Rad Releases 20 – October Tone Records
It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2020 rapidly approaches and we quickly want to move away from this year- we take a personal look back on familiar names, labels, promoters, and musicians’ best releases of the past 12 months. In what has been a challenging year for all, the one constant has been how artists and their labels have adapted and produced some of the best records of our time and it’s those releases that have the audience has depended on to get them through the year.
This year the Rad Releases special celebrates 10 years, to mark the decade-long feature we let our favorites take over the site to tell us the records that have kept them going throughout this trying year. Telling us how they’ve adapted, if they’ve returned to a loved record and what we can look forward to from them next year.
Our next takeover comes from the wonderful label October Tone Records. We cannot stress enough how fantastic this label really is. October Tone releases records from artists all over and in pre-pandemic times also curates and hosts festivals and concerts where possible. Based in Strasbourg since 2012 the label’s roster continues to grow at such a rapid rate and each time they introduce us to a new outfit that soon becomes a favourite. We had the pleasure in teaming up with October Tone earlier in the year when the label contributed some vital tracks to our compilation release. The label back in January also released a very special single release from Circuit Sweet familiar Simon Gore. We handover to Atef to find out more about how the label has adapted and of course those most loved records…
CRACK CLOUD – Pain Olympics (LP)
Even if you don’t know or listen to them, be curious about their story: Crack Cloud is a collective made of former junkies and mental health workers who gathered together to help quit drugs by playing music. And their music is like observing the Earth from another planet.
LA PRIEST – Gene (LP)
I followed Sam Dust’s work since Late of the Pear. He also formed Soft Hair with Connan Mockasin. This album is like a good cocktail: juicy, fresh and full of colours.
FONTAINES D.C. – A Hero’s Death (LP)
It just sounds like a good classic. And I truly missed that when it’s about guitar music.
DEERHOOF – Love-Lore (LP)
I’ll try not to use the word “crazy” when it’s about Deerhoof… But I mean, 43 songs covered in 34 minutes is crazy, right?
BLACK MARBLE – I Must Be Living Twice (EP)
I spent most of this year in my bedroom. And Black Marble offered me my bedroom soundtrack.
The best show you have played this year / gig attended (if you had the opportunity at the start of the year)
Alas, no shows this year or so few… I played 2-3 shows with Hermetic Delight in front of a sitting audience. Nobody was happy to live that.
Has there been any record that’s got you through this year? If so what.
I got back into a 2016 album: Ttnik, from SCRAPS, an Australian home-recording artist. It’s lo-fi-ish, electronish, and I’m fond of her way of using harmonic progression.
How have you adapted with releasing/recording/promoting during this year?
Recording was not the real problem. Releasing and promoting were. The best way of promoting in our scale is concerts and guess what, it stopped! Releasing was commercially very tough. Still, we released 2 albums this year because we didn’t want to be those who stop giving new music to people, just because there’s a pandemic and there’s no profit. I believe context is everything, and this is the context of our releases. Forever. It’s beautiful, in a way.
Best discovery this year?
Old but gold, I discovered a Belgium cold wave trio from the eighties: PAS DE DEUX. This is… Something else from the wavey stuff from that era. The approach is very contemporary, and again, it’s totally out of the box. They made the Eurovision at the time. I checked it and this is definitely the best band who played this kind of events so far.
Label Highlight of 2020
I can’t give one without giving another: this very special year, we released two of our biggest albums: Hermetic Delight’s F.A. Cult & BBCC’s Altered States of Consciousness. And I could tell you a lot about them, but the least I can say is that we are so proud of these albums.
As this is our 10th year of Rad Releases, we want to look back on your 10 years- has there been on standout moment/standout record of the past 10 years for you?
If I had to keep just one moment, it would be the very first edition of the October Tone Parties in 2016. It was the first time every band from the label were reunited to play songs we all released, and we invited some artists we could (at the time) just dream to play with if nothing of this happened. This was the very first retrospective we could get, and in front of plenty of people & friends. Also, this was a lot of fun combined with a lot of work. This was a wonderful reward, a proof that what we do matters.
Artist/Band to watch for 2021
La Houle is a band we’ll release next year hopefully, and we’re very excited about that. Elegant French songs in a shoegazed outfit. We’ll share you this as soon as it’s ready!
Label Plans for the New Year
Next year, we truly hope we’ll be able to organise the third edition of our festival, the October Tone Parties. Also, we’d like to develop more video stuff for the artists (live sessions, etc.) We always wanted to do so but this year kind of highlighted the importance of the video for the music artists to meet the audience they can’t reach in short term. And always, release new, great, fresh indie albums, EPs & singles .
Thank you to all at October Tone, we can’t wait for what the next year brings for the label.