Monday, 16 March 2009

Angular Recording Corporation Interview 2009

The birth of Angular is a confusing tale of self sacrifice, medical experiments and ritualistic burials. However, it kind of makes sense when you learn that their first act under the now famous moniker was to claim a local Triangulation Point (ARC 001) as their first release. So, only slightly less listenable than Bloc Party’s latest offerings then

What began as a small but celebrated operation releasing compilations and singles by Long Blondes, Klaxons and the above-mentioned Bloc Party, has blossomed into a well respected and influential UK Indie. In recent years ARC has released well-received albums by These New Puritans and The Violets.

Their most recent signings are the hotly tipped Crystal Stilts; whose exceptional debut, heavily indebted to early Creation Records and Flying Nun releases, arrives on these shores this month. As they continue to grow in reputation and stature, no mean feat for one of the last truly independent record labels in the UK, we catch up with founders Joe Daniels and Joe Margetts

As a label you seem to have your feet firmly in place on the ground, do you ever get carried away by your rather flattering press?

Joe M: I get giddy with excitement every morning when the postman comes, so you can only imagine what it's like for me to read a nice review. 

Joe D: I've always found it baffling. But I'm not complaining. We put out music we think is good and other people agree with us. I suppose that's how it should work. 

How do you feel when journalists try and label what you release?

Joe M: We love it. We're into the idea that once things are in print they become fact. So those journalists who once described what we release as 'new rave' were entirely correct, and now have the hard copy to prove it. 

Joe D: That term was invented by me and Jamie Reynolds in a library in Deptford back in the day. We thought it was a bit too obvious to catch on, but of course it did, and it feels a bit weird that a private joke has become a global media phenomenon. And yes I love it. It’s great to have been involved in no less than four indie 'scenes' over the last few years. 

How does it feel when acts from your roster, such as Bloc party and The Long Blondes move onto 'bigger' labels? 

Joe M: With those two bands we didn't have the resources at the time to offer them what they deserved. (Although with hindsight with Bloc Party clearly deserved to have their guitars confiscated. Talk about old and very boring before their time!)

With the LB's we stopped releasing singles as we had become good chums and didn't want to mix business and pleasure. Fortunately the baton was well and truly picked up by Rough Trade - their natural home!

Do you really bury your records as some kind of offering? 

Joe M: Yes. This is the one of the most important operations in the running of the label. You need to ensure good luck for the next release by returning the previous one to the earth. Releasing it into the wild. We're slowly triangulating our way across Britain with these sacrifices. We already own a plot in a cemetery, and when Angular Recording Co. is over we will bury all our remaining artefacts there, with just our logo on the headstone. 

Joe D: Yes we do. I don't know why more labels aren't into quasi-polytheistic Reconstructionism. It’s great for sales! 

How do you finance the label?

Joe M: We started off with a small amount of money we earned as medical guinea-pigs in summer 2003. From then on we've sold records... 

Joe D: That's correct, we both have a little toe missing in the name of medical research and musical ordnance. 

Would you ever sell yourselves to a major?

I don't have any problems with the ethics of such a thing, but the answer would be no. That would be no fun, plus they'd probably try and exhume our back catalogue. 

Joe D: I quite enjoy our indie reputation. The people who work at majors seem to have really bad ideas, and they talk a lot about music, without listening to it very much. I watched several of them embarrass themselves during the Klaxons bidding war with their fawning idiocy. Why would you work with people you have absolutely no respect for? 

And with that fine major label baiting rhetorical question, our time with the Joe’s of Angular came to an end.

No comments:

Post a Comment