The two-day netlabel meeting at CTM.09 provides the opportunity to become immersed in the sound of the Internet, discover new artists, get to know labels and organisers and make contacts. On the first evening, the international collective STFU
presents the finest of electronic music between intricate clicks'n'cuts, glitch, and the newest beat constructions from clubland.
It has always been the desire of CTM to provide openings for the surprising and the unplanned within the carefully curated program in order to enable participation by artists whose productions have not yet been perceived by those who make the program for the festival themselves. For CTM.09, we have therefore decided to give carte blanche to STFU and Netaudio, two non-commercial initiatives that are concerned with the developments and peculiarities of net-based music. Through collectively organised events and festivals, they offer young digital musicians, audio-visual artists and small netlabels free spaces for presentation and networking. In doing so, reflection of the interfaces of music and media technology plays an important role. Their activities, however, above all formulate a critique of the existing exploitation logic of the cultural economy.
Netlabels release the music of their artists primarily over the Internet. As social networks and with an emphatic do-it-yourself attitude and a usually pronounced free music ethos, they present alternatives to the laborious business of the commercial music economy. The focus is not on competition but preferably on cooperation. In contrast to the artificially enforced economy of scarcity, one experiments with the gift economy of free downloads. Instead of rigorous exclusivity and stardom, exchange between the like-minded, playful experimentation and shared experience are emphasised. Musically, they cannot be narrowed down to specific genres. The palette of sounds is colourful, yet, seen as a whole, the preference for a decidedly digital aesthetic can be discerned. The reason for this lies, on the one hand, in the socialisation of many netlabel creators in the self-organised techno scene of the 90s, and, on the other, in the easier and cost-efficient integration of digital methods of production into the channels of distribution in the Internet.
Whether hobby, social network, idealistic volunteer work, enthusiastic amateur culture, offensive critique of capitalism, field for artistic experimentation or getting started in a professional career – the netlabel world offers unique free spaces amidst otherwise mostly quickly determined role models. In light of the increasing acceptance of downloads subject to fees and the growing number of commercial "digital only" labels, the netlabel scene today is however also faced with the challenge of defining their position anew, despite the fact that the number of those active continues to grow. The discussion forum on Tuesday afternoon at Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien will provide the opportunity to discuss these questions.
> See also > NETLABEL MEETING PT. II – NETAUDIO
> See also > LABELS ON THE NET: BETWEEN GIFT-ECONOMY AND ENTERPRISE