January 4, 2012  |   Music Courses

VVWI Label Boss Tim Sheridan Speaks Out

Tim Sheridan – DJ, producer and boss of VeryVeryWrongIndeed Recordings recently released the two winning remixes from the competition that we ran with his label back in Autumn 2011. Click here to listen to the winning entries.

So high was the standard of entries that he felt implored to right a lengthy email response, paying tribute to the submissions and delivering some poignant and pretty hilarious points on the perils of running a record label, plus some great advice for remixers. So magnificently eloquent and brilliantly unhinged was his email that we felt implored to post it below for  all you to see… it is well worth a read, trust us!

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“I get sent music for a living. I am certain no-one is exempt lately from the chavalanche of unsolicited music labels sending horrific piles of electro-gash and sure-fire-big-tune-in-Ibizas. I always harrumphed a bit when DJs used to say to me “I get sent too much music”. Like one of the horrible pampered kids in Wonka’s factory. Yeah right. But then it happened to me… and kept happening. It got so no amount of hiding in the middle of nowhere or changing emails could stop it. To this day I have no idea how they find us. If I knew how I wonder if VVWI would do it? I lie to myself that we wouldn’t.

Point Blank is a very respected institution and when I got sent ten tracks from them of  “a pretty decent standard” both my A&R head and my DJ head I confess did a stereo groan. I admit it. It’s got so I can barely keep track of VVWI’s internal music and be a working DJ. In fact my solution to avoid the European surplus promo mountain was to make and sign as much material as I could over the past 7 years so I could do sets that were mostly VVWI material. It’s honestly not laziness (a bit then) or vanity (defo not, I hear DJs and labels and know we aren’t better) but a measure of circumstance had led to this point. Being many miles from any record shops. Or any shops. Not being able to use the net. I pretty much ended up having to make stuff to DJ with whether I liked it or not.

I’m full of shit. It was to avoid piles of ten records. Believe me it’s not a fear of them being bad. There is an embarrassment of riches of music currently. It’s choice! I’m the sort of chuzzlewit who use to go into a video shop (remember them?) and still be there and hour later. Seriously an hour. I’m also so old fashioned I’m a sort of Victorian Glacier. If I like a tune I have to write pages of explanation, get in touch with the producer, make an edit of it, discuss swapping mixes etc etc and that is just if I love a tune. If I just listen to something and it’s clearly great but I either can’t DJ with it or it’s very well made but won’t be a strange enough fish for my aquarium…. then it’s even worse.

I used to spend from waking until sleeping online dealing with tunes. I am not exaggerating. From 10am until 10pm. Every single weekday. Mostly my own fault because I just can’t say those horrific words …. I am shuddering… “not for me”. Or worse… no reply at all.

You can clearly see. Total gobshite. To the point!

I didn’t want to listen to ten of anything. I put it off. I was an idiot. “Pretty decent standard?” Absolutely amazing more like. I genuinely liked all of them. Then of course I had to CHOOSE. Shit.

Everyone who entered deserves at least this much info. How do you choose? I can tell you because I had to sit and think very hard about that. I worked out it’s a series of “nots”.

It’s not about having an audio-wank. A remix needs to stand alongside not just the treasured original but other versions. So it has to be a ‘version’. Not a look-at-me-I-don’t-need-the-stems showcase. Not the original with a different tempo and bass drum. Switzerland. A place smack bang in the middle of those two extremes. With it’s own currency and identity.

It’s not about the genre. Definitely. We don’t keep any in captivity at VVWI and I don’t believe in them any more than I do in ghosts, santa, the tooth-fairy or Jesus… actually Jesus-wise I’m not a true believer but I have to say… love his work.

It’s not about format or ‘finish’. Mp3, WAV or 8-track cartridge… it’s the message not the medium.

It’s not about being a label-fella, a DJ or a producer. I’ve always been a DJ and I make and play records for people to dance to. Weird but true. The situations vary from the sublime to the ridiculous but mostly there is dancing.

It’s not about being Mr Big Trousers and lording it up over “students”. Students aren’t a species. You could be any age, gender, shape or being. All I know is you are people who make music and want to get into it more. It should be compulsory for people in our business.

So it’s certainly not about who you are. It could not be more of a blind-test. So many people read websites and magazines and I know some promoters who book acts with their eyes not their ears. Weirdos.

It’s not about a prize or goal. Music has never been more widespread but less… well… paid for, frankly. We’ll put it out because it’s good. I kid you not ; if I got ten of a pretty decent standard there would be no “winners” released. It’s tough for labels now and we can’t put out anything that isn’t extremely ace.

I would happily release 6 of the final 10 immediately… and all of them after a wee tweak here and there in the mixing.

Sadly we can’t do that as I waffled about an hour ago… who’d want 10 versions of the same (very awesome I should say and thanks to Senor Paul Loraine!) tune these days?

Anyway you can see my ongoing problem. And I hope some sincerity somewhere.. so that when I say all the final 10 will make very great music ahead of them if they stick with it… I mean that. Some Deep… some glitchy and fresh.. some rich and melodic. All winners. I can’t believe I said that.

Some of you will see exactly why the two chosen were so. Some may be clouded as to why. I certainly was for a bit. In a nutshell the two were the best produced, extremely relevant for Point Blank but also for a label as they were both “ready to go” as it were. Complete and finished. “Complete” is more than “finish” I should add. Neither resembles the other except in approach. Professional and ah christ! kill me for saying this but… with feeling.

Anyway. Cheers Point Blank! Next time give me something hard to do. You must be doing something right somewhere with these people.

Sincere thanks for taking time to enter this and PLEASE… keep it up.”

Tim.

Ibiza, 2011

Click here to listen to the winning remixes.

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