I was very first introduced to Porteur in the cold, dark wintery depths of last December. I had stumbled upon, and become mesmerized with his Bandcamp profile page; the home to a fully streamed version of LKBK, the debut album of Porteur - the solo project of Anton Anger.
Swept up in the melancholic undertones, brooding synths and wayfaring guitar lines, I had just about made it through the forth or fifth listen when I decided merely listening to it as an outsider wasn’t enough to satisfy the fan boy in me. No, I needed to get to know the man behind it all; I needed to know everything about this album, these songs, those lyrics.
And so the explorer in me took over. I tracked down Anton (I make it sound hard…it wasn’t!) And eventually we got to talk.
Below is everything I wanted to, and felt I needed to, know about LKBK, the adventures of Porteur, and his views on musical independence.
Can you recall the first time you released a piece of music?
I suppose the first music I released was a very amateur electronic track under the Por†eur moniker (the cross was totally necessary back then *rolls eyes*) for a Holy Page compilation in early 2012: the song was called Church and I am pretty sure it was just a really repetitive Lana del Ray sample mutilated and dropped over a 4onthefloor kick.
Would you describe finding an independent label to release your material an easy process?
I had the benefit of meeting Christian Filardo before I really started working on tunes, and he was one of the people that pushed me to get the Porteur thing going, honestly if it hadn’t been for him and his label I probably would never have started to take making music seriously. I think finding a label that fits with a band is a lot more important than it would originally seem, I think the most important thing is not to get discouraged, there is a lot of room for music in the world and a lot of people that will want to listen to it; finding a label that will get your tunes into the right hands is the key and that just takes patience and confidence.
How important are independent labels for artists such as yourself?
I think that putting music out under a labels name, no matter how small, gives releasing music a real validity. Its also the best avenue for getting music to the right peoples hands. If someone is like me and complete garbage at hyping their own work, a hardworking independent label is a musicians best friend.
You’ve released material both alone and alongside others via Bandcamp, a website dedicated to catering for self-governing artists and labels – How important are websites such as Bandcamp for the growth and development of independent music?
Super hardworking musicians love bandcamp, because it lets you chart results and map effort. The analytic portion of bandcamp is one of the most incredible tools an independent musician has as far as understanding his market and reach from day to day. I personally do not take enough advantage of bandcamp, maybe I should get to work?
And with the Internet creating such a wide and open space for artists and labels to share and sell their music, do you think we’ll see a rise in self-promoting artists and labels?
The world is big, but the Internet is goddamn massive! And we being the sick creatures we are feel a need to fill any void, so yes I think that the internet is going to continue to spawn every possible combination of sound and until we all blow up. Someone is going to have to help organize all of this audio so I hope that indie labels rise to the challenge! The really pretty part is that the internet is actually making these small labels a teensy bit profitable, and that will hopefully go back into putting more music out there.
Although, whilst the Internet provides artists and labels with a great sense of freedom, do you believe it has any downsides? The increasing levels of mediocrity perhaps?
There is a lot of great music out there, but for every amazing song there is an equally shitty song lingering out there in the universe. The internet makes all of this media so accessible that trying to discover new stuff means filtering through hours of crappy music, and crappy music is really a totally subjective thing (with a few exceptions) so really everyone is just going to be pissed off that they have to listen to everyone else’s shitty music forever while trying to find a couple gems.
So, what’s the most exciting part about releasing material through a label?
I release stuff on cassette, and when there all of a sudden is a big box full of little plastic rectangles with my music in them, and that box is in my arms all shiny and beautiful. I just get really happy that I get to share this weird musical part of myself with others. A good Label will help share and connect you with people all over the world, speaking different languages, with different backgrounds and then I feel like I am part of something really special. I freak out when I see that people from different countries listen to my music, Its easy to forget that the world is bigger than whatever city one lives in. Totally the best part of working with a label.
I’d like to give a huge thanks to Anton for talking to me, LKBK remains a very important, very special album to me.