SOURCE: Atlantic Records

April 10, 2006 14:03 ET

Atlantic Goes Downtown for New Joint Venture; Gnarls Barkley to Be Downtown/Atlantic Debut; "Entourage" Soundtrack on Tap

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 10, 2006 -- Atlantic Records and independent label Downtown Records have announced a new alliance whereby selected Downtown releases will be upstreamed to be marketed by Atlantic. Based in New York, with offices in Los Angeles, Downtown is distributed by ADA (Alternative Distribution Alliance), a division of Atlantic's parent company, Warner Music Group. Downtown Records was founded by veteran music executive Josh Deutsch, who serves as the label's Chairman/CEO, GM Terence Lam, and entertainment investor John Josephson.

The first joint Downtown/Atlantic release will be the highly anticipated debut album from Gnarls Barkley, the collaboration between superstar producer Danger Mouse (Gorillaz, "The Grey Album") and R&B vocal star Cee-Lo Green (Goodie Mob, OutKast, Ludacris, Pussycat Dolls). Entitled "ST. ELSEWHERE," the acclaimed album is slated for release on May 9th. It will be preceded by the release of the already buzzing single, "Crazy," which made chart history last week when it hit #1 in the UK based solely on download sales.

Also on tap via Downtown/Atlantic is the soundtrack to the hit HBO series, "Entourage," slated for release this summer. Downtown will release "DEATH BY SEXY," the explosive new album from Eagles of Death Metal featuring Josh Homme, through ADA on April 11. On May 9, Downtown will also release "BANG BANG ROCK & ROLL," the acclaimed debut from breakout UK rockers Art Brut.

In addition to this new deal with Atlantic, Downtown has formed a partnership with independent Vice Records -- also affiliated with both Atlantic and ADA -- to utilize Vice's sales staff to work its initial slate of releases.

"I am very excited about our new partnership with Josh and Downtown Records," said Atlantic Records Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman. "Josh is an extremely talented label exec, not to mention an accomplished producer and songwriter, with some of the best ears in the business. Through his many years at Elektra, he is a longtime member of the Warner Music Group, and it's great to have him back in the fold.

"Josh has an impressive history of finding and breaking new artists, and he has already assembled a diverse roster of unique, compelling artists at Downtown. He is joined by a terrific, experienced staff, and they are hitting the ground running with an initial slate of great releases. Downtown is rapidly establishing itself as a destination label for cutting-edge talent, and I am very happy to welcome them to the Atlantic family."

"Downtown Records is the realization of a life-long dream for me and I am delighted to have formed this partnership with Craig, Julie and the entire Atlantic staff," said Downtown Chairman/CEO Josh Deutsch. "With our initial slate of releases -- Eagles of Death Metal, Gnarls Barkley, Art Brut, and the 'Entourage' soundtrack -- I am looking forward to an amazing year and a productive relationship with Atlantic.

"From day one, Atlantic has been incredibly supportive of our artists and our goals on so many levels, and Downtown is proud to be part of such a vibrant culture. Downtown Records is also extremely happy to be part of the ADA family of labels and we are grateful for their out-of-the-box support."

Josh Deutsch was most recently Senior Vice President of A&R at Virgin Records for three years, prior to which he was Executive Vice President at Elektra Records for seven years. In the course of his career, Deutsch has been responsible for discovering and developing such artists as Jet, Jason Mraz, Lenny Kravitz, Third Eye Blind, Brooke Valentine, A Perfect Circle, Vitamin C, and Megadeth, among others. He has also served as a staff producer for Virgin, Elektra, and Capitol Records, and is an accomplished songwriter.

Downtown's senior executive team also includes GM Terence Lam and Head of Promotion Del Williams. Lam was previously at VH1 for over eight years, most recently as Director of Music and Talent Relations. Prior to VH1, he held positions at Sony Music and Geffen Music Publishing. Williams is one of the music industry's leading alternative rock radio promotion executives, with nearly twenty years of experience. Following a four-year stint at Elektra Records, Williams formed his own Alternative Radio Marketing Strategies (ARMS Division), playing an instrumental role in launching the careers of numerous rock and alternative artists. In 2002, Williams created Right Arm Concert & Talent Division, which procures artists and media partners for major music festivals.

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