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Amazon's standalone music streaming service is finally here

Engadget

Based on a string of rumors that began circulating in January of this year, it was only a matter of time before Amazon rolled out its fully fledged music service. And today is that day. Enter Amazon Music Unlimited, a standalone offering set to rival the likes of Apple Music and Spotify. It is, of course, a complement to Prime Music, the free streaming service for people who are part of Amazon's 99-per-year membership. Naturally, Prime subscribers get the benefit of paying less for Music Unlimited: 8 monthly compared to 10 for everyone else.


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Digital technologies have already lowered to barriers to music production but more needs to be done to make music production truly universally accessible.


Musicals have 'least sexy music'

BBC News

Despite the current success of romantic musical La La Land, a poll has found we rate musicals as the least sexy genre of music. A survey carried out by the Symphony Hall in Birmingham found only 1% of people listen to songs from musicals in the bedroom. The genre came behind thrash metal, spiritual music such as hymns, and meditation music. The genre with the most sex appeal was R&B, followed by chart music. While it's no surprise R&B came top, it is perhaps surprising that the world of Cabaret, Chicago and Moulin Rouge polled so low.


Grime music is being 'stifled', MPs say

BBC News

Grime music faces significant challenges because of discrimination against urban acts, MPs have said. Despite the success of Stormzy, Dave and Skepta, it is often difficult for grime acts to play live, they said. Licensing authorities and police have been known to cancel gigs at short notice, affecting musicians' ability to gain a following. "Prejudices against grime artists risks stifling one of the UK's most exciting musical exports," MPs said in a report. The comments came as part of an extensive report into the UK's live music scene by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee, made up of 11 MPs from the Conservatives, Labour and the SNP.


Record label PC Music pushes the boundaries of dance music with a new sound

Los Angeles Times

London-based music producer A.G. Cook was looking for a new sound in what he called a male-dominated club music scene. So he set out with a mission: to create unapologetically feminine uplifting pop tunes. Three years ago he created PC Music, a record label "trying to make forward thinking pop music, something that pushes the envelope," he said. Cook commands a huddle of hyperactive pop artists who have crafted slick, squeaky-clean images to go alongside their artistic output. The music, almost found only by Soundcloud uploads, apes the visuals -- short glossy cuts with pitched-up vocals, cliched aspirational lyrics and synths that have't been popular in music since 2005.