We spoke to DJ and producer Mr Henry Von, who together with Fergie runs the Excentric Muzik and Rekluse labels and asked him how SoundCloud has helped them get their musical message across…
So what’s the main reason you guys use Soundcloud and for what purpose?
In a nut shell, I guess the main use of SoundCloud for us is to help promote and share our releases on our two labels Excentric Muzik and Rekluse.
We use SoundCloud probably just in the same conventional way that most of its users do like uploading our music to the page and sharing it with others, but I am a massive fan just because of the fact that it is so good at doing this stuff. I have recently realised that it has now become almost central to all our online promotional operations.
We have 4 SoundCloud accounts, 2 for our labels and 2 DJ ones for myself and Fergie. No longer do I have to upload to all these different file sharing places, ending up with a lot of unrecognisable links. Now I just upload all the mixes and tracks to SoundCloud and then via the ‘sharing’ options spread the music around all our other web sites like Myspace and Facebook. We realise that some of the people who like our music prefer different sites to others, some people purely like to discover new music through SoundCloud on it’s own, but what SoundCloud allows us to do is to spread the word across the sites very easily.
And as a bi-product of this we get to see how many people have actually listened and liked the stuff! On the Facebook pages in particular we do seem to get a much better response from posting the SoundCloud player than we do from just posting the direct link to Beatport. And it is also really useful for receiving label demos as it takes out the whole emailing and downloading process which can be very time consuming when you have 100+ demos to listen to.
SoundCloud is really impressive and has become a key component of our web presence. I now plan to see how far we can go with SoundCloud and just try to get the most out of it really.
For those out there who haven’t come across you yet, tell us a little bit about of what you do…
I’ll start with the labels: Excentric Muzik is Fergie’s own label that was originally started by him as an outlay for his own productions. Rekluse is a joint venture by myself and Fergie, with a focus more on releasing other like-minded artists work. You may have heard of Fergie through his time as a BBC Radio 1 presenter, he hosted a weekly underground electronic music show on the station for 5 years although he left the station about 3 years ago and since then has been concentrating on making his own music, which he has had a lot of success with. (For more info on him his biog at www.excentric-fergie.com has a lot more details).
I also DJ and make music but I am also responsible for most of the day to day goings on of both labels and so I am the one who looks after the SoundCloud pages (you can find out a little bit more about me at www.myspace.com/mrhenryvon).
How would you describe your and your label’s sound and style?
The music we release on both labels is normally always big-room peak-time kind of cuts, of the tech house / techno variety, big exciting electronic tunes basically. I guess most of the music kind of sits in the gap between underground and commerical dance music, DJs like Carl Cox, Richie Hawtin, Dubfire, John Digweed, Sasha, Hell, Slam and Misstress Barbara have given us a lot of support. There’s so many great labels releasing a lot of great music at the moment so we’re just concentrating on one part of it, we do play some deeper and housier stuff in our sets though now and again.
For fans of the genre what have been your most successful releases to date that they will remember and what have you got in store?
Excentric Muzik’s most successful releases so far that you may have heard of have been Anon, Blackeye-P and Maktub, all from Ferg. We also did a big remix package at the start of the year featuring quite a few different remixers all taking on Ferg’s originals, artists such as Pig & Dan, Umek, Reset Robot and Alan Fitzpatrick, which went down really well. Recently we just released a brilliant new collaboration between Christian Smith & Reset Robot, called Elixir, with remixes from myself and also Gary Beck. And up next is a new solo effort from Fergie, Ragaroo.
The two releases people are most likely to have heard on Rekluse would have to be “Umek – 2nd To None”, our first release, which hit the number 1 spot in the Beatport techno charts and was still floating about in the top 100 6 months later. Was a really good track and we will be working with Umek next year on a follow up. Also “Loco & Jam – Medusa” has been massive one for us, with everyone from King Unique to the Japanese Popstars to Paul Woolford giving it a good hammering. Coming up we have releases from Alex D’Elia & Nihil Young, Matt Cooper, Electric Rescue, we are also currently working on an exciting singles compilation due out at the end of the year to celebrate our 1st birthday. This will be accompanied by a sampler of the release mixed by myself that will be available to download for free via the Rekluse Soundcloud page.
And of course listeners will be able to hear the new releases before they are released via the SoundCloud page! (always great to read people’s feedback and comments about the tracks).
Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions, guys!