SXSW 2014

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While we’d love to have spent all our time at SXSW jumping up and down to the likes of Against Me! and Royal Blood, getting excited about sitting next to Spandau Ballet on the plane, and enjoying beers and BBQs under the Texan sun, we also had work to do! We took the opportunity to throw out a few thoughts on how we see the music world changing at a debate at the Austin Convention Centre.

Axel Dauchez, Deezer CEO, joined an illustrious panel of speakers including Scott Cohen, Founder of The Orchard, Daniel Glass, Founder and CEO of Glassnote Records – the label behind Phoenix and Mumford & Sons – and Claudio Vargas, VP of Digital for Sony Music Brazil.

Discussing “the new geography of the music world”, opinions varied - is the album dead? Have streaming services like Deezer become the new gateway to music discovery? Will artists be broken by radio, retail, or by the power of communities that may span the globe but who share common passions? Are we in the music business, the attention business, or in the business of creating emotion?

So many questions, so little time. The one thing we’ve taken away from it all is that the times, they are a’ changing. Oh, and that Daniel Glass feels our Deezer HQ in Paris is like a ‘great restaurant — you can just taste it and feel it’.

Speaking of which, time to don the shades, grab a margarita and get in line for some more beef…

 

Have a listen to our favourite artists at SXSW this year.

Deezer at the Mobile World Congress

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We’ve been in sunny Barcelona, taking part in the madness that is the Mobile World Congress, and we took the opportunity to announce two partnerships.

Partnering with the GSMA in the launch of their Mobile Connect initiative, Deezer users will soon be able to log into their account simply using their mobile phone. Hooray for one less password to remember!

Axel Dauchez, CEO of Deezer, said at a GSMA press conference: “This new innovation from the GSMA is set to provide a much simpler experience for Deezer users, which means people can focus on what’s important to them – discovering great new music. With around 65 per cent of all music listened to on Deezer via a mobile phone, Mobile Connect will help provide music fans with a seamless mobile experience as well as increased convenience across other devices.”

Elsewhere at the Congress we announced that Deezer will be available on the new Nokia X. This low-cost smartphone from Nokia will mean that even more people will be able to enjoy unlimited music on their mobile, in tune with our mission to democratise access to music. Music for everyone, everywhere!

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Fast typo-tolerant search on Deezer

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We know how important it is to be able to find that perfect track instantly. That’s why we made it a priority to improve the search feature on Deezer. Now it doesn’t matter if you enter a typo or two, and auto-complete means that you can quickly identify what you’re looking for even if you don’t know an artist’s full name or the entire title of an album. Results are also now better displayed, with the most relevant results first, helping you get the music you want, faster.

Antoine Sinton, Head of Search at Deezer said: “Feedback from users indicated that a fast and efficient search feature was really important for a great experience on Deezer, so we have focused on making search lightening-fast and typo tolerant. We’re pretty happy with the results! Search is now up to 10x faster in certain situations, and we’re continuing to improve the feature with each day.”

Listening to a new release as soon as it comes out is one of the great benefits of being a Deezer subscriber, so we have also focused on improving the speed at which new music is indexed. This means that when we add new music to the Deezer catalogue, it appears in search results within an hour, if not instantly.

Note to developers: All of the above improvements also apply to apps built around the Deezer open API. Learn how to start building your own app over at the Deezer for Developers, and check out the incredible range of apps in the Deezer App Studio for inspiration.

5 Minutes Of Your Time: Cloud Control

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Psychedelic pop quartet Cloud Control stopped by recently to record an exclusive stripped-back Deezer Session, so we fired a few questions at them to find out what influences them, and why they channelled Roy Orbison on their latest album Dream Cave.

Where are you right now and what have you been up to today?
We are all in Australia for the Laneway Festival at the moment; sweet line up, sunshine, big shows, enough said!

Your second album Dream Cave sounds more experimental than your debut – did you feel more open to new ideas and influences during the writing and recording?
Yeah we tried to not really think about what kind of an album we should or shouldn’t make, but go where the songs each took us. I guess we had more time to experiment too, not only with production but with the arrangements too.

You’ve said that “life influences you” – how have your lives changed since the first album?
I guess that’s a cheap way of saying everything influences us and that we are OK with and conscious of that.  We are a bit older now, we’ve done so much travelling, listening and playing that I guess it creates a melting pot of influence. Life has changed in a lot of ways, but we all still enjoy playing together which unites us.

You have described the title track as a song that “Roy Orbison would write if he was trapped in a cave.” Do you often use these kinds of imaginary scenarios to help you write?
This is something Al found helpful for this song. It’s a headspace thing, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and trying to imagine their point of view and feelings. I don’t think he does it too often though, I can’t recall another song actually.

You stripped your songs back to basics for your Deezer Session – do you enjoy being able to show your songs in a new light?
It is a good thing to do, to strip a song bare to just chords and melody. It is something we often do in the writing process so it is nice to let people peep through that window.

The dust has hardly settled on Dream Cave, but have you started thinking about what’s next?
We are touring constantly at the moment. A couple of us have moved cities. There is always talk of working on other musical interests. There are plans to write more Cloud Control material. Basically, we are figuring that out.

And finally, can you recommend us some new music that you’re enjoying at the moment?
We just finished a USA tour with an LA band called Body Parts supporting, check them out.

Watch Cloud Control’s Deezer Session here, and listen to the exclusive Deezer Session EP below.

Cloud Control Deezer Session

 

Psychedelic Aussie quartet Cloud Control’s latest album Dream Cave was a near-perfect example of luscious, multi-layered ambient pop. In this exclusive Deezer Session, however, their songs are stripped back to basics, revealing a more lo-fi side to the band.

Watch Cloud Control’s session above, and see all previous Sessions here. You can also listen to the exclusive Deezer Session EP below.

 

Icelandic band Mono Town on finding success through music streaming

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With their debut singles released exclusively on Deezer in November achieving nearly a million streams in just two months, we’re proud to be supporting seriously talented Icelandic band, Mono Town. We caught up with the band about what we can expect with their debut album ‘In The Eye Of The Storm’, released next week on Deezer, and about how interacting with fans online is crucial to their success. Expect big things in 2014!

 

You’re releasing your first album soon, exclusively on Deezer. What can we expect in terms of themes and sounds compared to ‘Jackie O’?

More of adventurous and exciting sounds and heart-wrenching melodies. Some surprising turns and epic endings. To sum it up, the soundtrack of our lives.

You worked with Michael Brauer who is certainly not a newcomer when it comes to mixing albums (Coldplay, Dylan, McCartney, The Vaccines). How do you think your album benefited from this collaboration?

It was great and an honour working with Michael Brauer and his staff. A very fun guy and a real professional. He knows how to emphasise the important details of music and always has his focus on the end result. We approached him for a reason, and he didn’t let us down.

What inspires you?

Great authentic music, exciting textures, beautiful melodies and life in general.

How do you discover new music?

We have some resources through friends and so on. But popping open a bottle of red wine, putting our headphones on, logging in to Deezer and surfing, that’s our preferred choice.

How important is your online presence to you and your fans, and what do you do to maintain it?

Online presence is very important to us. It is the vehicle that allows us to build new relationships with our fans and also create new ones. It is important to acknowledge the fans because they allow the band to exist and while there is no secret method, we feel it is important to keep building material online and allow listeners to have a glimpse into our thoughts and artistic process.

The collaboration between Deezer and Mono Town has shown what’s possible in terms of music streaming services promoting new artists. How did it help you?

For every young unsigned band it is very important to be helped reaching out to as wide an audience as possible. Deezer is doing exactly that. For people, for example in Brazil, to be able to discover and listen to an unknown band from Iceland is incredible for us. As our fan base grows so will our online presence. Bands tend to look at other options as the “right” options in regards of distributing their music. Together with Deezer, we’ve done something completely different. Thinking outside the box can sometimes be a very good thing.

Apart from yourselves, what other band should we keep an eye on in 2014?

Caveman. They recently released their second album called Caveman. We actually met them in Iceland while they were performing an off venue gig at KEX Hostel for the Seattle based radio station KEXP. They are New York based and were touring Europe for the first time. Their album is very good and they seemed to be honest and hard working. And we like that. And if things go right for them, they could be in for a good year. So check them out …after you’ve listened to our new album ‘In The Eye Of The Storm’ of course.

What album are you listening to right now?

Histoire De Melody Nelson by Serge Gainsbourg. We’re getting in to the right mood for our up-coming Paris trip.

Do you already have plans for a tour?

We’re playing in Paris as a part of a festival called Air D´Islande at Le Point Ephémère on February 1st. And then we have other plans ongoing but nothing we can reveal now unfortunately, so stay tuned for more news on www.monotownmusic.com or www.facebook.com/monotownband.

 

Thanks for the insightful interview and bon voyage for your Paris gig!

UPDATE: Listen Mono Town’s debut album ‘In The Eye Of The Storm’ below, exclusively on Deezer.