Just the FAQs, Ma’am!

Ordering FAQs:

Q: How do I order?

A: Go to How to Order and we’ll tell you.  If you have any questions about something, do ask.  And do let us know how you got into experimental music, what you play and compose and so on.  Experimentalists should stick together.

Submitting and getting FAQs:

Q: I’m a hot new (or old) composer and have just the thing for the EMC!

A: Super!  Go to How to Submit to the EMC and we’ll tell you what to do.

Q: I’ve got a new piece out/new record/a concert.  Can we advertise on the EMC?

A: Send us an email (plain text) describing your project and ask us specifically if we’ll put it up on our Events page.  Sometimes people will send us stuff and we can’t tell whether it’s for the EMC or just a personal invite.  We put up announcements which are EMC-like in content and spirit, so if we don’t announce your event, it might be that you didn’t make it clear to us that you wanted us to post it, or that it wasn’t clear to us how it fit in with the EMC.  Or it’s because we were busy at our day jobs and didn’t have time to update the site, in which case, we’re sorry.  Do give us a good run-up so that we can post your event.

Q: I’m a DJ/reviewer/whatever.  Can I have some comp copies?

A: Please don’t be annoyed if we can’t give you free copies.  We’re not a big for-profit publishing house or record company, rather we are a couple of people and their friends who want their music and writings to be known more widely in an arts climate which is, at least, indifferent to experimental music, and, at most, pretty hostile to it.  We price EMC music and recordings just so that we can afford to send it out and don’t add the 20% marketing costs on top.  As such, we almost never send out free samples, unless it’s for a national broadsheet or major network.

Recording FAQs (CDs):

Q: I read a review in which it was said that the Satie CD looked as if it was assembled on your kitchen table.  Was it?

A: No, but Chris does put them together in his study.  The way that we do most of our CDs, anthologies and pieces is a home-based operation.  We use the local town council for large or tricky printing work (the fancier covers and books), but the rest is home-produced.  Chris makes CD-R copies, about 4-5 at a time.  He uses good quality (not mass-buy) CD blanks, good jewel cases, and medium-weight card covers rather than the thick, shiny kind.  He tests every recording that we send out.  The other CDs we have in the catalogue have been made to these standards at least.  Sudoku Music was mastered, printed and made by SRT Mastering, who have made loads of pop and art music, including recordings by Gavin Bryars and Michael Nyman.

Q: No shrink-wrap?

A: Sorry, no.  There are a couple of CDs we distribute which do have fancy covers, commercial pressing, and shrink-wrap, and we’ll note this in the CD description, so if you’d like something made this way you can buy it.

Q: How’s it sound?

A: Other than the packaging and method of reproduction, newly-recorded EMC CDs are recorded using the same equipment and, in most cases, the same venues and instruments that Chris has used as a producer for larger record companies.  We think that it sounds pretty good—there are commercial recordings that we like less, in fact.

Q: Do CD-Rs last?  And can I play them on my home stereo?

A: We’ve read that they last from six months to eighty years, but the shorter duration involved storage in the sun and sandpaper—not a pretty idea.  We’ve had no trouble so far—we’ve had one return which was quickly remedied (and that may have been a blank disc that crept in) and another one with a glitch that we sorted out.  These CD-Rs play well on all but the oldest CD player—our home player is from the mid-1990s and they play fine.  We found one DVD/CD player at a conference at an English university that wouldn’t play one of our CD-Rs and a university CD player that skipped on one of our discs but it did that on all discs.  These few problems have occurred out of hundreds of CDs.

Q: Well, CDs are so outdated. Do you have downloadable albums? Or LPs?

A: Yes, we do have stuff you can download! Be sure and check out our Bandcamp page. LPs? We get them in from time to time. Keep watching!

Identity FAQs:

Q: Who is the EMC?

A: The EMC brain and soul is its founder, Chris Hobbs.  Virginia Anderson maintains the web page, answers the mail, sends out the blog and stuff like that.

Q: Where is the EMC?

A: We’re pretty much entirely web-based (which makes us sound like arachnids), but we operate out of Leicester in the beautiful East Midlands of England.

Technical FAQs:

Q: I tried clicking on your email address and it wouldn’t click.

A: We’ve just changed this because we have enough Viagra, university degrees, hot young girls, horses, Nigerian presidents’ sons and other marvels of the Spam age.  So have you, we bet.  That’s why we have a Spam policy.  Some of the evil crawlers look for “mailto:” directions and use them to get email addresses off the Web; some others just look for the “@” and dot formats, so we’re trying this ** format.  Just copy our address into the “send to” line on an email, replace the ** with @, and we’ll get your mail.

Q: On that subject, you sent us a virus!

A: So sorry to hear of your virus, but actually, no, we didn’t send it.  What happens is that most of these viruses attack Microsoft computers, take their address books and then send out more viruses from ‘spoof addresses’: the addresses in the affected address book as cover.  Someone had our address in their address book when they got the virus, so that viruses were sent out without our knowledge carrying an EMC return address. The funny thing about this is that we don’t have Microsoft computers, so most of these viruses don’t affect us (and we have some nice protection against any that might).  Do take care, and if you get anything which purports to be from us that has a surprise attachment, DON’T OPEN IT!!!  It’s not from us!