If I remember correctly, I think I first read the term "netlabel" in 2001 or so but it's during the year 2002 I came across it more and more.
Most of the time, it was about tracking groups just renaming themselves to netlabels… some even decided to switch to releasing mp3s even when the tunes were composed in soundtrackers… you can't blame them, the urge to release music made with better samples, a music that is actually mastered…for your pleasure only!
Netlabels like Arghprkl, Commie, Jecoute, Kikapu, Disciple of Ageema Blues or Ogredung opened their doors, all bringing their own ideas to the big pattern.
Obviously, the idea behind "netlabels" wasn't only coming from the tracker scene people. There are evidences of websites like "no-type" that were "virtual labels" back in 1998. After all, such kind of ideas weren't so original since a new media was coming.
Still, I strongly believe the final "kick" into what we know as the "netlabel scene" came for sure from the tracker scene.
The "death of the module format", the closing of tracker-related portal websites, irc becoming less and less popular pushed tracker groups, collectives or whatever like Sunlikamelo-d, Tokyo Dawn Records, Thinner, Mono, Kahvi, Chillproductions or youngsters like Camomille to finally take on the netlabel name.
Of course, some groups vanished.
So here it is, more musicians appeared on the internet so new rooms must be built.
While the first netlabels were mostly about electronic, techno or ambient music, new genre-specialized netlabels opened their doors and here we are in 2010, with many netlabels all over the world, spreading on the internet. The common pattern being "one musician, one netlabel" (ok, that was mean).
With all these netlabels flourishing everywhere, no wonder some like Miasmah decided to step aside and become real labels.
Or is it the desire of releasing more selected artists?
What's the meaning of it all since marketing agencies and majors are finally embracing the realm of the Internet and famous bands are now releasing their music for free?"
Thanks to Esa Ruoho, William Lamy, Ändrew Zendic, Fabien Lasserre, Cyril Pereira, Reynald Deliens, Ronny Pries, Felix Petrescu and Nick Smith for helping myself remembering some groups.
Many <3 to Camomille, Ogredung, NOiSE, Milk and Hellven… we miss you! */ actor involved in recent developments of online music, Guillaume Richard, aka Kaneel, is a musician and a label coordinator.
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