I’ve been doing this thing with my friends who they call BTS for a decade... I think it’s the time to show the individuals to the world.
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Friday December 02, 2022
Metro Boomin (foreground) performing with 21 Savage at Coachella, April 16, 2022. "Heroes & Villains" is out today on Boominati/Republic.
(Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
quote of the day
I’ve been doing this thing with my friends who they call BTS for a decade... I think it’s the time to show the individuals to the world.
- RM, whose "Indigo," out today on Big Hit, is the second in a planned series of BTS solo albums
Microphone Check

The invention of the microphone, for anyone who might need to know, is a complicated story involving a string of technological advances in the latter part of the 19th century. But the man generally credited with the breakthrough that put mics into widespread use was EMILE BERLINER, a German Jew who fled his homeland for America in 1870. Berliner’s placement of a layer of carbon particles between two contacts greatly improved the sound of recorded voices and was essential for—among other applications—making telephones work. He sold his patent, in fact, to ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL. Berliner was a giant figure in the early days of the sound and music industries: He also invented the gramophone—the predecessor of modern vinyl records—and founded DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON, which eventually became POLYGRAM, which became a key part of UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, and which survives as the world’s leading classical music brand.

The vast majority of modern microphones, including those used in consumer technology like mobile phones, take advantage of an invention by two BELL LABS researcher nearly a century later. JAMES WEST, an African American, and GERHARD SESSLER, another German expat, gave us the electret microphone in the early 1960s. There’s a good chance there’s one in your pocket right now; you’ll find plenty of them in your local music, film or TV studio, too. If you’re a professional singer or, say, a fashion-conscious A-list rapper, you may be more accustomed to standing in front of a high-end NEUMANN condenser mic, for which you can give thanks to yet another German, GEORG NEUMANN, who founded his company in 1928, a year before Emile Berliner died. Neumanns were the first condenser mics ever marketed and they remain the gold standard. The company’s early years were somewhat rocky; the complications included Allied forces bombing its factory during World War II, and Neumann’s wife, who was Jewish, doing her best to avoid being arrested by the Gestapo. Neumann and his company eventually settled, post War, in West Berlin, from which he couldn’t easily travel back into East Berlin or the rest of East Germany, not even on a highway. But that's another subject for another day.

It’s Friday

And that means new music from RM, whose INDIGO is the second in a series of BTS solo albums that began in July with J-Hope’s “Jack in the Box.” RM’s album skips through a dizzying array of collaborators, including Anderson .Paak and Erykah Badu, and styles including rock, R&B and folk, but “I just hope it could be digested in (the context of) a pop genre,” RM tells Variety. “I don’t care about the genres. I just like the sounds”... METRO BOOMIN’s dazzling army of collaborators on his second solo album, which arrives four years after his debut (plus a couple of weeks that he needed to clear his samples), includes Future, 21 Savage, the Weeknd, John Legend and the late Takeoff. HEROES & VILLAINS also features cover art that appears to be a homage to Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”... Knoxville singer-songwriter ADEEM THE ARTIST fell into country music, the New York Times informs us, “when their parents decided their firstborn should not be singing the Backstreet Boys,” which is my new favorite country origin story. WHITE TRASH REVELRY, their second album since announcing they were nonbinary, explores “the misadventures and intrigues of a lifelong Southern outlier”... This magnificent ‘80s throwback from singer/songwriter SHANNON CURTIS’ GOOD TO ME, an album that began as a pandemic-era healing journal and ended up as a synth-pop suite, deserves to be a hit in this year of Kate Bush.

Also today: New music from Babyface Ray, White Lung (Vancouver punk group’s final album), Yemi Alade, Yungeen Ace, 100 gecs (surprise EP), Itzy, Kara, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Carl Cox, Leftfield, Tobacco, Black Ox Orkestar, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Frank Carlberg Trio, Chris Abrahams, Other Half, NOFX, Obvurt, Morgan Wallen (three new songs), Olly Murs, Suss, Sarchasm (Bay Area pop punks’ final album), Massa Nera, Micah P. Hinson, Brendan Benson, Donovan, posthumous albums from LIL PEEP and CHINX, and TO THE MOON AND BACK, a RYUICHI SAKAMOTO tribute album featuring Devonté Hynes, Thundercat, Hildur Guðnadóttir and others.

Etc Etc Etc

Thirty-five years of STEVIE NICKS talking about CHRISTINE MCVIE... Christine talking about Stevie... VARIETY’s Hitmakers and Hitbreakers... It’s Dec. 2. How does BILLBOARD already know the year’s top songs and albums?... A brief history of music listening interfaces... Sending love and positive vibes to the CLEAN’s HAMISH KILGOUR and his friends, family and fans.

- Matty Karas (@troubledoll), curator
wish you were here
An Appreciation of Christine McVie, Poet Laureate of the Morning After
By Alfred Soto
The late Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter was a master at capturing sensuality’s smaller moments.
BTS’ RM on His ‘Indigo’ Album, Duets With Erykah Badu and Anderson .Paak, Military Service and Why Solo Careers Will Bolster the Band
By Chris Willman
RM is the second member of BTS to release a solo album this year, in what is expected to be a sequential rollout of individual efforts from all the members in the near term.
Interview Magazine
'I Kept Hearing Your Name': Babyface Ray Meets Babyface
By Grant Rindner
The Detroit rapper linked up with the illustrious producer who inspired his stage name to talk love songs, work ethic, and hip-hop culture.
Beats & Bytes
Does Music Sampling Impact Older Tracks?
By Maura Johnston
Recent hits by David Guetta and Bebe Rexha, Jack Harlow, Yung Gravy, and Latto have given Pop music a retro flair by sampling older music. But what's the effect on the source tracks?
Why Do Live Music Audiences Suck Right Now?
By Tatum Van Dam
Unhinged behaviour is everywhere, and that includes screaming “mommy” mid-song and demanding musicians take a BeReal.
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone's 100 Best Albums of 2022
By Jonathan Bernstein, Jon Blistein, Mankaprr Conteh...
Beyoncé’s dance-music ecstasy, Bad Bunny’s latest world-conquering smash, Taylor Swift’s late nights, Harry Styles’ song cycle, and Pusha T’s master class in metaphor were only some of the albums that ruled our world this year.
The Forty-Five
The Forty-Five's Albums of the year 2022
By Charlotte Gunn, Rhian Daly, Alison Craig...
The best albums of 2022 as voted by The Forty-Five team. What has been your favourite album of 2022? Dive into our list of albums of the year.
Music Ally
22 best data sources to understand the music industry in 2022
By Stuart Dredge
Here is Music Ally's handy primer on the best sources of data on the music market: industry stats, surveys, forecasts and more.
Fake Streams Aren’t Slowing Down
By Elias Leight
The problem is bigger than most people realize, and it seems to benefit major-label stars as well as developing acts, according to internal data from SoundCloud.
Passion of the Weiss
A Letter To Drakeo
By Rosecrans Vic
On what would have been his 29th birthday, Rosecrans Vic writes a letter celebrating his achievements, honoring his legacy, and lamenting his absence.
The Verge
The year of 1 trillion streams
By Ariel Shapiro
It’s a new record for music streaming in the US.
The Big Problem With Spotify Wrapped
By Amanda Hoover
It’s a social media trend that survives year after year. And it thrives on your personal data.
The Guardian
‘Things need to die for something else to come through’: Wet Leg, Nilüfer Yanya, Shabaka Hutchings and more on the year in music
By Kate Hutchinson
Eliza Rose, Shabaka Hutchings, Sherelle, Rhian Teasdale and Nilüfer Yanya gather for our annual roundtable on the state of the music industry, discussing self-care, plagiarism allegations, post-release editing - and Kanye.
What If a Label Ran a Streaming Platform?
By Robert Levine
Scroll over Beethoven and tell Spotify the news: UMG has its own classical online service -- and it’s raising important questions about the current music model.
NPR Music
RM of BTS: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
By Stephen Thompson and RM
The K-pop superstar and BTS member performs a set of solo material in front of a very impressive replica of the Tiny Desk.
Hitmaker Ricky Reed Shares the Step-By-Step Process Behind Lizzo’s Smash ‘About Damn Time’
By Jem Aswad
High on a terrifyingly steep and narrow street in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, inside an unassuming house that turns out to be much larger than it looks from the street, lies a hit factory.
DJ Mag
We like to party: how pop became the sound of the underground
By Chal Ravens
Pop has infiltrated dance music in a way not heard for many years. With DJs playing Britney Spears edits in Panorama Bar, bootlegs of Ciara, Spice Girls and Whigfield doing the rounds, and megastars like Dua Lipa commissioning club-tuned remix albums, Chal Ravens asks: why now?
A.I. Killed The Radio Star
By Charlotte Kemp Muhl
Charlotte Kemp Muhl (UNI and The Urchins) on the future of bot-generated art.
VAN Magazine
'They See Us as Numbers, Not People'
By Jeffrey Arlo Brown
Flutist Mary Barto on the Mannes School of Music strike.
Wizkid’s View From The Top
By Pierre A. M'Pelé
He’s already established himself as the king of Afropop. Now, Wizkid is aiming even higher.
what we're into
Music of the day
“Wild Flower”
RM (feat. Youjeen)
From "Indigo."
Video of the day
“The Dance”
Fleetwood Mac
Music | Media
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