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Thread: The 'Electronica in Shadows' compilation statement, in Sean's own words.

  1. #1


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    Default The 'Electronica in Shadows' compilation statement, in Sean's own words.

    Hello all,

    This discussion board is where it all began, and here is where it will conclude. Overnight, Sean Priest posted his formal statement on the case of the Electronica in Shadows compilation. For reasons not yet understood, a discussion board moderator removed the post. I am reposting it here because I think the air needs to be cleared for the benefit of all involved.

    Here is the text of Sean's original article, posted at 12:30 AM this morning and subsequently removed by a moderator around 9:30 AM:

    (this message has been split into two parts as it's too long to put into one post...please see part 2 for the rest.)

    Greetings,

    I’m writing this to put to rest the speculation, slander, and negative comments that have been flagrantly posted and spread by certain individuals. While this notes main purpose is to tell “the other side of the story”, I’m going to try and remain as objective as I can, pass blame where blame is due, and hopefully end this battle of words once and for all. It is my hope that the reader will take this for what it’s worth, and draw their own conclusions without the hype or pressure of having to choose sides.

    Last October, a very simple idea was formed, and was proposed to the members of the “Electrogarden” community. I wanted to put together a CD-r disc of underground artists and pass it off to a local radio station DJ whom I knew. Instead of just downloading the songs and burning them to disc, I decided to ask the artists to submit their work. Approximately 80 artists responded, to include a band called “Marina Sirtis”. Martin Lofgren, spokesman for Marina Sirtis, took this simple idea and ran with it, starting up, as he proclaimed, a pseudo-label. That is, no contracts, no obligations, but rather a promotional outlet for artists. After many discussions between Mr. Lofgren, and myself it was decided that both of us together to begin a business venture, and make both his established label “Shadowplay Electronica” and the newly created sister company “Shadowplay Productions, U.S.”. Initially, I, acting as Shadowplay Productions, U.S. and Mr. Lofgren with Shadowplay Electronica were working on separate compilations, both with many of the same artists contributing. It was decided that Mr. Lofgren and I would combine the two compilations, and title the disc “Electronica in Shadows”. The contracts that went to the artists promised the following.

    Artists signed to Mr. Lofgrens compilation prior to the merger were promised
    1: 5 copies of this compilation for their song and an $80.00 submission fee
    2: No scheduled release date

    Artists signed to my compilation prior to the merger were promised
    1: 10 copies of the compilation for their song and an $80.00 submission fee
    2: No scheduled release date
    3: Profit sharing

    Artists signed to the compilation after the merger were promised
    1: 10 copies of the compilation for their song and in $80.00 submission fee
    2: No scheduled release date
    3: Profit sharing

    Things were looking extremely exciting for both companies as well as for the scene. Although the compilation was falling together nicely, things started to fall apart between Shadowplay Electronica and Shadowplay Productions, U.S. due to a post on Electrogarden.com started on 3/20/03 by my counter-partner, Mr. Lofgren entitled “Boycott the U.S.” This thread, expressing personal feelings about the crisis / start of the war between the U.S. and Iraq, also began a war between Shadowplay Productions, U.S. and Shadowplay Electronica. I personally found it appalling that Mr. Lofgren would express his opinions in such a manner, utilizing his business name, and expressed this to him, which caused a very large “insider” controversy in the Shadowplay camps. But, as they say, “the show must go on”. We had a compilation to put out. Mr. Lofgren designed the artwork, and mastered the compilation on his end; I did the footwork to gather bands for the compilation on my end, through the direction of Mr. Lofgren. When Mr. Lofgren began mastering the disc, it was discovered that there were too many artists, not enough disc space. I decided that I should pull my submission / project Introspect off the compilation, and suggested that Mr. Lofgren should do the same, (pull Marina Sirtis off the compilation). This was denied, and Mr. Lofgren decided to have me contact an artist and let him know that we would have to “bump” his track off the disc, as we didn’t have enough space. This bumped track was, in all honesty, one of the better tracks on the compilation, so I suggested bumping the weakest track off the compilation and keeping this track on, which, again, was quickly denied. Again, this caused controversy between Mr. Lofgren and myself as I felt that the other track was not as deserving to be on the compilation as the track that was selected to be “bumped”. However, due to the insistence of Mr. Lofgren, I contacted the artist and advised him that his track would have to be bumped. This artist, being a true professional, understood. He was offered a full refund of his submission fee to which he responded, “why not just put my track on the next compilation instead”, and this was agreed upon verbally. Again, Mr. Lofgren advised me that there was still not enough disc space to hold all the artists, and again insisted that I contract on of “my artists” (artists that I signed on to the compilation) that his track would be bumped. Again, professionalism gleamed as this artist was also understanding, and was refunded the submission fee in full.

    The compilation “Electronica in Shadows” was mastered and ready to go on May 1st. Mr. Lofgren sent me the funds he collected from his artists, his own track submission fee, as well as $400.00 from his own funds for his portion of the compilation. I also contributed $400.00 out of my own pocket to help fund the project. The out of pocket expense were used to cover fees not paid by all artists due to negotiations with these artists / artists inability to pay the submission fee. It was both our true intents to help out the underground scene, even if it meant taking a risk on this by paying an equal out of pocket expense. The compilation went to press at the end of May, and was delivered to my doorstep in the middle of June.

    During the pressing of the compilation, I contacted many different distribution outlets / potential outlets trying to set up distribution channels for the compilation. During one of my attempts, I feel into good graces with a major national retailer, who were interested in “taking” over the compilation, pressing a potential 20,000 copies, and paying somewhere around seventy-cents per disc. This deal would have benefited all the artists on the compilation, as well as the two respective labels. It was requested that the disc not be released until a business decision could be made concerning the “take over” of the compilation. I fully agreed with this request, as I felt that any negative response would jeopardize the chances of this deal. To my surprise, Mr. Lofgren publicly demanded the immediate release of the compilation, and advised that he would not authorize the mass-production of the disc, essentially ruining the chances that this disc had. This move not only shocked me, but also caused feelings of hurt and extreme anger.

    I take full responsibility for the following:

    Because of my hurt and anger, I essentially “washed my hands” of the whole deal, and, as it was put, “hijacked” the compilation, refusing to have anything to do with it. I decided that Mr. Lofgren had created 1000 “coasters”, and I wanted nothing to do with it. The two companies were dissolved, giving birth to 14:59 records, and I chose to ignore the compilation, hoping that I could put it behind me and move forward. For this decision and my stubbornness, I’m truly sorry, and can only ask for the forgiveness of those that have been negatively affected by my actions.

    On the flip side, I have heard no apologies for the damage that was done initially to the potential of this disc.

    (please see part 2)
    (continued in reply #1)

    (continued from above)

    Recently, I was personally attacked by one of the artists on the compilation and Mr. Lofgren, bordering on the verge of slander, claiming that I did not press the disc, but rather had taken everyone’s money and “ran”. As you know, I did not run. Another artist wrote, “I have been swindled in this business before, but at least those who swindled me had the courtesy to disappear….” There was no reason to disappear. None of the current accusations were founded or true, and I felt that there was no reason to “hide”. The more that I was attacked, the more “bitter” I became about the compilation. But during these “attacks”, I kept silent; knowing that anything I said would only fuel the fire of those that started the thread.

    Again, I regret my actions, and ask for the forgiveness of the artists on the compilation, the community, and all those affected.

    I have passed out many of these discs to Dj’s across the country, as well as a couple of the artists on the compilation, but I have not and will not divulge to whom as I don’t want their email in-boxes to become as flooded as mine has. This is a situation created between my actions and Mr. Lofgren, not others.

    The currently pressed compilation will be sent out as contracted. The delay was due a lack of funds, funds I was expecting to make on the sale of the compilation. I am in no way rich, and the $400 (plus) that I contributed hurt my family expenses. I am just now recovering, and have been extremely embarrassed and too proud to divulge this to the general public. I will start sending out discs as contracted ASAP. The artist that attacked me on Electrogarden should have received his 5 promised copies, or will in the next few days. Mr. Lofgren will be receiving his contracted copies, as well as the copies for Shadowplay Electonica’s signed artists copies to his address in Sweden as soon as I can get that information. I’m leaving it up to Mr. Lofgren to distribute to the artists that were contracted to him. All 14:59 artists have been supportive, and I thank you for that, and I thank you in advance for understanding that I will be shipping all non-14:59 artists their copies first.

    Again, I apologize for my actions, and hope that we can move forward from here with a better understanding, dissolution of the playground antics, and everyone drawing their own conclusions to the situation.

    Also, 14:59 records will not sell this compilation. I’ll take my losses, count my blessings, and move on to bigger and more productive projects. The artists contracted with 14:59 (Shadowplay Productions, U.S.) for the compilation “Electronica in Shadows” are not bound in any way. Feel free to do with your copies as you wish. The artists contracted with Shadowplay Electronica will need to contact Mr. Lofgren for clarification.

    Thank you for the time and effort you took in reading this.

    With Best Regards,

    Sean P. Priest
    14:59 Records

    I do request that anyone wishing to contact me about the above, e-mail me Electrogarden has been overwhelmed with the "cannon fodder" of this situation for far too long. Let's allow this message board to again become what it was meant to be, a positive place about the scene.
    As to the accuracy of this reproduction, Jeff Harper (Intervox) and Martin Lofgren both read this article before it was removed and can verify that nothing from the original posting has been removed, nor has any imbellishment been added.
    ====
    DAVID VESEL -- synthetic music for humans
    On the Electrogarden Network
    Official Web Site
    Your mileage may vary.

  2. #2


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    I would like to add a clarification on this.

    The actual quote about "dissappearing" was..

    "However, the music business is a tough one, but when ive had contracts dishonoured before, at least the purpetrators have had the decencay to disappear afterwards ! LOL"

    A clarification email about this statement was sent this am and has been discussed with this artist. I know understand that this was not directed towards me, but was rather said in jest. The artist in question asked me to clarify this publicly, and I'm glad to do it!

    That is all...
    \"...that\'s not music! I mean, it\'s ok if you only know three chords, but for God\'s sake, play them in the right order!....\" Hank Hill - King of the Hill


    \"...Hi Guys, the band club is collecting bottles and cans for the homeless; ironically taking away the only job the homeless have....\" The Midget Tuba player - \"The New Guy\"

  3. #3


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    Angry

    You people are insane and you're fighting over nothing. As far as I can tell your labels barely have one damn release between them.

    Your infighting is amusing, but definitely not a very intelligent or welcoming factor for people who might become interested in this music. My advice is that if you can't get your act together to move on to some other venture. Making records is a collaborative process, which is obviously not for either of you.

  4. #4


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    Personally, I'm glad to see both sides have now had a chance to have their say. It sounds like something that's best put behind us all, but it is good that Sean has had his say as well.
    Nearly 700 of my reviews of various synthpop-related releases hosted by:
    www.synthpop.net

  5. #5
    Lead ElectroGardener cliffwalk's Avatar
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    I'm glad that this was posted for closure to a rather unfortunate turn of events. I'm sad I had to play the role I chose to play in this but I truly felt that a lot of people had their trust trampled on and I wanted them (as well as myself) to have closure.

    I'll update this thread when I get my CDs and then I'm done with this matter.

    Peace/Cheers/what not---
    dave
    If you\'re reading this, you have a tiny penis.

  6. #6


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    I agree ... once everyone gets their CD's, this whole "war" needs to die. Mistakes were made on both sides but you know, we're only human after all. I sincerely believe that both Sean and Martin really do care about this scene and really do want to further it (as evidenced by the artists which are on this disc) ...

    It's all about the music.

  7. #7


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    What is the tracklist again, out of curiousity?

    Thanks.

    -Matt
    Visit deadbeatproductions.com for information on the new \"HaLO: The Best of Madtown Electro & Synth NOW!

  8. #8


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    Originally posted by eurotic
    What is the tracklist again, out of curiousity?

    Thanks.

    -Matt
    1. Inticated - Emotiophobic
    2. The Mythics - Sex Daisy
    3. Marina Sirtis - Berlin
    4. 2Xm - Crash
    5. SynthetiK FM - Technology
    6. Kiss the Star - Mad Mans Game
    7. [brus] - Elsewhere Song
    8. Scapesonik - Paralysed
    9. Eight to Infinity - Tidal Waves
    10. Blind Before Dawn - Far Away
    11. NURVIS - Plastic
    12. StykFaktor - Sparkle Fade
    13. Cliffwalk - Plastic Basket
    14. A Modern Effigy - Another December Day
    15. Platform one - Devotion

    'Ripper
    A Modern Effigy (website)

  9. #9


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    I might add ... I was fortunate enough to hear this CD broadcast in it's entirety on WUTK radio awhile back, and it sounds purely awesome. I especially liked the Intricated track, that's got to be the coolest thing I have heard out of our scene in AGES.

  10. #10


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    I thing I have made my point clear enough. We at Shadowplay Electronica can not do anything about the situation. For this reason I see no point for posting anything more about the matter. We have given up.

    From this point our only comment on this matter will be no comment. There are nicer things to talk about. Future releases and so on.


    Originally posted by joystick
    As far as I can tell your labels barely have one damn release between them.
    Shadowplay Electronica could very well be called a Toy-label. We have released one album with [brus] and one album with Marina Sirtis and arranged a festival. Next release will be a single with Marina Sirtis. Not much yet but we have only existed for under a year.

    But then again...I think Factory Records started out as a toy-label.

    Martin/Shadowplay Electronica
    www.shadowplayelectronica.com

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  12. #12
    Lead ElectroGardener cliffwalk's Avatar
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    things I learned this week:

    (a) Overloading functions in C++ will seem like a silly feature until you're up against a deadline.

    (b) CDs are indeed VERY HEAVY. VERY HEAVY. A box of 500 CDs... VERY heavy. UPS would refuse to insure it if you disclosed the contents.

    (c) Apparently Jesus Christ himself was less of an abused martyr than some people in this scene. (obviously to remain nameless)

    (d) Most compilations actually DON'T cost money to be on.

    (e) Most record labels DON'T charge their artists to be signed.

    (f) Apparently there are lawyers, once again... located somewhere in the Western US... who are actually cocky enough to think they can win the (yet to be tried) test case for slander on web-based forums.

    ********EDIT*********

    (F) is sarcasm. NO, nobody is suing me for slander nor would they have a case.
    If you\'re reading this, you have a tiny penis.

  13. #13


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    Hey Cliffwalk : let me know the name of the lawyers : someone once wrote in a review of WXJL on a website that Eight to Infinity sounded like OMC, for which i would like to ensure they get the chair. LOL.
    a330n

    http://www.8inf.com

  14. #14
    TDOL
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    Originally posted by arronc
    Hey Cliffwalk : let me know the name of the lawyers : someone once wrote in a review of WXJL on a website that Eight to Infinity sounded like OMC, for which i would like to ensure they get the chair. LOL.



    How bizarre.

  15. #15


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    Originally posted by cliffwalk
    things I learned this week:

    (d) Most compilations actually DON'T cost money to be on.
    Every compilation I've ever inquired about did that wasn't a straight-up label sampler. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places.


    (e) Most record labels DON'T charge their artists to be signed.
    True. I certainly don't know of any.
    ====
    DAVID VESEL -- synthetic music for humans
    On the Electrogarden Network
    Official Web Site
    Your mileage may vary.

  16. #16
    Lead ElectroGardener cliffwalk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by David Vesel
    Every compilation I've ever inquired about did that wasn't a straight-up label sampler. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places.
    I was really loose with my speech when I made that statement. Actually there are quite a few legitimate COMP offers out there that charge money. The WXJL Comp for instance from Ninthwave is a great example.

    I graciously accept defeat on that point. It is simply not a true statement. Some comps do cost money when the artists aren't big enough to guarantee the person producing it a break-even point. However. When accepting money ... you ... yes, that's right ... you respect that money as if it's your own.

    dave
    If you\'re reading this, you have a tiny penis.

  17. #17


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    I understand what you're saying, Dave. Thanks for the clarification.
    ====
    DAVID VESEL -- synthetic music for humans
    On the Electrogarden Network
    Official Web Site
    Your mileage may vary.

  18. #18


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    There have been over the years lots of samplers that require money to participate usually between 50$ to 100$ - this money goes towards production/manufacturing costs as the "label" can not afford it otherwise.

    I wish all those invovled the swiftest healings and the steadiest of waters that we might all enjoy the oceans we share, in life, in love and in music.

  19. #19


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    Wow, sounds like this thing turned into a complete cluster¤¤¤¤.

    Seems that the main problems were inherent in the structure of the project itself:

    - Not self funding: extra money had to be paid out of pocket, introducing delays and problems. Full artist funding would have solved this, but would have upped the cost to the artist. With 80 willing artists surely there would still have been enough tracks after people had to drop out due to finances.

    - Insufficiently strong ties between partners on 2 different continents and too many cooks in the kitchen. One project manager alone would have been quite sufficient, and eliminated the possility of a schism.

    - Centralized promotion and sales; label retained most copies, with a mere 10 each going to artists and royalties from sales paid as they happen. Too much room for error, and no clean finish to the project this way. Artists could have disputed sales numbers, etc. No royalties, instead a full and equal share of CD's after promo solves this problem. The project is finished when everyone gets their CD's and those slated for promo go out. The artist is free to do with their share what they want; sell, give away, whatever. Assume 100 went to promo before split and 1/15th of 1000 units would have been 60 units each.

    I wont even comment on the personal issues, as I really have no idea and frankly they are only side notes to what seem to be the real reasons this went awry.

    Something to ponder in similar such efforts in the future.

    Our own template seems to work quite well for our own efforts. Those interested can learn about our past present and future projects using said template here:
    http://www.thirdwavecollective.com/articles.asp?cat=82
    !J!
    http://www.endif.org
    http://thirdwavecollective.com

  20. #20
    Lead ElectroGardener cliffwalk's Avatar
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    everything in this matter has been resolved. thank you for the time and platform to discuss this.

    -dave
    If you\'re reading this, you have a tiny penis.

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