Join Date: May 2007
Location: Austin, Tx
El-P steps down as Def Jux head honcho / Sole leaves anticon.
End of era's. Feels gloomy.
OF HOOPTYS AND HOVERCRAFTS | Definitive Jux Records
Dear Inter-web, fans, friends and JUX family,
People keep asking me what's up with JUX. There's been some talk, there have been some rumors. Some half true, some way off. Reports of our demise have been mildly exaggerated. Here's what it really all boils down to: (read on)
This year, a decade after starting DEF JUX and after overseeing the releases of some incredible albums including the forthcoming release of my dear late and great friend Camu Tao's brilliant "KING OF HEARTS" LP, I'm stepping away from my duties as artistic director for the label to concentrate on what I love most: being a producer and an artist full time. This is something I've been contemplating for a few years now, and can't think of a better time or, with the eventual release of Camu's record, a more poetic way to transition into a new direction.
This means change for JUX. Of course we'll still have our website, we will still sell our catalog, merch and more as well as bring you news and updates on all our projects and artists. We will be releasing "KING OF HEARTS", a DEF JUX remix compilation, a 10 year anniversary retrospective and some other goodies. But then as a traditional record label DEF JUX will effectively be put on hiatus. We are not closing, but we are changing. The process is already underway, and the last several months (for those wondering what the hell we've been up to) have been spent dealing with the technical aspects of wrapping up the label in it's current form and re-imagining our collective and individual futures.
In 2000 starting a traditional record label made a lot of sense. But now, in 2010, less so and I find myself yearning for something else to put my energy into. I also see newer, smarter, more interesting things on the horizon for the way art and commerce intersect, and as an artist and an entrepreneur, I'm eager to see them unfold. The evolution of this industry is, in my opinion, exciting, inevitable and it would be nice to see the DEFINITIVE JUX brand be a part of it. In other words, maybe we can turn this hoopty in to a hovercraft.
All business aside, and regardless of what form JUX may inevitably take, my focus for the immediate future is going to be back-to-basics. The fun stuff: sitting in the studio and immersing myself in music, performing it for for my fans when the time comes and whatever (or wherever) else might be out there creatively for me. Thats how it all started and that's how the next phase will begin. The days of me dedicating the majority of my time and energy into providing JUX with a constant stream of physical releases from multiple artists are on hold for the time being. My heart (and what little common sense I possess) is telling me to simplify my focus and it has always been my policy to listen to my heart.
Truly, DEF JUX has been amazing to be a part of. So many good people. So much fun. I feel very lucky to be friends and collaborators with people who have affected and continue to affect my life and work deeply and indelibly. Working with the likes of Amaechi Uzoigwe, Jesse Ferguson, Jason Drake, and Katy Eustis at JUX as well as allies like Kathryn Frazier (biz3), Michael Bull and Lisa Socransky-Austin (to name only a few) has been incredible. These are people who worked for generally meager wages because they loved what they did and they believed in the artists and the idea of DEF JUX. Anyone would be lucky to have worked with even one person as dedicated and passionate as all of them are. They are true champions of indie music and they (and too many others to mention here) have my gratitude and loyalty forever.
None of it would have existed, though, if not for the artists. Artists who rolled the dice on us the same way we did on them, and were there with us as we battled it all out. CAMU, MR LIF, AESOP ROCK, MURS, CAGE, ROB SONIC, HANGAR 18, CHIN CHIN, CANNIBAL OX, THE PERCEPTIONISTS, RJD2, DESPOT, SA SMASH, YAK BALLZ, CRAYZ, THE MIGHTY UNDERDOGS, DIZZEE RASCAL, DEL, P.F.A.C, ACTIVATOR, COOL CALM PETE ... the list goes on. I consider them all geniuses at what they do. Every victory that they have had and will have will always feel like a victory for myself and all of us at JUX. It's been a joy to create and even struggle with them all. It has not always been easy, but it's almost always been fulfilling. I only hope the work we put in together helped build a path to their collective futures. They have my sincerest well wishes and genuine respect.
Lastly and most importantly are the fans... holy **** THE FANS! Our fans are no joke. I can't tell you how humbled I am to have felt the love and respect that they have shown us all. Even when we did things they didn't like, they stuck around. This was their label as much as ours. We answered to them, and yet they respected that we did what we loved, nothing more and nothing less. We always will. You are why we do any of this, and I'll never be able to express how much your support means to all of us. I think I speak for all of us Jukies when I say I love making music for you and can't wait to make more.
Until then, on behalf of everyone here at JUX and from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Founder/Artistic Director/Recording Artist
sole leaves anticon records | soleone.org
Today, with a heavy heart I end 11+ years of working with anticon. In the early days of the label, anticon was a pet project of mine, a life-long dream. We fulfilled the dream of a collectively run record label and put out many great records and stood as an image of defiance against the music industry. Those memories, I will always have and be proud of. Sadly, those times are gone, and I need to live in the present as I prepare for the future.
Leaving the company was not an easy decision, but it was made necessary by a number of factors. Upon returning to the states from a 2-year exile in Spain, I found myself increasingly at odds with the business end of anticon and began doing more DIY work via soleone.org. Running my own website and taking a more hands on approach with my art has always brought me great satisfaction and it is what I am choosing to return to. There are no ill feelings between myself and members of anticon. I will continue to work with many of the artists and will always love them as brothers and consider them allies. This is a decision to change the way my music will be exploited and adapt to shifting paradigms.
We created anticon as a response to what was going on at the time in the music industry - the indy boom of the late 90’s. There were still a viable music industry then and people bought records. That’s how we built up our empire. The music industry isn’t just dying, but what it means to be a recording artist is changing. Technology is making everything cheap, and cheapening everything it touches. Soon the old ways of selling records will be a distant memory, along with magazines, working musicians and employed blue-collar dads. It’s not a time to cry about the recession, or urge people to go to their local mom and pops and pick up the new sole & skyrider LP. Technology is working its magic, and instead of being a passenger on its ship, I have decided to plot a new course for myself.
The very fact that I have thrived in this environment still sometimes is a surprise to me. I’m 32 today. I put out my first vinyl when I was 16. For me its always been about ethics & passion, doing what felt right in my core and acting on that, whether or not it was the popular or conventionally wise thing to do.
From now on now all my releases will be made available @ soleone.org via my new label Black Canyon Records and exclusively distributed worldwide via Revolver USA. There is an email newsletter list ton soleone.org, if you wish to be kept in the loop on my releases/updates that will be the best place.
Tim “sole” Holland