This little 'Frequently Asked Questions' page is a slighty off-the-cuff question and answer page of random stuff we keep getting asked. Any other normal FAQ type questions we will try to add if people ask us!
Do you accept demos?
Sadly we are booked up until the end of 2020 right now for physical releases and just cannot accept anymore work. However, from April 2017 we will be running HN Digital for musical works we love but are unable to put out on physical format. HN Digital is mainly focused on releasing works by Home Normal artists and friends, and we have actually been doing this secretly for the last two years for connected artists' self-releases. However, with many people wishing to release single tracks, E.P's, live performances and a lot of stuff we simply cannot put out on physical format now, we've decided to open this up in a public way finally.
Artists we agree to work with will feature in our monthly press and customer newsletters, and will have access to our mastering and design services. Their releases will feature on our own HN Digital Bandcamp label page and will appear alongside releases by many friends and regular Home Normal contributors. With this artists will get 100% of sales and will have their own Pro Bandcamp accounts. We'll still have strict control as to what we release but it means we can release works we love a bit more than before, and are not overly limited to albums only by regular artists we work with. :)
Go ahead a send in a demo to: demos[at]homenormal[dot]com
Please send us a link to stream (no downloads) your work. We don't need any info, and prefer to just have a link to listen.
We get on average 30 - 50 demos per day so whilst we do try to listen, we will probably not answer unless we find it is something we can jump up despite our crazy schedule. Artists we love we generally want to work with on a bunch of projects, so bear this in mind.
Can I get promos to review?
Yes, absolutely. Please send an email with the subject 'Promo Request' to aki[at]homenormal[dot]com. We'll check out your work and add you to our monthly promotional newsletter with free downloads and press kits well in advance. Thanks!
What is your current schedule?
We are completely booked up with releases until late 2020. We have very patient artists who seem to like us enough to wait that long. We figure that our aim is to create truly timeless music, so artists can be chill about their releases in the knowledge we will work with them to help them produce a work of art that really defines them in the best possible way. Patience is a virtue after all.
HN Digital will be starting in April 2017 but we have a little space for new releases from July 2017.
Where are Ian and Ben?
Ben left Home Normal a while ago day to day but until very recently helped out with shows regularly. Ian recently decided to take a break from Home Normal and all label work as he is just too busy with his own job and family life these days. Ian has curated a path for the label until the end of 2020.
As of January 2017, Ian and Ben have agreed to come back to curate the label by summer of this year after clearing their schedules. We now have a team of ten friends in place to help run the label with them so things are looking a lot less stressful for their return!
Where are you based?
Japan mostly, although we are printed in Japan and Europe now. As a widely-distributed label we recommend you buy our stock from distributors around the world, but we do send out the odd package from our Bandcamp page here.
What about HN shows?
We aren't going to be running events ourselves for a long while now. Ian and Ben live in different countries and due to their day-to-day jobs and families, simply cannot run these anymore. We will be helping to put on the odd teeny-tiny show in Warsaw and Tokyo with friends but that is it really.
When will you do your next vinyl release?
This is a constant question we are asked. We did one vinyl we exclusively ran through the Stashed Goods store (Fabio Orsi + Pimmon 'Procrastination'). Whilst the CD edition sold out on our end, we weren't able to push the vinyl as much as we had hoped as in Japan, there is just no market for it at all, and postage from Japan for heavy weight vinyl is insane.
Saying that, we can say that Ian will be running his own small cassette and vinyl imprint late in 2017 from his home in Warsaw with friends of the labels. These will be in very limited editions and will host artists from the label and many friends as well.
Will you ever just do digital releases instead of CD?
No. Don't flood the market with shit. Care about what you produce. These are simple rules any label or artist worth their salt should abide by (not enough do these days sadly).
Our history is rooted in the netlabel scene of the early 2000's (we never ran a netlabel but Ian did work with many and lots of our artists come from the same scene). We are also avid collectors of physical products, whether it is a simple card slip cd(r) release, a giant fancy-pants vinyl print, or a cassette with scrawled writing on it.
We get that most labels are moving in the direction of non-physical releases these days. They are expensive to print, expensive to post, and a pain for the customs, taxes and all round little add ons expense-wise. We get it, but we also don't see the point in uploading music that should matter to iTunes, Spotify, and fucking Sainsburys. We like independent stores who actually care about the music they put out, and even if they don't, at least they have a design aesthetic we appreciate. If this doesn't exist, then what is the point in running a label? You either upload and be honest in that you are a netlabel - you have an identity and give your music away for free. Or you plump up the expense and work to produce a physical product that works alongside the music that has been created.
Saying all that, we will be running NKR and TD as digital labels to help fund their future (and support the insane expense of HN), and these will all be part of the Modern Composers Group from 2017 on who work with many unique and rare labels and artists around the world.
Are you hiring?
Not now, sorry. We have a ton of friends helping us out, and generally when we have had people help out who weren't aware of exactly what we do, they had the shock of their lives at the sheer amount of work we do. Plus no one ever thanks the label for doing anything so we wouldn't recommend it to anyone really. It is a thankless task. Best to become an artist and get praise for the work the label does in the background as well as your music (yeah, really). :)
Will you be re-printing your older releases?
Yeah actually. We are very slowly re-issuing old NKR, TD and HN releases next year and on. We really love what we have put out and will continue to support these albums to new audiences.
What is NKR, TD and HN?
NKR - Nomadic Kids Republic - awesome little label we ran until 2012. Re-opening finally in January 2017 with digital releases and some CD re-issues featuring some amazing new artists from around the world.
TD - Tokyo Droning - our proudest project to date. The label was based in Japan and work with local paper makers for our uniquely handmade releases. The label was forced to be put on hold after the Tōhoku earthquake as the paper makers we worked with went bankrupt after losing most of their factory. However, in 2017 we will also be reopening the label to work exclusively with artists in Japan, and with the aim of producing a rather nice package series using materials from our old hood there (Kasukabe) by 2018.
HN - Home Normal! :)
Can you tell us about any imminent releases?
We get asked this all the damn time. We used to put up annual schedules but as things push and pull it became a nightmare to keep up with. But we can give it a little go for a bit just for fun:
March - Ken Ikeda + David Toop 'Skin Tones'
April - Ian Hawgood + Wil Bolton 'Transparence'
May - ghost and tape 'Vár'
June - Jason Van Wyk 'Attachment' + Jason Van Wyk (TBA)
July - Giulio Fagiolini 'Dietro a un vetro'
Stijn Hüwels + Tomoyoshi Date (TBA) /
Stijn Hüwels, Dudal, Will Samson (TBA)
September - Ian Hawgood + Danny Norbury 'Faintly Recollected'
October - Stefano Guzzetti 'Short Stories (Piano Book, Volume 2)'
January - Ian Hawgood + Giulio Aldinucci 'Consequence Shadows'
February - Tsone (TBA)
March - Tsone (TBA)
April - Tsone (TBA)
May - Stijn Hüwels + Norihito Suda (TBA)
We can't confirm the exact order of the following artists but are super excited to be releasing albums by Tsone, Stefano Guzzetti, Jason Van Wyk, Giulio Fagiolini, Erik Schoster, ghost and tape, Danny Norbury, Ian Hawgood + Danny Norbury, Ian Hawgood + Wil Bolton, Ian Hawgood + Giulio Aldinucci, Stijn Hüwels + Dudal + Will Samson, Stijn Hüwels + Tomoyoshi Date, and a bunch more great music. It is going to be a super year!