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!


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 EP002: V.A. - Booty Shakers out now [and charting]

cover artwork for Pesto EP 002
A bit late with the update as Pesto EP002 "Booty Shakers" is already out since 5th January 2011 but here we go.

First, we have Cooccer from Stuttgart, Germany - resident at the legendary Climax club inventing a completely new genre. "Elarina" should be filed under DubDisco because of the massive bass line going under some discoid snippets and a strict groove. Cooccer just broke Climax' visitor record last December. We'll investigate further if this is related to his release;)

Up next, we have Eire's finest Andy O' Donoghue with "Kick Back", a monotonous stomper with a remarkable piano chord, suitable both for early and late hours on the floor - toolish and a must-have in any DJ's sleeve.

Third in the row is "Access" by Norman Creed and Patryk Molinari featuring some not so unknown spoken words in the break on top of a roaring bassline. Patryk just had a smasher out on Greelpound Records while both of the Berlin based guys released awesome choons on our first EP "Deep Discoveries" a couple of weeks ago.

"Rainbows & Butterflies" comes from Dubai and Mumbai in the shape of Sam Farsio and Arnold Misquitta aka Socio Robots. This hot duo is destined to make it big in 2011 and their contribution to "Booty Shakers" is just another proof of their quality. These guys have been played by all top notch jocks and this tune is no different rather than another reason for their global success.

Then, we have a young talent from FYROM aka Macedonia (please don't start arguments on the meaning of "Macedonia" mkay?) who I've had already the pleasure to rock a night with: Nick Fay. "Your Love" is a plain peaktime full floor smasher that will get any crowd going. Huge breakdown, fat beats, catchy vocal - this one has all it takes!

Last but not least there's Russia's Ivan Weber who contributes a piece reminiscient of "Le Champagne" by Trentemøller in the first place. Ivan evolves "People Are Strange" to new heights though by employing a massive synth riff that ends up in a huge, messy and dirty break - just to catch up with the groove from before.

Here's the Beatport player:


Go to Beatport.comGet These TracksAdd This Player



[update: "Booty Shakers" just entered the Deep House album charts on Juno Download at #53]
Juno Download has quite a nice player as well:




Housetrap podcast: Episode 21 by Kyka & Chris Mil

You probably know these two Estonians from our Pesto 010R release (then going by the name of JP & Kris Mil) and they have a superb podcast covering deep and techy House.

housetrap_180x60

Episode 21 features these fine tunes:

01. DJ Honesty, Sygaire - The Time Is Now (Honesty Perspective) / Room With A View
02. Deetron – Orange (Original Mix) / Music Man Records
03. Tony Lionni - Treat Me Right (Jimpster Edit) / Freerange
04. Hypnos - Ordinary Man (R-Tem Remix) / Deepology Digital
05. Ola - She Sings (Original Mix) / Save Room Recordings
06. Tom Middleton – Hypnotizer (Kyka Edit)
07. Oxia - Sun Step (Original Mix) / 8 Bit
08. Spin Science - Fog Patterns (Original Mix) / Cabrio
09. Ethyl, Huxley - Mother Tongue (Original Mix) / Tsuba
10. Bastards Of Funk - Rhythm (Liluca Remix) / Proton Music
11. Sebastian Davidson – Gaze (Soul Minority Deep Mix) / Dark Energy Records
12. Yofunk – Endless (Original Mix) / Loco Records
13. Chelonis R. Jones - The Cockpit (Ekkohaus Remix) / Systematic Recordings
14. Chopstick - A New Dub Feat. Fritz Kalkbrenner (Noir Edit) / Noir Music
15. 6th Borough Project - Miss World (Soultourist Remix) / Delusions Of Grandeur
16. Dennis Ferrer - Hey Hey (DF’s Attention Vocal Mix) / Objectivity
17. Lump - Lord Only Knows (Original Mix) / Brut!
18. Kyka – Roots (Original Mix)
19. The Invisible Planets - Lost In Vibes (Original Mix) / Fresh Fish
20. Shlomi Aber, Itamar Sagi – Blonda (Funk D’Void Remix) / Toolroom
21. Jon Silva - The Love In Me (Original Mix) / Conya Records

You can subscribe to their RSS feed, an additional iTunes link is also being offered on their page. Enjoy!

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)]

Classic HipHop tune: O.C. feat. Yvette Michelle - Far From Yours

One of the most overseen, most underrated MCs ever, if you ask me - ladies and gents, make some noise for O.C! Good to know I have his "Jewelz" album from 1997 on double 12" somewhere in my warehouse.
And now get ready for some spring, early summer vibes straight from the left coast (embedding has been disabled unfortunately, so please follow the link):

O.C. feat. Yvette Michelle - Far From Yours

If anybody wants to know: the original sample is by The Brothers Johnson from their 1976 album "Look Out for #1", the respective tune is named "Tomorrow". The Brothers Johnson are famous not only because of their original work (which is quite nice to listen to still) rather than for providing samples for mid-1990ies House tunes such as this one:



Here's an instrumental of "Far From Yours" provided via YT, too (it's the whole tune just without the raps, to be precise):

Pesto 011: Sandra Lima - Higher now available everywhere! [update]

pesto011_reflect
Today, we're not only happy to see the launch of the AppStore for the iPhone but we're also happy to announce that Pesto 011 by Sandra Lima is available on any major download store worldwide.

We received raving feedback from DJs all over, received club and radio airplay and already placed "Higher" on a couple of compilations - both download bundles and physical ones. Here's a couple of reactions (in no particular order):

Sebastian Davidson (NL):
This is a stellar release!!! Full support!

Da Funk (Acryl Music, Plastic City, Forensic):
definitly the mulder's deepest remix instrumentla for me. will play and chart fer sure!
love it!

Michael Fossati (spritiofhouse.com):
Thanks a lot for the promo, hope you like the review you can find at http://www.spiritofhouse.com/content/view/744/3/

Ric Mc Lelland aka Scope (UK):
thanks for sending jost!
nice ep..
the original is nice listening music.. good groove and sweet vocal..
your instrumental is what i'll be playing in the clubs thou!
nice deep house grooves there bro!

Chris Blenda (Energy 107.6, Greece):
I would like to thank you guys for your support and the special releases you send me ... :)

Richard Earnshaw (Duff Note, UK):
Loving the Jay J dub on this…… top stuff.

Joan Ribas (Ibiza Global Radio):
Hey bro, simply amazign,.,, I just play it on my morning show few minutes ago and I have a very good feedback from the people… (jon silva’s is my mix)

Jay Tripwire:
really feeling the mulders deep dub..

Vince Lombardi (Durty Records, SF/USA):
Mulders rmx's of this track truly set the bar for futuristic house music. Its got top notch vocals and drums and ALL the elements are in there right place. I have been playing the Mulder rmxs out on my thursday night residency and it has demanded attention on the dancefloor everytime.

Franco Martinelli (housepage.net, ITA):
Awesome package, the Original mix is a solid soulful/funky affair, Jay-J provides an uplifting and fresh remix, while Jon Silva delivers a darker, deeper and electronic influenced remix for the main floor. Full support and review coming soon ! 

Steve K (Locked Groove/Fresh FM, Greece):
i would say its ur best release to date Jon..i will surey play most of the mixes out there , but i love all of them..such a pleasure to see Jay-j remixing for ur label good luck mate

Click here for more reactions.

Pesto 011 "Higher" by Sandra Lima is available on every major download store. Below is a selection of the most popular ones:

Traxsource.com
Stompy.com
iTunes Music Store
Juno Download
Beatport.com

[update: Pesto 011 by Sandra Lima meanwhile entered the sales charts on Traxsource at #93!]