Barge Recordings

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The cover of Animal Hospital's <i>Memory</i>

Dave and I met in Boston back in 2003 while both working at a well-known local record chain here in New England. We bonded over mutual and disparate musical tastes and lots of jokes. In the summer of 2004, I moved to New York to take a job at an audio production house. Not long after Dave made the move as well, inevitably working for the same production house. On one of our rare nights off, we ended up at a scuzzy yet charming bucket o' blood called the Ear Inn on the west side of Manhattan. It was there I remember us really cooking-up the idea of starting a label. We kept conceptualizing over the next few months and decided to release a compilation of artists we really dug at the time. Several of those artists were friends of ours…most were just people we admired musically. Strangely enough, practically everyone we contacted agreed to submit a track and Innature was born.

Innature Comp by Barge 

The compilation featured the work of Tim Hecker, Circle, Loren Connors, Bird Show, and Polmo Polpo alongside artists that were virtually unheard-of at the time like the Fun Years, Geoff Mullen and Animal Hospital. After the initial release we basically began releasing albums from the artists we knew on the comp. Some became great friends in the process.

The cover of <i>Armory Radio</i> by Geoff Mullen” src=”” style=”width: 497px; height: 499px;” /></p>
 In the years since we have released 3 records from the Fun Years, Animal Hospital's sophomore effort <i>Memory</i>, a split LP from MGR (Isis) and Xela. We've reissued the highly limited CD-R <i>Armory Radio</i> from Geoff Mullen on double LP, debuted Pausal's first album <i>Lapses</i> and produced the vinyl version of Bird Show's <i>Untitled</i> LP. We achieved some modest recognition for the Fun Years' album <i>Baby, It's Cold Inside</i>, which earned the “Record of the Year” spot in Boomkat's top 100 records of 2008. Animal Hospital's <i>Memory</i> was released 6 months later to similar fanfare with a limited white vinyl edition that quickly sold out. Recently, we've been working on a limited edition LP from our friend Mike Weis (Zelienople, Scott Tuma) entitled <i>Loop Current/Raft</i>, and up next is Pausal's second album <i>Forma</i>.</p>
<p><img alt=Baby It's Cold Inside” src=”” style=”width: 600px; height: 600px;” />

I guess the philosophy of the label is to release genuine and honest music that Dave and I love. That's our main criteria. We both have to be really into the album or the artist that we work with. This inevitably makes us a slow moving beast. We live in different cities now (Dave's in New York and I am up in Boston) so finding time to work in a collaborative manner can be tough. We refuse to just shovel out releases into the pond without real consideration for the project. Our goal is to involve the artists in the entire production process as much as possible. We strive to design and produce quality physical product, often lovingly hand-crafted and assembled. Both Dave and I have the utmost respect for the musicians we work with so we want to make sure we get the presentation of their art as close to or beyond their initial expectations. In the future we hope to just continue to release quality records at our own pace and work with artists and friends we love and admire.

Below is a mix I made of some exceptional moments from our core artist roster.