Tuesday, March 31, 2009

People In A Position To Know

With the music industry in free fall and the demand for physical recorded music product declining at unprecedented speed, I have often caught myself pondering solutions that may reverse or at least slow down this trend. One idea that is hardly rocket science, but raises it's head time and again is for labels or artists to actually create a desirable product, not just musically but physically, something that can be fetishized and make you feel like you own something of some substance, something special.

A fine example of this in action is happening at PIAPTK, otherwise known as People In A Position To Know Recordings, Inc. a limited edition vinyl only record label run out of the bedroom, garage and living room of a high school teacher in Olympia, WA called Mike Dixon.

PIAPTK offer two types of records. Full press "traditional" records made in a pressing plant and lathe cut records , which are the more exciting proposition. The lathe cut records are one-off, ultra low run records, made one at a time in New Zealand by a man named Peter King. Via this process each record cut is completely unique. The desirability does not stop at the records themselves, as many of the records that PIAPTK release come in unique, painstakingly handmade packaging which has in the past ranged from individually silk-screened covers and records issued in burlap sacks to hand knitted covers. It is as though the process of manufacturing the releases becomes an extension of the artistic process of making the music, not just a function in the release cycle.

With records already released on the label from Wooden Wand, Karl Blau, Norfolk & Western and Viking Moses, amongst others, it really feels as though this kind of approach from the past holds some kind of key to the future.

People In A Position To Know Recordings on Myspace
People In A Position To Know Recordings Website

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