Spring quite literally sprang for us at RetroFuzz this week as we launched our latest iteration of the Lee Jeans website to showcase their Spring/Summer 2013 range.

We’ve been working with Lee on their digital output since 2012. Since redesigning and redeveloping their site with responsive design principles we’ve seen the traffic increase by over 25%, average user visit time increase by almost 60% and mobile bounce rate drop by 50%. For us, it reaffirms our belief in creating great experiences for users no matter what device they’re browsing on.

One of the key parts of the SS13 refresh was the launch of the interactive fit guide. Tasked with the brief of creating a tool to help educate users on which jeans are right for them, we enlisted the help of filmmaker Tim Walker of Westbound TV and locked ourselves in a photo studio in Brussels for a couple of days with a huge pile of denim and a two very helpful models. We wanted to show the jeans filmed in real time rather than just a posed, retouched image to give the user a real world preview of the range. We also wanted to give the user chance to view the range next to each other in order to compare the subtle differences between fits, which are often lost in still images.

The response to the tool has been overwhelmingly positive, and the next stage is to roll it out throughout Lee stores across Europe on installed iPads, allowing customers to get a quick overview of the range without having to set foot in the changing room.

You can check out the site here: http://eu.lee.com

Retrofuzz team up with Earache to create the Metalizer Spotify app

It’s often the simplest concepts that are the most successful - do one thing and do it well. So when Earache approached us with the idea of a Spotify app that enabled you to ‘mix your own metal playlist’ we were instantly really excited.

And so the Earache Metallizer was born.

Users of the app are able to ‘dial in’ the levels of the sub genres of metal that they would like to listen to using a virtual mixing desk. The app then instantly generates a playlist of tracks from the sub genres of their choice, which they can listen to, save and share with their friends. That’s it. Simple!

Having worked in the industry for years, the guys at Earache know metal. Their combined knowledge and passion is the power behind the app. The app doesn’t tap into an API to find out what tracks are classed as Death or Thrash, no these tracks were categorised by experts, by hand.

And it’s not just their catalog that the app showcases, Earache wanted to include all metal - a refreshing stance that once again highlights their passion for the genre.

We are really proud of the app and it’s great to have worked with Earache to create the first true metal app on Spotify. If you fancy something a little darker check it out:



Introducing Lanyard

If you’ve ever wondered what five Fuzzers might get up to if they were locked in a room together for a while, then today’s your lucky day! If you’ve never even considered this possibility, then read on anyway - we think you’ll still be interested…

It was back in August that we sent three of our number over to Gothenburg with nothing but a name and an idea for the Way Out West Hack Battle - a hack day conceived and hosted jointly by the Way Out West Music Festival, EMI Music, Spotify and Last.fm amongst others.

The theme was music discovery, with bonus points for creating something based around the festival itself. So in true Fuzz “keep it simple” style, we decided to create a mobile app that would guide you around the gigs at the music festival itself and track your check-ins at the various gigs you saw, with the added bonus of a Spotify app that would enable you to listen back to the music of the artists you checked in at on your travels. No longer do you have to return from an amazing festival having already forgotten half of the bands that you’d seen.

To cut a long story short, lots of people loved it, we won some prizes and we even had offers of investment that we (politely) declined. We realised we were onto something, though we weren’t completely sure what it was just yet.

Fast forward a few days and the wanderers returned with a smile on their faces, a spring in their step and a buzz in their hearts. We here at Fuzz had been searching for “the big idea” for years and finally we felt we had it within our grasp. Our own project that we could dedicate as much time to as we dedicate to the clients we look after every day.

So we set to work developing the idea over seemingly endless meetings, lunches and email threads until we ended up with the service that we’re sharing with you today.

Currently in beta, Lanyard is a web and mobile app that enables you to create a visually stunning online journal of your live music memories. We all have physical objects that we associate with those special moments from our personal live music history - whether it’s a ticket stub, an aftershow pass or a simple photograph, they are each analogue artifacts in a digital world.

Lanyard enables our users to create their own personal live music history online and help them relive each and every one of those special moments at the touch of a button.

It’s simple and fun, and you can check it out yourself right now by signing up here:


We’ve been blown away by the interest we’ve received since we launched our beta just six days ago at the Vans Warped Tour at Alexandra Palace. In all honesty we weren’t expecting the numbers we received over just one weekend - you can see more about that here:

Needless to say, there’s a lot more to come. We feel like we’re only just scratching the surface with what can be done with the service, and we’re excited about the updates we have in the pipeline.

During the weeks ahead we’ll be launching our Spotify app that will automatically create playlists based on the live music history you’ve created in Lanyard. We’re also looking at improving our existing photo uploading facility by closely integrating your Instagram account to enable you to automatically add content to your Lanyard from within the Instagram mobile app. Plus much much more besides.


More about Lanyard here…


RetroFuzz works with Sony Music on One Direction Spotify App

The pop music fans amongst you might have noticed that One Direction have recently launched a Spotify app to their adoring public across 14 countries worldwide. Well you guessed it, it’s another one of ours! We’ve been working with the folks over at Sony Music UK to get this one finished and we’re really happy with it. Here’s a link for you…


And here’s a quick rundown of the features on there…

An interactive map of One Direction playlists that allows users to listen to what they boys are listening to as they travel the world. Users can also listen to the music the boys were listening to when they were in the X Factor house, providing the first real insight into their taste in music.

1D fans can submit their own playlists to the band by logging in with Facebook or Twitter. Lucky fans will have their playlists featured on the 1D Map alongside the band’s.

This page enables the fans to listen to the brand new album from One Direction directly within the app, as well as listen to the entire One Direction back catalog.

Users can flick through the scattered polaroids submitted by One Direction fans from around the world.

So as you can see, it’s a veritable feast for One Direction fans all over the world, and we can’t wait to see how it’s received by their fanbase. We’re sure to see it rocketing up the Spotify App Finder charts over the next few days.


So last week was pretty good. As you may have noticed we finally put the Blue Note Spotify application live after working on it for a number of months. The team at Blue Note have been absolutely fantastic to work with, especially EMI Music North America’s Senior Director of Digital Strategy - Walter Gross.

Walter was a joy to work alongside for us, and it really feels like both sides have collaborated to create an application that is worth far more than the sum of its parts. It seems that the wider world agree with us!

To be completely honest we’re not really used to being in the limelight quite so much, so seeing our name mentioned by Billboard in the USA was a bit crackers to say the least. All very exciting.

Anyway, we wanted to share some of the very welcome feedback we’ve received over the last week or so, so here are a few choice links for your perusal…


Rolling Stone
"One of my concerns when I first came to the record company – not just for Blue Note but for all record companies – [is that] I understand why a 15-year-old doesn’t feel incentivized to download some file. There’s nothing romantic about that. What strikes me about this app is that it makes the music larger than life. I think it has a wonderful vibe to it. It draws you into the mystique of the music." - Don Was, President of Blue Note Records

"What’s so impressive is that Blue Note has released their entire catalog in this Spotify app format and has done so in a way that facilitates discovery by connecting jazz that a user might not know, to music they probably do. The app’s design and functionality allow the listener to discover by performer, album, style, instrument or year, providing several easy entry points into the music for jazz novices, as well as the ability for jazz experts to dive deep into Blue Note’s unrivaled catalog."

LA Times
"Jazz fans who are also Spotify subscribers probably can just say goodbye to their afternoon with the release of a new app from Blue Note Records."

Mr Trick
"So there lies the genius of the Blue Note app to me. Huge credit should go to the partnership of the label and Retrofuzz, the developers behind this. I would imagine this has been a tough but highly rewarding project for both to work on, and I’ve no doubt – based on both the extensive glowing PR, but also the social chatter around the app – that this will be boosting revenues for Blue Note which, lest we forget, is the main aim here. They’ve set a new gold standard for other Spotify app developers to follow – and let’s not beat about the bush here: Spotify needs more apps like this in order to bring genuine value to their platform. This represents a big win for all involved, and rightly so. More like it please!"

Soul Culture
"EMI Music’s iconic label Blue Note Records have announced the launch of a cool and innovative new Spotify app, which will allow fans to explore music from across the label’s 70+ year history."

"A Piece Of Technology That Makes Listening To Jazz Better."

Linchpin Digital
"It’s not the technology. It’s the human factor."

The Verge
"Blue Note Records is offering new fans and long-time enthusiasts an engaging way to browse its catalog and learn a little something in the process."

And a few tweets for good measure…

"The new Blue Note app is just gorgeous. Great interface coupled magnificent music selection. This is an invaluable resource."

"The Blue Note Spotify App is on to a winner - First label app to actually broach the discovery issue."

"This Blue Note app on Spotify is so. damn. good. Archives x discovery done right."

"Congrats @retrofuzz for the amazing Spotify App for Blue Note Records. One of the finest musical experience ever."

"If you like Jazz, the Blue Note app on Spotify is just outstanding. Smart model of promotion for record labels."

"Blue Note has launched a ridiculously awesome Spotify app that lets you search by artist, album, even sidemen."

"If you use Spotify and are even remotely a Jazz fan, this is a must-have from @bluenoterecords. Best Spotify app yet."

"Blue Note Spotify app is hands down the BEST Spotify app to date. Amazing."

"The Blue Note app on Spotify just changed the game. Stunning. Immersive. Goodbye world, I’m in jazz heaven."

"Spotify’s Blue Note app is a data-enhanced, music nerd’s dream. @Spotify @bluenoterecords"

"My favorite recent discover is the Blue Note app on Spotify. I’ve been wanting something like it for so long!"

"I might have to get Spotify just for the Blue Note app."

Blue Note Records partners with RetroFuzz to launch Spotify App

Download this press release as a PDF »

Blue Note Records and EMI Music North America have this week launched the Blue Note Records Spotify app in conjunction with Manchester based creative agency RetroFuzz. The agency was appointed by the legendary jazz label after a three way pitch to design and develop the app in its entirety.

The Blue Note Spotify app utilises the wealth of seminal music and iconic photography that forms the label’s vast catalog, providing users with a curated journey through the history of the world’s greatest jazz label.

Amongst other functionality the app features the following sections:

  • Timeline features every release made by Blue Note Records and allows the user to browse the entire Blue Note back catalog, with filtering options for instruments, sector and years.
  • Artists features a list of every single Blue Note artist ever released, with photographs, biographies and links to relevant releases, as well as links to other similar artists from the Blue Note catalog.
  • Blue Note 101 gives an overview to the many facets of the world of jazz allowing users to easily discover music suited to them.
  • Blue Note Break Beats sees the first implementation of WhoSampled.com on Spotify, allowing users to discover which Blue Note recordings have been sampled, and listen to the subsequent recordings that were created instantly.

"RetroFuzz have been a pleasure to work with throughout this project," said Walter Gross, Senior Director of Digital Strategy for EMI Music North America. "Here at Blue Note we care so much about our catalog that finding an agency that respected that and could work with us on our level was of utmost importance. Their combined passion for music and technology is obvious and feels like a true asset when working alongside them. They’re always willing to take feedback and ideas on board and put forward creative solutions, and they’ve been unwavering in their efforts to deliver this app for us. We’re delighted with the outcome."

RetroFuzz have built a strong relationship with Spotify since the initial launch of their app platform in late 2011 and have worked on a number of other currently available apps, including NOW That’s What I Call Music! (number two on the UK app finder since launch in March 2012), Absolute Music (number two on the Swedish app finder since launch in August, with millions of streams recorded in less than a month), Blur and PIAS, with several more apps in development for launch in Q4 2012.

"We have worked closely with RetroFuzz since the beginning of 2012," said Yashar Moradbakhti, Product Owner at Spotify Platform team. "They deliver great app concepts from both a design and development perspective. Moreover, they have the technical knowledge and industry experience required to deliver really excellent final products."

"We are all music and technology fans equally here, so we love Spotify’s app platform," said Jonathan McNamara, Managing Director of RetroFuzz Ltd. "Ever since we originally signed up for Spotify in late 2008 we’ve had our own ideas about how we could extend the platform with our own apps, so to be able to put so many of our ideas into practice with such well respected clients is wonderful and feels like a real privilege. We’re excited about Spotify’s continued commitment to the platform and the possibilities it opens up for developers like us."

The Blue Note Spotify app is available worldwide in the app finder now: http://open.spotify.com/app/bluenote/

Jonathan McNamara
Managing Director - RetroFuzz
+44 (0) 161 235 5350

RetroFuzz is a creative digital design agency for the creative industries. Since their inception in 2007, RetroFuzz have nurtured an enviable client list that includes every major UK record label, and worked on many high profile online campaigns for artists such as U2, Noel Gallagher, Arctic Monkeys, Lady Gaga, REM, The Stone Roses and Bloc Party to name but a few. More recently they have broadened their client roster to include fashion brands such as Eastpak, Lee Jeans, Levi’s, Volcom and Warehouse.

Blue Note Records was founded in 1939, and has since established itself as one of the most famous record labels in the world. Artists signed to Blue Note today include Norah Jones, Amos Lee, Jeff Bridges, Keren Ann, Robert Glasper, Bill Charlap, Joe Lovano, Priscilla Ahn and Jason Moran.


Nightime and long exposure photography has been a source of inspiration and wonder to me for some time now. A holiday just wouldn’t be a holiday without spending hours after dark stood alone in a dark field behind a tripod.

It’s something that takes a lot of practice, your…


In for the day. Out for the night. The daily commute. Having been impressed with the still photos captured during the first couple of weeks with the 4S, I wanted to try out the video capabilities. The morning light was lovely, and Youth Lagoon soundtracked the journey perfectly. Shot on iPhone 4S Edited in Adobe Premiere No image treatment Music is July by Youth Lagoon (please check them out, they’re great: youthlagoon.blogspot.com)


I was honoured to be asked to speak at this event - and as promised to everyone there, here is a transcript of the talk, with links so you can investigate more.

But when I read the brief for the talks this evening it seemed like it was going to be fun and inspiring, so it was a no-brainer to…

Pong table doubles up as a handy proofing area.