Style: Interview Portrait
Free Music Digger | With his Podcast called "Machtdose" Podcaster Roland presents a treasure box full of the most terrific netlabel-music around. While fascinated hopping from country to country he presents music from all kind of genres. His Machtdose Show gives a damn about music-boundaries and leads you each time into new corners of the netlabel world. An interview with a Netaudio-Podcaster.
When did you make your first contact with the free music scene, especially netlabels? Do you remember the first release you downloaded?
I can't remember exactly but it must have been in 2003 or 2004 when I had discovered the (now dead) webjay.org site. On webjay you were able to create playlists with links to online available mp3's - and through playlists by other users I became aware of netlabels like Observatory, Tokyo Dawn and Bevlar (unfortunately all three aren't active anymore, last two are even down for a longer time now).
I then presented in my weblog ronsens a first playlist called sentimental journey in netaudio and that was the start of collecting netaudio tracks by myself. The next lists were then already published on Machtdose, a more music-centered weblog originally initiated by my friend Gregor. Some time later I went then to present the tracks in a podcast with moderation.
What drives you to dig especially into the world of netlabels?
Simple answer: the music. This is really what it is all about: the music and nothing else. If you visit a netlabel site you normally know exactly nothing about the presented tracks and artists. You just listen to their music - and then it's on your site to decide if you like it or not. There's no marketing strategy, no public image, no music critic who tries to take influence on that.
Next big point is that you have access to really international music which you wouldn't listen to otherwise, from artists all over the world - and not only the main markets. In our last episode we've had music from Bulgaria, Portugal, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, Hungary, Austria, the United States, Spain, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Canada and Argentinia - and it's like that month per month.
A lot of people claim that the netlabels are a bunch of amateurs. "They give their music away for free", they say, "because otherwise noone would buy their records." What would be your answer to such a statement?
Besides it isn't true and that there are enough examples of "professional" musicians who have released on netlabels?
Even if you agree that most netlabel artists won't earn any money with their work - what's wrong with that? Often enough it is for example a conscious decision not to follow any commercial logic - like the one which is basis of this statement: that commercial success is a serious indicator for the quality of music. I think most of us have made other experiences, just listen to top seller music charts and you know what I mean.
Last not least: if you take a look on the development of the music market and the fact that music is getting more and more an "immaterial" good with profound consequences for its distribution, you shouldn't be too snobby about netlabelism - on the contrary it will probably give you some hints of what could be possible future models for promoting music.
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About the Author
This article was written on 14.May 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..