Grist Records 2009
Why has there never been an Um label before?
I never had one before because musician-types often seemed to want to play at having a record label by giving cassettes catalogue numbers and so on, and as I've always found bands that take the business side of their art quite seriously a bit twatty I thought I'd just leave it well alone. That way I wouldn't have to feel embarrassed for myself when I handed out a CD, because it was just some music and not a business card. I was quite willing to take money off of people though!
Why have one now?
Well, I get frustrated with the fact that I produce a lot of music and no-one hears it. I don't mind if people don't like my stuff but it's annoying to have all these thousands of pieces of music and have them sitting around on tapes and gradually corrupting CD-Rs, and there's basically so much stuff that even I've lost track of what I've done. Hopefully this is a way of sorting the better stuff into discrete, labelled lumps.
Why is the label mainly CD-R format?
The trouble was I'm a real vinyl-hound and for a long time I was gearing up to spend money on a self-produced vinyl release, but this has kept me in a state of paralysis for a few years. For one thing the whole process of producing vinyl is so fraught with potential fuckups that I've always hesitated, and if it wasn't for the good people at Strange Lights, Tripel and Gagarin I wouldn't have anything on vinyl at all. Also, what with the economic situation and a capitalist ideology in crisis it seems foolhardy & somewhat immoral to expect people to buy large slabs of plastic and blah blah. So, even though the CD format is kind of the lowest of the low at the moment I think it will go the most distance for me in terms of what I want to achieve with my music.
What is the function of the label?
It's pretty much just to archive the body of work that I've done, and thereby to provide a way of tracking it down should anyone want to. I've got into the myth of Sun Ra's Saturn label, where it's just this huge catalogue of small runs of records, and that some recordings may be duplicated, or come from different times. Also I have to say I was looking at the American Tapes catalogue the other day, and that is definitely my kind of enterprise. I'm also thinking of trying to get some music from other bands I know, just as a synergistic mutual benefit kind of thing rather than trying to market a specific release.