Sometimes more than just the music is something to be celebrated and applauded. New imprint Love & Disaster has just released a four track EP ‘Love & Disaster 1: New Music from New Manchester artists’. As well as digital download, it is available as, wait for it, gatefold-sleeve ten inch vinyl (and this photo does NOT do it justice at all).
I don’t get into the game of predicting who is going to ‘big’ and neither does Love & Disaster (in the main I just follow the also-rans, should-have-beens and overlooked of this world). Instead this EP is trying to capture an eclectic mix of Manchester artists at a certain point in time – with two future two releases planned which you could pledge support to here - rather than pigeonhole a 'scene'.
You can listen to the four artists – Airship, Dutch Uncles, Jo Rose and a remix of Delphic from Everything Everything – on the Love and Disaster website. But at £1.79 for all four songs (digitally via 7 Digital) or £5.99 on that limited gatefold vinyl (from Piccadilly Records this week, everywhere else next week) you should probably go straight for a purchase.
It’s an eclectic mix; my favourites being the magnificently gloomy piano-led Americana of Jo Rose and the angular prog-wave of Dutch Uncles. I'm also pleasantly enjoying the indie pop-rush of Airship who have surprised me with this song; my previous experience seeing one live support slot last year was not a good one.
In this interview with L&D main-man Dan Parrott on the Hey Manchester site you can read more about his motivations and belief in music made in Manchester, the reason why the sleeve is gatefold and how these artists aren’t in thrall to the Hacienda era/mythology... because given their age most of them were watching Blue Peter not visiting the club.
Spoiler Alert: the reason the sleeve is gatefold is to accommodate the above photograph of all the artists without cropping it. Aesthetic principles over business sense? ‘Broad church’ and artist-led approach to recording and releasing music? Doesn’t this sound familiar?? Scratch that thought, Love & Disaster is refreshingly free from nostalgia for a bygone era or from trying to capture or define a ‘scene’. That and the label's quiet ambition and gorgeous packaging deserves applause.
But if like me you buy the vinyl, before ripping a digital copy you should read the section of the L&D website that I missed: "Order the vinyl from any of these stores and email us a photo of you and your vinyl and we’ll send you the MP3s".
Dutch Uncles [BUY]