For The Love Of Music: Love Is My Velocity.
What started out as a monthly DJ night in Mt Lawley a few years ago has since evolved into a record label.
Back in 2003, Keong Woo and a friend started hosting an intimate monthly DJ night at the Velvet Lounge in Mt Lawley. The night was called Love Is My Velocity. In 2005 Keong and Helen McLean (one of Love Is My Velocity’s current co-directors) applied for a funding grant to release the label’s first two split 7” vinyl records and so Love Is My Velocity started to evolve into so much more.
One of Love Is My Velocity’s current co-directors Matt Giles, came on board following its third release and says of the evolution: “I think they thought to themselves, ‘Well, we’ve done all right with the DJ thing, let’s see how putting out a record goes.’ If your project is to mould Perth’s music culture into a shape that you’d prefer it’s a pretty logical, or organic, move to go from organising the kind of DJ-ing you’d like to hear to putting out records by bands you wish would release a more music, or just some music.”
The label comes to work with its artists in a very organic way. Matt says, “Sometimes we’ll hear that a band has done some recording and are looking for some help putting it out, or they’ll ask us to get involved, or we’ll approach a band and say that if they’re ever thinking of releasing something to keep us in mind.”
Love Is My Velocity currently pays for the mastering and pressing of existing recordings, arranges the artwork, distribution and promotion for its artists’ releases.
Matt says there’s also a more abstract side to what they offers their artists. “I think bands simply appreciate having interest shown in them by someone besides their friends and the regulars at their shows, so first of all I think we spur artists who might otherwise dawdle to expedite their release, and encourage artists who wouldn’t think of releasing something to do so. We gently shove them into the pool, I suppose.”
He continues: “I also imagine that by now we have some kind of brand power that bands can avail themselves of, but I’d be hesitant to suggest that that’s an actual commodity that we offer our artists. I think mainly we offer bands financial and moral support, as well as an existing publicity and distribution network, and the sense of belonging to something at least a bit more significant than just themselves.”
Since the Love Is My Velocity record label’s inception, they have put out four split 7″ vinyl singles: The Bank Holidays/Institut Polaire, Tucker B’s/Airport City Shuffle, Sugar Army/ 7 Day Weekend and Joe Bludge/ Josh Fontaine and LP’s for Bambodi and Burton Cool Suit. They also released a book last year, the ‘Love Is My Velocity Cookbook’ which featured recipes from a plethora of Perth bands and artwork from some of Perth’s most talented artists.
They have also been responsible for helping promoting the Lullatone’s show at the Bakery earlier this year. Their focus however is pushing the talent in Perth’s music industry both locally and beyond.
Due to the isolation of Perth, it can be difficult for Perth artists to get interest in other cities. Matt says, “We want our songs to be played and our releases to be bought nationwide, but it’s difficult to get non-WA audiences psyched about releases by bands that haven’t and aren’t likely to tour to their town soon.”
He continues: “It takes a few good tours in order to make east coast ears prick up, and until that happens you aren’t likely to sell a significant amount of records there. But it’s hard for bands to take time off their day jobs and save up enough money to tour. That’s probably the main problem caused from being as isolated as Perth is.”
Things look like they are going to keep moving forward for the label. Matt says in the long term they are hoping to get Josh Fontaine and Okioki to put out full length releases along with planning their fifth split single release. In the immediate future the label is set to release their second book ‘First Page’ in July. “This is pretty much a non-musical project, although Josh Fontaine is doing some writing for it. But it’s true to Love Is My Velocity’s raison d’etre of cross-pollinating art forms in order to create a more vital audience for Perth’s domestic cultural output.”
Love is My Velocity Official Website and MySpace
Copyright (C) 2008 Christina Ballico.