White label records are vinyl records with plain white labels attached. There are several variations each with a different purpose. Variations include test pressings, white label promos, and plain white labels.
Test pressings, usually with test pressing written on the label, with catalogue number, artist and recording time or date, are the first vinyl discs made at the factory. They are produced in small quantities (usually under five copies) to evaluate the quality of the disc before mass production begins.
In the U.S., the traditional term white label promo (often abbreviated as WLP) refers to a promotional pressing with a label that has mostly the same text and label logo/artwork as the commercial label, but with a white background instead of the color or artwork found on the commercial pressings.
Plain white label promotional recordings were produced in larger quantities by bigger record labels, often containing a biography of the band, to distribute as demonstration discs ("demos") to music distributors, and radio stations in order to assess consumer opinion.
Today, white labels discs are commonly used to promote new artists or upcoming albums by veteran artists. In some cases white labels are issued to conceal artist identities (examples of this include songs by Traci Lords and La Toya Jackson, whose record companies issued white labels so that DJs would have no pre-conceived notions about the music just by seeing who the artist was). Many dance music producers press copies of white labels in order to test crowd response in dance clubs to their own musical productions.
Traci Elizabeth Lords is an American actress, singer, model, writer, producer, and director. During the mid 1980s, she used a fake ID to conceal the fact that she was two years underage when she starred in X-rated films and was one of the most sought-after pornographic actresses in the adult entertainment industry. When the FBI acted on an anonymous tip that Lords was a minor during her time in the industry and pornographers were distributing and selling illegal images and videotapes, the resulting fallout led to prosecutions and court cases in addition to bans on all but the last of her adult films.
La Toya Yvone Jackson is an American singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman and television personality. The fifth child of the Jackson family, Jackson first gained recognition on the family's variety television series, The Jacksons, on CBS between 1976 and 1977. Thereafter, she saw success as a solo recording artist under multiple record labels in the 1980s and 1990s, including Polydor, Sony Music and RCA, where she released nine studio albums over the course of fifteen years. Her most successful releases in the United States were her self-titled debut album (1980) and the 1984 single "Heart Don't Lie". Jackson's other songs include "If You Feel the Funk", "Bet'cha Gonna Need My Lovin'", "Hot Potato", "You're Gonna Get Rocked!" and "Sexbox". Another one of Jackson's songs, "Just Say No" from her fifth album was composed for US first lady Nancy Reagan and Reagan administration's anti-drug campaign.
Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement. In terms of performance, the major categories are live dance music and recorded dance music. While there exist attestations of the combination of dance and music in ancient times, the earliest Western dance music that we can still reproduce with a degree of certainty are the surviving medieval dances. In the Baroque period, the major dance styles were noble court dances. In the classical music era, the minuet was frequently used as a third movement, although in this context it would not accompany any dancing. The waltz also arose later in the classical era. Both remained part of the romantic music period, which also saw the rise of various other nationalistic dance forms like the barcarolle, mazurka, ecossaise, ballade and polonaise.
Aside from house music and hip-hop, plain white label records are not generally distributed to the public.
House music is a genre of electronic dance music created by club DJs and music producers in Chicago in the early 1980s. Early house music was generally characterized by repetitive 4/4 beats, rhythms provided by drum machines, off-beat hi-hat cymbals, and synthesized basslines. While house displayed several characteristics similar to disco music, which preceded and influenced it, as both were DJ and record producer-created dance music, house was more electronic and minimalistic. The mechanical, repetitive rhythm of house was one of its main components. Many house compositions were instrumental, with no vocals; some had singing throughout the song with lyrics; and some had singing but no actual words.
Today, white labels are usually produced in small amounts (fewer than 300) by small record companies or DJs and are most popular with house music and hip-hop music DJs. In the early 1990s, hardcore techno and house artists created tracks in home or local studios and had five-hundred or a few thousand singles pressed on 12" white labels, which were easy to sell at dance music record stores.
Steve Beckett of Warp Records recalls that "shops would take fifty white labels off you for five pounds each, no problem. Dance music was all imports, then people in Britain started doing it for themselves, and their tracks started to get better than the tunes in America."Record labels like Warp, and Shut Up and Dance, were begun as white-label enterprises, providing cutting-edge dance music to pirate radio stations and music stores.
Many white labels contain unauthorized remixes or tracks that are not yet licensed or released (also called "bootlegs"). White labels are referred to as "promos" (short for "promotional copies") that many top-name DJs receive and play weeks or months prior to the day of general release to the public. As artists using samples pay high fees for the privilege of such, they must be able to gauge the market potential of their tracks prior to approval. Recently, smaller promo services offer record companies a more economical means of distribution although these companies may not have the means to properly protect releases from illegal copying.
A bootleg recording is an audio or video recording of a performance that was not officially released by the artist or under other legal authority. The process of making and distributing such recordings is known as bootlegging. Recordings may be copied and traded among fans of the artist without financial exchange, but some bootleggers have sold recordings for profit, sometimes by adding professional-quality sound engineering and packaging to the raw material. Bootlegs usually consist of either unreleased studio recordings, live performances or interviews with an unpredictable level of quality.
In music, sampling is the reuse of a portion of a sound recording in another recording. Samples may comprise rhythm, melody, speech, or other sounds. They are usually integrated using hardware (samplers) or software such as digital audio workstations.
The industry itself seems to be aware of this necessity and white labels are commonly accepted as a necessary evil within the industry, which has only prosecuted a small number of those artists using white labeled pressings of uncleared samples and compositions.
A disc jockey, more commonly abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays existing recorded music for a live audience. Most common types of DJs include radio DJ, club DJ who performs at a nightclub or music festival and turntablist who uses record players, usually turntables, to manipulate sounds on phonograph records. Originally, the disc in disc jockey referred to gramophone records, but now DJ is used as an all-encompassing term to describe someone who mixes recorded music from any source, including cassettes, CDs or digital audio files on a CDJ or laptop. The title 'DJ' is commonly used by DJs in front of their real names or adopted pseudonyms or stage names. In recent years it has become common for DJs to be featured as the credited artist on tracks they produced despite having a guest vocalist that performs the entire song: like for example Uptown Funk.
Warp is an English independent record label, founded in Sheffield in 1989 by record store workers Steve Beckett, Rob Mitchell and record producer Robert Gordon. It is currently based in London.
A phonograph record is an analog sound storage medium in the form of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. The groove usually starts near the periphery and ends near the center of the disc. At first, the discs were commonly made from shellac; starting in the 1940s polyvinyl chloride became common. In recent decades, records have sometimes been called vinyl records, or simply vinyl or even vinyls.
The twelve-inch single is a type of gramophone record that has wider groove spacing and shorter playing time compared to LPs. This allows for louder levels to be cut on the disc by the mastering engineer, which in turn gives a wider dynamic range, and thus better sound quality. This record type is commonly used in disco and dance music genres, where DJs use them to play in clubs. They are played at either 33 1⁄3 or 45 rpm.
Electro is a genre of electronic music and early hip hop directly influenced by the use of the Roland TR-808 drum machines, and funk. Records in the genre typically feature drum machines and heavy electronic sounds, usually without vocals, although if vocals are present they are delivered in a deadpan manner, often through electronic distortion such as vocoding and talkboxing. This is the main distinction between electro and previously prominent genres such as disco, in which the electronic sound was only part of the instrumentation. It also palpably deviates from its predecessor boogie for being less vocal-oriented and more focused on electronic beats produced by drum machines.
Selected Ambient Works Volume II is the second studio album by Aphex Twin, the pseudonym of British electronic musician Richard D. James. It was released by Warp in March 1994. Billed as a follow-up to James' debut, Selected Ambient Works 85–92, the album differs in sound by being largely beatless ambient music. James claimed that it was inspired by lucid dreaming, and likened the music to "standing in a power station on acid."
An acetate disc is a type of phonograph (gramophone) record, a mechanical sound storage medium, widely used from the 1930s to the late 1950s for recording and broadcast purposes and still in limited use today.
The overwhelming majority of records manufactured have been of certain sizes, playback speeds, and appearance. However, since the commercial adoption of the gramophone record, a wide variety of records have also been produced that do not fall into these categories, and they have served a variety of purposes.
Picture discs are gramophone (phonograph) records that show images on their playing surface, rather than being of plain black or colored vinyl. Collectors traditionally reserve the term picture disc for records with graphics that extend at least partly into the actual playable grooved area, distinguishing them from picture label discs, which have a specially illustrated and sometimes very large label, and picture back discs, which are illustrated on one unplayable side only.
Record collecting is the hobby of collecting sound recordings, usually of music and/or the "spoken word", but, in some cases, even of other recorded sounds. Although the typical focus is on vinyl records, all formats of recorded music can be collected.
A maxi single or maxi-single is a music single release with more than the usual two tracks of an A-side song and a B-side song.
A promotional recording, or promo, or plug copy, is an audio or video recording distributed free, usually in order to promote a recording that is or soon will be commercially available. Promos are normally sent directly to broadcasters, such as music radio and television stations, and to tastemakers, such as DJs and music journalists, in advance of the release of commercial editions, in the hope that airplay, reviews, and other forms of exposure will result and stimulate the public's interest in the commercial release.
B12 are a British electronic music duo consisting of Mike Golding and Steve Rutter. First appearing in the early 1990s under a variety of monikers, including Musicology, Redcell and Cmetric, the duo were often mistaken as hailing from Detroit, their sound being comparable to the so-called second wave of Detroit techno. This was compounded by the signature style of their initial releases on their own imprint B12 Records, limited editions on coloured 12" vinyl with cryptic messages etched into the run-out grooves, and the fact that Golding and Rutter tended to shy away from the press, and rarely gave interviews, which added to the mystery of their identities.
Mute Print, released on April 20, 2004 through Nitro Records, is the first full-length album from the Massachusetts based melodic hardcore band A Wilhelm Scream, since changing their name from Smackin' Isaiah in 2002.
A remix service is a service that provides remixed music to disc jockeys.
A music pool or DJ record pool is a regionalized and centralized method of music distribution that allows DJs to receive promotional music to play in nightclubs and other events such as weddings, festivals and on the radio. Record labels worldwide send their newest releases to the pool of DJs; in exchange, the pool provides feedback on each release as well as exposure in the clubs and other venues they play in. DJs typically pay a monthly subscription to join the service provided by these record pools. Music pools originated as vinyl record pools in 1974 New York City, evolved into CD distribution networks, and later online music distribution between DJs. A music pool may have a "brick and mortar" office or may be entirely virtualized.
Seth Troxler is an American DJ, producer from Lake Orion, Michigan. His DJ work focuses on house and techno, while he has produced on the Wolf + Lamb, Crosstown Rebels and Circus Company labels, collaborating with artists Art Department, Deetron, Tiefschwarz, Matthew Dear and Subb-an.
Analogue Bubblebath 5 is an unreleased EP by techno and IDM artist Richard David James.
DJing is the act of playing existing recorded music for a live audience.