Location: London Est: 2004
Potted History: Sonic Cathedral was set up by former NME journalist Nathaniel Cramp as a one-off club night to celebrate shoegaze back in 2004 when, he says, “that was still a deeply unfashionable thing”. Nat was surprised when people not only turned up to the night, but actually seemed to like it. His night continued and morped into a label a couple years later.
“Miraculously, I’m still clinging on for dear life in 2017,” he says, “even after taking on the might of Record Store Day with a protest single, one of which was released every day from April 2015 to April 2016.”
Mission Statement: “I’m not sure if there’s ever been a mission statement,” says Nat, answering the question like a true independent label boss. “The aim has always been to just keep on going. My inspirations were Factory, Creation, 4AD and all those labels – ones that had an identity, an aesthetic and good quality control. I like to think Sonic Cathedral has all three of those things, plus I love taking care of all the trainspotter details like catalogue numbers and run-out groove messages. The little details are always just as important.”
Key artists & releases: “It’s been a pleasure to work with heroes like Slowdive’s Neil Halstead and Galaxie 500’s Dean Wareham on their solo material,” he says. “It’s also been exciting and challenging to release new bands like Spectres, XAM Duo, Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, Yeti Lane and many more. Then there have also been reissues from Odd Nosdam and Mojave 3 and interesting one-offs like the two ‘Psych For Sore Eyes’ EPs, tribute records to The 13th Floor Elevators, Kraftwerk and there was Chicago drone-rockers Disappears covering Bowie’s ‘Low’ in its entirety. And there’s been remixes, lots of remixes, by everyone from Robin Guthrie to Richard Fearless, M83 to Mogwai…”
Future Plans: “I think survival is the biggest success that any small label can hope for in this day and age,” says Nat, “so I just hope the label can keep going for a little while longer. The next releases are the debut album by Moon Diagrams, the solo project of Moses Archuleta from Deerhunter, and an EP of remixes (yes, more) from last year’s incredible Early Years album, including a couple by Andrew Weatherall.”
Any other business? “I still put on live shows and club nights when I can. Slowdive played their first gig in 20 years at Sonic Cathedral’s 10th birthday party in 2014, and I’ve recently started a new regular night in London alongside [Tangerine Dream’s] Ulrich Schnauss called Ambience Chasers playing ambient techno and all manner of downbeat delights.”
For more visit soniccathedral.bandcamp.com