From experience… with thousands of dance releases every week, there is no easy way to get your head above the parapet. It’s like shouting your head off next to a Function One system on full blast - no one is going to hear you.
But if you’re prepared to slog at it, you can probably waste a lot of time, money, blood, sweat and tears doing these things:
Start your own label and do it properly. Get a few artists together with some musical integrity and similar-ish output. Get the material mastered by someone who mastered a release you like. Approach a distributer like PDD and see if they’ll take you on. You need a good distributer who knows what they’re doing to get into the right shops. Even with a good distributer the best shops may not take you on. Hire a good music PR firm like Additive or Dispersion that specialise in electronic music to promote you. If they like your music they’ll ask their mates who write reviews for magazines to write about you. This is more important than sending promos and press releases out (which is what you’ll actually be paying them to do), so get to know them and network. This might just create some chat about the release which you can give to your distributer which will feedback and make it easier to get your stuff placed in the right shops and on the front pages. Oh, even before release day, cry as your new release is all over the internet on pirate sites and you realise no one’s going to buy it. Then, spend hours trawling through statements from your distributer totting up £0.000003 pences from all the different streamers and £0.03 from the few people who actually buy the music.
Start your own label and get a few artists together with some musical integrity and similar-ish output. Get it mastered properly. Distribute it yourself on Bandcamp. Use every waking hour networking and researching who writes reviews for which magazine/online and start building a good database. Do the same for radio and DJs. This changes constantly and is an ongoing job and there are so many of them that you could do this for 3 hours a night, every night. Build your own website including your own promo and press release portal. Write press releases and put promo packs together. Remember to tailor them to the audience, so you’ll need to do different ones for press, radio and DJs. Put together a mailing campaign, press send and wait. Repeat this for the whole period running up to the release and keep people in the loop with any features, chartings, major feedback. That’s about 6 hours a night. Did I mention you’re doing on top of holding down a professional day job?
If your product is unique and especially if it is physical (e.g. you’ve pressed some vinyl up, done some tapes etc.) - go direct to the shops, turn up and play them your music. You never know.
Hit the labels hard. Make an appointment to go in and see them, or just turn up on the off chance. Talk to them. Network. Maybe they won’t like that set of tracks, but maybe they will like your next EP. Turn up to their label nights and hand them some music. Chat to them. Network. Don’t be overbearing. Don’t send them demos unless they’re expecting one, as they’re busy and chances are they won’t have time to listen to a random stream link.
Keep it low-key, no PR, no distribution, just release it yourself on Bandcamp, do some gigs, throw some small parties and build up a fan base in more organic way.
Non of the above will get you noticed, options 1 and 2 are expensive and you’ll never make your money back. But if you see it as an expensive hobby and keep investing in it, you might get 5 minutes of coverage.
I’ve run a few labels over the years. It was easier when everything was physical. The last label I ran, Falk (https://falkrecs.bandcamp.com), even with reviews in DJ Mag, Mixmag, DeBug etc. radio plays cost me way more than it ever made. It was basically my expensive hobby that, in the end, I couldn’t afford to sustain.
If it’s new and fresh and different and good, it will get noticed and people will share it without any PR. If it isn’t it will just become part of the noise like the other 10,000 releases this week, next week and every week. The only people making a living out of music that is being released are the music PR companies.
Not cynical… honest gov