Every once in a while I get the urge to write about something else than music. Well not really, but I mean this piece is about how modern day producers rise to power.
Back in the days of vinyl, record labels dominated the market with their huge marketing budgets. The new generation is all about DIY…do it yourself. With the digitalization of music came platforms like Soundcloud that offer everything a creator of music needs. If you want to give away music that’s easily done with a direct download or if you want a steady following on Facebook, you just link to a like gate page. Unfortunately Facebook will stop supporting like gating on November 5th, 2014.
Gaining hundreds or thousands of followers nowadays looks simple since the general public knows where and how to look. On the other hand, alone is just alone and lately individuals have been forming alliances to build an even bigger and stronger following. These coalitions or internet labels as many call themselves consist of 10, 20 or 40 producers that combine their knowledge, network and marketing efforts. This seems to be a winning formula and platforms such as AGO, Modern Filth and Flow-Fi are gaining large amounts of fans.
The question that pops to mind is: what role will record labels be playing in the years to come? Now there’s still thousands of labels that do provide artwork, distribution and mastering of course. I often wonder in what capacity these newly formed collectives invest in things like mastering and distribution. Does is sound ‘good enough’ to go on Soundcloud? Will an EP be distributed through a Facebook fangate page only?
Now I’m not judging anyone here, but I’m simply looking from the outside in. These past two years have been all about the numbers. Or so it seems. Big numbers being good, small numbers being boring. On their quest to getting these numbers, are some perhaps lowering the quality standards? Let’s not forget there is a reason why people get their music mixed & mastered properly before offering it to the public. Or is quality not so much the issue when it comes to modern day music?
What I do know is that a new way of promoting music is interesting. Most producers I talk to are well aware of the fact their music is not going to earn them a penny. That’s not the goal anymore though. For reaching those 100K followers or 500K plays is the current ambition. Getting noticed is what it takes to rise to power.
I’m sure almost everybody here knows who SBTRKT is, but in case you don’t here’s the 411. Aaron Jerome aka SBTRKT began his career at Plastic People in London and has had a steadily growing fan-base eversince. For all these music fans, he decided to share a previously unreleased song from 2009. I can say without a doubt that “Atomic Peace” is one of the favorite musical treats I’ve heard so far from SBTRKT. Never really felt the need to post about this guy, but after having heard this I think it’s about time to do so.
SBTRKT – Atomic Peace
The terrible events in Japan have shocked the world and it was to be expected that this year’s Red Bull Music Academy will not take place in Tokyo after all. The academy will take place in the same period, but will relocate. Please read the official RBMA statement below and keep in mind that the application deadline has been moved to April 26!
We have been in close contact with our Japanese team and friends since the terrible earthquake and tsunami struck on March 11, and the severe problems at Fukushima nuclear plant began. After thorough evaluation, we decided to relocate this year’s edition of the Academy, which was set to take place in Japan this fall.
A new location for the Red Bull Music Academy 2011 will be announced as of Monday, April 11. As a consequence, we have decided to extend the application period: applications will now be accepted until April 26 (date of postmark).
The dates of the workshops, October 23 to November 25, will remain the same, as will the application form and jury process. All applicants will be notified by July, whether they have been accepted to join the Academy or not.
Throughout the past months of preparation for the Tokyo Academy, we have gotten to know Japan as a country immensely rich in spirit, beauty, tradition and innovative energy. We are honoured to have been introduced to so many interesting people and to have been allowed to experience some of their creative vision. We truly admire and respect their strength and courage in the face of this terrible situation.
We at the Academy also wish to show our solidarity and support for the Japanese music makers who have been part of our journey. Hence, the Red Bull Music Academy floor at SónarSound Tokyo this weekend will go ahead as planned. All profits from the festival will be donated in support to those affected by the horrific events of March 11 and their aftermaths.
We will continue to maintain strong links with the musical and creative scene in the country, and hope to bring the full Academy experience to Japan in the not too distant future.
Hold the phone…stop what your doing. If you’re a producer, a vocalist, an instrumentalist or a DJ you should pay attention. Applications for the Red Bull Music Academy 2011 have begun. This year the RBMA hits Tokyo in a big way and we urge you to apply! This once in a lifetime opportunity will take you on a musical journey that will influence you in so many ways. We’re not going to tell you what the RBMA exactly is, because you should know by now. In case you don’t…educate yourself.
Last year we thought it would be a good idea to put all our favourite songs from the “Various Assets” CD’s together in one short mix. Enjoy our “Most Valuable Assets” mix and good luck filling out the application form.
I’m going to keep this short. The most groundbreaking hiphop group in the nineties, A Tribe Called Quest, has been the epitomy of what hiphop music is supposed to sound like for many. Tribe’s groundbreaking fusion of jazz, art and borough lifestyle was on a whole other level and equaly interesting is the story what happened to them as a collective. If Tribe is not in your top 3 of alltime hiphop, there’s probably something wrong with you and you should see a doctor. Anyways…actor Michael Rapaport has been working on a documentary entitled “Beats, Rhymes and Life: The History of A Tribe Called Quest” and I know I’m psyched as fuck to see this. Somewhere in 20110 this hits the streets, so keep your eyes open for it!
In 2008 Stones Throw created a triple 12-inch box set, all based around the Miami Winter Music party “Hella International”. Piet Parra did the sleeve. Madlib remixed two J Dilla tracks from Ruff Draft, “The $” and “Make ‘em NV” that appeared exclusively on this box set. Many of the other tracks – collabs between artists like Dam-Funk & Baron Zen, Four Tet & Aloe Blacc, Percee P & Koushik, Madlib & Karriem Riggins (as Supreme Team) – also appeared here first, and were later released the Chrome Children Vol. 2 CD. This remains the only vinyl release for most of these tracks and Stones Throw has a limited amount for sale again, so get a copy of this limited edition vinyl HERE!
For those living in the wonderful city of Amsterdam, you are hereby invited to drop by the shop formely known as Concrete (Spuistraat 250, Amsterdam). In a hostile takeover the shop has been transformed (just during the Amsterdam Dance Event) in to a Red Bull Music Academy pop-up radio studio. This Friday Mark Pritchard will be giving a special lecture so come one, come all. You can listen to all the shows on the Internet by visiting www.redbullmusicacademyradio.com or on the ether (Amsterdam) via 107.4 FM. We’ll also be broadcasting live on Sunday, but more about that later.
So here we are back in Amsterdam again. I wanted to write something in Frisco, but I decided to hang back and relax. Enjoying the Bay to the fullest was what I did, so sorry for the post lagging on my part. In L.A. we met up with the Bravo Bros. and had some good old fun with dem sexy hoochie mama’s. The Brasilian house party was the icing on the cake and we had hella fun (except for the racial slurs). We drove all the way to Frisco the next day and drank a couple if Tsingtao’s at Sweater Funk. After some shopping at Haight, we had a blast at Change The Beat where AFTA-1 was playing. Nice meeting Dibiase, Low Limit, B.Lewis, Spinnerty and of course the CTB crew (Centipede, Dials & Salva). We went digging for records, checked out the Park & Coultrain and hung out with the Bayonics for a while. Just some random pictures, some taken by K-Murda and some by me. Next year I’m going back to Cali..
Today we visited HVW8 and bumped into Ty and Computer Jay’s girlfriend. Afterwards I-Ced and Black Spade (Hawthorne Headhunters) dropped by and we had a few beers and a whole lot of laughs. Really like this picture I took of them and Anthony Valadez. While he’s listening to and chopping up some Miguel Atwood-Ferguson piano play, I’m writing this. Thank you L.A. for anoher great day!
We were chilling at KCRW with Anthony Valadez last night and boy what a night it was. We’ve been doing so many things and staying up till 4am was pretty tiring. Had a blast though and we got to select some tunes that Anthony played at the end of his show. Check out his show HERE and show sum love..