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Musicians like Soulwax, Bjork and Adele use apps to get their music heard

posted 4 Aug 2011, 12:34 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 4 Aug 2011, 12:38 ]
Musicians use groundbreaking apps to find ingenious ways to release music.

REUTERS / SOULWAX / KURT AUGUSTYNS -  Belgian music group Soulwax, also known as 2 Many DJs when they are behind the turntables, are amongst the new wave of artists using iPad, iPhone and Android apps to get their music to the masses.

The brothers David and Stephen Dewaele were in London on Monday (August 1) to discuss the idea behind their internet radio/app.

"It's 24 hours of music with a different theme (every hour) as well as the visuals. And it's based around the covers of the CDs we play. We do 24 hours which becomes a loop on the internet, streaming. There's also an app that can be downloaded on iPhone, iPad and Android. With the app, you can choose what you listen to, you watch and it's an enhanced version of the project Radio Soulwax," David told Reuters Television.

The app is similar to the band's live show but in visual form. The duo are known for their unconventional mixing of music across various genres, which has made them a fan favourite live.

But the Dewaele brothers are cautious about using apps to replace traditional CD and records as a new way to release music.

"The way I see it, the apps are more like what music videos were 20 years ago, where it was more like something, an added value, an added bonus, something to find out more about the artist. Not necessarily the replacement of the album as such. It's just an added thing, which, like artwork used to be and it isn't now because people don't put any effort into that," said David.

"And also it costs a lot of money to make an app. I think that's another thing. I don't think any beginning band now thinks 'I have to make an app'. No you have to make good music. It's not like it's such an easy process to be doing. For us, at one point we were surrounded by technical stuff and we were like 'Phew, Jesus!'" added Stephen.

The brothers have been working on the app for two years and have combined the internet radio/app technology as a treat to their fans. Unlike other music apps, theirs don't make any money. Due to their music license from PRS, they are only able to play out music on their internet stream.

"It's a choice we made because we figured in this day and age, record sales are so insignificant and go all the way and make a loss. All it (app) is is an advertisement for the live shows," said David.

Soulwax / 2 Many DJs have streamed more than 1.5 million times, which represents around 58,000 streams per day since going live at the beginning of July.

Another musician making headlines with her innovative app is Icelandic singer Bjork. She's released her entire album "Biophilia" through the app, fusing technology, music, video and live show.

Her app includes an introduction by broadcaster, documentary maker and naturalist David Attenborough, who's distinctive voice lends itself well to the concept behind the album, fusing nature, the cosmos and music together.

Each app within the Biophilia app explains the song, or with the case of the first single "Crystalline", fans can buy a game where they collect crystals to make their own structure of the song.


nother artist, Adele, released her songbook as an app. Although relatively simple compared to the other two, the app is an invaluable marketing took and way for fans to get even closer to the British singer.