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The Art of Submission

Marc O’rell is a DJ, producer and a key force in the Mystery Freedom family, and we chatted with him about the submitting work to the label, all of which happens through their SubmitHub account.

MysterFreedomBlog: While MF has released a rather wide stylistic variety of electronic music, what do you say to a producer or artist who asks, "What are you looking for?”

Marc: In general, we are looking for house, trance and techno related music with 4 to the floor drum rhythms, between 110-140 BPM, and with professional quality mixing and mastering.

MFB: How much music comes in that is simply in the "wrong" genre?

Marc: There are always some people that send demos to labels without checking the label itself. It’s always good to look at the home page and social media channels of a label and try to understand what sound they are looking for. For electronic music, it’s also helpful to check their releases on Beatport. If a label is focused on tech house music only, then it doesn’t make sense to send a slap house demo. For Mystery Freedom we have tried to keep it more open and accept a wider range of genres.

MFB: Are there particular mistakes producers make when they submit their tracks to you?

Marc: Most of the time we decline demos because the production is not good. A track should have a theme and build and release energy. Many producers don’t think about a theme, but it’s essential for a good track. When a track has all that, but mixing and mastering is not on point, we usually reach out to help. Another thing to keep in mind is the length of a song. Streaming requires short tracks of 2-3 minutes. That’s something to keep in mind when producing the track. Personally, I make an extended version of a song first and then cut the streaming version.

MFB: What can an artist or producer expect from MF when they submit a track through SubmitHub?

Marc: Mystery Freedom has a team of 3 A&Rs that listen to all the demos. There are days when we receive 5 or more demos and then there are days without a new demo (but they are rare). If a demo doesn’t fit at all, we’ll directly reject it, but usually the A&Rs listen to the tracks and write down their feedback for the other A&Rs to consider. As soon as they have all listened and written their feedback, the artist gets a reply.

MFB: What happens when the news is good?