OUR VISION AND OUR TEAM
Founded in 2014 and based in London, Independent Creative Sound and Music (ICSM) Records – made by musicians for musicians – is committed to uncompromising quality in every aspect of the recording, creating artistic statements beyond time and fashion. At ICSM, we believe that artists should have control over all aspects of the production, in full respect of their artistic integrity and intellectual property. We want to give artists creative freedom and flexibility in the choice of repertoire they record, in order to tackle the financial and spiritual crisis of the classical music industry in recent years.
We do not aim to record classical artists who are necessarily already well-known world-wide, and who have had previous recording contracts with the ‘major’ labels, but wish to evaluate each project individually regardless of the “fame” of the artist, using our musical ears and our intellect. Traditional recording contracts between artist and the major companies have tended to be limiting. The decision making process by committee at the major labels is slow, with the money men pulling the strings, and all too often stopping culturally valuable project by pulling the plug. Our relationships with artists are true collaborations, enabling them to choose, over and above their music-making of course, exactly how much ownership, control and involvement in the project they want.
We make decisions quickly and stick to them. Because we keep costs to a minimum we can green-light ideas that many other labels would not take on board. Our main focus is quality, remember!
One of our main goals is to make sure that artists working with us get a fair share of the income, as often musicians are the last people to be paid. In the long term, we see our role as sustaining the interest in classical music through musical education and the support of our artists, and also to showcase contemporary composers and branch out into other genres, such as jazz.
ICSM Records keeps its release schedule and catalogue small, tidy & beautiful, with around 8-10 new releases per year.
Our attention to detail and our passion for music make each recording a unique, highly pleasurable experience for our listeners. We work together with Grammy Award winning sound engineer Tony Faulkner (Decca, DG Archiv, EMI, Hyperion, Chandos, BMG, BBC Legends, Wigmore Hall Live, LSO Live to name a few) to record music by some of the greatest, much-loved composers of the past and present. In the second part of 2014 and in 2015 we started also our collaboration with the Polish sound engineer Wadim Radziszewski and the German tonmeister Johannes Mueller. Our designer, Ivo Christov, based in Sofia, is first and foremost a music lover and a producer of audiophile records. For our first four releases, we pride ourselves to have been able to use the natural sound of some of the best concert halls in London, top-end audiophile equipment for the recording process, and a handcrafted concert grand piano E-272 from the piano manufacturers Steingraeber & Sohne, Bayreuth, Germany on a personal loan to us.
Each recording is released in three formats: CD, LP, and downloadable audio file (also in High Definition 192/24 Studio Master quality).
ICSM Records features five series:
- Series ‘dialogue’, for chamber music programmes
- Series ‘omnia’, for composers’ integral works
- Series ‘solo’, for recital-style programmes by a single artist
- Series ‘concerto’, for orchestral programmes
- Series ‘kosmos’, for non-classical projects
- Series ‘chronos’, for contemporary music to unusual repertoire
WHO ARE OUR DISTRIBUTORS?
ICSM Records combines the advantages of a small, wholly independent ‘artisan’ label with excellent distribution. Throughout the world the best independent distributors have been selected. Please click on the ‘Distributors’ button to see the list.
Music lovers still buy CDs and LPs, from traditional record stores, from mail order companies from Amazon to independent mail order businesses. If the preference is to buy online, ICSM Records recommends:
Amazon around the world
or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to check your local shop or online distributor, for enquiries for LPs, new releases or anything related to our work. We do not work 9 to 5 so would reply even in the week-end.
Digital Distribution is managed by Naxos of America. Releases are available on most digital platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify (unfortunately – we don’t like their business model as they pay very little).