Wearing the right label

After reading much of the press over the last few months it would be easy to deduce that the music labels are in turmoil and the Internet revolution is the only way forward for the creativity, distribution and cache of any band with rock star pretensions.  While there is an element of truth in all of the gossip there is still a credible and technical advantage in signing to certain, independently minded labels.   Even though everyone is heralding the digital revolution bands could still be alot better off with the right label.   Read Aussie – Electro popsters, Cut Copy’s views @ http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/news/20080219_cut_copy.shtml

Surveying the current scene of hipsters and wannabe rock stars it seems that many of the hotly tipped acts are signed to one of the in-vogue independents.  Even bands with the phenomenal clout of Radiohead or Arctic Monkeys have deals with a label.  Selling your wears on the Internet is all well and good for initial hype, though for the practicalities of promotion, business acumen, production assistance, contacts and resources it is still essential for even marginally ambitious muso’s to seek out the right deal.

Independent labels can encourage innovation and fund experimentalism.  Something the majors are reluctant to do unless it guarantee’s revenue.   Domino – founded in 1993 –http://www.dominorecordco.com/site/ have enjoyed huge success with the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand and consequently are able to fund the likes of more left field bands such as, Animal Collective, Clinic and Four Tet – http://www.myspace.com/fourtetkieranhebden  New bands such as These New Puritansare also benefiting from the qualified exposure of Domino.

XL are another label that seem to have the Midas touch, http://www.xlrecordings.com/  Now of course home to Radiohead and The White Stripes, they also seemed to have unearthed and invested in possibly two of the brightest acts of 2008, Adele and Vampire Weekendhttp://www.myspace.com/vampireweekend   What started as a dance label in 1989 has quickly evolved into one of the most respected and cutting edge independents in the UK.  The fact that two of the most eminent and individual players in the business, Thom Yorke and Jack White, trust them wholeheartedly says alot about the company

American label DFA http://www.dfarecords.com/ has much in common with its Australian counterpart Modular http://modularpeople.com/aus.asp.  Both have created a big enough stir to inspire a global buzz surrounding their bands  By focusing on a scene and becoming the vanguard they have simultaneously pioneered and encapsulated their respective markets of post-punk & Electro.  Synonymous with their own brand of music they have both become a byword for new-wave chic.  This of course does pose a few problems if they want to break the mould, though retro-metalists Wolfmother seemed to have profited quite nicely in Modular’s Stables.  DFA is of course the brainchild behind James Murphy, who’s band LCD Soundsystem have led the dance renaissance.  With hotly tipped Hercules and Love Affair http://www.myspace.com/herculesandloveaffair  following swiftly behind it seems their tightly knighted trend has got plenty of ideas left in the bank.  


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