Glasgow venue BLOC+ relaunches with DIY compilation series

BLOC+ celebrates its relaunch with the first of a four-part compilation series, featuring the diverse likes of Adam Stafford, Vasa, Deathcats and Cutty's Gym. Long-serving manager/curator Chris Cusack explains BLOC+MUSIC's altruistic manifesto

Feature by Chris Cusack | 22 Sep 2014

BLOC+MUSIC is the slightly less frantic administrative arm of the live music venue BLOC+ based in Glasgow. We're yet more suits in a glass building. Smug guys with Topshop credit, iPads and BMW's trying to suss out what the kids are digging. Or maybe not.

Why would a bunch of font-jockeys run a music label? Well, the fact is we don't really run a label. At least not in the sense of handling huge sums of cash, buying front cover space and rigging reviews. Nope. We are simply facilitators. A launch-pad for new acts. We don't make a profit because we don't aim to. BLOC+MUSIC is a means for BLOC+ to use it's financial base to support the artistic endeavours of some of the most inspiring and talented musicians we have the privilege of hosting on our tiny stage. That basically is it.

To provide a little background, our bar does really well because people love drinking good booze, eating great food and because our highly discerning, if broad, clientele appreciate great live music. We then use this financial stability alongside our own moderate experience and expertise, borne of years labouring in and out of the music business, to help guide young bands down the dark path of a rather treacherous industry. If the bands decide they trust us and we like their tunes and attitude, we offer them the financial support they need to push their release out there without having to jump through hoops or make the creative and ethical compromises almost all interaction with larger labels entails.

At the end of the process, they sell their record, we break even and they keep every bit of profit. We then use the same money to help another band and so on... Not that complicated.

The idea behind all this hassle is to prove that bands can exist outwith the mincer that is the mainstream. To help give a fighting chance to acts the industry rejects because their faces don't fit, because they won't compromise their art or refuse to auto-tune.

BLOC+MUSIC doesn't do anything that ten thousand other DIY and indie labels are not. We are just one more part of a vibrant, bustling underground of creativity spread across Europe and around the globe. Music is an art-form frequently sucked dry of artistic merit. Reduced to junk food. Too often it is a three minute sugar hit with absolutely no nutrition. We are, however, in a small and naive way, trying to resist that trend.

Maybe you’re already on our wavelength, maybe not. If not, please stop buying only what you are offered a choice of. Seek out your own sounds. Don't waste your life trying to relate to mass-produced dross written to sell electronics, cars and cosmetics for big business. Engage in your local scene. In fact, stop reading this, listen to our compilation and then go look up some DIY record labels and bands.

Go. Now!