We speak to the owners behind unorthodox music label Warmest Chord about their latest signings and vinyl collecting
Warmest Chord is a label with a difference. By taking pride in an unorthodoxy which is completely at odds with the mentality of the major labels, they are setting intentionally themselves apart. Each release consists of three exclusive tracks, a bespoke limited edition screen print which is produced in response to the music and a mix-tape by the respective artist. Run by three music lovers who cherish the holistic approach that has been lost by record labels, Warmest Chord aims to bring a sense of idiosyncrasy back to proceedings. Think Sarah and Factory records and you’re not far off. We caught up with one of the founders, Becky Randall, to find out more.
Dazed Digital: What inspired you to start your own label?
Becky Randall: I've always been fanatical about music and how different labels have certain trademarks and characteristics, like the great partnership between designer Peter Saville and Factory Records. That made a real impression upon me and then along came a couple of likeminded people, a couple of late nights and long conversations and Warmest Chord was born. Starting a label from scratch and the freedom that gives you is really liberating.
DD: What kind of artists are you interested in signing?
Becky Randall: One of the main ideas behind Warmest Chord is that we want to have an almost Mama Cass mentality behind what and who and how we release what we release. We don't want to categorise ourselves into a corner and limit ourselves so in terms of what might come out on Warmest Chord in the future then it could be an 8-piece band consisting of 3 generations of Peruvian nose flute players or it could be a bedroom laptop lone ranger in Walthamstow. The only real requirement is that it's music that makes our hearts beat a little faster.
DD: Where did you get the idea to add the bespoke elements to your releases?
Becky Randall: The idea to have bespoke and visual counterparts to the music was there right from the very beginning, the screen prints and all the other trimmings are as important as the music to us. We're both big fans and collectors of vinyl so when we decided that WC was going to consist of digital releases it felt right that we would offset that with beautiful artwork you can own. With downloads generally comes no artwork in the traditional sense and we wanted to correct that.
DD: Will you be releasing music physically? Do you believe that physically releasing music is dead/dying?
Becky Randall: The fat lady definitely has not sung on releasing music physically. At WC we're both avid vinyl collectors and there is nothing quite like the sound, smell and feel of vinyl. You can't replace that with a download code. The idea for us is not compete with that but instead offer another twist on the download that embraces it and adds to it.
DD: What do you think the screen prints will add to the releases?
Becky Randall: With downloads yes you can get the jpg attachment of the album artwork but it's nowhere near the same experience of having something in your hand.. keeping it, admiring it, framing it. It adds attachment to the music. They're collectors items, limited, custom made and always fixed down to a certain time, place and musical context.
DD: What’s next for Warmest Chord?
Becky Randall: Our second release has just been released. It's a four-track EP from the Mississippi Slow Talk along with a screen print bedmate bespoke designed by designer Micah Lidberg. We're also working on a really special next release due out in January which we're really rather excited about. We are also very happy to be doing a DJ spot at the Nail The Cross festival in November which should be fun.