Two Sydney-based music companies have announced are merger that will make them one of Australia’s largest music management agencies, as boutique music and events company Falcona confirms its acquisition of Sydney artist management and publicity company Artist Cartel.

Artist Cartel Managing Director, Ben Robinson, who heads emerging Aussie talent such as Crooked Colours, Deja, Conics, Paces, and Sun City will join the team at Falcona’s Surry Hills headquarters, combining with their roster which includes DMA’s, Alison Wonderland, Hayden James, Pluto Jonze, and more.

The expanded roster will also handle management for Brave, Mickey Kojak, as well as bookings for popular DJ acts Hot Dub Time Machine, Sosueme, Stoney Roads, and I Oh You DJs. View the full management and bookings roster here.

“Falcona is one of the most respected independent names in the game and we’re thrilled to be joining forces with such a creative and energetic team,” said Robinson in a statement. The booking, touring, and events company’s Chris Murray shared his enthusiasm for the merger also.

“Our artist management arm is experiencing an exciting period of growth as we welcomed both Leon Rogovoy recently and now Ben and his team at Artist Cartel,” says Murray. “It continues a strong 2014 for Falcona that’s seen releases from many of our artists along with sold-out tours at home and very exciting machinations abroad.”

Falcona and Artist Cartel will celebrate the new merger at this year’s BIGSOUND conference in Brisbane by hosting a party at Oh Hello on Tuesday 9th September. The team promise a lineup – announced on 7th September – that will include the best and brightest of their roster in one night.

This Week’s New Tracks On Triple J

The Smith Street Band – Surrender [Poison City Records]
Airling – Wasted Pilots [Pieater/Inertia]
Basenji – Heirloom [Future Classic]
Briggs – Bad Apples [Golden Era]
Kele – Doubt [Kolbalt]
La Roux – Kiss And Not Tell [Universal]
Superfood – Right On Satellite [Infectious/Liberation]
Ty Segall – The Faker [Drag City/Spunk]
Bass Drum Of Death – Left For Dead [Create Control/Innovative Leisure]
Bored Nothing – Ice-Cream Dreams [Spunk]
Mansionair – Hold Me Down [Independent]
Ten Walls – Walking With Elephants [Atlantic/Warner]

Industry News

You’ll Soon Have To Pay Soundcloud & YouTube To Avoid Ads
Major online streaming services Soundcloud and YouTube are set to charge users who want to avoid hearing ads. The former popular service is looking to implement a three-tier monetisation strategy so that it can start paying artists for streams while introducing advertising to free streaming and a new paid subscription service for users wishing to avoid them, as Billboard details. Where Soundcloud’s user community was essentially free of policing over uploaded remixes, covers, and mashups, the new business model means Soundcloud has to ‘play ball’ and has begun issuing notices against copyright infringing material. Meanwhile, the SFGate reports that YouTube are rolling out plans to include a paid subscription tier if users want to skip the embedded advertising that appears on the thousands of clips that appear on the Google-owned video sharing site.

Aussie Music Streaming Service Shuts Down
Following 18 months after its launch into an already crowded digital music streaming market, Songl has announced that it will be ceasing operations on 25th September. A joint venture between Southern Cross Austereo and the Australian divisions of Sony and Universal, Songl launched in March 2013 and operated by Sydney’s Digital Music Distribution (DMD). All subscribers to the service will be shifted to the Melbourne-based Omny platform, while a statement from SCA notes “all stakeholders have moved their focus from this service into other music and content-based commitments that will enable each stakeholder to diversify their offering.” (via The Music Network)

Slim Dusty Reaches Massive ARIA Charts Milestone
This week saw country music legend Slim Dusty achieving a major music milestone as The Very Best Of Slim Dusty compilation spends its 800th week in the ARIA Top 40 Country Music chart. First released in November 1998, sales of the album have now exceeded 5 x Platinum sales (over350,000+ units) and its 15 year residency makes it the longest charting record in the ARIA country category. The Very Best Of Slim Dusty’s 800 week reign is followed by Dixie Chicks’ Wide Open Spaces (610 weeks), The Essential Johnny Cash (605 weeks) and True Blue: The Very Best of John Williamson (565 weeks).

Twitter Co-Founder To Launch Online Music Magazine
Twitter co-founder Evan Williams’ publishing platform, Medium, is set to launch a new digital music publication under the auspices of Jonathan Shecter – the former co-founder and editor of hip hop publication, The Source. “There is a loyal group of people that both love music and have the desire to explore their love of that music — to read about it, to talk about it. We’ll find them,” Shecter says of the as-yet untitled publication, expected to launch next month. (via Re/Code)

Artist Signings

Twerps Become First Aussie Band On Merge Records
Melbourne’s indie foursome, Twerps, have become the first Australian signing for the influential US label, Merge Records – home to the likes of Arcade Fire, Caribou, Spoon & more. “Along with having a bad ass catalogue they also are musicians, and know how musicians think. They are lovely, talented and awesome,” said Twerps’ Marty Frawley of the deal.The news coincides with the release of Twerps’ new EP, Underlay, head of a new full-length studio album due in early 2015.

Kingswood Ink Deal With Native Tongues
Continuing the celebrations for their 10th Anniversary, Australian music publishers Native Tongue have signed rising Aussie rock royalty, Kingswood. The deal is inked following the release of Kingswood’s highly anticipated debut album Microscopic Wars last Friday and sees the band join Native Tongues’ Aussie roster of Cut Copy, The Waifs, The Amity Affliction, Oh Mercy, Calling All Cars, Gossling, and more.

APES Sign To UK Booking Agency 13 Artists
Melbourne rockers APES have become the latest to join the roster of UK booking agency, 13 Artists, who looks after popular acts like Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Interpol, and Radiohead. The deal follows the release of APES’ new single ‘Pull The Trigger’ and a busy year that’s seen the four-piece enjoy British radio airply and Aussie tour slots with Royal Blood and Band Of Skulls, as well as packing out two launch shows in Sydney and Melbourne earlier this month.

Dead City Ruins Score International Record Deal
Melbourne hard rock outfit Dead City Ruins has signed an international deal with Germany’s Metalville Records for the forthcoming European release of their self-titled album. The deal came off the back of the quintet opening for Skid Row & Ugly Kid Joe on a recent 33 date, 14 country-spanning tour, where they impressed Metalville Records owner Holger Koch, who signed them after a concert in Cologne. The eponymous Dead City Ruins album will be released on 24th October with a bonus track: a cover of AC/DC’s ‘Rock N’ Roll Damnation’ featuring Ugly Kid Joe vocalist Whitfield Crane.

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