ROK had an online close encounter with the founders of Reykjavík based Lady Boy Records, Nicolas Kunysz and Frímann Ísleifur Frímannsson.
When was the label founded?
The ideas and concepts of the label started to be defined in 2011. We took the time to think it through and started the label officially in 2012.
Did you guys have a set goal when you started the label?
To provide a platform we felt was much needed in Iceland. There might be a lot of artists here, but most of the things we loved were, to us, widely underrepresented. Icelandic music scene is not only delivering indie pop folk music at all, and well, we wanted to do something about that. Also, as a product designer and musician, I always wanted to explore odd formats and designs regarding physical music releases.
Tell me about the name?
It is a humorous way of expressing our statement regarding the label somehow. We do not release one specific genre, we like very much things that are not fitting in one defined category. When the lines are blurry that is where new, interesting experiment can emerge.
Do It Yourself seems to be a pretty strong aspect of your work, right?
Yes, DIY is quite a motto to us indeed, we really try to be as independent as possible, in order to release/promote what we want, how and when we want. On the money side, we do not use any other support than us for this reason, all the LB money stays in LB and we get extra support by selling our releases, organizing gigs and DJ sets.
On the production side, all designs are made in house and engravings at my studio, everything is hand numbered by my cares. On distribution side we really try to avoid third persons in there in order to keep prices the way we choose them.
And well in term of other principles, again, we like things that aren’t too easy to define, that aren’t already in a box somehow, hybrid, creative, experimental is probably quite important to us.
If I speak about the designs, formats and production processes, I would say that we like to explore fairly unusual things, not for the sake of being absolutely underground and original, no, but to make the thing we feel is relevant in the music field. Cassettes are a beautiful format for example, we believe in the intimacy of the use of this format, also the sound of this format bring to some music a very interesting touch. We know this is not a popular choice, but it is one we make because we feel it is relevant.
Which artists have you signed so far and do you exclusively work with Icelandic musicians?
No one is signed, the artists own their work and they are free to release on other labels. No not only Icelandic, mainly indeed, the reason for that is probably because we live here and we get in touch with our local scene easily but we release more and more artists from different places, Japan, USA, Germany, I myself come from Belgium.
Artists released so far have been:
Ghostigital, LVX, Krummi, Bix, Úlfur, Quadruplos, Pyrodulia, Dead/Beat, Döpur, Rafsteinn, Futuregrapher, X.O.C GRAVEDIGGERS INC(/ACAPACITED), Slugs, Krakkbot, Pink Street Boys, Russian.girls, Fist Fokkers, AMFJ, DJ Flugvél og Geimskip, Agzilla, Syrgir Digurljón, L.B.P.R.S.A., Harry Knuckles, Weekend Eagle, Jóhann Eiríksson, Dr. Gunni, Talibam!, O|S|E|, Nicolas Kunysz, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, ThizOne, Helgi Mortal Kombat, Dental Work, Vampillia.
Where can people get a hold of your releases?
Webshop? iTunes? Bandcamp? Spotify? …
Record stores in Reykjavik: Smekkleysa, 12 Tónar, Lucky Records, Mengi, Reykjavik Records.
Any Upcoming releases?
Well, there is a lot coming up, all pretty exciting, all pretty different, but you will have to stay tuned with us to know exactly what it’s gonna be : -)
Where can people find some more information on you guys?
“Do the left thing” L.B.
Check out their latest release!, number 009!
A unique laser engraved cassette compilation filled with the ‘couleur locale’ or should I say the ‘fine fleur’ (pardon my French). Only 50 copies were made.
It’s just the best alternative mix of the early settlers and new kids on the block of the Icelandic indie as well as avant-garde scene.
– Wim Van Hooste