this past week has been a significant one for UK music so it's only right that we give props to Estelle at #1 in the UK Charts. her track from a few years back '1980' had the potential to hold the top spot but never made it and with the lifespan of artists being shorter than ever these days it's good to see her persevere and get there in the end...well done!
on the reality show tip now, Leona Lewis became the 1st British Female artist to top the U.S. Billboard chart in some 20 years...and she didnt need any headline grabbing party binges to do it...just a small appearance on Oprah.
it's refreshing to see 'good' people with clean cut images getting their props this year...nothing personal against those that choose to intoxicate themselves but it was getting a little too acceptable with little shock value attached to people doing drugs upfront...says the guys who brought you one of the biggest rave anthems from back in the day 'Mr. Kirks Nightmare'...would you believe us if we told you we dont sniff, inject, smoke or even drink?
anyway...congratulations to them both...there, we said it!
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
when we put out 'Play With The Changes' last year, it was about independence among other things, being able to make our own mistakes, own decisions and as Mr.Roy Ayers advised...owning our own masters.
having run the blueprint drum & bass label Reinforced Records for 20 years this year(damn time flies) there's some experience we have that we often taken for granted, but is essential in this ever changing landscape called the music industry.
we've witnessed many good companies fall by the way side over the years with the likes of Goya Music Distribution, a key hub of the Broken Beat community closing down in a not very good climate for vinyl sales.
as a result there will be some who may never put out a record again as Goya was their reason to do it...seeing others making things happen is enough inspiration for some to do things they thought previously not possible, Goya made many realise their potential and it's sad to see them go...but, the soldiers will soldier on finding new outlets, be it online sales, collaboration projects...Broken Beat will never die and the spirit of Goya and all who were a part of the movement can currently be seen online at the Coopr8 community...you have to be strong to survive in this climate and you definitely need a gameplan..."if you dont have a plan your sinking in the sand" ©Jay Dilla...R.I.P
there's a major difference between making your music and having a label release it or doing it yourself...contrary to what a lot of people are saying at the moment with artists moving from majors and what not, there are 2 sides to the equation and it's definitely not for everyone by any means...but if your adamant, give it a go!
we've moved passed the train of thought that said you need to sell a million to survive, although we're always aiming sky high...embracing new technology and trying different things outside of the norm has always been at the heart of what we do and continues to be so.
there's a buzz online at the minute about this article by Kevin Kelly titled '1,000 True Fans'...if your in entertainment/arts it's an essential read, take from it what's valuable and make a move.
we're gonna read it in full and come up with a gameplan for something???
when we figure out what that something is we'll let you know on MySpace, Facebook or right here.
The long tail is famously good news for two classes of people; a few lucky aggregators, such as Amazon and Netflix, and 6 billion consumers. Of those two, I think consumers earn the greater reward from the wealth hidden in infinite niches.
But the long tail is a decidedly mixed blessing for creators. Individual artists, producers, inventors and makers are overlooked in the equation. The long tail does not raise the sales of creators much, but it does add massive competition and endless downward pressure on prices. Unless artists become a large aggregator of other artist's works, the long tail offers no path out of the quiet doldrums of minuscule sales.
Other than aim for a blockbuster hit, what can an artist do to escape the long tail?
One solution is to find 1,000 True Fans. While some artists have discovered this path without calling it that, I think it is worth trying to formalize. The gist of 1,000 True Fans can be stated simply:
A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author - in other words, anyone producing works of art - needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.
A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can't wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.
read the full article 1,000 tru fans
a few years back on the Creating Patterns album project we did a track called 9by9 which got a d&b remix by M.I.S.T.(Marcus Intalex & S.T. Files) and we released it as a clear vinyl 12" on Reinforced.
the vocalist on that track is Imani Uzuri
this track by her has a badass video...web only we suspect:
Sunday, March 23, 2008
EXCLUSIVE PREMIER!!!Daru Spirit & Soul-Hop Sampler 08’ Hosted & Compiled by Marc Mac(4hero) Promo Download..
24 tracks with Exclusive "Turn It On"Remix by UK’s own Legendary Marc Mac(4Hero)!!! Much Respect.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
no catch, a giveaway, not old material that was previously signed to other labels either, that doesnt count...1st time your hearing this it was a free giveaway, dj's that played it on their shows, did so as a result of receiving it the same way fans on our mailing list did...and there was a large discussion about this type of giveaway with many speculating that it was crazy, seriously hurting sales etc.
it wasnt all true, we'd do the same again, it took Radiohead to do pretty much the same thing for people to take notice on a global scale, Prince was in on it giving away an album as a covermount CD with a Sunday newspaper, however the 'music industry' didnt greet his generosity with the same enthusiasm as they did Radiohead even though it was essentially the same thing.
for the record, many hiphop producers have been doing this for years and within drum & bass although it wasnt intended to be this way, the AIM revolution has turned 'giving dj's your tracks' into 'giving away your tracks', as sales have declined but everybody has your tune playing out???
if anything, Radiohead needed zero marketing budget when they finally released the CD which probably got more PR as a result of their giveaway than if they'd gone down the traditional marketing route...but it's not for everyone this approach, you should start with good material/music as if the product isnt up to par, you cant even give it away for free.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
a little insight into old skool 4hero recording techniques pioneered by many a bedroom producer with contributions for some techniques coming from mom & pops...this one we'll call the "Sound 'Tog' Booth":
Ok this was Reinforced Gus's studio.. well actually his bedroom (lol) but this is where we did tracks like 'Mr Kirks Nightmare' and nuff really early R stuff. Before the Jungle days we were making hip hop so whenever we had to do a late night vocal take Gus would cover the vocalist/rapper with his quilt or duvet so that we wouldn't disturb his parents sleeping in the next room...
now that's old skool recording fo ya.
notice the S950 in the background..
1Xtra's Bailey talks to Goldie about his life and the different directions his career has taken.
He's acted as a Bond villian and an Eastenders baddie plus he's an artist in his own right.
***Warning: Some listeners may find some of the language in this documentary offensive***
Hear the documentary