Peski Records

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Peski Records
Founded 2003 (2003)
Founder Garmon Gruffydd, Rhys Edwards
Defunct 2016 (2016)
Status Inactive
Country of origin Wales, UK
Official website peski.co.uk

Peski Records was an independent record label and music publisher based in Cardiff, Wales. The label has released records by influential Welsh artists including Cate Le Bon, Gwenno, R. Seiliog and Y Pencadlys.

History[edit]

The name Peski derives from the Welsh word 'pesgi', which is normally used to describe farm animals and means 'to fatten'.[1] The name was coined in 2002 when founders Garmon Gruffydd, Rhys Edwards and a childhood friend was strolling on the grounds of St David's Cathedral in the county of Pembrokeshire. Once inside the cathedral, the trio signed the guestbook and Peski Records was born.

Peski's first release was Jakokoyak's debut album, Am Cyfan Dy Pethau Prydferth (2003), which had a distinctive lo-fi experimental electronic music sound with leanings towards psychedelic folk, sometimes classified as folktronica. The album title, Am Cyfan Dy Pethau Prydferth was taken from a badly translated poster on the walls of the Cardiff Union.[2] After quickly selling out of all copies of the album in the UK, it was re-released in Japan in 2004 and was warmly received in Japanese magazines such as Vogue Nippon. After a string of subsequent releases, Jakokoyak supported fellow-countrymen Super Furry Animals on their short tour of Japan and the success enabled Peski to invest in other artists.

Over the next few years, the label went on to release records from David Mysterious (real name Cai Strachan), Evils and The Joy Formidable's Rhydian Dafydd (Stitches), before signing Aberystwyth's psychedelic indie pop band Radio Luxembourg in 2007, who had expressed a wish to release 2 EPs before moving on to a London-based record label. After fulfilling their agreement, Radio Luxembourg went on to sign with Fantastic Plastic Records and changed their name in 2009 due to possible legal problems with the radio station of the same name.[3]

Cate Le Bon's first official release came out on Peski in 2008 in the form of a Welsh language EP, Edrych yn Llygaid Ceffyl Benthyg ("Looking in the Eyes of a Borrowed Horse", similar to the English expression "to look a gift horse in the mouth").[4] The record features vocal contribution from Euros Childs and Andy Votel, who also designed the vinyl artwork.[5]

In 2012, Peski began working with R. Seiliog and released his debut EP, "Shuffles".[6] R. Seiliog went on to sign a deal with Turnstile Music.

During this period, the label began hosting a series of legendary 'Peski Nacht' events on the top floor of Cardiff's Jacobs Antiques building. It was an opportunity to showcase the growing collective of artists on the label as well as bringing influential international artists to perform with them in Cardiff,[7] such as R. Stevie Moore, who is often considered the founding father of DIY Home-Recording, Lo-Fi and Indie Pop.[8]

In 2013, a series of EP's by Gwenno were released which led to her debut album, "Y Dydd Olaf", in October 2014. This would become the last album released on the label. The album quickly sold out and after a UK tour support with Gruff Rhys, Gwenno signed a record deal with Heavenly Recordings.[9] Peski continues to work with Gwenno acting as her management.

In March 2016, after a period of inactivity, it was announced that the label is dissolving.[10]

CAM (Cam o'r Tywyllwch)[edit]

"Cam o'r Tywyllwch" (Welsh for "A Step from the Darkness") is a specialist weekly radio programme curated by Peski exploring experimental and avant-garde music from Wales and further afield. The first programme was broadcast on 14 February 2013 and became the first Welsh-language show on Radio Cardiff.[11] An eight part series of "Cam O'r Tywyllwch" was produced for London's art radio station Resonance FM in January 2014 with the aim of promoting unheard experimental music from Wales to a wider audience.[12] The show is currently on hiatus.

The show's name is a musical homage to the first alternative Welsh language music compilation released on Anrhefn Records in 1985. The theme tune is also a musical reference to one of the earliest example of electronic music in the Welsh language - "Tros Y Gareg" by John Baker, which was recorded in 1970 at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.[13]

In 2015 CAM also hosted a festival, held at Cardiff's Wales Millennium Centre, which presented a programme of discussions, sound installations, a cinema and an evening line-up of live music. Welsh post-punk pioneers Datblygu performed live at the festival for the first time in 20 years,[14] with other highlights including a performance of "Fish Music" - an idea conceived by the author and musician Sam Richards where fish swimming in a tank becomes musical notations by means of a five line musical stave being placed across the glass and string players being instructed to choose a fish and follow its course behind the stave.

Artists[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]