At this point in time supporting small labels is important. With what is going on in the world including lock down, isolating and in some places institutions like the post office closing their doors, music is one of the things can provide an escape from ‘the real world’. So, I have done this post, the first of many, to highlight some labels (in no particular order) and their releases that you can check out and support from the comfort of your own home that will make whatever it is you are going through that much better.
12k The leader in minimal forms of music that has been around since 1997. 12k treads it’s own path and has a large amount of admirers. Artists such as Marcus Fischer, Simon Scott, Stephen Vitiello, Kenneth Kirschner, Corey Fuller, Federico Durand, Stephen Vitiello, label boss Taylor Deupree and many more have been essential in pushing electronic music into new territories over the years.
n5MD If you have been a consistent reader of the blog then this Oakland, California label has come up many times. Artists have come from all over the globe to create a dynamic and consistently good catalogue. Alumni include: Port-Royal, Last Days, Bvdub, Okada, Ocoeur, Winterlight and Ex Confusion to name a few. The spiritual home for melodic ambient and then some.
Past Inside The Present This Indianoplis label has only really been in action for around Eighteen month but in the time they have released a veritable onslaught of ambient music from the likes of 36, Black Swan, Hakobune, Warmth, Benoit Pioulard as well as lesser known /newer names such as zakè (扎克) (one of the label bosses and who is definitely more known these days), Lucy Gooch, Isaac Helsen (the other boss), NUM and others. They recently unleashed their four CD, 49 track charity compilation called “Healing Sounds II” and have no signs of slowing down.
Piano And Coffee Records This Spanish label was formed out of the blog of the same name and has put out killer releases after killer release. Each one stands up to any other label in regards to the pleasure you get from each one. Artists have included Vargkvint, Klangriket, Manos Milonakis and Plïnkï Plønkï. Currently finding themselves unable to post due to restrictions, their digital releases are worth checking out.
Lost Tribe Sound Are probably one of the hardest working labels with a strong emphasis on building relationships with both their artists and listeners. Label boss Ryan Keane always has a big vision and plans to make other labels blush at their audacity (and I mean this in a positive way) and grandeur. Artists to have graced their catalogue have included William Ryan Fritch, Seabuckthorn, From The Mouth Of The Sea, Gavin Miller, The Green Kingdom and others. One of the more diverse labels they are bound to announce plans for another series of releases sometime soon-ish.
Home Normal Currently on a hiatus with a view to possibly recommence towards the end of the year, I simply have to mention Home Normal, as no Home Normal probably no blog (or the other activities I was involved in in the past). There was a time when it looked like the label was going expand and get bigger through distribution, but they paired it back to a more intimate collection of friends (in regards to stockists and artists) and buy a release and interacting with the label it feels like you are part of this family. Names like James Murray, Stijn Hüwels, Stefano Guzzetti, anthéne, Hotel Neon, Bvdub, Jason van Wyk and of course Ian Hawgood are signs of their quality.
Laaps The newest label in this post has roots in Eilean Rec and Iikki Books being run by Mathias van Eecloo (formerly known as Monolyth & Cobalt). While Eilean was inspired by places on a map and Iikki pairs a visual and an audio artist, Laaps describes themselves as an exquisite corpse that carries the releases from one to another, which is either shown by artists being involved on a series of albums or the digital art having a slash of the next release on it. Artists so far have included: The Alvaret Ensemble, FEAN and Offthesky and The Humble Bee.