Evolution Music Ltd is an early-stage enterprise, founded in 2018 by three friends – Adrian Clarke, Marc Carey and Steve Charter – who all have a passion for music, the environment and an independent approach… as well as lots of drive and relevant experience, but without much in the way of financial resources.
The origins of the business in fact sit with Roulette Media, a small record label and media company formed by Marc, Adrian and other friends and family, inspired by the permaculture ethics of ‘earth care, people care and fair shares’. Marc brought these ethics into the business having completed and been inspired by a permaculture design course taught by Steve some years earlier. With one of the artists on the Roulette roster starting to make some breakthroughs, when it came to planning for an album release it was Adrian who asked the question: “we’re doing ok on the people care and fair shares principles, what about the earth care bit?” And that led to the ‘Roulette Earth Care Project’ with Steve being brought in as an independent sustainability consultant to add a level of depth to consideration of the problems and opportunities the Earth Care Project was addressing.
From considering the options of recycled plastics and bioplastics, it didn’t take much time for the team to recognise that the latter was the way to go for the potential of reducing a number of problems, and opening up a variety of opportunities. So that quickly became the initial clear focus – could we produce a viable, high quality bioplastic LP? It also quickly became clear that a new company was needed to have a single focus on environmental solutions for the music industry as we could not find any evidence that anyone else had this focus, although we knew a number of organisations were doing great work in reducing the impacts of live music, festivals and events.
To cut a long story short, this took us into an extended R&D journey, finding the right partners and collaborators, and building shared understanding and objectives as we went, whilst also securing early stage investment from those that got the vision and wanted to back this purpose and mission. To get where we are now has not been a smooth ride. At one point for example, during the covid era, when setting up for a first test pressing in the Czech republic, the courier company we chose managed to have 8 of our packages of materials we were sending in 5 different places at the same time!
Our pressing plant partners, who have been under pressure to get product out, have been a huge support. And working with Fay and Lewis at Music Declares Emergency, and the Earth Percent team has been fantastic.
Overall, the business has boot-strapped its progress with initial finance from a number of investments from friends and supportive contacts, two grants, a lot of collaboration with partners, and a great deal of sweat equity input from the founders.
For a small and innovative enterprise Brexit and Covid have been challenging and frustrating… but have not stopped our progress or determination to succeed.
We have collaborated with or are currently engaging with GZ Media, Vinyl Factory, Deepgrooves, Vinyl Presents, Press on Vinyl, Viryl Tech, Abbey Road studio engineers, Beggars Group, Ninja Tune, BMG / Bertelsmann / Sonopress, HMV, AIM Climate Action Group, Music Declares Emergency, Earth Percent, BPI and more…