The esteemed techno-oriented club night will launch its imprint with an EP from Leisure Muffin next month.
The Bunker has announced details of its new label, with the first release due out on January 13th.
At the beginning of this year, the well-loved NYC party run by Bryan Kasenic celebrated its tenth birthday, which we marked with an extensive oral history feature. The series is generally known for its focus on techno, but it could get down with house and also tread more experimental waters (or "fringe artists who also know how to move a dance floor" according to the press release). The first EP is also the debut from Bunker regular Michael Hopkins as Leisure Muffin. The EP comprises three modular-heavy tracks written while the producer was living in Maine to take care of his dying mother earlier this year, and the A-side "In Wearable Hertz" features Elizabeth Warren on violin. It'll be released digitally and on vinyl.
You can hear clips of the release over at The Bunker NY's BandCamp or SoundCloud pages.
We chatted with Bunker founder Kasenic over e-mail to find out more about the label.
Why did you want to start a label in addition to the club night, and why now?
The Bunker has been a party series for almost 11 years now. I'm going to, of course, continue doing events, but I wanted a new challenge. I have been hearing a lot of great unreleased music from friends and the time seemed right to start releasing it. In the past few years, I've been invited to curate parties as The Bunker outside of New York, and for that kind of thing, it really makes sense to start including not only my resident DJs, but also my label artists.
I managed a record label for DJ Olive and James Healy called The Agriculture from 2000 to 2004, so I'm familiar with how to get it all done. It's been a lifelong dream of mine to have my own label, but once the parties really took off and ate so much of my time, the label got pushed to the back burner. In the past year we've started to do our bigger events at Output. They handle a lot of the logistics that used to take up a great deal of my time and energy, which has given me just enough free time to get the label launched.
All these years on, how would you describe the ethos of the club night and how does that relate to the label?
The Bunker really started as a way to gather a community of music lovers to explore fresh sounds together on the dance floor at a time when that was barely happening in New York. The lineups over the past decade reflect my own musical journey. The sound of The Bunker has always been pretty open, so it's hard to pin down, but I know it when I hear it. We are probably most generally known as a techno party, and we certainly play a lot of techno and house, but I think it's the weird music we present that oozes through the cracks and doesn't fit into simple genre categories that somehow defines The Bunker and sets us apart. The label will be a true reflection of this, as we release music from characters who lurk in the shadows of the party alongside established past guests who inspire us.
Obviously the NYC scene is experiencing a swell of renewed attention and interest. Do you feel like things are in a good place right now?
Things are in a very good place right now. As mentioned above, when we started the party in 2003, there really wasn't much going on in New York. You could go to The Bunker or Robots on Friday nights, Tronic Treatment was holding down Mondays, and Kevin McHugh would occasionally put something on. That was about it. It still shocks me to look over the Resident Advisor listings and see how much is going on every week in New York these days. Most of it I have very little interest in, but there are still way more cool parties and events going on every week than anytime since I got here in 1997. It seems like the overall number of people interested in going out keeps increasing, which is good for all of us.
There are also a ton of artists and labels from New York who are very actively releasing amazing music right now, and it's about time that the world pays attention. I feel like every time I go out or throw a party I meet at least one new person who is making music, starting a label, or throwing parties. It's really inspiring and it pushes me to make sure The Bunker's events and label really stand out from the crowd, which is a great challenge.
What does the future hold for the label after the first release?
We already have quite a few releases lined up. The first year will likely be a lot of 12-inch EPs from artists who I'm pushing to give us albums by next year. For now the 12-inch format seems like the best way to get a lot of music out quickly. I don't want to give away too much right now, but I have a lot of people who have been involved in The Bunker in one way or another over the years feeding me music that I'm very excited to release.
A In Wearable Hertz feat. Elizabeth Warren
The Bunker New York will release The Bunker New York 001 on January 13th, 2013.