Reviews part 2

Reviews

Danito & Athina – Really Like – Deep Inside Your Love EP – Jeudi Records

http://www.traxsource.com/track/1480480/really-like

Some tracks put a smile on your face. This one certainly does that, along with a piano riff that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Its a soulful, deep (in the traditional emotional sense, rather than the reincarnated UK Garage deep stuff), and has a laid back quality which keeps things grooving along. The rest of the ep is more of a deeper vein, but is of equal quality. Got to say, this is the first time I’ve heard any tracks on Jeudi Records. I’ll be checking them out in future.

 

Kraak & Smaak featuring John Turrell – Back Again – Jalapeno Records

http://www.traxsource.com/track/1355723/back-again

Really been feeling the slower more soulful vibes of late, and this one has a great balance of bleep, funk, soul and groove. Got a real Crazy P/Ron Basejam/Hot Toddy feel to it which I’m really feeling. Definitely worth checking out.

 

Ninelives – All This Love (Drop Out Orchestra Remix)- Vendition

http://www.traxsource.com/track/1485461/all-this-love-drop-out-orchestra-remix

I’ve been playing the last few Ninelives tracks for a while now. They are always well constructed, funking groovers of the highest order. So when I spotted that Drop Out Orchestra had remixed one of their releases, it REALLY flagged my interest. The Drop Out boys make bass that sounds like no other – fat, low slung and properly dirty. They are properly among my favourite remixers out there at the moment and anyone who can make Rick Astley into dubby disco, and then make it sound great, has got to be worth listening to.

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101 Ways to annoy a label owner….#56 The poorly thought out demo submission

Producing tracks takes time and care. Talent helps too. So you’ve got what you think will be a #1 hit on beatport. And you need to get it released. So what do you do? 

Well, before I tell you what I THINK you should do, I’m going to give an example of what you shouldn’t do. With Llama Farm, I have a dropbox on my soundcloud account (http://soundcloud.com/llamafarmrecordings if you want to have a look….). I wrote what I thought was quite clear in terms of what I’m looking for.

I said in no uncertain terms that any submissions should be in keeping with the labels output. Yeah, obviously wasn’t clear enough. So what do I get? People sending vast amounts of tracks shared to 5000 people who will equally be not interested in it. “Privately shared” on soundcloud means restricted numbers. 5000 people does not equate to private.

Interestingly,the most recent submission described my label as “deep and crispy”. I have no idea as to what this refers to, but the submission HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OUTPUT OF THE LABEL, so I deleted it.

 

So what should you do?

 

  • Firstly, send your music to a label you buy the music of regularly. If you make what you like, this should tie together.
  • Submit one track, and make it your best one.
  • Be polite, but don’t make claims you can’t back up. (If they’ve never heard of you, you are not the saviour of whatever form of music you have chosen to produce)
  • Send it to a handful of labels. Remember that people know people too. House music is a pretty small community, word does get round as everyone chats. If word gets round, you may get offers from interested labels.
  • Ask people for feedback. Take it on board when its criticism. Make better tracks. Repeat!

 

And hopefully, that’s turned a frown upside down.

 

PS Please, please, please stop sending me minimal techno. Its a waste of my bandwidth.

 

Buying your own music: the lowest form of self-promotion?

I was a bit shocked recently when I discovered there was another level of what can only be described of fraud in the music industry. Its something that’s joked about – but until now I didn’t believe it was actually true.

Put simply: labels getting their artists to buy their own music, or labels buying their own releases.

My instant reaction is that this sounds retarded. In fact, to most people its the lowest form of self-promotion – and very costly too. So why would anyone do it? Its kind of the music industry equivalent of getting someone to bump your bids on Ebay….

Well, given the current low state of sales in the industry, you can kind of understand why someone would consider it. If buying 20 copies of your own track gets you top 10, and more people “notice” your release, then you sell 40 copies as a result, then you’d think it would be worth it. However, by the time you factor in the stores share (lets say its a nice easy 50%), you would have to sell double the number you bought to break even. This is already starting to total up…..

Then there’s whether you do it on one store, or a couple. Which means the costs add up quickly. Say the label has released on 5 stores, buying 20 copies on each store as a starter to get them kicked off.

So for a 100 downloads of their single, they would have to sell 200 to break even. And given that 20 copies would cost around $40, its going to set them back $200 to buy those copies.

And that doesn’t even factor in if the release is a pile of crap. In which case, the investment is $200, plus the cost of the release. The current returns in house music especially, make this a high risk strategy for making money. Combine this with someone buying plays to get them more noticed, and you have a set of seriously dodgy tools which probably won’t get you any admiration from your peers.

I would love to have a list of labels or producers who actually do this and get them to justify why they did it. I’m still shocked that anyone would think its a good idea. Or maybe I’m just naïve and everyone is doing it.