5 months ago

The Deli NYC #55 - Half Waif, NYC MixCon 2018


The basic point of a record label is simple: use the master recordings to the advantage of the artist as much as possible in order for the artist to be free to write, record and perform.” ing label: proper artist development and a strong international network that believes in the quality of our releases and is ready to prioritize them. You won’t get either if you go DIY. Both IDLES and Cigarettes After Sex were doing a really good job of DIY when we signed them: they had taken it as far as they could on their own. We’ve always been really respectful of that—we don’t try to change what works for these acts, we add fuel to it, increase the team and make it even better. M: Some artists don’t need labels. If they’re not super ambitious and aren’t going to do a ton of touring and are happy with doing Bandcamp sales, that’s great and more power to you. Then you have someone like Frank Ocean who’s on the other end of the radar and also doesn’t need a label as he has a huge team that does what a label does. The basic point of a record label is simple: use the master recordings to the advantage of the artist as much as they can in order for the artist to be free to write, record and perform. You need experience to do that. N: Everyone’s situation is different. You can’t say “better” or “worse” in blanket terms, artists need to make the best decisions for themselves at whatever stage of their career they are in. Do you want to handle everything yourself, or do you want to spend time making music? Some people can do both. Most successful acts are successful at delegation. A: We’re big believers in quality control and in the extra layer of perspective you get when you (the artist) pass the music along to your label team and they are able to bring it from like 80% to 100%. It really helps to get another set of ears to pick through the songs, help bring in a few features, sometimes help work out who should mix it to get it sounding just right, and work out art and marketing strategies to package it for the world to discover. The label is also able to fund this process when needed. In the future do you see your label focusing on having artists that represent a variety of genres or specializing in niche genres? How has this approach differed since you first started? A: Fool’s Gold has never been genre-specific. Nick and I are DJs, we’re both known for a certain eclecticism that is rooted in hip-hop but reaches a lot of other spaces, and that has always driven the vision of the label. Kids are more open-minded than ever. Rap fans listen to Mac DeMarco. We look at it from a lifestyle point of view much more than a genre. M: At Captured Tracks we’ve always strived to have a sonically diverse roster within the broad section of “indie rock.” When people think of “The Captured Tracks Sound” perhaps they think of Wild Nothing, DIIV, Beach Fossils and Craft Spells. That’s okay—because I love that type of music—but I have to remind them that we also have had Perfect Pussy, The Soft Moon, Naomi Punk and The Holograms on the label. I liked what Chris Lombardi from Matador once told me about the subject. He said, “People always thought of Matador as Pavement, Guided By Voices, Yo La Tengo… but at the same time we had Unsane and Pizzicato Five on the roster.” Z: Partisan Records is growing its roster to be increasingly varied and we find ourselves looking to fill gaps in some ways. We’re careful not to chase what genres are selling the most at any given time and stick to the principles of signing musicians who are making genuine, honest art. N: With every year we learn from our past releases, tightening up the business and getting more selective—there’s so much good music, but not everything makes sense to put your time, effort and money behind. It’s all relative but the mission is the same: you have to be DOPE, regardless of genre. d 16 the deli Summer 2018


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