Location: Haugesund, Norway Est: 2009

Potted History: Back in 2009, while working as a label manager for Grappa Musikkforlag, one of the Norway’s biggest independent record companies, Hubro founder Andreas Meland had a pang. “It was a great job,” he says, “but I was longing for the days when I ran a bedroom label in the 90s, releasing strange electronic, rock and improvised music.” Andreas had been discussing with his boss the need a sub label for jazz and improvised music. He said yes and that was the start of Hubro. “Looking back it’s pretty clear that I misled my boss since Hubro has at no point been a jazz label,” he laughs. “But it often releases albums that are quite unclassifiable and certainly operates between genres.

Mission Statement: “It all starts with the scene I guess,” explains Andreas. “There is just so much creative music coming out of Norway. My aim has been to help musicians reach a broader audience. The more selfish motivation is that I simply felt the urge to work more directly with artists again and to be involved in the whole process from before the artists goes into the studio until the album is released.”

Key Artists & Releases: You’ll have seen many of Hubro’s releases reviewed on these very pages, the likes of Building Instrument, Møster!, Geir Sundstøl, Erik Honoré, Mats Eilertsen, Jessica Sligter, Nils Økland and the trio 1982 have all graced the imprint. “I don’t dislike singers or lyrics, but I clearly have a thing for instrumental music,” smiles Andreas. “I think the piano trio Splashgirl’s album ‘Pressure’ in 2011 helped attract attention both from listeners and press in Europe. Seeing the idiosyncratic 12-piece band Skadedyr perform at the main stage Norway’s biggest rock festival Øya in Oslo this summer also felt like a benchmark for the label.”

Future Plans: “The plan is to keep reaching out for all the big ears that could like the music we release,” offers Andreas. “It feels like the label has had a slow but steady development since day one, and I want that to continue as long as possible. My A&R policy is very simple: I want to release unique and interesting music. And the people behind the music have to be nice people that I want to collaborate with. We have to like each other.”

Any Other Business?: “There are artists that I work with who still believe I live in Oslo, more than seven years after I moved. I actually live in the small town of Haugesund on the west coast. Do I have any advice about running a label? You should do it the way you feel it should be done, not the way anyone else is telling you how it should be done.”

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