Labels Special: Alex Tronic Records - A Voice For Everyone

SF: The labels series continues with Edinburgh label Alex Tronic Records.<br/><br/>PQ: ""We will put out music as long as it's good and is basically kind of electronic in nature""

Feature by Jonathan Robert Muirhead | 07 Nov 2007
One of Edinburgh's purveyors of new electronic music, Alex Tronic Records, is the brainchild of Paul Croan (Mr. Alex Tronic himself) and Louise O'Malley (A&R and artistic development). The label has been going since 2001, when Tronic - who had been producing for other indie labels, such as Koyote and Peyote - embarked upon his debut solo album. Laying down tracks in his home studio, Tronic employed vocalist Asa Seljestad on most tracks. The resultant buzz of activity meant a steady procession of participants trooping back and forth from Tronic's home, so in June of 2006, Tronic moved his recording equipment to a new premises in Edinburgh's Hillside Crescent and Alex Tronic Records was born.

Working out of their Hillside base, Paul and Louise have thus far released postrock electronica duo Keser's debut album, Esoteric Escape, to respectable airplay and reviews, and this year also saw the start of the Alex Tronic Compilations series, prompted by Louise wishing to put out more new music by local artists, as she was "fed up with all the boring crap on the radio".

This promotion of new music by new, local acts is very much at the heart of the label's ethos. Alex Tronic Volume 1 is a disc awash with cold surges of electronica, pounded along by insistent basslines. As Paul says: "Our ethos is; we will put out music as long as it's good and is basically kind of electronic in nature."

At present, the label is still very much a small-scale operation which suits Paul and Louise. It enables them to speak to their artists directly, and Alex Tronic himself is a client. Label mates currently include Keser and newest signing Roy's Iron DNA, signed after Paul saw them perform at The Liquid Room in Edinburgh. Their debut album is an upcoming project and is described by Paul as "an electronic Stone Roses". The debut album by Leeds-based knob twiddler/producer Marvin A. Wilson, entitled Being Here, is also intended for release before the end of the year and is described by Paul as "simply beautiful".

The label is one of an ever-increasing number which are springing up all over the world in response to major label domination of the marketplace. As Paul puts it, "We will not be afraid to give anything new a voice." The label has enjoyed exposure on Radio 1 and through publications such as Future Music and DJ Magazine, leading to increased exposure in the marketplace. You'll find Alex Tronic products in HMV and Virgin, as well as indie outlets such as Avalanche.

Plans for the future include a trip to the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas to develop worldwide distribution contacts to the USA and Asia, and the debut album from Mr. Tronic himself, which is already being mooted for next year. Busy and exciting times ahead!