Rock Biz

The Indie News Beat for the week of December 1, 2005


December 1, 2005 Edition

* Zak Daniels And The One Eyed Snakes Release Hard Rock Album "Snakeland"

* Latin, Reggae, And Middle Eastern Influenced Instrumentals With A Dreamy Dub Feel

* Yanju Brings Political Controversy To File Sharing Networks

* Omega Johnson Lets "Blackbird" Loose

* AOL Music & INgrooves Team To Release Digital Album By John Digweed

* Online Music Elektra Records CEO Goes ‘e-Label’

* Re-Recording Protected Music Files Now Even Easier

* Barix Technology Begins Shipping Command Cubes Media Jukebox’ Software

* Hideaway Records Uses Software Alternative To Sony/BMG

* MIDEM 2006 To Honour Live 8 Trio

Zak Daniels And The One Eyed Snakes Release Hard Rock Album "Snakeland" On Big Water Records

LA-based hard rock band Zak Daniels And The One Eyed Snakes announced the release of their latest album "Snakeland" on Big Water Records. Following up on their self-titled debut, the album delivers "straight ahead, in your face, kick-ass Rock and Roll" noted KSFX Program Director Sylvia Benjamin. Nothing less would be expected from the 2005 finalist of Sammy Hagar’s "A Shot At Cabo Wabo" and named "Best Hard Rock Band" at the Millennium Awards – L.A. Music Awards Show.

"This rugged rock is the genuine article. No sham or pretense here, just solid presentation, inspired songwriting, and a genuine if occasionally deranged sense of humor. Daniels doesn’t just sing a lyric, he seems to live it," commented Paul Michaelson with the Seattle Times.

Long known on the local club circuit as a no nonsense hard rock band, the group has matured considerably since they were hailed as "the next big thing" by local radio and press in the mid nineties. Zak Daniels has maintained a philosophical outlook about such hyperbole. "It’s been said many times by many people, but there is some truth in the phrase: "Nothing is an overnight sensation," he noted appropriately. After a couple of line-up changes the Snakes have become a permanent musical family. Jimmy (Kat) Katsikides, who co-produced the album with Daniels, brandishes one of the meanest lead guitars in all of rock. The rhythm section consists of Doug Lavery on drums and Orion Lindeman on bass. Together they anchor a sound that can overwhelm the casual listener or tenderly seduce them.


Latin, Reggae, And Middle Eastern Influenced Instrumentals With A Dreamy Dub Feel

Rafi Levy, an Israeli born guitar player from Los Angeles, California, has released his debut solo album, "Desert Cruising in a Dub State of Mind." The album contains 11 beautiful tracks that take you on a journey visiting Spain, The Middle East, South America, Greece, the Caribbean and more. "I’ve been looking all over for an album of this caliber! This album has the perfect mix of Reggae, Latin, Surf, Middle Eastern and downright Groove!" independent reviewer Ron Moore writes.

Rafi Levy has seamlessly bridged the gap between Latin, Reggae and Middle Eastern melodies and created an original and overall infectious Dub flavor. In his latest release, "Desert Cruising in a Dub State of Mind," Rafi wrote, arranged, produced, and hand-picked some of today’s most talented musicians to accompany his six strings.

Rafi’s dedication and commitment to music know no limitations. He has been exploring and studying different sounds and styles, both foreign and timeless, since the age of twelve. "I want to put out my own CDs in different styles and incorporate different influences of mine from all over the world," the Grant Green, Ernest Ranglin, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley influenced musician ex-plains. "But express it the way I hear and feel it. I want to create something positive for people."

Rafi listens to many different styles of music, and he says he’s always open to hearing new ideas and new music. One can hear a lot of different influences and musical feels and elements in the music he writes. "I’m into playing anything as long as it sounds good to me and is played with passion, feeling, soul and I am having fun doing it," Rafi comments. "I am not into imitating other people or trying to sound like somebody else. I like to listen to music and learn things from people, but when I come to write music, I forget about everything and put all that stuff aside."

"Desert Cruising in a Dub State of Mind" is a mix of Latin, Reggae, Greek, and Middle Eastern influenced instrumentals with a dreamy Dub feel. If you like music like The Gypsy Kings, Santana and World Music that blends cultures and musical feels from around the world, you will definitely love this music. This music will relax, inspire and put you in a positive state of mind.


Yanju Brings Political Controversy To File Sharing Networks

UK-based Nigerian born musician Yanju has released his politically controversial music video IWA on major peer-to-peer networks. The video, encoded with INTENT Media’s proprietary technology, will be pushed through search placements in major file sharing applications such as Morpheus, Kazaa and eDonkey. The campaign will also be supported by online marketing campaign conducted by the MusicDish Network, which has already garnered over 1 million downloads for Ms. Cherry’s music video "It’s Whatever".

"From Nigeria now in the U.K, Yanju mixes up West African, electronic and dance music in a splendid fashion," commented Chris Nickson from Global Riot Idiot. "From the wonderful opening cut, with real tribal rhythm and vocals working over and around techno to slower cuts that are eerily reminiscent of Peter Gabriel (in the best way) this is a stunner of a disc.

BBC World Music noted: "There’s far more to Nigerian music than Afro-beat, as Yoruba master percussionist Yanju (IWA’s founder) proves on this under-the-radar, 10-tune set of what I’m loathe to call Afro-House (the tag means nothing to me) but would be happy with, say, ‘juju, fuji and apala spirits fused with London clubland production ideas’ or something equally cumbersome."

The "IWA" music video is a message to world leaders to respect the democratic aspirations of the very people they govern. The basic message is no one knows what tomorrow will be or bring. The present will judge before history does. The song itself is directed at leaders of all works of life but it uses politics as a video channel to remind society at large not to get power intoxicated.


MIDEM 2006 To Honour Live 8 Trio

MIDEM, the World’s Music Market, will honour Live Aid founders and Live 8 co-producers Sir Bob Geldof, Harvey Goldsmith CBE and John Kennedy OBE, on January 23rd in Cannes, France.

The trio will receive the MIDEM Personality of the Year Award, in recognition of their outstanding work in bringing the music industry together to help alleviate poverty and famine in Africa.

This will be the first time in its 17-year history, that the MIDEM Personality of the Year Award has gone to more than one person. MIDEM, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2006, will take place in Cannes, France, January 22-26.

"The Live Aid and Live 8 concerts were astonishing events and a testimony to the music industry’s ability to transcend pure entertainment and mobilise people on a global scale," says Reed MIDEM Chief Executive Officer Paul Zilk. "The money raised in 1985 by Live Aid and the huge political impact of Live 8, are a tribute to the efforts of these three outstanding men. It is a pleasure to honour them as MIDEM 2006 Personalities of the Year."

"What was truly impressive about Live 8, was that for the first time ever music and technology were used to communicate a humanitarian cause to the largest audience possible and carry the "fight against poverty" message across the globe," adds MIDEM Director, Dominique Leguern.


Omega Johnson Lets "Blackbird" Loose

Hip-hop artist Omega Johnson (a/k/a OJ) has released his Limited Edition LP, The Blackbird, on November 8, 2005. The first 50 copies will be an Advance Limited Edition, numbered and autographed by OJ.

"The Blackbird is like a revolution in the hip-hop sound", Omega explains. "I don’t work in comparison to the current-day hits, I prefer to be inspired by hip-hop classics that have already been standing the test of time, but work my own personality into it, so the music can be seen as a personal reflection, a show of truth. That’s the whole rep of the label, Nunayufake… ‘none-of-your-fakes’."

The Blackbird is the premiere product from the US to bear the N-Free mark, indicating that "N-Word" is specifically not in use on a music work unless in its original context for historical or educational purpose. Introduced in 2004 with OJ’s CD maxi-single "Flashbacks" b/w "Whispers in the Dark", the N-Free standard ( ) has been noticed among the Black community in the US and abroad.

The album contains thirteen tracks plus limited bonus material, and features a guest appearance by Mr. Man of former Reprise/Warner Bros. hip-hop group Bush Babees. Production on The Blackbird has been handled by Dok Who?! and Cenzi Stiles, a Chilean producer currently residing in Canada. A remastered version of the album is planned in early 2006, possibly with additional bonus features. In a show of loyalty to early purchasers, The Nunayufake Project will give customers of the Advance Limited Edition access to freely download the additional bonus tracks from the remastered album as it becomes available. "It wouldn’t be fair to have people purchase an album, only to give later consumers more for their dollar", says OJ. "Let them get everything they should get."


AOL Music & INgrooves Team To Release Digital Album By John Digweed

In a digital showcase for world renowned DJ, John Digweed, AOL Music ( and INgrooves have teamed up to release a their first album featuring mixes from his exclusive AOL Music DJ Sessions set that will only be available for sale online. AOL Music will debut the album on Monday, November 14 in a full Listening Party — giving fans the opportunity to hear it in its entirety — at Then beginning on Tuesday, November 15, fans will be able to purchase AOL Music DJ Sessions: Mixed by John Digweed exclusively from Apple’s iTunes Music Store. In December, fans will be able to visit other online outlets including AOL Music Now and others to purchase the digital album.

Recorded in September of 2005, AOL Music DJ Sessions: Mixed by John Digweed is comprised entirely of recordings from Digweed’s own progressive house label, Bedrock.

The release of AOL Music DJ Sessions: Mixed by John Digweed marks the first time AOL Music and INgrooves have partnered to produce and market a full length digital album that will be distributed online.

AOL Music features exclusive DJ mixes by world-famous DJs including Sasha, Hybrid, Sander Kleinenberg and Roni Size on its Dance/Electronica page and on the DJ Sets station on AOL Radio.

John Digweed is ranked as the number six DJ in the world according to a recent DJ Magazine poll. Formerly part of the world-famous DJ Duo Sasha & Digweed, he was the first British DJ to hold a residency in legendary New York City hotspot Twilo. The Hastings, England native scored two Top 30 hits in 1997 with remixes of Chakra’s "I Am" and Bedrock’s "For What You Dream Of" (featured in the hit movie Trainspotting).


Online Music Elektra Records CEO Goes ‘e-Label’

Would famed rock & roller "Jim Morrison" of "The Doors" get a record deal on the new Warner Music Group "e-label"? Fans of entertainment news will find out — Warner Music has officially launched the "e-label" which CEO Edgar Bronfman promised in August of this year.

Headed by veteran record executive Jac Holzman — the CEO famous for leading Elektra Records in the glory days of "The Doors" — is now launching the "e-label" record label and going the totally electronic route. In fact, there will be no CD products manufactured or distributed. The label is called "Cordless Recordings" which apparently stands for the stated goal of "No CD" physical distribution and a dedication to all-digital distribution strategies.

Sales for the "e-label" will come from internet downloads from its web site and mobile phone products such as ring-tones. Any new "opportunities" not traditional to the record business will also be explored, including "legal" Peer-to-Peer networks -­"legal" is the latest trend in the music business this fall after the closure of iMesh, Grokster, eDonkey and other "illegal" file sharing networks. The entertainment culture of America embraces digital distribution as part of what the consumer wants— the success of digital downloads at iTunes has proven that to the recording industry.

In addition the "e-label" business model will appeal to musicians who are savvy about technology and do not require the traditional "artist cash advance" from the record company. As a trade-off the "e-label" allows the musician to retain rights to the master recordings of their music. The boom-or-bust mentality of the recording industry will be altered with this business model as artists will not be required to sell mass quantities of units immediately upon release. Cordless Recordings will not service the entertainment culture that is not tech-savvy and are still avid CD buyers — the label’s plan is to release songs in non-traditional format of 1-3 songs at-a-time — rather than the album context.

Warner Music Group has not formally announced any plans to release physical CD products from any "hit" musicians — the "Jim Morrison" icons of today that may appear on Another battle is emerging in the music world, since launched its own record label last week — already a CD is due for release on November 15, 2005. The musicians are already on MySpace in record numbers — now Warner Music Group is joining the race to sign-up "e-label" artists.


The Emperor’s New Clothes: Re-Recording Protected Music Files Now Even Easier

Rapid Solution Software today announced the latest release of Tunebite, Windows software that helps frustrated music lovers play protected music tracks without limitation on all MP3 players. The new release, offering an improved, easier-to-use user interface, 4x recording speed and digital sound quality, is available on the product’s new internet site

End-Users Freed from Frustrating Limitations

Many MP3 players on today’s market are incapable of playing Digital-Rights-Management (DRM) copy-protected music files. The typical music consumer doesn’t run into difficulty until after he or she has purchased music and tries to play it on his or her MP3 player. In the USA and in Europe, lawmakers have decided that copying computer files clearly marked as copy-protected is a violation of copyright law. Subsequent clarification of these decisions has resulted in a narrow, penalty-free exception to the rules: a user may re-record purchased music tracks to make private copies for personal use. Tunebite takes advantage of this legal loophole by allowing users to re-record music while it is being played, creating private, unprotected copies that can be played on any device’without risking violation of copyright laws.


Barix Technology Begins Shipping Command Cubes Media Jukebox’ Software With Their Audio-Over-IP Distribution Products

Barix Technology AG, a leading manufacturer of standalone voice, music and data over IP solutions for commercial and residential applications, is proud to announce that it has begun shipping FREE Command Cubes Media Jukebox’ software with its Exstreamer family of multi-zone MP3 player products. Combining Barix Exstreamer standalone streaming audio components with the Command Cubes Media Jukebox software, users can quickly and easily set-up multi-channel distributed sound systems in their home or business that permits users to simultaneously listen to and mange different music in numerous zones, all from a single PC-based music library. Audio distribution is handled over standard wired or wireless Ethernet network infrastructure once the Barix components are quickly and easily installed into the network.

The Barix Technology Exstreamer family of products, consisting of the Exstreamer (standard)*, Exstreamer Digital, Exstreamer Gold, and Exstreamer Wireless are intelligent network-based MP3 converter/players that effortlessly extract digital audio from an IP network, converting it into music or voice for playback over distributed sound systems in both residential or commercial applications. The counterpart to the Exstreamer is the Instreamer, an intelligent MP3 encoder that converts analog and digital audio into the MP3 format for transmittal over IP networks. Exstreamer and Instreamer products communicate over a standard network connection (10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet) with PCs, digital audio servers and internet radio stations with intuitive control from standard web browsers (PC, Palm, as well as Command Cube), or the Barix IR Remote Control Kit for the Exstreamer, which permits total wireless control of multi-zone audio systems.

The brilliance of the newly developed Command Cubes Media Jukebox software is that it automatically detects all of the aforementioned multi-zone, ‘plug-and-play’ Barix IP audio hardware components on an IP Network, thereby eliminating prolonged and arduous network programming. Large and small-scale Barix IP networks can be set-up and operational in the fraction of the time of competitive IP Network products, thereby offering significant installation and programming cost savings. Once the Barix devices are detected on the IP network, Command Cubes Media Jukebox allows the user to select MP3 songs from their PC jukebox and route the music to specific or multiple distributed Exstreamer devices for playback in specified audio zones.


Hideaway Records Uses Software Alternative To Sony/BMG

Hideaway Records has released an encrypted music CD using Cryptic Audio, a software program designed by Media Wizard Inc. that uses its own media player.

The CD-ROM entitled "American Music 2005" was released this year and features local and national songwriters and artists. The CD is available through there web site . Go to Hideaway Records page. It can also be purchased at the local Barnes & Nobles book store in Springfield,Mo.

The software doesn’t require a patch or other software to work as used by SONY/BMG or EMI. You pop the CD in your computer and a player appears. Microsoft Media Player or other players are not required. The CD does work with the Microsoft Media Edition 2005. The CD also has the IFPI Copy Control Technology logo which recognizes Media Wizard’s technology as credible.

Each song’s information is accessed by a track,forward and back button. The CD encryption does not allow music to be downloaded to the hard drive or Internet and there is no interference of the computers software programs. All information is inherent to the CD and the encrypted player.

Media Wizard Inc has contacted most music companies including Sony and EMI and they refuse to talk directly to the company. The program has been available for several years and has not been compromised or cracked. Company executives find it hard to believe that when the industry is demanding solutions and losing billions of dollars they ignor the software. Media Wizard Inc. is located in the midwest and is not a major player, which many feel keeps the product from getting any attention.


Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright © Tag It 2005 – Republished with Permission