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Why no full length LPs from Electronic Music Producers?
November 15, 2012 4:52 PM   Subscribe

Why is it, or is there a why, as to some artist/producers/labels focus mostly/solely on putting out singles, 12", EP etc, and not full length albums?

I am speaking in generalities of course and specifically in regards to the past ten years of electronic and dance music. Is there a divide between 'DJ-Producer' (focused more on releasing singles and occasional EP) and 'Artist' (more prone to a release schedule similar to pop/rock groups)? Over the past 15 years I have moved from following and consuming music produced in the latter fashion to music being produced in the former fashion. Is this something that I just didn't notice until my habits changed? Do maybe artists working in dance and electronic and DJ oriented genres work on a different marketing strategy then the indie/college rock bands of my earlier days? I know that artists in the electronic and dance genre DO put out full length albums, but it seems to me like there is a trend of smaller length releases.

For example, there is no XXXY full length LP, yet XXYYXX is releasing a full length album. People like Joy Orbison and Jacques Green release singles and EPs and run record labels of their own but don't have "proper full length" releases.

If this is not a trend, feel free to disabuse me.
posted by J0 to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Because djs mix singles, they don't mix albums, and dance music is made to be played by djs. If anyone buys it to listen at home, it's great, but not why the music was made.
posted by empath at 5:24 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, because dance music is disposable and heavily influenced by trends, producers release tracks as soon as they're released. They can't wait a year or two to release an albums worth of songs at once, the world will move on. And a lot of dance music producers have day jobs (or are primarily djs), and only have time to release a song or two a year. Guys like deadmau5 who make enough money to make music full time are the exception-- and a lot of the more famous ones don't even produce the songs themselves, they hire ghostwriters.
posted by empath at 5:28 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


As empath said, the music is for the clubs. You don't play full LP's in the clubs. You jus t play singles.

The LP in rock comes out of a different tradition. Rock didn't start off as LP music. At first, LP's (longplayers) were thought of as adult's music, and singles were for kids. Then came the 60's, big budgets for rock groups, concept albums & all that jazz.

Dance music comes out of clubs with DJ's. One DJ plays music by a bunch of people. The music comes out of mixes. In the clubs, you never hear one DJ's music. A DJ plays a bunch of stuff. This is why a lot of electronic music doesn't really hold up when it gets really big and there's demand for a DJ just to play his or her own self made stuff. Honestly, Daft Punk kind of sucked live, because they just played their own stuff, which we already knew. A good DJ really changes it up. Nights are full of surprises. If a crowd reacts strongly to one song, he or she will play another that matches the energy. Sometimes, DJ's screw up, which is kind of interesting too. This doesn't transfer well to LP, usually.

You do find some amazing DJ LP's, though. There's an amazing Larry Levan Live at the Paradise Garage CD, and also a great Grandmaster Flash album, but these guys are playing mixes live (I guess Flash was in the studio, though, technically). These are kind of flukes, though. Oh, I also remember hearing a Junior Vasquez double live CD that was suprisingly good and a Daft Punk live LP now that I'm thinking about it. Oooh! Let's not forget DJ Assault Off Da Chain for the Y2k.
posted by shushufindi at 6:31 PM on November 15, 2012


Lots of electronic artists release LPs (Aphex Twin, Basement Jaxx, Prodigy, Four Tet, Tiesto...i mean...hundreds and hundreds, those are just some of the most mainstream).

Electronic is just one of the few genres where singles are still a viable market, because of DJs.

Many electronic artists who are less club-oriented will release tracks as soon as they are done to digital services like BeatPort as well.

The "Ten songs on one piece of media" format, while its led to a bunch of great complete works, is at the moment pretty arbitrary, given that a digital "album" can have twelve or twelve hundred tracks grouped together.

I wish more non-electronic bands would release music in different configurations.
posted by softlord at 7:20 PM on November 15, 2012


Interesting and relevant comment http://www.metafilter.com/121883/the-ways-in-which-musicians-are-screwed-have-changed-qualitatively-from-individualized-swindles-to-systemic-ones#4687881

Thanks for the comments. I think those are things that I knew but didn't know how to say/think them. Also, I think I am angry at not being able to "have" vinyl/LPs of a lot of the DJs/producers that I like and having to buy/assemble singles as they come out.
posted by J0 at 7:27 PM on November 15, 2012


I guess, also, maybe the divide, if there is a divide, is more between "DJs" and "Producers"... I never thought of Richard D James as a DJ, but rather a music maker, although Tiesto of course is generally thought of as a DJ first and album-artist second. I guess I've been familiar w "electronic musicians" more and "DJs" less and now that I am listening to more "DJs" I am seeing this thing that has always been there.
posted by J0 at 7:52 PM on November 15, 2012


ADD is the reason I can only get at the most, an EP out the door.
posted by roboton666 at 8:12 PM on November 15, 2012


Also, I think I am angry at not being able to "have" vinyl/LPs of a lot of the DJs/producers that I like and having to buy/assemble singles as they come out.

You can still buy a lot of vinyl

When dance producers release vinyl, they generally release a single plus remixes, though. The reason for that is that djs are picky and tend to play only one genre or sub genre, so a track will get remixes to sell to additional markets.
posted by empath at 8:23 PM on November 15, 2012


Recently ordered the Ango 'Another City Now' EP from ThisIsLuckyMe, Daphni's 'Jiaolong,' and the Swarms LP from Lodubs. I like buying vinyl, but I just don't like buying (physical) singles that much.

JUNO is a GREAT source for vinyl, agreed.

I guess I just need to press my own wax...
posted by J0 at 9:25 PM on November 15, 2012


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