Here is a message blog essay from KFA Label Manager and all round good egg, Dj Saiyan!
Some of you may have noticed we jumped a catalogue number with the release of Scartat’s Hell’s Reward EP (which is awesome). The reason for that is what was meant to be the true next release on KFA, number 90, was hit with a manufacturing delay…
…BECAUSE IT’S A VINYL!
You read that right. KFA is releasing vinyl again. For those of you keeping score, this will be the first vinyl release on KFA since KFA046, Luna-C’s My Angel Remixes EP (which is also awesome), which came out waaaaaaay back in March of 2009. A little bit over nine years ago. It would have been a little bit less than nine years ago, but, vinyl delivery dates can be fickle sometimes. It’s the nature of the beast. Y’all know how this works by now.
Now I’m sure you all have a great many questions, and I, Saiyan, your fearless leader and perpetual plotter and schemer, will do my best to provide as many answers as possible in this little (big) Q&A post. Strap yourselves in, maybe get a drink and a snack, ’cause we have a lot of ground to cover here.
Because of you! You made this possible. Since I took over the label, sales of KFA releases have gone from strength to strength, even when we released an EP that was a tad incoherent (sup Ponder), or wasn’t necessarily the most marketable thing ever (lookin’ at you Scartat, you beautifully evil bastard). The support was clearly there for us to try something different, and the success of the Kniteforce and Knitebreed vinyl releases proved our audience has a strong interest in the format, so we thought now was the time to give it a shot, so we are. Basically, you crazy fuckers beliving in us and what we do gave us the tools and the motivation we needed to try and pull something like this, so we are.
WHY A JUNGLY PEA SEQUEL!?
Random happenstance, mostly. Ponder and Bustin had done an excellent remix of Bustin’s classic Truffle Shuffle from the original Jungly Pea that while quite good, was a bit too new sounding for Kniteforce (and it was a KFA track anyway). Bucksta had also done a jungle tune he had sent Chris that didn’t quite fit Kniteforce either. Since “jungle” and “too new for Kniteforce” are both well within KFA’s wheelhouse, both came to me instead. It was Chris who then suggested we do a Jungly Pea sequel, and also that it be a vinyl release. All credit in the world goes to him for the idea, because to be compeltely honest I wouldn’t have done it. Not yet anyway. Mostly because I wouldn’t have had the balls to ask him to pay to press it, but he offered, and that absolved me of all responsibility so I was like hey, why not? From there we started reaching out to other artists within the family (along with a guest I knew would be perfect for this project), and the whole thing came together relatively quickly, with few hiccups.
Also, to go a little inside baseball here, from a business standpoint it made sense to do this. Jungle has always played a big part in Kniteforce/KFA’s history (we did do the original Jungly Pea after all, Influential was a thing for a while, there have been jungle tracks scattered about every KF family label over the years, etc), so it just made sense for us to do a jungle record. Doing so didn’t go against the label’s ethos, as it’s something we’ve always done, and will continue to do so going forward. It’s also a style that still has an audience on the format. A close friend of mine Dave Jabba is one of the co-owners of a label called Sweet Sensi Recordings here in Toronto that does extremely well, you can check them out here:
and talking to him about how his label is doing played a big role in convincing me this was a thing we could pull off. Deciding to go full-on jungle for this release also gave us an oppourtunity to try to branch out a little beyond our usual audience, and hopefully draw more eyes to the label in general. It was a calculated risk that added up to a safe bet, and for re-establishing KFA on vinyl, a safe bet was what we really needed. We wanted to get a W out of the gate to build momentum for future releases on the format, and this was the perfect project to start that ball rolling with.
WHY IS IT SPELLED LIKE THAT!?
Because as hardcore DJs we wear our utter disregard for proper spelling with pride, and because I thought it was funnier this way. Chris agreed.
WILL IT BE GREEN AGAIN!?
You have no idea how badly I wanted this. It was one of the first things I said when Chris and I were discussing doing this, and we both agreed then that it was a good idea. Then excitement gave way to rational thought (as it does, occasionally), so we actually discussed it a little more in-depth, which led to us deciding it wasn’t the best idea. Unfortunately, coloured vinyl is both more expensive to produce, which means we’d have to charge you more for it, and since vinyl technology hasn’t really improved since…well ever, it doesn’t provide sound quality quite as good as traditional black. While the sound quality thing was a sacrifice we were willing to make as while there is a noticable dip it’s not really THAT bad (those of you with some of the older KFA vinyls that were coloured can attest to this, and current improvements to the quality of mastering mitigate it further), the extra cost that we’d have to pass on to you was a line we weren’t prepared to cross. So no, no fancy green vinyl this time. Maybe in the future, but not now. Not yet. To make up for the lack of green vinyl, why not download the epic Supafugee, which has been lovingly remastered?
WHAT’S ON IT!?
Important question! The vinyl tracklist is as follows. Frequent Kniteforce-Radio listeners will have heard them by now:
A1 – DJ Bustin – Truffle Shuffle (Bustin and Ponder Remix)
A2 – Scartat – My Role Model
B1 – Bucksta – Killer Sound
B2 – Mr Arthur and Luna-C – Judgement
WAIT…WHY DID YOU SAY VINYL TRACKLIST!? IS THERE MORE TO THIS YOU’RE NOT TELLING US!?
Yes! As you may have seen from the teaser image floating around on Facebook and in the digital file links included with the last couple of KF/KB releases, this is more than just a vinyl project. There is a CD with this release too, the aptly titled Jungly Pea Seedy! The reason for this is because while Kniteforce and Knitebreed selling vinyl is a thing that’s firmly established at this point, KFA doing so again is quite new, so we (I) wanted to stack the deck a little by providing as much of a solid value proposition as possible. With that in mind I made the call to expand the project to include both a vinyl and CD component, to make buying the release more enticing to you. It’s like a slightly more extreme Executive Edition, in a way. More on that in a bit.
OKAY WHY IS THE CD SPELLED LIKE THAT!?
Because as hardcore DJs we wear our utter disregard for proper spelling with pride, and because Chris thought it was funnier this way. I agreed.
WHAT’S ON THAT!?
Another important question. The Jungly Pea Seedy contains the four vinyl tracks, as well as SEVEN additional bonus tracks, four of which are brand new and exclusive to this project, each as worthy of being on the vinyl as the four that made the cut (pun intended). Frequent Kniteforce-Radio listeners will likely also have heard these already as well. They are:
5 – Bucksta – Bun Out
6 – Dave Skywalker – Dark Inside Me (making one of his frequent guest appearances from Endor Recordings, check them out HERE )
7 – Mannik – People Always Askin’ Me
8 – Idealz – Wrong World
YOU SAID SEVEN!
That’s not a question, but you are correct. The remaining three tracks are remasters from the original Jungly Pea release:
9 – Luna-C – Here I Come (Remastered)
10 – The Trip – The ‘Erb (Sike and TC Remix) (Remastered)
11 – DJ Bustin – Truffle Shuffle (Remastered)
Clips for these are in the same playlist as the other Jungly Pea Seedy tracks, but you can also check out their original masters on http://kniteforcerevolution.com in the KFA section if you feel so inclined.
Two tracks from the original release were excluded. DJ Sike’s Cut Dem Down didn’t make it due to no longer having access to the original unmastered wav or a way to reliably source it, so we couldn’t get it remastered, and Bexxie’s It’s Amazing because while it was technically released with the original Jungly Pea as the Executive Edition bonus on a cool pink vinyl, it wasn’t actually part of the original EP, so I felt it didn’t really count made the decision myself to leave it off.
All told The Jungly Pea Seedy contains eleven tracks total, eight brand new (four from the vinyl, four CD exclusive), and three remasters, with the CD functions as an extension of the release (even sharing its catalogue number), with a limited number of copies available to people who purchase the vinyl in the “Evening Out The Catalogue Numbers Bundle” with KF80 – Luna-C and Saiyan – A Conspiracy of Awesome, and KB20 – Wislov – From Russia Wislov. Don’t quote me on this, but I *think* we will have some copies set aside for people who buy the vinyl single as well, but Chris would have to confirm that himself as we talked about how many units we were ordering ages ago, I forgot to write it down somewhere, and our Facebook Messenger history is a complete shitshow. That’s my mistake, sorry!
WILL THE CD BE SOLD SEPARATELY!?
To be determined, but not likely. We have a set number ordered to go out with the vinyl, but there are generally a few extras lying around after artist and label copies are sent out and a few are always held back in case of emergencies (like postal services fucking up and not delivering when they’re supposed to), and it’s possible that these could find their way onto the store for individual sale. But that’s a big ol’ maybe at this point, we have no way to know until we’ve taken stock, added up what we have on hand, and started selling them. Don’t count on it, but don’t count it out either. Safe money on this being a no, however.
WILL KFA VINYL RELEASES BE EXCLUSIVE LIKE KNITEFORCE/BREED!?
Another excellent question, thank me for thinking of it. The answer is…somewhere in the middle. This is something I had to do a lot of thinking about, and Chris and I have discussed it at length. KFA is, at its core, a digital label (I include CDs as a digital format, fight me). Our audience is not necessarily the same as Kniteforce’s or Knitebreed’s (though there is a TON of crossover), and our audience is accustomed to purchasing music a certain way. But we also want the vinyl to sell, and having digitals available alongside the vinyl may serve to harm rather than help as people go for the admittedly cheaper, immediately available option, and that wouldn’t be good, because vinyl is expensive to make and needs to sell to make back our investment, and put some money in the pockets of the artists while we’re at it, because it’s important to us that all of our artist are paid for their work, even though this is hardcore and the money hasn’t been great since like….when I was in high school and didn’t even really know what hardcore was yet. But I’m also conscious of the fact that regular KFA buyers may not necessarily be all about the idea of buying wax, and that’s totally fair, so we needed to strike a balance. Despite sharing most of a name and being part of the same label family, KFA is not Kniteforce or Knitebreed, so should we follow the same format, with vinyl releases remaining vinyl exclusive?
The answer is: not exactly, no, but nor will they follow our usual “two weeks of exclusivity and then off to the digital stores” format either. Digital files will be released, but not until all physical units are sold through, either through our storefronts, or through our distribution deal with renowned distribution company SRD (who distrbuted a great many oldskool records once upon a time and will be distributing Kniteforce/Breed releases to other stores in the future, you may have even seen some popping up already). In other words, the vinyls have to go before the digital files will be put out on the stores (including our own storefront). This was the only way to guarantee a return on the investment of pressing vinyl, while also giving people who prefer to buy their music digitally the option, if they wanted it, provided they don’t mind waiting. The only issue is, you might be waiting a while. It could be months, it could be years, it could even potentially be forever (but fingers crossed, yeah?). Your best bet if you want the tracks (and they are smashingly good tracks that you absolutely do want) is to buy the vinyl, with the CD, and get the tracks that way, as while the plan is to eventually release the tracks digitally, we cannot guarantee that will ever happen. We will when there are no physical copies left to sell, but until then, this is the way it has to be. You have my sincerest apologies for this, but it was the only way to satisfy everyone while still making the investment in doing a vinyl release feasible. If it makes you feel any better, I lost a fair amount of sleep figuring this out. I’m sure this made absolutely no one feel any better, and if it did, you’re kind of a jerk. 😛
As to which tracks will be made available digitally when the time comes, and which will remain exclusive, this is to be determined. This release doesn’t have a proper Executive Edition as such because we’re already stacking it up high with content, so it’s unclear what, if anything, should be held back. This is something that still needs to be discussed. So like I said, if you don’t want to miss out on ANYTHING, buy the vinyl. It is the safest option.
WILL THERE BE MORE KFA VINYL!?
100% yes! We currently have two more vinyl projects on the go which are 100% for sure happening, one will be a “KFA Remixes” release of a very popular non-KF/KFA/KB track from the last ten years from a close friend of mine that never saw a vinyl release (and was a bit of a headache to navigate making it happen, but it was worth it), and the other is the oft-rumoured, leaked heavily on Kniteforce-Radio, but still yet to be officially announced KFA/KF/KB 100 project, which I’m not even sure I’m allowed to say the name of here, so I won’t. There are also a few other ideas we’re kicking around that we haven’t 100% locked in yet, but their release on the format relies solely on the success of these projects. Basically, if you show us that you want KFA vinyl, we’ll keep doing KFA vinyl.
WILL ALL KFA RELEASES BE VINYL RELEASES!?
As cool as I think that would be, the answer is no. Logistically it’s too much work (and oh boy are we overworked, between Chris handling manufacturing orders, US order fulfillment, and all of the bookkeeping, Lee Idealz handling UK/ROW order fulfillment, and my own KFA label responsibilities, not to mention the three of us trying to juggle our personal lives and hobbies with all that, we’re all running a bit low on time and energy, though trust me it’s SO worth it), and WAY more of an investment than we can realistically do at this point in time. We’re doing quite well across the whole label family, but adding another full-time vinyl label is a bit outside the scope of our capabilities at this time. My current goal, which could easily change because the music industry is a fickle beast and because a lot of what we do is dictated by current cashflow as we really do have a ton of projects on the go at any given time, is for every fifth release to be a vinyl, which is why we jumped from 89 to 91, because 90 was locked in as a vinyl release. 95 will also be a vinyl release (and may also release out of order, because vinyl pressing can be subject to delays), 100 is the project I mentioned a second ago, and 105 is TBD but is currently pencilled in as another vinyl release, with the catalogue numbers *hopefully* continuing on in that fashion. We also have some other plans for projects that will involve a vinyl aspect that could happen, but all of it depends on you. Like I said, if you show us that you want KFA vinyl, we’ll keep doing KFA vinyl. But the label will not be shifting completely to the format, as we want each one to be special. An event, if you will. Like the Avengers films of KFA releases (where 100 is our Infinity War). So while, if all goes according to plan, you will see more KFA vinyl out there in the future, we will be maintaining our current limited CD single + digital bundle release format for the vast majority of releases.
ALL THAT SOUNDS PRETTY REASONABLE.
Also not a question. But you’re right so I’m gonna let this one slide too. We put a lot of thought, and a ton of discussion, into how to make this work. Many a sleepness night was had (me because I stress easily and that makes my insomnia go completely batshit, Chris because…well if you keep up with what he’s got going on in his personal life with his family, label work, writing music, and generally trying to have a bit of time to himself you know why he doesn’t sleep much). After all that, we decided this was the best way to go about things. For the foreseeable future anyway. Who knows, a year from now things might change completely. I know I keep saying this in various ways, but the music industry changes FAST. As a label you have to adapt or die, and if there’s one thing Kniteforce as a family has gotten good at over the years, it’s adapting. And occasionally kinda dying. And then coming right back because we’re extremely stubborn. So everything I’ve said here is subject to change at any point, but it was important to me to communicate to all of you what the plans are as of right now, because I’m big on being as transparent as possible without spoiling too many surprises.
SO YOU’VE BEEN DOING A LOT OF TALKING, WHEN CAN WE ACTUALLY BUY THIS!?
Good question! We have a tentative release date set for May 14th, but that is obviously subject to change, because things happen. As with the Kniteforce/Breed vinyls we will do a brief pre-sell period once we have a guaranteed delivery date, and then off they go to the post office (American orders subject to Chris not trying to go to the post office on a holiday, AGAIN), and then out to you. We will have more details to share on the exact dates once we have them 100% locked in. We will make sure everyone knows via the mailing list and our social media (and thank you to everyone who keeps sharing our posts, you have no idea how much that helps) exactly when this release, along with KF80 and KB20, will be available for purchase. In other words, wallets at the ready kids!
Until then, it’s time to get excited, ’cause this is a big deal. After almost a decade, KFA is returning to vinyl, and we’re doing it with a bang.
That’s all from me for now, until next time, keep it hardcore! Or keep it jungle or whatever. Keep it something. Keep it tight even. Sorry Austin Creed for the gimmick infringement, follow his gaming channel at https://www.youtube.com/upupdowndown ’cause it’s real good.
– Shane Saiyan
KFA Label Manager