If you’re trying to make a name for yourself as an artist working in the niche of “chipset” music, maybe it’s not the best idea to steal your tracks directly from other artists in the same niche. Laromlab, the project of some guy named Brandon Harrod, had a little bit of buzz going on with a mention on USA Today’s Pop Candy blog among other places, until the artists–all of whom, conveniently enough, hailed from the same German collective, noticed the tracks sounded oddly familiar.
Harrod’s apology letter, which appears on the front page of the site belonging to his label, Mushpot Records, is an odd mix of self-justification and repentance:
A couple of years back I was making electronic music that sounded very different and I hit a dry spell. There is no explanation for it but the music wasn’t very good anyway, and somewhere deep inside of my brain it told me that I should just grab these guys’ music and pawn it off as my own. The trouble started when people began to notice the “Laromlab music” and a record label was interested and everything got out of hand. All the while, I had this in the back of my head that I was going to get caught but never dreamed that it would get this much attention. And stealing their music was not done as a malicious act but rather a pathetic one. I am a painter by teaching and I would not know what to do if all of a sudden I didn’t know how to make another painting that I liked ever again. That is what happened with my music! It took a lot of gall to do what I did and I take full blame. I pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes, including my wife (she had no clue), all of my friends, my tour partners, people that bought the CD, people that listened, everyone!!! But it also takes a lot of balls to come to everyone and say….I am a fake, none of this shit is mine. The people that made this music…are all amazing composers, seem to be nice people, and I could only hope to be as amazing at whatever I attempt in the future, but it wont be Laromlab….If I still have friends after this is over they will be the best friends of my life and I encourage anyone who is thinking of writing me off as a friend to please call me on the phone or email me and I will show you that somewhere inside of this lying shell of a music thief is still a good person and this is the first and last time lies will seep their way into my life, it has destroyed an credibility I have, any credibility I hoped to gain, and any that remains.
Mushpot is now in the unenviable position of trying to clean up this mess, publicizing the true creators of the plagiarized music by posting a track-by-track reference to what was taken from where–complete with MySpace links–to its Web site.
Just goes to show you, if you steal people’s work no one has heard of, it’s plagiarism. if you steal what every one has heard, you’re Girl Talk.
Mushpot Records [homepage]