Category Archives: record labels

The Music Industry Is Dead. Long Live Music.

It’s nice to know that there are still little websites like EyeSeeSound that pop up every now and again. It keeps alive that faint spark of hope for independent music. Link to the site at the bottom of the post…

I only discovered this site recently and just yesterday i purchased a DVD of a live session that Ex Libras recorded for the website back in February. For £5 you get a high quality audio and visual recording of the live session lasting over half an hour, an interview with the band and some official music videos as a bonus. You also get MP3’s of the live tracks on the DVD and as if that isn’t enough they kindly sent an e-mail link out that allows me to download the MP3’s of the session right now free of charge because in their words “at least you have something straight away”. Now that may lead you to think that the DVD isn’t going to arrive for sometime and they’re simply trying to sweeten the deal? Wrong. The e-mail also stated that the DVD has been shipped right away and will be through my letterbox by Wednesday at the latest. Could the people that run this website be any fucking cooler?

Here’s a little taster of the Ex Libras live session….90 second snippets of the 5 tracks they performed.


MP3: Ex Libras – Underachiever (Live EyeSeeSound Session)

EyeSeeSound doesn’t just specialise in Live Sessions though. It has so much more to offer than that. They have good quality streamable mixtapes, a tv music magazine show featuring articles on music, film and comedy, a funky little webcast which focuses on art, film and music, an amazing jukebox that’ll allow you to play all of the sites content on shuffle and then there’s the lovely little shop. Hopefully the site and brand of ESS will expand. The guys deserve it. They’ve just recently started putting on gigs as well. The gigs are in aid of the Take Parliament Back campaign which if you’re unaware of is a campaign to change the electoral system. The first gig was on July the 9th. So, good gigs for a good cause? Well worth supporting, no? Let’s hope there’s many more to follow. I’d like to see EyeSeeSound really take off in the future. I’ll certainly be supporting them all the way.

http://www.eyeseesound.tv/

S.I.T Wolf  X

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A Chemikal Romance

Tonight, Chemikal Underground Records celebrates its 15th birthday with a gig at the ABC in Glasgow. Playing at the talent crammed gig are Lord Cut Glass, Emma Pollock, Adrian Crowley, Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat, The Unwinding Hours, Zoey Van Goey and topped off by The Phantom Band. It’d be fair comment to say that i’m pretty devastated that i can’t make the gig tonight but i’ll celebrate Chemikal in my own little way.

Chemikal Underground came about when Scottish indie band The Delgados decided to buck against the trend. Instead of trying to get themselves signed to a label, the Delgados went a different route altogether and started their own label. Giving themselves a platform from which to release their own music and then taking the next step and signing up more artists.

Meet the Delgados, the guys and girl who started it all.

The label is well known throughout Scotland and has given many a Scottish band their first steps in the music industry. Some of it’s more famous artists were/are Aereogramme, Arab Strap, Bis, De Rosa, The Sluts of Trust, The Phantom Band and The Delgados themselves obviously. The latest addition to their roster is The Unwinding Hours, who i’ve posted about previously and am absolutely desperate to catch live (5th of March, not long to wait). Chemikal is also famous for releasing the first two Mogwai albums “Mogwai Young Team” and “Come On Die Young” before Mogwai took a leaf out of The Delgados book and decided to also start their own label Rock Action Records (more on that particular label in the future).

There’s one more thing that people might not know about Chemikal Undergound…..they gave Interpol their big break, gave them a major push into the European market. They spotted the talent in the raw New Yorkers. That’s right, if it wasn’t for Chemikal Underground there very well might have been no Interpol.

Back in 2000, when the label was age 5, it branched out and launched a separate imprint called Fukd ID. The idea behind the imprint was to allow Chemikal to work with and release records by bands that didn’t have to necessarily be signed to the Chemikal label as such. It worked a treat. There’s been 8 Fukd ID releases so far, they’re all very rare and are pretty much all sold out. Interpol appeared with Fukd ID 3 and this was their debut EP. Two of the songs on it (Roland and PDA) were later re-recorded for their debut album, “Turn On The Bright Lights”.

Here’s just a few of many Chemikal delights….

MP3: Zoey Van Goey – We Don’t Have That Kind Of Bread

MP3:  Sluts Of Trust – Piece O’ You

MP3: De Rosa – Camera

MP3: Arab Strap – The First Big Weekend

MP3: Aereogramme – No Really, Everthing’s Fine


VIDEO: Mogwai – Chocky

VIDEO: Bis – Mamelodi Sundown

I couldn’t very well end the post without allowing Sam and Paul to say their piece now could i?

MP3: Interpol – Roland

So after 15 years of introducing us to new bands and giving us some truly inspiring and original music, it’s a big thank you to Glasgow’s very own Chemikal Underground.

oh and Happy Birthday

S.I.T Wolf X

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Happy 20th Birthday to Warp Records

warp-logo

WIth today being the last day of the month and also considering the fact that this month signalled the 20th birthday of one of the most respected and well known independent labels in the UK, if not the world. Warp Records. I think it’s only fair that i should have a post to signify this celebration. Founded in 1989 by Steve Beckett and Rob Mitchell (who sadly passed away in 2001) the label has shown faith in a lot of more supposedly “leftfield” or awkward acts. Some of their earliest label signings included Nightmares On Wax, Aphex Twin and Autechre. Their main output for the best part of their early years and indeed most of the 90’s was IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) and other electronica type material but in recent years (say about 2000 onwards maybe) they have taken to casting out their net over a wider spectrum and taken on more apparently “indie” bands such as Maximo Park or Grizzly Bear. In 2006 they also released the debut album of one the best live bands i’ve ever seen, Battles. In fact my favourite electronic duo Boards of Canada (sorry MSTRKRFT, don’t worry, i still love you too!) have released pretty much all their material , apart from their really early stuff, on Warp. Some of my other favourite artists on Warp include Flying Lotus, Andrew Weatherall/Two Lone Swordsmen, Squarepusher and Luke Vibert.

Warp have also branched out and set up a few sublabels. Lex Records, Gift Records and Arcola. Gift Records was predominantly set up for “indie” music more than electronica and is reasonably famous for originally having signed up Pulp before they made the jump to Island Records and stardom. Whereas Lex Records roster includes Neon Neon, Boom Bip, Heartbreak and more. Thats 3 seriously good electronic artists/bands right there if you ask me. Arcola meanwhile is more disco/dance orientated and remains fairly underground, one of the more well known acts being Brothomstates (who i hear you say).

warp collection

The label has also made the leap into more cinematic waters with the set up of Warp Films in 1999. Warp Films, along with Chris Cunningham, were responsible for the infamous Aphex Twin “Come To Daddy” and “Windowlicker” videos among many other music videos by various other Warp artists. They also released the Arctic Monkeys short film “Scummy Man” and gave a release to the Chris Morris directed “My Wrongs”, a film about a man who talks to a dog. Some of the more famous features on Warp Films come from director Shane Meadows. The label has released both his “Dead Mans Shoes” and “This Is England” movies.

Warp have also released a number of music and video compilations and a special AI series over the years. They also now have a digital download store (http://bleep.com/)  which originally started off as Warp only releases but has expanded to include other artist in recent years. There’s also a book, simply called “Warp”, which includes an in-depth look at all aspects of the label and a full discography.

So all in all going into their 20th year, Warp aren’t looking too bad at all. From day one they’ve released music and videos from eclectic artists the world over, branched into films, digital downloading whilst all the while keeping faith in the sounds they love just as much as we do.

Here’s just some of the sounds Warp has given us over the years…

MP3s:

Aphex Twin – Donkey Rhubarb

Boards Of Canada – Chromakey Dreamcoat

Autechre – Eutow

Flying Lotus – Braethe Something/Stellar Star

Battles – Atlas

Hudson Mohawke – Polkadot Blues

Nightmares On Wax – Jorge

Jackson And His Computer Band – Utopia

Squarepusher – Don’t Go Plastic

Clark – Night Knuckles

VIDEOS

So to one of my favourite labels i’ll say,

Happy Birthday Warp. Here’s to another Twenty.

S.I.T Wolf  X

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