This is a strange one to start a Monday. Jeff Mills’ new Str Mrkd imprint has admitted to releasing a track from Swedish producer Julien H Mulder as produced and created by Jeff Mills under his own name.
The EP was meant to feature four new songs from Mills, but they realized that one of the songs “Patterns In Nature” was a demo sent to the label from Mulder that had been somehow included in the release.
“In a rare mistake, it was selected for this release as Mills believed it was a track that he produced from his past recordings,” explains the label in a post on Facebook.
“Mills often receives demo tracks from artist seeking licenses on Axis Records. As he reviews tracks, he sometimes makes a CD containing samples of tracks of himself and others to test while out on tour. On an unmarked CD and because of the similarity in production style, Mills mistook this track as something he had made a while ago and proceeded to add this to the release.”
It is unclear how long it took to realize this or what was the trigger, but Hulder will be given credit on the next batch of pressings.
“Once realizing the mistake, we made an agreement that ‘Patterns In Nature’ will be rightfully credited and all that is due will be made to the artist Julien H. Mulder. Label credit will be changed for the next repress of Str Mrkd 001.”
Now there are a couple of ways to look at this and none of them look very good for Jeff. One is the more cynical way that he took the song and just got caught. Unless there is evidence of that, given Mills’ reputation, that doesn’t seem very likely. Another is that he doesn’t know his new music well enough to differentiate it from other producer’s even if there was an issue like the files weren’t labeled correctly. Then this could speak to a larger issue of techno if too much of it is sounding the same that even label heads and leaders can’t differentiate between the tracks, then there may be an issue.
It is good he came clean and is giving the credit and spotlight to Mulder, but it is still not a good look. At least he didn’t purposefully steal other people’s music and then release and it then when allegedly caught just try and deny it.
Just as Mills covers Mixmag for their latest issue, these are not the headlines you want to make.