Rocket Girl

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Rocket Girl
Industry Music & Entertainment
Genre Electronica, alternative country, ambient, art rock, space rock, dream pop, shoegazing, indie rock, post-rock
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Owner(s) Vinita Joshi (1997-Present)
Website rocketgirl.co.uk

Rocket Girl is a London-based independent record label that has established itself as one of the premier UK independent labels.[1] In addition to being recognised as a significant talent spotter with profiles worldwide,[2] the label is renowned for providing a home for music from the margins. Artists, industry fellow and supporters alike all applaud the label's approach.[3][4]

The label boasts an eclectic range of alternative acts veering from genres such as electronica, alternative country, ambient, art rock, space rock, dream pop, shoegazing, indie rock and post-rock.[5] It is suggested that Rocket Girl fills a niche in the music industry. The label has released records by Robin Guthrie,[6] Pieter Nooten,[7] God Is an Astronaut,[8] Ulrich Schnauss,[9] A Place to Bury Strangers,[10] among others.[11]

History[edit]

Before launching Rocket Girl in 1997, Vinita Joshi[12] had been actively involved in running both Cheree Records and Ché Trading, releasing tracks by artists such as The Telescopes, The Tindersticks, Bark Psychosis and Disco Inferno. Ché Trading, an offshoot label co-founded by Vinita Joshi and Nick Allport, was responsible for releasing the music of Essex Etherealists, Disco Inferno, and had a roster that also included the Tindersticks, Backwater, Füxa, and Slipstream. Ché Trading had two Top 40 hit singles by Lilys (A Nanny In Manhattan) and Urusei Yatsura (Hello Tiger).[13] Vinita has also been involved with a number of other record labels throughout the years, namely Bella Union and One Little Indian. Today, Rocket Girl remains a true labour of love for Vinita.[14]

Launch[edit]

The UK has a rich and well-documented tradition for producing dynamic independent record labels. Rocket Girl established its place within this sphere, soon after its launch, and has served the industry with its unique offering ever since.[1] The Rocket Girl formula has been credited for its consistence in producing intriguing music without losing sight of the future.[15]

In 1997, Rocket Girl's first release was a split single by the band Silver Apples (I have known Love) and Windy & Carl (Fractal Flow). The label continued to grow with a diverse roster and encouraged cross-pollination between its artists, most notably the 1998 7” single collaboration between Low, Transient Waves & Piano Magic (Sleep at the Bottom). Hot on the heels of the Silver Apples & Windy & Carl’s 7”, 1998 also saw the release of Rocket Girl's first full-length album ‘A Tribute to Spacemen 3’, which was a celebration of the pioneers of drone, with offerings from Bowery Electric, Mogwai, Arab Strap, Piano Magic and Low, among others. Later, in 2000, Rocket Girl released the EP 'Add N to Fu(x)a'.[14] After just four years following its launch, Rocket Girl was credited for the launch of "intriguing lo-fi classics"[16] Late in 2010 the label signed the London-based band Drugstore.[4]

Awards[edit]

In 2001, Rocket Girl enjoyed television exposure being the focus of an entire episode of the BBC series ‘Hit & Miss – An A-Z of the music industry’.[17] In the same year, the label won a Young Music Professional Award. In August 2013, the Association of Independent Music nominated Rocket Girl for the 'Best Small Label' award.[18][19]

Off-shoot Labels[edit]

Rocket Girl has also established a number of off-shoot labels, including Indus Sonica, which reissued Piano Magic’s seminal debut ‘Popular Mechanics’, and 'Mandita'. Both labels remain under the Rocket Girl banner.

Music[edit]

Commentators suggest that every Rocket Girl release is bringing the label closer to becoming a household name.[20] Label profiles and reviews have featured in publications as far afield as Japan (Afterhours) and USA (Magnet, Good Times, Word Magazine), Spain (Rockdelux), France (Magic), Germany (Rolling Stone, Dates, Musikexpress, Saarbrücker Zeitung, U-Mag), Italy (Rockerilla) and Greece in addition to the key music publications (Q, Uncut, Mojo, The Wire, NME, Pitchfork, Prog, R2 (Rock'n'Reel), Record Collector), national dailies (The Sunday Times, The Times, The Sun) and local press (Yorkshire Post, Kentish Towner) in the UK. The label's releases have appeared on BBC Radio 6 Music's "Freak Zone" with Stuart Maconie and "6 Mix" with Andrew Weatherall, in addition to the BBC's flagship Radio 6 Music programmes of Gideon Coe and Lauren Laverne. Releases have also appeared on XFM's signature programme of John Kennedy (DJ).

Rocket Girl has a publishing admin deal with Bucks Music Group.

Artists[edit]

Artist Description
A Place to Bury Strangers (APTBS) is a New York–based noise rock band that was formed in 2011 and composed of Oliver Ackermann (guitar/vocals), Dion Lunadon (bass guitar) and Robi Gonzalez (drums). The industry describes APTBS as the loudest band in New York.[21] They are suggested to borrow influence of the UK's 1980s indie rock scene and glimmer with nods from early material by The Cure and My Bloody Valentine, specifically with reference to the atmosphere of those recordings rather than just aping their style. The songs are finely fashioned with an eclectic set of hooks and baselines.[22]
This is a collaboration between Barry Smith from Add N To (X) and Randall Nieman from Füxa. The music has been described by critics as hypnotic and mind expanding.[23]
aM™aem This is a combination of Kodai (of Supercar) and Miyuki. The two-piece band, with their minimum composition, has become very creative and each expresses their own characters during their sound making process. They are described as a Stargazer Electro Duo band. Their music consists of acoustic drums, guitar feedback and computers, supported by images. The sound aM™[aem] delivers was once described as “the imagination of the galaxy”.[24]
Azusa Plane The Azusa Plane was the psychedelic music recording and performance project of Jason DiEmilio (1970 – 2006). DiEmilio performed primarily on a Fender guitar and usually through echo effects. The industry suggested that there is a great deal of beauty in this music, some of it close to an ‘accepted’ standard for that abused noun.[25]
Byrne Byrne are an alt. indie quartet from London, composed of Patrick Byrne, Mark Neary, Andrew Peace and Matt Burke.
Coldharbourstores Formed in 1998 this London-based band consists of Lucy Castro, David Read, Michael McCabe, Graham Sutton & Liam Greany. Their music is described as an 'Hypnotic acoustic ambiance’.[26]
Drugstore The band was formed in 1993 by Monteiro, Robinson and Chylinski. Drugstore's music has been featured on four film soundtracks : "Superglider", from the album Drugstore, is used on “All Over Me” and “House of America”, both released in 1997; "Fader", also from Drugstore, is featured on the credits of the 2000 film Cherry Falls; "Old Shoes", originally written and performed by Tom Waits from the album Step Right Up: The Songs of Tom Waits, is used in the 2004 film East of Sunset. The band's music was also featured throughout the BBC series This Life, whose music producer was Ricky Gervais.
Eat Lights; Become Lights (ELBL) was formed in London in the winter of 2007 by Neil Rudd and fits within the Krautrock genre. Eat Lights Become Lights have repackaged krautrock for a new audience without compromising on the long standing musical codes and conventions.[27] The name "Eat Lights Become Lights" was intended to be something memorable, but not the one word band name, which Rudd suggested was commonplace in the industry. It is suggested to be a "mantra" or "statement" that alludes to something "nebulous" and offers audiences an anchor point from which to explore the sound.[28] The trademark Eat Lights Become Lights sound owes much to Neil's love of German avant-garde progressive rock and electronic music of the 1970s,[29] which some suggest is not just "pastiche" or "homage", but rather a "soulful extension"[30] conveyed through a concoction of motorik grooves, overpowering noise, and then balanced with a uniqueness that indicates most clearly the brands "burgeoning potential".[31]
Sample of "Electromagnetika" by Eat Lights Become Lights. Released as part of the Modular Living (2013) album

Problems playing this file? See media help.
The sound sample opposite shows how Neil uses analogue and software synths alongside traditional guitar, bass and drums to construct an ever-evolving synthetic landscape of harmony and melody, feedback and drones but always underpinned with driving, insistent motorik percussion. ELBL's sounds are finely fashioned with an eclectic set of hooks and baselines.[29]
Experimental Audio Research Experimental Audio Research (commonly shortened to E.A.R. or EAR) is a psychedelic / drone project formed in 1990 by Peter Kember (a.k.a. Sonic Boom), formerly of Spacemen 3. Their approach is underlined with an ere of experimentation.[32]
Füxa Logo.jpg
Füxa (pronounced Fyoo-sha, or like the color fuchsia) was created in 1994 and consists of Detroit musicians Ryan Anderson (formerly of Asha Vida and later to join DELTA WAVES) and Randall Nieman. Füxa focus on a lo-fi, electronics-heavy blend of droning, treated guitars, vintage synths, and sparse percussion in the vein of suicide. Their fast ascension into cult status is the result of their experimental approach to their work.[33]
Frausdots Frausdots is a band from Los Angeles, California, USA. The band consists of Brent Rademaker, formerly of The Tyde and Beachwood Sparks, and Michelle Loiselle, a former backing singer for Guns N' Roses, Carl Tapia, Roger Brogan, Exiquio Talavera and David Baum.
Gnac GNAC (pronounced niak, as in the last syllable of cognac). The name gnac is a pseudonym used by songwriter and music producer Mark Tranmer. The name is derived from a short story by Italo Calvino in Marcovaldo entitled Luna e GNAC (or ""moon and gnac"").[1] Since the story refers to a cognac factory it is reasonable to pronounce it 'niyak' but some people say 'guh-nac' and the odd person says 'gee-nac'.[34]
God is an Astronaut (GIAA) are a five piece band from Glen of the Downs, Ireland. The band was formed by twin brothers Niels and Torsten Kinsella in 2002.[35] Their album, titled “The End Of The Beginning” was intended to be a farewell to the industry.[36] Many now consider GIAA as of the worlds biggest instrumental bands.[37] In mid-2006 a licensing deal with U.K. label Rocket Girl saw both their E.P. and second album "All Is Violent, All Is Bright" being re-released.[38]
Jon DeRosa Jon DeRosa (b. 21 December 1978) is a guitarist, composer and singer/songwriter from Brooklyn, NY.[39]

His work contains a mix of influences and is quite simply: sophisticatic pop music.[40]

July Skies July Skies is a project by Antony Harding.[41]
Pieter Nooten Pieter Nooten composes all of his music solely on a MacBook Pro. But the power of Nooten’s machine is not to be underestimated, and neither should his talent as a composer. Nooten’s aesthetic is rooted loosely in a minimalistic compositional technique with the detailed production and unexpected musical depth enveloping the melancholia in a comforting shroud.[42] Pieter Nooten increases the level of musical involvement during his live performances by the images processed by Miryam Chachmany, an emerging talented video maker whose works are currently on display in galleries in Miami, New York, New Mexico and also in an important upcoming art-festival in Amsterdam. The music is created and mixed using the Mac Book Pro, the only equipment chosen by the musician. Pieter’s music is suggested to create emotion, highlighting harmonic areas mainly directed towards nostalgia and reflection through elements of elegant piano-violin orchestrations, piano sound with keyboard elements.[43]
Robin Guthrie Guthrie’s more recent releases 'Emeralds' is, according to critics, his most consistent yet, blending the peerless haze of his patented Cocteau Twins sound with a more modern, cinematic bent.[44]
Roy Montgomery Roy Montgomery is a guitarist from Christchurch, New Zealand. His music consists of mostly instrumental solo works with elements of post-rock, lo-fi, folk and avant-garde experimentation. His signature sound might be described as atmospheric or cinematic, often featuring complex layers of chiming, echoing and/or droning guitar phrases.
Sam Kills Two In 2006 drummer Matt Bell joined as the third band member of London based Sam Kills Two. Sam Kills Two are a band led by singer Fred Bjorkvall and producer, mixer and multi-instrumentalist Geoff Gamlen. Critics describe Sam Kills Two as well constructed skilfully handled with a freshness throughout.[45]
Ulrich Schnauss At once uplifting and otherworldly, the music of Ulrich Schnauss combines multi-layered synthesizers with beats and ethereal vocals, serving as an aural escape route from the trappings of reality. Today, Schnauss expresses a renewed interest in more direct electronic sounds, and aims to substitute traditional verse-chorus-verse structures for more freeform atmospherics. Stripping back the orgiastic excess of multilayered instrumentation
Whipping Boy The Irish band Whipping Boy was made up of Fearghal McKee (vocals, guitar) Paul Page (guitar), Myles McDonnell (bass, backing vocals) and Colm Hassett (drums). They reformed in 2011, where only McKee and Hassett remain from the original band. The new members are Finn O’Connor, Killian McGowan and Joey McGowan (bass). Critics describe Whipping Boy as light years ahead of this Irish quartet’s obscure, out-of-print debut Submarine.[46]
Various Artists Named for the U.K.-based label that put it out, the 3…2…1… A Rocket Girl Compilation includes a wide range of turn of the century psych, ambient, and indie bands. Critics describe Rocket Girl’s compilation as a fine portrait of a great outfit, one that pursues its vision of music and quality above all else excellently.[47]
Silver Apples Silver Apples are a psychedelic electronic music duo from New York City, formed in 1967 and composed of Simeon Coxe III, who performs as Simeon, on a primitive synthesizer of his own devising (also named The Simeon), and until his death in 2005, drummer Danny Taylor. Silver Apples were one of the first groups to employ electronic music techniques extensively within a rockidiom, and their minimalistic style, with its pulsing, driving beat and frequently discordant modality, anticipated not only the experimental electronic music and krautrock of the 1970s, but underground dancemusic and indie rock of the 1990s as well.[48]
State River Widening Named after the title of a Chinese propaganda photo, London-based trio State River Widening comprises multi-instrumentalists David Sheppard and Keiron Phelan, along with drummer/percussionist Jon Steele.critics have described State River Widening as a graceful Tortoise backing an instrumental Nick Drake set and a very distinctive sound from one of the most consistently brilliant groups operating on the UK scene.[49]
Television Personalities Commonly categorised as the finest cult band in the UK. Television Personalities is led by Dan Treacy – the bands one constant. Their mixture of neo-psychedelia, pop and punk spread over nearly twenty albums has been pivotal for generations of devotees. The bands colourful and erratic history – taking in addiction, homelessness, nervous breakdowns, insanity, numerous line-up changes, and all points in-between – have ensured that while they may never have reaped huge commercial success, they most definitely have never been boring.[50]
The Brothers Movement The Brothers Movement is comprised of brothers Neil (guitars/vocals), Conor (bass), Danda Paxton(guitar/vocals) along with Scott Glennon (guitar) and Andy Parkes on drums. They formed in Dublin in 2007.[51]

The Brothers Movement released their self-titled debut album worldwide through Rocket Girl.[52]

Windy & Carl Windy & Carl are an ambient group based in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.A. Formed in 1993 around the core husband-and-wife duo of guitarist Carl Hultgren and bassist/singer Windy Weber. Their drones are primarily derived from guitar, particularly via usage of delay effects, reverb effects, and E-Bow, rather than synthesizers. Another noteworthy aspect of W&C's sound is the absence of drums.
White Ring White Ring, commonly described as a duo that dwell on the outskirts of pop music. Bryan Kurkimilis and Kendra Malia met on the internet in 2007 and ever since have been creating a sound that blends heavy, distorted electronics with sublime vocals. White Ring’s music is highly sought after and very rare indeed.[53]
The Sleeping Years The Sleeping Years are: Dale Grundle (vocals, guitars, piano, etc.), Tom Page (drums, percussion), Dan Wood (piano, keyboards), Alex Beamont (Cello). Since the release of the Sleeping Years’ debut album ‘We’re Becoming Islands One by One’ (Rocket Girl), Dale Grundle and his band have been busy playing shows in Europe and the UK.[54] With We're Becoming Islands One By One, The Sleeping Years have a record full of timeless melodies that only Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago can rival.[55]

When Dale Grundle, aka The Sleeping Years, sings about his hometown and all the magic and misery that surrounds it, he seems quite unique in the plaintive way he can turn simple observations into fascinating tales detailing the struggle and depravation he quite possibly endured in the sleepy Northern Ireland town of Coleraine, from where he originates.[56]

Transient Waves Transient Waves were a Philadelphia-based three-piece that emerged from within the shifting network of US 'post-rock' operators that came to prominence in the latter half of the nineties. Critics suggest that by abandoning the linear drive and dynamics of traditional rock in favour of a more textural approach that included the use of the sampler and a shift away from the foregrounding of the 'song' and the 'voice'. Falling somewhere between Slowdive's dream pop and Robert Fripp's sparse electronic work, Transient Waves knows all the right studio tricks to create one stellar, hypnotic treat.[57]

[58]

Discography[edit]

Release Year Artist Title Reference
1997 Silver Apples and Windy & Carl Fractal Flow/ I Have Known Love Rgirl1
1998 Various Artists Tribute to Spacemen 3 Rgirl2
1998 Roy Montgomery with Kirk Lake London Is Swinging By His Neck Rgirl3
1998 LowPiano Magic & Transient Waves Sleep at the Bottom / Green Acres Rgirl4
1999 Loopdrop & The Azusa Plane Siempre Azul / United States Direct Investment in Other Countries Rgirl5
1999 Piano Magic Low Birth Weight Rgirl6
1999 Gnac Sevens Rgirl7
1999 State River Widening State River Widening Rgirl8
1999 P.S. I Love You Where On Earth Is Kevin Shields? Rgirl9
1999 Various Artists Sounds from Psychedelphia Rgirl10
1999 Mazarin Wheats Rgirl11
1999 Piano Magic There’s No Need For Us To Be Alone Rgirl12
2000 Füxa Techno Light Rgirl14
2000 Mazarin Watch It Happen Rgirl15
2000 Coldharbourstores A Day Gone By Rgirl16
2000 David Sheppard & Keiron Phelan David Sheppard & Keiron Phelan Rgirl17
2000 Experimental Audio Research Vibrations Rgirl18
2000 Piano Magic Artists' Rifles Rgirl19
2000 Mazarin Chasing The Girl Rgirl20
2000 David Sheppard & Keiron Phelan 2 Rgirl21
2000 Add N to (X) Add N To Fü(X)a and Another Thing! Rgirl22
2000 Coldharbourstores A Day Gone By Rgirl23
2000 Füxa Fuxa 2000 Rgril24
2001 P.S. I Love You Heart of Stone Rgirl25
2001 Various Artists An Introduction to Rocket Girl Rgirl26
2001 Loopdrop Loopdrop Rgirl27
2001 Pluxus ...och Resan Fortsätter här Rgirl28
2001 Mazarin A Tall Tale Storyline Rgirl29
2001 Coldharbourstores More Than The Other Rgirl30
2001 Piano Magic Seasonally Affective Rgirl31
2002 July Skies Dreaming Of Spires Rgirl32
2002 Füxa Supercharged Rgirl33
2002 Mazarin Suicide Will Make You Happy / Flying Rgirl34
2002 Pluxus Agent Tangent Rgirl35
2002 Pluxus European Onion Rgirl36
2002 Keiron Phelan & David Sheppard O, Little Stars Rgirl37
2002 Byrne Sleeping Giant / Greener Rgirl38
2002 Byrne Tidal Wave Rgirl39
2002 State River Widening Early Music Rgirl40
2003 Byrne Tidal Wave Rgirl41
2003 Frausdots Dead Wrong Rgirl42
2004 Frausdots Couture, Couture, Couture Rgirl43
2004 Robin Guthrie Continental Rgirl44
2006 The Lilys Everything Wrong Is Imaginary Rgirl45
2006 Robin Guthrie Everlasting Rgirl46
2006 God Is An Astronaut A Moment of Stillness Rgirl47
2006 God Is An Astronaut All Is Violent, All Is Bright Rgirl48
2006 Robin Guthrie Waiting for Dawn Rgirl49
2006 Lilys A Diana's Diana (radio edit) / With Candy Rgirl50
2008 The Sleeping Years We’re Becoming Islands One by One Rgirl51
2009 Sam Kills Two Sam Kills Two Rgirl52
Robin Guthrie 3:19 Rgirl53
2008 A Place to Bury Strangers I know I’ll see you Rgirl54
2008 A Place to Bury Strangers A Place to Bury Strangers Rgirl55
2009 A Place to Bury Strangers Missing You Rgirl56
Sam Kills Two No. 6 Rgirl57
2010 Television Personalities You’re My Yoko / the girl from nowhere Rgirl58
2009 Robin Guthrie Angel Falls Rgirl59
2009 Robin Guthrie Carousel Rgirl60
Robin Guthrie Songs to help my children sleep Rgirl61
2010 Ulrich Schnauss Missing Deadlines Rgirl62
The Brothers Movement Standing Still / Lay Alone Rgirl63
2009 The Brothers Movement The Brothers Movement Rgirl64
2010 The Brothers Movement Blind / Sister Rgirl65
2010 Television Personalities A Memory Is Better Than Nothing Rgirl66
Project Skyward Moved by Opposing Forces Rgirl67
2010 Peter Daltrey Heroine / Tattoo double Rgirl68
2010 Kennedy Green Kennedy Green Rgirl69
2010 Robin Guthrie Sunflower Stories Rgirl70
2010 Pieter Nooten Here is Why Rgirl71
Kennedy Green Cocopah Rgirl72
aM™[aem] Belong to Galaxy Rgirl73
2011 Various Artists 3…2…1… A Rocket Girl Compilation Rgirl74
Sam Kills Two Pretty Ugly Rgirl75
2012 Füxa Our Lips Are Sealed / Crystal Blue (dean and britta song remixed by Fuxa) Rgirl76
Robin Guthrie Emeralds Rgirl77
2011 Drugstore Sweet Chili Girl / Clouds Rgirl78
2011 Drugstore Anatomy Rgirl79
2012 Füxa Electric Sound of Summer Rgirl80
White Ring Black Earth That Made Me Rgirl81
Drugstore Standing Still Rgirl82
2012 Azusa Plane Where The Sands Turn To Gold Rgirl83
2012 Drugstore Aquamarine Rgirl84
2012 Pieter Nooten Surround Us Rgirl85
2012 Anthony Reynolds A World Of Colin Wilson CD album. Featuring Colin Wilson. Rgirl86
2012 Whipping Boy No one Takes Prisoners Anymore / Earth’s Last Picture Rgirl87
2012 Eat Lights Become Lights Heavy Electrics Rgirl88
2012 Jon DeRosa Birds of Brooklyn Rgirl89
2012 Jon DeRosa A Wolf in Preacher’s Clothes Rgirl90
2013 Pieter Nooten Haven Rgirl92
2013 Füxa Photon Rgirl93
2013 Jon DeRosa Signs of Life Rgirl95
2013 Eat Lights Become Lights Modular Living Rgirl96
2013 Füxa Dirty D Rgirl97
2013 God Is An Astronaut Origins Rgirl98
2013 God Is An Astronaut Spiral Code Rgirl99
2013 Various Rocket Girl 100 Rgirl100

[58]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]