What You Should REALLY Think About Before Signing Music To A label

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Now we realize that this is all going to sort of contradict our goals a little, and maybe saying to the greater public that Record labels aren’t that important may deter artists from bothering with us in the future.. So as a disclaimer:

SLINKIEMUSIC IS THE EXCEPTION. WE ARE AMAZING. NOBODY IS AS GOOD AS US… DONT SIGN THAT TRACK TO NINJA TUNE.. WHAT DO THEY KNOW? FUCK ALL….. WE’RE THE BEST.

Right now that’s sorted, I’m going to outline some of the things we have learnt from running a record label and working in the world of music PR.

It used to be that if you had been slaving away for years honing your skills in the studio and you eventually had a few tracks that you thought, right these are sick, im going to send them to a label and the label will sort it and make me famous. Things have changed slightly. Back then you handed out CD’s to DJ’s and did all that stuff, now due to the ease of soundcloud and E-mail, the competition has become vast and fierce and the simple fact of the matter is this – Record labels CAN’T AND DON’T listen to all the tracks they’re sent.. They just don’t.

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You might think this has now made life harder for the up and coming musician, but i’ll let you in on a secret. Unless your signing with say XL, Hospital, RAM, R & S etc. (None of whom are likely to sign you unless you’ve had smaller releases before anyway) then all you’re really after, is the record labels bag full of contacts in the press, radio and clubs.

The record label doesn’t make you famous..The Taste-makers do. So what record labels do is take your track and pitch for exclusives in all the right places – Lineofbestfit, Mixmag, XLR8R, Earmilk etc.. That or they hire a publicist to do it for them.

    THESE ARE ALL THINGS YOU CAN DO YOURSELF

The best up and coming musicians these days are more than just musicians. The best are also promoters, writers, managers and most importantly, social butterflies. How do you think publicists and record labels have all these contacts in the press? They’re not best mates with everyone from Mixmag to NME, no they might meet the odd blogger out somewhere but generally they find these e-mails online.

BUILD YOUR OWN DATABASE

Linkedin, Twitter, Personal Facebooks, Soundclouds, Blogs – ALL Freelance writers from The Guardian to The Fader have these and if you trawl hard enough you can find personal E-Mail addresses. These are the people with the power at their fingertips, not the record labels… These are the people with thousands of dedicated readers and the online know-how to make the public press play, not the record labels.

Now, I’m not saying don’t ever bother with record labels. At some point in your career, if you’re really talented you will need one. If you ever want to release physical copies for example, labels are much more likely to have the funding and distribution contacts to make that a realization. My advice would be more that, if you send your tracks round to your favorite labels and you have no luck, give it a shot yourself and reach out to the right people. Think of Cyril Hahn. All he did was upload that Destiny’s child bootleg and then boom, He’s playing every festival the following year. The Weeknd gave away almost all his music for free.. Now he’s selling out stadium tours.

Just have a think before signing your music away.. Don’t worry about what cut you’re getting (Because you would be very lucky to make any money anyway). Don’t worry about the amount of likes the label has (Because for not a large sum of money, you can buy as many fans & followers as you want). Ask the label where and who they intend on sending the track to.. Ask them if they are going to try for exclusives anywhere, and what sort of campaign are they going to do in the run up to the release.. See how engaged their fans are on facebook..

Most importantly, ask how YOU can help with the success of the track.

Everyone loves a savvy slinkie

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DJ Support.. Well It’s Not Actually Support if You’re Not Credited.

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So you’re we’ve reached that point in our lives as a record label now where we’re starting to get that holy grail-esque achievement for up and coming musicians. Yes we are starting to pick up some support from some of the bigger DJ’s out there and that’s just bloomin’ splendid.

You see DJ support is worth more than money or anything else you could want from your label. DJ support is like a stamp of approval or a badge of honour.. It basically says that someone who knows what they’re talking about actually fucking likes my music enough to play it out.. that one time. It’s something to boast about on a press release, as if somehow some guy allegedly playing a track in Japan one night will mean that a publication in London simply HAS TO COVER IT. Joking aside though, this sort of thing has become a necessary brag.

DJ support is so coveted in fact, that club circuit promoters are charging 1-2 Grand a month to artists to attempt to get these tracks in the hands of the likes of Richie Hawtin and Carl Cox… Much more likely, you will be paying 2 Grand to have some playback from DJ Sam ‘BUCA DEVIL’ Davids at Vodka Rev’s up and down the country.

BUT you manage to get a big one in, and one of your favourite DJ’s has confirmed he/she will be spinning your track that you spent hours in your shitheap of a bedroom, tirelessly working at and tweaking in a mix they have been asked to create for a big blog. Result right? Wrong. Because while they have played it out… There’s no bloody tracklist, so nobody knows its even your track.

How are they going to be directed to any of your socials? How are they going to be able to discover that you have loads more music available for free? How are any record labels going to know that the tune is unsigned and looking for a decent home? They won’t.. Because they have got no idea the tune is even yours. Your track has just become a useful little space filler in between the artists well known classics and a couple of VIP’s.

Now you might say that it doesn’t matter, the fact that one of your idols is playing out your track is credit enough. That’s true, it’s good to have that feedback and know that your music is going in a good direction. But they certainly didn’t get to be your idol without being credited for their work, if you ever want to BECOME the idol, people need to know you made that tune.. Otherwise people will just assume it’s a new dub by someone more established.

So if there are any big DJ’s reading this.. I doubt it but maybe.. If you’re going to support a new artist. Great. But actually support them, a nameless play does nothing. I know that some music comes with Embargo and therefore can’t be on a tracklist but for that tune that poor old Steve the 30 Year old Bedroom producer sent you, Just mention it in the comments or something. Publicity like this doesn’t come around often for Steve.

Everyone loves a fair slinkie

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Companies Could Learn A Thing Or Two.. From Pornhub

So it arose this week that premier gentleman’s site for the masses ‘Pornhub’ was going to start a record label.

porn records

So it seems that yes, literally anyone can start a record label and to be honest we think its a banging idea. I like the idea of ravers getting loose in some warehouse thinking.. “Where have i heard this track before?” And then remembering in a moment of hazy self-disgust that it was indeed the soundtrack to last Sunday’s hungover wankathon in between episodes of Friends.

The promo will be just about the easiest thing ever as well. Its not like they need to bother going through Youtube channels in a desperate attempt to get views, they already have a dedicated guaranteed audience platform that is guaranteed to pull views.

Here are some tracks that we think Pornhub should have signed

Bondax – Wet Summer
Secondcity – I Enter
Mutated Forms – Wastegash
Levon Vincent – Double Jointed Sex Freak

We like this idea of Businesses expanding into the world of underground culture. The idea of one part of society being completely distorted by the hedonism of raving is quite amusing I reckon, so here’s some expansions and sync’s we would like to see in the future.

Come Dine

Come Down With me
I picture 4 people taking it in turns to host the grueling Saturday night afterparty, inevitably resulting in a flat full of people you don’t know or really like. Kinda like the real show then, except that contestants will be judged on their available music, what food is in their fridge and of course how easy it is to crush drugs on their coffee table

Payday-Loans

Raveday Loans
This is actually genius. So you want to go to a midweek event but you don’t get paid until Friday and you spent your last fiver on spaghetti hoops to last the weekend. Never fear, Raveday loans will provide you with the hangover kit you need to make Linda’s small talk a fucking suicidal experience at work tomorrow.

meerkat

Compare The Mkat
Because you may want to get fucked, but you don’t want to get fucked over. Oleg could use his fancy web crawlers to let you the paying customer know that Terry is trying to flog you two grams of the finest Sea Salt rocks.

Lego

The Legoland Project
Just imagine a whole nightclub made of Lego. I don’t think I really need to sell the idea much more than that to be honest. Make it happen… Not in fucking Windsor though.

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Letting Agents -
When letting agents are trying to sell a house or a flat, often it just sits there empty and unused. Pure waste if you ask me. These companies could be making a fast buck or two by renting the place out to promoters looking for that edgy new venue, It would be like a house party but you don’t actually have to worry about the house getting fucked and it would bring in some much needed money to the property sector.

Your Welcome Cameron.

Everyone loves a smart slinkie

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Music To Make You Re-Think Your Direction

Music works in reactions. Meaning that if one genre becomes popular, saturated and ultimately uncool, often a genre opposing the characteristics of the now mainstream genre develops an underground appeal.

For example, a reaction to the dubstep/brostep boom would be the now all encompassing wave of ‘deep’ house and garage. Because Dubstep became cringe, it became cool to like something totally different. Now though, this wave of smiley, green grass pop-laced house has no doubt gone the same way and its leaving those in the depths of Dalston and Shoreditch in search of a new musical direction.

So here’s our selection of top notch tracks that we think would suit the tastes of Mr and Mrs Edgy until the next cool and shiny thing comes along.

Troy Gunner coming in here with a pure basement lurker. Pads and FX build to a glitchy drop with sublime percussive layers. The whole track has a groove unlike anything else, causing us to reconsider the limitations of rhythm and tempo. Not much out there like this at the moment.

Machinedrum stepping up to remix an underground classic here but we are chuffed to say he has absolutely nailed it. The way that vocal sits amongst all the intricacies of the drum and percussive tracks is just perfection, the track has appeal as a technical piece as well as a system destroyer. Can’t think of how this could have been done any better really.

Something for those of a more mellow disposition. Dark Sky are currently teasing music from their new album and we think this 12 inch is one of their best EP’s yet. ‘Silent Fall’ has the feel of a track to play at the very beginning of the night, or at the very end as you just get home. A haunting track with the softest xylophone and swung percussion working to give the track a live feel.

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Youtube, What Happened mate?.. You Used to be Cool

google, slinkiemusic, feature, culture, youtube, elabor8, revaux, techno, dnb, underground

So we don’t often do industry insight type pieces here at slinkie because, well, we’re not exactly experts. But on this occasion we’ve done all our reading and feel pretty ready to put our two pence into the debate over Youtube’s bold new subscription proposal.

Basically then, Youtube are launching a new paid premium music service which offers users the chance to stream music in an advert free, high quality, span-dangling new way. This has been a long time coming for Google really and seems like a pretty legit way of getting some revenue from the popularity of their platform as a music service. Fair play.

The issue is though, that independent labels are being offered (I say offered, i mean forced) into accepting a deal which allows the artists a mere fraction of the revenue made by streaming the music. Obviously after Mr Google has had his big old slice, the slither afforded to some of our favourite artists will also have to be shared between the label, the artists agent, the publisher and potentially many more before the artist see’s a penny.

slinkiemusic, revaux, elabor8, techno, culture, feature, music, drumandbass                                           Boring graph showing Youtube’s dominance in the music streaming world

So as you can imagine, there have been many handbags thrown, with threats to even get the EU involved at some point. Things were getting desperate. Now though WIN (A sort of union put in place to try and ensure that musicians are paid correctly and fairly) is trying to push through a deal ensuring that musicians at least get the correct crediting and promotion online for their work, even if they are not getting paid quite as much as the major label artist roster.

The sad fact of the matter is though, that the streaming service we have chose to pledge our allegiance to is in fact, a greedy, content grabbing, cigar smoking soulless entity. Lest we forget that Google and Youtube have been uploading content from books for years without any of the correct permission, a case that simply resulted in Google using all of its mighty pit-bull lawyers to lean on the publishing companies and change what it actually means to lawfully share content.

As always then, all of this probably comes as quite welcome and settling news for the worlds major record labels. Receiving a lot of bad press recently for their outdated and out of touch methods of releasing music, it looks like everything is going to end up just peachy for Cowell and his peers while they flick the embers from their cigars onto our heads from their gold studded high horses.

Everyone loves an insightful slinkie

Google

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REVAUX INTERVIEW + EXCLUSIVE GUEST MIX

So the slinkiemusic boys caught up with Revaux ahead of their forthcoming release and this is what happened…

JOE

Joe Brooks

RU

Ru Brooks


So, who is Revaux and how was the alias founded? You mentioned people struggle to pronounce it?

R: Revaux is myself, Ru Brooks, and my little brother Joe. And yeah, the name has tripped us up straight off the bat! It’s pronounced ‘reevo’, the name came from ‘Rievaulx’, a little village in North Yorkshire where we grew up.

J: Using the original spelling would’ve been confusing so we removed a few letters and made sure we kept the ‘X’ because they make DJs look super cool.


With regard to your musical background, are there any instrumental talents you possess?

J: I’ve been playing drums for about 10 years and Ru’s been playing bass guitar for a similar amount of time, which definitely helps when making drum & bass for some reason! Although in a track we are making at the moment I wrote most of the bassline and Ru designed most of the drums, so our roles aren’t set in stone.

R: Yeah, music’s always been in the fam, our mum’s a singer and our dad flits between writing piano compositions in 19/8 and experimental pirate albums (seriously that has happened).


Whilst on the topic of musical backgrounds, how do you feel your musical taste has evolved over the years?

R: I first heard ‘Masochist’ by Pendulum when I was a little metalhead in 2005 and suddenly thought I’m going to listen drum & bass forever, and so far so good! Since then, dance music in general has replaced the long hair, drop D distorted guitar thing I had going on previously but we both occasionally have a little Alter Bridge sing-a-long.

J: I love all kinds of electronic music, experimental stuff really interests me too. Also Motown and Funk. Lots and lots of funk. It’s all about MJ.


What artists have most heavily inspired you to create the Titan project?

R: I’m not gonna be a douche and say ‘no one inspired us maan, we’re just unique making our own sound maaan’… We are definitely still at the stage of finding our feet and learning the ropes of proper production. At the moment we’re really into techy stuff. Stray’s coming out with some bangers recently. Hybris’ quickfire percussion is pretty nuts too.

J: Mefjus and Octane & DLR are ridiculous. We eventually want to develop our own sound eventually but are still at the point of taking influence from these seasoned producers to find out what floats our boat the most.


Favourite tune of the summer?

R: my fave tune this summer has gotta be Paper Faces by Lenzman ft. Martyna Baker. He’s the king of rollers and the piano sample in it is just perfection. Awesome vocal and just the perfect summery tune really!

J: Her Waves by Halogenix, it’s nice to hear a producer so far ahead of the game making a tight liquid roller. Another awesome summer track.


We noticed you boys attended Gottwood Festival recently. How would you describe that experience and which artist particularly stood out for you?

R: Well it was just me actually, my best mate goes to uni in Bangor which isn’t far so he dragged us all up, I absolutely loved it! Faaaar too much house though, I do love house music but after a whole day of ‘bmtsbmts’ you do feel like something different. Calibre played a gorgeous 2 hours and had to put up with me shouting ‘WOODRUNNER’ at him for the whole thing. XYconstant and DJ Format were awesome too.


Do you have any festival plans for the rest of the summer?

R: We are both going to Secret Garden Party which we are pretty excited about, the past 2 years were awesome and its such a friendly vibe. SW4 will give us our trance fix too, Above & Beyond are our heroes!

J: I’m doing Beacons in Skipton too, a nice cheap festival close to home, northerners are fantastic festival company!


Pretend Harry Potter has just transformed you both into slinkies… who would travel down the most steps and why? We believe Ace Ventura holds the record…

R: I’m terrified of heights so I’d either race down as fast as possible to the bottom step or stand at the top quivering.

J: I’d stay at the top and admire the view, you can’t compete with Ace Ventura anyway.


If you could choose one body part to possess the similar expandability as a slinkie what would it be and why?

R: I’d have slinkie nipples, because it would make walking hilarious!

J: Slinkie fingernails, you could itch any part of your back without moving! Or a slinkie mouth to get food from the fridge from any distance.


Would you rather poop out 400,000 gallons of mayonnaise or 1 shuriken?

R: maybe a shuriken, it’d be no different than a bad curry shit.

J: Mayo, it’d almost be soothing.


Would you rather eat a pube sandwich or drink a vomit milkshake? 

J: Vomit milkshake as it wouldn’t taste any worse coming back up!

R: I agree, hairs in your mouth are rough as hell.


Would you rather rape a chicken or get raped by a walrus?

R: Chicken… it’s a horrific thought but it’d be much less of an ordeal.

J: Same, you guys have horrific imaginations!


Stream the snippets below before the full EP lands on the 11th at all good digital record stores.


To keep you hooked until then here is an exclusive promo mix constructed by Revaux 


Follow the Titan’s themselves here

Everyone Loves A Slinkie


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If DJ’s Were Footballers… This is How They Would Line Up

So the world cup has chewed us up and as usual, spat us out like an unwanted premature ejaculation. As a nation then we are no doubt feeling hurt, let down and altogether foolish for misplacing our trust and faith yet again.

But we have been racking our brain for any kind of link, between the world cup and the world of underground music. This is pretty much all we could come up with.

We have decided to compile a squad built of the world’s DJ’s, and imagined how they might line up on the world stage… To be fair they would still probably gel better than the England team.

Ben UFO (Neymar)

techno, slinkie, ben ufo, blog, feature, football, elabor8, slinkiemusicneymar, slinkiemusic, techno, feature, music, culture

Appearance-wise, alright they could not look any less like each other. But just like Neymar, UFO has managed to achieve iconic status way beyond his years through a combination of dedication and natural talent. Both captivate their audience with an immense level of skill and flair seemingly impossible for us mortals to achieve or mimic. In short, they are the match winners.

Deadmau5 (Roy Keane)

Deadmau5, slinkiemusic, techno, edm, blog, dnb, feature, cultureroy keane, slinkiemusic, techno, dnb, dark, edm

As with old Roy here, Deadmau5 notoriously loves a good moan. Neither have ever minced their words when it comes to slating their peers and as a result they have both collected many enemies. But nobody can fault the ability of Roy Keane, just as nobody from Rusko to Paris Hilton can ever fault the musical ability of Joel Zimmerman.

Ricardo Villalobos (George Best)

ricardo villalobos, slinkie, techno, edm, feature, blog, elabor8, slinkiemusicGeorge best, slinkie, music, edm, culture, feature, record label, techno

well, we love them both really don’t we? There’s a reason there’s so many George Best quotes on the internet; Because he enjoyed to the full a life that most would kill for. Villalobos is the antithesis of the ungrateful, tired and unenthusiastic DJ’s who are unable to appreciate the magnificence of their success (Scuba).

DJ Marky (Pele)

dj marky, slinkiemusic, techno, bass, music, featurepele, techno, bass, slinkiemusic, dnb, feature, culture

I think it’s fair to say that DJ Marky has had a similar impact on the world of drum and bass that Pele has had on the world of football. As with the footballing behemoth, DJ Marky is a beloved figure in his profession, known for his creativity, skill and lovable personality… I bet Pele couldn’t scratch a turntable upside down though.

Bodddika (Jaap Stam)

boddika, techno, dark, dnb, slinkiemusic, feature, culturejaap stam, boddika, techno, dark, dnb, music

Because they’re both bald as fuck…. Obviously

Fuck it, lets just turn over to BBC Two and pretend we give a fuck about Andy Murray again.

Everyone loves a sporty slinkie

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