For anyone who is interested in experimental music, but doesn't live in New York of San Francisco, there has been one outpost that never fails to impress. Ed Hardy's Eclipse mailorder and record label is a beacon for all things obscure, bizarre, and fucking great. Eclipse has also being a premiere label, offering up thick slabs of vinyl of many impressive artists. One of the really great things Hardy has done is the massive undertaking of reissuing all the early Sun City Girls recordings on beautiful double LPs. It is a labor of love and one that Hardy executes brilliantly. Despite his busy schedule, he is easily reached, always available, and one of the friendliest people you'll ever meet. Add that to the fact he has the most impressive mailorder catalog on the planet, and it is a potent combination.
EH: I'm not exactly sure when I discovered experimental music but I was headed in that direction while I was in college in the late '80's. I'd been listening to a lot of psychedelic records which led me to more experimental sounds.
EH: Mainly to keep myself supplied with the music I wanted. I moved from the Chicago area in 1995 to Bullhead City. When I got here there was one record shop in town and it was more of a head shop than anything. So, I knew that mail order was the only way to get the music I wanted. Soon after I started Eclipse without any real plan on what I was going to do. I thought it would be more of a hobby than anything else.
EH: Meeting and working with so many nice, cool people has been great. Turning on people to great sounds. Putting out records that I truly love. And now that I have been doing this full time for 2.5 years (since I quit my day job) it's great to be my own boss. I work very hard every day but it is a labor of love.
EH: The label started in 2000. I wanted to release a few records and see if I liked doing it. I had no idea back then that I'd be issuing as many records that I have since. Again, I had no plan. It was just something I wanted to try and I really liked the results so I kept with it.
EH: Trying to stay on top of things. Since I have no life outside of Eclipse (which is good because I have no time) I work probably close to 12 hours a day during the week and less on the weekends. I need to work all these hours to make sure orders go out immediately which is very important to me. I know when I order something I don't want to wait very long before I have it in my hands so I try to get everyone's orders to them as soon as possible. Keeping up with the pace of orders and all the other things I need to do to keep Eclipse going is the most difficult thing because I don't have anyone else here who can pack orders, answer e-mails, etc.
EH: I think cdr's have been hugely important for experimental music. Without cdr's we would not have heard so many artists / bands as pressing vinyl or manufacturing cd's is not inexpensive. The cdr labels and artists who are self-releasing their sounds can do this without spending a lot of money. Of course there are some downsides to cdr's: faulty discs, compatibility issues, and the unknown factor is how long will these cdr's will hold the music on the disc. Overall, however, cdr's are essential because there are so many 'unknown' artists out there who have something great to share with everyone who would not be able to do this without cdr's.
EH: Not seriously. I have a few instruments here that I play very rarely (and I have no training on them): tamboura and harmonium.
EH: My memory is a little hazy on this but the idea happened at Terrastock in Boston back in October 2002. I was talking with Ben Chasny and mentioned the idea and together we started discussing what we were looking to do. We decided right away to ask Nemo (Time-Lag) to be involved so we did right there in Boston. He was interested so soon after Terrastock we discussed via e-mail exactly what the idea of the 3lp is and who we wanted to ask to be involved with the project. Now, 2+ years later, it's very close to completion and we're all very excited about it.
EH: There will be a lot of records released in 2005. Two records by Ilya Monosov / Preston Swirnoff duo. Also, My Cat is an Alien, Samara Lubelski, Double Leopards, Fursaxa, Tom Carter/Marcia Bassett, Dead Machines, Son of Earth, Marissa Nadler, Sunburned Hand of the Man, more Sun City Girls dbl lp's, Acid Mothers Temple, plus co-releases with Galactic Zoo Disk (Tar Pet, Josephine Foster & The Supposed) and I'm sure there will be more, too.
EH: In no particular order:
Fursaxa Madrigal in Duos Time-Lag
The Tower Recordings Galaxies' Incredible Sensual Transmission Field Of The Tower Recordings Communion
Marissa Nadler Ballads of Living and Dying Eclipse
Päivänsäde Puhalluspelto Eclipse
Islaja Meritie Fonal
Samara Lubelski In The Valley Child of Microtones
Jack Rose Raag Manifestos vhf
Six Organs of Admittance For Octavio Paz Time-Lag
Charalambides Joy Shapes kranky
Kuupuu Kevätlauluja self-released
Another great year of music! Hearing new sounds and new artists has got me excited.
-- Brad Rose (19 June, 2005)