Labelportrait: Black Truffle

What was your motivation to start Black Truffle?

Initially, I started the label for the sole purpose of reissuing some of my older releases that were out of print. At the time I didn't really consider it a »label« per se. After that it grew with some collaborative releases of mine, mostly featuring the trio I have with Keiji Haino and Jim O'Rourke. Then it became more »serious« and I looked into reissuing older experimental releases that I felt were overlooked and super important, or influential to me, by artists such as Arnold Dreyblatt, Alvin Curran and AMM. I was also interested in championing work from many of my close collaborators and colleagues—people like Joe Talia, crys cole, James Rushford, Eiko Ishibashi, Julia Reidy, Jim O'Rourke and Francis Plagne—whilst also supporting new releases from important artists from the older generation who are still super active today like Annea Lockwood.

Which type of music is at the centre of your work?

I really hate labeling the work but most people would describe many of the releases as »experimental«. I believe that term is very very wide ranging and quite open.

What makes the label unique?

I'm really attracted to art and sounds that are quite difficult to define or pin down. I love feeling baffled about a work I'm experiencing, when it has an unpredictability that's exciting and energising. I'm also not interested in the latest hip thing that's happening or something that's overly heavy-handed. I love releases that I want to keep going back to, in which I discover new things every time I have another listen. It's important that I push myself in my own work, where there's some sort of progression with each release and I think all the artists in the extended Black Truffle family have the same philosophy, which is why I love working with them. Great care is taken with how the release is presented—the design, liner notes, mastering, and pressing are always of a high quality. It's also important to me to have a well written, intelligent and informative press release. I am very fortunate to have my friend Francis Plagne construct all the press releases for the label; he is an excellent, informed writer.

How do you find the music that you release on the label?

Sometimes I'll approach an artist about making a record for the label, sometimes friends approach me with their new work. There are times when I'll think of an older release or a recording that I love that isn't available and I want to get it out into the world so more people can hear it. I don't think I've ever released something from a demo recording that I've received randomly—and I get many every day. Pretty much all of the artists on the label are collaborators or friends. If I'm not super excited about a release then I won't release it!

What’s important to you in your collaboration with the artists on the label?

Having a mutual fondness and respect for one another so there's an easy, fun atmosphere and the communication flows easily. It's also very important for me to let the artist do what they want with regard to the work. I want them to be satisfied and excited about the release.

What’s your approach to the design and packaging of your releases?

I am fortunate to work with some great designers, Lasse Marhaug and Stephen O'Malley, who are also musicians, so they are sympathetic to what the artist and the label are going for. My partner crys cole is also a huge help with regard to design and layout ideas. There's always a close communication with the artists, label and designer during the design process. It's important to make a beautiful, high quality release so that the artist is satisfied with the results. If I'm doing a reissue or archival release I like to have new liner notes from the artist and sometimes other writers plus archival pictures whenever possible. I also strive to emulate the original design of a reissue so it's as close to that as possible.

What are your plans with the label in the forthcoming months?

There will be new releases from artists such as David Behrman (unreleased archival material, but also a new work), Julia Reidy, Toshiya Tsunoda, Francis Plagne, Eiko Ishibashi, Will Guthrie's Nist-Nah Ensemble, Brunhild Ferrari and Christoph Heemann, Arnold Dreyblatt and Paul Panhuysen, and the Haino/O'Rourke/Ambarchi trio. There will also be a reissue of my solo album »Sagittarian Domain«.