I think as far as MVP awards go in the realm of record companies, Burning Witches Records out of the UK should most definitely pick up that award in 2018. For a label that appeared out of the ether in 2016 in a growing field of heavy synth and imagined soundtrack-themed labels and artists to become one of the most forward-thinking collectives of electronic and synth artists today, that’s saying a hell of a lot.
So what’s different about this label? Well, for one, the label runners Darren Page and Gary Dimes are not only artists, but true blue fans themselves. The two like-minded musicians bonded over a mutual adoration of music and a John Carpenter Halloween gig in London they both attended. They were both readying albums for their separate music projects(Darren’s Burning Tapes and Gary’s All of Them Witches), so the idea of starting a label in order to release their respective albums made sense. Their initial cassette releases sold out in 48 hours. They then crowdfunded for a vinyl release of the albums and that went off like gangbusters as well.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Over the course of 2017, Burning Witches released albums from artists as diverse as Hex Void, MAINE, Espectrostatic and Brass Hearse; as well as the incredible Halloween comp Witches’ Halloween Brew. And as far as 2018 goes, it seems as if every month they are putting out something absolutely amazing. We’re only just starting September and so far they have released stunning albums from Isvisible Isinvisible, All of Them Witches, the RSD 2018 comp Communion, Deadly Avenger, Graham Reznick, Xander Harris, D.A.L.I., Phantoms vs Fire, Die Hexen, and just last Friday the Burning Witches/Lakeshore Records collaborative release of Daniel Davies’ debut release Events Score.
I came to Burning Witches thanks to last year’s V by MAINE. That record ended up being my favorite album of the year. The elegant and melancholy melodies and tastefully conceived compositions won me over. It’s a piece of absolute Gothic beauty and made with all vintage synths. That album is still one I visit quite often. So far in 2018 the label has released some of my favorite records, including Isvisible/Isinvisible Graham Reznick’s R0B0PHASIA, and Xander Harris’ Villains of Romance.
The other thing that makes these Burning Witches releases so special is how they’re all treated as these beautiful multimedia projects. Not only is the music you’re getting from these artists amazing, but such care is put into all aspects of the release. From the artwork to exquisitely colored vinyl and cassettes, the release is a true event. Graphic designers Hauntlove, Kid Ethic and Luke Insect deserve an extra tip of the hat for their stunning work with Burning Witches.
Excited to see what’s to come from this Kent-based record label in the coming months, and beyond.