We continue our discussions with some of the label bosses involved in Saturday’s Independent Label Market, this time catching up with Merok Records‘ Milo Cordell, who you may know better as one half of The Big Pink.
Introducing us to Crystal Castles, Klaxons and Salem, Milo continues to push boundaries with his Merok label – recent releases from Active Child, Gatekeeper, Comanechi and Deptford Goth have been as outstanding as they are musically diverse. If you’re in or around Soho on Saturday then be sure to drop in on the market and have the chance of picking up some serious rarities from the Merok back catalogue, in the meantime here’s our chat with Milo…
What was your inspiration for starting a label?
I guess it was the music around me at the time, that’s what got me off me off my arse to do it, when i first heard klaxons and then saw them live, I thought this is the right band to kick off with, they encompassed things I loved and then also taught me a lot. I have always put music and record labels together, whether its Stax, Warp or What’s Your Rupture?, I wanted to do something like that.
What has been the biggest change caused by downloading to your label and the independent record industry as a whole?
I don’t think anything has really changed for me, we were born in the era of downloading and filesharing so we don’t know any better! I don’t know how many more records we would sell if it didn’t exist, I think it probably effects major record labels more but if everyone just puts out good music, which i think will always sell and is sensible in the deals they do and the amount they spend on marketing etc. there will be a profit for both the artist and the label.
Berwick Street is obviously a huge part of the UK’s music heritage, how big a loss, do you think, are shops like Sister Ray to popular culture?
Any record shop closure is a loss for humanity ! Part of me thinks Record shops need to think harder about extra revenue and how to create it, there is more to music than just LPs and CDs.
We have fond memories of trawling through stacks of vinyl on the hunt for something special, hanging around in record shops, meeting new people, and so on… How important do you think events like this and Record Store Day are in both preserving something special, and introducing the digital kids to the excitement of physical music?
I guess its very important , I hope we don’t make everything too sentimental by looking back at some golden age of yesteryear, I don’t think that is very appealing to young people, I hope we make this feel new, and I think the only we can do this is by releasing forward thinking music… I think we need to embrace new formats and the digital world and all that, we have to keep moving forward fast but also have one foot in the past.
Are you looking forward to meeting the record buying public? What do you think you’ll gain from the experience as a label boss?
I’m looking forward to the day, its a celebration of what we do, it’s gonna be great to finally put faces to the people who keeps us alive…
Photograph from Hedi Slimane’s Rock Diary