Money 4 Nothing

Independent Labels and Electronic Music with Chal Ravens

June 20, 2022

The music industry isn’t a monolith and few scenes have a more distinctive structure than electronic music. As it developed from house and techno to today’s endless array of genres, the music traded the artist-heavy focus of rap or rock for constellations of high-profile DJs, faceless producers, and—most importantly for today’s episode—a host of iconic independent labels. In a hyper-consolidated, major label world, these indies have not only survived but (sometimes) thrived, defining the aesthetic development of scene after scene both before AND after the internet-driven shifts of the 2000’s. But...how did that work? And how do independents fit into the economy of electronic music more generally? To learn more, we were delighted to talk to music journalist Chal Ravens who hosts the podcast “Relevant Parties” profiling legendary labels from DFA and Ninja Tune to Exit and Ed Banger. Our freewheeling conversation touched on everything from the idea of “curation” in the age of Spotify and how Myspace allowed producers to outflank major labels to the informational economy of the club…and whole lot more.

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Music: CZ Wang and Neo Image - "Just Off Wave" 

 

 

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