Updated: Feb 22, 2019
A mysterious email, a perfect pitch, and a record deal.
I can't say for sure who -- or even what -- Dust Function is. An individual artist? A band? An algorithm? A Roomba setting? All I know is that an email landed in the Hungry Hour Music inbox about a week ago asking if I'd listen to a track called "Zen" and consider releasing it on my label.
The request was a first for me. Up until now, I've only worked with artists that I've met in person -- Timothy Simmons and Brandon the Wolf, for example. No one has ever contacted me out of the blue to listen to a track.
The track, according to the sender, was by Dust Function, and the email was signed "DF." The email address offered no clues as to who DF might be: the note was sent from a GMail address registered to dustfunction. And while my first instinct was to reply with a polite yet firm "no" on the grounds that I only work with artists I know personally, something in the email caught my eye -- a sentence explaining that the sender chose to contact Hungry Hour because the musical style of "Zen" falls somewhere between the acoustic ambience of Timothy Simmons' Serafine and my own electronic ventures with Android Invasion.
Okay... They'd done their homework. The least I could do was give the music a listen. So I did, and I had to admit they were right. "Zen" definitely bridges the gap between Tim's organic approach to musicianship and my own automated predilections. In other words, it was exactly the kind of music I want to put out on Hungry Hour.
When I wrote back to "DF," I explained that I loved the track, but that I usually only work with artists I know -- or, at the very least, artists from the Philadelphia region. Also, I don't have a budget, so I can't offer any advances, and I also can't really do much to promote or market artists beyond getting them online or, if they're planning a few shows, pressing some CDs.
Here's what Dust Function wrote back: "No problem. I can get to Philadelphia if need be, and I read your business plan. Not really expecting to make a killing in the ambient music market. Just want to be associated with artists I like."
Appealing to my ego? Sold! I decided right then and there to sign Dust Function to Hungry Hour and got the ball rolling on the release of "Zen." We've put together artwork, and we have a release date of February 26. Of course, if you want, you can pre-save it by clicking here: Pre-Save "Zen" by Dust Function!
I'm still not sure who Dust Function is. It just occurred to me as I was writing this that I've been producing a demo for an artist named Dan Fullerton recently, and he has the same initials. But the demo sounds nothing like "Zen."
Oh well. Guess it'll have to be a mystery for the time being!