On the Fringe or Up-and-Coming

Beyond Sub Pop sidebar: More recommended Seattle labels

Seattle experimentalists Climax Golden Twins regularly issue shards of mesmerizing noise on the Fire Breathing Turtle label, which also recently released a limited-edition record by outr頡rtist Jessie Paul Miller (Fire Breathing Turtle, PO Box 45243, Seattle 98145-0243).

Made in Mexico's first full-length release, Pedro the Lion's It's Hard to Find a Friend, made a major splash, and the upstart label has the band's new EP on the way, as well as an EP by Unwed Sailor and 7-inches by Summer Hymns and the Vogue (Made in Mexico, 1011 Boren Ave, #906, Seattle 98104).

Describing most of its releases as either ambient, ethereal, or the ever-popular medieval, Ventricle Records has chiseled out a dark niche with an artist roster that includes Destroy All Monsters, Angel Provocateur, and Corn Curtain (Ventricle, PO Box 19523, Seattle 98109).

One of Seattle's most enduring and reliable raw punk labels, eMpTy has cautiously crept out of the garage in recent years, releasing a poppy effort from Jr. High; it's also got records on the way by Tales from the Birdbath (featuring Sicko's Ian), Portland old-time folk outfit the Dickel Brothers, and charmingly named local punk rockers the Catheters (eMpTy, PO Box 12034, Seattle 98102).

Few people know that Seattle is home to one of the strongest underground avant-garde labels, Majora, which has released at least a dozen Sun City Girls records over the years as well as limited-edition reissues and new albums—mostly vinyl—by ultra-obscure artists like Eddy Detroit and Ramleh (Majora, PO Box 78418, Seattle 98178).

Working on the lo-fi/indie tip, Missing Records is a promising up-and-comer, with past contributions from Damien Jurado and Jen Wood, and with owner Michael Compton—who sounds a bit like Ben Lee—adding a nifty new solo record, Invisible, to the catalog (Missing, PO Box 20114, Seattle 98102).

Jazz drummer John Bishop runs his Origin label out of his Ballard apartment, releasing records by his band New Stories, and by local pianists Pax Wallace and Marius Nordal, veteran saxophonist Don Lanphere, and others (Origin, 52061/2 Ballard Ave NW #11, 98107).

Always ahead of the curve, Suicide Squeeze issued 7-inches by the nationally approved Modest Mouse and Elliott Smith before anyone else in the country knew about either of 'em, and has worked with 764-HERO, Track Star, and others (Suicide Squeeze, 4505 University Wy NE, #434, Seattle 98105).

Home to one of Seattle's best hip-hop acts, Source of Labor, as well as Maktub and Felicia Loud, the Jasiri Media Group seems to live by the motto "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got a groove"; it's one of few reliable sources for hip-hop and soul in town (JMG, 1122 E Pike, Suite 913, Seattle 98122).

Co-owned by guitarist Steve Turner and his wife, Caryn Palmier, Super Electro releases the vinyl for Turner's big-label projects Mudhoney and the Wellwater Conspiracy, and has put out records by the Kent 3, Thee Headcoats, and other melodic garage- oriented outfits (Super Electro, PO Box 20401, Seattle 98102).

For challenging experimental music, look no further than Unit Circle Rekkids, clearing house for records by Bethany Curve and Bill Horist, and a soon-to-be-released compilation of Amy Denio's "hits."

Conrad Uno's venerable PopLlama label helped start the Seattle scene with '80s releases by the Posies and the Young Fresh Fellows, and he's continued to nurture new talent, issuing the Nevada Bachelors' recent Carrots and So On (PopLlama, PO Box 95364, Seattle 98145).

Beyond Sub Pop

On the Fringe or Up-and-Coming

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