The year that just ended marked seven years of Juicy. When started, the plan was just to follow a passion and put out little artefacts, pieces of time really, that I believed in, while collaborating with old friends and making new ones along the way.
Even though I've striven to be professional and serious from day one, I've been shit at some areas of running a label. One of them was financial control and overall accounting.
Juicy has been a "money pit" since its inception, a financial black hole acknowledged from early on. That was until 2017.
The goals of achieving balance in our cash flow and finishing the year "on green" - without monetary loss - were established last January and I'm happy to announce we have delivered. It's a tiny achievement but it feels like a huge step forward. A step out of darkness and not knowing if we could ever afford to work on another project.
This is not a self-indulged pat on the back, it's a thank you note.
THANK YOU to everyone who has been part of the journey so far: every artist we have worked and are currently working with, zine collaborator, release partner, distributor, every single friend and absolute stranger who by any shape or form has supported what we do. Means the world.
Let's try to do better this year. On to the new challenges of 2018.
It's about time we announce this one. Following a series of songs published in all major digital and streaming platforms, it's with a warm feeling in our hearts that we release our last physical record of 2017: the Singles Collection by the wonderful Heka.
As the last instalment of the release, the single When the Feeling's Over / Rewind, Not is Heka's final dive into lo-fi folk and experimental shenanigans. Check out the video above and keep watching for some hula-hoop action.
The Singles Collection consists of four A6 postcards in a string & washer envelope, each postcard showcases the cover artwork for each single and customised lyrics on the back side. The envelope itself has been hand-stamped with Heka's logo - all designed by the artist herself. Four singles, four postcards, eight songs, all for £5+VAT. Download code included for the full release. The press is limited to 100.
Zines are on the rise. With the general public getting switched on what fanzines represent and the alternative perspectives they bring to the publishing world, the demand has risen, and more and more bookstores are now accepting to stock indie and DIY publications.
This is great. But we don't really care about any of that. We opt for stockists who have been supporting the zine community for a long time and which curation we really admire from the moment we walk into their stores. That being said, we're super proud to announce that the fifth issue of our The Juice Fanzine is now available for purchase on the following locations:
London, UK Housmans - www.housmans.com/ - Peace House, 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, London N1 9DX
ICA Bookshop - www.ica.art/shop - Institute of Contemporary Arts, 12 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH
This one has been a journey. From the first listening session to the concept to realising we were going full on DIY again, the Struggle EP has owned up to its name but at the same time has been a fun process.
We're finally super happy to share it with you all. Head to our webstore to listen to the four tracks and purchase the vinyl, or just use one of the following platforms of your choice:
I remember the first time I heard it, in Alessandro's little studio, just at the end of the listening session for what would become their new Struggle EP. It was meant as a taster only, an unpolished version. But Heka's voice crept up on me and I was taken away. I reached out to her on the very same day to see if she wanted to work with us on something.
That something is almost here, so now you get to be taken away too.
Stream/buy Did You See the Sun Rise / Mirror on any of the below platforms:
Heka makes collage music. Combining lo-fi recorded folk songs with alternative rock and occasional electronic production, her music sounds intimate and familiar, like thoughts whispered to friends in dim lit rooms.
She's got a new single, split in two songs, it's called "I See You // Northern Lights" and we're putting it out. We're also collaborating on something bigger coming in a very near future, but for now enjoy this lullaby, also available on the following platforms:
As any punk kid, I've always been very critical of music industry's mainstream distribution channels. Access and information have always been highly manipulated, and consequently exposure and reach for any independent label/artist is restricted and very often paid for or dependent on who you know in "the business".
As a label, we don't agree with this.We don't see music as a business and we're more interested in helping to bring captivating projects to life, regardless of what is considered as a "successful release". I even wrote about this for The Juice Fanzine #03, where I questioned what an "indie label" stood for in this day and age, and how these concepts were vanishing and everyone was throwing money and attention into these new streaming platforms that were slowly spoon-feeding you what the major players in the industry dictate, in the same way mainstream radio and television have always done. As music fan and a consumer, I believe the current streaming model is far from ideal. Convenience and (manipulated) access for the listener in return for (conditioned) exposure and very little money for the musician is not enough. Bandcamp being the only noteworthy exception here, as they allow for direct downloads and money goes straight to the uploader pocket. Still, a 10% fee off every sale is tough.
But as a label, we have to recognise that we're working within the same boundaries as everyone else, as much as we try to set ourselves apart and do things differently. With that in mind, to deny ourselves, and most importantly our artists, of a tool that can bring more value to a project and potentially showcase it to a wider audience, is essentially not doing our job properly. We have a responsibility of maximising the reach of every single record we put out, and streaming - together with digital downloads - play a big part in this, whether we like it or not.
So call it a change of heart if you will, but Juicy is now licencing music via all major streaming platforms and digital music stores. It won't be all of our catalogue, as we can't afford that - don't get me started on the subject of the paywall to get music in these places - but any artist that is currently still part of our roster will have their relevant discography available via these platforms.
Don't get it twisted though, we're still a label 100% committed to physical format. We have a very solid DIY attitude to everything we do and will continue to be involved in the creation of real life objects that carry meaning and sound in them. We are fond of physicality because it requires a different type of creative process, builds a different connection between content and audience, demands a different kind of attention. That's hasn't changed.
So if physical is still your thing, check out the new vinyl from Los Padres currently on pre-order. And yes, we are proud to say that it will also be available on Spotify and Itunes from release date.
After a debut album full of twists and turns, Los Padres are back with a sophomore 12” EP that once again challenges the norms of what rock should sound like.
Taking a full DIY approach on recording, production and mixing this time around, the band crafted a unique sound that sinks deeper in experimentation and sees them pushing sonic boundaries, striking a fragile balance between analogue and digital, harmony and distortion. The Struggle EP is a short but incisive burst of energy influenced by the vibrant streets of London - it was recorded just next to Gillett Square, Dalston - but also expresses the frustrations and overwhelming pressures of the life in the big city.
After 3 years we're back to vinyl with a one-sided 12" in solid cream. Why one-sided? Because once again we decided to get artsy and create a unique side B which will be hand-sprayed by us and the band. Yes, all 300 of them, individually painted.
And we're also throwing a gig to celebrate, of course: the release concert will take place on November 21st at The Victoria, in Dalston, London. It's FREE ENTRY and doors will be at 7PM. Check FB event here.
You know you can call an event a success when you have a packed venue and you see smiles in the faces of everyone around you.
One of the goals we had with the fanzine from the very first issue was to be a platform for young artists to showcase their talent, and we take a special kind of pride every time we see people who have been featured in our pages become bigger and get the recognition for their hard work and creativity.
Last week, we managed to transport that platform to Doomed Gallery and bring together eight names who we're sure to hear from in the near future.
To all of you who came down and celebrated with us, thank you. It's a really good feeling to see and feel progress, to try and outdo ourselves in every issue, and to share the final result with people we love.
For this fifth issue, we aimed to be part of the ongoing dialogue about mental health in the fanzine community, or at the very least give a platform for people to talk about their experience, to express themselves within our pages.
So we made a call for submissions while also making a conscious effort to collaborate with new editors for our number five, emphasising on people who have never been published on a fanzine.
And continuing in the more graphic and photography-oriented zine you could see taking shape from recent issues, we invited Project Upcoming Publishing to curate ten pages for the new issue, transposing that selection to our launch event, where we will showcase the work of 8 UK talented up and coming artists:
Harry Chilcott Jaimus Tailor James Moreton Jess Aleo Lucy Black Max Brogan Sam Calcraft Steve Bell
Come and celebrate 5 years of zines with us on the 21st of September, 6PM, at Doomed Gallery in Dalston!
We may have been quiet on new releases but we surely have been pay attention to new music out there. Taking full advantage of being London-based, rummaging Bandcamp and occasionally checking some reference blogs, we came up with a little list of artists you should DEFINITELY pay attention to this year:
It may not sound like that on record, but you will not watch anything like these guys live. The raw energy of punk, the hard-hitting beats, the manic vocals...one of those groups who give it everything they got on stage (and out of it, via stage dives). They caused a literal ruckus on this year’s SXSW, as documented here.
It’s easy to fall in love with Princess Nokia if you see bits of her interviews or live footage and seen her stage presence, which is essentially not performing at you but with you.
She applies the ‘girls to the front’ ethos and lights up the room not just with the fire of empowering songs but also in-between song speeches and her personality, which is fiercely feminist.
Her debut EP '1992' came out last September but I'm still vibing to it this year, thanks to songs like Tomboy, which completely dismantles any notion that women are to fit in some bizzare beauty norms and please the male gaze. Her music blends multi-dimensional self-discovery, celebrates individuality, authenticity and her Afro-Latina identity. She's probably the most DIY hip-hop artist out there today.
Metallic hardcore with a solid NY identity and most of all with lyrics that make you think about what surrounds you. If you’re a fan of that oldschool metalcore with the right amount of groove and social/political awareness (Most Precious Blood comes to mind) this is for you. Brand new record just came out, already available in our Distro.
London’s self-proclaimed “DIY punk witches” have the catchiest songs and have been putting in the work non-stop ever since their DIY EP came out last year (in a really cool fanzine format). Just off tour with Cherry Glazerr, making sure their wave is already being felt in Europe and beyond. An unstoppable force of female empowerment capable of making you want to pogo-mosh and dance on the same gig.
First reaction when I discovered this guy: “I gotta sign him!” Reflections Records got there first with an LP that sold out instantly, and there seems to be a repress on going around already, which only states the true talent of this project. Gospel, blues, metal, doom...it's a very original mix, one who doesn't leave you indifferent.
Glaswegians delivering a very gut-wrenching type of noise punk - whatever that genre means. The band’s name is discomfortingly accurate and they take no hostages in terms of songwriting and live performances.
Inadvertently watched them live late last year in what became a direct entry to my top 10 gigs of 2016. Their blend of jazz and funk is absolutely hypnotic and the way they make it sound so current and observant of the sounds of London is really captivating. Their first album Black Focus pleased both the experimental nerds and the jazz purists, and the vinyl is already on second or even third press. They may have been banned from the US but I’m happy to catch them live on this side of the pond anytime I can.
She was #27 onBandcamp’s 2016 top 40, which was how I found her. Comparisons to the also emerging female rapper Noname are inevitable, especially on her 2016 debut “Eden”, but Ivy Sole has a style of her own, more evident on her new release, East, released this February. I actually see her more of a female version of Oddissee. Soulful, positive and clever music.
When I first heard Dylan's debut album 'All I Ever Wanted' for the first time, back in 2015 on a random Soundcloud venture, I wrote him an email asking if he wanted to put it out via us. That's how much faith I had in his talent. Sadly he never replied, but he hasn't stopped ever since.
I'd describe his music as an early The Weeknd on LSD. If auto-tune, vocoder and moody trap beats (some of them reminiscent of Shlohmo) aren't your thing, you may want to stay away, but if you have a go at it it will be hard to pull away from the enchantment spell it casts on you. He's also part of this St. Louis collective called Hella which has a lot of cool experimental stuff going on.