Tuesday, November 13, 2012
This Frontier Needs Heroes - 8" Picture Disc on PIAPTK Records
I met up with Mike from People in a Position to Know Records a few months back to catch Owen from Advance Base at his show over at the Rock Shop in Brooklyn. Lots of drinks in he told me about his up and running lathe cutting operation and this pyramid shaped picture disc from This Frontier Needs Heroes, an alt-folk duo of Brad and Jessica Lauretti. I can't imagine doing the research and putting together a real working disc cutting operation in your garage... having the space for multiple lathe cutters and all their replacement parts. I have enough trouble keeping my turntable working sometimes. But then again Mike's realized the dream of being able to cut his own records. Whatever he wants on disc, any of your own side projects, friends bands, no one to stop you from cutting together a mix record...the possibilities are endless...like a pyramid shaped picture disc maybe? Exactly.
It also takes a label like People in a Position to Know to be out there championing artists like This Frontier Needs Heroes who are probably right down the street and I would have never come across them. It's really the best to sit down one morning completely ignorant of what these guys are going to sound like, just trusting PIAPTK and setting down the needle on "2012". The track starts with some barely audible distorted vocal that announces the band and title when a garage, '60s sounding drum kit fill pounds in, like on the percussion from Peter Bjorn and John, there's a distanced cavernous sound to all these minimal elements. It gives everything an immediately homemade huge sound that reminds me a lot of Woods, or Wooden Wand...simply approaching the songwriting without a lot of gimmicks. It just comes down to this melody and the back and forth of Brad's lead and Jessica's angelic harmony. Far off rock steady snare, fingerpicked acoustic, a triangle clang, slow tambourine...it's a dreamy indie folk rooted in that garage soul sound. That heavy wall of sonics like the Shangri-la's, a similar catchiness and texture. Now I have to go see if these guys have a full length out.
Pick up this impressive hand cut (in multiple ways) 8" picture disc from PIAPTK. The black and white pyramid is housed in a heavy handscreened cardstock sleeve, all basically a one man operation at this point. I think he's got a machine to make polyvinyl bags for these too. When the apocalypse comes 7inches might still have releases to write about thanks to Mike.
His lathe is available for all your weirdo cutting jobs. I'm sure he's up for anything and even has a referral program where if you mention 7inches for example, then if I place an order (and I will) then I get a couple extra discs free.
I know people have had trouble, (myself included) with certain lathe cutting places that haven't exactly panned out, but I can safely say Mike isn't going anywhere. He's got literally tons of pressing equipment he's now hoarded in his house, along with the releases from a label going on 15 years now so he's not going anywhere....even if he wanted to....and this disc quality sounds amazing by the way. The picnic plate lathe's he's cut previously are amazing for their own specific sonic weirdness, but honestly you wouldn't know this one was lathe cut at all, but I'm sure if you want a few extra layers of hiss you guys could work something out.
Highly recommended, this record, the label, the entire vinyl empire Mike has built. A class act.
He is not paying me.