Founded in 2010
Founder: Morgan & Onito
City: Besançon / France
Genre: experimental, electronic, avant-garde
Artists: Tomaga, Ben Shemie, Josiah Steinbrick, Matt Jencik, Brian Case, Jonathan Fitoussi, Demian Castellanos, Byron Westrbrook....
Mission: Be proactive in resisting to mass culture and all the negative things it brings
We are two long time friends from Besançon (east France). It is a lovely part of the world where the balance between nature and culture is fantastic. There is a strong sense of solidarity, respect and humanity within the music/art scene, which is really enjoyable. The town is surrounded by numerous lovely green hills and nature is never more than 10mn away wherever you live in town.
It all started 10 years ago. At the time Morgan had been involved in various activities gravitating around music such as hosting a radio show and running a blog. I had been playing in bands, promoting shows and running small DIY punk hardcore record labels but needed a bit of a breather. He asked me to join him in this new adventure and the prospect of starting something from scratch with no artistic constraints sounded very appealing!
We are both fans of minimal, dark/black and white contemporary art, optical art, surreal visions, psychedelia of all forms… photos, videos, films, paintings, or even novels that nourish our souls and propose a journey.Morgan has been doing collages for a bit now, he has published 3 books and done artworks for a few albums.
Our main goal has always been to release and share (weird) music that we love. Then I think it has become important for us to be proactive in resisting to mass culture and all the negative things it brings. In the end, it is indeed a bit of a mission to propose something different and support original, non-business artistic visions at a time when art is being consumed and sort of standardised.
Although we find it difficult to name a single genre that distinguishes the artists in our catalogue, perhaps their overall approach to music is largely experimental or avant-garde, both in substance and in form. I guess it reflects our taste in music, the fact that we listen to lots of music from different times and places and we can’t/don’t want to stick to a particular genre.
It’s hard to pin point particular times or events but I guess the first release on vinyl (HITD 007 Travel Expop Series #1) was something quite special. We started very small, with 100 copies on CD of our first release (an 4-tracks EP for the Swedish dream-pop band ‘Death and Vanilla’) and a year and 6 releases on CD later we were putting out our vinyl: a compilation gathering 5 experimental French artists (Travel Expop Series #1, featuring Holy Strays, Cankun, Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier, High Wolf + Chicaloyoh). It was all the more exciting that we also promoted our first event in Paris for the occasion. It was the first time we were doing something in “real life” since most of our work as a label had been done digitally prior to this release party.
Every release brings joy in a different and very singular way but the common factor is that the music we put out needs to move us. Pride of releasing an album can come from very different things: a band/artist that we are fans of, a challenging debut-album from someone no-one knows, releasing music that has became the soundtrack of our lives at that particular moment, a project with long time friends, the birth of new solid friendship, etc…
There were quite a few “real life” moments when that made me really happy to be involved with some great human beings and talented artists:
- I had the chance to tour in Europe with incredible bands that I have the honour to call friends today, such as The Oscillation (UK), Lumerians (USA) or Robedoor (USA).
- Back in 2014, the American musician Jaime Fennelly aka Mind Over Mirrors (for whom we released an album and booked a tour) came over with the dancer Miguel Gutierrez to perform their “Storing the winter” show at the iconic Centre Pompidou in Paris. it absolutely blew my mind.
- It was also a very special moment to see our friends from Tomaga (Valentina Magaletti and Tom Relleen) be part of the CAN Project at the Barbican (another iconic venue, but in London) in 2017. The line-up for the supergroup was insane and included Malcolm Mooney, Thurston Moore, Deb Googe, and Steve Shelley!!
At the moment, we are working on a very special release in the sense that it features our friend Tom Relleen who passed away this summer
Hopefully, we will also be able to make our postponed 10th anniversary festival happen in December 2021. It was supposed to happen over the last weekend of November this year. We spent a lot of time and energy setting up a city festival in Besançon. The idea is to bring together around twenty artists who will perform in a number of striking and quirky venues and intimate settings, giving a programme of eight exceptional events which will highlight the singular and fascinating musical projects we have put out since 2010. There will of course be a programme of gigs/concerts, but the capital of Franche-Comté will also play host to DJ sets, a creative workshop, a conference on improvised and experimental music, a cine-concert and retrospectives of the consistently stunning visual works that have accompanied the label's releases.
LISTEN to this selection highlights unique and strong musical universes, an approach to art and music that has been close to our hearts for a decade.This mix by Onito offers a succinct collection of 10 years of sound exploration"