Camden britpoppers Gene, after a brief and mostly unfulfilling relationship with mega-corporation Polydor, have signed another record deal.
Looking to be back in action again soon, they've signed with new music company iMusic, run by Matt Geiger (ex of internet company ARTISTdirect): who's not concerned with marketing, or genres - "If you can sell 10,000 records, you're in if you want to be," he says. With the idea of keeping costs low, The artists retain, full ownership of the master tapes, total creative control, a 50-50 split of revenues, and theres no expensive ad campiagns or marketing budgets (that is, unless the band and the label agree completely).Albums are on a one by one album basis.
Label boss Geiger reckons this approach is particularly suited to artists who have had some level of mainstream success and major-label support in the past and retain a reliable following but who no longer fit in the major-label and mainstream radio world. Other artists signed up include Speech (ex-Arrested Development), the band Berlin (known for that AOR hell that is "Take my breath away"), and the rapper Tre (from the Pharcyde).
But in the true spirit of independence, its interesting to note that iMusic is funded by multinational BMG, who've recently bought up Napster (after an abortive attempt to create their own online filesharer), and are looking at investing in the online music market. With 20 more artists currently in negotiations, iMusic is going to be an interesting experiment, if nothing else. Industry pundits watch this space...