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Korm Plastics: Label Profile

img  Tobias

About setting up Korm Plastics
Founding a label was actually a smaller step in 1984 than today. You needed two cassette decks and you could start. My initial idea for the label was basically to release music I like. That was my ideal back then, and it still is today. I never cared about trends or fashions in music, never had the desire to score a major hit. Back in the 80s the aesthetic were of course of a very low quality, mainly xeroxes. But already in 1987 I changed that, working on a better presentation, various colors on xerox machines, different types of paper etc. Also I already knew the people who would later start the famous Extrapool space in Nijmegen and who had a stencil print place, which did some great colored  covers.



About the romantic sides of the 80s tape-scene
Well, what is romantic? It was mainly fun. I'd write letters every day, send out parcels, did lots trading with other labels etc. You posted a letter and wait 2 or 3 weeks before a reply came - so much different than the hasty world of the Internet, where, if you don't respond within an hour, people call you 'lazy'. Yes, I sometimes miss that. But then sometimes people would just disappear and you would lose money on a trade, or some shop never paid you. Happens now too, as a matter of fact.
As there was no Internet, you would rely on music magazines and fanzines in terms of distribution. I read loads of those, and wrote to everyone who sounded interesting. Also to other labels, shops and mailorders. Sending a catalogue, or a sample and then take it from there. Sometimes it worked, some never paid. You learned as you went along.



About “kp 1" and why was it never officially released
I numbered the first release KP3, mainly because I liked the way Factory Records numbered their releases. Later on I invented praxis (as Tony Wilson would call it), and thought that the first booklet I ever did, 'De Nederlandse Cassette Catalogus' could have been KP1 and the magazine 'Archive 1' would have been KP2. Later on no more gaps, but there were very few non musical items. No lawsuits or dental bills.



About the first Korm Plastics Release

They musicians who ended up on the first release were mostly people I corresponded with and who released my work as Kapotte Muziek and I would release their work. Very incestuous.
Since I made 'De Nederlandse Cassette Catalogus' people thought I knew everybody in The Netherlands who were involved in cassette releases, so a German guy named Graf Haufen (Falx Cerebri) asked me to compile a cassette with Dutch industrial music, which became 'Katacombe Vol. 3', a co-release on his Schrei Records and Korm Plastics.



About the label's aesthetics

I hardly get involved with the artistic side of a release by someone else actually. When I like a musician's work I will ask him, and leave all the artistic freedom in music to him and sometimes with the cover as well. I may offer some suggestions but its not a lot. For my Brombron series, which I've curated now for 10 years it always works out fine.
The ideas today are the same as they were in the early days: if I don't like it, I won't do it. That simple. There is no single release that sums up what the label is about. There is a lot of different music on it. Noise, microsound, techno(ish), improvisation. All of my interests.



About setting up a couple of other labels at a later stage

Plinkity Plonk was started to publish a 2LP by Beequeen and then expanded in some more releases. It's run by me and Freek Kinkelaar, although I pay all the bills :-). If I feel something will fit on PP I'll ask Freek if he agrees. Its usually music from the drone end of things. My Own Little Label is a small private label, just for my own music, which never found a way somewhere else, live recordings, one-off projects etc. At the end of the 90s I also had two CDR labels, Bake Records and Microwave. The latter had its own musical approach, early laptop music, clicks and cuts. Bake Records was just a label to release music which I liked but we (I worked for Staalplaat then) couldn't afford to release on a real CD. I liked both labels, but beyond my career within Staalplaat I never wanted to start another CDR label.



About the Staalplaat-connection:
In 1992 I graduated from University and was looking for a job. My idea was to become a mailman for 3 days a week and then spend the rest of the time on the label. I phoned a few people for advice and Staalplaat was one of them. They phoned me back a few days and offered me a five day per week job. Of course I said yes. In 2003 I left because I was living in Nijmegen and going to Amsterdam by train four days a week, and the traveling became too much after all those years.



About the return of the tape
It doesn't feel ironic to me that tapes are returning. So it goes, I guess. I never threw away many tapes, since many involve Kapotte Muziek and I think it's actually hilarious to see this revival. It seemed appropriate to release one as part of the 25th anniversary. The only true way of celebrating is a release of a tape. Other than that, that's it. No big time celebration as with Kapotte Muziek (see www.kapottemuziek.blogspot.com)



About the back archive of Korm Plastic
I still have the master tapes of everything we did, some covers for every release, so it should be complete. But it's scattered around the house, as I never was a good archive person (despite my degree in history).

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Korm Plastics

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