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Minimalist Metal Labels
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AK



Joined: 06 Sep 2014
Posts: 233

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:46 pm    Post subject: Minimalist Metal Labels Reply with quote

So this topic derailed the Mgla thread for a bit but I thought the topic itself was interesting and perhaps worth continuing. Basically, a discussion of labels that are minimal in their layouts e.g. just sleeve + LP while still being high quality. Obviously Northern Heritage is one. Another that comes to mind is Eternity Records.

Also, if possible, let's not have a bitchfest about what we don't like when it comes to packaging / aesthetics of a release.
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Tireheb



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bestial Burst
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harald mentor



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tireheb wrote:
Bestial Burst


Preparing a special set for one re-release at the moment, so this isnīt always the case. Weīve had a bunch gatefolds and digipaks too. Itīs like, whatīs needed for each release and always working with the artists to fulfill the vision in mind, within reason. Some stuff demands minimalist look and some donīt. Personally I like īem basic, so of course it shows.

EDIT: If I remember right, the first really minimalist release of NH was the Incriminated 10" with lyrics printed in back cover, we were influenced by some obscure 80īs small metal labelsī "budget" releases. I had to push this idea a little back then, but I donīt remember if that talk was with the label or the other band member... So donīt take this as an accurate history lesson! Anyway thereīs a bunch of this kind of solutions in 80īs indie metal and fuck do they look lovely!


Last edited by harald mentor on Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DTBRex



Joined: 04 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't call it "minimalist", because that does imply it's less of the average. Quite to the contrary, releases done the NH-way used (or rather, ought) to be the standard. From this point of view, all the fancy coloured etc. vinyls are the excess whereas the minimalist approach would be vinyls without outer sleeves (being wrapped up in some xeroxed paper instead, for instance).

What's so remarkable about Mikko's releases nowadays, aside from the packaging, also is his commitment to re-print the same edition over and over again until there is no demand anymore. That too used / ought to be the standard (although far more difficult to maintain, for any underground label, than releasing a record without fancy gadgets).
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Tireheb



Joined: 18 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

harald mentor wrote:
Tireheb wrote:
Bestial Burst


Preparing a special set for one re-release at the moment, so this isnīt always the case. Weīve had a bunch gatefolds and digipaks too. Itīs like, whatīs needed for each release and always working with the artists to fulfill the vision in mind, within reason. Some stuff demands minimalist look and some donīt. Personally I like īem basic, so of course it shows.


Sure, but still I've seen BeBu releases are up to the point without specialities.
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sunmoon



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RRRecords for sure, Ron Lessard for president!
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sunmoon



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, not metal sorry!
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AK



Joined: 06 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DTBRex wrote:
I wouldn't call it "minimalist", because that does imply it's less of the average. Quite to the contrary, releases done the NH-way used (or rather, ought) to be the standard. From this point of view, all the fancy coloured etc. vinyls are the excess whereas the minimalist approach would be vinyls without outer sleeves (being wrapped up in some xeroxed paper instead, for instance).


I think we agree on the idea, perhaps just not the verbage, no frills or straightforward is probably a better term for what I meant. Perhaps in the context of modern releases this means minimalism as the norm has shifted. I'll freely admit I wasn't around for the 90s / early 2000s releases so I don't know what the norm was back then (beside the handful of secondhand LPs I have from that time).

DTBRex wrote:
What's so remarkable about Mikko's releases nowadays, aside from the packaging, also is his commitment to re-print the same edition over and over again until there is no demand anymore. That too used / ought to be the standard (although far more difficult to maintain, for any underground label, than releasing a record without fancy gadgets).


Out of sheer curiosity, do you have any idea why labels insist on limiting releases below the demand and never reprinting them? It's not like they are the ones who are cashing in when the records get sold second hand for 100+. I've thought about why they wouldn't do another run if the demand is there since it would be profitable for them to do so, but I also don't run a label so I don't have the full picture of what goes on.
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Tireheb



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AK wrote:
Out of sheer curiosity, do you have any idea why labels insist on limiting releases below the demand and never reprinting them?


It's not always the label to blame, sometimes bands are not into doing re-editions. This is for example why it took so long for early Baptism releases to get reissues.
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AK



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tireheb wrote:
AK wrote:
Out of sheer curiosity, do you have any idea why labels insist on limiting releases below the demand and never reprinting them?


It's not always the label to blame, sometimes bands are not into doing re-editions. This is for example why it took so long for early Baptism releases to get reissues.


Fair point, I guess in all my dealings with labels in the past I've never been the one who set the limitation of a release, it was always the label (based on what they could afford and how they thought it would sell), so I hadn't though of it from this aspect.
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harald mentor



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AK wrote:
Out of sheer curiosity, do you have any idea why labels insist on limiting releases below the demand and never reprinting them? It's not like they are the ones who are cashing in when the records get sold second hand for 100+. I've thought about why they wouldn't do another run if the demand is there since it would be profitable for them to do so, but I also don't run a label so I don't have the full picture of what goes on.


May be some kind of elitism in some cases, BUT I think the biggest reason is, the high Discogs or eBay prices donīt necessary mean you can shift hundreds of the the re-release. It only takes a few maniacs to lift the price to hundreds. Iīve repressed a couple of high priced releases and they werenīt sold out in ages. When thereīs one copy for sale for horrendous price in Discogs, dealers read this price like itīs a minimum price set by God. You see 34 having the original in their want list (probably for wanting it for cheaper or by trades), thereīs a chance 10 of them buys the repress and thatīs it, haha! But of course, black metal underground is full of releases in need of reprint too... Some want īem to stay limited and some move on to ventures new and not looking back. Rarely itīs about pissing you off. Those who demand the re-release are the loudest of the bunch and when itīs a screaming contest, you cannot know if the demand is real or not.
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asmael LeBouc



Joined: 02 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tireheb wrote:
harald mentor wrote:
Tireheb wrote:
Bestial Burst


Preparing a special set for one re-release at the moment, so this isnīt always the case. Weīve had a bunch gatefolds and digipaks too. Itīs like, whatīs needed for each release and always working with the artists to fulfill the vision in mind, within reason. Some stuff demands minimalist look and some donīt. Personally I like īem basic, so of course it shows.


Sure, but still I've seen BeBu releases are up to the point without specialities.


Especially all the RfR LPs with a very coherent, basic visual identity which is awesome.




MAD respect for Mikko, on all accounts, even his modern art endeavours, weird porn etc. He's done pretty everything right, whatever he's done it's been highly respectable. Even the NH mailorder is top-notch, the communication excellent, reliable as fuck, I mean come on!!!
A truly remarkable human being.

He should have a worship thread
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Smaragd



Joined: 22 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Legion Blotan
Totally suitable for his releases.
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DTBRex



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AK wrote:

Out of sheer curiosity, do you have any idea why labels insist on limiting releases below the demand and never reprinting them? It's not like they are the ones who are cashing in when the records get sold second hand for 100+. I've thought about why they wouldn't do another run if the demand is there since it would be profitable for them to do so, but I also don't run a label so I don't have the full picture of what goes on.


It's crystal ball-wizardry to know the demand prior to the release, in many cases (unless you'd do pre-orders, ofc). Hence the label will press as many copies it thinks can be afforded and sold thereafter. In most cases of underground records, editions between 300 and 500 copies will be reasonable to make and store, and they suffice to meet the demand from the fan base.

Now, let's say you have sold 500 copies and there are 5 more people asking for one. Does that imply there is sufficient demand to make another 500 copies? Tough question. There is no pressing plant making these 5 additional copies for you, but what if you tie your money to another 500 copies and only sell 50 of them, after all? The same money could have been spent on a new release, instead.

That's the problem in a nutshell: Limited budgets and unreliable forecasts. As Mr. Mentor pointed out; ridiculous high prices on Discogs or Ebay do not necessarily imply there are hundreds of fans out there who badly want another copy of this record. I have re-printed a few releases (Kaevum and BMSS, for instance) when I have had 1. the money and 2. could reliably predict there is sufficient demand to justify the re-print. But as a rule of thumb, I could release much less new records if I decided to keep old records in print indefinitely.

Furthermore, we do live in an age where trends come and go at a rapid speed. Today everyone is fawning over a new band from Iceland, tomorrow Iceland could be swallowed up by the ocean for all the people care. Hence I perfectly understand why labels rather play it safe and do not release editions of 10k copies, like it was done in the days of yore, because the flavor of the month could have changed in between recording and releasing an album, actually.
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AK



Joined: 06 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Makes sense, thanks harald and DTBRex, didn't realize how much uncertainty was involved on the record labels side regarding demand.
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