From dabbling with different genres and styles, to traveling and attending festivals across the United States, I’ve been an avid fan and follower of the electronic music industry for years. But something that’s defined my interest is actually an oxymoron—it can’t be defined.
I’m not just a ‘trap’ fan, a ‘pop’ fan, a ‘house’ fan. My love for electronic music, artists, DJs, sounds is extremely diverse. That’s why when I heard about Monstercat’s major label changes, I couldn’t help but get excited.
So who is Monstercat? They’re an independent electronic dance music record label based in Vancouver, Canada. And what exactly are the changes happening? Well, to start the New Year on a completely fresh (and exciting) note, the label released their two new channels: Instinct and Uncaged.
What is Instinct? Take a listen here.
And what’s Uncaged? Check this out.
So what does this all mean and why should electronic fans be excited? I had the chance to speak with CEO Mike Darlington about the behind-the-scenes.
“We’re launching two new brands that represent more than just the music,” Darlington says, “They’re representative of a theme.”
Both Instinct and Uncaged will offer distinct event series, clothing lines, and ‘brands’ to identify with. They will be supported by different artists, and will give fans the opportunity to both explore a variety styles and sounds, and find a place to call ‘home.’
For the artists, the benefits are endless. Not only do they have the freedom to explore new sounds and release diverse tracks, but they also have more of a channeled fan base.
“It just makes more sense,” Darlington says, “Artists are producing a variety: singer/songwriter music, melodic music, vocal, and instrumental music. There were tastes and styles that weren’t working with clothing or events. Things felt disconnected.”
Which is where the decision first stemmed from.
Monstercat’s beginnings were largely internet-influenced and internet-based. The music was diverse and forever-changing, and with their rapid growth, a change was the necessary next step.
Their goal, as a label, was to create cleanliness and consistency—and the two entities allowed for just that.
“I get bored when we’re not innovating, not changing,” says Darlington, “All of these changes came out of wanting to improve, to better ourselves. Last year was our best year to date…but we don’t want to get stuck in the cycle of comfort.”
“We’ve had a lot of success in launching artists’ careers, but we can still do more. And I feel like having a stronger brand backing it, one that makes sense to artists, fans and industry, allows us to push artists further.”
I love it. Not only do the changes benefit the artists and allow them to flex their creative muscles, but they support fans and their diverse interests. People who support a certain sound aren’t lost in the mix of a vast variety of genres—they can identify and find a home base, while still having the opportunity, within the same label, to explore.
“I’m stoked to be a part of it [the change],” says Patton, (Conro) “With the label expanding and growing, and signing artists like me, they’re diversifying. It gives fans the option to listen to multiple genres.”
Patton spoke to his goals—to push out even more music and hone in on his sound, specifically with Instinct. “I’m excited for the opportunities,” he says, “Nothing but good things.”
The guys from Pegboard Nerds were on the same page.
“We’ve always been diverse,” Danish DJ Michael Parsberg says, “But we’ve been pigeonholed since day one. We just want to do what we want; we just want to make good music. And with this [shift], we can be a part of both channels. Now our fans will know what to expect.”
Both Odden and Parsberg spoke to their music and how they’ve never identified with one type of sound. In the past, this has restricted them. Fans were sometimes put off by their releases, expecting a certain sound and not always accepting the groups’ musical changes.
“We don’t want to limit ourselves,” Odden says.
And with the new change, they won’t have to.
So what does this mean for the average electronic fan? Big things. Now, through Monstercat you can easily browse the channels, hear new music, find sounds you identify with, and explore—all within the same label.
This change is allows for creativity, but most importantly community. And that, in the electronic industry, is everything.