Record Companies – Mute Records

Closing this mini-series out is a quick look at Daniel Miller‘s Mute Records, which, since its launch in 1978, has become one of the most cult, collectible labels. Initially devised as an engine to release Miller’s own electronic act The Normal, it has grown to house a huge roster of artists from a broad range of genres.

Key artists include Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Erasure, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Moby, Goldfrapp, and more recently, New Order, but it has also housed some hugely influential underground artists, including Fad Gadget, Nitzer Ebb, and Laibach. The list could be endless. Many of those artists were lost when Mute was sold to EMI in 2002, and didn’t follow back when it regained its independence at the end of the decade, but the list of artists is still very strong.

Perhaps most notable in recent times is the now-legendary box set MUTE433, a compilation of different artists performing John Cage‘s 4’33”. Which is clearly brilliant, even if I don’t really want a copy (thanks all the same). By the time you read this, it might already be in the shops.

You can find out more about Mute by going to
http://mute.com/

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Chart for stowaways – 6 October 2018

The top albums this week:

  1. The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Re-Imagined)
  2. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths
  3. Aphex Twin – Collapse
  4. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Distant Sky – Live In Copenhagen
  5. Orbital – Monsters Exist
  6. Soft Cell – Keychains And Snowstorms – The Singles
  7. Kylie Minogue – Golden
  8. Jean-Michel Jarre – Équinoxe
  9. Jean Michel Jarre – Planet Jarre
  10. Pink Floyd – A Foot In The Door – The Best Of

Q Awards 2018 – Nominations

Time now to look at the decidedly mundane list of nominees for this year’s Q Awards, which will take place on 17th October.

Q Breakthrough Act presented by Red Stripe

  • Amyl & The Sniffers
  • Goat Girl
  • Tom Grennan
  • The Magic Gang
  • IDLES
  • Bugzy Malone
  • Nakhane
  • Novelist
  • Nadine Shah
  • Jorja Smith
  • Rejjie Snow

Q Best Track presented by Firestone

  • Love It If We Made It – The 1975
  • This Is America – Childish Gambino
  • Girlfriend – Christine & The Queens
  • The Man – Goat Girl
  • Make Me Feel – Janelle Monae
  • Bells & Circles – Underworld & Iggy Pop

Q Best Album

  • Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino – Arctic Monkeys
  • Hunter – Anna Calvi
  • Who Built The Moon? – Noel Gallagher
  • Joy As An Act Of Resistance – IDLES
  • Marauder – Interpol
  • I’m All Ears – Let’s Eat Grandma

Q Best Live Act presented by The Cavern Club

  • David Byrne
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • Liam Gallagher
  • Stefflon Don
  • Taylor Swift
  • Wolf Alice

Q Best Solo Artist presented by Absolute Radio

  • Christine & The Queens
  • Drake
  • Noel Gallagher
  • Janelle Monae
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Sophie

Q Best Act In The World Today presented by Rocksteady Music School

  • The 1975
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Florence & The Machine
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • St Vincent
  • Paul Weller

Q Best Festival/Event presented by Pretty Green Clothing

  • All Points East
  • British Summertime
  • Isle Of Wight Festival
  • Latitude Festival
  • RIZE Festival
  • Spotify Presents: Who We Be

You can vote for your favourites here, until October 5th.

NME Awards – 2015-2017

Finally, by the current decade, NME seemed to have regained their taste. Several decades after being obsessed with guitars and the lower reaches of the charts, they finally even decided to associate themselves with acts such as Pet Shop Boys. Let’s complete our journey through the history of their awards, with the last few years.

NME Awards 2015

  • Godlike Genius Award: Suede
  • Best British Band: Kasabian. Also nominated: Alt-J, Arctic Monkeys, Chvrches, Royal Blood, The Libertines
  • Best Album: Kasabian, for 48:13
  • Also nominated: Jamie T, for Carry On The Grudge, La Roux, for Trouble In Paradise, Royal Blood, for Royal Blood, Run The Jewels, for Run The Jewels 2, St Vincent, for St Vincent
  • Best International Band: Foo Fighters. Also nominated: Arcade Fire, Haim, Interpol, Queens Of The Stone Age, Tame Impala
  • Best Live Band: Royal Blood. Also nominated: Arctic Monkeys, Fat White Family, Foo Fighters, Kasabian, The Libertines
  • Best New Band: Royal Blood. Also nominated: Circa Waves, FKA Twigs, Jungle, Slaves, Superfood
  • Best Solo Artist: Jake Bugg. Also nominated: Jack White, Jamie T, La Roux, Lana Del Rey, St Vincent
  • Best Festival: Glastonbury. Also nominated: Bestival, Isle Of Wight Festival, Latitude, Reading & Leeds, T In The Park
  • Best Track: Jamie T, for Zombie. Also nominated: Future Islands, for Seasons (Waiting On You), Jungle, for Busy Earnin, Kasabian, for Eez-Eh, Noel Gallagher, for In The Heat Of The Moment, Royal Blood, for Little Monster
  • Best Video: Jamie T, for Zombie. Also nominated: Fat White Family, for Touch The Leather, FKA Twigs, for Two Weeks, Jungle, for Busy Earnin’, Peace, for Lost On Me, Royal Blood, for Figure It Out
  • Best Music Film: Pulp, for A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets. Also nominated: 20,000 Days On Earth, Finding Fela, Kasabian, for Summer Solstice, Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon, The Possibilities Are Endless
  • Best Film: Northern Soul. Also nominated: Boyhood, Frank, Get On Up, God Help The Girl, The Inbetweeners 2
  • Best TV Show: Game of Thrones. Also nominated: Girls, Foo Fighters, for Sonic Highways, Peaky Blinders, Sherlock, True Detective
  • Best Dancefloor Filler: Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, for Fancy. Also nominated: Jamie T, for Zombie, Kasabian, for Eez-Eh, Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars, for Uptown Funk, Metronomy, for Love Letters, SBTRKT feat. Ezra Koenig, for New Dorp. New York
  • Worst Band: 5 Seconds of Summer. Also nominated: , Bastille, Blink 182, One Direction, The 1975, U2
  • Villain of the Year: Nigel Farage. Also nominated: Bono, David Cameron, Harry Styles, Russell Brand, Taylor Swift
  • Hero of the Year: Alex Turner. Also nominated: Dave Grohl, Kate Bush, Noel Gallagher, Russell Brand, Taylor Swift
  • Music Moment of the Year: Jamie T‘s comeback. Also nominated: Alex Turner’s Brit Awards speech, Kasabian headline Glastonbury, Kate Bush returns, The Libertines reunite, Nirvana reunite at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
  • Best Fan Community: Muse. Also nominated: Jamie T, Kasabian, La Roux, Peace, Royal Blood
  • Small Festival of the Year: Liverpool Psych Fest. Also nominated: End Of The Road, Festival No. 6, Field Day, The Great Escape, Tramlines
  • Book of the Year: Viv Albertine, for Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys
  • Also nominated: Bernard Sumner, for Chapter And Verse, Ian Curtis, Deborah Curtis and Jon Savage, for So This Is Permanence, Jesse Frohman, for Kurt Cobain: The Last Session, John Lydon, for Anger Is An Energy: My Life Uncensored, Steve Hanley, for The Big Midweek: Life Inside The Fall
  • Reissue of the Year: Manic Street Preachers, for The Holy Bible. Also nominated: Led Zeppelin, for Led Zeppelin II, Oasis, for Definitely Maybe, Pixies, for Doolittle, Public Enemy, for It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, Smashing Pumpkins, for Adore
  • Best Band Social Media: Liam Gallagher‘s Twitter. Also nominated: Questlove’s Twitter, Alana Haim’s Twitter, Albert Hammond Jr’s Twitter, Fat White Family’s Facebook, Slaves’ Facebook

NME Awards 2016

  • Godlike Genius Award: Coldplay
  • Best British Band: The Maccabees. Also nominated: The Libertines, Foals, Wolf Alice, The 1975, Catfish and the Bottlemen
  • Best International Band: Run the Jewels. Also nominated: Tame Impala, Foo Fighters, The Strokes, The Killers, Alabama Shakes
  • Best New Artist: Rat Boy. Also nominated: Hinds, Halsey, Yak, Låpsley, Formation
  • Best British Solo Artist: Charli XCX. Also nominated: Adele, Noel Gallagher, Ed Sheeran, Florence Welch, Skepta
  • Best International Solo Artist: Taylor Swift. Also nominated: Kendrick Lamar, Lana Del Rey, Courtney Barnett, Kanye West, Grimes
  • Best Live Band: Wolf Alice. Also nominated: The Maccabees, The Libertines, Foals, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Royal Blood
  • Best Album: Foals, for What Went Down. Also nominated: Wolf Alice, for My Love Is Cool, The Maccabees, for Marks to Prove it, Kendrick Lamar, for To Pimp a Butterfly, Tame Impala, for Currents, Grimes, for Art Angels
  • Best Track: Wolf Alice, for Giant Peach. Also nominated: Coldplay, for Adventure of a Lifetime, The Libertines, for Gunga Din, The Weeknd, for I Can’t Feel My Face, Skepta, for Shut Down, Foals, for What Went Down
  • Best TV Show: This is England ’90. Also nominated: The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, Peep Show, Gogglebox
  • Best Film: Beasts of No Nation. Also nominated: Ex Machina, Spectre, Mad Max: Fury Road, Whiplash, Kill Your Friends
  • Best Music Film: Blur, for New World Towers. Also nominated: Amy, Montage of Heck, Straight Outta Compton, What Happened, Miss Simone, The Reflektor Tapes
  • Best Music Video: Slaves, for Cheer Up London. Also nominated: Rihanna, for Bitch Better Have My Money, The Libertines, for Heart Of The Matter, Wolf Alice, for You’re a Germ, Blur, for Ong Ong, Tame Impala, for The Less I Know The Better
  • Best Actor: Idris Elba. Also nominated: Tom Hardy, Eddie Redmayne, Nicholas Hoult, Stephen Graham, Daniel Radcliffe
  • Best Actress: Vicky McClure. Also nominated: Jennifer Lawrence, Emilia Clarke, Gemma Chan, Amy Schumer, Saoirse Ronan
  • Best Reissue: David Bowie, for Five Years (1969–1973). Also nominated: A Tribe Called Quest, for People’s Instinctive Travels And the Paths Of Rhythm, The Velvet Underground, for Loaded, Rolling Stones, for Sticky Fingers, Tori Amos, for Under The Pink, Faith No More, for Angel Dust
  • Best Book: Patti Smith, for M Train. Also nominated: Grace Jones, for I’ll Never Write My MemoirsElvis Costello, for Unfaithful Music & Disappearing InkCarrie Brownstein, for Hunger Makes Me A Modern GirlProfessor Green, for LuckyTom Jones, for Over The Top And Back
  • Best Festival: Glastonbury. Also nominated: Reading & Leeds, V Festival, T in the Park, Bestival, Isle of Wight
  • Best Small Festival: End of the Road. Also nominated: Sŵn, Festival No. 6, Green Man, Liverpool Sound City, Kendall Calling
  • Music Moment of the Year: The Libertines‘ secret Glastonbury set. Also nominated: The return of AdeleDave Grohl breaks leg and carries on, Florence + The Machine headlines Glastonbury, Kanye at The Brits, One Direction ‘split’
  • Best Fan Community: The Libertines. Also nominated: Hurts, Muse, Catfish and the Bottleman, The 1975, Wolf Alice
  • Worst Band: 5 Seconds of Summer. Also nominated: One Direction, Little Mix, Sleaford Mods, U2, Nickelback
  • Villain of the Year: Donald Trump. Also nominated: David Cameron, Chris Moyles, Kanye West, George Osbourne, Simon Cowell
  • Hero of the Year: Dave Grohl. Also nominated: Adele, Jeremy Corbyn, Florence Welch, Kanye West, Taylor Swift
  • Vlogger of the Year: KSI. Also nominated: Vikkstar123, Charlie McDonnell, Joe Weller, Danisnotonfire, Savannah Brown

NME Awards 2017

  • Godlike Genius Award: Pet Shop Boys
  • Best British Band: Biffy Clyro. Also nominated: Wolf Alice, The 1975, Bastille, Years & Years, The Last Shadow Puppets
  • Best International Band: Metallica. Also nominated: Tame Impala, Kings Of Leon, Green Day, A Tribe Called Quest, Tegan and Sara
  • Best New Artist: Dua Lipa. Also nominated: Blossoms, Zara Larsson, Sunflower Bean, Christine and The Queens, Anderson .Paak
  • Best British Female Artist: M.I.A.. Also nominated: Dua Lipa, Adele, Charli XCX, Kate Tempest, PJ Harvey
  • Best British Male Artist: Skepta. Also nominated: Zayn Malik, Kano, Jamie T, Michael Kiwanuka, Richard Ashcroft
  • Best International Female Artist: Christine and the Queens. Also nominated: Sia, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Solange, Tove Lo
  • Best International Male Artist: Frank Ocean. Also nominated: Kanye West, Drake, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper
  • Best Festival Headliner: Adele. Also nominated: Coldplay, Radiohead, Biffy Clyro, Foals, The Stone Roses
  • Best Live Band: The 1975. Also nominated: Bastille, Slaves, Bring Me The Horizon, Christine And The Queens, Wolf Alice
  • Best Album: Bastille, for Wild World. Also nominated: Kanye West, for The Life Of Pablo, Skepta, for Konnichiwa, The 1975, for I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, Radiohead, for A Moon Shaped Pool, Beyoncé, for Lemonade
  • Best Track: Christine and the Queens, for Tilted. Also nominated: Tove Lo, for Cool Girl, Charli XCX, for After The Afterparty, Skepta, for Man, Bastille, for Good Grief, The 1975, for Somebody Else
  • Best TV Show: Fleabag. Also nominated: Stranger Things, Game Of Thrones, Black Mirror, Humans, People Just Do Nothing
  • Best Film: My Scientology Movie. Also nominated: DeadpoolCaptain America: Civil War, Suicide Squad, Everybody Wants Some!!, Hunt For The Wilderpeople
  • Best Music Film: Oasis, for Supersonic, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, for One More Time With Feeling, Sing Street, Gimme Danger, The Rolling Stones, for Havana Moon, The Beatles, for Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years
  • Best Music Video: Slaves, for Consume or Be Consumed. Also nominated: Kanye West, for Famous, Beyoncé, for Formation, Radiohead, for Burn The Witch, Rat Boy, for Get Over It, Wolf Alice, for Lisbon
  • Best Reissue: Oasis, for Be Here Now. Also nominated: R.E.M., for Out Of Time, Pink Floyd, for Meddle, Michael Jackson, for Off The Wall, DJ Shadow, for Endtroducing, Blur, for Leisure
  • Best Book: Johnny Marr, for Set the Boy Free
  • Best Festival: Glastonbury. Also nominated: Reading & Leeds, Download, Isle Of Wight, Primavera, V Festival
  • Best Small Festival: End of the Road. Also nominated: Y Not, Green Man, Festival No. 6, Kendall Calling, Slam Dunk
  • Music Moment of the Year: Coldplay‘s Viola Beach tribute at Glastonbury. Also nominated: Bring Me The Horizon invade Coldplay’s table at NME Awards 2016, Beyoncé drops Lemonade, Skepta wins Mercury Prize, Pete Doherty plays The Bataclan, The Stone Roses’ first new music in 20 years
  • Worst Band: 5 Seconds of Summer. Also nominated: The Chainsmokers, Clean Bandit, Honey G, Nickelback, Twenty One Pilots
  • Villain of the Year: Nigel Farage. Also nominated: Donald Trump, David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Martin Shkreli, Katie Hopkins
  • Hero of the Year: Beyoncé. Also nominated: David Bowie, Adele, Millie Bobby Brown, Gary Lineker, Liam Gallagher
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music: Wiley

See also

Ivor Novello Awards 2017

Last year’s Ivor Novello Awards took place on Thursday 18th May at Grosvenor House in London, and were hosted by Paul Gambaccini.

Best Song Musically and Lyrically

Nominees:

  • Michael Kiwanuka – Black Man in a White World
  • Laura Mvula feat. Nile Rodgers – Overcome
  • Mystery Jets – Telomere

Winner: Michael Kiwanuka

Best Contemporary Song

Nominees:

  • Mura Masa feat. A$AP Rocky – Love$ick
  • Skepta – Man
  • NEIKED feat. Dyo – Sexual

Winner: Skepta

Album Award

Nominees:

  • Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  • Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room

Winner: Laura Mvula

PRS for Music Most Performed Work

Nominees:

  • Coldplay – Adventure of a Lifetime
  • Coldplay – Hymn for the Weekend
  • Adele – When We Were Young

 

Winner: Coldplay, for Hymn for the Weekend

Best Original Film Score

Nominees:

  • Clint Mansell – High-Rise
  • Dario Marianelli – Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Dan Jones – My Scientology Movie

Winner: Kubo and the Two Strings

Best Television Soundtrack

Nominees:

  • Dominik Scherrer – The Collection
  • Paul Englishby – The Witness for the Prosecution
  • Martin Phipps – War and Peace

Winner: War and Peace

International Achievement

Winner: Florence Welch, of Florence + The Machine

Lifetime Achievement

Winner: Nitin Sawhney

Outstanding Song Collection

Winner: Pulp

PRS for Music Outstanding Contribution to British Music

Winner: Anne Dudley

PRS for Music Special International Award

Winner: Bill Withers

Songwriter of the Year

Winner: Skepta

The Ivors Jazz Award

Winner: John Surman

The Ivors Inspiration Award

Winner: Gary Numan

 

More here and here.

Grammy Awards 2018

I never really have enough patience to look into the Grammy Awards in too much detail – there are just way too many of them. But it’s always worth a quick skim, particularly this year it seems. So here are some headlines.

Best Dance Recording went to LCD Soundsystem this year for the irritatingly-spelt Tonite, beating Gorillaz‘s Andromeda, and both were also nominated for Best Alternative Music Album for American Dream and Humanz respectively, but lost out to The National.

One of my favourite awards, Best New Age Album this year overlooked a strong nominee for Brian Eno with Reflection and went with Peter Kater instead for Dancing on WaterBest Dance/Electronic Album surprisingly went to Kraftwerk for the sublime box set 3-D The Catalogue over Bonobo‘s Migration.

In a pleasant surprise, Dennis White won Best Remixed Recording for his Latroit Remix of Depeche Mode‘s You Move. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds got a couple of nominations, one in the Best Music Film category for One More Time with Feeling, and once in the Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package category for the work of the art direction on their singles compilation Lovely Creatures, but failed to win in the end. Roger Waters suffered the same fate for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

That’s all I’ve got. There’s a more comprehensive list of winners and nominees on the Billboard website.

Stowaway Heroes – Daniel Miller

Our first stowaway hero is Daniel Miller, boss of Mute Records, and one of the most influential and seemingly hands-off individuals in the world of electronic music. In his late twenties, he was working as a film editor, and scraped together enough money to buy a synthesiser. His resulting 1978 solo double a-side single T.V.O.D. / Warm Leatherette, released as The Normal, is fundamentally brilliant:

It’s not clear to me whether Miller actually intended for Mute to become a fully fledged record label or whether it was all supposed to just be a one-off, but always way ahead of the curve, he also came up with his own virtual group Silicon Teens, who released a couple of great singles including Memphis Tennessee:

(video removed)

But of course, Mute is most famous for the astonishing roster of artists who were signed over the decades that followed, including mainstream acts such as Depeche ModeYazooMobyNick CaveNew Order, underground and cult successes including Fad Gadget and I Start Counting, and even (briefly) Kraftwerk. And he didn’t completely keep his hands off their output either – here’s his take on Erasure‘s Supernature:

He also presented a radio show on Berlin’s Radio Eins and remains well respected throughout the music industry, despite the slightly questionable sale of Mute to EMI for £23 million in 2002 (which was fortunately rectified by a split in 2009). It’s rare for someone so influential to turn up in so many places but be so unknown. So he’s a worthy first hero for this blog – hats off to Daniel Miller.

Edited, 25 Feb 2018 – removed Silicon Teens video that is no longer available.