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Self-promoting electronic music

Postby Devin » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:02 pm

We finally completed the album and now onto promoting but I am kinda at a loss having been out the loop so long.
We just had a great review in Sound On Sound which was great but its not for the music market.

Back in the day (1996) we could just press up some white labels and send them to select DJ's and radio stations.
I am trying to apply the same idea now via soundcloud but I figure the DJ's get bombarded...
Any advice?


Shameless self promotion follows...

http://www.beatport.com/release/bitchbi ... axy/996302
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby Emmet » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:43 am

Its a tough world out there, in 2011 there were between 7000-15,000 releases per week on Beatport alone

http://www.musicindie.com/news/1175
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby The Red Bladder » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:56 am

Devin wrote:Back in the day (1996) we could just press up some white labels and send them to select DJ's and radio stations.
I am trying to apply the same idea now via soundcloud but I figure the DJ's get bombarded...
Any advice?

You would have been ignored then and you will be ignored now.

How many times do I have to tell the bedroom glitterati that you have to get out there and gig?

Learn to engage with an audience. That and only that is what the music business will pay you for.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby SafeandSound Mastering » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:31 am

Album is great, well done. Not an easy achievement. I reckon on pushing your 3 best tracks, get your own and other peoples views and work, work, work and don't stop at all. If you get 1 going the rest can follow even if every other album track is static. Hard and and smart work is the, focus and put the work in where most effect is likely. I guarantee to you, you will have set backs and feel like giving up, don't... get back up adapt, learn and go, thats called life.

cheers and all the best with it !

oh an NEVER give up.

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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby SafeandSound Mastering » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:51 pm

Oh and don't forget each genre has a slightly different way to get heard.

Here is a track that was a white label it was not ignored...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rShOzMN3G-w

http://www.discogs.com/Lennie-De-Ice-We-Are-IE/release/93141...
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby The Red Bladder » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:59 pm

Lennie De Ice gigs.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby phil kirby » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:59 pm

We are I.E. came out in 1991, things are somewhat different now....... As can be seen by the Beatport stats in the Emmet post above.
I didn't have Mr Bladder down as a Junglist either. But he seems to know Lenworth Green's DJ itinerary.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby Devin » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:50 pm

Thanks for the responses...

I definitely will not give up, if this album fails it is my fault.

I am thinking of putting a lot of the tracks up on SoundCloud for free. I do not know if its possible to have the complete album for streaming but only allow certain people to download the mp3.

To Red Bladder: we did the white label thing and it worked for us, the amount of music received now is way higher than it was back in the 90's.
I am also not particularly interested in gigging, I find most electronic music boring to see live.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby johnny h » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:26 am

Devin wrote:Thanks for the responses...

I definitely will not give up, if this album fails it is my fault.

I am thinking of putting a lot of the tracks up on SoundCloud for free. I do not know if its possible to have the complete album for streaming but only allow certain people to download the mp3.

To Red Bladder: we did the white label thing and it worked for us, the amount of music received now is way higher than it was back in the 90's.
I am also not particularly interested in gigging, I find most electronic music boring to see live.

I'm not a huge fan of putting music up for free, I think it devalues it. I would personally rather someone steal my music than think of its intrinsic value being nothing.

I'm not sure what you want to get out of this whole thing, but I assume you want to either make very high quality music and/or make a living out of it. I haven't had time for an in depth listen but it seems to have one or two similarities to a guy called Com Truise (terrible name I know), but he went from being just another guy on soundcloud a couple of years ago to having a very respectable (and profitable) gig list in 2013.

I would look for a manager and a label. Someone who understands your music well and will give you straight, honest advice about what to do.

The non-gigging stuff you need to just forget about. Gigging is how you make money. It will allow you to make music as your day job and give you the time to become a better musician. Also its great fun! Everybody wants to be your friend or your lover and you get to see the world in the best way possible. Its like being on holiday all the time, except all the hard work (finding the best hotels, restaurants, booking flights, airport travel etc) is done for you.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby Emmet » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:20 pm

The Red Bladder wrote: Learn to engage with an audience. That and only that is what the music business will pay you for.

Not always, they will sometimes pay you to do the opposite

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2__CST49ps4
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby Steve A » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:28 pm

johnny h wrote:I'm not a huge fan of putting music up for free, I think it devalues it. I would personally rather someone steal my music than think of its intrinsic value being nothing.


I definitely second this. It always amazes how the keen record labels and artists seem to be to steam often entire albums in full before release date only then to dump it all on Spotify when all it does is effectively remove the incentive for most people to bother buying it at all.

johnny h wrote:I would look for a manager and a label. Someone who understands your music well and will give you straight, honest advice about what to do.


This is easier said than done but it's true. I would hazard that most artists who break through without any form of live show to back them up did so because they networked effectively and linked up with people who could open doors.

johnny h wrote:The non-gigging stuff you need to just forget about. Gigging is how you make money. It will allow you to make music as your day job and give you the time to become a better musician. Also its great fun! Everybody wants to be your friend or your lover and you get to see the world in the best way possible. Its like being on holiday all the time, except all the hard work (finding the best hotels, restaurants, booking flights, airport travel etc) is done for you.


Having listened to the album clips, I can understand why the OP is reluctant to attempt a live presentation of this but it doesn't alter the fact that people who break through without any form of live performance aspect to their offering are in a big minority. The OP says he finds most live electronic music boring and if you're just talking about a guy in headphones prodding a MacBook Pro and nothing else then I can see that. What you need to do is find a way to overcome that. A live drummer would be a start and I can see that working with the sort of music you do. Visuals is another important aspect (I can understand why the readership turned its nose up at it but I happen to think SOS were bang on the money when they started intropducing video content a year or so ago. It is fast becoming an essential tool in a modern musician's toolbox if they want to get noticed).

I don't have any any easy answers for you but I wish you well.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby Devin » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:09 pm

Great responses again.

I am thinking of putting the entire album for listen on Soundcloud but without a download option.

This is essentially the same as being on Rdio or Spotify streaming.
I would also like it to be used in TV & Film but not sure what the path is.

We are working on 2 videos, both of which should be interesting enough to keep peoples attention for the vital first 10 seconds!
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby Scramble » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:18 pm

>I definitely will not give up, if this album fails it is my fault.

That sounds like you're being too tough on yourself.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby The Red Bladder » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:03 am

Devin wrote:I am also not particularly interested in gigging, I find most electronic music boring to see live.

This is a classical example of someone who is only prepared to listen to the advice that he/she wants to hear. Gigging sounds like work, we don't like the sound of that, so we rule it out!

Think about this logically - you are not going to get very far in this game without an agent. The agent will want 20% of a beginner.

20% of what exactly? CD sales? I doubt it, as you won't get any. Downloads? Hardly!

No, he wants 20% of your gigs. He will get you gigs. A good agent with a hard-working and popular act that is starting out in this game should be able to get you at least three or four small gigs a week and be able to build you up to the point where you can be booked into festivals and open for major acts. He will do this, so that he gets 20% of real money.

If an act is not gigging, then it just isn't an act - it's just a noise.

You can be making the nicest sound on Plant Earth, but that doesn't help anybody. This is show business, not 'hear' business!
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby johnny h » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:03 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:
Devin wrote:I am also not particularly interested in gigging, I find most electronic music boring to see live.

This is a classical example of someone who is only prepared to listen to the advice that he/she wants to hear. Gigging sounds like work, we don't like the sound of that, so we rule it out!

Think about this logically - you are not going to get very far in this game without an agent. The agent will want 20% of a beginner.

20% of what exactly? CD sales? I doubt it, as you won't get any. Downloads? Hardly!

No, he wants 20% of your gigs. He will get you gigs. A good agent with a hard-working and popular act that is starting out in this game should be able to get you at least three or four small gigs a week and be able to build you up to the point where you can be booked into festivals and open for major acts. He will do this, so that he gets 20% of real money.

If an act is not gigging, then it just isn't an act - it's just a noise.

You can be making the nicest sound on Plant Earth, but that doesn't help anybody. This is show business, not 'hear' business!

Its easy to ignore advice like this, but I would emphasise VERY strongly not to. Professional musicians work a lot. Talent is important, but not anywhere near as important as work ethic. Without talent its difficult, without work ethic its impossible.

If you think live shows are boring its up to you to make it interesting. You have to make it work, or you need to accept that you will only ever be an amateur musician.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby Devin » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:47 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:
This is a classical example of someone who is only prepared to listen to the advice that he/she wants to hear. Gigging sounds like work, we don't like the sound of that, so we rule it out!


What a ridiculous response. 99% of electronic/dance music isn't performed live. Look at the DMC charts and tell me how many of those musicians play live yet still sell music.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby The Red Bladder » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:20 am

Devin wrote: Look at the DMC charts and tell me how many of those musicians play live yet still sell music.

I must be looking at the 'wrong' charts, because I just looked at the top ten dance-electronica and as far as I can see, they all gig. As I have only some 40 years experience in this business and spent 10-12 years promoting hip-hop, I bow to your wisdom!

Please point me at these charts of high earners that don't leave the house and conquer the World from their bedrooms!
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby johnny h » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:02 pm

Devin wrote:
The Red Bladder wrote:
This is a classical example of someone who is only prepared to listen to the advice that he/she wants to hear. Gigging sounds like work, we don't like the sound of that, so we rule it out!

What a ridiculous response. 99% of electronic/dance music isn't performed live. Look at the DMC charts and tell me how many of those musicians play live yet still sell music.

All of them, basically.

DJ gigs are still gigs, just so you know.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby GlynB » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:01 pm

Seems to be some misunderstanding about what constitutes 'playing live' it seems? perhaps 'live appearances' is the best way to put it.

Doing things over backing tracks as a live performance is still classed as performing live these days, even though not all of the music heard is being played live by musicians on stage.

What is being emphasised is that to get anywhere you need to be doing liver appearances on a regular basis, make it happen, make it work, by whatever means.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby hollowsun » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:17 pm

GlynB wrote:you need to be doing liver appearances
If my liver made an appearance, I am sure people would be horrified! ;)

But yes, in agreement and as you say, Glyn, a 'gig' can be just a 'live appearance' - a few bods on stage playing to a backing track. It never did Depeche Mode any harm turning up with three mono synths and an 8-track ... it's common these days, right down to full-on miming but even that is better and more memorable than just playing a record.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby johnny h » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:45 pm

hollowsun wrote:
GlynB wrote:you need to be doing liver appearances
If my liver made an appearance, I am sure people would be horrified! ;)

But yes, in agreement and as you say, Glyn, a 'gig' can be just a 'live appearance' - a few bods on stage playing to a backing track. It never did Depeche Mode any harm turning up with three mono synths and an 8-track ... it's common these days, right down to full-on miming but even that is better and more memorable than just playing a record.

This is the tech rider from the KLF (allegedly):

1 CD player

Their hospitality rider was 7 pages long :)
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby hollowsun » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:56 pm

Ha! :)
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby trevorscott33 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:55 pm

Devin wrote:I am also not particularly interested in gigging, I find most electronic music boring to see live.

when we first got into writing electronic dance music my friend and me decided to play live so we turned our tunes into eight or sixteen bar loops and used the desk to bring/drop tracks in/out. most people's feedback was that it really good fun watching two guys working the desk and all the other equipment together. i supposed it helped that we didn't quite understand midi enough to change all the settings for the next tune so one of us did it manually in a mad chaotic manner! apparently we were certainly not boring! 8-)
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby GlynB » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:32 pm

trevorscott33 wrote:
Devin wrote:I am also not particularly interested in gigging, I find most electronic music boring to see live.

when we first got into writing electronic dance music my friend and me decided to play live so we turned our tunes into eight or sixteen bar loops and used the desk to bring/drop tracks in/out. most people's feedback was that it really good fun watching two guys working the desk and all the other equipment together. i supposed it helped that we didn't quite understand midi enough to change all the settings for the next tune so one of us did it manually in a mad chaotic manner! apparently we were certainly not boring! 8-)

This could indeed be more entertaining that watching three guys with guitars shoe gazing. 'aint what ya do, it's the way that ya do it. :)
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby KuRu » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:39 am

I do not know if its possible to have the complete album for streaming but only allow certain people to download the mp3

you can do this on www.reverbnation.com
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby Soundseed » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:13 am

Devin wrote:
I am also not particularly interested in gigging, I find most electronic music boring to see live.

The problem with this is that many of the "gatekeepers" in printed and online press/blogs, broadcast media like to see things coming at them from a variety of angles... so a promo which just arrives on its own wont have much impact versus one that can cite press interest, blog write ups, a UK tour, radio play... it validates their choices, and chances are that many won't even listen unless other interest is present.

+ Just releasing the album (or any singles/remixies) is a mistake - it shouldn't go out till you have all the pieces in place, and that might mean six months from the completion of the album. And even that on its own is not enough - you need content to build and sustain interest: a continuous drip feed of news, photos, videos, remixes, gigs... if you've managed to engage with the right people, they will use and feature this material which will help you enormously .

It helps to have some perspective too .... the album may be your pride and joy, a work of art, your greatest achievement .....but all the people you will rely on to promote it will have their own content agenda to promote. Whether thats a blog, club, gig, radio show, magazine, they want to know that what you are offering is in line with their audiences expectations and will contribute to what they are trying to sell. If you start by ruling out one of the key routes to those audiences you are probably doomed from the word go.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby GlynB » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:37 pm

Soundseed wrote:
Devin wrote:
I am also not particularly interested in gigging, I find most electronic music boring to see live.

The problem with this is that many of the "gatekeepers" in printed and online press/blogs, broadcast media like to see things coming at them from a variety of angles... so a promo which just arrives on its own wont have much impact versus one that can cite press interest, blog write ups, a UK tour, radio play... it validates their choices, and chances are that many won't even listen unless other interest is present.

It can seem like Catch-22. A new artist can't get the better gigs without showing the promoter some level of press interest and fan base, can't get press interest without showing a level of fan base & can't get a fan base without regularly gigging at the right venues... puzzle innit! :D
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby Soundseed » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:59 pm

GlynB wrote:
Soundseed wrote:
Devin wrote:
I am also not particularly interested in gigging, I find most electronic music boring to see live.

The problem with this is that many of the "gatekeepers" in printed and online press/blogs, broadcast media like to see things coming at them from a variety of angles... so a promo which just arrives on its own wont have much impact versus one that can cite press interest, blog write ups, a UK tour, radio play... it validates their choices, and chances are that many won't even listen unless other interest is present.

It can seem like Catch-22. A new artist can't get the better gigs without showing the promoter some level of press interest and fan base, can't get press interest without showing a level of fan base & can't get a fan base without regularly gigging at the right venues... puzzle innit! :D

Yup, it is a swine of a Catch 22. You can get promoter interest if you can persuade them that your campaign will be sufficiently intensive to generate press / radio / blog coverage, but it is hard work, and wont generate the best of gigs, and the further form home the worse they're likely to be.

The worst thing to do is pile in cold with an album release: interest will fade somewhere at the fringes of your social media circle. Its a cliche, but the music bit is easy compared to the hard graft, cold calling, chasing people up on the promotional leg of the process. If I was the OP, and the material was that strong, I'd put the effort into finding a label.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby johnny h » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:26 pm

GlynB wrote:
Soundseed wrote:
Devin wrote:
I am also not particularly interested in gigging, I find most electronic music boring to see live.

The problem with this is that many of the "gatekeepers" in printed and online press/blogs, broadcast media like to see things coming at them from a variety of angles... so a promo which just arrives on its own wont have much impact versus one that can cite press interest, blog write ups, a UK tour, radio play... it validates their choices, and chances are that many won't even listen unless other interest is present.

It can seem like Catch-22. A new artist can't get the better gigs without showing the promoter some level of press interest and fan base, can't get press interest without showing a level of fan base & can't get a fan base without regularly gigging at the right venues... puzzle innit! :D

If the music is good enough and you get out there fans will come, a&r will come and when you get signed you'll have the promotion and organisation in place to make you more popular. But it all hinges on the quality of the music and the amount of effort you put in to make the right contacts and do enough shows.

The 'gatekeepers' are always very sociable people, but they also tend to be busy. If you are good they will be very happy to talk to you, but they haven't got time if your music isn't worth it.
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Re: Self-promoting electronic music

Postby Soundseed » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:53 am

johnny h wrote:

If the music is good enough and you get out there fans will come, a&r will come and when you get signed you'll have the promotion and organisation in place to make you more popular. But it all hinges on the quality of the music and the amount of effort you put in to make the right contacts and do enough shows.

The 'gatekeepers' are always very sociable people, but they also tend to be busy. If you are good they will be very happy to talk to you, but they haven't got time if your music isn't worth it.

One thing worth adding - we're into the festival unsigned stage competition season. Get a slot on one of these stages and there's usually a fair amount of good PR done on the successful acts' behalf, and spin off interest from radio, press, labels, promoters etc. If you have a strong album / single ready to go it makes you more news and interest worthy, so even if you don't get signed you can still do a lot for your profile - and sales on the back of it.
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