Submarine Broadcasting Company

Location: Newbury, UK

Est: 2017

Potted History: “I was inspired by the Digital Dizzy label to create a benefit album for the Syria Relief charity,” explains label big chief Rob Mellor. “But there was a twist, all the tracks would feature a home-made instrument or household object. The album was released as ‘One String Inspiration’ and sold surprisingly well.” The 28-track compilation featured Beltism, Rob’s musical alter ego, who he’d been peddling to various labels with little luck. “The solution was obvious,” he says, “leverage the momentum of ‘One String Inspiration’ to create a label to promote my own music. Thus the Submarine Broadcasting Company was born. Of course I’m now so busy with the label that I don’t get the chance to make my own music, so everyone wins!”

Mission Statement: “Our strapline is ‘For the beauty’,” explains Rob. “That should be the motivation. Our work doesn’t need to make money, it doesn’t need to make sense, doesn’t need to last forever, it just needs to contain an act or a moment of beauty. And yes, this artistic vision does get eroded by the reality of pressing and duplication costs, but it does act as a useful reminder sometimes of why we do what we do.”

Key Artists & Releases: “Like every parent we love all our children equally, but it’s particularly gratifying when something left field unexpectedly gains traction. GOATS’ second album ‘Far Out’ did well – 40-minute single-song acid folk field recording experimental ambient funk mash-ups have traditionally been a tough sell, but this one really cut through. We’re very lucky to have The Glove Of Bones on our staff. He’s instrumental in driving some our visual aesthetic. In return we’re able to offer a safe space where he can deliver projects like ‘Kafou In Avalonia’, a collaboration with Cousin Silas. It was a cassette presented in a wax-sealed sleeve, packaged in a gris-gris bag complete with bones and a shrunken head. That’s not your usual record deal.”

Future Plans: “I’d really like an SBC radio show, but it’s a saturated market and I wouldn’t want to launch anything unless I thought it was doing something new or reaching an under-served audience.”

Any Other Business?: “What would success look like for the label? If we got a reputation for reliably releasing something interesting, that would do me fine It seems to me the big thing in this business is perseverance. You have to hang on in there. Good things can happen, but the competition for people’s ears has never been greater, so finding the right ears for your music is going to take some time.”

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