Five questions for Laridae

Laridae—your netlabel for encoded highs and lows responds to igloomag.com’s Five questions. Learn more about how this Austrian label has planted the netlabel seeds and grown to encapsulate a wide variety of releases from around the globe.

Igloo Magazine :: When did Laridae start up and what was your inspiration?

Laridae :: We—that is Firnwald, Photophob and Red.Chamber—decided to make our own netlabel in 2004, after we had virtually met in an Austrian online music platform and were disappointed with the limitations there. We wanted to release whole albums, not just single tracks. Our focus had always been on thought-out full length releases with some sort of concept or theme, fitting artwork and all that stuff.

So, our inspiration in the beginning simply was to get our own music out to the people—in an adequate way. We had been quite impressed by netlabels like Binkcrsh or Earstroke back than and just thought that’s a cool way to spread our sounds. So we made our own thing.

Igloo :: Who were some of your initial artist relations and did your physical location hinder any progress?

Laridae :: In the early days of Laridae we didn’t have many mentionable artist relations outside the Laridae startup group. That’s the 3 founders Firnwald, Red.Chamber and Photophob plus Beitegeuze, Woycheck, Schaua, Welk, Microtonner and Der Reisende. This quite coincidental mix of different artists with different styles also somehow nailed the sound of Laridae, somewhere between Electronica, Ambient, Breakbeats, Industrial and Post-Rock. Our combination of different “listening music” styles set us apart from most of the netlabels at that time, releasing hardly anything but danceable stuff. And so it didn’t take long that demos started to drop in from all over the world.

As we run Laridae as triumvirate and each of us lives in a different city, it doesn’t have a clear “location.” It’s a total internet thing. The server is located in Vienna/Austria, where Red.Chamber does all the technical website stuff, our mastermind Firnwald sits in Trostberg/Germany and Photophob does his administrative jobs near Graz/Austria. It also took some time for us to meet in real life—laridae.at had been up and running for some years, before we all got to know each other personally. Our location also has no influence on the demos we get. There’s no overweight of demos or signings from middle Europe. In fact, almost 90 percent of the demos we get come from eastern Europe at the moment. We seem to hit a nerve there with our style.

Igloo :: What were some of the challenges (if any) starting up a label? How did you envision the label to stand apart?

Laridae :: Netlabels are easy to start up. But they are also easy to close down again, when things are not going as planned, when the first enthusiasm is cooling down and when you realize that often you don’t even get feedback for what you do (besides the fact that of course you don’t get any money). We are quite proud that we managed to keep the label alive for so long. Quite a lot of time and energy flows into our netlabel. And we do all this besides our day jobs, our families and producing our own music. So, again: yes, we are quite proud Laridae is still alive.

Igloo :: What is your motivation in keeping the label moving forward into the next decade?

Laridae :: Bringing great music to the people. Music, that commercial labels often won’t risk to release. Yes, I guess that’s it.

Igloo :: Tell us more about how you (and your staff?) take the label’s “sound” to the listeners and fans. Distribution, campaigns, word of mouth etc.

Laridae :: As Laridae is a leisure time project, we don’t do that much promotion. Luckily, we managed to establish a small but faithful fanbase that helps us to spread the word in blogs etc. Most of the music on Laridae also doesn’t work under “live conditions,” or in clubs etc. It’s mostly bedroom or living room music. So, all in all it comes down to two things: Social media and word of mouth. If we have luck, there is a snowball effect and a release gets tens of thousands of downloads. But we also have (great!) releases that are crawling along with just some several hundred.

But in interviews we tend to mention those with several thousand. Guy Andrews for example, who released both his debut albums as Iambic2 on laridae.at (with more than 50.,000 downloads for his first album) just got featured on the Massive Attack Facebook site. I think we did a good job there by introducing this great artist to quite a lot of people.

For more information about Laridae, visit their website at laridae.at. Here’s a link to Laridae’s 50th celebratory compilation release: archive.org/details/laridae050

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