Interview received: December 25, 2017; January 12, 2018.
What is your name? Where are you located?
My name is Florence T. I live in Saguenay, Quebec, Canada.
Do you save any materials – digital files, emails, physical materials – related to your netlabel? Are you interested in organizing or archiving them?
I Keep the files on my computer, but I don’t really organize them. I don’t do physical releases at all because I have absolutely no interest for that.
How do you define what is and what is not a netlabel?
A netlabel is a record label that releases non physical albums.
How and when did you first learn about netlabels? What was the first netlabel you heard of? What are some netlabels that inspired or influenced you? Or that you admire? What made you decide to start your own netlabel?
It was on forums and yahoo groups back then, I heard the beautiful digital compilations Mothers Against Noise, Necktar and A Tribute To Marco Corbelli. I am very happy to have been able to make the Marco tribute available again through my netlabel. In the beginning, I wanted to be a platform for women like me who make noise music, but I broadened up to all genders.
What were the reasons you had to choose releasing music for free? And why did you choose to not release physical albums?
All our releases are available for free. Music should be free anyways. The radio is unlistenable. I do not even own a CD, cassette or record player, so why bother?
What is the name of your netlabel? Why did you choose the name you chose? When did you start your netlabel? What is the focus of your netlabel?
Ton Doigt Dans Mon Cul Netlabel. I started the netlabel in 2014, and this is a noise netlabel.
Are your albums released under creative commons, copyleft or copyright? Why did you choose the method you chose?
It depends on the artist. It does not matter to me.
What is your relationship to the artists that you release? Do you maintain any contact once you’ve released their work?
It really depends on the artist. There are some artists who have become virtual friends and who release more material on my label.
Do you help promote them outside of their release itself?
No, I don’t.
How do you decide what artists you want to release? Do you approach them? Do they approach you?
It really depends. It goes both ways. But I am always open to listen to new stuff.
Do you have any specific guidelines that you follow? Do you act as a curator or is it all luck of the draw?
Not really. We are a noise netlabel so we will release noise.
What are or were your criteria for the music you curate and release?
Being a girl myself, when I started the label I wanted to be a netlabel for women who make noise, I wanted to show men that noise belongs to women too. I quickly opened to other genders. I mean who cares if you are a woman, a man or transgender when you make good music. Gender is not that important but we (as women) need our share of the noise scene.
What genres have you never released before, that you would love to release on your label or on a future label of yours?
None, I only release noise. I am not interested in other genres.
Are there any artists that you have yet to release that you would like to work with?
I have been trying to release something from Ghost Taco for a very long time. She really impersonates the perfect match artist for the label. We have been emailing a bit, but I am still waiting for something to happen.
Building Castles Out Of Matchsticks. It finally happened through a split this year thanks to a mutual friend of ours. I am very proud of it ! Also, I am very happy to have been able to reissue most of the Flatgrey discography.
How many albums have you released?
67 and counting.
Who are some of your most notable artists? Which are some of your most significant releases?
The Building castles Out Of Matchsticks / Sean Derrick Cooper Marquard split is a milestone, but I am very proud of all our releases. Alexei Borisov, Ethnomite Pux, Koobaatoo Asparagus, Metek, Purpura… are all legends too.
Do you release your own work on your netlabel? What do you think of that practice?
yes, absolutely. Why not ?
What do you enjoy about running your netlabel? What do you get out of it?
I like to discover new projects and to meet new people.
Has anything about it been disappointing or frustrating?
Computers. I always have problems with the internet as well. And, yes, Discogs. Their rules make no sense and this website is run by a community of little dictators.
I have never used Discogs but a few people have mentioned it in these interviews. Can you explain what the benefits are for a netlabel to use Discogs?
It is a database, so it seems like an easy option to display your whole catalogue. Sadly, it is not. It is run (or ruined) by little dictators who use their little power to compensate for their little…
What keeps you motivated to continue running the netlabel when you are feeling frustrated?
Music. When I don’t want to go online, I don’t go online. It’s not like a day job, it is a passion.
How much time do you put into running the label? Approximate hours per day, week or month?
It depends but I always release stuff very quickly after I receive it.
Can you describe all the work that you do on a regular basis in order to run your label?
Answer messages, download, make artwork if necessary, upload, spread the word.
In what audio format and bitrate do you release your albums? Why did you choose that format?
FLAC, because it’s the best. MP3 sounds like shit.
Do you zip your files into a package? Or are the albums uploaded as individual files?
Everything is available for free on bandcamp. Nothing else. You can only get the whole album, not single tracks to respect the work of the artist.
Aside from the audio files, do you include any other types of files or information with the album?
Anything the artist provides me with. It can be artwork as jpg or pdf or whatever.
What software programs do you use to run your netlabel? For converting and encoding audio, for metadata, for ftp, for making cover art, etc.
Pretty standard I think : I use Audition for audio and Photoshop for the artwork.
Where do you share your releases? On your website? Free Music Archive? Internet Archive? Et al? A combination of these things?
As I said before, everything is available for free on bandcamp. I don’t have a website because it is a waste of time. I have a facebook and a soundcloud though.
What do you do to promote your label?
I post on forums and groups.
Do you send releases out for review? If yes, is it traditional media – review sites, magazines, blogs, etc. Or are there non-traditional methods? How much success have you had in getting people to review your releases in magazines, blogs or websites? Any frustrations regarding this?
No. Unfortunately, review sites are not interested in reviewing digital releases, which is beyond ridiculous seeing that they are digital themselves. I don’t think people read magazines anymore, do they?
Have you had success in getting people in general to listen to your releases? Do you keep track of your download numbers and, if yes, how have/did they changed over the years? How important are/were download numbers and number of listeners to you?
Yes, I am pretty happy with the bandcamp statistics.
Do you feel that the lack of a physical object – vinyl, cassette, eight track, etc. – is a hindrance to building an audience? To getting any media to pay attention? If yes, why do you think that is the case? Has the lack of a physical object been a problem for any of the artists that you have worked with? If it has how have you responded?
I don’t know. I am not interested in physical media.
In addition to promotion, publicity and releasing albums do you organize live performances or festivals for your artists?
No. I live in the country so I don’t really go to see shows and I don’t perform live myself.
How do you finance your netlabel, including the labor you put into it?
Everything is available for free so there is no money involved, only passion.
What do you think about bandcamp and any similar music hosting sites?
I use bandcamp because I dislike archive.org as a website.
Can you explain what you don’t like about archive.org as a website?
I don’t like their interface at all. It is not a good tool to discover new music, and I never understood some of their audio formats like ogg.
Do you think netlabels are sustainable? If yes, what do you think the future is for them? Should there be more? Are there too many netlabels? Will netlabels be obsolete before 2025?
As far as netlabels go, the more the merrier. The idea here is to share some music, no?
Does your netlabel align with any political or philosophical positions or thoughts? Do you get involved with politics at all as a netlabel?
No, I don’t, but I would refuse to release nazi or homophobic shit. Nazi punks fuck off.
How do you feel that netlabels as a phenomenon overlap with any other artist practices – cassette trading, mail art, etc? Is there any overlap with podcasts, podfiction/netfiction, or any other art that is distributed for free?
I do not own a cassette deck and I don’t listen to podcasts. A few years ago there was a russian so-called “DJ” who used some of my own music available for free and was selling it in a “mix.” This was very absurd.
Are you aware of a chronological history of netlabels? If yes, what is it?
I have no idea.
Is there anything else you would like to write about that wasn’t included here? What questions would you ask other people who run netlabels?