I imagine that when Kickstarter was first set up its founders imagined it being the vehicle by which all manner of high-tech projects got funded. From new computer games to off the wall gadgets and more. In fact even things like this amazing swimming pool.
I am not too sure though that they ever considered that the site would evolve as a significant funder of, wait for it, the vinyl revival, but that is increasingly becoming the case.
Imagine that you are a small band with a dedicated following. It is easy to set up a Bandcamp account and start selling your music. For credibility’s sake though you need it created in a physical format. I work for a magazine which these days won’t review anyhting that isn’t in a physical format (ie CD, vinyl) as well as a download.
Personally I think that’s a bit short-sighted but I do understand why they do it. It certainly sorts the wheat from the chaff.
But if you are a band with ambition just creating a CD doesn’t really cut it. For credibility’s sake you need vinyl. There is a growing army of music buyers who still download songs, but for whom their main source of listening pleasure is good old vinyl records. And if you are making dance music, or are part of alternative music genres like psychedelia, vinyl is a must.
Enter Kickstarter which these days is chocka with bands wanting to release their music on record.
And amazingly a high percentage of seem to be getting funded. Take for example Astro Nautico – they are a New York based group who major on soulful electronic sounds.They wanted $8000 for to create a vinyl album of their music- and they got it funded.
Also doing very well at the movement is a massive favourite of mine – Kosmischer Läufer (see video at the top) – who are hoping to take the digital download they created a few months back and make it into a proper record. The superb music is either- East German Kraut Rock from the 70s that was designed to help athletes run faster, or a groups of Scots with a wicked sense of humour. You decide. Nevertheless the tracks are fantastic and I am pleased to say that they look on target to reach the £1500 they need to create an album.
Also on the verge of a Kickstarter funded vinyl project -in this case a single – is Salisbury’s very own Sgt Pepper Beaulieu Porch. The one man band who released a superb Strawberry Fields Forever style psych album last year and followed it up with another corker this year too.
Beaulieu is hoping to raise around £650 to create a single of his track The View From Gainsborough and with 20 or so days to go is half way there. Asked why he has chosen the format Simon Berry aka Beaulieu Porch said.
As for vinyl, I have noticed a growing trend amongst music fans for vinyl over CDs and downloads, which is probably, quite rightly, down to the overall aesthetic of the thing. I’m serious about what I do and for me, making my music and the artwork and all is an absolute pleasure and delight.
It seems then that in order to make Kickstarter work as a band looking to create a single you do have to have something of a track record. but as source of investment for vinyl it looks like it is becoming very useful.