AIR spoke to Label Manager, Maddy O’Brien at Newmarket Music and found out a couple of great stories from the Indie label’s past.
What’s in a name? Why is your label called what you’re called?
Originally the label was based in Newmarket in West Melbourne. We’re now just down the road in leafy Kensington.
A day in the life. What happens in a typical day in the life of your label.
A day in the life of Newmarket Music is typical of any office I suppose – lots of emails, phone calls, paperwork, and plenty of meetings. The best part of the day is kicking back and going through demo submissions. Some are fantastic and a lot of work clearly goes into most of them – the odd demo can leave me scratching my head though.
What release/releases are you most proud of being involved in and why?
There’s quite a few that I’m really proud to have been a part of, we’ve had a great year. Tim Willis & The End’s second release Keep Your Chin Up is a special one for me, being one of the first albums I released at Newmarket. Their idiosyncratic approach to jazz/rock steers well clear of the stale stereotype that the genre often falls prey to.
Tim Willis & The End – Lying On Her Bed Listening To Steve Reich:
Allan Browne’s 2012 Jazz ‘Bell’ Award winning album Collected Works Volume 2: Fifty Years Of New Orleans Jazz would have to be one of my favourite releases, and not just for the music. The artwork for the album was reworked from a Red Onion Jazz Band LP (released by the W&G label in 1964) and hand drawn 60’s poster art, both by artist Kim Lynch. There’s a lovely poem by Allan in the liner notes as well, it’s all very nostalgic and paints a lovely picture of an era when Melbourne’s jazz community was young and thriving.
What album do you wish you had released and why? Or which artists do you wish were part of your roster?
I wish Megan Washington had stayed with us! We released Megan’s first EP in 2006 and not long after she signed to UMG. I guess that’s all part and parcel of being an independent label, nurturing emerging talent.
I would really love to see more young talent on our roster. James Carter, a recent Monash graduate released his debut through Newmarket earlier this year. His compositions are flawless and the album was really well received.
James Carter – Prone To Flights Of Whimsy:
What’s the best performance you’ve ever seen live?
The best performance I’ve ever seen would have to have been Buddy Guy at The Palais earlier this year, what a living legend! The Specials in 2009 at The Palace comes a very close second, they’ve still got it.
What do you see as the toughest problem facing record labels in the future? (And what would be your solution?)
The most obvious ‘problem’ that some labels seem to ignore is the decline in music sales – but, you know what, that’s okay! Change is good. There are so many sectors of the industry that are taking off that labels can bring into the mix. Diversify and move on (quickly) from the doomed sales-oriented model.
What’s next for your label?
November 9th will see the release of the second installment of Julian Curwin’s ‘The Mango Balloon’ project, through Romero Records and Newmarket Music. The Mango Balloon is essentially a smaller, chamber version of 10-piece spaghetti-Western/tango outfit The Tango Saloon. Volume 2 features Julian Curwin, Marcello Maio, Sam Golding, Mark Harris, Danny Heifetz, Jess Ciampa and guest vocals/guitar from Brian Campeau. The first single from the release is Dancing On My Own Grave.
The Mango Balloon: Dancing On My Own Grave:
A little further down the tack we’ll be releasing something very special from the Ted Vining Trio. I won’t spill the beans on this one just yet, that would be telling! It will be great!