2012 Activity Report

Another year is ending. We thought it would be nice to write some sort of activity report of what Enough Records has been doing on 2012, and what are our plans for 2013.

A Decade of Enough Records

Some of you might still remember how we got started, the death of Enough Radio and our official re-launch as a netlabel on December 2001. Doing the math, this means we been running for over a decade now! That’s a long time for anything to be running. Especially on the internet.

Many of our evil plans for world domination have failed miserably: The early attempts from Fred to release vinyl. Our joint efforts with Leo, Soncini and Fábrica de Som to organize regular music events and an experimental music festival in Porto. The idea to offers promo cds to people donating to specific charity organizations. The attempt to transform Enough Records blog into a review portal for other netlabels. Our most recent failure pet project was the idea of having a yearly transparency report.

But, for every plan that fell through we kept on going. Pushing out new releases, debuting new artists, organizing new compilations and putting together mixtape specials to send out to radio shows and webzines. We printed physical cds, cdrs, tapes and dvds to sell cheap or give away as promo. We built up a huge mailinglist. We helped ressurect the Portuguese dark ambient and experimental electronics scene and gave a big support the Portuguese electro-industrial scene while we were at it. We promoted dubstep before it became mainstream. We even started a sub-label for social and political activist music! All of this without losing touch with our demoscene and homebrew / indie game developer side. That’s a long list of nice accomplishments, and that fact sort of makes all the hard work and invested time worth it.

Many other plans have been lingering in our todo list for years now: A new website, facilitating the access to the catalogue. Better artist support, to help them get more gigs. Better outreach to local event promoters, to support them bringing in Enough Records artists to perform. Spend more time uploading to more online distribution platforms. Try to make some viral videos and mobile apps.

But the day is only 24 hours long, and in the end we are still just a couple of guys with too much free time. And we can’t do everything at once. We should take a moment to say big thanks to everyone who has been helping us out all these years. You know who you are, and it really does make a big difference, thank you for that! We’re sure our listeners also appreciate it.

Don’t worry guys, this is not a “we are closing down” post. Just wanted to mark this moment in time with a recap of what we been doing, share some statistics and shine a little light on our plans for the future.

2012 in Review

2012 was a great year for Enough Records!

We released 6 mixtapes, 2 compilations, 28 individual releases and even a web-based game. We tried to stay true to the idea of letting the new releases on the catalogue breathe, trying to space atleast one week apart each new release, to give it time to propagate before feeding new content. Managing waiting lists can be more stressful sometimes but we give more attention to each release and artist this way and that’s always positive.

We are also trying to consolidate our artist roster, which means we are currently, and for the foreseable future, closed to demos from new artists, although some exceptions might pop up if something really special comes into our sights.

From our release catalogue of 2012, 5 of our 6 released mixtapes where part of the 99 Anonymous project released through our Anonymous Archives sub-label. The release of Volume 5 brought us the largest traffic peak of 2012, occuring during the month of June. The mixtape was about bringing awareness to the social problems in the year 2012, with focus on government corruption and unconstitutional lobby against our civil liberties, the right to anonymity, bad copyright reform acts, etc. If you missed it when it came out you should go check it out right now.

We only had two compilation releases in 2012. One of them, AtlanThis, a shared venture with our label friends from Thisco. The compilation was about experimental electronics from Portugal or the USA, on the theme of crossing the Atlantic ocean. There is a follow up getting ready for release on early 2013 by the way.

Looking at the list of our 28 individual releases it’s hard to pick a few favorites to highlight. On a personal level the release we been giving more replay value since it’s release is clearly 1in10/Varia’s “A Million Ways”, with a unique style and character so hard to define. The mashup really shines across space and time with a unique nostalgic vibe.

Our love for harsh electro legacy was maintained through 2012 with the release of albums from new artists Beta Dog, Hezzel and Nega. Somewhat related, under dark electro, we had 2 new releases by previous Portuguese collaborators Sci Fi Industries and Inperfektion.

The 3 most successful projects releasing at Enough Records during 2012 have been The Easton Ellises, dSCi and M-PeX.

Dance it, Dance All! remixes album by The Easton Ellises was released free for download after a successful crowdfunding campaign to print it on vinyl. It’s been getting raving reviews. The band recently being voted best live performing act in battle of the bands in Montreal.

dUAS sEMIcOLCHEIAS iNVERTIDAS released their 4th album, titled 4, after a long three part European tour. They played over 50 concerts in 8 different countries, broke down two vans and lost their drummer in the process. But they are still alive and kicking, getting ready for 2013 and organizing events in Lisbon under ATR.

M-PeX played through all of Portugal in 2012 to promote his Ignis EP, released through Enough Records free for download, physical copies available directly from the artist. We hope 2013 will be the year he also starts playing abroad.

Too many good releases to mention all of our artists on this post!

For the past couple of years we have been restraining ourselves to only release albums we are 100% confident with. This meant we had to refuse more proposals than we usually did during previous years. At times it does create some tension with the artists. But we do hope the higher quality control will in turn bring in more attention to the releases. Do you agree? Please let us know what you think.

Like in previous years, we have noticed a steady increase in traffic comparing with last year. Our main new traffic magnet seems to be Free Music Archive. We had tried to join them before in the past with no avail, in July 2011 we tried it again and it seems the third time was the charm and we finally got a presence there. It’s a great project and we hope to keep collaborating with them through 2013.

Transparency Report

We actually tried having a transparency report of our 2012 activity ready, detailing all the investments donated in kind to recording the albums, operating Enough Records, and promoting the releases. But the truth is the artists weren’t very motivated to estimate their costs, only a couple of them were willing to participate, so the idea fell through. But we can still share with you some of the information we gathered and do a short exercise of estimated guesses.

For example, a release like 99 Anonymous Volume 5 where 14 projects collaborated, some with exclusive tracks, others just reusing and remixing older material. We estimate it 10 hours in sampling different sources, 80 hours in production of the different projects original material, 10 hours in final mixing and mastering, 2 hours on artwork and 4 hours in online promotion. So that’s a total estimated 104 man hours to produce and release enrmix16.

Individual releases fluctuate a lot more, also depending on the artist. For example an album such as Hezzel’s Perspective, which has 18 tracks and over an hour of play time, can be estimated around 80 hours of work to put together. While an album such as Jari Pitkänen’s Sirin, which has 2 tracks of 25 minutes combined is estimated in 200 hours of work to put together. These extremes lack a common base for measurement ofcourse but it goes to show that different artists have different processes and time frames in developing their work.

Another example, dSCi’s 4, indebted the band in over 700 euros, paying for studio time, mastering and artwork. Not to mention the self-financed tour to promote it playing gigs around Europe.

All these are just more reasons to support the artist if you like their work, get in touch with them to buy the merchandise, mobilize promoters to get them gigs, share the music with your friends.

Enough Records main donated in kind efforts are in online presence. Not just giving feedback to demos and answering emails but also updating the website, facebook, twitter, last.fm, scene.org, archive.org, clearbits.net, freemusicarchive, jamendo, bandcamp, soundcloud, mixcloud, routenote, youtube, etc. We estimate a total of 35 hours a month with these things. That’s atleast 1 hour every day.

In expenses we have our usual server cost, around 60 euros a year. This year we didn’t print that much promo material, only 100 euros worth of flyers and postcards. So that’s a total of 160 negative.

In income we have last.fm radio plays Q1 €6.89 + Q2 €5.56 + Q3 €4.37 = €16.82. The value seems to be decreasing for the past couple of years, probably related to the number of people still using last.fm growing slim. Our total Flattr donations for the year reach 15 euros. We have been trying out routenote for a few months now, it’s a service that makes our tracks available at itunes / spotify / emusic, without charging the ridiculous prices that online distributors charge, so far our routenote sales are a total of zero.

As you can see the financial balance is negative. Completely consistent with the previous 10 years of service. :) If you want to help us change that trend feel free to donate via flattr, plot your own guerrilla marketing scheme to promote Enough Records, or offer us something else like a premium soundcloud account for example.

Plans for 2013

Our plans for 2013 are to keep things running smooth as usual.

We have a few releases already lined up for January: The 100 years of noise compilation tribute. The AtlanThis 2 compilation. And a new album by M-PeX & Makrox.

We also plan to keep promoting our entire back catalogue with more mixtape specials for radio podcasts and music webzines. If you have a request or suggestion please let us know.

Maybe even create a new website if we can get a nice new design.

Would also be nice to have more time to organize events again, maybe by talking with local promoters to bring some of our international artists out of their homes. If you know anyone interested in this do please let us know.

Whatever we find the time to organize we hope we can count on you to support us by participating, listening and sharing our free music. Thanks for reading, enjoy the releases and have a happy 2013!

Filed under Netlabel Reflections.

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