First Terrace

Location: London Est: 2016

Potted History: Label founders Joe Summers and Alex Ives met while working at an “established independent electronic label”, and realised they had much in common. “It was the first job I’d had where I could listen to and think about music all day,” says Summers.

“Joe is one of the few people that I can’t wait to show a new artist to, or elicit opinions on new releases from, and I’m always excited when he shows me something new,” adds Ives.

Much track-swapping, geeking-out and general mind/horizon expanding happened over a couple of years before Ives suggested they set something up. Initially Ives flirted with putting together a compilation LP package in early 2016 with some of his favourite ambient and drone artists, but Summers convinced him that something more substantial might work better in the long run.

Mission Statement: “We do have a few ground rules”, says Ives. “The first of which is that to release something, both of us have to 100 per cent agree on it and feel that we would buy it if another label put it out.
“The platform has to be adaptable and flexible,” says Summers, “and able to accommodate music from the extreme edges of both of our musical palettes. The focus has so far been ambient music in various forms and some noise, but the path is going to fork with some of the releases we have lined up.”

Key Artists And Releases: “We’re in a really nice position, with some exciting new artists coming on board,” says Summers. “Over the next 18 or so months we will be pushing wider the sonic output of the label and welcoming an even more stylistically diverse set of artists.”

For now though, let’s start with Peter Broderick’s ‘Beacon Sound Choir’, the ecstatically received 2017 long-player which, via its 35-strong cast of voices assembled “regardless of musical experience”, documents a small miracle occurring on Sunday mornings at the Beacon Sound record shop in Portland, Oregon.

There’s also Seattle-based experimental-kosmiche veteran Kerry Leimer’s contribution to First Terrace’s debut split 12-inch series, which explores the spaces where ambient and experimental waters merge, and adding further weight to the label’s experimental/new age credentials is the current split 12-inch from Berlin-based Vida Vojić and Tokyo resident Chihei Hatakeyama.

Future Plans: “We have some amazing releases in various stages of completion,” says Summers. “All very different, they range from improvised piano and saxophone duets, a sprawling archive of industrial rhythms from Japan, through to mechanoid performances, invented languages and dense overcast textural pieces…”
And blimey we’re thinking, that sounds alright.

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