2010 and House Music With Love: Our favorite track of 2010, The Wrap-up and a Happy New Year!

The best track of 2010 (?)

As House Music is our weapon of choice, the track above is definitely one of top 5 in our arsenal of grooves from 2010. Being released on a less know and quite timid Atlanta label SKEET TRAXX.

In 2010 tracks like this take some time and some luck to find – and the reason is the ever growing supply of dance music.

The music market

Let’s face it, back in 2004 Beatport featured as few as 79 labels with less then a dozen tracks from each and one of them. Today the catalogue boasts some astronomic numbers – 1,1 million tracks from 8 000 labels. And another few thousand tracks are added every week only to be removed 3 months later (labels not making $500 in sales on quarterly basis get pulled down from the store).

The distribution channels between the musician and his/her potential audience are now completely open. For better or worse. Services like Tunecore allow producers to push out their music simultaneously to all the major distributers and online radio channels: Itunes, Amazon music, Spotify, etc for as little as €10 a track.  Add another few bucks, a distributor and some random cover art and you get your tracks out on Beatport and Juno more or less the same week you finished mastering them. All in all, the former constellation made up of the artist, the manager, the record label, the physical and online distributors and record stores is out of date in 2010.

On the other hand the record labels do stil fill their purpose. But rather of  a quality filter than a distribution provider. Since anyone can make their music available to a global audience in just an instant, the supply is completely overwhelming. So today’s record labels grew to become more of the almighty selectors then ever before. Every label big and small is very concerned about the “uniqness” of its sound to make sure that their trademark is associated with a very specific type and nisch of music. For major labels like Get Physical and Cocoon selecting “right” tracks is a piece of cake – the trademark producers are already signed and the demo submissions from aspiring residents arrive as frequently as the rain drops during a tropical monsoon.

A a clear trend during the last year is the rise of new, smaller and even more niched artist driven labels who refuse to compromise the “right” sound and choose to release their music by themselves. Butch’s Bouq, GummiHz’ Claap, Poussez’ Artizan Music and La Fleur’s Power Plant are perfect examples.

The success recipe

As an artist, as the larger amounts of music are available every month, the magic recipe ingredients for making yourself heard are:

  • Making exceptionally good music
  • Having a renown artist name
  • Getting positive feedback and plays by equally renown Djs
  • Releasing your tracks on a well know label
  • Preferably the combination of the four above, over and over again

All in all selling digital tracks won’t make anyone rich.  200 online sales might just cover your contract and mastering costs. While 2000+ sales are considered as a proof that your track sells well on Beatport – which gives the artist something like 30% of $1.95 a track = 1 300$ all in all for a “hit track”. To make some proper money on Beatport (and create some hype) – you need to push up your track to the top 10 list. And preferably keep it there for a few weeks. Unfortunately the quality of the release becomes less important then the marketing campaign (dj feedback, press releases, social media marketing) created around it. Swedish House Mafia are this year’s perfect example of fooling people into buying mediocre music.

Of course in 2010 the DJs are making most of their money from public performances. Meaning that the artists (or their labels and booking agents) need a set of razor-sharp PR-skills to make the actual performance happen. Just making good dance music is no longer good enough. Good marketing, ok sales and a good agent equal lot’s of well payed gigs. And wise versa. No wonder that the Beatport co-founder Brad Roulier gets accused for anti-competitve behaviour for encouraging the artists to play at his club Beta in order to get full marketing support for their music at Beatport.

The medium and the technology

No matter what Tiefschwarz say, the vinyl is not dead yet. The legendary medium is still kicking in 2010, as the physical stores are dying, the online joints like Discogs and Decks are keeping the 12” alive by cutting their costs.

Our theory is that vinyl sales are once again fuelled by the triumph of new generation of digital dj software (Traktor, Ableton) making the art of Djing with midicontroller and auto-beatmatch available to virtually anybody. On one hand the vinyl DJs stand out more and become more rare desireable among all the ever growing crowd of  “MP3 DJs”. On other hand Scratch time-coded vinyl for Traktor/Serato allows old school vinyl Dj play digitally purchased mp3 tracks on the turntable next to real original 12” wax.

The HMWL 2010 and 2011

2010 was a great year for House Music With Love. Thanks to a collaboration with some social entrepreneurs and good friends the Hacienda Lund project was born creating 6 fantastic dance events featuring some living legends of house and techno music (Link1Link2, Link3, Link 4). For all you party animals – it’s not over yet – Hacienda will be back on february the 26th. Join the FB group for updates.

Dj Skyjacker got nominated for Danish Dj Awards 2010 for best event with Brian Fomsgaard, Tiger Stripes and Ridge Forrester.

Jesper Aubin delivered a three track EP and a smashing remix of MF/MB

While NECA boys co-steered the stew for series of summer’s most important outdoor events Brus i Parken in our beautiful city of Malmö.

In early 2011 our management company We Manage With Love will be unveiled. A music event bureau, as well as a record label, might follow in the near feature.

Happy 2011!

Best wishes and many thanks for promos, vinyls, tickets, booking propositions, events and kind words to our  friends old and new:

Aleks Patz & Alex Caytas
Artizan Music and Jafar
Bpitch Control
Boxer Recordings and Eric
Claap and Alex
Carousel Promotion and Kim
Confusion Concepts and Leigh
Dance Lab Recordings
DataSapiens and Alex & Rasmus
DJ Bacid
Droid Behavoir and Vidal
Dödselektro and Tobias & Nicklas
Fuck Miami and Paul Bergeon
Get Physical
Great Stuff
Heya Hi-Fi and Alf & Magnus
Johan Ackerman & Langustus for webdesign
Klasse Recordings and Johanna
PowerPlant Records and Sanna
Rebel Butterfly & Kim
Secret Island Nation and Björn
Smålands Nation and Jenny & Aleshka
Solardish Records and Christian & Jurgen
Stealth Records and Roger
Swedish Techno & Emma
Wicked Recordings
Wicked.dk and Mads

Special Thanks to Gorge, Özgur Can, Jon DaSilva, Dj Madskillz, Flip, Combo, Nicole Moudaber, 16 Bit lolitas, Jafar and Skyler Mendoza for lovely podcast series.

Stay Happy!

About Alex Esser:

DJ, surfer and entrepreneur residing in Malmö, Sweden. HMWL label daddy. My music network is always open. Holler at alex@hmwl.org