Just when you think you’ve heard of all of the experimental labels out there, you realize that you’re just scratching the surface. Case in point from the San Antonio Current:
Since 2006, Bill Shute has run Kendra Steiner Editions at an astonishingly low cost, hugging the holy zero at every turn. The label’s site (kendrasteinereditions.wordpress.com) is without frill, a showcase for its albums and chapbooks available only offline. Over the past nine years, Shute has pressed and published nearly 300 editions of avant-garde music and poetry from his home base in San Antonio.
From Burning Ambulance, a profile of the New Atlantis label:
Don’t let the name fool you: Yellow Springs, Ohio’s New Atlantis Records is no space for hippy-drippy new age nonsense. Spearheaded by Ed Ricart, an electric guitarist (and percussionist, and composer) with a penchant for the avant, the label’s releases tend to inhabit the liminal space between free jazz and free rock, where it’s difficult to tell in what genre the sounds find their grounding. Perhaps that’s the point—to hell with genre! This is about musicians and their instruments and expressing the fire at their fingertips, whatever the methodology. Still, despite their constraints, genre terms are useful descriptors for the constructive elements in music, even that which defies easy filing. And in the case of these three recent releases on New Atlantis, the electric guitar is the common ingredient that provides an “in” for those versed in the freakier fringes of rock’s and jazz’s wilder reaches.
Every Contact Leaves a Trace is a new CDr label launching Monday 20th January 2014. There are four initial releases available for purchase, stream and download – a process edit of field recordings made inside 20th Century Fox’s 1965 film The Sound of Music, by Henry Collins; a reworking of concert performances by Dominic Lash and Will Montgomery; a collision of broken instruments and field recordings by Ignacio Agrimbau; and four recordings made in the field – but not of the field – by Seth Cooke.
From the Chicago Reader:
If you were to classify a label that releases improvisational jazz and experimental music in limited runs of 100 CD-Rs as one that lives on the margins of obscurity, you’d be right on. But when Brian Labycz began the Peira label in 2007, he wasn’t focused on the masses—he just wanted to release a duo album he’d recorded with bassist Jason Roebke. Labycz, 34, had wedged himself into Chicago’s improv community upon his return from a stint in Japan in 2003, where he lived for four years. When he first started performing in the late 90s he was a laptopper interested in processing field recordings. But once he became acquainted with members of the eventual jazz and improv collective Umbrella Music—by hanging out at Heaven Gallery and attending the Empty Bottle‘s now-defunct Wednesday jazz series, he tweaked his setup and created his own interface. He first built a custom midi controller but now plays a modular synth.
You can find samples of all Peira releases here.
The Chicago Reader runs down Tim Daisy’s new label:
Considering the vitality and depth of Chicago’s jazz and improvised-music scene, I wonder why the city has so few labels devoted to documenting the action. I’m not forgetting Delmark, Southport, and BluJazz, but most of them focus on relatively straight-ahead music—often artists outside that subset of the scene (and within it as well) are forced to take matters into their own hands if they want their music heard by an audience broader than the ones that turn up at gigs. Drummer Tim Daisy started a vanity imprint, Relay Recordings, to do just that, but over the past couple of years he’s turned it into more than just an outlet for music that might otherwise fall by the wayside.
The Oral History Of AUM Fidelity: Steven Joerg’s DIY Avant-Garde Label Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary
From The Village Voice:
In an interview with the Voice last year, AUM Fidelity head Steven Joerg made his mantra crystal clear: “Giants walk among us now, and you’ve got to fucking pay attention.” For the last fifteen years, the proprietor and sole employee of the Brooklyn-based jazz and avant-soul label has been documenting those giants, producing and releasing a pioneering cache of singular music while remaining true to his DIY ethos.
- AUM Fidelity’s 15th Anniversary Concerts Begin Tonight In Montreal (improvisedcommunications.com)
- Suoni Per Il Popolo + Vision Festival 17 To Celebrate AUM Fidelity (improvisedcommunications.com)
- Two New Live Releases Coming On AUM Fidelity In July (improvisedcommunications.com)
From All About Jazz:
November 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of saxophonist Evan Parker‘s Psi label. Its first release, the fine Parker solo album Lines Burnt in Light, was recorded on October 11 2001 and released within a month of recording. In the following decade, the label released a total of 83 CD’s of which 14 were re-releases including 13 that first came out on Parker’s former label, Incus. In the past five years, the number of re-releases has steadily dwindled, although some significant Incus recordings still remain to be re-released.
Of the label’s output, roughly half features the playing of Parker himself, in a variety of settings from solo to large ensembles such as London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO) and Hans Koller’s big band. Over the decade, releases on Psi have gradually become more adventurous and exploratory with an increasing number including electronics and manipulation.