Band, Super Smart, Release Ringtone Album

Apparently, they're called Super SmartPanda Babies is the new album from Super Smart, a German four-piece band – and it’s only available as a series of mobile phone ringtones.

There are many aspects of this story that make me want to leave my office and go and live in a cave but I can’t deny that it’s innovative and turns the entire music publishing and purchasing model (which is already in disarray anyway) on its head.

The album is, apparently, a sort of disco-pop/electro-punk affair and is published by Go Fresh Mobile Music.

Antonio Vince Staybl, GMM founder, describes the thinking behind Panda Babies: “Music has to be re-thought. 20 Euro for an inflexible album, lowest margins for artists as well as the loss of image of CDs, which are nowadays distributed everywhere free of cost as give-aways, necessitate an immediate change in thinking.” Toni Werner Montana, boss of the label, adds: “We release songs within a few hours Europe-wide without interfaces to the classical music industry. Our prices for a ring tone album or a compilation of ten to twelve tracks including a mobile phone video will settle down at four to five Euro and the price for a single ringtone at 1.49 Euro in the medium-term”.

As part of the project, the band wear panda heads to protect their identity – though from whom, I’m not quite sure. Me, possibly.

If anyone would like to send us a review of the album for publication here – please feel free to contact us. The best one wins something terrible out of my record collection, chosen at random.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?