Ezz-thetics Reissues ’60s Free-Jazz Classics

Source: Downbeat.

Due to Switzerland’s public domain laws, material recorded prior to 1970 doesn’t require any licensing agreement, so Uehlinger, with the massive help of recording engineer Michael Brändli, has been releasing new packages of previously issued work from artists like Marion Brown, Archie Shepp, John Coltrane and Paul Bley, to say nothing of vintage Charlie Parker work. In many cases the improved fidelity is jaw-dropping.

A Guide to Canada’s Classical Label Redshift Music 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

At the core of the label is Canada, and multiple styles that cover minimalism and post-minimalism, acoustic instruments mixed with electronic processing, ambient aesthetics, and guitar rock. Every release has the stamp of the label’s purpose, to showcase the expanse of musical thinking across that enormous country, music full of ideas expressed through an intimate sound.

The Meticulous Curation of Another Timbre 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

In a suburb to the southwest of Sheffield, Simon Reynell lives with his huge music collection. As he describes it, there’s not much to see, “save for a chaotic spare room full of boxes of CDs and a couple of computers.” If its founder weren’t so modest, Reynell’s label Another Timbre could become a totalizing force in the world of contemporary music. Instead, their commitment to elevating obscurity and their intimate, minimal aesthetics has cultivated a dedicated following who share their passion for understatement.

Earshots Label

While they have not released much recently, a shout out to the Earshots label from London. It was started by Edward Lucas and Daniel Kordik and created alongside an ongoing concert series that focuses on improvised music and field recording works.

Time Parts
James O’Sullivan, N.O. Moore

High Laver Reflections
Kordik / Lucas / Prévost

Ken Ikeda & Daniel Kordík

A Duet
Ross Lambert & John Russell

Audion Keeps The Out Sounds Way In 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

When it first launched in 1986, Audion magazine filled an uncategorizable void in the musical underground, one where fans of far-out sounds like Faust, King Crimson, minimal composer Steve Reich, and the abstruse homespun recordings of Nurse With Wound all found common ground. Edited by brothers Steve and Alan Freeman, the magazine was the impetus for them to start their record label, Ultima Thule, as well as a record store of the same name. Although they’ve experienced many issues in keeping Audion afloat in the age of online publishing and music streaming, the Freemans remain determined in their eternal mission to hip the world to outlandish sounds.

Longform Editions Label Profiled

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

Unlike a conventional label, Longform Editions is not about singular releases, but prefers to present a broad group of artists and ideas alongside one another. Following the idea that “a rising tide lifts all boats,” they release four pieces at a time every other month, placing the music of more obscure composers alongside that of artists with more name recognition in the sonic equivalent of a gallery show. “Visibility for new artists and their work is important for the momentum and evolution of any art,” says Khedoori. “We’ve definitely seen some interesting connections made as a result and a lot of people who follow the project as a whole love that aspect of discovery it can create. Some pieces by these [lesser known] artists have proven really popular, so if Longform Editions can [be] an easier route to developing an audience, that’s great.”

David Grubbs on the Takuroku Label

Source: Cafe OTO.

Cafe OTO’s Takuroku label launched in May 2020, drawing upon a pool of artists that had some overlap with AMPLIFY 2020: quarantine (among the double-dippers: claire rousay, Derek Baron, Catherine Lamb, Taku Unami, Seymour Wright, myself), but quickly establishing its own parameters. One saw works by widely recognized figures (Maggie Nicols, Frederic Rzewski, Otomo Yoshihide, Eiko Ishibashi, Richard Youngs, Keiji Haino, Josephine Foster), important OTO regulars (Ashley Paul, David Toop, Ute Kanngiesser, Christabel Riley, Dominic Lash, Steve Noble, Paul Abbott), and a spate of folks whose work I was just beginning to discover and for which I was eager to hear more (Rosso Polare, Aisha Orazbayeva, Zach Rowden, Marja Ahti and Judith Hamann, Naima Karlsson). I was delighted to encounter a number of text-based pieces that operate outside the economy even of most experimental music: Caroline Bergvall, Jean-Luc Gionnet (his nearly four-hour Totality), and Nour Mobarak. From where I stood (or sat, day after manifestly similar day), I understood the model of Takuroku as an outlet for artists making work during lockdown, one with a swift turnaround time—particularly as wait times at pressing plants became longer and longer—and a sense of shared purpose and community, however distant.

Cruel Nature Label Profiled

Source: The Wire.

The prolific UK DIY label Cruel Nature was founded by Steve Strode in 2013 and is run from his home in Morpeth, Northumberland. In eight years it has released over 150 recordings in cassette tape and digital download formats, ranging from avant punk and experimental sludge to industrial noise and lo-fi electronics. This selection of tracks – with annotations by Strode – serves as a companion to Joseph Stannard’s Unlimited Editions profile of the label in The Wire 451.

LOM is a Home for the Eastern European Avant-Garde 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

A working class student from the former Eastern Bloc in The Hague, Netherlands, Jonáš Gruska quickly began to notice the lack of visibility for experimental artists from his region. “I was studying at the Institute of Sonology, which is this school for experimental electroacoustic music and suddenly I realized that there is no connection between what’s going on in my home country, Slovakia, and the broader experimental music scene,” he says. “I felt like it would be nice to export these musicians from Eastern Europe to the West, because I could still perceive this divide in terms of how much is covered in the international magazines. I saw this inequality and I thought it would be nice to have a label that is outside-facing.”

Thus was born LOM, a Bratislava-based experimental label. A composer, field-recordist, microphone designer, and amateur mycologist, Gruska started LOM as a netlabel in 2011 while studying abroad, together with two other friends. Inspired by Gruska’s left-leaning politics and in particular his time spent in antifascist groups, LOM evolved out of necessity rather than a romantic, abstract notion of community. This underlying materialism remains at the core of the label. Gruska may be the most visible person in the collective at the moment, but his current position is more of a choice dictated by circumstances. “We work in a kind of a meritocratic principle, so when you want to be active you are active and you decide on things, and for the moment most of the deciding power is delegated to me,” he says.