"Tomorrow," trumpeted Apple's website on Monday afternoon, "is just another day. That you'll never forget." As preemptive hype is unusual from Apple (which normally just schedules a press conference), the web went into meltdown, trying to guess what this "exciting announcement from iTunes" could possibly be. A Spotify-killing subscription streaming service, perhaps? Instead, of course, it was the rather underwhelming news that we're finally allowed to pay to download the Beatles' music, albeit at a higher price than on CD. You can buy the remastered Red Album on CD from Amazon, including delivery, for £7.99. Yet to download that same album from iTunes costs a staggering £17.99. The announcement did come alongside a terrific free stream of the Beatles' first-ever American gig, at apple.com/the-beatles/concert. But a day you'll never forget? Only if you have a keen memory for anticlimax.
Much more exciting was Monday's sudden free release of All Day, the first album since June 2008 by mashup maestro Girl Talk, aka Pittsburg DJ Gregg Gillis (pictured). As word spread online, the servers at illegal-art.net/allday struggled to cope with demand for Gillis's latest seamless sample frenzy. Those who persevered were rewarded with a wonderfully vibrant mix which melds a mind-boggling array of music. In fact, All Day would make a great twin-pronged Christmas party soundtrack. Those who fancy a dance get 71 minutes of stomping, attention-deficit pop that's something like a leaner, cooler Jive Bunny. Meanwhile, the non-dancers can have just as much fun playing "spot the sample". If you need the answers, head to All Day's Wikipedia page (bit.ly/alldaywik) where Girl Talk fans raced to post details of more than 200 sample spots, from acts as diverse as New Order, NWA, Arcade Fire, Neil Diamond, 50 Cent and T'Pau.
Although most of us are aware that musicians enlist producers to help them make records, what that producer actually does in the studio remains a mystery. Which is why the Producers, a new short film series put together by Vice's VBS.tv site and Red Bull, is more worthwhile than most corporate/music tie-ins. Six big-name producers were invited into the Red Bull Studio in London to work on a collaboration with a musician. The first film appeared at redbullstudio.com last week, with electro producer Toddla T working on a track with the Invisible's Dave Okumu, while this week's episode sees Depeche Mode producer Gareth Jones beginning work on Emmy the Great's new album. Although they're only eight minutes long, the films do offer some genuine insight into the music-making process and the producers' role in it. The only pity is that you don't get to hear the finished tracks at the end.
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