On Being Independent

We just got back from the first annual EDM Biz conference in Las Vegas and I have a few thoughts I'd like to share.

First I'd like to say that the conference was straight out top notch.  John Boyle, Jason Bentley, Pasquale Rotella and the crew at Insomniac out did themselves getting the shindig together with just a few months notice.  The quality of speakers, moderators and info presented far surpassed any events that we've attended in the past.  This was quite possibly because it was the very first EDMbiz conference, but I think that it had to do with the fact that it was the first time that electronic music has had a forum in America for industry veterans to get together and network in an upscale, organized event - at least the first that I've attended.  The Winter Music Conference doesn't count in my book because it has never attracted the industry's heavy hitters, but the EDMbiz surely did.

Alas, there was a feeling I felt from some of the different organizations that embody the EDM engine - that unless you were directly connected to a major label - you didn't exist.  Hmph! I found this strange because I've been wondering if the major labels ABRUPT (understatement?) move to EDM last year was a last ditch effort to salvage any hope of continuing in the brave new world of online music.

I think what some people may be forgetting is that it was the independent labels that created dance music - and it was the independent labels that broke all conventions and created a new type of music that was made by the people for the people (sounds familiar doesn't it?) There is a great article entitled Dumbing Down of Electronic Music by Jim Fusilli about a topic which is directly related to the major label/mainstream issue.

So to wrap this post up I'll just say that being independent is awesome, but it definitely has it's limitations.  We can't get our artists on the cover of Rolling Stone or on the Billboard charts with a phone call, but we can release quality, relevant music and retain our integrity and self respect - and who knows, maybe someday we'll be fortunate enough to make something incredible that stands the test of time!

Dave Rene(Interscope), Michael Cohen (Control Management), Bart Cools (EMI), Patrick Moxey (Ultra), Glenn Mendlinger (Astralwerks), Daniel Glass (Glassnote), Matt Adell (Beatport)