Tuesday, March 31, 2009

wants you to answer the new poll about DEMF 2009, on http://warmth313.com. Results will be aired on this Friday's WARMTH Sessions!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

is retreating... time to reevaluate... time to rejuvenate... before I can deal with certain pieces of this puzzle called life again...

Friday, March 27, 2009

had a BLAST on the WARMTH Sessions tonight... I'm so grateful to everyone who came out and listened. Great show, eh? :-)
has decided, alright... I'll do a W.A.R.M.T.H. Session tonight. 7pm EST. www.warmth313.com. Can't stop the music, y'all... :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

loves and appreciates his true fans... MUAH!
gave my troubles to God, now it's time for me to move out of the way, and let Him do His will...
admits... today, I backslid. But I won't punish myself for it. I'll get back "on the wagon" tomorrow. Gotta stay STRONG! WILL POWER!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

paid for his registration to the WMC, but due to a family emergency, won't be able to make it... DAMN! ...and there are no refunds!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

is excited about speaking tonight @ the Russell Bazaar. Will be happy to shake some hands, make some friends...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

hopes I get invited to perform at this year's Movement Festival. You know how it is... if y'all wanna see me onstage, LET THEM KNOW!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Vinyl vs. Digital? Not again...

I realize that you can’t please everybody. However, I’m sitting here with mixed emotions. Why, you ask? …Because of this ongoing (never-ending) debate about vinyl vs. CD/MP3 distribution. Let’s make one thing clear: I LOVE vinyl. I always have, and for some nostalgic reason, I always will. But let’s face it, shall we? Times are changing. Vinyl isn’t selling like it used to. People aren’t BUYING vinyl like they used to. Consumers have made a BIG shift toward MP3s, CDs and other digital media.

As a DJ, I admit that I LOVE the ease of transporting my collection of music on CDs. I love playing CDs – it allows me to create something in the studio THAT DAY, and play it immediately for the crowd. It allows me to bring 10,000 songs, as opposed to 50 records in a crate. Not to mention, there’s 80 minutes of music on a CD, vs. 20 minutes on a 12-inch record. These are just a FEW reasons why I love to use CDs.

Now about vinyl, YES I love the science that goes into MAKING the physical record. I love the authenticity of vinyl… In my studio, I have a wall full of my 12-inch singles all in frames. I’m so proud of the records I’ve pressed! I’d love to press more. HOWEVER, am I beating a dead horse when it comes to the marketplace?

Let me take this one step further…

As a RECORD LABEL OWNER, I understand the type of music I sell. Dance Music (a broad term, yes) caters to the DJ. A lot of big-name DJs don’t even spin vinyl anymore, and they play to sold-out crowds. I’ve seen people use Serato Scratch, Traktor, and those Pioneer CDJs (which I admit I’d love to own). It’s my goal to NOT ONLY cater to the DJs, but also to the CROWD of people that actually DANCE to this music. Yes, I want the DJs to support my label. But I ALSO want the average club-goer to be able to own the music they love as well… Hear it on the subway. Play it on your Ipod. Bump it in your car. Whatever. And maybe it’s just here in America, but the average music listener doesn’t even OWN a turntable anymore. So again, I want to cater to this market as well.

HERE is my issue:

I’m too young to be “old school…” I’m not afraid of changing with the times. I once pressed vinyl exclusively, but as the market changed, so did I. I even questioned some of these “digital-only” labels that kept cropping up all over the place. I asked, “Where’s the vinyl?” Because of MY LOVE for vinyl and my willingness to cater to the VINYL MARKET – however small that may be – I decided that I would only make a partial switch. In other words, I would release both vinyl AND digital versions on my music.

Anyone who presses records KNOWS how expensive it can be. The cost to export them, the dwindling market, the risk of returns, etc… It’s too much at times! Record shops are closing; distributors are going out of business, etc. Again, it’s too much! With the low cost of overhead and rising market, wouldn’t it be sensible to “go digital?” Especially since you’ve just expanded your audience to include EVERYBODY – not just DJs who play vinyl? In my opinion, it makes perfect sense. But the more I lean towards the digital market, there’s always SOMEBODY asking me “Where’s the vinyl?” When I hear that question, it makes my blood boil…
I’ve been lucky enough to find a vinyl distributor who offered me a “P&D deal.” This is every record label owner’s DREAM COME TRUE! Now I can cater to both markets, thus pleasing everybody, right? Of course not! There’s always something or someone out there, putting some damn salt in the game. My vinyl distributor is located in Paris, France. I know that in Europe (France especially), many people still prefer and play vinyl. Considering that MY music (as well as dance music in general) sells better overseas, I decided to jump at the chance! I could press my records and sell them THERE, as well as digitally distribute them HERE – a win-win situation, or so it seemed.

Well, one of the main problems I’ve discovered with the VINYL distributor is that they’re feeling the “crunch” of the market. They are unwilling to stick to the vision of the LABEL, so if THEY don’t feel like a certain record will sell, they won’t press it. And let me tell you – this is ME, putting my business “out there,” but fuck it. I’m keeping it real, and if you fault me for it, whatever. I don’t really give a damn…

Let me first state that I’m NOT speaking with any sort of ego whatsoever when I make these statements! But, since 1996, MY NAME has sold records. In 2005, when I decided to sign other artists to my label, I knew that it was MY reputation on the line. If they didn’t sell, MY LABEL would look bad. I didn’t want this to happen, so I CAREFULLY chose my releases. Sometimes I would take licensing deals, just to broaden my market – and I chose these deals carefully. I KNEW that even if I took a “not so great” deal, I would still get the exposure I needed to stay in the game, if you know what I mean…

Side note: Sometimes it hurt my damn feelings to release a record on Wallshaker, only to have it go virtually unnoticed. Maybe it’s promotions? Maybe it’s politics? I don’t know. But I can tell you this: “Tears” would’ve NEVER been released on Subject Detroit if more people paid attention to Wallshaker. “Electro Bytes” would’ve never been released on AfroSyntrix if more people paid attention to Wallshaker… And if DISTRIBUTORS actually took NOTICE of the name/quality/WORK behind a label, instead of sticking to their so-called “winning formula,” producers like myself could MAINTAIN that level of integrity ON THEIR OWN LABELS… I was once told that it’s easy to sell an artist, but HARD to sell a “label.” Go figure. If an Aaron-Carl record was released on Subject Detroit, UR, Kompakt, Wallshaker or whatever – should it make a difference? As a consumer, if the record is HOT, who gives a fuck about the label? I WANT THAT RECORD! END OF STORY!

So years go by… I evolve as an artist, producer, label owner, DJ, etc… I THOUGHT I was doing the RIGHT thing, when I released other tracks by different artists under Wallshaker. In fact, let me retract that statement. I KNOW I AM DOING THE RIGHT THING!!! And with this statement, I argue with my vinyl distributor. You see, the reason some of you STILL cannot find my vinyl releases is NOT because I’m not releasing them – it’s because they’re not getting PRESSED! They don’t get pressed or even promoted properly, because (I’ve been told)”Aaron-Carl sells records… We don’t know who these OTHER people are!” Truth be told, if you read the fucking credits, you will find that I’ve either PRODUCED or REMIXED the songs anyway!
But instead of arguing with the distributor, I said, OKAY… I’ll gauge the two markets. If nobody buys it digitally, then obviously the record is a flop. But as I suspected, my digital releases are selling GREAT numbers. People are listening, buying, trading, supporting and talking about these new tracks. (THANK YOU!) It proved my point. I AM RELEASING QUALITY TRACKS!!! Again, I’m not relying on my ego. I’m looking at my latest sales statement from my DIGITAL distributor – and wondering why the hell my VINYL distribution statements aren’t reflecting similar stats.

Here’s what I WILL NOT DO: I will NOT listen to scared excuses from the vinyl folks, when I’ve got the numbers from the DIGITAL folks to back up my claims. Gottdamnit, MY TRACKS ARE SELLING!

Personally I think that someone’s out to get me. Really, I do. It’s sort of the same reason why I’ve got not ONE, but TWO booking agents – but not a gottdamn gig as of yet (that I haven’t gotten on my own). But that’s another story…
Back to the vinyl/digital debate… When I lean on digital markets, the vinyl people complain… When I try to support the vinyl market, I get stopped by the distributors and the politics that come with it. What the hell am I supposed to do?
I’ll say this: For those who ONLY support vinyl… Take your ass over to the vinyl distributors and TELL THEM YOU WANT WALLSHAKER! For real… Show your support. Support the labels you want to hear – stop bitching because you can’t get it for free. Spend a few dollars and actually SUPPORT the labels. For those who PRESS the vinyl: Get over your fear, will you? Yes, it seems that everyone (and their mother) has a record label. But YOU know who the established artists are. YOU know a hot track when you hear one… And if YOU feel the track, then MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND!!!

And for those who bitch and moan about authenticity… Let me say this… I am authentic. I am authentic when I press vinyl… I am authentic when I press CDs… I am authentic when I create an MP3. When I create my music, I AM AUTHENTIC. Fuck the format. Feel the soul…

just wrote another blog about this damn vinyl/MP3 issue... Some of y'all seriously need to read this shit!
is celebrating... TODAY my new single "Simply" is released! Exclusively on BEATPORT, y'all... Go get it. YES! YES! YES!!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

can't wait for tonight's W.A.R.M.T.H. Session, 7pm EST. www.warmth313.com. Y'all know I'm gonna cut up!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

is definitely walking by faith and not by sight... because things are happening so fast, it's hard to make sense of it all...
is finally turning in... Looking forward to what tomorrow will bring...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


It's been a little while since I've sat down to write a really personal blog, and I actually miss the experience. So here I am...

Let me first say that 2009 has been wonderful for me so far -- as far as music's concerned. I've met some very interesting and wonderful people, and I'm working with people whom I thought I'd never encounter in real life. It's one of those times where I wish my mother was still alive to see these moments. But I know she's here in spirit, smiling at me all the way...

I wrote a song for the fabulous Miss CeCe Peniston... It's called "So Good." But even more than writing this song for her, I've made a wonderful friend. CeCe's a beautiful woman -- both inside AND out -- and I'm so happy that we talk as much as we do. While I won't say TOO MUCH, I'll tell you this... If y'all thought CeCe was through, OH NOOOO... She's coming back with an arsenal, do you hear me? And I'm so grateful to be a part of it.

Another one I'm very happy to be working with (finally) is Quentin Harris. We've got some secret stuff up our sleeves, but I'm still excited!! Although we've known each other for a while now, we've never actually sat down and said "alright, let's DO THIS!" -- well, until recently. Again, I'm grateful for the experience. I'll tell you more about that later, but you'll soon find out anyway. :-)

Wallshaker (my label) has also been doing some great things... So far this year, every release that we've done has made an exceptional amount of noise -- it's like all of a sudden, everyone's paying attention! Lady Blacktronika's "Lose My Life" is already hailed as the Deep House track of the year... Inbetween DJs "Uppers & Downers" EP is also working it OUT, do you hear me? I mean, some of today's biggest DJs are supporting our releases -- and it just feels good.

I'm also gaining more knowledge (which equals power) when it comes to distribution and marketing. No more are the days of "I can't find your music!" Maybe it's just me, and people have been paying attention all along? I don't know... But whatever it is, I accept it!

...I've noticed the many different doors that have opened (and closed) in my life. Old friends (or acquaintances) have faded into the sunset -- new friendships have been forged. I'm curious to see who sticks around for the long haul, and who will go running at the first sign of "trouble." Who's down for ME as a person, and who's just around because of my "status?" I can tell you... Some of the people I NEVER thought would be as close to me as they are -- Julian (DJ Nasty) and I are like the "odd couple." If we were any closer, we'd have the same parents. I admit, I still try to maintain some of (what I consider to be) my "best" friendships. But who knows? Life -- either theirs or mine -- just gets in the way... I still don't believe that a person can be "too busy" to keep in touch with his TRUE friends. Anyone who says otherwise, is living a lie.

I've also learned to reach out -- yes, I had to stop being so damn divalicious, and actually pick up the phone and CALL THEM! LOL... But those who know me, KNOW how often my phone rings!

There's much more that I want to say right now, but it's so late -- 2 a.m. as I sit here writing... There's a full moon out right now, and the clouds are going by so fast. Yet all is calm and still... Sort of like me, standing in this crazy game called life. I'd like to catch at least a FEW hours of sleep, while the night is calm and still -- yet flying by so fast...

Big hugs...
is getting more excited, the closer it gets to WMC... See y'all there? :-)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

did the damn thing last night. Thanks to everyone who came to hear us sing... Big love, y'all!!!

Monday, March 02, 2009

knows that in spite of the darkness and cold, EVERYTHING will be alright... Hallelujah!