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Room40 started during the dusk of the last century. I had come across a bunch of music, made by friends and other artists I deeply respected, which was at that time going unreleased. I felt like this was something I wanted to address and the label started with that in mind. I also wanted to create a situation where I could facilitate the connection of communities of like minded artists and audiences across the world. The label started with a very outward looking focus. I wanted to link together what I experienced directly around me, here in Australia, with the rest of the world. Back then Australia still felt like a long way away.
Iâ€™m not sure thereâ€™s a direct link per se. I imagine some of the conditions under which they exist might be similar. For example the aesthetic constraints of the label in terms of artwork is something I value dearly and in many ways mimics the ways I tend to create work. I value constraint and framing as central away to push through the creation of work. The act of struggling against bondage is very provacative and the resulting friction can create a real sense of power and tension that can be put to good use. Thereâ€™s a lot to be said for working with limited means and having to use your mind!
I feel that thereâ€™s a rather broad aesthetic spread in Room40â€™s catalogue. Weâ€™ve had everything from avant pop with groups like Tenniscoats and artists like Tujiko Noriko through to the radiophonic works of Luc Ferrari, the electronics of John Chantler and the compositional work of David Shea. I like to think that the labelâ€™s anchor is more in concept than in sound. Each of the artists we work with has a deep affinity for and interest in creating situations of profound listening. They want their listeners to be deeply embedded in their work and certainly thatâ€™s been my experience when listening to these works.
At their best, labels work across a number of concerns simultaneously. They exists in the past, present and future all at once. They are archival, but living. They are actualising, but dreaming. They offer the chance for individuation, but are utterly collective in their form. This for me is the beauty and challenge of a label = to unite these seemingly opposing ideas. To be present, yet always yearning and imagining the possible futures. The seed and the tree all at once.
I have always been a huge believe in the DIY approach. Room40 takes root from these methodologies informed by my younger years running fanzines and tape trading. Those times were central in forming my interests in music and still to this day they shape me. I think the essence of DIY culture is as strong as ever and I have a great affinity for it!
If weâ€™re speaking of ambient music specifically, my desire is to create an affective environment. This environment is invitational and allows the listener to be wholly consumed by the offer of the music in time and in space. The richness of that experience is entirely their own and up to them.
Identity is never fixed, it is always in a process of becoming. For that reason I think every artist, every release for Room40 shapes the nature of the label. It is the sum of its parts and benefits from the incredible talent and skill of the artists involved with us. I count myself so very fortunate to have had the chance to work with these wonderful artists.
As to where I met Ben and Liz. Ben and I have known each other for about 15 years, we met at Sound Summit, a music festival in Newcastle a very long time ago. We pretty much hit it off straight away. Liz came to stay sometime around 2008 I think. We were presenting a concert for her here in Brisbane and stayed in touch ever since. Thatâ€™s the wonderful thing about music, new friends are around every corner, some of them very special friends you cherish into the future.
Comment choisis-tu les artistes avec lesquels tu travailles et quelles sont tes relations avec eux ? How do you choose the artists with whom you work and what are your relations with them?
On est un label dâ€™amis, un label familial. Je veux seulement travailler avec des artistes en qui je crois et dont je me sens proche du travail. La vie est courte, pourquoi faire des compromis ?
Weâ€™re a friends and family label. I only want to work with artists who I believe in and feel compelled by their work. Life is so very short, why compromise?
Quelles sont les approches musicales qui tâ€™inspirent le plus en ce moment ? Peux-tu nous parler de tes prochaines sorties ? What are the different musical approach/styles who motivate you most today? Can you speak to us about your next releases?
Thereâ€™s two kinds of music. That which calls you in, drawing you deeper and deeperâ€¦and that which doesnâ€™t. I want music to drown me. In 2016 we have new editions from Chris Abrahams, John Chantler, David Toop and many other fine folks.
Puberty In Blue Mixtape
01. Eugene Crachesio – Stannum 09
02. David Shea – Emerald Garden
03. Lawrence English – Another Body
04. Norman Westberg – Frostbite Falls
05. Erik Griswold – Pendukum Shift
06. Taylor Deupree – Seep
07. Ueno – 8
08. Andrea Belfi – D
09. Simon James Phillips – Posture
10. Mike Cooper – White Shadows
11. John Chantler – B2
12. Marina Rosenfeld – Cuz I Canâ€™t Find My Way