It's been a funny year to be a record label if funny is indeed the proper word. Our friends at our pressing plant say we've both passed the start-up phase and are deeply entrenched in the "struggling" phase. Given the current state of the music industry I've conceded to being in phase two for awhile. As with most small businesses, money and debt are a constant battle and this has always been the case for us. This has been the year that Broklyn Beats broke, encumbered with said debt, pulled in different musical directions and confused by the formats and markets. Nonetheless, business is a learning experience and creative entreprenuerialism, I believe, affects other creativities. 2007 sees us working on our own music for Broklyn, pulling back from our current release schedule while expanding Applecore, something new... Below, some thoughts on Broklyn Beats 2006 releases. Check tracks from these at our MySpace page.
Parts & Labor "Escapers One" 12" EP - Escaping our own restrictions, as well as the band's, for something a bit different. The covers, vinyl and production all happened in Brooklyn by friends' businesses - a cool fact, but not a cheap one! Releases like this will always be on vinyl and will always sell.
"Sky City Rising" CD EP - Luca (Drop the Lime) has shape-shifted with determined skill from innovative breakcore flourishes to U.K.- minded bass experiments and B'more breaks edits, always maintaining his signature sound and voice. This is his dubstep and it stands up to many of our other favorite U.K. innovators this year. Watch for this man in 2007...
DJ Slip "She's a Time Traveller" CD - What are we doing releasing a techno album?! Fact is, despite all of our whining, we do like techno and sometimes have to follow our impulses. Troy's an ace producer and an old friend who was always a supportive musician. There's a couple tracks here that made the soundtrack to my summer, namely "Utopia Revealed" and "Outsider Sweeet Outlander."
1-Speed Bike "Someone Told Me Life Gets Easier in Your 50's" CD, "Redux" 12"EP - Old punk friends from '90s Minneapolis re-aquaint years later, tour doing weirdo electronic music. One releases the other's music. Fruition can often surprise! Insert fart joke...
Rotator "Redux" 12" EP - The year breakcore didn't break, although we did get a big article in XLR8R. Well, we got pretty tired of most breakcore this year, preferring to shell out more on dubstep. I felt most people in breakcore released good stuff in 2006, but not much different then anything from the previous couple of years. Rotator, however, continued to impress with a distorted, compressed madness delivered at blistering speeds, yet retaining maximum dance-worthiness. Long live breakcore!!!
Les Trolls "Culture de l'Incoherence" CD - We've been fans of these French musicians for awhile and it felt great to introduce their original sound to America. One of the most rewarding parts of doing all of this is getting to meet and work with new people. Documenting all of this is important when the music is this good.
News and opinions from Broklyn Beats Records and Applecore Mailorder.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
CMJ unofficial Broklyn Beats showcase went mellow, too mellow, but great tracks from Trouble & Bass using Serrato Scratch. More and more firends are rocking digital DJ systems leading a label guy like myself to worry. Mind you, it's no surprise to me that this is happening, especially after trying the new Torq system which goes for only $300, or more simply put, the price of 20 new Dubstep 12"s shipped from the U.K.! I do think vinyl and maybe CDs have a legit future on a specialty market level and Broklyn Beats has always been a noisy niche relatively unfettered by market impulses. Nonetheless, our audience (that's you!) have been a broke lot with amazing computer skills and more often than not, amazing computers. How will we fare making vinyl for this market? Well, we have plans for many less releases next year and are currently close to selling our entire catalog digitally. Maybe we can sell vinyl by having mp3 links etched in the inside groove of the vinyl?! I better stop here before a large rant begins... let it be said, however, that I don't fetishize vinyl, only the machines used to produce the sounds. The mediums will always change. I think vinyl will persevere...
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Beginnings, The First Entry
Tonight we're hosting a CMJ label showcase for the third straight year at Subtonic. Two years ago, I left all of the T-shirts on top of the car and we had to drive back through the neighborhood finding them all (all were intact!) Then our car broke down (timing belt) a block after the bridge and 2 joggers scooped up behind us and pushed us around the corner to Tonic. Meet our entourage!
Subtonic, if you don't know has practically been the home-away-from-home for Broklyn Beats for the past 7 years. Our first NYC roomate Chris Sattinger (a.k.a. Timeblind) co-hosted the first weekly there. Doily's worked there for years (I have been filling in as well) and we've hosted three separate nights there, Barreled, Breakdown and the current night, Pure Fire. Doing a weekly in New York can be a thankless job or a sweet self-employed dream. Usually it's somewhere in between the two, cheaply drunk on something and immersed in your own choice of music. Wednesday night is not a big party night and one of us is always liable to upset that delicate dancefloor balance which keeps girls dancing, guys buying drinks and both coming back.
I bring up our weekly because it reflects a lot of other doubts I've had about music, age, direction... you know, my life... Maybe I need to pull it back to a monthly and have more time to promote? Maybe we need to put more time and money into the weekly and elevate it? Maybe we need to pull the plug and give the night to a retro-80's Brit-Metal night as previously transpired with Breakdown?! Ah decisions... and now there's a blog to outsource those decisions to you, our lovely Broklyn Beats fan.
If you're interested, the Pure Fire residents have 2 items for sale: the Summer '06 Megamix CD and an interesting "Grmo Crnko" 12" of grime instrumentals mashed with crunk a cappelas. Both are available at our Broklyn Beats shop. Of course these same anxieties repeat themselves constantly as in the case of our shop, which we are renovating to include a proper name (Applecore) with images and mp3s at a point when one wonders if vinyl and CDs have much of a future... Alas... these are our beginnings...