The world of netlabels has given tens of thousands of artists the opportunity to express themselves in ways that would have never been possible under more traditional methods of music distribution. Imagine the millions of demo CDs that have landed on the doorsteps of commercial labels, and been subsequently thrown away, some not even listened to. Running a label is a risky business, and in order to sign an artist, the gamble must have odds in your favour. If the music isn’t quite good enough, it will never be be given the opportunity to land on a large number of appreciating ears.
‘Maltine Records‘ is a fantastic netlabel, with an explosive character and a more individual angle than most netlabels out there. They are currently showcasing 99 releases of delightfully experimental music, which can range from quirky jazz house to ‘complete-mess-core’. I love the comic-like image of the crazy alien DJ at the top of every page. I also love clicking on the heading ‘Text’, and reading ‘nothing…’ on the page that loads. Above all, I love the way you can stream or download the track very easily. Being able to stream a tune before you commit to downloading the whole EP can save a huge amount of time when trawling through netlabel websites, and I don’t understand why a netlabel wouldn’t implement this feature.
My favourite artist on this label is Gassyoh, and he makes some of the most bizarre techno/house I have ever heard. He has released 8 EPs on this label, and the ‘Gets EP’ was released in 2009. I first heard one of the tracks from this EP on the Machtdose podcast, and I was instantly drawn in by his surprising techniques, and super-fun fuzzy style. Take, for instance, ‘I am a Clicktrack’
Although the pretty melodics in this track are supplied by ‘Antonelli’, the funky cutting and track progression is the deal maker here. Gassyoh has a jokey style to his music, and I love this form of anti-pretentiousness. This remix could very easily go off the rails (based on some of his other tracks), but there is a leisurely consistency and exciting progression to this track, which seems to slide through a gauntlet of subtle twists and changes.
This track is followed by ‘Erotic Frange Disco’:
I like to think of the inside of Gassyoh’s mind being inhabited by evil-looking cell-based organisms, all with mischievous smiles and dark, deranged eyes, dancing around like speed-balling Smurfs. As it starts, it is apparent that this is the same artist. The funky chords arrive, but then…. demolition. I have just never heard anything like it. Yes, perhaps it does sound a bit like a 9 year-old Nathan Fake discovering a high-feedback short-time delay effect for the first time, but the very virtue of this music is that it is free expression, limitless composition, not conforming to trends and standards due to money-making tactics and requirements, and this links back to my original point.
You send this to a commercial electronica label, and it won’t be signed. It has too much house/techno in it, it should be on a house/techno label. You send this to a commercial techno label, and it won’t be signed. The production isn’t strong enough, the style isn’t going to compete with current techno trends, and no DJ would ever play it, unless he wanted everyone on the dance floor to leave!
It fits into no niche, so would be unlikely to get signed by any commercial label. Luckily, netlabels are run by interesting and open-minded people with enough dedication to devote time to non-profit organisations. I might start a netlabel called ‘WAPP’. We Are Privileged People!
Deeplink : Maltine Records
Deeplink : Release Page
Deeplink : Gassyoh on Soundcloud