Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wholeness & Separation

San Francisco's Halou debut album is one of the best discs that summed up my musical interests back when I was doing college radio in the mid-90s. Combining the thirst for new sounds, direction and beats of the electronica genre with songs that were fully realized and never formulaic. Given that even bigger electronica acts often don't get that combination right Halou are an act to be treasured.

The first half of an interview with a member of the band is up now at Chaos Control which explains why the band are taking the self release route with this release. The certainly would know about give their first album came out on an indie label that folded a few months after the album came out making the album unavailable and the band no longer owned the rights to the material. Halou were picked up by Nettwerk for their second album but it didn't get the attention it deserved:

...the record industry changed so much during that time that even independent labels Ð their purpose in the world should be to release the more left of center, boundary-pushing music Ð even those labels have started to consolidate and operate essentially as junior major labels. I could give you countless examples of that, and in fact many are now owned by major labels. So you're talking about a shift in that direction, so these independent labels are becoming way more trendy and completely afraid to release records anymore because people aren't buying them. They are financially a lot more inhibited. So that's when we made the decision to bypass the label completely. It just didn't make financial sense. In a typical artist deal, the artist gets 10%, and the label gets 90%. Well if they're dong a hell of a lot for you, and they're taking you from ground zero to an established act, yeah that's still pretty extreme but it's not exploitative. But unfortunately, labels aren't doing that now. To give someone 90% of something and have them do very little, well that isn't fair. And it doesn't make financial sense.

: Halou's new album is out next week and tracks from "Wholeness & Separation" can be streamed at the band's myspace page.

No comments: