The Moon Glyph label is quickly positioning itself amongst the leading lights of the burgeoning cassette underground. Initially started by Steve Rosborough as an outlet for his own musical project, his attention turned towards documenting the wealth of psychedelia, in its various forms, emanating from his adopted home city of Minneapolis. Now in its second year, Moon Glyph is expanding its scope, making the move into vinyl releases and connecting with like-minded artists on a national and international level. Steve was kind enough to answer some questions about his label and his own music.
Moon Glyph began February of last year. The duo I'm in, Olives, finished up our second set of recordings and needed an outlet to release them. I had entertained the idea of starting a label previously, but was then just given an ideal opportunity to put that idea into motion. After deliberating over a label name and attempting to establish its visual aesthetic, Moon Glyph began.
One label in particular that I had followed religiously was Rune Grammofon. The cohesive aesthetic (both visually and musically) that Rune Kristoffersen cultivated alongside Kim Hiorthøy's transcendent artwork certainly influenced how I've handled my label thus far. Each individual release could be instantly recognized as a Rune Grammofon album while simultaneously each album design was fitted to express the very specific music within; it's very inspiring work.
Thank you, the packaging and artwork of a given release is very important to me. In the age of digital, where everything is freely available, I feel that the physical object must justify itself and I hope to do that through the presentation. Without informed and considered packaging, I don't see many reasons to release music beyond digitally. The artwork though has been designed by me, with the exception of Camden and Magic Castles which were designed by Suzanne Pfutzenreuter. Within cassette culture I think there are plenty of folks making some really great work, Stunned Records releases have been beautiful, Night People's aesthetic has been honed to a science and Housecraft has carved their own eclectic niche.
Minneapolis is currently experiencing an almost overabundance of great, overlooked bands. Beyond what Moon Glyph has been sharing, Totally Gross National Product is a label here that has a number of excellent releases with more than a few in the pipeline. Same with Modern Radio, they've been at this game for 10 years and almost purely dedicated to the local scene, they're putting out amazing music. But as far my label goes, I plan on documenting the local scene continually as well as expanding beyond into other national & international regions.
Buffalo Moon and Larry Wish do appear as anomalies amongst many of my releases, but the primary aesthetic of the label is to release various forms of psychedelia which I believe both fall under in vastly, vastly different ways. Buffalo Moon though is a really great young group from Minneapolis putting out bossa nova & light-psych sounds, even though "Wetsuit" was a debut it contained a polish and craft that I found both impressive and exciting. Larry Wish, on the other hand, is a deranged character with a bleak outlook and a sly, almost underhanded sense of humor. Seeing Adam perform as Larry Wish is a wholly new experience unto itself, highly recommended for those who connect with his tunes.
Olives began as a duo of Ross Nervig and myself, just making some free noise from time to time during college. We continued to experiment directly afterwards but have been a tad slowed since I left for Minneapolis and we split geographically. So after the second Olives tape, the Moon Glyph debut, I began work on my own under Soothsayer. I've experimented with a plodding ambience fueled by synth lines and light guitar work; I'm hoping to have a Soothsayer follow up out in the near-ish future.
As a musical inspiration I'd have to mention Manuel Göttsching and his work in Ashra. Specifically, his series of three albums: "Inventions for Electric Guitars", "Blackouts" & "New Age of Earth". Other than that I'd have to mention Harmonia's "Deluxe". It's a record I can't put to words and at least during this fleeting moment, I'd call my favorite all-time. Untouchable works.
Locally there is a huge slew of upcoming things, a new Velvet Davenport cassette, a Shahs release, a Leisure Birds tape, a Buffalo Moon 7", new music from Dante & the Lobster and a brand new Minneapolis band called Food Pyramid. We're still talking about it, but Food Pyramid may even release a series of cassettes showcasing various environments and other cosmic treks, should be something of a kosmische-fueled skyward jam. Outside of the local scene I'll also be releasing a cassette from Josh of Sky Limousine, a new experimental project from Gary War and something from the underworld visionaries in PC Worship, all exciting stuff.
In the fairly immediate future though my big new release is Moon Glyph's vinyl debut. It's a Minneapolis compilation entitled "Regolith Vol.1". It showcases a multitude of psychedelia coming out of this fair city, from psych-pop to dirty analog drones. All exclusive tracks from Leisure Birds, Magic Castles, Dante & the Lobster, Velvet Davenport (with Ariel Pink & Gary War), Camden, Vampire Hands, Daughters of the Sun, The Blind Shake, Skoal Kodiak and Moonstone. It's quite a list of bands and it's a release that I'm terribly excited for and very proud of; I hope others enjoy it.
Beyond that, you can also expect Velvet Davenport's vinyl full-length, "Warmy Girls". One of the best bands in town is making good on all their promise; it's going to be a stunning record from Parker Sprout & Co.
As I like to see myself as an artist and Moon Glyph as my art, the progression of the label has been a series of fulfilling moments. Overall though the most rewarding aspect has simply been making the artists happy with their releases as well as witnessing new folks encounter the huge slew of amazing Minneapolis bands.
Thus far I'd love to hear any and all demos that people would like to send my way. I'm always looking for something new and entrancing.
-- David Perron (16 June, 2010)