HeartFirst records is
releasing 7" vinyl with their friends' bands. And I trade with some of
my friends' labels because I love my friends and they put out some
killer stuff by their friends' bands.
You might want to read
this info if you run a label/distro and you think you want to distribute
HeartFirst releases but unfortunately you do not want to part
with your hard earned cash. But trade for your own releases instead. so
before you send off that email:
is cutting down trading activities and stalinist quality control is in
The space here is
very limited -- and my taste is very narrow.
In 27 years of
distributing records I have seen too many lame and unsellable
records. My friends have basements full of dead stock of Italian emo
records from the 1990s and splits of Croatian Grind. I like to learn from people's mistakes, not
just my own.
Many records these
days are lame shit, esp. when it comes to quality of recording and
Most of my releases were recorded in expensive studios, the covers
have some screen printed aspect to it. The kind of shtick some money
grubbing labels do as their pre-order version for rich kids. I rather do the whole
print run like that. So do I want to squander that kind of record and
trade it for your release with Peruvian D-Beat in a xeroxed cover
with a pile of corpses in 72 dpi that you found on the internet? You can
maybe guess the answer.
I can only trade for
something that will sell fast. As fast as some of my releases. Why
would I trade the KRIEGSHÖG 7"s or BANNLYST LPs for something that will move much slower, like that demo
recording of a Swedish band you found and that noone cared about in 1986, so why should
I care now?
It really helps when
the bands are very visible, meaning that they tour a lot and have
releases on various labels. For example, RUIDOSA INMUNDICIA play a
lot, they have toured Japan and Australia, BURIAL have been to
Japan, VAASKA have a least played almost a handfull of gigs in
Europe, PEACEBASTARD play a lot in Europe. So even if your band is
the best band in the world, people might not be interested because
they only play the local squat.
BUT trading is
the best way to get your records around the world, so i do not have
anything against it in general but need to enforce strict quality
control on this end.
You get big PLUSes
We have traded in
You are putting out
quality vinyl by quality bands that play live a lot
You put thought and
effort into packaging and sound quality of your releases
Styles that always
have been and always will be hot here at HeartFirst: Early 80s USHC,
mid 80s Euro hc, 80s thrash, japacore.
you unfortunately get
thumbs down if:
you have sent out a
mass mailing about trading which also reached me. at least try to
make it look personal.
You are doing
cd-only releases. you might have heard that the CD is pretty much a
dead format -- it is indeed true.
Speaking of formats: I like cassettes but I do not want to distribute them.
I have a hard time keeping track of my records, so I must limit the tape section. I sell some tapes of my friends' bands occstionally.
Still I do not want to carry your tape of Russian ska punk, sorry. Even if you sold 5000 copies of it already.
You have any of the
following musical styles: black metal, grind, crust with bad recording,
stenchcore, generic dis-core (d-beat they call it today), metal punk
(whatever that means). Basically everything that
is influenced by 90s music or metal I do not want.
You are doing split
releases. If there is one thing that is un-sellable in the world, it
is split-releases by unknown bands, like Croatian crust bands that
share the same rehearsal space. They might be your best drinking
buddies and their music might be alright. But hey, in another
country, noone can sell that record within the next five years
The lyrics are dumb
(homophobic, sexist, generic sXe, or exlusively about drinking, "the
You trade with
everyone and their mother in germany already and all my friend's
labels are already stuck with your releases.
You co-released the
record with six other labels because everyone was too chicken to put
their money down for the mediocre release. You can be assured half
of the labels listed on the back of the record have written to me already
and asked for a trade. And got turned down, or plainly ignored.
quality control is the
most important way to keep the diy hardcore punk scene alive and strong.
if you read and
understood all this and still want to get in touch:
you do not hear back from me: I'm not deaf -- I'm ignoring you.