✖ Recycle, repackage, remix

And: Tencent ends exclusive label deals; Apple concedes to reader apps; YouTube Music surpasses 50 million subs; Hanif Abdurraqib; Neoliberalism, lo-fi and EDM (oh my!)

Hello! My name is Kaitlyn, and I’m pleased to be your guide on this week’s CO:QUO guest edition of MUSIC x. As a collective, CO:QUO attempts to address and challenge status-quos at the intersection of music, art, technology and science through research, amplification and event facilitation. We’ll be using this newsletter to shine a light on projects we’re inspired by, ideas we’re ruminating on, and news that jumped out to us this week. If you like what you read, come say hello on Discord 👋 .

First up — a dive into the state of the remix album in 2021, from Dua Lipa to Kelly Lee Owens, and some ideating on the ways Web 3 technology could disrupt the current platform-centric mode of exchange.

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📈 YouTube Music surpasses 50 million subscribers (Murray Stassen)

YouTube is giving Spotify and Apple a run for their money, announcing last week that they’ve surpassed 50 million paid subscribers. It’s interesting to see major labels give support to the platform after years of copyright claims and takedown battles, I’ll be watching to see if the sentiment continues.

💿 Tencent Music ends its exclusive deals with labels (Stuart Dredge)

Following regulatory intervention last month, Tencent has ended its exclusive deals with global record labels which allowed the company to license major label content to its own platforms, and sub-license to its competitors in China.

🧘🏻‍♀️ She’s the investor guru for online creators (Taylor Lorenz)

A short and sweet profile on Li Jin, creator economy hero and founder of Atelier Ventures. If you’re unfamiliar with Jin’s ideas on creator ownership and universal creative income, this is a good place to start.

💸 Apple concedes to let apps like Netflix, Spotify, and Kindle link to the web to sign up (Sean Hollister and Sam Byford)

Lots of app store politics on the timeline lately. In the latest, Apple concedes to let “reader” apps link out to external sign-up websites. Seems like the least they can do, and I for one will be happy to be able to buy Bandcamp releases on my phone.

🦢 R&D Labyrinths: Black Swan on Cygnet, consensus-building tool (Penny Rafferty, Laura Lotti and Calum Bowden)

Web 3 and its contemporaries continue to challenge institutional infrastructures and decision making models. In conjunction with London’s Serpentine Galleries, Berlin-based collective Black Swan walk through Cygnet, the tool they’ve developed to govern collective action and allocation.


🎙 Object of Sound (Hanif Abdurraqib)

Music doesn’t often lend itself well to other formats (read: the thousands of botched bio-pics and documentaries that fuel Netflix infinite-scrolling sessions), but writer Hanif Abdurraqib effortlessly weaves the lyrical and cultural essence of music into critical discourse on his podcast, Object of Sound.

🎧 The Sound of Neoliberalism: The Role of Music and Sound in Neoliberal Culture (Michael J. Fennessey)

Not for the faint of heart, this 45-page deep dive into the connections between lo-fi, EDM and neoliberal ideology is a good reminder of the ways in which 21st century culture and politics are invariably intertwined and intermediated by the platform, and leaves me asking several questions about Big Tech’s sudden interest in the metaverse.

🧑‍🦽 New research indicates music industry workers are putting their health at risk as a result of fears to disclose disability (Ben Price)

Recent research from an Arts Council England backed study indicates that music industry workers under-index in identifying as having a disability, and those with disabilities often do not disclose their conditions in fear of discrimination. Appreciate the visibility and thoughtfulness this study provides.

🌱 Climate Action Community (Lauren Uba)

Launched at the end of last year, Climate Action Community is a Berlin-based group which congregates URL and IRL to discuss and act upon climate issues. CAC’s founder Lauren Uba joined CO:QUO’s Mel Powell on our Refuge Worldwide residency earlier this summer, which you can listen back to here.

🌏 Where Am I Really From? (Irma Fadhila)

What Am I Really From? is a photography project started by friend of CO:QUO Irma Fadhila, documenting and sharing experiences of people of South Asian descent living in Western culture.


A deliciously flowing mix from Toronto-based DJ Efemmera for Daisychain collective’s monthly residency on Refuge Worldwide. We’ll sneak in some shameless self-promo here to mention that our next episode of the CO:QUO Refuge Worldwide residency is this Thursday, 8th September @ 1pm CEST, live from the Berlin studio.