Label extrapolation piece :: Part 2

1950 image 1 AUDIOBULB :: David Newman

Igloo :: What is the “mission statement” for your label and how do you approach and nurture artist relationships?

DN :: Audiobulb is run out of respect for quality artistic work. Our direction is based on the idea of “exploratory music”. Audiobulb is not bound by genres or fads, it functions to support people who are working hard to reach out into new directions, to express themselves and communicate with others. I think each artist brings their own expectations in terms of the label. Good communication is the key for me. I work proactively with each artist with a view to nurturing their work and promoting it in a manner that remains true to the artists vision.

Igloo :: Is there any particular “ingredient” to keep and maintain a consistent release schedule?

DN :: Organisation and dedication to the label, its artists and its followers.

Igloo :: What are your views on growing the label for 2010 and beyond (physical / digital releases / gigs)?

DN :: Audiobulb is developing and as always has wide ranging remit. In terms of music it will continue to release artists whose work I admire and adore. It will continue to focus on high quality art and design. It will continue to release on CD despite the growing trend for digital sales. To do this Audiobulb will partner with artists who are capable of selling a minimum number of CDs – providing a viable return. Music is always evolving and so is Audiobulb – there are plans to release music that incorporates songs and lyrics (e.g., Papercutz) and music by bands – even guitar bands! However, all releases will maintain a focus on the exploratory creative process. Gigs are really important and I am lucky to work with artists who play live on a regular basis. He Can Jog, Ultre, Papercutz, Calika, Claudia and my own work as Autistici are all backed up by live performances.

I am now running a sister label Audiomoves which releases purely in the digital format. This allows me to support artists whose work may not sell sufficient numbers of CDs but whose work is quality. These are the producers whose creative work is phenomenal but who do not
operate in a popular aesthetic or do not actively promote themselves via gigs.

Igloo :: Is there anything you would suggest / recommend to artists sending demo’s?

DN :: It has been said a thousand times before, please read the demo policy! Audiobulb likes to receive a paragraph of intro text, a link to website and a link to a mp3 hosted on the artist’s website. We do not accept mp3′s sent direct to our inbox, we do not accept sendspace links and we do not appreciate being approached by artists who have not taken the time to get to know the label. I do genuinely enjoy receiving demos by artists who have done their homework.

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    1950 image 2 LOVETHECHAOS :: Mario G. Ferrer

    Igloo :: What is the “mission statement” for your label and how do you approach and nurture artist relationships?

    MGF :: Our mission, if we can use this expression, is to release the music we like. Simply as that. In fact, we started Lovethechaos records to release our own works. Then we thought we could follow with other artists we knew. Our approach to the artists is something improvised but cool. I mean it comes like this: we like, so we contact them. We try to make a brand of it and add the design part too in all our releases, to have a good product at the end, or a good piece of art.

    Igloo :: Is there any particular “ingredient” to keep and maintain a consistent release schedule?

    MGF :: Ooops! This one’s difficult to answer. Unfortunately, it all depends on money. We’d like to release albums every week but this is not the case. It is true that we receive all kind of demos and very good works. We like all kinds of music, not only electronics, and we do not limit ourselves to choose this or that according to the style. It has to touch us in some way. You know, when you have heard lots of music, there’s always something (not physical) that tells you what you like or you don’t.

    Igloo :: What are your views on growing the label for 2010 and beyond (physical / digital releases / gigs)?

    MGF :: Well, we want to do lots of interesting things for this year, but nothing’s clear by now. We just live at the present time and decide like that. We just released Strange2 album (Cyclos), and next will come a very cool, lo-fi and interesting stuff. It is true that we want to release much more vinyl sutff from now on. We think vinyl is still consideres a piece of art. Besides, vinyl format gives a bit more space for designing, and that’s cool too.

    Igloo :: Is there anything you would suggest / recommend to artists sending demo’s?

    MGF :: Feel free to send any kind of demos. Basically, we are an electronic label. We prefer to receive physical format than digital stuff. Touching is still important. And, above all: We’d like to take the opportuniy to say to all artists that things have changed regarding the past. The world of music is continuously changing, as life does, and the industry is not the same as it was in the 80s, 90s, etc..

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    1950 image 3 REDNETIC :: Mark Streatfield

    Igloo :: What is the “mission statement” for your label and how do you approach and nurture artist relationships?

    MS :: We don’t really have a mission statement, however I stand by what was written on our first compilation One Point One – “It’s all about the soul and the music”. It’s not not really a genre based label but to me its more a feeling within the music that holds all the releases together.

    Igloo :: Is there any particular “ingredient” to keep and maintain a consistent release schedule?

    MS :: Luck, I have tried all kinds of things and no matter how much planning has been involved something unexpected has always happened. I think the main thing is to roll with it and realise it happens to all labels even if from the outside they seem like a well oiled machine. Also it’s obviously essential to have quality artists continually making good music for the label. Its also important to understand the creative process as well. When I first set up the label I was making music very easily and was extremely productive and found it hard to understand how it took some people so long to write just one piece of music. Now I understand how everyone is different, I can write music quickly but other times I have the worst writers block you can imagine.

    Igloo :: What are your views on growing the label for 2010 and beyond (physical / digital releases / gigs)?

    MS :: This year its mainly about the mini CD’s, they allow the label to be a sustainable entity. We aim to keep putting out quality music and try to be less tied up in the marketing and distribution and issues that surround that. Just really focus on making sure that there is quality music on the label and excellent artists that love their artform. This means that gigs or showcases by the label probably won’t happen this year although plenty of the artists on the lable are out there doing great live shows and invlolved in numerous events. As for beyond 2010, maybe a label that has entirely free music. For us their’s no profit involved in the selling the music and if we are here as a label primarily to find good music, package and promote it, then why not be entirely free? I have heard music from netlabel’s that is way better than music released by labels that sell their music. My guiding principle is to focus as much as possible on the music, and in these changing times everything else should be up for debate and discussion. Obviously the down side of this would be no physical releases and I rather like those, so we shall see.

    At the moment I am looking forward to more releases from established artists such as Komponente, Kabana, Gradient, Dubatech and Bactee & Tito, as well as a Rednetic regular Stuart Bowditch finally under his own name. Theres also a few releases from new people such as – Finnish artist Ukkonen who is also a label mate of mine on Uncharted Audio, Nicholson and The Clytha Social. Finally for all those that missed the first 10 of our mini CD releases there will be a compilation out of those tracks soon.

    Igloo :: Is there anything you would suggest / recommend to artists sending demo’s?

    MS :: Please label it clearly and that applies to digital and physical. In essence show professionalism and care about your work. Please don’t waste time on gimmics and artwork, your music should be good enough on its own. We are a small label that loves music, not a public service, so the personal touch works better. What I mean by that is never write for example “Hello Rednetic, we make trance…” it only takes a moment to find out who is involved in the label and what music we release. At the moment we are releasing forms of techno, we are still interested in electronica, but if anyone out there is mixing up genres then please send music, especially if it involves dubstep, techno, minimal, electronica. We are always looking for something new.

    Most importantly if we don’t like your music and it’s good, someone else will. People that have sent music to Rednetic that we have rejected have gone on to set up successful labels (which I have released music on which i have to thank them for) and release it that way or had great success on other labels. No label writes the law on good or bad music they can only release music they love and hope some other people like it.

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    1950 image 4 SYMBOLIC INTERACTION :: Kentaro Togawa

    Igloo :: What is the “mission statement” for your label and how do you approach and nurture artist relationships?

    KT :: It’s just releasing good music I believe in. And, if our releases make someone feel better, it’s the greatest.

    As for the artist relationship, first I try to respect the release schedule I promise with artists. Because I have some experience that my own release had been suspended for a few years on other label, I’m very careful not to delay the release (if any big delay occurs, the artist doesn’t want to release their music again from here). Also, I try to share with the artist all information like the sales or profits as much as possible. Money can destroy the relationship very easily. And, if I can get some profits, I will share it with them fairly.

    In other words, “with good faith,” I try to talk with artists.

    Igloo :: Is there any particular “ingredient” to keep and maintain a consistent release schedule?

    KT :: Basically, I don’t invite artists to release their music from Symbolic Interaction. In almost all cases, demos or contacts from artists are the start of our future releases. Therefore, if I cannot receive any demos from artists, maybe our release pace becomes very slow. Demos from artists are the important for our label.

    Igloo :: What are your views on growing the label for 2010 and beyond (physical / digital releases / gigs)?

    KT :: Now, we have 3-4 release to be released in 2010. One of them will be ep + remixes by One Second Bridge. Also, I’m thinking to release new The Silence Was Warm compilation CD. So, if someone is interested in that, I’d like him or her to contact to me.

    And, I have plans to organize label’s show in Tokyo this autumn called The Silence Was Warm Night.

    Igloo :: Is there anything you would suggest / recommend to artists sending demo’s?

    KT :: While I’m very happy to receive demos, I cannot have enough time to listen to the great music (especially now). So, it’s good for me that the artist send me their most favorite track and brief profile.

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    Special thanks to David Newman (Audiobulb), Mario G. Ferrer (Lovethechaos), Mark Streatfield (Rednetic) and Kentaro Togawa (Symbolic Interaction) for their time in sharing these responses.

  • Audiobulb
  • Lovethechaos
  • Rednetic
  • Symbolic Interaction