Notes on a five year anniversary.


By Xan Müller

In September 2013, we launched a record label called Surveillance Party. At first, we concentrated on video content, to compliment an aggressive release schedule. Then we realised that no one was watching or listening.

So we spent the next few years doing events. We met some amazing people.

We have an audience now. So, like where do you take it? Does anyone really pay attention to music anymore? Food is in fashion at the moment, but what about music?

We're just gonna start releasing vinyl in 2018.

People have record players. And more-so every day. This may not be the case down the track, but it's true now.

I'm going to pilot the idea with a limited run of fifty copies of my own release. If it's not successful, I'll pay for it out of pocket. If it is successful, it paves the way for other artists on the label to start releasing vinyl.

In September 2018, we're gonna be five years old. It's going to be the year of selling the raw experience of music itself, unlike previous years where we've given the crowd the whole deal (lights, sound system, venue, etc.).

It would be a big risk if we were just doing digital. I hate digital. It's shit. It has like one benefit: You can listen while you're at work, at the gym. Basically, you can tune out when you're doing something shit. And the current music landscape reflects that usage pattern.

Contrast that with vinyl. The customer forks out hard earned cash on the spot for a tangible product they cherish. They open the package with glee and reverence. The artist gets paid. The music is shared over human experience - a glass of wine, a joint, an overdue catch-up.

I think vinyl will suit our boutique operation. You've heard of craft beer. How about craft music? Home brewed. Bottled. Delivered. Let's give it a go and see what happens.

Courtney CallowayComment