nce one of the great/only Southern Hemisphere based IDM labels around, Involve Records has moved both location (London) and musical scope (now the home for both explorations in electronica and nu-indie). This change happened in early 2002 on both fronts. Slow Moe and Voicechanger recently released albums that reflected a renewed interest in guitar and electronics. The key to this change, rather than the move to London, however, can probably be found in the label heads own rant about the state of electronica:
To be honest I have grown quite sick of the vast majority of electronica this year. I don't think I'm going out on too much of a limb saying it either, most people I'm talking to are sharing my feelings. It's not hard to be bored with geek boys hunched over there laptops belting out vague and unaffecting reruns of autechre or whatever chirpy clipped soundscapes turn you on.
In turn, Bevan Smith has broadened his focus to these sounds, reflecting the larger scale turn towards the incorporation of guitars into previously ambient and IDM territory. It may be nothing new for many labels, but in the grand scheme of Involve this change is major.
The evolution is natural, however. As Smith finished school, the move to London to increase distribution and visibility for his small label seemed to be the obvious choice. But the label, as it came to be, was never planned out that well in advance.
Instead, the label grew out of a need to release his own music, as well as Jet Jaguars. When there was no one to release the tunes, Smith took it upon himself to start a label. The happy coincidences continued with local New Zealand electronic artists and, soon, Smith had a full fledged label on his hands.
While the label is still very much along the fringes of the electronic and nu-indie scene, Involve has a bright future ahead of it as long as it continues to release interesting and quality releases that move people emotionally, rather than academically.
Five Essential Releases:
Aspen- Are You That Retail Snob?
Jet Jaguar- Jet Jaguar
Signer- Giving It Up To Feel Effected
Andrew Thomas- So You Want To Be A (Death Star)
Mandrake- Shake Your Space Traveller