A long time ago, launching a record label was a serious endeavour that required serious work. Releasing music used to cost large amounts of money with no guarantees of recouping it – hence why a lot of the early labels were part of bigger media conglomerates or had substantial financial backing.
Those days are long gone. All that’s now needed is a name, a logo, and some kind of online distribution service – at which point, you can launch your label and get your music onto whichever download and streaming sites that you like. It’s certainly still possible to release music through physical methods, but unlike in the olden days, it’s no longer the only option.
The dance music world cottoned onto this a long time before the rest of the industry, which is why there are labels out there who just release music by one artist. In a way, we don’t blame them – it’s easy to assign royalty and publishing rights when they’re all owned by the same person. But let’s be honest – labels aren’t what they used to be, for better or worse.
Nonetheless, the dance music press still pay attention whenever they get sent info about a new record label from the PR firms whose words they regurgitate and curiously refer to as journalism. And when Charlotte De Witte announced her new label Époque in a blaze of publicity earlier this month, they couldn’t wait to click the publish button.
So what rabbit has De Witte pulled out of the hat? Well, Époque is part of her KNTXT group – and this label, in their own words, aims to “remix iconic tracks, bring back dance classics and use club memories and aesthetics to translate them into unique new tracks”. That’s a lot of words that essentially means “There’s milk still in the cow, and we’re going to squeeze it all out”.
The first release, which came out late last week, was Push’s “Universal Nation” – a track originally released in 1998 with a particularly notorious remix by then rising star Ferry Corsten in 1999. Label boss De Witte decided she simply had to rework the song – and here’s the result…
So what does Push himself – real name Mike Dierickx – think of this new version? Curiously, he hasn’t explicitly said much about it – but Ears To The House has noticed that he’s been promoting the remix across his social media platforms. Either Dierickx does indeed approve of De Witte’s efforts, or he’s simply cashing in on nostalgia for one of his finest efforts.
Given De Witte himself is certainly cashing in, we couldn’t honestly blame him if it was the latter. He might as well…