Adams Fat Cat Recordings: The DropBox Feature

An independent label based in Brighton on England’s South Coast, FatCat Records started as a shop in Crawley (then London) specialising in all forms of electronic music. Now an established label, FatCat releases an eclectic range of music on their two sub-labels (Splinter series: Silje Nes, Animal Collective, Our Brother The Native. 130701 Records: Max Richter, Hauschka, Sylvain Chauveau, Set Fire To Flames) as well as their main FatCat label (Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Vashti Bunyan, David Karsten Daniels, Nina Nastasia…). FatCat are now 21 years old, and in the heart of a typically prolific year are busy with 2010’s schedule which includes 13 albums, 16 singles and 2 EP’s.

“Based in Brighton, indie label FatCat Records has grown into one of the most celebrated stables for emerging and established talent in the UK.” Drowned In Sound

We caught up with Tom Lavis from FatCat and asked him about how he has been using SoundCloud and the DropBox feature in their working life.

1) How long have you been using SoundCloud?

Not long – only about four months. But it’s already made a difference to how we work with demo submissions. We’re really excited about it, I don’t think it will be long until we release our first album sourced through SoundCloud.

2) You have been keenly using the DropBox feature. What was your process before using the SoundCloud demo DropBox?

Before SoundCloud we were receiving demos through the post, on CD, vinyl and tape. We still do – it just means we get twice as many submissions, which is great. We did used to get emailed links to myspace pages etc but we found that they sometimes got lost in our inboxes. The DropBox is much better… all the tracks are in the same place, we just have to press play and carry on working whilst the tracks play through.

3) How has SoundCloud eased the process of receiving demos than in the past?

It has eased the process of receiving demos, but we still very much enjoy receiving cd’s through the post and wouldn’t want that to stop. It’s added a refreshing and exciting new element to the type of demo we get. The tracks we get in the dropbox are from a wider range of influences.

Like I mentioned above – listening to the tracks we receive through our dropbox couldn’t be more simple. It’s certainly easier than opening packages and logging in CD’s.

4) Are there any creative ways you are looking to use this influx of music received through your SoundCloud DropBox?

Well, of course we would love to release some – which will certainly happen. The standard so far has been way higher than the average standard of our physical submissions.

For the moment we’re just adding our favourite tracks to our demo player on the FatCat site and myspace. We want these talented artists to get some recognition – so it’s important to us to get them some exposure.

We’re also thinking of releasing some soundcloud curated compilation of the best demos we’ve received through soundcloud. We released a CD called ‘No Watches. No Maps’ a long time ago which was a compilation of the best demos we got through the post, we’d like to do a part two which would be made up of entirely SoundCloud submitted demos.
At the moment we’re running a remix competition – we have put the stems of a David Karsten Daniels & Fight The Big Bull track on soundcloud, anyone can go in and download them and then have a go at remixing the song by submitting through the group dropbox – there’s still 2 weeks left and 15 remixes in. We’re hoping to do remix comps for a lot of our forthcoming releases.

5) What tips can you give for artists sending you tracks through to your DropBox?

Don’t drop in more than 2 tracks, make sure they’re the ones you’re most happy with. If we don’t get back to you or put your music up, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t submit some more stuff in the future.

We like all kinds of music, so don’t think that what you do might not be for us. Also – don’t worry about your track sounding under-produced or too rough, some of the bands we’ve signed in the past started out by sending us very lo-fi demos recorded with 1 mic in a cupboard… sometimes these ones are the best.

Go check out FatCat on SoundCloud and the David Karsten Daniels & Fight The Big Bull remix competition!