Thursday, January 14, 2010

Get to Know: the Grinding Tapes Recording Company (+++free mp3s)

Since 2005, The Grinding Tapes Recording Company has released beautiful and interesting records by sweet folk-influenced bands like The Points North (who stopped by WTBU for an in-studio last semester), Elijah Wyman (now making music with the name tiny mtns), and Mr. Sister. The Boston-based label's catalogue ranges from an EP of folky sing-a-longs with friends, home-recorded straight to cassette (Elijah Wyman's tiny mtns) to a collection of pop songs inspired by Nordic and Eastern European folk (Detektivbyrån's Wermland). Grinding Tapes founder Jason Rozen recently answered some questions for WTBU about the label's history, upcoming releases, their socially-conscious mission, and more.

How/when did Grinding Tapes Records form?

I started Grinding Tapes back in 2005 to release Elijah Wyman's Why We Never Go Swimming... album on vinyl. I mostly just wanted to be able to own the album on vinyl, but Elijah encouraged me to expand the project and start looking for more artists. It quickly became apparent just how much unrecognized talent existed in the Boston indie scene, and Grinding Tapes was born! Since then, several friends got involved and we have now released 18 albums in all kinds of formats including vinyl records, CD, digital download, and cassette tape.

Who is currently on the roster and what releases do you have coming up?

Nine artists have released music on Grinding Tapes so far and most of them have plans for upcoming releases with us. We're usually described as a folk label, and for good reason. Many of our releases are by top-notch Boston-area folk artists like The Points North, tiny mtns/Elijah Wyman, and Mr. Sister. We have, however, recently started branching out to other music styles. For example, we just released our first straight-out rock EP by a local band called Dreamtigers. We've even started expanding geographically, as well. Vinegar Socks is an amazing folk band from Italy and Detektivbyrån are from Sweden. We've also been working with this great orchestral rock band from Brooklyn/Montreal called Slowest Runner.

Looking forward to early 2010, we are pumped to have releases from Mr. Sister and Manners in the works, plus a super-exciting collaborative record, which will include contributions from most of the Grinding Tapes artists. We're also having great success with our mp3 subscription service, where we send out rare and unreleased Grinding Tapes songs each month, so we're planning to continue that. We have some other crazy ideas as well, but we should keep those as a secret for now.

What is your mission as a label?

We're music fans first, so our priority is to make sure these great artists have an outlet for their talent and to maintain the highest standard of quality. We're also dedicated to maintaining our role as a socially-conscious record label by continuing to donate proceeds to charity, treat artists & fans fairly, and implement ethical & sustainable business practices.

What is the most awesome part of running a DIY record label in Boston, Massachusetts?

The best part is seeing the music get the recognition it deserves, and in that sense, this past year has been our most rewarding yet. We had some really successful showcases at venues like Club Passim and the Middle East. We released a total of six albums in 2009, all of which are doing very well. Some of our artists have had some exposure on local radio stations like WFNX. The Points North's new record was recognized by The Boston Globe as one of their top local albums of the year and Grinding Tapes even had a feature article in the Globe. It's just great to see all our hard work starting to pay off!

mp3: The Points North - Stone Wall
mp3 The Points North - Swift River Lament
mp3: Elijah Wyman - Thicket Holds a Ram
mp3: Elijah Wyman - We try too hard.
mp3: Detektivbyrån - Om Du Moter Varg
mp3: Detektivbyrån - Partyland
mp3: Slowest Runner - As the sea swells she bleats and moans like a goat in heat
mp3: Vinegar Socks - Life in the Sewer
mp3: Vinegar Socks - Chimney Sweeper

1 comment:

眼淚 said...