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Major Dance Labels Still Chasing Album Acts

Author: Skrufff
Sunday, August 19, 2001
B ritain's newest major label dance imprint Illustrious is aiming to sign long-term album projects such as the Vengaboys, Music Week reported this week, despite dance music continuing to be dominated by singles and mix compilations. The label will be challenging EMI's Positiva and Credence, Universal's Serious/ AM:PM and Ministry's wide range of labels for acts, and will be launching with the surprisingly credible Italian duo Jolly Music.

The Sony backed label, led by Positiva's most recent boss Kevin Robinson, will be aiming squarely for the pop charts, Music Week reported. "If we are considered a great dance label within the next few years that is fine," said Robinson. "Within a few years after that, if we are considered a great all-round label, that will be great."

His comments reflect the relentless difficulty nearly all major labels have experienced in promoting credible dance acts within the old album release system that functioned so effectively for rock bands. Way Out West's Nick Warren, whose album was dropped by BMG's Deconstruction just before last Christmas, implied in DJ magazine this week that the format, as far as dance music is concerned, is in trouble.

"A few years ago bands like the Prodigy, Underworld, Leftfield and the Chemical Brothers were all making albums which the public bought but now they're buying mix albums instead," he said. "Except for Faithless, they aren't used to artist albums and there's a whole generation of clubbers who've only ever bought mix albums. That's the challenge of today - 40 tracks on a compilation or 11 tracks by an individual artist- and it's very tough. I'm very pleased with the album but we're not necessarily expecting great things sales-wise."
Way Out West's new album 'Intensify' is out on Monday (20th August; UK) on (indie label) Distinctive Records.