Kanye West réclame quant à lui plus de 3 millions de dollars à la plateforme de streaming.
Snoop Dogg est multimillionnaire, mais il n'a apparemment aucune envie de débourser 10 dollars par mois pour se payer un abonnement à Tidal. Il préfère le téléchargement illégal, comme beaucoup de monde. C'est ce qu'il expliquait dans une vidéo diffusée sur Youtube par la chaîne spécialisée Hip Hop News Uncensored, dans laquelle il parlait du nouvel album de Jay Z, 4:44, sorti vendredi 30 juin dernier, et disponible uniquement sur sa plateforme de streaming :
«Je veux féliciter Jay Z, qui vient de lâcher un nouvel album, putain de génial. Mais vous savez quoi, j'ai pas Tidal, donc un n**** a dû me le pirater. Je suis sur Itunes et toute cette merde couz. Je comprends pas ça, faut que vous me l'expliquiez. Je suis allé sur Itunes pour trouver cet album, et je ne pouvais pas le trouver, mais mon pote me l'a envoyé.»
Le LP devrait sortir sur Apple Music cette semaine selon Billboard, sans doute le vendredi 7 juillet, après une semaine d'exclusivité.
Yeezus en conflit avec Tidal
Le 2 juillet, le site américain TMZ révélait par ailleurs que Kanye West, qui avait investi dans la plateforme de streaming de Jay Z, s'en serait séparé à cause d'un conflit financier. D'après des "sources liées à Tidal", l'entreprise lui devrait plus de 3 millions de dollars, car la sortie en exclusivité de The Life Of Pablo l'an dernier lui aurait permis d'obtenir 1.5 million de nouveaux abonnés. Elle est aussi censée rembourser les clips de Kanye, ce qu'elle se refuse à faire car il ne les a pas encore envoyés. Le rappeur affirme qu'il le fera quand il sera payé...
Il y a un mois, son avocat aurait envoyé une lettre à Tidal pour annoncer que le contrat d'exclusivité prenait fin. La plateforme a répondu qu'elle poursuivrait juridiquement Kanye West s'il concluait un deal avec un autre site de streaming. Le rappeur serait néanmoins déterminé à se faire la malle. S'il se retrouvait convoqué au tribunal par Tidal, il serait apparemment prêt à attaquer la firme en retour. Tidal ne fait décidément pas l’unanimité !
On YouTube, you can find cameraphone footage of an advert for Daft Punk's fourth studio album that was beamed out from the main stage at last month's Coachella festival. If you want proof that Random Access Memories is, by some distance, the most eagerly anticipated album of recent years, then here it is. For one thing, there's the very fact that, in the middle of a festival, someone's opted to get their phone out and film not a band, or their friends, or the sunburnt man with his eyeballs pointing in different directions who's drawn a crowd outside the dance tent by stripping naked from the waist down and manipulating his genitals in time to the music, but an advert being shown on the big screens. For another, there's the fact that the audience react as if Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo are performing unannounced live set. They whoop and cheer not merely the video for single Get Lucky but also the credits detailing its guest stars: Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams, legendary disco producer Giorgio Moroder, the Strokes' Julian Casablancas, veteran songwriter and film composer Paul Williams. Bizarrely, Daft Punk appeared to have won the festival without setting foot outside the backstage area: frankly, you wouldn't have wanted to be the band that had to follow their advert on stage.
Perhaps this just tells you what dupes people are for hype: they've been manipulated like a sunburnt casualty's genitals by Random Access Memories' extremely well-planned pre-release campaign, with its mysterious teaser ads, slow drip of information about what the album contains and gushing video interviews with collaborators so brilliantly parodied on Will Ferrell's website Funny Or Die. But equally, the weight of expectation attending Random Access Memories reveals how influential Daft Punk are held to be. They had spawned a legion of imitators – among them Mirwais, producer of Madonna's Music – even before 2001's Discovery, an album that, for better or worse, defined the sound of pop in the 21st century: a decade later, you hear its Auto-Tuned vocals, filtered synthesizers, knowing 80s inflections and thudding sidechain-compression kick drums every time you turn on Radio 1. The duo are to the US electronic dance music (EDM) scene what the Velvet Underground were to punk, in so far as it's hard to imagine the genre existing as it does without them. Everyone seems to agree it was Daft Punk's Alive 2006-07 tour that kickstarted mainstream America's interest in dance music. Seven years after the duo wowed the US by presenting a grand live son-et-lumière spectacle while wearing helmets covered in LEDs, it's worth noting that EDM's biggest star, Deadmau5, is a man who presents a grand live son-et-lumière spectacle while wearing a helmet covered in LEDs.
Random Access Memories may be intended as a history lesson for fresh-faced EDM fans recently converted to dance music: an expansive album-length equivalent of Teachers, the robot-voiced roll-call of musical influences from Daft Punk's 1997 debut album, Homework. That's certainly a plausible way of interpreting its slick, disco-obsessed sound and the presence of a track such as Giorgio By Moroder, which features the producer talking about his career to a musical backdrop that veers between documentary and fantasy: when he mentions using a click track to keep the synthesisers on I Feel Love in time, the music dies away to a faint electronic pulse; by the track's end, it's turned into a thrillingly florid interpretation of Moroder's "sound of the future", replete with sweeping strings, frantic funk drumming and the squealing of a Roland 303 synthesiser fighting for space with distorted guitar.
Equally, however, Random Access Memories could be the sound of a band (who are nothing if not exemplars of a very Gallic kind of good taste – Bangalter has claimed Giorgio By Moroder was inspired by film director François Truffaut's 1967 book-length interview with Alfred Hitchcock) recoiling, aghast, from the more lunkheaded aspects of the EDM scene they unwittingly helped create, keen to emphasise the gulf between themselves and those they've inspired. Certainly, you get the feeling Daft Punk think something is amiss with dance music from opener Give Life Back to Music. It's not a peevish piece of music – decorated with scratching disco guitar, it has the same life-affirming, celebratory quality as Get Lucky – but the vocodered lyrics suggest a band who feel people deserve slightly better than a surfeit of identikit dance music.
Daft Punk's answer to the problem has been to abandon the home studio where their previous albums were made in favour of lavish, meticulous arrangements, performed by crack Los Angeles session musicians and painstakingly recorded, audibly at enormous expense: the real issue with music in 2013, Random Access Memories seems to suggest, is that it's become too easy and cheap to make. It's an approach that brings with it problems. Occasionally Random Access Memories is marked by the sense that Daft Punk have become so immersed in the process of making music they've lost sight of the result. At its least interesting, on the instrumental Motherboard or the Air-like Within, it feels as if you're in the presence of something slightly vapid, that it's all varnish and no substance. Listening to the ballad The Game of Love feels a little like leafing through one of those interior design magazines packed with photos of hugely expensive houses that don't appear to have been lived in: you gawp at the good taste on display, but struggle to find an emotional connection with it.
Far more often, however, Random Access Memories strikes a perfect balance between the way the music sounds and the quality of the music itself. Lose Yourself to Dance offers more of the exquisitely turned pop that's made Get Lucky the biggest-selling single of the year in Britain. The Casablancas-sung Instant Crush sounds like something Magic FM would play, but it exerts an undeniable emotional pull from somewhere behind its layers of gloss.Doin' It Right sets Panda Bear of Animal Collective's distinctive vocals over layers of chattering Clouseau-accented vocoders: it looks awful on paper, but it somehow works to joyous effect.
Often, your mind boggles at the audacity on display. The epic Touch somehow manages to be both ridiculous – it shifts from electronic noise to delirious high-camp disco by way of backwards tapes, a lengthy synth solo and a brass section that sounds as if it arrived in the studio direct from the orchestra pit of a Broadway musical – and genuinely moving. Paul Williams' fragile voice rubs awkwardly against the arrangement, the final chorus of "if love is the answer, you're home" delivers an unexpectedly potent emotional punch. Contact weaves one of dance music's biggest cliches, the sampled voices of astronauts communicating in outer space, into an awe-inspiring closing track.
The album sounds as if Daft Punk are snottily throwing down a gauntlet to their legions of imitators: you've copied everything else we've done, now try to copy this. You can understand their bullishness. When an album is as hotly anticipated as Random Access Memories, its commercial success is assured, but so is a sense of anticlimax: it's virtually impossible for anything to live up to the expectations laden on it. Random Access Memories nearly manages it, which might sound like faint praise, but it is a fairly remarkable achievement in itself: its flaws are outweighed by moments that justify the excitement. It felt like a major event before its release: more incredibly, it still does once you've heard it.