Crooked Acres

Location: West Yorkshire Est: 2017

Potted History: “We’re a collective of Leeds-based musicians and visual artists who met many moons ago over a shared love of free parties, DJing and producing music,” explains label manager Chris Kubex. In 2013, when the collective stopped doing regular club nights, they built themselves a studio so they’d still have a place to meet up.

“We called ourselves Urban Exploration, which alluded to our own urbex missions around the city and the field recordings we’d weave into our studio productions,” says Chris. “We ran an online label called Dead Channel, which served as an outlet for our music and when that came to an end we just sort of stopped engaging with the outside world! Not in a negative or planned way, but we hunkered down and made lots of music. Last year we decided that music should see the light of day, so we set up Crooked Acres to make that happen.”

Mission Statement: “Our initial aim is to release the music we’ve been making over the years, before turning our attention to developing individual artists from UE as well as having a home for the group’s future output,” explains Chris. “Our output can be dark, industrial, lo-fi and even macabre at times, but we’re really very nice people! There’s a sense of fun and experimentation in a lot of what we do too, and we try to not take ourselves too seriously.”

Key artists & releases: Their debut release came at the back end of last year. ‘AM’ by Conflux Coldwell, who also happens to be the label’s art director and designer Michael C Coldwell, is a delicious celebration of shortwave radio. The follow-up ‘UEMix’ (reviewed in this issue) is the collective’s first release as UE and showcases some of their more dancefloor-orientated material.

Future Plans: There’s an album of collected work by Chris himself due this spring when they’ll also be releasing Conflux Coldwell’s ‘Dead Air’, a live performance using multiple AM radios recorded at the label launch party at Left Bank in Leeds last year.

“We have a trilogy of albums that’ll showcase our work over the last few years, before we start putting out our more recent music,” adds Chris. “We’d like to get back into the event side of things, and we have some ideas for Crooked Acres parties, both club nights and live gigs.”

Any other business? “We’ve been using Bandcamp, which is great for the early stages of running a DIY label,” says Chris. “Having ready-made tools at your disposal is something we could only have dreamt about years ago, but securing a distributer for future Crooked Acres releases is definitely one of our aims this year.”

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