with Indie Label Owner Bart De Paepe of Sloow Tapes
Name: Bart De Paepe
Label: Sloow Tapes
Artists Roster: numerous
QRD – When & why did you start your label?
– I started the label in 2005 when I was hanging out a lot in Antwerp’s
premier record store (now sadly missed) Freaks End Future, which acted
as my gateway to new unknown spheres of exciting underground music. I
got to know quite a few people in Belgium who were running their own
labels, releasing good music on tapes & CDRs. Labels like Imvated
QRD – Where did you get the money to finance your first few releases?
Bart – Private savings & cassettes aren’t that expensive.
QRD – How many releases have you put out?
Bart – Close to 100.
QRD – How many releases would you like to do a year?
Bart – I try to keep it around 12 releases a year.
QRD – How many hours a week do you work on the label & how many would you like to?
Bart – 14 hours a day, 7/7.
QRD – What are the fun &/or rewarding parts about running a label?
Bart – Discovering new music, building a record collection through trades, getting to know a lot of interesting people.
QRD – How have your motivations for having a label changed?
Bart – Not really.
QRD – What do you feel is the biggest waste of your time running the label?
Bart – Going to the post office & returning broke.
QRD – What are some labels you admire or feel a kinship to?
Bart – Imvated, Time Lag, Eclipse, Blackest Rainbow.
QRD – What makes you label special & unique?
Bart – The music & the covers I guess.
QRD – How has your physical location effected your label?
Bart – This is the space-age dude.
QRD – What’s been your biggest selling release & why do you think it was?
Bart – They are all limited editions
QRD – What release that you’ve done was the most important & special to you personally?
– Keijo as it was my first release. Silvester Anfang because a
couple years later I started playing in that band. A bunch of
releases by people who have become good friends.
QRD – What are some things that make you want to work with a band?
Bart – I only care for the music.
QRD – What is the thing all releases on your label have in common?
Bart – Slow psych.
– How involved are you with a band for acting as a producer as far as
hearing demo ideas or selecting tracks to be on a release or mixing
Bart – Not much.
QRD – How involved do you like to be in the artwork design for a release?
Bart – I like to take care of that myself, I find a lot of cover art tedious & very boring.
QRD – How long is it from when an artist delivers an album to you until release date & why?
Bart – Lately it has been going fairly quick, depends on how many other masters I have laying around.
QRD – How big of a staff do you have & how big of one do you need?
Bart – It’s a solo ride.
– Do you view advertisements as a way to generate interest &
revenue or more as a way to financially support magazines &
websites you like?
Bart – I don’t have the money for this.
QRD – How do you decide how big the initial pressing of a release should be?
Bart – I consult astrology charts & the karma of the band.
QRD – Ideally, would you release your own material?
Bart – I have already done this.
QRD – Do you worry about search engine optimization & website traffic?
Bart – What is that? Nope.
QRD – Do you think the return of vinyl & cassettes is a fad?
Bart – I hate digital formats, only analogue is real man.
QRD – Is it important to have physical releases over digital ones or does it not matter?
– The physical format is the reason why I started a label!! I was
intrigued by the format of the cassette; it’s a great object & has
kind of a nostalgic feeling to pre-internet days. Who cares about
a 1000 MP3s on his computer or MP3 player?? I want to pick the
records/tapes/books off my shelves, look at the cover, take out the
tape/LP & put it in the deck/record player. It keeps you sane.
QRD – What do you think of ultra-limited runs of releases (less than 100 discs)?
Bart – It’s all I do. & it’s not that “ultra” limited... less waste.