Shed Music

Back around the turn of the millennium I was involved in the creation of something called Shed Music. This was 2000 or maybe 2001 at latest. For the first time in a while I wasn’t in any bands and I’d started concentrating on making music in my home studio. Seeing what I could do by mixing computer sounds with more traditional organic instruments. I made some tracks and decided to use the artist name Sonic Real Estate to release them. This isn’t an alter ego or a rapper name, more like a band with only one member. A bit like Nine Inch Nails, without all the success. I got together with some friends and we made more of this music together. It didn’t really sound like anything else I knew of at the time and I came up with the joke term “shed music”. House and Garage music already existed, so Shed seemed like the next logical progression. Cue tons of logos with pictures of sheds. I also found a great sample of someone on Eastenders saying the phrase “shed music”. That became part of the anthem and an often used sample. I was even so confident this was going to be huge that I contacted the BBC to ask them for clearance on the sample. The guy on the other end of the phone sounded bemused by it all, but passed me around a few offices. The outcome was basically “use the sample however you want, if it’s successful enough we’ll contact you about licensing”. Since then I’ve used that approach for a lot of things and it’s always served me well, probably because none of the tracks have been popular enough to sue me over.

I wanted to form an Internet record label and I set up a website for this. Shed Records was born. We put out music for download which at the time was a pretty new concept. There was a slight problem with this model though. Nobody had enough bandwidth to download these music files without it taking hours and uploading them on my 56k modem was a killer. People told me nobody wanted to get music on the Internet and it was all pointless. A couple of years later a little thing called iTunes launched and instantly made billions. It’s not as if I had the resources to build iTunes myself and Apple used my idea, but it was nice to be proved right. Nowerdays everyone has broadband and streaming or downloading music are way of life to most. If only we’d had that power back in 2000 I might have gotten somewhere.

We launched an album as The Shed Collective, it featured tracks by Sonic Real Estate and another artist Miami X (my mate H). We also made some long live jams in collaboration with another good mate, Keith. The 3 of us huddled in a home studio somewhere with computers and guitars everywhere. This was The Shed Collective. The album was called “A Trip To The Where? House” and I’ve now uploaded it to Jamendo. There’s also a bonus track on there which didn’t feature on the original called “Unkle Perv-E”. I wanted to put some information up here and share this music with you all, before it’s lost forever. I hope you enjoy it.