More rambling from the old guy...

I don't often write about current releases, mostly because I don't post new stuff and I'm barely able to write about the records I do post. But there are other reasons as well.

I have neither the time nor the will to listen to every single 12'' from all those 'labels' that constantly appear and disappear, just hoping I'll come upon something interesting. For me it would be impossible even to attempt to do something like this without spending twelve hours per day around the share-net - and still there would be no time to listen to all that stuff properly (five seconds of each track doesn't really count).

Due to certain family and work problems, my free time has almost evaporated in the last few years (not to mention my money...). It's not strange thus that when checking the vinyl stores or around the web for records I hardly give more than a single chance (about 30 secs) to most of the tracks. Still, some of them grab my attention from the start and keep me hooked for a long time, forcing me to come back and try to work them into my sets or just to listen and jump around (that's how I know I really like them, actually). This endurance through time is the key for me. And I feel I have to give the records the time to grow on me; as I've often made the typical mistakes of either (a) buying something that excites me at first but bores me to death the second time I listen to it, or (b) passed by something that later proved to be a masterpiece. I guess that's common ground for most of us, especially the DJs.

That is the best argument I could bring to support the free distribution of mp3s through the share-net. As promos for stuff you'll later buy if you like. Plus the fact that many many people don't even have the money to eat or dress properly. Expecting them to buy every track they would possibly like is nothing more that greed-fueled craziness (call it capitalism), while depriving them of their right to enjoy music might be culturally and spiritually fatal for them, their environment and humanity in general (call me crazy, but that's my opinion).

The best example I could think about what happens when we're not supporting the artists and actually don't buy those fucking tracks we like is what you'll read in this article.

I consider AW-Recordings to be one of the top new labels around. By definition retro-sounding, almost lo-fi at times, its records manage to shift our attention to the mood of each track, atmosphere and melodies being more important that the crispiness of the drums or the tricks they do with their samplers. Focusing on Detroit influenced, not strictly dancefloor-oriented material (deep techno and electro mostly), often based on a concept, the label ruled. Its releases certainly enriched and advanced this whole neo-Detroit thing, while some tracks are already considered classics of this 'genre'. It was respected and supported by many DJs and artists. Yet it's shutting down cause no one is buying their stuff. BTW, please remember that when buying downloads from those mp3 stores most people use, only half the money you pay reach the label (the stores cut a 45% share, if I'm not mistaken).
Same thing happens every day to smaller labels - they shut down. Now AW's daughter label will publish 'limited edition' 12"s; because they cannot afford to do more - I understand and respect that. But that also means I probably won't ever have the chance again to buy a AW record unless I hang around their e-shop all the time and search for 'illegal' promos, just to make sure i won't buy some famous crap. And as for those that download stuff, they'll only have 'illegal' and possibly low quality vinyl rips to listen to, without being able to support the label (even if they wanted to...). Nice, eh?

'Support the vinyl' and 'Buy from the creators' are not slogans of the old-minded and the weird. It's rather a necessity, if we are willing to keep dance music off the shelves of mp3 supermarkets that gather the money; if we want the people who create music to keep doing it.

Some of the more or less current stuff I'm into lately and would totally recommend (in no order at all):

- Several WéMè records, including a Drexciyan one
- Octave One's latest 'Summers On Jupiter'
- certain MuleElectronic and MuleMusiq 12"s, and all CDs btw
- everything by Lopazz (especially RSPRED028)
- Gigolo 239, as well as the new Hell album
- Aguayo's 'Minimal' (try to mix this one with Isolée's "Beau Mot Plage')
- many tracks by Solomun

Allow me a special mention to the one and only Henrik Schwarz, whom I respect infinitely for his creativity and imagination (and I am thankful for his remixes), and also many compliments to Innervisions, possibly the most interesting Berlin label today, as well as to its eclectic founders Dixon and Âme.

Nuff said. Go out there and buy stuff. Or expect to listen to Jacko electro-house remixes for the rest of your life.

1 comment:

The Shore Lark said...

Totally agreed, I loved AW-Recordings, the releases were just great Detroit-styled direct hits, just like labels like Delsin for example... And unfortunately with all those vinyl plants closing and the economical crisis I think it won't be the only quality label we're going to watch fade away. I heard from someone that even Styrax/MOM were having financial difficulties.

That's why I rarely post stuff thats been released after 2003 or so. I buy A LOT of vinyls, old and new, and the only things I post are primarly OOP records.