Bleep's the New Street Sound

Article excerpt

Byline: ALEXIA BARACAIA

THE might of iTunes has been challenged after an independent download site run from Kentish Town was voted the UK's best online music store.

Bleep.com, set up two years ago by British record label Warp Records, beat Apple's iTunes and Napster to win the award at the annual BT Digital Music Awards.

Like iTunes, Bleep.com offers single track and album MP3 downloads but focuses on indie-rock and electronic music found on independent labels - including Franz Ferdinand's Domino and Bjork's One Little Indian.

Record industry insiders said Bleep's success represented a growing trend away from the global download firms.

One source said iTunes was "the Tesco of the music marketplace, with all the hits, but people would rather go for something a bit more alternative, with a bit more heart and soul".

Warp Records was founded in

Sheffield in 1989 by former record store employees Steve Beckett and Rob Mitchell, whose breakthrough artists included Aphex Twin. In the late nineties the label moved to Kentish Town and in 2004 established Bleep.com.

Other winners at last night's ceremony, held at the Roundhouse in Camden and hosted by Edith Bowman, included Peter Gabriel - handed the inaugural Pioneer Award for his innovation throughout a 40-year music career. …

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