In order to keep following our website’s guidelines and ultimate goal of supporting and promoting underground experimental, creative, and progressive music, we are now offering a web label service and our very own seal of approval: Not Music.
Through the years, we have built a strong community that is eager to discover new and challenging music, and we believe that acting as a label is the next step in helping promote up-and-coming artists of the underground.
We all enjoy music, and we don’t think it should be inaccessible to anyone. Therefore, the digital version of our albums will always be free, but feel free to spare a coin or two if you can: it shows support and appreciation to us. We are also going to make physical releases as affordable as possible (more on that below), so that more people can experience the joy of getting their CD by the mail. Next are three important aspects of our philosophy that we hope you will agree with and appreciate.
We most often hear bands getting signed on a label, however I want to try a different, more case-by-case approach: I’ll be signing albums, not bands. It’s a much more direct, but perhaps more cynical approach: instead of supporting vectors of music (the artists), I’m focusing on the music itself. Only when I can hear the final product can I give my fully informed approval and support for a piece of music. We hope that this little change in approach means as much to you as it does to us.
Regarding Quality and Quantity
I’ve noticed many a label churning out release after release, in what I assume can only be an avid quest for profit, with no regard whatsoever as to the quality of these (so long as they are above a certain, but low threshold of minimum quality). It has taken us almost one year, from inception to our first release, and I don’t expect our release rate to be much more than one per month ever (and I’m being optimistic), nor do I ever want to impose a quota of releases per year or per month; only the ones I feel I am completely on board with will get our seal of approval. It doesn’t matter if it takes another year to find another album to publish, only the most unique and special ones will pass. For us, it’s clear: quality over quantity.
Environment: We are a tiny label, and our actions will barely make any difference in the grand scheme of things, but it’s imperative that each and every one does its part to mitigate pollution and climate change. As such, we’ll use whatever tools we can to reduce plastic waste (e.g. not wrapping our releases in plastic) and other forms of pollution. For example, we will keep packaging and physical extras (like booklet, poster, cards, etc.) to a minimum while still putting the artist’s choice and integrity at the forefront. If the artist feels like a booklet or additional panels is an intrinsic and necessary part of the experience, we will oblige, but if they can be conveyed via electronic files, we will prefer this option as it puts a much lesser burden on the environment. Right now, we are working with New Jersey-based company Disc Makers, which makes steps towards crafting environmentally friendly products: using recycled boards, vegetable-based inks, and minimal packaging.
Pricing: We don’t seek profit, this is a passion project, but we don’t want to suffer losses either, we all need to eat. Therefore, we decided to keep our profit margins at around 100%. While that might sound like a lot at first glance, it’s a necessary compromise of our vision and our monetary reality. What it means, basically, is that we break even if we sell half of the stock we manufacture. What it means, in practical reality, is that you should expect to pay around $5 for a physical album. This is about half the price of a regular CD; how we can achieve such a price is by keeping our margins low, not by cutting on the quality of the project. How the profits are split between the artist and the label is different for every case, but all the profits from the label will go back into funding other projects from the blog and label.
Shipping: With our philosophy of being as accessible as possible, we’ve run into some sort of conundrum regarding shipping costs. We’ve decided to challenge the status quo and incorporate a flat rate system so that everybody in the world pays the same amount; no one is at a disadvantage. Where you are born and where you live oftentimes is not a choice of your own, and giving some people a different pricing based on that sounds downright unfair to us. We ask that you understand that decision, and unite in solidarity with music lovers and fans from around the world.
Ethics: Moving forward, we are looking to work with an employees-owned duplication company or cooperative, preferably local (Montréal area). If you know or are part of one, please hit us up!
NOT-003: Doom Shrugs – The Sciolist Pace of the Cycleless Trace
Country: New Zealand
Release date: 7 November 2019
Main genres: experimental math rock, mathcore, brutal prog
NOT-002: Rïga – Chaos et félicité
Release date: 7 August 2019
Main genres: experimental electro, post-rock, noise
NOT-001: Potmos Hetoimos – Vox Medusae
Release date: 12 September 2018
Main genres: progressive doom metal, mathcore, blackened hardcore, jazz
More to be announced.
Please contact us at this address to submit your music or use the contact form below.