MK837’s 2017 Year End Review

Dave here again with a yearend review of MK837’s 2017. I thought 2016 was a pretty tumultuous year. It’s hard to think about it, but I may have been wrong considering 2017 was simply insane. Twitter seems to agree.

I’ll admit, I was in a pretty dark funk for most of the year. In fact, 2017 turned out to be a pretty confusing year for me personally. I was dealing with a lot of changes and trying to resolve some of the bigger questions I’ve been dealing with. I’ve been successful in some ways, but not others.

Before starting this review, I honestly thought that the label might have suffered a bit due to those distractions and uncertainties. From an initial look at some of the stats, it looks like that might not have been the case.

Release Success

This year, we did fewer new releases and focused on a compilation series called Secret Archives. The point was in part to highlight some of the best tracks from the label’s 8-year history and to highlight some overlooked tracks. We failed to chart as much as we did in 2016, but our sales were 46% stronger and streaming is finally starting to pick up as well.

The two releases that did chart however were Space Taste by Tonal Grooves and DJ Lucent and Whisper by Simmo with Samuel Zamora on remix duty. While chart recognition is nice, the sales are what really counts. I’ll take a 37% growth in Beatport sales coupled with a 72% increase on iTunes over charts any day.

Here’s a quick breakdown of our top releases, tracks and streams.

Top 10 Releases

  1. Push the Feeling On – James Vevers
  2. Secret Archives, Vol. 4 – Various Artists
  3. Secret Archives, Vol. 5 – Various Artists
  4. Space Taste – Tonal Groove & DJ Lucent
  5. MK2016 – Various Artists
  6. Twenty Twelve – Chris Howland
  7. Worship – Chris Howland
  8. Secret Archives, Vol. 6 – Various Artists
  9. Evolution – Miguel Montez
  10. Secret Archives, Vol. 3 – Various Artists

Top 10 Tracks

  1. Push the Feeling On (Veekatz & ADR NYC Remix) – James Vevers
  2. Push the Feeling On (Sebnastiaan van Beest & Vitaly Katz Remix) – James Vevers
  3. Twenty Twelve – Chris Howland
  4. Space Taste – Tonal Grooves & DJ Lucent
  5. Worship – Chris Howland
  6. There It Is – Tonal Grooves & DJ Lucent
  7. Push the Feeling On – James Vevers
  8. Out of Me – Netzik
  9. Find Your Life (Terrence Parker DEEEP Detroit Heat Remix) – Deeflash & Coco Street
  10. Everybody Jump (Terrence Parker DEEEP Detroit Heat Remix) – Deeflash & Coco Street

Top 10 Streams

  1. Worship (Original Mix) – Chris Howland
  2. Twenty Twelve – Chris Howland
  3. Worship (Dub Mix) – Chris Howland
  4. Worship (Accappella) – Chris Howland
  5. Push the Feeling On (Veekatz & ADR NYC Remix) – James Vevers
  6. Midnight – Decktonic
  7. Push the Feeling On (Sebnastiaan van Beest & Vitaly Katz Remix) – James Vevers
  8. Push the Feeling On (Edlington Remix) – James Vevers
  9. Drumpets – Chris Howland & Leon Blaq
  10. Midnight (Deeflash’s Retro-electro Remix) – Decktonic

What is significant here is we’re starting to see what I’ve thought all along regarding streaming might be correct. If you write solidly, classic tunes and focus on building a fan base, your music will have lasting appeal and continue to support you for years.

Worship originally was released in 2013. Since then, Chris Howland has worked his tail off to perfect his craft, build a fanbase and has even branched out beyond just house, trance, electro and EDM. He’s a name everyone should be watching.

James Vevers’ Push the Feeling On was cover song. It was a classic when he started to rework it. With the remix team he assembled, this release has been on our top sellers and streamers list now for over five years. In fact, I could probably go through sales records and tell you when sales are going to pick up with it again. James SHOULD release some new music. He’s got talent on loan from God.

Radio and DJ Support

We saw more radio and DJ support this year. I’m eternally grateful for all of that. We unfortunately had a drop in over all support though as our main promo service from 2016 suffered a catastrophic technical failure and was forced to do a quick sell to another distributor. The truth is that I could rebuild that entire list, but it’s a matter of time and hands on deck. I don’t have much of either at this point.

If you want to see who has been actively supporting us, check out our “As Seen Online” page. If something isn’t listed there, PLEASE let us know. We want to post it and support those who are supporting us. We also just started a monthly mailer to better showcase these mixes.  If you’re not on our mailing list, now would be a great time to join.

The Artists

I could not be prouder of the MK837 artists this year. I won’t go into every accomplishment here, but here are some of the highlights.

  • Reiche and Raskal have broken from of both MK837 and Afro Acid to form Southern Exposure Music. This is their Atlanta based label focused on showcasing some of the best talent in the south. They’re out playing in the clubs of Atlanta almost weekly now, have over 7,000 followers on Facebook and have had every one of their releases chart so far. Definitely add them to your labels to follow.
  • Since Tonal Grooves had his break out release with us in late 2016, he’s had releases (including his originals, remixes for others, and inclusions on compilations) on eight different labels.
  • Micfreak’s FunkTrap records continues to grow. Five out of six of their releases charted in 2017. Their first release for 2018 features MK837’s Francisco Samuel with remixes from Micfreak and DJ Lucent & Tonal Grooves. If you’re in the DC / Baltimore area, you should keep an eye out for some of MicFreak’s shows.

There’s more that’s happened with our artists over the past year. These are just a few of the highlights. Be sure to follow them on their socials and of course Beatport.

We’re definitely taking demos right now. Unfortunately, I’m a bit slow in responding. If you’re interested in working with us, please let us know… just be patient. I try to respond to everything that comes in.

Well that’s it for 2017. I’m adopting the idea that 2018 is a complete blank slate and a new creation. I’m not sure what’s in store just yet, but despite my misgivings… 2017 was better than 2016. I hope that trend continues for the label and everyone reading this.

Thanks so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you. You are my heroes. Be sure to grab our Last Minute Christmas Sampler if you haven’t yet and check out my new album as well.

Happy New Year,

Dave Richards