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.
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.
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 recorded music for an audience. Most common types of DJs include radio DJs, club DJs, who perform at a nightclub or music festival, mobile DJs, who are hired to perform at public and private events, and turntablists who use record players, usually turntables, to manipulate sounds on phonograph records. Originally, the "disc" in "disc jockey" referred to vinyl records, but nowadays DJ is used as an all-encompassing term to also describe persons who mix music from other recording media such as cassettes, CDs or digital audio files on a CDJ, controller, or even a laptop. DJs may adopt the title "DJ" in front of their real names, adopted pseudonyms, or stage names.
House is a genre of electronic dance music characterized by a repetitive four on the floor beat and a tempo of 120 to 130 beats per minute. It was created by DJs and music producers from Chicago's underground club culture in the 1980s, as DJs from the subculture began altering disco dance tracks to give them a more mechanical beat and deeper basslines.
Warp Records Limited is a British independent record label founded in Sheffield in 1989 by record store employees Steve Beckett, Rob Mitchell and record producer Robert Gordon. It is currently based in London.
Goa trance is an electronic music style that originated during the late 1980s in Goa, India. Goa trance often has funky, drone-like basslines, similar to the techno minimalism of 21st century psytrance. Psychedelic trance developed from Goa trance in the late 1990s, and many modern electronic subgenres can be traced back to Goa trance.
The twelve-inch single is a type of vinyl gramophone record that has wider groove spacing and shorter playing time with a 'single' or a few related sound tracks on each surface, compared to LPs which have several songs on each side. 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. The conventional 7‐inch single usually holds three or four minutes of music at full volume. The 12‐inch LP sacrifices volume for extended playing time. In the 1970s, a hybrid was created, the 12‐inch single.
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."
Dreamtime is the debut album by The Cult. Released on 10 September 1984, it reached #21 in the UK and was later certified silver by the BPI after having sold 60,000 copies. The first single, "Spiritwalker", reached #1 on the UK Indie Chart. Dreamtime has subsequently been reissued in roughly 30 countries worldwide.
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.
Power noise is a form of industrial music and a fusion of noise music and various styles of electronic dance music. It should not be confused with "power electronics", which is not influenced by electronic dance music and is closer to harsh noise. Its origins are predominantly European.
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.
Yellow Magic Orchestra is the first official studio album by Japanese electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra, who were previously known as the Yellow Magic Band. Originally released by Alfa Records in Japan in 1978, the album was released by A&M Records in Europe and the United States and Canada in early 1979, with the US version featuring new cover art but without the closing track of "Acrobat". Both versions would later be re-issued in 2003 as a double-disc format, with the American version as the first disc.
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 and record 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 electronic artist Richard D. James.