CODE INDIGO
Take The Money & Run
(AD Music)

 

State of the art electronic instrumental music, the AD Music label features a number of recording artists, including label founder David Wright. Based in the U.K., Wright has documented his music on a range of CD titles under his own name as well as with the band Code Indigo and, as label chief, Wright has signed a number of artists for albums as well. Wright’s latest solo CD titles include Beyond The Airwaves Volume 2 (2015), Connected (2012) and In Search Of Silence (2011). All of Wright's albums offer sublime electronic music experiences with the near supernatural In Search Of Silence being a classic of the genre. Wright and AD have been releasing music on CD since 1989, covering all types of electronic instrumental including chill-out, down tempo, space music, ambient and even instrumental rock styles. Currently on AD Music there’s over 30 artists from around the world including Robert Fox, Bekki Williams, Code Indigo, Glenn Main, Steve Orchard and founder Wright. On Take The Money & Runthe 2014 CD by the instrumental rocktronica band Code Indigo, Wright serves as band member, arranger, producer, mixer and mastering engineer. Wright has said that this is to be the final Code Indigo album to which he tells mwe3.com, "Take The Money & Run was intended to be the final album, I think at that time I had personally just had enough. The band was always a huge strain and it was always me leading it and organizing everything, often to the detriment of my solo work. I thought the time was right to end it. So the title, everything about the album seemed right to take a look back over all the Code Indigo albums and a way of featuring everybody who was ever involved with the band. I was actually very pleased at how we were able to achieve that through the music that we featured. We were able to record some brand new music alongside some really good reworkings of older tracks and a really nice live section that we all wanted to see released. And it was nice looking through all the photos to put in the CD booklet. But I suppose most importantly it showed just what Code Indigo can do and has done." The sound of Code Indigo is very electronic with the added wordless vocals of Louise Eggerton and Carys, giving the music and added ethereal layer. With Code Indigo, New Age meets Nu Wave as electronic music morphs again thanks to Wright’s inventive musical mind. Decked out with very appealing artwork and factory pressed discs, the albums on AD Music are an excellent choice for fans of creative 21st century electronica.
www.admusicshop.com







mwe3.com presents an interview with
David Wright

mwe3: Where are you from originally and where do you live now and what do you like best about it?

David Wright: I was born in Kent, but coming from a service family, my father was in the Royal Navy, I wasn’t there long because we moved around a lot. I've lived in great places including Malta and the Far East and spent three fabulous years in Singapore during the late 1960s. We moved back to the Brighton area on the UK South Coast in 1970 where I lived until 2001.

I then moved to my current address in Bungay, Suffolk. It's a lovely part of the country, much quieter and laid back than London and the South, and very much how we like it. In fact, 14 years at this address is the longest Elaine and I have ever been in one place during our entire lives! We really like it here and won't be moving in the foreseeable future. We overlook the town and have a lovely view of it and the surrounding countryside from our living room window.

We have what we call an ‘upside-down house’, with the recording studio on the ground floor along with guest accommodation, then regular living accommodation and the A.D. Music office on the first floor. Not quite as grand as it sounds, but it suites us perfectly.

mwe3: What was your early music training like and what era of music did you grow up in?

David Wright: I had no formal music training, completely self-taught. I grew up to the music of the ‘60s and really started to take an interest in music in 1965 when I was around 12 years old. I remember the first vinyl single I bought was “I Get Around” by The Beach Boys. In those younger early days I was very into The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and many, many more.

The ‘60s was an incredible time for music, the times were changing in ways they had never done before. Youth suddenly had a voice and this was being reflected in music, art and fashion.

mwe3: Were you always into electronic and experimental music and what other genres of music (rock, jazz, instrumental, progressive) do you like?

David Wright: No, in the beginning I was captivated by The Beach Boys and all the great music in the ‘60s.

But by the late ‘60s I was into more progressive rock, like Cream and Pink Floyd, but my musical tastes were broad, including Santana, The Moody Blues, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Cash, Motown and soul music. And I like classical music. But my number one band remained The Beach Boys. Brian Wilson is a genius in my eyes.

By 1971 I had become very disillusioned with pop music and thought chart music was awful. I immersed myself more and more into the likes of Pink Floyd and began searching for other styles of instrumental style music.

I discovered Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze and purchased Phaedra and Picture Music in 1972 and of course Tubular Bells in 1973. So I suppose it was from that time that I became a fan of electronic music.

Over the next few years I became a fan of Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre and other luminaries of the genre.

mwe3: What other genres of music have made sonic impressions on your compositional style, your musicianship and overall approach to making music?

David Wright: My compositional style has evolved and changed over the 26 years since my first release.

It's very difficult to produce original electronic music now without sounding like someone and if I'm honest, I find those kind of comparisons somewhat annoying and irksome.

I have always tried to produce my own style of music based on rhythmic motion, emotion, atmospherics and melody. To that end I never think about style, I never consciously think about any other artists music. The only thing that is of interest to me is the music that I am producing at that moment.

The single most important aspect of my music is the emotional content. I have to feel it, I have to believe that the listener will connect to what I am doing. Otherwise, what’s the point?

I suppose the only way I can really answer the question is to say that, The Beach Boys and classical music have influenced me to produce melodic music, whereas Schulze, TD and Vangelis have influenced me how to generate motion and emotion in electronic music.

But beyond that, I never think about it and leave it to others to comment.

mwe3: What was the music scene like when you started AD Music back in 1989?

David Wright: It seemed a very, very different scene back then. There was no internet, no email. but there were more fanzines and of course, we had record stores! The live scene also seemed much more vibrant. And of course in the production of music we had synths and the relatively new concept of ‘synth workstations’. There were no modern day style computers and no soft synths, just wonderful sequencers working on the music computers of the day, like the Atari. Ahhh those were the days!

My recollection though was that there was an emerging UK electronic scene with the likes of Ian Boddy, John Dyson and Wavestar and many more along with a new generation of European and American acts following in the footsteps of the Berlin school style of electronic music. We also had the space music and new age music styles broadening the horizons.

Prior to 1989 I can only really comment as a music fan and my overall recollection is it there was a lot of really good electronic music around and they seemed exciting times.

mwe3: What were your first CD releases?

David Wright: The first AD music release was my album Reflections in 1989. In fact it wasn't intended as a release. I had been working in the real-world, having a career in the National Health Service, but my wife ‘Tricia died of cancer and I had a four year old son to look after.

I had been writing and recording music for several years for private release, nothing more. I wrote Reflections as an emotional release and sent it to Klaus Schulze’s manager KD Mueller and he really liked it and sent it out to a number of electronic music magazines and fanzines.

I was very naive about things in those early days and so because of the very positive reaction and demand for copies, I released it on cassette. In those days, cassettes were still an acceptable medium for music.

I recorded two more cassette releases in 1990 in a similar style to the first, before releasing my first CD Marilynmba in 1991.

In those early days AD Music was just a vehicle to release my own music and I don't think I gave any thought to building a record label.

I met Robert Fox in 1992 and he decided to merge his own FX Media label on which he had recorded his own solo albums, with AD Music. In that same year I had also made contact with Fred Becker and his Enterphase project in the USA. Thus A.D. Music, the label began, although in those early days it was still very much just about the music.

I should add that I can never thank KD Mueller enough for the help, advice and support in those first five years.

mwe3: How has AD Music changed its goals and aspirations over the years?

David Wright: Wow, that's a massive question! As I said previously, I set the label up in the beginning simply as a vehicle for my own music and then Robert Fox and Enterphase became involved. By 1994 after several modestly successful commercial CD releases and live performances I met my business partner David Mantripp and we decided to look more seriously into the business side of the music by establishing AD Music as a Limited Company. This coincided with my meeting Dave Loader who was in the process of setting up Notting Hill Music Publishing. I felt that more money could be earned through publishing than through CD sales.

So, in 1995 AD Music Ltd was launched with a number of new artists added to the label including Bekki Williams, Chris Harvey and the newly formed Code Indigo, all assigned to the newly formed Notting Hill Music for Publishing

The label was launched at the AD Music festival held at the Derby assembly rooms with a lineup that included Klaus Schulze and Code Indigo’s live debut.

We wanted to be at the forefront of new technology and we were very conscious of the emerging internet and the potential of downloads. In fact we were one of the very first UK record labels to have a website as early as 1995.

To put that in perspective, in those days there were only 100,000 websites and most people used dial up Internet connections with the incredible speed of 28.8 Kbps and a screen resolution of 800 x 600!

So we signed with The Orchard for CD and digital distribution as early as 1998, thus ensuring we were in at the very start of the digital revolution.

Over the years our musical aspirations have never really changed. Over 30 artists have released over 150 albums, ranging in style from space music to trance dance.

It has always been our aim, our goal, to build upon rather than emulate what I term ‘traditional electronic music’. We used to get very fed up with all the different genre names, at one point even coining our own, “Evolutionary Ambient”, as a way of making what we were doing stand out from the crowd.

Since the new millennium the music industry has changed so dramatically with reduced CD sales, the increase in downloads and the internet and piracy that we have had to learn to change and adapt in order to survive.

However, AD Music is not your average or normal record label business model. It always puts the music, the art if you like, before profits, before business. But more and more, music has become a disposable commodity regarded by many as having little or no value making that ethos harder and harder to follow.

It's become okay to steal it, to pirate it, to give it away. No one cares any more, or so it seems. So in the business sense, we have had to become a lot more business savvy.

As I said earlier, we set up publishing through Notting Hill Music and that certainly contributed massively to the labels survival over the years. There also used to be a lot more major label CD compilations on which tracks from AD Music featured which brought in additional income. There are far less of those now though, in fact, they’ve all but disappeared. We also have inroads into several licensing companies and library music networks.

As a cooperative label, it's the artists who run the label. We do our own art and design, our website promotion, management, mastering, we do it all. So as I said earlier we have had to change and adapt in order to survive. But our goals and aspirations have always remained the same – to produce melodic electronic music of the highest quality.

This year we launched a brand new website - www.admusicshop.com - and as the music market becomes more and more download orientated, so we must continue to change and adapt our business practices to get downloads to the global market. It's not easy, and needs the dedication and input of people like my wife Elaine who administers the label and Dave Massey who looks after the technical side of the website. Plus I have to wear many different hats!

mwe3: How did you meet and start working with Robert Fox who also plays with you in Code Indigo?

David Wright: I met Robert Fox in 1991 through a mutual friend in the business who introduced us because Robert had also lost his wife to cancer in the same year that I had lost mine. We are an unlikely pairing, “as different as chalk and cheese” as the saying goes. But musically we clicked. And despite some heated musical differences over the years, which is completely natural, we have remained friends for 23 years! A bit like a musical marriage, ha ha!

mwe3: Tell us about Code Indigo. When did you form the band, it’s different lineups? How many albums has Code Indigo released and who is playing with you in the band now and what’s the chemistry like between the players?

David Wright: Robert Fox and I performed a concert in 1993 for the BBC radio soundscapes series and recorded some music especially for that performance, “Overture” and “Finale”. In early 1994 we agreed to start writing a collaborative album, but as the music developed it became clear to both of us that we needed a different input from somebody else.

We both agreed from the start that we wanted to create music that was different to what we were doing as solo artists. We wanted our very different styles to metamorphosize into something different and new.

I was doing live work at the time with another keyboard player, Vaughn Evans and a guitarist and producer called Nik Smith. They both came with me to one of the recording sessions at Bob’s studio in Rossett, near Chester and immediately became in tune with what we doing and began adding the missing elements. Vaughn was great with his moog sound effects while Nick was a very accomplished guitarist and arranger. And they both had a lot of good musical ideas to input to.

By late 1994 our collaborative project had become a band project. Whilst watching an X-Files episode I suggested the name Code Indigo, from the episode ‘Fallen Angel’, which we all agreed was a good starting point for a band name until “something better came up”. Bob had suggested a working title of “For Whom The Bell” for the album title, once again until “something better came up”. Both of course, were to stay.

“For Whom the Bell” was to take 16 months to record and complete and has the distinction of having the very first Cubase VST program and Yamaha CBX used to produce it, which is another story in itself!

“For Whom the Bell” was a critical and commercial success with part 14 featuring on numerous best-selling compilations including on Sony records, alongside Fleetwood Mac, Santana, Mike Batt, Vangelis and many more.

Unfortunately, as with many bands there were internal problems stemming not just from artistic differences but also external matters. Both Vaughn Evans and Nik Smith were to leave the band with firstly Pat Pattisson and then Andy Lobban joining as guitarists.

There were some great concerts in the late 1990’s, including two at Derby Cathedral and the acclaimed Duisburg, Germany event with Klaus Schulze.

But the 1999 album Uforia was so problematic and caused so much friction between the remaining band members that it signaled a 5 year hiatus.

It wasn’t until 2004 that I started working with Robert and Andy on the third Code Indigo studio album Timecode and I brought in David Massey and Louise Eggerton. The break did the trick and Timecode was well received.

There have been more comings and goings since. Nigel Turner–Heffer joined the band in 2008 and DJ replaced Andy on guitar in 2012. Louise left the band in 2006 and Carys joined in 2014. We had a long period where we didn’t feel we wanted or needed a vocalist, but now we see Carys as a key member of the new band.

I suppose I was always the unofficial bandleader, particularly in recent years when Bob Fox left the band for 4 years. But when he had a stroke two years ago, it put music into perspective and he rejoined the band in 2014.

We are older and wiser now and all get on very well and enjoy the music and the time we spend together creating it. The simple truth is that if you put creative people in a studio then there is almost certainly going to be some tension from time to time. But often out of that angst, great things happen.

mwe3: Tell us about the most recent Code Indigo album Take The Money And Run. Is it really the final album with the band?

David Wright: Well, when I said it was going to be the final album, I did add “never say never”! We have probably got one more album and that may well come from the concert we are doing later in 2015 in Germany.

Take The Money & Run was intended to be the final album, I think at that time I had personally just had enough. The band was always a huge strain and it was always me leading it and organizing everything, often to the detriment of my solo work. I thought the time was right to end it. So the title, everything about the album seemed right to take a look back over all the Code Indigo albums and a way of featuring everybody who was ever involved with the band. I was actually very pleased at how we were able to achieve that through the music that we featured.

We were able to record some brand new music alongside some really good reworkings of older tracks and a really nice live section that we all wanted to see released. And it was nice looking through all the photos to put in the CD booklet.

But I suppose most importantly it showed just what Code Indigo can do and has done.

Anyway, like I say, who knows what the future will hold. Certainly the younger members of the band are keen for it to continue. So, watch this space...

mwe3: How have the different space music genres influenced your sound over the years?

David Wright: Well, as I think I said earlier, I have always tried to make my music sound different to everyone else's as much as that is possible. I've also tried to make my albums different from album to album, often clearing out synths to ensure that I don't use the same sounds over and over.

I don’t think different space music styles have influenced my sound over the years, well not consciously anyway. Its actually more about the synth sounds and in later years the soft synths and software that has influenced my sound, more than any particular genre.

Again as I said before, when I'm composing and being creative I simply use what I feel works.

mwe3: Tell us more about your solo music and how you set about composing music. Which albums are you most proud of and how you would define your own style?

David Wright: Well I suppose musicians make music because they have something to say. As I've already said, my first album was an emotional outlet and statement. And down the years I just wanted to create music because I've generally had something more to say. As to where the music comes from, I really don't know. There has been many an occasion when I’ve worked in the studio for several hours and suddenly a track is there and I really just don't know where it came from. You kind of get into a zone and it just comes. There are also times when I’ve worked for a week and scrapped everything I was working on!

Sometimes I work with vocalists, or guitarist or violinists etc. or a combination thereof, it really just depends on what the music needs. But as I have said before, I believe my style is the emotional element attached to a sense of rhythmic motion in my music. It is that which people recognize as my style and which has allowed me, with some success, to be quite varied with my output.

But as crazy as it may sound, I do have to be ‘in the mood’. I suppose over the years I just developed a habit of ensuring that I released one solo album a year. So at a certain time I make sure the decks are clear and lock myself away in the studio. There's always been something or some idea to focus the new album on. The hardest thing, and it has become harder and harder over the years as the label has grown, is finding the time without being distracted.

Running a record label and being a musician is very difficult and if it wasn't for Elaine's input running AD Music, well, we wouldn't be having this conversation (lol).

I always felt that my first three albums were really just ‘finding my feet’, some good ideas but when I look back I do cringe a little bit at the technical side, my gear and my knowledge was limited. That said, I had occasion to listen to Reflections just recently and what it lacks in technical expertise it more than makes up for in emotional content.

But I suppose the albums that give me the most pride are Moments In Time and Dissimilar Views because I feel that those albums, from 1994 and 1995, were where I really discovered my style. Then, it would have to be Walking With Ghosts 2002. The title track was written immediately after 9/11 and was my emotional response to that terrible event. I never made it known at the time because frankly, to me that would have been a little ghoulish. But in recent years I felt comfortable in saying why the music was written. It does continue to be a very popular piece of music for live events and I've recorded it several times.

And more recently I'm very proud of 4 particular albums. Momentum which came from live USA concerts in 2007 and was nominated in the best ambient album category of the NAV Music awards. Dreams And Distant Moonlight, which won the German Schallwelle Music awards best electronic music album in 2008. In Search Of Silence and then Connected.

I think that on those four albums I combined all the skill and knowledge gained over the years and produced some of my best work.

mwe3: Do you prefer hardware keyboards and synths or do you use computer software?

David Wright: I still use a number of hardware keyboards. I have a Kurzweil PC3X as my main performance keyboard in the studio. Sometimes I take that for live but usually I use a JV90 as a live master keyboard, along with a JP8000, a JD990 and a Korg Karma. I still have my old 01Wfd, Kawai K4 and a Yamaha EX7 along with a few other sound modules.

Software-wise I use soft synths like the Spectrasonics range, Omnisphere, Trilian and Stylus RMX, and many of Rob Papan’s synths like Blue 2, Blade, Octopus, Albino and Punch. I also like the Arturia range for Moog, Mini Moog, CS80, Jupiter 8 and ARP2600.

The biggest problem with all this is choice - there is too much choice! In the old days I used to program sounds on, for example, a JD800 or the K4 and it was all about the ‘music’. Now, it’s easy to get lost in doing ‘more’ when often ‘more’ isn’t necessary.

In recent years I have concentrated far more on production and effects, going for more high end software, like for example, Lexicon reverbs and more high end mastering eq and mastering tools. I use Logic ProX on a Mac as my sequencer but all my compressors and effects are now external.

mwe3: What other musical projects are you involved in aside from Code Indigo?

David Wright:
I work with Dave Massey in a musical project called Callisto. This is a very Tangerine Dream, sequencer style project. In fact, our aim was to try and produce a 21st century version of 1970s style Tangerine Dream. We’ve only done three albums, Signal To The Stars, Nyx, and a live album. It was very much a ‘fun’ project within which, just like with Code Indigo, I can experiment with music and expand upon it with other musicians to make something different to my solo work.

I also released an album under the name Trinity, called Music For Angels, working with Code Indigo guitarist Nigel, and another keyboard player, which started out as a meditation album but ended up as a very critically well-received spacey blues style, instrumental album. Never sold well though, I think because of the awful)title.

I also recorded an album with Ian Boddy called Shifting Sands. Very proud of this one and it contains some really great music. We will hopefully do a follow-up at some point.

There is also a DVD and a live double album from an acclaimed German concert in 2009 when Ian and I performed with our good friend, the legendary cosmic guitarist Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock, who also is renowned in regards to the mellotron and memotron!

mwe3: Do you consider international cosmic space music a world wide phenomena?

David Wright: No, I don't think its any more a phenomenon than, well, for example, the Pink Floyd style of rock is a worldwide phenomena, or trance and dance music or chill-out music.

mwe3: It’s quite historic that Edgar Froese recently passed away in early 2015. What other Electronic Music (EM) artists such as Edgar and T. Dream were influential in developing your own musical style?

David Wright: Edgar passed away a couple of days after another very good friend of mine Steve Roberts, an established EM journalist in the UK scene. I felt both their passing quite deeply.

As already mentioned, I've been a keen Tangerine Dream fan down the years. But the other three artists in the EM genre to have influenced me the most are Klaus Schulze, Vangelis and Kitaro.

Now, I have read people who liken my music to Klaus Schulze's, which is complete nonsense, I sound nothing like him. But I do think he has a tremendous emotional quality to his music and in that respect I am flattered and honored to be likened to him. I have many of his recordings and in fact I'm listening to one now as I write this. He was, and still is, one of my heroes and so I feel honored that I know him and have performed at several concerts with him. Even have my picture in one of his album booklets, ha ha - great!

Vangelis is amazing and I am in awe of his music. Blade Runner, China, Chariots of Fire, Spiral - and the list goes on. Terrific recordings, great music, wonderful sounds. Vangelis is someone who really has defined his sound to perfection!

I remember first hearing Kitaro in 1976, Silk Road. I was blown away by the gentle beauty and heartfelt emotion contained in his music.

mwe3: Tell us about the Meltdown concert at Eday in 2013 and the DVD that followed. Was it really inspired by the economic meltdown of late 2008? Tell us about the incredible graphics featured on the DVD. Were you making some kind of social statement with that music which was taken mainly from the Code Indigo album Take The Money And Run. Apt title for a horrible economic meltdown! So the CD and the DVD are companion titles?

David Wright Well, the Meltdown DVD is the live version of the Meltdown CD release the year before. And yes the DVD is kind of a companion to the CD. It was indeed a political statement, probably more than a social statement but it was that as well.

When we recorded the Chill album in 2008, it was an ecological album and as with all code Indigo albums it had a central theme. When we came to do the next album, Meltdown just seemed a logical title to me. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that just like Chill, it could have a double meaning. Like many people I was very angry at the financial debacle that led to the economic meltdown and so here was a way of making a statement.

It became a labor of love, and along with Nigel Turner-Heffer who shared my creative vision, Dave Massey’s rhythmic influences, we produced an album of which we are very proud.

In fact, Take The Money And Run was a deliberately cynical title to follow Meltdown, again directly aimed at the bankers and money men as suggested by the album cover. And of course it also seems to fit as the title of what we thought at the time would be the last Code Indigo album.

While I can claim to have been the driving force behind much of the music, Nigel’s input was in the graphics and was amazing - inspirational. He felt as passionate as I did about what had happened and he did an incredible job of bringing our musical statement to life. Nigel is a very talented guy!

The graphics started life as the backdrop for the e-Day concert I don't think we had any real intention at the time to release a DVD. However, there was some live footage from the event and the reaction to the concert and the graphics was so positive that we decided to. But it was to take a full eight months to prepare the DVD... like I said, very much a labor of love.

mwe3: How do the Code Indigo albums differ or compare musically from your solo albums and can you tell us something about your latest solo album CD releases?

David Wright: Starting music for Code Indigo means allowing other people to have input and taking it somewhere else, somewhere perhaps I wouldn't have thought to take the music on my own, and in some instances taking it to places and I wouldn't want to take it. But that's the whole point of the band, to create something different from my solo work.

Probably in the early years of the band, my solo music was a lot different, but as time has gone on, there are definitely similarities and I think that's only natural.

I suppose I've been very prolific as a solo recording artist, releasing roughly an album a year over the past 25 years. These have been quite varied, sometimes sequenced electronic, sometimes ambient, sometimes verging on new age, sometimes space music.

My current album is Beyond The Airwaves - Volume One in which I present new studio and live music recorded over the past three years. It’s very ‘electronic’ featuring live music from USA, German and UK concerts. It was originally intended as a double album but the second album didn’t meet the deadline and so Beyond The Airwaves Volume Two is set for release in April 2015. Volume 2 features another live concert track plus new music featuring the Code Indigo vocalist Carys.

mwe3: How many albums has AD Music released over the past 25 years and are many AD releases still in print on CD?

David Wright: There are over 150 releases on AD Music. There are only a handful of CDs that are not in print and no longer available, all for contractual reasons and these are all older mid 1990’s titles.

There are some other titles that are no longer available on CD due to either a lack of demand or because, unfortunately, one of our CD manufacturers in the early 2000’s went bust, meaning we couldn’t/can’t repress some titles and we don't feel the additional expense that starting again with these titles is worth paying, because there just isn't the demand. So, for these titles we do give people the option of a high-quality CDR taken from the CD master and often with original artwork if we have it.

But all the music is available as a download, either 320 rate MP3 or as a flac from the AD Music website and of course iTunes and all the other usual online stores.

We have also tried to get as much music available as we can on AD Music compilations, of which we now have eight volumes.

mwe3: How would you compare all the different options for music listeners interested in AD Music, including vinyl, CD, and all the different types of download options?

David Wright: Well, I think the purists, certainly many of the artists, would prefer to see their music on CD, to have a physical product in their hand. Hell, many would like to go back to vinyl, wouldn’t they!?

I also believe the music industry and many of the digital distributors have contributed to a self-fulfilling prophecy by not selling CDs and that has contributed to it becoming harder and harder to both sell and buy CDs. The distribution network for physical product has become shot to pieces globally and high postage rates have made it harder and harder for independent labels to ship products worldwide.

Despite all of that, AD Music is in a fortunate position. We have CD distribution with New World Music, who are actually in the same town. In fact we can see them from our living room window! So with our established digital distribution through The Orchard, customers do have a choice with our product of CD or MP3 or flac downloads. We haven't gone into vinyl because I simply do not believe that there is a market for it for the style of music that we produce.

MP3 is certainly the most popular download options and we probably sell one flac for every 100 MP3s.

mwe3: How do you inspire the music buying public to keep the CD alive so artists have something to sell other than just giving the music away on YouTube, or can the artists make money on YouTube?

David Wright: Well I'm not sure that you can! Maybe one can try and educate the buying public, especially with regards to piracy and downloading music for free. But the problem is that this is about society; it's about how people on the internet expect things to be cheap and free. As I already said, music is now seen as almost a disposable commodity without any real value.

If you think back to a vinyl LP, let's take a Tangerine Dream album of 25 years ago, the playing time was about 40 minutes and you’d happily pay, what? £7 or £8 - $10? Many artists particularly in the EM world release albums of 70 to 80 minutes, the equivalent of a double album - a fact that seems lost on many when they complain about paying pretty much the same as they did all those years ago.

Don't get me wrong, I know that there are a lot are very passionate fans, I speak to them at concerts and via email and occasionally on the phone. But in a genre specific market like electronic music, those fans are a small minority of the buying public.

I have very strong views about giving music away. I am always telling the artists on AD Music, especially the new ones, to promote themselves by gigging and social networking, but under no circumstances to give their music away. It's okay to make the odd track available on sound cloud but just putting all your music up there for people to download for free is madness!

I suppose it is different for me as a professional musician and composer, and indeed for the artist who signs music to our label, because the music is put into our network, where yes, the music played on, for example YouTube, is monetised.

But as ‘streaming’ becomes more and more popular, which pays less and less, then the financial rewards for putting music online are less and less.

Over 25 years I have built up a fan base for my solo music, so AD Music can release a David Wright CD and know that all the costs will be covered and it will make a profit. Indeed the very nature of a record label is that some acts will fund everyone else. However, as CD sales reduce, so the profit that helps in the nurturing of new talent and new music on CD becomes less and less, meaning downloads are the only option. And in genre specific music, the purist prefers CD! It’s an unfathomable paradox!

And so again, the self fulfilling prophecy means that it’s only by releasing downloads for many of the new artists that they can get their music heard and the label is able to survive.

mwe3: Where do you see the future of music buying going in the 21st century?

David Wright: Honestly? I don't know! Music, like society is so into ‘instant gratification’ and ‘the now’ that there seems to be less and less time and less and less interest in genre specific music like EM. And if you think about it, electronic music and space music is for you to chill out to and relax to, and this in a time when everyone seems to have less and less time to do just that.

But also the internet has made it possible for anyone and everyone to make music. I'm sad to say it, but a lot of what is out there is not good. It’s this whole “everyone has a book in them” syndrome, which they may well have, but, if people can't spell or write properly, what kind of book is it likely to be?!

Yes, everyone can write a book, or write music, but doing it 24/7 as a profession, for a living? That is quite another thing that requires a level of commitment, passion, selfishness and dedication that most people simply don't have.

But to try and attempt to answer your question; it appears that streaming music is going to be the future, well, at the moment anyway. I certainly don't like that and I genuinely fear for the future of music as an art form where musicians are prepared to sacrifice and suffer for their art. Because it is that very process that has given us such great music, in all genres! What happens when those artists stop and say “What’s the point”?

mwe3: What other artists on AD Music are you most proud of releasing on CD? AD has signed artists from all over the world, so what makes an electronic music artist of interest to you as a possible label release on AD?

David Wright: All of them! I'm in a very fortunate position in that I can release music that I like because it is my label. I couldn’t, indeed I wouldn’t, differentiate between the artists and their music, they're all very different, they are all very talented.

As to what makes them of interest to me and the label, I listen to the demo and if it touches me, if I like it, then I make contact with the artist. It is then about if the artist is a realist and understands just how hard this business is. So it's a package, the music and the artist and generally that formula has worked.

Actually, we don't sign artists to the label, we sign the album for a long period, which allows the artist to pursue other avenues should they choose to do so. Many don’t, and have allied themselves to AD Music for a long time.

mwe3: You’ve mentioned several people who are involved in the running of the label, including your wife Elaine. What input do they all have in the music and the running of the AD Music?

David Wright: My original business partner was David Mantripp and he was instrumental in the set up of AD Music as a limited company in 1995 and then helping to establish the ethos of the label. He hasn't had any input for, well, probably nearly 15 years but he is still a partner and he lives in Switzerland.

Dave Massey became involved in the label about 15 years ago, originally doing artwork and design. He then became involved in the websites and because he is a good remixer and producer he became involved with Code Indigo in 2004. Over the years he has become more and more involved in the running of the label, and his input cannot be overstated.

Elaine became involved in the business in 1995 shortly after we first met. Not only did she invest heavily financially in the business in those early days, but she has become the face of AD Music when we go to festivals and other promotional events. I often joke that I think many of the fans come to see her. Elaine deals with all the finances and the accounts and has an equal input into the majority of decisions that affect the label.

We often joke, but actually it's dead serious, that without Elaine’s input the label wouldn’t be where it is. And the only reason that I’ve been able to be as creative, single-minded and selfish that I've had to be to get where I am, is because of Elaine’s support over the years.

Reminds me of the joke:
“What do you call a musician without a significant other?”
Answer: Homeless!

mwe3: What plans do you have for 2015 as far as writing, recording, releasing music and possible live performances?

David Wright
: It's actually a very busy year. I'm currently finishing Beyond the Airwaves Volume Two, my new solo album. This is the second in a trilogy of work that covers live reworkings of older tracks and new studio material that I've been working on during the last couple of years that hasn't made release yet. It also covers the really 'spaced out' title track, which is a continuation and update of a piece originally recorded 20 years ago and that track will feature on the final volume 3 next year.

Volume 2 features the Code Indigo vocalist Carys on an epic, sprawling ambient/chill-out piece called "Dreaming Desire" which is kind of a 'symphony for voice and synth'. Robert Fox also features on that track. There's also 'Return to the Plains' which is a live reworking of sections from the Moments In Time album recorded in concerts during 2013. Its very chilled, very atmospheric and eventually very epic and rocky, featuring some great guitar from Lee Morant.

I'll be performing some of this at the E-Scape festival on 30th May.

We're also preparing a 2 hour Code Indigo live set for a concert in Germany at Bochum Planetarium on 29th August 2015.

mwe3: Are there still untapped avenues for you and AD as far as new musical directions and goals in 2015 and beyond?

David Wright
: On the business front, there is a lot of work being done behind the scenes to ensure that the label moves forward. As I've already indicated, these are difficult times for independent labels. We have the new website and we're trying all manner of things to reach a wider audience.

We have the first E-scape festival, an all day electronic music festival sponsored by A.D. Music, held in Suffolk on Saturday 30 May 2015. We hope to make this an annual event and we are taking the unusual step of making virtual tickets available. That means people in other countries who can't make the event for obvious logistical reasons, can still purchase a ticket and they'll be sent an MP3 or flac download recording of the entire days music, which should be close to 8 hours worth of music. Details can be found at www.admusicshop.com which is the AD Music shop website.

As far as the future, who knows. 26 years now and frankly, it’s not getting any easier to survive in the music industry. It seems that two steps forward is often followed by one step back.

But we have a brand new website and we have a lot of good music on the label and I still believe that there is a vast untapped audience out there who are yet to discover our music.

It always was about the long haul!

{Photo captions as follows: top to bottom}

Code Indigo - Take the Money and Run (2013) CD cover


David Wright in concert The Awakenings Concert Series, UK, Sept 2013


Code indigo - For Whom The Bell (1995) CD Cover


Code Indigo - Take the Money and Run (2013) CD cover


David Wright - Connected (2012) CD cover


Code Indigo - MELTdown DVD cover (2014)


Code Indigo - Chill (2007) CD cover


David Wright in concert at The Awakenings Concert Series, UK, Sept 2013


David Wright in concert with Ian Boddy and Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock, UK &
Germany 2009 promoting the album ‘Shifting Sands’


David Wright - Code Indigo soundcheck at E-Live, Holland, 2013


David Wright - Code Indigo concert E-Live performance, Holland, 2013


David Wright with Nigel Turner-Heffer, UK solo concert 2007


Code Indigo 2015 line-up. L/R David Wright, Robert Fox, Dave Massey, Nigel Turner-Heffer, DJ Bareford & Carys.


David Wright in concert at The Gatherings Concert Series, USA 2007


Beyond the Airwaves Volume 2 (2015) CD cover


Code Indigo 1997 Duisberg, Germany. Concert with Klaus Schulze.
L - R Patt Pattison, Vaughn Evans, Robert Fox & David Wright


E-Scape.
The Official Annual AD Music Electronic Music Festival

Thanks to David Wright and AD Music

AD Music,
5 Albion Road,
Bungay,
Suffolk,
NR35 1LQ,
ENGLAND.
Tel: +44 (0) 1986894712
Mobile: +44 07507761535
email: admin@admusiconline.com
ichat Audio/Video: dwadmusic (AIM)
Skype: codeindigo1
AD Music: www.admusicshop.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/davidwrightmusic
Worldwide CD Distribution through New World Music.
Digital Distribution: The Orchard
China: Wawawa
Music Published by POEM Musikverlag and Notting Hill Music (UK) Ltd



 

 
   
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