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Valeot: Label Profile

img  Tobias Fischer

About founding the label
After recording the first album for our band Tupolev - in which Alexandr and me both play - we spent a lot of time finding a label to release it, but none would. We had the idea of starting a label for quite a while before that, but this was the actual reason to start it at that very time.

About oscillating between Pop and experiment

Experiment means challenging records, containing interesting and new ideas, between different genres. Pop, to us, means, very practically speaking, that we want to release records which can be pleasantly listened to at home, which is of course a very subjective criterion - this is investigated through self-experiment by Alexandr and me. Of course, the amount of experiment and Pop varies with every new release, but a pinch of both is what we are looking for in all our releases.

About personal relationships with artists on the Valeot-roster

We really enjoy knowing the people we work with in person. Which does not mean we would not consider releasing records by bands / musicians from farther away.
In terms of working with the artists on our roster, we're basically open to making suggestions, but actually it never happened so far. Our artists always had a clear idea about their every aspect of their release, not just the music itself.

About the advantages of Vienna as a home base
Austria has a good music support (SKE), this helps us a lot financially in terms of keeping our label afloat. Vienna is a good place to interact with quite a lot of people. In particular, there's an active scene for improvised music.

About the first Valeot-releases

We were over-ambitious, we made mistakes, it was painful, we learned a lot and lost a lot of money unnecessarily. We started the label with three releases almost at the same time: Port-Royal's "Afraid to Dance" Double Vinyl, the first Tupolev album on CD and the first Tupolev album on Vinyl. A lot of money went into all of this, the Port-Royal Vinyls and the Tupolev CD both worked out fine, but we had lots of troubles with the Tupolev Vinyl. Looking back now, we should have kept our feet more closely to the ground and not have printed the Tupolev - doing a double release (CD & vinyl) right at the beginning was probably too much for a small label like us.

About the label's philosophy and aesthetics
Our philosophy basically hasn't changed since back when we started the label. We're still trying to release music we personally like, which is beautiful and challenging. But actually if it weren't beautiful and challenging, we probably wouldn't like it, so I guess we just try to release music we personally really like a lot. It's probably also part of our aesthetic to try not to become a genre-specific outfit, but to try and maintain a big diversity within our releases and artists. We're very happy about everything we released so far, some of the releases go into very different directions, but it seems impossible for us to pick a particular release as the one to most congenially sum up our ideas. It's the sum of all which makes up our label.

About subjectivity as one's best compass
We're not a genre-specific label and trying to decide whether to release a record or not on objective criteria seems quite impossible. But most of all, a record which we personally do not like very much would not suffice to motivate us to spend hours and hours of work on it. People might do that if their aim is to earn money. Our aim is to share good music with the world.

About releasing in different formats
We don't like CD-Singles, that's why we release 7inches. We did some 12inches on special occasions, we like that a lot as well, but it's expensive and Vinyl-only releases are difficult, because you can't really send out Vinyls as promos - or at least it's far too expensive.

About the highlights of the first two years
Our hand-printed covers of the 7"-releases of Slon and the Werner Kitzmueller Trio, finally receiving a well-sounding pressing of the Tupolev Vinyl after a half-year long struggle with the Vinyl manufacturer, our slowly but steadily increasing sales, so that more people are listening to the music we release. We are also very happy that especially recently we were able to find suitable distributors for our records, Cargo Records in Germany, Darla in the US, P*dis in Japan and A-Musik for all of Europe.

Homepage: Valeot Records

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