Unverified Records Interview
Thanks very much for agreeing to this interview. Would you mind introducing yourself?
I’m Euan Currie, I plop an intermittent stream of old fashioned physical objects in the form of CDrs (mostly) and tapes (very occasionally, probably never again) out of my penthouse HQ in the fine city of Edinburgh, Scotland. These releases come branded with the Unverified Records name.
In addition to this business venture, I play in the group Muscletusk, play solo under the name Dead Labour Process, play in another group called Brittle Hammer Trio, and am in the midst of several collaborations which remain mostly un-named.
How would you describe the beginning of your Unverified Records company career?
Well, first up I wouldn’t say it’s a career! One time a few years back, I somehow ended up with a stash of money from the label under my bed, then spent it, and that envelope has been empty ever since…
But I guess the beginning of me deciding to do something like this was around Dec ’07. I had recorded a bunch of solo material which I wanted to give to people, just out of pure vanity. Around that time, I was also a keen bootlegger of local weirdo shows, recording them on a portable cassette recorder, and realized I had a couple of great recordings of luddite twins Ali Robertson & Malcy Duff AKA Usurper playing two separate trio sets Dora Doll & Dylan Nyoukis, ex-Prick Decay siblings. It seemed like a good idea to put the two of em together and make it available, so Malcy did some drawings for the sleeve and there it was (you can now get the Nyoukis side at Ubuweb: www.ubu.com/sound/nyoukis_dylan.html). It seemed like this could actually be a fun hobby – asking people to do releases and flogging the results. I like listening to music, photocopying and folding paper so it was just an extension of that really.
What was your first release. I am also interested in what format do you make your release?
The first release was Dead Labour Process “Lone Keys”. Edition of 30 copies on yellow c30 cassettes. I didn’t intend for this to be the first release in a label or anything, I made this to give to friends as Christmas presents and thought it would be funny to put a label name and catalogue number on it. Hence Unverified Records, terrible pun…
That tape was all solo keyboard pieces, completely retarded single finger style recorded on a reel to reel tape recorder and then (mostly) slowed down to half the speed. The name Dead Labour Process came out of that –as the music was pretty much an exercise in goofball mentality, I wanted a name that contrasted with that so folks might think they were gonna hear some super serious political power electronics or something . You can judge for yourself whether that is as funny as I think it is: http://unrecs.blogspot.com/2009/12/dead-labour-process-lone-keys.html
Further releases were on either CDr or cassette, although cassettes are a massive drag due to the low tech dubbing setup I slog along with. I will put out vinyl if someone else pays for it and lets me put the label name on it!
How many pressings do you usually make? Does it depend on individual artist?
Depends – with tapes I guess they exist already at a set length so I’d tend to buy a bunch and make about 50 copies. In our modern democratic music sharing society, I guess CDrs are the perfect format for distributing, burning, copying etc etc, so I would just tend to make to order, or make a bunch to take on tour. All these sounds are just floating about in the ether, their physical form is of not that much interest to me.
How many releases did you make? I am also interested which of them are your favourite?
I am currently at UN035, with a few more on the horizon. There is no plan beyond asking people who’s sounds tickle me to record some similarly sexy junk for me to scent mark. When I had more time on my hands I did a lot more. Now I think maybe five a year is more than enough.
Favourites…hmmmm….I couldn’t pick any favourites, but many of them are closer to my heart for sentimental reasons. The best thing I think I have ever recorded and released is the Oddities of the Lothians cassette (get it here: http://thundergongz.tumblr.com/page/2 scroll about a third of the way down the page). I do love the murky sounds on it, but they are massively precious to me as the body of it was made out of field recordings around the town of Bonnyrigg, Scotland, where I grew up. Me and my dear bandmates Daniel Rutter & Grant Smith went out one spring day armed with tape recorders and hung around the market, the church hall, the wasteland. We saw sausages hanging from overhead power cables. We threw stones into waterlogged ditches and rattled fences. We spoke with old ladies. I mangled the tapes through various devices and that release was the result. It seemed to be pretty popular, a lot of people really liked it and I read some funny reviews from a Mexican website I think, which interpreted it as some hellish ride through the bowels of the Inferno, when its really a couple of old ladies laughing at the cardigan stall.
Otherwise, I am excited to soon release the latest work by Jorge Boehringer aka Core of the Coalman, who is a dear friend of mine living in Prague. Many of my seminal psychic/sonic revelations of the last two years have been spent in his company, and to put out a disc by him means a lot to me. Also, notable mentions to The Speech Organs (various artists sound poetry comp featuring Phil Minton, Id M Theft Able etc) which I put a lot of mental energy into, Hunton Quintet “Bert’s Parts” which I just think is a majorly great slice of Finnish meat and Ki “Stops Dropping!” due to the lovely screenprinted covers by my main dood Sean Maguire, and because it features ol’ Papa Dawson himself, Fritz Welch.
What are your future plans?
For Unverified, no plans except to see what rocks my socks and then take it from there. By the time you read this there may/may not be new discs from Lovely Honkey (Luke Poot from Hull’s weed befuddled solo project), the aforementioned Core of the Coalman, a new dup called Hunting, Shooting and Fishing, and at some point after that a release by legendary Toronto troublemaker Brian Ruryk.
For my own musical projects I have much more exciting plans, such as heading to Holland and maybe more overseas resorts, collaborating with Ben Knight of Helhesten on a sound poetry release, and having releases coming out on many labels much better than my own – a 7” lathe coming out on Beniffer Editions, which includes a cover of “Hobbies” by Jenny Moss, a CDr coming soon on Chocolate Monk, and local heroes Piped In From Head Office have just put out my other favourite thing I have ever recorded, a Dead Labour Process release called “Rats In The Gravy Of Knowledge”. It’s mostly made up of recordings from a European tour I did last year, and I’d recommend you get it although where you can get it, I don’t know! Last but not least, Total Vermin in Manchester are putting out a cassette of my collaboration with Kommissar Hjuler & Mama Baer, called “Hamburg Tapes”.
Would you mind presenting your new releases?
Yeah man – the new bumph which is pretty much out now (almost)…It includes Core of the Coalman’s “Precambrian Figures” which I mentioned above – a totally bizarre longform document of a departure from his usual viola looping modes into shredding electronics, epic drone and big ideas. Also Lovely Honkey’s “The Destitute homeless form part of the scenery”, which is a Hull based weirdo by the name of Luke Poot, who runs the fantastic Poot Records. His sounds are totally primitive, unidentifiable sources recorded sitting around in front of the late night TV probably. And I am also tickled pink to present the first release by the new Glasgow based duo Hunting, Shooting & Fishing. They play kitchen utensils, violins and birdcalls, and spin a divine web out of foggy air.
Do you have anything else to say about yourself, that I didn’t ask?
My favourite food is Saag Aloo, Daal and rice, with an optional kofta kebab, from the Mosque Kitchen in Edinburgh.
Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011
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