A new label management company has been created to service the UK and Europe for independent record companies who release “exciting, affecting and innovative” music.
Phantom Limb offers a range of services across label management, live and publishing.
These include administration, centralized UK/European sales, album release management, PR and marketing, partner relationships, touring operations and the management of sync/licensing/publishing interests.
The company has been co-founded by James Vella (pictured), who previously spent eight years in A&R and international distribution for FatCat Records (home of Sigur Rós, Animal Collective, Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Frightened Rabbit). Vella was previously the co-director of Injazero Records (C. Diab, Heinali, Steve Gibbs).
Another FatCat alumnus, Daniel Falvey, has also joined the Phantom Limb team.
Vella told MBW: “I know how expensive, energy-draining and time-consuming it is to set up a foreign territory office as an independent label – to hire staff, create an infrastructure, find and rent an office. Phantom Limb offers labels the solution to that.
“We’re fully-formed, fully-functioning as a label office, and have a range of skills, experiences and contact networks wide enough to cover all of these requirements without costing what a standalone office and staff would.”
James Vella, Phantom Limb
“We’re fully-formed, fully-functioning as a label office, and have a range of skills, experiences and contact networks wide enough to cover all of these requirements without costing what a standalone office and staff would.
“And, crucially, we work to a high quality control – with selective roster recruitment that allows us to work only with music we truly believe in. We’re not going for the ‘catch-all’ approach of some of the label or artist services out there. We work with those vital record labels who release exciting, affecting and innovative music.”
The other co-founder of Phantom Limb is Mark Pearse, who was until recently programmer of contemporary music at the Royal Albert Hall.
Pearse’s publishing company, Aim Low Music – a division of Music Sales – represents artists such as Tiger & Woods, Hype Williams, Dean Blunt, Konx Om Pax, Richard Skelton and composers such as Mark Mehigan (collaborator of Bert Elliot, Jakwob, Steve Booker, Jim Elliot) and BAFTA winner Kenny Inglis.
His role at Phantom Limb is both advisory and as publishing partner.
“One major asset we can offer above and beyond the existing marketplace is creativity,” added Vella. “We’re all very hands-on and proactive in our approach. We can be creatively involved in the managing of projects and release campaigns, and combine that with our knowledge of the industry and our territories to make interesting, original and effective release plans.”
On the licensing side, Phantom Limb has partnered with both Republic of Sync and Music Sales to ensure its label clients’ catalogue ends up in the hands of music supervisors across the UK and Europe – adding to a wide-ranging menu of services.
“We can be creatively involved in the managing of projects and release campaigns, and combine that with our knowledge of the industry and our territories to make interesting, original and effective release plans.”
James Vella, Phantom Limb
“Many international labels will have basic distribution setups in the UK and Europe,” explained Vella. “This means some rough ground staff coverage – a project manager here or a third party promo company there – but Phantom Limb provides several further levels of engagement and operation.
“We centralise UK and European operations so every element is coordinated with new ideas, new connections, targets, assets etc. from our office. We also have sync and publishing partnerships tied into our services, so labels will have their catalogue represented on those fronts.
“This also includes neighbouring rights, so the net is cast even wider. And we’ll shortly offer D2C fulfilment, with some further expansions over the coming months.”
He added: “The industry is becoming more international – the internet is seeing to that well enough. And revenue streams need to be expanded as wide as possible to keep everything forward-facing and sustained.
“We’re looking to be both all-encompassing and affordable: reactive, flexible, intelligent, creative label management & services that embraces beneficial changes in the industry, but also helps to ride and solve the negative ones.”Music Business Worldwide