Luke’s Label Lowdown #3 – ГОСТ ЗВУК (Gost Zvuk) Records

Gost Zvuk

I always feel a bit hesitant writing about dance music because I feel like I don’t know enough about it to talk about it with any insight or authority. This is true, but I do listen to quite a lot of it and have a fair few dance/electronica records in my collection, even if the kind of dance music that I like is not the kind of dance music that you can actually dance to!

I haven’t been able to find out much about this label, but Gost Zvuk are a reasonably new label from Russia that put out minimal techno with a strong DIY approach and ethic. I think they have only put out about 7 or 8 releases so far (a combination of 12″s and full albums) and the information online is kind of scrappy (one website claims that Gost Zvuk means ‘Ghost Sounds’, which sounds reasonable to me, but another said that it translates as ‘state standards for sound’….which seems unlikely somehow, but could also be true) and incomplete.

Like a lot of new records that I buy, I got into Gost Zvuk just through reading the description of their first 12″ on the card in the record shop and being attracted to the aesthetic of the presentation. The stark plain black sleeves and hand-stamped labels of the first few white labels were all in Cyrillic alphabet with no concessions to an audience outside Russia, which instantly appealed to my sense of curiosity and the indie elitist in me!

I have no idea who or what I’m listening to as it is all written in Cyrillic, but I like the DIY sound, the minimal beats, and the excursions into dance music’s past that lurches between deep house, experimental drone, and ethereal soundscapes that manage to sound at once retro and forward-looking.

Here’s the playlist which may or may not contain tracks by Lapti, Buttechno (who I think is the same person as Lapti), AEM Rhythm Cascade, OL, Alekski Nikitin, Nocow and Piper Spray:

 

Luke’s Label Lowdown #2 – Riot Season

Here’s Part 2 of my random and very occasional series on my favourite record labels.

For my money, Riot Season records is the best label in the UK at the moment and as far as I can tell it’s run out of a back bedroom in Brum by a bloke called Andy, who does it for the pure love of the music.

The order of the day is usually heavy heavy psych rock (Hibushibire, Blown Out, The Cosmic Dead), but there’s straight up rough and ready rock too (Bad Guys), noise rock (Hey Collossus – before they turned into a conventional rock band on their new album!), experimental noise (Shit and Shine) and all things in between.

I can’t stop listening to the Hibushibire record at the moment, so I thought it would be a good time to do a label lowdown. Most stuff gets released on vinyl and everything can be found on their Bandcamp page.

Tracklist:

Hibushibire

Bad Guys

Blown Out

Shit and Shine

Hey Colossus

Luke’s Label Lowdown Part 1 – L.I.E.S. Records

I know it’s not the done thing to use your real name on these blog things, but I couldn’t resist the lure of the alliteration.

When I wrote my last post about the demise of Load records I realised just how much I buy and listen to music according to record label, much more so than genre or even artist.

So, with this in mind I thought I’d start a sporadic series to highlight some of my favourite labels – keeping it firmly underground of course.

I’ll start with my most recent crush: L.I.E.S. Records.

L.I.E.S. stands for Long Island Electrical Systems and they are a fairly new label that started in 2010 and is run out of Brooklyn, NY by an artist called Ron Morelli (the reason I found out about the label was because Ron Morelli put out some records on another favourite label of mine Hospital Productions, which will no doubt feature in a future post). They deal mainly in….well, I’m not sure of the exact genre label, but it’s basically electronic music that is left of field, but not in an ambient way that you might expect when you hear the phrase “leftfield electronic music”. It’s leans more towards techno and house music, with a strong emphasis on drum programming (an amazing skill, IMHO), but is definitely not the usual kind of obvious, euphoric rhythms that you might associate with house and techno.

Anyway, enough of me badly explaining what it isn’t – here are a few tracks. There were a couple I wanted to include but couldn’t find on Youtube, but I’m sure you get the idea:

NGLY – Jessica Abre Los Ojos

Two Dogs in a House – Scream in the Night

Steve Moore – Zero Point Field

Inhalants – Weed Etiquette

Tzusing – King of Hosts

RIP Load Records

Load Records’ founders and basically the people that run the whole thing, Ben and Laura, just announced on Facebook that after 24 years they are closing the label and moving on to other things.

Load were and are one of my favourite labels and are nearly single-handedly responsible for my interest in noise-rock and other experimental music, without which I wouldn’t have got into Not Not Fun Records, or even stuff like free jazz.

There was a time in the mid-noughties when I snapped up every release as soon as it came out and bought anything they put out without listening to it first, safe in the knowledge that whatever they put out would be excellent. I’ve mentioned a lot of Load bands in Best of Year lists and tracks have appeared as Earworms over the years too.

Here’s a quick mix of some of my favourite Load artists and releases (at least from what I could find on Youtube). RIP Load Records and thanks for the noise.

Tracklist:

Lightning Bolt – 2Morro Morro Land

White Mice – Blassstphlegmeice

Noxagt – Svartevatn

The USA is a Monster – Cocaine Wedding

Ultralyd – Pink Mood

Sightings – Pitch of my Voice

Prurient – Apple Tree Victim

Box of Delights II – A Podcast

Open cardboard box closeup

Ha ha! I think I finally conquered Garageband and worked out how to make a podcast, even though there is no podcast button anymore!

Here is a very hastily constructed podcast that I made tonight as I was opening a box of my own records that I had sent myself from England.I don’t think I made quite the right music selection choices, but hey, that’s the way it goes sometimes! Enjoy!