Back again. Yes, I’ve missed another day, and I’m sure I’ll miss a couple more between now and getting back to work properly on Tuesday. For some reason, my laptop has decided that its battery is no longer capable of producing more than ten minutes of power at a time. I had hoped to come into a cafe every day of this Easter holiday in France and, with my demitasse of coffee, avail of the wi-fi facilities at hand to update and maintain the online side of BlancoMusic business. It’s not been as successful as I’d hoped, mainly because cafe owners here are happy to provide a wi-fi service, but draw the line at providing unlimited mains power to their customers. I can’t say I blame them. Yet another way that Acer and Microsoft have conspired to make my blood pressure reach levels where I expect my hair to turn scarlet. I use a Mac at BlancoMusic headquarters, but have an Acer laptop, running Windows Vista. Seriously, the level of incompetence in both the latter products is at a point that I consider contemptuous. Whether it’s the software or the hardware, I don’t know, but I have never paid money before for a piece of equipment less fit for purpose. Useless, totally.

Enough of that. I can hear the ‘told you so’s and smug laughter from here. Yes, I should have gotten a Mac, you’re right, everyone knows that. Sorry, went for the cheaper option, assumed that watching the occasional DVD and writing an article once in a while would be within the capabilites of the world’s most successful company to provide, but there’s naivite for you. Anyway, it’s Thursday, and if you’re reading this, it’s because I’ve negoitiated a price for an hour or so’s worth of electricity with a shrewd French person and have managed to get this damned machine online. Every Thursday BlancoMusic makes one of the tunes in our catalogue of recordings available to listen to for a week. It’s not a free download – free downloads cheapen and devalue music and anyone who makes their music available for free in the simple hope of accumulating publicity which they can later capitalise upon for hard cash is living in an era that died four or five years ago. If you already have the profile of Radiohead, putting your music out at a ‘pay what you like’ is a lovely way to make your hardcore fans want the same product packaged more nicely with a ‘special limited edition’ tag on a fifty quid box-set, but if you don’t already have a fanbase that’s willing to pay for your music, all you’re really doing is jumping up on a schooldesk with no knickers on and hoping people will be interested enough to look at you. Making music available for free creates a culture where music is expected to be free. Carry on with that if you really want to, you’ll get no support from us. If you consider you music to have the same worth as the graphics on the back of a promo flyer, good for you. We don’t feel the same way. Nor do we feel that music’s future is as background to video product-placement. Ok!Go and Lady GaGa have both made it clear where they stand on this issue, equally, we feel quite the opposite. No-one will be watching their videos in ten years time, but people will still be listening to the bands on BlancoMusic, I guarantee it.

I hope I can get the Thursday Tune to you. Because I’m not in the office right now, I don’t have the resources to prepare the track the way I usually do. Normally I anonymise the track, take off all the metadata and details so that, it is missing any identifying characteristics other than the music itself. I don’t like to say anything more than that the track is by an act that are recording with BlancoMusic right now, or will be doing so soon. Another reason for the lack of details is that, even though I only link to a stream of the music, there are plenty of folk out there who are savvy enough to know how to record what they hear. At least we know that without any identifying details, it’s just a little harder to leak material onto filesharing sites. It’ll get posted, no doubt about that, but the damage is limited by the fact that there’s no name or title. Today I can’t strip those details off, because I’m in a limited computing environment, but it’s not going to be a problem. The song’s a cover anyway, just a little sketch Robin and Rawle put together with a vocalist that we hope will be releasing some music with us in the next few months. Sometimes little jams come about for no real reason and turn out quite nicely. This is one of those times. This song won’t be released, at least not in this form. The original is by Betty Davis, I’m told. It’s just a little ditty, we hope you enjoy it. If you really want a bit of aural fun, have a listen to the keyboard solo at 3m30, then go have a listen to the solo at about 2m15 into Nightmares on Wax’s ‘Les Nuits’. Similar style? Same bloke. (This week’s tune) (Nightmares on Wax, Les Nuits)


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