Frenchkiss, which announced the formation of the Frenchkiss Label Group earlier this year, has announced the first nine labels joining the fold: ATP Recordings, Cavity Search, Cult, God Mode, Holiday Friends, JAXART, Pendu Sound, Underwater Peoples and White Iris (more information on each is below).
The announcements follow the company's departure from Sony-owned RED late last year to join forces fully with The Orchard. The label group is run by Frenchkiss founder/Les Savy Fav member Syd Butler and the day-to-day operations will be handled by Orchard/IODA alum Jordy Trachtenberg.
The group's mission statement reads: "Frenchkiss Label Group is a hands-on boutique distributor, focused on growing visibility for independent labels as the bottom line. In the spirit of communities like Dischord, Rough Trade, Touch & Go, et al., FKLG will serve to nurture newer labels as they become industry mainstays. Created in Syd Butler's image, with day to day operations run by Jordy Trachtenberg, our goal is to create a community that can encourage and support one another. We hand-pick labels who reflect the integrity of Frenchkiss and aim to expand upon this ethos. Since we've partnered with The Orchard, we can attest that we're working with the best talent around when it comes to delivering and streamlining distribution and adopting new platforms for music. We're striving to recreate the handshake mentality of pioneered label communities while using the Orchard's innovative methods, in order to be the best resource for those looking to grow with us. "
Exclusive: Frenchkiss Leaves RED, Takes Physical Distribution to Orchard
"The goal for the label group is to put together up-and-coming tastemaker labels and help them fine-tune their business," Trachtenberg told Billboard.biz. "With some of the labels, like White Iris with Best Coast, you see the band go on to a bigger label and the first label gets the credibility of 'we released this first.' We want to help these labels retain their bands, whether it means investing in the label or investing in the band - which we are very much willing to do -- as well as helping them acquire other artists, where we can step in as the distributor and help fortify the deal. I previously owned a label [Gammon] and have eight years' experience being a VP of A&R [for the Orchard] and doing the same thing with IODA for two years."
(A Frenchkiss Label Group sampler was released this week.)
As the mission statement says, the label group has some old-school models it's hoping to emulate.
"I'm looking to rebuild and reestablish community, and by community I mean the Touch & Go concept [the artist-centric indie label and distributor formed by Necros bassist Corey Rusk, whose heyday spanned the late 1980s-1990s with the Jesus Lizard, Urge Overkill, Big Black, the Butthole Surfers and many others, but stretched into the early 2000s with early releases from TV on the Radio, !!! and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs]. I think what's good for one label should be good for another, and it's about the camaraderie about sharing information and rolling together as a gang, as a pack. That's our agenda: bringing it back to the old-school days while embracing new-school technology."
*ATP Recordings, started in 2001 by London concert promoter Barry Hogan, head of the All Tomorrow's Parties organization, which has been promoting festivals and concerts (including the recent festivals in London and New York-area resorts) since 2000. Recent signings include Tall Firs, Tennis, and Anywhere (a new project started by Christian Eric Beaulieu and the Mars Volta's Cedric Bixler Zavala).
*Cavity Search Records
Portland, Oregon-based label formed by Christopher Cooper and Denny Swofford, now celebrating its 20th anniversary. Artists include The Helio Sequence, Hazel and Pete Krebs; its first release through FKLG will be German duo Gentlemen of Leisure's "Boy Toy."
Founded by Julian Casablancas, the label was the creative imprint for Phrazes for the Young (Casablancas' first solo album) and is planning new releases from C O L O R and other new artists later in the year.
Based in Brooklyn, NY, and run by Mick Management's Talya Elitzer and freelance writer/Mr. Dream member Nick Sylvester. Artists included Yvette, Matty Fasano, and Mr. Dream.
*Holiday Friends Recording Co.
The Maryland-based label was started in 2009 by Jacob Graham of the Drums and three friends, and has released music by the Drums, Surfer Blood and others. Releases for 2012 include Two Wounded Birds and Travelogue.
Los Angeles-based label founded in 2007 by Ashley Jex, has released music by Races, the Henry Clay People, and Avi Buffalo. Its first release through FKLG will be a single from LA quartet So Many Wizards, with an album slated for August.
New York-based label run by Todd Pendu, artist/ musician known for his "Pendu Disco" dance parties and compilations. Forthcoming releases include Los Angeles-based act Starred, NYC synth-pop combo YOU and the debut LP from Von Haze.
New Jersey-based label run by Ari Stern, Evan Brody, Mike Mimoun and Sawyer Jacobs that is "striving to build a collective without the confines of genre, instead focusing on individuality and exceptionality." Current releases include Twerps and The Memories; their upcoming schedule includes Eric Copeland and Ice Choir.
Label, with offices in LA and Brooklyn, founded in 2009 and run by Daron Hollowell. Past releases include Best Coast (including its 2010 debut Crazy for You), Fidlar, Oberhofer, Guards, and Electric Guest. Upcoming releases from Guards and Fidlar are both on the slate.