In rotation: 11/11/20

Taipei, TW | Record label showcases Taipei’s experimental borderlands: Future Proof has put out 10 releases, most recently “Black Mold and Hot Springs, Taipei” by (Z)erpents: “Always feeling comfortable doesn’t necessarily make people develop,” said Lars Berry, the founder of the Taipei-based record label Future Proof, “and I think music is the same way: you don’t always have to feel comfortable.” Berry, who is in his early 40s, sipped a cappuccino while considering his words: “At a DJ event, one reason for the music is to keep people in a space consuming alcohol … that’s a very standard reason for music to be played: to keep people in a space for a long period of time.” “The opposite of that,” he proposed, “is when you start to make people feel uncomfortable, to maybe even question their sanity — then you’re getting into performance art territory.” “Then they might wake up the next day and go, what was that? I hated that. But, I want to know more.”

Miami, FL | Sweat Records Announces $15 Wage for Employees: Last Tuesday, Florida voters overwhelming supported raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2026. It’s a life-changing result for many workers who barely scrape at the current $8.56 rate, a wage that has barely kept up with the rate of inflation in the past 20 years. There’s also the cost of living to factor in: Miami’s a notoriously expensive city, where $8.56 an hour is hardly enough to cover basic necessities like food, housing, and transport. At the Little Haiti record store Sweat Records, its eight employees were already getting more than the current minimum wage, with everyone earning over $10 an hour. On October 29, Sweat Records announced it would pay its employees $15 per hour. “Can we afford to do it? Barely. Is it the right thing to do? Unequivocally,” Sweat wrote in its announcement. Like every business in 2020, Sweat Records has had a hard year. First came the pandemic and the closures, then the new rules and the enduring loss of steady foot traffic.

Frightened Rabbit to reissue ‘The Winter Of Mixed Drinks’ for its 10th anniversary: “The Winter of Mixed Drinks, now 10 years old, is a cocktail of emotions for us.” Frightened Rabbit are set to reissue their third album, ‘The Winter Of Mixed Drinks’, to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The record was released on March 1, 2010 via Fat Cat, and the reissue will arrive on December 11 – get all the details below. “The Winter of Mixed Drinks, now 10 years old, is a cocktail of emotions for us,” the band wrote in the first of a series of tweets announcing the news. “Perhaps through it we will all find a little lightness to help us through one of the darkest winters.” The reissue will feature the original album on 12″ blue vinyl, alongside an additional 7″ featuring two live versions, as the band explain. “Earlier in the year we decided to acknowledge the life of this album with the release of a few live tracks,” the band said. “We pulled open the archives and decided on a 7inch with a track from each side of the Atlantic from different moments of the band.”

Tokyo, JP | Change of tune: Japan music fans moving from CDs to streaming services: Japanese music enthusiasts, loyal to CDs long after the rest of the world went online, have begun reaching for the eject button and switching to streaming services as artists cancel in-store events and fans stay home because of the pandemic. Despite a slow decline in sales in the past decade, CDs are still the most popular music format in Japan, accounting for around 70% of recorded music sales last year. In the U.S. and European markets, CDs have long been relegated to the history bin in favour of online downloads and recently, streaming. Streaming services, which had accounted for less than 10% of sales in Japan until a few years ago, grew to 15% last year and will likely exceed 20% this year, said Jamie MacEwan, who covers the Japanese media business for Enders Analysis. The shift is closely watched by the global music industry because Japan is the world’s second-biggest music market after the United States, worth nearly $3 billion annually. “The crossover point where total digital revenues eclipse physical production is now just a matter of time,” MacEwan said.

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