It’s a good label with a lot of very good artists on it. I wish more of them were women, but I wish that in bascially all things in life. I’m not going to stop supporting the artists who put music out on CiS just because the guy that runs it had an argument with one of them.
Agree with this, it’s a great label putting out consistently brilliant records. Could he have managed this argument better? Yes… but same is true of all of us at various times professionally and personally.
This is still a really tricky one for me tbh and my problem lies more with some of the specific people weighing in for CiS’ corner than the label themselves
That’s based on not knowing a huge deal admittedly
Exactly this. It’s a shame but some of the CiS artists weighing in really put me off the label which I was really into at the time.
I know a couple of musicians who have had dealings with the label and i gotta say i fully agree with your sentiments. It’s clear from the various interactions on Twitter over the last few years that there is a core group of followers who exist in a bubble and jump on anything negative directed at the label. At best it’s incredibly toxic, and at worst it’s something quite sinister. It certainly isn’t normal for a label.
Various artists have signed recently who seem completely blind to the bigger picture. I don’t know if it’s a basic dependency thing on the artists side or just some kind of artistic desperation, but i’d be very wary about being involved with a label which has a culture of Twitter trolling around it.
ngl it did dishearten me a lot about that whole on-the-surface nice and welcoming indie electronic scene (and I should say that most people involved in it still are a gbol, as far as I know). I mean in terms of how quickly some people involved could turn at the slightest criticism of their favourite niche label from amiable synth enthusiasts to just spitting venom and getting into the usual “cancel culture these days” bollocks.
Yes, that’s the sinister bit. What I find particularly disturbing is seeing so many presumably intelligent people take one thing 100% at face value whilst failing to question what is causing the smoke to rise. It appears to be a core group of music types (both artists and fans) who are literally clinging to one another in a huge circle. They all tow the party line because none of them can afford not to.
Hey all. The one and only Hattie Cooke here. I just found out about this thread from a friend and boy have I had fun reading through all the comments this evening.
It’s been 18 months since all the shit hit the fan and I’ve calmed down a lot since then. So for what it’s worth I can give you my best objective opinion on what really happened between myself and Colin Morrison.
As a few of you pointed out, there was a fundamental personality clash. I did ask for invoices/financial info and I think Colin took that as me not trusting him. Fair enough he might have been a little stung, but at the end of the day I’m an artist, they’re a label and it’s a business. He made thousands of pounds of profit from my music. Trust is nice but trust is earned by not acting shady and weird when someone says ‘can I see the receipts?’
Between that and a couple of other little issues like asking for my name to be spelt correctly, asking for a change of typography on the album cover, and warning him about a male artist that had a bad rep with women (I worked with him so I knew first hand but Colin signed him anyway) I think Colin just decided that I was more trouble than I was worth.
As someone insightfully pointed out, the label got too big for one man to run on his own and I think he was tired and over-worked and a little out of his depth frankly. He not doubt had a whole host of other artists he was trying to work with/placate/organise etc. And I think he just didn’t have the time or inclination to deal with me when I was more ‘demanding’ than the other artists.
Essentially I think he just decided at that point to give up on me and the release in general. We had loads of things planned that he just decided at the last minute we weren’t going to do, like remixes and music videos and organising reviews etc. And then the lawyers letters came telling me I wouldn’t get my full share of the copies etc. I think he thought I’d just go away after that. He also asked me to terminate our contract early.
But it made me so mad that he quit on me. I thought Bliss Land was gonna be my big chance and it felt like he totally fucked me over at the last minute. So instead of going away I decided I was going to ride the contract out and make him HAVE to stick with me. I guess it was my way of trying to punish him for fucking up the release. He didn’t even tweet about it on release day - how crazy is that?!
He didn’t like me trying to force him to keep me on as an artist and that’s when he looked for an out - by manufacturering SpotifyGate. Honest to god, he had expressed no issue with Spotify up until I refused early termination. Then the threatening lawyers letters began.
They decided they could use this ‘Spotify infraction’ to remove my album from bandcamp and get me off the CIS roster. Meanwhile I was still waiting for the invoices. I tried to deal with it on my own for a good number of months but in the end I couldn’t resolve things privately so I just forced it out into the public sphere. I thought it might help to get some eyes on it and maybe some external pressure would at least get the ball rolling on a resolution.
Well that didn’t really work either. It just got really ugly and messy. So I gave up and got myself a lawyer. Colin didn’t know that I was friends with one of the best music lawyers in the U.K. I think he probably regrets going down that road. I wonder how much he spent on his own lawyer, so so many letters he kept sending. But getting a lawyer did the job in the end. I got my receipts, they all added up, I got my money, and had to pay a big chunk of it to my lawyer friend (it was expensive even with mates rates.)
Aside from all that, there was a whole host of nasty things happening behind the scenes with Colin and a guy called Barry organising what was effectively a hate campaign against me. That’s where all those pro CIS tweets came from. Plus I was getting trolled and nasty emails etc. I even had a bunch of random fans reach out to me in private to show me messages they’d from the CIS gang trying to persuade them that I was the ‘bad one.’ Luckily most of them recognised that as totally insane behaviour! But that’s a whole other story.
Effectively I destroyed my career in the short term. But you know what? I don’t regret it.
Thanks for writing this. I was wondering if it ever got resolved. Glad you got the receipts and money!
Just wanted to say, I really enjoyed the record, you should be very proud of it, whatever the circumstances post and pre release, it really stands up well and I wish more people heard it… Elizabeth Crompton and Cholly on Werra Foxma seem to be ignored in terms of sales and listens in electronic world as well, despite being amazing.
Thank you Cameron. I hope that people can enjoy the record regardless of all the drama that came with it! As a side note, I understand people might have questions and I’m open to answering them with complete transparency.
The good news is that I’ve been writing again so I suspect another album is on the horizon. I’m also composing a sleepers style soundtrack for an indie feature film so that should be out in the world next year if everything goes to plan.
Fucking great news. Listening to Bliss Land now and it’s soothing my summer cold addled head.
Put her album in my top five from last year, criminally underrated IMO
Its off topic, I am so glad to hear someone else echo how good a record it is… if Beth Gibbons had sung ‘I keep getting better’ it would be massive.
I think when i looked on BC it had sold something like 30 of the 100 copies of the vinyl.
Problems of Other Minds? Looks like it’s shifted a few more now, but there’s still vinyl left. Will add to me ‘to check out’ list
That’s the one. Definitely worth a listen.
I’ve chatted to Elizabeth a fair bit. Not only is she talented but she’s also a really decent person.
Good to see you post on here Hattie, and particularly interesting to read your side of things first hand.
From what you’ve said here, and from what i know of two other musicians that i’ve had discussions with it seems that there is a definite thread of stuff going on behind the scenes. I don’t think that artist and label disagreements are anything new, but i’m perplexed as to why your album wasn’t properly announced or promoted given that the label clearly green lighted you putting it on Spotify. It just comes across as some kind of power play / passive aggressive move to put you in your place.
On another note, i’m one of several people who have bought stuff from the label in the past who have found this orchestrated hate response thing utterly disgusting to the extent i refuse to buy any more of their releases. I saw some of the campaign against you at the time and i’ve seen other similar stuff since. I just don’t see this with other labels, and that’s the bit that causes me concern.
I originally followed the Castles In Space output because they seemed to be a decent label with certain standards. Perhaps those standards have dropped recently, or perhaps i was just wrong from the start.
I think this thread got partly revived because there have been a lot of rumblings lately about other artists being treated badly by the label.
I suspect it’s only a matter of time before the full extent of the label’s bullying and general nasty behaviour comes to light.
Most of the unhappy artists have been too scared to speak out in case they receive the same treatment I got. But it seems that the tide has started to turn…