Random Thoughts I had on the Train

I’ve mentioned through previous writings on the Berklee Blog about how I am starting a record label with a good friend of mine outside of the school practicum. Being in charge of my own project has been exciting and far more hands on than working within the Berklee Record Label practicum, specifically in terms of artist/musical direction. Most recently, I’ve received a new remix for a 12” single we plan to put out in the next few months and have begun to develop the preliminary album cover designs for our first few releases.

The 12” single, a tune called Hang On by Sasquatch, will include a remix from Distal, an electronic producer and record label owner operating out of Atlanta. Both my friend (label co-owner) and I have been big fans of his production and label (Embassy Recordings). Admittedly, the first few drafts of the remix that were sent to us needed work. We were unsure how he might be able to fix the remix so that it was in line with our vision for the release. Some artists become turned off and disinterested in the project they are working on after receiving constant (and seemingly never-ending) feedback, however much to our delight, Distal handled our criticism professionally and has turned in a new draft that I’m very excited about.

As far as artwork goes, we’ve started to work with a Hong Kong based artist and designer. His work with Archie Pelago initially caught our eye. A lot of his designs resemble strange dreamscapes and seem to incorporate unspoken stories that relate to the music. We are currently working on the first two album covers (both of which are in the draft stage) and are using old Gong record sleeves as references. Slowly but surely we are developing a product that we feel will best suit the direction for our label.

Starting out, it seems the most valuable asset for my label is time. We are not in much of a rush to get anything out and are trying to make sure everything is top notch before we share our music with the public. While working with the Berklee label has been an exciting and interesting experience, sometimes I feel as if our final products might be compromised by deadlines created from the academic schedule. It’s extremely difficult to maintain a consistent aesthetic and level of professionalism when records need to be cranked out in such a short period of time. No matter, I have confidence that we, as a class, will be able to best represent our artists and put out records they are proud of. In the end, working with the Berklee record label as well as a label of my own has proved to be an excellent learning experience. 

That’s it. No more ramblings for now. 

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