Alphabasic is two things.
1. A non-profit record label.
2. A publisher, licensing firm, and artist partnership.
Alphabasic was initially started in, I don't know, the late 90's.
At the time I was writing so much music that other "real" labels didn't want to release all of it, so I opened a bank account, nabbed a cheap business license, and just pressed some of the albums and EPs myself. Bare in mind that this was the end of the era where nobody would listen to your album unless it was on a record label, so when you had music that wasn't on a label, you just made up your own.
In hindsight, it is really silly, but it all worked out for the best.
Around the 2002 I partnered up with some associates, started releasing albums from other artists, and for the next couple of years most of our business plan was aimed towards pressing white label vinyl LPs with no information on the records, and selling them at local underground events. It didn't turn much profit, but something about faceless music got us off and the business was able to sustain itself on a very underground and localized existence.
At some point in 2006, after seeing a little bit of new success with my music, I started chasing the paper trail of my finances with the record labels and distributors I had contracts with. To my surprise, even after negotiating very fair contracts, myself and my label-mates were never making more than 10% of the purchased price of our albums due to the astronomical inflation by distributors and retailers.
Then, in early 2007, the final straw. Sublight Records, a label I worked very closely with from its first breath, was plunged into irrecoverable debt by chargebacks from its primary distributor and manufacturer. Before the bank could seize the rights to all of my music, I bought and transferred the mechanical licenses of all of my releases as The Flashbulb to Alphabasic.
From that point on, in the face of the digital revolution, I had trouble finding a reason to work with any record labels or distribution methods that weren't my own. I registered Alphabasic as a non-profit business, and every extra dime of money we make from the music we release goes to the artist. I receive no salary, and the only label employees who see our customer's money are those hired for shipping and occasionally accounting. Under almost all circumstances, if you pay $12 for a CD here, the artist will get $12 for it.
I fully support listeners taking media distribution into their own hands. Without "music piracy", making a living off of a non-mainstream type of music wouldn't stand a chance in the world. So do whatever you want. Download it, rip it, share it. All I ask is that you help spread the word about where the listener can find more music and show support if they have the means.
In addition to this business model, I have begun to use my career in the film/television composing industry to expand our resources into non-exclusive artist placement and representation for publishing and licensing. At present and in future, with my close partnerships with companies like Psymbolic and Vapor Music Group, I hope to expand Alphabasic's resources to be able to offer affordable group health insurance to our associated artists.
So when people ask me what Alphabasic is, I don't really know how to sum it up. It is a non-profit organization. A record label. A publisher. And hopefully in the future, a highly beneficial artist's union.
Finally, I should add that we only make and release what we believe to be worthy of your time and money. I believe that my organization's existence is sustained only by the quality of our output.
Thanks for lending your ears and your support.