Introducing new Glasgow DIY label Possession Records
With Glasgow's ever-bulging music scene as vibrant as ever, we talk to Claudia Nova from the latest DIY indie label on the block, Possession Records
Glasgow’s music scene is one that we’re all very aware of and proud of as a nation – it’s testament to the bazillion artists, promoters, DJs and venues working tirelessly every day that make the scene what it is. What makes it all the more exciting is that there’s always something new on the horizon; a new group of friends making music together, running a club night together, or in the case of Claudia Nova, Andy Brown and JJD, setting up a brand new label together.
“Andy and I have known each other for years," Nova tells us. "We met around the time he was in Divorce and I was playing in my first band, Aggi Doom. I met Jack (JJD) a few years ago when he was living in Sheffield and running a club night called Der Hammer. He booked my solo project Hausfrau to perform. We stayed in touch and ended up doing a European tour with [his band] Soft Riot, Hausfrau and Uncanny Valley from London.
“When Jack moved up to Glasgow, the three of us were in similar situations in terms of looking to release new music but feeling disheartened by the idea of 'shopping' our new records around various different labels, sending out press kits and endless emails that nobody really enjoys. We figured out that we could pool our experience and resources and set up our own label.”
Possession Records is the latest in a long line of DIY labels to come out of the city and so far the three friends have used it as an outlet for their own projects, with JJD's Soft Riot releasing their sixth studio album, and Possession's first full-length as a label – The Outsider in the Mirrors – this month.
“We’re starting off giving a solid platform [for] further releases by our own projects: future albums, short-run experimental releases and possible re-issues of older albums if we wish,” Nova tells us. But the label are keen to help others in the local scene and beyond. “A few years ago, Jack curated a compilation of synth/minimal bands when he was living in London (And You Will Find Them in the Basement), released on the Desire label that documented what was going on in the scene at that time, with artists like Linea Aspera, Lebanon Hanover, Mild Peril, etc.
“We’d like to do something like that again, connecting our pool of Glasgow artists with similar artists and friends from mainland Europe doing like-minded music. I think we all like the idea of a label that documents a local scene, and there is definitely a lot going on in Glasgow that deserves to be brought to a more widespread consciousness.”
As a young label, it’s good to know what you’re about from the off and to all be on the same page as individuals behind the releases. The label is DIY through and through, but it’s the musical and cultural interests that forge the three pals into a solid unit, from the popular to the obscure. “We bonded over our passion for bad sci-fi, Unsolved Mysteries and community television talent shows… We all have day jobs and none of us relish the grunt work involved in running a label, so we have to keep a certain element of chaos and irreverence in our approach. But like most small independent labels, we follow the regular formula of a dedication to Excel documents and sporadic 'business' meetings in pubs.”
As well as releasing records and growing their roster, Possession hope to take advantage of Nova and JJD’s visual arts backgrounds as well, with plans already on the cards to work with Glasgow-based artist Georgina Penstkart. They’re also turning their hand to a bit of gig and club promotion along the way, with Soft Riot’s album launch first up at The Hug & Pint in Glasgow on 9 February.
So what’s next for Possession and what does 2018 hold for the fledgling label? “Soft Riot will be playing shows in the UK, Europe and Canada this year," Nova tells us. "There'll be a new Hausfrau release at some point this year too. The new material is a lot less pop and more along the lines of sound art and audio collage, so it'll be interesting to see how it'll be received! I believe Ubre Blanca [Brown’s band] are working on some new releases too, with music videos and live shows in the pipeline."
The Outsider in the Mirrors by Soft Riot is released on cassette, CD and vinyl on 9 Feb via Possession Records; Soft Riot play their album launch at The Hug & Pint, Glasgow, 9 Feb