Features Music Year End 2013 Pass The Mic: Record Labels on 2013

Year End 2013

Music: Pass The Mic: Record Labels on 2013

Kevin Gan Yuen (Sutekh Hexen, Ogham)

1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2013? (In order 1-5)

  1. Kinit Her - The Poet and the Blue Flower (Brave Mysteries)
  2. Mohammad - Som Sakrifis (Pan)
  3. Vertonen - HACE/26,250' b/w 11° 22.4'N 142° 35.5'E (Misanthropic Agenda)
  4. Pan Gu - Primeval Man Born of the Cosmic Egg (Utech)
  5. Mamiffer - Live Through Menche (Sige)

2. What band did you discover in 2013 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?

A few actually, without getting specific, some artists on CMI (Cold Meat Industries), which always had great packaging aesthetics. Pretty strong catalog, in terms of lasting impressions. Their influence is undeniable, because so many contemporary artists are aping their atmosphere and style now. We could also mention the 20th Century Masters series of the Mamas and the Papas, which was the last CD I bought at Amoeba. My mom used to play them in the house while I was growing up. Weird stuff.

3. How will you remember 2013? (In terms of music)

Re-visitations and revelations : Wrong and being wronged.

4. What can we look forward to from you in 2014?

There are a handful of new albums and projects in the works, but I can tell you about that all a little bit later. It is going to be a really busy year.

5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2014?

Good question. I am pretty much looking forward to finishing our own record!

6. There is a lot of debate over streaming sites and royalties, namely with Spotify. What is your stance on the economic policies behind the current streaming services? Do you have a preferred one?

It sounds like a mess.

From my understanding, it is the larger labels and the license holders of the content that are the culprits here. With that established, this debate almost exclusively focuses on a handful of bands and the contracts that are honored when one decides to work with the other.

To be honest, the income of the musicians, including myself and most of the bands that my friends play in, doesn't even constitute a fraction of a fraction in this equation, but it's the principal of the matter. And that is the morality issues of whether or not artists of varying tiers have been getting fucked over by opportunistic "label" entities that try to claim ownership of their work. In this case, I am glad that the accused made it very blatant that some labels/platforms don't give half a shit about the artists OR their work, but the solely financial aspect of the business. Folks, just ask for what you want, follow-through on your offer(s) and make it work for everybody involved. Don't be an asshole.

In the end, support your favorite artists and new artists that you actually like. Buy their records and go to their shows. Digital media is painfully limiting for everybody but the distributors and robbing potential life-long listeners of the experiences of going in record stores, mail-ordering, and valuable interactions with the individuals who make it happen.

It's not that hard.

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Words by the SPB team on Jan. 11, 2014, 4:46 p.m.

Photo of vinyl records by Dan Machold.

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Series: Year End 2013

It's the end of 2013, so here's our best-of roundup for the last twelve months.

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