Music: Ladyboy records release an AWESOME compilation tape
Ladyboy records are an independent Icelandic label that manages to pick the most Icelandic artists to date for its releases. Their new compilation tape no.18 is out and if you're interested in the underground Icelandic music scene it's what you need to hear right now.
Featuring music that spans from rock and roll to electronica and everything in between with artists such as Skrattar, Kuldaboli, Skelkur í Bringu, Singapore Sling, Lord Pusswhip, DJ Flugvél og Geimskip and a whole lot more.
The yellow/green fluorescent cassette has a laser etched translucent case and each tape is numbered. The purchase includes unlimited streaming of Lady Boy Records 018 via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
Buy it and stream it HERE
Iceland Monitor had a brief chat with Nicolas Kunysz and Frímann Ísleifur Frímannson, the boys behind Ladyboy records.
Could you tell us how the label started?
Nicolas: We simply were friends making and listening music, we thought there was no one representing the musics we liked; so we started just joking about a in between genre of music that would be a lady boy genre. Later on, we took the joke to another level and decided to represent the musics we believe in. No matter the genre. Lady Boy Records took place then.
Frímann: I publish a zine called Skeleton Horse that features drawings, photos, poems, and essays on underground Icelandic music, and I asked a bunch of people to contribute music for a possible compilation to be included with a future issue of the zine. Once I got all the music I decided to release it on its own with Nicolas doing the designs.
Some of your releases have received critical acclaim with artists and albums selected as best releases of the year in Kraumur lists – what‘s the secret behind this success?
Nicolas: Good artists and good curators I guess.
Frímann: We simply release music that we enjoy without thinking about failure or reward.
Is this purely an idealistic project or is there money to be made in offering alternative projects?
Nicolas: Well, if we take the definition of idealism as the unrealistic belief in or pursuit of perfection, I would say that a project driven by the desire of money is quite idealistic. But anyway, we have made a system where we can afford our limited editions on a regular basis without being very concern about the money.
Sometimes DJ gigs or events can also help us to raise some money. I do not see Lady Boy Records as a money making business but more as an efficient structure to release and spread interesting music, physical releases and organize live events. Half the money generated by our releases goes to the artists, the other half is re-injected into Lady Boy Records productions. Money is not something we spend much time discussing really.
Frímann: It is not about profit. We simply make enough to recoup and order the next batch of releases.
You release the music on cassettes – how do you explore the formats of distributing and producing sound?
Nicolas: We do not exclusively release on cassettes, we have made a CDR for Slugs and then two lathe cuts - one Square 4.75" with Pink Street Boys and Godchilla, one square one sided 6" with Ghostigital- and then we also release a serie of download code engraved on Mandarines. However, most of our release are indeed tapes, there is few reasons for it and to be short. The first is an emotional reason. Cassettes have been my first real contact to music, I used to make mixtapes recording from the radio and on my Fisher Price Player that had a microphone.
I simply love the object that is the cassette. Also with a tape, you get to listen to the whole side of the cassette til it end, almost just like vinyl records, you do not really skip through songs and so on,; You just sit down, play and listen to it. The second reason is financial, tapes are cheap, we do not need to sell much to recoup financially, that helps us being consistent in releasing things.
The third reason is technical. The restriction of length is not very present when it gets to tape albums, therefore we do not have to request specific length of tracks to the artists. And sound wise, when you get some garage recordings, the tape damp the distortions and give a softer feel to the sound that I personally appreciate.
Could you tell us about the latest compilation tape, which offers a very impressive line up of artists?
Every year we release a comp with bunch of artists that we like, most of them are living in Iceland but that is not exclusive. Compilations are usually my favorite releases on the label as it really showcase accurately our initial statement, no fixation on one or another genre but celebrating a joyous & chaotic diversity in music.
And finally what are going to be the releases / new artist for Lady Boy Records this year? And will you be hosting live performance events in connection with the label?
Nicolas: I am very much looking forward to the next one, it will be a short tape of Madonna + Child, its my favorite band in Iceland these days, they are 100% genuine and the tape sounds like a sonic candy. Then after that we have in no specific order: Ratoffer, And a wicked instrumental tape of Lord Pusswhip, A split with Harry Knuckles & friends. Then few more things to come that you will have to see for yourself when it happens, but we promise it´ll be good.
Frímann: We always throw a party celebrating each release and the next party is on July 26th at Húrra for Madonna + Child.