Tag Archives: Label Profile

Bongo Joe Digs Through the Crates to Unearth Lost Moments in Music History

Tucked away near the river on the outskirts of Geneva, flooded with natural light, with greenery cascading from the upstairs mezzanine, is the record store Bongo Joe. It’s a beautiful, welcoming space, one that regularly opens its glass front to host shows where the audience frequently spills out into the street. The store was opened in 2013 by Cyril Yeterian, a record collector who spent most of his life on the road, crate-digging and touring with bands like the Swiss group Mama Rosin. Though he had toyed with the idea of releasing records in the past, Yeterian’s label Bongo Joe was officially born the day his record store of the same name opened its doors. Since then, the label has issued joyful releases from every corner of the globe: Sega music compilations from the Indian Ocean, experimental post-disco from Geneva, reissues of long forgotten calypso tapes from Costa Rica, and more. Bongo Joe has made eclecticism its calling card, but there is a clear throughline in everything Yeterian releases.

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Get to Know Maggot Stomp, Death Metal’s Gnarliest New Label

Maggot Stomp

“Dude, we started in the fucking gutter! We started in the sewer!”

Max Baxter, one half of Encoffinized, explains—or rather, exclaims—the California death metal duo’s origins. His introduction might scan as hesher hyperbole at first; after all, this is a subgenre that courts genre tags like “caveman shit” and “entrails eradicated.” But he and guitarist Chris Johnson are among a select few who have forged their art in close proximity to actual human waste. Johnson used to drive his truck and generator to the sewer drain near his home in Huntington Beach, CA for rehearsal—expensive rent kept their practices literally underground. These days, they practice in parking lots for the same reason.

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The Sub Rosa Label is a Venerable Voice in Avant-Garde Music

Photography by Thomas Ost

“We never wanted to create a record company,” says Guy-Marc Hinant.  “I came to Brussels in the 1980s to study cinema. I met Fred Walheer and we started doing things together: publications, collages, performances. Then we had the idea to make records to link to a wider public…”

40 years later, Hinant and Walheer are still making records. Their collaborative project, Sub Rosa, is one of the most respected and influential labels specializing in avant-garde recordings, electronic experimentation, and anthropological field recordings. “The real question is why to release and to publish something rather than not doing it? What is the urgency of putting this out? For me, Sub Rosa is a perpetual flow,” Hinant says. “It’s very organic.”

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Fértil Discos Brings Indigenous Andean Folk to the Dancefloor

Fertil Discos

An ancestral genre called “canto con caja”—song with handheld drum—is currently traveling the world, as reimagined by the ears and hearts of a collective of Argentinean electronic DJs and producers.

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White Noise Records is a Hub for Hong Kong’s DIY Underground

Tfvsjs

Tfvsjs

“In Western culture, it’s almost a rite of passage to rebel—to join a band, to be an artist, is generally no big deal. That’s not Hong Kong’s reality,” explains Valentine Nixon, one half of New Zealand dream-pop sister duo Purple Pilgrims. “When it comes to experimental music, there is a general sense that people really mean what they’re saying. They’re living what they’re making, because it’s so far from social norms or acceptance. This often makes the art itself feel political, even when it’s not trying to be.” Nixon is speaking from experience here. Raised between New Zealand and Hong Kong by itinerant parents, some of her formative musical moments took place in Hong Kong’s underground, a landscape worlds removed from the image-obsessed Cantonese pop of the region’s glossy mainstream.

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Rising Manchester Label Swing Ting Was Born On the Dancefloor

Swing Ting

Photos by Louis Reynolds

The U.K.’s underground has a rich history of iconic labels incubated in sweaty club spaces. Today, nightclubs appear to wield a diminishing cultural heft—deserted by youngsters, stifled by pernickety and expensive regulations, and consistently under threat from cultureless property developers. Building a club-based label and following on such shaky ground has arguably become more difficult. 

But Balraj Samrai and Ruben Platt, 31 and 30 respectively, aren’t sitting in a pub in East London to chew over the city’s night-time economy or the city’s Night Czar, Amy Lamé. They’re here to talk about Swing Ting, their Manchester-based club night which turned 10 at the end of 2018, and their record label of the same name, which celebrates its fifth birthday this year. Continue reading

For Practically Everyone: The Music of FPE Records

FPE

In a medium-sized suburb on the outskirts of Chicago is a record label dedicated to doing things differently. FPE Records is the brainchild of Matt Pakulski, and although Oak Park, Illinois is the label’s home, Pakulski says the label is really in debt to the creative curiosities and experimentations across Chicago’s unique music scene.

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Unexplained Sounds Group is Devoted to Experimental Music From Around the World

unexplained sounds

Inset image -Abdellah M. Hassak

The label Unexplained Sounds Group is dedicated to mapping the breadth and depth of experimental music from around the world. The label specializes in compilations of electroacoustic, ambient, noise, and contemporary composition from Europe, the Middle East, and beyond. Its rapidly expanding catalog offers an education in, and an introduction to, a global network of aural disorientation.

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