Un-Convention Factory

Un-convention Factory from Un-convention on Vimeo.

Calling the UKs best creative talent.

Get involved in a music first…

As part of a larger event called Unknown Pleasures, celebrating the life of Ian Curtis on the 30th anniversary of his death, Un-Convention has been commissioned to develop a very special version of the event. Un-Convention have teamed up with the creators of iconic indie-rock footwear, Converse, to search for 300 of the UK’s most promising creative minds.

This is your opportunity to attend this spectacular free event –

8 bands
60 music industry professionals
300 people
12 hours to record, produce and release an album.

This is Un-Convention Factory

Get involved…watch the bands record the tracks live, design the sleeve, debate ideas, learn about releasing music, explore new digital platforms and create a unique piece of history.

At Un-convention Factory, a mill space will be transformed to contain all of the elements and processes involved in creating and releasing a record. You’ll be free to explore everything that is going on, interact with music industry professionals and ultimately make all the decisions along the way.

We’ll even provide food, drink, a free pair of trainers and a CD of the finished album by the end of the day for everyone who attends.

And to cap it off, the day will end with a free evening show featuring the bands involved, with a line up including Reverend Soundsystem, The Whip, I Am Kloot, New Education, Young Fathers, Virginmarys and more.

Music industry professionals include Peter Hook (New Order), Graham Massey (808 State), Har Mar Superstar, Andrew Dubber (New Music Strategies) and Karen Piper (Radarmaker).

It’s all taking place on 8th May 2010 at Un-Convention Factory in The Heritage Centre, Macclesfield.

If you’re in a band, make cool videos, design amazing things, run a cutting edge blog or are just keen to get involved then tell us about it and you could be coming to Un-Convention Factory. For the chance for you and a friend to attend this free, once in a lifetime event visit www.unconventionhub.org.

Applications close on 26th April 2010

Enquiries to: steph@fatnortherner.com

Introducing… New Music Strategies

The team at New Music Strategies

For the past few years, New Music Strategies has been a blog about music on the internet. And the need for me to do that has changed as time has gone on.

As I’ve hinted over the past couple of months, it’s time for a transformation – and New Music Strategies is becoming something new.

Today in a city called Groningen in the north of the Netherlands, I brought together a small group of some of the finest minds in music and culture in Europe (who also happen to be some of my favourite people), and together we formed a new company under the New Music Strategies banner.

We are equal partners in the business, and we all have different skills and expertise. We’ll introduce the members of the team soon, but I thought this would be a good moment to explain who we are and what we do.


Unconsultancy wrap-up

Unconsultancy in Manchester went well, I think. I certainly had a good time meeting some amazing people. Thanks to Andy from Indielab for organising it, taking me out for dinner, and letting me sleep in his house. Brilliant job all round.

Sonic Museum

Sonic Museum

The Auckland War Memorial Museum is one of my favourite places in the world. It’s an amazing building full of everything you’d like a museum to be. Interesting and engaging, but at the same time hushed, marbled and reverent.

And while it’s appropriately austere, it’s also forward-looking. They’ve recently had a major refurbishment, introduced some really clever digital and interactive features, but without turning it into some sort of crass, multimedia theme park.

As far as I’m concerned, they’ve pretty much struck the balance about right – and the last time I was back in NZ, I was delighted to be able to go to whole new sections of the museum in their new extension.

But the reason I’m talking about this here on New Music Strategies is that they’ve done something really clever that I’d love to see replicated in other ways elsewhere. Perhaps you agree.


Pure Solo


PureSolo.com is a site and free downloadable software that enables musicians to play along to a wide variety of professional, original and well-known music tracks, then record and share the music.

According to the press release, PureSolo.com was founded by a mixture of entrepreneurs who included ex-Goldman Sachs financiers, and a professional trumpeter who has played with everyone from Ray Charles, to Kylie, and albums like Pet Shop Boys ‘Very’ and Tina Turner’s ‘Simply The Best’.

What do you think? Are these the backing tracks you’ve been looking for? Go to the site, download the software, mess about with it – and come back and report!

Radar Music Videos

Radar Music Video

Radar Music Videos is a clearing house to connect artists with video makers. There’s a recommendation system and a showcase of prior work. Filmmakers can pitch for commissions, and artists can lay out their budgets and briefs, and solicit proposals.

A good way to get music videos made? Will anything good come of it? Is this the future of independent music video production? Your thoughts please…