Disco_r.dance are relatively new kids when it comes to this record label business with only one title under their belts, but both Dancon1 and Pete Stormcrow have been busy on the promotion side of electronic music for many years now, and are residents at London’s legendary bar and art space, The Foundry.
The first Disco_r.dance CD (released in 2006) features some excellent artists including Mothboy, AZ Rotator, Damien Shingleton, The Doubtful Guest and DJ Spazmo amongst many others. Dan was happy to give us some time to talk about making drunken ideas a reality, and spreading the word via MySpace.
1 – How and why did you come about starting disco_r.dance?
Both of us [Dancon1 and Pete Stormcrow] have been involved in promoting free electronic music events for many years: Law & Auder’s Rehabilitation monthly, moonpalace and, more recently, disco_r.dance. The main aim of all these nights was to showcase bands and DJs that we thought deserved to be heard. Over that time we have built up a bond with many of these artists and contacts and thought that is was time to launch a label that could further highlight these artists.
2 -When you started disco_r.dance, were there any labels that you could say were a reference/inspiration for your efforts?
Although there are many labels putting out some great records, we felt that there are too many labels that concentrate on very specific areas/sub-genres of the electronic music scene. We both have wide-ranging tastes in music and assume that a lot of other people also have an appetite for a broader view of what is out there. We suppose you could say that our inspiration comes from a desire to “break a few rules” and take a slightly different approach to running a label.
3 – Since the inception of disco_r.dance, are there any events in the history of the label that you’d consider as particularly relevant, from difficulties and setbacks to successes?
We only have one release under our belt (a double compilation cd) so far and considering the number of different artists on this release and the number of potential disasters waiting to happen, it went pretty smoothly. A lot of work went into sourcing the pressing plant, the right printers, not to mention “prompting” 30 very different artists to get their contributions to us to meet our ever-shifting deadlines. We’ve heard many “horror stories” and think we got off lightly with this particular release!
4 – So far what would you consider as special highlights (or successful) releases and artists in the history of disco_r.dance?
At this early stage, the only real highlight is to have seen a drunken idea formulated in a bar become reality. We were amazed how closely the finished compilation compared to our original aims.
5 – Are there any releases in particular that you would recommend as good ‘introductory material’ to the disco_r.dance label?
Obviously, we can only suggest that “disco_r.dance vol. 1” is the perfect introduction to our label!
6 – Looking back, do you have any regrets with disco_r.dance? If you could go back and change something, what would it be?
No regrets so far, although the availability of a larger budget would certainly make things easier.
7 – An obvious question, but what is disco_r.dance’s ‘relationship’ with the Internet? From promotion tool and digital sales to file sharing and piracy, how has it affected you?
The effect of the internet on the music industry is obviously all too apparent. As for the illegal downloading of tracks and file-sharing, this is now so widespread that there seems little that we can do to prevent this. We will strive to make the artwork and pricing on our releases attractive enough to persuade people to buy an original copy and, in the future, also offer some legitimate free downloads from our website. We also think that the promotional value of some “dubious distribution” of tracks is sometimes undervalued; we have certainly both discovered and gone on to buy artists’ work as the result of the odd “cheeky freebie”.
MySpace has also been great for “spreading the word” and does genuinely seem to work as a “networking tool”. At least one artist on the compilation comes as a direct result of us hearing his MySpace tracks and we will continue to listen, and hopefully, discover new artists in this way.
8 – Slightly related to the previous question, how do you see the concept of ‘netlabels’ and, as a labelhead, what is your perspective as to the future and evolution of physical media (CDs, vinyl, etc)?
We both still love buying vinyl, a lifelong habit that is hard to break. Initially we will probably be concentrating on cd releases but may consider pressing the odd release on vinyl. We plan to make all disco_r.dance releases available as MP3 downloads in the very near future, hopefully through established distributors such as Bleep and also through our own website (still under construction… nearly there!). We also wouldn’t totally reject the idea of distributing some MP3-only releases.
9 – Perspectives for the future, what lies in the horizon for disco_r.dance? Can you share some long-term goals and where would you like to see the label heading to?
Next up are a series of 3″ CDs, still in the planning stage, but we hope to do quite a few of these. The idea is to continue to release a varied and eclectic range of artists and a run of mini albums seems a good way to achieve this. Expect to see some of these surface around April / May.
10 – What other labels/artists would you recommend at the moment and why?
Lots and lots of good music to buy out there. Obviously we would recommend that people investigate other releases by the artists on our compilation, a lot of them have current new releases…
Dubstep skull disco
DJ Rupture’s soot label (Particularly Timeblind ghostification 12″)
Mothboy’s new album, “Deviance”
Anything and everything by Satanicpornocultshop
Secret mommy (on Ache Records)
11 – Thank you for your time, do you have any final comments/requests?
Our final requests? Buy the compilation, buy the t-shirt, wear your disco_r.dance badge with pride! Make friends, organise an event, start a label!
— interview by Kate Turgoose & Miguel de Sousa (February-May 2007)