So, you may have seen, or caught word, that there is going to be a free I.D. & Baobinga album released around the end of February. You’d be in the know, in that case. It’s going to a 10 track, multi-genre thing, with tracks that have been played out by everyone from Claude Von Stroke, to DJ Friction, to Buraka Som Sistema, to TRG and Untold.
It’s gonna be called ‘Bass Music Sessions’.
You can guess from that list of names, then, that these are not just a bunch of tracks we couldn’t get signed – in fact we turned down offers from labels, in favour of releasing them for free. It became apparent that there were loads of good reasons for releasing it this way. First, there’s the flexibility – we can do it when and how we like. Second, there are no financial issues – we’ve had situations in the past where a distributor goes bankrupt and takes 1000 copies of your album with them, and you end up making a loss. No worries there. Also, the stress of people pirating your album: doesn’t matter, it’s free. Take it, and give it to all your mates while you’re at it. And with any luck, you might get a lot more people downloading it free than the couple of thousand who are willing to pay £10 for a CD or £7 for a download. So there were some compelling arguments going on there.
It’s a bit of an experiment, really, and that’s why I’m writing this diary to round up what we do, how we go about it, and how it pans out. Maybe it’ll contain some useful advice for people thinking of doing something similar, or maybe it’ll just show up some mistakes to avoid!
It’s really become obvious over the last 12 months that blogs are getting a lot better and more interesting, that sites like www.bandcamp.com are starting to supercede the likes of myspace in terms of providing a platform for getting stuff to fans (and not looking crap), twitter and facebook provide a quick and easy method of getting word around – so there are all sorts of handy tools for the DIY crew. We also, however, have the added advantage of this blog, which gets a lot of readers, and I think that’s going to prove rather important (more on this in future).
So then, the basics. We’ve got the album written, we’ve decided on the tracklist. We’ve been playing some of the tracks out for over a year now, so we’ve had lots of time to tweak the mixes and make sure they all work on the floor.
From there, we needed some artwork, so we hit up the awesomely talented Nic Hamilton – he’s the guy who did our logo – and asked if he’d be up for coming up with anything. Fortunately, he was, and so he’s working on that at the moment – hopefully we’ll be able to show you the results in the not too distant.
We also figured that we could use a video, something Youtube-able, something bloggable, that might help when we’re sending everything to blogs – maybe they could embed it in their posts. So we hit up our friend Ted Moore, who has done videos for us in the past, and most recently did some wicked stop-motion animation videos for Rogue Element. He’s now on the case with a short animation – about one minute – and we can’t wait to see it because he really is a genius.
That’s the basic product lined up then – music, artwork, video. Now we just need to get as many people as we can to check it out. Which I’ll elaborate on later.
If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, please put them in the comments (or email us) – we’d love to hear them.