December 13, 2007

Check Dis Out!

by Chris Randall

I was somewhat startled to receive a license request (as in a request to license music) in the [email protected] email in-box this morning. Actually "confused" would be a better word. We get a lot of license requests, operating a record label and all, but they usually come to my wife, or to my address. So to get one in the [email protected] mailbox caused some sort of Eddie in the Space-Time Continuum for me, especially since I just woke up.

What was extra confusing was that it was a request for a song we don't appear to own or control the copyright for (as if that was even possible in this day and age, har, har, har...) called "Check Dis Out" by an artist named Kid Massive. I spent several minutes basically stuttering and spinning around in my chair before I figured out what was going on.

It appears this Kid Massive (the name of whom brings to mind a big giant baby more than anything else, and who has a minimal web presence here) wasn't happy with his Soundslike Records imprint, and started a new "recording label and DJ tour" company called "Audio Damage Records." (It also appears occasionally as "Audiodamage Records.") This seems to be something that happened, like, last week.

He's only got one release, "Check Dis Out," which is a not-bad traditional house track (check dit here), although a little old-school (and not the good kind of "House Your Body" old school, but rather that tragic c. 98 low-point-of-house-music old school). He has a residency at several clubs around the UK which he does as an "Audio Damage Records Presents..." kind of thing. I assume "Check Dis Out" gets lots of play. Dude, do you have any Marshall Jefferson to go with that? (As an aside, I just remembered that Marshall produced Ten City's excellent "That's The Way Love Is," as made re-famous by Poi Dog Pondering. Now, _that_ is a house music anthem.)

As if that weren't enough for just about anybody (thank all the Interweb Gods for Google) there is actually MORE THAN ONE Audio Damage Records. Oh, yes. There's these fellows from Leicester/ Liverpool/ London (which we all know actually means "Leicester." It's like saying "Naperville/Oak Park/Chicago" when you actually mean just plain ol' Naperville.) These guys "will be releasing futuristic dance floor sounds with a focus on originality and HIGH production standards." I don't know when they plan to do that, because the tracks on their Myspace page are basically distorted gabber-fests consisting largely of samples of other peoples' music.

I know that labels like this come and go with the wind, so I'm not terribly concerned about this, and if European DJ pools masquerading as distributors want to send me money to P&D some middle-of-the-road house track, I'm all for it. Just make sure the contract is for Euros and not dollars, as those greenbacks ain't worth fuck all these days. Any other Audio Damage companies trading off our good name out there? Just so you know, this page is gonna come up first in all Google searches for your label, so you better put out some original shit if you want a link that doesn't come with a snarky comment.



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Dec.13.2007 @ 11:00 AM
..God I love cheesy old house, just looking at the phrase "Check dis out" I can smell the dusty ol Nugroove / Apexton records!

Dec.13.2007 @ 11:03 AM
Is there any way to avoid things like this, really? Given the number of bands, and/or wannabe record labels out there, I think pretty much any name or combination of words that doesn't sound totally ass will be used by someone, somewhere, in some way. There are just too many human beings speaking english out there.

The lawyers for a record company I worked for used to suggested mis-spelling of something you want to trademark - So call something "Damaged Audioz" instead of "Audio Damage". The only trouble with that (other than it makes for some stupid sounding names) is no-one is going to remember how to to spell your url.

I think this is probably a huge problem for death metal bands and goth bands, as how many possible permeatations of the words "black", "death", "blood", "dark", "misery", etc., is there? You got it easy!


Dec.13.2007 @ 11:05 AM
Chris Randall
Yeah. My LastFM list (schizophrenic at best) is really getting a work out this morning. I had to listen to Ten City. Then that led me down the Trax Records garden path to Adonis and Mr. Jefferson, with brief side trips to Lil' Louis Vega and Frankie Knuckles. Where will it stop? Lord only knows, but I hope before the KLF arrives and everything takes a turn for the worse.



Dec.13.2007 @ 11:07 AM
OK, I listened to the track clip, and I couldn't help but think: Yeah, Fruityloops.

Dec.13.2007 @ 11:08 AM
Chris Randall

Our company is not young, and our web presence is a not-insignificant footprint. I mainly feel sorry for them for not realizing that (a) it is not easy, bordering on impossible, to find their shit without finding ours first, (b) people are gonna be sending us license requests and not them, and (c) they'll only be around a month or two, so what does it matter?

You're correct inasmuch as one letter's difference in the name is good enough, especially if you're not trading in the same market.



Dec.13.2007 @ 11:18 AM
man Poi Dog could play them some covers back in the day (better than their originals actually).

Dec.13.2007 @ 11:30 AM
Bustin out the dusties! This link i got off the WNYU radio station. 1 hr of Carl Craig spinning everything from cheesy house to really good acid house. I'm a fan of a small # of dj's, Carl Craig can do no wrong in my book. Here's the link:

link []">link []


Dec.13.2007 @ 11:39 AM
Chris Randall
I agree strongly with both the last posts. Poi Dog's shining moments were coverish, to be certain. I remember one time we saw them absolutely SLAY on Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Fish's "Don't Pull Your Love" inexplicably. Frank Orrall is a good, good friend of mine, so don't expect me to say anything bad about the Poi otherwise.

Carl Craig, as well, is teh bomb. Even if he is from Detroit.



Dec.13.2007 @ 12:52 PM
To add another layer to the irony, it looks like Kid Massive's last record label, Soundslike, was forced to change its name to SL Records after the first few releases.

They were using the same name as Matthew Herbert's Soundslike, which has been around since 2000.

The creativity coming from these guys is just overwhelming.

Herbert's label is great, though - worth checking especially for Drew Daniels from Matmos' releases as Soft Pink Truth.


Dec.13.2007 @ 3:08 PM
Well, since we've entered a Poi friendly zone, I'll come right out and say, I loved me some Poi Dog. For a while in college, about the time of their first two Texas Hotel eps, they were one of favorite bands - and I was a died-in-the-wool post-punker, all Minutemen, Live Skull and Big Black. I saw the original line-up at a smallish club in NYC just after Pomegranate and they absolutely kicked all kinds of ass. Fuckin' Dave Crawford! I got to meet Frank once back in those college days, and was a blathering idiot. He, however, was a gracious & modest guy.

So, their covers were most certainly not their only shining moments. Pomegranate is a brilliant record. I can completely see why their early stuff might not be to everyone's taste, but Frank has been way out ahead of so many trends, and by the time he'd morphed the band into a powerhouse soul/house band - what a horn section - others were just beginning to pick up on the whole ramshackle kitchen-sink approach to "indie" music. Arcade Fire can blow my left nut; Poi were doing that a decade ago and didn't sound like John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown.

Frank/Poi Dog really opened me up to music that's about joy and having fucking fun without having to listen to, you know, Phish or something.


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