5 Gigs You Should See This Week 27th march-2nd april



Head down to Heaven in London's Charing Cross to catch the amazing Thundercat.  The bassist, vocalist and song-writer will no doubt treat crowds to soulful songs from his new album Drunk.

Click here to buy tickets.


SAMPHA, 29th march @roundhouse 

Give your ears a treat this Wednesday at the first of Sampha's  two Roundhouse gigs.  Hailed as 'one of the UK's most enigmatic artists', you'll be sure to come away from this one in high spirits.

Click here to buy tickets.



Sometimes secret gigs can be daunting.  This one, however, is run by the the wonderful Sofar Sounds, who always manage to create unique, intimate experiences, no matter who is playing. Plus it's BYOB!

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sub focus, black sun empire, special request, d bridge and more, 31st march @fabric

feel my bicep.jpg

Lose yourself to these drum n bass sounds at the newly re-opened Fabric.

Click to buy tickets.


run the jewels, 1st april @roundhouse

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If you fancy another trip to the Roundhouse and you love a rap duo, then you're in luck!  Run The Jewels are currently on their European tour and will be playing on Saturday night.  Make sure you listen out for songs from their third album, the sensibly named Run The Jewels 3.

Click here to buy tickets.

10. Sonic Branding: An Introduction

In this week's extract of Sonic Branding: An Introduction, Daniel describes the link between early US commercial radio sponsorships and the first signs of mass media sonic branding.

Chapter 8

Brand and its symbols

It was during the 1920s that the use of sounds as a marketing medium first came into public and corporate consciousness. The first commercial radio station, KDKA, was founded in 1920 by Frank Conrad, an employee of the Westinghouse company, a manufacturer and retailer of wirelesses. He and his employer had noticed that when they broadcast music, sales of the radio equipment they sold increased, so they applied for a license, upped the juice on the transmitter and created a new commercial medium.

Conrad's activity was quickly copied by many other new radio station owners but while Conrad succeeded, over half the stations founded over the first five years of commercial radio closed down soon after. The overriding reason was that there was no proven revenue model, outside of equipment sales and a debate raged as to how to make money from radio. Options such as a license fee, some method of subscription and encoding or philanthropy were considered and trialled with varying success. We do not have to look too hard to see many parallels between the troubled growth of radio in the 1920s and the growing pains of the internet in the late 1990s.

Programming was created and broadcast largely to sell more radio sets and the commercial drive was to create content that appealed to as wide an audience as possible. Whether stations could make money or not, the common sense approach was to try to gather as many listeners as possible.

Commercial radio was actually seen as a public service in the early days but the transparent need for revenue soon saw commercial messages starting to dominate the medium The speed with which this happened was astonishing, leading Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States but then Secretary of Commerce, to bemoan at a radio industry conference in 1992 that: '[It would be] inconceivable that we should allow so great a possibility for service to be drowned in advertiser chatter,'

Opinions such as these did not deter the FMCG manufactures from seeking a way to use the communication power of sound to get their own messages across. They spotted an opportunity in all the people gathered, listening to the radio and in doing so gave stations programming budgets and new means of revenue generation. The way they did this was simple and enduring. They put together their own groups and paid for them to perform on the radio. The Royal Typewriter Salon Orchestra, the Lucky Strike Orchestra, Vick's Vap-o-rub Quartet, and the Cliquot Club Eskimos were all examples of this practise.

Beyond that, they started to sponsor programming and the 'soap opera' was born. These early US commercial radio sponsorships represent the first mass market use of what might very loosely be called sonic branding and helped reinforce the images of quality and heritage that the newly created names, logos and packaging conveyed.

Daniel Jackson - CEO CORD

5 Gigs You Should See This Week 20th - 26th

The sun was shinning and the weather was sweet earlier this week. Lets hope that next week is just a good as the shows.

Drake 20th March @ O2


If you missed him the first time around then here is your chance to see Drake live.  I don't think we are sick of 'One Dance' just yet.

Click Here for tickets

The Virginmarys 21st March @ The borderline

The Virginmarys are an English three-piece rock band from Maccelsfield England. The band formed in 2009 and self-released a limited series of sold out EPs, before releasing their debut album King of Conflict on Double cross/Cooking Vinyl and Wind Up Records. 

Click Here for tickets


Ray BLK 23rd March @ Jazz Cafe


Rita Ekwere, better known under her stage name of Ray BLK, will be performing along with Annie Mac and Camden's Legendaryvenue Jazz Cafe.

Click here for tickets.


The Wailers 24th March @ Indigo at the O2, Greenwich Peninsula

The Wailers are a reggae band formed by the remaining members of Bob Marley & the Wailers, following the death of Bob Marley in 1981. They have become the biggest Jamaican group of all time with more than 250 million albums sold worldwide. They’re led by Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett, with former Aswad singer Brinsley Forde taking over Bob Marley’s vocal duties. They will be performing all their top hits from over the years.

Click Here for tickets


She Drew The Gun 24th March @ Oslo Hackney

She drew the Gun, fronted by singer-songwriter Louisa Roach offer dreamy lyrically evocative psych-pop from the banks of the Mersey. Taking the bare bones of the songs - poetic narrative lyrics set to haunting riffs and melodies, they built up the tracks, developing an electronic element into Roach’s sound. The result is a dark but dreamlike collection of stories from the songwriter’s life.

Click Here for tickets




5 Gigs You Should This Week 13th -19th

We had to double up with some of the shows this week because it was too difficult pick which one to go to...


CAM 14th March @ Bush Hall

California born singer songwriter CAM is one of the breakthrough country artists of 2016. Her number one country single ‘Burning House’ earned her a Grammy Award nomination. Cam is now touring throughout the UK and across America.

Click here for tickets


James Brandon Lewis 14th March @ Ronnie Scott’s

After the success of his critically acclaimed album “Days of Freeman” in 2015 James Brandon Lewis returns presenting “No Filter” new music. Lewis is a successful Jazz Saxophonist and will be performing at Ronnie Scott’s as a trio with his bassist and drummer.

Click here for tickets


Jagwar Ma 15th March @ O2 Forum

Australian trio Jagwar Ma released their debut album ‘Howlin’ in 2013, the success of the album led to the band touring alongside The XX and Foals. The band released a brand new album ‘Every Now and Then’ in 2016 and are headlining their own UK tour throughout March.

Click here for tickets


Charlie Worsham 16th March @ The Borderline


Charlie Worsham is an American country singer songwriter who has performed and toured with Taylor Swift. Charlie is touring across the UK throughout March and is releasing his brand new album “Beginning of Things” in April 2017.

Click here for tickets.

Foxing 16th March @ Scala


Foxing is an American rock band from St Louis, Missouri building a great reputation for their live shows.  Foxing are set to play to their biggest London crowd to date at Scala as part of their European tour throughout March and April.

Click here for tickets.

9. Sonic Branding: An Introduction

13 years ago CEO Daniel M Jackson wrote a book that marked a seminal moment in the history of sonic branding. The book is called ‘Sonic Branding: An Introduction’.

In this week's extract Daniel tackles the issue of how to define a brand, without falling into the trap of believing that brands are scientific..

Chapter 7

The Nature of Brands - A historical perspective

We will start with a couple of traditional definitions of a brand. First, 'an identifying mark burnt on livestock'; and second, just as prosaically 'a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name'. I work with a number of brands but the last time I checked I was working with no cows' arses. Therefore, interesting as the history of domestic cattle may be, I think we can go straight on to the second, that a brand is a type of product manufactured under a particular name.

This definition certainly tallies with what is thought to be the world's first brand. In c.200 BC a Syrian sandal maker marked his sandals with his name and opened up a whole kettle of fish. The first brand was marked only with the maker's name. Every subsequent brand has also been marked with a name. Names are also fundamental to humanity. Talmudic scholars tell us that something cannot exist until it has a name and that a name is fundamental to the essence of being. In fact, the name of God is taken to be so important, that it is not meant to be spoken aloud. This is heavy, spiritual stuff, however, so it you want to know more, check our the Talmud. Suffice to say, it is an ancient Hebrew text that contains foundations for music of the moral law of the Western world. It has a lot to say about pretty much everything and were it to address the subject of brands, it would tell us that they need denominations.

The strongest brands today started out in the nineteenth century with just their good names. Brands like Kellogg's, Coca-Cola and Marmite showed then, and show us today, that the right name has always been fundamental to the success of a brand. In terms of communications and marketing, these goods only needed a name because the products themselves were genuinely different or superior to goods that had gone before. The products were unique without having to consciously engineer a unique selling point. Quite simply, all they had to do to stand out in the grocery shops was have a label that stated their name and thus differentiated them from the generics.

The growth of these brands shaped the understanding of what constituted a brand and for some time, a definition of a brand as a named good held sway. If all the other cereals are sold out of bags labelled as 'corn' or 'barley', then a box with Kellogg's written on it will clearly stand out; so the name-based definition was still accurate 120 years ago. The world's view of brands has changed somewhat more in the last 120 years than it did over the preceding 2,000. For a start, there are more brands around these days and differentiation means working a little harder than just having a name. Names are still important but today we understand that there are other factors that define a brand.

Daniel Jackson - CEO, CORD


"Drunk” is Thundercat’s first full-length album in nearly four years. It is safe to say that due to a recently developed cult following, it has certainly had the warmest reception.

Throughout this album it is clear that Thundercat has finally been able to move past his previous fixation upon mortality, which became a recurring theme within his music following the death of Austin Peralta, a close friend and fellow Brain feeder label-mate. As it’s title suggests, “Drunk”, is a very welcome shift in tone for Thundercat, it serves as an exploration into the various phases of intoxication. The album starts off in a very playful energetic and humorous tone and gradually develops into a darker more disorientating and self-pitying tone more reminiscent of his previous album “Apocalypse”.  It can at one minute be extremely smooth and parodic and immediately afterwards incredibly intense, complex and moody. Just like being paralytically drunk the album jumps from one thing to the next constantly dizzying and surprising the listener. The entire album is incredibly tongue and cheek and yet extremely innovative at the same time.



Pitchfork quite perfectly summarized the album stating that it is: “The aural equivalent of late-night channel surfing.”

This made me reflect upon my own late night television habits, and draw a few parallels with shows on the Adult Swim network such as the fever dream-esque talk show ‘The Eric Andre Show’ - hosted by Eric Andre a close friend of Thundercat himself  - or the late night hallucinogenic blend of videos that compile an episode of “Off The Air”. Part of the thrill of “Drunk”, much like in these shows, is that you are never really certain of where Thundercat is going to take us next. Drunk’ incorporates elements from everything from ’70s funk and R&B to Psychedelic Jazz fusion springing from one to the next with little to nothing more Thundercat’s smooth falsetto to tie them together. Throughout the album he manages to simultaneously pay homage to the cheesy sounds of the past and parody them, perhaps most obvious in the oscillation between the oddball ‘meowing’ and cat worship in “A Fan’s Mail” to a classic homage to love ballads in “Show Me The Way” before then immediately delving into serious political commentary with Kendrick Lamar on “Walk On By”. Much like an Adult Swim sketch show, there are some throwaway moments scattered about within the album and certain aspects of the eccentric progression will not please everyone, however, for those cult fans or music aficionados, every element is certainly an interesting insight to Thundercat’s own development as an artist. 

That is the principal charm of “Drunk” as a record; it is an intensely personal insight into the man behind Thundercat. It gives us a glimpse into the true whimsical, thoughtful, and goofy nature of  Stephen Bruner as a person and addresses the relatable and often darkly humorous aspects of our day to day struggle. Whether it is tackling themes of alcoholism, drugs or heartbreak, Thundercat explores things within “Drunk” in an extremely bold manner that very few contemporary musicians would feel comfortable to attempt.



Here's a few links to Thundercat & Eric Andre if you feel like they're worth sticking up with the article, DISCLAIMER, it's the most beautifully strange show on air: 






5 Gigs You Should See This Week: 6th-12th

We have another eclectic mix of live shows lined up for next week. And we had to share with you the ones we will be heading down to.

Kehlani 6th March @Koko

Kehlani American singer, songwriter will be performing a mixture of her slinky slow jams and up beat r&b tracks from her no.1 Album Sweet, Sexy, Savage.

Click here for tickets.


Devlin 7th March @Oslo Hackney

UK rapper Devlin has collaborated with many artists over the years, including Ed Sheeran and Katy B. Devlin is now promoting the release of his brand new album ‘The Devil In’.

Click here for more info


Tomaga 10th March @ The Jazz Cafe

Tomaga are a London based duo, passionate about creating an unconventional sound. Tomaga are multi instrumentalist and use analogue synthesizers and effects to create their percussive sound.

Click here for tickets.



Grace Savage 11th March @ The Roundhouse

Grace Savage has been named UK Beatbox Champion twice and is now branching out into the music industry as a solo artist. Grace is releasing a new EP this year which you can currently pre order on Pledge Music.

Click here for tickets.


Jingo 11th March @


For the launch of their latest album Jingo will be performing at Birthdays Dalston. If you are a fan of Interpol, Portishead and Radiohead you will enjoy their music.

Click here for tickets.

8. Sonic Branding: An Introduction

13 years ago our CEO Daniel M Jackson wrote a book that marked a seminal moment in the history of sonic branding. The book is called ‘Sonic Branding: An Introduction’.

In this week's extract Daniel introduces a framework for classifying the millions of different sounds that we hear in our lives. In broad terms there are three types or elements of sound; voice, ambience (or effects) and music..


The three elements of sound - Music

'Writing about music is like dancing about architecture - it's really a stupid thing to want to do.' Elvis Costello

Trying to define music is always fun! This is what the New Oxford Dictionary of English has to say: 'The art of science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) to produce beauty of form, harmony and expression of emotion.' This is a fabulous definition and I am yet to find any other that puts it more succinctly. If it has a flaw, it is that music today incorporates ambient sounds that are neither vocal nor instrumental, but I will overlook that because the basics are so good.

Music is the fundamental element of sound in terms of sonic branding. As well as the cultural reasons outlined already, there are many other important references in this book as to why music is so important for brands. Perhaps the simplest, though, it that music can incorporate any and all the sounds in the world. If we can record them they can be used in music, be they vocal, ambient or made by any of the thousands of musical instruments man has invented.

Music is a huge subject and many books have been written about its art, its social functions, its psychology and just about every other aspect of the cultural phenomenon. It touches the lives of everyone in some way and thanks to our ability to record it, has become one of the dominant art forms in western culture. It has also become the victim of its own success because as any true musician will tell you, the drive to create is artistic yet the driving forces of today's music are big business. Today there is a great feeling that music has been hijacked for the sole purpose of generating wealth and this is an accusation that has been levelled at the sonic branding industry as well as the more obviously culpable recording industry.

CORD radio show episode 1: Simon James

We are very excited to announce our first CORD radio show! In this episode CORD ECD Dominic Goodman talks to producer and synthesiser enthusiast, Simon James (AKA The Simonsound), about his passion for the synthesiser and its significant influence on the world of electro, electronic music and sound design. From Don Buchla and Robert Moog, to Suzanne Ciani via the Radiophonic Workshop, Simon describes his own musical journey and plays some of the music that has punctuated it.

Simon has been experimenting with sound for over 20 years. His music, radio and sound designs have been heard on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC 6 Music, NTS, totallyradio, Resonance FM and ABC (Australia) and performances have taken place at The Royal Festival Hall, Koko, a haunted sea fort and a 1950s Telescope Dome.


We would like to thank Simon for taking the time to chat with us. We hope you enjoy the first of many CORD radio shows!


5 Gigs You Should See This Week 27th - 6th

Mid way through next week we will be in March... however it feels like yesterday that we were enjoying Christmas. To get you in the spring mood we have picked 5 gigs of artist we are recently started listening to.

Jacob Whitesides 28th February @ O2 Academy Islington

Originally from Knoxville Tennessee, Jacob began to build an international fan base after appearing on The X Factor. Jacob has now released his debut album ‘Why’ and is currently embarking on ‘The Lovesick Tour’ across Europe.


Click here for tickets.


Georgie Keller 28th Feb @ Hoxton Square Bar

18-year-old singer songwriter Georgie Keller is working with songwriters and producers across UK and Europe developing his own material to release in 2017.

Click here for tickets.


Belle Roscoe 1st March @ O2 Academy Islington

Belle Roscoe are an indie folk/rock band originally from Australia. The brother and sister duo have been collaborating with DJ producer Luuk Cox to create their catchy indie melodies.

Click here for tickets.

Ben Glover 2nd March @ Green Note

Irish born singer songwriter Ben Glover has released his new album ‘The Emigrant’. The album has a focus on immigration and consists of his original material as well as traditional folk songs. As well as performing in London, Ben is touring his album across the UK and Europe.

Click here for tickets.


Tender 3rd March @ Oslo Hackney


Tender is made up of two long time friends James Cullen and Dan Cobb. Their latest EP was released at the end of 2016, titled ‘EP III’. The band cleverly blends R&B, pop and electronica to create their unique sound.

Click here for tickets.




7. Sonic Branding: An Introduction

13 years ago our CEO Daniel M Jackson wrote a book that marked a seminal moment in the history of sonic branding. The book is called ‘Sonic Branding: An Introduction’.

This week's extract touches on the science of sound and its role as a call to action for the brain...


The sciency bit

In studies conducted on children by the eminent psychologist Roger Brown, it was found that children exposed to new pieces of music that they had never heard before, reacted uniformly to the emotional content of the music, be it happy, sad or aggressive. He provided scientific evidence for the existence of musical devices and archetypes that make us a feel a certain way, regardless of the context, our mood or any prior associations. Anecdotally, we know this anyway. Any group of people listening, for example, to the opening passages of the Jaws theme by John Williams will feel the emotion of fear. It is composed according to stereotype.

This is very good news for sonic branding. It means we can call upon the collective unconscious and design emotional messages. In much the same way as the Bauhaus pointed to a natural relationship between emotion, colour and shape - the dynamic yellow triangle, serene blue circle and static red square - so we can point to similar relationships in melody, harmony and instrumentation.

The ability to engage in emotional engineering is of the essence of branding and is the second reason, along with the call to action, why music is potentially the most powerful branding tool we have. To elevate music and sound above graphics or visuals as brand communicators could be seen as controversial. It is clear, however, that music or sonic stimuli have the ability to move or arouse us more quickly and more deeply than visual stimulus. A picture of a woman laughing may bring a smile to our faces but if we hear that woman's laughter we will probably laugh too. The opposite is even stronger. Pictures of war can be disturbing but to hear the screams and the explosions is far more powerful.

Daniel Jackson - CEO CORD

CORD Team BRIT Awards 2017 Predictions

In the past few years, the BRIT awards have faced a lot of scrutiny for the lack of diversity in the nominations.  This year, thankfully, it seems they have taken note of their previous errors, with 2017's nominees representing a more diverse range of the genres that make up the UK music scene.

Who has been nominated? There are some strong contenders in certain categories and perhaps some more questionable ones as well.  We are all dying to see which Knowles sister will be triumphant, or if Skepta will finally get the Brit he deserves, but will have to sit tight until the 22ndof Feb to see who will be the winners of the night.   We decided to predict/suggest who we want to win on Wednesday so here is CORDS BRIT Award nominations :



British Artist Video:

 Coldplay ‘ Hymn For The Weekend’ Nice use of colours and scenery (which isn’t Gigi Hadid)



British Breakthrough Artist :

This category was a tricky one and did tear the office apart a little.  Stormzy?  Rag n Bone man or Skepta?  We were also puzzled at the idea of Skepta as a breakthrough artist. It is not like Konnichiwa is his 4th album or anything… That being said we decided that Rag’n’Bone man deserves this award… (Sorry Stormzy but next year will be your year).



MasterCard British Album of the Year :

This award has to go to Skepta andKonnichiwa. That album was the soundtrack for the summer and after his Mercury award win back in 2016 it’s about time he received a BRIT award.



British Female Solo Artist :

It’s been an exciting 2016 for East London based singer NAO. She has had 2 sold out London shows and released her first album ‘ For All We Know’, which was played on repeat in our office.




British Male Solo Artist :

This one was an easy choice.  David Bowie has contributed so much the the UK music scene and despite losing him 13 months ago, his music and his final album has had a huge impact on the music, fashion and creative industry.



Best British group :

Duh … Radiohead (though Little Mix have had some great, catchy tracks that nearly swayed our vote)



British Single :

The transition from boyband heartthrob to solo artist can be a tricky one. Especially when you cut yourself off very abruptly from one of the most globally recognised bands. Pillow Talk was Zayn's first solo track, which introduced him as a brooding solo artist with a lot of potential.




International female Solo Artist :

This is probably the toughest category to pick from. All the nominees do deserve the award but if we had to pick, we'd choose Solange.  Her album was another example of her ever evolving creativity as an artist and sees her pushing the boundaries of the pop/R&B mainstream.




International Male Solo Artist :

The lovely Esther described Bon Iver 22 to Million album ‘The best piece of work to date’. And insisted that he was the all time winner of this category.




International Group :

There is no doubt that Tribe Called Quest need to win this one. It's been 18
years since they released an album, and with the loss of Phife dwag this year it was echoed how important this group was, and still are, to the hip hop scene. The drop of their album 'We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service' was highly anticipated and didn't fail to impress.



The show will be screened live on Wednesday the 22nd. Expect to see the likes of Katy Perry, Robbie Williams, Little Mix and Ed Sheeran performing at the star studded event.  We are looking forward to seeing who the winners are and if our predictions are correct!

Benefits of Curated Background Music #8

This is the eighth in a series of top tips for the effective use of curated background music. This week we are focussing on the fast food industry.

Use music to alleviate crowding and lighten the mood

A number of brands use music to alleviate crowding and to pacify their customers during busy times of service. In addition, the presence of certain music genres can significantly reduce the perceived length of time spent waiting in a queue.

In the past McDonald’s has chosen to play classical music in their busier branches. A McDonald's spokesperson says “Based on the advice of our security team, classical music is used by some restaurants as it encourages calm behaviour. Typically, classical music is used from early evening onwards.”

5 Gigs You Should See This Week 20th - 26th

February has been a great month for live music and with the BRITS around the corner next week looks like it will be filled

Amine 20th February @Kamio


Since catching everyone's attention with his infectious "Caroline" single that's racked up over 40 million plays on Spotify over the last few months, Portland rapper Aminé has been pipped as an artist to watch for 2017.  Tickets are going fast for this show, so make sure you grab a pair if you can.

Click here for tickets

Tempesst 21st February @The Lexington


 If you enjoy catchy, reverb-soaked sounds and the memories of the 60's psychedelia then check out Tempesst. 

Click here for tickets



Wild Beasts 24th February @Omeara


The UK Indie rock band will be playing an intimate gig for War Child BRITS week.  All the money raised will go to the charity for children whose lives have been torn apart by war.

Click here for tickets


Dusky 24th February @ Brixton Electric

London production duo Nick Harriman and Alfie Granger-Howell will be playing at one of Brixtons renowned venue next Friday. In just three years, the fast-rising duo have asserted themselves as leaders of the UK underground.

Click here for tickets.


Mic Righteous 26th February @O2 Academy Islington

Mic Righteous has rapidly become one of the hottest young stars in the U.K hip-hop & grime scene.  If your a fan of Akala , Ghetts and Bashy you will be a fan of Righteous songs.

Click here for tickets

Album Review : Process - Sampha

It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 years since we first heard Sampha's unique beautifully melancholic vocals on SBTRKT's self-titled debut. The 27 year olds vocals and production have been featured on tracks for Drake, Solange, and Frank Ocean groundbreaking albums of 2016. It feels like 2017 was the perfect time for Sampha to release a long awaited album of his own.

‘Process’ comes 3 years after his EP Dual and the loss of his mother back in 2015.   The album name alone gives you an understanding of how the album may map out.   The 10 track album feels like a form of self release with songs nodding to childhood experiences (Like The Piano) and reflecting on his past 2 years. Each song has such variety in use of instruments but fits together perfectly. There is a strong feeling that this album is a form of self-release and a way to vocalizing his personal growth.

Though there are a number of power ballad’s there is a diverse sound in each track. There is variation of stripped back tracks (Take Me Inside) and vibrant complex songs with layers of punchy electro bites (Timmy’s Prayer, Blood on me).

I hold this album up with the likes of ‘A Seat at my Table’ and ’25’.  It is a finely tuned, personal/reflective and lyrically poetic piece of art by an accessible, heartfelt singer who keeps to the traditional songwriting yet pushed the boundaries out without being too experimental.

We will be keeping our eye out for this album when it comes to Mercury Awards as it truly deserves one.

6. Sonic Branding: An Introduction

13 years ago our CEO Daniel M Jackson wrote a book that marked a seminal moment in the history of sonic branding. The book is called ‘Sonic Branding: An Introduction’.

This week we have chosen to include a short extract describing the origination of sonic branding. An important moment for those lucky enough to be working in the industry, and we have been passionately leading the sonic branding revolution ever since!..


What is sonic?

The development of the marketing and movie industries over the last 100 years informs much of what we call sonic branding. The obvious connection is the way in which these two industries have used the power of sound in its various guises and in the following chapter we will start to unravel the medium of sound itself. The goal is to understand its mechanics and its relationship with humanity, so that we can fully harness the power of sound. Just before we get into things, it is worth stating that for our purposes the words 'sound' and 'sonic' mean the same things. Sonic branding has been chosen by the industry as the generic for little reason other than it just sounds sexier than 'sound'. Why this is so is a matter for phonetics and linguistics and possibly another book.

The broadest technical definition of 'sonic' is that it relates to any wave or vibration that has a frequency within the audible range of the human ear. This simple definition understates things a little but as you can probably already tell, I think sound is actually very exciting. It is also complex and something that we should really be grateful to receive. Sound is our warning sense - we can shut our eyes but we cannot shut our ears. It is also a compassionate sense because sound gives us the opportunity to listen. Sound is your baby crying (and someone else's) and sound is hearing your partner say 'I do". Sound is birdsong and whale song and police sirens. It is the wind in the trees and baby gerbils 'clicking'. It is what makes the cinema a great experience and what makes car alarms a pain in the neck.

Daniel M Jackson, CEO - CORD

Benefits of Curated Background Music #7

This is the seventh in a series of top tips for the effective use of curated background music. This week I am focussing on the fast food industry.

Stand out from your competitors

It’s a noisy world out there, so use music to give your brand a distinctive edge. Treating the sound of your brand as carefully as you do its tone of voice and visual identity, is key. First, ask yourself 'is the sound of my brand intentional?' and then ‘is it exclusive to my brand’? If you use music in your restaurants that feels in keeping with your brand, you are more likely to find a clear and distinctive place within the industry.

Wahaca’s digital marketing manager Paola Feregrino says 'It’s a great idea to match the flavours of your food offering to your playlist'...


Benefits of Curated Background Music #6

This is the sixth in a series of top tips for the effective use of curated background music. This week I am focussing on the fast food industry.

Use music to shift mood and alter your customer's behaviour

Music can be a key factor in establishing an atmosphere for a fast-food restaurant setting. Therefore it is important to define your customer journey and to use music to help achieve the desired mood and to maintain the appropriate energy levels across the day and night.

Pablo Ettinger, co-founder of Caffè Nero says "When we raise the tempo of the music and start playing jazz around lunchtime, it’s amazing how the whole vibe is instantly transformed. People wake up."


Pablo Ettinger is the co-founder of the Caffè Nero coffee house chain, which is credited with helping launch the musical careers of Passenger and Jack Savoretti. 

Pablo Ettinger is the co-founder of the Caffè Nero coffee house chain, which is credited with helping launch the musical careers of Passenger and Jack Savoretti. 

5 Gigs You Should See This Week 13th - 19th

Rag'n'Bone Man Tuesday 14 February @The Clapham Grand







British singer and songwriter will lend his smooth vocals to the crowd this Valentines days.

Click here for tickets

Johnossi Tuesday 15th February @OSLO Hackney

Swedish Rock duo consisting of songwriter, singer, guitarist John Engelbert and drummer, percussionist and singer Oskar "Ossi" Bonde will be performing at Oslo Hackney.

Click here for tickets

Duke Garwood Thursday 16th February @OSLO Hackney


The multi-instrumentalist will be filling the Oslo with strong vocals and gruff style blues.

Click here for tickets


Loyle Carner Friday 17th February @O2 Shepherds Bush Empire





Its been an exciting start of the year for South London born artist Loyle Carner. With the release of his debut album 'Yesterday's Gone' in January he solo UK tour looks like it will be a great 2017 for Loyle.

Click here for tickets



Maya Jane Cole Saturday 18th February @Printworks London





Maya Jane Cole is artist of many talents.  On a typical Maya Jane -Coles record, Maya will have written, produced, engineered, arranged, mixed and performed every element of the track; sometimes top-lining and, on most occasions, even designing the sleeve artwork too. Her sets have always full of energy that resonates throughout the crowd.


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5. Sonic Branding: An Introduction

13 years ago our CEO Daniel M Jackson wrote a book that marked a seminal moment in the history of sonic branding. The book is called ‘Sonic Branding: An Introduction’.

This week's extract touches upon the origins of the musical film. For the very first time audiences were able to experience music synced perfectly to picture...


What the movies did for us

By 1925, a consortium led by Warner Bros had developed a new technology called the Vitaphone. It was the first system to allow good quality music to be played back perfectly synchronised with pictures. On 6 August of that year, in the 'refrigerated' Warner Theatre on Broadway, New York City, Don Juan, featuring major stars John Barrymore and Mary Astor was released. It was an experimental film that used the Vitaphone technique in a limited way. It was shot in the same way as any other silent movie of the era in that there was no dialogue, but the addition of a pre-recorded orchestral score made the film the first of the age of sound. The film showcased the talent of the New York Philharmonic, one of the finest orchestras of the day.

The musical film was well received and Warners set about their next release which was again to be a film shot in the silent style, with no dialogue and plot lines shown on narration cards. The movie they made starred one of the biggest stars of popular entertainment in the United States at that time, Al Jolson. It was called The Jazz Singer and it was conceived, like Don Juan, to showcase music. Film-makers were at the time very sceptical as to whether the characters on film should talk. The scepticism came from a Luddite 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' attitude to the film business and also from the sheer volume of logistical problems that would have to be overcome in order to make talking pictures. Silent movies could be shot anywhere but talking pictures would require silent stages, actors tied with wires to recorders and a big chunk of investment. A great representation of these times is contained in the film Singing in the Rain.

Daniel M Jackson, CEO - CORD