What inspired you to set up the Wormhole World label, and what’s behind the name
It all really came about by accident to be honest. I’m a big fan of Welsh noise artist Ash Cooke under the names of Pulco and Chow Mwng who ran a DIY label called Recordiau Prin. He told me that he was having a rest from it for a year to concentrate on other things. I said it was a shame and he suggested that I have a go. At the same time, me and a couple of online friends had been talking about setting up a music blog called Wormhole World, it never really got off the ground so after a chat of around three seconds, the label was born!
How would you describe your label ethos and the talent on it
The real ethos is that it’s a not-for-profit label, just a hobby really but hopefully another outlet for some of the great unheard music out there. We don’t have a big budget and in the current climate we don’t have money to spare either so we never really commit to another album until we have recouped enough from the previous one to be able to do so. Once we’ve got our costs back then everything is offered back to the artist.
You’ve established yourself very quickly, what’s the secret
To be honest, I don’t know! We got ourselves into a brilliant circle on Twitter, discovered what is known as the ‘no audience underground’ via the brilliant TQ Zine and just really made it known what we wanted to do. Pretty quickly we put together our first album, the digital only A Picture Of Good Health, as a free download. It contained tracks from various artists and acted as a sampler album.
You’re based in South Wales and Lancashire, does that give you a unique perspective on the music business
It makes for interesting stuff. It’s opened up several Welsh links to some incredible musicians who have come forward to submit stuff. It’s also given us plays on BBC Wales and The National Library of Wales has also bought CDs.
What kind of feedback have you had so far on your releases
It’s been quite overwhelming with several CDs sold out. We’ve raised over £2,000 in just one year of which all the profits have been offered back. Some kind artists have allowed us to keep it which we’ve used to buy badges, postcards and stickers to send out as freebies with CDs. Lots of very kind words too. We have several very loyal supporters who buy every CD which is nice.
Samplers are a feature of the label, and also limited edition CDs, what’s the thinking behind that
We’ve done two samplers – A Picture Of Good Health and recently A Picture Of Good Health 2 – the later was available as a name-your-price cd which we knew was a risk but very kind buyers made sure that we didn’t make a loss, in fact we made small profit which was put back into the label. It’s just an idea of showcasing artists to listeners that might not otherwise have heard of them. The limited edition CDs work perfectly for our budget and also provide something that is very rare, we just like the idea that when it’s gone, it’s gone.
How many artists do you have on the label now and where are they from
Strictly speaking we don’t have any artists on the label. There are no contracts and the only agreement is that they are free to come and go as they please whether that be after just one track or ten albums, it’s up to them. We do have a few artists that have been with us a while – Equinox released his debut [featured on Kitmonsters] via Recordiau Prin so joined us as did Xqui. We’ve done several albums for Radio Europa and St James Infirmary too but they aren’t obligated to come to us. It makes it all very friendly.
Do you release your own music on the label too
Let’s just say that I may have dabbled here and there!
Assassin of Sound - Earth Suite
What advice would you give someone wanting to start a label
Just do it but don’t take our sales! Ha Ha. It takes a lot of time and commitment, all my mornings are spent on Wormhole before I get ready for work and also many weekends before my family wake up. Don’t overstretch yourself and make sure you can keep up with you promises. Other than that, have fun!
What are some of your top or favourite recent releases and what have you got coming up
I love everything that we’ve done but, I’m bound to say that. Recent albums by Incentive and Void Vertex are nothing short of incredible, as was Radio Europa’s Community Is Revolution which is currently our biggest selling cd after we had to make a second run due to demand. There are so many to pick from. We have a an amazing album coming in December from Assassin Of Sound, which will be a double CD based on the five lines of latitude – Artic, Cancer, Equator, Capricorn and Antarctic – it’s a superb piece of work and will have Eno looking over his shoulder!
How do you find your artists and are you taking on more? How should people get in touch?
It’s all been done via Twitter and word of mouth. We have no website other than Bandcamp and aren’t fans of Facebook. Having just Twitter as a social media voice keeps things easy too but, we find that it’s the best medium for like-minded artists like the ones that enjoy Wormhole World.
What are your plans for 2020?
To do it all again!
- You can find Wormhole World on Bandcamp and order their releases there.