Just another label that was started for just another artist’s own music who then decided to put out other people’s music. But wait… this label barely sells any of its titles… yet, it continually puts more and more energy into each beautifully packaged, limited edition release… pushing expenses through the ceiling… seeking material from artists that only record for themselves… having it adored on public radio and then disappearing as strangely as it emerged…
With the 1998 CD release of Piedmont Sorpid’s “The sugars of the eyes”, experimental musician Carl Jacks needed a label to market his original music under.
“I thought that the self release concept seemed a little more advantageous if you chose to do it under some strange, made up record label name”.
The chosen title Dainty Deathy was taken from an imaginary, fire breathing critter loosely scribbled on his bedroom wall by a young child—And it seemed only appropriate. For the title would be branding imaginary and personal expressions in audio form, starting within Carl’s own bedroom, and soon the bedrooms of many other musical minds from all over.
After securing some comfort with two Piedmont Sorpid releases, it would be in mid 2000 that Carl decided to go with the idea of promoting other people’s material. The result of this was the various artists compilation “Behind a thatched divider”. Here, he pooled material from long time musical friends and summon works from recent friendships made during his travels to the UK. “Behind a thatched divider” thus became Dainty Deathy’s official label launching release featuring artists from Canada, the UK and the USA.
In the same tradition as Piedmont Sorpid, most of these artists were creating music with 4-tracks, tapes, samplers, field recordings, computers and experimental approaches influenced by an ever evolving musical environment. Much of the material collected was very personal to the artists, and for the most part, had rarely been heard outside of the bedrooms in which it was created.
It is within the these confines that Dainty Deathy desires to latch their sound objective onto; detail conscious individuals constructing music with panache in an ultra musical sense. Listeners will notice that a Dainty Deathy artist is appreciative of all music forms. That the artist never really attaches themselves to one area of music’s many genres while at the same time they retain their original approach of sound generating and recording. They may loose or gain admirers over time as they explore the possibilities of meshing all types of music and sound in all types of ways. Whether you are a fan of it or not, you can pretty much gather that a Dainty Deathy release will always be adventurous and engaging.
Another key element to Dainty Deathy lays dynamically in the product packaging. Each new release is presented as a limited, 300-500 edition item, hand packaged in an original concept design.
“I am always so absorbed in the packaging of a new album, almost to the point of exhaustion” Carl mentions while designing or overlooking each CD’s art layout. “The music is something that just comes to me. It only feels like a small fraction of the work. The presentation of it is where I loose myself.” Packaging mediums have included hand sewn, wool slip covers, transparencies, exotic paper assemblies and custom production ink press work. Each release presents something novel while adding insight to what hides inside.
But then there is this issue of not selling many Dainty Deathy releases…
Commercial exposer is a hard thing to work on when budgets are low, releases are of limited quantity and you are a relatively new label. Meanwhile, there is this small audience out there that prefers listening to an artist, band or label that others may not be familiar with. An audience that feels as though this music they have discovered is all their own and that they would never want to have it exposed or shared. This is the type of audience Dainty Deathy is trying to cater to. Of course, it is rather hard to find these people just as it is rather hard for them to find us among all the independent material to sift through these days.
Once and a while however, we get introduced or located. And from that very point on…
… we tend to keep ya.