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Who needs a label, anyway?
National Recording Supplies
While it's true that anyone can post any song they've made on the internet at any time, it's also true that most everyone else will ignore it. The key to respectability remains in physical releases. As most vinyl facilities demand a print-run of 500 to even fire up the press, costs become immediately prohibitive for an individual. Which is partly why limited edition cassettes, and the small-run cassette labels that make them, seem suddenly ascendant. An exhaustive essay on the topic by Pitchfork's Marc Hogan earlier this year identified Brooklyn's unsexy industrial workhorse National Recording Supplies as a surprising key player in this trend. At per-unit prices lower than even a spool of CD-Rs, and with custom running lengths easily achievable, it may be the most reasonable option for producing a fetish item of your band's very own. Oh, and that whiff of retro-cool sure isn't hurting.
But what if your aesthetic ambitions run further than just the cheapest option? Doing it yourself is well and good, but pretty ain't cheap. Kickstarter.com, an independent financing platform, isn't specific to music but its simple model of direct patronage to the artist from fans and well-wishers holds unique promise to a business where wider revenue streams continue to run dry. When local cult-pop heroes My Teenage Stride wanted studio sheen for a forthcoming record, Kickstarter delivered. When ambient-pop sweetheart Julianna Barwick wanted the heavenly white vinyl pressing her Florine EP deserved, she tried her luck here.