ROCK LABEL OF THE WEEK: Basick Records*

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Rock Label of the Week is focused on highlighting some of the biggest – or most obscure- labels that you may – or may not – have ever heard of.

  • Name Of Label: Basick Records
  • Founded: 2005.
  • Location: London, UK.
  • Label Type: Independent.
  • Distributors: Prosthetic/RED Distribution/Warner
  • Genre of Focus: Progressive Metal
  • Current Roster: 7 Horns 7 Eyes, Alaya, Chimp Spanner, Glass Cloud, Misery Signals, The Algorithm.
  • Inactive Roster: Between The Screams, Fellsilent, Monuments, Shy Of The Depth, The Escape, Visions.
  • Website: http://www.basickrecords.com/

In Rock Label’s first trip overseas, we will be taking a look at Basick Records. Still young to the label world, Basick was founded in 2005 by brothers Nathan Barley Phillips and Jake Smith. When it came to Basick, neither of the brothers had any extensive backgrounds in working in the music industry. Nathan had worked at AiRecords (electronica label) for three years before co-founding Basick, but the brothers relied on doing tons of research on the biz before Basick was created. The first album the label ever produced was titled “Do You Feel This?” featuring a compilation of bands (some of them who would eventually sign with the label). Shortly after the release of the compilation, Basick would sign their first band, Fellsilent (the band broke up in 2010) and also be the first label to release material from the band Enter Shikari.

One thing that Basick has prided itself on is the fact that they focus on progressive metal as a genre. Standard metal is too boring, but they won’t necessarily avoid any band that proves themselves talented and worthy. While this niche has sometimes proved to limit the labels opportunities (in 2010 Mammouthfest, three of Basick’s bands were pulled from the lineup unceremoniously), it has found its successes in focusing on a genre the crew at Basick really loves. Nathan describes their choice to focus on progressive metal in an interview with One Metal:

“I think its borne from a necessity to stand out from the pack. Also, from a musical perspective, I wanted to make sure that we were not only working with credible music, but music that would actually take things forward. There are hundreds of other labels that are all working with mainstream rock and metal and no doubt they’re shifting more units than BASICK. And that’s fine, fair play to them, that’s their prerogative. But that’s not what BASICK is about. We’re committed to working with a broad range of music, but it must be intelligent and forward thinking.” [One Metal]

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The Algorithm Nomination for the Golden Gods Award.

While the label is only eight years old, the plan is to expand within the next few years into North America, Asia and Australia. Having made progress in the UK/European markets, it seemed like a natural “next step” for the guys at Basick. One step taken in that direction is when Basick a partnership with distribution company Prosthetic Records in 2012. Prosthetic is located in the United States, and through the partnership a selection of Basick’s back stocked catalog and all future releases would be distributed in the United States thanks to Prosthetic. That same year, Basick would also sign into a deal with Warner ADA. This deal would mean that all future releases from Basick would be distributed globally based on different markets around the world.

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Demo from Alaya

An advantage Basick has over so many other labels worldwide is that because they were created in 2005, they came about within the new age of cyber piracy. This meant that instead of having to adapt to piracy, the label developed itself with piracy in mind from day one. In another interview with Nathan, he explains how the label has worked through this issue, turning it into part of the business model of the label:

“We’ve had to deal with all this current shit like torrents and downloads etc pretty much from day one, so we’ve factored it in to our business plans. Labels that have been going for 25+ years are generally now having to downsize, which is a shitter. But that’s the world we live in. We’re never going to stop it, so all we can do is work with it as best we can and rely on the great relationships and morals of the listeners and community we’ve been building over the years. I think most open minded people know that for true talent to create music, there’s a cost involved. For that talent to then go on creating more music for you to enjoy, also bears a cost. For instance, I get sent records all week long, but that didn’t stop me spending 8 dollars on the new Cloudkicker album this week.” [Got Djent]

Now, the other labels I have reviewed on this blog are older, have crazy stories, and have internationally known acts listed for them. I am here to tell you to give Basick a look. From day one, their eyes have always been on social media, coming from a generation where social media is pivitol to the progression of your label and the music coming from it. On social media:

“It’s played a massive role. I would say that 65% or more of our current marketing strategy now consist of maximizing the benefits of all of the aforementioned services. One of the major factors which gave us the green light when starting the label, was the emergence of sites like PureVolume and MySpace. We could see how things were going to unfold and knew even then that they would play a crucial role in the development of the label.” [One Metal]

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Basick Merch Store Offers

You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Especially worth checking out is that Tumblr page, where they are constantly having sales and deals on music and merch (they run their own merch store, no big). So here’s your chance! Check out the current roster sampler and go find your new love of progressive metal!

SAMPLE THE CURRENT ROSTER

Looking for more reading material? Check out my blog Heavy Bass and Breakdowns on WordPress!

*Special shout out to Jad El Alam for his recommendation of this record label! You can check out one of his blog posts here!

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