When I was first introduced to Prague-based label AMDISCS—yes, Prague— through a review for gloomer Dream Boat’s Fevers EP, I thought the label would again follow the same, press-friendly principle of others by spreading sentiments of overexposed endowment by boasting of their product’s better-life-through-music remedy. I was curious yet cautious at first. After clicking around their cosmically cluttered website (much like that of a 16-year-old’s pimped out MySpace page), the curiosity started to come more easily. I began to explore the site and the seemingly endless stream of releases that they had put out in their short existence.
Born in 2007 out of Prague’s A.M. 180 promoting collective (having supported shows from the likes of Jens Lekman, SMOG, Q and Not U, Liars and The Locust in the late 00s), the largely digital-only imprint releases music from a global roster of 20+ bands, artists and bedroom producers. The sound of AMDISCS rotates from the colorful, ever-spinning center of the DIY pinwheel, hints label partner Rado Z. over email correspondence back in July. “[We release] healthy sounds…working with artists whom we want to help.”
There are glistening, contemplative dream pop or chillwave references (unouomedude, Teams), revivalist punk energy (Young Adults, Ghost Animal), Animal Collective’s hippie-drip psych (Chrome Wings), and murky experiments in visual panorama (Dream Boat, Mickey Mickey Rourke). Ear-standing interest for the record-making collective—its Czech locale aside—hits once you notice that most of AMDISCS’ current and past releases are offered up as hitch-free downloads; no email to provide or pay-what-you-want box in sight.
“The whole AMDISCS background,” says Rado Z., is based on a “do what you can basis—it’s like a family relationship; we keep ties & managers away from our house [and] when they put away their business cards, they can come in.”
Releasing free music to whoever wants it seems to be the young label’s mantra for now as it doesn’t look like many of the aforementioned businessmen—or sweeping investors for that matter—have loosened their patterned ties for a lunch meeting just yet.
A page mentioning a physical release—only a handful of AMDISCS acts actually have them; tapes and CDRs have been released and 7″s and LPs are planned for “pretty soon”—is immediately followed by the all-caps .zip-linked word, DOWNLOAD. They’ve released two packed compilations; one 20-track set about eating meat “somewhere in the middle of universe” called Twilight Sausage and another, monster 44-track double comp called Asapizza Anal.
Their yearly summer Creepy Teepee festival at the GASK gallery, a former Jesuit college in Kutná Hora, Czech Republic, has featured sets from Toro y Moi, Vivian Girls, Fucked Up and HEALTH playing alongside walls hung with cubist paintings. Without much bigger-name crossover collaboration to mention, AMDISCS best-known roster acts are still largely unheard of outside of buzzing hipster circles. There’s Jersey-based synth breezer Com Truise, New York transplants C V L T S who released their debut LVST on cassette and CDR for the imprint or California singer—and K Records-signed—Jeremy Jay, who pressed a 7″ all as mentionable names.
For AMDISCS, there’s no budget to mention, so the free music seems to makes sense. The imprint, Rado Z cites, continues by means of “flapping wings and wizard hats,” which, for now appears to be all the fuel needed.
In many ways, AMDISCS is a throwback to the old notion of an Indie Rock record label, to a time where you could easily trust the quality of each release simply on the label’s tastes alone, even if you’d never heard of the band. All of the bands may have disparate sounds, but they all help put forth one distinct identity, mood and feeling. It’s akin to the sort of music fraternal order labels like Sub Pop, Touch & Go, SST and Matador had established throughout the 80s and 90s. Each band can just as easily be described by using the label’s name or their musical style, be it a lo-fi punk band or experimental witch house… it’ll still make perfect sense.
Let’s hope the collective’s magical DIY skills persist, as notable upcoming releases from LA-based act Railcars’ cover project of Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love album, a remix collection from C V L T S and Massachusetts’ DC-era punk band Young Adult’s debut LP are all set to drop in the coming months. Hopefully the greater music-loving public will soon catch on to what AMDISCS are doing and more labels follow suit.
And what about Dream Boat, the band that initially brought me to discovering AMDISCS? Well AMDISCS just recently presented a split release between them and “deathgazers” Ʌ (Aarrcc) called True Love. And while that was released just over a week ago, Dream Boat will also be releasing their debut LP, Visions, today, September 30th, on AMDISCS as well. Rado Z. was even kind enough to give the Bloglin an exclusive remix by New York’s Silk Flowers that will not be on the new Dream Boat album. Check it out below and head over to AMDISCS site for their new LP, Visions.