Ears for Eyes will be embarking on a series of interviews and profiles of labels, artists, and organisers of club nights; people who have created and released amazing music or found a space and audience for its live performance. For this inaugural entry, we contacted the mighty Rano Records. Rano have released some great music this year: the haunting piano compositions of Russel M. Harmon, the propulsive atmospheric electronica of Laica, and the disturbingly weird recent release of 'Hot Jone' by Maurice's Hotel Death. Here, they kindly answer a few questions:
Your Bandcamp page mentions your aim being to be sought after, not saturated. What made you prefer this approach to the "release every single sound we've ever made" approach of some other net-labels and bands?
It seems like when there's an overabundance of something, people tend to take it for granted. The motto itself is directed more towards the quantity of each release being more limited in nature. I guess it just kind of worked out that we don't release music very frequently too.
Your physical releases have been limited so far to cassette format. What makes this specific format the most suitable for your label?
Tapes are affordable, they're durable, they come in a variety of colours and lengths, and they are easy to produce at any given quantity. We don't have to buy them by the hundreds like vinyl. Our releases are also available to purchase or stream in digital format, to make it enjoyable for individuals who may not like tapes.
What are your thoughts on the recent cassette store day?
CSD is not really something I see our label ever being outwardly involved in. I'm all for the love of music and supporting local vendors, but the idea of dedicating a day to a particular format just seems silly to me.
Does the label have a particular philosophy or ethos other than a case(ette)-by-case(ette) consideration of different artists?
Our number one goal with all this shit is to have fun. We never want it to become like work, and we try not to put too much pressure on the artists we work with. More importantly, we want artists to feel creative freedom. We work closely together to ensure our finished product reflects the heart & soul of their concept while maintaining an aesthetic that keeps some continuity across the label.
Another goal of Rano is to put out music we enjoy. We love all kinds of music and we've definitely built a catalog that encompasses many of our tastes. I believe our eclectic blend of styles has been pivotal in earning us a unique and diverse fan base. I'm surprised at the number of fans who have purchased everything we've made so far. It's nice to know your label can be adventurous in choosing different styles of music it produces and still have that level of love and support from fans. We love our fans and always want to be connected with them as much as we can.
We love Bandcamp for finding new music and the fan pages are great because we can see what other interests our fans have. Twitter is my personal favorite way to connect with artists and fans. It's our #1 promotional tool to help us generate sales, and it's helped us to find several artists we work with. It's nice because we can see more of an artist's personality on a site like Twitter, as opposed to Bandcamp or Soundcloud.
When it comes to the social media thing and music, my biggest let down this year was the revamp of Soundcloud. I'm not a fan of their new interface. Really hope it changes into something more like it was.
Are there any plans for the future that you would like to share?
Currently we have Maurice's Hotel Death 'Hot Jone' (C70) available for purchase, and MICROFLVRSCNCE 'III' is in the works. We also have several other artists committed, but I don't want to take the focus off of the two I just mentioned. Our future will reveal itself in due time.