As a fairly recent addition to Vancouver’s incredibly exciting current crop of local electronic music labels, 1080p Collection has managed to put forth an impressive number of quality releases before even reaching a full year of operation.
“I started almost a year ago in June but had been wanting to start a label for some time,” states Richard Macfarlane, head of 1080p. “It’s a cassette and digital label, I do tape runs of 50-200 depending on the project. But the digital is just as important, obviously having as many people as possible hear the releases is important; the runs are just small out of financial reasons and because of the general demand for physical tapes, rather than deliberately keeping them tiny. The main reason I started it was to make a sort of fun and weird space for new kinds of experimental electronic music that don’t necessarily fit into a dance zone but have elements of that. I got really into hybridized types of music when running a music blog called Rose Quartz, and the sorts of peripheral experiments that people from all over were making informed the way I run 1080p. The idea of using cassettes was to create a casual kind of zone that’s less high stakes than vinyl, a chill space to experiment!”
Although most of the 1080p output can broadly be categorized under the banner of experimental electronic music, there is a significant range in musical styles across its roster: from the warped house sound of Bobby Draino and ambient acid-leaning tracks of Abstract Mutation, to the more vaporwave-influenced beat music of Karmelloz and lo-fi hip hop of Young Braised. What’s much more impressive here than the number of releases from the label is the similarities that become apparent between what can so often be considered very separate areas of electronic music; all artists are keenly geared towards the experimental without being alienating. Operating instead within their respective realms of the downtempo/ambient electronic spectrum with a certain playfulness, each release shares an attitude that is perhaps influenced or inspired by the medium and frequency of 1080p releases and is certainly apparent in a lot of the surreal and bright-coloured artwork associated with the label.
“I hope that there’s a reasonably clear aesthetic in the music,” says Macfarlane. “At least to me there’s cohesiveness that runs across all the releases, but maybe it’s more intuitive, or at least approaching it that way is fun for me. I think there’s a similar vibe in say Young Braised’s rap as there is D. Tiffany’s loose, low-tech house in that it’s focused towards the positive while sounding kind of scruffy. Even say Perfume Advert’s murkier foggy house has a funky streak and this new LNRDCROY tape is quite insular and headphone-based, but also kind of jumped up. Hopefully this comes across to people, and also hopefully the art across all the releases makes sense. I wanted the curation to be slightly loose and not have any set art (that is the musician’s kind of curation mostly).”
With two imminent releases coming up from Vancouver artists D. Tiffany and LNRDCROY, the 1080p aesthetic of experimental electronica seems to be resonating with artists and listeners alike, and is clearly showing no signs of slowing down: “Everything has been very positive and fun for me while doing the label so far, the only challenges are Canada Post’s hugely expensive services and balancing time between this full-time web development course I’m doing. I guess another thing is that cassettes are maybe harder to get physical distribution for than vinyl in some ways, but it keeps it small and within my schedule/abilities right now. My plan is to keep doing a release every two weeks for the rest of the year at least, and then see what’s up!”
1080p has upcoming releases from LNRDCROY (May 20th) and D. Tiffany (June 17th). For more info, visit http://1080pcollection.bandcamp.com/
By Andy Soloman