Interview with Southern City's Lab

Break the Bans – Murder on a Dancefloor

We exchanged a few emails with Southern City’s Lab, a more recent netlabel from Russia.

Can you tell us who the people in charge of the label are and what they do for a living?
I am Максим Парасюков, the only person responsible for the label, no assistants present. I work as a mechanic for a living, no musical achievements present though there were attempts to practise music, but all unsuccessfully.

When did you first feel the need to start a netlabel?
The thought suddenly occurred to me around a year ago. At first I wanted to start a music blog, but then I learned about the existence of netlabels. This option was more acceptable, as a lot of my friends and acquaintances are musicians.

Why a netlabel and not a commercial label?
To pay for an MP3 or flac, which can easily be copied and shared for free, seems somewhat ridiculous to me. Another matter are CDs or tape, they can serve as a pride subject for the collector. But I have no opportunity to publish them.

Can you name a few other labels that influenced your decision to start a label?
Clinical Archives

Your website states you focus on punk music. Is this correct? Why this genre?
We don’t just focus on punk. The quote “Southern City’s Lab, a Russian netlabel bringing in some incredible punk releases” was taken from a review written on FMA. I work with many genres. There are ambient/post-rock releases, synthpop, lounge and even works of violinists with an academic background. I love garage rock and hardcore punk, but feel like it would be boring to be engaged only with those genres.

Your website is mostly Russian, are your artists and target audience both mostly Russian?
Honestly, I do not know foreign languages at all. For the most part, our artists are from Russia, but also from Ukraine and Canada. Our target audience is generally from Europe and the US. Our fanbase in Russia is not that strong.

How close do you work with your artists?
I keep in touch 🙂

Are you in touch with with local promoters to organize concerts for your artists?
I have some contacts but haven’t organized any concerts.

Could you describe to us your standard process to release and promote a new release?
I upload releases to archive.org, FMA, bandcamp. I update the catalog on our website. I notify our listeners through social media. I’m also planning to do podcasts in the future.

What can you tell us of the Russian netaudio scene? Are there many netlabels active? Do you keep in touch with each other?
There are a lot of netlabels but this structure is badly developed. Very bad support among mass media and blogs.

Any particular release you are most proud of having released?
They are three:

Break The Bans – Okay! Okay!
Powerful garage rock in the spirit of Stooges and Rolling Stones. Their album really went around the world. They have a big future.

Kosta T – Informality
It is a unique album for the punk of a label. Its violin is remarkable.

Pk jazz collective & Pavkashavet Bantut – Ore Empyreum
I take special pride in this one. Joint project of artists of my label. Surrealistic verses of Pavkashavet Bantut read against the psychedelic jazz simply tear off from reality.

Thanks for your time, any last words for our readers?
What to wish to readers… I think it is critical to not give in on provocation and stick to your opinion. Thank you as well. All the best.

ps Written by:

One Comment

  1. July 25, 2013
    Reply

    Thanks for this interview, Netlabelism! Southern City’s Lab is one of the most exciting netlabels in the world right now. Maxim and the SCL artists should be very proud of all their hard work, because the results are impressive.

    I think I first heard of them when they appeared on the Free Music Archive
    http://freemusicarchive.org/label/southerncitylab/

    Here are just a few of the favorites in play at Rancho Oddio:

    :: Kosta T – Informality [contemporary composition, violin, minimalism]

    :: 16 Squares G – Tempus Fugit [synthpop]
    (The first song pops up regularly here.)

    :: Анатолий Никулин (Anatoly Nikulin) – Старение (Aging) [post-punk, pop]
    (That song ” Зверь” (Beast) is stuck in my head right now.)

    :: Brutal Whiskers – Fallen World (Падший мир) [metal, thrash, hardcore]
    (The title cut rocks and has cookie monster vocals.)

    :: Radio 421 – Seven [post-punk, garage]

    :: Pk Jazz Collective – several albums

    And there are still plenty of favorites waiting to be discovered. Cheers and thanks to Southern City’s Lab! Here’s to a bright future!

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