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Sounds Phenomenal Recordings

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Sounds Phenomenal - A History

In The Beginning 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 Credits


European Street Level Music Projekt

Music Industry Conference '99 

Conference programme

By 1999, the group had achieved many things and grown considerably beyond the scope of their original intentions. Many new projects and initiatives were launched and the foundations that had been laid with much of the work done so far were also built on. A monthly magazine was launched, written and produced by the young people involved in the project. Another new initiative was the 'European Street Level Music Projekt', aimed to reduce tensions between local youths and the many foreign students that Brighton attracted annually by bringing the young people from different backgrounds together to make music with each other. A series of workshops were organised, covering DJing skills, making music using MIDI and other technologies, and the opportunity to put music made onto the Internet. The project was backed by Skint Records and £7000 of EU funding. Organiser Jonathon Foxton commented that "the response has been good. I think people are getting a lot out of it. You can see the creativity when you show them how to use it."

Sounds Phenomenal ’99 Music Industry Conference  

The resounding success of the first Music Industry Conference in 1998 led to a second event by the group being set for the following year, this time running over two days. This was the Press Release they sent out for the second Conference:

‘Sounds Phenomenal’ (the innovative community youth music project based in Brighton and Hove) is staging its second annual music industry conference at the Brighton Media Centre on Middle Street on Saturday May 1st and Sunday May 2nd. An exciting weekend has been organised that will consist of seminars with industry experts offering short presentations followed by a question and answer session. Intended to de-mystify the music industry, this year’s conference will be covering a broader spectrum of topics ranging from club promotion, management and A & R, to music on the Internet and music journalism.

Over the last two years, Sounds Phenomenal have received funding from the National Lottery A4E scheme, Brighton and Hove Council and South East Arts, with which they have run free workshops dealing with music technology, singer/songwriting, studio engineering and DJ mixing, as well as running workshops with young people with cerebral palsy. The project has recently received funding from the European Commission’s ‘Youth For Europe Programme’ to facilitate musical collaborations between young people and European language students, and set up a website to host the resulting music.

The Music Industry Conference is sponsored by The Brighton and Hove Fringe Festival, ‘Magix’ Computers, Brighton and Hove Council and ‘Flipside’ music magazine. Tickets are available from Virgin Megastores, Brighton and on the day itself.

Denis Byrne, a youth worker supporting Sounds Phenomenal, told the Brighton & Hove Leader "Young people's experiences with the industry can be difficult, such as trying to get contracts and publicity deals. The conference is an excellent way for young people to find out what the pitfalls are and to get some top tips from those in the know. Everyone who attended last year had a really good time and this year we've expanded it with a lot of their suggestions."

The programme for the conference looked like this:

Saturday Theatre – Brighton Media Centre Gallery – Brighton Media Centre

Sample Clearance, with Skint Records.

The do’s and don’ts. What to do when the latest Skint release contains enough samples to keep MCPS busy for a year and the artist in question just shrugs saying “That’s the way I make music. Deal with it.”

Radio: Surf 107, Earshot and Crash Radio (Liverpool).

How to get into radio broadcasting with a focus on youth format. Find out what goes into the programming and marketing of these two unique, contemporary radio stations.


Women and the Music Industry.

A panel comprising of representatives from ‘Women In Music’, alongside Sally Gross, from ‘Trouble Management’, Amy Coffey from ‘ACM’ and guests, will be discussing the issues facing women in the music industry today.

Heavyweight Management.

Simon Goffe, Roni Size’s manager, will be talking about the success of Heavyweight, and how to go about getting a publishing, management and record deal.


‘Stomp’ & Liverpool Music Centre.

Find out how the internationally renowned percussion show grew from its humble beginnings in the streets of Brighton. Starting out as a self financed project and premiering at Edinburgh Festival in 1991, to playing to over 7 million people in 26 countries. Founded in the 1970’s, Liverpool Music Centre delivers a range of satellite music services in an inner city environment; find out how strong marketing, management and survival plan enabled this organisation to grow.

Club Promotion.

A chance for would be promoters to get hot tips and advice, and a taste of the battleground that is the club scene. With experienced promoters Sarah Thain (The Escape), Elise Finley (Event 2) and John McKenzie (BN1).


A & R.

Sally Gross from ‘Trouble Management’ (Rolo, Skylab, Adamski, William Orbit), gives you some insight into what A & R are looking for in up and coming bands, and also helpful advice to those looking to A & R as a potential career.


A panel based seminar on the musical development of Skint. How a label with such a diverse roster of artists still managed to create and give identity to a genre of music and also a clubbing experience.

Panel: Damian Harris, Andy Mac (Skint/Loaded PR), Gareth (Big Beat Boutique).  

Sunday Theatre – Brighton Media Centre Gallery – Brighton Media Centre

New Deal for Musicians (free workshop).

What does New Deal mean for unemployed musicians? A crucial seminar that takes you through the implications of this new legislation. Find out from national New Deal Policy managers, representatives from the Steering Committee and local representatives from the Employment Service what the theory is. Then hear from Paula Murray (Arts Officer, Brighton & Hove Council) and representatives from the Fringe Festival what the practice could be.  

Distribution, Marketing, Pressing.

Worthing based, independent record labels ‘Melt 2000’ and ‘Blue Room’ talk about the practicalities of building up and maintaining a successful independent label.


Music Journalism.

This will be a panel-based seminar, with representatives and writers from leading music publications ‘Flipside’ and DJ Magazine. The talk will cover music journalism as a career as well as offering advice to up and coming bands and promoters on how best to use the media.


Do you write your own music? Find out more about performing and copyright royalties and other related subjects from top representatives from the Performing Rights Society and the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society.  


Internet – City of London University.

“Music is the third most purchased product on the net, and the value of online music sales is predicted to increase by over 22000% to $3.9 billion by 2005” – N.O.P. Survey. This seminar looks at how to set up a music based website.

A.I.M. (Association of Independent Music).

The Association of Independent Music is in the process of taking shape. Find out why the indie big guns are getting together. Representatives from AIM will be talking about the current state of the music industry in the light of recent label mergers and the effects this is likely to have for both musicians, label owners and almost everybody involved in the industry.


Internet: ‘The £30 record deal that will get you charted’.

Have you been trying to get your start-up band noticed and profiled? Have you tried financing a CD and entering the arena with the big labels? Twisted Pair have a track record including a # 4 on the mp3 charts (knocked down to # 5 by the Beastie Boys); if they and you can cut out all the middle men, what impact will it already have on an already failing monopoly of format and distribution.

First Column Management and IMF (International Managers’ Forum).

Probably Brighton’s most prominent manager, through his representation of The Levellers, Phil Nelson will be giving a seminar on management as a career and what to look for in up and coming bands. If you think you’ve got what it takes to become the next Albert Goldstein, or you’re searching for that elusive first deal, this seminar may provide the answers to many of your questions.

© Sounds Phenomenal, 2003