UAN0007 by UAN0007 12”/digital. Insight and discussions.

UAN0007 by UAN0007 12”/digital

TLDR

Political discussions, fluidity, anarchists in an anti-anarchistic world, anti-capitalists trying to live, cause and condition, Buddhist minds, support, love, care, friendships, no hierarchy, transparency, less ego, the collective, creative ambiguity, safety in numbers, developing each others ideas, emulation, friendship and sharing over demos, objectively good records, the format, system influences, the platform, genre versus tags, support the artists, support the record cutters, support the challengers, support music.

Pre-order now, out Nov 5th

A little bit about the record

Track A had been sitting in a folder since April, seemingly approaching a space where many good tracks get left without a home. It would be played in our studio at our home, with little said before, often to gauge what the reaction is. “Oooh what is this?” or perhaps “this is quite groovy” or maybe “Is this yours?” That challenge of what is this? Does this work? Would I be happy to release this? It was even shared with a few close friends, wondering if it might get talked about a little, maybe to help an understanding develop. Sonic waste, as an old friend put it once.

A good friend of ours, whom we have worked with on various music-based projects over the years suddenly came to mind. They had yet to release music on the label despite a few attempts, and yet they were right there with us, at almost every step, since the very beginning, helping, supporting, sharing, considered part of what we are. We decided to reach out and ask them to create a track, something we rarely do, a track in response to A, a mirror, a compliment, a partnership of sound that had yet to happen. A very short time passed and track B arrived and was immediately played in the studio. It was obviously amazing.

Both artists have huge respect for each other, both feeling their music falls down by comparison to the other. The hilarious anxieties around not being the better track, entirely subjective and caught in their own creative bubble, and yet excited to do something together and attempt to let it go. Track B is pushing to work with track A, then framing and mastering these tracks, attempting to make track A seem as strong as track B. A back and forth, pushing each artist’s sound, sharing audio, sharing versions, but ultimately sharing respect and ever-developing understanding of each other, making the whole thing a joy to work on.

These tracks, like many the label releases, don’t have any details or notes, maybe some tags, no descriptions of how they are made, no insight into the creative process, not because these are not areas of interest, I would happily talk about anything, but often the interest is focused elsewhere. I really value discussion about the music, but for us, it often comes afterwards, as the music is typically what comes first. I hope that is something we can unpick together. Actually, I don’t think there was once a conversation that occurred during the making of these tracks where an artist talked about how things were made, what technology was used, what the concept was. It was a natural process of sharing sound, sharing music, respecting and learning from each other, developing and refining the music. If I was to recall one thing that was said, it would have been something like “let’s work together making an objectively good record”. An almost flawed challenge, but a challenge that does create a focus and framing that puts the emphasis on the music result.

I can’t speak for the artists, but for me, these are the result of mutual respect and support, the allowance of challenge, that ownership is less important, that making objectively good music and the sharing of that time, with the extension of that sharing through the label is enough.

I do know that each artist uses a different approach, one uses digital software, the other uses hardware. One structure in a DAW, the other experiments with a loop. One uses modern equipment, the other uses older gear. Yet when you listen to the music, I certainly find it less clear which is which. There is a mutual understanding of repetition, but also with this specific record, challenges around accessibility, perhaps something to groove to, but also that sharing of music together over time, that language that is music, the understanding of each other’s tastes, history together. I would say this is similar to a band or a long-standing collaboration, and yet here it is two people with a shared history around music with only small exchanges of actual music. Here is the actual music itself, at least a starting point of maybe further developing that musical relationship.

The perspective of someone who helps release music

I think for us, these are, as is often the case with what is released, literally a record of where we are collectively. In this case, it was a mutual desire to hang out and make music together, to share a space with each other, to get excited by music and each other’s creative outputs.

I think it’s interesting knowing what else was recorded around that time from each artist, the tracks before and just after, in some cases there are similarities, in some cases, they could be from entirely different people, with perhaps a smear of sonic similarity. What is often presented, “released”, versus what is the real narrative of that music at the time, is quite different. Music works that way, it doesn’t need to deal with people’s need to learn about things, to discuss, to unpick. It’s just there recorded, documented, to decipher or not, interpret or not, enjoy or not. The music isn’t concerned. Letting the ego decide the route seems something to keep in check and let the idea lead the way, the idea here was the music and mutual love and respect between two people.

I think this record, although not in its intentions when making, does open up lots of thinking, at least for me, around how we work together, how we experience music, and how when stripping things back to making music together, how things can sound. Asking ourselves what got us to this point? It seems often the music knows this before we do. It leads, maybe through something we feel more than consciously are aware of, or maybe it’s microtransactions between gear and sound, action and reaction.

We would love to chat

I am posting this here with the aim to reach friendly people, who may share a similar perspective, or perhaps a different perspective, who enjoys talking and sharing around the many areas I have mentioned above and those I didn’t. I know there are many that say less in forums, are less keen to leave a digital trail of their thinking, and many have reached out already in PM’s or emails. I am also very anxious about leaving too much online, but I feel I need to do something to say hey, there are other ways, and we are all trying to work that out on this little label.

I think for me the idea of a forum is being able to develop together, attempting to understand and be aware of each other’s views and to ultimately opening this for discussion. So to be clear, as this is another attempt at writing this after a few missteps, I would love, and welcome any discussion about the record, the creative process, the label artist relationships, the perspectives from both sides, the challenges, they sound differences, the technology, how to support it, how to contribute, etc

Feeling safe and not sleeping

I am always engaged as much as can be in this forum, I find it a fascinating place. It’s mostly good, although I have had some comments over time that made me feel quite upset and unwelcome at times, feeling like I am a big evil, reluctant, unwilling label, creating vague statements. I didn’t sleep last night, I was trying to work out why such a picture seems painted of what is ultimately my efforts, maybe not very good ones at times, but efforts to try to open discussion with similar minded people.

We are not a big label, nor want to be, we believe in transparency, I can tell you we have made no money, and have spent thousands to support artists fully in the knowledge we won’t get this back financially, but we get something back that is worth way more. Making money is not of interest. We do have bills to pay like anyone. I haven’t been in paid work since March, and am taking a leap to try to do what I believe in, making something people can feel supported in. We are all artists, making music together, some of us are writers, teachers, runners, some working hard to become artists, some not bothered, all finding ways to share our interests around our records and music in safe and forward-thinking open and transparent ways. We even created a private Slack group for the very reason to feel safe and supported, where we chat all the time.

Thanks

I hope ultimately, through my posting here, we feel supported, engaged with, respectfully challenged, asked questions, shared links with, open discussion, and we might even meet and work with some anxious like-minded people.

Thanks for your time reading this and see you in the replies.

Martin

15 Likes

Thanks for sharing @pokk.

First, I love this record. The two tracks are fantastic … I also accidentally played them at the same time in two tabs and it worked surprisingly well! An accidental remix.

I really appreciate your perspective on what a ‘label’ can be… not a music business or attempt to put artists into a grouping or umbrella, but a community of mutual support and creative partnership. I think that’s especially clear as SM-LL morphed into the mostly anonymous collective that it now is.

Your thinking about small groups and collectives matches up with some thinking I’ve been doing about the internet and communities, and the small but growing movement pushing for ‘smol tech’ or ‘careful tech’ or ‘slow’ … lots of other terms still being thrown around. It’s not about being big, or permanent, or even available to everyone. It’s about building real communities as opposed to online affinity groups whose only connection is a shared interest. A community can, and probably should, be more than that. It’s co-creation, material support, friendship, …

Thanks for sharing all your thoughts on top of this excellent sounding release.

3 Likes

Smol tech and careful tech are not terms I’ve heard before, I would love to learn more about this.

I’m very happy you find this area we are challenging interesting. It’s definitely a changing moment presently, with many “labels” with a want for a better word, basically being artists or groups of artists finding there way through a rather lop sided and platform driving engagement in music.

Many discussions prior to this record where around challenges of labels, artists, online profiles, social media, patreon, an ever growing list, and often seeing a difficult or at times almost impossible path forward or clear way to navigate. It seems at times full of possibilities and supporting artists but also massively bias towards profit, the platform and an ever growing idea of intent that even decides the very purpose of making music to begin with.

Focusing on the music, and using a shared experience of previous eras, different worlds, tech, service design, agile etc etc to cross pollinate, some areas starting to open up in terms of small steps towards something that feels more out of a creative initiative and not a monetary or defined idea of a service imposes upon or through a lack of choice.

I guess when all gets to much and to challenging, we could collectively get behind the music as it didn’t discriminate.

You mentioned playing the two tracks together, I don’t think that’s ever been done before. We need to try this immediately. Nice!!!

Also thank you so much for supporting us with this record, it really means a great deal. I really hope that we all are satisfied with the story this record tells from this point on, as for us this is very much the purpose. It’s not about imposing a way of engaging, but embracing it, in all its forms. It’s exciting.

Thanks so much for your thoughts.

1 Like