The music industry used to be a place where major record labels had all the power when it came to releasing records following a rigid and well tested structure but with the arrival and explosion of the Internet and social media, all bets were off when it came to releasing music, artists could release things themselves straight away and reach fans all over the world without having to follow any traditional avenues. The rise of crowd funded releases has followed and given the listener access to music, direct from the source and tailor made for their own benefits and while music has become much more accessible thanks to the Internet, there is still an appetite for exclusivity and this is an area in which Vinylised thrives.
Vinylised is a new crowd funded venture that takes the inspiration from dubplate culture in terms of exclusivity where fans can pledge money to get tracks otherwise only available digitally and never been pressed before on freshly cut wax exclusively for them.
With the likes of Plasticians Terrorhythm label and jungle/d&b specialists Inperspective Records firmly on board, there are a number of releases the fans can pledge for and get the vinyl in their hands, straight from the labels themselves.
We spoke to Vinylised founder Craig Haynes to hear all about the project, how it got started and what he has planned for Vinylised in the future.
Hi Craig, Can you tell us all about the Vinylised project?
We’re a crowd-funding platform, uniting record-buyers to get digital releases or re-presses on vinyl without the risk for the label.
When and how did you first get the idea for Vinylised?
I was regularly hearing from DJ’s that they couldn’t get the tunes they wanted on vinyl, so they were either giving up or switching to digital. On the other hand, labels were struggling with the risk involved in pressing vinyl so were sticking to digital only. It seemed like the challenge, and the opportunity, was to join the dot
How has the response been so far?
We’ve had loads of great feedback from fans and from labels. Labels see it as win-win really – if a release gets funded we offer an end-to-end service, from the press to fulfilment, so it’s very low effort for them – and if not then they’ve tested demand without any losses.
Do you know what will be the first release through Vinylised?
Yes, Inperspective’s first release INP001 has hit its target of 100% of the funding target. The track is from way back in 1997 and it’s now seen as an underground classic, two tracks of fierce, choppy jungle that people are mad keen to get on vinyl and now they can.
You launched the site with a number of releases from Plasticians Terrorhythm imprint as well as his own Straight Outta Croydon EP and others like AMC on Titan Records and Echoes And Night on Saucy Records. How are those doing in terms of the crowd funding site?
With our initial releases everything was a test. The AMC and Echoes & Knight singles were up-front releases and didn’t really get going. That taught us that catalogue is more likely to break through as it already has a following. The Terrorhythm releases range from 5 – 45% funded, with the most popular being Plastician’s own Straight Outta Croydon EP that you mention.
How did you come about choosing those releases initially?
I simply approached labels I was really into – I knew I’d be working hard to promote their releases so I wanted to launch with music I cared about. Plastician has been super supportive of the concept since I jammed a flyer in his hand at a show one time and I’ve been a Terrorhythm fan for years and years so I am honoured to have the label on the site!
Have you got any further releases in mind for the future?
We’re in touch with a few more D&B labels and independent artists so looking forward to adding their releases onto the site soon.
Is the dubplate culture a big influence on what you’re doing?
Cutting dubs is very different to pressing records of course, but we just love vinyl and watching DJ’s spin it and we figured this was a great way to help both labels and fans of the music we love.
Obviously, for those who know, this culture is still thriving but do you feel there is a section of DJs and producers who are unaware of it or are only able to do digital releases and should be made aware?
If there are labels out there feeling like they want to but can’t afford to press vinyl then that’s exactly the type of people we’re trying to reach. If there are DJs and producers doing their thing digitally that’s all good, we don’t want to evangelise – we just want to be there for the people that are dedicated to the wax!
Did you feel that going through the crowd funding process would be the most beneficial way of achieving your goals?
It’s a really flexible, lightweight business model with super low risk for everyone involved – including us running the company. We wanted to find a way to help the independent electronic music scene and we hope this is it!
If you’re a label or an independent artist looking to release music on vinyl please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Craig, and don’t forget to check out the website and get involved, there’s some phenomenal stuff on there.