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The Latest Hot Act Signed to a Record Deal Is an App

Endel creates personalized soundscapes to help users sleep or concentrate
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2019 9:25 AM CDT
A screen capture from a recording engineer's computer shows a spectral analysis of a song.   (AP Photo/Ryan Nakashima)

(Newser) – After producing five albums solo, Endel has just landed a record deal with Warner Music. It will have to get busy—the contract calls for 15 new albums this year. That seems doable, though, because Endel isn't human, it's code. The app creates personalized soundscapes for users to help them relax or focus, the Guardian reports. The German app uses time of day, weather, and other inputs to produce the mood music. The albums released so far, which are included in the deal, are based on different types of sleep: Clear Night, Rainy Night, Cloudy Afternoon, Cloudy Night, and Foggy Morning. Endel, whose investors include Amazon's Alexa Fund, calls itself "a cross-platform audio ecosystem." That makes Warner the first major label to sign a deal with an algorithm.

Endel had reservations about the new gig, and not just because when an act hits it big, money changes everything. "We were hesitant at first because it counters what we're doing here," co-founder Dmitry Evgrafov tells Rolling Stone. "Our whole idea is making soundscapes that are real-time and adaptive." The record company convinced Endel it can do both. "When a label like Warner approaches you, you have to say, 'why not?'" Evgrafov says. He's not worried about having to deliver so many albums this year because algorithms don't get tired, or hit creative dry spells. The albums, Evgrafov says, are "all made just by pressing one button." (Read more Warner Music stories.)

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