Friday, June 12, 2009

Record labels. A subject close to my heart!

Steve Lawson is a compulsive communicator. Through video, twitter and blog. Yet he still seems able to have time to make music.
Great on all fronts to follow, because 90% of what he writes is worth thinking about or reacting to.
So I read with interest his views on record labels. Which I sort of agree with. He sent a thought-provoking response to my own comment. Thought-provoking in that his positive comments about what Babel has achieved in terms of releases but (his perceived) lack of reaction to this from the artists.
Where do many musicians regard the album? A means of archiving? A quick fix from something that, because it is a "label", must be able to give them the same monetary return as an advance from Universal?
They therefore don't often look at the recording in its own terms, perhaps. I was delighted that Julian Arguelles for example recognised Skull View as his favourite recording. I indeed am proud of Julian's three albums for Babel between 1995 and 1997. they also focus so much on the here and now.
Last night we had the launch of Zed-U's new album at the Vortex. I think that they are doing something wholly unique in a manner that is totally balanced between the three musicians. Let's hope that people buy the album too, as that's the only way that I am going to get anything back from it.
Certainly, I would agree with the point of Steve that they have to realise that it's something that we work on together. There is for me a great and important partnership between the recording, the live performance and the music itself.
I am about to sit down and include on the web site all the accolades which Babel artists/releases have garnered over the past 15 years. There are a lot of them, I think. And I hope, enough to keep me inspired for the next 15 years of Babel - or perhaps I should just be looking to the next few hours.

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