The idea of starting a label has been floating around the FFF orbit for several years now. Having the opportunity to hear so much incredible new music on a regular basis and be able interact with so many talented artists from around the globe, you can’t help but want to take part in releasing and drawing more attention to some of this work. So, with the 100th episode of the podcast series looming on the horizon, it seemed like a good enough time and excuse to start a label, albeit a very small-scale private press sort of affair. Round Bale Recordings will be focused on releasing music in limited, mostly handcrafted, editions across various physical formats. There are no grand plans beyond that at this point; simply consider Round Bale Recordings as a sporadic extension of the FFFoxy Podcast.
The inaugural release on Round Bale Recordings comes from the group Tilth and their long-awaited sophomore album. Initially the duo of Cody Yantis and Nathan McLaughlin, whose first album Angular Music came out on Soft Abuse, Tilth’s new trio incarnation includes long-time collaborator Joe Houpert, who has worked with McLaughlin in Loud & Sad and with both on the superb Line Drawings release out on Desire Path Recordings last year. Each of these musician’s solo and collaborative works have been featured regularly throughout the history of the FFF podcast series. In fact, Tilth performed their very first live show here in Mankato a few years ago. It was quite an exhilarating performance filled with clashes of tape drift, stringed dissonance, free jazz eruptions and the occasional verbal prodding amongst the group members to push towards some next level catharsis. It was a rather compelling live show that opened the door to new possibilities only hinted at on their debut release. Fast forward a few years later and talk of finding a home for this trio material came up, and I was reminded of how special that evening was and how fitting it would be for this to come out on whatever label it was that I was considering.
After several months of planning and collaboration, I couldn’t be more pleased to finally offer Country Music, an album that captures the bound-up tension and breezy release of that memorable first performance. It’s country music not in style, but music conceived during a time and place marked by rural living and relative isolation. McLaughlin’s reel-to-reel textures and Yantis’ resonant guitar work are still present, but the sonic palette has been noticeably widened with Houpert’s skittering percussion and dissonant violin scrapes adding new rhythm and color as the album unfolds. There’s much more to it, of course: nuance, space, breath, and grit. Ah, yes, it’s Country Music.
This first LP release comes in a numbered edition of 150 copies with hand-printed artwork by Casey Deming. The album was mastered by Sean McCann. The first 50 people to order the LP through our website will get a bonus CD-R called Backwoods Runoff that contains five (or is it six?) extra tracks featuring a mixture of rehearsal material recorded on the eve of that first live performance and brand new exclusive material recorded over the past few months.
We are now accepting pre-orders for this LP and expect to ship these come early June. Please get in touch if you have any questions or if you’d like to work out a deal for bulk orders.