Jazz four-piece Portico Quartet and Dengue Fever, a Los Angeles band that blends Cambodian pop music with West Coast psychedelic rock.

Membership of B&W Music Club costs $39.95 for six months or $59.95 for a year. Based on a yearly membership, this means B&W Music Club members receive 12 albums for less than $5 per album. B&W also offers free trial memberships via its website, where users can download a four-track EP a month for three months. Each download will be supplied DRM-free in lossless format, at around half the file size of a CD recording and will include printable color sleeve artwork to enable members to create CD albums from the downloaded files.

For further information please visit

About Bowers & Wilkins

Bowers & Wilkins is Britain's leading exporter of loudspeakers and the number one imported brand in North America. Since 1966, Bowers & Wilkins' "Quest for Perfection" has resulted in a succession of technical loudspeaker innovations that have satisfied the world's most demanding listeners. Its products' rave reviews and universal acceptance as monitors for classical music recording have helped Bowers & Wilkins become the dominant premium loudspeaker company throughout the world.

31 décembre 2008

Byrne baby Byrne

by Kevin Krieger, Weekender Correspondent

By the tail end of the late ’70s, real music lovers may have had enough of the snotty three-chord attitude of the punk movement. This reaction to the original punk backlash allowed artists like David Byrne’s Talking Heads to bring some overdue intelligence to the table. By joining up with Roxy Music alum and famed producer Brian Eno on “Everything That Happens Will Happen Today,” Byrne continues his pursuit of melodic intellectual rock, and somewhere along the way, he has created his strongest post-Heads release to date.

The last collaboration between these two respected musicians was 1981’s “My Life With The Bush Ghosts,” an ambient/electronica excursion that still stands as a classic. The pair has obviously matured since then, and the overall mood of “Everything That Happens” is very relaxed with a focus on the melody, similar to the offbeat work of XTC’s Andy Partridge. Throughout the CD’s 11 tracks, the duo concentrates on songs that Byrne describes as “electronic gospel.”

Fresh off of producing Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida,” Eno’s otherworldly stamp is all over the backing tracks of “Home,” the Peter Gabriel-like “I Feel My Stuff” and the percolating bass of “Wanted For Life.” The offbeat “My Big Nurse” brings out a comic country twang that would be unexpected from either artist if it weren’t for the experimental nature of many of their earlier projects.

The basic tracks on “Everything” were recorded at home by Byrne and e-mailed to Eno. After stripping down the rough demos, a host of musical friends stepped in to lend their talents to the songs, with the final product sounding cohesive and uplifting at the same time. Both artists can’t help but note the passage of time and trend since their moment in the spotlight, and the topic is addressed head-on in the tongue-in-cheek lyrics of “Strange Overtones,” the album’s beat-heavy first single: “This groove is out of fashion / These beats are twenty years old.”

A few tracks on “Everything That Happens” may fit into the mediocre category (“Poor Boy,” “Lighthouse”), but the songs certainly don’t end up in the junk bin. Even less-than-stellar Byrne/Eno compositions are still pretty good.

30 décembre 2008

Celebrities send get-well messages to new Liverpool hospital unit for mentally ill

Dec 30 2008 by Liza Williams, Liverpool Daily Post

A HOSPITAL unit to treat men with severe mental health problems has opened for the first time in Liverpool. The Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Rathbone Hospital, Old Swan, will offer an eight-bed in-patient facility for men whose levels of mental distress are so acute they need intensive care. Previously patients needing such treatment were sent out of the area and into private sector establishments.

It is the latest phase of mental health trust Mersey Care’s multi-million pound regeneration of the Rathbone Hospital site, a former Victorian fever hospital now offering several specialist mental health services in modern buildings. The unit has now been filled with get-well messages from some top celebrities who have sent signed photographs, posters, and words of encouragement to the unit.

Among the famous names are musician and singer Peter Gabriel, comedian and Harry Potter actor Robbie Coltrane, Absolutely Fabulous actress Julia Sawalha, Hollywood star Elizabeth Taylor, spin-doctor Alastair Campbell, and Dr Who star David Tennant. Liverpool poet Roger McGough has written some prose for the unit too, based around its initials PICU.

Unit manager Nick Wade said: “In the same way that general hospitals have intensive care units for people who are most seriously physically ill, this unit will be for people who are in crisis and need much more intensive intervention than is normally provided in an acute ward.”
The unit was officially opened by chairman of Mersey Care, Stephen Hawkins, at his last official duty on retiring from an eight-year term of office. The incoming chairman Beatrice Fraenkel was also present, along with Liverpool’s Mayor and Mayoress Steve and Sandra Rotheram, and trust service user representative Anne Evans, who wrote to the stars for their words of encouragement.

The unit is already accepting appropriate referrals and should be fully operational and occupied by spring. A spokesman added: “The messages of hope have been put on walls in an area called the hub, in the heart of the unit. The self-contained unit will have a high ratio of staff, as well as recreational and occupational therapy areas for patients.”

Mersey Care NHS Trust provides specialist mental health and learning disability services for adults in Liverpool, Sefton and Kirkby, while also offering medium secure services for Merseyside and Cheshire, and high secure services covering England and Wales.

’Hobo’, l’album de Charlie Winston, mardi 30 décembre 2008

S’il a déjà sorti un album autoproduit, tourné dans les salles de Nice ou de Paris et assuré les premières parties de Peter Gabriel, Charlie Winston n’est pas encore connu du grand public. Avec Hobo (Atmosphériques), cet Anglais de trente ans espère bien changer la donne. Pour y parvenir, il dispose d’une voix que certains rapprochent de celles d’un Jeff Buckley et du soutien de Catherine Ringer qui est tombée sous son charme en le croisant dans un studio de New York.

Disponible le 26 janvier 2009

Originaire du Royaume-Uni, Charlie Winston est un auteur-compositeur-interprète qui s’est fait connaître grâce à sa reprise du tube I’m a Man dans le cadre d’un spot publicitaire pour une marque automobile.

Frère du songwriter Tom Baxter, le chanteur fait partie du groupe Oxymorons avec lequel il se produit sur scène. En 2007, le jeune artiste part en tournée avec Peter Gabriel, ancien membre de Genesis. Inspiré par des personnalités aussi diverses que Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder ou Nick Cave, son style de musique très éclectique séduit grâce à son mélange entre folk, soul et pop. Une nouvelle voix très underground qui envoute dès la première écoute...