Dusted Wax Kingdom

is a netlabel based in Bulgaria that boosts talented artists from all over the world. Since 2007 they produce blunted downtempo beats, abstract hip-hop and all kinds of chilled grooves spiced with jazzy and soulful tasty ingredients. All of their releases, 314 to date, are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND License.

I had a chance to talk with Dusted Wax founder Dimitar Kalinov.

 

Dusted Wax Kingdom - not sure how many people are involved, are any of you musicians?
We all are Dusted Wax Kingdom, we are all artists. I just put things in motion :)
Exactly each Monday there's a new DWK release, how much time do you spend for preparation? (and why Monday's?)
Well, I do my best to drop a new release almost every Monday :) It's a stressful day, so why don't end it chilling :) Sometimes it takes me a hour, sometimes I master some tracks (that need to be mastered) a few weeks.
Do artists contact you, or is it the other way around.
Sometimes I contact them (it was that way in the very beginning of Dusted Wax Kingdom) and sometimes they contact me.
How difficult is it to find a quality release?
Nowadays, it's harder. First of all, everyone with a computer and internet can download software and samples, and start trying to produce music. Experienced artists prefer to manage everything themselves and bandcamp is the perfect place to do that. Some artists follow strictly the Creative Commons philosophy and release only with netlabels, others just want to be heard by a bigger audience and then go for self-releases.
I understand that Dusted Wax Kingdom is a non-commercial enterprise. Does that mean you don't need to sign contracts with your artists?
To be easy for me, artists and listeners I wrote “terms and conditions”. I want to be pretty sure that they've read everything before we start working together.
Some of your artists are 'digging the crates' for samples and use them for their tracks. Does it matter when it comes to cc license?
No, CC license just gives information what people can do with the music they download for free. The legal matter about using samples is ridiculous: every piece of work itself is protected by the copyright law, but when it's in digital format, the same piece of work is actually a container of data, but data is not an object of the copyright law.
I just did a random search on your catalog and this struck me: http://archive.org/details/DWK123 - downloaded 851,077 times.
According to RIAA, a certified Gold record is a single/album that has sold 500,000 units. Archive is infamous for being unsearchable, how come your artists generate such numbers? (And if you are able to see Bandcamp downloads, how do artists perform on Bandcamp?)
LOL, it's so bad that there is a big difference between "sold" and "downloaded" :) If we “complicate” the download with login/registration/payment/advertising, lots of people will go out... And we have “big number”, because the download is at just-a-click distance :) Maybe the “click” will be a part of a future business model in the music industry, but don’t tell anyone! :)
What is your experience in using social platforms like facebook, soundcloud, twitter as promotion tools?
I had the pleasure to start with myspace. Back in the days (2005-2009) it was the perfect network for artists to find, communicate and collaborate with soulmates :) I use every promotion tool I know, and I constantly seek for more and better.
Is there a specific country where most listeners come from?
According to our website stats, USA is the country where the top DWK listeners/visitors come from.
Do you have a favorite Netlabel?
Lots of :)
We had this artwork thing back in the vinyl days. Now some Netlabels do include lots of high resolution artwork files per release. In your experience, does artwork help a release being success?
Art is a complex fusion of everything, exciting all the senses :) Maybe in future there will be even smell and taste, added to the artwork :)
Labels in the "music industry" often refer to a release as a 'product'. How about you?
Well, I think of it as a piece of art.
DWK rarely adds any info to the releases (on archive and on DWK website). No description, no country of artist's origin etc. Why?
I used to add info, but suddenly got so much releases every week and thought I repeat all possible words in English to write short reviews. At some point I’ll do another update of the website and there will be more info.
Is there any non-CC artist you dream to have on your label?
Yeah! We'd like to start with a compilation, putting together tracks by artists like The Deadbeats, Joe Beats, Omega One, DJ Frane, Blockhead, Jel, Odd Nosdam and many others... They create samples-based music and are very close to what we do.
You chose ‘by-nc-nd’ license which means tracks can’t be used for video soundtracks. How do you protect music from getting used anyway?
As long as the music (and any kind of art) is being distributed as a container of digital data, nobody can’t protect it :)
What's most frustrating doing a netlabel, what's the most rewarding?
The most frustrating is doing (and especially telling) same things again and again. That’s why I wrote the “terms and statements” and the demo policy. The rewarding is the warmth in your heart, because you help talented people, and the communication with them makes you wise, inspires and teaches you...
What's your goal, is there something you want to achieve within the next 5 years?
Technologies change faster than ever, so goals and dreams should do :) Bandcamp became a platform with a huge number of artists and they have the capacity to change radically the way music industry goes. I don’t use bandcamp for hosting our releases, but I deeply “observe” what they do and where they go.
Makes me curious. Some labels don't use either bandcamp or archive hosting but most use both. Would you explain why?
Well, I'm curious about bandcamp :) They did a revolution in music business, making the most of record labels pointless. It's perfect place for indie or well-known artists! The question is will bandcamp sell out at some point? :) They are a platform, publishing an enormous number of artists. I don't say it will happen, but they could change the terms of use anytime and move to another scheme. When you have the "mass" you can do it, it's a natural law :) That's the reason I don't use bandcamp, but I observe their moves very carefully :)
What's the one thing label owners wish artists would knew?
We love them and we appreciate what they do. We (the owners of netlabels) would appreciate if artists just do the steps and prepare the best way their releases. We are also artists and we need our time to produce our own music.
Any words of wisdom to people who want to start a netlabel?
Get your niche, dedicate yourselves and be unique!

 

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