Matthew White, Dean Christesen, and Jesse Medaries are proud to announce the launch of Spacebomb Records (@Spcebmb):
Centered around a house band (think Stax or Motown), a distinct cast of contributing auxiliary musicians (think Phil Spector’s wrecking crew), division of labor (think Brill Building), and strong and unified musical and artistic statements (think Blue Note), Spacebomb is founded on old models, combining the creative structures and recording techniques of great record labels of the 20th century with the the DIY revolution of the last 40 years and the current digital music phenomenon. For each release, Spacebomb will be releasing 1,000 beautiful hand-assembled vinyl records as well as distributing the music online.
The Spacebomb Records Launch Party
Featuring Karl Blau
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 10pm
Spacebomb’s story is a Richmond story. Like the hits that came out of Muscle Shoals or Detroit, Richmond is a geographic anomaly of musical talent and innovation outside the main markets for music production. Because of the city’s unique charm and talented musicians, artists like Steven Bernstein and David Karsten Daniels have already made the pilgrimage to perform with an energy and musical aesthetic that they can’t find anywhere else. This fall, indie rockers Megafaun and Bon Iver invited Fight the Big Bull to supply the arrangements and be the backing band for a special three-night stand at Duke University. Following that successful collaboration, Megafaun asked White to write the horn arrangements for their upcoming record and Bon Iver invited Fight the Big Bull trombonist Reggie Pace to join his band. (Bon Iver was coming off of a magical year that saw his songs sampled by Kanye West and covered by Peter Gabriel.)
White’s adventurous connections in both the rock and jazz worlds indicate the types of records Spacebomb will release. He points to labels like Atlantic, which released not crossover albums but works by both Ornette Coleman and Led Zeppelin, as models to follow. “You don’t see that as much from independent labels,” White says. “It’s a goal of ours to be releasing relevant material in many different genres.”
Spacebomb is also influenced by the golden years of the Jamaican music industry. Inspired by Dub music, many of Spacebomb’s tracks will be used as skeletons to create more music. “I want to utilize the remix culture in Jamaican music,” says White, “Music has always been recycled and reborn: new lyrics are written over old folk songs, old folk songs are turned into symphonies, and so on. Dub just demonstrates that life cycle in a very exciting and immediate way.” It also enforces “very specific limits on your creativity, which can yield very special results.”
Helping launch the label in February, K Records recording artist Karl Blau will be the first to participate in the Spacebomb process, visiting Richmond to record a solo album, co-produce White’s solo album, and perform at the Spacebomb premiere event at Balliceaux on February 16.
Karl Blau, with whom White has previously performed through both Fight the Big Bull and The Great White Jenkins, is uniquely suited to help launch Spacebomb. White describes their chemistry, “He brings a dynamic skill set into the recording environment and is extraordinarily familiar with the music that makes us tick. We have had the chance to feed off of each other before but this extended setting should bring something very special.”
The allure of Richmond’s pool of distinct musical talent, the raw ghost of country blues running through the streets and the simple, yet all-encompassing nature of the Spacebomb process is appealing to any musician with an open mind. Jason Stein — acclaimed bass clarinetist from Chicago — will be traveling to Richmond in October, and each of the three members of Megafaun will be recording a solo record. Additionally, Fight the Big Bull will be recording their new release for Spacebomb in the spring.
Spacebomb is also very excited to be curating a bi-weekly night at Balliceaux, beginning with the launch on Feb 16th, focusing on not only the recording projects that the label is involved in but supporting the individual projects of the musicians that lend their unique voices to the Spacebomb sound. In addition the Spacebomb staff will be hosting a bi-weekly column on RVANews.com highlighting the unique relationships and experiences they enjoy along the way and sharing their thoughts, opinions, and insights on the musical world.
With their hearts linked to the community, and their minds and ears busy creating a noise of their very own, the three staff members are very proud to announce that Spacebomb Records is here.