Interview with Callum Browne of Little League Records.

Tell me about the birth of Little League.

I started Little League Records in June of this year. The bands I had been playing in weren’t doing much, so I had a lot of free time and I wanted to try my hand at something a little different. My friend Timmy had started making some noise rock music, under the moniker of Kopori Tombo and I wanted more people to hear it, it was something unique, so I decided to release it. From there it started as just friends’ releases and I eventually started contacting acquaintances and bands or artists that I just liked a lot and we’ve ended up here.

What made you want to start a label?

I had been interested in independent record labels casually, I liked how they seemed to operate and the cool, usually handmade releases they did. It all seemed really personal and DIY and I liked that fact. When it came to starting LLR, I noticed a lot of music with lots of potential was coming out of Ireland, in particular my home town of Carlow, where LLR is based, but a lot of it just wasn’t getting heard. I wanted people to hear music that needed to be heard, but maybe hadn’t had many opportunities and that became one of our main aims.

You were telling me you plan to post two albums a week – does this make you a purely digital label? Do you have plans to release music physically?

We’ve been mainly doing digital releases at the moment, but we’re in the process of distributing a few band’s CDs soon. The only current physical release we have up on our Bandcamp is a DVD-R of experimental videos accompanying the music by Drolle from his album “It’s raining in your Room”. They’re handmade by Drolle himself and they look very nice, I’m expecting to get them soon in the post and there’s already been a few pre-orders.

For larger runs though, I’m intending on doing a cassette or CD soon for some of our releases. Myself and my girlfriend, Mikaela have been practicing dubbing cassettes and I’m hoping to make a sampler this year, or leading into the next, due to how hectic everything has gotten, of artists on LLR.

You’ve got a really strong diversity of sounds on your label, can you tell me about your interest in experimental music and when it began?

I grew up around music a lot, my dad was a radio DJ and he’d watch a lot of music TV shows and play a lot of music around the house. I started listening to stuff like Queen and Meat Loaf when I was three years old or so and then I started getting in to more and more stuff the older I got. I eventually stumbled across stuff like Monster Machismo, Camel, Battles and Time Columns and it was around that time I found Bandcamp, so I started searching with artist tags and found some of my favourite artists through that. From then on I looked further into music I had heard of, which has brought me to what I listen to now.

I really like the Nesey Gallons release, what can you tell me about that artist?

Nesey Gallons is a musician from Maine, he makes a lot of experimental music with lots of folky lo-fi elements. He’s released a lot of albums, which I really liked, so I contacted him and we ended up releasing an EP called “BOSTON, 1999”. Nesey works with a lot of the Elephant 6 collective guys. He’s played with The Circulatory System and The Music Tapes as a member, but he’s also produced and engineered on albums by Julian Koster of Neutral Milk Hotel and The Music Tapes.

What do you think the function of a record label is today?

I personally think that the function of a record label today is to get their artist’s name out there and spread their music to the best of their ability, through distribution and promotion. I think a label should give the artists their say and make it their mission to find them the following that they should and deserve to have.

You release music from all around the world – how do you go about selecting your releases and working with the artists?

How I find artists is usually through Bandcamp, via the recommendation of friends or the artists will come to me. If I like what I hear and I think it’d fit nicely into the label, I’ll get talking to the artist about releasing it and we’ll arrange everything from there. We’re really open to what we release, I love diversity in a label. I kind of made it a little personal thing to release from as many countries as I can, I want the people who follow the label to find hear music from all over the world.

You’re located in Ireland – what’s the music scene like where you live? Is there a strong music community?

Ireland has a pretty nice music scene. I live in the small town of Carlow, with a population of just over, 23,000. Despite Carlow being small there’s a few cool bands and producers here. Jack Sheehan, who releases as Shriekin’ Specialist and James Strain, who releases as Auxiliary Phoenix and Supernormal Prophets are from Carlow.

Most of the scene is up in Dublin or in bigger cities around the country. Bands like Princess, Facing and Adebisi Shank are getting good recognition around the country, and world. There’s also some cool record labels starting up in Ireland. A lot of cassette based labels here. The cool thing about the Irish music community though is it’s all very close. You always tend to know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone.

What has been your experience with Bandcamp?

I’ve had a really great experience with Bandcamp. It’s always been so artist, listener and label friendly, and I’ve used it as all three. It’s such a handy site, it gives artists and labels a means to distribute, and a voice and for that I’m grateful.

Tell me a little about your favourite labels and why you love them. Is it purely the music they put out? Or something more?

Some of my favourite labels are Beer on The Rug, Elephant 6, Long Lost Records and Sargent House. I like Beer on The Rug’s whole image and the kind of music they release. The cassettes from them look really cool. Long Lost Records are a cool independent label based in Dublin, they do a lot of cassettes and they tend to bundle with zines and cool quirky stuff. I also like Chrondritic Sound.

Two labels I admire, ran by friends, are Summer/Winter Records, ran by my friend Ilai (who plays in the band Bonjour Machines) and Bellcurve Records. Summer/Winter focus on the local Israeli scene and have some cool bands. Bellcurve are still getting started, they’re doing cassettes for Bonjour Machine’s first EP right now.

Do you make your own tapes?

We do make our own. To commemorate our first release, Kopori Tombo’s Nothing E.P. we’ve made an initial run of 10 cassettes, with a possible repress. We’re aiming to reissue alot of the LLR back catalogue on cassette with a possible new compilation of our music on cassettes too. For me cassettes are going to be big, around Dublin city a lot of labels and artists are finding them cost-effective and fun and a lot of people going to see a show would rather spend €4 on a cassette than €10 on a CD, it seems.


LLR-001 Nothing E​.​P. – Kopori Tombo

We’re also doing some cassette distribution of some of our releases. The ever-awesome Sorry Girls Records made some Panucci’s Pizza cassettes which we’ll have some of soon. They’re a really cool twinkly emo band from Philadelphia. We’ll also have some cassettes from American Haiku, from Denver and a few other artists in the future.

LLR-024  Don't Tip The Delivery Boy - Panucci's Pizza

LLR-024 Don’t Tip The Delivery Boy – Panucci’s Pizza

How do you manage the packaging of releases? Why is it important to you?

A lot of the artists have done their own packaging for their releases, which has definitely lead to some quirky and interesting stuff. One of our artists Drolle did an issue of twenty two DVDs, to accompany his album “It’s Raining In Your Room”, which incorporated a lot rain samples and themes of isolation. He made a short video to accompany the music and reflect his feelings during the period he made it.

They look so awesome, he even included a hand written note, time stamp or poem extract in each. It’s things like this that I love about the independent music scene, everything is so personal and you can see time has been put into the finished product. Artists want to make something truly special for the people they share their music with.

What’s coming up for Little League?

We have our own radio show now on an online radio station called Raid Radio. It’s called Little League Records Showcase, where we play new music from our artists and also interview artists on the label, giving more insight into their music and upcoming news. We also started our own zine, a means of getting news to people before even our Facebook page and it has interviews and features.


Little League Records Zine

We’ve got pre-orders up for CDs from Vasudeva and Wiltz, and we’ll have a few cassettes of American Haiku’s EP available to pre-order in conjunction with the release.

You’re a busy boy. It’s really inspiring. Thanks for your time Callum.

Little League Records on Bandcamp


For all that I’ve missed;
I just want to drift

*upper crust cracking riff*

This, friends, this is the sort of music that strikes me right in the solar plexus, leaves me exhilarated, brimming with joy, and utterly vindicated in my decision to spend day in, day out searching for the next piece of music that will make me feel this way. Staten Island band Colour have been around for some time and it’s fair to say they’ve approached Psych Rock Master status with their latest album, “Into The Mirror “. “I Just Want To Drift” is a magnificent conclusion to what is a triumphant album, it’s a colossal twenty minute psychedelic jam. The fuck-the world-let’s-dance sentiment of the lyrics perfectly match the euphoric sound of a great band simultaneously letting it all go and putting it all together, creating a beastly boss hog of a song and taking it to the open desert highway beneath a star spangled night sky, and just riding, on and on and on. Buckle up, you’re invited.


A mysterious release this from Bois. I couldn’t find anymore info on them other than it’s the solo project of a guy named Brian Bo. And that’s quite ok. Stories of background and influences are irrelevant, the music speaks for itself. “Lost” is a gorgeous album of warped pop music, filtered through gentle static and wavering with a beautiful fragility. There’s a great feeling of solace to these songs (especially in the touches of that warm, reassuring horn)  and I really like the late night introspective atmosphere of these understated songs, particularly evident in “One Souls Only So Deep”. It’s a bittersweet song that quivers between resigned heartache and blissful wonder. Bo’s words  are reflective and yearning, searching for that solace and seemingly finding it by songs end:

“And I learned;
That space is all I need.”


A melding of extraterrestrial elements and those of a more earthbound, tropical slant, the sound of Ecstatic Cosmic Union is delightfully adventurous. The husband and wife duo venture to outer reaches of slow burning celestial music on this beautiful tape, combining pulsing electronic krautrock with a minimal approach to the psychedelic sound, well represented in this track “X​=​C​=​U”. Tribal rhythms, whale song-esque synths and the understated presence of squalling guitar combine to create a lush, mind bending listening experience. It’s the sort of psychedelic music that succinctly captures the ethos of science fiction for me – richly imaginative art that reaches for the stars, while always gazing within.


Uncompromising, idiosyncratic, sparse – these are all words that get thrown around when discussing Tasmanian music, and all are apt in describing the sound of Hobart’s Mess O’Reds. Their first release was a promising yet roughly recorded affair and this self titled EP sounds far more refined, perhaps due to the handy work of Everywhere Man Mikey Young in mastering. Better production has not lessened the cathartic nature of their sound however, each song here snarls with a defiant, bristling energy. “Sorry” is my favourite – an angry, angry break up song that cuts deep, pours salt in the wounds, then gets back to opening up more lacerations. The pain is tangible – at times too close to the bone – but I can’t get enough of it. A must see live band, obviously.


Italian band Julie’s Haircut put together a fascinating collection of songs on “Ashram Equinox”, released on the great San Francisco label Crash Symbols. Listening to the bands older releases provides some context for this album and shows just how much of an adventurous progression it is. As the name of the album suggests this, again, is psychedelic music. It’s an ambitious concept album; perhaps having more of a spiritual, hallucinatory feel than other music featured in this post. I’ve loved listening to this album from beginning to end – it’s superbly produced and paced, each song transitioning beautifully to the next as the band take you on an techni-coloured ride down the rabbit hole. This track “John” stood out to me as being particularly good, the menacing synth providing a slight John Carpenter tone while a glorious kaleidoscope of sound unfurls all around it.



Interview with Andrew Khedoori of Preservation

Tell me about how Preservation started. 

When I started the label it was a whole sort of cross-sectioning of different things. I had become friends with Mark Gowing, who still is our graphic designer, and he had been working for places like a Rolling Stone and so forth, but he had recently branched out on his own and that’s when I really got to know him. We started going to the same gigs and we found that we had similar interests in music and that our music tastes were developing a little differently along the lines of what we were seeing. We were seeing a lot of indie rock bands and enjoying that, and still do, but our tastes were going a little further out. I guess we had a little bit of meeting of the minds there.

I really appreciate Mark’s approach to design and I was working on a project for Spunk Records called “Live and Direct”, which was a compilation of live recordings that I had done at 2SER where I work. I had asked Mark to do the artwork for it because I really enjoy what he does, and he wanted to make it special and I wanted the project to be special. At the same time we’d also been chatting about the idea that a lot of major labels who he’d been working for providing design and album art work were just moving in such a direction that was a lot less satisfying than what we had grown up with. We had grown up listening to records on the 4AD label or Subpop and they had a particular art aesthetic that we always enjoyed and we felt that that was starting to be lost over time. We’d always look back at a particular records and record labels where we enjoyed the design aesthetic as much as the music.

At the same time Oren Ambarchi was working on a pop project with a guy called Chris Towend who had been in plenty of bands in Sydney but had also been working quite a lot in his own studios, which were called Bigjesusburger back then and then became known as the BJB. He ran that studio on his own for quite some time and was engineering a lot of records. He was working with Oren quite a lot over the years and they discovered this love for warm, interesting 70s pop music and they decided to work on a record together bringing up those elements that they really enjoyed.


Sun: Sun

They were shopping it around and they weren’t really having much luck but I have been kept up and stayed with the tracks. They worked slowly on it, they made one track and I kept up to speed with it. I was trying to suggest to Oren where he could potentially send the record and I think he was getting a little bit frustrated because Oren is quite well known in the experimental music world of course and when he makes a record in the more experimental style he found it very easy to find a label who would release it, but this was proving to be a different story.

One day I think we were just having a talk and he said “I don’t know why you haven’t started a label. It’s the kind of thing that you probably would be really good at, so you should start a label and put this record out.”  I thought about it and I thought about this sort of stuff that I’d been talking about with Mark. I spoke to Mark and said “look we have talked a lot about design and music and how we would like to merge the two and now we’ve got an opportunity to release a really good record and start something off. Do you want to give it a go?” And so we did.  So that is pretty much how we started.  So there was that kind of cross-sectioning and there was a connection between our interest in design and music and the need for someone to put a record out.

So it sounds like it was a very much an opportunistic thing and also something that built up for a while, with your interest in design especially…

Yeah, it was serendipity, I don’t really know if we would have started at a particular point in time had there not been a record on the table to do it.  We really enjoyed the record, and it was a really great way to start something off because we weren’t necessarily looking for anything and we were sort of gifted this release if you like.

How they did it develop from there, in terms of connections that you already had and your relationships with people from around the world?

In those early days, the second release that we had was a project that had come out of the Bigjesusburger as well. That was a project that Oren was working on with Chris Townend as well as the Rand and Holland record, their first album. That was just I wouldn’t say a logical progression so much as just meeting Brett from Rand and Holland at a party, and he told me that he had a record as well and I really enjoyed the aesthetic. I think Oren and Chris were bringing some of the sensibilities that they had with Sun into the Rand and Holland project. They are two quite different records but we were exploring the song-based medium and they were quite integral to that project as well.


Rand and Holland: Tomorrow Will be Like Today

So it happened from there and there was also in the early days I think the second or third release was the Motion Double CD compilation which was a collection of experimental and electronic artists we found all over the country. We wanted to create this kind of picture of a sound that was a really getting a lot of press and coverage from overseas at the time somewhere around the late 90s and early 2000s but a lot of Australian artists weren’t necessarily being a part of that picture so we wanted to contribute that way and put out a document that we would be able to align with what was going on overseas.
So it was that kind of scenario for us going on this way, and things have developed and we have always followed our noses. I think we just had a mix of bravado or naivety, we just asked people if they wanted to do things for us and some things stuck and some things didn’t and I think that’s just the way it goes. It’s the same thing  today – you follow up things and see whether somebody might be interested recording for you, they either might be too busy or they are uninterested, sometimes they don’t even get back to you at all, but sometimes they stick. You follow things through and you get a record out of it at the end of the day and it’s a really nice fulfilling scenario to be involved with.

You’ve focused on doing series of releases as well and putting collaborations together, more recently with the Contrasts series. How as a label do you organise those collaborations? Do the artists suggest people that they would like to collaborate with or it is just something that develops more organically?

Well the Contrast series was less of a collaborative scenario between artists and more pairing artists together for split releases. So what happened essentially was it grew into a series because initially the tape idea was spawned out of a Deep Magic/Pimmon show. Deep Magic was touring with Sun Araw through Australia and I wanted to set up a show with Deep Magic and wanted Pimmon to be on the bill whom I had worked with before.
They’d enjoyed each other in music and I said, “maybe, we should to a split release to celebrate this show,” and those guys were really keen on it, but they were just a bit too slow in getting me there tracks in time for the show but one thing I was really very keen was on was them doing long pieces, just something a little bit different and something that would suit the tape medium.They eventually did deliver their pieces and I thought about it and I thought here was a possibility to create a series because of the economics of doing tapes. Doing them in batches is probably a little smarter as well.

So I decided to look at the idea of paring a more veteran artist, or long-standing artist of a particular style, with a younger more upcoming artist and that’s how we came up with that series. There were a laptop oriented works from Deep Magic and Pimmon and then this guitar oriented work from Loren Conners and Chris Forsyth and then there is the synth oriented work from J.D  Emmanuel and Evan from Barn Owl, who originally touted as being someone who could do the guitar side  but he mentioned his interest in synth and provided me with a piece that I just could not resist. So, that’s how that series worked.

The Circa series was something that was practically born out of necessity and I really wanted to work out a way to keep lesser known artists on the catalogue for Preservation, but in a declining market place putting out records by unknown artists has proven to be a lot more difficult over the recent years. What I really wanted to was provide a model where we could have a consistent series of artists that we would bond them together, provide connections between those artists and also provide a really sensible economic model by which to realise these records and release them without basically losing a lot of money hand over fist, which was starting to happen.


Contrast series : Panabrite – The Baroque Atrium and Sparkling Wide Pressure: Grandfather Harmonic

So with those records Mark Gowing and I devised a model of printing covers themselves and designing a particular abstract model by which every cover would be generated and we were able to produce these records and make them a little bit special, make them a little bit handcrafted and be able to put those records there in a limited fashion that would expose those artists and give them a little bit more exposure than maybe what they had through a cassette run of fifty or something like that, and hopefully just give them a little bit more exposure and also not leave the label without the funds to make another one.

I think that’s very innovative and I suppose that’s how things are in the current state of labels. With digital distribution you can change and adapt to the artist needs as opposed to having to adhere to a certain model. Things aren’t as limited now as they once were.

I think when you’re running a label you have to find a model that you can work with. If that means that a tape label releases an edition of fifty because it is incredibly manageable, that’s really great, that’s fantastic. I also really like those types of labels because they are largely run by artists and they become a lot like an artist exchange and it is really great as a listener to a privy of those kinds of exchanges, you just hear the music that you probably won’t here otherwise. Those labels are really, really valuable, and they are releasing them in small editions so the label owner can move on quickly and also the artist can move on quickly and keep developing their sound and keep working on different things without having to work on a full album. It is a pretty exciting medium.

It is, and it seems particularly good for experimental music where there is a higher output of music, possibly more so than a full band producing an album and going through the whole studio procedure and things like that, whereas experimental artists are only one person or two people.

Yeah, that’s right.  For a lot of independent labels, that scenario, the latter that you just mentioned is a lot more manageable really and it is a different scenario altogether essentially. It’s just dealing with one or two people and the kind of music that they make, there is a certain reach and it makes it a lot easier to work with and communicate. I’ve got a full-time job so I have got to keep a lid on things to a certain extent and that is probably the most organic and sensible way to do it plus generally I think it’s music that I not only really appreciate but I can probably have some kind of impact on.

Panabrite and Sparkling Wide Pressure are two artists who I’ve really got into in the last 12 months.  Can you talk about how you got into touch with those guys and their releases?

The Panabrite story is an interesting one. When you approach an artist to release a record sometimes I think it is a little like asking them out on a date, and the other thing is that you don’t know whether they’re taken or not, there are some of artist that have got their next set of recordings committed and so forth and all that kind of stuff.

Norm (Chambers – Panabrite) was someone that I basically added on Facebook and never really spoken to. I think I dropped him a line and just told him how about I much I would like one particular tape of his and in particular one kind of track. When I hear an artist, I start to really delve into their sound and I start to explore the different music that they make and all the different releases that represent that different music. With Norm I really heard a lot of different stuff going on in his work, I heard a bit of a pop sensibility and I heard some sort of baroque kind of 70 style-prog style thing.

I think I just started chatting to Norm about different music that we like.  We found that we actually enjoyed a quite a lot of different music that you may not necessarily associate with Panabrite’s sound. I said to him – “I’d really enjoy hearing you attempt an album in this particular vein where there’s guitar, some kind of string sounds” and he said he was really interested in that and it seems it would be something that he had been thinking was the next step for him anyway.  So we started discussing all that kind of stuff, and I said, “Would you be interested in making that kind of record for Preservation,” and he was really interested and I think it just gave him some fire to get working that way.

I know that he is a really pleased with that record and I told him this afternoon that I’ve just been listening to that record two days ago, and I was just sitting back listening and feeling a little bit pleased that the sounds were representing what we kind of aimed for, what we had talked about. It’s a nice feeling to hear that.  It’s really great that record,  it goes through so much in such a neat concise way, it never sort of outstays it welcome, and I think Norm just got the rhythm and the flow and the pace and the dynamic right. It’s a really wonderful and evocative record. It’s evocative of a different time but I think that it’s totally now as well.
Sparkling Wide Pressure is someone that had been introduced to me by my good friend Paul Gough who also works under the name of the Pimmon and has a really fantastic radio show that you probably know on Radio National called The Quite Space. Quite Space is a really great avenue for discovering all sorts of new music in this vein and he’s a really really big fan of Frank Baugh’s work, who is Sparkling Wide Pressure.

I think I similarly contacted Frank at one point and asked him what kind of record he was making. I felt that there was a particular record that he put out which I just thought was absolutely incredible. He just released it himself. I have to look up the title.

He has got a lot of releases.

Yeah, he has got a lot of releases but this one is actually the really the crown jewel for me, it’s called “Fragments of a Sound I Can Not Erase”. It’s an absolutely wonderful record and that really marked a turning point for me in his sound. One of the things that I really noted was that he seemed to be getting more interested in the collision between more song-like structures and abstraction, which is something in a way like a Preservation corner stone. There’s something about his work that I really enjoy where he intersects a lot of different styles in a very rough way, but he just has his own style that is quite compelling and magnetic.

I just asked him if he was recording anything that was going to be a long those lines and he basically said he was, and like Norm from Panabrite he just kept on sending me pieces and we just sort of eventually pieced together the best work that we thought was right for the album at the time. I think it has got the kind of ambient modular synth thing going on but also a really rough post-punk sound going on as well, it’s a very extraordinary mix of styles that he is able to put together in an almost seamless way. I like the fact that it is almost seamless and it is just a bit rough and ragged along the edges, but I find it quite stark and compelling as well.

Yeah it’s very engaging. I found his music really rewards constant listening and gives more and more with each listen.

I think that’s definitely something that you could say about a lot of instrumental music, people find that when they start getting into it. Vocals really are a signal carrier and once you attach yourself to that signal and what that signal is you kind of define it quite quickly. We’re never going to be short of a great pop song and hopefully we’ll always have good pop songs or rock songs or folk songs or anything that is lyric-based, but it’s a different thing when you listen to instrumental music because there is just the different vibe, the way things move, the way things can move, the air between the notes, it just offers something – not different every time but it is a very movable feast, it’s a very malleable thing that I find with instrumental music and I keep going back to those records quite often. I was actually just listening to the Quiet Evenings release from 2011 just before you called. I find that I get something out of it each time.

And these sort of artists, these two guys that we are talking about, have put up so much music that I really feel like that even though I don’t know them myself, you sort of form a relationship in terms of each release that they put out is a progression and you get an impression of their personality from the music more than you would perhaps lyrically-based music.

It’s great to be able to follow those people. If you go to Frank’s Bandcamp I he’s offering a lot of records and he’s offering a lot of records free so you can really dive in and have a good listen and really develop a sense of his progression as an artist and all the different things that he’s interested in.  Frank is someone who I think is by and large is pretty much going to expose publicly everything that he records.

I think Norm is probably a little bit more particular. I think that he is probably got a lot in the bank that we might not have heard yet, and we might never hear, but I think that is a definitely a lot to be said for both approaches. I think the thing about Frank’s stuff is that he is just going to keep releasing it, he’s just going to keep doing it, and I think if he gets a nice offer from someone he is really happy to give them a record I think.

You’ve already touched on it but I’d be interested in hearing more of your thoughts on Sydney and Australian experimental music. I think your label and the work that New Weird Australia are doing are pretty central to local experimental music.

Yeah, I mean I will be honest and suggest to you that Preservation isn’t necessarily at the forefront of Australian experimental music. I sort of follow the music more than anything else. I’m really happy to see such an ever evolving scene, not only in Sydney but Australia.  To hear some of the things that come out – the Manhunter release from Rushford and Talia earlier this year was just an incredible record. There’s so much fantastic music coming out of Australia on a regular basis. Things like Sky Needle or Blank Realm from Brisbane, the things that Thomas William is doing in Sydney, Pimmon is always a great go to.

Seaworthy is another artist that I’ve worked with, I’ve been really fortunate enough to be able to release a record from him. That’s someone who actually also had his origins in indie pop and sort of migrated to a particular different sound as well which is a little bit more atmospheric and ambient in its nature. I was always a really pleased to hear the first Seaworthy album and just how Cameron just moved into that realm so well. I’ve always been a longtime admirer and Cameron really loves the label as well so it was really nice to have the opportunity to do something with him because I think he’s one of the good guys.

At the same and there’s a lot of younger people who are doing a lot of really fantastic things in music at the moment, like the guys that are running the Sound Summit Festival. In 2013 it’s going to be in Sydney, I’m pretty excited about the lineup that they’ve put together for that. It’s pretty mind boggling. There’s  a lot of great stuff going on and it’s not necessarily reflected in the Preservation catalogue but one of the things that I really liked about what’s going on, especially in Sydney, is that these guys have just worked it up from themselves. They don’t necessarily need Preservation to do it. They’re really contributing to a great diversity by doing things their way and putting it out themselves and I really love that.

One of the reasons why I’d never really spoken to Cameron previously about doing the record, I think it just came up in casual conversation, was because he was always doing his own thing until the 12k label came along. I really like the fact that he was putting out his own record, devising his own packaging and putting it out in his own way. I think that is a really healthy and wonderful thing. I really appreciate that about what’s going on in Australia. It seems to be going one just as much in Australia as it does anywhere else in the world.

It sounds like there is a very strong community up there. Does this sort of music in Sydney have much of a live avenue?

I think it largely has a live avenue and the release just might be a byproduct of that. I think that in the recent years there’s been younger people who from basically taken it upon themselves to create spaces for gigs,and that’s happened in cycles as well.  There were a lot of people who were doing things when Preservation began, putting on gigs and stuff like that but then there was a lull and now people are finding spaces or creating spaces in which to put on shows again. I think that kind of thing comes in cycles and at the moment I think we are going through a really healthy cycle of music making in this realm and to some extent there are releases coming out as well.

Some people are just opting to put stuff out on a Bandcamp or put stuff out for free whether it be by themselves or through New Weird Australia so there’s definitely lots of avenues going on and there is definitely a pretty healthy live scenario going on as well.

You touched on a running a label and I’m considering dipping into this field myself, what sort of advice would you give to someone looking to start a label?

The first thing I would suggest is that you have to set it up in such a way that it is not only manageable but really pleasurable. You have to work out what you feel you can realistically do. You have to sort of sit down and say okay what kind of run can I do, what kind of format do I like…all that sort of stuff I think is really crucial. I think you’ve got to set yourself up that way and it if it evolves in a particular way then great. If you told me ten years ago that Preservation would release a cassette I probably wouldn’t have believed you but that’s just the way it has happened.

More than that I think it is got to be a real pleasure for you to do. One of the things about Preservation is the way it looks, the visual aesthetic is very important. It’s always been really important and so I am real stickler when it comes to the design – by and large Marc Gowen has done pretty much all the designs for the label and he has really kept that vision, kept a particular aesthetic. I think he has created a certain kind of recognition for the label as a result.


Sophie Hutchings: Night Sky

That’s actually really, really important for me. I think it’s a very strong part of the label and it makes me really happy and pleased, I really enjoy working with Mark. To be honest sometimes that hasn’t suited some artists like they have their own vision for their artwork but they are very much put in the know straight away, we’re very upfront about how the label is run and 9.9 times out of 10 you have a happy artist. There are certain artists that haven’t been happy or they don’t like that and they decide to move on and that’s totally fine as well.  As I said, I like the diversity of things but when you run a label it has to be your thing. I think it just has to be one hundred percent your thing.

When Mark and I started Preservation we didn’t want to it be a mere conduit, we didn’t want to just slap everything together and put it out.  We really wanted to have something that was ours as well, not just release the record. That’s been a very important part of it for us, and I think the labels are a lot better for it. I think that’s what probably makes it a real pleasure. You have to just decide what is right and what is wrong for you when you work with someone or when you just basically work in general on your label.

How did the relationship with distributors develop for Preservation? You’ve got distributors all over the world now.

Well the first distributor was Inertia. That was a sort of thing where we had friends that were working at Inertia and they were interested in taking us on, and they have kept us on which is really good. In the UK we used to be through a distributor that basically went out of business and that actually came about through a lovely bloke by the name of John Twellis who runs the Type label.

I was doing a radio show at 2SER where I work, and he was sending me records and we’d never actually spoken. I don’t know how he actually did start sending me records, he must’ve heard of the show from overseas. I just sent an email to the generic label contact and mentioned that I had a label myself. He said, “Oh I’ve got quite a few of your records, I’m a fan”. He said that he was working for the distributor at the time and hooked me up with that, and then when that all fell through I approached another UK distributor and by that time we had quite a few releases up our sleeve. Those guys seemed to enjoy those releases so they were happy to take us on and that was really fantastic and that’s continuing today, that’s Forte. It took a little longer for them to take us on board but I think that they saw our catalogue of releases and a consistency there and they eventually took us on and that’s been a few years now. In Japan we just started selling individual releases to a distributor in Japan then they just developed a more consistent relationship with us.


Black Eagle Child: Lobelia

I think we have to be a little bit persistent and you have keep sending records to people. Things don’t happen overnight with any label.  Maybe with some they do but they certainly didn’t with Preservation. You have to just keep sticking stuff out and you have to back it, you have to believe in its quality and hopefully people will get to know you. It’s important to have a good relationship with distributors and it is important to find the right ones who understand and care for the music as well.  We’ve been pretty fortunate.
Well let’s wind up with me asking you about what’s next on the cards for Preservation?

In a couple of weeks we’ll have the new Olan Mill record out, I’m really excited about that. That’s one of the great things about the Circa series is that you can do a nice limited run and provide some exposure for a newish artist or an unknown artist and you can see what the response is like. We’re really happy to be able to put out another record from Alex Smalley, who basically is Olan Mill. The response to that record was so strong that it was a really nice thing to be able to take that leap with Alex into another record that I think is really a nice step as well for him. It’s a bigger, bolder, more expansive record and it is a really nice to be able to have that out shortly because I think it’s really a super record.

We’re looking at doing another Circa series.  We’ve got another one in the can for that and there are some other things bubbling.  One of the first things that would be out of the Circa series will be from a guy called Dylan Aycock who not only records under his own name but records as Talk West. It’s a really lovely understated set of guitar explorations and it’s nothing revolutionary in terms of sound but to me he just nails it and anyone who has heard that record so far has just really been drawn into and they get quite lost in it. It seems you just put it on again and again so I’m hoping that response is mimicked by a lot more people when it comes out.

I was just listening to Talk West the other day actually.  I really love his sound. It’s a very rustic sort of drone, a primitive sound that’s really nice.

Yeah, definitely, I mean he’s a guy who is really interested in folk tradition and blues tradition but also that very sort of extended long form almost droney kind of style. He just seems to have a really nice sensibility about his way,  it seems to just unfurl in a really beautiful natural way. He’s a really beautiful player and quite intuitive about his compositions so I hope the people enjoy something more full length from him. I don’t think he has done a full length album as yet.  He has had a few low key cassette releases and they’ve just kind of hinted to what I think this album is to me, anyway.

There’ll be another Grand Salvo record and I know that Paddy Man who lives in Melbourne has being recording quite steadily and that’s usually a reasonably long process for Paddy. He involves a lot of musicians and it takes a lot of time for him to put together the works that are inside his head. They’re quite full orchestral works and it takes a while to take the right people together and get them together in one room. That’s something that will eventually come and we’ll put that out. He’s someone who has really grown over a number of years and he’s just seemingly unstoppable in the amount of music that he puts out. 

There are a few things bubbling under, I have a set of demos from Nuojuva. I was just recently overseas in Europe and I spent some time with Ous Mal – who is Noujuva – in Finland, and he gave me a whole a lot of demos and he new stuff is a lot more rhythmic.

So that could prove to be something really interesting when it finally gets done, it’s a long way off but yeah there are plenty of things bubbling away. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all develops.

Great. I look forward to listening to it all. Thanks for your time Andrew.

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