2014 is turning out to be a landmark year for anniversaries in lo-fi alternative music. Soon to be Bristol via London-based label Art Is Hard have just celebrated their fourth year of putting out cherished releases by some now beloved bands and acts by curating a sold-out all-dayer at The Shacklewell Arms in Dalston, with The Magic Gang, Nai Harvest, a secret set (and possibly there last) from YRRS and more. The label have set a precedent for independent DIY labels in releasing quality records with passion and attention to detail, and now to celebrate Cassette Store Day, the label have arranged their second CSD release after last years ‘Bleed In Gold’ (a AIH greatest hits of sorts, now available for free), set to be released on 27th September.
The release is to pay tribute to the influence of another record, which the label themselves have stated encompasses the spirit of the label. 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Pavement’s seminal 1994 record ‘Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain’, an album that defined Slacker Rock and a sizeable portion of Alternative music. Art Is Hard have got together some of their friends, bands they’ve worked with in the past and in their words “some bands who we thought would never say yes” to produce a compilation of the LP titled ‘Jam Kids: 20 Years Since Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain‘, in dedication to Stephen Malkmus and Co.
The first taster we’ve heard from it is from Scotland Slackers Paws, who have taken ‘Stop Breathin’ and turned it into an emotionally-led acoustic lament, filled with raw harmonies and off-key melodies whilst Phillip Taylor retains Malkmus’ familiar drawl that dwells in disdain that still speaks volumes twenty years on. Accompanying the three-piece are a who’s who of AIH alumni, The Black Tambourines (‘Hit The Plane Down’) Shunkan (‘Elevate Me Later’), Poledo (‘Fillmore Jive’), Flamingods (‘5-4=Unity’) and many more (track-listing below).
The release will be limited to 200 copies, and all proceeds will be donated to DIY Space for London.
- Junk – ‘Silence Kid’
- Shunkan – ‘Elevate Me Later’
- Paws – ‘Stop Breathin’’
- Dog Legs – ‘Cut Your Hair’
- Joey Fourr – ‘Newark Wilder’
- Year of Birds – ‘Unfair’
- Pet Cemetery – ‘Gold Soundz’
- Flamingods – ‘5-4=Unity’
- Trust Fund – ‘Range Life’
- Beat Easton – ‘Heaven Is A Truck’
- The Black Tambourines – ‘Hit The Plane Down’
- Poledo – ‘Fillmore Jive’
The cassette will be available from participating record shops on Cassette Store Day and the Art Is Hard online store in October.