Friday, 13 July 2012

#FindOutFriday Summer School Specials, Lesson 6: Made You Look - The Importance of Packaging

If I had a pound for every music link I receive, swiftly followed by requests for mixtape reviews...Well it wouldn't match this week's Euro Lottery jackpot, but it would certainly fund a comfortable lifestyle.

Unfortunately, I have to upset many an artist because of one standard rule. If you can't be bothered to label (properly), I can't be bothered to listen. It is absolutely shocking how many artists think that once they've finished recording, their work is done. You could not be more wrong!

When it comes to packaging mixtapes for promotional releases, most tend to forget one very important thing; their masterpiece is one of many in a pile. Why do you think that most DJs have a separate email address purely for music submissions? Your work is one of an infinite number and you as an artist, have a matter of seconds to stand out from the envelope beneath you.

'KROnicles of IntelLEK' tracklisting (April 2012)
With ESP Ltd. projects, packaging is paramount because it's what brings the attention of new audiences. In order to draw your eye, our visual concepts are always a little different from the norm, but more importantly, we ensure that there is absolutely nothing to get in the way of the good stuff - the music. I tend to opt for the advice of one of my favourite song lyrics when packaging new releases; I ensure they are: "Wrapped up, Packed up, Ribbon with a bow on it". In practical terms, that means every track on a release is numbered, labelled appropriately and catalogued, with full referencing credits. As Lekhem recently wrote in his blog piece discussing the effects of the Internet on the Music Industry (The Internet: Music's Help or Hindrance?); who recalls the days when you would buy a physical release just so that you could read the inlays and see who did what?

Although adding a folder to my iTunes, only to completely lose all of the tracks because someone couldn't be bothered to label their works properly is hugely annoying; it's only surpassed by ONE thing on my criminal list - Spelling Errors! In this day and age, there is absolutely no justifiable cause for spelling errors - the trusty spellcheck function does after all, make the very short writing process as easy as A, B, C...

I'm not the only one who refuses to listen to lazily packaged projects though; remember when DJ Melody Kane dropped by a few months back for her #FindOutFriday feature?

"If there's good music out there, people just need to email me, it needs to be clearly labelled, it needs to be a high bitrate, it needs to be presented in a certain way. If people send me music and just say; "listen to my track it's f***ing amazing!" I won't download it, I won't even open it...Just make sure that it's sent in the right way; make sure you've labelled your tracks correctly, make sure it's mastered and if I like it then I will 100% play it."

So there you go, you don't have to take my word for it at all - you have the guidance of a World-Wide DJ, also known for spinning a tune or few as SB:TV's Official DJ and for the lads of Chelsea FC.

Thanks for taking part in this week's lesson - feedback is always welcome, so leave your comments in the usual place...

Best Wishes for a Dry weekend my fellow Britons; to the rest of the World - see you next time!

ES ;)