See also: Verses Records Mix
First and foremost, a happy New Year from all of us at Verses Records!
Verses Records is a Washington, DC based label that is operated by Doug Kallmeyer (DC), Monica Stroik (DC), and Dave Harris (Asheville NC). Verses came together in 2016 as a collective to release “music for the sake of music”, that might not otherwise find a platform. We currently have issued 25 releases. In 2019 we issued 8 releases spanning 26 bands/artists in Spring and Fall.
Our first release for 2020 is “Atlas” (1/31), a cassette release and music video from Asheville, NC duo Spectral Habitat (Meg Mulhearn/Elisa Faires), as well as a multimedia release from The Ambient Eye (Kallmeyer/Stroik), and really more releases than we have fingers to count, including Free Soil, The Mantis, Tristan Welch, Gel-Sol, Belly Full of Stars,We Are Ants to Them, and Hieronymus Bots, to name a few.
Here is a chronological look back at last years releases, the artists, and some of the music videos that accompany them as a mix. We have arranged this as both a master YouTube playlist, and then separate links plus Bandcamp with notes . . . we hope you enjoy!
Tristan Welch – 40 Hours
Our first release of 2019 (2.22) was “40 Hours”, a limited edition vinyl release from Tristan Welch, a musician/artist/activist based in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. His focus is creating soundscapes via electric guitar, treated with electronics. Tristan is currently finishing up a new release, his fifth to date, we are looking forward to that for 2020. Tristan toured “40 Hours” extensively, puts on a great show, and has mentioned he is looking to perform “40 Hours” live a few more times in January 2020, hit him up if you have a good listening room and want to set something up. Tristan worked with Monica Stroik to create a music video for “Monday”, the first track from “40 Hours”–
Patrick Bates – Salad Days
On 3.8.19 came “Salad Days” from songwriter Patrick Bates (Richmond, VA) on limited edition white vinyl. The record represents a culmination of over a decade of writing and recording– all the songs were recorded in the same studio (Planet Red Studio) with the same 3 people. Even with the recording sessions spanning over a decade, it became obvious towards the end to put them together for a release that would express a decade of musical experimentation. This is a great indie rock record, and showcases Bates and band at their best. Bates put on a heck of a show, too. Bates handed us a pretty awesome music video for “New Deal”, the first single from the record–
Wendy Eisenberg and Shane Parish – Nervous Systems
3.22.19 we issued “Nervous Systems” from Shane Parish and Wendy Eisenberg as a limited edition vinyl. Both inventive, spiny guitarists with deep roots in all genres, both veterans of critically acclaimed experimental rock bands (Birthing Hips, Ahleuchatistas), both published in Arcana VIII: Musicians on Music, edited by John Zorn (2017). They only just met in March 2018, while Wendy was on tour in Asheville. Hours after meeting, they recorded this collection of radical standard-tuning guitar improvisations, this record is amazing. Wendy and Shane, both very active live, did a tour in support. The Ambient Eye created a reactive music video for “Nightcap on the Danube by the Busted Ferris Wheel”-
Red Spells Red – Secret Sounds
As we typically do, we took a break from releases heading in to summer. We use this time to work on our own projects, do more shows, get future releases together, work on our studio tans, etc. On 9.20.19 we issued “Secret Sounds” from Red Spells Red, the duo of Dennis Kane (The Hunted Hare, Domingues & Kane) and Acef Stripe. RSR has been experimenting with and pushing the boundaries of their take on moody, experimental music since 2010. “Secret Sounds” finds them exploring a dark, psychedelic world of decidedly lo-fi textures, messy guitars, mangled loops, analogue synths and
vintage effect units all recorded to tape. RSR handed us a music video for the title track “Secret Sounds”–
The Hunted Hare – Nocturne
10.11.19 we issued “Nocturne” by The Hunted Hare. “Nocturne” is the third release from The Hunted Hare, the solo guitar project of Dennis Kane (Red Spells Red, Domingues & Kane). We love the music of THH, but we feel Kane out did himself with this release, it is a stunningly beautiful record. Taking inspiration from Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins, 60’s & 70’s Italian movie soundtracks and Baroque forms, the sounds are deep and personal. THH handed us a music video for the song “Margaret (I Thought I Heard Voices)”-
DMLLL – Stories from a Cruel Planet
10.25.19 we issued “Stories from a Cruel Planet”, the much anticipated second solo release from Damla Bozkurt, who works under the moniker of DMLLL. A themed series of modern classical explorations from Damla, “Stories” puts a heavy emphasis on composition, dynamics and harmony, with a fine balance between space and explosive virtuosity. Amazing violin, piano, guest artists . . . we released this as a compact disc, and it is truly a force of nature. Beautiful, refined power, thought and emotion. Damla composed/recorded all of the violin sections solo, but after release, grabbed some of
her musical friends, and took them in to a studio to bring these songs alive. She passed us a beautifully directed video documentation of this ensemble–
Domingues and Kane – Rough Magick
11.15.19 we released “Rough Magick”, the second release from viola da gamba/guitar duo Domingues and Kane. Classically trained cellist and viola da gamba player Amy Domingues and multiinstrumentalist/composer Dennis Kane have performed for years in the Washington, DC indie/experimental scene in collaborations with others. With “Rough Magick”, there is experimentation in the playing between viola da gamba and guitar, the sound is symphonic and atmospheric; each piece
has a unique resonance to share with the listener. A truly beautiful record, and the third this fall from Kane, too . . . he has been busy! Domingues and Kane passed us a music video for “Instilled Regard”–
Verses Records Sampler Vol. 3
“Sampler Vol. 3” (11.29.19) is our final release of 2019, our third label sampler, but our sixth compilation to date . . . as music fans, we love a good comp, and these are great fun to put together!
Vol. 3 is 20 tracks deep with new singles from Verses friends old and new, artists we are about to release, artists we gig with, and folks we admire. We “leaked” a piece from Spectral Habitat, plus music from Belly Full of Stars, Luna Honey, old Romeda Records friend Dublock, Free Soil, A Pale Void . . . it is hard to pick a favorite from all of this, and pretty fun to hear back from fans about their favorites. As always, we had to put a music video somewhere in the fray, mrscientificterms handed us a brutal one for “The Mathematics of Defeat”–
If you made it this far, thank you for the interest, and please check out our links below. Keep tabs on us for 2020, it’s going to be a busy year, and a heartfelt thanks to all for the support! Here is to hoping that everybody has a healthy, creative and productive 2020 . . . cheers!
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