Style: Interview Portrait
The Love For Music | Camomille is one of the oldest and most exceptional netlabels to date. With Vince Fugère as its head Camomille set some high fidelity milesstones in the netaudio world. The sound could be best described as a mixture of Ambient, Indietronica and IDM. With extraordinary strong illustrations and artworks Camomille confronts its audience with beautiful art. In our interview Vince unveils the origin, secrets and history of Camomille.
The Roots and Origin Of Camomille Netlabel
Phlow: Can you describe the early Bulletin Board days? For instance: Was it a big scene? How did people find out about it? How did you get involved? Were the participants mostly musicians - or did non-musicians use it to find music as well? How did it actually work?
Vince: I started being in contact with the BBS (Bulletin Board System) scene back in 1994-1995. Back then an internet connection was pretty much out of the question and it only started getting some media attention.
It all started for me when a friend of mine invited me to connect to another friend's computer using my really high-speed 14.4 dialup modem to play games on his computer. He had created an interface where we could browse his "site." It was all done in ANSI/ASCII interfaces and there was a spot to download music and images, and also a forum to chat. Only 2 users could be on it at any time. It is back then that I got my first contact with my passions for graphic design and music.
There was an art-form unfamiliar to most now which is ANSI art. Back then, the DOS interface we used to connect to BBSs was 16 colors, if I remember correctly. Some early graphic artists used this extremely limited set of colors to create absolutely beautiful renderings. From that first BBS you connect then you can see the other BBSs in your area code in the links section.
I started researching this intriguing ANSI art and found that some artists had created groups from which they published Artpacks. One very popular group back in the day was ICE. What was great is that in order that your local BBS have these files and artpacks and updates from these Artgroups, they had to connect to other BBSs way outside your area code, and the distribution of new files was made this way. Hence the feeling of an underground community we all felt while connecting to BBSs.
On those artpacks, you could find ANSI art, poetry and weird files that had weird extensions, like .mod, .s3m, .xm and .it. After some research I found "players" for those kind of files and to my amazement they were music modules. A module, basically, is a file that is somewhat like a .midi file or a sequence file from your favorite sequencer, but that can play only .wav samples that are imbedded in the file itself. There were different reasons for this. From what I know, the tracker (music software) in various forms, was used to create the music found in Amiga and nintendo or any early game system because the filesize was so small. For early nintendo games, well most games anyways, you only had to store 4 really small wav files (a sine wave, a square wav and 2 noise samples for example) and use them in different ways to create sound. Hence the chipmusic scene that is still pretty huge and still getting bigger to this day. This small file size was perfect for the BBS, with out 14.4, it was hell to download .mp3s.
About the Author
This article was written on 21.March 2008 by mo.. mo. is a music-lover. The journalist and author from Cologne/Germany enjoys supporting the global netlabel-phenomena. For years he has explored the netlabel underground and has written numerous articles on the free music culture. He is the main-editor behind Phlow. Read more articles written by mo..