Pete Swanson and Jed Bindeman are behind the new archival imprint.
The imprint had a brief run back in the late '00s, the brainchild of former Yellow Swans member turned experimental producer Pete Swanson and Jed Bindeman of Portland's Little Axe record shop. On the label's website, a manifesto says the label "is concerned with autonomous anomalies produced by musicians working within and outside the limits of technology to create intimate art."
Earlier this month, the label slipped out a version of Michele Mercure's Eye Chant LP, originally released in 1986. Crafted with voice and synthesizer, some of the music on Eye Chant figured into a PBS production as well as a performance art piece. In early March, Freedom To Spend will reissue Marc Barreca’s Music Works for Industry. That one came out on K. Leimer's Palace Of Lights label in 1983. Leimer, whose own music has been reissued by RVNG Intl., compares Barreca's music to Cluster, Steve Reich and Iannis Xenakis in his liner notes. The album was composed in Seattle's artist run space and/or.
We spoke with Swanson and Bindeman about the new venture.
You've said the label's name refers to the Freedom To Spend "your hard-earned and fortuitously won money" as well as "an abundance of freedom that needs to be shared." Can you tell us more about the idea and meaning behind the label?
Pete Swanson: The name actually comes from some found poetry. It has the air of both being self-deprecating and overly celebratory. The label was born from conversations that Jed and I were having regarding music that we were finding really inspiring. Both of us had been digging deep into the whole Mexican pre-Hispanic synth zone, Portuguese freak electronic experiments, Italian composers gone pop, etc. Those initial international musical concerns haven't played out in the releases thus far, considering the first two releases are very American. The music that we have released are fully realized sonic worlds from the earliest era of accessible home studios and electronic music gear.
Why is recontextualizing the releases with liner notes and present-day perspectives more interesting than simply repressing records you love?
Pete Swanson: I personally love liner notes and understanding context. It's great to know where the music came from, the processes behind it, but also why an album is worth considering in 2017. It's one thing to be on a nostalgia trip, it's another thing to excavate the past to understand the present or to help inspire the future.
Why does the world need another reissue label?
Jed Bindeman: A feeling I will never tire of is finding a new-to-me album that just blows me away, and more than anything, humbles me to the idea that the well of incredible music will never run dry. I've always thought that people that are jaded towards music just aren't searching deep enough, because almost every day I hear something new, from many different eras, that just makes me think, "Now where the hell did THIS come from and why haven't I heard it before?!"
Watch a short film on Michele Mercure previewing the reissue.
Michele Mercure - Eye Chant
01. Tour de France (Day 2)
02. In The Air
03. The Intruder
04. 100% Bridal Illusion
06. Dream Clock
07. Proteus And The Marlin
08. Too Much
Marc Barreca - Music Works for Industry
01. Community Life
04. Glass And Steel No. 1
05. The Urge To Buy Terrorizes You
06. Glass And Steel No. 2
07. Nerve Roots Are Uncontrollable
08. Music Works For Industry
10. Organized Labor
11. Vs Chorus
12. Radio And Television
13. Church And State
Freedom To Spend released Eye Chant on February 3rd, 2017. Music Works for Industry is due March 3rd, 2017.