What industry crisis? Cult progressive alt-metal label Shelsmusic just hit their 10th anniversary. How? As Alan Partridge once nearly said, the proof is in the pudding. And the pudding, in this case, is a backcatalogue. Thing is, a decade leaves a hell of a lot of intense post-metal and atmospheric folk for a newbie to wade through. So when we caught up with Mehdi Safa, Shelsmusic commander-in-chief, we set him the following poser…
If someone wanted to get into Shelsmusic, which six releases do you reckon they should pick up, and why?
“Just six?!? Ha ha! God that’s too hard. Every single one of our releases is something we are extremely proud of. Not just saying that! We’re super picky about what we release. Money is tight, so it has to be something we have zero doubts over. Each one represents a milestone for us as a label and music/art that we believe needs to be shared. But, if I had to pick six at random? Hold on while I tear up some bits of paper and grab a hat…”
“One of the heaviest records ever – recorded, at the time, by a bunch of pot-head teenagers who played video games all day long. Incredible lyrics too.”
“Ridiculously dark and heavy record we’re super proud of – they’re from France and are influenced by folks we look up to, like Will Haven, Cult Of Luna, Vision of Disorder to name a few. Glad to have them onboard with Black Sheep Wall and Admiral Angry.”
“An absolutely beautiful record – perfect for driving through lush countrysides. Folks should check out Ef, because they are masters of their craft. They are an exceptional group and are one of the best bands we have had the pleasure of working with.”
Listen to ‘Agatha’ by Erlen Meyer
4) Sons of Noel and Adrian – Sons of Noel and Adrian
Part of the Brighton Wilkommen Collective, meaning their gigs often feature 13 band members. Not yet been known to summon the forces of Hell during shows.
Standout Track – ‘Damien. Lessons From What’s Poor‘
“This record is an example of being extremely heavy, without being loud. A dark/alternative folk group – originally from Cornwall, now based in Brighton – their live shows often feature more than 10 musicians. It’s beautiful, extremely layered music – extremely cinematic and Jacob’s voice is totally unique and awesome. Good shit!”
“One of my fave records, featuring my good friend Adam Symonds of Eden Maine / The Rifle Volunteer. In my opinion, some of the best British Metal around. Adam’s Vocals are second to none – and combined with the badass riffs and huge passages Latitudes are masters at producing, it’s just one hellovan awesome record to blast at full volume. Awesome production as well.”
“I’d just quit my job of three years to record it and focus on Shelsmusic. I had been working for a company that produced radio programs for Subway, McDonalds and even Airforce 1 – but the job was pretty much sucking the life out of me. I was working all the time, even at home – holidays were always the worst. I was giving my blood and sweat and energy for something not worth it. Quitting that environment was an incredible release, I immediately immersed myself in the album. The bulk of it was recorded in the space of a month in my apartment in Pasadena – and writing/producing it was an incredible and unforgettable experience. It was an awesome period in my life I won’t ever forget – and I’d like to think that a lot of it went into that record. It’s one of the proudest pieces of work I’ve ever been involved and it also helped put Shelsmusic back on track – it will always be one of our landmark releases!”
Shelsmusic are currently celebrating their 10th anniversary, so have a bunch of very cool, very limited t-shirts up for sale.
If you would like to read more on Shelsmusic, have a look at our Label Profile on them.