Cold Spring

Location: Manchester, UK Est: 1987

Potted History: “It’s been so long… decades now, and hundreds of releases,” explains Cold Spring founder Justin Mitchell. “Starting with a few tape releases in the 1980s, then vinyl and CDs from the 90s, and now all formats, including digital, on every platform.

“I’d wanted to run a label since I was at school, selling bootleg cassettes when I was 15. As for the name, it means everything and nothing. A piece of industrial machinery, an inclement season, a water source… I’ve been asked if it refers to research laboratories in the USA, and even William S Burroughs, whose material we have released.”

Mission Statement: “If I like something, that means other people will! I get about 30 demos a week, and 99 per cent of them aren’t right for the label. If you’re going to submit a demo, have a look at the history and flavour of the label – who we’ve worked with in the past, look at the current roster to see who we’re releasing and touring. It’s weird, but there’s never been a moment without the right release at the right time. We’ve been very lucky that way. The amount of times I’ve approached an artist who’s responded, ‘Wow, I was just thinking the same thing’. Long may that continue.”

Key Artists & Releases: “That’s a tricky one,” says Mitchell. “All releases are given as much respect, hard work and publicity as the next. However, some have had larger audiences because of the legacy of the bands. For instance, our recent BEF ‘Music For Stowaways’, the Coil reissues we’ve been working on over the last decade, the Psychic TV ‘Themes’ boxset, ‘Antichrist’ – the Lars Von Trier soundtrack, Krzysztof Penderecki’s ‘Kosmogonia’, Merzbow and Sun Ra, the three Penny Rimbaud / Crass albums and the MZ 412 ‘Vault’ wooden boxset. The most highly regarded dark ambient release on the label would have to be Sleep Research Facility’s ‘Nostromo’ from 2001.”

Future Plans: “There’s probably about 30 titles in the schedule right now. Some future releases include Psychic TV, Coil, Little Annie – aka Anxiety, Jack Dangers and Merzbow, Shane Embury, FM Einheit, The Telescopes, Satori, Lull, Khost, Burial Hex, MZ 412, Sleep Research Facility, Colossloth, Llyn Y Cwn, She Spread Sorrow, Sonologyst, Kollaps, Bill Laswell and Peter Namlook’s six-CD box, plus some more great soundtracks.”

Any Other Business? “Be prepared to work 24 hours a day, even when you’re dreaming! The industry is very odd – it never stops, and so neither can you. I can never see myself retiring… when you do a job you love, with every day bringing a different challenge, you’ll never be able to work at anything else, nor would you want to. Anyway, I’ve done this for so long that outside this industry, I’m now pretty much unemployable!”

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