Deny it as they might, red-faced executives at troubled Hornimint Records, have today provided proof positive that their Hornimint Modern label is in serious trouble after disappointing sales returns on their latest release - Hortense Threadbone's Requiem Canticles VII. The pioneering recording through which the Company hoped to resurrect both its failing fortunes and the reputation of Ms Threadbone [once described as "Dorset’s most famous justly neglected female composer”] has failed to make the impact executives had hoped, despite a high profile MacPro Brothers-led publicity campaign and - it is alleged - significant bribes to Dorset Radio 8’s highly influential classical spin doctor and reviewer Paë Për Playe. Many were surprised when the somewhat esoteric disc was chosen as the station’s Record of the Week and even more surprised when an extract [Requiem Canticle V] was included in its Christmas-sales directed 2021 All-time Great Relaxing Classical Tracks compilation.
Though no-one at the Radio Station is admitting to the possibility of outside influence, let alone outright chart manipulation, critics will inevitably point to the conviction for a similar offence of the station’s sister service [Dorset Radio 2] 10 years ago. In that case, lawyers acting for Ziggy Osmington and the Boners were successful in convincing DOFCOM that Radio 2’s “unusually generous” promotion of Clifford Richbone’s Festive Season single Misery and Whine had deprived the rock legends of the Number 1 spot come Christmas Day. The broadcaster settled for an undisclosed fee and undertook to commission an independent revue into its pay-me-to-play protocols.
Whatever the truth of the present matter, industry watcher Anna Logg-Izbetta, says the re-release of Requiem Canticles VII in Hornimint's more populist Modern Classics series only a month after its initial release is significant. “They are delving into their usual bag of tricks”, she says, “brightening the palette of the booklet’s pages and giving the re-release a much more appealing [to some [Ed]] cover. It all bears the hallmarks of an issue in trouble and a company in retreat.
As though in confirmation of that assessment, purchasers of the original release have been invited to download the new artwork free of charge, provided they pay a one-off fee of £25 to join the Hornimint Records’ Modern Classics Digi-Access Portal. Intending subscribers should be warned, however, that [a] they will have to give bank details and sign an irrevocable on-line standing order and [b] there is no opt-out clause with regard to a recurrent annual service charge “for administrative purposes” of £43.50 plus VAT.
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