Has it really been 20 years already?
Firstly - thanks for checking out this Kickstarter and yes - this year marks 20 years in the game of releasing breakbeat rave music upon the world. Of course, I've been making music longer than that, but 1999 was the year that people first started asking me for tracks for their labels, and I put my own tunes to vinyl for the first time. In the last 20 years I've helped run three record labels, released over 60 tracks across 32 labels, played across continents and been to God knows how many raves and played to tens of thousands of people. I'd like to commemorate it and also give people something they can keep on a shelf and listen to when they feel like it. Having grown up with vinyl, I still love the physicality of a non-digital music release, and while vinyl is now just too cost-prohibitive, and the lifespan of CDs is dwindling year on year, there's still a chance to have something physical to hold on to. This is why I'd love to produce this compilation.
Why do I want the funding?
Because I really would like to create something special and I don't have the money to risk it! I'd like to create a best-of, and do it justice, but would people actually buy it? This is one reason I'm setting up this Kickstarter. It would be a kick in the teeth to spend potentially almost two grand putting this all together if no-one was to buy it. This way gives me a bit of security knowing it's going to happen - and feel nice to know there's the support out there!
So what will the album contain?
The plans I have for the album is a cool box set, including four discs split across the tracks I've made across the breakbeat rave scene. I've gone through all 63 tracks that have been properly released in the last 20 years and split them into four sub-genres, one per disc:
- OLD SKOOL - Hardcore Breaks and Oldskool Rave
- NEO-RAVE - Breakcore, Ravecore, Gabber and Tek
- HARDCORE - Breakbeat Hardcore / Happy Hardcore
- ECLECTIC - Everything else! Housey stuff, Techno, Ambient, House, DnB, Jungle and Footwork
I also haven't forgot about those extras...
Everyone loves stretch goals don't they? I've done the maths and thought about what I'd love to include. Obviously the box set comes first, so here's my plan:
- £450 - Project Backed! This is the minimum amount of money needed to produce the 4xCD album in it's box, and while a relatively low target, means this thing actually happens. Woo!
- £600 - BONUS DISC! I have LOADS more tunes that never got released, and I'd love to include my favourites on this boxset. Hitting £600 allows me to produce an extra disc for everyone that includes my personal favourites. A 5xCD album package for all!
- £900 - REMIXES DISC! This will take a lot more effort and time (see my risks and challenges) but this will cover the costs in producing an extra CD containing brand new remixes of my older tracks. These will be one of my choice, unless people opt to support me via the "Remix" tier which allows you to pick a track you'd like me to tackle along with the genre you want it in. A SIX CD package for everyone! Woo-hoo!
- £1500 - BONUS USB KEY!A bit of a leap here, but this is the money I'd need to also include a special USB key containing loads of unreleased tracks, bonus bits and other material for you. Maybe some samplepacks? It would essentially be whatever I can think of from over 20 years of production, and be a real bonus for everyone. And if you don't like it you can wipe it and get a bonus USB key. Have I said Bonus enough times yet? Bonus!
- £1800 - QUALITY UPGRADE!The prices above include standard disc duplication and print quality. For an extra £300 I'd be able to upgrade the entire package to high quality thermal-based printing and be an all round glossier presented package. Nice!
So that's the plan. I hope that you feel this project is worthwhile enough and decide to support it.
How is the money being spent?
I'm glad you asked. Here's an easy-to-read breakdown:
CD duplication (duplicating the master CD and putting them into the cardboard sleeves) is relatively low-cost, and only takes up 27% of the project costs. The biggie is the main box - this takes up 45% of the project fund!
Then 11% of project cost goes towards the inlay sleeve printing, and 10% will go towards the kickstarter fees and associated card fees.
Finally, I have a contingency fund. This is in case anything unexpected comes up, having to send master discs by recorded delivery (the company I have dealt with before usually takes everything via dropbox, but this could change, or I might have to switch suppliers). Or a label may want a nominal fee for licencing a track back to me, who knows? The point is there is a contingency fund in place for things that come up. Ultimately I will produce the artwork, do the mastering, and put the package together, as I have done with all other releases I have been involved in and have good experience of doing this.
Finally, the package and postage costs are covered by a separate fee that Kickstarter charges backers, so this has been accounted for directly and doesn't make up part of the project funding breakdown.
Risks and challenges
The main risks that come from this project are:
1. Record labels not giving permission for all the tracks I have created to be included in this compilation.
Pretty much all of the labels I have given tracks to are run by acquaintances and friends, and most of the tracks I have provided for them gratis. I hope that in return they will allow me to include the tracks on this compilation, but whether all of them allow it without charging a huge licencing cost remains to be seen. As many of the tracks go back years, I'm hoping this will be ok. On the upside, I already have sought and gained permission from over 20 labels, covering all but 7 of the tracks to be included. Huge thanks to Kniteforce, Elation, Rebuild, Breaking Free, Off Me Nut, Hardcore Lives, TFA Audio, Rogue Squadron, Bangface, Paranoid, Beatcheck, Digital Ruffneck, Underground Feeling, Stereo Juggernaut and InFlux Audio.
2. Not getting all the permissions back by April.
I am setting early April as my target date to have everything completed, as the CD duplication companies have a turnaround time of 1-2 weeks, with similar for the box production and sticker production. I hope that during February/March I speak to and obtain consent for all the tracks, but I have 30 separate labels I need to track down, liaise with, and get permission from! I'm confident I can do this fairly quickly and I have everyone's contact details, but there may be people hard to hunt down!
3. Finishing the "Remixes" CD in time.
One of my stretch goals is to create a CD full of brand-new remixes of earlier tracks, and I've created a special supporter tier for this. If I get all 10 supporters, then I will have to create 10 brand new tracks in as many weeks, alongside sorting everything else. This will be hard to do, but I can finish a track per week and sometimes quicker. But this will be my biggest challenge if it's successful enough and this tier gets full support.
4. The production companies having a backlog.
I've used the CD production company I intend to use lots of times before, and they've always kept to their 5-7 business day turnaround, but there's a chance that because I want four discs done at once (or more!), they may be delayed. I've looked into this already and it looks like it won't be an issue, but you can't guarantee that when the time comes. As I say, I've never had an issue before. The box covers are an unknown, but their website states a five working day turnaround, so as long as they are true to their word, this shouldn't be a problem.
5. Getting MUCH more support than I expected!
This is somewhat of a lower expectation. Let's be honest - breakbeat hardcore rave music isn't the biggest genre on the planet, and to date only three of the back catalogue for Endor Recordings has completely sold out of all 100 copies that get made, and that took years. The above costs are based on 100 backers to this project, but the numbers do scale up, so that if I get 101 backers at the £16 rate, and need to get 150 units made up (the next production tier), there is enough leeway to accommodate for that.
- (30 days)