In the past, we used to give our releases to a certain download store - mostly Beatport, sometimes Traxsource - exclusive for a limited period of time. For a label like Pesto with limited PR budget, it was a welcome opportunity to get banners or get featured, thus increasing exposure and sales.
To be honest though, we did not really see any changes in sales with regards to being featured or not. Some banner on Beatport or Traxsource is a nice thing to brag about and post screenshots to Facebook but in reality, it doesn't boost sales in a way that justifies excluding other download stores for at least two weeks.
Fast forward to late May 2012, we all could see the Traxsource/DJ Sneak drama unfold in shining glory. In case you missed it, here's Sneak's post on Facebook. It was followed by an official statement from Traxsource, which can be found here on Traxsource's Facebook page. Let's forget about all these questions of honour, how to run a business, etc. - I can side with both parties here and understand their respective point of view. What's more striking, especially taking into account what we were thinking regarding exclusive releases in the paragraph above, is this (quote from Traxsource's statement):
This means, when we receive a release after it has been exclusive elsewhere, we do not feature it on the site in any prime positions. Our customers know what's what and we feel its insulting to them to feature old music with today's date on it. Since we began this policy in mid 2011, we’ve seen dramatic positive results and more and more top tiered labels are providing content to all sites at the same time. We feel this is the trend moving forward.
So, let's look at from the angle of the good ol' record store days: was it usual to exclude certain record stores? Were there releases exclusive to a certain record shop? For major labels, there was this option indeed but it was never usual for underground labels - at least not to my knowledge. And when looking closer, it doesn't make a lot of sense either: when you want to sell a product, you want it to be available in as many spots as possible unless it's some super duper exclusive (sic!) product like a Bugatti Veyron. An MP3 download is quite the opposite of said luxury car.
Traxsource makes another point:
We feel it cannot be smart for top tiered artists and labels to make their releases harder to find legitimately and more expensive during the short period of demand. Lets say you make a big track and its in high demand. A young DJ Google's it and finds 100 links to free versions on various illegal file sharing sites and only 1 link to buy it legitimately, but in a store he doesn't like, and its more expensive then it should be. We feel this scenario happens every day, and drives demand for the illegal copy and ultimately hurts all of us.
Now we are probably not a top tiered label (we're trying though) but point taken. So let's think again: we have no reason for exclusive releases but we have good reasons against it. Easy decision then, innit?
Yesterday, we sent out the promos for Pesto 017 and Brian Tappert of Traxsource sent me this message:
Hi Jon, These tracks sound great. Wondering if you would consider to provide them to us same time as all other sites? Really like what you guys do. HollaKind Regards,Brian
I hope this answers your question, Brian. :)
One last word about exclusive releases: with all of the above being true and fact, we still consider exclusive releases in the future. This can happen in exclusive tracks only available on a certain platform (we did this a few years ago already) and/or in exclusive downloads directly from Pesto Music, for example via our Bandcamp page or a (to be implemented) dedicated store on our web site. So, in the future it may say "exclusive from pesto.de, all download stores to follow 14 days later".
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!
Now, I don't have a problem with people who'd like to try before buying. They want to listen to the whole tune, not just some two-minute snippet on Beatport or some 45-seconds preview on iTunes. I do understand that! But if I really like a tune which I've acquired in a similar manner, I'm buying it in the end. Especially when using it in my DJ sets.
Then, you have the die-hard fans. They upload a Pesto track to YouTube, share it with their friends, record it from some web radio and post that to SoundCloud. They are not aware of any evil they might be doing or any harm that their action may cause to both artists and labels. They just love the tune and thus, they put it up their profile on whatever service.
How do you deal with them?
Let me give you an example. I have a Google alert set for various keywords in order to monitor other people's activity on Pesto releases. One of them is set up for the keyword "cloudsteppers" which is the artist of our Pesto 012 single. So, last weekend, I find a mention in my RSS feed for that very keyword and see it's a SoundCloud link. I thought "hmm, maybe it's Vyach of Cloudsteppers who put up a snippet on his SoundCloud" but the link pointed to a profile I wasn't aware of. I clicked the link, SoundCloud opened and I was displayed my Soda Inc. remix of Cloudsteppers' "Make Me Shine". No problem, fans tend to do that. I see downloads are enabled and it's nearly the whole tune, hijacked from some web radio stream - available as a free download.
Well, there's a free download of that Cloudsteppers track on pesto.de but, in fact, it's not the "Jon Silva's Soda Inc. Remix".
At this time, a label has two options:
1. lawyer up, hit the gym, profit.
2. write a message to the poster, explaining the backgrounds, kindly asking to disable downloads.
I went for option 2. and here's what I wrote (including all grammar and spelling errors - it was a Sunday):
Here's a transcript:
Just came across my remix of that Cloudsteppers track on your profile. I'm happy you like the tune and when people put our Music (the mix is released on my Pesto label) on their profile, it usually means they're big fans. That's awesome!
However, it takes away possible income from the artists and the label - especially when offered as download.
I am therefore asking you to disable downloads and if you feel like supporting both the artist and the label (Cloudsteppers, Pesto Music and me), please add a download link to a store. You can use a link to Beatport for example: http://www.beatport.com/release/make-me-shine/151087
Feel free to keep the track on your profile, you don't have to remove it but please disable downloads.
Hope you understand:)
cheers & have a great weekend,
PS: did you know we have a Pesto FreeBee, a free download of another version of Make Me Shine? Check this out: http://pesto-usa.com/PestoCast/Make_Me_Shine_FreeBee_Version.mp3
Less than 24 hours later, I get a reply:
I thank you for having written, downloads is disable,
(CLOUDSTEPPERS - Make Me Shine (Jon Silva's Soda Inc remix) by Olga Wagner :))
and thanks for another link, I'm glad!
Rather than pissing off one person with an unnecessary lawsuit and additional hustle, I now have a supporter. Rather than Olga telling her friends what dickheads the Pesto guys are, she's now probably telling them that we're just reasonable and that we appreciate our fans doing free promo for us. At least, I hope so. Worst case: she doesn't tell anybody but points her friends and social circle to her profile and we get more exposure. Everybody wins.
What I was about to say: I don't mind if you post our tracks. A person who's satisfied with the sound quality on YouTube or SoundCloud wouldn't buy it anyway. No sales gone. A person who's convinced of having a right to download music, software, ebooks and the likes for free without any consideration for the authors wouldn't be buying in any case.
It's up to you - the fan, the listener, the reader, the enjoyer - to pay for non-physical, digital goods. If nobody pays, there won't be as much material for you to download in the future. If you support the artists and the labels that bring lovely music to you, the artist will be able to buy a new piece of gear to record vocals or a guitar. The label will be able to buy stock photography for cover artworks, buy label software, buy new mastering plugins to improve the overall label's sound and so on and so forth.
It's all up to you! Your decision makes the difference.
Ya feelin me or you tend to disagree? Let us know in the FB comments.
To pick up that feeling and bring it to you, we have just released what we would call a proper summer soundtrack. Say hi to the third installment of our multi-artist Pesto EP titled "Mediterranean Vibes".
"Mediterranean Vibes" makes the full circle from really deep and chilly beach tracks with a gentle tribal touch such as "Shake This" by KountDown Project, over a dubby and atmospheric re-interpretation of Christos Fourkis' "About Me" by EDM veteran Bobby Deep, to bouncy and uplifting House tunes like "Rhythm Xord" by J Kar. When the sun has set, you can begin the evening with Helly Larson's bumping "The Sea" tune, drop John Sweet's "Don't Forget", an atmospheric mover, just to give the crazy clubbers what they need with pure peaktime material "Success" by Fair Play Knight.
The tracks have found lots of fans in the global DJ community, causing DJ mixes to pop up on the net containing one or another tune from the EP. We'll follow up on that in brief and present you a couple of brand new mixes that are worth having.
"Mediterranean Vibes" is out exclusive on Beatport today, the 26th May 2011, all other stores will follow 9th June 2011.
01. KountDown Project - Shake This
02. Christos Fourkis - About Me (Bobby Deep Remix)
03. J Kar - Rhythm Xord
04. Helly Larson - The Sea
05. John Sweet - Don't Forget
06. Fair Play Knight - Successful (Dub)
I've already had the great pleasure to remix Berny's "Shplatten" on Aenaria and this is my second Jon Silva remix for the italian guys. I'm happy to announce the Jon Silva remix, reminiscent of the 2007 sound, infused with heavy doses of dub, deep house and some vocoding.
There are more awesome mixes contained - please check them out in the Beatport player below:
First, we have Cooccer from Stuttgart, Germany - resident at the legendary Climax club inventing a completely new genre. "Elarina" should be filed under DubDisco because of the massive bass line going under some discoid snippets and a strict groove. Cooccer just broke Climax' visitor record last December. We'll investigate further if this is related to his release;)
Up next, we have Eire's finest Andy O' Donoghue with "Kick Back", a monotonous stomper with a remarkable piano chord, suitable both for early and late hours on the floor - toolish and a must-have in any DJ's sleeve.
Third in the row is "Access" by Norman Creed and Patryk Molinari featuring some not so unknown spoken words in the break on top of a roaring bassline. Patryk just had a smasher out on Greelpound Records while both of the Berlin based guys released awesome choons on our first EP "Deep Discoveries" a couple of weeks ago.
"Rainbows & Butterflies" comes from Dubai and Mumbai in the shape of Sam Farsio and Arnold Misquitta aka Socio Robots. This hot duo is destined to make it big in 2011 and their contribution to "Booty Shakers" is just another proof of their quality. These guys have been played by all top notch jocks and this tune is no different rather than another reason for their global success.
Then, we have a young talent from FYROM aka Macedonia (please don't start arguments on the meaning of "Macedonia" mkay?) who I've had already the pleasure to rock a night with: Nick Fay. "Your Love" is a plain peaktime full floor smasher that will get any crowd going. Huge breakdown, fat beats, catchy vocal - this one has all it takes!
Last but not least there's Russia's Ivan Weber who contributes a piece reminiscient of "Le Champagne" by Trentemøller in the first place. Ivan evolves "People Are Strange" to new heights though by employing a massive synth riff that ends up in a huge, messy and dirty break - just to catch up with the groove from before.
Here's the Beatport player:
[update: "Booty Shakers" just entered the Deep House album charts on Juno Download at #53]
Juno Download has quite a nice player as well:
Christian Giovannis aka Christian G. from Sydney, Australia began his passion for music and DJing in 1988. He made his debut on a number of local community radio stations presenting current underground releases in a commercially dominant environment. Soon after he explored his creativity and passion for music by pursuing a life long dream in DJing which to this day continues to play a big part of his life.
With 22 years at the helm, Christian has been through the ups and downs of the music and dance scene. He has played in all of Sydney's major clubs showcasing his technical ability and programming skills to packed dance floors. Reading crowds week in week out made him a favourite amongst the clubbing crowd and establishing a reputation as a DJ's DJ.
From the days of turntables and mixed tapes right up to current technology he has kept in touch with the mechanics of the trade with an emphasis on DJ programming. More recently he produced his own blend of deep grooving numbers with a remix of Harry Vincent's Rapture on Plastic City which also features on a mix by Soda Inc (Plastic City - Maybe). Christian continues to push and share the love of deep house music through many forms of media, mixed sets and has regular DJ mix slots on www.chugg.net.au, Sydney's number 1 Deep House radio station. In addition he has appeared a special guest with regular spins on FBI radio in Sydney by Sydney DJ James Locksmith from FBI & Jembe Music.
Besides being deeply involved in music, Christian is a talented photographer as well. The cover artwork for Pesto 015 "Deep Reflection" is actually one of his brilliant shots. If you would like to check out more of his photographic works, make sure you spend some time on his photography page.
Mr. Christian G can also be found on Facebook, Soundcloud and twitter.
Beirut-born and Amsterdam-based Fady is one of the hottest producers at the moment with his tunes being regularly showcased on BBC's infamous Radio One, frequent guest in the world's DJ charts, mixes and playlists. His standing is definitely not due to being the usual "hyping myself on social networks" guy - far from that! Fady Ferraye has been constantly building his career since he began contributing to the world of club music in 1990.
Yes kids, that's 20 years in the business - long before Beatport, let alone the MP3 file format, was invented. That may be one of the reasons why Fady is still sticking to the "black gold" and spins vinyl-only sets to this day. He has been playing a major role in the Middle East's club scene not only by putting out oriental-injected music but also by being the only DJ who held residencies in all three Lebanon's super-clubs at the same time (namely B018, Strange Fruit and the Basement, two of which were voted best clubs worldwide in DJ Mag's annual Top100). For more than 5 years, he has been a resident at Amsterdam's renowned NL Club.
Glamorous nights have included performing at an afterhours party for P Diddy and headlining Fashion TV's Black Diamond Boat, while DJ bookings over the years have seen him perform alongside Tiesto, Paul Oakenfold, Deep Dish, Sander Kleinenberg, Above & Beyond, Judge Jules, Dave Seaman, Marco V and many more.
Fady Ferraye also runs his own show "Goosebumped" on Frisky Radio and I had the great honour to be his guest (here's a free download of my Goosebumped set).
When searching his name on YouTube, besides Fady's own channel, you will find numerous clips from his gigs all over west asian countries. Pay attention to the euphoric crowd with their hands in the air and shouting "Fady, Fady, Fady" und you will get an idea of the vibe Fady Ferraye brings to a club. If there is a term for uniting people in the name of music, regardless of their origin, the colour of their skin or their religion - if there are words for the bridge between the western hemisphere, its tradition in electronic music and clubbing and the rich culture of young Lebanese, Jordans, Arabs and many more - these words must be Fady Ferraye.
As a label owner, you could only dream of having such an artist in your roster. Well, the dream came true for Pesto Music when Fady signed his outstanding "Amman" tune to our label. "Amman" got released via our 2.0 compilation "A Jar Of Fresh Pesto" (the name was Fady's idea, too by the way!) in 2009. Pretty soon, we will release the single with more classy remixes here on Pesto.
As an artist, you feel just very proud when being approached by Fady asking you to remix one of his tunes. You cannot deliver anything that's below superior. That's what I just tried with "She Bounces", released on the italian Presslab imprint. I tried to come up with the most energetic vibe, doing the original tune and Fady himself the justice they deserve. I'm quite happy with the mix and hope you like it as much as I enjoyed making it!
You can do Fady a big favour by buying the tune(s) below and also by voting for him in DJ Mag's Top 100 poll: www.top100djs.net
Besides that, "The Disclosure Project" and their equally-named label have been a constant of the Deep House scene for many years, loved by many including us here at Pesto for their highly musical output that not only claims to be according to quality but proves that claim by putting out one killer release after another.
"Sleep Cycle 5" is one of those tunes I immediately fell in love with when I heard it for the first time a few months ago. Deep, lush and with amazing chord progressions of that kind that will make shivers running down your spine. When speaking with Paul about a possible remix for that tune, I told him it would be hard to come up with a decent remix unless I would not destroy the intense feeling of "Sleep Cycle 5". I've tried a couple of options until I eventually decided to go with just the chord progressions, speed the whole thing up and give it a totally new vibe.
The hot July here in Cologne put me in 100% summer mode and so I tried to transform "Sleep Cycle 5" into a summer hymn, good for all outdoor occasions when great music with a positive vibe is needed and pushing the energy levels will raise an audience's arms.
I hope to have accomplished this mission but hear and judge yourself.
Bruno delivers "Delicia", a 1980ies-flavoured tune that reminds you of the early years of the world-class mega clubs on Eivissa. The "Delicious Dub Mix" by Bruno uses only portions of the sexy whispered vocal by Daniela Dos Santos and adds a slightly straighter touch. Also on board, we have Estonia's Microphunk" who just recently happened to release a smashing tune on Deeper Shades of House. His mix is a deep, dubby and slightly darker affair. And finally, we have the "Terrace Mix" by Pesto's own Jon Silva giving you a peaktime rework for your favourite terrace.
Here's a dedicated Beatport player, we have also added full length previews on our website player. There, you can also check out the still hot Pesto 013 release by Replika - Inner Visions.
There are two really outstanding remixes by Terry Lee Brown Jr. and the ever awesome Soul Minority from Barcelone.
One word about the TLB remix: I'm really not much of a fan of Terry's clubbier and toolish tunes. But when he travels the deep route, I'm instantly in love with the sound of this true veteran in House music. Needless to say anything about Soul Minority other than that: if you're not familiar with the output of this guy, you seriously missing something!
Acryl Music have published some DJ feedback on their site so you'll see I'm not alone with my opinion;)
Please check out this wonderful EP on Beatport:
Also included are a bunch of other remixes previously unreleased, among them a great (as always) Ralf Gum rework. Here's that:
Oh, and thanks to Klemen, Evren and Sezer for their patience!
Check it out along with the rest of this great clubby pack on the Beatport player below:
Are you already friends with us on Facebook? If not, you can do so now:)
[update: "Murr" is now a featured release in Beatport's Deep House section. Yay!]
Soul T - What A Day (Original Mix)
Nacho Marco - Estefania (Original Mix)
Atnarko, Jevne - Get On Down (Replika Remix)
MKL, Johanna Saint-Pierre - En Jaguar Beige (MKL Vocal Mix)
Seroton - You Make It Strong (Original Mix)
Dubnova, Urban Absolutes - Strandbar (Original Mix)
Glender - Tribal Is So Beautiful (Original Mix)
Latenta Project - Endeavor (Original Mix)
Kelvin K - Faze 1 (Original Mix)
Tiga - Shoes (Green Velvet Remix)
1. James Harcourt - Proton (Original Mix)
2. Alter Breed - Aladdin (Original Mix)
3. Quivver - Is There Anybody There (Original Mix)
4. D.Ramirez - Wired feat. LDV (Original Mix)
5. Beckers, D-Nox - Left Behind (Daniel Marques Remix)
6. Jamie McHugh - H20 (Raudive Mix)
7. Paul Woolford - Pandemonium (Original Mix)
8. Jon Silva - AcidHouse (Original Mix)
9. Boris Brejcha - The Mask (Original Mix)
10. Muzikjunki - Fashiondance (Veerus & Maxie Devine Remix)
Thanks for your support!
It is beyond our knowledge why artwork and artists appearing on the label have to be entered manually as Beatport's database should provide those connections - at least, it works within their shop. Yet still it's neat to have a dedicated wiki.
We will fill the gaps with content but we're also inviting you to add your rating (five out of five headphones, of course...hehe), missing artist connections and comments to our wiki page. You might also declare yourself a fan and show some love for Pesto. You will need to log in to do so but if you already have an account on Beatport, you can use those credentials.
So far, we experienced the whole thing to be a bit buggy still - connecting artists to the label only works every now and then, for instance. But we are sure these minor issues will be ironed out within brief and might be due to our configuration.
Pesto Music on Beatport
Pesto Music on Beatportal's wiki page
Use the board, young Skywalker!
Having already charted on Traxsource, "Make Me Shine" is now invading Beatport's DeepHouse charts - currently, Jon Silva's Soda Inc. remix is on #28. We're also happy to find this superb release being featured on Beatport - thanks for the support!
So far we detected Pesto LP003 on #60 on Juno's DeepHouse list (#66 this morning). A couple of tunes entered the DeepHouse charts on Beatport, too. Jon Silva's Sunshine enters at #94, Just Want U 2 Dance #80, I Want U #74 and Nikola Gala's Cum Remix of From P60's New Way currently makes it up to # 41.
[update: Pesto LP003 makes up chart positions and currently resides on #45 on Juno's DeepHouse list. The tracks on the DeepHouse charts on Beatport are climbing, too. Jon Silva's Sunshine is now at #84, Just Want U 2 Dance #70, I Want U #27 and Nikola Gala's Cum Remix of From P60's New Way currently makes it up to # 31!]
The people at Beatport are so nice and feature our release in the DeepHouse section as one of the few non-exclusives:
A guy called Silky JacK adds a lovely review of John Dahlback feat. Jon Silva's "Warm Breeze" on beatdigital.com:
"Here's a deep house track that feels like honey to your ears and puts a smile on your face. Can music get any more positive then this? The vocal floats on the track like the smoothest ocean breeze pushes the waves on the shore."
Read the full review (and buy the release) here: Pesto "Ten" on beatsdigital.com
Pesto LP003: Various Artists - Ten is available on Traxsource for only 12,99US$ per bundle!
Pesto LP003: Various Artists - Ten is available on Juno Download from only 5,99£ per bundle!
Pesto LP003: Various Artists - Ten is available on Beatport.
Pesto 011R comes with another bunch of amazing remixes, complimenting the original release very well stylewise. Remixers here are Hermosa's Justin Michael who recently gained a lot of attention through his production and remixing skills, making his tunes a staple for any club-oriented DeepHouse DJ. Justin delivers a pushing and edgy DeepTech mix, including an instrumental version.
Jon Silva's Clap Clap Mix is pure club madness and will make your audience shake what they got. Prepare for an armageddon-like break down - if you prefer the tune with or without Sandra's vocals is up to you.
Torin Rea of West Coast Collective is a fresh talent, also based on the US West Coast. His Soul Rub is pure funk, the Motown vibe gives a great debut for Torin on Pesto who adds the typical left coast flavour to this release.
For all you acapella addicts, we've also included the vocals backed up by the infectious little groove from the Clap Clap Mix.
Pesto 011R by Sandra Lima is available exclusively on Beatport.
We received raving feedback from DJs all over, received club and radio airplay and already placed "Higher" on a couple of compilations - both download bundles and physical ones. Here's a couple of reactions (in no particular order):
Sebastian Davidson (NL):
This is a stellar release!!! Full support!
Da Funk (Acryl Music, Plastic City, Forensic):
definitly the mulder's deepest remix instrumentla for me. will play and chart fer sure!
Michael Fossati (spritiofhouse.com):
Thanks a lot for the promo, hope you like the review you can find at http://www.spiritofhouse.com/content/view/744/3/
Ric Mc Lelland aka Scope (UK):
thanks for sending jost!
the original is nice listening music.. good groove and sweet vocal..
your instrumental is what i'll be playing in the clubs thou!
nice deep house grooves there bro!
Chris Blenda (Energy 107.6, Greece):
I would like to thank you guys for your support and the special releases you send me ... :)
Richard Earnshaw (Duff Note, UK):
Loving the Jay J dub on this…… top stuff.
Joan Ribas (Ibiza Global Radio):
Hey bro, simply amazign,.,, I just play it on my morning show few minutes ago and I have a very good feedback from the people… (jon silva’s is my mix)
really feeling the mulders deep dub..
Vince Lombardi (Durty Records, SF/USA):
Mulders rmx's of this track truly set the bar for futuristic house music. Its got top notch vocals and drums and ALL the elements are in there right place. I have been playing the Mulder rmxs out on my thursday night residency and it has demanded attention on the dancefloor everytime.
Franco Martinelli (housepage.net, ITA):
Awesome package, the Original mix is a solid soulful/funky affair, Jay-J provides an uplifting and fresh remix, while Jon Silva delivers a darker, deeper and electronic influenced remix for the main floor. Full support and review coming soon !
Steve K (Locked Groove/Fresh FM, Greece):
i would say its ur best release to date Jon..i will surey play most of the mixes out there , but i love all of them..such a pleasure to see Jay-j remixing for ur label good luck mate
Click here for more reactions.
Pesto 011 "Higher" by Sandra Lima is available on every major download store. Below is a selection of the most popular ones:
[update: Pesto 011 by Sandra Lima meanwhile entered the sales charts on Traxsource at #93!]
This one offers previews on all mixes of Pesto 011 that are way longer and in a much higher quality than you will find anywhere else. Versions featured here are the Original, Jay-J's Shifted Remix, Jon Silva's Club Mix, The Mulder's Deepest Remix and Jay-J's Shifted Dub.
As a special goodie, you will also find Jon's latest remix for the highly acclaimed Duff Note imprint: Orlando Vaughan - Better Than Never (Jon Silva's Take-A-Pella) in the company of DeepHouse lords Miguel Migs and Richard Earnshaw.
Hear yourself why everybody is going mad on our latest release - FMs, DJs, industry pros and music lovers all alike. Sandra Lima's Higher will knock you off your boots (or probably off your flip flops at this time of the year).
Pesto 011 by Sandra Lima is available exclusively on Beatport!
Finally, Sandra Lima's debut on Pesto is happening and here are six reasons to look forward to the outdoor season: DeepHouse icon Jay-J contributes two smashing mixes, Jon Silva adds some mid-90ies flavour and The Mulder is pleasing us with his top-notch DeepTech sound. This is the sound of the summer 2008!
Pesto 011 by Sandra Lima is available exclusively on Beatport!