Blog of the Week
This week, we’re talking with Jurgen from Playmaker about dreamy 80s synth pop, their love for making mixtapes, and his favorite new music!
Playmaker | http://playmakersplayground.blogspot.com/
How long have you been blogging, and what made you start?
The site has been running for just a few years now. We realized there are a ton of blogs out there that focus on new music. With Playmaker, we wanted to bring forward artists that aren’t always in the spotlight or just befriend producers that make killer tracks but aren’t necessarily signed to a label. There are so many great tunes out there made by people who just do this for fun and aren’t trying to milk 1 track with 10 remixes then sell it… The way the music biz has evolved now is almost a sterile, overproduced mess of cocky wankers. There is so much power in blog music and we hope to make a certain difference with Playmaker, to be there for the people, not being dictated what is cool or not by labels, by iTunes or Beatport. You can see us as an alternative door that might take you on a different route in the musical landscape.
What genres does the site tend to cover? Have you always covered this type of music?
We’ve always focused on the less known group of producers that make dreamy 80’s synth pop stuff. But not to keep it all too narrow-minded, we often throw in some wider variations of dance, indie, 8bit, soundtrack, or even rock. Our selection usually has a dark edge to it, posting those tracks that aren’t necessarily blogged elsewhere or something we might have picked up and feel like exposing when the time is right. We also love mixtapes. Ever since we were young the Playmakers were always into making cassettes for their friends… You can see our blog as a modern extension of that idea.
How do you find the music you blog about and what makes you pick something to post?
Basically I have been writing personally with artists via MySpace or so, staying I was into their tunes and usually a post would follow later. Pretty logical and a cool way to be directly involved. Don’t wanna deal with their PR person, and if you wanna do that that you are probably not right for our blog anyway. Like I said, there are tons of blogs out there that are just filling the shoes of the music biz. We do this for fun, not for a living. We never wanna compromise, not be tight to any contracts or restrictions. It’s important artist or promotors can get in touch with us via email. I believe it’s everyone’s right to do so. We have an overflowing mailbox of crap where you sometimes find the needle in the haystack. We can read quite quickly through the emails, the mass-mails, the bullshit.
When did you start using SoundCloud, and how has it helped you curate the music you post about?
It’s helped us out great. We love how fast it up/downloads! or is just sharable so we don’t have to upload it again. It comes in handy for sure. As soon as our blog was accepted by The Hype Machine we have been using SoundCloud non-stop as both SoundCloud and The Hype Machine work closely together and automatically generate the posts. We guess I have been a SoundCloud users since day one, as we actually got a trial version before SoundCloud was released to the public, a few years ago. We had that subscription via Tigerbeat6 Records — a befriended electronic indie label from California.
If someone’s interested in sending you some music to review, how do you prefer getting submissions? What are some “Do” and “Don’t”s for people to keep in mind?
First off we’re not into mass-mails although we get why people do that. I really prefer to go out there and find my own submissions. Of course we want people to email us and send them their tracks, but we don’t feel obliged to to post them. We kinda wanna tell our own story, not interested to promote major labels or the music industry. We want to promote artists that we feel are worth talking about, artists that are not very known but have a certain aura around them that is just magical. People who might get picked up later. Just kinda wanna be a little stone in that process of a growing artist. Nothing more, nothing less.
What are some songs that you’re currently playing non-stop?
Die Heuwels Fantasties - Ek dink aan jou (as dit reen) [preview] by DieHeuwels
Also really excited about the new Deluxe album by the South African sensation Die Heuwels Fantasties
Any last words?
Keep playing fair ‘n square. When it rains it pours. We hope to do a physical imprint of Playmaker at some point making cassettes cd’s and other formats on the verge of losing their market.