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Unyque Artistes: The Book

Volume 1 (The Music Industry)

Article from Music Technology, October 1992

Unyque Artists, incorporating Intrigue Records and Stylex Music, have produced a shoestring guide to the music business which makes up in punchy, straightforward common sense for what it lacks in stylish production. Photocopied and stapled between simple covers of blue card and compiled by a character basking in the title of 'The Dark Knight' with a diligence which belies its appearance, The Book is to be commended for its full and frank advice on producing demos and white labels, approaching contacts, distributing your product and generally avoiding encounters of the finger-burning variety.

Lists and tables appear on almost every page, condensing the hard facts still more, and covering such things as pressing costs, distribution networks, major labels, engineering courses, hire companies and even DJs. These are combined with a prose style that takes you by the scruff of the neck but makes a welcome change from the platitudes which all too often pass for advice in the 'biz'. For example: "No computer or machine in the world can make a crap song into a wicked song, or a bad (as in lame piece of shite) bassline into a killer (as in kicking on all cylinders) B-LINE. That miracle remains within you."

And the mysterious Mr Knight throws down another challenge right at the beginning of the book, where "all the information you'll need" to run 500 12" white labels is condensed into a simple table detailing manufacturing costs, VAT and sales required to break even. The implicit invitation to ignore the rest of the book is a skilful ploy: one is immediately impressed by the audacity, and tempted to find out more.

For your trouble, you'll be rewarded by sample contracts reproduced in full, essential information on copyright and licensing and a DJ Reaction Report, included to help you elicit and organise feedback. The emphasis on DJs, white labels and record shops of the 'Groove Shack' variety betrays The Book's main target readership - anyone involved in the burgeoning cottage industry of home-recorded, self-produced dance music - for whom The Book could well become The Bible.

The cost of information and advice of this sort is a doubt-provoking £10.00 - but that does include postage and packing. An order form was included with our review copy, but presumably the publishers hope to leave them lying around all over the place. It would certainly be worth picking one up.

Price : £10 Inc. P&P

More From: Intrigue. (Contact Details).

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Publisher: Music Technology - Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.

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Music Technology - Oct 1992

Review by Phil Ward

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