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Something In Construction Launch Vinyl-Only Label
Laurie Tuffrey , November 14th, 2012 05:31

New imprint, Demand, to put out 7”s by artists including Hot Chip, Memory Tapes and Laetitia Sadier as first release; competition launched to find new band for final single; we talk to founder David Laurie below

Boutique indie label Something In Construction are set to launch a new vinyl-only imprint in 2013.

Demand will begin by releasing a series of ten 7” singles in a deluxe box set limited to 500 copies which can be bought by subscription to their ‘Singles Club’. Each will be a split featuring a track by an established artist - confirmed names so far include Hot Chip, Memory Tapes, Laetitia Sadier, St Etienne, Niki & The Dove, Air France, NZCA/Lines, Dreamtrak, Levek, ANR, Moons and Holy Strays - backed with a new band.

The new band appearing on the tenth single will be decided by a competition - send in demos to before midnight on December 31 and judge Rob Da Bank will pick out a winner in the new year. More details here.

The label is currently raising funds via their Pledge Music profile, and will begin shipping out the first four singles and box once their target is reached.

We talked to Something In Construction boss David Laurie about the new label:

Why set up Demand in this terrible current climate we hear so much about?

David Laurie: Well, for three reasons:

  1. I like vinyl. I am still fairly convinced that the action of a needle bouncing up and down that can be heard through a rolled up cone of paper and can make sounds like Debussy or Baroness or John Talabot is pretty much a miracle. Proof of the existence of a higher power. It makes no sense and is, at the least, actual magic.

  2. Vinyl sales are one of the few areas of steady growth and sunshine in the music industry and that is something GOOD to cling to.

  3. Pledge Music allows me to go direct to customers and make really great sounding and beautifully/expensively packaged records that are going to work out cheaper, and more importantly better, for the customer than any other way I know of.

The much-trumpeted collapse of the music industry has actually happened now and the direct-to-customer model is getting stronger and more focussed and more necessary. It's all still actually quite difficult but Pledge Music makes it easier for small operations like mine to get things into motion. Most people do not have a local indie shop any more and paying £7 plus postage and packaging is crazy money for a 7" single. I understand completely how the economics get to that place, and absolutely no-one is getting rich off it, but this way round I can simply make better things that cost less. Believe it or not, it's actually quite difficult to get 500 copies of a 7" single into the shops these days.

What's the thinking behind it?

DL: It is more appropriate for a small label to make limited runs of nicely packaged music these days. Something In Construction is diversifying into different areas and will continue, but concentrate harder on fewer acts. Demand will make beautiful, short-run artifacts and one-offs and reissues and compilations and not be so much about building careers and longer term signings. It's a practical way to make tactile and satisfyingly packaged records.

Is Demand a cunning play on it being vinyl-only? Like On Demand is very digital, whereas with this you have to go to the shop and put the effort in... or am I barking up a mad tree?

DL: Nope, you are at the foot of the right tree, for sure. There is also a demand-of-vinyl aspect to it because I do so love the physical single. It's a cliche but the sleeve, the words, the pictures, the hints and codes of the artwork are all part of the impact of a single for me.

What's the criteria for you signing an artist?

DL: It starts with something I have to immediately hear/see again, which moves swiftly onto obsession and past reason. Then there is a short cooling-off period where I try and talk myself out of doing it. If the arguments are strong and practical I usually don't make the signing. If I have a clear vision of how something will work, whom to pitch it at, where it will find favour and how I can make the people who'd like it aware of it - all on a tattered shoestring budget - then I go ahead.

Sometimes it makes no sense at all financially and I still go ahead. This is why I am not a rich man.

Tell us about your first release - what it is and why.

DL: I think the first single from the Singles Club will be a Laetitia Sadier/Levek split single. I cannot think of a more harmonious pairing and am a huge fan of Laetitia's and the debut album by Levek is one of 2012's absolute gems.