DFRNT aka Alex is an old friend of Sturban Clothing, in fact he is responsible for the logo that we current use, he has done a podcast for us in the past and is a very multi talented guy. We just thought it might be interesting to chat with him and just show the struggle some people have, Alex holds down a very challenging full time job has a graphic designer and in his spare time DJ's, runs a few record labels, has run a magazine, puts on nights and try's to keep up blogs, most relate to dubstep, IDM and design, so lets jump in.
Hi Alex so last time we spoke you had just come back from the States and was planning to move there for a year to see how things went, what's happened?
Not a huge amount. I'm still planning the move, but visa applications and paperwork tend to delay these things far beyond what anybody expects, so yeah - I'm still heading out there, and at this point I'm hoping it's going to be within the next month or two. Hard to say though.
I don't like to be pressured in to doing releases or having any sort of expectation for the label, so I'm just taking it as it comes.
But yeah - Cut is where all the free or pay-what-you-like releases sit now, I've retired the idea of free music from Echodub for now, to allow that distinction to grow.
So what's the difference between Echodub and Cut?
Well primarily Echodub was the first label I started, just as I was learning about how to do these things - but Cut started in January 2011 and became where I wanted to focus the free releases. I felt there was room for a pay-what-you-want net-based label but packaging the music properly, with nice artwork and presenting it as a thing of value - as opposed to producers just bunging things up on Soundcloud or Mediafire. THat bothers me, because it's like they don't value their own work. I felt Cut would be a better place to present that stuff on a proper platform, and build up a nice audience for it.
So far, so good!
What ws the main reasoning behind starting a new label (Cut)?
The catalyst for starting it was actually making the logo - after I'd created that, I thought "actually, I could use this..." and the label idea was born out of that!
What do you have planned for Cut?
One day it would be amazing to be able to do free physical releases - but that's budget dependent, and really we'd have to get crazy-popular for that to happen. In the meantime, I'll just continue to put out good music as and when I hear it. The artists we've had on board have been very good about the whole thing, and I'd like to hope it's at the very least got them a bit more exposure.
With your move to the States do you see yourself putting out more realeases from US artists?
To be honest, I never bother about where producers are from. If it's good music - I'll support it. I think these days location is totally irrelevant. Interestingly, when I speak to local promoters - many of them didn't ever realised I live in Edinburgh!
There was a good amount of people professing that live or DJing was where musicians could make their cash too - but unless you're prepared to drop everyting and really go at it full-on, I don't think there's really enough of an equivalent to a proper wage to be garnered from live or DJing. You still need to build hype and a name before you can charge anything that would make DJing worthwile I think. Unless you're looking to use that to just supplement your income.
I think people forget that in order to make money from the music scene these days it seems like you have to have fingers in all the pies. Labels, nights, DJing, production, promotion - all of these then add up to give somebody involved more of a reasonable wage. I can only speak from experience, but this is the way it seems to me. I tend to tell people there's little money to be made from selling music at the moment.
I recently retired the idea of doing another physical magazine - I had done "Modus" a while back, and released it as an actual magazine people could buy, but the uptake was miniscule, so I didn't bother taking that any further really. I felt like I'd put so much in to that, and it's disheartening to see how little people were bothered, so I just thought - well, there's other ways to make a difference.
I started musicdescriptions.tumblr.com recently as a wee enjoyable project to host all the daft descriptions of music I get sent - it's been really fun to do actually, so that's going well.
I also started more of a personal/design blog at nothorrendous.com which may prove interesting to readers, although it may not, since it's not hugely music-centric.
1 Function - Inter
2 Action Bronson - Bird On A Wire
3 The Cinematic Orchestra - Burn Out
4 Simple Minds - Real Life
5 FaltyDL - She Sleeps
...man that was tough. :D
So what's the future IDM/dubstep?
Very hard to say I guess. I don't have any real predictions if I'm honest. I'd just like to see people get on with whatever they're doing and enjoy it - as long as everyone's enjoying what they do and not just doing it for money or greed, then they'll get by fine and we'll all get along.
Everyone is intrinsically nice, but I think naivety and false promises leave us all with a bad taste in our mouth. I think people should just say what they mean, and save the promising to those who can deliver.