And thus ends one of the longest pre-orders I’ve ever foolishly bought into (more details later). Paper + Plastick Records (P + P) partnered up with Obi Fernandez (Westbound Train) to form Rare Breed Recording Company and subsequently release a flexi series. The Rare Breed Flexi Series features one artist per release, usually the lead singer of an established band. They even did a subscription where all the flexis would come in a box set. Thankfully that box set/subscription was sold out before this Matt Embree flexi was announced. Not that I would’ve been stupid enough to go for any subscription series, but the temptation wasn’t there with the subscription sold out already.
There are two variants for the Matt Embree Rare Breed flexi; white limited to 250 copies and black limited to 135. White is a subscription exclusive and black is the ala carte variant. The flexi comes in a ply sleeve with a white square sticker affixed to top right corner of the poly sleeve indicating artist and track listing. Earlier flexis in the series apparently use to come with the artist and track listing printed on the actual flexi. The flexi cost $5 plus $3 shipping.
The two songs on the Matt Embree flexi are a cover of an Ellie Goulding song entitled “Guns And Horses” and an original song entitled “Dehumanizer Dub.” Both songs have a reggae vibe to them, which is the theme/vibe for this flexi series, which is right in Matt’s wheelhouse. If you didn’t know it you’d think these two songs were RX Bandits songs and not Matt solo.
Now as promised, here is more details about the insanely long pre-order for this flexi. P+ P launched pre-orders for the ala carte Matt Embree flexi in December 2015 without announcing a release date. That should have been the second red flag to not pre-order this. The first should’ve been P + P. The label is notorious for atrocious customer service and length pre-orders that border on ridiculous. The label also seemed to branch out into other, non music related ventures, like making plastic toys and comics. And it seems like they’re focusing on those things because they churn out a new plastic skull every month is seems without shipping delays.
I got a bit off track there. So let’s try that again. From past experiences I should have known not to pre-order, let alone buy anything, from P + P. But I bite the bullet because of the limited nature of the Matt Embree flexi, fearing it would sell out before it actually started shipping. That fear turned out to be no concern, as this flexi is still available. I contacted P +P back in March 2016 asking if there was at least an anticipated release/ship date and was to my surprise received a response two days later saying “they have a couple weeks left on them.” Fast forward to the end of July 2016 when I contacted P + P again asking about this flexi because it was well past “a couple weeks” and was told “we’re trying to get an updated ETA, as last I heard they should be on their way to us.” You should see a common theme developing here; no concrete answers or any sort of actual information being provided.
About a month after my previous email I was shocked to see an unsolicited email from P + P in my inbox, and it said “just got word we are receiving this next week!” That exclamation point was put in there by them, I didn’t add it for sarcasm. That email was sent on August 24, 2016, and it apparently went out to everyone who pre-ordered or subscribed to the flexi series as I wasn’t the only one to receive it, as several people chimed in on a message board to say they got the same email. Needless to say I wasn’t holding my breath to see if that timeframe would hold up. And wouldn’t you know it, P + P was full of crap again.
I waited a little over one month to contact P + P again about this flexi because it obviously did not ship. I never received a reply to that email. On October 25 everyone who pre-ordered or subscribed to the flexi series received an email saying their flexi shipped along with a download link for the digital version of the flexi. Despite getting that email my flexi didn’t actually ship until November 5. Unbeknownst to most customers, P + P shipped out the subscriber flexis first, then waited about a week to ship the ala carte ones. Not the end of the world considering I already waited 11 months for the flexi, so another week was nothing, and it’s fair to ship out the subscriber’s copies first. But you should never send out a shipping notice without actually shipping the order. It a big pet peeve of mine, along with many others. I never even received a tracking number either. I only know when it shipped after checking the ship date on the mailer once it got here.