Hydra Head Records Calls it quits

courtesy of bluecollardistro.com

In cruising over to one of my very favorite websites today, Heaven is an Incubator, I received some grim news. Indie label Hydra Head records, purveyors of albums by groups such as Jesu, Big Business, Oxbow and Boris, are calling it quits. You can read their statement on the Hydra Head blog here, but really – and believe me I am sorry as hell to say this but – this doesn’t come as a super duper surprise. Hydra Head specialized in the kind of releases that are increasingly endangered from anything other than an artists’ bandcamp – forward thinking, experimental and challenging. The beauty of the internet and it’s ‘leveling of the playing field’ for everyone to have the opportunity to be heard has of course become the bane of not only the music industry – ie Record Labels’ – existence, but also the artists, as with sooooo much music and so many artists out there it’s almost impossible for people to find stuff. Aside from the obvious Paradox of Choice issues even the best artists can remain overlooked or underexposed as they scream from within the din. This is why music blogs like Heaven is an Incubator are so important in my life, and why I too try to spread the word as much as possible about what I like. Periodically I can start on a site like Incubator as a jumping off point and spend an entire day surfing from one band to another. As much as I hate to say it that was one of the only good things about myspace – I’d find a band like this and then spend time exploring the bands they are friends with. In the case of Perth, Austrailia’s Snowman this led to some mighty nice finds.

With another purveyor of artistic wonderment sucking it up and closing their eyes (unless a kickstarter does indeed flourish to save them) I’d just like to say that in Hydra Head’s honor I’ll not only be ordering some great stuff from their webstore and encouraging all who read this to do the same, but I’ll spend even more time in the coming days surfing around looking for some new bands/labels to support. And to Aaron and the HH crew, I raise a glass (well, I will tonight) and say “Great job and Godspeed!!!”


Shawn C Baker

Shawn C Baker

Shawn lives in Los Angeles where he co-hosts Drinking w/ Comics, writes screenplays and fiction and has been known to drink quite a bit of beer. Good beer.

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