HMWL goes Flattr


Producing breathtaking house music but having trouble getting your message out there? Or hating Beatport for grabbing a too big cut from your sales? Well, read on.

The music industry have been behaving like a staggering giant during the last ten years repeatedly trying to deny the and fight the Internet evolution. Especially greedy are the big labels who’ve been hunting the music pirates with “guns and ammo” and putting spokes in the wheel for innovative companies like Spotify. At the same time, modern technology makes it extremely easy for anyone to create and share their music over exisiting geograpical boundaries – Soundcloud for instance just got their 1 million:th user just a few days ago. The only drawback is that it’s very hard for up-and-coming musicians to penetrate the buzzing matrix of music available on-line, especially when the promotion channels are controlled by the major players.  The supply today is definitely overruling the demand.

The electronica scene is a bit more laid-back when it comes to sharing – the producers and djs realised quite early that from 2008 and forward the real money are to be made in live performance and DJ sets, at least not as much as in the record sales.

Unfortunately it’s still really hard for up and coming musicians and labels to get the attention they sometimes deserve. As a house / techno producer you would kill your cat (we sincerely hope you won’t go that far ) to get your tracks signed by a master label like Cocoon, B-pitch, Anjunabeats, 8-bit, Minus, Ed Banger, Get Physical or Defected. A major label release more or less gurantees fame and glory. And if the label’s PR and booking guys know what they are doing you might even get yourself quite a bunch of well paying Dj-gigs.

Since fame and glory comes right after food, sex and water (and sometimes even before) on the Maslows Pyramid of needs, the major labels are constantly bombarded by demo music from hundreds and hundreds of musicians wanting to make it big. The drawback is that the minor labels – no matter how hard working they are will always get the second hand material that priorly got rejected by the major ones – unless the label boss have got social skills to die for. Same goes to less known and new artists. They usually get stuck with a minor label or with no label at all, not being able to penetrate the never ending buzz of new music being produced and the promotion thereof.

The biggest bullies in the whole game are probably the online record stores like Beatport. First of all they grab 30% of your sales. But that’s just tip of the iceberg.  As a minor label it’s extremely hard to get onto Beatport – the doors are closed unless you can provide 3-5 upcoming releases on the spot preferably including a couple of remixes by well known artists. If your really want to get your music out on Beatport, you might wanna sign a deal with a distributor which will grab another 30% cut of you sales dollars. But there are no gurantees. Lately Beatport has been cutting out labels that are releasing music by less known artist or don’t complete certain sales quotas.

Since the big money lie in being charted as a top 10 house/techno tracks (1000 – 5000 downloads) the major labels and popular producers have been accused for forming cartels, hyping up each other releases to get them up in the charsts as fast as possible. You’ve seen those kind of promotion messages: Axwell’s new release is a pure Miami bomb, allready supported by Deadmau5, Mark Knight, Swedish House Mafia, Funkagenda, Arno Cost, etc….

No matter if the “cartel” roumors are true or not, we over here at HMWL don’t feel that the market is being fair to the minor labels and unsigned artists. Since we get 500 visitors a day, we decided to implement the Flattr funcitionality and  furthermore concentrate on up and coming, underground or just plain amateur producers puting their time and creativity into love for the house music.

Every post from now on will have a Flattr button at the bottom enabling you to donate a bit of your Flattr funds (if you haven’t got an account yet, go get one) when you feel like giving some love to the music we dig up and post here. 50% of the amount generated by every post will by the end of month be transferred to the producers and djs who’s music we are featuring – thank god for paypal 🙂

Flattr is a service created by a small group of creative Swedes. This is how it works:

Boom Boom!


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About Alex Esser:

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