Releasing The Plague – Repose Records Interview

Repose Records is a very young label located in England and already made several very good releases in my opinion. Some I had the honor to do the reviews. It’s a label that is moving inside the Black Metal, Dark Ambient, Neofolk and Dungeon Synth music style. In my opinion, it is a label that you should pay attention to. So, I decided to talk a bit with Tom the person behind the label. Check it.

Thanks for agreeing to this interview for Blessed Altar Zine. Tell us a little bit about the story of the label. How did it start and how far do you think you’ve come since that time?

Thanks for the interview.  Repose was originally created as a tape label to release my own music and some friends music in early 2019.  Just doing those first few small tape runs enabled me to reach out to other bands and artists that I liked at the time and I started growing in size with each project from there.  I am eternally grateful to the artists that took a chance with me and believed in my vision for the label in those early stages – Oytun from Tir, the guys in Helvetic Underground Committee & Sean from Moon And Azure Shadow. I hope to work with them all again in the future.

Moving forward I want to keep finding obscure underground artists and giving them a platform in which to release their music.

How do you choose which bands to release? How much are your own tastes, or what you expect your audiences tastes a part of the decision making process? Do you have some set boundaries of the kind of music you will or won’t release?

I am focussed on black metal and it’s offshoots, dark ambient, neofolk, dungeon synth etc.  I coined Repose as ’Unorthodox & Underground’ music so as long as it fits those boundaries and I like it I’d take a shot at releasing it.

To answer your question if my audiences taste dictates what I release the answer is no, I am led purely by my own taste.  I don’t care for hype or ‘what’s hot’ at the moment, a lot of trends fade away and what’s considered trendy today will probably be forgotten about tomorrow.  My goal is to build a catalogue of albums that people will look back on in the future and remain favourites. Time will tell if I am successful.

What does your label have to offer bands that will make them want to release their music with you, rather than with another label? What are your preferences when it comes to deciding on vinyl, CD, cassette or digital formats and what factors are part of your choice?

So far in 2020, I have mostly worked with bands/artists that have never released anything physically before.  Again, if I like the music myself and I believe in it then I will work closely with the artist to try to bring their vision to life in the best way possible.  I find the best projects are the ones that have passion behind them rather than just creating a product for the sake of selling it.

The formats change with each release.  I am not one to do the same copy & paste release again and again and I try to make each release as unique as possible.  I try to do vinyl for everything I release as I believe it to be the ultimate format.

Do you think of yourselves as being an ‘underground’ label? Would you want the music you release to one day have more of a mainstream appeal, or do you think that would dilute what you do?

Yes, very much so.  I don’t mind if it has a mainstream appeal or not.  As long as enough people are interested in what I release that it enables me to continue running the label then I will be content and continue to do so.  Due to the nature of the music I will never be able to compete with major labels but I think when you get to a certain size you have to start concerning yourself more with what your customers will like and you can’t take as many risks.  At the moment It works for me to stay small & underground so I can continue to take risks with what I release.

Can you compare your experiences dealing with other labels from Europe, North America, South America or Asia? Have you found some factors that make one or other more easy or difficult to work with?

To be honest I have never had a bad experience when I have traded between labels or reached out to them over email.  I know you hear stories about labels running trade scams or whatever but I’ve never experienced it.  All of the labels I regularly trade with internationally such as NWN!, Expansion Abyss, IBH, Old Mill, His Wounds, Inferna Profundus etc have all been highly, highly professional and great dudes to work with.  Thankfully I never traded with Ascension Monuments…

Do you have anything in the pipeline that you’re excited to mention and do you have any ” dream bands” that you’d love to release something by?

It was always a goal of mine to work with the Helvetic Underground Committee and I was very pleased to release DVT’s ‘To The Great Monolith II’ earlier this year.  I will be working with them again on another project of theirs in 2021 and also ‘To The Great Monolith III’ is in the works. 

Also, I’m very excited to be working with Sørgelig on their new album which is due out in 2021.  Apart from that I have some co-releases coming up with Old Mill Productions, His Wounds & Inferna Profundus which I’m very much looking forward to announce in 2021.

Finally, any info for fans or bands to get in touch or follow what’s happening with the label?  

Sign up to the mailing list at www.reposerecords.com – I regularly send out updates and exclusive offers though there or follow @reposerecords on Instagram.

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By The Key Keeper 666

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