- Q & A with John Russell from 4000 Records
Please give us a brief bio of the label. How did it start, til today….
4000 Records was born out of the ashes of a previous label, Valley Heat Records, and my desire to continue working with the incredible talent that my hometown, Brisbane, has the persistent nature of creating. Many of the artists who were with VHR came over to 4000 so I was able to hit the ground running with a roster of 10 artists and a solid handful of releases, all ready to go. The label is less than a year old and we’re about to announce our 8th release!
Which labels inspired you most to make your own?
So many! In particular though, I’m enamored by Daptone for obvious reasons. More directly impactful was Lawrence English’s ROOM40. They’re a label from Brisbane that champions experimental and outsider music and was my first encounter with a local indie label in my formative years. Lawrence indirectly exposed me to a whole world of underground music that I would never have come across otherwise and showed me the value that a label has, not only as emissaries for the artists, but also but also as curators of quality..
Asian Man Records was another huge inspiration. Mike’s grassroots and no-bullshit approach to releasing music was actually the impetus for me to realise that a schlub like me could actually just up and start a label, solely because I wanted to.
Which is the motto for 4000 Records?
There isn’t one really. I tried to think of some sort of tagline in the beginning and only came up with “Undefined by genre. Unbound by sound.” Which is a bit grandiose for what I’m doing!
The short description of the label is, “Independent artist-led record label with a strong focus on collaborating with Brisbane creatives”
Which are the advantages and disadvantages of running a music label today?
The main advantage, for me, is being able to work with incredibly talented people in my local community and help them to release physical versions of their hard work and hopefully get their music into a few more earholes than they otherwise may be able to by themselves. The biggest disadvantage is that it is not a lucrative endeavour. There are definitely ways to make money, but there’s a lot of noise to cut through and a lot of hard work to be done and sometimes it just takes sheer luck. But luckily for me, the label is a passion project run outside of a day job, so money is at the bottom of my priority list!
Running a label for the love of music and community will be forever fulfilling, running it for the main purpose of being a profitable business will rarely end happily, for all involved.
Which are your future plans for the label?
There’s no game plan really. I’m very happy plodding along and releasing amazing local music, putting on fun shows and doing my best to break even! I’m always open to collaborations and any opportunities, so who knows what will happen!?
- Three distinctive 4000 Records releases
Local Authority – ‘Negative Space‘
It’s hard to choose just three! All our artists are very different and the only real characteristic, musically, of the label is the fact that the bands are all from Brisbane and I love them! That being said, I have to include the label’s very first release by Local Authority. ‘Negative Space‘ pulls together all my favourite elements from shoegaze, post-punk, gothic rock and all things gloomy into a beautifully dark bundle of joy. Every song was painstakingly crafted by Jacque McGill and his attention to detail – of the guitar sound, especially – is mesmerising. I also love a band who plays their stuff heavier live, which these guys do. Plus, they’re great kids, so they tick all the boxes for me!
Marmaleene and The Moondusters – ‘Marmaleene and The Moondusters‘
Marmaleene and The Moondusters were a short-lived psychedelic jungle surf trio, active for less than a year. But during that time they made a big splash in the local scene; there was just nothing like them out there! Being a massive fan and hearing of their demise, I reached out to see if they were sitting on any recordings that we could get out there. Luckily, they had a handful of studio cuts and a bunch of live recordings! We worked for about a year to compile a comprehensive collection of songs that we released as a beautiful double cassette with an accompanying 7”.
Cloud Tangle – ‘Kinds Of Sadness‘
Cloud Tangle is Amber Ramsay’s solo endeavor and she’s one of the first people I started working with in a label-artist capacity over 5 years ago. This is the 3rd release we’ve done together and is easily her most evolved and captivating creation. Amber plays all the instruments herself and crafts truly peerless dark lo-fi ethereal pop. This one is perfect for solo strolls through the concrete jungle at night or sitting by the window cradling a warm beverage as rain caresses the glass.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis