For those with limited time, the full text below may be a bit too TL;DR…
So here’s the abstract:
- Send promos for offline listening (Bandcamp code, download links or physical).
No streaming-only links – Soundcloud, Youtube, Spotify, or other streaming-only links are NOT checked and deleted without notice!
- Send a single ZIP file, not separate tracks to download individually.
- When possible, include some background info and availability links.
- Use proper tags (artist, album title, track title, track# are the least!).
- Send your promo (links) to info [at] ambientblog [dot] net (please don’t use other channels such as Facebook etc), so I can keep track of who to inform about follow-ups.
- I’ll let you know if a recommendation is posted (or a track is included in DreamScenes), but don’t expect other kinds of personal feedback, explanations or apologies.
- Please do NOT send follow-up emails to ask if I had the chance to listen, or ask for feedback… etc.
I won’t answer them. You can be sure I wíll listen, and that I will get back to you when anything emerges (blogpost or radioshow).
There are different channels to help promote your music:
Note: I write ‘recommendations’, not ‘reviews’. This means the text will be relatively short, with no in-depth analysis. Their main purpose is to raise interest with the reader to further check out the album.
- DreamScenes Radio Show
This is a monthly radio show on Concertzender.nl (previous DreamScenes editions were on Mixcloud only). They are on-demand worldwide after the broadcast. DreamScenes editions are also available on Mixcloud. These shows include full tracks and therefore are only available as an on-demand stream (no downloads). Full album details are published on Concertzender.nl and Ambientblog/DreamScenes
- Ambientblog mixes
More complex mix-collages, created from multi-layered fragments or samples. Occasionally published on Ambientblog. Posts also include full album details. Often published simultaneously on other channels, like Headphone Commute, or radio shows).
And here’s the TL;DR version:
Promo Policy Considerations
One way to measure the ambientblog ‘growth’ is by the number of submissions and review requests that I receive. And recently, I have received quite a lot!
I’m happy about that because it means someone out there finds Ambientblog interesting enough to present his/her music on.
But it also presents a problem, because I receive far more promo submissions now than I can ever review (by the way: actually I prefer to use ‘recommendations’ instead).
I will never be able to write about all the music that I get to hear!
This blog is not my day job….there are other things to do too. I want to make sure maintaining this weblog stays fun to do; it must not become a “burden”.
So for those of you that consider sending me promotional copies of your music, here are some thoughts about my ‘review and promo policy‘.
- I have stopped sending personal “thank-you mails”, so I’m afraid you will receive a standard confirmation. Of course, I wíll let you know if (and when) I publish a review or shortlist mention.
But when I don’t I won’t let you know explicitly why not, because there can be many, many reasons.
Please don’t send follow-up emails asking if I had the chance to listen to your promo, because YES (-I listened) but NO (-I won’t send extra emails about why or why not unless I write a blog post about it – in which case I’ll send you a notice).
- If you send me a promo, I will listen to it. But please do not expect personal feedback. I’m not a musician myself, and I’m certainly not a musician’s ‘coach’.
- There is a lot of music that I thoroughly enjoy but still do not write about. Even if I like the music, that does not guarantee a review in itself. However: NOT writing about your music does not mean I don’t like it.
- I intend to keep the ambientblog.net reviews short enough to raise some possible interest – so do not expect in-depth articles or long-form interviews.
- If you’re one of those prolific artists that manages to release a number of releases in one year, I will probably skip some of them even if they are great.
- I don’t promote single tracks (unless the track itself is a full album of course)
- Physical or Digital?
Although I do like to receive physical copies, I consider digital downloads a far better option for promo purposes because that helps you save production and shipping costs.
(Physical copies do not automatically get a ‘priority treatment’: my decision to write about it should not be influenced by the medium).
- PLEASE be sure the files are properly tagged.
It’s not that difficult. If you don’t spend some time to include the basic information, why should I take time to correct that?
For that same reason, I have stopped downloading albums from Soundcloud, because it simply takes too much time downloading each track individually and making sure all information is contained.
Make sure the files are tagged properly and enclose all the files together with all other promo-information in a single (Zip-)file.
Or use Bandcamp, it’s perfect for sending promos.
- If possible, include some additional info about the music (or links to that info). A short biography is also appreciated.
- Please be sure to use high bitrate (320kbps or High-Quality VBR MP3, or FLAC) for your music: MP3 promos with bitrates < 200kbps are not doing any good because at that bitrate almost all music sounds lame and uninteresting.
- NO STREAMING-ONLY, PLEASE!
I will not base a review on any webstream link, because I want to be able to listen to the music at various moments, mostly ‘offline’, and often on the road, where I don’t have unlimited data access.
Also, I cannot include streaming tracks in my DreamScenes radio show.
This means I will not check out Soundcloud, YouTube (etc.) links!
The music must, of course, be available to the public, either in a physical edition or as a digital download. Please state the main location(s) where it can be found or bought.
Some physical releases are extremely limited and sometimes these sell out on pre-orders only (with unwanted effects on the pricing on Discogs etc). It’s no use reviewing albums that cannot be obtained, so I will only review these kinds of albums if it remains available in any way (on Bandcamp, for instance) after the physical edition sells out.
- One extra thing about cassette releases: I will only write about cassette releases if there is also a digital download available.
- I am also very interested in publishing ‘exclusive’ material: unreleased tracks, remixes, live recordings.
- Some of the tracks (or parts of them) may re-surface unexpectedly in one of the ambientblog mixes.
If you don’t want that, please let me know when submitting your music.
- It may sound obvious, but still, I’d like to stress out that I will NOT share or upload your promo music in any other way than through this blog!
You can trust me on that.
- And to conclude: since I am not really interested in maintaining a large collection of physical albums, I may consider offering (physical) promo copies for sale or just give them away, but never before about a year after the release date.
Contact me if you have any questions, via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to send me physical copies I will mail my postal address on request. (Of course, I dó love receiving copies, but sending a proper digital download can save you a lot of production and shipping costs.)
And of course: thanks for your interest!