Why start a label?
- This has been a dream of mine for years. Since I am not a musician or artist, I wanted to be able to contribute as well. This was my outlet for getting involved. I wanted to evolve from fan to producer. I also have tended to be a strong music evangelist to my friends and anyone who will listen my whole life. What better way to take that to the next level than by creating a label to showcase records that I feel others may enjoy?
When and how did it start?
- This has been bouncing in my head (and some of my close friends) for about 7 years or so. The biggest obstacle is of course funding. I finally reached a point in my life about 3 years ago where I had the means to realize this dream (from a monetary standpoint). That was the point where I made a serious attempt to contact artists for consideration of reissues on Medical Records. I basically had a list of about 5 records that I started with. I worked like mad to contact the artists who made those masterpieces. I scoured Myspace.com (pre-Facebook days) and the web looking for contact info or anyone who might know someone who knows someone, etc etc. Along the way, other opportunities popped out during my search which led to my first 2 releases (Deutsche Wertarbeit and Alexander Robotnick). From there, it became much easier to strike up a deal with the artists after I had established 2 solid releases.
- What labels inspire you?
— For many years now, I have been in awe of the breadth of the Vinyl On Demand catalog (Germany). I have been a subscribing member of the wave subscription for several years. Frank from VOD has been a huge help in getting my label started as far as available to answer all my startup questions along with the way. I am grateful for that help. It would be impossible not be inspired by Minimal Wave (NY). Very impressive roster and output. Dark Entries in San Francisco is a great label, and I also owe Josh a huge nod of thanks for his friendship and help with supplying me loads of label-related info and other sorts. I also love what Anna Logue (Germany) is doing as well as Mannequin (Italy). Top-notch releases and impeccable packaging!
What is the goal and purpose of your label?
— The prime directive is to make available difficult-to-find classic synth, wave, disco, and other interesting records that I personally love and feel others would appreciate. It is aimed at fans of this particular niche who want these amazingly under-appreciated gems in vinyl format with fun and collectable attributes (180gm, colored, hand-numbered, etc). Originally, I was only able to print 500 copies at a time (except for the Chrisma LPs which I was able to re-press once). Now, as I have grown and expanded, I am able to press 1000 copies which make these records widely available for everyone to enjoy who is interested in hearing them.
How do you find new artists?
— At this stage of the game, I am still on the hunt to reissue records that are out of print or otherwise unavailable (but are records that I cherish). I haven’t started releasing “new artists” as of yet, but that may be in the future. No definite plans at this time, however.
— This is a discussion that one hears a lot these days with the vinyl resurgence (but did it every truly go away?). My personal preference is for the tangible aesthetic that is only truly enjoyed by holding and playing a vinyl record. There really is nothing else like it in my book. I won’t start a debate, but I do feel vinyl simply sounds better. The tones, frequencies, and other waveforms seem to touch my ears in a special place.
How important is packaging to you?
— Packaging is always icing on the cake. I hope to continue to expand on packaging with more inserts, freebie 7”s or flexi discs, etc. I love nice thick jackets (sturdy is always good). Crisp artwork and text is very important to me. I am blessed to have my close friend, Tyler Jacobsen create (or re-create) the fine details on the artwork. His attention to detail is apparent and much appreciated!
What are your future plans?
— My next release (MR-010) is the famous Dalek I “Compass Kum’pas” LP (band AKA Dalek I Love You). This was one of those original 5 records I mentioned above that I dreamed of reissuing. For those who know it, it is widely obsessed over. For those who have not heard this… well let’s just say they are in for a treat. It is essential. It includes an insert with liner notes and a bonus flexi disc with 2 b-sides. I am VERY excited for this.
— Following Dalek I will be the underground yet equally essential Axxess LP “Novels For The Moons” (MR-011). This instrumential work is the brainchild of French multimedia artist Patrick Mimran (former owner of Lamborghini car company in the 80s). He commissioned a German electronics whiz to build a custom synthesizer on which Mr. Mimran crafted some of the most complex and inventive sequenced patterns. This will definitely take a lot of people by surprise and dazzle those following the Medical Records output.
— One more sneak peak will be the MR-012 Gay Cat Park “Synthetic Woman” LP. This is a very interesting turn for the label. Gay Cat Park is well known for the Italo disco hit “I’m a Vocoder” but the rest of their music from the 80s was UNRELEASED. In their teenage years at the time, this Italian duo wrote some of the most synthesized magical tracks that we have heard. Sure to be well received by fans of Italo disco and synthpop…
Do you collect vinyl?
— Absolutely. It is one of my favorite pastimes. You can find me frequenting the local Seattle record conventions and record stores. I hit the shops about once a week actually!
How big is your collection?
— It would be hard to calculate this at this stage. I have not consistently collected vinyl (have had waxing and waning periods), but I have been going strong for about 6 years now!)
What are some of your go to records over the years?
—— WAVE = Human League “Travelogue”, IKO “83”, Robert Gorl “Mit Dir 12”“, Polyphonic Size (VOD box), Chrisma “Chinese Restaurant + Hibernation”, Drinking Electricity “Overload + singles”, OGI “s/t”, Dalek I “Compass Kum’pas”, OMD “Dazzle Ships”, too many more to list
— SHOEGAZE = My Bloody Valentine “ANY”, Seefeel “Quique”, Silvania “En Cielo De Oceano”, Slowdive “ANY”, Insides “Euphoria”, Locust “ANY”
— ELECTRONIC = Global Communication, Aphex Twin “Selected Ambient Works Vol 1,2”, Kraftwerk “ANY”, Cluster “Zuckerzeit”, Deutsche Wertarbeit “s/t”
— OTHER = Brian Eno almost ANY but esp “Another Green World”, Steve Reich “Music For 18 Musicians”, Swans (ANY)