Southern Brick Face by Curtis Paul
Approaching the four year anniversary of its initial release, Curtis Paul’s Southern Brick Face has been remastered and re-released finally, righteously, on Beatport, JunoDownload, Traxsource, Bandcamp & everywhere else fine music is streamed & available for digital download.
I say the word “righteously” because a handful of our first electronic albums were originally released on these platforms (Beatport, Juno, Trax, etc…) but I ignorantly signed up with a digital distribution service to get the albums delivered to those channels, not knowing that this service essentially setup its clients to fail (in my opinion). I will refrain from using their name because I don’t want to give their brand attention, feel free to contact me directly if you’d like to know…
One issue, they distributed our albums under their umbrella giving the public the impression that our albums where released by them acting as the label, not our brand. =QUAL wasn’t mentioned anywhere. This caused confusion for all parties involved. The only way to lift their umbrella and give the label proper credit was to apply and show that you had enough social proof to justify the placement. I did apply, they said we didn’t have enough fans, we weren’t “big enough” to make it worth their time. The second problem, even though I properly categorized the songs in the appropriate genres (ambient, experimental, downtempo, etc…) they decided to ignore my recommendations and put the album/tracks in categories such as Dubstep and Trap, which this album certainly is not, this decision did no favors for anybody. My only guess is they thought incorrectly releasing albums in categories that were trending at the time might eventually lead to more sales by unsophisticated consumers?! More complications included them claiming rights to the content on Youtube so that they would acquire royalties should anything be used in videos, which was fine while we were a client, but they never terminated their agreement with Youtube once I terminated our agreement with them as a client, leading to many nights of arguing and filling out forms one by one against copyright infringement complaints for each song that were not valid…they collected royalties for content they no longer had rights. At some point, I noticed I was locked out of the account, their website kept telling me my password was incorrect, but the form would never send a password reset once I requested it. I let the label account expire, took it as a loss and learning experience…it was time to move on.
Another issue with the album is that I originally released it without it properly being mastered, blame this again on my ignorance. I’ve been playing other people’s music for many years, but haven’t spent that much time in a proper studio. I had heard a number of artists over the years about the subject such as, “I master my tracks myself..” and “I’d never let anyone else touch my shit…” At the time, I didn’t understand the difference from a track being the master, and a track being mastered…sonically. So, I received the masters from Curtis, the track order, album description and original artwork by my BFF, Dan McDonald, and I think I was just excited to get the ball rolling, put the package together & released it unknowingly.
Much has changed/lived/learned over the course of the last four years…and I am still very proud of this. Not meant for those with short attention spans, it is a listening experience intended to be heard from beginning to end, track three is 14+ minutes long. Give it a chance if you missed or slept on it the first time around, this is the way it was meant to be heard. And keep an eye on Curtis Paul, this motherfucker’s just getting started.