Update to the Update!: Music Theft
So some drama related to this track: There's a fella by the name of Brandon Harrod who created a project call Laromlab. The label Mushpot Records picked him up and put some effort into promoting him. It was through such a promo company that I received info about this track. I dug it (very much in fact) and posted it here to Hellthy as Laromlab's "Nightdrive."
And I just recently saw that Brandom posted a comment on this post (see below). It wasn't very clear what he meant at first. I thought the track title was just mislabeled. A little more clicking and I see his "confession."
If the hoax isn't itself a hoax this is what happened: Brandon, a painter who was trying to make music unsuccessfully decided to take other people's songs and pass them off as his own. And it seems it was good, obscure stuff that got him some attention. But eventually he was found out.
So I looked up DMA-SC (Mathieu Stempell) who is the real creator behind this track - and I find he has some fantastic tracks. He is part of a collective known as the YM Rockerz. My original comment about the track was this: "Get your Legend of Zelda dance groove on yo." And, get this: there's a reason his tracks sound like Nintendo soundtracks: he does some professional work for Nintendo DS, Game Boy, cell phones and other digital bits. He should get all the credit coming to him for his dope work. My 2 cents: I think Mushpot Records should give DMA-SC a record deal.
It seems like Brandon, if you are reading this: you could have been a good, legit dj it seems - a compiler of tasty, little-exposed tunes made by other people. You had the good sense to focus on this track at least. I'm not sure if your posting a comment on Hellthy (and any other sites out there that posted this song) was done out of a need to try to do right by this situtaion or because of some legal obligation - or both - but I appreciate it. Though, it seems like it could have been much more clear. The effort I am putting into making this clear on this updated post: it seems like you could have taken at least half that effort to better explain and credit DMA-SC.
I am contacting DMA-SC, Mushpot Records and the promo company now... Will update here if warranted.
Mushpot's official statement is posted here. Mushpot's Jenn de la Vega was good enough to respond.
"As of now, Brandon and Mushpot have settled. I believe he's in the
process of trying to settle with the YM Rockerz individually. Not sure
about what agreements they have made. I'm relieved that Mushpot was
able to retain integrity and come out of this stressful ordeal without
a lawsuit. During the week of the incident, Brandon, Bit Shifter and I
worked together to post corrections and email as many of our media
contacts as soon as we could. Thank you for helping us post accurate information, we really appreciate it."
You can imagine how shitty she must feel to have her creation, her label, associated with a case of thievery, all because of something beyond her control: someone taking advantage of her trust. Brandon signed a contract saying it was his music and it wasn't. What more can a small label do?
It seems to me that even a large, mega record label with their teams of lawyers and researchers can't know if an artist has taken obscure music, called it his own if he has decided not to tell you as much. Perhaps a Gracenote kind of search - the same one that knows how to name your songs when you put a cd into your computer - might help. It looks at a few bars of music and compares that to a database of music and tells you if it recognizes it. Though if the music isn't in the database then it doesn't help. Anyway, it seems this is just one area that can't help but be based on trust. And Brandon took advantage of his label's essential trust.
The thing about it though: even if you swindle a label into putting something out, once it's released there is a catch-22 for the liar: as it grows more successful then the chance grows that fans and other musicians will call you out (as in this case) - and if it is unsuccessful, well then, you've done no better than using your own crappy songs. It doesn't add up.
Here is Brandon's mea culpa message:
Dear anyone who liked Laromlab,
To start an apology letter off is one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do in my life. To start this apology letter off is even harder because I am letting down my peers, my family, my friends, and just about everyone I know. So I will get right to it: Laromlab as a music making project was a hoax, a complete fallacy, all of the music on the Laromlab "S/T" record on Mushpot was made by the collective known as the YM Rockers, more specifically Crazy Q and Dma-SC. I never once thought it was the right thing to do, and I never was happy with myself for stealing these hard working musicians music but I did and now I will be paying the consequences for it! Whether it be legal action, monetary payment, or humiliation, I am deserving of all three. To justify this would be a laughing matter but I would at least like to explain myself to get it off of my chest, because I am in fact a real person.
A couple of years back I was making electronic music that sounded very different and I hit a dry spell. There is no explanation for it but the music wasn’t very good anyway, and somewhere deep inside of my brain it told me that I should just grab these guys’ music and pawn it off as my own. The trouble started when people began to notice the "Laromlab music" and a record label was interested and everything got out of hand. All the while, I had this in the back of my head that I was going to get caught but never dreamed that it would get this much attention. And stealing their music was not done as a malicious act but rather a pathetic one.
I am a painter by teaching and I would not know what to do if all of a sudden I didn’t know how to make another painting that I liked ever again. That is what happened with my music! It took a lot of gall to do what I did and I take full blame. I pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes, including my wife (she had no clue), all of my friends, my tour partners, people that bought the CD, people that listened, everyone!!! But it also takes a lot of balls to come to everyone and say....I am a fake, none of this shit is mine. The people that made this music...are all amazing composers, seem to be nice people, and I could only hope to be as amazing at whatever I attempt in the future, but it wont be Laromlab.
There are some exceptions to this, not all of my music was stolen, and the people that I made those special tracks for will be notified and I will tell them that these songs are really done by me, but this most recent record is not created by me one bit. I am ready to deal with what I have to deal with now but I do not think that I will be able to deal with myself for doing this to people I care about. If I still have friends after this is over they will be the best friends of my life and I encourage anyone who is thinking of writing me off as a friend to please call me on the phone or email me and I will show you that somewhere inside of this lying shell of a music thief is still a good person and this is the first and last time lies will seep their way into my life, it has destroyed an credibility I have, any credibility I hoped to gain, and any that remains. I would like to end this rationally with all parties involved and I think we will be able to and I would also like to apologize by name to a few people that I have hurt the most.
Mainly Jenn De la Vega of Mushpot Records: you have done so much for what you thought was an amazing musician and I did nothing but lie to you, I am worthless at best and have already accepted full responsibility for our "working relationship" but if somehow inside of the amazing person you are there is room to continue a friendship I will consider myself the luckiest boy alive, I am sorry that in one fatal swoop I have tarnished one of the most amazing record labels to ever exist and I hope Mushpot can stand up after this and brush off the dust that was Laromlab and continue forward. If there is anything in the world I can do for you, Jenn, I think we all know I owe it to you.
The Ym Rockers: all of you make music so great that it makes unstable people, like myself, do insane stuff like want it to be theirs. I know it means nothing but you have the most respect I can give you and Crazy Q, Dma-SC, Dubmood, all the others you have boundless talent and that is enough to conquer things beyond my wildest dreams! Each and every one of you seem like great people and had we met in different circumstances I know that I would want to get to know you all individually. I am sorry for this injustice that I have brought before you and I hope we can settle this thing righteously and move on with our lives.
To my friends and family: once again I am sorry beyond explanation and I had a major lapse in judgment. It saddens me to know how many of you I have disappointed and if you find it in your heart to forgive me you will find the same old guy that you have always known. With this I say, the times were good (even if they were fabricated) and I hope to move on with my life and I hope that me and my wife can live a normal life without ridicule and embarrassment.
Over and out,
I hope Jenn and Mushpot won't be too discouraged by this episode and continue full-speed ahead with their efforts of getting great music into the ears of people who appreciate it. Check out their other (legit) artists. And I'm sure DMA-SC will continue to put out great tracks which hopefully will get more attention. Make sure you check out some other great tunes of his here.