“What if ‘GoD’ was one of us?”: The Rise of Anonymous Records

29th May 2014

This is the first in a series of guest blogs from Anonymous Records’ Stewart Moss. We have been following and supporting the independent record company’s progress to the extent that we decided the time had come for Stewart to report on events himself.

In the summer of 2013, Owen and I had discussed starting a label at length (inspired by DFA Records: James Murphy’s flagrant disregard for age and the fact there was just nothing much else going on for me in my boring mid-thirties.). We felt that our combined clout could amount to something…or at the very least we could be one of those spectacular failures that people don’t seem to mind too much? And, if, James Murphy, can do it I mean of course why couldn’t we!

Extensive research ensued. We created a business plan. We had numerous -lager fuelled, lets be honest- meetings about ‘aesthetic’ and ‘vision’ (and all that crap)…and we set about nurturing our ‘fragile’ little idea. It became all consuming. We wanted to get it right from the get go and not lose momentum. We wanted to do that ’making a noise’ thing.

Out of nowhere, one day, I just happened to click on the right ‘Soundcloud’ link at the right time: the noise that greeted me from my little laptop speakers that day was like nothing I had heard before -but still, somehow, an amalgam of everything that was great about electronic music- dark ‘swirling’ synths and impeccable production created a real sense of foreboding…yet still made your foot tap and incredibly poignant lyrics delivered by that voice- I was hooked. And, I had just heard GirlsOnDrugs for the first time.

Stewart Moss and Owen Turner of Anonymous Records

Stewart Moss and Owen Turner of Anonymous Records

I, furiously, clicked away further into their internet profiles: are they signed…where are they based…how many tunes do they have and at what sort of a frequency do they deliver them…are there any contact details….are all of the girls really on all of the drugs? (for the record…no! the name is intended as one word, for the sound and the look; It isn’t a statement! Provocative,sure…but tongue in cheek all the same and the acronym just happens to be ‘GoD’, which happily provides endless headline opportunities for lazy label owners; ’God’ is in the details, another one there for free!)

The next few days of my July, pretty much, rotated around me getting this band signed. I was ‘laser focused’ on it. (Now, I still insist that I set into action some gentle schmoozing, whereas head Girl-On-Drugs, Luke, claims that I pestered him into submission, “He pestered the hell out of me” was the quote live on the radio! Well, I probably did - but hey…it worked!)

Ink was committed to paper and, all of a sudden, our little label had signed one of the hottest young underground acts around and from that point…things started to move. The original formalities went out the window and more -Gin&Tonic fuelled (big league now)- meetings became a ‘necessity’ as plans for domination were put into place!

From Left to Right: Owen Turner, Luke Lount and Stewart Moss

Right: Owen Turner, Luke Lount and Stewart Moss

This little idea of ours had became a reality and we were having more of a ‘crash course’ than gentle ascent (Icarus?).

The dictionary definition of a record label is: ‘a brand and/or a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and videos’ - so, by this measure, yes…we have been successful-we sell music, quite a lot of music in fact! We support fantastic people, pay (endless) bills and have handled all the necessary (read: tiresome) legal ramifications.

Currently, we have four great, great, artists on the books who we are massively excited by: Alex Holden aka Got Jump (one of the most prolific and talented musicians I have ever met) who has an EP out now called ‘On Days Like These’ that is doing really well…especially in America, bizarrely. Local-F, aka James Thackstone, who will be our June release which we are super excited about…it is a serious tune that one and it will be supported by two ‘in house’ remixes. Nice. And, of course we have a band called GirlsOnDrugs who - riding high after the (huge) success of recent release ‘Party Talk’ - will have another single out in August and a full album towards the end of the year (on vinyl, no less) and are touring now.

Luke Lount of Girls on Drugs (later changed their name to POLO)

Luke Lount of Girls on Drugs (later changed their name to POLO)

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing” they say, and back in that beer garden in July 2013:Did we release the sheer amount of work that would be involved in this idea? Did we release the demands it would place on us as business partners (and even as mates…that would be my ‘not so gentle’ nature again. Sorry O’) Did we know just how expensive it would be? Nope. Do we care? Nah. We love it. End of. But, anyway, it really isn’t about me and Owen…it is all about the music. After all, we are Anonymous.

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