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Record labels of today?

 
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Final_Verdict



Joined: 05 Sep 2013
Posts: 91
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 3:30 am    Post subject: Record labels of today? Reply with quote

There seems to be more records released today than ever before! Some labels keep their pace at a maximum it seems. A few really excellent releases along with lots of "ok" records in a sea of mediocrity. One thing that often strikes me today is that so many bands have great artworks, great photos, nice logos etc but the only really important thing is missing and that is good and memorable music. You know the feeling of when you heard or read about a band that you actually think you will like but aftering hearing it, it just leaves you with nothing!

I wonder if many of the labels (within the underground) actually like everything they release or just want to promote their friends or just want to keep releasing records within a certain genre. I get the feeling that the spark for releasing records is bigger than the spark of finding something truely exciting!

What do you think?
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Cursed_Reefer



Joined: 25 Apr 2014
Posts: 216

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as death metal goes there's a big "old school DM" boom now, literally thousands of bands, mostly Entombed and Autopsy clones. Quantity is definitely over quality nowadays.
I like the stuff released by Dark Descent and Memento Mori, those guys believe in what they are putting out.
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Heirophant.326.AV



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Posts: 1437
Location: inside the preserved Moose

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of that problem is the fact that what it took to be "good and memorable" X number of years ago was dictated by the novelty factor - it was memorable because it was new.

Think of it this way - when caveman Ugh invented the wheel, that WAS good and memorable because it was new and innovative. To get that WOW factor now, you're competing against Porche and Masaratti - decades of refinement and constant engineering. So things that tick all the boxes in a way that would have been solid as fuck in earlier times are a bit "meat n potatoes" now.

Not meaning to come over all "musings of he who shall not be named thread" here, but it's a real conundrum. When I've tried to answer that question in interviews I've tried to convey the fact that novelty for it's own sake is a dead end - you end up with the "fish ice-cream" scenario ("Fish is great. Ice-cream is great. But I don't want fish-flavoured ice-cream). What's really hard is to work within an established framework but bring your own voice to it, which is why I tend to use the example of writing a sonnet or haiku. You have the established boundaries of what the form is - the challenge is to do something GOOD within that framework.

As to whether this makes BM/DM a heritage act along the lines of jazz etc remains to be seen at this point. I think not - the best stuff in the current crop stands alongside the originators on every front except novelty.
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Blood Music



Joined: 24 Apr 2012
Posts: 1147
Location: Helsinki, Finland

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fan reaction is also a big deal for many labels because it costs time and money to release stuff - and they don't want to release things they can't sell.

We hop all over the place in terms of genre (within and sometimes without metal). We have die hard fans who are looking for recommendations across the spectrum with more open minds about what they'll listen to - but many ultra-black metal or death metal people are excited when we put things out in their style but angry when we do a total 180. We are putting out what we want 100% of the time. Many times we don't have access to things we want - and sometimes we enjoy things that need a pressing that we just don't think we can sell - but we only choose things where our interests line up with the interests of the bands.

On the flipside, with many metal underground labels, you have an idea what you're going to get up-front, and many people in the underground feel confident sticking within one or a handful of subgenres within metal, so they stick with those labels.

Both ways of doing things are understandable.

If the quality is there, then both ways are great. It's a luxury that metal is infused with so many choices these days. There is a lot of stuff to chew on and enjoy and a lot of different ways to enjoy it.

On a side note - I still believe that many labels make choices based on the "scene police," which is also understandable. Labels and bands can get a bad name just by associating with the wrong person. I believe many labels and bands take this into account, even subconsciously, when choosing their style and direction.
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GoldenBull



Joined: 10 Jan 2008
Posts: 7668

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heirophant.326.AV wrote:
the best stuff in the current crop stands alongside the originators on every front except novelty.


Very intelligent comment. A lot of people miss that realization. It is not possible to recreate a scenario in which a death metal band puts out an album that literally sounds like nothing you have ever heard before. The loss of that feeling misleads many into thinking there is no new music of value.
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The Sarlacc



Joined: 10 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll only release something that I enjoy listening to myself. I don't limit myself to any genre. Two of my forthcoming releases aren't even related to metal in any way.
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asmael LeBouc



Joined: 02 Nov 2009
Posts: 3833
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GoldenBull wrote:
Heirophant.326.AV wrote:
the best stuff in the current crop stands alongside the originators on every front except novelty.


Very intelligent comment. A lot of people miss that realization. It is not possible to recreate a scenario in which a death metal band puts out an album that literally sounds like nothing you have ever heard before. The loss of that feeling misleads many into thinking there is no new music of value.


And yet... I really thought "holy shit it sounds like nothing I've ever heard!" when I first listened to PORTAL in 2008!
Like it is (was??) still possible to bring total novelty in Death Metal
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Mocata



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 129

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With my label (Ulthar Records, shameless plug), I genuinely do love everything I've released.

If you don't have 100% confidence in what you're releasing, then what's the point? I didn't set out to 'start a label', it was basically a selfish act so that I could get music from bands I love in formats I like!
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BBQ Booking



Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 1352
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Electric Assault Records is basically me releasing bands and records I would want in my own collection so that's the biggest thing for me: bands I really like. Given the limited resources, I only release records that I 100% believe in and demos that I hear that have potential. I get requests all the time and I have to turn down 90% of them, good and bad. I will admit that I fucked up this year and took on a little too much but, hey, you live and learn!
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Shiru



Joined: 04 Feb 2007
Posts: 2339
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

about main question of thread i guess it is 50/50
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Demoniarch



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 7012
Location: Edmonton

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Record labels record collectors bla bla bla

I find it unlikely anyone with over a couple hundred bands/albums is a absolute fanatic fan of all of it anymore at all, and not for lack of trying either... we simply buy more and more and make more and more because that is what we do... yet what exactly is your memory retention for all those thousands of albums really anyways?

There is lots of bands these days, massive volumes of merchandise and music. It is just what it is. A paradise to some, a hell to others... and to most just modern times.
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Shiru



Joined: 04 Feb 2007
Posts: 2339
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Demoniarch wrote:
I find it unlikely anyone with over a couple hundred bands/albums is a absolute fanatic fan of all of it anymore at all, and not for lack of trying either... we simply buy more and more and make more and more because that is what we do... yet what exactly is your memory retention for all those thousands of albums really anyways?

There is lots of bands these days, massive volumes of merchandise and music. It is just what it is. A paradise to some, a hell to others... and to most just modern times.


mhmhhm interesting question, but i think it is all about quality of music itself or quality of songwriting that keep going down more or less
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jameswolfe



Joined: 28 Nov 2010
Posts: 2218

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont think there is really a whole lot difference between now and what it has ever been. Maybe more of everything and its availability is easier now with the internet. But overall there have always been good bands and bad bands, good labels and not so good labels, and people into metal for all the above mentioned reasons.
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Haunt In The Dark



Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Posts: 923
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When some labels release a new record every few weeks and their release history goes all over the place, I just don't buy from them.
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