Label Mates: Markantonio / AnalyticTrail

It’s not a very common thing that a record label hits the 100 release mark, it takes years of persistence, hard work, smart choices, and like all things, a little bit of luck.

Italian label AnalyticTrail, headed up by Naples based artist Markantonio marks the impressive occasion with a new EP from the bossman himself, titled ‘Cento’, the three track release packs an original single alongside remix work from Kaiserdisco and Spartaque.

Previous releases on the label also include work from Joseph Capriati, Luigi Madonna, Paco Osuna, Harvey McKay, Umek and more, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future.

We spoke with Markantonio about the milestone, the early struggles of the label, adapting to changes in the industry and how things might look a few years from now.

AnalyticTrail first launched in 2001, tell us about the struggle of putting out your first releases?

In the beginning with my label AnalyticTrail we only released vinyl, so the production was totally different from today. In those years I worked in contact with a vinyl distributor who took care of manufacturing the vinyl and the distribution.

Launching with the first vinyl was really hard because we had to create the packaging, then send the masters to the pressing plant who proceeds with the vinyl press, then the pressing plant send the final copies to the distributor, who sends the records to the vinyl shop.

This process took about to 4-6 months. In those years if you were fast you could produce four vinyl releases in a year. Nowadays the labels release every week.

And what is your typical day to day regarding the label, do you manage it yourself or is there a team behind the curtain?

I do work in a team, with my personal assistant we have a weekly meeting where we arrange all the work concerning the artists direction, we listen to the new demos and we deciding the releases that will going out in the next months. When the artworks and masters are ready, we pass everything to another person who handles the distribution, contracts and accounting.

You just released the 100th release on the label, you must have learnt a lot over the years?

Yes I’ve learned a lot about the market but to be honest there are always more things to learn. The market changes year after year for example now we are in the years of streaming music. The market has totally changed in the last two years and I guess in the next years we will have others changes so the label manager must be always up to date and try to follow the market to be always competitive.

What is the hardest role managing a label that people might not know about?

The hardest role for me is the selection of music and finding a balance on what I like but also what the people would like to listen to. I always tend to produce music based on my tastes but my tastes do not always coincide with those of the people.

You have put out some physical releases, how have you found the transition to the digital age?

With the digital age the music lost a lot of power. The music market is a hundredfold, and this makes it so that the search by the user is much more complicated. Today it is much more difficult to get noticed through music without having good advertising and a marketing plan. Even if you produce great music you can risk losing yourself in the limbo of the thousands of releases that are released every week.

And what has been the key to keeping AnalyticTrail above water?

Well my secret is try to discover new talented producers, never closing the door to good demos even if the producer is at his first production. I try to have the music always at the center of my label and off course be updated with the new marketing tools and also the confidence by big artists who are always listening to the music when an AnalyticTrail promo lands in their inbox.

What record on your label are you most proud to have put out?

Surely the first album of the career of Joseph Capriati ‘Save My Soul’ which was also my first album produced by the label manager and after in 2016 my first album ‘Musichemistry’, produced in the studio as an artist but also as a label manager, a job done by me from A to Z.

And who can we expect music from on AnalyticTrail in the near future?

We will release 5-6 new EPs which I really love. Amazing tracks by Zakari&Blange, Don Weber, Dok & Martin to name a few. Follow the label to stay updated.

Lastly, where do you see the label in a few years time?

Well I see the label always with the same concept, quality over quantity. Which gives good music the chance to have a home.

Markantonio’s Cento EP is out now on AnalyticTrail.