Thursday, 16 April 2015

Why We Don't Like Record Store Day

Now, I'm not going to turn this into a big piece shouting at the guys behind RSD and what their intentions were to begin with, but this will be more of an insight into what happens behind the scenes and some general food for thought.

I'm presuming the idea was founded by an honest group of people that genuinely thought this would be great for the music scene and a brilliant business idea, and too right.

I'd like to point out the name of this sacred day, 'Record Store Day'. Emphasis being on the 'Record Store' aspect. This isn't a day to celebrate labels as we have the Independent Label Market for that, but it seems that the meaning behind the day has been obscured by Universal, Warner, Columbia and your usual group of standard money hungry monsters.

I have always encouraged the pressing and manufacture of vinyl, and the more music on vinyl, the better, but somehow within me, I am starting to not wish this sentiment towards any of these super limited to 25,000 copies, full colour, gum flavoured edible sleeves that will only be available on RSD and come free with a fridge magnet of a duck.

Anything to fulfill the demand of consumerism eh?

These types of presses are annihilating the limited number of pressing plants which are already exhausted. We've had a variety of presses come in the last month for labels that we manage where the records have been warped due to improper cooling times being executed, as the records have had to be rushed away to make room for the next. This not only means that we're unhappy, it means that the pressing plant have to do a re-run and lose out on their profit. It won't be long before some of the biggest and final pressing plants in Europe close and ironically it may be because of the strain that is RSD.

RSD should be about the Record Store. A day where people get to visit their local shop, speak to the owners, learn about the heritage of the shop, browse their catalogue and meet and speak to regular buyers. Don't just buy the limited edition Burial remix of Tina Turner's entire discography to flog on Discogs and leave, what was the point in having a day to celebrate that?

From a business point, there is a lot of money to be made on this day, labels, record stores, distributors, artists, producers and pressing plants could, and do make a lot of money around this time of the year, every year, but unfortunately it is not at the betterment of the music scene, most of the times the pockets that are being lined are the majors and the longevity of vinyl is being prevented.

We have all witnessed, at some point in our lives, a beloved genre die due to non-organic growth or a commercial bandwagon coming along to never ride to the next stop, so why let vinyl as a format go down the same road as Dubstep did as a genre?

Our latest release, Beyond The Confines, will not be part of RSD, we want it to be freely available everywhere and we want it to be reasonably priced too, we don't want to offer exclusivity to anyone and we want people to love the music above the "Limited Edition" sticker placed onto it.

Hopefully RSD continues, but from this year to the next, there has to be a shift in how it is managed and what is the best way in which the entire scene can benefit so that we can keep vinyl alive. 

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Brand new slipmats

We've finally got round to putting out a series of slipmats. There are four designs to choose from and all of our slipmats are of superior quality with a glazed bottom so that it is extra slippery.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

We have a problem

Although there is continuous talk of record sales increasing, where some statisticians boasted a 101% increase from 2012 into 2013, where there was an increase of 780,000 records sold over the entire duration of the year, these figures are not applicable to underground music.

These figures only represent the Rock & Pop following which has always been consistent where the fan base have maintained a loyal purchasing pattern.  The underground music scene, especially the electronic music scene, has barely contributed to the increase in vinyl sales around the world.

At a time where we are hearing of labels moving away from vinyl, shop after shop closing their doors and distributors and pressing plants shutting up shop, there is a problem.

At the end of summer in 2013, Chemical Records had to call in the administrators where they tried to salvage the business, but on the 26th of March 2014, they closed their doors permanently. Chemical Records was one of the biggest vinyl vendors in the UK and arguably in Europe. They catered for all sorts of genres and without them, record labels will struggle to move their units.

Over the last five years the number of pressing plants that have closed have risen. This has resulted in pressing vinyl becoming an increasingly expensive venture which has a knock on effect on whether it is worth the hassle.

ST Holdings announced on the 6th of May that they are cutting back the amount of labels that they distribute and manage. This leaves a large number of labels now without a distribution system and they will most probably begin to consider whether manufacturing and distributing vinyl is worth doing.

ST Holdings most definitely made the right decision to cut back so they can cultivate manageable growth as they did in 1998. By reducing on warehouse costs with stock that isn't moving they can focus their time on pushing the small selection of labels that they have decided to keep on.

In this circle, the labels can't be blamed because it is much more lucrative to stick to digital only releases as they are catering to their own demand, stores cannot sell enough vinyl to stay open, demand is decreasing where labels are only pressing 200 copies so vinyl pressing prices are increasing and distributors are either not taking on labels or taking larger percentages on distribution costs. In this vicious circle, nobody can be blamed.

It is the state of the music scene and the choice is left to the people. It is up to the people whether they want to save vinyl or not. If everyone purchased more records, labels would have more capital to press more music, which would result in shops selling more units to stay open and distributors being able to get the records in stores worldwide, so the power is truthfully in the people.

In 1977 a British band called 'Scritti Politti' was formed where they released a vinyl called 'Skank Block Bologna' in 1978. They were one of the first bands to take control into their own hands and truthfully push the 'do it yourself' mentality. They started a revolution where artists knew they didn't need to be signed to a major label to press their own music to vinyl and thousands of people followed.

It is time to support the independents, it is time to stop spending money on overpriced coffee at cafes and invest in the future of the music scene. If demand continues to slip away, thousands of labels will fall to the side and countless amounts of music will not be pressed onto a timeless format.

We have a problem and only you can fix it.


Saturday, 15 February 2014

Fent Plates Evolution Volume 4 - Free Download

Download here: Sendspace Download Link

1. Avondlicht - Embrace
2. dfaultuzer - Better Off
3. Farz & Seldom - Visions
4. Lupus - La Movida (Prod. Demain)
5. Nymbus - Drift (Feat. Nori)
6. SCDD_ALTA - Somethang
7. Skywide - Floral Avenue
8. Tor - Loop Theory 

Monday, 9 September 2013

FPL006 - Demain - Everywhere Video teaser

To announce our next release we have placed a smooth little video created by Kasper Laier Plougmand on Youtube. The song in the video is entitled "Strange Fruits" and is one of the tracks on the CD.

FPL006 - Demain - Everywhere

6 Track CD & Digital Release


Demain - Everywhere Feat. Capucine
Demain - Strange Fruits (Audio in this video)
Demain - Deep Cover
Demain - Everywhere Feat. Capucine  (Lex Remix)
Demain - Everywhere Feat. Capucine  (J-One Remix)
Demain - Deep Cover (VVV Remix)

Release Date: 16/09/2013

Purchase CD:

Artwork & Video Visuals created by Kasper Laier Plougmand

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