diskant is an independent music community based in Glasgow, Scotland and we have a whole team of people from all over the UK and beyond writing about independent music and culture, from interviews with new and established bands and labels to record and fanzine reviews and articles on art, festivals and politics. There's over ten years of content here so dig in!

 Subscribe in a reader

Recent Interviews

diskant Staff Sites

More Sites We Like


beatismurder.com is (primarily) a ‘netlabel’ – one of an exciting new crop of labels that offer music that is available exclusively through free mp3 downloads. beatismurder have backed this up with occasional CDR releases that contain nice self-made artwork and some extra content like videos and bonus tracks. The blurb on their website sez: The initial idea was to build a counterweight to the overly restrictive licensing and distribution mechanisms employed in the music industry today. At this point of development, beatismurder.com is a platform for indie-based, non-profit-oriented musicians without dogmatic restrictions to any particular genres. We had a chat with Dino, label founder, runner and mainman to discover more.

Why the hell did you call your label that?

As you probably can tell, the name is based on the animal rights slogan (and album title) Meat is murder. I studied experimental/electroacoustic music. All compositions for the lectures there were pretty much textures and drones, very subtle, everything with a straight rhythm or beats was considered too trivial and bad style. One day, we had a public presentation of our works. In front of kind of an arty audience. In order to be shockingly subversive, I showed a short trashy film I made with my webcam. I pretty much focused on the soundtrack, which had these straight dance/electro beats. To point up my silly punk attitude I called it “Beat is murder”. It turned out that the people weren’t offended at all. They all seemed to like it. So much for my poor attempts to be a revolter [sic]. But I liked the name, so I kept it for something ‘bigger’. When I had to find a name for my label, it was a very easy decision…

How did you get the whole thing started? How long have you been running now?

I’ve been making music for quite a long time now. I suppose it was kind of a natural process of evolution that once things started to get more ‘professional’ (ie better sounding and more ‘mature’) I had to question the sense of only composing for myself and not bringing out my music to the, uhm… ‘masses’. So I started making plans for creating a platform to distribute myself as an artist and musician. The main problem I had to approach was to find a way to reconcile all the various genres and styles that I play: I couldn’t just present them under just one moniker. That would have been too weird.

At the same time I discovered the netlabel scene on the internet. That inspired me to choose the umbrella term ‘label’ and to give myself different band names so it would look as if there were various, albeit virtual, ‘artists’. It was just the easiest way to justify my diversified musical output. That was in last July. I had a rather successful start (concerning the amount of viewers/listeners), which was enough validation for me to go on with it all.

In the end it turned out that my narcissistic and self-complacent concept became way too restrictive. I was forced to think about what I really want: spread MY music only or spread great music by great people? I drew the conclusion that a label as such should be more than one person releasing his music. As a matter of fact I decided to slowly broaden my principles.

So there’s already a compilation out on beatismurder.com, featuring various artists from all over the world. The next step will be the beatismurder.com split series, which will be me ‘against’ other musicians. The first part of this series is going to be released within the next few days, and there are already concrete plans for the next two projects. Furthermore there will be another collective project released in spring 2006. It’s a cover-album of Sonic Youth’s Washing Machine. Diverse artists cover one song each, all in an electro context. It’s gonna be big fun. Watch out for it!

Have you been inspired by any labels in terms of style/ambition/enthusiasm?

As I have already mentioned, I was highly inspired by the whole concept and idea behind the netlabel scene. There’s so much creative energy out there that needs to be discovered. I was fascinated by the way all those people created a network, they support each other. There’s no commercial purpose, so you won’t find any business competition or rivalry. It’s so much easier these days to both release and receive good music. Of course it’s not easy to find your way through the massive range of releases, but the good thing about ‘virtual’ music is that you can download whatever you want, and if you don’t like it you just delete it and go on with the next. It’s like a big record store where you listen to whatever records attract you at first sight. You just don’t have to pay for keeping the music.

What kind of a role has the internet played regarding your label? Some people these days operate exclusively via the ‘net, whilst others are still very much mail order based. What’s your stance?

The internet retains the main role in the netlabel scene. I mean, besides the music of course. Distribution over the internet guarantees you a worldwide audience. No ‘real’ distributor can offer such a spr eading (unless you’re a major label and have the $). I, as a netlabel owner, have full control over the actual market. That’s a liability but also a priceless freedom and independency that a physical label doesn’t have. Of course, I don’t earn any money from giving away my music, but on the other hand I also don’t have any costs, because I don’t have to pay for real sound storage media or distribution partners.

Well, okay, I have to pay for everything that happens in the real world, such as promotion material for gigs or CDRs and packages that I send out for press or to event organisers. But that’s not much. Furthermore, you have a direct link to your listeners. Receiving the music via the internet somehow makes it easier for the people to send something back the same way. I keep getting feedback from all over the world. Aaaaah, so many nice persons out there. I don’t know anyone who ever sent a mail or a letter to an artist who releases on a ‘real’ label. As a ‘virtual’ artist or label you’re so much closer to everybody. Nah, don’t wanna sound like a hippie now. On to the next question… (hey, but I mean it!)

Is downloading killing music? Do you harbour any strong feelings sympathetic to or against the RIAA?

Downloading is spreading and promoting music. If downloading my music means listening to my music than I’m completely satisfied. but you can’t compare my stance with the (so-called) record industry. I’m not part of an ‘industry’ at all. I have no financial loss through free music downloads. I want it that way. Please do it! I don’t care about organisations like the RIAA and whatever rules they come up with.

Just to clarify my position: I DO buy and collect records. I spend more money on that than on any other thing. But as for my own and my label’s music there’s no bigger validation and satisfaction than the rising download-counter. Ehm… amen!

Do you feel an affiliation with other labels out there? Is there any kind of community or so-called ‘scene’ – be it local or not – that you feel linked to?

I feel linked to the netlabel scene at large (yes: there IS a community!). To be more specific: I do feel an affiliation with the small circle of those netlabels who try to broaden the – unfortunately existing – stylistic boundaries in the scene. The whole netlabel thing evolved from the so-called ‘demo scene’ and was, and still is, very much techno(…)-dominated. There are thousands of minimal techno/house/whatever releases that flood the market, many people already feel rather sated with that. Luckily there’s kind of an indie-movement among the indie-movement. Some quite cool guitar-based stuff comes from netlabels like 12rec or piecemeal, just to name a couple. I’d love to see the netmusic scene getting a little more diverse, to offer an emancipated coexistence of all genres like the ‘real’ market does. That’s the only way to get the whole movement out of its insider- or ‘nerd’-status and make it more attractive for a bigger audience.

Now, that sounded a bit too negative. There is already enough variety: I bet everybody can find music he or she likes on the internet.

Has there ever been a time when you felt like calling it a day, that the label was too much trouble?

Hmm… I can’t remember one day that I felt it was NOT too much trouble. I do most of the work alone, so it quickly became more than just a spare time hobby for me. The whole label thing and everything associated with it is probably the most time-consuming part of my life. Even more because I am also the main artist on the label and must make some decent music once in a while. Most other things can just be of secondary importance, which can be a real hassle, because I need to go to university too. Not to forget that I have to earn some money. And don’t ask me about in-deep relationships… ‘too much trouble’ is the perfect synonym for the time when I announce an upcoming release with an absolute illusory date just to give me a deadline. Mostly I didn’t even start recording at this point… aaaaand I spend so much precious time on promotion and networking. I should definitely think about outsourcing.

Where have you found bands you’ve released stuff by so far? Do you get demos etc sent to you? Do you ask the bands or do they ask you?

The stuff released so far is mainly done by myself. There’s one compilation on beatismurder.com with various artists. In this case I approached the musicians and asked them for participation. The upcoming split series will also feature artists that I kind of ‘discovered’. But actually I do get demos sent to me, mostly e-mails with mp3s or links to the musician’s websites. I appreciate every piece of music they send me and I always reply, but I haven’t yet been convinced by the stuff I got. Not that I only get bad music, but it mostly just doesn’t fit to what I want beatismurder.com to be.

Some bands send me CDs, really well done packages. But maybe just not ‘weird’ enough to be released on my label. I listen to everything and I’m very happy to get demos, though!

Speaking of which, do you have any hot musical tips for us at the moment?

Ah, let’s see… I suppose I’ll have to give away my indie-guitar discoveries now. Don’t want to bother you with my electronic favourites… all this music can be downloaded for free:

If you’re into weird noise-rock you should definitely check out Princess Sweepstakes on piecemeal. Get yourself some Owl Dudes stuff there also.

Then there’s this netlabel called Trastienda. The website is completely in Spanish, but you should easily find your way to the hottest band there: The Joe-K Plan. Kind of like emo-rock without the wimpy singing. Actually, without any singing at all. If you like Shellac or Fugazi, you should give them a try.

A fine post-rockish piece of release is Bars Closing Down by Millhaven on 12rec.

Finally some kinky self promotion: bruspi’s i look pretty when i’m alone features some pubescent teenage angst lyrics melting into Sonic Youth guitars and electronic elements. Download it at my label.

Who decides the artwork for your releases? Do you have a major say in the matter, or do you let the bands decide?

I made all the artworks so far. The next release, a split EP, will be designed by another guy. He’s a very talented painter and will also musically be the other half of the release.

Do you use any particular companies to make and print your physical records?

All the CDs that i send out to press and stuff or that I give away at the live gigs are DIY-products. Imagine me sitting on my carpet with scissors and glue and small, fancy, glittering accessories. Sometimes I feel like a child. Its great fun, and the only material connection between my label and the ‘real’ world. Mostly it turns out to be a beautiful package, so it’s well worth all the effort.

What’s your opinion on the importance of press and media coverage? Do you have any particular policies on how to get it?

A label can’t do all the promo itself. The music must be mentioned by other people as often as possible. Who would trust me if I said “get yourself all my music, it rules!”? Press reviews are the most important promotional motor. Even when it’s bad reviews. Magazines and radio stations often only accept CDs, they just don’t want to deal with mp3-only releases. Some of them are satisfied when I send them my DIY-CDRs.

A nyway, the most important media platform is the internet. The typical netmusic consumer gets his information about releases online. Luckily there are a lot of webzines, blogs and webradios that review, mention and play netlabel stuff. So I try to find the respective websites and then I send them a link to my label. Of course, I choose those webzines that usually write about similar music, I’d never ask a drum & bass magazine for a review. Fortunately most of the reviewers so far were rather excited about the beatismurder.com stuff, so I think I made the right decisions.

Every now and then I do a Google search for reviews of my releases. I always find some new ones. Reviewers NEVER tell me when they wrote something about beatismurder.com unsolicited. That’s another advantage of the internet: I already had reviews in Spanish, Finnish and even Icelandic. I could never afford to sample those regions with real CDs. Not to mention that the people there could never buy my music in those countries anyway.

Do you have any grand world domination plans for the label?


Got any advice for the prospective new label mogul?

Ehm… monetary? No.

Do whatever you want to do, but do it with all your heart. And get yourself enough chocolate to soothe your nerves.

Finally, what would be your dream release – which band, which format, and how would it be packaged?

Hmm, now that’s a personal one. My dream release would be something that I made and that I’m absolutely satisfied with. I do have some semi-concrete plans about the music that I really want to create. But I never really start working that out – maybe I’m too scared of failing to achieve my musical vision. So I always record other stuff instead… which turned out to be not THAT bad though :)

So if the fairy allowed me one wish, it would be to record the album that already exists in my head but doesn’t want to come out. I want that to happen before I’m 26. Don’t ask me why I chose exactly that age… maybe to give me at least two more years from now on. The package would be a fourfold 12″ LP box-set that glows in the dark and makes strange animal noises when you don’t listen to it at least once a day.

I’ll definitely do that! I promise! As for the glowing, I already started to collect nuclear energy…