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I was never a musician or felt I could be a good one. I played organ for a year and never enjoyed it reading notes etc. In 1979/80 a slightly older friend on mine played Alan Parsons Lucifer to me. In 1981 my aunt bought me a Jean Michel Jarre Record and I guess this totally hit me for electronics and electronica as an active listener and consumer.
The idea to the concept of VOD was an evolution out of the frustration to be stuck in some musical vacuum in collecting and buying creative music. Shopping at recordÂstores became somewhat boring to me, nothing was very inspiring but in contradiction, the cassetteÂculture releases I was collecting over the years and was listening to every once in a while seemed to open up a new universe form e in exploring â€žnewâ€œ sounds that has all this individual creativity I was lacking from contemporary music.
In 2003 I quit my regular managerÂjobs and decided that I wanted to start a label and release all this wonderful cassetteÂculture music from the late 70â€™s to mid 80â€™s which wasnâ€™t properly covered and made available to a broader audience of people that could maybe feel the same excitement and enjoyment when listening to the music,
Yes, absolutely, as listening to analogue Vinyls is some kind of religion to me and even a ritual when listening to the record. Design and quality of a release has a great importance, uncomparable to any CDÂProduction.
In my opinion and believe a cd is primarily considered as something to be used to play and just passively listen, in a car, at home while cleaning the house or some other more indirect and passive enjoyment. It canâ€™t really transport the valueÂaddâ€™s and rituals/habits and emotions that can be achieved with a solid Vinyl.
A Vinyl wants you to sit down, relax, drink some wine and fully pay attention to the Music that the needle transports to you via your speakers.
It has become my mission and philosophy to covert he cassetteÂculture and bring it to a broader audience. It is my USP (unique Selling Position). People subscribing know what to expect even not knowing the artist. I like subscribers contacting me and telling me â€žwow, I didnâ€™t know about them, they totally slipped through my radar back thenâ€œ
I am trying to write a proper history of the creative potential in the early 80â€™s ad not just reissue Vinyls that had been produced back then when some people had the luck to get a contract with some recordÂlabel or had enough money to produce their own expensive record and luckily found a distro able to promote.
Itâ€™s simply not the big picture when taking the market of the early/mid 80â€™s and think this was it. The creativity in music back then was like an iceberg. Just a few percent were able to present themselve (more or less) successfully, but most of the creativity kept underneath the surface, hidden for many many years, almost lost forever as many of those artists lost faith in their music, stopped producing, canâ€™t even find their tapes/recordings anymore. I try to write proper history and act like a plattform
For contemporary music:Â I do indeed also like contemporary music, thats why I have also the 2 sublabels VinylOverDose and PripuzziÂRecords. However promoting contemporary music needs a high effort in promoting, convincing, a marketingÂmachinery, a great network of pressÂcontacts, an active open mind for platforms like Soundcloud, Facebook, Youtube (channels), Bandcamp, Myspace….. in order to make people and distributors/shops aware of something new that shall be convince people to spend money on a new Vinyl.
You have several successful labels that are able to sell a large amount (1000Â2000) records on new bands but itâ€™s hard and I simply donâ€™t have the time to do so when you focus on the cassetteÂculture and release 50Â73 records per year which you need to produce and take care of this valueÂchain.
Itâ€™s a process with a very intense relationship to the artists. Once the artist understands my mission and philosophy they get excited and start going through their old boxes of tapes which they stored somewhere. I tell them to sent all and digitalize them and then we start the process and the process is an openÂend, in design and audioÂselection until itâ€™s a finished product with tracks chosen for the release.
In the beginning of this process is just the contact and my awareness that the artist has done something important or great/creative in music for me. Everything else develops from there. And yes, I am a completist, I want to see the big picture and give an overview of the artists work rather than just providing the audience out there with some kind of â€žbestÂoffâ€œ. I want the audience to experience the development of the artists creativity over a period of time on a release.
Comment choisis-Âtu les artistes ou les albums avec lesquels tu veux travailler ? How do you choose the artists or albums that you want to work with?
There are a few ways. In the beginning I was using my database of 2000 Tapes from the CassetteÂculture and listened to them to see if there is a band I really admire for their work. As time goes by you also listen to recommendations from subscribers and people telling you to check out this Cassette.cultureÂartist or soundcloud etc.. or they sent you burnt CDâ€™s to listen or the artist approaches you and offers you a release and to listen to his work including previously unreleased work that are unearthed for 3 decades or more.
But itâ€™s definitely getting more difficult these days as you now have many (partÂtime) labels that (try to) do the same and with it, deliver an artistsÂwork you would have liked to release to an already saturated market that is nowadays hardly able to cope with the flood of releases in the reÂissue / early 80â€™s cassetteÂculture market.
Avec plus de 1000 disques Ã ton actif et avec le recul, comment vois-Âtu ton label aujourdâ€™hui ? As-tu des regrets ? Y a-t-il des choses que tu voudrais changer ? With more than a thousand records to your credit and in retrospect, how do you now see your label? Do you have regrets? Things you would like to change?
I only have this reality I am facing based on what I have decided the past 12 years and I can only regret if I had known the outcome for other label actions/ways to be taken.
So I canâ€™t regret. I can only look at the reality and find certain things very sad.
I find it sad that the market has become so saturated in such a speed and I am sad that there is a demographic change that we need to face with the ones interested in early 80â€™s Vinyl have to cope with other issues in live and spent their money on new washingÂmachines, familyÂbusiness, save money for a new car/house, baby etc…. and that the interest if slowly vanishing because of all the problems everyone has to deal with in life including no time to enjoy a nice hour to listen to a record/vinyl.
I find it sad that the climate between the competitors (especially in the A&RÂField) has become very cruel and mean and that the business lacks respect and appreciation, a word means nothing today when others can benefit/profit a few USD/Euros. The business itself has become a lot more dishonest and you are confronted with many lies and no one wants to be responsible in the whole valueÂchain of a production to a release.
This development in recent years (tough environment in combination with a saturated market) I canâ€™t regret as I canâ€™t change it but itâ€™s making me very sad and when you would now use academic model is to define a profitÂmargin in a certain area (Porters 5Âforces model) you would realize that it is almost impossible to make a living with a label when you actually need to sell 400 copies to reach a breakÂeven in cost and sometimes need to struggle in selling this quantity.
Peux-Âtu nous parler de tes prochaines sorties du VOD ? Can tell us about your future releases on VOD?
I have the schedule for 2015 fixed and will not plan beyond 2015 as I carefully need to follow the market at the moment..Â It has become a lot harder to sell the less known and people like to concentrate on the bigger names when collecting Vinyls because of cash and spaceÂissues or partners telling them to stop buying more Vinyls.
Peux-tu nous dire la sortie dont tu es le plus fier ? Can you tell us the release you are the most proud of?
I am proud of what I have achieved with the label and proud that the level of quality has been steadily increased over the years. I am proud of almost every release the past 12 years.â€¨I am proud and happy when people and artists are happy and when a release was smoothly produced without big problems in complete valueÂchain of production.
Traduction : Marie-Eva Marcouyeux et Juliette Indjic