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Postby Mad_EP » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:07 pm

As one of the resident, old crusties on this board... I just wanted to share a few thoughts because it seems so many people are so concerned about "signing" their first single/record/album.

I understand, I've been there.


But as I get older and been around the block a few times - I have the benefit of a bird's eye view of how artistic influence can really work. Sure - in the immediate, we all hope to make a career out of it so that we can support ourselves by simply making/teaching/producing/etc music. I am not diminishing that fact - but I can 99% guarantee that your first "signing" won't guarantee that... nor will the fact that you have "signed" at all secure *anything*. It is about more than that.

And that is where I want to go with this post... I have had the fortune of getting to know many of my original 'electronic' idols. Even those who were properly signed to actual major labels and made a decent amount of money, only a couple have musical careers today. So money can't be the end all reason to do this. It is about longevity, and that is influencing the next generation - regardless if you get your financial dues or not. And for that reason, I implore you to make music that you feel with your heart, not what is popular... because popular shit will die in 3 years, and amazing music will last beyond the careers of those who made it.

One of my favorite musicians of all time - doesn't make music anymore. He writes computer code. Even more humbling - is that he reached out to me... he liked MY music... But all it did was reinforce that every note I ever wrote HAD to be the very best I ever wrote.. because if he could be forced away from music, anyone could... and I would be doing a disservice to the amazing influence he had on me if I didn't do my best every single time. That is what great art does... it influences so deep that not only the listener is changed... but also - their circle is influenced. I just heard back from a friend from 15 years ago that he still listens to the mixtapes I made back in the day... he is now in charge of various art exhibitions... there is NO way his listening habits don't influence his choices.

As musicians - you have such a HUGE range of possible influence... even if you never know it. Reach further than Beatport's latest greatest chart.

Go for longevity.
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Postby Icetickle » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:15 pm

So the point is that you shouldn't make tunes that you know that people will like just so you could sign it?
Just checking if I got it right..

BTW. can I hear some of your tunes? :)
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Postby titchbit » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:16 pm

Thanks for the advice m8 :Q:
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Postby Mad_EP » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:23 pm

Icetickle wrote:So the point is that you shouldn't make tunes that you know that people will like just so you could sign it?
Just checking if I got it right..

BTW. can I hear some of your tunes? :)


I never said to "not make tunes that you know people will like".... I just said to make it from the heart, because that shit will follow you.

In addition to the peeps I mentioned, I also know people who made a nice wad of cash off of tunes they *really* don't like anymore... and they still spend a lot time distancing themselves from it... and in 10 years time, will probably be embarrassed by it.

Make your own choices.
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Postby lysergene » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:33 pm

It depends where you draw the line. I would gladly program the next telly tubby music if it meant I could spend the rest of my life not worrying about money :s hehe!
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Postby fragments » Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:16 am

I have almost nothing to say because I think you said it Mad EP. All these people rushing toward a release. I don't have many and only a couple on through any exciting labels/projects. I really don't get it. Maybe it's because after I came back to producing after I got excited about dubstep, I decided I was just going to make music for myself, not that I wouldn't share it, but that as far as creatively, I was just going to do what excited me. I've made all kinds of tunes over the years and the difference between on project to the next, one song to the next gets bigger and bigger. Even if I never garner any notoriety, I'd rather have my path develop organically than trying define myself with trends and marketing.
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Postby test_recordings » Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:23 am

I think a lot of people want to get signed as 'confirmation' that they're good, like chasing plays on Soundcloud and Beatport chart ratings
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Postby Jizz » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:54 am

Yeah its crazy how so many people see it as a necessity. A release will happen if I make something thats worthy of one and that's that
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Postby NinjaEdit » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:14 am

I think part of what you're getting at is the process of culturation; some agents innovating or modifying, and others copying the ideas.

It also reminds me of the Art vs. Product debate.
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Postby outbound » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:08 am

Great post! :)
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Postby pete_bubonic » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:25 pm

Being a massive emo at heart, the OP certainly resonates with me. I was lucky to be on the sound at it's most interesting and accelerating popularity, so I got to release music on labels I loved and got to tour round Europe. The problem I kept having was I wanted to play warm up sets, slower, deeper more romantic stuff. But few promoters are going to pay for travel, fee and accomodation for dj's to play the warm up slot. I ended up playing a lot of peak time sets and having to bang it out. And I started taking that to the studio, trying to make that next peak time banger, the one to secure my next month of bookings etc.

I just ended getting mad frustrated and not really enjoying the process at all. Which is doubly annoying because I actually love the harder stuff and making it, but not consistently and certainly not as my 'core' style. So I stopped completely, stopped taking booking and stopped producing. I had the label at the time to pour my efforts into, so it didn't bother me.

But since I started a band to really concentrate on that bleak romanticism that I always wanted to make, I'm really much happier in what I do. I feel more comfortable and in the zone when I do produce the more aggressive stuff now.

Tl:dr : I'm loads happier now I effectively get to be true to myself in the studio but get fuck all releases and bookings.
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Postby Icetickle » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:48 pm

Getting signed is good as long as you are still making what you like. Sharing your tunes with the world and making people happy.
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Postby Mad_EP » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:50 pm

I am so glad to see that this thread has been interpreted in the way I'd hoped.

I was wondering if any of the other Vets would chime in - glad you did Pete. You certainly have been around and seen first-hand how this silly business can work.

Part of the reason I posted, I was uploading some up my back catalog to a mate while trading tunes... now even though I got some good props in the press, not everything sold that great. So sure, if I tweaked it to fit with the times, maybe I could have sold a few more units and made a little more money off it... but still, by now, that money would be long gone. I relistened to that older stuff and I still feel it as strongly about it as I did when I wrote it. People will either like it or they won't, but I am just happy that I am still just as proud of the first track I ever released as the track I released last week. At the end of the day, that is all I have left - how I feel about the work I leave behind.
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Postby SunkLo » Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:22 pm

Not enough mans tryin to make timeless music.
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Postby 3za » Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:27 pm

Yo, in a hundred years form now
Everyone who's living on this planet will be dead
So it's inconsequential really
All the shit that you talk
All the bullshit that you stand for
It's more important what, what your ready to build
What you're ready to pass down to your children
What you're ready to create
You better fucking remember that
When you challenge a mother fucker like me
Remember, I'm the dominant species
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Postby titchbit » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:31 pm

^ that was a beautiful haiku.
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Postby 3za » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:57 pm

I didn't write it, but I will take all the credit.

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Postby bouncingfish » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:53 pm

This inspires me to make my own, original, timeless music.
At the same time, right now, I just create music because it excites me. I create music that will give me a kick when I listen to it. And if that involves copying others, then I won't be afraid to do that; I'm not sharing the music with anyone, so I feel more free to do whatever I want.

Everyone tells you to make music for yourself, not for others. That's what I do (in fact I think lots of people do it) but that doesn't have to mean that the songs have any kind of meaning to me, that they come from my heart, or that they are any original at all. :cornlol:
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Postby hutyluty » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:56 am

Yeah idk really. I got my first release about 6 months ago after about 3 years producing and even tho like noone bought it and i made no money, somewhere in my mind says ive basically reached my peak and there's no point trying to push on and make a bit more money/ send to bigger labels etc.

It's not really because im worried i wont 'make stuff from the heart' (lol) but mainly cos im a lazy bastard and really cant be doing with all the hassle, from the sending of your tunes around to the preparing the songs for mastering (i'll make a confession here- i have no idea how totell if my tune is -6 dB lol). By the end it just felt like work, which is exactly what i make tunes to avoid.
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Postby Mad_EP » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:56 am

^^ that's the problem isn't it? Once one gets into releasing tunes, mastering, etc. it IS work. All the more better if it is stuff you believe in.... but it is work.

If one just wants to have a laugh... then yeah... just sit at home, make beets and play Halo.



But if you make music because you have something to say - make sure it is something you don't mind standing next to forever - cos that shit will follow you around on & on.

I know so many people running away from their early works cos they just tried making shit people wanted to hear at the time.
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