GDD™ Morning Update: Baauer, Hudson Mohawke, AlunaGeorge, Noir, Flume

Baauer‘s surprise hit was a shock for artists heard on it
Hudson Mohawke confirms new solo album for 2013
• Watch: AlunaGeorge Modernize Fairy Tales in Their “Attracting Flies” Video
Noir comes stateside
• Watch: Flume‘s new “Holdin’ On” video


Baauer’s surprise hit was a shock for artists heard on it

Hector Delgado gave up being a reggaetón artist five years ago to become an evangelical preacher in Puerto Rico. So it was something of a surprise when his former manager, Javier Gómez, called him three weeks ago and said his voice could be clearly heard on “Harlem Shake,” a song that had gone viral on the Internet and then climbed to the top of the pop chart.

He wasn’t alone. Jayson Musson, a rapper from Philadelphia, received an excited call from another member of the former rap collective Plastic Little, who told him that his voice could be heard on the hit song as well, yelling out the key phrase “Do the Harlem Shake!”

Neither gave permission to the song’s producer and writer, Harry Bauer Rodrigues, who records under the name Baauer, to use snippets of their records, they said. “It’s almost like they came on my land and built a house,” Mr. Delgado said.

Both Mr. Musson and Mr. Delgado are seeking compensation from Mad Decent Records, which put out the single last year. The label and Mr. Rodrigues declined to comment. But the tale of how an obscure dance track containing possible copyright violations rose to the top of pop charts illustrates not only the free-for-all nature of underground dance music but also the power of an Internet fad to create a sudden hit outside the major-label system.

Obtaining licenses to use samples has become standard practice in the music industry, and in most cases a license is needed from both the music publisher and the record label that made the master recording. Courts have held that even a short sample entitles the sampled artist to royalties; the amount is negotiable.

But small labels, like Mad Decent, sometimes lack the resources to have lawyers vet releases and instead rely on producers to make sure recordings are free of copyright problems. These labels frequently have little to do with the production of the tracks, especially in electronic dance music.

“You don’t have the same checks and balances that you would if it were done by a corporation with a legal department,” said David Israelite, the president and chief executive of the National Music Publishers Association.

“Harlem Shake” has been at the top of the Billboard 100 pop chart for three weeks and as of Friday had sold 816,000 digital downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It benefited from a recent change in Billboard’s methodology to include YouTube views along with radio airplay and singles sales in its ranking.

The song was released last May on Jeffrees, a sublabel of Mad Decent that lets producers release dance tracks without signing a contract giving the label exclusive rights to the song, label executives told Billboard magazine. The label initially offered “Harlem Shake” as a free download, then began charging for it in June as part of EP.

But sales of the song did not shoot up until last month, when it became the soundtrack for a YouTube dance craze. The fad involved people posting wacky videos of themselves dancing convulsively in absurd costumes to the first 30 seconds of the track, which begins with Mr. Delgado, whose stage name was Hector El Father, singing, “Con los terroristas” (“With the terrorists”). Mr. Musson sings “Do the Harlem shake” 15 seconds into the track, a cue for the dancers to thrash around wildly.

As thousands of people uploaded videos, demand for the original track spiraled, and Baauer became an overnight star, appearing on the cover of Billboard.

The track has roots in Philadelphia’s dance and hip-hop scene, where Mr. Rodrigues, 23, of Brooklyn, has worked as a disc jockey under the name Cap’n Harry. Mr. Rodrigues toldThe Daily Beast that he found the recording of Mr. Delgado online. “The dude in the beginning I got off the Internet, I don’t even know where,” he said.

The sample can be traced back to Mr. Delgado’s 2006 single “Maldades” from the album “The Bad Boy,” released on Machete records, on which it was a refrain. He used it on other songs as well. “It’s like a trademark of Hector’s,” Mr. Gómez, the former manager, said.

In 2010 two Philadelphia disc jockeys — Skinny Friedman and DJ Apt One — borrowed the recording of the line to spice up a remix of another dance track by Gregor Salto called“Con Alegría,” which they released on their own Young Robots label on the album “Moombhaton de Acero.” They also included the snippet on a 2011 collection of beats for disc jockeys, “T&A Breaks 3: Moombahton Loops and Samples.”

Mr. Delgado has yet to take legal action against the Philadelphia producers, whose remix was not a hit, Mr. Gómez said.

The recording of Mr. Musson’s exhortation to “do the Harlem Shake” comes from “Miller Time,” a 2001 rap by the Philadelphia group Plastic Little. In an e-mail Mr. Musson, who lives in New York and works under the name Hennessy Youngman, said he found out that Mr. Baauer had used his vocal line in late February, when a former member of the group, Kurt Hunte, pointed it out.

Mr. Musson said he called Mr. Rodrigues and thanked him for “doing something useful with our annoying music” Still, he said that he was negotiating with Mad Decent over compensation and that, though no agreement had been reached, the discussions had been friendly.

“Mad Decent have been more than cooperative during this,” he added in an e-mail. He declined to give details. Mr. Gómez said the founder of Mad Decent, the disc jockey Thomas Pentz, who records under the name Diplo, telephoned Mr. Delgado and his former manager, last month. Mr. Gómez said Mr. Pentz had told Mr. Delgado that he was unaware the single contained the vocal line from “The Bad Boy” when the single was released. Mr. Pentz declined a request to be interviewed.

Since that call, Mr. Gómez said, lawyers for Machete Music, which is owned by Universal Music Group, have been negotiating with Mad Decent over payment for the sample.

“Hector will get what he deserves,” he said. “We can turn around and stop that song. That’s a clear breaking of intellectual property rights.”

(via New York Times)


Hudson Mohawke confirms new solo album for 2013

In a new interview, the Glasgow arm of G.O.O.D. Music reveals that he has a new solo album due this way.

Speaking to NME, Hudson Mohawke – who made headlines last year when he signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music production team, partnered with Canadian producer Lunice for one of the festival circuit’s most in-demand acts in TNGHT, andtook home a FACT BRIT – explained that the follow-up to his first solo album, 2009′s Butter, will arrive ”this year, definitely.”

“I’ve been working on it for a while”, Hud continues, “and taking my time with it. Every month or two I’ll go back and do another couple weeks work on it. A lot of it’s been me saying “Yeah, I’m definitely using that” and then I scrap it a month later because I don’t like it.”

“Butter was a collage of different stuff I’d done over the few years before that. This one is a bit more consolidated as a project. I want it to be like an album album, you know? [It’s still sample based] but there are also live instruments. Strings, horns, trumpets…I wanted to make it more musical in general and less computer focussed. I want to step out of the electronic bedroom producer role and move into a musician producer role.”

You can read the full interview, where Hud Mo also talks the much-speculated Cruel Summer follow-up, Cruel Winter, here.

(via FACT Mag)


Watch: AlunaGeorge Modernize Fairy Tales in Their “Attracting Flies” Video

The chorus of AlunaGeorge‘s song “Attracting Flies” prominently features the line “little white fairy tales and little white lies.” Appropriately, the duo act out some modernized versions of old fairy tales for the song’s video, directed by Emil Nava.

(via Pitchfork)


Noir comes stateside

Noir will embark on a US tour this month.

Danish artist René Kristensen’s has released on prominent labels like Toolroom and Global Underground, as well as his own Noir Music label. At the beginning of this year he was tapped to mix the next instalment of Defected’s In The House series, which has hosted artists like Dimitri From Paris in the past. 

His tour will begin on March 15th in Boston, where he’ll play Sweetshop’s second anniversary at Good Life, before heading to San Diego the next night for a Lovelifeevent with Maxxi Soundsystem. Then he’ll stop off at the St. Patrick’s Day festivities at Monarch in San Francisco on the 17th. Noir will also play several shows at WMC, starting with Love Brunch on the 19th. He’ll then perform at two different pool parties on March 22nd, before hitting a Defected showcase at the No Sugar Added Beach Festival on the 22nd and finally a Last Resort blowout on the 24th.

Tickets for the Nurvous pool party are available here, while those for Last Resort can be found here.

(via Resident Advisor)


Watch Flume’s new video

The Australian whippersnapper Flume has released the official video for ‘Holdin On’.

After dropping his BBC Radio 6Mix last month and his impressive debut album last year, Harley Steten has provided the visuals for his hit single which show him touring Europe and Australia.

‘Holdin On’ has been certified platinum in Australia, and it surely can’t be long before Flume’s music is conquering territories further away from home.

(via Mixmag)