Quick Update and Pondering Demos

.: First a quick update

Steve Brand – Circular Scriptures is scheduled for release on Jan 11, 2010. It will be available for download from CD Baby and as a CDR in the Hypnos store first… and later will roll out to iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, eMusic, etc… We’re in the process of finalizing the release and it’s looking good for the 11th. Of course, things happen… it might be available a day or two earlier or a few days later. That’s ok!

The New Release and Official Label Launch party is set for 9 pm Central Time on http://stillstream.com on Jan 16, 2010 during the Zen Caffeine program hosted by David Herpich. A huge thank you to David and to StillStream for welcoming us and hosting the event!

.: Pondering Demos

It’s funny to be pondering a few artist’s demos when the first album technically isn’t even released yet. There are a lot of factors involved – from whether I know the artist already, or were they recommended by someone I trust, or someone I’ve never met previously and emailed me out of the blue? The first step is getting to know the artist at least a tiny bit – at least enough to know whether I want to listen. Knowing why someone wants to release with Relaxed Machinery also helps me out.

Then, of course, there’s the music. Does it really jump out and grab me? Am I excited by it? Is this something I want to invest my time and energy on promoting? Do I have a gut feeling about it? It’s important to keep in mind that for better or worse – I’ve decided to keep this essentially a no profit for me label – and yes, I’ve been told I’m insane by many of my label owner and artist friends. Maybe I am a little off kilter, but I believe in what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. There are many pluses to me not trying to make money off of this, however, don’t get me wrong, this is not a free netlabel – I want the artists to profit as much as they can – and as an artist, I want to profit as much as I can from my solo releases coming in the future.

So back to demos. Assuming that, yes, I love this album and want to proceed. Is the album professional quality already or does it need mastering help? If it needs help, is the artist able to do it? Who will?

Another very major factor is how well the artist and I get along. And what can the artist bring to the Relaxed Machinery table? Will they do a lot of self-promotion? (I certainly hope they’ll do some!) Are they particularly “good” at some aspect of the music label process? For example – Steve Brand is an exceptional graphic artist and I’m confident he would have helped me with logo’s and album art templates even if he wasn’t releasing an album on Relaxed Machinery – the fact he has done so much work on his own time makes me very, very comfortable with the ‘artist gets 100% of sales’ policy. Maybe someone will come along that not only writes great music, but is exceptional at mastering and can help the other artists? Maybe someone will come along that is also good at video making? We’ll see.

While at AtmoWorks I ran into every level of artist enthusiasm… from people who were right there willing to go the extra mile, making sure that all the bits the label needed for release were available (like album files, bios, descriptions, etc…) and that made sure that their fans knew about the release… to artists that somehow seemed to thing AtmoWorks owed them everything on a platter – which was extremely odd. Most of course fell somewhere in between.