Labelinterview: Project Mooncircle

projectmooncircle | soundcloud | instagram

How did you come to do what you do? When did the first idea of creating the label came out?

I’m a vinyl collector and DJ since 94′ and it was always my dream to start my own label and to release eclectic music. I was born close to the Polish border in East Germany and I grew up in a rough neighborhood until the end of the 90’s so I didn’t had so much opportunities, friends with the same vision or support in this surrounding like you can easily get in cities like Berlin nowadays. It took a while to release our first record on vinyl and to sign our distribution deal with HHV (http://hhv.de/).

Some statistics, since the label was created , how many releases, how many vinyls and how many packages/parcels have you made/send?

Originally established in 2002 and we’ve released more than 200 records on vinyl, a few on cassettes and Japanese CD versions.

From which country do most of your buyers come from?

It depends on the genre of course but the main market is still in the UK, United States, Japan, China, Korea, Russia and Australia.

What is the release of which you are most proud of?

The 15th anniversary compilation box set was incredible. One of my highlights over the last years for sure because I’ve worked with so much creative heads on the artwork together. Legendary illustrators like Dave McKean (Dark Horse Comics – Batman / Neil Gaiman etc.) or Lorena Assisi from Italy.

Can you describe to us what a typical day at the office means to you?

Our office is at Warschauer Str. in Fhain, Berlin. It’s pretty crowdy with tourists there and I’m happy that we can work in the rear of a house. I start to check my mails at 8AM and then I work on statements, contracts, artworks, promotion, license agreements, videos, and marketing strategies. Project Mooncircle is just one of three labels that I’ve to manage every day so I’m pretty busy until the late evening…

Who’s in your Team? Are you a Music Producer or DJ?

My wife Anna Gieseking, Ronald Seibt and me. I’ve produced some Hip Hop instrumentals for US labels like Beta Bodega, Merck Records, Counterflow and Botanica Del Jibaro back in the days but compared to music of PMC artists like 40 Winks, Robot Koch, submerse or Long Arm I’ve recognized that my potential is more in management, design or illustration.

Which distribution channels do you use?

We’ve exclusive deals for physical copies in different territories of the world. Specially extra digital agreements for hard to reach countries like Korea, China and Russia.

Did you use youtube and how strong/weak the impact?

It’s nice and some views are absolutely helpful from time to time but this YouTube streaming service doesn’t work at all so it’s not a big deal to us.

Have you ever helped yourself with buying clicks & plays on soundcloud?

No, I would never do that. We’ve collected a good amount of listeners over the years. We don’t need fake charades to prove success.

Where do you find hungry and ambitious artists?

I do lectures about music marketing at Goethe Institute Prag or Humboldt University Berlin and we receive more than 20 – 50 demos per day.

What impact does streaming with spotify have on the economic situation of an indie label?

That’s evolution. I mean, we all complain about the Spotify share but whatever. We can’t do anything from our perspective so don’t waste your time and move on…

When you look for new music to sign what are some key elements and factors you are looking for, aside from it being a great track obviously?

Defintely quality over taste… I need well produced music and I don’t need to like everything. I’ve passed on so much strong releases over the years and some of them are huge classics and kind of milestones in the music history now. When I have learned something than to not sign just because of my taste.

How would you describe the style and vision of your Label?

Creative collective operating in the left-field sphere of electronic music. The diverse back catalogue is one of no musical boundaries. Today much of our output focuses on the fusion of organic and electronic music. With a heavy emphasis on artwork and design, the label prides itself on the curation of original ideas and vision.

What are some sites or apps that you use to listen/ find new tracks?

Mostly Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Discogs for re-issues and more.

For producers out there sending in their demos via emails, what are some tips you would give them on professionally sending in their track to you?

Feel free to visit my lectures or workshops ;) but honestly, we don’t work like that anymore. We are using a music submission tool to improve more structure. You can submit your music there and we guarantee a positive or negative feedback. More information via our official website.