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Verses Records is a label based out of Washington, DC that came together January 1, 2016. The idea was to put together a collective of artists and release “music for the sake of music” by artists without commercial inhibitions. We tend to put an emphasis on live performance, video, multimedia and community involvement.

Verses is currently operated by Doug Kallmeyer, Monica Stroik and Dave Harris. When asked to put together a play list of some of our music, we realized how hard of a task this can be. We love and are invested in every minute of music that we have issued . . . picking “favorites” is not possible as we have worked with so many artists and so much great music, none of this is arbitrary. There is no filler. We definitely have a passion for the benefit work that we do, so there is a good bit of that, some bonus tracks, some music with a story, and we even selected a few artists away from our own label that currently rattle to the top of our brains.

We would like to take a moment and thank all of the artists that we have had the pleasure of working with, as well as all of the people that have supported us over the years. Coming to a show, maybe buying a record, the media support, support from fellow labels, even just giving us a good listen or checking out a video . . . we truly appreciate it. Thank you . . . we hope you enjoy the playlist and the read, cheers!

PS– we have a very exciting Fall into early Winter lined up with up to 9 new releases (busy bees!), please keep tabs on us, here are our links.

https://www.versesrecords.com

https://open.spotify.com/user/hk6mon8i7rlz3pj8464vi4jeo?si=RzduuU4MSVKBEJuoicRBGA

https://www.facebook.com/versesrecords 

https://www.instagram.com/verses_records 

https://twitter.com/VersesRecords 

http://www.youtube.com/c/VersesRecords

 https://versesrecords.bandcamp.com

https://www.mixcloud.com/Versesrecords

#BandsNotBrands

 

DMLLL – “Dream of Freedom with a Restless Waltz”

(Short Tales of Winter – Verses)

This tune blows my mind. We like to ask artists for a Bandcamp exclusive bonus track, something extra, that super cool “b-side”, lagniappe, if you will. As music fans, we love that kind of stuff. Damla handed us this as a digital bonus for her first release “Short Tales of Winter”. Minds blown. -DH


Gel-Sol – “Torus”

 (Horse Head Bookends – Verses)

Another “bonus” track from our discography, originally for the Bandcamp digital version of “Horse Head Bookends”. We love this record, the vinyl version is an art packaged bit of glory. The record is Gel-Sol at the top of his game. Masterful, and yes . . . I put a 45 minute long song on a play list, it is epic and glorious. I love to let it rip. Enjoy. -DH


I Speak Machine – “My Girl” 

(Code Red: An International Compilation to Benefit the ACLU- Verses)

One of the first tracks we received for the “Code Red” compilation, overall featuring 40 artists from 6 countries. We put this benefit compilation together (start to finish) in 3 weeks, including reaching out ot the artists, mastering and art package. Yowza! The generosity of the music community helping us help the ACLU inspires and warms our hearts. We love and respect ISM and this piece of music moves us . .

.but really, this compilation is loaded full of great music and artists who want to help. Dig in. Eternal gratitude. -DH


Blind Idiot God – “Subterranean Flight (Live At Roadburn)”

(We Stand: An International Compilation In Support of Planned Parenthood- Verses) 

A track from “We Stand”, our benefit compilation for Planned Parenthood. We released this comp right on the heels of our ACLU benefit, the momentum was already there, and we definitely like to fight for what we believe in. “We Stand” features 44 artists from 10 countries, and is a wonderful basket of some amazing and thoughtful music. This tune resonates with me from my youth, the original version was issued by SST Records in 1987. One of my favorite bands of all time, I reached out to these folks and found friendly, approachable artists that wanted to help. Eternal gratitude to them, the Roadburn folks, and all of the artists who contributed (everybody was so cool), and all those that help. It really means something to us. -DH


Godflesh – “I, Me, Mine”

(Us and Them- Earache)

One of my favorite bands of all time, and a huge influence on me since the late 80s. Hard to pick a singular tune, the Godflesh discography epitomizes everything that I love about industrial rock, noise, guitars and bass, ambience, dub, re-mixes, beautiful nasty machine drums. Dystopia. Anxiety. Release via response. When my life fails and I end up under a bridge, Godflesh will be my soundtrack. -DH


Yungchen Lhamo – “Heart” 

(Coming Home- Real World Records)

A Tibetan singer-songwriter that I first discovered at (of all things) a Peter Rowan concert. She performed “Land of the Navajo” w/Rowan, several solo pieces, and stopped time. Later I had the chance to talk with her at great length, she put her hand on my shoulder and looked me right through my eyes and engaged my soul, a very calming force. Centering and warm, a wonderful human. Traditional Tibetan music, world music, fusion styles, pop. You have to dig to find them, but I went and found all of her records. Game changer. -DH


Tristan Welch – “Tuesday” 

(40 Hours- Verses) 

Tristan’s work is representative of theoretical ties that can be presented with sonics, resulting in a change in the perception of how the listener experiences the music. On the full length “40 Hours”, “Tuesday” represents the second day of a 40 hour work week, and the calm acceptance of the time you are forced to spend in order to survive and

the malaise that it can provide; yet comforting in the awareness that you will have your basic needs met for at least a short while longer. The breathiness of guest saxophonist Ron Oshima further serves to guide the listener with it’s subliminal, calming effect. Breathe, exist, take another breath. -DK


Yoko K- “Lou”

(We Stand: An International Compilation In Support of Planned Parenthood- Verses)

Yoko K is a DC artist via Japan whom I’ve experienced in live performance a number of times. Her current endeavors focus on an attempt to change the sonic atmospheres in hospitals; her own experiences as a frequent patient impressed upon her that the types of alarms and ambient sounds in hospital create unnecessary stress and discomfort for patients and staff alike, and there should be a healthier alternative that can still perform the necessary functions. Her music always brings me to a place of peaceful meditation. -DK


Blasts Atomic! – “Border Line” 

(London Metal/ BODY!/ plus- Verses)

A piece written by Dave Harris (mrscientificterms), while suffering and recovering from a traumatic head injury. I had the pleasure of accompanying his guitar and synth work with upright bass

and vibraphone, and mixing the piece. I feel it really puts the listener in the place between conscious and unconscious, that place between waking and dream state, the attempt to connect the brain fully to clarity that is in our physical dimension. -DK


Red Spells Red – “Birds Return”

(Verses Sampler Vol. 1- Verses) 

Dennis Kane (The Hunted Hare, Domingues & Kane) and Dave Svrjcek (Acef Stripe) have spent many hours exploring modular synthesis and electronics. This piece is culled from documentation of this experimentation. The resulting sound pulls the listener into the peaceful flow, allowing the time to breathe and contemplate while removing the passing of that time from consciousness. -DK


The Bug – “Black Wasp” feat. Liz Harris

(EXIT- Ninja Tune) 

Dub reggae is the reason I got into audio engineering, and sound as an abstract concept in art. Kevin Martin AKA The Bug is a recent infatuation, who excels at balancing noise and obliteration of sound with a dub-wise production sensibility that draws from the art of using the mixing console as an instrument. Melding the human voice with electronics to create additional harmonic content, as well as the intentional clashes of instrumental note choice at the perfect time, throws the listener to a place beyond western tonality. A reflection of a world drowning in too much sensory input, and the feeling of aggression balanced with the beauty of succeeding that is brought forth by the struggle to live in the arts. -DK


Brian Eno and Kevin Shields – “Only Once Away My Son”

(Record Store Day 2018- Rough Trade)

One of my favorite releases to date, this is Eno and Shields at their best, using production techniques of overloading sonics until a harmonic state is reached that can only be achieved through the summing of its parts. This technique is becoming more and more a part of modern production, as we are overladed with input and media addiction. This represents to me a breaking through of that saturation point, achieving a level of bliss above the din. -DK


Dubpixel – “Stone Cutter”

(Code Red: An International Compilation to Benefit the ACLU- Verses)

This was the last piece of music I made as a solo artist before creating the Verses label, and shifting focus to support other artists beyond audio engineering. Electronic, dub, and a live performance which incorporates both analog and digital machines, without the aid of any type of synch. A last use to date of purely rhythmic elements as the core

of the creative process, before the massive sea change in listening habits necessitated by the Verses imprint- and a last piece inspired by the inner city of Baltimore before returning to the Washington DC area to start Verses. -DK


Divine Circles – “Hymn (Demo)”

(Code Red: An International Compilation to Benefit the ACLU- Verses)

I grew up listening to folk music, every summer having picnics in parks. Always a story to be told through song. I love the strings and the harmonies heard here. There is this melancholy longing of my childhood that hopes for a brighter future. -MS


Super! Silver! Haze! – “The Fastest Way from Here to There is Not a Straight Line”

(Code Red: An International Compilation to Benefit the ACLU- Verses)

This is definitely one of the best (and my favorite) new bands to emerge out of the old time DC music scene with the drummer Brendan Canty (of Fugazi fame) and Douglas Kallmeyer (Hearsay, 302Acid). This piece takes you on an infinite journey. You travel through time from past to present to future or maybe the other way around. There is soul searching as well as yearning. By the end of this journey you feel stronger with a clearer vision of where you have been and where you are going. -MS


Patrick Bates – “Fits Like a Glove”

(Salad Days- Verses) 

If you listen to this whole album, it is hard to believe that it spans ten years of recordings, done at Planet Red Studio in Richmond, VA, because it sounds so cohesive. This particular song sounds like its title, it fits so well, I want to hear more. The beginning slides on wistfully, catching the glean of my eye, and grows into the lyrical content that wraps around with gracious pauses that reveal delicacies of sounds, as though lifting my face towards the sun on a cold day. -MS


Low – “Quorum” 

(Double Negative- Sub Pop)

This is by far the best live show that I saw in 2018. Their latest album, Double Negative, represents this live show. The range of sounds this band achieves spans the gut and the head. “Quorum” is a great example of what this band creates blending the raw noise guitar effects with haunting vocals. Taking you from under the roots up into the clouds. -MS


Hrím – “Huldufolk”

(We Stand: An International Compilation In Support of Planned Parenthood- Verses)

The first track from this compilation, Hrím, based out of London, combines the

talents of the Icelandic singer vocalist Ösp Eldjárn, multi-instrumentalist Anil Sebastian, and electronic production and programming of Cherif Hashizume. -MS


Huda&Kamyar – “Zaw’Al Nahar”

(Verses Records & Romeda Records present: VR)

This is on our collaboration CD with Romeda Records out of Southport, UK, called VR, reviewed here

Hopefully by now you can hear the diversity in the selection of our music with the common thread being quality. These artists know their instruments and their voice. Kamyar Arsani, a Sufi Poet, is also on our “Code Red” comp with Time Is Fire’s “Part Time Gods”

Huda Asfour is an artist that is also featured on our “We Stand” com with “Sama’i

Here, they come together bringing their past histories and influences of the Middle East. Huda is playing the traditional instrument, the Oud, and Kamyar is playing the Daf. The title translates as “Light of Day” wishing to bring us “joy, love, and hope.” That it does! -MS


Night Glitter – “Raised for War”

(We Stand: An International Compilation In Support of Planned Parenthood- Verses)

Night Glitter is based out of Austin,Texas, but we know the singer LouLou Ghelichkani from her vocals with DC based Thievery Corporation. Here she is working with John Michael Schoept from The Happen-Ins creating a psychedelic dreamscape that sucks you in and keeps you there. -MS

Thank you for taking the time to check out our playlist

 


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