Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A Guy Called Gerald - Voodoo Ray

Voodoo Ray by 'A Guy Called Gerald' has always been a favourite 'classic house' record of mine, from I first got a white label of it, back in Liverpool in 1988.

I always wondered how Gerald managed to get that hypnotic vocal sound and addictive bass line.

I need wonder no more!

Sound With Power

The new Mercedes-Benz TV ad - 'Sound With Power' is really clever.

Not quite sure what it tells us about the new E63 AMG engine, but the mash-up of sounds is really nicely done...

Anna F - DNA (Bounce Terrace Remix)

So - we've been busy in the studio working on a whole host of stuff. Here's another remix project from the studios of Bounce - this time it's for Anna F, who's signed to Universal, and her new song 'DNA', which we think is rather good!

You can watch the video for the original version / single here...

Thursday, 23 May 2013

OMD - Dresden (Bounce Darkside Remix)

Since launching Bounce at the start of 2012, we've been involved in a whole range of great projects. From radio and TV, through to events and live music. Creativity in audio is what Bounce is all about.

So I'm pleased to share with you our latest project which comes under the 'music production' banner!

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are one the UK's pioneers of electronic music. From their first hit 'Messages' in 1980, and throughout the last 3 decades, they've been writing and producing brilliantly catchy and clever electronic pop.

Their latest album 'English Electric' is their 12th studio album and was released last month.

Taken from the album, the single 'Dresden' has the hallmark OMD sound, and getting the opportunity to remix it for the Dresden EP was great.

The 'Bounce Darkside Remix' provides a moodier take on the song, and hopefully something fans of OMD will like, particularly if they're in a more melancholy place!

You can download the full EP with other mixes from John Foxx, Mike Jolly and Zebra and Snake. Get it from iTunes here.

In the meantime, here's a clip of the Bounce Darkside Remix for you. Enjoy!

And if you fancy checking out the album on Spotify...

Friday, 3 May 2013

Android Car Radio

I love gadgets. Especially ones connected with radio.

So when the Programme Director of client station Kronehit, based in Vienna, told me he had a new car radio, I was keen to check it out.

And when he told me it was the latest Android 'in car' radio he'd imported from China, I thought ... this, I gotta see.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms

Want to understand the latest trends in digital and online radio consumption? You can do no better than check out the latest study from my friends at Edison Research in conjunction with Arbitron.

'The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms' is the latest in a series of studies that really track the changes in digital consumption particularly within radio / audio in the US, and are a great indicator of how things may develop in other markets over the next few years.

So, stick on the kettle... make yourself a cup of tea... and enjoy the show.

WARNING - There are lots of charts, graphs, pie charts, figures and statistics. If you have an aversion to research, then this is certainly not for you!

(And I know it sounds like they're presenting it from a base on the moon - but it's really interesting... honest!)

Sunday, 31 March 2013

'Spotify - For Music' - Ad Campaign

Spotify have launched their first ever ad campaign in the US, showing the power of music.

Nice work from Droga5

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Radiodays Europe 2013 - Tony Wadsworth

Radios' relationship with the record industry has always been important... perhaps never more so. With more alternatives for record companies to get their music promoted, is radio still relavent... and is the DJ recommendation more powerful than the algorithmic recommendation?

Who better to address some of these issues than former CEO and Chairman of EMI (UK & Ireland) and the current Chairman of the BPI, Tony Wadsworth.

I invited him to give the keynote record industry speech at this year's Radiodays Europe. If you weren't able to make it to Berlin... panic not. Here it is...

(Update - it seems the producers of the video content have made this video 'private'. Not sure why! I will see if it can be shared again)

The Story of The Rise of Storytelling

It's been interesting to see the rise of 'storytelling' as a powerful force in marketing.

Storytelling is of course as old as time itself, and for years in radio we've always known the best presenters are the ones who tell the best stories. We respond vetter as individuals when people are telling us stories... not just selling us stuff, or promoting something.

Over the last few years we've seen storytelling creeping more and more into mainstream commercials for high street brands.

The latest to jump on board this fashion is Waitrose... who are selling us both their values (wholesome, natural, steeped in culinary tradition etc) and their products with this technique.

I like these ads. Simple stories told in an effective way. And even with 'The Boy and The Lamb'  they've managed to weave their celeb chef into the execution.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Livemau5 on BBC Radio 5 Live

Radio's always best when it's live, and responds to things that happen there and then.

Even if it's unexpected and certainly unwanted.

I love how Shelagh Fogarty deals with this. An honest reaction to an unwelcome guest.

She still manages to back-anno the guests very well though...

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Recovering My Religion

This is brilliant. Simple, clever and very, very well done.

Major Scaled #2 : REM - "Recovering My Religion" from major scaled on Vimeo.

Monday, 7 January 2013

London's New Year's Eve Fireworks 2013 - The Story Behind The Soundtrack

Bounce is all about creativity in music, sound and content.

We work with a range of brands and broadcasters producing audio, writing music, providing consultancy and creating content... and so when we were asked to design and produce the soundtrack to the Mayor of London’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display for 2013, how could we possibly refuse?

The event is produced on behalf of the Mayor of London by Jack Morton Worldwide. They are one of the world leaders in staging events and a fantastically creative ‘global brand experience company’.

If you’ve ever wondered how an event like the New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display comes together, the answer is simple. You get a company with the experience to pull off something of this scale to do it all!

Fortunately, at Bounce, we didn’t have to worry about crowd control, about viewing areas, and about liaising with all the relevant authorities. No. That was handled by Jim Donald from Jack Morton, whom we christened ‘Head of New Year’. Without him, there is no New Year kids!

Our job was the soundtrack.

And we started, as you always do... in a room... with some people... and some ideas... and a blank sheet of paper.

The people were... myself and Dan McGrath, Bounce’s Creative Director; Jim Donald and David Zolkwer from Jack Morton; and Darryl Fleming - the lead fireworks designer from Kimbolton Fireworks. They know a thing or two about fireworks, and were involved in some small events like the Queens’s Jubilee and the Olympics Opening Ceremony.

David Zolkwer is one of the world’s leading producers of public events and ceremonies, with his credits ranging from the Athens and Beijing Olympics through to the Hong Kong handover and World Cup in South Africa. He has also been appointed as Head of Ceremonies for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

So, it’s fair to say we were working with the best of the best.

The objective was to produce a 10-11 minute soundtrack which not only welcomed in the New Year in style, but celebrated the amazing year that was 2012.

We wanted to produce something that was very British, very London, and would help raise a smile or two on the night as well.

At the initial briefing meeting, we threw round some ideas... some song titles... some potential themes... and that was it. We were off.

Quite a few people have asked me what comes first. Music or fireworks? The answer is the music comes first, and only when that is complete can the fireworks be designed and choreographed to the music, along with the lighting design. So the pressure was on to deliver!

Any collaborative creative process is fraught with ups and downs. You can have what you think is a great idea; spend hours producing a demo of a sequence, only to realise that you were the only one who liked it! Straight away, you’ve got to dismiss any notion of being too protective of your ideas. Yes – bring them to the table, sell them in, be passionate about them... but if they don’t grab everyone’s attention straight away, move on. They’re only ‘ideas’ and there are always plenty more of those.

For several weeks, we worked like this with the whole team, producing ideas and sequences, having daily conference calls, listening, discussing, getting feedback, agreeing, disagreeing... and laughing. It’s important to laugh when the pressure is on. Often, we’d talk several times a day... updating as we went.

Dan and I were working out of 2 studios simultaneously to maximise the output. Technology allows us the freedom to work like that these days, and we honestly couldn’t have done it without Dropbox, Skype, and of course Logic.

I had to go and work for a few days in Vienna half-way through the intensive production period for this, and so my trusty MacBook came with me! I’m pleased to say that one of the sequences in the final cut was produced in a 6th floor hotel room in Vienna at 3am, fuelled by Red Bull and take-away Weiner Schnitzel!

As things started to take shape, we identified some quotes from the Olympics, Paralympics and Diamond Jubilee that we felt added something to the soundtrack... so permissions were sought from Number 10, Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, the IOC, The Mayor of London, BBC Sport, Lord Coe’s office etc. And where rights could be easily granted, they were.

We continued producing different sequences, doing different mash-ups, trying to get the flow right until eventually after several weeks of late nights and early mornings, and gallons of coffee... everyone was happy.

At that stage we’d reached version 17!

And just when we thought we were finished, we got word that there were problems clearing just one particular track (which shall remain nameless!)... so we had to find a new sequence to fit in the exact gap. Darryl had already started designing the fireworks at this stage, along with the lighting from award-winning lighting designer, Durham Marenghi, so we couldn’t just scrap the whole timing.

So of course we did produce a new section... so strictly speaking it was version 17b that went to air!

The result was fantastic. 12.9 Million people watched on the night in the UK, and at the time of writing this, there are over 2 Million views on YouTube and counting. We got great feedback regarding the soundtrack, and even Joe from Nero (who have the very 1st track of the sequence - "Me and You") sent us a lovely email and thanked us for making Nero the opening track of 2013. We apparently made his Mum cry with happiness!  

The fireworks were stunning. The lighting enhanced the show even more and the event looked fantastic on the BBC TV show ‘New Year Live’, guided by Claire Popplewell as Executive Producer, and Catherine Stirk as Producer.

So here are a few thoughts that have come out of the process which may be useful if you’re embarking on any creative venture with a team of people;
  • Don’t be too protective over your ideas
  • Share everything and welcome all feedback, wherever it’s from
  • Fight for the things you’re passionate about
  • Always look for how something can be subverted or twisted to make it stand out
  • Never settle for ‘average’; aim to make it the best and always improve, improve, improve
You can listen to the soundtrack on its own (without the pictures!) here:

Happy New Year!