3886records // The worries and needs of a Psytrance labelhead – Part I

Long are the nights of a Psytrance party weekend. The demanding sound, the persistent dancing, sleep deprivation and other temptations leave their mark, if one wants to stay in the Psytrance scene for years, which Andreas Linden has been supplying with fresh and new Psytrance producers, DJs and his own sound as Spekta for the last 5 years. Unfortunately the founder and labelhead of 3886records has to take a break for health reasons. Lucky for me, otherwise he might not have had time to pacify my curiosity about the hustle and bustle of his own Psytrance label, which he has founded in November 2012.

Shortly before, he got to know the organizer of the party series Bonn Goa Backstage, who engaged him as a Psytrance DJ on the turntables, even though he was musically still in Hip Hop at that time. When asked which label name should appear on the flyer behind his artist name, he spontaneously replied: 3886records. The good cooperation with the organizer earned him the job as resident DJ at Bonn Goa Backstage. Andreas understood this as an opportunity and instantly set up a label homepage, which was certainly easy for him as an educated programmer, and began to collect the first artists to produce electronic music for the label with still different genres. With ongoing bookings at Bonn Goa Backstage, the profile of 3886records was increasingly shaped into the direction of (Progressive) Psytrance, already knowing that on the one hand the softer „ass-shaking Proggy“ sound has commercial success in the mp3 portals, but the scene still celebrates the „night sound concept“ with harder and faster Psytrance music during the night. The harder gait is served for example by iDirty records from Cologne to which Andreas wanted to position his own as a musical counterpoint. So more than a dozen artists and more than half a dozen DJs (names) decorate the label homepage of 3886records, which predominantly represent Progressive Psytrance, but also have Psytrance in their portfolio here and there. Among others is DJ Quantec, who referrs to Stefan Lewin aka Magnetrixx in his biography, who decisively influenced und enriched the Progressive style with three brilliant albums during the first decade of the new millennium (Striking here is that artists like Magnetrixx, Quantec as well as Spekta, who had a musical education as children, rather seem to have a penchant for the more melodic Progressive Psytrance).

Due to the fact that Andreas works as a professional programmer, he has never had the pressure to make a living with the label and his music. That is a good starting point, because labels of this size do not generate much sales with mp3s. It is more about demonstrating presense in the big online portals like beatport and others showing that the music label is managed professionally. Financially a bit more interesting is a live performance with their own music (And that has always been like that – in every music genre – best as a non-GEMA member, otherwise you have to pay for own music!). But even a formerly well-known Iboga act like Antix stated: „We are not rich with money but feel very rich in our lifestyle.“ And that seems to be the biggest lure in the scene, because despite the high demanded professionalism, the chance of a fair financial reward is rather grim. Professionalism is what labelhead Andreas demands of his artists, because he believes that the time of the entry-level of 3886records is over. This includes not only quality, quantity, a musical development as an artist, but also reliability, because nothing is more embarrassing for a labelhead to have to apologize for a not appearing act, because he has missed his schedule. This high standard ensures a clear portfolio of artists. But it happens also that one or the other high flyer wants to leave the label and switch to an already more successful one. Another difficulty is to give label tasks to others, so that they are done with the same commitment and reliability, especially when no or only a small financial compensation in prospect. And if there is someone doing a good job, you do not want to scare him off with deadlines. That makes growing difficult, because there are so many time consuming activities you can`t handle on your own all the time: contacting and maintaining organizers, preparing the releases of new tracks and the online promotion for these, listening to demo tracks a.s.o.

Stay tuned for the second part about further musical aspects of Spektas work!