General gossip

Exclusive: non-exclusive!

You may have noticed it: unlike our former releases, it does not say "release date: 10th July 2012 Beatport excl." on our upcoming Pesto 017 single by Addex.

In the past, we used to give our releases to a certain download store - mostly Beatport, sometimes Traxsource - exclusive for a limited period of time. For a label like Pesto with limited PR budget, it was a welcome opportunity to get banners or get featured, thus increasing exposure and sales.
To be honest though, we did not really see any changes in sales with regards to being featured or not. Some banner on Beatport or Traxsource is a nice thing to brag about and post screenshots to Facebook but in reality, it doesn't boost sales in a way that justifies excluding other download stores for at least two weeks.

Fast forward to late May 2012, we all could see the Traxsource/DJ Sneak drama unfold in shining glory. In case you missed it, here's Sneak's post on Facebook. It was followed by an official statement from Traxsource, which can be found here on Traxsource's Facebook page. Let's forget about all these questions of honour, how to run a business, etc. - I can side with both parties here and understand their respective point of view. What's more striking, especially taking into account what we were thinking regarding exclusive releases in the paragraph above, is this (quote from Traxsource's statement):

This means, when we receive a release after it has been exclusive elsewhere, we do not feature it on the site in any prime positions. Our customers know what's what and we feel its insulting to them to feature old music with today's date on it. Since we began this policy in mid 2011, we’ve seen dramatic positive results and more and more top tiered labels are providing content to all sites at the same time. We feel this is the trend moving forward.



So, let's look at from the angle of the good ol' record store days: was it usual to exclude certain record stores? Were there releases exclusive to a certain record shop? For major labels, there was this option indeed but it was never usual for underground labels - at least not to my knowledge. And when looking closer, it doesn't make a lot of sense either: when you want to sell a product, you want it to be available in as many spots as possible unless it's some super duper exclusive (sic!) product like a Bugatti Veyron. An MP3 download is quite the opposite of said luxury car.

Traxsource makes another point:

We feel it cannot be smart for top tiered artists and labels to make their releases harder to find legitimately and more expensive during the short period of demand. Lets say you make a big track and its in high demand. A young DJ Google's it and finds 100 links to free versions on various illegal file sharing sites and only 1 link to buy it legitimately, but in a store he doesn't like, and its more expensive then it should be. We feel this scenario happens every day, and drives demand for the illegal copy and ultimately hurts all of us.



Now we are probably not a top tiered label (we're trying though) but point taken. So let's think again: we have no reason for exclusive releases but we have good reasons against it. Easy decision then, innit?

Yesterday, we sent out the promos for Pesto 017 and Brian Tappert of Traxsource sent me this message:

Hi Jon, These tracks sound great.  Wondering if you would consider to provide them to us same time as all other sites? Really like what you guys do.  HollaKind Regards,Brian



I hope this answers your question, Brian. :)

One last word about exclusive releases: with all of the above being true and fact, we still consider exclusive releases in the future. This can happen in exclusive tracks only available on a certain platform (we did this a few years ago already) and/or in exclusive downloads directly from Pesto Music, for example via our Bandcamp page or a (to be implemented) dedicated store on our web site. So, in the future it may say "exclusive from pesto.de, all download stores to follow 14 days later".

What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!


We're still alive

We are currently working on the upcoming releases on Pesto. A LOAD of new Pesto singles, Pesto EPs and compilations are coming your way in brief! So long, please also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and YouTube.

Speak soon...J

How to deal with "rogue" downloads

Running a label in the age of digital is a tough business: loads of crap demos an A&R has to go through in order to pick the good ones, low margins, rogue websites offering your music as a 10 cent download ("hey, it's all licensed with our collecting society!") and products being available on Rapidshare just hours after their release. There's nothing you can do about it: have the file in question removed, a couple of minutes later, five more copies pop up on other one-click hosters.

Now, I don't have a problem with people who'd like to try before buying. They want to listen to the whole tune, not just some two-minute snippet on Beatport or some 45-seconds preview on iTunes. I do understand that! But if I really like a tune which I've acquired in a similar manner, I'm buying it in the end. Especially when using it in my DJ sets.

Then, you have the die-hard fans. They upload a Pesto track to YouTube, share it with their friends, record it from some web radio and post that to SoundCloud. They are not aware of any evil they might be doing or any harm that their action may cause to both artists and labels. They just love the tune and thus, they put it up their profile on whatever service.

How do you deal with them?



Let me give you an example. I have a Google alert set for various keywords in order to monitor other people's activity on Pesto releases. One of them is set up for the keyword "cloudsteppers" which is the artist of our Pesto 012 single. So, last weekend, I find a mention in my RSS feed for that very keyword and see it's a SoundCloud link. I thought "hmm, maybe it's Vyach of Cloudsteppers who put up a snippet on his SoundCloud" but the link pointed to a profile I wasn't aware of. I clicked the link, SoundCloud opened and I was displayed my Soda Inc. remix of Cloudsteppers' "Make Me Shine". No problem, fans tend to do that. I see downloads are enabled and it's nearly the whole tune, hijacked from some web radio stream - available as a free download.

Well, there's a free download of that Cloudsteppers track on pesto.de but, in fact, it's not the "Jon Silva's Soda Inc. Remix".

At this time, a label has two options:

1. lawyer up, hit the gym, profit.

2. write a message to the poster, explaining the backgrounds, kindly asking to disable downloads.

I went for option 2. and here's what I wrote (including all grammar and spelling errors - it was a Sunday):

SC message to Olga

Here's a transcript:

Hi Olga,

Just came across my remix of that Cloudsteppers track on your profile. I'm happy you like the tune and when people put our Music (the mix is released on my Pesto label) on their profile, it usually means they're big fans. That's awesome!
However, it takes away possible income from the artists and the label - especially when offered as download.

I am therefore asking you to disable downloads and if you feel like supporting both the artist and the label (Cloudsteppers, Pesto Music and me), please add a download link to a store. You can use a link to Beatport for example:
http://www.beatport.com/release/make-me-shine/151087

Feel free to keep the track on your profile, you don't have to remove it but please disable downloads.

Hope you understand:)

cheers & have a great weekend,

Jon

PS: did you know we have a Pesto FreeBee, a free download of another version of Make Me Shine? Check this out:
http://pesto-usa.com/PestoCast/Make_Me_Shine_FreeBee_Version.mp3

Less than 24 hours later, I get a reply:

Hi Jon,
I thank you for having written, downloads is disable,
(
CLOUDSTEPPERS - Make Me Shine (Jon Silva's Soda Inc remix) by Olga Wagner :))
and thanks for another link, I'm glad!
Olga

Another Way



Rather than pissing off one person with an unnecessary lawsuit and additional hustle, I now have a supporter. Rather than Olga telling her friends what dickheads the Pesto guys are, she's now probably telling them that we're just reasonable and that we appreciate our fans doing free promo for us. At least, I hope so. Worst case: she doesn't tell anybody but points her friends and social circle to her profile and we get more exposure. Everybody wins.

What I was about to say: I don't mind if you post our tracks. A person who's satisfied with the sound quality on YouTube or SoundCloud wouldn't buy it anyway. No sales gone. A person who's convinced of having a right to download music, software, ebooks and the likes for free without any consideration for the authors wouldn't be buying in any case.

It's up to you - the fan, the listener, the reader, the enjoyer - to pay for non-physical, digital goods. If nobody pays, there won't be as much material for you to download in the future. If you support the artists and the labels that bring lovely music to you, the artist will be able to buy a new piece of gear to record vocals or a guitar. The label will be able to buy stock photography for cover artworks, buy label software, buy new mastering plugins to improve the overall label's sound and so on and so forth.

It's all up to you! Your decision makes the difference.

Ya feelin me or you tend to disagree? Let us know in the FB comments.


Pesto Remix Contest 2011 - and the winner is...

...there is no one winner, we actually have quite a couple;)

First things first: let me express how overwhelmed I am by the sheer number of contributions! With Pesto being the small label that we are, I would have expected maybe 20 or 25 remixes at best. We had 50 in our inbox - wow, you guys are effin amazing! Hats off to you for putting time, effort and love in your reworks! I'd also expected to have like 3 or 4 decent remixes, hence the licenses for the first two winners for the awesome softsynths "Discovery Pro" (worth 149EUR) and "Discovery" (worth 75EUR), sponsored by makers of fine software synths discoDSP. But no way, we have way more than 3 decent remixes!

A word to discoDSP: I've also contacted other manufacturers of plugins, which I won't name here, that replied "your Alexa ranking doesn't look good, I expect some additional promotion from giving away free licenses". Note to self: don't buy at this company anymore. There's a german saying that goes "other mothers have pretty daughters as well" - other developers have proper compressors, too;)
So let me take the chance to say a big thank you to discoDSP, namely head of the company George Reales for getting back really quick and on top of that being very nice and generous. Make some noise for discoDSP, please! Usually, it says "our proud sponsors" but in this case we're the ones being proud of the sponsor. ¡Muchas gracias!

Where were we? Ah, the winners. Hang on, I need to say something about being biased first. When going through the list of winners, you'll find quite some people that are either Pestoleros (=artists) already or are somewhat closely related to us. I tried to be as objective as possible but, in the end, choosing remixes from a contest always is a highly subjective issue. I did not look at the names, I did not care for the genres provided - I think I proved I wasn't biased by publishing detailed feedback on your contributions. In fact, there are quite some Pesto artists who submitted remixes that didn't make it among the best 10. If you feel my rating of your remix is somewhat unfair or you don't understand what I meant, feel free to drop me a line via the contact form (I'll be off next week, so please allow 10 days for a reply).

Here are the first two winners of the Pesto Remix Contest 2011 for my "Aegean" tune:

1. Ilias Katelanos: like I said in my review, Ilias has home field advantage being from Athens. The emotions I tried to pack into "Aegean" were in fact triggered by a lot of stays and DJ gigs in Greece, not limited to the Aegean sea. If you know me a bit better, you know that I love Greece, I love Greeks, I love greek food, I love the mediterranean sea. And even though the mediterranean sea has lots of lovely spots and lovely people all around its edges, Greece will always remain special for me. I've made so many outstanding experiences in Greece, namely on some island in the Aegean sea that I was simply impressed of how well Ilias translated this vibe - even though we've never met in person (yet).
Like I said, this remix is "like a sunrise in the Aegean when the starry sky fades and all the shades of night grey are replaced by intense colours". It's also masterly and beautifully crafted, it's obvious that Ilias has a lot of experience in making music and that's what sets his remix apart from the others. Congrats mate, you've just won a license of "Discovery Pro" - hope it adds nicely to your sound arsenal:)

2. snapd/Science Associates: similar issue here. What strikes me is the highly professional level on which this rework was created. It seems to be very easy and accessible but this is achieved by applying lots of very smart and subtle details. The sound selection, the balance of the mix, the overall sound/production - all that is very "official" and I would not hesitate to spend money in order to get such a remix. I already said in my review: it is indeed trancy and it is a bit cheesy. But it's an amount of cheesy that's not only tolerable but Phill (aka snapd) managed to stay on the edge in a very elegant way. If I heard this on the radio, I'd say "if there were more tunes like this on the FM, I'd finally try to listen to the radio again". It's not that David Guetta-in-your-face-cheese, it's a well matured Pecorino with truffles.
Congrats also to you Phill, you've really more than earned that "Discovery" license!

So, these are the winners of the softsynth licenses. Problem: we have more - not only decent, but really proper - remix submissions. I've selected the ones I digged the most and, including Ilias and snapd, got a list of 11 remixes I consider worth releasing. Some of them may need a few tweaks here or there for the final release and they'll surely all get a proper mastering. At this point, I'm a bit undecided how to handle this issue. For the Aegean single, we already have a remix by Miami's Andrew Chibale next to the original and the first two. I think that's enough tracks for a release.

So I thought, we could make some compilation that will go on sale via the usual channels (Juno, iTunes, Traxsource, Beatport & Co) but I will discuss with all artists if there's maybe another way. Maybe donate the income to a good cause (I mean 100%) or offer the compilation as a Pesto FreeBee so that the remixers will get maximum exposure. If listeners enjoy what they hear, we could still set up a donate button or pay royalties to the remixers. Let's see;)

Why are you still here? Ah, the list of runners up. Here you are (in no particular order):

- Leaking Shell (UK/Germany)
- Nick Fay (FYROM)
- Chuter (UK)
- Alex Semchuk (Ukraine)
- Simon Tappenden (UK)
- J Kar (Greece)
- Paus & Darang (Sweden)
- Fair Play Knight (Russia)
- DJ Jem (Greece/UK)

Once again, thank you so much for all your great contributions, to discoDSP for the great prizes, to Sarah Haswell at SoundCloud and Ronnie at rekkerd.org for supporting the contest! I've wanted to test drive that remix contest thingy but now I can assure you there will be another one in 2012!

discoDSP present: Pesto Remix Contest 2011 - the reviews pt. 5

Here's the fifth and final part of remix reviews for the Aegean Remix Contest on Pesto Music this year. I was thinking if I should embed a video of Europe's "Final Countdown" but opted out since both you and me would have that synth riff on your mind for the rest of the day. Awww...damnit. It happened already.

So let's quickly get to the last ten remixes then, Final Countdown out, Aegean in - you can't explain that;)
I'll anounce the winners in a bit and in a dedicated blog post.

Lee Fraged Back To The 90s remix:
pro: cool bassline reminiscent of some Hardfloor, build-up simple but working
con: I find the organ sound to be a bit weak for that bassline, keeps the track somewhat low in energy
8/10

Frostbite remix:
pro: good implementation of the original hookline, proper arrangement, buildup in the break is awesome opens the tune width-wise, breakbeat part keeps the suspension, good additional sequences, has artist's signature, good adaption for this genre
con: could have a bit more energy or get a bit more driving when the straight bassdrum drops in, orchestra hit is a bit too cheesy imo
8/10

Daxxel Remix:
pro: nice vibe
con: arrangement has little detail, chords don't match base note properly, chords drop in too immediate and have too little variation
6/10

GREENKLOREF Remix:
pro: Oh hai, it's you!:) innovative use of the sequences to trigger percussions, best remix of the 5
con: I'm used to having claps on 2 and 4 and not on 1 and 3 but I'm trying to get the concept behind 1/3 claps, hihats/shakers too loud and too hissy, sequences too loud compared to the beat, still lacking focus but much better than the other contributions, a bit too long
4/10

Roberto Conforto Remix:
pro: good use of the original sequences, simple but effective beats, detailed arrangement, signature, bent drone/F1 car passing by sound
con: a bit weak in the bass section compared to the energy level of the rest: screaming sequences require a solid fundament imo
7/10

Paradisebird Remix:
pro: interesting use of the sequences by shifting them timewise, build up good
con: lacks bass severely (especially noticeable after the break ends), too wet, bassline sound too deep for the screaming hooklines, lacks focus
6/10

Fair Play Knight Electro Remix:
pro: this guy knows his shit regarding punchy drums, proper arrangement, signature, nice harmonies
con: lacks focus a little and therefore creates a more floating atmosphere, which I find a little irritating considering the "harsh" timbre of the sounds used
8/10

Jai Lyra remix:
pro: that's what I call a clubby bassdrum, good groove, proper build-up, detail, very DJ-friendly arrangement
con: that sequence after 04:09 doesn't really sit right with the base notes although I like the idea
8/10

Ωti Drug's remix:
pro: interesting soundscape, if it did not have beats and was a bit shorter, it could make for a cool ambient track
con: lacks focus (or the focus is too much on swooshes), too wet and washed out, arrangement lacks, is a bit undecided whether being a dance or chillout track (and yeah, I know some people have invented the Chill House subgenre but that's not that)
4/10

DJ Jem Remix:
pro: awesome chopping job, very detailed arrangement, focus, cool build-up throughout the whole tune (remember the remixes I critized for having two parts not being connected enough? Here's an example of how to do that)
con: maybe a bit too many breakdowns although that creates a lot of variation, the last part after 05:44 is a bit lengthy and could have more variation
9/10

discoDSP present: Pesto Remix Contest 2011 - the reviews pt. 4

Here are ten more reviews, to be followed by another ten tomorrow. I'll anounce the winners in another post tomorrow afternoon CET. In case you missed the former parts (plus a little explanation of what I mean by certain words), check out part one plus glossary, part two and part three. Here are the remixes I'm reviewing for you to listen to: http://soundcloud.com/groups/pesto-remix-contest-jon-silva-aegean/tracks

Tuchy Frunk Remix:
con: the histrings are running the whole track - not good for my tinnitus, way too dry, sounds are not balanced, too heavy on the treble, the sidechain ducking is more annoying and tears the whole tune apart, the sounds are a bit too generic/weren't programmed with dedication, no DJ-friendly arrangement
3/10

by ramplin:
pro: nice drum grooves
con: a House tune without a bass line? Let me think if there is one at all. Not going to work, you could also make a track without a bassdrum, the delays are too loud (they are badly clipping), arrangement hardly there and way too raw, some funky plug ins won't make up for a missing basis. Actually disqualified because downloads are still enabled despite sending several messages
2/10

Full Of Beans - Baked Mix:
pro: it's something original and not just a reconstruction close to the original tune just quoting the remix parts
con: the intro is too long and has too little variation, a proper bassline is missing
4/10

GreenKloref:
pro: 4th attempt, never giving up. I take from the discussion page that GreenKloref is really new to using a DAW and this one is already much better than the other three mixes, the groove is much better than on the other submissions
con: like said earlier, better focus on making one fat thing than sending four mediocre reworks, this one also lacks focus and dramaturgy, the sound selection is wrong for me, some of the sounds remind of GM synth modules - definitely not the sound source for a dance track
3/10

TrikAtak Remix:
pro: nice chopping of the original parts, really cool buildup, liking that drone bassline in the first break giving it a new harmonic context
con: histrings way too loud, after the first break at 02:50 the energy level drops when the beat comes in again, that's the part where the energy should be max with a big boom, when the drone's cutoff is open, it's too loud and drowns the rest
5/10

Carl D Remix:
pro: creative use of the parts to make something new, solid beats, proper & detailed arrangement, suitable sound selection
con: not the kind of stuff I play but that wasn't what I was asking for, so it's not really a con
7/10

Christian G Chugg 2011 Remix:
pro: nice use of the samples, great deep & reduced atmosphere, liking the bassline in the beginning, nice details such as the drum rolls
con: lacks a bit of substance/flesh, the intro is a bit too long or the bassline could kick in earlier
07/10

ExteRix remix:
pro: creative use of the parts, bass heavy
con: break is way too long (it's nearly one fourth of the whole tune), sidechain ducking of the bassline takes away too much energy of an otherwise properly working team of beats and bass, 04:14 throughout 05:54 too hissy
6/10

Paus & Darang Remix:
pro: bass heavy, great groove, well balanced mix, good use of the original sequences, proper arrangement with detail, loving the disco toms,
9/10

Fair Play Knight Remix:
pro: quality production sounding very punchy, good arrangement, nice arpeggio line
con: not a big fan of the lead sound although it's one with good recognition and suits the rest so that's a minor con only
8/10

discoDSP present: Pesto Remix Contest 2011 - the reviews pt. 3

Yes, I know that going through reviews of remixes is a bit of dry reading if you haven't done any of the remixes yourself. Still, I believe the remix artists deserve some feedback on their submissions and that's why I will post reviews for all 50 remix entries here until the winners will finally be announced. In case you don't know which remixes I am talking about, they can be found here: http://soundcloud.com/groups/pesto-remix-contest-jon-silva-aegean/tracks

In case you missed the former reviews, try part one and part two.

J Kar Remix:
pro: another one with home field advantage;) If the original is a big-breasted blonde with too much make-up, this is her little brunette sister who's more subtle, more intelligent and a girl you won't regret having spent a night with. I like brunettes, btw.
9/10

Andy O' Donoghue Remix:
pro: very dubby and reduced, cool groove
con: the pad coming in at 01:26 is a bit too dominant/loud imo, arrangement could be a bit more detailed and a bit more focused
7/10

As remixed by Science Associates:
pro: arrangement and sound are very radio-ish, very stringent arrangement, nice details, great harmonies. Slap some vocals on it and it's played in radio stations on the Balkans or some mediterranean islands. It IS trancy and a bit cheesy, but it's the kind of cheesy I really love. Reminds a bit of a Soda Inc. remix from "Inner Vision" times. Proper!
10/10

Qbican@remix:
pro: dreamy atmosphere
con: the sequence coming in at 01:47 seems to be out of sync, the dramaturgy lacks a bit and the arrangement is missing some detail and focus
5/10

Ville Nikkanen Remix:
pro: nice reconstruction of the original sequence by turning it into an arpeggio
con: lacks a proper bassline, pretty heavy on the mids and treble, the part after 06:27 is a bit of "too many ideas" or too many melody lines playing at once, making it lose focus, arrangement could be a bit more DJ-friendly
5/10

Sava Boric Remix:
pro: I like heavy bass drums:)
con: track loses focus after 02:57, it sounds like a new track is playing that has no connection with the part from before, the arrangement lacks detail and is too linear
5/10

Scerbas Remix:
pro: nice chopping up of the bassline in the beginning
con: the new bassline doesn't fit, arrangement lacks detail and buildup, too linear
06/10

Kirk Jones 2011 Progressive Remix:
pro: really digging the beginning here until 02:01 when the groove totally changes
con: it's a bit too long, if it was like 07:00, it would be easier to keep the suspension but this way it remains a bit flat and feels lengthy
6/10

Kyka Remix:
pro: completely different vibe than the original in the beginning
con: the vibe changes during the tune (which is not necessarily a bad thing) but here, I also find the parts to be a bit disconnected as if it was a mashup of two different tracks
7/10

Dj Miss Gwen:
pro: a lady producer - that's always to be supported, nice strict groove
con: a bit too dry and direct, too close to the original, the break is a bit too long
5/10

discoDSP present: Pesto Remix Contest 2011 - the reviews pt. 2

Following up on yesterday's part 1 of the remix reviews, here is part 2 with the next ten contributions.

Freaking Wildchild's IDM-n-glitched mix:
pro: totally different approach, adds some signature (which the Andy Moore mix lacks), really liking the sharp drums and that strict groove, lots of detail in the arrangement
6/10

Paul Greenway Remix:
pro: what I said about Freaking Wildchild's mix, this has the signature of the remixer all over it, drums are damn smashing in your face, new harmonic context
con: a bit short but that's something that can be fixed
6.5/10

Scandalo De Lux by Macduda:
pro: the beats and the bassline are full of energy as well as the trancy peaktime/big room stabs
con: that first sequence. It is, umm, it is really cheesy and sounds dated. Retro is all cool and that but this thing is such an essential part of the remix, it just doesn't do it for me
5/10

Leaking Shell Remix:
pro: that bass, that groove, that sound, the buildup in the break
con: antiphase noise effect, this will cancel on a mono PA but that's easy to fix.
8/10

Nick Fay Remix:
pro: there's one thing Nick Fay is good at - deliver. DJ-friendly arrangement, nice details and FX sounds, cool re-interpretation of the original bassline, nice buildup & layering towards the big break and when the beat drops back in after, sounding very solid (and I don't mean that because it's louder/mastered but because it sounds very compact)
con: the histrings are a bit too loud
9/10

Chuter remix:
pro: usually, using "interesting" is not a good sign but in this case, I mean in in the best sense of the word. That's something totally new and innovative, it's just inspired by the original and uses the percussion loop, the rest reminds me a bit of the things you can do with a looper, creating dense atmospheres and layers of guitar riffs.
con: it lacks some bass percussion - the way it's now, it's more kind of Ambient Rock if you will, adding some breakbeat aka Prodigy or Chemical Brothers could turn this into a massive bouncer
7/10

Semchuk RainyDay Remix:
pro: putting the original parts into a new harmonic context is something I really like, nice details in the arrangement, sounding very solid also, while the original is a summer tune, this one has a cold quality, indeed reminiscent of a rainy day
7/10

Ilias Katelanos Remix:
pro: it's a bit unfair maybe but Ilias being greek and well familiar with the Aegean Sea definitely seems to have an advantage here:) The suspension is constantly built up until the Aegean theme drops in at 02:00. At 02:49 you'd think that was the tune and it's going done again but that's not happening. It goes higher and higher, like a sunrise in the Aegean when the starry sky fades and all the shades of night grey are replaced by intense colours. A great bridge track for DJs going from deep to more housier stuff.
10/10

Simon T's Dark Lantern mix:
pro: did I already mention I like putting things in a different harmonic context? Here's a dark and techy re-interpretation with lots of detail, dubby delays and lovely sound selection. Simon's signature all over the tune
9/10

Brandon Villa's earthrumental mix:
pro: nice atmosphere, quite chill
con: pitches don't match, lacks focus
2/10

discoDSP present: Pesto Remix Contest 2011 - the reviews pt. 1

So, the Pesto Remix Contest 2011 is closed. We have 50 contributions, among them some really great ones. What's left to say at this point? First of all, a big thank you to all artists who remixed "Aegean"! To be honest, I did not expect such a massive amount of reworks and even if I don't rate yours that high, I still appreciate you taking the time and putting some effort in finishing one (or more) mixes. That was awesome!

Also worth a mention is detailed feedback I have for all you remix artists. I went through the tunes a couple of times, made notes, changed my mind sometimes, made more notes, came up with a grade for your rework. I thought if there's a total of 10 points, both you and I would have a good scale. Since I'll also publish detailed feedback here, today starting with part 1 aka the first 10 remixes in chronological order of their submitting, I'll also need to explain some words/terms I'm using.

Here's that "glossary":

detail: Detail is used in terms of arrangement. Imagine, you have a track of 06:30 running time and from beginning to end, the same drum loop is running without any variation. That means the "detail" rate is zero - no changes, no variation. If you're using filter sweeps, mute the bassdrum or any other element for short breaks, add crash cymbals, sweep FX and the likes, you're adding detail to the tune. I know a couple of tunes that have nearly zero detail but because the main hook is so detailed by itself, the track is working. On a sidenote, you can also add too much detail which causes the tune to fall apart and make it sound confusing. Detail often goes hand in hand with...

focus: You have the beats, a bassline, a lead/hook, pads, strings, another piano line. The human ear (or the brain for that matter) can only focus on three melodies playing at the same time. A producer's task therefore is to decide which elements are important and thus will have the focus put on. If it's getting too much, you cannot focus or the tune lacks focus. This can both be an engineering issue as well as an arrangement/composing issue. If you have five different melody lines playing at once but you lead the listener's focus to just one or two of them, the other lines will be considered less important or accompany. If they're all equally prioritised, the listener feels getting lost. A listener CAN focus on one thing though and listen to just one of the melodies but since the producer is the captain, it's his/her decision on which part to put the focus on. A producer is leading the listener.

signature: Does it sound like the latest XYZ sample pack or is there some element that sets the tune apart from others? No problem with using sample packs at all but if you just utilise premade construction kits by somebody else, the outcome will sound like a tune by somebody else and not you. Signature can be very subtile or very obvious. Obvious examples are Stock/Aitken/Waterman, the producers of Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Bananarama and many more back in the 1980ies. Totally different artists/performers but the tracks always had the same "sound", the same feel. Or Björk: different producers, yet all her tunes share a similar quality. You can listen to a Björk tune and know immediately it's one of hers, even without hearing the voice. A good example for subtile "signature" is Trevor Horn: what does Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Seal have in common? At first sight, not much but the closer you listen, you discover similar production techniques being used.

Another thing that's important for me when it comes to remixes: I'm fully aware that "remix" in its original form stems from a different time. Usually, it was an engineer having 24 or 32 (or more) tracks from tape laid out on the console. The faders were set to certain levels and so were the equalizers and FX. A remix in the 1960ies or 1970ies simply meant a different mixdown of the same tune, just with altered levels creating an alternate version in a technical/engineering sense (very roughly speaking). During the last 20 years of Dance music, the term "remix" has more turned into "use some of the original tracks/stems and put them in a whole new context or make a completely new tune out of the remix pack". I like that more creative approach and I'm usually making remixes following that philosophy. A good example is my "Babe-A-Pella" of Soda Inc.'s "Night Fever". I was heavily involved in making the original but a few years later, I took the original stems, looked at them from a new perspective and made a remix that could be considered a "new original". The remix stayed on top of Beatport's deep charts and remained in DJ sets a couple of months during the summer of 2007 BECAUSE it was, in fact, a new tune, just making use of some of the original elements.

Today, remixers are being asked to rework a tune because of their signature. You have this tune but want it in ABC flavour? Ask ABC for a remix. What would it sound like if DEF had the same vocal to work on? Ask DEF for a remix. You get the picture.

Enough introduction, here are the reviews for the first ten Aegean remixes:



Coce Remix:
pro: nice cutting up of the stems, same sounds put into new context, nice groove
6/10

Miguel Libre Sundown Remix:
pro: completely new vibe, goes into a more organic direction, creates new harmonic context
con: Aegean hook line coming in at 02:00 doesn't fit the harmonies, arrangement a bit too linear and flat, not too many highs and lows
4/10

beaTTrate 118bpm Remix:
pro: simple but effective groove, nice chopping and re-arrangement of the original parts
con: chord stabs introduced in the second break (after 04:00) don't correspond with the other sounds that well, sound a bit alien in there, the two beaks are a bit close to each other, making the tune lose a lot of energy
4/10

beaTTrate 122bpm Remix:
pro: pretty similar setup as in the 118bpm version but the arrangement works better for me
con: chord stabs see 118bpm Remix
5/10

Trogers Liquid Housemade Deli:
pro: bandpass-filtered bassline sounds interesting, also liking the different (break)beat.
con: loops not in sync at 03:11, hats a bit too hissy, definitely lacking bass, too long or arrangement a bit too flat
5/10

GreenKloref minimal Remix:
pro: bassline sound at 03:44 is cool
con: the pitches don't match, sounds a bit like the parts were wildly thrown together, "too many ideas" for one tune, heavily lacking focus
2/10

GreenKloref down remix:
pro: definitely more focused than the minimal Remix but still sounds a bit confused
con: if you make music, get the pitch straight, some people do not notice when things don't go together (or are off by a few cents) but I do
3/10

GreenKloref Ayobaness Remix:
con: same beat as in the former two remixes, sounds nearly identical except for some exchanged patches, sounds odd again and too flat arrangement-wise
2/10

GreenKloref remix:
pro: fourth try, more focused
cons: the sounds again, you should ask yourself if you would play such a tune or if you would buy it. If the answer is "no", then start over and try once more. Rather than doing four remixes, focus on doing one fat one
2/10

Andy Moore Remix:
pro: arrangement to the point, could have a little more detail though such as risers and downers/boom-ish FX or crashes or something with a similar function
con: sounds a bit like the whole tune was recorded in a bathroom - could be Logic's Modulation Delay plug in that can be used to broaden the sound, doesn't sound good here for me as it subtracts a lot of the punch, the overall sound is very dry, too little variation in the arrangement, a bit too close to the original for my taste.
5/10

New Column: Haters Gonna Hate

Every time I'm on Beatport, I make the same mistake and listen to genre charts to get a feeling for what people are currently buying. It's usually just a matter of minutes until the veins on my neck and head are getting swollen in anger, disgust and/or sheer desperation.

Since we all know that's not healthy, my lama advised me to get rid of my hard feelings and establish my inner balance again. Easier said than done - some of the music offered (not so bad) and being purchased (that IS bad) is not only not my taste, I've come to accept that people have a different taste in music, but is plain crap, cheap, impertinently awful...wait, my veins...counting to 10.

Ok, I'm calm again.

So, what I'll be doing here is embedding a Beatport Top 10 player and drop one or two sentences on each tune. It's not going to make me a lot of new friends but this way, I'll be getting this off my chest and maybe you'll have a good laugh here or there, add your comment if you agree or disagree. We'll see.

Here's the current Top 10. Please be aware that these are the 10 best selling tracks on Beatport, regardless of their genre. These are the hits. This is what people buy, play and like. Yeah, I know, it's hard to believe.



Go to Beatport.comGet These TracksAdd This Player




01. That's a cool little groover, I'd definitely play this and it's all over the summer playlists. But this is the best selling tune? Ok, the lyrics are cool. Better this one then the next in the list.

02. The Clash. Are you kidding me? I mean, they're a cool band and stuff (and this wasn't their best tune imo) but do we really need more of these crossover rip offs? I wonder if this sample is licensed and how much that was. Other than that, it's a beat with somebody else's musical performance playing offbeat. 30mins and the track is done, mastering it probably took longer.

03. I remember Alex Kenji as an artist that made cool tracks. Are there two of them? But since this is a remix, maybe the original is better but I honestly don't want to know. We all need to pay our rent - this one will pay for the next six months at least. But did it really have to be that stutt-te-te-te-ter effect?

04. Nic Fanciuli, proper track, no complaints. Except for that vocal. If you're a kid of the 1990ies, you would have heard this on approximately 1,235 other tracks. If you were born later, you might find "groove is hypnotizing" to be a great punchline when having your first experiences with narcotics.

05. Oh your God! Everything about this "track" is just wrong. The buildup, the kick rolls, this "hey make that effect like on that Angello track", that bassline sound, the cheap synths. Your homework for tomorrow: find out which classical piece was robbed here. The first will win a free beer. I mean, I will drink one on you.

06. Disclaimer: I don't play Dubstep. But there are cool tracks, indeed. Every now and then, I find some cool british stuff (plus MCs with Cockney accent). I understand why people like this kind of music. This track though takes all the rubbish from other genres to amalgamate it into an epic stinking piece of shit: cliché dubstep synths (Magix Music Maker - get the Dubstep expansion now!), Gaga-ish trance chords, empty and stupid self-referential rhymes, voices that are the exact opposite of unique (hey, that one guy sounds like 2Live Crew - google that, kids).

07. Fedde Le Grand went into a secret studio session with Scooter. The Scooter guys took the best track and made it their current single, what can be heard here are the discarded leftovers that Fedde saved from the trashcan. Recovery software galore, even though it appears that some of the audio files were corrupted. But playing back digital noise at 0dB DFS is just fucking loud and that's what counts.

08. Hey, I've never heard that scream sample before! I wonder if Afrojack performed it in an intense studio session to make it sound so distinctive. All these synth lines and arpeggios are so incredibly cheap and small sounding, I'd sue the manufacturer of the construction kit. But this lifter effect - wow, not from this world.

09. This track is ok. Nothing special but not bad. Its lyrics ("what happens that...") are also inspired by some classic sample I've forgotten the source. But it's a shaker, good for open air venues, has a positive vibe, doesn't hurt.

10. Mark Knight has some proper tunes in his catalogue, no doubt about that. This is not one of them. It has "hit" written all over it and that's what I don't like. Sure, mission accomplished - if David Guetta can do it why not try as well? At least the timbre of the vocalist is more pleasant than Kelly Rowland. The rest is Casio (cheap plastic) and predictable.

Ok, I can't take no more - feel free to browse the next 10 superhits.

Mediterranean Vibes: listen to all tracks in full length

Pesto EP003 cover artwork
Released as a Beatport exclusive just yesterday, we have a special goody for you.

From now on, we will post full length tracks to Pesto Music's YouTube channel. All tracks will be organized in playlists so you have the whole release in proper track order, excellent audio quality and can share either the playlist or individual tracks with your friends. If you feel ripping the YouTube file is appropriate rather than supporting the artists and appreciating our service, you're an idiot:)

As a consequence, we will get rid of our Flash-based MP3 player in the sidebar, thus making pesto.de a better experience for users of Apple's iOS devices and other gadgets not supporting Flash or users who refuse to install the plugin [update: once Google has fixed the problems]. On top of that, the page load times will decrease. We will switch to the new sidebar later today.

We will begin with Pesto EP003 "Mediterranean Vibes" and constantly add our older releases. That will also mean we'll add the YouTube playlists to our catalogue section, where you can research our releases and artists.

Here we go:





discoDSP present: the Pesto Music Remix Contest 2011

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If you follow Pesto Music's activity, you will surely have noticed a lot of remix business going on. Be it either remixes by other artists for Pesto or Jon Silva remixes for other labels.
So far, these remix arrangements were done by personal contact or asking Pestoleros for a favour. You usually do not notice much of the work that's going on behind the scenes. Today, we'll make an exception.

We are happy to announce the first open remix contest on Pesto Music! #prmx

The tune in question is Jon Silva's "Aegean", first released back in the summer of 2007 on our very first 2.0 compilation. Now, we're looking forward to releasing a remastered original along with brand new remixes. Any genre goes, the parts/stems are a free download and on top of that, you can also win a free license for a softsynth.

logoddsp big


Our sponsor for this contest is Spain's discoDSP, makers of outstanding software synthesizers - with the "Discovery" plug in being their elite product. Please check out discoDSP's web site to see their product range and buy a license in case you're not among the first two winners;)



Here's the quick pitch:

track to remix: Jon Silva - Aegean
prizes: first winner receives a free license for discoDSP's "Discovery Pro" synth plugin (worth 149EUR) plus a release on the "Aegean" remix single on Pesto, second winner receives a free license for discoDSP's "Discovery" synth plugin (worth 75EUR) plus a release on the "Aegean" remix single on Pesto, third winner gets a release on the "Aegean" remix single on Pesto plus fame
rules: contestants must be 18 years or older
deadline: 18th June 2011

Please find the remix parts/stems and more details on our dedicated remix! page.

Why we don't put out one or two releases each month

So, there you look at the Pesto discography. 15 singles to date, a couple of compilations with exclusive tracks and two EPs. What's your guess on how old that label is? One year or a bit more? Wrong! Pesto Music as an idea came to birth in 2001, the first release on vinyl was in 2003. "Eight years in operation and all you came up with is this meager number of releases?" you may ask. And while we agree that indeed it's not a lot of releases, we would like to direct your focus away from the sheer number of output to the quality of our releases.

There are other labels, especially those without well known names in their artist roster that put out a single each and every week. The majority of their releases being plain crap, there are still some nice ones - the pearls - among them. These labels follow a lead that can be best described as follows: many releases lead to more visibilty and acknowledgement in the scene, the few superb records we have will skyrocket. That's one possible way of seeing things and it's proven to work. I don't have a problem with that attitude at all as I see it's a way of promoting a label in a cost-effective manner. You can still focus on quality later and decrease your release rate. Just by being present, these labels gain attention - nothing wrong with that.

So what are we doing here at Pesto Music? We focus on a specific quality. You probably won't see Pesto releases in the sales charts of download services too often (well, they are in fact) and they're never the next over-hyped thing. Pesto releases have long-standing qualities which excludes releasing hits that you're tired to listen in six months. Whenever I send the Pesto Music catalogue to somebody who's not familiar with it, they are always surprised by the release date and tell me that our stuff doesn't sound dusted at all.

In addition, a lot of focus goes into the track list. Looking at our Pesto EPs, you will find six tracks by various artists there. And even if we have 20 signed tracks, ready to be released, that doesn't automatically mean we have the next three EPs. Lots of dedication is put into compiling those EPs. Are these two tracks too similar vibe wise? Is this one a bit too far off sound wise? Isn't that one too hard for the rest of that playlist? Could it be that this one is better put on the next 2.0 or toolbox compilation rather than on this EP? Lots of things that have to be considered in order to create a lovely package for you. That also means listening to possible track listings 20, 30, sometimes even 50 times.

"Is all this effort worth it" you ask? Well, from an economic standpoint, it surely isn't. We'd be way better off if we released more and maybe sign weaker tracks.

But in the end, it's that philosophy that we stick to. We want Pesto Music to be a label known for its distinctive style, for its musical quality and for the love we put in every "product". In the far future, when we intend to retire, we want to listen to our catalogue, nodding our heads to every groove, feel the bass of any track, have memories stirred up connected with those tunes, pay attention to the lyrics, sip on our drink, lean back with a big smile on our face and say "Yeah, that's definitely the way WE wanted to it!"

In the works

Whooaa...long time, no update. But hey, I have a good excuse: I've been tirelessly working on great new remixes and tracks of my own for release later this year.

There's a dedicated set on Soundcloud with all the stuff that's currently being in the works and I'd like to take the chance and introduce that set to you today (and give you an incentive to follow Pesto Music on Soundcloud for that matter). Check this out:



Most of the tracks aren't mastered, some even do not have a proper mixdown. But you surely get the idea I'm after with any specific thingy I'm working on and I'd love to hear your comments - good or bad. Some of the tunes have been released meanwhile, just click the buy button at the right hand side. I have updated some of them with the final versions just a minute ago and will add a couple of tracks later today so stay tuned for more.

Happy New Year & A Big Thank You!

Dear Pestoleros, dear friends, dear wife, dear family,

When I was making up my mind about the contents of this post, I thought I might write about the past year and provide an outlook for 2011.

I won't.

I will keep it short and to the point:
Thank you so much for great artists sending me great music! Thank you so much for showing so much love to Pesto as a label, to our releases and to me as an artist - thank you for your support! Thanks to all the jocks who bought our music and who played Pesto music. Thank you for smiling about my silly status updates on twitter and Facebook, thank you for listening to our artists' music on Soundcloud! Thank you for your criticism and the feedback you provided. Thank you for sending me promos and not getting mad by my missing feedback. Thank you for being patient with me - be it overdue remix jobs, your own release and/or royalty statement. Thanks to all those people crossing my way that I hadn't met before and that share the love for the same thing.

*cough* I wanted to keep it short. Here's that:

Thank you all so much! Without YOU, it wouldn't make any sense. Without YOU, this label wouldn't exist. Without YOU, there would be less love on this planet (and there's already a huge lack of it!).

I'm not a religious person so I cannot pray for you. But I surely wish you all the love, the luck, the health and the happiness you long for!

Have a great NYE and have a GREAT year 2011!

Much love, big hugs and many kisses from Jost/Jon. I love you, too!:)

Friday afternoon rant: Don't feed the trolls!

Jon Silva in his bathroom, next to a proper basil plant
Just because I'm in that mood, here's some email correspondence with a label I've been reminding to send royalty statements since June this year, with an invoice from 2009 still being unpaid. I've sent three more reminders in the meantime before mentioning the word "court". This is me writing:

Dear xxx,

Hope everything is fine!

Following up on your message below dated the 9th of September, I wondered if you have any news for me. If you feel you're not obligated to pay my due invoice and/or issue royalty statements anymore, I'd like to hear the reasons.

On a sidenote, I'd like to inform you that the place of fulfilment with regards to the license agreement covering the release of xxx on xxx Records is Cologne, resulting in the possibility to bring said issues before a local court here in Cologne, Germany. Please sort this out asap, 18th November 2010 being the latest date before any more actions are being taken.


The label replies (text unaltered except for names):
hello jost thanx for your kind reminder .

i will take care of this next tuesday finally as there are too many stuff going on at the same time so please be patient for another week

it takes some more time to fucking people like me ( thats how you called a few years ago ) to take care of a few things but i am the guy that i am taking care of the business the best possible way so take it easy with courts and dont expect lots of monies . it must be pennies so you better not spend them on court tuesday you will get them

Here's my former message supposed to contain "fucking people", just FYI (also unaltered, except for names):

We have provided you with the CD versions of the tunes, you haven't been asking for Club (Dj friendly that is) mixes. You have no singles scheduled, no remixes, no nothing. When you uploaded the album to Beatport, people were sending me emails that they bought faulty files, resulting in pulling off the digital album for a week or so when "xxx" had just entered the DeepHouse sales charts on BP. I honestly cannot think of any better way to ruin the download figures (which are quite important today and are getting more and more important). And I further cannot think of any way less professional than to upload clicking files. This is daily business in its basic form but you seem to mess up even with this simple task.

Both "radio-friendly" tunes on the album, xxx and xxx, are not present on xxx FMs, streaming stations or anywhere else. Don't tell me the world has changed and there are less FMs in xxx playing Dance Music - I know already as I am running a business in the same niche. And guess what - I get my music placed still.

The fact that you managed to do more gigs for xxx when albums were released with your competition is embarassing for you at best. The fact that we played in xxx is due to xxx and xxx being so kind to arrange a gig for us, rather than you being actively acquiring gigs in order to promote the album - at least that's the impression I have.

When you were here in Cologne the last time, you said something about possible gigs in "country far away". Well, I'd be happy if we had just a couple of "country pretty close" gigs. And as xxx told me, you had a big party celebrating your move to the new headquarters, but you did not invite the artists that released the latest xxx album. Your point was xxx being too expensive (ummm...right), but I guess a flight far-close-far is cheaper than two flights with Germanwings plus fee.
And speaking of gigs, I have never encountered a person before that has beef with so many people. Everybody is an asshole or doing it wrong except you. Well, if I am looking at the results of your work and the work of the "assholes", you seem to lose the comparison. The conclusion is that it must be you who's doing something really the wrong way. Either way, when working in a professional manner is your aim, it's time to have your ego step back and focus on the work (which is a lesson I had to learn too, btw).

All in all, as much as I would have recommended xxx as a base for artists, I will refrain from doing so in the future. Your promises to send the paperwork/agreements (starting last December, it's July if you have a look on the calendar), your promotional work and your lack of communication is a total desaster. You're doing way worse than xxx or Pesto. I manage to license each and every release (and keep in mind, they're digital only - no CDs) to at least four compilations (not counting in-house ones). What's your number of granted sub licenses for xxx? One? Yes, because one of my business partners from xxx licensed a a tune after I pointed him to it.

To sum it up: I am very disappointed of you both in a professional and personal way. There is nothing than empty promises, a ridiculous performance regarding PR and a way of working that's worse than the bloodiest beginners in the music business.

I am wishing you ongoing success with xxx Records and want to thank you for terminating the xxx project by losing on any side. Should you wish to reply, please refrain from calling me, an email will do the job way better.


What do you think? Usually, it's "Don't feed the trolls" so I'm refraining from a reply. On the other hand, I'd really like to teach that guy. I just dunno how. Yeah, maybe ignoring is the best option!

Have a great weekend!:)

Guest post: Anne Clark

Here's the second post in a loose series of articles by guest writers. If you missed the highly anticipated first one, please see here.
Today, we have the great pleasure and feel truly honoured to present you a piece by the queen of our darkness, a true 1980ies icon whose status lasts to this very day, a woman that shaped my big brother's music taste as well as mine, a lovely human being I had the chance to meet and chat with after a great concert here in Cologne - ladies and gentlemen, please make some noise for the one and only
Anne Clark!

Sitting here on a bright and chilly November morning. A big steaming mug of tea and the dawn of a new day and a new project for me.

Music has always been a passion for me. All kinds of music. All ways. Always.

Language and words too. An (astrological, so I am told!) need to communicate!

The two are inextricably linked for me.

Words and music.

Music is the vessel that can carry us, all of us, any of us, to a higher plain.

Words can kill or cure us. Sometimes just one word is enough.

It’s that simple.

I have dabbled with every kind of music over the past 30 or so years. Well, my whole life in fact. The endless possibilities. A treasure box full of jewels, a child in a candy store!

I love the rough, raw scratchiness of a solo cello or violin. The butterflies-in-the-stomach swell of massed strings. The soaring purity of an oboe note. The primal, ancient earthiness of a drum beat. The beauty of a piano or guitar melody. All the human expression of love and joy and pain in the single voice of a singer. The challenge of a jazz ensemble! The madness of sampling old-style years ago with a cassette player somehow hooked up to the TV or radio. A microphone hand-held in the air as a thousand migrating geese fly in formation overhead…I love and lose myself in it all.

And…..the endless possibilities of “electronic” music.

Don’t ask me if it’s Techno, Electro, Industrial, Minimal, Maximal, Deep, Light, House, Garage or Lounge, EBM, IDM, Rap or Hip-Hop…

All I want to know is, does it make me feel. Does it make me feel something I have never felt before?

Since I was a child I have often wondered what it would be like to see a totally new colour. And I mean new. I don’t mean a different shade of blue or red or yellow or silver or black. I mean a colour that has never been seen before. It drives me almost crazy just to think about it!

I assume however that it is not and never will be a possibility…..something to do with spectrums and light waves and limitations of the human eye.

Yet, although our hearing has frequency limitations, it seems that from what is basically just a handful of notes, we can endlessly create new sounds, new music.

It is truly amazing when you really think about it!

And for me, the genre known as “electronic” music is that treasure trove full of jewels, the candy store full of colours, textures, tastes and flavours.

The possibilities with sound, unlike colour it seems, are endless……

Anne Clark, November 2010

this is the cover artwork for Anne Clark's


PAST & FUTURE TENSE – Chapter One, a reinterpreted retrospective of the music and words of Anne Clark is released on After Hours Productions through Believe Digital on 10th November 2010. We'll follow up on that one in short.


Making House music: are you a Long Player or Short Player?

This is the first write-up in a loose series of posts written by guest writers. Today, we have the great pleasure to share Mr. Jones' thoughts with you. For more Pesto news related to Mr. Jones, please click here. These guest posts do not necessarily reflect Pesto Music's position (although they will quite often) but are rather intended as a good starting point for a discussion. Please join in!

House music is a passion most of us have it in the blood, usually the House DJ and producer starts off hearing electronic music at an early age and gets infected by grooves and interesting sounds. This leads to them wanting to know how it’s all done and most DJs end up in some form of training on software and hardware in studios and computer production suites. Some just dabble in it and release the first things they ever make and continue along that trend throughout their careers with no formal training or musical knowledge/skills.
 
It all starts with an obsession for buying new tunes and being at the forefront of the fashion show that is new House music releases. The club scene thrives off imports and new tracks flying about the globe from the thousands of artists and labels.
Here we arrive at the phenomenon of the superstar DJs who play these new signed and unsigned tracks they are sent for free, and labels and artists clamber over each other to get reviews and plays from the heavy hitters. Dark rooms the world over set the scenes for what is cool and what is not cool in the House music genres, and this drives many artists and labels to flow in particular directions based on these trends.
 
Here in lies the problem.
 

Fashion


It seems an unlikely idea that music would be fashionable and artists would be fashionable as opposed to music just being great but it happens and is happening right now. Somehow certain artists and labels can get away with murder releasing anything that the everyday clubber considers to be the current trend, and it will fly off shelves and download stores like its about to run out of stock.
This for many experienced music producers is unfathomable because when they listen to music in their knowledgeable ears and training they understand the complexity and production skills of real House music. So it can be rather perplexing to them when they hear a track made from samples alone with a few FX and not a shred of musical composition added to it, yet somehow it’s blowing the charts up and being played by every DJ on the planet. It is as if music no longer mattered and appreciation of actual composition and musical talent was no longer required. This leads to the next problem.
 

Elitism


There are certain DJs and producers who somehow think when they’re being charted and played by the fashionistas of the scene that they have somehow made it and earned the respect of the scene. The reality of it is that they have only succeeded in becoming a fashion icon of the scene, and everyone knows fashion trends come and go quicker than a punter in a brothel. The side effect of this is the artists or the labels gain a level of elitism that can be noted in their interactions with lesser mortals.
 
The trick in this music scene is not only longevity and dedication but its also being nice to people, because if you're not nice to people and are problematic to those who are going to outlive you in the scene you have a big problem. Longevity is not something that happens over night like a few beat port top ten hits, longevity requires study and sweat. Now most long time artists in the scene you will notice evolve and improve their skill sets. The main players tend to end up becoming more involved in their trade and learn more about production and musical composition, as well as playing musical instruments also they tend to be really nice people to communicate with. This is the level of technical abilities that are worthy of elitism and respect, it is very rare a newcomer arrives on the scene with all these skill sets in tact but when they do it's easily observed.
 
So we finally get to the core of this post.
 

The Frankenstein’s monster of the ego


There are so many artists who can be seen complaining about this or that, and expecting to paid this or that, or to be treat like this or that. It becomes somewhat tiresome for people to have to deal with this repeatedly as it’s the evil twin of the fashion side of the scene. From speaking to many artists and label owners the common complaint I hear is how much throw away material there is in the scene, a lack of musical skill and a lack of sincere communication. If you have got this far into the post you should sit and think about that because while you are thinking about approaching XYZ labels, bear in mind a lot of them talk about this kind of thing in the background to one another. Do you really want to be the person they are talking about? The one they don’t want to work with? The one they see as a fashion accessory?
 

It all boils down to the following


Take some time on thinking what you put into the scene and what you get out of it, because the House music scene has been around 30 years now and is not going anywhere anytime soon. If you plan on making a career from this it is well advised to take your time in your efforts and plan ahead for what you want to get. Do you just want to be a fashionable DJ no one is going to remember in ten years time as the scene evolves and casts off its old rags? Or do you want to be one of those long time personalities who everyone admires and respects for their efforts in the scene?
 
It’s easy to just bang a few tracks out and stand up in the spotlight for five minutes; any of us can do that. It's not so easy to forge a personal connection to your music and peers that actually means something in the long span of time. Be nice, get involved with people in the scene, keep the ego in check and don’t just think you have made it and demand respect. Respect is given and you will know when you get there, most of us are still working towards getting there ourselves.

Free DJ mixes for the weekend (containing Pesto EP001)

cover artwork for Pesto EP001
Isn't that cruel? While you are still eagerly waiting for the release of Deep Discoveries, others already have it playing on their decks.

We've published a new PestoMix earlier today though that contains a couple of tunes from Pesto EP001 and from other upcoming releases. To further satisfy your needs for world-class DJ mixes and fresh music, we have put together a couple of really awesome mixes that contain one or another tune from Deep Discoveries.

Let's begin with Nacho Marco of Spain's Loudeast. This link leads to a file on yousendit.com so better be quick with grabbing that one. It will last for 7 days:
https://rcpt.yousendit.com/945045929/e14f96747ad02abfacabe3d9783af703

Next on our list is Martin who runs the immensely successful DeepGroove radio show with over 2,500 listeners. You will find tonnes of more great DJ mixes there:
http://www.deepgroove.co.cc/dgrs-05-09-10/

Mr. Jones of the Disclosure Project must be regarded one of Pesto's most constant supporters, with awesome DJ mixes regularly posted to his Mixcloud:
http://www.mixcloud.com/mrjones/september-deep-promos-2010/

And speaking of constant supporters, Russia's AMDJS are none less. The deep brother and sister (literally!) run the highly acclaimed AMDJS radio show that's broadcasted on 26 stations in Russia, Brazil, Lithuania, France and Ukraine:
http://soundcloud.com/amdjs/radio-show-vol82

Have a great weekend & we hope you enjoy the mixes as much as we do!

Pesto EP001: Deep Discoveries: out now NOT

cover artwork for Pesto EP001
So you expected part 5 of our behind-the-scenes here last Monday. I promised to publish some DJ feedback, a new mix and I especially promised to not delay the release of our Pesto EP 001: Deep Discoveries another time. Since Deep Discoveries is not being released today, the question is "what happened?". I could have also titled this post "how to make a fool of yourself in public", so I'm sure you'd be interested in reading about the reasons why our first Pesto EP will be released next Wednesday, the 15th September 2010. In case you missed the former parts, here are part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.

Last weekend, while writing the fourth part of our behind-the-scenes, I finalized the release by uploading all required files to my distributor. For each contained tune, I have to enter information such as the composer of the works, their publisher, the track name, the project name, set a flag if a tune contains any explicit content, etc. This bundle of information is called metadata and the distributor requires it in order to provide download stores with that information. If you perform a label search for "Pesto" on a shop's web site, it will show you all Pesto releases. That's because I've entered this information into the distributor's database which in return the shop's system will read out and insert said data into their database/catalogue. Download stores are more or less databases with more or less pretty and/or useful interfaces to present the data, including the files to be downloaded by you after a successful purchase.

Also part of this data is the cover artwork which can be seen in the upper left corner of this post. This artwork must not contain any email addresses or URLs as it might be rejected by certain stores (namely the iTunes Music Store) - a fact that is relatively new to me. If you take a closer look on the cover for our toolbox: 1 compilation, you will see our domain name in full shining glory. It also does not make a lot of sense to me as this would be the only way to tell customers which address to insert in their browser if they would like to find out more about the label they just bought music from. After all, iTMS does not allow to search for labels rather than artists and track names only.

So I deleted the cover from the metadata, asked the designer for a new one without the URLs and tried to upload the new cover. It did not work. I would see the progress bar for ten minutes until I would retry to upload the cover to my distributor. Again, I had no luck and tried a couple of more times. I then decided to send the new cover to my label manager at my distributor by email, including a short info on what had happened and enjoyed the rest of my Sunday.

On Monday though, I was not at my desk the whole day and did not access my emails. If I had done, I would have discovered a message from my distributor (not from the desk of my label manager), telling me they could not verify my product since the cover was missing. I sent it again on Tuesday - just one day before the release date but it was too late already. Beatport takes time to insert the product into their system, they need to encode my WAV masters to MP3 - in short, one day was not enough. The release had to be delayed.

Who's to blame now? The distributor as it was their system playing up? In part, surely. The major part of responsibilty though has to be taken by the old fool that is me. If I had uploaded the release mid last week, I could have reacted in time and nobody would have noticed anything of the drama. Since I call this series of posts a "behind-the-scenes" though, I surely have to include this failure of mine as well. You can imagine how pissed I was of myself: writing all these posts, sticking to a tight schedule that would climax in the final release, putting a stress on how crucial proper timing was - all went in the litter box. Quite embarassing and unprofessional - ouch.

Anyway, the show must go on and that's why you will find the DJ feedback here on another day (mind you, I won't tell when I'll pulish that - hah!) as well as the promised Jon Silva DJ mix with tunes from Pesto EP001 and 002. The good thing is: I have more time to prepare the video for Deep Discoveries and will probably have to come up with some more ideas in order to maintain the tension (these nude pics suddenly appear to be a good option).

Pesto EP001: Deep Discoveries - behind the scenes pt. 4

cover artwork for Pesto EP001
As I said yesterday already, I will spare you my nude pics. I have way more interesting background info on how "Deep Discoveries" was made. And since the post yesterday was highly technical, you will probably find today's part 4 much easier to read. After all, it's Sunday and our brains are in weekend mode so this one's not as demanding - at least I'll try to keep it that way.

We've covered the whole creation process of PEP001 (short for Pesto EP001 or simply "Deep Discoveries") starting with the selection of tunes and making up the playlist in part 1, went on to creation of the visual appearance in part 2 and ended with part 3 of our behind-the-scenes, dealing with the mastering of the EP and some basic thoughts on promotion.

Today, I will be talking about the promotion process in whole, our custom-made promo system, share some DJ feedback with you and I will also let you know how getting DJ feedback is serving my narcisstic needs.

From the highest mountain to the deepest valley



After I had mastered all tunes and rendered them to disk, I had a folder sitting on my drive, filled with WAV files. One minute of WAV roughly eats 10MB of disk space (these are files comparable to what is found on CDs - 44.1kHz sampling rate at 16bits), the whole EP would require 400MB of space on Pesto's servers. Way too much to share it with people!

But since God Allah Jehovah the Fraunhofer Society gave us the MP3 format, there are ways to compress the size of an audio file while maintaining most of its contained audible information. When sending out promos, I'm encoding the files at 320kBits which means the resulting MP3s are approx. one fourth of the size of the original hi-resolution/CD-quality WAV files. Usually, WAVs have a bitrate of 1440kBits and this is what you get on Beatport unless you're opting for the MP3 version. MP3s sold on Beatport have the same encoding quality as our promo files.

I would name the WAVs in a proper way so that just by looking at the file name, everybody would know where the file belongs to. I would then add ID3 tags to said WAVs so that track names and artist names would be displayed in a player such as iTunes, WinAMP or on your iPhone. After that, I'd convert the hi-resolution files to 320kBits MP3s, tweaking the information bits (aka ID3 tags), embedding the cover artwork in the MP3 and place them all in another subfolder of the "PEP001" folder. Then, I'd repeat the process and convert the same WAV files to the MP3 format again, this time encoded at 64kBits in order to use them in the MP3 player on our promo page. This player is pretty similar to the MP3 player on the website you're currently reading (have a look at the right side, given you're viewing this page on a Flash-enabled device).

screenshot showing the

After packing all 320kBits music files and the artwork into one .zip file and uploading it to our promo server, I would update the promo section, adding a download link for the release, have the MP3 player hold all tunes of "Deep Discoveries" so DJs can preview the tracks (this means updating an .xml file with the track names and uploading the 64kBits files to our promo server), exchange the banner picture so it shows a portion of the current release's artwork, check all links for consistency and download the promo myself to check if everything is working as expected.

Once the promo page is confirmed working, I'd fire up my bulk emailer (it's like your common email client but with special features), write some introductary words about the release, include details such as catalogue number, release date and write some words about the music and the artists on that release and then start sending out personalized mails to my promo pool. The mailout is limited to 200 messages, then the mailer takes a break for a few minutes until it continues sending the next bunch of 200 until finally, every promo pool member has received their personal message in their inbox. The reason for sending chunks of 200 mails each is as follows: my provider told me that sending more than 200 messages in a row would be considered spam by the automatic filter system and would result in putting both my IP and "sent from"-address on a blacklist containing suspected spammers, making it impossible to send out further messages.

Back to the promo mailouts: when introducing the artists and their tunes, I write a few words about the song so that the recipients of that promo would already get a rough picture of what to expect. I'd assign attributes to the music such as "deep shizzle", "suitable for afterhours" or "peak time stuff". In case of "Deep Discoveries", I came up with this:

"We have "Deep In Calm" from Poland with a lush and atmospheric opener, "Norman Creed" from Germany with a shaking track that's being compatible both with deep sets as well as clubbier ones, "Patryk Molinari", also from Berlin with a musical masterpiece, "Yamil Colucci" from Argentina with a number similar to early and danceable Matthew Herbert, Los Angeles-based and Ankara-born "Processing Vessel" with a sweaty and funky tool and last but not least "Christos Fourkis" from Greece who delivers a deep groove monster."



Without even having heard any of the tunes, your imagination would give you a first hint on how the tunes might sound like. It's the moment when your subconscience either tells you "meh, I'll check that later if at all" or "hell yeah, I wanna know what this Pesto EP is like". Apart from the fact that "Processing Vessel" was born in San Diego and grew up in Ankara, just to remain living in San Diego to this day, you'll find all necessary info in an admittedly long sentence, yet all in one place.

I told Murat aka "Processing Vessel" that people would not pay too much attention to his place of birth rather than using the information provided to decide if the promo was worth listenining to and downloading. I may come across a bit ignorant here, but to be honest, most people do not even read past the second sentence once they've spot the download link. I could also send a message saying "DeepHouse, you know you'll like - it's from Pesto, download, play & chart please". I'm sure it would work as I'm seeing lots of mailouts from other labels every month that are equally appealin. Actually, these messages are the counterpart of "listen my track" mails. I was raised in a way though that suggests being polite to others, especially if I want something from them.

Other labels use promo systems run and maintained by third parties such as FATdrop or VIPUltima, I've build one of our own. From the very beginning, I also paid a lot of attention to personalization as I find it essential not to appear as one of countless labels sending out promos into the wild. The people in the Pesto promo pool are carefully selected and deserve a personal approach, so they're all addressed with their first name. I'm sending a message to myself in order to check the mailout and it always begins with "Hey Jon", "Dear Jon" or similar - all the promo mailouts read like a personal message (did somebody say "dedication" again?) because that's the way they're meant to be perceived.

Setting up this promo system was not so difficult: I had to build a page template once and then just exchange the details according to the release being sent out. Promo services ask for a fee of 50EUR per mailout or more - building this system saves Pesto Music the same amount of money with each release. This is money that I can invest in ads on Facebook or Google AdWords, reaching even more potential customers. Other promo systems force you to leave feedback before being able to download: that surely helps increasing your return rate - on the other hand, many DJs want to play the tune in a club before sending feedback. Our system allows this. Other systems will add watermarks to the MP3s you download so that a DJ sharing your promo becomes trackable. We trust the DJs in our promo pool and give them maximum flexibility. We're still asking our promo pool members not to share the files though and since they're all grown-ups and aware of the fact that they'd get kicked off our pool in the blink of an eye (and never receive anything from us again), no one shares the files - at least not on the web.

Serving my narcisstic needs on Wednesday



As mentioned in yesterday's post, timing is crucial. You have to think about the recipients of that mail and imagine what they're doing on certain days of the week. Most of them are DJs who spin on a regular basis, usually on weekends. They might check their inbox on Monday after having spent an exhausting weekend but they're probably not in the mood to listen to new music. So, Monday is a bad day to send out promos. Thursday and Friday though are the classic "new releases" days. This is when people used to visit their record store or go to a download store these days. Since every other label releases new stuff on these two days, it's more difficult to get heard then and stick out of all that "background noise".

After analyzing my own inbox, the perfect day to both send out promos and release products seems to be Wednesday: Pesto releases won't slip below the radar as not many other labels are asking for attention yet but DJs are already looking for new material to play out the following weekend. They will have one day more to get acquainted with the Pesto release, making it more likely our promo ends up in their CD sleeves and gets played. And since I am convinced of the quality of our releases, it also becomes more likely that these DJs will chart one of our tunes as they remember them being useful for their sets and/or they get a great crowd response.

The people receiving our promos would then start to get back to us, sharing their feedback and their thoughts on that release with us. And I have to admit it: reading the first feedbacks dropping in always provides big satisfaction for me. After countless hours of dedication and work, after all the love both the artists and I have put into each and every release that comes out on Pesto, I feel like watching my child make its first steps. And if the feedback goes along the lines of "Love them all!", "amazing package", "really can't tell which is my fav - they're all great!" or "solid as ever", I know that my artists have delivered killer tunes (well, I knew that already since I signed them to Pesto - but now I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling that way) and that I've done the very best to introduce my artists to a selected circle of DJs from all over the globe. This is when a big grin settles on my face and I cannot get rid of it. It makes me happy for the sake of my artists who deserve this exposure and it also tells me I'm holding a great product in my hands (or on my harddisk for that matter). Sales are not everything, but they can be a big reward and motivation for anyone who's making music - receiving feedback is even more as people will share their thoughts with you rather than only clicking on the "buy" button.

Friday, I'm in love...umm...Monday, I'm publishing DJ feedback



Like mentioned above, lots of jocks prefer playing the tunes in public before feeding back. As I sent out the promo for "Deep Discoveries" just last Wednesday, I'm expecting some more feedback during Monday. So far, I've received lots of raving reactions already - there really isn't one guy saying Pesto EP001 was mediocre, let alone bad. I will publish the DJ feedback received so far tomorrow, on Monday. You can also expect a short video with samples from all contained tunes, a Jon Silva DJ mix featuring tunes from Pesto EP001 and even Pesto EP002 on Tuesday and a conclusion, summing up the experiences made during the planning stage of "Deep Discoveries"on Wednesday, when PEP001 "Deep Discoveries" will finally be released as a Beatport exclusive. Stay with us - we'll be right back after the break!



Pesto EP001: Deep Discoveries - behind the scenes pt. 3

cover artwork for Pesto EP001
As promised yesterday, here's the third part of a series of posts, providing you with insights on how "Deep Discoveries" finally made it to the download stores. In case you missed them, here are part 1 and part 2.

So, I had the master recordings from the artists and the cover artwork was done. Next on the list were mastering the files, determining the final tracklist/track order, setting up the promo and uploading the finalized release to my distributor.

As every artist has a different setup, a different skill level and (hopefully) a very unique signature sound, it makes sense to group a bunch of tracks in a meaningful order. Some tunes are deep, some are percussive, some are a bit heavy on the treble portion and so on. Once I had made my mind up which tracks Pesto EP001 should consist of, I tried to arrange them in a way that they would feature a nice dramaturgy when listening to them in a row. Similar to a DJ mix or a tune itself, you would have one tune with an intro function (most supposedly the deepest of the bunch), to be followed by the tunes that have higher energy levels. You would also make sure that the tunes were not too far off from each other soundwise, adding bass or treble on one tune while cutting them on another one, for instance.

One could argue that this approach does not make much sense in times of single-track downloads but that's part of the philosophy on Pesto - I want it that way. I'm not offering a collection of tunes that were thrown together in one place indifferently. I want to offer a product that makes sense, that creates a certain atmosphere and evokes certain emotions - a compilation of music I enjoy and think you as a customer would enjoy, as well. I do things with love and dedication and compiling such an EP is no different.

Mastering the tracks



After I had the playlist set, I went to adjust the files soundwise. "In Pieces", the lovely opener of this EP by "Deep In Calm" was well-produced but very low in volume. On the other hand, the solid "One Night Stand" by "Processing Vessel" had already seen a mastering engineer and arrived here in its final state. The term "mastering" (or postproduction) here refers to a process that - very roughly speaking - irons out those differences and gets all tunes on a similar level volume- und soundwise. There are other meanings to that word but that will be a different post here soon.

These days, "mastering" is often misunderstood as "make it as loud as possible" or "make it sound like the big tunes on Beatport". Making a tune screaming loud is no problem from a technical point of view. Seeing it from a musical angle though, you'd still want all those little details to be hearable. This is what gives life to a tune and makes it breathe. When going through 300 new tracks on Beatport though, you are likely to skip those that are lower in volume. Since this is not only limited to electronic music but to recorded music in general (with the exception of classical music and Jazz), a phenomenon called "loudness war" is being encountered since the 1980ies. If you're familiar with Metallica's "Death Magnetic" album, you've just found one of the infamous and questionable "winners" of said war.

What I'm usually aiming at is an RMS level of -6dB but that also highly depends on the source material. Even for somebody who is not familiar with "RMS", "peak level" or "decibel (dB)", it's obvious that a chilled Lounge track has different requirements than a club banger. Keeping this in mind, I started to process the files, listening to and comparing against reference tunes every now and then. When I re-imported the mastered tunes into my "Pesto EP001" playlist, I noticed the tracks would not match when listening in one go. I did a second mastering session, now not paying attention to the EP as a whole rather than individually adjusting the tunes and consequently running into the "Beatport sound" trap: the tunes were loud now but sounded like dog poo - flat and lifeless but in your face like the smell of the former. I suddenly also noticed clicks and pops that hadn't been there before, so I double-checked the source files and they were all fine. The unwanted artefacts were due to beginner mistakes such as wrong settings on my mastering equipment.

I was undecided if I should cry, smash my fist on my keyboard, kick the computer under my desk or do all three things at once. I chose a different option though. After smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer, I decided to master the tunes a third time. After all, neither the keyboard nor the computer were to blame - it was solely my fault. As it showed a few days later, this was the right decision and when the artists returned their thoughts on the master, I knew everything was fine.

Reading the above can easily give you the impression that this process takes just minutes. It's not: depending on the source material, finding the right processors and settings may take 15 minutes or more, rendering the files takes some time, cropping them to remove unwanted silence or applying fades takes some more.
As I'm located in a residential area though, I can do these kind of tasks only during daytime when my neighbours are at work. Furthermore, my ears aren't good for mastering in the morning (they are too sensitive then) nor are they late at night. In the end, I'm not a dedicated mastering engineer rather than some kind of one-trick pony. So there's a timeframe of maybe three or four hours in the early afternoon when my hearing is just perfect for mastering duties.

It's also important to work on something totally different when you're stuck since trying to make it happen when the surrounding isn't right is like running against a wall. On top of that, I cannot spend my afternoons with mastering only. I have remix jobs to finish on time, reply to emails, maintain my social networks, buy food and drinks, etc. I had informed the artists of "Deep Discoveries" of the new release date (8th September 2010) and I was determined to not delay it one more time.

Connecting with the world outside



The thing is: there are good points in time to put out a release and there are dates being suboptimal. Beginning of the month would usually be considered a good occasion: people have money to buy music, DJ charts are being compiled, podcasts and mixes are being made, magazines are being printed. If you want your release to develop the most possible friction while keeping an eye on your marketing budget (or while having zero budget except your workforce), these are all points to keep track of.

It's not enough to just put out a great release though. A person I've used to make music with for a couple of years said "good music will sell by itself" or more generalized "a good product will sell by itself". If that actually was true, Coca Cola, Porsche or Apple wouldn't have an advertising budget at all. Nearly everybody knows these brands, yet still, these companies spend millions on advertising and marketing year by year. People will need to know that they can buy your product, they need to know you exist, they need good reasons why they should give you their hard-earned money.

In this niche of the music business Pesto Music operates in, a lot of marketing and actions of "to get known and raise awareness" is done by so-called tastemakers. These can be club and radio DJs, podcasts, blogs, magazines, celebrities (nobody would care about Ke$ha if she had not been supported by - please forgive me - Paris Hilton) and other multiplicators. The more often you come across "Deep Discoveries", the more often you hear people you trust talk about it, the more likely you will go and find out more about this issue and eventually end up buying the music. It's how we humans work - we're following the herd.

What I am doing to achieve this is sending out free copies of the release to the group of people mentioned above prior to the offical release date. It's part of a process called "promotion" and the free copies are therefore called "promos". These guys will listen to the music and reply with their thoughts: if they like it or not (and which track or version is their favourite), if they will use it for their mixes or chart it in their monthly DJ charts.
One DJ including one of the tunes in his or her chart makes a statement to his or her fans: "These 10 tracks are what I think is the best music this month (and this Pesto tune is one of them)". Given that DJ has 1.000 fans in his network, charting a tune equals to 1.000 possible contacts with people who would not have known Pesto before (highly simplified, of course). Do you remember the word "multiplicator" from above? You've just read a possible definition. This goes even further if a couple of DJs start charting a tune on a website such as Resident Advisor: RA compiles monthly charts that compute all contributed Top10s, reaching even more people beyond the group of followers of a certain DJ.

Push that button



Those of you knowing me in person are aware of the fact that Sundays are sacred for me, even though I'm not religious. It's the only day I can spend with my wife, leave the computer off and do something totally different. For you though, dear readers of pesto.de who have waded through this admittedly more technical and geeky part of our behind-the-scenes, I will make an exception.

Tomorrow, you will find here part 4, dealing with the odds of promo mailouts such as messing up background info on artists and being considered a spammer, why I need to convert WAV files to 320kBits and 64kBits, how Pesto saves money by having built a custom promo system and how my narcisstic needs are being satisfied. I will also post some nude pictures of me (I won't and you would not want to see that, but it maintains the tension, doesn't it?).



Pesto EP001: Deep Discoveries - behind the scenes pt. 2

cover artwork for Pesto EP001
Following up on part 1 of my little piece on how Pesto releases are made, here's the second part with more gory details and more classified information you won't even find on Wikileaks.

So, after the name was set, I was still undecided about it - I found it a bit too cheap and too obvious. Surely, it was better than simply "Deep Tunes" but it also wasn't something to blow my mind, to get me excited. When I shared my concern with others, they told me they liked many of my concepts - just after I had explained it to them. Apparently, when developing new ideas, I'm usually digging too deep. I'm trying to make up associations and deep links between items that only a person would understand who had gone as deep into the matter as myself.

That's not how marketing works though. Sophisticated concepts are great and can be jaw-dropping but very often, they won't work in the first second. And this very second is crucial when trying to get the attention of fans, listeners and possible customers of Pesto Music. "Deep Discoveries" remained therefore.

Up next was creating the cover artwork and a general identity for the Pesto EP. The graphics should be timeless so that nobody would be tired seeing it after one year. The cover design should look great in fullscreen mode as well as on shops' web pages. While my distributor demands the artwork to be 1440 pixels wide, Beatport displays them at only 80 pixels wide when browsing through their catalogue in list view. To put it differently and to make you imagine better: think of a road sign that's approx. 60cm in diameter such as a speed limit sign (they look like this at least here in Europe):

50km/h speed limit road sign, european style

And now imagine the same sign 18 times smaller. That's the size cover artworks are displayed in Beatport's list view in relation. It's this size (yes, there is a picture below):

Maxima_velocidad

Back in the good ol' days of 12" covers, designers could go fully creative on huge areas of carton. Quite obviously, this is not the case with covers for digital downloads. So far, I've designed the digital cover artwork for Pesto myself. You will find that the artwork for the first releases look quite awful, changing for the better beginning with Pesto 005 by Babak Shayan, our very first digital-only release. You can see I wasn't satisfied with the look still and that's why the covers for Pesto singles kept changing until I came to a design that I found functional and decent looking, first introduced with Pesto 013 by Replika.

As much as I love doing as many things myself as I can, I surely also recognized that I'm not a graphic designer. I know a few things about colour rooms, CMYK, contour trapping and the likes but graphics are not my profession. I needed to hire a designer.

As I knew a couple of great creatives, I thought I'd make a contest among some designers (it's called "pitch") and let the best one win. In order to draw more attention to the Pesto EP and the label in general, I had in mind to publish the designers' sketches on the Pesto Music fanpage on Facebook, embed a poll there and let you, the fans and Pesto followers decide. I thought "if 7 designers enter the pitch and each of them sends all their friends to /welikepesto in order to cast their votes, I have countless new fans, raise awareness for both the label and the designers' work, fans are part of the whole process (say crowdsourcing light) and I'll have the best possible design meeting the consent of a majority, the producers get exposed to people who would otherwise have never heard of them - everybody's happy, I will be a millionaire and retire".

Well, those were not exactly my thoughts - but except for the millionaire part, that's how I imagined the whole thing. Wrong!

One of them never got back after sending a reminder when the deadline had passed. Another one went on holidays just to send me a few sketches after returning that did meet not any of the criteria I had written down. The next one suddenly had too many clients (I really want to meet your sales rep - somebody who's able to acquire clients for weeks of work in just a few days, wow!), another one suggested pink covers for housier releases, even though the first drafts hadn't been that bad and another one found the deadline too close (which actually was a proper excuse - I had intended to release the first Pesto EP in early June and the deadline was just two weeks ahead then). Remember the part from above dealing with great concepts that are too difficult to catch up with? Yeah, this pitch was a great idea - it just did not work out.

So eventually, I found the right guy for the job - or better put, he was recommended by one of my buddies here from Cologne (hvala Danilo!). David van Stephold (you will read more about him and find some samples of his work here soon) was the only guy who actually got back with a sketch, explaining what he had in mind and why he designed the artwork the way he did. He's living just around the corner so what could I wish more for?

To be honest, I did not like the artwork that much in the beginning. But the more people I showed it and got great response, the more I understood that again, my concepts (and expectations therefore) were simply too complicated. David's design just made "boom", it clicked with people, they liked it lots.

While all this was in the works, I mailed the artists from the release, announcing release dates that would be delayed again and again. I revised the tracklist, changed the track order, asked the artists for final master recordings (while one of them was writing his university exams at that very moment) until I finally got the artwork and the master recordings.

Next on my list was mastering the tunes, entering them into the distributor's system and into my label software, setting up the promo campaign and making some buzz on my social networks so that people would become aware of our new baby, the Pesto EP. As you can imagine, again, this did not go without minor hiccups and in part 3 of this behind-the-scenes, we will finally arrive at what I'm currently doing for the release that will be out on Beatport excl. the 8th September 2010 if nothing goes wrong (fingers crossed). Tomorrow, you will read why I was mastering "Deep Discoveries" three times, how I messed up some info on an artist and why I nearly smashed my computer but eventually felt very content. Stay tuned.



speed limit sign picture source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maxima_velocidad.png

Pesto EP001: Deep Discoveries - behind the scenes pt. 1

cover artwork for Pesto EP001
Remember when we announced a new release format, the Pesto EP? That was end of April, in other words - four months ago. Quite a long time in this business. You might be wondering what took us so long and I have the great pleasure to give you some behind-the-scenes insight, straight from Jon Silva's desk. Taking Pesto EP001 - Deep Discoveries as an example, let me explain the steps required to make such a product.

Everything starts with the artists: I know a couple of people whose music I like and whom I'm in touch with on a regular basis. These guys do send me their unreleased music and if I like it, I'll try to sign it to Pesto.

The second group are producers that I haven't been in contact with before and who send me demos. My task here is being a filter: not to judge between good or bad music but to tell if I like a tune or if I don't. Tracks that I'm rejecting might be the favourite of the next A&R or label manager so it's not automatically a sign they're bad ones - I just don't feel them, I don't feel they belong to Pesto, I don't see them on the horizon I envision for the label.

When signing such tunes, I mostly do not have a specific release in mind. Very often, I'm saying to myself "this could be a good one for the next 2.0 compilation" or "this one has great remix potential but does not feel like a Pesto single, let's put it in the 'Pesto EP inbox' playlist".

The third group are producers that start following me on Soundcloud, for instance and I'm checking their profile and listen to their tunes - just to discover true pearls of (mostly) young talents. I will then try to license these tunes for Pesto, as well - usually also not with any specific product in mind.

Send me your track


This is a constant process throughout the year, it's part of my daily business so to say. Another constant in my daily routine is - believe it or not - listening to music. When answering emails, doing administrative things, reading news and blogs, I have music running in the background. Very often, I listen to podcasts and DJ mixes I get sent. On other occasions, I listen to the "inbox" playlist mentioned above in loop mode. Some subconscient process starts then and my mind begins to associate one tune with another, virtually compiling playlists of tunes that match a certain vibe or otherwise belong to each other.

I would then start grouping these tunes in new playlists and try to develop a product that eventually can be bought on all major download stores.

Back in April, I already had a playlist for the first Pesto EP. The playlist consisted of raw tunes - some of them unmastered WAV files, some of them crappy MP3s (that's still good enough to get the picture). I listened to that playlist repeatedly and tried to find a catchy term for what I was listening to. Sure, they all were deep but "Deep Tunes" is not much of a good EP title, now is it? I'm also a fan of twists with language (I'm much better at it in german, believe me) so I went searching for a nice alliteration. Since all of these tunes were not by artists I was already working with, rather than new discoveries, "Deep Discoveries" was the way to go. I asked my wife how she liked the name and a couple of other people, doing market research if you will. They all liked it.

The next steps were designing the cover artwork to give an easily recognizable face to this music and the Pesto EP itself. I would exchange all the paperwork with the artists, asking them to send hi-resolution files of their tracks, infos about themselves so I could use it for promotion, mastering the tracks, speaking with my distribution about the best strategy to place the Pesto EP, and so on. And this is where the trouble started, but that's another story which you will read here tomorrow in part 2 of this little behind-the-scenes write-up.

How to NOT submit a demo to Pesto Music (or in general)

This is quite a long read, please check the main post to read the full article.
Please click here to continue ...

Free DJ mixes (not only) for the weekend 2

cover artwork for Pesto 013: Replika - Inner Visions (incl. Elastic Sound & Jon Silva mixes)
Tired of football? Enough Vuvuzela for now? Looking for some sweet DJ mixes to add to your library? We've got what you're looking for!

In addition to our post from last week, we have three more mixes that contain our current release "Inner Vision" by Replika [Pesto 013] along lots of other great tunes. Here's that:

From a long-time Pesto supporter and host of the "Paradigm" radio show on Frisky Radio comes the first mix. Zach DeVincent (who will also contribute a lovely deep remix for Alankara's upcoming single on Pesto) has invited us to his show a couple of times already and just recently rolled out an updated edition of his radio show - the "Paradigm Deep Sessions" - together with DJane Miss Disk. Here's the second hour of the show:
http://bit.ly/cbfYGP (direct MP3 link, choose "save as" to download)
You should also check out Zach's mix archive page for more free mixes.

After my two stays on Crete last year, I met a couple of very nice peeps and John Sweet is one of them. He runs the "Sweet Reactions" radio show on Traffic FM and is based in Heraklion. Pretty eclectic set so we're sure you like that one, as well. Playing Replika is...umm...sweeeet! Efharisto poly, John!
http://soundcloud.com/sweet-reactions-show/trafficfm-gr-presents-john-sweet-sweet-reactions-radio-show-7-6-10

And we have another long-time friend of Pesto with the name Ricarco Torres we're sure you have already heard of. He's a member of the infamous West Coast Collective DJ team who frequently throw wild parties in the L.A. area. Ricardo has a bunch of really awesome mixes on his page as well as on the WCC page so make sure you check out the other files, as well. Here's Volume 4 of the classy "City Sonar" series.
http://www.westcoastcollective.com/2010/06/city-sonar-vol-4-a-deep-house-experience

Thanks to all jocks for supporting Pesto Music in your mixes!

Free DJ mixes for the weekend

cover artwork for Pesto 013: Replika - Inner Visions (incl. Elastic Sound & Jon Silva mixes)
We've said it this morning already and here's a small selection of DJ mixes that we'd like to recommend you. All of them contain our latest release "Inner Visions" by Replika on Pesto 013 along other great tracks so make sure you check them all out! We've been listening to all of these mixes while doing some office work during the last days, but the mixes also serve for any other purpose, especially with a sunny weekend ahead. Enjoy!

Let's begin with Spain's Nacho Marco, a name you've probably come across if you're into Deep House. This guy knows how it's done and among the great remixes he delivers, he's also the man behind the renowned Loudeast imprint. Here's a link to the latest episode of his Loudeast FM show on mixcloud.com:
http://www.mixcloud.com/nachomarco/loudeast-fm-radioshow-by-nacho-marco/

Then we have France's Yohan Esprada, who has just released a smashing remix for Robert Owen's "Deep Down", a release currently residing at #1 on Traxsource's single charts. Yohan runs radio shows on Paris Deeper One as well as on SSRadio UK. Here's a link to his page, please check out Progression Session #51:
http://www.yohanesprada.com/?page=podcast

Up next, there's Mr. Jones of The Disclosure Project. Hmm...does his name ring some bell? Oh yes, it's the very same Mr. Jones who did our current PestoMix 010. Ch...ch...ch...check this out:
http://www.mixcloud.com/mrjones/mr-jones-june-2010-part-1/

Another long-time supporter of Pesto is HD aka Marc (although he got a bit lazy returning feedback recently - shame on you, Marc...LOL). Marc runs the "House Essentials - The Spirit Of Life" show on SSRadio, here's a deep link to the episode in question (requires free registration to listen & comment OR subscribe to the feed link in order to download the mixes - which is a good idea anyways):
http://ssradiouk.com/2010/05/29/house-essentials-the-spirit-of-life-29th-may-2010/

Straight from Radio Yerevan, umm, no! Straight from another staple of Deep House Ashot Babayan aka "Krummstoff" comes the following mix (please see below for a politically correct justification of the joke on Radio Yerevan). Ashot comes from Yerevan, Armenia and runs "Low Flow Records" - I think it's the only Deep House label from Armenia (if it's not, then it's definitely the best there - literally ALL of their releases hold at least one tune I'm playing for sure!). Well, here's Ashot's mix - also broadcasted via Ibizasonica just a few of days ago:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/e6b0jr (not sure how long this link is valid, so better grab it fast!)

Regarding Radio Yerevan: these used to be running gags in times of the Soviet Union (yeah right, in Soviet Russia, gags run you...). Basis of these jokes is the fictual radio station "Radio Yerevan" that answers questions sent in by users. Both questions as well as answers are plain ridiculous and make you laugh your arse off, given you dig this kind of humour. Like stated above, Yerevan these days is more famous for great House musique in the shape of Low Flow Records - in case you were born after 1980, you probably won't understand the jokes at all (please see Iron Curtain in order to brush up your common knowledge then).

Last but not least, we'd like to present you another mix by a good friend of Pesto, published on the blog of another good friend of Pesto. Sounds weird? It's not. Doddi's "All kinds of music" blog has long been residing in our feedreaders as this guy collects some of the very best DJ mix downloads you can find around. As Doddi is not limited to a particular genre, you will find great Deep House mixes as well as super awesome Drum'n'Bass mixes. Any way, he posted a link to a DJ set of our greek mate Nestoras, also including a guest mix by Cadatta in the second hour of the mix. Get it here:
http://doddiblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/nestora-special-guest-cadatta-2deep.html

Of course, there are a lot more DJ mixes available for download, this is just a small fraction. We'll add more mixes here - if you published a mix on your page that hasn't been covered here, send us a message via our contact form and we'll happily update this post.

We're migrating servers, PestoCast temporarily not available

PestoCast150x150
As we're currently in the process of moving the content from our pesto-usa.com servers to another hoster, you might face trouble in getting any of the PestoCasts or the Pesto FreeBees.

How's that? Well, for nearly three years, we were customers at bluehost.com with our domain pesto-usa.com where all our podcasts, free MP3 downloads and a couple of media files are stored alongside some personal files such as MP3 snippets we send to other labels, demos from artists, promotional files and the likes. Despite the miserable bandwidth these servers provided from time to time, resulting in slow downloads for you, we were quite happy with the hosting service as web space was lots for small bucks.

In April 2009 though, bluehost contacted us with the following message:

Your web hosting account for pesto-usa.com has been deactivated (reason: terms of service violation).Although your web site has been disabled, your data may still be available for up to 15 days, after which it will be deleted.



Please note that the account was disabled (and therefore pesto-usa.com was unreachable) BEFORE they sent us this short message lacking details, rather than a suspected violation of their TOS. We opened a chat with their support asking what the trouble was all about when they told us that we had illegal MP3s on our servers. We kindly insisted on being a record company and dealing with MP3 files is the nature of our business and got the account unlocked again.
Apart from providers sniffing through our private data, their service just...umm...lacked. Ok, shit happens - so we went on with bluehost.com.

Just recently, we tried to renew our account as usual and due yearly just to find out that our credit card was rejected with "Code 2".

What does "Code 2" mean, we wondered and again opened a support chat. After the "support guy" advised to ask the card issuer what went wrong, we asked for a couple of more possible flaws: bluehost.com demands not only name of card holder, card number, valid till and security code data but also the full address of the holder, which in itself, is quite unusual. So we asked if it made a difference if we said "Cologne" instead of "Köln" (you surely notice the difference, yet it's still the same city - and btw, their forms don't accept +49 or 0049 as country code - only +1 or 001 for the USA is possible) which was answered again with "ask your card issuer" and the chat was closed immediately after that without any "bye" or "have a nice day" or whatever goes along these lines, also known as etiquette, especially towards paying customers.

To make a long story short, we switched the hosting company which also includes having to transfer all the files to our new hoster. So this transfer alone and necessary changes in the DNS settings may result in our audio files being unavailable for a couple of days.

Once everything is set and done, we'll have a brand new PestoMix for you by Mr. Jones of The Disclosure Project.

Thank you for your patience & understanding! Oh, and stay away from bluehost.com if you can...

Say hello to a new release format - the Pesto EP

Back in time, when I was young, slim and naive (I'm only naive these days) and music was pressed in grooves on a thing called vinyl, there were different formats of vinyl records.

You could get 7" singles, 12" maxi singles and 12" albums. Between maxi singles and albums, there also had been a niche called EP (aka extended play). The main difference between a maxi single and an EP used to be the track selection: while you would expect the radio version and some alternate mix on the B-side, 12" singles had an extended or Club mix on the A-side. In short, there were three or four versions of the same track on one piece of wax, sometimes, you'd also find a second tune rather than another remix.
The EP, on the other hand, held different tracks from the same artist or from various artists - a fact that made some people call the EP a "mini album". Please see this Wikipedia article for detailed info on the history of EPs.

Drum roll, please - curtain up, enter the Pesto EP!

You are familiar with our admittedly rare singles, our compilations such as "2.0", "toolbox" and "Beautiful & Timeless" and now is the time to get acquainted with our brand new Pesto EPs. These will feature four or five tracks from various artists (or maybe just one, in case we have five good tunes from one artist). They will sport a whole new design, different from our other releases, which is in the works currently. And they will work around two common problems: when releasing compilations with ten or more tracks, people often just pay attention to the first few tracks and miss the great stuff that comes later on. Especially DJs as buyers are mainly focused on single tracks rather than the whole track list dramaturgy our compilations feature. Another point is that people get easily bored by listening to six or seven different versions of the same tune, making it hard for them to decide which one they like best.

With the Pesto EP, we bring you a format that offers variety style- and sound-wise as different artists will have different vibes. With just five tracks contained, they also surrender to the usual DJ's attention span. And sometimes, an artist sends us a couple of tracks but there's only one that suits the Pesto vibe so it's difficult to compile a single, especially if the track is hard to remix. Should we ditch these artists? Hell no, we want to give exposure to every artist and tune that deserves it - even if it's only just one song!

So last but not least, the Pesto EP is also great news for our artists as they get featured the best way, have their music released quickly rather than having to wait for all the remixers until the single can be done. If there's demand for it, the track can be released along with remixes on a Pesto single later on still.

To say it with the words of a consultant: it's a win-win-win situation - you as our fan and customer, the artist as the supplier and backbone of the Pesto label and us as the label itself will all profit from the Pesto EP. After taking a break releasewise for nearly one year, you can be sure to expect a fireworks of new music from your most favourite label - Pesto Music!

More details to follow soon.

Why I like David Guetta, Cascade, Ke$ha and the likes

"It's complicated, it always is - that's just the way it goes" - these are the words Kelly Rowland (of former Destiny's Child fame) kicks off her vocal part with in David Guetta's global smash hit "When Love Takes Over". And the meaning of these words also describe one of the main conflicts Dance artists have to face: either make "cool" music for the underground but don't know how to pay your rent or prostitute yourself by making dance music with mass appeal while losing your street credibility at the same time.
Example? I just posted via twitter that I like Cascada's "Evacuate The Dancefloor" and a few minutes later, I had three "friends" less on Facebook.

To tell you honestly, my first touch with electronic music wasn't Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk, the artists usually quoted in interviews (although I love Kraftwerk!). My first contact with electronic sounds were with what is called Euro Trash: Technotronic, Capella, Corona - to name but a few. If you are too young to remember (or too ashamed of), here's what I mean:

Technotronic - Pump Up The Jam



Capella - U Got 2 Know



Corona - The Rhythm Of The Night



No doubt, my big brother also had a huge impact on me as he was listening to grey imports from the US at that time. Long before these tunes were breaking in Germany (if they ever did), my bro had the 12" vinyls at home and I used to steal them from his locker and listen to Donna Allen, Princess (produced by the infamous Stock/Aitken/Waterman trio who would be writing the tune for the Rickroll meme years later), Todd Terry and many more Black Music/Dance/Funk artists from the USA's east coast or the UK.

Donna Allen - Serious



Royal House (aka Todd Terry) - Can You Party



Princess - Say I'm Your Number One



So when I was 20, back in 1996, I started making music with Len Faki after having tweaked sounds just for myself for a couple of years. I was introduced to illegal Goa parties, listened to Trance (which wasn't pure plastic back then - anyone remember Sven Väth's label Eye-Q?) and then slowly got into Techno by founding the "monoid" imprint together with Len back in 1997.

I felt I needed to move away from the cheesy Eurodance stuff, reduce melodies to a minimum, focus on groove, beats and "crazy" sounds until Len and me developed the "Lexicon" sound on Plastic City. "Lexicon" was a fusion of House and Techno, still not devoted to melodies but more going into a melodic direction as opposed to the sound we released on monoid. "Lexicon" was anticipated as "the german Daft Punk" back then with support from national celebrities such as Markus Kavka of MTV News who sent a raving email to Plastic City, expressing how much he enjoyed our first album "The Lessons".

But it shouldn't be before 2003 when I went back to my roots and discovered "Trance" and melodies again by forming the Soda Inc. project with Babak Shayan. We fused DeepHouse and Trance - never heard before at that time - and there was just one label believing in what we did called Plastic City. At that time, a lot of my buddies wondered if I was crazy because of the Soda Inc. sound just to find out that in 2005 (when the "Full Moon" album was released, it was also featured on a 2004 single on Shayan Music), we were recognized as the german founders of "NeoTrance". As a commenter puts it on below's YT video: "Amazing sound for a track of year 2004. That was a sound of future progressive-tech house we have today IMHO." This comment was made in March 2010, fyi.

Soda Inc. - Full Moon



The following Soda Inc. album titled "Inner Vision" contained our smash hit "Night Fever", a cover version of an old Motown classic with which Kim Wilde proved to be very successful in the 1980ies, too:

Soda Inc. - Night Fever



This is when I discovered that melody and vocal lines aren't cheesy in general. Fuck yeah, people love melodies, people love to sing along (even on cool underground events such as I Love Deep in Budapest, Hungary). Melodies and catchy vocals is what remains in our minds once the music has stopped. Proof? There you go:

Soda Inc. - Night Fever



I Love Deep is surely far from being an event for the broad masses, it's an underground venue with underground people and yet still, they sing along and go crazy as soon as they recognize the tune playing. One could say it's just because we covered a famous tune but it also works with tracks that were 100% from my mind:

Soda Inc. - Cross The Ocean



Soda Inc. - Big Love



So what happened was that I distilled the essence of Pop music and added it to the underground House sound. Soda Inc. lost a lot of fans for doing so, just to gain a whole lotta more fans with the music on "Inner Vision". The very same happened to Hardfloor, kings of Roland's TB-303 when they entered the UK Top10 with an instrumental Acid tune back in the early 1990ies.

Hardfloor - Acperience 1



I mean, were they commercial when entering the charts? Hell no, they just did what they always do but at one moment, people just enjoyed what they did. It's a plain, pure Acid track - no more, no less. But indeed, after Hardfloor was breaking in the UK, AcidHouse was known to a way broader audience than it used to be before.

And this insight takes us back to the original intention noted in the headline: why I like David Guetta, Cascade, Ke$ha, Lady Gaga and all the likes.

They're all not reinventing the wheel - it hardly can be done. But what these artists do is the opposite of what I used to do with Soda Inc. or my Jon Silva project, for example: rather than introducing "commercial" or poppy elements to the underground, they're taking underground to the commercial market.

Here's another example of melting (ie "stealing") pop with dance in the underground realm - also available as a Pesto FreeBee (direct MP3 link):



David Guetta introduces sounds to the global Top10s that were reserved for the underground before. He's bringing Dance music to the attention of the masses. When was the last time you heard a proggy synth bass line in a Top10 tune? See? What's the huge difference between a Deadmau5 tune and "When Love Takes Over"? There is none, except the vocals (and a great PR department behind). You could say David stole many ideas of former underground tunes - and it's true. But he makes way for Dance music in our charts by releasing tunes as David Guetta feat. XYZ but also by co-producing tunes for the Black Eyed Peas. Who would have thought that the USA would step back from Black Music with 50Cent or Beyoncé in favour of a European-influenced fusion of Club/Dance music spiced up with RnB elements just three years ago? I wasn't, but I Got A Feeling;)

Or let's take Cascada - they're from just around the corner, former german capital "Bonn" - and they borrow a lot of ideas from Lady Gaga (on their album, they also steal from Pryda aka Eric Prydz BIG time). But rather than releasing their plastic trance sound from the past, they adopt to the "Zeitgeist" because Lady Gaga made way for these synth lines, beats and aesthetics. And while we can argue if "Evacuate The Dancefloor"" is something brand new (it's not), it's still a great pop song. Very well written and very well executed by blondie Natalie Horler. Check out the original single version:

Cascada - Evacuate The Dancefloor



And here's the "unplugged" version as performed on german public TV:



You'll surely notice that they just wrote an AMAZING, catchy Pop song and that Natalie doesn't require all the autotune magic - in fact, she's a great singer (hell, it's 7:50am and the show is live!).

So, while I still prefer the deeper House sounds from my buddies (and would never play stuff like Cascada on my gigs), I'm convinced that these artists do our scene a huge favour by introducing synthetic dance music to a broad audience. Decide for yourself: would you like to hear more Nickelback and Green Day (hey, I'm not against guitars - Gossip rings my bell big time!) or would you like to see more Dance stuff in the charts? I for one am very clear about this.

If you like this post, please do not hesitate to share it with your friends - I'd love to discuss things with you!


West Coast Collective - free download

Oh, and while we are at "free downloads": here's another one you definitely shouldn't miss!

My bro Ricardo Torres of West Coast Collective (WCC) fame has just posted a new mix on his page. WCC Radio is broadcasted via SSRadio UK, the mix is available in AAC and MP3 format.
Contained are lots of hi profile artists such as Jay-J, Yass, Oliver Desmet, Kerri Chandler and lots more.

click here for the download link and a full track list

Supermercado DJ mixes for download

Long time since our last update here - our bad.

What about some fresh DJ mixes for you to download in order to launch the "more frequent updates" season here on pesto.de again? Aight, here you are.

Esteban Nuñez and Niklas Paus, our Pestoleros from Stockholm have just dropped their Supermercado Autumn 09 mixes and they're well worth a download. Here's CD 1 by Esteban:

01. Oliver Koletzki ft.Juli Holz - Zuckerwatte (David August Mix)
02. Soul Minority - 100% Missing You (Original Mix)
03. Soultourist - Wild Cats (Original Mix)
04. The Pressure, The Quasar - Take Me Over (Gorge Mix)
05. Gamal Kabar - 4 Lally (Original Mix)
06. Doomwork - Fresh (Original Mix)
07. The Mountain People - Mountain008.1 (Original Mix)
08. Steve Lawler - Distrait (Nick Curly & Gorge Mix)
09. Arnaud Le Texier, V-Sexion - Funk some thoughts (Lemos Mix)
10. Bangana - Straight Lines (Kruse & Amp Nurnberg Mix)
11. Ozgur Can - Dust In The Wind (Original Mix)
12. Horacio - Taberna Del Funk (Original Mix)
13. Youandewan - 1988 (Original Mix)

click here to download the mix (direct MP3 link, you may right-click and "save as")

And here is CD 2 by Niklas:

01. Butane - This Is Your Brain On Music
02. Hatikvah - Synchronicity (Chopstick & Johnjon Mix)
03. Oxia - Sun Step (Original Mix)
04. Cascandy - One Front -(Original Mix)
05. Gaiser - Oolooloo
06. Kabale Und Liebe - Lost In Thoughts
07. Sascha Braemer - Puppeteer
08. Kollektiv Turmstrasse - Luechtoorn Remix (Dominik Eulberg Mix)
09. Cascandy - Two Front (Original Mix)
10. Transform - Transformation (Neumann & Styles Mix)
11. Till Von Sein & Tigerskin - I
12. Cagedbaby - Medicine (Radio Slave Medicine For The Soul Mix)
13. Alejandro Mosso - Somebody
14. Timo Maas - Bite The Dust (Simon Baker Mix)
15. Lemos - Kalooo (Arnaud le Texier Mix)
16. Samuel L Session - The Soloist
17. 2Raumwohnung - Wir Werden Sehen (Solomun Vox Mix)

click here to download the mix (direct MP3 link, you may right-click and "save as")

Hope you enjoy and make sure to add the guys on Facebook.

Jon Silva on Crete August 2009

Without words...

Label showcase on Proton Radio

And another one you shouldn't miss:

Proton Radio has a Pesto label showcase since 27th July. You can tune in a 1-hour mix containing lots tracks from our compilation "2.0 - A Jar Of Fresh Pesto". Check it out & have a nice weekend (yeah yeah, you're missing the weekend vibe, right?)! ;)

Submitting your demo to Pesto Music

If you ever wanted to submit your tracks to Pesto Music, you would have different ways of doing so.

Many use our contact form and paste links to their demos there, some use yousendit, others contact us via our profile pages on social networks such as Facebook, twitter or myspace. We also accept CDs but with regards to the environment, we invite you to not involve a piece of plastic. There is just one no-go: attaching MP3 files to emails. These emails do not only clutter our mailbox but also increase the size of the mailbox file (and yes, it does have a limit). These emails go straight to the bin.

Today, we are adding another way of submitting your killer tunes: our dropbox on Soundcloud! It's free, easy to use, you can connect with other artists and labels and it looks pretty nice. We have added the Soundcloud dropbox to our imprint page (where you find our general demo submission policy).

For this news post, we had a copy made ;)

Send us your track

And now keep the smashers coming!

PestoTV on YouTube in Top 100 of "most viewed musicians" [update: now on #34]

Yessss - we have just been awarded by YouTube: PestoTV, our YouTube channel made it on #87 #44 #34 of the most viewed music profiles in Germany! Thank you for viewing and your support!

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Releases section & RSS feed finally updated

After fixing our RSS-related issues, we have finally added our "toolbox: one" release to our catalogue page and the according RSS feed.

PestoCast doesn't update on iTunes, RSS feed lacks updates [update2]

We have just noticed that our RSS feed does not update properly, therefore PestoCasts and FreeBees are missing on iTunes, too. The whole trouble seems to be related to Feedburner (aqcuired by Google last year), the service we use to publish our original RSS feed.

We are working to fix this issue asap - sorry for the inconvenience & thanks for understanding!

[update1: It seems that a specific iTunes tag is causing the problem. This tag is used to tell iTunes that the web address for an RSS feed has changed. Apparently, doing so causes major hiccups at Feedburner. We’re testing a couple of things now - please excuse if you receive a couple of "updates“ with the same content.]

[update2: After messing around with XML code, Feedburner (ok, meanwhile the name makes sense) and some tweaking in RapidWeaver, the Pesto RSS feed seems to be back to work. We just checked the feed source as well as the Feedburner version and they all update properly, iTunes reveals our latest downloadable "Pesto FreeBee #5". We're happy now, after losing just one day of work...aaaaarrrrghhhh)]

Why follow Pesto Music on Twitter?

Usually, when an article is posted on pesto.de, it contains not just links to some pages or the plain YouTube video. When we post something in our "classic xyz tune" section for example, we'll supply you with background info, links to more sources of information (such as discogs.com, for instance) and so on and so forth.

Doing all this research takes time. In general, an article posted on pesto.de requires approx. 30 minutes of research and fine tuning of the words at least.

We use twitter to broadcast infos that are either not worth an update of our web site (because it's too little content or they're just small bits), because they're not related to what we publish here (see trials around piratebay or german civil rights) or because they are of a certain urgency and need to be published *instantly* rather than two hours later (no, we're not referring to Patrick Swayze's pre-death).

Every once in a while, we "recycle" our twitter stream and take out the most newsworthy things to post them in a dedicated news post here on pesto.de. This is just the cream of the crop, the sugar on top, find another rhyme on -op. Yet still, there are a couple of net news to be found on our twitter stream so it totally makes sense to follow us in order to get the latest DJ mixes, videos and articles we've filtered out of the net for you.

Sometimes, we just receive links to DJ mixes. After asking the respective DJ for permission, we post the download link on twitter but not here. Here are two examples: Replika and Mike Starr, both part of our upcoming "2.0" compilation just sent a link to their friends - we make it publically available in order to promote those artists.

So, get on twitter, follow us, tell your friends to do so, too and we'll all be happy. Well - ish...hehehe. Of course, you could also just visit our web site and see what we have posted but we feel better with you as a follower.

Use the board, young Skywalker!

pesto.de is looking for guest authors

Are you a music professional, a promoter, a gear junkie or run a radio station? Or maybe you are just a music addict, a fan and connaisseur? If you have something to say that you would like to share with the rest of us, here's your chance to do so on pesto.de.

We are looking for guest authors both on a regular and one-off basis. If you run a blog and would like to syndicate your content or just publish a single article, we would be very interested in publishing your work here. Articles have to be written in english language but we also accept texts written in german and will translate them for you.

Content we are specifically interested in covers how-to posts (say production advise, DJ tutorials, social media, etc.), background info (aka "behind the scenes" things) or general thoughts about certain aspects of working in the creative business. Yes, that means pieces on video editing (or directing - we love shorts!), copywriting or photography will fit the bill perfectly well.

You can get in touch with us by using our contact form. Please say "guest author" or similar in the subject field. Once we have received your message, we will get back to you with more details. If you read pesto.de regularly and are missing posts about a special topic, you can also send us a message and share your thoughts with us or leave a comment on the Pesto community (requires free sign-up).

43folders.com: follow-up on Kutiman's YT mashups

Remember the awesome YouTube mashups by Kutiman we posted just a few days ago? Merlin Mann at 43folders.com has some thoughts about this one and the future of the entertainment industry in general.

Quoting from Merlin's post:

Unsolicited tip for media company c-levels: if your reaction to this crate of magic is “Hm. I wonder how we’d go about suing someone who ‘did this’ with our IP?” instead of, “Holy crap, clearly, this is the freaking future of entertainment,” it’s probably time to put some ramen on your Visa and start making stuff up for your LinkedIn page.



Read the full article here
Use the board, young Skywalker!

Sales statistics: where our fans come from

I have to admit that I am a big fan of statistics. Not because they reveal some ground-breaking information (oh, sometimes, they even do) or because I particularly like these pie graphs (I haven't studied economy - those guys seem to have a weakness for colourful diagrams) but because they sometimes contain a message that would be hidden otherwise.
Especially, when comparing or correlating two kinds of statistic data, one can find fruitful insights (or leave you clueless).

When looking at the sales of Pesto Music (without Traxx and Clear Rec. sales), the ten best selling territories are:

01. USA (ok, could have told you that without looking into the records)
02. Germany (this surprises me now, seems there are more deepheads around than what I thought)
03. UK (would have guessed this one on #02)
04. Canada (another surprise, yet I know Canadians have a great taste in music plus have great artists themselves)
05. France (you French guys just love melody and music, don't you? I mean, who invented the chanson, after all?!)
06. Spain (this really suprises me - Spain used to be among our least selling countries but this has changed when going digital. ¡Gracias!)
07. Japan (oh yeah, Japan has not only a vivid scene but also some really bad-ass artists!)
08. Italy (yeah, we love you too - hint: check our name...haha)
09. Australia (we knew there was something beyond kangaroos and the Great Barrier Reef - Australia is among the highest movers in this list)
10. Switzerland (man, there's Da Funk, Replika, C&M Production to name but a few. Zurich is Europe's #1 city when it comes to clubs per inhabitants!)

Interestingly, the volume of downloads sold in the USA is approx. five times the volume of Germany's sales. The other territories sell more or less the same volume, this is also true for countries on position 11 and below: The Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, Hungary, Sweden, Portugal, Mexico, Poland and Denmark.

Now, let's take a look at where our web site visitors come from:

01. USA
02. Germany
03. Italy
04. Russia
05. Hungary
06. Switzerland
07. UK
08. Poland
09. Sweden
10. Australia

Similar phenomenon here as described above: we have pretty much the same number of unique visitors from Poland, Sweden, Australia and from the countries following on #11 and below. These countries are: The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Greece, Canada, Georgia, Estonia, Slovak Republic, Mexico, Ukraine and Turkey.
Visits from the USA make up three times of the number of visitors from Germany.

How would you interprete that data? Italians are more web-affin then British but British spend more money online? Russians are just downloading free stuff (oh, not only them, by the way) but buy less or have trouble getting music online? Would also be interesting to relate the sales data to the number of inhabitants of the respective country: compare the relatively small Denmark (approx. 5.5 million ppl [1] ) to Poland (approx. 38 million ppl [2] ) - the gross domestic product per capita (i.e. per head) is approx. 38.000US$ in Denmark, in Poland it's 18.000US$ per annum [data quoted from Wikipedia], yet still, they sell similar volumes.

I'd like to hear your opinions and comments, so feel free to follow the link at the end of this post (signing up for the Pesto community is really free & easy but required to post on the board). If you'd like to know where your particular country is on the list, you are invited to ask that in the Pesto community, too - I'll be happy to sort those numbers out for you!

Use the board, young Skywalker!

No YouTube music vids for Brits

Paidcontent.co.uk has an article that sheds some light on the fact that YouTube is blocking the audio part of some of the posted videos for UK viewers. Patrick Walker, EMEA region head of YouTube said that the Google-owned company would lose money on every music video it serves if they accepted the rates proposed by the PRS, a UK collecting society.

From Paid Content's page:

In its first arrangement with a royalty society, YouTube in 2007 signed a special deal with PRS in which it agreed to pay a flat, advance fee to carry 10 million pieces of music. But the deal has expired and Walker pulled the tracks last night rather than renew at new rates. After PRS highlighted Google’s $5.7 billion Q408 revenue, Walker told me: “We’ve built a service that we’ve invested millions in ... to suggest that, because Google’s a big company, we should just suck it and pay a ridiculous rate is not something that we’re going to stand by.”



Read more on paidcontent.co.uk
Read the PRS entry on Wikipedia
Use the board, young Skywalker!

Beatportal.com launches label and artist wiki

beatportal_150px
Beatportal.com, the community backend of Beatport have just launched a wiki for artists and labels a couple of days ago.

It is beyond our knowledge why artwork and artists appearing on the label have to be entered manually as Beatport's database should provide those connections - at least, it works within their shop. Yet still it's neat to have a dedicated wiki.

We will fill the gaps with content but we're also inviting you to add your rating (five out of five headphones, of course...hehe), missing artist connections and comments to our wiki page. You might also declare yourself a fan and show some love for Pesto. You will need to log in to do so but if you already have an account on Beatport, you can use those credentials.

So far, we experienced the whole thing to be a bit buggy still - connecting artists to the label only works every now and then, for instance. But we are sure these minor issues will be ironed out within brief and might be due to our configuration.

related links:
Pesto Music on Beatport
Pesto Music on Beatportal's wiki page
Use the board, young Skywalker!

The Daily Show on Twitter

Just two days ago, we told you about our twitter thingy going on here. The Daily Show on Comedy Central now has a nice vid about all the hype.

See yourself here.

Follow us on twitter!

pesto_box
Have you heard of twitter? It's the latest media hype, at least here in Germany. Funny enough, we set up a profile back in March 2007 already but weren't hardly posting. Maybe because we did not see the sense of the service.

We will now make use of twitter more often, especially in order to share small bits & pieces that are not worth of posting a whole news article here on pesto.de. Twitter will fill the gap between longer reads on our site and one-liners containing just a link. Take, for instance, a good tune we heard on last.fm and we'd just like to share that one with you - twitter is ideal to do so.

You can follow us here: http://twitter.com/Pestomusic

If you feel you'd like to talk about twitter or microblogging in general, post your profile, etc. - you can do so in the Pesto Community.

We're back!

After a long period of absence due to major computer hiccups (with the machine eventually dying - R.I.P. my beloved Apple G4!), we're finally back with updates!

Been through a nightmare with the computer here: first I thought I had faulty memory installed (replaced it, then after two weeks the machine would do weird things again), then I suspected the hard drive (same story after two weeks), was looking on eBay for a used G4 and finally found one from a very nice british guy. Thanks to the Euro/Pound Sterling conversion rate, the "new" machine was quite a steal. I have to add that I have to maintain quite some PCI equipment here and really did not want buy a new MacPro.

The trouble didn't end here as I could not recover my backups. What I am doing now is copying back each and every file individually - thanks goodness I have a backup at all! You can surely imagine that after eight years of use, my old system was quite a mess. I got along with it well as it was kind of grown organically and Apple's Spotlight technology makes it easy to handle the chaos of 1TB (yes, that's TeraBytes) for a messie like me.

With huge relief, I can say that I am coming towards the end of the recovery process after I have recovered all my software licenses and files. There are remix projects, productions and administrative tasks piling up here and you cannot imagine how happy I am to be finally able to make music again!

Not only did I use the idle time to complain about how bad the computer gods punished me but I made up my mind and am finally introducing some changes to pesto.de.
You will see much more frequent updates in the future as I will turn this page away from a simple promotion and announcement platform to a more personalized "blog-style" page. Hence, I will post cool/odd/interesting finds from the interwebs such as good reads, Youtube vids, software tips, production tutorials, you name it.

You will also find our PestoCasts and Pesto FreeBees reanimated as well as our radio show. I also noticed that the Pesto community has got somewhat silent recently, so expect some changes with regard to that one, too. I'm thinking of discussions related to certain posts here on pesto.de in addition to the DJ mixes posted there by our fans and supporters.

Last but not least, we will also have new releases that were scheduled for January and February finally on the way to you. More details here soon (you'll find a small hint in our new header already).

Finally, let me thank you for bearing with us and being patient. You won't regret it!;)

Jost Gerischer aka Jon Silva, Pesto Music

Say hello to Clear Recordings - the new Pesto sublabel! [repost]

Check out the video teaser:



More details soon here on pesto.de - to be released exclusively on stompy.com in brief!
Subscribe to PestoTV, our youtube channel and leave a comment.

Pesto best sellers: the Top 10 of 2008

It's this time of the year when you find "The 10 best/crappiest/whatever..." lists all around.

We won't stay behind and proudly present our best selling tunes in 2008. Please note that not all sales are fully accounted yet. So, for example, the remixes of Sandra Lima's "Higher" on Pesto 011R are not showing up for that reason. We will update this list once we have all sales details for 2008. Here we go:

01. Rucyl - Love In War (Pete Gust KID Remix)
02. Jon Silva - Aegean (Original)
03. From P60 feat. Virág - New Way (Jon Silva's New Dub)
04. From P60 feat. Virág - New Way (The Mulder's Light's On Dub)
05. Tina Valen - Discotime (Original)
06. Phonic Funk - On Top (Original)
07. Khaan - Pegasos (The Mulder's XX-File Remixx)
08. Replika - Loveletter (Original)
09. Sandra Lima - Higher (Jay-J's Shifted Remix)
10. Cloudsteppers - Make Me Shine (Original)

As you can see, most of the tunes are from our last "2.0 - The Next Generation Of Pesto Artists" compilation, but also our singles performed quite well. You can get these tunes (and all the other great music on Pesto and Traxx) in your favourite online store.

off topic: Monty Python Youtube channel

We here at Pesto Music are huge Monty Python fans, among many other great british comedians. So from time to time, we need a good laugh during our work breaks and are more than delighted to see the launch of Monty Pythons very own channel on Youtube. Check this out - it's priceless!

Pesto 012: Cloudsteppers - Make Me Shine/New MP3s added to player!

pesto012_cover_150
Have you noticed the new banner picture? After Sandra Lima from Pesto 011, we have a nameless beauty this time. She, along with the palm trees, is part of the cover artwork of our upcoming single on Pesto by Ukraine's Cloudsteppers.

"Make Me Shine" was already introduced on our "2.0" compilation earlier this year with great success and now comes with a diverse pack of arse-kicking remixes.

Besides the jazzy "Deep Mix" and a slightly altered "Dub Mix", we are proud to have remix support from Urban Torque's Scope aka Ric McClelland, The Disclosure Project with a beautifully atmospheric mix, Chris Udoh with a slightly edgier rework and Pesto's inhouse variants in the shape of the mid-1990ies-ish "Bedroom Beach Remix" and the Soda Inc.-esque remix by Jon Silva.

Check out our MP3 player in the sidebar and preview Pesto 012 already today! Release date will be 12th December 2008, so you have some time to fall in love with this great DeepHouse bomb.

Facelift & new features on pesto.de [update]

pesto_box
It has been pretty exactly for two years that we have used the web site design you probably got used to. As we felt it was time for a change, pesto.de was undergoing some maintenance and now shines in a new look.

Besides the obvious facelift, we also rearranged some of the content and added new features to make pesto.de an even more popular source of entertainment and information. Here's a roundup of what we did, going from the top of the page downwards:

Layout: We left the era of "web 2.0" gloss, no more reflections on our logo, less eye candy and a more graphical approach. We believe that this makes the information more accessible and furthermore concentrates on what's important: content. We are now using a centered layout still but broadened the whole content area as widescreen formats become more and more standard. Additionally, this allows for a better separation of the main content and the sidebar content.

old header on  pesto.de

The submenus used to be below the navigation tabs and could have been overseen pretty easily. These submenus can now be found on top of the sidebar, making it easier for you to access these pages and subscribe to our email newsletter for instance or perform a search on the site.

The navigation itself remains more or less untouched on top of the page but is less colourful. As we have grown up and gained more self esteem, we don't need that huge logo anymore (just kidding) but rather sport a new header that relates to our artists or releases. You will see this header to be exchanged by a different picture every now and then. In case you haven't noticed, it's Sandra Lima - the performer of our current releases Pesto 011 and 011R.

Regarding the news archive, we also switched from a monthly archive to an annual one. All older posts are still there in the respective year - don't forget you can still search for posts by using the categories or by performing a search.

Features: You will find two new features on the news page. The obvious one is our "current releases" player which allows you to listen to our - you guessed it - current releases. This player will be updated before the actual release so pesto.de will be the unique place to preview our upcoming releases long before they're available anywhere else. In connection with our brand new Releases feed, this will be a killer feature for anybody haunting after the latest and greatest tracks.

We also rearranged the content of the former "about" section and renamed it to simply "pesto". This section has been stripped content-wise - "artists" and "catalogue" were joined into one single section - but we have added functionality to make the new "catalogue" area a great research tool. Releases are categorized by label and type of release (single or longplay), each entry uses tags for the artists featured and allows to search for all releases with a specific artist/remixer. You can also use the tag cloud to do so. Each post's publishing date reflects the release date. By subscribing to the Releases feed, you'll always be up to date regarding the new stuff on Pesto and its sublabels. On top of that, you can also have related news items displayed. Isn't that cool?

A word about sublabels: you probably noticed the "Clear" entry - expect more news these days!;)

[update: links from within the RSS feed were broken - this is now fixed]

Today's 808 day!

808_reflect
Did you have a look on your calendar today? It's 8/08 which wouldn't be anything special if there wasn't one classic drum computer with a similar name.

Say hello to Roland's TR-808, an analogue drum machine from 1981 that has been playing an essential role in HipHop, Acid and House let alone Electro music until today. Despite Whitney Houston using the 808's cowbell in her "I Wanna Dance With Somebody", a lot of tunes or even whole bands wouldn't exist without this machine. Take Afrika Bambaata's "Planet Rock" or the Two Live Crew, for example. For the mature ones among us, let's not forget about "808 State", youngsters should check this out.

Even "The Mulder's Deepest Remix" of Sandra Lima's Higher, our current release on Pesto, uses the 808's cowbell.

Too bad, we did not think of March 3rd 2003 in order to celebrate a TB-303 day. But hey, mark September 9th next year in your calendar to praise the Queen of House drums, Roland's TR-909!

Some footage found via different sources (thanks to Music Thing and de:bug magazine):





Back from Bulgaria

It's done - after 8,000 kilometres, 25 gigs in 5 weeks, lots of new friends and fans, countless Gin Tonics and OCB papers, I have returned to the "normal" life.

Bulgaria was quite an experience for me and it was good to have Jovan of Relaxators Dance Company as my host, guide and - above all - as a friend. Never before, I have played so many parties in a row. 8,000km do not seem such a huge number, but let me tell you that leaving the highways in Bulgaria can take you on really unusual roads. We encountered road holes more than 1 metre in diameter and 30 centimetres deep. As Bulgaria has quite some mountains, going 50km on winding roads may take 1.5hrs or more. At this time of the year, everything is green and blooming. Passing places with different elevation, we experienced different stages of spring. From wild beauty in the Rhodopes, over huge plains to the Black Sea coast - Bulgaria is quite a pittoresque country with countless shades and, last but not least, lovely people. As they told me, I have been to more places than probably most of the bulgarian residents have.

The parties were very different: from lousy gigs on a Monday (hey, people will have to work - sure), over huge and classy venues inside a rotten city to one party that was very special. It's been quite a while ago that I met such a raving audience like in Shumen's Mamagaya. By far, the party in Shumen was not only the highlight of this tour but it also made its way into my personal top 10 of the greatest gigs ever! To say it with Arnold Schwarzenegger: "I'll be back!"

Special thanks goes to Jovan who booked and organized this whole SeeMe tour - we've spent these five weeks together without stepping on each other's nerves, rather than enjoying the "rock'n'roll" life! It was simply amazing! If you are looking for somebody who knows the Balkans (and the right people), especially in Bulgaria, who has a very professional approach and who is a cool guy to hang out with at the same time, you should get in touch with him. Needless to say that this tour led to a new and intensified cooperation between Pesto and RDC - more details here in brief.

So finally, let me take the chance to thank all you people for being your guest and for giving me the time of my life. Blagodarja Bulgaria! :)

PS: try to listen to other music than Progressive and look up the term "warm-up" in a dictionary...hehehe
PPS: I have around two hours of footage that needs to be edited. I hope I can show you the "documentary", which is in memory of Uncle Mitko, very soon here.

New partner: Raunchy Rhythms Radio

raunchyrhythms_reflect
We're happy to announce another partnership: Raunchy Rhythms Radio from London, UK. Here's how Andy, the owner and founder, describes the concept behind Raunchy Rhythms:

Raunchy Rhythms Radio created by station Owner Andy B around just over a year ago, a self confessed house music lover & bedroom DJ having never played out to a large audience himself, our aim is to provide an online radio station not only for the big boys in the industry but also the relatively unknown DJs a chance to broadcast their DJ mixing skills across the world wide web for all the house music lover’s out there 24 hours a day.

You can find our website at http://www.raunchyrhythms.com which is constantly being updated on a daily basis with new content, mixes and the latest news with what’s going on within the industry. One of interesting and unique points about our website has to be the ‘’Request’’ page. All our mixsets are available for requesting instantly via this page.
For instance if you would like to listen to and queue ‘’ DJ Jon Silva- PestoMix 006’’ then click the red ‘’request’’ button on the right hand side of the page opposite this mix and this mix will automatically be added to our playlist for broadcasting, it’s as simple as that !

We are always looking for fresh talented house DJ mixes to play on our radio station so please feel free to get in contact with us either via the Pesto Music Community Forum, our website contact page or direct at admin[at]raunchyrhythms.com.

Welcome to Raunchy Rhythms Radio!

"2.0 - The Next Generation Of Pesto Artists" goes Platinum in german album charts

2_0TNG
Earlier this year, you could read about the amazing success of our compilation "2.0". A lot of the tunes entered the charts on countless MP3 stores and found their way into the collection of many DJs.

Today, we're proud to announce that after entering the german album charts on #3 last week, we already sold so many copies that the release was awarded with "Platinum" status. This equals to 500.000 sold copies. As digital downloads are accounted for the official german charts since not so long ago, we're particularly happy to be the first independent label that reached this status!

"2.0 - The Next Generation Of Pesto Artists"
is available on your favourite online store:

Beatport
Juno Download
Traxsource
Trackitdown
Play It Tonight
DJDownload
iTunes store
1st a PR ill

Defected, Pesto and the copyrights

Last night was quite a hot one as the posts about pulling Ricardo Torres' PestoMix off got you (and me) really upset. Well, the dust has settled and today, I received a message from Tony Garvey, Head of Promotions at Defected. I'm still unsure if they will keep to "seek compensation for this illegal usage" but Tony's email reads very reasonable and nice.

Please find his message including my replies (italic) below:

Hi Tony,

Thanks a lot for your prompt reply! Please find my answers below.


Hey Jost - hope you are well, We have had a few direct email as I guess you have sent out a mail to your members. I understand the promotional value of podcasts as we ourselves have a very successful one that has around 50'000 subscribbers - and it is not the intention to quash anyone's love for House music, on the contrary we are trying to bring the sound to as many new ears as possible. As you know the music industry as a whole is in decline, yet the accessibility of music is possible the strongest it has ever been due to the digital revolution, but unfortunately the 2 aren't working in tandem - people are hearing about music, but not buying it in the same percentage.


Fully agree with you here.

We are a business and yes our business is Music but we have to protect our catalogue and the rights on behalf of our Artists whom spend time and money recording it.


I do second that!

It is true that we can't chase everybody who uploads music or mixes, but where we have to opportunity we do ask them to remove its unauthorized usage (Ricardo could very easily remove the 2 tracks requested, replace them with 2 new tracks and the podcast need never of suffered).



That's exactly what happened now. There is no Defected material left in the PestoMix and the new version has been posted. If Ellie had sent me a message asking to take the tunes off, I would have done it (and, in fact, did) - it was rather the "we will seek for compensation" thingy that got me quite upset. I'm sure it wasn't some standard email that's being sent out whenever you become aware of "copyright infringement" as she used the contact form on pesto.de. I do understand your point of view here (as I expressed in my reply to Ellie) but we reap what we sow. Therefore I had to comment on that as much as Ricardo and many others had to.

There have been occasion we do allow tracks to be used, but this is with prior approval and the understanding of exactly where it is going and to whom it is targeting, something we would use in conjunction with the promotion of a release - remember I am a promoter of Music and I look at ALL opportunities.



Okay, that's at least a guideline for a possible future use of Defected products, especially for those who are not in direct touch with you.

We do also give away free music - 3 free downloads in the coming weeks for Fish Go Deep, DJ Fudge and Charles Webster, all very established producers.



That's great and highly appreciated! Pesto does the same btw with the Pesto FreeBees. Though our artists may not be as established (yet) as the ones mentioned;)

I think that we are being unjustifiable targeted for just taking care of our business as the law dictates.



I have a different point of view on that one (especially as we're talking not just about copyrights but DJ culture as a whole). But as I replied to Ellie yesterday. I do see your point and indeed, I do accept it. Yet still, it's not that the law forces you to act like that - that's totally up to your decision. And sorry for repeating myself here but I want to be very clear about that: I do accept your decision. :)

We are a small company that has a big reputation and it is our music and hard work that has created that not money.


And my guess is that people are aware of that fact and that is what gets them so upset. Like said above, I do understand your point completely but the image you leave with "normal" people (i.e. not working in the music business) is like you're behaving like a Major. And sueing your clients is not considered a good business model (I'm not saying you're doing so but it APPEARS like that). So it's pure surprise that one of the "good boys" apparently turned "bad" (from my and their perspective).

Once again it is not our desire to turn anyone off who has supported our label over the years, but the current climate is very different than it was even 2 years ago and the reason we are still here is because we care and we work hard.Hopefully you now understand a little of the story from our end, I am happy to discuss directly and will entertain any opportunities for us both to work together as ultimately we all have the same love and goals



Tony, after Ellie's message got me so upset, I'm glad to read your mail. You sound very calm and reasonable and as I said before, it never was my intention to point the finger on Defected for the way they're doing their business. An easy message (without the threatening part) would have done the job. I'm furthermore glad to having received such a quick reply from you that's putting things straight in a very nice way - thanks a lot for that!

In order to be fair, I suggest I'm publishing this correspondence between you and me (without the personal information, of course) so the House lovers out there can relax or at least decide on their own which point of view they will take.

cheers...Jost



Best Regards#TG


Traxsource: Miami Insider Tips

Although we are not attending this year's Winter Music Conference in Miami, we will be very present there as we got an amazing offer by one of the world's leading download stores Traxsource. Here's what the buzz is all about:

"Traxsource has created a unique promotional opportunity for this years Miami conference. We have created alliances with 80+ key retail establishments in and around Miami Beach (complete listings here). Traxsource will showcase only the Hottest Content we have across our main genres by providing DJ mixed CDs which identify Traxsource as the source to these establishments for playback during the week of Conference."



We're proud to announce that From P60's "New Way" (Jon Silva's Filthy Remix) will be part of this exclusive showcase!

Share This! [update]

sharethis_reflect
In order to make your visit on pesto.de even more enjoyable, we are introducing a few changes.

First of all, we stripped off the code to make the pages load quicker. You will surely notice that even on slower connections, the page now loads way snappier. As a result, we don't have the tag cloud anymore but only few visitors were using this feature.

We also got rid of the advertisement. Although the number of visitors implies that at least the hosting costs could be covered, the number of clicks on the ads was too low to justify cluttering the page. In the end, we wouldn't click on "Buy the best Trance & Techno records here" either. ;)

The third item is an additional feature called "ShareThis™" which makes it easier for you to share news on pesto.de with your friends. You can use this to post our content on your social networks such as Myspace and Facebook, you can easily add the news to your bookmark service such as del.icio.us or post it to your blog . "ShareThis™" also allows you to send news items via email or even SMS. So now you can express your excitement about a new release or a great PestoMix by sending your friends a message. Neat, innit?

[update: if you click on the "ShareThis™" button below, you will only be able to send a link to this page, but not the specific news item. Workaround: clicking on "Permalink" below the headline opens only that very news item, enabling you to include a link pointing directly to the respective post rather than the whole news page.]

You can try the feature by clicking below.

Winter Music Conference

While everybody else is warming up for Miami and pushing out WMC samplers, we at Pesto will refrain from doing so. We prefer supplying you with excellent single releases on both Pesto and Traxx. "What's cooking?" you may ask - our answer will be an amazing release by Sandra Lima called "Higher".

Some of you might have heard the tune already but we'll release it in brand new versions and the "Higher" release will come with a huge bunch of remixes by some of the world's most famous artists. Pesto 011 includes remixes by House music's legend Jay-J and the usual suspects Jon Silva aka The Mulder. Pesto 011R will feature an amazing set of remixes by currently one of the hottest producers named Justin Michael, Thomas White of Natural Rhythm and West Coast Collective's very own Torin Rea plus a few more goodies.

Pesto 011 and 011R will be a true cross-Atlantic coop offering the very best in Deep House that's available on the planet right now. And, of course, we'll stick with the tradition of giving you the Pesto FreeBees, our hi quality MP3 downloads that you'll get for free. This time, we'll even offer you two free versions to download alongside the release of Pesto 011 and 011R.

On our sublabel Traxx Recordings, there's more hawtness coming your way: we're proud to announce that highly sought-after producer Da Funk from Switzerland's Acryl Music is having his debut on Traxx. After his "Electronic Love" on PestoLP002 (2.0 - The Next Generation Of Pesto Artists) founds its way into the CD sleeves of countless top DJs from all over, Da Funk returns with another smasher. "Roasted" will be one of the tunes to watch out for this spring and it's surely going to be one of this year's Eivissa staples. Traxx 005 will also come with a nice set of remixes - read more about them here in brief.

One year of Pesto Community

Last Monday, the 11th of February 2008, we had a reason to celebrate: our Pesto Community, the forum board for Pesto fans turned one year.

Although 83 registered members may not seem such a huge number, it's the hard core of Pesto addicts that posted nearly 500 articles within that year. The majority of those posts were DJ mixes of excellent quality. Taking a look at the server statistics though, the number of non-registered users embracing the possibilty to download hi quality Deep House mixes is an estimated 300 times higher. Our contributors come from all over the globe and have the same vibe in common.

Due to the cross-promotion of the community on last.fm, myspace and other social networking sites, the Pesto Community has established itself as a reliable source for House heads seeking for first class DJ mixes, a place to communicate with people thinking alike and a forum to exchange thoughts and compliments.

What's next there? You might have heard of the PestoMix guest slot competition that's running until 20th February 2008. In the future, the community will be the place to discover more talent and we'll make sure that more DJ talent gets heard. We'll also launch a section in brief that is going to deal with the technical side of things: production tutorials, mix tricks, software recommendations - whatever comes to your mind. We'll have more exclusives and previews on upcoming stuff for registered members. Please keep in mind that registering for the community is free, fast and I can assure you that your email adresses are as safe with us as on any other form you can complete on the Pesto pages. We hate spam as much as you!

On behalf of Pesto Music and all its affiliated artists, let me take the chance to thank you for contributing and for making the Pesto Community such a nice place! So many of you have supported our artists in their mixes and your support is priceless and greatly appreciated!

Many happy returns to the Pesto Community!

Jon Silva/Jost Gerischer, Pesto Music

Randy Seidman heavily features Jon Silva on Shake Down podcast!

Check out this beautiful DJ mix by California Pestolero Randy Seidman. Roughly one third of his track list consists of Jon's productions or remixes.

1. Jon Silva - I Want U (Deeper & Deeper Mix) [Pesto]
2. Cristian Paduraru - Sharing Transparently (Jon Silva Deep House Mix) [Christian Records]
3. Soda Inc. - Night Fever (Jon Silva’s Babe-A-Pella) [Plastic City]
4. Manuel Tur - Acorado [Freerange]
5. D Fow - Impulse Response [Revolucion Records]
6. Lukas Greenberg - Le Soir (Original) [Plastic City Play}
7. Da Funk - Devotion (Jon Silva’s Spiked Heel Dub) [Acryl Music]
8. Da Funk - Devotion (Jon Silva’s White Island Mix) [Acryl Music]
9. Logiztik Sound - Crazy People [Plastik Park]
10. Jeff Bennett - Instant Need [Kung Fu Dub]
11. Rob Mooney - Toothpick [Bass For Breakfast]
12. Dousk - Hammer [Vapour]
13. Gareth Emery - More Than Anything [Curve Recordings]
14. Unkown
15. Retroid - Daybreak [FeralCode Records]
16. Presslaboys - Taste My Body [Presslab Records]
17. Mercurio - X-Cream [Flow Records]

We're not only proud that the Shake Down podcast is one of the larger ones with a subscriber base of 30,000+. But also the fact that Randy names Jon as one of his favourite producers makes us pretty happy! Thank you so much for your massive support, Randy!

check out the Shake Down podcast
visit Randy's myspace
visit Randy's homepage

R.I.P. Ron Murphy

Ron Murphy, co-founder and head of National Sound Corporation (NSC) is dead.

He's said to have cut all major Detroit records from the early 1990ies and thus having had a great impact on the sound and production of renowned artists such as Mike Banks, Juan Atkins, Jeff Mills and Richie Hawtin among many others.

In an interview with german De:Bug mag (german language), he's giving insights on how "Uncle Ron" (as the artists mentioned used to call him) tought his "students" about the secrets of a proper mixdown and mastering.
Since being a creative head, he was seeking for new ways in vinyl cutting so he was offering cutting the platter from the inside, where the label sticker is, to the outside of the record. Both Jeff Mills and Richie Hawtin rejected when finally Kevin Saunderson agreed to cut the vinyl this way for a release on Network.

A similar thing happened when Jeff Mills came over to have something special for his "Rings around Saturn" cutting session. As Jeff's tunes were 134BPM, it was possible to cut a seemless loop ( a tempo of 133,3BPM is required to that on a 33rpm record). This was the first time the world saw a seemless revolution on a vinyl record.

Ron Murphy, who said about himself he'd never danced in his whole life, has to be appreciated as one of Detroit's most influential guys. He's one of those guys behind the scenes, yet incredibly important for shaping a whole era of electronic music of which the effects remain until today when you're downloading the latest stuff.

Rest in peace, Ron Murphy!

Pesto Music installs "Officer" label software

officer_reflect
As said before in Jon Silva's NYE letter, we have just installed the "Officer" label software as the backbone of our business.

"Officer" is the highly acclaimed piece of software so many other labels use for their daily business such as Cocoon, Force Inc., Infracom, Kanzleramt, Lado, Neuton, Paul van Dyk, Peppermint Jam, Phazz-A-Delic, Pulver Records, Toca Records, Vienna Scientists just to name a few from Officer's impressive clients list.

This customized database on a Filemaker basis allows us to manage all revenue streams, distribute money to our artists, administrate third party licenses (such as CD compilations of other labels) and above all, it's the backup of both Pesto Music's and traxx Recordings' music catalogue (and future sublabels *hint*). It allows us to spend less time with numbers, passing on the income straight to our artists and kicking the arses of those who are late with their payments. It's also a great tool for statistics and future marketing strategies - to put it short: it does everything we need (and what we've been doing already) while saving us a huge amount of time so we can focus on the creative work!

We're proud "Officers" from now on!:)

Saying bye to 2007, saying hi to 2008!

jon_si-shooting_reflect
Dear Pestoleras and Pestoleros - dear friends,

As I was thinking about the things that should be said in this article, I went on a personal review trying to recall what the last year was about so I was going through the posts of 2007.

I also found the bulletin that was published for last NYE and I read about the aims and remembered the hopes, fears and my mindset in general from back then.

Let's see what turned reality, what hasn't yet and what the plans are for 2008.

Quoting from last year's post:

"This year is coming to an end and for us, it was one full of changes - one of them being this web site you're just looking at. 2007 will be an exciting year for Pesto and all the people involved with it as a lot of stuff is to be released."



2007 was indeed another year full of changes (I guess change is one of the few constants in my life) and yes, it was exciting, indeed. The redesigned Pesto page was quite a success and, as many people stated, an appreciated source for information, entertainment and new music. The number of unique visitors tripled compared to the highest number of unique visitors of the former page and remains growing on a constantly high level. The number of our RSS and email newsletter subscriptions are constantly increasing, so is the number of downloads of our PestoMix, PestoCast and Pesto FreeBees stuff.

I would have loved to see more releases in 2007 - there were only four of them on Pesto - but that year also saw the birth of the Traxx sublabel and I was busy doing remixes like never before. So I don't complain, especially since both the Traxx releases and the remixes went down pretty well. On top of that, we also released our first digital longplayer "Vic Music presents: Beautiful & Timeless Vol. 1" - a compilation that had been released as a CD before and that attracted a lot of music lovers already. Furthermore, I was also experimenting with the new digital format as Pesto was limited to a total of four tracks per release back in the vinyl days. The new medium offers new possibilities but also new occasions to screw up.

As a side effect, I had gigs in numerous countries, some of which I visited for the first time such as Morocco, Sweden or (the former yugoslavian republic of) Macedonia. I met a lot of lovely people, made new friends all over and discovered that everywhere I went, people already knew about us or instantly got hooked on the Pesto vibe. Very encouraging.

Another source of inspiration has been the vivid Pesto community: so many people contributed excellent DJ mixes in order to share them with the rest of you. Many of my office hours were sweetened by the flavour of DeepHouse from our fellow Pestoleros and I just highly recommend signing up for the Pesto forum as there are a couple of goodies exclusively available to registered members only.

2007 also meant a growth of the Pesto family regarding artists: we already saw a couple of remixers such as Nikola Gala, Da Funk, El Farouki, Khaan or Kellyyss just to name a few. But we will also see (and first of all hear) the next generation of Pesto artists on our "2.0" compilation which is about to be out by 8th of January. Some of that work has been cooking on the stove for ages in order to mature and get better and better (Sandra Lima and Robin Rush - you hear me?), other stuff is brand new yet equally kicking - Tina Valen, Cloudsteppers, Phonic Funk, Quell, Rucyl, Pete Gust and Replika are names you already might be familiar with if you're following our PestoMixes or they might sound totally fresh to you. Either way, those will be names to watch out for in 2008 if you're serious about House music and these ladies and gentlemen contribute massive tunes to the Pesto catalogue.

Consequently, 2008 will see more frequent releases - both singles and compilations. I finally installed an infrastructure that allows me to focus on the creative side of things rather than spending my time doing administrative work. This will give me more space to discover new talents, develop new products and increase the release rate in general while keeping the quality level you'd expect from Pesto Music.

Last but not least, the passed year held a lot of support for Pesto from industry professionals: club and radio DJs were heavily playing our stuff, it got supported on CD compilations, web sites were writing reviews, tunes got featured in DJ mixes and podcasts by renowned artists, the download shops also seemed to appreciate our efforts.

And finally you, our fans and biggest supporters, the music lovers, the ones that don't buy the Beatport Top10 in order to play the same shit as everybody else, the people that make all this Pesto thing possible - you supported our artists, Pesto and Traxx as labels, you supported our vibe! I would personally like to thank you for believing in us, in our goals and in our philosophy - the recognition and support coming from your side is priceless and I - speaking for all Pesto and Traxx artists here - can't express how much your support is appreciated. We love you! :)

For the new year, my wishes for all of us are love, happiness, peace of mind, health, success and as much wealth a decent life requires. Let's all go further, make our wildest dreams come true and be happy humans vibing on the same wavelength.

Take good care of yourself, stay well and stay with us because you'll enjoy being part of the Pesto family in 2008 and beyond!

Sincerely yours...Jon Silva/Jost Gerischer

Pesto Music drops DRM

pesto_box_reflect
Starting with the digital compilation "Vic Music presents: Beautiful & Timeless Vol. 1", we're proud to announce that Pesto Music with all its subsidaries will offer its catalogue free from any DRM restrictions on all platforms that offer a choice regarding DRM, first of all the iTunes Music Store with its iTunes Plus option.

We consider DRM or "Digital Rights Management" first of all a euphemism as it's not managing anything rather than restricting the user (that's you, our buyers and fans) in the way she or he is entitled to use the downloaded music.

Opposed to organizations like the IFPI and similar, we do not consider our clients criminals. File sharing is a reality as much as copying 12" albums on compact cassettes was a reality back in the 1980ies. We're not encouraging you to share your purchased Pesto and Traxx files on filesharing systems (except our FreeBees), but if somebody does, we can't help about it. We rather focus on new music instead of filing lawsuits.

We just think that by putting out great music, supporting our fans with free downloads and other goodies, we will attract the buyers that appreciate our work, people that understand that supporting new and upcoming talents costs some time, money and much more idealism.

Last but not least, we won't increase the prices for the DRM-free titles. :)

Feel free to share your thoughts about DRM in general in our comments' section.

We're hiring! Pesto is looking for instrumentalists

For our current and future productions we are looking for bass players, guitarists and percussionists to coop with. It doesn't really matter where you're based, but you should be able to record your takes on your side in a decent quality and have a broadband connection to the internet in order to upload hi-res files such as WAV or AIFF.

Further requirements are:

- you should be a nice person;)
- you're familiar with the use of email and instant messengers
- your instrument is of decent quality, so is the rest of your equipment. Hum is only acceptable in very small doses
- you feel at home in anything Funk/Soul/Disco (you don't need to wear bellbottoms, okay?)
- you can play just by listening (although we might provide sheets, if requested)
- you're fast in recording your stuff
- you're reliable deadline-wise
- other details have to be negotiated

We're not asking you to do the job for free, money and payment issues will be discussed on a private basis though. We're especially looking for people that are willing and wanting to establish a constant relationship. We cannot offer you recording equipment or hire a studio for you - you need to be able to record the stuff at your place without any extra costs (i.e. studio rent).

We need your help for recordings of our own artists, for the production of sample packs, as well as for remix jobs and even solo releases with your performances are not off the stove.

If this sounds interesting to you, please get in touch via our contact form, supplying your full name, email addy and, if possible a link to a demo of yours. If you have further questions, do not hestitate to ask them.

Looking forward to hear from you:)

Pesto TV - visit our channel on youtube.com

A message to our friends from Greece

greece_reflect
Since I have been playing so many gigs in Greece this and the last years, I wanted to tell you that I followed the news.

The tragedy that was shown on the media is surely just scratching the surface, considering the many casualties the burning forests in Greece had caused. Seeing families lose their homes, the foundations of their existence and above all losing their beloved ones makes me feel really sad. Fires have been harming people and the environment in so many countries I have been visiting this summer, among them Croatia, Montenegro, FYR of Macedonia and many more and two things remain in my mind:

who are those that start the fires in order to "create" new ground to build e.g. hotels and what is their mindset? And why do we have apparently incapable governments that are supposed to end this? I feel ashamed when I read that Germany sent four (yes, that's 4!) helicopters to Greece to help fighting the fires.

Let me tell you that I'm with you on my mind - regardless in which country suffering from this you reside!

Yours, Jon Silva

PS: I'm aware of the fact that pesto.de is a web site covering music - some things though should not remain unsaid.

I like to move it, move it!

No news for such a long time - there must be a special matter!?

True indeed, there is: just lately, the Pesto Music headquarters have moved. We're still located in Cologne but moved closer to the city now. More details will follow soon, including our new postal address.

To all those who worried: yes, we're all fine and the show will go on!

Expect a bunch of news bulletins by end of next week when the dust has settled over here.

Greetings from your Pesto crew!

There IS something going on!

traxx_mirrored
Remember when we said there was something going on back in February this year? Here's one of the reasons you have been reading so little on this page recently.

Finally, Traxx, a sublabel of Pesto has been launched just today. Traxx is a label dedicated to DJ tools, more techy stuff and progressive club choons.

The motto of Traxx is "Traxxx, not songs". The first release will be "Traxx" by "Traxx" (what a statement, eh?) and the promos are available to a selected circle of DJs from today. We already got some hot feedback in, so expect a lot to happen on Traxx.

Visit the Traxx home page and the myspace profile.

repost: Where are you from?

We'd love to know where you come from and our server stats already tell us something about that fact.

Why don't you add yourself to our Frappr map - maybe you find out that there are Pestoleros living just around the corner?

Meet us on last.fm

lastfm_reflect
As you might have noticed already, we are fans of social web sites and communities such as myspace.com, virb.com or our very own Pesto Community.

One of the first social networks we joined though was last.fm. We liked the idea of sharing your musical taste and get recommendations for music to discover. This process may vary in its success, but nevertheless it already led us to music that would have been a shame to have missed.

You can download your free copy of Audioscrobbler, the plugin that will transmit the music you listen to based on its MP3 tags. Needless to say that you can support Pesto by listening to our music (which you do anyways - but why not tell the world?).

Here's a brief roundup of what they say about themselves:

Last.fm is the flagship product from the team that designed the Audioscrobbler music engine. More than ten million times a day, Last.fm users "scrobble" their tracks to our servers, helping to collectively build the world's largest social music platform.Last.fm taps the wisdom of the crowds, leveraging each user's musical profile to make personalised recommendations, connect users who share similar tastes, provide custom radio streams, and much more.Founded by Felix Miller, Martin Stiksel and Richard Jones, we are a London-based company with a music-obsessed team of developers and creative professionals from around the world.It's never been this easy to share your taste and discover new music. Welcome to the social music revolution.



We may offer free downloads to last.fm users exclusively (as we did in the past) so it's not too bad of an idea to sign up. Here's a link to their charts with free MP3 downloads of any genre.

Check out our last.fm page
This is last.fm's home page
Audioscrobbler and last.fm player downloads
(we use the plugin for iTunes, by the way)

Save our internet radio - follow up

Refering to our news bulletin from yesterday, Peter Krin of createdigitalmusic.com has interviewed Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora. Pandora is an internet radio station that adopts to your personal taste and musical preferences and by analyzing what you like or dislike suggests new music to you that might be of interest, as well.

The interview gives quite some insight on the actual debate RIAA vs. the audience. The article also offers links to more background information on that issue.

Interview with Tim Westergren on createdigitalmusic

US citizens: Save our internet radio!

From www.savourinternetradio.com:

"On March 1, 2007 the US Copyright Office stunned the Internet radio industry by releasing a ruling on performance royalty fees that are based exclusively on the number of people tuned into an Internet radio station, rather than on a portion of the station’s revenue. They discarded all evidence presented by webcasters about the potentially crippling effect on the industry of such a rate structure, and rubber-stamped the rates requested by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).

Under this royalty structure, an Internet radio station with an average listenership of 1000 people would owe $134,000 in royalties during 2007 - plus $98,000 in back payments for 2006. In 2008 they would owe $171,000, and $220,000 in 2009.

There is no way for a station with 1000 listeners to make that kind of money. That’s over $11 per listener per month in 2007. No Internet radio station currently operating comes even close to that kind of income. Also keep in mind that 1000 listeners is not a large number. Popular stations like Radio Paradise, SOMA, Digitally Imported, radioio, etc have many times that many listeners."

What does that mean? We think, the RIAA is actively seeking to kick indie radios off the market (or have them move to Cayman Islands). The only stations that will afford the rates requested are the major players, the stations that pollute you with Top40 crap and "the greatest hits of the 80ies and 90ies" already. Do we need that? Definitely not!

If you live in the USA, act up and make your voice heard: write to your congress representative. There are more options, so make sure you visit Save our Internet Radio and follow the links there. Other links related to this topic:

savourinternetradio.com
congress.org

Ricardo Torres at Miami's WMC 2007

RT_reflect
In a news bulletin earlier, we announced Ricardo Torres playing at a venue called "Bash".

Well, this is not the case, so here is the actual information - this time including line up and eFlyer though. The Shifted Music party will take place in "Dek23", a location that will see its official opening after the WMC actually.

If you like sexy DeepHouse (and we assume so since you're a visitor of this page), you should make sure not to miss that one if you're attending WMC.

Main Room
Jay-J (Shifted Music)
Jamie Lewis (Purple Music, Indeependent)
Ron Carroll (Body Music)
Mark Grant (Blackstone)
Albert Cabrera (Albert Cabrera Productions)
Scott Wozniak (Large, Defected)
Random Soul (Shifted Music, Salted Music, Australia)

Under the Stars
Sarah Main (Pacha, Ibiza)
Neil Aline (Chez Music)
Rob Paine (Worship, Shakedown, Solomonic Sound, Phillly)
Luis Baro (XM-The Move)
Mason Rothert (Thump Radio, XM-The Move)
Ricardo Torres (West Coast Collective)

Location
DEK23 - 655 Washington Ave.
Miami, FL 33139

Admission
20$/10$ with conference badge

Click here to see the eFlyer

Ricardo Torres supports Pesto

RT_reflect
Talking of the buzz that Pete Gust's remix of Rucyl's "Love In War" caused (read the post below), we already found a supporter from the West Coast - our good friend and California Pestolero Ricardo Torres!

He's got a new mix online that starts with "Love In War". You can find his latest DJ mix named "Looking West" (so are we...hehehe) in the mixes section on Ricardo's web site.

Ricardo was also invited to play alongside his personal hero and very good friend Jay-J on the Shifted label party at Miami's Winter Music Conference this year. People attending WMC this year should make sure to check out his set and the ones of the other House icons on Saturday, the 24th of March at Miami's Bash. Besides Jay-J and Ricardo Torres, the line up also offers Chicago's Marc Grant, Heather, Random Soul from Australia and some other surprises.

Also make sure to check out the latest West Coast Collective mix on Shameless Sessions (SSRadio UK) featuring Kevin Christopher and Ricardo Torres. The show also includes an exclusive interview with Pestolera Sandra Lima who will have "Higher" released on Pesto soon.

Digg!

Jon Silva DJ set on Kiss FM Ukraine

deepology_reflect
Thanks to our mate DJ Electric, 50% of the Luckystars duo, Jon Silva is having a guest mix appearance on the Deepology show on Ukraine's Kiss FM.

The show will be broadcasted tomorrow, the 9th of March 2007.

As they have just launched the Deepology Digital label, it's well worth it to visit the Deepology page for more details.

Digg!

Jon Silva DJ set on danceradio.gr

danceradio_reflect
Thanks to my friend Chris Niteshake of Locked Groove from Greece, I will have a guest DJ mix on his show "Locked Groove Sessions" on danceradio.gr tonight! Chris, being our Greece Pestolero #1, also delivered the amazing remix for Babak Shayan's "Azadi" on Pesto 005. You will hear more of his production skills as well as a PestoMix from him in brief.

As the name implies, danceradio.gr is a dance focused radio station based in Greece, offering DJ mixes and the finest in electronic music 24/7. You can tune in to their stream via their web site here.

Since mid June 2006, the weekly webradio-show of the Locked Groove DJs team hits your radio with the most up to date dance music. The Locked Groove DJs are: Chris Niteshake, mr. Stelio K, Jan LaRoque, Jimlem & Giorgio El. Every Thursday from 20:00 to 22:00 (greek time) danceradio.gr broadcasts sets by the residents of the team as well as exclusive guest mixes by recognized international DJs.

The Jon Silva set will be broadcasted tonight between 09:00pm and 11:00pm CET (08:00pm to 10:00pm greek time).

Click here to see the eFlyer!

lockedgroove_reflect

Soda Inc. mix show on Frisky Radio

Thanks to Emanuel Phaz who invited Soda Inc. to a guest mix on his Transport show!

The show will be broadcasted tonight at midnight GMT (01:00am CET), so make sure you have coffee on stock and enjoy the blast. You can still sleep tomorrow.

Pesto Community

We have installed a forum board for our users to interact.

We have sections for Acryl Music, Shayan-Music and Soda Inc., as well. Post links to your MP3s demos or snippets, talk about software, podcasts, DJ mixes, radio shows, etc. Other labels are welcome to post their news releases!

Please see here: http://pesto.informe.com

Newsletter back online

Those among you that visited our former website will surely remember our newsletter sign-up box.

The functionality is back, but we tweaked it a little. Please see our PestoNews subscription manager. Today, we also sent out the first issue of our newsletter, so check your inbox in case you're subscribed. We will take the chance and ask for some feedback here:



Our new merchandise shop is online

It's been awaited long but finally, you are able to buy wearables for Pestoleras, Pestoleros and Pestolinis (what the heck does THAT mean?) in our merchandise shop.

Choose from several styles for females, males and kids. Besides a large range of different tops, we also have caps, lanyards and even string tangas (oh yes, preferably for females) with a Pesto logo. They all come at very reasonable prices - for our international customers, the shop is completely in english language.

Have a look at the Pesto merchandising here! (opens in new window)

Website relaunch

It has been done finally - the new Pesto website is up and running. There might still be a few bugs or typos here and there and missing content, but this will be fixed in brief. Thanks to all the people that visited the beta pages and helped me a lot with their critique and suggestions - you know who you are!

Please feel free to leave a comment or send your feedback via the contact form.

Much love...Jon Silva, Pesto Music