We asked ChatGPT to come up with questions for an interview with DEHN, labelhead of Thorium Records.
Hi DEHN, it’s great to have you with us today. So, what inspired you to start an underground techno record label like Thorium Records?
Hey there, thank you for having me. Well, I started Thorium Records because I came across so much great music that didn’t have a home. I was part of a Facebook group called Mixitecture where I discovered a lot of talented producers. At the same time, I found Airyule on Soundcloud and realized it was time to do something about it.
How do you discover new talent and select artists to sign?
There are multiple ways to get signed to Thorium Records. I may stumble across someone’s online profile, or they can submit a demo. If I like the music, the next thing I consider is if I like them as a person. If they’re not someone I’d want for dinner, then it’s a no-go.
What sets your label apart from other techno labels?
I’m not going to say we’re vastly different from other labels out there, but we do have a more laid-back approach to things. I’m an older guy, so that probably has something to do with it hahaha.
How do you ensure the quality of the music you release?
I work closely with our artists to ensure we get the most out of their releases. They give me demos, and we talk about what can be done to improve them. I like to push their boundaries with feedback so that they don’t get stuck in their comfort zones.
What are some of the challenges you face as an underground label?
Getting noticed is the biggest challenge. The market is flooded with music, so it’s hard to stand out without throwing money into ads. And we simply don’t have the money for that if we want to remain a sustainable business. But we are slowly growing as a label, and our sales figures show it.
How do you distribute digital releases?
First, we get all the release material ready, including videos, Facebook ads, and scheduled posts. Then we upload it to LabelWorx, and they distribute it to all the services.
How do you balance commercial success with artistic integrity?
I don’t think those two things necessarily have to be at odds. If an artist is signed to Thorium Records, they’re free to evolve their profile however they want.
What is your vision for the future of the label?
I want to find more likeminded artists for the label and grow our network. It’s all about inspiring each other and seeing if people like what we’re doing and support it.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in techno music?
I try to stay up to date with all music, not just techno. It’s important as you get older to be open to new music and not just think about the old days.
Can you tell us about any upcoming releases or projects?
I’m going to push our artists to do more collaborations and remix each other. It will make them feel more connected as a family
How do you approach marketing and promoting your releases?
We primarily use social media, and we have a “file vault” for selected DJs we’ve come to know over the years.
What advice do you have for aspiring techno artists who want to be signed to your label?
My advice is simple: your first track is probably not a banger hahaha. But seriously, I do get a lot of “bangers” demos and most of them are not.
What is the most memorable release you’ve put out so far?
The Arachnid release by Airyule was the most memorable release so far for Thorium Records. It hit number 2 on Beatport and passed Richie Hawtin, who released on the same day. It was a great achievement for the label, and it felt good to see Airyule’s music succeed. Additionally, when 8NEUN delivered his second release, I thought we had lost him to another label, so having him choose Thorium Records again felt great.
How do you foster a sense of community among your artists and fans?
We try to build a community by staying active on social media and interacting with fans and artists. We also organize giveaways on Bandcamp and use email newsletters to keep our supporters informed about the label’s latest releases and news. We want to create a sense of family, where everyone can feel a part of the label and the music.
How do you determine the pricing of your releases, and what factors do you consider?
For digital releases, the pricing is determined by the distribution service we use. We do give discounts and free releases on Bandcamp.
What challenges have you faced in building and growing your label, and how have you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges we faced was getting noticed in a crowded market. We overcame this by staying true to our vision and sound, building a strong online presence, and creating quality releases. We also work closely with our artists to help them grow and develop, which has helped create a loyal fanbase for the label.
What can we expect from your label in the next few years in terms of growth and evolution?
We plan to continue releasing high-quality techno music and growing our community of artists and fans. Lately we signed SCHEPPERZ to the label, and we are really looking forward to see him evolve as an artist. We also want to explore new ways to connect with our audience, such as hosting live events and expanding into new markets. We are always looking for ways to innovate and evolve as a label.